Easy Coconut Shrimp

This coconut shrimp is baked to perfection: no one can resist that crunchy, coconut-scented, juicy bite! Serve as an appetizer or dinner. Who can resist a plate of coconut shrimp? (We certainly can’t.) Each crunchy, coconut-scented, juicy bite is so supremely satisfying, we want to devour the entire plate. This appetizer is popular at seafood restaurants and Tiki bars: and it has that nostalgic 1990’s chain restaurant vibe. Here we’ve decoded the secrets behind the flavor: and for a lighter twist we’ve made it baked, not fried! Serve it with sweet chili sauce for a tasty appetizer: or you can make it dinner by adding a few sides like rice or sauteed veggies. Ready to get started? Coconut shrimp that’s baked, not fried! Of course, we had to put our “A Couple Cooks” spin on this coconut shrimp recipe. We’re all about making pretty simple recipes with a healthy twist: and that’s exactly what you’ll find here. Instead of deep frying, all you have to do is bake these babies in the oven until crisp. This approach not only makes it healthier…it’s much easier! You don’t have to deal with measuring temperatures or misting your kitchen with a light spray […]

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

This coconut shrimp is baked to perfection: no one can resist that crunchy, coconut-scented, juicy bite! Serve as an appetizer or dinner.

Coconut shrimp

Who can resist a plate of coconut shrimp? (We certainly can’t.) Each crunchy, coconut-scented, juicy bite is so supremely satisfying, we want to devour the entire plate. This appetizer is popular at seafood restaurants and Tiki bars: and it has that nostalgic 1990’s chain restaurant vibe. Here we’ve decoded the secrets behind the flavor: and for a lighter twist we’ve made it baked, not fried! Serve it with sweet chili sauce for a tasty appetizer: or you can make it dinner by adding a few sides like rice or sauteed veggies. Ready to get started?

Coconut shrimp that’s baked, not fried!

Of course, we had to put our “A Couple Cooks” spin on this coconut shrimp recipe. We’re all about making pretty simple recipes with a healthy twist: and that’s exactly what you’ll find here. Instead of deep frying, all you have to do is bake these babies in the oven until crisp.

This approach not only makes it healthier…it’s much easier! You don’t have to deal with measuring temperatures or misting your kitchen with a light spray of oil.

How to make coconut shrimp

What type of shrimp to use?

There’s lots of variation in the shrimp you’ll find at the store. Here are a few tips on what to look for when you’re making coconut shrimp:

  • Find large shrimp. It’s customary to use large shrimp to get the perfect bite; you can also use medium (and you’ll end up with more bites!).
  • Use tail on. Coconut shrimp is always made with the tail on: this makes for a lovely presentation. Of course, you pop off the tails when eating.
  • Fresh or frozen. You can use either here! Just make sure to thaw the shrimp in advance (see below).
  • Wild caught. If you can, look for wild caught: it’s the most sustainable!

How to make coconut shrimp: basic steps & tips!

You’ll have to make a little assembly line to make this healthy coconut shrimp. That is: there are three stations in the breading process: flour, eggs, and a coconut and panko mixture. Set these up in a line, then go at it! It takes a little time and your hands might get a little messy, but it’s fun! We like enlisting a friend or partner to help, but you can easily do it yourself. Here’s what to do:

  • Lightly coat the shrimp in flour. This helps the next ingredients to stick.
  • Dip the shrimp into eggs. A coating of egg is the glue that holds on the crunchy bits.
  • Coat the slices in coconut and panko. Then dip the shrimp right into the panko and coconut mix.
  • Wash your hands as needed. The egg with coconut and panko can get a little gummy and messy, so wash your hands as needed throughout the process. A tip: we like to keep a bowl of water next to our assembly line so we can quickly rinse off the goo.
  • Bake 12 to 15 minutes at 400 degrees. You don’t even need to flip!
Coconut shrimp

Wait: what’s panko?

Ever worked with panko? 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 when frying…or this coconut shrimp! Panko is available in most grocery stores; if you can’t find it, look for coarse breadcrumbs instead. Some purchased breadcrumbs have very fine texture, which wouldn’t end up quite as crispy as panko.

How to thaw shrimp

Are you working with frozen shrimp? The nice thing about shrimp is that frozen tastes nearly as good as fresh (which is not true for all seafood and fish). The only thing is you’ll have to allow for time to defrost. Here are our tips on the best way to thaw shrimp:

  • Day before: If you think ahead, simply place the frozen shrimp in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Day of: Place the frozen shrimp into 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 be defrosted in about 15 minutes.
Coconut shrimp

Dipping sauces for coconut shrimp

Once you’ve made up your baked coconut shrimp, the sky’s the limit for how to serve it! At seafood restaurants and Tiki bars it’s often served with sweet chili sauce. But there are lots of other options! Here are a few dipping sauces we love:

  • Sweet chili sauce: This is the best way to serve coconut shrimp because it has that classic flavor you expect. You can find it near the Asian-style condiments at your grocery.
  • Cilantro sauce: This Cilantro Lime Ranch is a fun option, or try Creamy Cilantro Sauce.
  • Cocktail sauce: Why not? Try it as an alternative to the classic with our Famous Homemade Cocktail Sauce.

Or, make it dinner with a few sides!

Here’s the thing: if I’m going to spend all this time on healthy baked coconut shrimp…I want to make it into dinner! You can easily serve this as a meal if you add a few sides. Here are some ideas:

And that’s it! We hope you love this one: let us know in the comments below.

Shrimp appetizer recipe

This coconut shrimp recipe is…

Pescatarian and dairy free.

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Coconut shrimp

Easy Coconut Shrimp


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Description

This crunchy coconut shrimp is baked to perfection! It’s easy to make, full of huge flavor, and works as an appetizer or dinner. 


Ingredients

  • 1 pound large shrimp, deveined tail on
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt*
  • 1/2 cup flour (gluten-free flour as necessary)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup panko
  • 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • Chopped parsley or cilantro, for garnish
  • Sweet chili sauce, for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. If frozen, thaw the shrimp.
  3. Pat the shrimp dry. Mix the shrimp in a bowl with the garlic powder, onion powder, and kosher salt
  4. Place the flour in an even layer on a plate. Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl, and set it next to the plate. Place the panko and coconut on another plate, and set it next to the bowl. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  5. Dredge each shrimp into the flour, then dip it into the eggs, then dredge it into the panko and coconut. Place each shrimp gently onto the baking sheet. Wash your hands off as necessary, since the coating can start to become gooey. 
  6. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake until juicy and opaque, about 12 to 14 minutes.

  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Coconut shrimp

More easy shimp recipes

Shrimp is ultimate for deliciously healthy recipes! Here are a few more shrimp recipes to cook up this tasty shellfish:

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

Our Best Butternut Squash Soup

This classic vegan butternut squash soup recipe has just the right fall flavor! Creamy and cozy, serve it with crusty bread for an easy meal. When the air gets that certain chill, it’s like a flip switches. Suddenly the name of that pale orange, oblong squash is on everyone’s lips. It’s butternut squash season! Here’s a recipe that morphs this tough-to-cut squash into a silky orange puree. Meet our go-to Butternut Squash Soup recipe! To put a modern spin on the classic, it’s a plant based and vegan butternut squash soup. You’ll find the flavor is so lusciously creamy, it makes all your fall dreams come true. All about butternut squash The squash that everyone’s talking about is more than just a trendy craze. Butternut squash is a pear-shaped winter squash with pale orange skin. Its flavor is sweet and subtly nutty, almost like a mild sweet potato. Popular ways to eat it are in soup recipes, as a pasta sauce, or in risotto. Is butternut squash healthy? Here’s a little breakdown on the nutrition info of butternut squash: Butternut squash is a good source of fiber. It’s got 7 grams per 1 cup diced, or about 28% of your […]

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

This classic vegan butternut squash soup recipe has just the right fall flavor! Creamy and cozy, serve it with crusty bread for an easy meal.

Vegan butternut squash soup

When the air gets that certain chill, it’s like a flip switches. Suddenly the name of that pale orange, oblong squash is on everyone’s lips. It’s butternut squash season! Here’s a recipe that morphs this tough-to-cut squash into a silky orange puree. Meet our go-to Butternut Squash Soup recipe! To put a modern spin on the classic, it’s a plant based and vegan butternut squash soup. You’ll find the flavor is so lusciously creamy, it makes all your fall dreams come true.

