Simple Salmon Bowl

This salmon bowl recipe with rice is the definition of an easy and healthy dinner! Drizzle with a creamy sauce and prepare to be amazed. One of the easiest concepts there is? The bowl meal. Bowl food has surged in popularity in the past few years, and here’s why: it’s easy, healthy, and totally free-form. Even better, everything is cozier in a bowl (so says the Wall Street Journal). So here’s the epitome of a healthy bowl meal: this Simplest Salmon Bowl! The tender, seasoned fish is offset with rice, crisp tender broccoli, and covered in an easy, creamy flavor popping sauce. Try the Tahini Sauce or Miso Sauce, and prepare to be amazed. Here’s how to build this simple dinner idea — and a few cheater options to make it even quicker. Pick your grain: rice or other! This recipe is designed as a salmon rice bowl, but you could use any sort of whole grain you like! It’s a loose concept that’s like our grain bowl: you can use just about anything. Here are a few ideas, listed from quickest to longest lead time: Couscous: Couscous is small round pasta, and it cooks in just 5 minutes. (If […]

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

This salmon bowl recipe with rice is the definition of an easy and healthy dinner! Drizzle with a creamy sauce and prepare to be amazed.

Salmon Bowl

One of the easiest concepts there is? The bowl meal. Bowl food has surged in popularity in the past few years, and here’s why: it’s easy, healthy, and totally free-form. Even better, everything is cozier in a bowl (so says the Wall Street Journal). So here’s the epitome of a healthy bowl meal: this Simplest Salmon Bowl! The tender, seasoned fish is offset with rice, crisp tender broccoli, and covered in an easy, creamy flavor popping sauce. Try the Tahini Sauce or Miso Sauce, and prepare to be amazed. Here’s how to build this simple dinner idea — and a few cheater options to make it even quicker.

Pick your grain: rice or other!

This recipe is designed as a salmon rice bowl, but you could use any sort of whole grain you like! It’s a loose concept that’s like our grain bowl: you can use just about anything. Here are a few ideas, listed from quickest to longest lead time:

  • Couscous: Couscous is small round pasta, and it cooks in just 5 minutes. (If speed is your goal, think about using smoked salmon too! See below.)
  • Rice: White rice is done in 20 minutes, brown rice takes about 40 minutes (but you can make ahead and reheat it!)
  • Quinoa: Mix up a pot of perfectly seasoned quinoa: it’s filling and gluten free
  • Farro: Farro is another tasty whole grain that’s chewy like barley
Salmon rice bowl

Find the best quality fish for a salmon bowl

Next up: let’s talk about the salmon! Salmon can vary widely in quality. You’ll want to find the highest quality salmon you can find. Some frozen salmon can be low quality and have a very fishy taste. Here’s how to find a good piece of salmon for this salmon bowl:

  • Fresh salmon is best. You can find good frozen salmon, but for the very best salmon, buy it fresh from your local seafood counter. Frozen also works if you can find Coho (see below).
  • 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.

Cheater method: use canned salmon or smoked salmon!

Want to save money and time with your salmon? Use canned salmon or smoked salmon for this salmon bowl instead! Here are a few notes about each:

  • Canned salmon is the cheapest option. It has the texture of canned tuna, but it tastes like salmon (yum!). Season it to taste with olive oil and salt and pepper before serving.
  • Smoked salmon is about the same cost as fresh salmon, but it doesn’t require cooking! All you have to do is flake it off into the bowl and it has incredible flavor.

Time saver tip: Your fastest salmon bowl recipe is using couscous and smoked salmon. You can likely make the entire meal in about 15 minutes!

Salmon bowl recipe

Make the best pan fried broccoli

What else do you need for this salmon bowl recipe? Broccoli! Broccoli is our go-to side vegetable because it’s got fiber, protein, and loads of vitamin C. You can cook broccoli in many different ways, but the fastest and easiest method is this Pan Fried Broccoli (That We Make Every Day). And we really do make it almost every day!

Try this method, and we hope you’ll be convinced to add it into your life as a side dish for lots of meals…even outside of this salmon rice bowl!

Top it with a simple sauce

Last up: the sauce! Here’s what ties the entire bowl together. And for us: we don’t want to have to whip out a blender here. No, we want sauces that take no time at all to whip up! Here are our 2 preferred sauces for this bowl, and then a few other ideas:

  • Tahini Sauce: This all-purpose tahini sauce is bursting with savory and delicious flavor (Alex’s favorite)
  • Miso Sauce: This miso-based sauce is another umami-loaded sauce with a hint of citrus (my favorite)
  • Other options: Change up the vibe and try our Lemon Dill Sauce or even White BBQ Sauce
Salmon bowl

Salmon bowl variations: other veggies or sauces!

There are so many ways to vary this salmon bowl! It’s more of an idea than a recipe, really. But at the same time, it’s helpful to have all the cooking methods in one place in a recipe (right?). Here are some more ideas for varying this salmon bowl:

What would you serve with your salmon bowl? Let us know in the comments below!

