Classic Wedge Salad

There’s something about the wedge salad that satisfies every time! This recipe breaks down all the elements of this classic side dish. Classic is classic for a reason, and the classic wedge salad does not disappoint. Every time we serve it, people ooo and ahh. Because it really is perfection: the crunch of iceberg lettuce against the creamy, savory blue cheese dressing just makes sense. Not to mention it looks stunning! There’s a reason this salad has been impressing us all for 100 years. It’s our favorite to serve with a grilled dinner or sheet pan salmon and asparagus. How do we make it? Here are all the classic elements: and of course, we’ve put our spin on it. What’s in a wedge salad? The first recipe for an iceberg lettuce wedge salad was printed in 1916 in the book Salads, Sandwiches and Chafing Dish Recipes by Marion Harris Neil. It was called “Lettuce Salad with Roquefort Dressing” and calls for smothering lettuce hearts with a creamy blue cheese dressing and hard boiled egg whites cut into rings. Not quite what the salad looks like today! In the 1950’s, the wedge salad took on the blue cheese crumbles and bacon […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

There’s something about the wedge salad that satisfies every time! This recipe breaks down all the elements of this classic side dish.

Wedge salad

Classic is classic for a reason, and the classic wedge salad does not disappoint. Every time we serve it, people ooo and ahh. Because it really is perfection: the crunch of iceberg lettuce against the creamy, savory blue cheese dressing just makes sense. Not to mention it looks stunning! There’s a reason this salad has been impressing us all for 100 years. It’s our favorite to serve with a grilled dinner or sheet pan salmon and asparagus. How do we make it? Here are all the classic elements: and of course, we’ve put our spin on it.

What’s in a wedge salad?

The first recipe for an iceberg lettuce wedge salad was printed in 1916 in the book Salads, Sandwiches and Chafing Dish Recipes by Marion Harris Neil. It was called “Lettuce Salad with Roquefort Dressing” and calls for smothering lettuce hearts with a creamy blue cheese dressing and hard boiled egg whites cut into rings. Not quite what the salad looks like today!

In the 1950’s, the wedge salad took on the blue cheese crumbles and bacon bits that are traditional in today’s salad. By the 1970’s, it became popular at steakhouses where it still is today. Most restaurants and chefs these days like to put their own creative touches on wedge salads (which we’ll cover below). The basic elements of a classic wedge salad are:

  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Blue cheese dressing
  • Tomatoes
  • Chives
  • Bacon
Wedge salad recipe

Try smoky breadcrumbs in place of bacon!

For our spin on the classic wedge salad, we’ve created an innovation instead of the traditional bacon: smoky bread crumbs! You can use breadcrumbs to add the crunchy element that bacon provides, and season them to add a hint of the smokiness of bacon. It’s a fun way to get creative with your wedge salad (and makes it vegetarian). You’ll simply toast the breadcrumbs in a skillet with olive oil and spices until they’re golden, about 3 minutes. Here are the spices you’ll need:

  • Smoked paprika: Also labeled as pimentón at the grocery store, it’s a smoked version of sweet paprika and adds a hint of smoke to everything it touches. It’s worth seeking out here! (Use leftovers for all these smoked paprika recipes.)
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt

A fresh spin on blue cheese dressing

This wedge salad uses our favorite blue cheese dressing recipe: classic with a modern spin! Here are a few of the features of this dressing that makes it a go-to:

  • Uses Greek yogurt! Combining the standard mayonnaise with Greek yogurt helps to reduce the calories but still keeps the deliciously creamy texture.
  • Easy to whisk up. This one takes just a few minutes to make! You’ll mash the blue cheese crumbles with a bit of vinegar, then mix it together with the yogurt, mayo and spices.
Wedge salad

Don’t like blue cheese? A few options

Blue cheese is a strong flavor, and we know several people in our immediate circle who aren’t fans. You too? You can mix things up in the wedge salad and use a different salad dressing. Then top with feta cheese crumbles! Here are a few ideas for alternate dressings:

  • Ranch dressing: Try our best Ranch Dressing! It also uses Greek yogurt. You can even add a little smoked paprika to make Smoky Ranch.
  • Feta dressing: Simply make the blue cheese dressing below but use feta cheese instead of blue cheese.
  • Thousand island: Who doesn’t love Thousand Island? It’s not classic for a wedge salad, but still tasty!
Wedge salad

Cutting the wedges in wedge salad

Last up: there are a few things to note when you cut an iceberg head for your wedge salad! Here are a few notes and things to look for:

  • Look for a small to medium iceberg head. Some iceberg lettuce heads you can find at the store are massive! Small to medium makes the best wedge.
  • Remove the outer leaves first. The outer leaves can be dirty and sometimes are damaged. Pull them all off first!
  • Cut into 4 for a small head or 6 for large. If all you can find is a very large iceberg head, you can cut it into 6 wedges. This will make it more manageable on a plate!

Mains to pair with wedge salad…it’s totally versatile!

The classic wedge salad is one of the most versatile salads we know. It goes with nearly anything. Here are some our favorite ways to pair it with a meal…that’s not steak:

More classic salads

Love the wedge? You’ll love these super classic salads too:

This wedge salad recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Wedge salad

Classic Wedge Salad


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

There’s something about that classic wedge salad recipe! Crisp iceberg and creamy blue cheese dressing is a match made in heaven.


Ingredients

For the salad

  • 1 recipe Blue Cheese Dressing*
  • 1 small head iceberg lettuce
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered (or 4 sundried tomatoes, chopped)
  • 2 chives, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons blue cheese crumbles
  • Smoky breadcrumbs, for the garnish (1 handful crushed potato chips or crumbled bacon)

For the smoky breadcrumbs

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup panko (or homemade breadcrumbs)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon each onion powder and garlic powder
  • 1/4 heaping teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Make the Blue Cheese Dressing
  2. Make the smoky breadcrumbs, if using: Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. In a small bowl, mix the panko with the smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder and kosher salt. Add them to the skillet and toast, stirring frequently, until golden and crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove to a bowl. 
  3. Remove the outer leaves of the iceberg head, then slice it into wedges (4 for a small head, 6 for a large head). Prep the chives and tomatoes.
  4. To serve. place a wedge on a plate. Top with dressing, tomatoes, chives, blue cheese crumbles, and smoky breadcrumbs. Serve immediately. 

Notes

*Not a blue cheese lover? Make our Ranch Dressing and add 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika for a smoky flair. Then top with crumbled feta cheese. 

  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Salad

Keywords: Wedge salad, wedge salad recipe

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Salmon and Asparagus Sheet Pan Meal

This baked salmon and asparagus recipe is the definition of easy dinner! Throw it all on a sheet pan with lemon, and the flavor is unreal. We’ve got a new solution to an easy dinner that pleases everyone: this baked salmon and asparagus recipe! It’s simple, it’s elegant, but it tastes like something you’d order at a restaurant. Roasting it up on a sheet pan with lemon slices and fresh herbs adds effortless flavor that feels fresh yet refined. Somehow in all our years of home cooking we’d never made a sheet pan meal exactly like this…and now it’s solidly in our repertoire! Alex and I made it for a healthy weeknight dinner on the patio with a wedge salad and it was perfection. Important: thin asparagus is key! Here’s a tip for working with asparagus: buy thin asparagus if you can find it! Thin, young asparagus spears are much more tender and tastier than large stalks, which can be very tough. When you roast thin asparagus, it comes out sweet and beautifully cooked! We were able to find some very thin bunches at our local grocery store, and after this recipe we decided to always look for thin asparagus. […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This baked salmon and asparagus recipe is the definition of easy dinner! Throw it all on a sheet pan with lemon, and the flavor is unreal.

