Best-Ever Eggplant Meatballs

This eggplant meatballs recipe is truly amazing! The purple veggie makes a surprisingly juicy texture and a delightful Italian style dinner. Ever tried making meatballs…with eggplant? We’d been hearing for years that eggplant makes great vegetarian meatballs, we just didn’t really believe it…until now. Try this amazing Eggplant Meatballs recipe! Garlic, herbs, breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese make one insanely juicy and savory meatball. Roasted eggplant makes them moist and textured, vs dry or mushy like lots of vegetarian balls. Combine it with marinara sauce and it’s out of this world delicious. In fact, we took one bite and yelled “Wow!” (True story.) Ingredients for eggplant meatballs It’s a short ingredient list here! All you’ll need to make eggplant meatballs is the following: Eggplant: you’ll need 2 pounds; 3 medium or 2 large (it’s helpful to weigh out exactly at the store! Garlic Jarred sundried tomatoes Italian panko: Panko are large, fluffy breadcrumbs. You’ll need to locate the Italian version, which has added salt and herbs. See below for more! Grated Parmesan cheese: Make sure it’s the powdery stuff: not shredded, which looks like little sticks! Salt and pepper What’s Italian panko? Is there a substitute? Panko is a flaky bread […]

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

This eggplant meatballs recipe is truly amazing! The purple veggie makes a surprisingly juicy texture and a delightful Italian style dinner.

Eggplant meatballs

Ever tried making meatballs…with eggplant? We’d been hearing for years that eggplant makes great vegetarian meatballs, we just didn’t really believe it…until now. Try this amazing Eggplant Meatballs recipe! Garlic, herbs, breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese make one insanely juicy and savory meatball. Roasted eggplant makes them moist and textured, vs dry or mushy like lots of vegetarian balls. Combine it with marinara sauce and it’s out of this world delicious. In fact, we took one bite and yelled “Wow!” (True story.)

Ingredients for eggplant meatballs

It’s a short ingredient list here! All you’ll need to make eggplant meatballs is the following:

  • Eggplant: you’ll need 2 pounds; 3 medium or 2 large (it’s helpful to weigh out exactly at the store!
  • Garlic
  • Jarred sundried tomatoes
  • Italian panko: Panko are large, fluffy breadcrumbs. You’ll need to locate the Italian version, which has added salt and herbs. See below for more!
  • Grated Parmesan cheese: Make sure it’s the powdery stuff: not shredded, which looks like little sticks!
  • Salt and pepper
Eggplant meatballs recipe

What’s Italian panko? Is there a substitute?

Panko is a flaky bread crumb mixture used in Japanese cooking for fried foods. It’s also made its way into international cooking because it’s the perfect breading and frying. Italian panko are made with seasonings and salt. Panko is available in most grocery stores and online. You can also find gluten-free panko or Italian panko online, to make this a gluten free recipe! If you can’t find Italian panko, here’s what to do:

  • Use regular panko and add salt and Italian seasonings. See the recipe below for quantities.
  • Look for coarse breadcrumbs instead, or make them! Some purchased breadcrumbs have very fine texture, which isn’t as ideal (but you can still use them). Italian breadcrumbs have the salt and herbs added, so they are a good substitute. If all you can find is plain, use the salt and herbs from the recipe below as well.
Eggplant meatballs

Roast the eggplant small diced, skin on (here’s why!)

The key to these eggplant meatballs is this. Roast the eggplant chopped very small, then mash it with a potato masher before forming the balls. Here’s why:

  • Roasting with the eggplant skin on makes the very best juicy, meaty texture that’s incredibly satisfying. You’ll have some chunks in the meatballs: but that’s good!
  • Using a food processor or blender or removing the eggplant skin makes a texture that’s gooey rather than meaty: not nearly as delicious. Speaking of…

A few tips on forming eggplant meatballs

These eggplant meatballs have lots of texture to the dough, which can make forming them a little different than say, falafel. Here are a few tips on the forming process:

  • Include the eggplant skin right into the the balls: try to evenly disperse them throughout each meatball.
  • You can also discard a few of the skin pieces if it’s hard to form the balls. But again, the skins and chewy parts are what you need for a meaty, interesting texture: so don’t worry that it’s not a smooth dough!
Eggplant meatballs recipe

You’ll need about 1 hour: or they’re great for make-ahead!

Keep in mind: in total, this eggplant meatballs recipe takes about 1 hour to make. We’re obsessed with fast and easy recipes around here, as you may know. But guess what: this recipe is so good, it’s absolutely worth the 1 hour prep time! Here’s what to know about planning and meal prep to make it fit into your lifestyle:

  • Eggplant meatballs save very well: you can refrigerate or freeze! If you can make them ahead, it makes dinner time a breeze! Store them refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months, stored in a single layer in a freezer safe container.
  • To reheat, simply warm them in a skillet with marinara. That’s it! So easy.
  • Or, make them on a weekend or when time allows. If you have the time, it’s a perfect recipe for a Saturday or Sunday dinner.

Make it a meal: main dish, pasta, and more!

Take one bite of these eggplant meatballs and you’ll be amazed by the amount of flavor going on with these babies. Don’t even think of them as a vegetarian meatball: they’re just DELICIOUS. Now, you don’t need to serve them with pasta: but you can. The only thing that’s required is the marinara sauce (use your favorite jar). Here are a few ways you can eat these eggplant meatballs:

How would you serve them? Let us know in the comments below!

Eggplant meatballs

This eggplant meatballs recipe is…

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

Print
Eggplant meatballs

Best-Ever Eggplant Meatballs


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 20 meatballs (4 servings)
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This eggplant meatballs recipe is truly amazing! The purple veggie makes a surprisingly juicy texture and a delightful Italian style dinner.


Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 pounds eggplant (3 medium or 2 large, about 12 cups diced into 1/2-inch pieces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon jarred sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups Italian panko (use gluten free as needed)*
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (not shredded)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For serving, 1 large jar marinara sauce, 8 to 12 ounces spaghetti or bucatini pasta or zucchini noodles

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut the eggplant into 1/2-inch chunks by slicing 1/2-inch rings and then cutting the rings into cubes. The size of dice is important for the final texture! (If you weren’t able to weigh the eggplant, measure out 12 cups 1/2-inch diced). 
  3. In a large bowl, quickly mix the eggplant with olive oil and kosher salt (the eggplant soaks up the oil in an instant, so mix as soon as you add it!). Pour the eggplant onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spread it into an even layer.
  4. Roast for 25 minutes, then stir and roast 10 minutes more until browned and very tender. Remove and reduce the oven heat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  5. Add the warm eggplant to a bowl and mash it with a potato masher until chunky and mostly mashed. Stir in the minced garlic, finely chopped sundried tomatoes, Italian panko and grated Parmesan cheese. Taste and add any salt to taste (we added only 1 pinch; remember that the marinara sauce will also add flavor after baking).
  6. Use your hands to form the dough into 20 balls. You’ll include the eggplant skin right into the the balls: try to evenly disperse them throughout each meatball.  You can also discard a few of the skins if it’s hard to form the balls. But the skins and chewy parts are what you need for a meaty, interesting texture: so don’t worry that it’s not a smooth dough! See the photos above. 
  7. Place the meatballs on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 18 to 20 minutes until lightly browned on top and very browned on the bottom. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, or longer if desired (the balls will firm up). At this point, you can serve immediately, refrigerate for 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months (in a single layer in a freezer safe container). While the meatballs bake, you can boil the pasta or prep the zucchini noodles. 
  8. To serve, add the marinara sauce to a skillet and add the meatballs in a single layer. Heat for 1 to 2 minutes until warmed. Serve over the noodles, then top with grated Parmesan cheese (and chopped fresh basil, if desired). You can also serve as a vegetarian main dish with a few sides, like broccoli and couscous, rice or quinoa.

Notes

*We recommend Italian panko for the best results. If all you can find is regular panko, use 1 1/4 cups regular panko, mixed with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning (or 1 tablespoon dried oregano and 1/2 tablespoon each dried basil and thyme). If you can’t find panko at all, you can substitute coarse breadcrumbs — the texture of store-bought is very fine, so chunkier homemade breadcrumbs are ideal (but you can use either). Italian breadcrumbs work in a pinch; adjust the salt to taste. If you eat gluten-free, you can find gluten-free panko online.

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian inspired

Keywords: Eggplant meatballs, eggplant meatballs recipe

More eggplant recipes

Eggplant is one unexpectedly delicious vegetable, when you cook it correctly! Here are some more eggplant recipes to try:

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

Easy Tofu Tacos

This tofu tacos recipe is what easy dinners are made of! The filling is spiced to perfection, making it a vegan meal everyone will love. Here’s a fast and easy dinner that went over like a charm over here: Tofu Tacos! While it’s not typically served in a tortilla, tofu is ideal for tacos. Its neutral flavor takes on whatever flavors you season it with: and these tofu crumbles are quite the kitchen trick. Add cumin, garlic powder, chili powder and smoked paprika, and the filling is bursting with flavor! You can whip up these easy tacos in just 20 minutes, making them ideal for weeknight meals. Wait: you can make a block of rubbery white tofu into the best vegan tacos filling? Here’s how. First off: is tofu healthy? There’s a lot of misinformation related to the health benefits of this soy product, so we get this question a lot. Here’s the thing: Tofu in moderation is part of a healthy diet (several times per week). Per to the Harvard School of Nutrition, soy is a nutrient-dense source of protein that can safely be consumed several times a week. It’s likely to provide health benefits, especially when you eat it as an […]

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

This tofu tacos recipe is what easy dinners are made of! The filling is spiced to perfection, making it a vegan meal everyone will love.