This salmon bowl recipe is…

Gluten-free, dairy-free and pescatarian.

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Salmon bowl

Simple Salmon Bowl


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
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This salmon bowl recipe is the definition of a fast and easy dinner! Throw it all together with a killer sauce and prepare to be amazed.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry rice of any type (or couscous for a quicker meal)
  • 1 recipe Tahini Sauce or Miso Sauce
  • 1 pound wild caught salmon fillets, skin on*
  • Olive oil 
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh broccoli, stem on (about 3 large heads or 6 heaping cups florets)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder (optional)

Instructions

  1. Make the rice: Start the rice (go to How to Make Rice or Instant Pot Rice).
  2. Mix the sauce: Make the Tahini Sauce or Miso Sauce (or make in advance and refrigerate). 
  3. Broil the salmon**: 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 with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (evenly divided among the fillets) and fresh ground pepper. Broil 4 to 5 minutes for very thin salmon or 7 to 10 minutes for 1-inch thick salmon, until it’s just tender and pink at the center (the internal temperature should be between 125 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit in the center). 
  4. Meanwhile, make the broccoli: Chop the broccoli into medium sized florets. In small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup water with the garlic powder, onion powder and mustard powder. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil to a large skillet and heat it on medium high heat. Add broccoli and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook 2 to 3 minutes until starting to brown, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium, and add the water and spices. Cook an additional 4 to 5 minutes until fork tender, stirring occasionally. Taste and add additional salt and black pepper as necessary. Serve immediately.

Notes

*Want to save money and time? Use canned or smoked salmon! For canned, season to taste with olive oil, salt and pepper. For smoked salmon, just flake it into the bowl: it has incredible flavor as is. 

**If you prefer, you can also pan fry the salmon. Go to Pan Seared Salmon or Blackened Salmon.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Salmon bowl, Salmon bowl recipe, Salmon rice bowl

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

Best-Ever Oatmeal Pancakes (Really!)

Hold onto your hats, this is the BEST oatmeal pancakes recipe! They’re easy to whip up with 100% oats, and taste like vanilla cake. Looking for a breakfast recipe that’s healthy and outrageously delicious? Meet these incredible Oatmeal Pancakes! They’re fluffy, they’re made with 100% oats, and they’re easy to whip up in a blender. Even better: they taste like vanilla cake! Yes, these are the best oatmeal pancakes we’ve had! Many oatmeal pancakes can be very dense or fall apart easily. These work like a charm, and they’re full of fiber and protein. Breakfast just got better. Ingredients in the best oatmeal pancakes recipe (100% oats!) Why make oatmeal pancakes with flour when you can make them with all rolled oats? The blender is your best friend here: simply throw all ingredients into the blender and give it a whiz! It breaks down the oats into the texture of flour and makes a completely smooth batter. This trick is something we perfected in our banana bread muffins, and we’ve refined it here with some inspiration from these apple pancakes. Here’s what you’ll need: Old Fashioned rolled oats: Don’t be tempted to substitute steel cut (here’s why). Greek yogurt: This […]

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

Hold onto your hats, this is the BEST oatmeal pancakes recipe! They’re easy to whip up with 100% oats, and taste like vanilla cake.

Oatmeal pancakes

Looking for a breakfast recipe that’s healthy and outrageously delicious? Meet these incredible Oatmeal Pancakes! They’re fluffy, they’re made with 100% oats, and they’re easy to whip up in a blender. Even better: they taste like vanilla cake! Yes, these are the best oatmeal pancakes we’ve had! Many oatmeal pancakes can be very dense or fall apart easily. These work like a charm, and they’re full of fiber and protein. Breakfast just got better.

Ingredients in the best oatmeal pancakes recipe (100% oats!)

Why make oatmeal pancakes with flour when you can make them with all rolled oats? The blender is your best friend here: simply throw all ingredients into the blender and give it a whiz! It breaks down the oats into the texture of flour and makes a completely smooth batter. This trick is something we perfected in our banana bread muffins, and we’ve refined it here with some inspiration from these apple pancakes. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Old Fashioned rolled oats: Don’t be tempted to substitute steel cut (here’s why).
  • Greek yogurt: This is key to getting just the right fluffy texture in an oatmeal pancake recipe. It also helps to hold the pancakes together: and adds protein to boot!
  • Eggs: Eggs also work as a binder. (You can make pancakes without eggs too, but not here.)
  • Milk of choice: Use whatever is on hand in your fridge: you can also use almond or oat milk.
  • Salted butter: Butter is key to the flavor, but you can also sub melted coconut oil.
  • Brown sugar: A touch of sugar sweetens just enough; use maple syrup if you like
  • Vanilla extract: You’ll use a lot, but these pancakes deliver big on vanilla cake flavor!
  • Baking powder & kosher salt
Oatmeal pancake recipe

Tip for cooking: use low heat!