Salmon and asparagus

We’ve got a new solution to an easy dinner that pleases everyone: this baked salmon and asparagus recipe! It’s simple, it’s elegant, but it tastes like something you’d order at a restaurant. Roasting it up on a sheet pan with lemon slices and fresh herbs adds effortless flavor that feels fresh yet refined. Somehow in all our years of home cooking we’d never made a sheet pan meal exactly like this…and now it’s solidly in our repertoire! Alex and I made it for a healthy weeknight dinner on the patio with a wedge salad and it was perfection.

Important: thin asparagus is key!

Here’s a tip for working with asparagus: buy thin asparagus if you can find it! Thin, young asparagus spears are much more tender and tastier than large stalks, which can be very tough. When you roast thin asparagus, it comes out sweet and beautifully cooked! We were able to find some very thin bunches at our local grocery store, and after this recipe we decided to always look for thin asparagus. It tastes so much better!

Another tip for working with asparagus: always trim off the tough, woody bottoms of the stalks. Here’s how to trim asparagus…fast!

Salmon and asparagus recipe

What to look for when buying salmon

The other important part of this salmon and asparagus recipe is the quality of the salmon! There’s a wide variety of salmon quality at the store (vs shrimp, which has less variation). Here’s what to look for when shopping for this sheet pan meal:

  • Fresh salmon is best. You can find decent frozen salmon. But for the very best salmon, buy it fresh from your local seafood counter.
  • Buy wild caught salmon. Wild caught is the way to go! It’s most sustainable and has the best flavor.
  • Coho is a good choice. We tend to like Coho salmon for its mild flavor: it’s a good middle of the road option in terms of price. Of course, King salmon is incredible but more of a splurge. Atlantic salmon is typically farmed salmon, so it’s a less desirable choice.

How to tell when salmon is done

The only difficult part about cooking salmon? How to tell when it’s done! For this salmon and asparagus recipe you’ll be cooking both at the same time. The asparagus should cook in about the same time as the salmon here, but you should base the timing on the salmon itself. Here’s what to know about how tell to know when salmon is done:

  • Use a food thermometer to measure 125 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, making sure to measure at the thickest part of the fish. This is the most accurate way to assess doneness and results in medium salmon.
  • Or, cook until the salmon just starts to flake when pricked with a fork.
  • Be careful not to overcook. We prefer our salmon cooked to medium: to us, there’s nothing worse than a dry piece of fish. Keep an eye on it and don’t overdo it!
Baked salmon and asparagus

Top with lemon and herbs

The fun part about this salmon and asparagus is the seasoning! Fresh lemon and fresh herbs is simple, but classic. Here’s what to know about adding these seasonings to your sheet pan meal:

  • Place lemon slices on the asparagus, not the salmon! Don’t place the lemon on top of the salmon because it makes the top gooey, not crispy! But it’s perfect right on the asparagus: it infuses the perfect lemon flavor.
  • Use fresh herbs like chives, thyme, mint, basil, or whatever you have on hand! It’s just for a garnish, so you don’t have to measure. But it adds great flavor! We used chives and thyme from our garden.

Sides to serve with salmon and asparagus

How to make this tasty baked salmon and asparagus recipe into a healthy meal? Add a salad and you’re golden! Or add a whole grain to make it filling and satisfying. Here are some easy sides we’d pair with it:

Salmon and asparagus

More sheet pan meals

Everyone loves meals on a sheet pan! Here are a few more we love to make on regular rotation:

This salmon and asparagus recipe is…

Gluten-free, dairy-free, and pescatarian.

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Salmon and asparagus

Salmon and Asparagus (Sheet Pan Meal!)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This baked salmon and asparagus recipe is the definition of easy dinner! Throw it all on a sheet pan with lemon, and the flavor is unreal.


Ingredients

  • 1 pound thin asparagus
  • 1 pound salmon, wild caught if possible
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • Lemon
  • Minced fresh herbs (like chives, mint or thyme), for garnish

Instructions

  1. Allow salmon to come to room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  3. Trim the asparagus. Place it on the baking sheet and toss it with 2 tablespoon olive oil (this also oils the foil). Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.
  4. Pat the salmon dry and place it on the foil. Drizzle it with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Sprinkle the salmon with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Place asparagus around the salmon. Slice the lemon into wheels and place them on top of the asparagus (but not the salmon). Squeeze juice from the two ends of the lemon onto the tray. Then add the chopped fresh herbs on top of everything. 
  5. Bake 9 to 12 minutes until the salmon is just tender and pink at the center (the internal temperature should be between 125 to 130F in the center for done, or 10 degrees less if you’re broiling). 
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Seafood

Keywords: Salmon and asparagus

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Hearty Breakfast Skillet

This breakfast skillet recipe is a hearty way to start the day! Cook up cheesy eggs and potatoes in a cast iron skillet or any large pan. Want a hearty, savory breakfast that doubles as a tasty simple dinner? Try this Breakfast Skillet! Sure, it’s designed for mornings…but why not eat it for brinner? We often go the breakfast for dinner route over here, and this one is a solid part of our repertoire. Cheesy hash browns topped with runny egg yolks and salsa? Yes please! Even better, the spices in the potatoes mimic breakfast sausage (hello, fennel!) so the entire vibe is extremely hearty and satisfying. Here’s how to make it for yourself! What’s in a good breakfast skillet recipe? The breakfast skillet is a pretty loose concept: it could include just about anything! This one we customized to taste hearty and savory like you’d expect from a restaurant, but make it easy enough to make at home. Many breakfast skillet recipes include breakfast sausage, but since we eat mostly vegetarian around here we went the meatless route. Here’s what’s in this tasty skillet: Hash browns: These form the base; we like using frozen (see below) Eggs: Cook them […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This breakfast skillet recipe is a hearty way to start the day! Cook up cheesy eggs and potatoes in a cast iron skillet or any large pan.

Breakfast Skillet

Want a hearty, savory breakfast that doubles as a tasty simple dinner? Try this Breakfast Skillet! Sure, it’s designed for mornings…but why not eat it for brinner? We often go the breakfast for dinner route over here, and this one is a solid part of our repertoire. Cheesy hash browns topped with runny egg yolks and salsa? Yes please! Even better, the spices in the potatoes mimic breakfast sausage (hello, fennel!) so the entire vibe is extremely hearty and satisfying. Here’s how to make it for yourself!

What’s in a good breakfast skillet recipe?

The breakfast skillet is a pretty loose concept: it could include just about anything! This one we customized to taste hearty and savory like you’d expect from a restaurant, but make it easy enough to make at home. Many breakfast skillet recipes include breakfast sausage, but since we eat mostly vegetarian around here we went the meatless route. Here’s what’s in this tasty skillet:

  • Hash browns: These form the base; we like using frozen (see below)
  • Eggs: Cook them until just set and the yolks are runny
  • Cheese: Cheddar or feel free to customize: smoked mozzarella or gouda would be fantastic
  • Spices: Chili powder, garlic, cumin, and fennel seeds
  • Green onion: For a little savory zip and green
  • Salsa: It’s not required, but it makes a great garnish
Breakfast skillet

Use frozen hash browns for a quick and easy recipe

When we make a breakfast skillet, we’re usually in need of speed. So the primary path for this breakfast skillet is frozen hash browns! There’s nothing processed about frozen hash browns: they’re simply potatoes! However, some purchased hash browns can include extra flours or fillers. Check the package ingredients to make sure!