Tofu Tacos

Here’s a fast and easy dinner that went over like a charm over here: Tofu Tacos! While it’s not typically served in a tortilla, tofu is ideal for tacos. Its neutral flavor takes on whatever flavors you season it with: and these tofu crumbles are quite the kitchen trick. Add cumin, garlic powder, chili powder and smoked paprika, and the filling is bursting with flavor! You can whip up these easy tacos in just 20 minutes, making them ideal for weeknight meals. Wait: you can make a block of rubbery white tofu into the best vegan tacos filling? Here’s how.

First off: is tofu healthy?

There’s a lot of misinformation related to the health benefits of this soy product, so we get this question a lot. Here’s the thing: Tofu in moderation is part of a healthy diet (several times per week). Per to the Harvard School of Nutrition, soy is a nutrient-dense source of protein that can safely be consumed several times a week. It’s likely to provide health benefits, especially when you eat it as an alternative to red meat and processed meat. For more, go to Straight Talk About Soy and Is Tofu Good for You?

Here at A Couple Cooks, for years we avoided tofu though we ate mostly vegetarian and vegan recipes. The past few years we’ve come around to it as a delicious and easy to prepare vegan protein! We just didn’t know the best ways to prepare it. Speaking of, here’s one of our new favorites…

Tofu Tacos recipe

How to turn a block into tofu tacos filling

Yes, it’s easier than you think to make a flavorless block of pressed soy into a delicious tofu tacos filling! The secret: tofu crumbles. You’ll break the tofu into smaller irregular shaped pieces, then mix it with delicious seasonings. Here’s what to do:

  • Crumble the tofu with your fingers. Yep, throw it right into a bowl and crumble it up! It’s usually pretty cold at this point (since it’s refrigerated), so you’ll have to grin and bear it.
  • Add olive oil and the secret spices. In this case, that’s cumin, garlic powder, chili powder and smoked paprika.
  • Cook in a skillet for 8 to 10 minutes. You’ll want it to be just browned and becoming lightly crisp on the outsides.

The easiest taco toppings

To keep these as a quick and easy dinner recipe, we went for the simplest toppings imaginable. Of course, you can customize them as you’d like! Here’s what we do when we’re in a rush:

  • Sliced red cabbage with lime: Thinly slice it, then spritz with lime juice and add a few pinches salt. You don’t even need to measure!
  • Pico de gallo: Get store-bought for the quickest prep.
  • Torn cilantro: No need to chop: just tear it with your fingers.
  • Yogurt mixed with hot sauce: This is our other favorite taco sauce trick! Take some vegan yogurt and swirl it with Mexican hot sauce (we like Cholula). It makes an instant creamy, spicy sauce. You can also use storebought salsa or taco sauce (or make homemade).
Tofu tacos filling

More tofu tacos topping ideas

The toppings listed above are the quickest and easiest: and usually they’re all we need! But if you want to get fancier, we’ve got lots of great options. Here are some fun tacos fillings ideas:

Tip: warm your tortillas

Here’s our biggest tip for tofu tacos, or tacos of any kind: warm your tortillas! There’s nothing worse than a taco with a tough, cold tortilla. Here’s how to warm tortillas like a pro:

  • Place them over the flame of a gas burner (preferred!). The best way? Place each tortilla directly on a gas burner for a few seconds per side. It lightly chars the edges and warms the tortillas. Then throw them into a tortilla warmer!
  • Or, warm them in the oven. If you don’t have a gas burner, you can warm them in the oven. Go to How to Warm Tortillas.
Tofu tacos

More great tofu recipes

There are so many great recipe to make with tofu! As I mentioned above, we used to avoid tofu but now we like including it as part of a healthy vegetarian and vegan diet! Now that we know the best ways to prepare it, we always look forward to including it in weekly meals. How about you: are you a tofu convert too? Have you always loved this tasty soy protein?

Here are a few more great tofu recipes we’d recommend in addition to these tofu tacos:

This tofu tacos recipe is…

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

Print
Tofu Tacos

Easy Tofu Tacos


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: 8 tacos
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This tofu tacos recipe is what easy dinners are made of! The filling is spiced to perfection, making it a vegan meal everyone will love. 


Ingredients

For the tofu

  • 12 to 14-ounce block extra firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

For the tacos

  • 2 cups red cabbage
  • Lime wedges
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, torn
  • Pico de gallo (purchased or homemade)
  • Vegan yogurt (or regular), mixed with salt and Mexican hot sauce to taste (we like Cholula brand)

Instructions

  1. Make the tofu crumbles: Drain the tofu container, then pat the tofu dry with a clean dish towel. Place the tofu in a large bowl and use your fingers to break the tofu into roughly bite-sized crumbles. (It might be a little cold on your hands: don’t worry, it should only take a few seconds!). Stir in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt and spices.
  2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add the tofu and cook on medium high for 8 to 10 minutes, breaking up large pieces into bite sized chunks and stirring occasionally, until browned and lightly crispy and the liquid evaporates. (The exact timing depends on the tofu brand.)
  3. Assemble the toppings: Thinly slice the red cabbage, and place it in a bowl. Spritz with the juice of 2 lime wedges and add a few pinches kosher salt. Mix the vegan yogurt with Mexican hot sauce to taste, and add a few pinches of salt. 
  4. Warm the tortillas: Warm and char the tortillas by placing them on an open gas flame on medium for a few seconds per side, flipping with tongs, until they are slightly blackened and warm. (See How to Warm Tortillas.)
  5. Serve: Place the tofu crumbles in the tortillas, then top with toppings and enjoy. 
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican inspired

Keywords: Tofu tacos

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

Easy Black Bean Tacos

This black bean tacos recipe takes just 15 minutes! It’s a fast and easy dinner idea that’s easy to customize and pleases everyone. On the lookout for those elusive recipes that are healthy, easy and delicious? Meet our new favorite: these easy Black Bean Tacos! We created this recipe to be totally customizable based on your diet and available time. It stars our 5 minute black beans, a quick taco filling idea that’s bursting with flavor in just a few minutes. Top it with all the best taco toppings: corn, avocado, pickled onions: and a sprinkling of feta cheese. If you have time, we love it with cilantro lime sauce: but taco sauce and sour cream does the trick too! There’s really something for everyone with this one. More seriuously easy tacos? Try our Refried Bean Tacos or Egg Tacos! How to make the easiest black bean tacos These black bean tacos are beyond easy: and they work with whatever toppings you’d like! The secret behind them is the easy black bean filling. Here’s what to know about how to make the fastest black bean tacos there are: Mince garlic, then cook 30 seconds in butter and olive oil. The […]

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

This black bean tacos recipe takes just 15 minutes! It’s a fast and easy dinner idea that’s easy to customize and pleases everyone.

Black bean tacos

On the lookout for those elusive recipes that are healthy, easy and delicious? Meet our new favorite: these easy Black Bean Tacos! We created this recipe to be totally customizable based on your diet and available time. It stars our 5 minute black beans, a quick taco filling idea that’s bursting with flavor in just a few minutes. Top it with all the best taco toppings: corn, avocado, pickled onions: and a sprinkling of feta cheese. If you have time, we love it with cilantro lime sauce: but taco sauce and sour cream does the trick too! There’s really something for everyone with this one.

More seriuously easy tacos? Try our Refried Bean Tacos or Egg Tacos!

How to make the easiest black bean tacos

These black bean tacos are beyond easy: and they work with whatever toppings you’d like! The secret behind them is the easy black bean filling. Here’s what to know about how to make the fastest black bean tacos there are:

  • Mince garlic, then cook 30 seconds in butter and olive oil. The combination of two cooking fats makes for the very best flavor. But you can substitute all olive oil if you’d like!
  • Add drained but not rinsed black beans and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Here’s the key: a little bit of the can liquid will remain on the beans, making a thick sauce for the tacos.
  • Note: all black bean brands are different. Some canned black beans are more tender than others. We like this best with a black bean brand that’s very tender vs a more al dente type of bean. You’ll have to experiment to find your favorite!
Black bean tacos recipe

Customize your taco toppings!