Here’s a tip for cooking any pancake recipe, whether it’s oatmeal pancakes or not. Use low to medium low heat. It takes longer than you expect, but it makes for a perfectly cooked pancake. Here’s why:

  • Low and slow is key! Many home cooks have the heat turned too high when they cook pancakes. It makes them come out burned on the outside and raw on the inside. Low and slow is the way to go!
  • Flip them when bubbles form on the surface and start to pop. It’s hard to wait for this signal, but trust us! This trick works every time and makes the perfectly cooked pancake.

Oatmeal pancakes variations: mix-ins and more!

We like this oatmeal pancakes recipe straight up: it tastes like vanilla birthday cake and it’s so, so tasty! But you can add other mix-ins if you’d like. Here are a few ideas:

  • Blueberry oatmeal pancakes: Use 1 cup fresh or frozen. Don’t add blueberries to the batter! Add them after you pour the circles of batter onto the griddle.
  • Raspberry oatmeal pancakes: Sounds tasty! Do the same as above.
  • Chocolate chip oatmeal pancakes: We’re not chocolate for breakfast people, but we know some people are. Add 1/3 cup chocolate chips.

What else would you add to your oatmeal pancakes? Let us know in the comments below!

Oatmeal pancakes

Toppings for this oatmeal pancakes recipe

Here’s the other fun part: topping your oatmeal pancakes! Once you smell that fragrant vanilla smell, you’re going to want to eat these immediately. Here are a few ideas we have:

Vegan variations

We haven’t tried a vegan spin on these oatmeal pancakes. Here are a few options in case you’re looking for a vegan breakfast:

Oatmeal pancake recipe

Oatmeal nutrition info

These oatmeal pancakes are made with 100% oats, which makes them a healthy and naturally gluten free pancake. All things considered, they’re a healthy breakfast idea that’s in contrast to the typical refined flour and sugar flapjack. Why eat oats in the morning? Here are some of the nutritional benefits of oats (source):

  • Oats are high in plant based protein. 1 cup of raw oats have 11 grams protein. That’s about 20% of your daily need!
  • Oats are high in fiber. 1 cup of raw oats have 8 grams of fiber, which is about 30% of the daily value.
  • Oats are very filling: they may reduce appetite and help you eat less calories.

This oatmeal pancake recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, go to Vegan Pancakes instead.

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Best-Ever Oatmeal Pancakes


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

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

Description

Hold onto your hats, this is the BEST oatmeal pancakes recipe! They’re easy to whip up with 100% oats, and taste like vanilla cake.


Ingredients

  • 2 cups Old Fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until a smooth batter forms. 
  2. Wait 5 minutes for the batter to thicken. 
  3. Lightly grease a skillet with butter and wipe off extra grease with a paper towel. Heat the skillet over low heat. Pour the thickened batter into small circles (about 1/3 cup each). Cook the pancakes until the bubbles pop on the top and the bottoms are golden: low and slow is the key! Then flip them and cook until golden on the other side. 
  4. Add 1 tablespoon milk to the remaining batter and stir so that it is pourable. Cook the remaining batter, adjusting the heat as necessary (the skillet can get very hot on the second batch). Place the cooked pancakes under an inverted bowl to keep them warm. Serve immediately with maple syrup.
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Blender
  • Cuisine: Breakfast

Keywords: Oatmeal pancakes

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

Savory Oatmeal

This savory oatmeal recipe is an ideal savory breakfast idea! It’s wholesome, delicious and easy to make, topped with an egg and veggies. Have you tried Savory Oatmeal? If not, it’s high time to start. The American breakfast is built on sugar (pancakes, waffles, even yogurt and granola). But want more savory breakfast ideas? This recipe is the place to start! This makes a pot of chewy toasted oats that are irresistibly tasty. Top the bowl with a fried egg and garlicky sauteed kale, and the yolk makes a creamy sauce that covers everything in goodness. It’s no secret that we’re oatmeal obsessed around here…and eating a veggie-filled healthy breakfast just got easier. The method for savory oatmeal: toasted and chewy! This savory oatmeal recipe uses our standard method for oatmeal: toasted and textured! It’s a method we learned a while ago and have been riffing on ever since (see this Vegan Oatmeal). Instead of gooey, creamy and gloppy, you get chewy and toasty oats. Here’s the basic method: Toast the oats in butter for a few minutes. You’ll do this first before adding the water. It brings great flavor to the grains and floods your kitchen with an incredible […]

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

This savory oatmeal recipe is an ideal savory breakfast idea! It’s wholesome, delicious and easy to make, topped with an egg and veggies.

Savory oatmeal

Have you tried Savory Oatmeal? If not, it’s high time to start. The American breakfast is built on sugar (pancakes, waffles, even yogurt and granola). But want more savory breakfast ideas? This recipe is the place to start! This makes a pot of chewy toasted oats that are irresistibly tasty. Top the bowl with a fried egg and garlicky sauteed kale, and the yolk makes a creamy sauce that covers everything in goodness. It’s no secret that we’re oatmeal obsessed around here…and eating a veggie-filled healthy breakfast just got easier.