All about butternut squash

The squash that everyone’s talking about is more than just a trendy craze. Butternut squash is a pear-shaped winter squash with pale orange skin. Its flavor is sweet and subtly nutty, almost like a mild sweet potato. Popular ways to eat it are in soup recipes, as a pasta sauce, or in risotto. Is butternut squash healthy? Here’s a little breakdown on the nutrition info of butternut squash:

  • Butternut squash is a good source of fiber. It’s got 7 grams per 1 cup diced, or about 28% of your daily need (source). You’ll get that in one serving of this butternut squash soup, along with more from the other ingredients.
  • Butternut squash is also high in Vitamin A and Vitamin C. The same serving size also provides 457% of your daily Vitamin A and 52% of your daily Vitamin C. (Source)
  • Butternut squash is a low calorie food. 1 cup has 82 calories.
Butternut squash soup

Ingredients in this butternut squash soup recipe

Our go-to butternut squash recipe happens to be vegan and plant-based: which is fitting as a modern spin! Instead of rich and heavy butters and creams of the past, butternut squash soup of today can feature beautiful flavors that are fully made of plants. Here’s what we included in this vegan butternut squash soup recipe:

  • Yellow onion
  • Garlic
  • Fresh ginger: this is key to the nuanced fall flavor profile!
  • Carrot
  • Butternut squash
  • Olive oil
  • Vegetable broth
  • Cumin
  • Chickpeas: this trick adds protein to the vegan soup, making it more filling than most!
  • Coconut milk
How to Cut Butternut Squash

What’s the best way to cut butternut squash?

The longest lead time item in this soup? Cutting the butternut squash! This squash is notoriously difficult to peel and chop. We recommend using a fresh butternut squash in this recipe for best results (though you can use frozen in a pinch). Here are some tips for best way to cut butternut squash:

  • Slice off the neck first. Peeling and chopping the base and neck separately makes its oblong shape easier to handle.
  • Peel with a serrated peeler. It’s easier to peel tough-skinned vegetables with a squash peeler because the serrated edges grip the skin. (Here’s the serrated peeler we use.)
  • Slice into planks, then chop. Cut the base and neck into planks, then dice them. Here’s a video to show the process.

How to make butternut squash soup

This butternut squash soup recipe is easy to make, once you’ve gotten past the cutting part! Here are the basic steps to a butternut squash soup:

  • Prep the ingredients. Chop your onion, ginger, carrot and garlic. Specific instructions are in the recipe below!
  • Saute the onion. Cook until it’s translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and stir until it’s just fragrant.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and simmer. Simmer until the veggies are tender.
  • Blend! Add the chickpeas and coconut milk and blend until pureed. We used a large high speed blender, so the entire soup fit. If you have a standard blender, you’ll have to do it in batches.
Butternut squash soup

Chickpeas add body, protein and fiber to a vegan soup

A unique ingredient in this vegan butternut squash soup helps it stay filling by giving it a boost of protein and fiber: chickpeas! Don’t worry if you’re not a chickpea fan. You’ll puree them right into the body of the soup, so the flavor is barely perceptible and the texture is non-existent. You can omit the chickpeas if you like, but we love adding a boost of nutrients and keeping the soup as filling as possible.

What to serve with butternut squash soup

Once you’ve simmered and blended, let’s get to eating this tasty soup! There are lots of ways to serve a butternut squash soup recipe, but remember: you’ve got to add something to make it filling! Here are some options we love:

Vegan butternut squash soup

What else to do with butternut squash?

There are so many ways to use this tasty squash! Here are a few more ideas for fall:

This butternut squash soup recipe is…

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

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Vegan butternut squash soup

Best Butternut Squash Soup Recipe


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This classic vegan butternut squash soup recipe has just the right fall flavor! Creamy and cozy, serve it with crusty bread for an easy meal.


Ingredients

  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and finely grated ginger
  • 1 cup peeled and chopped carrots (about 2 medium or 1 very large)
  • 1 medium butternut squash (4 cups chopped)*
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 15-ounce can chickpeas
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk, plus more to garnish
  • Optional garnishes: fresh chopped parsley, pepitas

Instructions

  1. Dice the onion. Mince the garlic. Peel and cut the ginger. Peel and chop the carrots. Peel and dice the butternut squash.
  2. In a medium stockpot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook 1 minute until lightly browned and fragrant.
  3. Add the carrots, squash, vegetable broth, cumin, and kosher salt and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook until carrots and squash are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Add the chickpeas and coconut milk. Use a liquid measuring cup to carefully transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth (puree it in batches if it’s a standard size blender). Taste and add a little more salt if necessary. If desired, drizzle with a bit of coconut milk before serving. 

Notes

*To speed up prep, substitute frozen butternut squash. 

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

Keywords: Butternut squash soup recipe, vegan butternut squash soup

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

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

Spaghetti squash lasagna is a deliciously satisfying no noodle spin on the classic! It’s full of so much flavor, you won’t miss the noodles. One look at that photo and we’re pulling up our sleeves to get cooking: are you? Meet your new favorite dream-boat meal: baked Spaghetti Squash Lasagna! This delicious no-noodle spin on the classic so satisfying, you’ll find yourself dreaming about the next time you get to eat it. It’s naturally gluten-free yet cheesy enough that you won’t miss the noodles. Mix those squash noodles with ricotta and Parmesan, then bake them with marinara and gooey mozzarella on top. This one went over very well in this household…even the 3 year old approved. How to make spaghetti squash lasagna: basic steps This spaghetti squash lasagna is very easy to make! But it does take a bit of time. Why? Spaghetti squash can take up to 1 hour to roast. Yes, everyone’s favorite squash is a little high maintenance like that. But never fear! Once your squash is roasted, it’s terribly easy to put together. Here’s what to do: Step 1 (40 minutes to 1 hour*): Roast the squash! See How to Cook Spaghetti Squash. *Note: Using the […]

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

Spaghetti squash lasagna is a deliciously satisfying no noodle spin on the classic! It’s full of so much flavor, you won’t miss the noodles.

Spaghetti squash lasagna

One look at that photo and we’re pulling up our sleeves to get cooking: are you? Meet your new favorite dream-boat meal: baked Spaghetti Squash Lasagna! This delicious no-noodle spin on the classic so satisfying, you’ll find yourself dreaming about the next time you get to eat it. It’s naturally gluten-free yet cheesy enough that you won’t miss the noodles. Mix those squash noodles with ricotta and Parmesan, then bake them with marinara and gooey mozzarella on top. This one went over very well in this household…even the 3 year old approved.

How to make spaghetti squash lasagna: basic steps

This spaghetti squash lasagna is very easy to make! But it does take a bit of time. Why? Spaghetti squash can take up to 1 hour to roast. Yes, everyone’s favorite squash is a little high maintenance like that. But never fear! Once your squash is roasted, it’s terribly easy to put together. Here’s what to do:

  1. Step 1 (40 minutes to 1 hour*): Roast the squash! See How to Cook Spaghetti Squash.
    *Note: Using the Instant Pot cuts this time in half.
  2. Step 2 (15 minutes): Make the filling and layer it up.
  3. Step 3 (10 minutes): Bake it until the cheese melts.
Spaghetti squash lasagna

Tips on how to cook spaghetti squash

The main task for this spaghetti squash lasagna is (no surprise!)…cooking the spaghetti squash. Here’s what to know about cooking this tough yellow squash:

  • Slice lengthwise to serve in “bowls”. Usually we slice the squash around the middle to get the longest noodles (see How to Cook Spaghetti Squash). But if you want to serve it in natural bowls, cit it lengthwise.
  • Roasting is the best method. Roast your squash at 400 degrees until it’s tender, 40 to 55 minutes.
  • Separate into noodles with a fork. Scrape out the cut sides with a fork: instant noodles!
  • Allow to steam 5 minutes in a colander. This helps to remove excess liquid.

Alternative method: Instant Pot!

Want to speed up the cook time? You can cook your spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot, with one caveat: you’ll have to cook them one at a time. This spaghetti squash lasagna calls for 2 squash, but only 1 can fit in an Instant Pot at a time.

The Instant Pot is significantly quicker: it takes only 13 minutes for the squash to cook. So even cooking two squash, it takes about half the time to pressure cook them. Score!

How to make spaghetti squash lasagna

Spaghetti squash lasagna filling ingredients & add-in ideas!

Once you’ve cooked up that spaghetti squash, the rest of the lasagna recipe is a breeze! Here’s what you’ll need for the filling, including an idea for some add-ins:

  • Ricotta cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Italian seasoning
  • Spaghetti sauce: Use your favorite brand to keep this quick and easy. There are lots of great brands on the market these days that are minimally processed.
  • Add-in idea: To make it more filling, add plant-based crumbles! We used to avoid these, but lately there have been less processed versions on the market. For more details, see our Quick Chili recipe. You can also add cooked and drained ground beef for meat eaters.

Bake it in the shells, or use a baking dish!

The fun part about this spaghetti squash lasagna is that you can bake it in the shells for beautiful presentation! But it’s not required. Here are a few notes about both:

  • Bake it in the shell: When you scoop out the spaghetti squash strands with a fork, keep the skin of the squash in tact. It forms a natural shell that you can use for baking it! Pros: it’s beautiful. Cons: it’s pre-portioned so you can’t choose how much you want, and it’s harder to serve to a crowd. Kids also seem to prefer the next option.
  • Bake it in a 9 x 9 baking dish: Or, throw it into a 9 x 9 baking dish! It works just as well and takes a little less time to assemble. Pros: It’s easier to serve to a crowd, and seems more like “real” lasagna. Cons: It’s not nearly as stunning to look at.
Spaghetti squash lasagna

Make ahead tips for spaghetti squash lasagna

Can you make ahead parts of this spaghetti squash lasagna for easy prep? Absolutely. Here are a few options to choose from:

  • Roast the squash in advance. Simply roast your squash in advance and refrigerate until you want to bake. Some liquid may accumulate while it refrigerates: just pour it off. While the oven preheats, layer the ingredients. Increase the final bake time a little since you’ll be baking the noodles from cold (or warm them in the microwave before assembling).
  • Don’t assemble in advance. You might be tempted to assemble it then refrigerate, but we advise against this. Moisture can accumulate in the fridge, making it overly watery. Simply roast the squash in advance per above: you can layer it while the oven preheats and there’s no time lost!