Alternate method: use potatoes!

Want to use potatoes instead? We’ve got you! You can use our method for Homemade Hash Browns instead: and it only adds a few extra minutes! Start with 2 medium russet potatoes (1 pound). Then you’ll need to soak the potatoes for just 2 minutes; here’s what to do:

  • Grate the potatoes: Wash the potatoes, leaving the skins on. Use the large side of a box grater or a food processor large grating blade to grate the potatoes.
  • Soak the potatoes for 2 minutes: Place the grated potatoes into a large bowl and fill it with cold water. Tip the bowl to drain off starchy water, then fill it again. Stir the potatoes to release starches soak them for 2 minutes. 
  • Dry the potatoes: Drain the grated potatoes and squeeze out any excess water. Transfer them to a clean, dry towel. Wring the potatoes in the towel to remove as much liquid as possible. Then cook starting at Step 1 of the recipe below!
Breakfast skillet recipe

Make it a cast iron breakfast skillet!

What type of pan to cook this breakfast skillet? Well, you can use any pan you like: but here are a few tips:

  • Cast iron breakfast skillet: If you have it, use a very large cast iron skillet is best! It heats well and it looks simply stunning. We used a 12-inch cast iron skillet, but you can make it work in a 10-inch as well.
  • Any large, oven-proof skillet: Otherwise, any large, heavy skillet will do! Try for 10 to 12 inches, so the hash browns have enough space to brown. Cooking in a small skillet steams the potatoes and they won’t get as

What else to serve with it

This breakfast skillet is so hearty, you don’t need to serve much else alongside. But if you’re cooking up a fancy brunch or breakfast for dinner (brinner!), here are some great options:

Cast iron breakfast skillet

This breakfast skillet recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

Print
Breakfast Skillet

Hearty Breakfast Skillet


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This breakfast skillet recipe is a hearty way to start the day! Cook up cheesy eggs and potatoes in a cast iron skillet or any large pan.


Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 5 cups (1 pound) frozen shredded hash browns (or 2 medium russet potatoes — see below*)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus a sprinkle more
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 eggs
  • For the garnish: Salsa, fresh cilantro (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cook the hash browns: Heat the olive oil in a large oven-proof or cast iron skillet and add the hash browns, flipping occasionally until browned. At 6 minutes, add the chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, fennel seeds, and kosher salt. Cook another about 6 minutes until browned, continuing to flip so they don’t stick. 
  2. Add the cheese and eggs: Reduce the heat to low. Add the green onions (reserving a handful for the garnish) and cheese and mix it in. Make divots for the eggs (all the way down to the bare pan) and add 1/4 tablespoon butter into each well. Crack 1 egg into each well, and top each with a pinch of kosher salt. Add a sprinkle of additional shredded cheese on top. 
  3. Cook the eggs on the stovetop: Increase the heat to medium low and cook for 3 minutes on the stove. Meanwhile, preheat the broiler.
  4. Finish in the broiler: Transfer the skillet to the broiler and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the whites of the eggs are set.
  5. Serve: Garnish with salsa, the reserved green onions, and fresh cilantro. Serve warm. 

Notes

*To use russet potatoes, use our Homemade Hash Browns method: Wash the potatoes, leaving the skins on. Use the large side of a box grater or a food processor large grating blade to grate the potatoes. Place the grated potatoes into a large bowl and fill it with cold water. Tip the bowl to drain off starchy water, then fill it again. Stir the potatoes to release starches soak them for 2 minutes. Drain the grated potatoes and squeeze out any excess water. Transfer them to a clean, dry towel. Wring the potatoes in the towel to remove as much liquid as possible. Then cook starting at Step 1 of this recipe. 

  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Breakfast

Keywords: Breakfast skillet, breakfast skillet recipe, cast iron breakfast skillet

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Strawberry Muffins with Cream Cheese Swirl

Everyone will want seconds of this delicious strawberry muffins recipe! It’s got a tender fluffy crumb and and a cream cheese swirl topping. Here’s a recipe that turned out even more delicious than we imagined…these insanely tasty Strawberry Muffins! Imagine: a muffin with a tender crumb: just sweet enough and delightfully moist. Then top that with a strawberry cream cheese swirl, that coats everything in sweet savory richness. Our 4 year old Larson had the idea of making strawberry muffins (genius!), so we turned our favorite pumpkin muffin into a berry based one. Turns out, this one is even better than the original! What’s great about these strawberry muffins Some strawberry muffins have little chunks of strawberries in the batter, much like you would a blueberry muffin. But when we tried that type of strawberry muffin, the bits of berry made the batter soggy. Here’s what makes this strawberry muffin great: The strawberries are incorporated in a cream cheese swirl. This way, the berries incorporate into a creamy topping, leaving the bottom portion of the muffin perfectly moist. Man, is it delicious! The muffins are just sweet enough. Many muffins are glorified cupcakes: these are just sweet enough to be […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Everyone will want seconds of this delicious strawberry muffins recipe! It’s got a tender fluffy crumb and and a cream cheese swirl topping.

Strawberry muffins

Here’s a recipe that turned out even more delicious than we imagined…these insanely tasty Strawberry Muffins! Imagine: a muffin with a tender crumb: just sweet enough and delightfully moist. Then top that with a strawberry cream cheese swirl, that coats everything in sweet savory richness. Our 4 year old Larson had the idea of making strawberry muffins (genius!), so we turned our favorite pumpkin muffin into a berry based one. Turns out, this one is even better than the original!

What’s great about these strawberry muffins

Some strawberry muffins have little chunks of strawberries in the batter, much like you would a blueberry muffin. But when we tried that type of strawberry muffin, the bits of berry made the batter soggy. Here’s what makes this strawberry muffin great:

  • The strawberries are incorporated in a cream cheese swirl. This way, the berries incorporate into a creamy topping, leaving the bottom portion of the muffin perfectly moist. Man, is it delicious!
  • The muffins are just sweet enough. Many muffins are glorified cupcakes: these are just sweet enough to be aptly called a muffin.
  • They’re moist from applesauce! Applesauce makes a perfectly moist cake portion of the muffin, without it being too buttery or oily.

How to make and swirl the cream cheese topping

These strawberry muffins are pretty straightforward: the only part that needs a little more explanation is the cream cheese swirl. Here’s what to know about this part of the recipe:

  • Dice the strawberries into small pieces. This helps the strawberries to integrate into the cream cheese — it will turn pink but still have strawberry chunks (this is intended!).
  • Place dollops of cream cheese on top of the muffin batter. Use a heaping 1 tablespoon.
  • Use a toothpick to swirl and push the cheese into the batter. Swirl it in so that it incorporates into the top portion of the muffin batter.
Strawberry muffins

Storage info for strawberry muffins

Because there’s cream cheese on top, you’ll want to store these strawberry muffins in the refrigerator instead of at room temperature like other muffins. Here are a few pointers:

  • The muffins are the best the day of making. Wait after baking until they’re about room temperature, then devour. They taste incredible the day of.
  • Refrigerate for 5 days. Pop them into the fridge for storage. Remember to let them warm back to room temp for a minute or two before you enjoy them.
  • Do not freeze. The cream cheese topping doesn’t hold up well in the freezer, so we don’t recommend freezing here.

When to serve them!

These strawberry muffins are great for when you have a bunch of strawberries you don’t know what to do with. They’re absolutely perfect for entertaining, too! Here are a few ideas for how to pair them:

Strawberry muffins

More strawberry recipes

Love this popular berry? Us too! Here are some of our favorite ways to make strawberries into a tasty treat:

Strawberry muffins

This strawberry muffins recipe is…

Vegetarian.