The method for savory oatmeal: toasted and chewy!

This savory oatmeal recipe uses our standard method for oatmeal: toasted and textured! It’s a method we learned a while ago and have been riffing on ever since (see this Vegan Oatmeal). Instead of gooey, creamy and gloppy, you get chewy and toasty oats. Here’s the basic method:

  • Toast the oats in butter for a few minutes. You’ll do this first before adding the water. It brings great flavor to the grains and floods your kitchen with an incredible smell.
  • Add the water (less than typical oatmeal). Less liquid makes for chewier oats.
  • Turn off the heat and allow to stand. Nope, no need to stir with this method! This solidifies the chewy texture — and gives you time to prep the toppings.
Savory oatmeal recipes

Best savory oatmeal toppings

You can simply make a pot of oatmeal and stop there. In fact, the way I eat my savory oatmeal on the daily? Oatmeal and peanut butter. (That’s it: no added sugar!) But for this savory oatmeal, we wanted to make it a colorful, beautiful bowl with a few veggies. Here’s the toppings we liked best, and a few other topping ideas:

  • Fried egg: The egg is required in our minds! It makes a lovely sauce to cover the bowl, and adds protein. But want to make vegan savory oatmeal? Skip it and see below for more details.
  • Sauteed greens: Saute greens with garlic and you’ve got an incredible savory topping! Our favorite is Tuscan kale: but you can use spinach, chard or even Collard greens (but cook them a little longer than specified until tender).
  • Tomatoes: Mix them with a hint of balsamic vinegar to make them pop!
  • Green onion: Green onion adds a lovely delicate onion flavor as a garnish, but it’s optional.
  • Parmesan cheese: Another optional topping: but a few spinkles of shredded cheese takes it over the top.

More topping ideas!

Savory oatmeal is a place where you can use your creativity and utilize whatever you have on hand in your fridge and pantry! Here are some ideas that come to mind:

Savory oatmeal

How to fry an egg for savory oatmeal

One skill you’ll need for this savory oatmeal: how to fry an egg perfectly! It’s not hard, but requires a bit of finesse. We like them best over easy here, so the yolk spills out and makes a savory sauce. But you can cook the yolk too if you prefer! Here’s what to know:

  • Use medium low heat. It’s easy to over cook, so watch the heat! Butter has the best flavor; but you can sub olive oil if desired. Heat the butter over medium low heat. Then add the eggs and sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt and a few grinds black pepper. 
  • Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the whites are firm but the yolk is runny. Don’t flip them!
  • Or cook longer for a harder yolk. If you prefer over easy, medium, or hard, flip the egg and cook an additional 20 seconds, 1 minute, or 2 minutes, respectively. 
Savory breakfast

This recipe serves 2 large or 4 small

One note on serving sizes! This savory oatmeal recipe makes 4 cups of cooked oatmeal. Depending on what you’re looking for, this can be either 2 large or 4 small servings.

  • 1 cup cooked oatmeal is the standard serving size, but you may want a more filling breakfast. Typically we like a little more than 1 cup. But this recipe has toppings so it’s pretty filling.
  • For 4, just cook 4 eggs! Then divide the veg between the servings.

Vegan variation

Are you looking for vegan savory oatmeal instead? The egg is not required. Here are some ideas for adding plant-based protein to savory oatmeal:

Savory oatmeal recipes

More savory breakfast ideas

Need more savory breakfast ideas? We’ve got your back. Here are a few ideas we love:

This savory oatmeal recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, see the section above.

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Savory oatmeal recipes

Easy Savory Oatmeal


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: 2 large or 4 small servings
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Savory oatmeal is an ideal savory breakfast idea! It’s wholesome, delicious and easy to make, topped with a fried egg and veggies. See vegan savory oatmeal ideas in the section above (scroll up).


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salted butter, divided
  • 2 cups Old Fashioned rolled oats (do not use instant oats or steel cut oats)*
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale (or 8 cups chopped spinach or chard, or baby greens)*
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 avocado. chopped (optional)
  • 2 eggs**
  • For the garnish: Thinly sliced green onion, Parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. Make the oatmeal: Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the oats and toast for about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often, until fragrant. Add 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully pour in the water, adding the lid immediately since the water will spit. Give the pan a swirl. Allow to sit for 7 minutes.
  2. Saute the kale: Meanwhile, wash and dry the kale leaves, then destem and roughly chop the kale. Smash and peel the garlic clove. Add the olive oil to a large nonstick or cast iron skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the smashed garlic and kale and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently until wilted and bright green. Remove from the heat and add 2 pinches kosher salt and several grinds of fresh ground pepper. Discard the garlic cloves and set aside.
  3. Prep the veggies: Slice the cherry tomatoes. Add 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and 1 pinch kosher salt. If using, chop the avocado and slice the green onions
  4. Cook the eggs: In a large cast iron or non-stick skillet, melt the remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter over medium low heat until starting to foam. Add the eggs and sprinkle with 1 pinch of kosher salt and a few grinds black pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the whites are firm (do not flip). If you prefer over easy, medium, or hard, flip the egg and cook an additional 20 seconds, 1 minute, or 2 minutes, respectively. 
  5. Serve: Place the oatmeal in bowls. Top with the sautéed kale, eggs, tomatoes, eggs, and avocado (if using). Garnish with thinly sliced green onions and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese (optional).