Sides to serve with spaghetti squash lasagna

This spaghetti squash lasagna is a total show stopper that everyone will love! While it’s a great naturally gluten free and keto dinner option, it works for anyone no matter their eating preferences. Here are a few ways we’d accessorize it to make a healthy dinner (though on a weeknight, we usually just do non-recipes like raw veggies or a throw together salad):

We hope you love it as much as we do! Let us know in the comments below.

Spaghetti squash recipe

This spaghetti squash lasagna recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Spaghetti squash lasagna

Favorite Spaghetti Squash Lasagna


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This spaghetti squash lasagna is a deliciously satisfying no noodle spin on the classic! It’s full of so much satisfying flavor, you won’t miss the noodles.


Ingredients

  • 2 medium spaghetti squash
  • Olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 teaspoon each dried thyme, basil and oregano OR 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce or marinara, your favorite brand (24 ounce jar)*
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh basil, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Roast the spaghetti squash: Using a small sharp paring knife, cut the spaghetti squash around the middle lengthwise. To cut, pierce the knife into the squash and swing down, making small slices around the squash until it breaks in half. Use the knife to cut around the seeds, and then scoop them out with a spoon. Rub the insides of the squash with 2 teaspoons olive oil total. Place the halves on baking sheet cut side down, and roast 40 to 55 minutes, depending on the size and freshness of the squash, until tender all the way through when pierced with a fork. Alternative method: Go Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash and cook the 2 squash separately (they each cook in 13 minutes).**
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the filling: In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the Parmesan cheese, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Stir to combine.
  4. Make the squash noodles and steam 5 minutes: Allow the squash to cool slightly, then use a fork to scrape out the squash into “spaghetti” strands into a colander. Save the hard “shell” of the squash to use for serving, or you can use a 9 x 9 baking dish. Allow the squash to steam in sink for 5 minutes.
  5. Season the noodles: Place the noodles in a large bowl. Mix in 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and the Italian seasoning. Add the cheese mixture and stir gently to combine (don’t overmix). Now for the important part: taste the noodles and add up to 1/2 teaspoon more salt, until the flavor pops. The exact amount will depend on the weight of your squash and the brand of ricotta. We typically end up adding between 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon more. 
  6. Layer the lasagna: Using the 4 squash shells or a 9 x 9 baking dish, do the following: place a layer of the cheesy squash and top it with a layer of 1 cup sauce (split among the shells if desired). Then top with the final layer of cheesy squash and the remaining 1 1/2 cups sauce. Sprinkle the top with 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese and the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (split across the 4 shells or in the pan).
  7. Bake: Place in the oven and bake 10 to 12 minutes until cheese is melted. Top with torn or chopped fresh basil. 

Notes

*To make a more filling spaghetti squash lasagna, simmer 1 1/2 cups frozen plant-based crumbles in the sauce for 1 to 2 minutes before serving. Or, cook and drain 3/4 pound ground beef and add it to the sauce.

**Make ahead tips:  Roast your squash in advance and refrigerate until you want to bake. Some liquid may accumulate while it refrigerates: pour it off before assembling. While the oven preheats, layer the ingredients. Increase the final bake time a little since you’ll be baking the noodles from cold (or warm them in the microwave before assembling). Don’t be tempted assemble in advance and refrigerate; too much liquid accumulates while in the fridge, so we don’t recommend this. 

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

Keywords: Spaghetti squash lasagna

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

Quick Chili Recipe

Need a meal in a flash? This speed demon quick chili recipe is just the thing: in 25 minutes you’ve got an easy dinner! Here’s our new favorite kitchen trick: this Quick Chili recipe! Yes, we dare say: this recipe is lightening fast. In just 25 minutes you have a fast and easy dinner recipe. 25 minutes! And most of that time is hands off. All you have to do is cut one onion: otherwise it’s dump and stir. Even better: the flavor is fantastic! There’s nothing about it that tastes like a short cut. We’ve made this many times already, and every time we make it, I think: Wow, that was easy. This one will be a staple in our kitchen for years to come. Ingredients for this quick chili recipe In a world full of chili iterations, is just one more necessary? Yes, we think. This one is one of the fastest and easiest you’ll find: and it’s healthy with great flavor. After cooking it, you might feel like you’re a super hero (we did). How is it possible to get flavor so quickly? Here are our secrets: Onion: You can’t cover up for real onion flavor. This […]

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

Need a meal in a flash? This speed demon quick chili recipe is just the thing: in 25 minutes you’ve got an easy dinner!

Quick chili recipe

Here’s our new favorite kitchen trick: this Quick Chili recipe! Yes, we dare say: this recipe is lightening fast. In just 25 minutes you have a fast and easy dinner recipe. 25 minutes! And most of that time is hands off. All you have to do is cut one onion: otherwise it’s dump and stir. Even better: the flavor is fantastic! There’s nothing about it that tastes like a short cut. We’ve made this many times already, and every time we make it, I think: Wow, that was easy. This one will be a staple in our kitchen for years to come.

Ingredients for this quick chili recipe

In a world full of chili iterations, is just one more necessary? Yes, we think. This one is one of the fastest and easiest you’ll find: and it’s healthy with great flavor. After cooking it, you might feel like you’re a super hero (we did). How is it possible to get flavor so quickly? Here are our secrets:

  • Onion: You can’t cover up for real onion flavor. This is the only thing you have to dirty your knife for, and it takes only a minute to saute.
  • Canned fire roasted tomatoes: These tomatoes are roasted over an open flame before canning them. It makes them have a developed, sweet flavor right out of the can. If you can’t find them, use the best quality tomatoes you can find.
  • Kidney beans: The best chili beans, in our mind: pinto beans! But you can use any type of kind beans you like.
  • Chili powder, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder and cumin: A hefty chunk of spices does the heavy lifting in the flavor department.
  • Plant based veggie crumbles: Yes, you heard us right! Now, you can use straight up ground beef if you prefer. But this is the very first recipe ever on this website that we’ve used a vegan substitute for meat. Wondering why?
Quick chili recipe

What are the best plant based or vegan meat substitutes?

OK, here’s the thing. In 10 years of writing a mostly vegetarian and vegan food blog, we’ve never used a vegan meat substitute in a recipe until this quick chili. Why? Well, it seems like cheating. But more importantly, plant based meat substitutes of 10 years ago were much more processed. These days, there are some better options on the market that are more natural and less like processed food.

Keep in mind, this food group is not always super virtuous. But you can find some decent options these days. Here’s what to look for when trying to find the best vegan meat substitutes:

  • Look for a short ingredient list and whole food ingredients. Overall, the ingredient list should be relatively short and contain foods that you know. Of course, there will be some ingredients used as binders to hold it all together.
  • Consider dietary restrictions. Many vegan meat substitutes are similar to seitan, which is made of vital wheat gluten. Yes, a protein source that’s actually just made of solid gluten! We don’t eat gluten free, but we do prefer eating meat substitutes that have protein and aren’t all gluten.
  • Experiment for texture. We tried several different brands in this Quick Chili recipe. We liked Beyond Meat crumbles best: they’re made of pea protein and have a meat-like texture. Experiment to find a brand you love!
Quick chili

Use ground beef if you prefer a standard chili

In another ground-breaking first: this is the first time we’ve mentioned ground beef as an option in a recipe! This mostly vegetarian food blog typically doesn’t talk about eating beef because we don’t eat a lot of it. But if you’re craving a classic chili and beef is part of your diet: go for it! All you have to do is cook and drain 1 pound of ground beef., Then use it in this quick chili recipe in place of the veggie crumbles.

Best quick chili toppings

Of course, the best part of a eating chili is all the toppings! Use the simmering time for this quick chili recipe to assemble all your favorite toppings. Here are some of our top choices, some standard and some more unique:

  1. Sour cream: A must! Use vegan sour cream for a fully plant based chili.
  2. Shredded cheese: Use cheddar or Monterey jack, or get funky with smoked gouda.
  3. Green onions: Add a little green with thin-sliced green onions.
  4. Hot sauce: Naturally! A favorite is a Mexican hot sauce like Cholula.
  5. Pickled jalapenos or onions: These pickled jalapeños add a kick; pickled onions add a pink color and tangy flavor.
  6. Thinly sliced radishes: These veggies add a crunch.
  7. Chopped cilantro: The best way to add fresh flavor!
  8. Tortilla strips: Make a batch of tortilla strips: or just crumble tortilla chips on top.
  9. Diced avocado: Chopped avocado adds richness and makes it more filling.
  10. Roasted salted pepitas: This unique option adds a salty crunch.
Quick chili recipe

Sides to go with chili

To us chili is a meal itself, usually! But if you can, it’s great to sneak in a side to make it a filling meal. Adding a few sides is great to turn this quick chili into a meal for a crowd. Here are a few sides to go with chili:

This quick chili recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free (make sure your veggie crumbles fit your dietary restrictions).