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Strawberry muffins

Strawberry Muffins (with Cream Cheese Swirl!)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 muffins
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Everyone will want seconds of this delicious strawberry muffins recipe! It’s got a tender fluffy crumb and and a cream cheese swirl topping. 


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled Old Fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup diced strawberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Add 12 muffin cups to a standard muffin tin.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, rolled oats, brown sugar and cinnamon with the baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt.
  3. In another bowl, combine the applesauce, neutral oil, and vanilla extract. Wait to add it to the dries until you’ve made the cream cheese topping. 
  4. Dice the strawberries into small pieces. Use a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or electric hand mixer to combine the cream cheese, sugar, and strawberries: beat them on medium speed until fully combined (the cheese will turn pink but still have chunks of strawberries). 
  5. Mix the wet ingredients (applesauce, oil and vanilla) into the bowl with the dry ingredients (flour, oats, etc.) and stir until a smooth batter forms.
  6. Divide the batter evenly into the 12 muffin cups. Dollop a mounded tablespoon of strawberry cream cheese onto the center of each muffin. Then use a toothpick to swirl the cream cheese until it is smoothed onto the top and partially worked into the batter (see the photos).
  7. Bake for about 25 to 28 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the muffin portion. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins and place them on a cooling rack. Cool 1 hour until room temperature. Enjoy or refrigerate up to 1 week (these muffins do not freeze well).
  • Category: Muffins
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Muffins

Keywords: Strawberry muffins, strawberry muffins recipe

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Creamy Vegan Mushroom Soup

This vegan mushroom soup is delightfully creamy and hearty, featuring loads of veggies and hearty whole grains! Here’s a soup that’s ultra cozy and deliciously hearty: Vegan Mushroom Soup! You won’t believe how creamy this is…without the use of dairy! Just like our fan favorite Wild Rice Soup, we’ve harnessed the magic of cashews to make a delightfully creamy base. Add to that spices, lots of veggies and whole grains, and it’s the perfect canvas to highlight deliciously savory mushrooms. Ready to get cooking? Tricks to the best vegan mushroom soup This vegan mushroom soup is modeled after our fan favorite Wild Rice Soup: but it’s even quicker to make! Both soups use the same trick: soaked cashews. Soaking and blending these powerhouse nuts makes them into a delightfully creamy sauce that works just like dairy (try our Cashew Cream). Here you can blend them right into a soup for a rich, creamy body. Here’s what to know: Soak the cashews while you make the soup. You don’t have to think ahead at all! The time to make the soup is just enough…unless you don’t have a great blender. A powerful blender is helpful. We have a high speed blender […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This vegan mushroom soup is delightfully creamy and hearty, featuring loads of veggies and hearty whole grains!

Vegan mushroom soup

Here’s a soup that’s ultra cozy and deliciously hearty: Vegan Mushroom Soup! You won’t believe how creamy this is…without the use of dairy! Just like our fan favorite Wild Rice Soup, we’ve harnessed the magic of cashews to make a delightfully creamy base. Add to that spices, lots of veggies and whole grains, and it’s the perfect canvas to highlight deliciously savory mushrooms. Ready to get cooking?

Tricks to the best vegan mushroom soup

This vegan mushroom soup is modeled after our fan favorite Wild Rice Soup: but it’s even quicker to make! Both soups use the same trick: soaked cashews. Soaking and blending these powerhouse nuts makes them into a delightfully creamy sauce that works just like dairy (try our Cashew Cream). Here you can blend them right into a soup for a rich, creamy body. Here’s what to know:

  • Soak the cashews while you make the soup. You don’t have to think ahead at all! The time to make the soup is just enough…unless you don’t have a great blender.
  • A powerful blender is helpful. We have a high speed blender and it works magic with cashews. If you don’t have a good blender, you may want to soak your cashews overnight to make sure they’re soft enough to blend.
  • Make the soup, then blend the cashews with 2 cups of it. Yep that’s right: take the veggies, broth and everything in your pot! Blend it with the cashews and it becomes beautifully creamy…like magic!
Vegan mushroom soup

Make sure to find pearled barley, not hulled!

Here’s a tip for when you make this vegan mushroom soup: look for pearled barley at the store, not hulled barley. Many packages don’t actually have this marked: so how can you tell the difference? And what’s the difference, anyway?

  • Hulled barley has just the hull removed. It’s darker in color than pearled barley and has a chewier texture when cooked. It takes about 50 to 55 minutes to cook hulled barley.
  • Pearled barley is lighter in color; it has the outer husk and bran layer removed. This makes it much quicker to cook, though it loses some of the nutritional value of those components. It takes 15 to 30 minutes to cook pearled barley, depending on the brand.
  • Bottom line: Essentially, the difference between pearled barley vs hulled barley is like white rice vs brown rice.
  • How to tell if the package doesn’t indicate? Review the color: pearled is light and hulled is medium brown. Then check the cooking instructions on the back: the cook time should indicate which type it is.

Or, you can use farro!

If you prefer, you can use farro instead! Farro is an ancient whole grain with a chewy texture very similar to barley. It cooks quicker than hulled barley, making it a favorite in our household. It’s also not gluten free because it’s made from wheat. But it’s very delicious and one of our favorite whole grains to cook.

Other ways to use farro? Make Farro with Herbs, Farro with Mushrooms & Parmesan, Instant Pot Farro or Farro & Brussels Sprouts Soup.

Vegan mushroom soup

Gluten free grains in vegan mushroom soup

Want to make this vegan mushroom soup into a gluten-free soup as well? The grains in this soup are not gluten free, but it’s easy to make with the following options:

  • White rice: Substitute it for the barley and cook until tender, about 15 minutes
  • Brown rice: Cook it in advance! It will soak up too much liquid to cook in the soup. Add it in Step 4 below and simmer 15 minutes.

Are there any substitutes for cashews?

Got a nut allergy? Unfortunately cashews are really magical when it comes to making a creamy body in vegan soups. We don’t have any great substitutes here (unless you want to try dairy!). However, one option to consider is canned white beans. There’s no need to soak: just substitute them in for the nuts in the final blending step. It won’t have nearly the richness and sweetness of the cashews, but beans do have thickening power.

Mushroom soup

What to serve with vegan mushroom soup

Want to make this vegan soup into a full meal? Throw together one of these vegan side dishes while the meal cooks:

This vegan mushroom soup recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based and dairy-free. For gluten-free, use white or brown rice.

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Vegan mushroom soup

Vegan Mushroom Soup


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This vegan mushroom soup is delightfully creamy and hearty, featuring loads of veggies and hearty whole grains


Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsalted cashews
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3 celery ribs
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 pound mushrooms: cremini* (aka baby bella) or a mix of baby bella and shiitake
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup dry pearled barley or farro (make sure it is pearled*), or white rice for gluten free**
  • 1 teaspoon each garlic powder and dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon each dried oregano and dried dill
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt +1/4 teaspoon
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or smoked shoyu), or more salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Place the cashews in a bowl and cover them with water. Leave them to soak while you make the recipe.
  2. Dice the onion. Thinly slice the celery. Peel and dice the carrots. Clean the mushrooms and slice them (if you’re using shiitake, make sure to remove the tough stems). Mince the garlic.
  3. Add the olive oil to a Dutch oven or soup pot. Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes until lightly browned. Add mushrooms, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the vegetable broth, barley, spices, kosher salt, and black pepper. Bring to a simmer. Cover the pot and simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes until the barley or farro is tender, stirring occasionally.
  5. Using a liquid cup measure, carefully remove 2 cups of the hot soup (including broth, veggies and barley) to a blender. Drain the cashews and add them to the blender, along with the cornstarch and soy sauce. Blend on high for about 1 minute until creamy. Then pour the creamy mixture back into the soup and simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes until thickened.
  6. Enjoy warm. Stores refrigerated for 3 days.