Notes

*We recommend Tuscan kale, a variety of kale that is dark green with flat leaves and a mild flavor. Curly kale is spicier and more bitter. But you can use it if that’s all you can find! 

**You can stretch this recipe to feed 4 easily! Just make 4 eggs. The oatmeal quantity makes 4 cups cooked, enough for 4 small servings or 2 large.  

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

Keywords: Savory oatmeal, savory oatmeal recipes

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

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

These cozy banana oatmeal muffins are easy to whip up in a blender! Add streusel for a sweet crunch, or go healthy with a sprinkle of oats. Got a few spotty bananas on hand? Try these cozy Banana Oatmeal Muffins! These tasty muffins are beautifully fluffy and moist, perfect for using up this tasty fruit. Even better: they’re mostly made with whole grain oats! There’s a bit of flour to give it a light body, but these muffins are almost just as a bowl of oatmeal. Top them with a light streusel topping and they’re a tasty treat that works any time of the day. Here’s how to make them! Banana oatmeal muffins…made in a blender! These banana oatmeal muffins are so cozy and easy to whip up! The key: they’re made in a blender! It blends the oats into a fine flour, and makes it easy to put together the dough. There are no mixing bowls needed! Here’s what to know about this type of muffin: Use the ripest bananas you can. Bananas make magic when they’re brown and spotty. The riper the better, here! You’ll get a beautifully banana-scented flavor and the best sweetness. A quality blender makes […]

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

These cozy banana oatmeal muffins are easy to whip up in a blender! Add streusel for a sweet crunch, or go healthy with a sprinkle of oats.

Banana oatmeal muffins

Got a few spotty bananas on hand? Try these cozy Banana Oatmeal Muffins! These tasty muffins are beautifully fluffy and moist, perfect for using up this tasty fruit. Even better: they’re mostly made with whole grain oats! There’s a bit of flour to give it a light body, but these muffins are almost just as a bowl of oatmeal. Top them with a light streusel topping and they’re a tasty treat that works any time of the day. Here’s how to make them!

Banana oatmeal muffins…made in a blender!

These banana oatmeal muffins are so cozy and easy to whip up! The key: they’re made in a blender! It blends the oats into a fine flour, and makes it easy to put together the dough. There are no mixing bowls needed! Here’s what to know about this type of muffin:

  • Use the ripest bananas you can. Bananas make magic when they’re brown and spotty. The riper the better, here! You’ll get a beautifully banana-scented flavor and the best sweetness.
  • A quality blender makes easy work of it. A high speed blender is best: but these work in even the slowest of blenders. It just takes a while longer!
  • Don’t over-blend. Whiz just until the ingredients come together into a smooth dough.
Banana oatmeal muffins

Add streusel topping or an alternative for healthy banana muffins

The fun part about these banana oatmeal muffins? They have a crunchy, sweet streusel topping! It adds just the right sweetness to every muffin bite. But if you want an even healthier banana oatmeal muffins? Here’s an alternative:

  • The streusel blends butter, oats, flour, sugar and cinnamon. Mix them together with a fork until crumbly. You can also use coconut oil as a vegan option.
  • Turbinado sugar makes the crunchiest topping. Turbinado sugar is raw sugar with large, light brown crystals. It makes a great crunchy texture on top. Use brown sugar as a substitute if desired.
  • For healthy banana oatmeal muffins, use just oats and sugar. Roughly chop the oats with a knife. Then sprinkle both raw oats and turbinado sugar or brown sugar on top. It’s easier and healthier!
Healthy banana oatmeal muffins

Variations and mix-ins!

There are lots of great mix-ins for banana oatmeal muffins! Of course if you’re looking for a healthy banana muffin, stick with them as is. But to mix it up, try these variations:

  • Blueberry banana muffins: Fold 1 cup blueberries into the batter before baking.
  • Banana chocolate chip muffins: Add 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips to the batter.
  • Banana walnut muffins: Add 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts to the batter.