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Quick chili recipe

Quick Chili Recipe (25 minutes!)


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 23 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Need a meal in a flash? This speed demon quick chili recipe is just the thing: in 25 minutes you’ve got an easy dinner!


Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3 cups (10 to 12 ounces) plant-based crumbles* (or 1 pound cooked and drained ground beef)
  • 2 28-ounce cans diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 15-ounce cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • For topping: Shredded cheese, sour cream (or vegan sour cream), sliced green onions, pickled onions or jalapenos

Instructions

  1. Dice the onion.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in pot or Dutch oven. Cook the onion for 4 to 5 minutes until translucent.
  3. Stir in the veggie crumbles and cook 1 more minute. Add the dice tomatoes, drained and rinsed kidney beans, chili powder, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and kosher salt.
  4. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes. If necessary, add a splash of water while it simmers: all brands of veggie crumbles give off different levels of moisture as they cook. Serve warm garnished with your favorite chili toppings.  

Notes

*Plant-based crumbles vary widely based on the brand. Review the label to make sure they are not overly processed. We used Beyond Meat Beyond Beef Plant Based Crumbles, which are made of pea protein and have a meat-like texture. Different brands have different textures and ingredients to fit different diets (vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free). Experiment to find a brand you love! 

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

Keywords: Quick chili recipe, quick chili

More chili recipes

There are lots of other other ideas! Here are a few more of our best chili recipes to try:

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

Miso Salmon

Prepare to be amazed by this miso salmon! The savory glaze is the perfect accent for this broiled fish and makes an easy dinner. Here’s an impressive dinner idea that’s packed with umami and fantastically irresistible: Miso Salmon! Miso makes magic in the kitchen: it adds incredible savory flavor to everything it touches. Here it features in a miso glaze that’s so full of flavor, you’ll want to brush a glossy swipe onto just about everything. One of the ultimate ways to use it? On a tender fillet of salmon. Brush it on before and after broiling, and it’s absolutely stunning. If fact, we couldn’t tear ourselves away from this. (Our three year old was particularly smitten.) What’s in miso glaze? The secret to this miso salmon is this tasty miso glaze. You can use it on just about anything: any type of fish (like tuna or cod) or sauteed vegetables. The star is miso, a Japanese fermented soybean paste that’s full of nutrients and savory flavor! It’s known for its intense savory notes, otherwise known as umami. You can find miso in your local grocery next to the Japanese products. There are several colors of miso, each with their […]

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

Prepare to be amazed by this miso salmon! The savory glaze is the perfect accent for this broiled fish and makes an easy dinner.

Miso salmon

Here’s an impressive dinner idea that’s packed with umami and fantastically irresistible: Miso Salmon! Miso makes magic in the kitchen: it adds incredible savory flavor to everything it touches. Here it features in a miso glaze that’s so full of flavor, you’ll want to brush a glossy swipe onto just about everything. One of the ultimate ways to use it? On a tender fillet of salmon. Brush it on before and after broiling, and it’s absolutely stunning. If fact, we couldn’t tear ourselves away from this. (Our three year old was particularly smitten.)

What’s in miso glaze?

The secret to this miso salmon is this tasty miso glaze. You can use it on just about anything: any type of fish (like tuna or cod) or sauteed vegetables. The star is miso, a Japanese fermented soybean paste that’s full of nutrients and savory flavor! It’s known for its intense savory notes, otherwise known as umami. You can find miso in your local grocery next to the Japanese products. There are several colors of miso, each with their own flavor.

This glaze comes together in just a few minutes and uses only 5 ingredients (plus salt). Once you whisk together the ingredients, there may still be some chunks of miso that do not dissolve: that’s ok! Just try to get it as smooth as you can. Here’s what you need for the miso glaze:

  • Miso: We like yellow or light miso for this recipe, but you can use whatever you find.
  • Soy sauce: substitute tamari or coconut aminos as necessary
  • Rice vinegar
  • Sugar: substitute maple syrup or honey if you like
  • Sriracha hot sauce
  • Salt
Miso glaze

Buy a high quality piece of salmon

The other part of this miso salmon recipe that’s important: buying a great piece of salmon! You can make it with any quality, but it tastes optimal with a high quality of fish. We splurged and used King salmon for this one, and wow! It’s beautifully tender and juicy, making for one irresistible piece of fish. But you can use other types too! Here are some pointers one how to buy a

  • Fresh salmon is best. You can find good 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. Avoid Atlantic salmon as it is typically farmed salmon.

Ways to cook miso salmon

There are lots of ways to cook salmon. For this miso salmon recipe we chose the broiler because it is quick and easy! There are some tips on broiling salmon below. But you can also choose any salmon cooking method you like! Here are a few other options:

  • Pan Seared Salmon: Paint on a bit of the glaze when you flip the salmon to skin side down, then add a little more after it’s out of the pan.
  • Oven Baked Salmon: Use the glaze in the same way as broiling!
  • Grilled Salmon: Paint the glaze on right before you add it to the grill, then add more after grilling just like with broiling.
Miso salmon

Tips for broiling salmon

The best way to cook this miso salmon is broiling, we think! Here are a few tips

  • Let the salmon come to room temperature, or brine it (lower quality salmon). It’s important to let the salmon come to room temperature before broiling it so it cooks evenly. If you’re using lower quality salmon, you may want to brine it during this time: go to Broiled Salmon for more!
  • Broilers vary, so watch the cook time carefully! The exact timing for this broiled salmon depends on your specific broiler and the thickness of the fish. It will be different every time: so watch closely! Estimate 4 to 5 minutes for very thin salmon or 7 to 10 minutes for 1-inch thick salmon. A food thermometer is nice for judging whether it’s done.
  • Most broilers are about 3 to 5 inches from the heating element. If yours is closer, take care and watch the salmon during the cook time.
Miso salmon

Sides to serve with miso salmon

What to serve with miso salmon to make it into an easy dinner? There are so many options! The flavors are Asian inspired, so you can use Asian-style ingredients or opt for other elements that fit the vibe. Here are some of our favorite ways to accessorize miso salmon:

This miso salmon recipe is…

Pescatarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free.

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Miso salmon

Easy Miso Salmon


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 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: Gluten Free

Description

Prepare to be amazed by this miso salmon! The savory glaze is the perfect accent for this broiled fish and makes an easy dinner. 


Ingredients

  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds high quality skin-on salmon fillets, wild caught if possible
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons light or yellow miso
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari or coconut aminos)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (or maple syrup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Optional garnish: Sliced green onions, sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Let salmon rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make the miso glaze: Whisk the miso, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, Sriracha and kosher salt together in a small bowl until smooth (the miso may have a few lumps depending on its texture, which is okay). 
  3. Preheat the broiler to high. Place a large sheet of aluminum foil on a baking sheet and brush it with olive oil. Pat each piece of salmon dry and place it on the foil skin side down. Brush salmon liberally with the glaze (1 to 2 tablespoons).
  4. Broil about 4 to 5 minutes for very thin salmon or 7 to 10 minutes for 1-inch thick salmon, until just tender and pink at the center (the internal temperature should be between 125 to 130F in the center). Brush with more of the glaze and serve.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Broiled
  • Cuisine: Asian inspired

Keywords: Miso salmon

Best salmon recipes

Salmon is one of the best healthy dinner ideas! Here are some more salmon recipes to add to your repertoire:

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

Butternut Squash Curry

This butternut squash curry is an easy plant based dinner that’s vibrant and full-flavored, starring Thai red curry paste and coconut milk. You know about natural flavor pairings like peanut butter and jelly, and tomatoes and basil. Here’s another unique pairing that works like a charm: butternut squash and Thai curry paste! There’s something about the sweetness of squash and the spicy aromatic flavors of curry paste that go hand in hand. Try them together in this Butternut Squash Curry recipe! It’s easy to make, full of colorful vegetables and bursting with Thai curry flavor. The moment I took the first bite, I couldn’t stop singing its praises. Is this an authentic Thai red curry?   Curry is a very loose term. Per Bon Appetit, in many countries it was a word used by colonizers to simplify what they saw as foreign cuisines. Today, curry is usually a dish with a spiced sauce and meat or vegetables, often eaten with rice or flatbread like naan. Sometimes  curry powder is included in the sauce (like in many Indian curries), or sometimes curry paste (like Thai curries). The dish is made in many countries, including India, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, and England. This […]

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

This butternut squash curry is an easy plant based dinner that’s vibrant and full-flavored, starring Thai red curry paste and coconut milk.