Once you’ve got the black bean filling, it’s time for toppings! We’ve listed our favorite toppings in the recipe below. You can customize based on your preferences and diet. But it is important to have a few elements. Here’s what to note about topping your black bean toppings:

  • Crunchy veggies are required! Because black beans are soft in texture, you’ll need a crunchy contrast. Here we used chopped romaine and corn. Use these if at all possible!
  • You’ll need a good sauce. A good sauce is the key to a tasty taco! Purchased taco sauce or salsa and sour cream is the fastest option. If you have 5 minutes, make our Cilantro Lime Sauce.
  • Cheese is nice, but optional. We like adding a sprinkle of feta crumbles or queso fresco: you can also use shredded cheese.
  • Add other veggies as desired! We love it with avocado and the bright tang of pickled red onions, made in advance. A few sliced jalapeno peppers are nice too. If you have lots of time, make them with roasted sweet potatoes for an even tastier taco!
Black bean tacos

Sauce options for black bean tacos!

There are lots of other sauce options for these tacos! Here are a few more great options listed in terms of timing and diet preferences:

Tip: warm your tortillas

Here’s our biggest tip for black bean tacos: warm your tortillas! There’s nothing worse than a taco with a tough, cold tortilla. Here’s how to warm tortillas like a pro:

  • Place them over the flame of a gas burner (preferred!). The best way? Place each tortilla directly on a gas burner for a few seconds per side. It lightly chars the edges and warms the tortillas. Then throw them into a tortilla warmer!
  • Or, warm them in the oven. If you don’t have a gas burner, you can warm them in the oven. Go to How to Warm Tortillas.
Black bean tacos

Make gluten free or vegan black bean tacos

It’s easy to adapt these black bean tacos for various diets! Here’s what to do:

  • For gluten free, use corn tortillas. There are also lots of gluten free tortilla options these days, like cassava, sweet potato, and more. Check your local grocery!
  • For vegan, use vegan toppings. Use all olive oil for the black beans and omit the cheese toppings. Add a vegan sauce like Cilantro Sauce.

Black beans nutrition

What makes these black bean tacos such a great healthy dinner idea? They star black beans! Black beans are:

  • Excellent source of protein. 1 cup has 15 grams of protein, about 30% of your daily protein needs.
  • Excellent source of fiber. 1 cup also has 15 grams of fiber, about 50% of your daily intake.
  • Lower glycemic index compared to many other high-carbohydrate foods, meaning they cause a smaller rise in blood sugar after a meal.
Black bean tacos

This black bean tacos recipe is…

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

Print
Black bean tacos

Easy Black Bean Tacos (15 Minutes!)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (8 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 tacos (4 servings)
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This black bean tacos recipe takes just 15 minutes! It’s a fast and easy dinner idea that’s easy to customize and pleases everyone.


Ingredients

For the black beans*

  • 2 15-ounce can black beans
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or substitute more olive oil for vegan)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 scant teaspoon kosher salt

For the tacos


Instructions

  1. Make the black beans: Drain the beans, but don’t rinse them. Mince the garlic. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds until fragrant but not yet browned. Add the beans (drained but not rinsed), cumin, kosher salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Cook 3 to 4 minutes until warmed through and the liquid cooks down and thickens. Taste and add additional salt if desired. 
  2. Assemble the toppings: Review the toppings above and prep them as desired.
  3. Warm the tortillas: Warm and char the tortillas by placing them on an open gas flame on medium for a few seconds per side, flipping with tongs, until they are slightly blackened and warm. (See How to Warm Tortillas.)
  4. Serve: Place the black beans in the tortillas, then top with toppings and enjoy. 

Notes

*Variation: Add Roasted sweet potatoes to make Sweet potato black bean tacos.

**If you have 5 minutes, it’s well worth it to make the Cilantro Lime Sauce! Or make the vegan Creamy Cilantro Sauce in advance.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican inspired

Keywords: Black bean tacos

More with black beans

Love beans? Here are some of our top black bean recipes:

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

Quick Vegan Curry

This vegan curry recipe is full of healthy vegetables and big flavor: and it takes under 25 minutes! The perfect fast and easy dinner. We’re always on the lookout for fast flavorful dinners, and this one is now regular rotation. Try this quick Vegan Curry! Here, coconut milk and curry powder make healthy vegetables taste like a decadent treat. And, it takes under 25 minutes to whip up! It’s an ode to the simplicity of plant-based ingredients and great seasoning. This spin on our chickpea curry has even more veggies and nutrients without affecting the overall cook time…which is crucial on weeknights, in our book. It comes out so delicious in such a short time: you’ll feel like a kitchen magician. What’s a curry, anyway? Curry is a pretty loose term. Per Bon Appetit, it was a word used by colonizers to simplify what they saw in foreign cuisines. Today, the word “curry” usually describes a dish with a spiced sauce and meat or vegetables, often eaten with rice or flatbread like naan. The dish is made in many countries, including India, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, and England. Keep in mind that curry powder is a Western invention! Curry powder takes […]

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

This vegan curry recipe is full of healthy vegetables and big flavor: and it takes under 25 minutes! The perfect fast and easy dinner.

Vegan curry

We’re always on the lookout for fast flavorful dinners, and this one is now regular rotation. Try this quick Vegan Curry! Here, coconut milk and curry powder make healthy vegetables taste like a decadent treat. And, it takes under 25 minutes to whip up! It’s an ode to the simplicity of plant-based ingredients and great seasoning. This spin on our chickpea curry has even more veggies and nutrients without affecting the overall cook time…which is crucial on weeknights, in our book. It comes out so delicious in such a short time: you’ll feel like a kitchen magician.

What’s a curry, anyway?

Curry is a pretty loose term. Per Bon Appetit, it was a word used by colonizers to simplify what they saw in foreign cuisines. Today, the word “curry” usually describes a dish with a spiced sauce and meat or vegetables, often eaten with rice or flatbread like naan. The dish is made in many countries, including India, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, and England.

Keep in mind that curry powder is a Western invention! Curry powder takes the common spices of Indian curries and packages them into a spice blend. Authentic Indian spices are mixed up by the cook and vary based on the region and household.

Vegan curry recipe

Looking for an authentic Indian dinner?

If you’d like an authentic Indian dinner recipe, head to our Masoor Dal (Indian Red Lentils). This recipe was shared with us directly from Asma Khan, an Indian chef with a popular restaurant in London. You’ll love these creamy flavorful lentils, and you can serve with basmati rice as well! Another great resource for authentic Indian recipes is chef and author Madhur Jaffrey.

Ingredients in this vegan curry recipe

Making a curry is not part of our cultural heritage; it’s an ode to the flavors and techniques of an Indian-style tomato based curry! We hope you’ll find it’s a great way to eat lots of veggies…fast! Here’s what you’ll need to make this curry in a hurry:

  • Yellow onion
  • Bell pepper: A medium red bell pepper provides 169% of your daily vitamin C (source), so we’re always sneaking peppers into our recipes!
  • Garlic
  • Fresh ginger
  • Spinach
  • Chickpeas: Chickpeas add plant-based protein, helping this dish stay filling
  • Peas: Peas are also legumes and add a hit of plant-based protein
  • Olive oil
  • Fire roasted tomatoes
  • Curry powder and cumin
  • Coconut milk: While many Indian curries use dairy, some use coconut milk for creaminess, which is perfect for a vegan curry
Vegan curry

Fire roasted tomatoes…and a substitute

Canned fire roasted tomatoes are one of our secrets for quick dinners. Why? These tomatoes are charred over an open flame, making their flavor taste sweeter right out of the can. Ever tried some tomatoes that taste metallic or bitter out of the can? Fire roasted tomatoes solve that problem. They’re a type of tomato, not a brand, and you can find them in many grocery stores in the US these days.

Can’t find fire roasted tomatoes? No problem! Just use the best quality crushed tomatoes you can find. One thing we’ve found in making this vegan curry is that some brands of crushed tomatoes can be very thick. If your tomatoes are very thick, just stir in a little more coconut milk after simmering to balance out the sauce.

Serve with rice or other grains

This quick vegan curry is best served with rice or another whole grain! We like it with basmati rice, a long grain rice with an aromatic flavor that’s traditionally grown in India and the surrounding countries (Pakistan, Nepal, etc). Because of that, it’s best paired with Indian-style curries (whereas Thai curries are great with jasmine rice).

Of course, you can serve this curry with any whole grain you’d like! If you want to stray away from rice, there are lots of rice substitutes. Try quinoa, cauliflower rice, or even lentil rice (we get ours online).

Vegan curry

Another side to pair with a vegan curry

This vegan curry is so filling, you might not need a side dish! But if you’d like another side, naan bread is a nice side for an Indian-inspired curry. You can easily find packaged naan bread at the grocery, but often it’s not vegan. If you prefer, you can make our Vegan Naan Bread: it’s warm, soft and full of garlic flavor.

Make ahead and storage info

Can you make this quick vegan curry ahead? Yes! To meal prep, you can easily make it 1 day in advance and refrigerate until serving. Then just reheat it gently in a skillet, being sure not to overheat it so that the sauce doesn’t evaporate. Leftovers stay good for about 3 days in the refrigerator.

Or, you can make the rice in advance if you’re serving with rice! This is especially helpful with brown rice, which takes up to 40 minutes to make. To reheat the rice, place it in a pan on the stovetop and add a splash of water. Heat gently for a few minutes until the water evaporates and the rice is warmed through.