Storage info for banana oatmeal muffins

What’s the best way to store banana oatmeal muffins? These muffins have special storage instructions because of the crunchy topping. Here’s what to know:

  • Store at room temperature 4 days with a paper towel, or lightly covered with foil. If you store in a sealed container, the topping can become very soft. Instead, add a paper towel to the container to absorb excess moisture. Or simply cover the top of the container with foil.
  • Freeze for up to 3 months. These banana oatmeal muffins freeze well. The topping may not have quite the same texture after freezing, but they’re still delicious. The oat and sugar topping may do better after freezing.
Banana oatmeal muffins

More banana muffins

Looking for more options? We’ve got lots to choose from. Banana muffins are somewhat of a hobby around here! Here are our top muffin recipes starring banana:

This banana oatmeal muffins recipe is…

Vegetarian, plant-based, vegan, and dairy-free. For gluten free, go to Gluten Free Banana Muffins.

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Banana Oatmeal Muffins


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 10 muffins
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

These cozy banana oatmeal muffins are easy to whip up in a blender! Add streusel for a sweet crunch, or go healthy with a sprinkle of oats.


Ingredients

For the batter

  • 3 large ripe bananas (broken into pieces)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil
  • 1 egg (or flax egg for vegan)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or 1/2 tablespoon almond extract)
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (for gluten free, go to Blender Muffins)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the streusel topping (or use 3 tablespoons roughly chopped oats & 2 tablespoons turbinado or brown sugar)

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons rolled oats
  • 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar or dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter (or coconut oil for vegan)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Mix the streusel topping ingredients, with the butter cut into small pieces, in a small bowl with a fork until crumbly. Or, mix the optional chopped oats and brown sugar. Set aside.
  3. Combine all the batter ingredients in blender and blend until a smooth batter forms (don’t over blend). Pour into 10 muffin cups. Crumble a bit of the streusel topping onto each muffin.
  4. Bake 25 to 28 minutes until a toothpick comes out mostly clean with a few clinging crumbs. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins and place them on a cooling rack. Cool 1 hour until room temperature. Store up to 4 days in a sealed container with a paper towel inside (to keep the topping crumbly) or frozen up to 3 months. You can also refrigerate the muffins, but they can become dry and the topping becomes soft. 
  • Category: Muffins
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Muffins

Keywords: Banana oatmeal muffins

More banana recipes

Got bananas on hand? There’s lots more to make! Here are a few more banana recipes to try:

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

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

These peanut butter oatmeal bars are the best trick! They’re no bake, easy and healthy; and the flavor is out of this world. Here’s our new favorite trick for healthy treats: Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars! These are everything you want in a treat: irresistible sweet peanut-y flavor, chewy texture, and a little drizzle of chocolate on top! These no bake oatmeal bars are like our famous bliss bite cookies, but easier and healthier (if that’s possible). And we can’t get enough of them! Our son Larson often asks with a sly smile if he can have an oatmeal bar: and we’re happy to indulge him. This sweet treat optimizes whole grain oats while hitting it big in the sweet, salty and satisfying department. Let’s get cooking! Though really…there’s no real cooking involved. Ingredients for peanut butter oatmeal bars There are only 5 ingredients you’ll need for these peanut butter oatmeal bars…and two are in the recipe title! That’s the ultimate easy recipe, right there. We love these no bake oatmeal bars for treats, but they’re also great for snacks since they’re mostly just whole grain oats. For breakfast bars, we prefer our straight up Oatmeal Bars: but you could also […]

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

These peanut butter oatmeal bars are the best trick! They’re no bake, easy and healthy; and the flavor is out of this world.

Peanut butter oatmeal bars

Here’s our new favorite trick for healthy treats: Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars! These are everything you want in a treat: irresistible sweet peanut-y flavor, chewy texture, and a little drizzle of chocolate on top! These no bake oatmeal bars are like our famous bliss bite cookies, but easier and healthier (if that’s possible). And we can’t get enough of them! Our son Larson often asks with a sly smile if he can have an oatmeal bar: and we’re happy to indulge him. This sweet treat optimizes whole grain oats while hitting it big in the sweet, salty and satisfying department. Let’s get cooking! Though really…there’s no real cooking involved.

Ingredients for peanut butter oatmeal bars

There are only 5 ingredients you’ll need for these peanut butter oatmeal bars…and two are in the recipe title! That’s the ultimate easy recipe, right there. We love these no bake oatmeal bars for treats, but they’re also great for snacks since they’re mostly just whole grain oats. For breakfast bars, we prefer our straight up Oatmeal Bars: but you could also eat these for breakfast as well. Here’s what you’ll need for these babies:

  • Old Fashioned rolled oats: Use plain old oats here: not steel cut or instant oats!
  • Peanut butter: We like natural peanut butter with no added sugar or salt, but use your favorite brand.
  • Honey: Honey has the best warm flavor and sticky texture. See below for a few vegan options!
  • Cinnamon: This spice adds just the right nuance.
  • Dark chocolate: All you need is a 1 ounce of dark chocolate — it’s just a hint of the good stuff!
Peanut butter oatmeal bars

Chocolate drizzle is optional

The dark chocolate is optional here: but it’s a great addition! Just the small amount of chocolate adds a great punch, but still keeps the treats on the healthy side. How?