Butternut squash curry

You know about natural flavor pairings like peanut butter and jelly, and tomatoes and basil. Here’s another unique pairing that works like a charm: butternut squash and Thai curry paste! There’s something about the sweetness of squash and the spicy aromatic flavors of curry paste that go hand in hand. Try them together in this Butternut Squash Curry recipe! It’s easy to make, full of colorful vegetables and bursting with Thai curry flavor. The moment I took the first bite, I couldn’t stop singing its praises.

Is this an authentic Thai red curry?  

Curry is a very loose term. Per Bon Appetit, in many countries it was a word used by colonizers to simplify what they saw as foreign cuisines. Today, curry is usually a dish with a spiced sauce and meat or vegetables, often eaten with rice or flatbread like naan. Sometimes  curry powder is included in the sauce (like in many Indian curries), or sometimes curry paste (like Thai curries). The dish is made in many countries, including India, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, and England.

This butternut squash curry is a recipe we designed in the style of a Thai red curry. This is a Thai dish with a sauce made with red curry paste and coconut milk. It can be made with different proteins like chicken, beef, shrimp, or tofu. Thai cuisine does feature different types of squash and pumpkin, but usually not butternut squash since it is not a native plant. So this uses the principles and flavors of Thai red curry to highlight this tasty winter squash. 

Butternut squash curry

The key to butternut squash curry: red curry paste!

Do not make this butternut squash curry unless you can find red curry paste! This is what makes the fragrant Thai curry flavor. What is it? Red curry paste is a jarred paste that takes all the flavor of a Thai curry and concentrates it into a paste. In traditional Thai cooking, you’d make it with the real ingredients. Curry paste is a shortcut: it has all the chili peppers, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, kaffir lime leaves, cumin, coriander, and more. It brings incredible flavor and lasts for months in the fridge. A few notes on red curry paste:

  • It ranges from mild to medium spicy, based on the brand. We love using Thai kitchen curry paste which is very mild. Taste your curry paste before using it: if it’s very spicy, use less than the recipe specifies.
  • It’s easy to find near the Thai products in most grocery stores. It keeps for months in the refrigerator and you can use it in lots more recipes (see below). You can also buy it online: Thai Kitchen red curry paste.
Butternut squash curry

How to cut butternut squash: some tips!

The main part of this butternut squash curry that requires technique is cutting the butternut squash! It takes a little time to peel and cut the squash. Here are a few tips: 

  1. Watch the video: The easiest way to understand how to cut it is by showing you! Watch this quick video of How to Cut Butternut Squash.
  2. Use a serrated peeler: The easiest way to peel butternut squash is a squash peeler! It’s serrated, which makes it easier than a normal vegetable peeler. Here’s the serrated vegetable peeler we use.
  3. Cut off the neck and chop it separately from the base: Don’t try to cut the entire squash together. Chop off the neck, then peel it and chop into squares. Do the same for the base. 

Can you substitute frozen squash? (No.)

Important: don’t be tempted to substitute frozen squash in this butternut squash curry recipe! This has been optimized for fresh squash. In fact, we tried it with frozen because we thought it would be a natural swap. The squash came out mushy and waterlogged: nothing like the fresh version. So stay away from this swap for this recipe. 

A few ideas for adding protein to butternut squash curry

You can eat this butternut squash curry on its own, but if you want to load it up with more protein, here’s what to do: 

  • Add shrimp. Throw in raw shrimp in the last 5 minutes of simmering. 
  • Add chickpeas. Make a butternut squash chickpea curry by adding drained and rinsed chickpeas when you add the coconut milk. You may need to increase the salt a bit in the final seasoning.
  • Add tofu. Make Pan Fried Tofu on the side (or in advance) and add it in the last 5 minutes: pan frying it in advance gives it a nice texture. Or even easier, add tofu cubes when you add the coconut milk: this results in a soft tofu texture, but it’s just as tasty. 
How to make butternut squash curry

What to serve with butternut squash curry? 

This butternut squash curry is Thai-style, so it’s most authentic to serve it with rice. Don’t attempt to add naan: that’s for an Indian-style curry! Here are the types of rice we like to serve with a Thai-style curry: 

  • Jasmine rice (best fit): Jasmine rice is also called Thai fragrant rice: because of its beautiful popcorn-like nutty flavor. Try our jasmine rice recipes: How to Cook Jasmine Rice and Instant Pot Jasmine Rice.
  • Basmati rice (also works): Basmati rice also works, but it’s less fragrant and more often used for Indian curries. See How to Cook Basmati Rice and Instant Pot Basmati Rice.
  • Jade rice (for fun!): Jade rice is a fun option: it’s naturally dyed green using bamboo extract and has a fluffy texture almost like couscous. We served the squash curry this way and it was excellent. 

Want to know more about rice nutrition? See Quinoa vs Rice.

Butternut squashs curry

More recipes with red curry paste

When you buy a jar of red curry paste for this butternut squash curry, there are lots more ways to use it! Here are some of our top favorite recipes using curry paste: 

This butternut squash curry recipe is…

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

Print
Butternut squash curry

Butternut Squash Curry


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This butternut squash curry is an easy plant based dinner that’s vibrant and full-flavored, starring Thai red curry paste and coconut milk.


Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash (4 cups chopped*)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste**
  • 15-ounce can full fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups baby spinach or chopped spinach
  • To serve: jasmine rice, basmati rice or jade rice
  • Optional: Add shrimp, chickpeas, or tofu to add more protein***

Instructions

  1. Start the jasmine rice, basmati rice, or jade rice
  2. Peel and chop the butternut squashDice the onion. Place them in a bowl together. 
  3. Mince the garlic. Cut the pepper into thin strips.
  4. In a large skillet, pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and butternut squash and saute for 5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add the garlic and red pepper and saute for 1 minute.
  5. Add coconut milk, curry paste, turmeric, water and kosher salt and bring to a simmer. Simmer until squash is tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the spinach and wilt for 1 minute. Serve immediately with rice. 

Notes

*Do not substitute frozen butternut squash; the texture does not work in this recipe. 

**The spice level for red curry pastes varies based on the brand. The brand we use (Thai Kitchen) is very mild. Taste your curry paste before you make the curry and add a little less if you’re worried about the heat level. 

***Add shrimp in the last 5 minutes of simmering, or chickpeas when you add the coconut milk (you may need to increase the salt a bit at the end; taste and add more to taste). For tofu, make Pan Fried Tofu on the side (or in advance) and add it in the last 5 minutes: pan frying it in advance gives it a nice texture. Or even easier, add tofu cubes when you add the coconut milk: this results in a soft tofu texture, but it’s just as tasty. 

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

Keywords: Butternut squash curry

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

Classic Shrimp Boil

Here’s how to make the best shrimp boil! This easy meal of corn, potatoes and shrimp is perfect for a crowd. No plates required! Here’s a meal that’s special every time you serve it: a Shrimp Boil! This classic American seafood boil is one of our favorite meals to serve to a crowd because everyone always loves it. Boil up potatoes, corn, onions and shrimp in a flavorful broth, then dump them out onto a table lined with parchment paper. No plates, no silverware: just you, your hands and a can of Old Bay seasoning. There’s something magical about the experience: and it’s a hit every time. We make it at the lake house in the summer, and camping in the fall. It’s perfect for eating outdoors as the light gets low and the fire is crackling. But you can make it in your kitchen too! Here’s everything you need to know about making a shrimp boil. First of all: what’s a shrimp boil? A shrimp boil also known as a seafood boil: an American tradition that comes from the South and Northeast. Seafood boils can have all sorts of seafood: crab, crawfish, clams, etc. Usually corn and red potatoes […]

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

Here’s how to make the best shrimp boil! This easy meal of corn, potatoes and shrimp is perfect for a crowd. No plates required!

Shrimp boil

Here’s a meal that’s special every time you serve it: a Shrimp Boil! This classic American seafood boil is one of our favorite meals to serve to a crowd because everyone always loves it. Boil up potatoes, corn, onions and shrimp in a flavorful broth, then dump them out onto a table lined with parchment paper. No plates, no silverware: just you, your hands and a can of Old Bay seasoning. There’s something magical about the experience: and it’s a hit every time. We make it at the lake house in the summer, and camping in the fall. It’s perfect for eating outdoors as the light gets low and the fire is crackling. But you can make it in your kitchen too! Here’s everything you need to know about making a shrimp boil.

First of all: what’s a shrimp boil?

A shrimp boil also known as a seafood boil: an American tradition that comes from the South and Northeast. Seafood boils can have all sorts of seafood: crab, crawfish, clams, etc. Usually corn and red potatoes are boiled along with the seafood in a broth flavored with lemon and bay leaves. The best part? There are no plates or silverware for a shrimp boil. It’s traditionally served on a table lined with paper, often with Old Bay seasoning (more on that, below!).