Notes

*Pearled barley cooks in about 20 minutes, whereas hulled barley cooks in about 50 to 55 minutes. The hulled barley has just the outer hull removed, whereas pearled also has the outer husk and bran layer removed, similar to the difference between white rice and brown rice. Check the package cook time to determine the difference if the package is not marked. 

**For gluten free, substitute white rice for the barley. You can also substitute brown rice, but cook it separately and add to the soup. In both cases, you can reduce the cook time in Step 4 to about 15 minutes. 

  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Soup

Keywords: Vegan mushroom soup

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Cheese Tortellini in Creamy Marinara

Cheese tortellini makes the best quick dinner recipe! Serve it up in a creamy marinara sauce flavored with goat cheese and basil. Some meatless recipes stand a head above the rest, and this is one of them. In fact, I think we’d be happy eating this genius quick dinner every day of the week. Try this cheese tortellini in creamy marinara sauce! In just 15 minutes, you’ve got a pasta skillet that’s a literal symphony flavor. The fresh basil-infused marinara sauce is perfectly complimented with pillows of tangy goat cheese. (In fact, it’s our baked goat cheese dip made into a main dish, because we love it so much we needed a way to justify it as dinner.) This one is a huge hit in our house…and we hope it will be in yours too! Best cheese tortellini to buy Cheese tortellini often escapes our radar when it comes to pasta: usually we think of penne, spirals or macaroni. But there’s lots of high quality tortellini in grocery stores these days! Tortellini are traditional ring-shaped Italian filled pasta. In Italy you can get them freshly made at local shops. What to look for if you’re not in Italy? Fresh tortellini […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Cheese tortellini makes the best quick dinner recipe! Serve it up in a creamy marinara sauce flavored with goat cheese and basil.

Cheese tortellini

Some meatless recipes stand a head above the rest, and this is one of them. In fact, I think we’d be happy eating this genius quick dinner every day of the week. Try this cheese tortellini in creamy marinara sauce! In just 15 minutes, you’ve got a pasta skillet that’s a literal symphony flavor. The fresh basil-infused marinara sauce is perfectly complimented with pillows of tangy goat cheese. (In fact, it’s our baked goat cheese dip made into a main dish, because we love it so much we needed a way to justify it as dinner.) This one is a huge hit in our house…and we hope it will be in yours too!

Best cheese tortellini to buy

Cheese tortellini often escapes our radar when it comes to pasta: usually we think of penne, spirals or macaroni. But there’s lots of high quality tortellini in grocery stores these days! Tortellini are traditional ring-shaped Italian filled pasta. In Italy you can get them freshly made at local shops. What to look for if you’re not in Italy?

  • Fresh tortellini is sold refrigerated. This is usually the best quality when it comes to tortellini recipes. It boils up in just 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Frozen tortellini is also a good option. We like frozen because it saves well and you can pull it out at moments notice.
  • Avoid dried tortellini. Tortellini isn’t traditionally a dried pasta: and all the brands we’ve tried dried just haven’t measured up.
  • Look for any type of cheese tortellini for this recipe. Use 3 cheese, spinach ricotta, Parmesan: any type of cheese flavor will work.
Cheese tortellini

Secrets to the best creamy marinara sauce

This tasty cheese tortellini recipe is engineered by us to be two things: mega quick and mega delicious! This one’s like a cross between our famous baked goat cheese and our goat cheese pasta. It capitalizes on the best flavor pairing: a great tomato sauce that’s made creamy using soft goat cheese. Here are a few tips for the very best creamy marinara:

  • Use canned fire roasted tomatoes. This special type of tomato is becoming easy to find. It’s charred over an open flame, which gives them a beautifully sweet flavor right out of the can. Can’t find them? Use the best quality tomatoes you can find.
  • Use fresh basil. It’s a splurge in winter, but it’s absolutely worth it for the peppery flavor it imparts.
  • Use soft goat cheese (chevre). You might think a creamy marinara is good with heavy cream. But it’s great with soft goat cheese! None of those hard crumbles with the texture of feta: this sauce deserves a good chevre.

Why it works

Here you’ll use soft goat cheese to crumble into the marinara, and it adds a tang and a creamy body that makes it taste like a best-in-class gourmet meal. Add those beautifully boiled cheese tortellini, and every bite is velvety, heavenly goodness. You can save out a few goat cheese crumbles as a topping, too.

We like to add a little spinach into the mix too! It adds nutrients but the way it melds into the skillet, you can barely tell that it’s there.

Tortellini in skillet

Is goat cheese healthy? How does it compare to cow’s cheese?

You may have heard that when it comes to cheese, goat cheese can be a healthier option that other cheeses. You’re right! There are a few advantages to choosing this cheese vs a mozzarella or a Parmesan. Goat cheese has the following going for it (source: Prevention):

  • More vitamins and minerals than cow’s cheese. Goat’s milk is richer in essential nutrients than cow’s milk. It has more vitamin A & B, calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium.
  • Slightly less calories than cow’s cheese. Goat cheese has just 75 calories per ounce—less than cow cheeses like mozzarella (85 calories), Swiss (108 calories), and cheddar (115 calories).
  • May be easier to digest. Goat cheese has less lactose than cow’s milk and a slightly different protein structure, so people who are lactose intolerant many times can digest goat cheese.

Can you make it gluten-free?

Yes! There are actually some good brands of gluten free tortellini on the market these days. We don’t eat exclusively gluten-free, so we don’t have a preferred brand. But there are lots of great options in both refrigerated and frozen varieties. Again, we recommend steering away from dried. Do you have a brand to recommend? Let us know in the comments below.

Tortellini recipes

What to serve with cheese tortellini!

This cheese tortellini recipe is an ideal quick dinner: it takes less than 20 minutes to whip up! Pair it with a simple side dish or two and you’re in business. It’s ideal for Meatless Mondays or impressing friends with a tasty vegetarian dinner. Of course, it can be harder than you think to find side dishes that work with the flavors, compliments it nutritionally, and is easy enough to make while you tackle the main dish. Here are a few of our favorite sides to pair here:

This cheese tortellini recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free tortellini.

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Cheese tortellini

Cheese Tortellini in Creamy Marinara


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Cheese tortellini makes the best quick dinner recipe! Serve it up in a creamy marinara sauce flavored with goat cheese and basil. 