  • Dark chocolate adds just 8 calories per bar! That’s for the large sized bar (see more on that below). We’re not in the habit of counting calories, but we were pleasantly surprised to note that the drizzle doesn’t take it into decadent territory.
  • Also try milk chocolate, peanut butter, or white chocolate. Some variations? Melt semi-sweet chocolate, peanut butter chips, or white chocolate chips into a drizzle. White chocolate and dark chocolate together would also look lovely.

Cut them into large or small servings

Serving size is helpful when you’re looking at healthy treats! These peanut butter oatmeal bars have two size options depending on what you’re looking for:

  • Cut them into 20 bars, 4 x 5-inches. We like small rectangles vs the standard large squares you get if you simply divide a 9 x 9 pan evenly into 16. Call us crazy, but it’s more fun to eat this size!
  • Or go smaller: cut those in half to make 40 bars! Love curbing a sweets craving with a little morsel? Go for 40 small bars: they’re perfect for little nibbles.
No bake peanut butter oatmeal bars

Vegan no bake oatmeal bars

Want to make vegan peanut butter oatmeal bars instead? The honey in this recipe is important for creating a nuanced, warm flavor and the sticky texture. Typically we use maple syrup as a vegan sweetener, but it doesn’t have quite the same texture and sweetness here. We recommend using agave syrup: it’s slightly stickier than maple. But you can use maple syrup if it’s all you have!

How to store peanut butter oatmeal bars

These peanut butter oatmeal bars are the perfect treat to throw in the fridge and gobble up on moments notice! They keep very well in the fridge or freezer; here’s what to know:

  • Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. If you do the drizzle, wait for it to dry, then place wax paper between the layers. Or just don’t care and stack them, like we do!
  • Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. They also freeze well…and honestly taste great popped out of the freezer too.
No bake oatmeal bars

More healthy bars

We love these healthy bars as a sweet treat that’s not decadent and fills us up with whole grains! Here are a few more healthy bars that taste amazing:

This peanut butter oatmeal bars recipe is…

Vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free. For vegan and plant-based, see the notes above.

Print
Peanut butter oatmeal bars

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 20 bars (or 40 small bars)
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

These peanut butter oatmeal bars are the best trick! They’re no bake, easy and healthy; and the flavor is out of this world.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (no sugar added, or sunflower butter for nut free)
  • 1/2 cup honey (or 1/2 cup agave syrup* for vegan)
  • 4 cups Old Fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 ounce dark chocolate (2 large squares)

Instructions

  1. Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl. Add a sheet of parchment paper to a 9 x 9 pan. Place the ingredients in the pan and press it into an even layer. Use a small glass to roll over the top to get it smooth. 
  2. Freeze the bars for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the freezer and use the parchment to lift it out of the pan. Cut into 20 rectangles (4 x 5 inches) or 40 small rectangles.
  3. In the microwave with short intervals or over a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips, stirring until they come together into a glossy chocolate. If using the microwave, use short bursts of 10 seconds or so and stir after each: be careful not to overheat the chocolate or get any water in the chocolate, which will cause it to seize up. When melted, drizzle over the bars and allow to cool.  You can eat right away, or refrigerate for about 1 hour for a more solid texture. Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks (or frozen for several months, placing wax paper between the layers). 

Notes

*Maple syrup is generally our sweetener of choice, but the flavor and texture of honey really make these bars. Since maple syrup is not as sticky as honey, for vegan substitute we recommend agave syrup. 

  • Category: Dessert or Snack
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian

Keywords: Peanut butter oatmeal bars, No bake oatmeal bars, Healthy bars

More with peanut butter

Who doesn’t love nutty peanut butter? There’s nothing it doesn’t make better. Here are a few more peanut butter recipes to enjoy:

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

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

Pomegranate Salad

This pomegranate salad is absolutely irresistible! It stars a sweet tart salad dressing and the vibrant crunch of pomegranate seeds. Pomegranate is one of the most special foods on the planet (we think). Each bright pink seed has an irresistible sweet tart pop and crunch! We love downing them by the handful, but our next favorite way to eat them? Pomegranate salad! Crunchy pomegranate seeds make a beautiful confetti over the top of leafy greens. Add tart green apple slices, toasted pecans, and goat cheese or feta crumbles, and it’s a true symphony of flavor! Pick from a few different dressing choices: our favorites are apple cider vinegar dressing or pomegranate vinaigrette. Let’s get started! Pomegranate salad ingredients There are lots of ways to make a pomegranate salad! This is our very favorite combination of flavors: but you’ll see there are endless choices! Below we’ll talk through a few of the different variations you can use. Here’s what you’ll need for this tasty and easy side dish: Pomegranate seeds: we recommend seeding them from a fresh pomegranate. See below! Shallot Granny Smith apple or pear: either are tasty: or you could use both! Pecans or walnuts Mixed greens Goat cheese […]

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

This pomegranate salad is absolutely irresistible! It stars a sweet tart salad dressing and the vibrant crunch of pomegranate seeds.

Pomegranate salad

Pomegranate is one of the most special foods on the planet (we think). Each bright pink seed has an irresistible sweet tart pop and crunch! We love downing them by the handful, but our next favorite way to eat them? Pomegranate salad! Crunchy pomegranate seeds make a beautiful confetti over the top of leafy greens. Add tart green apple slices, toasted pecans, and goat cheese or feta crumbles, and it’s a true symphony of flavor! Pick from a few different dressing choices: our favorites are apple cider vinegar dressing or pomegranate vinaigrette. Let’s get started!

Pomegranate salad ingredients

There are lots of ways to make a pomegranate salad! This is our very favorite combination of flavors: but you’ll see there are endless choices! Below we’ll talk through a few of the different variations you can use. Here’s what you’ll need for this tasty and easy side dish:

  • Pomegranate seeds: we recommend seeding them from a fresh pomegranate. See below!
  • Shallot
  • Granny Smith apple or pear: either are tasty: or you could use both!
  • Pecans or walnuts
  • Mixed greens
  • Goat cheese or feta cheese crumbles (optional)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing or Pomegranate Vinaigrette (see below)
Pomegranate salad

Use pomegranate seeds from a fresh pomegranate!

These days, you can find pomegranate seeds already remove from the fruit in your local grocery. But for pomegranate salad, it’s best to buy a fresh pomegranate and cut and seed it yourself. Why? Pomegranate seeds from the fruit are much fresher. If you buy them already seeded, they only have a day or so of shelf life. We’ve even purchased some that went bad before we tried them! So a whole fruit is where it’s at. Here’s what to know:

  • Cut the pomegranate in quarters, then remove the seeds in a bowl of water. This avoids a big mess of pink splatters all over your kitchen! We’ve got a great step-by-step tutorial: go to How to Cut a Pomegranate.
  • Pomegranate seeds last up to 5 days refrigerated, but are best right away. So seed it right before you’re ready to make the salad.
Pomegranate seeds

Step it up with toasted or glazed nuts

This pomegranate salad features toasted pecans: and here’s a tip for you: always toast your nuts! It brings out the nutty flavor almost like salt brings out the flavor in savory foods. And it only takes a few minutes! You can absolutely taste the difference.

To take this salad over the top, make a batch of glazed pecans that have a sweet, crunchy exterior. It adds a new element to an already delicious salad! Here are a few ideas of the various nuts you could use:

Pomegranate salad dressing

Use one of the following pomegranate salad dressings!

There are also lots of variations when it comes dressing for this pomegranate salad! Whatever the case: homemade dressing is best. Of course if you’re in a pinch, you can absolutely use a store-bought dressing: there are many great high quality and organic salad dressings available these days. We created two different dressing options for this salad: and we have a few other ideas as well! Try the following pomegranate salad dressings:

  • Apple cider vinegar dressing: Made with vinegar, Dijon mustard and olive oil, it’s perfectly tangy!
  • Pomegranate vinaigrette: Want to double the pomegranate? Try this dressing made with pomegranate juice.
  • Balsamic vinaigrette: Full of big tangy flavor, and one of of the best homemade dressings you’ll find.
  • Pomegranate molasses plus olive oil: A great way to use this special ingredient! Dress the greens with olive oil, then drizzle with sweet tart pomegranate molasses. It’s incredible!

What to serve with pomegranate salad

This pomegranate salad is great because it’s so versatile! It’s more of a fall and winter salad since pomegranates are easiest to find in the cooler months. But since they’re becoming more available at grocery stores, you can eat it anytime! It’s perfect for holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas, or ideal for accessorizing any fall or winter dinner. Here are a few foods it pairs well with:

Pomegranate salad

Vegan variation

Want to make this pomegranate salad vegan? No problem! All you have to do is omit the cheese crumbles. You’ll barely notice the difference! Some salads need an extra savory hit from cheese, but this one works perfectly without it.

And that’s it: our perfect pomegranate salad! Let us know what you think in the comments below.

More pomegranate recipes

Pomegranate season calls for making lots of vibrant recipes with special fruit! Here are some favorite pomegranate recipes:

This pomegranate salad recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, omit the cheese crumbles.

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Pomegranate salad

Easy Pomegranate Salad


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This pomegranate salad is absolutely irresistible! It stars a sweet tart salad dressing and the vibrant crunch of pomegranate seeds.


Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Cut and seed the pomegranate
  2. Thinly slice the shallot. Thinly slice the apple (and toss it with 1 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar if desired to prevent browning).
  3. Toast the pecans (don’t skip: this brings out the nutty flavor). Alternatively, make glazed pecans.
  4. Make the Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing or Pomegranate Dressing. 
  5. Place the greens on a platter. Top with the pomegranate seeds, sliced shallot, toasted pecans, and goat cheese or feta cheese crumbles. Toss with the desired amount of dressing to taste. (Store the extra dressing refrigerated and warm to room temperature and whisk again before using.)

Notes

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

Keywords: Pomegranate salad

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