Vegan curry recipe

More curry recipes

This quick vegan curry is a favorite of ours that we make on the regular! Here are a few more great curry recipes we love:

This vegan curry recipe is…

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

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Vegan curry

Quick Vegan Curry


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 22 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This vegan curry recipe is full of healthy vegetables and big flavor: and it takes under 25 minutes! The perfect fast and easy dinner.


Ingredients

  • White or brown basmati rice, to serve*
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 medium bell peppers (we used 1 yellow and 1 orange)
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 cups (5 ounces) baby spinach leaves (or chopped spinach)
  • 28-ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes (or best quality crushed tomatoes)**
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (or garam masala)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk

Instructions

  1. Cook the rice: If serving with rice, start the basmati rice (or use an Instant Pot.)
  2. Prep the vegetables: Dice the onion and bell peppers. (For super speed, you can go to Step 3 and mince the garlic and ginger while they cook.) Mince the garlic. Peel and mince the ginger (or grate it).
  3. Saute the veggies: In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and peppers saute for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and spinach and saute for 2 minutes until the spinach is fully wilted.
  4. Simmer: Carefully pour in the crushed tomatoes and their juices, then add the curry powder, cumin, salt, chickpeas, peas, and coconut milk. Cook for 5 minutes until bubbly. Remove from the heat. If desired, stir in a little more coconut milk (depending on the tomato brand*). Serve with rice.

Notes

*Or make the rice in advance, which is helpful for brown rice because it takes longer to cook. To reheat the rice, place it in a pan on the stovetop and add a splash of water. Heat gently for a few minutes until the water evaporates and the rice is warmed through.

**Fire roasted tomatoes are a special type of canned tomato that’s become widely available at most grocery stores. If you can’t find them, use the best quality tomatoes you can. All brands vary widely: we’ve found that some can be rather thick, so in that case we stir in a little more coconut milk at the end.

  • Category: Curry
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian inspired

Keywords: Vegan curry

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

Shrimp Pizza (3 Cheese!)

This shrimp pizza recipe is full of big flavor, starring buttery shrimp and 3 cheeses! It’s garlicky, creamy, and a total crowd pleaser. We’ve made just about every pizza recipe, from classic Pizza Margherita to fusions style taco pizza. But here’s a new-to-us pizza that instantly jumped to the top of our list: this 3 Cheese Shrimp Pizza! Shrimp on a pizza isn’t what might first jump to mind. But let me tell you: it’s a must try! The garlicky, buttery shrimp against creamy ricotta cheese is one of the best pizza topping combinations we’ve had in a while. It’s so satisfying, you’ll be hooked. It’s like shrimp alfredo on a pizza crust instead of noodles…which is just as good as it sounds. How to make the best shrimp pizza (basic method) Shrimp on pizza isn’t usually our first choice. But after eating an incredible seafood pizza at one of our favorite pizza joints in town, we knew we had to try it! Our version isn’t much like theirs (so you’ll have to go try it!). But what it does have in common: juicy, buttery garlicky shrimp! Here’s what to do to make the best shrimp pizza recipe: Saute the […]

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

This shrimp pizza recipe is full of big flavor, starring buttery shrimp and 3 cheeses! It’s garlicky, creamy, and a total crowd pleaser.

Shrimp pizza

We’ve made just about every pizza recipe, from classic Pizza Margherita to fusions style taco pizza. But here’s a new-to-us pizza that instantly jumped to the top of our list: this 3 Cheese Shrimp Pizza! Shrimp on a pizza isn’t what might first jump to mind. But let me tell you: it’s a must try! The garlicky, buttery shrimp against creamy ricotta cheese is one of the best pizza topping combinations we’ve had in a while. It’s so satisfying, you’ll be hooked. It’s like shrimp alfredo on a pizza crust instead of noodles…which is just as good as it sounds.

How to make the best shrimp pizza (basic method)

Shrimp on pizza isn’t usually our first choice. But after eating an incredible seafood pizza at one of our favorite pizza joints in town, we knew we had to try it! Our version isn’t much like theirs (so you’ll have to go try it!). But what it does have in common: juicy, buttery garlicky shrimp! Here’s what to do to make the best shrimp pizza recipe:

  • Saute the shrimp with garlic and butter. Get that shrimp perfectly sauteed before you use it as a pizza topping! Use the instructions below or our sauteed shrimp recipe.
  • Spread seasoned ricotta on the dough. There’s no need to make an alfredo sauce: just spread lightly seasoned ricotta straight onto the dough.
  • Top with mozzarella and Parmesan and bake! All you need is 5 to 7 minutes in a super hot oven. It’s best if you have a pizza stone! Speaking of…
Saute pan with shrimp

Use a pizza stone if you can!

This shrimp pizza is best if you bake it on a pizza stone. Why? A pizza stone makes the absolute perfect crust texture! Here’s what to know:

  • Pizza stone: A pizza stone is what makes Italian pizza crust crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Here’s the best pizza stone we’ve found, plus care tips.
  • Pizza peel: Use a pizza peel to transfer the pizza onto the hot pizza stone in the oven. We recommend this Standard pizza peel or this Conveyor pizza peel.

Don’t have a pizza stone? That’s ok too! You can make your pizza right on a baking sheet.

Homemade pizza dough is best, or use these shortcuts!

In our professional opinion: it’s always worth it to make homemade pizza dough! The result is far, far better than what you can buy at the store. But of course: there’s not always time for that! We get it. Here are a few options for the dough for this shrimp pizza recipe:

  • Master pizza dough! This Best Pizza Dough has the absolute perfect flavor and texture. It is sublime. This one takes 15 minutes to make and 45 minutes to proof before baking.
  • Thin crust. Try this Thin Crust Pizza Dough! It’s easy to roll out into a thinner, crispier crust.
  • Pan pizza. Or, make it as a pan pizza in a cast iron skillet! This option takes a little longer but it’s easier to pull off.
  • Naan or flatbread pizza. Want to shortcut the process altogether? Try Naan Pizza or Flatbread Pizza.
  • Store-bought pizza dough. We do it in a pinch, too! Find a good quality brand (experiment to find your favorite).
Shrimp pizza

The shrimp to buy for shrimp pizza

There are lots of options at the store when it comes to shrimp! It doesn’t matter if you accidentally grab the wrong one for this recipe: pizza is very forgiving! But here are a few things to look for:

  • Find medium shrimp. Medium is nice for a pizza topping: it’s also labeled as 41 to 50 count. You could also use small shrimp.
  • Use peeled shrimp. Often we recommend tail on, but you don’t want that for pizza! If you buy the wrong kind, just remove the shell before cooking.
  • Fresh or frozen. Both are essentially the same freshness because most shrimp are immediately flash frozen. Just make sure to thaw the shrimp in advance.
  • Wild caught. Look for wild caught: it’s the most sustainable!
Shrimp pizza recipe

What to serve with shrimp pizza

This shrimp pizza recipe is a perfect meal: it’s gooey, garlicky, cheesy and very filling! We like pairing it with a green salad or other veggie side to amp the meal’s veggie quotient. Here are some ideas:

This shrimp pizza recipe is…

Pescatarian.

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Shrimp pizza

Shrimp Pizza (3 Cheese!)


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 slices

Description

This shrimp pizza recipe is full of big flavor, starring buttery shrimp and 3 cheeses! It’s garlicky, creamy, and a total crowd pleaser.


Ingredients

  • 1 ball Best Pizza Dough (or Thin Crust Dough)
  • 1/2 pound medium shrimp, deveined and peeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Chopped parsley for garnish

Instructions

  1. Make the pizza dough: Follow the Best Pizza Dough or Thin Crust Dough recipe to prepare the dough. (This takes about 15 minutes to make and 45 minutes to rest.)
  2. Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. (If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can make the pizza on a baking sheet.)
  3. Prepare the toppings: If frozen, thaw the shrimp in advance. Mince the garlic. Pat the shrimp dry. In a medium bowl, mix the shrimp with the minced garlic and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. In a medium skillet, heat the butter on medium high heat. Cook the shrimp for 1 to 2 minutes per side until opaque and cooked through, turning them with tongs. When done, transfer the shrimp to a bowl.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the ricotta with the 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.
  5. Bake the pizza: When the oven is ready, dust a pizza peel with cornmeal or semolina flour. (If you don’t have a pizza peel, you can use a rimless baking sheet or the back of a rimmed baking sheet. But a pizza peel is well worth the investment!) Stretch the dough into a circle; see How to Stretch Pizza Dough for instructions. Then gently place the dough onto the pizza peel.
  6. Spread the seasoned ricotta onto the dough then 1/4 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Add the shrimp, reserving the butter at the bottom of the bowl. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. Add a sprinkle of the reserved butter (use about half). 
  7. Use the pizza peel to carefully transfer the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone. Bake the pizza until the cheese and crust are nicely browned, about 5 to 7 minutes in the oven (or 1 minute in a pizza oven).
  8. Top with the chopped parsley. Slice into pieces and serve immediately (cutting it with a knife is easiest to cut through the shrimp). 
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Pizza