Ingredients

  • 12 to 16 ounces frozen or refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 28 ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes (or best quality crushed tomatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups baby spinach leaves, tightly packed (or chopped spinach)
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • 4 ounce goat cheese log

Instructions

  1. Boil the tortellini according to the package instructions (fresh usually takes 2 to 3 minutes and frozen takes 2 to 5 minutes to boil). Then drain it. 
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, place the crushed tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, oregano, kosher salt, spinach, and whole basil leaves. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer while the pasta cooks or at least 10 minutes.
  3. When the pasta is done and drained, add it to the skillet. Crumble in the goat cheese into the sauce and stir until a creamy sauce forms (if you’d like, save out a few crumbles for topping). Serve immediately.
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Dinner

Keywords: Cheese tortellini, Tortellini recipes

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Lemony Broiled Asparagus

Broiled asparagus is a fast, easy and delicious way to cook this green vegetable! Throw it in the broiler and cook until charred and tender. Here’s a genius ways to cook this green vegetable to charred and tender without even preheating your oven. Yes, it’s our new favorite way to make it: Broiled Asparagus! Just throw it in the broiler with a few lemon wheels, and it comes out just like roasted asparagus…but even better. Once spring comes along, these beautiful green spears are everywhere. Now that we’ve tried it, we think this is the best way to cook them. Throw them alongside pistachio crusted salmon for a lovely dinner, or baked eggs for a special brunch. Here’s how to make this easy asparagus recipe! How to make broiled asparagus: basic method You don’t even need a recipe for broiled asparagus. Once you’ve tried it once, memorize the principles and make it over and over! All you need to know is the basic cook time and seasoning. Here’s how to broil asparagus: Trim the ends of the asparagus. More on how to cut asparagus is below. Line a baking sheet with foil. This makes for easy cleanup. Add the asparagus, […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Broiled asparagus is a fast, easy and delicious way to cook this green vegetable! Throw it in the broiler and cook until charred and tender.

Broiled asparagus

Here’s a genius ways to cook this green vegetable to charred and tender without even preheating your oven. Yes, it’s our new favorite way to make it: Broiled Asparagus! Just throw it in the broiler with a few lemon wheels, and it comes out just like roasted asparagus…but even better. Once spring comes along, these beautiful green spears are everywhere. Now that we’ve tried it, we think this is the best way to cook them. Throw them alongside pistachio crusted salmon for a lovely dinner, or baked eggs for a special brunch. Here’s how to make this easy asparagus recipe!

How to make broiled asparagus: basic method

You don’t even need a recipe for broiled asparagus. Once you’ve tried it once, memorize the principles and make it over and over! All you need to know is the basic cook time and seasoning. Here’s how to broil asparagus:

  • Trim the ends of the asparagus. More on how to cut asparagus is below.
  • Line a baking sheet with foil. This makes for easy cleanup.
  • Add the asparagus, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Quantities are in the recipe below.
  • Add 4 lemon wheels right to the tray. This infuses lemon flavor as the asparagus cooks.
  • Broil 3 minutes, stir, then 2 to 3 minutes more. Cook until the thickest parts of the asparagus are tender when pierced with a fork. Easy as that!
Broiled asparagus recipe

How to trim asparagus…the right way

Have you been snapping off the ends of your asparagus? Not only does it take longer to trim that way: it removes some of the edible part of the vegetable! This tasty veggie requires trimming before you cook it to remove the tough ends. Here’s the quickest way to cut asparagus:

  • Line up the asparagus facing the same way. Grab a large chef’s knife.
  • Cut off right where the green part turns to white. You can do about half a 1 pound bunch at once. It takes literally 1 minute!

Ways to serve easy broiled asparagus

We love asparagus for its flavor, but almost even more so for its looks! (Is that superficial?) Asparagus makes a plate of anything look better. Here are our top ways to serve it:

Broiled asparagus

More ways to cook asparagus

We’ve tried all the ways to cook asparagus…and this is one of our favorite methods! If you’re looking for more, here are our top easy ways to prep this tasty spring vegetable:

Asparagus nutrition

Lastly…want another reason to eat asparagus? It’s ridiculously good for you. Here are a few of the top health benefits of this veggie:

  • It’s a great source of fiber: 1 cup of cooked asparagus has 4 grams of fiber. (Source)
  • It’s relatively high in protein for a green vegetable: 1 cup also has 4 grams protein. (Source) That’s a similar level to broccoli and potatoes.
  • It can aid in eye and hair health and it has potential anti-aging properties! Who knew. (Source)

This broiled asparagus recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Broiled asparagus

Broiled Asparagus (Fast & Easy!)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Broiled asparagus is a fast, easy and delicious way to cook this green vegetable! Throw it in the broiler and cook until charred and tender. 


Ingredients

  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese (optional; omit for vegan)

Instructions

  1. Preheat a broiler to high.
  2. Cut off the tough bottom ends of the asparagus. Add the asparagus stalks to a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle them with olive oil, and add the kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper. 
  3. Thinly slice 4 lemon wheels from the lemon, then add them right on the baking sheet. 
  4. Broil 3 minutes. Remove the tray and stir. Then broil 2 to 3 minutes more, until the spears are tender when pierced by a fork at the thickest part. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese (optional) and serve. 
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Broiled
  • Cuisine: Vegetables

Keywords: Broiled asparagus, broiled asparagus recipe, how to broil asparagus, easy asparagus recipe

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Simple Baked Eggs

Oven baked eggs are a simple way to make a special breakfast! Bake them in small dishes then serve with a variety of toppings. Bon appetit! We love finding unique ways to eat the same ingredients, and this trick falls into that category. Try these Oven Baked Eggs! It’s a simple way to make a special breakfast out of everyday ingredients. (What can’t an egg do? Seriously.) Here you’ll throw the eggs into small baking dishes, then load them up with toppings of your choice. Go simple like Parmesan and herbs, or fancy like sauteed spinach and mushrooms. Here’s the basic method, and a few more fun topping ideas! How to make baked eggs: basic method Baked eggs are so simple, you barely need a recipe! Actually, you don’t need one. Memorize this simple method and you can make them on repeat for special brunch: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. The perfect temperature for baking eggs. Melt 1/2 tablespoon butter for each dish. Throw them in the already warm oven to make quick work of it. Then brush it around your dish. Substitute neutral oil for dairy free. Add 2 eggs per dish. To avoid shells, crack them […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Oven baked eggs are a simple way to make a special breakfast! Bake them in small dishes then serve with a variety of toppings. Bon appetit!

Baked eggs

We love finding unique ways to eat the same ingredients, and this trick falls into that category. Try these Oven Baked Eggs! It’s a simple way to make a special breakfast out of everyday ingredients. (What can’t an egg do? Seriously.) Here you’ll throw the eggs into small baking dishes, then load them up with toppings of your choice. Go simple like Parmesan and herbs, or fancy like sauteed spinach and mushrooms. Here’s the basic method, and a few more fun topping ideas!

How to make baked eggs: basic method

Baked eggs are so simple, you barely need a recipe! Actually, you don’t need one. Memorize this simple method and you can make them on repeat for special brunch:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. The perfect temperature for baking eggs.
  • Melt 1/2 tablespoon butter for each dish. Throw them in the already warm oven to make quick work of it. Then brush it around your dish. Substitute neutral oil for dairy free.
  • Add 2 eggs per dish. To avoid shells, crack them into a small bowl first, then slide them in. But you can also go right into the dish.
  • Add salt and pepper. Just 1/8 teaspoon salt per dish does the trick!
  • Bake 12 to 15 minutes. Usually ours is perfect at 13 minutes. Keep reading for more about bake time!
Baked eggs

How long to bake eggs?

The exact timing for baked eggs varies based on a few variables: the exact heat of the oven, the thickness of the baking dish, and how runny you’d like the yolk.

  • It takes about 12 to 15 minutes to cook eggs in a ramekin to where the yolk is runny and the white is set. The style is closest to sunny side up eggs.
  • Cook longer to fully cook the yolk. This would be closer to over hard eggs.
  • Thicker baking dishes cause the timing to be slightly longer.
  • Start checking at 12 minutes: look at the whites around the yolk and make sure they are just set.