How to make a shrimp boil

What you need for a shrimp boil

It’s easy to make a shrimp boil at home! If you’ve never done it, we’ll break down the method for you. You can make a shrimp boil on your stovetop as the main method, but we’ve got a campfire variation too. Here’s what you need to make a shrimp boil:

  • Large pot: Size matters, here! Use a 8 quart pot for the standard method, the large kind you use for pasta. You can also use a 4 to 5 gallon pot and double the recipe.
  • Shell on shrimp: Cooking shrimp in the shell makes them beautifully tender and juicy.
  • Red potatoes: The most common is the red potato: use other waxy potatoes like Yukon gold if desired. Avoid russet potatoes: they come out too mealy.
  • Corn on the cob: Make sure to find fresh sweet corn.
  • Yellow onion: This backup character steals the show with its tender, sweet flavor.
  • Kielbasa sausage (optional): Typically we don’t include sausage because we eat a pescatarian diet. If desired, substitute 1 pound sausage for the second pound of shrimp.

How to make a shrimp boil on the stove

The method for a shrimp boil is this: you’ll make a flavorful broth with water and spices, then boil each of the components separately. Why separately? Here’s the important thing to note. The largest pot most cooks have is an 8 quart pot. You have to cook each component on its own because you can’t fit the volume of all the food and broth in the pot at once. This makes enough for 4 to 6 servings. (Now if you have a very large 5 gallon pot, you can cook everything at once: go to the section below!) Here are the basic steps for a shrimp boil in an 8 quart pot:

  • Simmer the broth: Simmer water to make a broth with the shrimp boil seasonings: coriander seeds, celery seeds, Old Bay, bay leaves, a whole garlic head, and lemons.
  • Add the potatoes and onions: Cook for about 20 minutes, until tender.
  • Remove and add the corn: Cook the corn for 5 minutes.
  • Remove and add the shrimp: Cook the shrimp for 2 minutes.
Shrimp boil

Alternative method: use a 5 gallon pot!

Got a huge 5 gallon pot? You can use it to make the basic recipe for 4 and boil everything at one time. Or, you can use it to make a shrimp boil for a crowd! Double this recipe to serve 8 to 12 people. This method works on the stovetop or even on a campfire. This is how we do a shrimp boil on the open fire! Here are the alterative instructions for a shrimp boil in a large 5 gallon pot:

  • Boil the broth as noted above.
  • Cook the potatoes and onions for 8 minutes.
  • Add the sausage and cook for 6 minutes (if using).
  • Add the corn and cook for 4 minutes
  • Add the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes.
Shrimp boil on an open fire
You can make a shrimp boil on an open fire: for camping or outdoor cooking

What is Old Bay? What’s a substitute?

The best part of a shrimp boil is the Old Bay seasoning (in our humble opinion, at least!). This tasty seasoning is famous for its use in seafood boils. Don’t even think about leaving it out when making this shrimp boil! It brings the classic flavor that’s traditional for this special dish. Here’s what to know:

  • Old Bay is an American seasoning blend invented in Maryland that’s used to season shrimp, crab, clam chowder, and other seafood dishes. The main ingredients in Old Bay are paprika, celery salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Of course, you can use it on just about anything!
  • Where to find Old Bay? In the US, you can find Old Bay in your grocery store in the spices aisle. Or, buy Old Bay online.
  • What’s a substitute for Old Bay? You can make it at home! Try our Homemade Old Bay Seasoning.
Shrimp boil

Serving a shrimp boil!

The best part about making a shrimp boil is serving it! Here’s what to know:

  • Line a table with parchment paper or white paper. No plates allowed! Throw the drained veggies and shrimp onto the table and let everyone go at it. You may want a bowl for discarded shrimp shells.
  • Season with Old Bay. Keep your Old Bay container on the table so that everyone can shake it on.
  • Bonus: it makes the dishes easy! Cleanup for a shrimp boil is so easy: just pull the paper off the table and throw everything in the trash.
How to make a shrimp boil

Side dishes to serve with a shrimp boil

A shrimp boil is such a unique meal, it can be hard to figure out what to serve with it. You’re not eating on plates, so it doesn’t quite make sense to eat a salad or coleslaw. But you can pull out small side plates if you’d like to serve traditional side dishes! Here’s what we suggest serving with a shrimp boil:

Seafood boil

This shrimp boil recipe is…

Pescatarian, dairy free and gluten-free.

Print
Shrimp boil

Classic Shrimp Boil!


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 to 6
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Here’s the best shrimp boil recipe! This easy meal of corn, potatoes and shrimp is perfect for a crowd. No plates required!


Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons celery seeds
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay, purchased or homemade, plus more for serving (required!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 garlic bulb, with top cut off
  • 4 lemons, washed and cut in half
  • 3 pounds red potatoes, cut in half
  • 3 yellow onions, quartered with root attached
  • 6 ears corn, cut in half
  • 2 pounds shrimp, shell on*

Instructions

  1. Simmer the broth*: In a large 8 quart pot, add 5 quarts water. Stir in the kosher salt, coriander seeds, celery seeds, Old Bay, cayenne, bay leaves, and entire garlic head (with top cut off). Cut the lemons in half and add them to the pot, squeezing in some juice as you add them. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer the water for 15 minutes (taste, it should taste like a seasoned soup).
  2. Cook the potatoes: Pull out the lemons with a slotted spoon and discard them. Add the onions and potatoes to the pot. Bring to a simmer and cook for 18 to 22 minutes total, until potatoes are tender.
  3. Cook the corn: Remove the potatoes and onions with a slotted spoon and place them in a very large bowl: cover it with aluminum foil to keep them warm. Add the corn to the broth and cook 5 to 6 minutes until bright yellow.
  4. Cook the shrimp: Remove the corn with a slotted spoon and add it to the bowl with the potatoes (cover it again with the foil). Add the shrimp to the broth and cook for about 2 minutes until bright pink and just cooked.
  5. Drain and serve: Drain the pot and shrimp. Return the drained potatoes, onions, corn and shrimp to the pot. Line the table with butcher paper or newspaper, then pour everything on top. Serve with Old Bay seasoning. 

Notes

*If desired, replace 1 pound shrimp with 1 pound kielbasa sausage. Boil the sliced sausage for 12 minutes with the potatoes and onions.

**Large pot method (works for open fire or stovetop): This method cooks everything separately because the largest pot most cooks have is 8 quart. If you have a very large pot that’s 4 to 5 gallons, you can double the recipe and cook it all in one pot. Cook the potatoes and onions for 8 minutes, add the sausage and cook for 6 minutes (if using), add the corn and cook for 4 minutes, then add the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes.

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

Keywords: Shrimp boil

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

Homemade Mac and Cheese

Here’s how to make homemade mac and cheese! Cook this ultimate comfort food from scratch and it’s better than any you’ve ever had. Ready for the best EVER homemade mac and cheese? We promise: it’s really worth pulling out the superlatives here! Making this comfort food from scratch makes it taste infinitely better than the kind from a box. Want to impress everyone? This homemade mac and cheese tastes homey and cozy, with the best gooey, cheesy sauce and crunchy breadcrumbs. Alex and I made this for a recent family gathering and everyone around the table agreed: “this is the best mac and cheese.” How to make homemade mac and cheese: basic steps! Here’s the thing. Making homemade mac and cheese is easy, but you need to know a few basic cooking techniques to make it perfect. Here are the two techniques you’ll have to master: How to cook pasta to al dente. How to make a roux. Once you’ve got these two skills under your belt, the rest is a piece of cake! Let’s talk through these briefly before we start. How (and why!) to cook pasta to al dente What is al dente? Al dente means “to the […]

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

Here’s how to make homemade mac and cheese! Cook this ultimate comfort food from scratch and it’s better than any you’ve ever had.

Homemade mac and cheese

Ready for the best EVER homemade mac and cheese? We promise: it’s really worth pulling out the superlatives here! Making this comfort food from scratch makes it taste infinitely better than the kind from a box. Want to impress everyone? This homemade mac and cheese tastes homey and cozy, with the best gooey, cheesy sauce and crunchy breadcrumbs. Alex and I made this for a recent family gathering and everyone around the table agreed: “this is the best mac and cheese.”

How to make homemade mac and cheese: basic steps!

Here’s the thing. Making homemade mac and cheese is easy, but you need to know a few basic cooking techniques to make it perfect. Here are the two techniques you’ll have to master:

  • How to cook pasta to al dente.
  • How to make a roux.

Once you’ve got these two skills under your belt, the rest is a piece of cake! Let’s talk through these briefly before we start.

How to make mac and cheese

How (and why!) to cook pasta to al dente

What is al dente? Al dente means “to the bite” in Italian. It refers to cooking pasta to just the point where it’s tender but has a subtly firm center. Here’s the thing: overcooked pasta is not only rubbery and unappetizing. It also has less nutrients and it makes you less full (read more here). Cooking the pasta for this homemade mac and cheese to al dente means it tastes better, you get more nutrients, and you’re full for longer. Win, win, win! Here are some notes on how to cook pasta to al dente:

  • Don’t trust the package instructions! Most pasta packages have timing that results in overcooked pasta. Start tasting the pasta a few minutes before the package indicates.
  • Taste and drain it right when it’s tender but firm inside. Some chefs say to look for a small white fleck at the core (others think it should just disappear for perfect al dente).
  • Move quickly! Pasta can go from al dente to overcooked in a matter of seconds.

Tips for making a roux

The main kitchen technique you need for homemade mac and cheese is making a roux. What’s a roux? A “roux” (pronounced “Roo“) is flour and butter cooked together and used to thicken sauces. It’s usually made from equal parts of flour and butter. For mac and cheese, you make a roux and then add the cheese. This is what makes the gooey sauce: cheese by its would be too sticky. There are a few important things to note about making a roux:

  • Measure out your ingredients in advance (mise en place). The cooking process goes fast, so you don’t want to be distracted by measuring. The French way to say measure out all your ingredients is mise en place, which means everything in its place.
  • Don’t leave the stove, and watch closely. The flour and butter can burn easily here! You must stand by the stove and start adding milk right when the flour turns golden brown.
  • Add the milk gradually. Pour in the milk and constantly whisk, adding it little by little, until it forms a smooth sauce. Once you get to this point, it’s smooth sailing!
Homemade mac and cheese

Best noodles for homemade mac and cheese

By the way…you don’t have to use macaroni for homemade mac and cheese! No: it’s actually even tastier when you use different types of noodles. You can use all sorts of short pasta shapes, from shells to bowties to penne. Here are our favorite types of short pasta for mac and cheese, in order of preference:

Mac and cheese

Best cheese for homemade mac and cheese

There are a few different cheeses that work well in this homemade mac and cheese. Here’s what we’d recommend, and then a few other options:

  • Use sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack. This is the perfect combination for a classic mac and cheese flavor! But be aware…
  • Don’t use aged cheddar! It sounds like it would taste delicious, but aged cheddar doesn’t have quite the right flavor. Stay with a standard sharp.
  • Get fancy with gouda, Havarti or white cheddar. Substitute the cheddar, or try our separate recipes: Gouda Mac and Cheese, Pesto Havarti Mac and Cheese, or White Cheddar Mac and Cheese.

Sides to serve with homemade mac and cheese

Cook this pasta to al dente and this cozy homemade mac and cheese is the stuff dreams are made of! We recently made a pan of this for family who were grieving a loved one, and it was just the right food that tastes like a hug. It’s perfect for anytime you need a cozy meal. Here are a few sides that are full of nutrients and fiber to make it into a healthy dinner idea:

Homemade Mac and Cheese

Tip: how to reheat mac and cheese!

Here’s a great homemade mac and cheese kitchen hack! You can save leftovers of mac and cheese in the refrigerator for about 5 days. But the cheese solidifies and dries out in the fridge! How to get it back to a creamy sauce? Here are our tips:

  • Place it in a skillet and add a splash of milk. Use a ratio of about 1 cup noodles to 1 tablespoon milk.
  • Heat over medium heat and stir until the sauce becomes creamy again!

This homemade mac and cheese recipe is…

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

Print
Homemade Mac and Cheese

*Best* Homemade Mac and Cheese


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 to 12 as a side, 6 to 8 as a main
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Here’s how to make homemade mac and cheese! Cook this ultimate comfort food from scratch and it’s better than any you’ve ever had.


Ingredients

  • 1 pound short pasta of any type (we like large shells)
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (not aged)
  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup seasoned Italian breadcrumbs (or plain breadcrumbs)

Instructions

  1. Boil the pasta: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add about 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Start tasting the pasta a few minutes before the package instructions and stop cooking once the pasta is just tender but still firm. Then drain the pasta in a colander and rinse it quickly with warm water.
  2. Meanwhile, make the sauce: Grate the cheese (if necessary). Measure out the butter, flour, milk, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the butter over medium heat; when it melts, stir in the flour. Heat the mixture for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Immediately when the color starts to turn light brown, reduce the heat to low. Start to add the milk very slowly: whisk constantly until the mixture is completely smooth, then add a bit more milk until it is fully incorporated, then repeat. Once all the milk is added, add the salt, onion powder, and garlic powder. Continue cooking on low heat for about 2 minutes to thicken slightly, whisking frequently. After 2 minutes, gradually add the grated cheese and keep stirring until it is fully melted.
  3. Top with breadcrumbs and serve: Stir the pasta into the cheese sauce, then pour it into a dish and top with breadcrumbs. If you’d like, place it in a baking dish and broil it for 2 to 4 minutes until the crumbs are lightly browned, turning the pan to even out the browning as necessary. Serve immediately. Refrigerate leftovers up to 4 days. Reheat on the stovetop with a splash of milk and stir until creamy. 

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

Keywords: Homemade mac and cheese, how to make mac and cheese

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

Cauliflower Stir Fry

This easy cauliflower stir fry is an ideal healthy and easy dinner idea! It’s full of nutrients and covered in a punchy sauce. Hands up if you love cauliflower! (All hands raise, over here.) This vegetable has star status among veggies these days: because there are endless creative ways to use it. Make it into tacos, use it as a plant based stand-in buffalo wings, or hide it in alfredo sauce. Here’s our new favorite way to use these tasty florets: in a cauliflower stir fry! Fry it until lightly charred and tender, then add bell peppers and a punchy stir fry sauce. It’s the best way to make eating your veggies irresistible! Try it as a healthy side dish or an easy plant based dinner (with the protein adders below). Ingredients in this cauliflower stir fry This cauliflower stir fry is fast and easy to make! On its own it works as a side dish, but eat it with a plant based protein (see below) and it’s an easy dinner. The main thing to note is that cauliflower requires much more time to stir fry than other veggies, so you’ll need to add it to the pan first. Here […]

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

This easy cauliflower stir fry is an ideal healthy and easy dinner idea! It’s full of nutrients and covered in a punchy sauce.

Cauliflower stir fry

Hands up if you love cauliflower! (All hands raise, over here.) This vegetable has star status among veggies these days: because there are endless creative ways to use it. Make it into tacos, use it as a plant based stand-in buffalo wings, or hide it in alfredo sauce. Here’s our new favorite way to use these tasty florets: in a cauliflower stir fry! Fry it until lightly charred and tender, then add bell peppers and a punchy stir fry sauce. It’s the best way to make eating your veggies irresistible! Try it as a healthy side dish or an easy plant based dinner (with the protein adders below).

Ingredients in this cauliflower stir fry

This cauliflower stir fry is fast and easy to make! On its own it works as a side dish, but eat it with a plant based protein (see below) and it’s an easy dinner. The main thing to note is that cauliflower requires much more time to stir fry than other veggies, so you’ll need to add it to the pan first. Here are the basic ingredients you’ll need for this stir fry:

Nutrition note: This recipe uses 2 bell peppers along with the cauliflower. 1 medium red bell pepper provides 169% of your daily vitamin C, so using 2 knocks this vitamin off the charts (Source)!

Cauliflower stir fry

Notes on the stir fry sauce

This cauliflower stir fry has an incredible stir fry sauce that brings in lots of savory, salty and sweet flavor! Use the recipe as printed, or another option is our Go To Stir Fry Sauce. It’s just as good and is an oil free option. Here are a few notes on the ingredients in the stir fry sauce:

  • Soy sauce: Use regular sodium to get the full seasoning. Tamari is a gluten free soy substitute, or use coconut aminos for a soy free gluten free substitute. You may need to add a pinch more salt in both cases.
  • Cornstarch: Arrow root powder is an effective substitute for cornstarch in stir fry sauces!
  • Miso: Miso is a Japanese fermented soybean paste that’s full of nutrients and savory flavor. It’s a must in this sauce and can’t be replicated. You can find miso in the international foods aisle near the Japanese ingredients. There are lots of types of miso: we used yellow or light miso here.
  • Gochujang (optional): Want to add a little spicy funkiness to your sauce? This Korean chili paste steps it up a notch.
How to make a cauliflower stir fry

How to make a cauliflower stir fry: some tips!

The overall process for this cauliflower stir fry is easy: but there are a few things to note to make it come out perfectly. Here’s what to know:

  • Stir fry the cauliflower about 5 minutes before adding other veggies. Here’s the kicker: cauliflower takes much longer than other veggies to stir fry. If you add them all at once, it will come out too tough. Make sure to follow the instructions exactly.
  • Use medium high heat. The point of a stir fry is to cook at high heat: quickly. This will get nice char marks onto your cauliflower.
  • Don’t double the recipe. The biggest tip for a stir fry: you can’t crowd the pan! If there are too many veggies, they’ll steam instead of stir fry. If you want to increase quantities, cook the veggies in batches then re-warm everything together.
Cauliflower stir fry

Add protein to make it a main dish!

Are you serving this cauliflower stir fry as a main dish? It’s a perfect healthy meal or fast and easy dinner idea. Just make sure to serve with a whole grain and consider adding protein to keep it filling. Here are some ideas:

  • Serve with Rice: Rice has protein (about 10% of your daily needs in 1 cup cooked) and fiber, which helps to make a filling meal. Try our White RiceBrown Rice, or Instant Pot Rice.
  • Cashews: Throw 3/4 cup cashews into this stir fry when you add the cauliflower. This makes a main dish of about 2 to 3 servings.
  • Edamame: Add 1 cup shelled, frozen edamame in the last 2 to 3 minutes of the cook time. Or eat edamame in the shell as a side: try Easy Edamame or Spicy Edamame.
  • Tofu: Cook Marinated Tofu or Pan Fried Tofu, then add it once the stir fry is done.
  • Shrimp: Make Garlic Shrimp but use sesame oil instead of butter and omit the lemon.
Cauliflower stir fry

Or serve cauliflower stir fry as a side dish

You also can serve this cauliflower stir fry as a side dish instead! It would be fantastic with the following main dish options:

This cauliflower stir fry recipe is…

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

Print
Cauliflower stir fry

Easy Cauliflower Stir Fry


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4 as a main with added protein, 4 as a side
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This easy cauliflower stir fry is an ideal healthy and easy dinner idea! It’s full of nutrients and covered in a punchy sauce. 


Ingredients

  • 1 medium head cauliflower (2 pounds)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 3 green onions
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar*
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (or tamari or coconut aminos)
  • 1 tablespoon light miso
  • 1/2 tablespoon gochujang (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (or maple syrup)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil (regular, not toasted)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)
  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil for stir frying, divided
  • To serve as a main dish: Add 3/4 cup cashews with cauliflower**, add 1 cup shelled frozen edamame in the last 2 to 3 minutes, or add Marinated Tofu, Pan Fried Tofu, or Sauteed Shrimp and serve with rice

Instructions

  1. Chop the cauliflower into small florets. Thinly slice the bell peppers. Thinly slice the white onion. Thinly slice the green onion.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together rice vinegar, soy sauce, miso, gochujang, sugar, sesame oil, and cornstarch (or make the Go To Stir Fry Sauce). 
  3. In large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons neutral oil over medium high heat. Add the cauliflower and a pinch of salt and cook unstirring, for 3 to 4 minutes until charred. Flip the florets and continue cooking for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the bell peppers, white onion, a pinch of salt and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and cook 4 to 6 minutes until tender.
  5. Turn off the heat. Pour in the sauce and add the green onions. Stir until the sauce coats everything and thickens. Serve immediately. 

Notes

*Or substitute the Go To Stir Fry Sauce for the sauce ingredients (oil free).

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stir Fry
  • Cuisine: Asian inspired

Keywords: Cauliflower stir fry

More great cauliflower recipes

There are so many tasty cauliflower recipes to try if you love this healthy veggie! Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Buffalo Cauliflower Wings They’re crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and tossed with spicy buffalo sauce.
  • Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower No one can resist this roasted cauliflower with Parmesan! It’s as irresistible as French fries, baked in a hot oven until browned and crisp.
  • Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Like a healthy alfredo sauce using cauliflower as a base! It has less calories and all the benefits of this healthy veggie.

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

Classic Burrata Pizza

This burrata pizza is full of cheesy goodness and authentic Italian flavor! This rich and creamy cheese is the ultimate pizza topping. Are you ready for this? Rich and creamy burrata cheese is one of life’s greatest pleasures. (At least, in our opinion!) So why not put it on a pizza? Here’s the ultimate burrata pizza recipe: a traditional Margherita pizza with gooey burrata cheese on top. It tastes like the best pizza you’ve had: but at least 10 times better. Alex and I have been perfecting the art of the artisan Naples-style pizza for over ten years, and this one is a new favorite. Here are a few tricks for how to make the best burrata pizza! What is burrata, exactly? Burrata is an Italian fresh mozzarella cheese with a surprise inside: the center is filled with cream! The creamy interior also contains cheese shreds, called straciatella. Cut into the ball and the creamy cheese comes spilling out. This cheese originated in Southern Italy; now it’s served all over the country and world. Alex and I first tried it on our honeymoon in Italy and have been huge fans ever since. Burrata is higher in fat content than normal mozzarella and […]

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

This burrata pizza is full of cheesy goodness and authentic Italian flavor! This rich and creamy cheese is the ultimate pizza topping.

Burrata pizza

Are you ready for this? Rich and creamy burrata cheese is one of life’s greatest pleasures. (At least, in our opinion!) So why not put it on a pizza? Here’s the ultimate burrata pizza recipe: a traditional Margherita pizza with gooey burrata cheese on top. It tastes like the best pizza you’ve had: but at least 10 times better. Alex and I have been perfecting the art of the artisan Naples-style pizza for over ten years, and this one is a new favorite. Here are a few tricks for how to make the best burrata pizza!

What is burrata, exactly?

Burrata is an Italian fresh mozzarella cheese with a surprise inside: the center is filled with cream! The creamy interior also contains cheese shreds, called straciatella. Cut into the ball and the creamy cheese comes spilling out. This cheese originated in Southern Italy; now it’s served all over the country and world. Alex and I first tried it on our honeymoon in Italy and have been huge fans ever since.

Burrata is higher in fat content than normal mozzarella and most other cheeses because of its creamy center. In fact, the word burrata comes from the Italian word burro, which means butter: referring to the buttery texture of this fancy cheese.

Burrata pizza

The tricks to how to make burrata pizza

Here’s the thing. Burrata has a lot of liquid inside. When you add burrata cheese to a pizza, you run the risk of it turning into a watery mess. There are a few different methods people use for adding burrata to pizza: some put it in dollops right onto the crust. Others place the whole ball of burrata on top of the pizza after baking, and cutting it distributes the cheese all over the pizza. Here’s the trick to how to make this burrata pizza (which we think is pretty perfect):

  • Cook the pizza with shredded mozzarella cheese first. This gets the crust browned and a base layer of cheese melted. If you put the burrata on in the beginning, it would become too watery by the end of the cook time.
  • Add torn pieces of burrata in the last 3 minutes. Yes, you’ll actually pull the pizza out of the oven, add the burrata chunks, and then bake it again. You’ll pull it out just when the burrata melts into a gooey uniform layer!

A 5 minute pizza sauce that tastes like Italy

The best way to make this burrata pizza taste like Italy: make our Easy Pizza Sauce and Pizza Dough! This pizza sauce is one of our favorite recipes on this website. Every time we make it, it amazes us. Here are the secrets to this sauce:

  • Use fire roasted tomatoes. These tomatoes are roasted, so their flavor is sweeter and more developed right out of the can. If you can’t find them, use the best quality tomatoes you can find.
  • Whiz them in a blender with garlic, olive oil and spices. All you need to do is give the ingredients a quick spin in the blender and it’s done. Give it a taste, and you’ll melt.
Pizza sauce

Homemade pizza dough is always worth it

The other key to burrata pizza is the pizza dough! These recipes are ones we’ve honed over years and years to make sure they have the best texture and flavor. Here are the options, in order of preference:

  • Master pizza dough! This Best Pizza Dough has the absolute perfect flavor and texture. We recommend trying this one at least once in your life. It is sublime.
  • Thin crust. Try this Thin Crust Pizza Dough! It’s easy to roll out into a thinner, crispier crust.
  • Pan pizza. An American style option: make it as a pan pizza in a cast iron skillet! It takes a little longer, but it’s an easier method.
  • Naan or flatbread pizza. For easy weeknight pizza! Try Naan Pizza or Flatbread Pizza.
Burrata pizza

A pizza stone makes the best burrata pizza

The master pizza dough or thin crust dough taste best if you cook them on a pizza stone. If you want authentic-style Italian pizza, this is your best bet. Why?

  • 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.

And that’s it! All of our tips for making the best burrata pizza…ever. If you’re a pizza connoisseur, you can also use a pizza oven: head to our Pizza Oven post. This is how you get the beautifully charred crust. But full disclosure: we recently learned a trick where you can ditch the pizza oven. Make the pizza in your standard oven, then use a blow torch to char the crust and a bit of the cheese! That’s what we used here, and it worked like a charm.

Burrata
Another way to eat this cheese? Burrata with Tomatoes.

More great pizza recipes

This burrata pizza is in our pizza hall of fame. Here are a few more pizza recipes that are in the top echelon for us:

This burrata pizza recipe is…

Vegetarian.

Print
Burrata pizza

Classic Burrata Pizza


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
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This burrata pizza is full of cheesy goodness and authentic Italian flavor! This rich and creamy cheese is the ultimate pizza topping. 


Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Make the pizza dough: Follow the Best Pizza Dough or Thin Crust Pizza 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°F. OR preheat your pizza oven (here’s the pizza oven we use).
  3. Make the pizza sauce: Make the Easy Pizza Sauce recipe. (You’ll use about 1/3 cup for the pizza; reserve the remaining sauce and refrigerate for up to 1 week.)
  4. 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. 
  5. Spread a thin layer of the pizza sauce over the dough, using about 1/4 to 1/3 cup. Add the shredded mozzarella cheese. Top with a thin layer of fresh grated Parmesan cheese and a few pinches of kosher salt.
  6. 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 3 minutes. While the pizza is baking, break the burrata into small chunks and place it in a bowl. 
  7. Add the burrata cheese: Use the pizza peel to pull the pizza out of the oven. Working quickly, spread the burrata chunks evenly over the dough. Place it back in the oven and cook 3 to 5 minutes until the cheese is melted. 
  8. Allow the pizza to cool for a minute before adding the basil on top (whole leaves, lightly torn, or thinly sliced). Slice into pieces and serve immediately.

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

Keywords: Burrata pizza

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