Keywords: Shrimp pizza, Shrimp pizza recipe

More great pizza recipes

We live for pizza over here! If you do too, here are a few more of our top pizza recipes to try:

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

Honey Garlic Shrimp

This honey garlic shrimp is so irresistible, you’ll want to eat it every night! A sweet savory glaze covers succulent shrimp, and it’s done in 10 minutes. Every now and then a recipe comes along that knocks our socks off. And so it was with this Honey Garlic Shrimp recipe! There’s nothing like the sweet savory combination of honey garlic glaze and juicy shrimp. The best part? It takes 10 minutes to make. This one is hits all the comforting, satisfying dinner notes with a lightning fast prep speed. It’s hard to find those recipes with that elusive trifecta of healthy, easy and delicious: and this one has it in spades. The secrets behind honey garlic shrimp…in 10 minutes! There’s no marinating time needed with this honey garlic shrimp. It’s the ultimate fast and easy dinner idea…in just 10 minutes! One note: make sure to thaw the shrimp if you’re using frozen; this isn’t included in the timing. Here are a few of the secrets to this kitchen magic trick (or jump to the recipe below): Mix the shrimp with minced garlic, onion powder & salt. This allows maximum coverage of the seasoning on the shrimp first. Mix together a […]

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

This honey garlic shrimp is so irresistible, you’ll want to eat it every night! A sweet savory glaze covers succulent shrimp, and it’s done in 10 minutes.

Honey Garlic Shrimp

Every now and then a recipe comes along that knocks our socks off. And so it was with this Honey Garlic Shrimp recipe! There’s nothing like the sweet savory combination of honey garlic glaze and juicy shrimp. The best part? It takes 10 minutes to make. This one is hits all the comforting, satisfying dinner notes with a lightning fast prep speed. It’s hard to find those recipes with that elusive trifecta of healthy, easy and delicious: and this one has it in spades.

The secrets behind honey garlic shrimp…in 10 minutes!

There’s no marinating time needed with this honey garlic shrimp. It’s the ultimate fast and easy dinner idea…in just 10 minutes! One note: make sure to thaw the shrimp if you’re using frozen; this isn’t included in the timing. Here are a few of the secrets to this kitchen magic trick (or jump to the recipe below):

  • Mix the shrimp with minced garlic, onion powder & salt. This allows maximum coverage of the seasoning on the shrimp first.
  • Mix together a quick sauce. Honey, soy sauce, and vinegar is all you need and it’s absolute perfection!
  • Sauté 1 to 2 minutes per side. To learn about the perfect sear, to Perfect Sautéed Shrimp.
  • Turn off the heat and add the sauce! Removing the heat is important so the sauce doesn’t evaporate when it hits the hot pan.
Honey garlic shrimp

The best shrimp to buy

When you’re shopping for shrimp, there are so many options at the store these days. If you’re making this honey garlic shrimp, here’s what we’d recommend:

  • Find medium shrimp (or large). Medium is nice because you get more bites! But either work. Medium is also labeled as 41 to 50 count, and Large as 31 to 40 count (which indicates how many shrimp there are per pound).
  • Use tail on or peeled. For this recipe we like tail on because it looks beautiful. But you do have to remove the tails with your hands as you eat them! So peeled is great too.
  • Fresh or frozen. Both are essentially the same freshness because most shrimp are immediately flash frozen. Just make sure to thaw the shrimp in advance.
  • Wild caught. Look for wild caught: it’s the most sustainable!
Honey garlic shrimp

How to thaw shrimp

What’s the best way to thaw shrimp? The easiest way is the night before! But if you’re like us and rarely think ahead: there’s a method too. Here’s the best way to thaw shrimp for this honey garlic shrimp recipe:

  • Day before: Place the frozen shrimp in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Day of: Place the frozen shrimp in a large bowl with very cold water. Stir the bowl every 5 minutes to break up clumps of shrimp that freeze together. The shrimp should defrost in about 15 minutes. Make sure to pat it dry before using!
Honey garlic shrimp

Ways to serve honey garlic shrimp

All you need are a side dish or two to make honey garlic shrimp into a healthy dinner that everyone will love. Our favorite picks? Rice and broccoli. Every time we make it, everyone around the table raves. Even our 4 year old inhales it! This is one of those recipes I could eat at least 6 out of 7 days of the week and be happy. Here are a few side dish ideas:

Honey garlic shrimp

This honey garlic shrimp recipe is…

Pescatarian, gluten-free and dairy free (with olive oil).

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Honey garlic shrimp

Honey Garlic Shrimp (in 10 Minutes!)


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 6 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This honey garlic shrimp is so irresistible, you’ll want to eat it every night! A sweet savory glaze covers succulent shrimp, and it’s done in 10 minutes.


Ingredients

  • 1 pound medium or large shrimp, deveined (tail on or peeled)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Thaw the shrimp, if using frozen.
  2. Mince the garlic. Pat the shrimp dry. Stir it together with the minced garlic, onion powder and kosher salt.
  3. Mix the honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and cornstarch in a small bowl, mixing until mostly smooth (a few small lumps are ok).
  4. In a large skillet, heat the sesame oil on medium high heat. Cook the shrimp for 1 to 2 minutes per side until opaque and cooked through, turning them with tongs.
  5. Turn off the heat and remove the shrimp. Add the glaze to the pan and stir until thickened, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Once thickened, stir the shrimp back into the sauce and serve.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Seafood

Keywords: Honey garlic shrimp

More shrimp recipes

There are so many great ways to eat this tasty seafood! Shrimp features in many of our easy dinner ideas. Here are some of our favorite healthy shrimp recipes:

Shrimp with broccoli

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

Wild Rice Mushroom Soup

This wild rice mushroom soup is the definition of cozy: it’s packed with creamy, savory flavor! Enjoy it with crusty bread. Here’s a soup recipe that’s the definition of cozy…we think. Wild rice mushroom soup! What’s better than a steaming cup of wild rice soup to warm your insides on a gray day. This one absolutely delivers with flavor: the light smokiness of the rice, umami of the mushrooms and creamy Parmesan cheese make absolute magic. We could eat it for every meal! This one’s a variation on our fan favorite, our popular wild rice soup and it’s every bit as satisfying. Ingredients in wild rice and mushroom soup This wild rice mushroom soup has a lightly creamy broth, made creamy with Parmesan cheese and milk: and it’s got a bit of the soup itself blended back in to give it the perfect body. There’s no heavy cream, so you feel a lightness after you eat it. Here’s what to know when you’re hunting for the ingredients for wild rice and mushroom soup: Wild rice: Don’t use a wild rice blend! You’ll need 100% wild rice for this soup. Mushrooms: Using a mix of mushroom types is nice: we used […]

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

This wild rice mushroom soup is the definition of cozy: it’s packed with creamy, savory flavor! Enjoy it with crusty bread.

Wild rice mushroom soup

Here’s a soup recipe that’s the definition of cozy…we think. Wild rice mushroom soup! What’s better than a steaming cup of wild rice soup to warm your insides on a gray day. This one absolutely delivers with flavor: the light smokiness of the rice, umami of the mushrooms and creamy Parmesan cheese make absolute magic. We could eat it for every meal! This one’s a variation on our fan favorite, our popular wild rice soup and it’s every bit as satisfying.

Ingredients in wild rice and mushroom soup

This wild rice mushroom soup has a lightly creamy broth, made creamy with Parmesan cheese and milk: and it’s got a bit of the soup itself blended back in to give it the perfect body. There’s no heavy cream, so you feel a lightness after you eat it. Here’s what to know when you’re hunting for the ingredients for wild rice and mushroom soup:

  • Wild rice: Don’t use a wild rice blend! You’ll need 100% wild rice for this soup.
  • Mushrooms: Using a mix of mushroom types is nice: we used a mix of baby bella (cremini) and shiitake, but you can use all white mushroom or baby bella if you’d like.
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Olive oil and butter
  • Vegetable broth
  • Spices: Garlic powder, thyme, oregano and dill
  • Salt and pepper
  • Milk
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)
  • Soy sauce (or tamari or coconut aminos)
Wild rice recipe

Did you know wild rice isn’t really…rice?

Did you know that wild rice is not actually rice? (Mind blown, right?) This whole grain is actually the seed from a native grass that grows in lakes and streams in the Northern US and Canada. Since it looks and tastes like rice, it’s treated as rice in most cuisines.

Wild rice was an important staple in the diet of the indigenous peoples in the Northern US. I’m from Minnesota originally, so wild rice is part of the heritage and history of this region. We often ate wild rice growing up, and I love grabbing bags of Minnesota wild rice when we’re home.

Wild rice and mushroom soup

Use a mix of mushrooms

This wild rice mushroom soup is great with any type of mushroom! But we like it with a mix of mushrooms to have maximum variety in flavor and texture. Here are the types of mushrooms we recommend: and the differences between them:

  • Baby bella (cremini) mushrooms are a more mature version of a white button mushroom, so it has a more robust flavor. It’s also a baby version of a portobello mushroom, which has the most meaty flavor!
  • White button mushrooms: Substitute white button mushrooms if you can’t find baby bella! They taste and look very similar.
  • Portobello mushrooms: You can use these too! Just chop them fairly small. They have a great meaty flavor!
  • Shiitake mushrooms: A Japanese variety of mushroom with great flavor. Make sure to remove the tough stems before slicing them.

How to make wild rice mushroom soup

It takes about 1 hour to make, but this healthy soup is absolutely worth it. Most of the time is hands-off, since rice takes quite a while to simmer. Other than that, all you’ve got to do is chop some veggies! Here’s the main method for this wild rice and mushroom soup (or jump down to the recipe):

  • Chop those veggies. It takes about 15 minutes to chop all the veg. If you need some pointers, head to our Knife Skills page.
  • Simmer until the rice pops. Wild rice notoriously takes quite a while to cook: upwards of 50 minutes. Cook this soup until most of the rice grains burst and are tender. It might feel like a long time, but it’s important that the rice is perfectly tender.
  • Blend 2 cups of the soup to create a creamy body. This is the key to this soup: blending a few cups of the soup makes it thicker and creamier. Add everything to the blender: veggies, broth and rice, then whiz it up!
Wild rice mushroom soup

What to serve with wild rice mushroom soup

Want to make it a meal? There are lots of great sides to serve with soup: here are a few of our top ideas:

Vegan variation: go to Creamy Wild Rice Soup

Looking for a vegan wild rice mushroom soup? Head over to our famous Creamy Wild Rice Soup: it’s ultra creamy with no dairy to speak of. The secret? Cashews add a rich creaminess to the broth. But no one will ever know it’s plant based! Got an Instant Pot? Try our Instant Pot Wild Rice Soup.

Wild rice mushroom soup

Is wild rice healthier than standard rice?

Though they’re not truly related, wild rice is often compared to brown rice. Wondering how they stack up? Here’s what to know:

  • Wild rice has less calories than brown rice, about 66% less! 1 cup of cooked wild rice has 166 calories and 1 cup brown rice has 248 calories. (Source)
  • Wild rice has slightly more protein than brown rice. 1 cup cooked wild rice has 6.5 grams protein vs 5.5 grams in brown rice. (Source)
  • Both wild and brown rice have the same amount of fiber, about 3 grams per 1 cup cooked.

This wild rice and mushroom soup recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For plant-based, dairy-free and vegan, go to Creamy Wild Rice Soup.

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Wild rice mushroom soup

Wild Rice Mushroom Soup


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This wild rice mushroom soup is the definition of cozy: it’s packed with creamy, savory flavor! Enjoy it with crusty bread.


Ingredients

  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3 celery ribs
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 12 ounces mushrooms: baby bella (cremini) or a mix of baby bella and shiitake
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cups or 7 ounces wild rice (not a wild rice blend)
  • 1 tablespoon each dried thyme, dried oregano and dried dill
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce, or more salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Dice the onion. Thinly slice the celery. Dice the carrots into rounds. Clean the mushrooms and slice them (if you’re using shiitake, make sure to remove the tough stems). Mince the garlic.
  2. Add the olive oil and butter 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 and saute for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the vegetable broth, wild rice, spices, kosher salt, and black pepper. Bring to a simmer. Cover the pot and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until rice breaks open, stirring occasionally.
  4. When the wild rice is cooked, stir in the milk and Parmesan cheese. Remove 2 cups from the soup using a liquid measuring cup (including veggies, rice and broth) and place it in a blender. Add the cornstarch, then blend. Pour it back into the soup. 
  5. Stir in the soy sauce, taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Enjoy warm. Stores refrigerated for 3 days.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Soup

Keywords: Wild rice mushroom soup

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

Vegetarian Lasagna with Ricotta

This vegetarian lasagna recipe is a total crowd pleaser! The easy spinach and ricotta cheese filling is classic and creamy. When it comes to lasagna recipes…well, this one is tops. Meet our best vegetarian lasagna with ricotta, aka vegetarian lasagne! We’ve been honing meatless lasagna recipes for years. This one is the culmination of all of our research: and damn, is it good (if we may say so ourselves). The tomato sauce has just the right zing and garlic nuance, and the spinach ricotta cheese filling is classic and creamy. It’s scented with fresh thyme and a little lemon zest, which takes it to over the top status. There’s no one who will turn down a piece! At least, who we’ve met. Here are all our secrets. Ingredients in vegetarian lasagna Did I mention that we love easy recipes: or at least, recipes that are pretty simple to put together? The spinach ricotta filling in this vegetarian lasagna recipe is elegantly simple, with no need to chop a long list of ingredients. We’ve also got lots of time saving ideas for those evenings where you don’t have time to make your own marinara. Here’s what you need for this vegetarian […]

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

This vegetarian lasagna recipe is a total crowd pleaser! The easy spinach and ricotta cheese filling is classic and creamy.

Vegetarian lasagna

When it comes to lasagna recipes…well, this one is tops. Meet our best vegetarian lasagna with ricotta, aka vegetarian lasagne! We’ve been honing meatless lasagna recipes for years. This one is the culmination of all of our research: and damn, is it good (if we may say so ourselves). The tomato sauce has just the right zing and garlic nuance, and the spinach ricotta cheese filling is classic and creamy. It’s scented with fresh thyme and a little lemon zest, which takes it to over the top status. There’s no one who will turn down a piece! At least, who we’ve met. Here are all our secrets.

Ingredients in vegetarian lasagna

Did I mention that we love easy recipes: or at least, recipes that are pretty simple to put together? The spinach ricotta filling in this vegetarian lasagna recipe is elegantly simple, with no need to chop a long list of ingredients. We’ve also got lots of time saving ideas for those evenings where you don’t have time to make your own marinara. Here’s what you need for this vegetarian lasagna:

  • Tomato sauce: homemade or purchased (see section below)
  • Lasagna noodles (dried or fresh)
  • Baby spinach (or frozen)
  • Ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh thyme
  • Lemon zest
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
Vegetarian lasagna recipe

Make homemade tomato sauce, or find your favorite brand

This vegetarian lasagna recipe features our favorite homemade tomato sauce for lasagna: made with garlic, tomatoes and our secret ingredient: dried tarragon. Here are a few notes about each type of sauce:

  • Make the homemade sauce for great flavor. When you have time, a homemade tomato sauce is where it’s at! This sauce is full of big flavor and takes only a few minutes of hands on time: it can simmer while you prep the other ingredients. Dried tarragon adds big Italian flavor: but if you can’t find it, you can use oregano as a substitute.
  • Or, go easy with purchased marinara! There are lots of nights where we want a shortcut. These days there are many high quality marinara brands on the market: look for organic if you can! Grab enough for 4 cups of sauce.
Easy marinara sauce

Substitute frozen spinach for fresh

Here’s another way you can customize this vegetarian lasagne recipe to your tastes: you can use fresh or frozen spinach! Here are the benefits of both:

  • Fresh spinach is tasty and often on hand. We often have a big box of baby greens in our refrigerator, so we love using fresh spinach here. It takes just a few minutes to wilt down on the stovetop.
  • Frozen spinach offers maximum flexibility! Frozen spinach is easy to stock in your freezer for whenever you have a lasagna craving (or spinach artichoke dip!). Make sure defrost and squeeze out all the water before you use it.

The best vegetarian lasagna recipe with ricotta cheese

Why make a vegetarian lasagna recipe with ricotta? Ricotta cheese is a creamy Italian cheese with a mild flavor. It’s most famously used in lasagna recipes to make that beautifully creamy, cheesy layer. We love it in this lasagna with ricotta because it has the best classic flavor.

  • What are other ways to use ricotta? Smear it on toast, swirl it into pasta, dollop it into scrambled eggs or even spread it onto a pizza. Want ideas? Go to these Genius Ricotta Recipes.
  • What are some substitutes for ricotta in lasagna? Don’t have ricotta, or don’t want to use it? You can also use the same amount of cottage cheese (if you can, food process it first) or creme fraiche as a substitute for ricotta in lasagna.
Lasagna recipe with ricotta cheese

Other filling variations!

Want to change up this lasagna recipe with ricotta? Here are some additional filling ideas that would go well with spinach and ricotta:

  • Spinach mushroom lasagna: Make the spinach and mushroom filling from Vegan Lasagna and substitute it for the spinach (with or without the cashews).
  • Kale lasagna: Make the spicy kale filling instead of spinach from Spicy Kale Lasagna.
  • Chard lasagna: Chop 2 bunches rainbow chard and wilt it down following the instructions in the recipe.

Make ahead and storage info

How to store vegetarian lasagna? Can you make it ahead? Here are a few pointers for this recipe:

  • Make ahead ideas: As noted above, you can use purchased marinara to make this recipe a little quicker. You can also cook the spinach in advance (or use frozen spinach). Mix up the cheese filling and refrigerate until ready to bake.
  • Or make ahead the entire pan: Make the vegetarian lasagna prior to baking, then refrigerate overnight. Increase the bake time as needed to cook until it’s warmed through and the cheese has melted.
  • Storage info: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 2 days. Or freeze them: it’s easiest to cut it into single servings and freeze each in separate containers. To reheat, defrost the vegetarian lasagna the refrigerator, then place in a baking dish, cover with foil and reheat at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, until warmed through.
Lasagna with ricotta

Sides to serve with vegetarian lasagna

The great thing about a vegetarian lasagna recipe? You can use the long bake time to prep some tasty side dishes! Here are a few sides that pair well with lasagna:

This vegetarian lasagna recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free lasagna noodles.

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Vegetarian lasagna

Vegetarian Lasagna with Ricotta


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 9
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This vegetarian lasagna recipe is a total crowd pleaser! The easy spinach and ricotta cheese filling is classic and creamy.


Ingredients

For the tomato sauce (or substitute 4 cups of your favorite marinara sauce)

  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, fire roasted if possible
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce, fire roasted if possible
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon (or oregano)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (or arrowroot starch)

For the lasagna

  • 10 to 12 lasagna noodles (8 ounces, gluten-free as necessary)*
  • 5 ounces baby spinach** (or 8 cups chopped spinach)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 16 ounce (2 cups) ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Boil the noodles*: Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil. Boil the noodles until just before al dente, according to the package instructions, stirring often. Drain the noodles, then drizzle a baking sheet with a bit of olive oil. Lay the noodles flat onto the sheet, then turn them over so they become coated with olive oil to prevent sticking.
  3. Prepare the tomato sauce (or skip with purchased marinara): Mince the garlic. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté, stirring frequently. Once the garlic is fragrant after about 1 or 2 minutes, turn down the heat and carefully add the tomatoes (avoid any momentary spitting), tomato sauce, basil, tarragon or oregano, kosher salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Remove 1/4 cup of the sauce and stir it with the cornstarch, then add it back to the pan (this helps to thicken the sauce). Simmer on low heat while making the remainder of the recipe, at least 15 minutes. When ready to use, remove the pan from the heat.
  4. Wilt the spinach: In a large skillet, mound the greens and 1/4 cup water in the skillet and cook, stirring often, until completely wilted and reduced, about 3 minutes (the greens significantly reduce when cooking; if necessary, sauté in batches.) Sprinkle with 2 pinches of kosher salt and stir, then remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Once cooled, use your hands to squeeze out all excess liquid and discard. Roughly chop the spinach.
  5. Prepare the cheese filling: Destem the thyme, then roughly chop the leaves. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons thyme to a medium bowl and reserve about 1/2 tablespoon for topping the lasagna. To the bowl, add the lemon zest, nutmeg, ricotta cheese, 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, kosher salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Stir to combine.
  6. Layer the lasagna: In a 9” x 13” baking dish, spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan. Then top with 1 layer of noodles, half of the cheese mixture (in dollops then spread it out), half of the greens, and about 1 cup of the tomato sauce. Repeat again: 1 layer of noodles (you may need to cut a noodle in half for the side, depending on your pan), the remaining cheese mixture, the remaining greens, and 1 cup of the tomato sauce. Finally, top with noodles (again, you may need to cut a noodle in half for the top layer), then the remaining 1 1/2 cups of the tomato sauce. Sprinkle the entire top with the remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, and 1/2 tablespoon thyme.
  7. Bake the lasagna: Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes, until bubbly and browned. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving (this allows the lasagna to set). Leftovers can be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days and reheated in a 375°F oven.

Notes

*If you use fresh lasagna noodles, they don’t need to be boiled. 

**You can also substitute 3/4 cup frozen spinach. Defrost it and squeeze of excess liquid: you can skip the cooking step. 

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Italian inspired

Keywords: Vegetarian lasagna, vegetarian lasagna recipe, vegetarian lasagne recipe, lasagna recipe ricotta, lasagna recipe with ricotta cheese, lasagna with ricotta, lasagna with ricotta cheese

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

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

This creamy, dreamy butternut squash mac and cheese is so tasty! It boasts less cheese and more fiber and vitamins than the standard. Welcome to our new favorite way to use butternut squash in a recipe. Butternut squash mac and cheese! Why add this mighty squash to your favorite pasta? Well, three reasons. The first is simply to have an excuse to use this fall ingredient in your kitchen! Butternut squash also lets you use less cheese and adds fiber to this traditionally starchy dish. But most of all…it’s just delicious. The squash gives the cheese sauce a sweet undertone and makes it extraordinarily creamy. Ready to get started? Ingredients in butternut squash mac and cheese First things first: this butternut squash mac and cheese has cheese in it. Yep, it’s designed as a way to use less cheese: not no cheese altogether. If you’re looking for a vegan mac and cheese, head to our Vegan Green Chili Mac we wrote for Washington Post! It’s incredibly tasty. But if you’re on board for the less cheese, more fiber version: let’s go! Here are the ingredients you’ll need: Butternut squash: Fresh is best: because it has the best flavor and texture! […]

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

This creamy, dreamy butternut squash mac and cheese is so tasty! It boasts less cheese and more fiber and vitamins than the standard.

Butternut squash mac and cheese

Welcome to our new favorite way to use butternut squash in a recipe. Butternut squash mac and cheese! Why add this mighty squash to your favorite pasta? Well, three reasons. The first is simply to have an excuse to use this fall ingredient in your kitchen! Butternut squash also lets you use less cheese and adds fiber to this traditionally starchy dish. But most of all…it’s just delicious. The squash gives the cheese sauce a sweet undertone and makes it extraordinarily creamy. Ready to get started?

Ingredients in butternut squash mac and cheese

First things first: this butternut squash mac and cheese has cheese in it. Yep, it’s designed as a way to use less cheese: not no cheese altogether. If you’re looking for a vegan mac and cheese, head to our Vegan Green Chili Mac we wrote for Washington Post! It’s incredibly tasty. But if you’re on board for the less cheese, more fiber version: let’s go! Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Butternut squash: Fresh is best: because it has the best flavor and texture!
  • Pasta: Any short shape works!
  • Olive oil
  • Vegetable broth
  • Spices: chili powder, nutmeg, salt and pepper
  • Milk
  • Cheese: there are a few different options: see below!
Butternut squash mac and cheese

3 advantages to making butternut squash mac and cheese!

What do you get when you add butternut squash to mac and cheese? So much goodness! Here are the particulars on this butternut squash mac and cheese:

  • Reduces the standard recipe by over 1000 calories! Compared to a standard homemade mac and cheese, this recipe removes half the cheese, all the butter and flour, and 1 cup of the milk. That’s a savings of over 1000 calories (or 125 calories per serving for 8 servings).
  • Adds fiber. 1 cup of butternut squash has 7 grams fiber (source), so each serving has about 12% of your daily need.
  • Adds Vitamin A, Vitamin Cm and other vitamins. 1 cup of butternut squash has 457% of your daily Vitamin A and 52% of your daily value of Vitamin C (source). You get half that in each serving of this butternut squash mac and cheese!

How to cut butternut squash: some tips!

Now, we know: cutting a butternut squash can be daunting. It is for us too! But over the years, we’ve developed some best practices that make it much less painful. Here are a few tips for how to cut the squash for this butternut squash mac and cheese:

  1. Watch the video: First, watch this quick video of How to Cut Butternut Squash.
  2. Use a serrated peeler: A serrated blade makes it easier to peel the tough skin than a normal vegetable peeler, which easily slips. Here’s the serrated vegetable peeler we use.
  3. Cut off the neck and chop it separately from the base: Don’t cut the entire squash together. Chop off the neck, then peel it and chop into squares! Do the same for the base. 
Roasted butternut squash

Can you substitute frozen butternut squash in mac and cheese?

Technically yes, but we don’t recommend it. You can use 4 cups frozen butternut squash in this recipe instead of fresh. However, fresh such better flavor that we don’t recommend frozen. Here’s what to know:

  • The flavor is much better with fresh. When it comes to fresh vs frozen squash: fresh is better every time. Frozen is not nearly as flavorful: but it does work in a pinch!
  • Make these changes with frozen if you must: Use only 1 1/2 cups veggie broth for simmering and simmer for 5 minutes until the squash is tender. Omit the milk. Add additional kosher salt to taste. But instead of frozen butternut squash, we recommend this…

Meal prep tip: peel and dice the squash in advance!

If you do want to speed up this recipe: don’t use frozen squash. Simply peel and dice the butternut squash in advance! You can place it in a sealed container and refrigerate until you make the recipe, 2 to 3 days. It makes the recipe so much easier!

What cheese to use

There are lots of options for the cheese in this butternut squash mac and cheese! Here are a few options, in order of our preference:

  • Smoked gouda. It’s unique, but it adds a smoky nuance to the flavor and makes it taste completely irresistible.
  • Sharp cheddar. This one is the classic mac and cheese choice. It’s always tasty and you can combine it with the two cheeses below.
  • Monterey jack (with cheddar): Monterey jack is a great choice to mix with cheddar: it adds just the right cozy comfort food vibe. Go half cheddar and half Monterey jack.
Butternut squash mac and cheese

Variation: make it gluten free!

Another plus for butternut squash mac and cheese: it’s easy to make gluten free. Many mac and cheese recipes use flour and butter to make a roux, a way to thicken a cheese sauce. It makes for a lusciously creamy sauce, but it does have flour. This recipe is simple to make gluten free with a simple swap of pasta. You can use:

  • Gluten free pasta made with gluten-free flour
  • Legume pasta made with lentil or chickpea flour. This type of pasta alternative is becoming easy to find at your local grocery.

Ways to serve with butternut squash mac and cheese

Make the pasta, make the sauce, and bam: you’ve got a delicious and healthy dinner idea! How to round out the meal? We’d suggest adding a quick and easy vegetable to add even more fiber and nutrients. Some serving suggestions for butternut squash mac and cheese:

Butternut squash mac and cheese

This butternut squash mac and cheese recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten free pasta or legume pasta.

Print
Butternut squash mac and cheese

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 as a main, 10 to 12 as a side
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This creamy, dreamy butternut squash mac and cheese is so tasty! It boasts less cheese and more fiber and vitamins than the standard.


Ingredients

  • 1 pound small pasta shells* (gluten free or legume pasta as desired)
  • 4 cups peeled and diced butternut squash** (about 1 medium squash: not frozen!)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • 2 cups vegetable broth 
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded smoked gouda cheese (or sharp cheddar cheese, or equal parts cheddar and Monterrey Jack)
  • Seasoned Italian breadcrumbs or plain breadcrumbs, optional

Instructions

  1. Prep the squash and garlic: Peel and dice the butternut squash. Mince the garlic.
  2. Cook the pasta: Start a pot of well salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta until it is just al dente. Start tasting a few minutes before the package recommends: you want it to be tender but still a little firm on the inside; usually around 7 to 8 minutes. Drain the pasta. (If it finishes before the sauce, add it back to the pot with a drizzle of olive oil so it doesn’t stick.)
  3. Make the sauce: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat; add the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, or just until the garlic is fragrant but not browned. Carefully add the squash and vegetable broth to the skillet and stir to fully combine. Add the chili powder, nutmeg, kosher salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Cover and bring it to a high simmer, bubbling constantly, then cook 20 minutes until the squash is tender. 
  4. Blend the sauce: Carefully add the squash and all liquid to a blender. Add the milk and blend until smooth. Pour the sauce back into the pot. Stir in the shredded cheese and stir with a spoon until it is melted (gently heat it over low heat if it doesn’t melt right away). Taste and add additional salt as desired.
  5. Serve: Pour the sauce onto the pasta. Taste and add a few more pinches salt as necessary. Serve immediately, sprinkled with breadcrumbs if desired.

Notes

*We like making half the pasta (8 ounces) and saving half the sauce for later to make with fresh pasta.

**Using frozen squash is not nearly as flavorful. To save prep time, peel and dice the squash in advance, and refrigerate it until making the recipe (up to 2 days).

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Butternut squash mac and cheese

More butternut squash recipes

Butternut squash is a winter squash with personality! It turns everything to gold. Here are a few more butternut squash recipes:

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

Easy Pizza Soup

Take one bite of this pizza soup, and it tastes like your favorite pie in bowl form! Serve with crusty bread for an outrageously delicious meal. With our affinity for artisan pizza recipes, I’m surprised it’s taken us this long to think this idea. Pizza soup! Because who wouldn’t want all the flavors of a supreme pizza wrapped up in a cozy bowl? The broth is flavored with pizza sauce, tomatoes, and a little Parmesan to make it creamy. The toppings are swimming along inside: bell peppers, garlic and mushrooms, making for a savory pop that surprises you in every bite. Serve with garlic toast, grilled cheese or simply crusty bread and it’s a meal you’ll want to make over and over…and over. (We already have.) Ingredients in pizza soup This pizza soup was only a matter of time. Alex and I have been enamored with making artisan-style pizza since our honeymoon to Italy years ago. We’ve spent a decade researching pizza dough recipes and learning from professionals, and you’ll see that culmination in our next level Margherita Pizza. So what better challenge than to take all that know how and distill it down into a…soup? This pizza soup is […]

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

Take one bite of this pizza soup, and it tastes like your favorite pie in bowl form! Serve with crusty bread for an outrageously delicious meal.

Pizza soup

With our affinity for artisan pizza recipes, I’m surprised it’s taken us this long to think this idea. Pizza soup! Because who wouldn’t want all the flavors of a supreme pizza wrapped up in a cozy bowl? The broth is flavored with pizza sauce, tomatoes, and a little Parmesan to make it creamy. The toppings are swimming along inside: bell peppers, garlic and mushrooms, making for a savory pop that surprises you in every bite. Serve with garlic toast, grilled cheese or simply crusty bread and it’s a meal you’ll want to make over and over…and over. (We already have.)

Ingredients in pizza soup

This pizza soup was only a matter of time. Alex and I have been enamored with making artisan-style pizza since our honeymoon to Italy years ago. We’ve spent a decade researching pizza dough recipes and learning from professionals, and you’ll see that culmination in our next level Margherita Pizza. So what better challenge than to take all that know how and distill it down into a…soup?

This pizza soup is for when you want the experience of pizza, but none of the hassle. The broth tastes so spot on that after a spoonful you’ll exclaim, “That tastes just like pizza!” (Promise. We did.) Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make it:

  • Pizza sauce
  • Canned crushed tomatoes (fire roasted if possible)
  • Vegetable broth
  • Olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Red onion, garlic, bell pepper, mushroom
  • Dried oregano and fennel seeds
Pizza soup

Find your favorite pizza sauce or make homemade

Part of the pizza flavor in this recipe comes from…pizza sauce! There are lots of great all natural pizza sauces out there these days. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Grab a high quality jar of pizza sauce, organic if possible. Check the ingredients on the back to make sure there’s not too much added sugar or preservatives.
  • Or, make homemade! You can also make your own pizza sauce. Our Easy Pizza Sauce takes just 5 minutes in a blender. It’s sensational.

Fire roasted tomatoes add complexity

Here’s another tip for the best flavor in this pizza soup. Use fire roasted canned tomatoes! Fire roasted tomatoes are canned tomatoes that have been roasted over an open flame. It lightly chars the outsides and makes the flavor sweet right out of the can unlike most canned tomatoes.

Fire roasted tomatoes are sold by several different brands, and have become popular in grocery stores here in the US. If you can’t find them, you can substitute any high quality tomatoes you can find.

Pizza soup recipe

Fennel seeds add meaty flavor

Lastly: don’t be tempted to leave out the fennel seeds! Fennel is a vegetable that’s used in recipes raw or as dried seeds. You should be able to find them in the spice aisle in your grocery. Why is fennel seed so important? Well, it’s a spice that’s used in sausage, so it makes your brain think of meat. It adds as meaty, savory flavor to this soup that cannot be replicated!

Pizza soup variation: add mix-in ingredients!

Want to add more “toppings” to this pizza soup? It’s easy to add more vegetables to make this soup even more filling or to add protein. Here are some more ideas:

  • White beans (to add plant-based protein)
  • Spinach
  • Chopped pepperoni
  • Sliced black olives

What else would you add to this pizza soup?

Easy garlic bread
Go for garlic bread, grilled cheese or cheese toast

What to serve with pizza soup

Once you’ve cooked up a pot of pizza soup, the best part is figuring out what to serve with it! There are so many great ways to accessorize it to make it a full meal. Here are some ideas:

This pizza soup recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Pizza soup

Easy Pizza Soup


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

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

Description

Take one bite of this pizza soup, and it tastes just like your favorite pie in bowl form! Serve with crusty bread for an outrageously delicious meal.


Ingredients

  • 1 red onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 medium portobello mushroom caps
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 15 ounce jar pizza sauce (or Easy Pizza Sauce)
  • 28-ounce can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 1 quart (4 cups) vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for the garnish
  • Fresh basil, for the garnish (optional)
  • 1/2 recipe Homemade Croutons, crusty bread, garlic bread or garlic toast, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Dice the onion. Mince the garlic. Dice the bell peppers. Destem and chop the mushroom caps into bite-sized pieces.
  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, mushrooms, and peppers and sauté for 4 minutes, until translucent. Add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, the garlic, oregano, fennel, and red pepper flakes and cook 2 to 3 minutes until fragrant and the veggies have softened.
  3. Add the pizza sauce, canned tomatoes and their liquid, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.  Stir in the cheese and simmer 5 more minutes until it is melted. Taste and add additional kosher salt if necessary. 
  4. Serve warm topped with homemade croutons, additional Parmesan cheese, and fresh basil leaves (or simply serve with crusty bread or a gluten free bread substitute). 
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Soup

Keywords: Pizza soup

More soup recipes…and pizza recipes!

When pizza and soup collide…it’s such a treat! Here are a few more of our favorite soup recipes and pizza pies:

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