Baked egg toppings

Here’s the fun part: adding toppings to your baked eggs! This can be as complicated or simple as you like. Our favorite is just Parmesan and fresh herbs, which takes no time at all. Here are some ideas to get your wheels turning:

Oven baked eggs

What else to serve with them

Are you cooking up a special brunch? There are so many fun things to serve with baked eggs…in fact, we’re not sure where to begin! Here are a few of our favorite ideas:

More ways to cook eggs

Are you egg obsessed like we are? There are so many tasty ways to cook eggs! Here are some favorites:

Oven baked eggs

This baked eggs recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Baked eggs

Simple Baked Eggs


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 7 minutes
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1 serving
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Oven baked eggs are a simple way to make a special breakfast! Bake them in small dishes then serve with a variety of toppings. Bon appetit!


Ingredients

For each serving

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter (or substitute neutral oil for dairy free)
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Topping ideas:

  • Shredded Parmesan cheese, fresh thyme sprigs
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, salsa or pico de gallo
  • Sauteed spinach and mushrooms, feta cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. While the oven preheats, add 1/2 tablespoon butter to each small baking dish or ramekin. Add to the oven until it melts (about 1 minute), then use a brush to spread it around the inside of the dish.
  3. Crack the eggs into a small bowl, then slide 2 into each dish. Sprinkle each with 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Bake 12 to 15 minutes (ours usually take 13 minutes), until whites are set and yolk reach desired firmness. The exact timing depends on the thickness of the dish. (If desired, you can cook longer to get a fully cooked yolk.)
  4. Sprinkle with toppings and serve. Keep in mind the baking dishes are hot, so place them on a separate plate for serving.
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Eggs

Keywords: Baked eggs, Oven baked eggs

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Easy Vegetarian Enchiladas

This vegetarian enchiladas recipe is fast and easy: a total crowd pleaser! The simple pinto bean and cheese filling is full of flavor. Enchiladas are one of our favorite dinner recipes around here. But they can take a while to prep for a weeknight. Here’s a new recipe we designed to work in 30 minutes flat: these easy Vegetarian Enchiladas! The filling takes no time to whip up: it’s just spiced pinto beans and spices. Roll ’em up, bake until golden and cheesy, and load with all your favorite toppings. These are so quick, we’ve ditched our other favorite recipes for this one (oops!). Ingredients in these easy vegetarian enchiladas Many vegan and vegetarian enchilada recipes have long lead times, because it takes a while to cook or roast vegetables for the filling. But many traditional Mexican enchiladas recipes are supremely simple. We honor the great tradition of Mexican cuisine in this recipe. It’s inspired by the simplicity of the cheese enchiladas we had in Mexico years ago. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe: Red enchilada sauce: For fast enchiladas, we recommend a great store-bought sauce. More below! Pinto beans or black beans: Canned beans make it fast and […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This vegetarian enchiladas recipe is fast and easy: a total crowd pleaser! The simple pinto bean and cheese filling is full of flavor.

Vegetarian enchiladas

Enchiladas are one of our favorite dinner recipes around here. But they can take a while to prep for a weeknight. Here’s a new recipe we designed to work in 30 minutes flat: these easy Vegetarian Enchiladas! The filling takes no time to whip up: it’s just spiced pinto beans and spices. Roll ’em up, bake until golden and cheesy, and load with all your favorite toppings. These are so quick, we’ve ditched our other favorite recipes for this one (oops!).

Ingredients in these easy vegetarian enchiladas

Many vegan and vegetarian enchilada recipes have long lead times, because it takes a while to cook or roast vegetables for the filling. But many traditional Mexican enchiladas recipes are supremely simple. We honor the great tradition of Mexican cuisine in this recipe. It’s inspired by the simplicity of the cheese enchiladas we had in Mexico years ago. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Red enchilada sauce: For fast enchiladas, we recommend a great store-bought sauce. More below!
  • Pinto beans or black beans: Canned beans make it fast and easy!
  • Cheddar and pepper jack cheese: Using two types of cheese adds nuance to the flavor
  • Spices: Grab the cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika
  • Tortillas: Corn tortillas are traditional in Mexican enchiladas and a gluten free option; flour tortillas tend to be more durable

Quickly saute the beans and spices, roll them into tortillas with cheese, and douse with enchilada sauce (and more cheese). It takes just 10 minutes to bake: so you should be able to go from 0 to dinner in 30 minutes.

Vegetarian enchilada recipe

Grab a great red enchilada sauce (or make in advance)

Often for enchiladas we recommend making your own enchilada sauce. But this recipe is all about speed! So here are your best options:

  • Purchased red enchilada sauce: There are lots of fantastic enchilada sauce brands at the store: most of them are minimally processed and made with real food ingredients. Every brand is different, so experiment to find one you love.
  • Homemade, made in advance: Make a batch of our Homemade Red Enchilada sauce! Just make sure to make it in advance to ensure quick prep.

Flour tortillas vs corn tortillas

Corn tortillas are traditional in Mexican-style enchiladas. Flour tortillas are more traditional in Tex Mex and American style enchiladas. There are pros and cons to both! Here’s what to know:

  • Corn tortillas are gluten-free. Keep in mind that many brands easily split when you go to roll them! To combat this, find the best quality corn tortilla brand you can. Then brush it with oil and cook it 15 seconds per side before assembling. This makes it easier to roll.
  • Flour tortillas are not gluten-free but they are much easier to roll and more durable in general. They also get nice and gooey from the enchilada sauce.

What about grain free tortillas? There are also lots of other types of grain-free tortillas these days: like almond flour, cassava flour, or chickpea flour (try Siete brand). We have not tried them in enchiladas, so please let us know in the comments below if they hold up and what your favorites are.

Vegetarian enchiladas

How to assemble vegetarian enchiladas: a few tips!

The most time-consuming part of making vegetarian enchiladas? Assembling them! If you can, it’s helpful to have another person to help you in this step: but it’s not required! Here are a few tips for a smooth and speedy process:

  • Don’t overfill the tortillas. It’s easy to want to put in way too much filling. All you need is a scant 1/4 cup beans and 1/4 cup cheese. Spread them in a line down the center.
  • Roll them tightly and place seam side down. Placing seam side down helps them stay rolled.
  • If using corn tortillas, use a durable brand and cook in oil prior to rolling. Corn tortillas taste great and are gluten-free, but they can easily tear and split when rolling them. See the instructions in the recipe and the section below for more!

Favorite enchilada toppings

The best part of this easy enchiladas recipe? Loading them up with all the best toppings! Here are a few topping ideas we love to add:

  • Sour cream: it’s a must in our book
  • Guacamole
  • Feta or queso fresco crumbles
  • Red onion or green onion
  • Sliced jalapeno or fresno peppers: bright red fresno peppers look lovely and have just enough heat; they’re a nice option if you can find them
  • Cilantro
  • Pickled jalapenos or pickled onions
Easy enchiladas

What to serve with enchiladas

If you’ve got a need for speed…you need some fast side dishes to go with it! What are the best sides to serve with enchiladas? Here are some favorite ideas:

This vegetarian enchiladas recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free (with corn or grain-free tortillas noted above).

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Vegetarian enchiladas

Easy Vegetarian Enchiladas (30 Minutes!)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This vegetarian enchiladas recipe is fast and easy: a total crowd pleaser! The simple pinto bean and cheese filling is full of flavor.


Ingredients

  • 3 cups red enchilada sauce (or Homemade Enchilada Sauce made in advance)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 15-ounce cans pinto beans (or black beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon each garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and kosher salt
  • 14 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 12 8-inch flour or corn tortillas
  • For the garnish: guacamole, sour cream, feta or queso fresco crumbles, minced red onion, sliced jalapeno or fresno peppers, torn cilantro

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the beans (drained and rinsed), cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and kosher salt. Cook for 2 minutes until warmed through and fragrant.
  3. Spread 1 cup of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish. 
  4. If using corn tortillas ONLY: Brush both sides of each tortilla lightly with olive oil. Heat a large griddle to medium-high heat. Cook the tortillas in batches for 15 seconds per side until lightly browned.
  5. Fill each tortilla with scant 1/4 cup of beans and 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Roll it up and place it in the baking dish seam side down. Once all of the 12 tortillas are in the dish, pour over the remaining 2 cups of enchilada sauce. Top with the pepper jack and the remaining 1/4 cup cheddar cheese.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes. If desired, broil or torch until browned. Top with garnishes and serve. (Leftovers keep well refrigerated.)
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Mexican American

Keywords: Vegetarian enchiladas, vegetarian enchilada recipe, Easy enchiladas, Easy enchilada recipe

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Go-To Banana Pancakes

Here’s your go-to banana pancakes recipe! They’re massively fluffy, delicious, and quick and easy to whip up. If there’s a smell of cozy, it’s wafting pancakes on a hot griddle. Right? It’s the aroma of lazy mornings, slanted morning light, and cradling a warm mug of coffee. So here’s the only recipe you need to create that magic: our go-to Banana Pancakes recipe! This one is totally classic: with simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand. You can customize it to different diets, and to the amount of bananas you have on hand. It’s totally flexible for you and your morning! This one is the one we use for special breakfasts or brunches for our family…and it’s always a hit. How to make banana pancakes: some tips! There are just a few things to note about making this banana pancakes recipe. But all in all, it’s the definition of simple. Here’s what to know: Ripe bananas are best. Don’t compromise on this! The riper the banana, the better that beautiful scent in your pancakes. Are your bananas still green? Here’s a trick: you can ripen bananas in the oven. See below for more about customizing the recipe to […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Here’s your go-to banana pancakes recipe! They’re massively fluffy, delicious, and quick and easy to whip up.

Banana pancakes

If there’s a smell of cozy, it’s wafting pancakes on a hot griddle. Right? It’s the aroma of lazy mornings, slanted morning light, and cradling a warm mug of coffee. So here’s the only recipe you need to create that magic: our go-to Banana Pancakes recipe! This one is totally classic: with simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand. You can customize it to different diets, and to the amount of bananas you have on hand. It’s totally flexible for you and your morning! This one is the one we use for special breakfasts or brunches for our family…and it’s always a hit.

How to make banana pancakes: some tips!

There are just a few things to note about making this banana pancakes recipe. But all in all, it’s the definition of simple. Here’s what to know:

  • Ripe bananas are best. Don’t compromise on this! The riper the banana, the better that beautiful scent in your pancakes. Are your bananas still green? Here’s a trick: you can ripen bananas in the oven. See below for more about customizing the recipe to your bananas!
  • Cook the batter on low heat. This is what cooks pancakes to perfection: golden on the outside and cooked through on the inside. See below for more on that.

You can use any number of bananas: here’s how!

The other day, we wanted to make banana pancakes: but we only had one of that magical yellow fruit on hand. Can you make banana pancakes with 1 banana? Yes! We’ve tested this recipe so it works with different amounts of bananas. Here’s what to know:

  • How many mashed bananas in a cup? It depends on their size. 1 small banana = 1/4 cup mashed. 1 medium banana = 1/3 cup mashed. 1 large banana = 1/2 cup mashed. 1 extra large banana = 3/4 cup mashed.
  • This recipe works with 1/2 cup, 3/4 cup or 1 cup mashed banana. Just add a few tablespoons additional milk to the batter until it comes to a pourable consistency.
Banana pancakes

How to cook pancakes: low and slow

The key to cooking a pancake to perfection? Here are two tips you can use to cook them right every time. Trust us: we’ve made lots of mistakes in this area!

  • Use low to medium low heat. Cooking the pancakes slowly avoids getting them blackened on the outside and raw on the inside.
  • When to flip? When the bubbles form. Wait until bubbles start to form on the surface of the pancake: then flip it! It’s the indication that it’s cooked through.

Banana pancake variations: vegan, gluten free and more!

These banana pancakes are classic style: they’re made with all purpose flour and egg. But do you have a dietary preference and want to change it up? Or want to add some mix-ins? We’ve got options! Here’s what to do to modify this recipe:

  • Vegan: Use the recipe below with a flax egg and oat milk.
  • Gluten free: Go to our Banana Oatmeal Pancakes instead.
  • Whole wheat: Substitute white whole wheat flour for the all-purpose flour, or use 1/2 whole wheat and half all-purpose flour
  • Banana blueberry pancakes: Use 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries. Place them right onto the pancakes after you’ve poured them onto the griddle (don’t put them into the batter).
  • Banana chocolate chip: Use 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Same idea as above.
Banana pancakes

Banana pancake toppings

What do you put on your banana pancakes? We’re simple over here! Here’s the combination we think is pure perfection — and a few other ideas in case you want to mix it up.

  • Almond butter, sliced bananas and maple: This is our ideal topping for a stack of banana-flavored flapjacks. It’s simple and complements the flavors perfectly, in our minds. A few other ideas…
  • PB&J: Use peanut butter and homemade strawberry chia jam.
  • Fruit sauce: Add strawberry sauce, raspberry sauce, or blueberry sauce for a fancy breakfast.

How about you: what do you like on your banana pancakes?

More pancake recipes

There’s lots more where these come from! Pick from some of these favorite pancake recipes:

This banana pancake recipe is…

Vegetarian. For vegan, follow the modifications in the recipe below. For gluten-free, go to Banana Oatmeal Pancakes.

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Banana Pancakes

Go-To Banana Pancakes


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 to 10 medium pancakes
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Here’s your go-to banana pancakes recipe! They’re massively fluffy, delicious, and quick and easy to whip up. 


Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup mashed ripe banana* (about 3 small, 2 medium or 1 extra large)
  • 1 large egg (or flax egg for vegan)
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • 3/4 cup milk of choice (2% or non-dairy milk)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour**
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar (or granulated sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • To serve: almond butter, banana slices, honey or maple syrup

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, mash the banana and measure it out. Whisk in the egg, neutral oil, and milk. 
  2. In a separate bowl bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, cinnamon, baking powder, sugar, and kosher salt.
  3. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until a smooth, thick batter forms. (If needed, you can add another tablespoon of milk to get it to a pourable consistency, but you shouldn’t need it for the first batch.)
  4. Lightly grease a skillet with butter and wipe off extra grease with a paper towel. Heat the skillet over low heat. Pour the batter into small circles: about 1/4 cup each. Cook the pancakes until the bubbles pop on the top and the bottoms are golden: low and slow is the key! Then flip them and cook until golden on the other side. 
  5. If necessary, add a tiny splash of milk to the batter for the second batch so it comes to a pourable consistency. Repeat with the remaining batter, adjusting the heat as necessary (the skillet can get very hot on the second batch). Place the cooked pancakes under an inverted bowl to keep them warm. Serve immediately with desired toppings.

Notes

*Typically 1 small banana equals 1/4 cup mashed, and 1 large is 1/2 cup mashed. You can make this recipe with 1/2 cup mashed banana if that’s all you have. Just add about 2 more tablespoons milk to the batter so it comes to a pourable consistency before cooking. You can also increase to 1 cup mashed banana for a more intense banana flavor, and use the same principles.

*For gluten free banana pancakes, go to Banana Oatmeal Pancakes.

  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Breakfast

Keywords: Banana pancakes, banana pancakes recipe

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes