Classic Chicken Noodle Soup

You can’t go wrong with a bowl of classic Chicken Noodle Soup. This is one of those recipes that just makes you feel better! It is the ultimate comfort food.  Our Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup is VERY popular, but some of you requested a classi…

You can’t go wrong with a bowl of classic Chicken Noodle Soup. This is one of those recipes that just makes you feel better! It is the ultimate comfort food.  Our Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup is VERY popular, but some of you requested a classic chicken noodle soup recipe and this is the best one…

The post Classic Chicken Noodle Soup appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

1-Pot Chickpea Noodle Soup

Everyone needs a good, homemade noodle soup in their arsenal, especially when someone in the family is under the weather. This version is slightly modified from a recipe in our cookbook!
Carrots and celery add bursts of color and fiber, gluten-free noo…

1-Pot Chickpea Noodle Soup

Everyone needs a good, homemade noodle soup in their arsenal, especially when someone in the family is under the weather. This version is slightly modified from a recipe in our cookbook!

Carrots and celery add bursts of color and fiber, gluten-free noodles and chickpeas add protein and texture, and thyme and bay leaf marry all of the flavors together. Cozy up to a bowl of this simple, 1-pot, plant-based soup that’s perfect for making ahead and enjoying as needed!

1-Pot Chickpea Noodle Soup from Minimalist Baker →

Garden Vegetable Soup

This easy vegetable soup recipe is simple and satisfying! It’s a veggie-loaded homemade spin on canned soup that’s infinitely tastier. Craving simplicity? Meet this easy and satisfying Vegetable Soup! Sometimes you just need that classic noodle soup: you know, the your mom made you or the one you dumped out of a can after school? This recipe came from a day where Alex took stock of our pantry and whipped up a simple homemade vegetable soup. We’ve been making it ever since! This vegetable soup is loaded with colorful veggies and cozy spiral past, swimming in a bright yellow turmeric broth with tons of flavor. It’s like canned soup, but a homemade version that tastes infinitely better. Here’s how to make it! How to make vegetable soup This vegetable soup recipe is the very definition of simple. It’s a homemade version of canned noodle soup, but we’ve packed it full of healthy veggies and restorative spices. Here are the main steps for this easy vegetable soup (or jump right to the recipe below!): Prep the veggies: Dice an onion, bell pepper, carrots and celery. Sauté: In a large pot or Dutch oven, saute the veggies until tender, about 5 to […]

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

This easy vegetable soup recipe is simple and satisfying! It’s a veggie-loaded homemade spin on canned soup that’s infinitely tastier.

Vegetable soup

Craving simplicity? Meet this easy and satisfying Vegetable Soup! Sometimes you just need that classic noodle soup: you know, the your mom made you or the one you dumped out of a can after school? This recipe came from a day where Alex took stock of our pantry and whipped up a simple homemade vegetable soup. We’ve been making it ever since! This vegetable soup is loaded with colorful veggies and cozy spiral past, swimming in a bright yellow turmeric broth with tons of flavor. It’s like canned soup, but a homemade version that tastes infinitely better. Here’s how to make it!

How to make vegetable soup

This vegetable soup recipe is the very definition of simple. It’s a homemade version of canned noodle soup, but we’ve packed it full of healthy veggies and restorative spices. Here are the main steps for this easy vegetable soup (or jump right to the recipe below!):

  • Prep the veggies: Dice an onion, bell pepper, carrots and celery.
  • Sauté: In a large pot or Dutch oven, saute the veggies until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Add spices: The blend of spices in this soup is so, so delicious! It brings in the savory vibe of canned soup.
  • Simmer: Add the broth and remaining veggies and bring it to a simmer. Once simmering, add the noodles and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. That’s it!
How to make vegetable soup

Best veggies for a vegetable soup

The goal with this vegetable soup? Pack it with quick-cooking veggies so it’s easy to make! Many vegetable soup recipes include potatoes or squash, and here’s the thing: hard root veggies take a long time to cook. So for this soup, we picked veggies that will cook up in no time! This recipe is an update to our previous version that loads it with even more veggies. Here’s what we think are the perfect quick-cooking veggies to include for the maximum healthy punch:

  • Onion
  • Bell pepper
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Green beans
  • White beans like cannellini or Great Northern
  • Peas

Secret spice blend for the broth

It’s easy to make a vegetable soup recipe, but often the broth leaves something to be desired. Vegetable broth on its own is a little bland, so you’ve go to have a great blend of seasonings to amp up the flavors. Here’s what we included in this broth to make it satisfying and slurp-able:

  • Garlic powder
  • Dried basil
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried thyme
  • Ground turmeric

What’s turmeric? Turmeric is a bright yellow spice that’s part of the ginger family. It is most often used dried and ground, and has an earthy, almost mustard-like flavor. Because turmeric has some potential restorative properties and we love the flavor, we added a good amount of this golden spice to make for a vibrant broth. It looks bright and beautiful, and tastes great! Grab a jar and can use up the rest with these top turmeric recipes, from yellow rice to vegan nacho cheese.

Vegetable soup recipe

Variations on this vegetable soup recipe!

Because it has a short ingredient list, this homemade vegetable soup is easily customizable! Add any quick cooking vegetables you love, or other spices or seasonings. Here are a few ideas:

  • Chickpeas or kidney beans instead of white beans
  • Canned tomatoes: add a 15-ounce can diced or fire-roasted
  • Spinach, kale, or chard: add a few handfuls (chopped or baby greens) in the last 5 minutes
  • Frozen butternut squash: this soup works with frozen since it’s already partially cooked! Add it with the green beans
  • Pesto: Basil pesto adds big flavor to the broth! Add 1 to 2 tablespoons with the broth

What other veggies would you add? Let us know in the comments below!

Or, make it even simpler: noodle soup!

Want to make this more like straight noodle soup? This recipe is a spin on an older version of this recipe that was essentially onion, carrots, celery and noodles. Essentially, it was vegetable noodle soup! Want to make the old version?

  • Remove the red pepper, white beans, green beans, and peas, and make the recipe as listed below!
Easy vegetable soup

Make vegetable soup into a meal

This vegetable soup recipe is packed with healthy veggies and plant-based protein. Because here’s the thing: if you’re going to pend the time on a soup, why not make it filling enough for a meal? This soup works as an easy lunch or healthy dinner recipe! You can always top with grated Parmesan cheese or a dollop of Greek yogurt to make it more filling, or add an easy side dish. Here are a few ideas for making this easy soup into a meal:

Homemade vegetable soup

This vegetable soup recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based and dairy-free. For gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta.

Print

Easy Vegetable Soup


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (88 votes, average: 4.25 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This garden vegetable soup recipe is simple and satisfying! It’s a veggie-loaded homemade spin on canned soup that’s infinitely tastier.


Ingredients

  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon each dried oregano and dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 8 cups (2 quarts) vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen green beans
  • 15-ounce can white beans (cannellini, Great Northern or other), drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
  • 5 ounces pasta spirals (about 2 cups dry)

Instructions

  1. Dice the onion. Dice the bell pepper. Thinly slice the celery. Peel and thinly slice the carrot into rounds. Mince the garlic.
  2. In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, carrots, and garlic, and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add the garlic powder, dried basil, oregano, thyme, and turmeric and stir. Continue cooking for about 1 minute.
  4. Add the vegetable broth, 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt,  frozen green beans, drained and rinsed white beans, and fresh ground pepper. Bring a simmer.
  5. Add the frozen peas and pasta and continue simmering until the pasta is cooked, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for several minutes. Taste and add the additional salt as necessary.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: vegetable soup, vegetable soup recipe, easy vegetable soup, homemade vegetable soup, How to make vegetable soup

Looking for more soup recipes?

Outside of this homemade vegetable soup recipe, here are a few of our favorite soup recipes:

Last updated: February 2021

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

Vegetarian Lasagna with Ricotta

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

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

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

Vegetarian lasagna

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

Ingredients in vegetarian lasagna

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

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

Make homemade tomato sauce, or find your favorite brand

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

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

Substitute frozen spinach for fresh

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

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

The best vegetarian lasagna recipe with ricotta cheese

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

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

Other filling variations!

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

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

Make ahead and storage info

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

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

Sides to serve with vegetarian lasagna

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

This vegetarian lasagna recipe is…

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

Print
Vegetarian lasagna

Vegetarian Lasagna with Ricotta


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

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

Description

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


Ingredients

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

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

For the lasagna

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

Instructions

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

Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

Creamy Shrimp Pasta

This shrimp pasta is easy to make with the best big flavors: garlic, lemon, and Parmesan. It’s a home run dinner idea that’s always a hit! With one bite, you’ll add this to your weekly dinner rotation. You’ll want to bookmark this recipe: Creamy Shrimp Pasta! It’s ultra classic: juicy, savory shrimp and al dente pasta swimming in a creamy sauce. Because we love options, we’ve provide two sauce ideas: a white wine sauce, bursting with tangy flavor. Or try our easy cream sauce, a creamy Parmesan sauce that’s actually made with no cream at all. Mix the components together and wow! The flavor is restaurant style good, but you can make it in about 30 minutes. Dinner time win. How to make shrimp pasta (basic method) This shrimp pasta is one of those basic recipes like avocado toast or Caesar salad that are popular because they are just that good. The flavors are like perfect dance partners: savory shrimp, creamy Parmesan, tangy lemon (or white wine), and of course…garlic. This recipe is easy to make, but you’ll have to balance making three components at once: shrimp, noodles, and sauce. Here’s what you need to do at the same time: […]

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

This shrimp pasta is easy to make with the best big flavors: garlic, lemon, and Parmesan. It’s a home run dinner idea that’s always a hit!

Shrimp pasta

With one bite, you’ll add this to your weekly dinner rotation. You’ll want to bookmark this recipe: Creamy Shrimp Pasta! It’s ultra classic: juicy, savory shrimp and al dente pasta swimming in a creamy sauce. Because we love options, we’ve provide two sauce ideas: a white wine sauce, bursting with tangy flavor. Or try our easy cream sauce, a creamy Parmesan sauce that’s actually made with no cream at all. Mix the components together and wow! The flavor is restaurant style good, but you can make it in about 30 minutes. Dinner time win.

How to make shrimp pasta (basic method)

This shrimp pasta is one of those basic recipes like avocado toast or Caesar salad that are popular because they are just that good. The flavors are like perfect dance partners: savory shrimp, creamy Parmesan, tangy lemon (or white wine), and of course…garlic. This recipe is easy to make, but you’ll have to balance making three components at once: shrimp, noodles, and sauce. Here’s what you need to do at the same time:

  • Make perfectly al dente pasta: Start the pasta pot to boil before making the other two components. Bucatini is our favorite noodle here; it’s like a hollow spaghetti. See below for more!
  • Saute the shrimp: This takes just 3 to 4 minutes in a hot skillet. You’ll just need to make sure your shrimp is thawed, if you’re using frozen (see below).
  • Make the sauce: Once the shrimp is done, make that sauce and you’re good to go! Pick from one of the two sauces below. While you’re making it, finish and drain those noodles. Then mix it all together! Done and done.
Shrimp pasta

Option 1: White wine sauce

This shrimp pasta is excellent with our simple white wine sauce! It’s one of our favorite ways to serve it. Here’s what to know about this option:

  • This sauce is lightly creamy with a tangy, wine-forward flavor. The flavor is bright and fairly wine forward. But our 3 year old Larson loves it so it’s kid friendly too.
  • It uses heavy cream, but you can sub milk if desired. If you prefer not using heavy cream (it’s not a standard in our pantry!), you can use milk.
  • It does have trace amounts of alcohol (0.8 ounces per serving). We felt comfortable serving this pasta to our 3 year old. But you should do only what you’re comfortable with! If you prefer, keep reading and make the Cream Sauce…
Parmesan cream sauce

Option 2: Parmesan cream sauce

The other option is our easy Parmesan cream sauce! Here’s what to know about this sauce option:

  • This sauce is very creamy, with a thicker texture than the wine sauce. It’s a little closer to an alfredo sauce.
  • It requires a little more attention when making it. For this sauce, you’ll make a roux where you’ll cook flour and butter as a thickener. It’s a little touchier than the white wine sauce. Make sure to read the directions carefully before you start.
  • You’ll need to add a splash of milk when you add it to the noodles. It’s stickier and creamier than the wine sauce. Add a splash or two of milk when you add it to the noodles and stir until you get the right creamy consistency.

Which do we like better? We love them both! When we’re feeling fancy we like the white wine sauce. When we’re feeling like a creamy, cozy pasta we go for the cream sauce. Let us know which you prefer!

The type of shrimp for shrimp pasta

What’s the best type of shrimp to buy for shrimp pasta? There are so many options when you get to the store. (In fact, we often accidentally grab the wrong variety!) Here’s what we recommend for this recipe:

  • Large or medium shrimp. We like the look with large, but you can get away with medium, too!
  • Tail on or off. Tail on shrimp looks beautiful, but it does make for messy fingers when you’re eating it. Tail off can be more practical.
  • Fresh or frozen. Either works! Frozen can taste just as fresh if it’s flash frozen right after cooking. Make sure to thaw it the night before, or use this defrosting method for thawing day of.
  • Wild caught preferred. Wild caught is the most sustainable option! If you live in the US, try to find US-raised: it’s also typically more sustainable. (Read more here.)
Shrimp pasta

Tips for how to cook pasta to al dente

The shrimp and sauce are important in this recipe…but the noodles are extremely important too! You absolutely must cook the noodles to al dente for this shrimp pasta to be the best it can be. Al dente means “to the bite” in Italian. The ideal al dente texture is a tender exterior balanced by a firm bite with a fleck of white at its core. Here are our tips onn how to cook pasta to al dente:

  • Taste often. Do not trust the package instructions! While cooking, check pasta continually for doneness.
  • Look for a small white fleck. As soon as the pasta has a tender exterior but a fleck of white at its core, drain it! Even a few seconds can be the difference between al dente and limp noodles.
Shrimp pasta

What to serve with shrimp pasta

There’s not much you need to add to this shrimp pasta to make it a healthy dinner! Toss together a simple salad and you’re good to go. But if you’re entertaining, you can get a little fancier too. Here are a variety of options we’d pair to make it a complete meal:

This shrimp pasta recipe is…

Pescatarian.

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Shrimp pasta

Creamy Shrimp Pasta


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 servings

Description

This shrimp pasta is easy to make with the best big flavors: garlic, lemon, and Parmesan. It’s a home run dinner idea that’s always a hit!


Ingredients

  • 1 pound large shrimp, deveined (tail on or off, wild caught preferred)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon each smoked paprika, garlic powder and onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 recipe White Wine Sauce or Parmesan Cream Sauce
  • 8 ounces spaghetti
  • Finely chopped Italian parsley, to garnish
  • Lemon wedges, to garnish

Instructions

  1. If frozen, thaw the shrimp.
  2. Cook the pasta: Start a pot of well salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta until it is just al dente. Start tasting a few minutes before the package recommends: you want it to be tender but still a little firm on the inside; usually around 7 to 8 minutes. Drain the pasta. (If it finishes before the sauce, add it back to the pot with a drizzle of olive oil so it doesn’t stick.)
  3. Cook the shrimp: Pat the shrimp dry. In a medium bowl, mix the shrimp with the spices. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Cook the shrimp for 1 to 2 minutes per side until opaque and cooked through, turning them with tongs. Set them aside.
  4. Make the sauce: Wipe out the skillet. In the same skillet make the White Wine Sauce or Parmesan Cream Sauce (takes about 10 minutes).
  5. Serve: When the sauce is done, add the noodles to the skillet with the sauce. (For the Cream Sauce only, add a splash or two of milk to loosen the sauce and come to just the right creamy consistency.) Then add the shrimp and toss until it’s warmed through. Taste and a few more pinches of salt, if necessary. Remove from the heat. Garnish with finely chopped parsley and lemon wedges. Serve immediately.

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

Keywords: Shrimp pasta, Easy shrimp pasta, How to make shrimp pasta, Cream sauce, White wine sauce

More easy shrimp recipes

Love shrimp? It’s always a hit in our house, even (and especially) with kids. Here are some other great shrimp dinner ideas and healthy shrimp recipes:

  • Shrimp Pesto Pasta An impressively fast and easy dinner recipe! Cover the noodles in glistening green basil pesto for a meal that pleases everyone.
  • Easy Pesto Shrimp Or go without the noodles! Serve with pasta or rice for an easy dinner idea.
  • Grilled Shrimp Skewers The shrimp seasoning brings in just the right touch of savory and smoky.
  • Shrimp Fried Rice Here’s how to make the best shrimp fried rice that tastes just like takeout!
  • Shrimp Curry Tastes better than a restaurant in under 30 minutes! It’s a Thai red curry flavored with coconut milk and curry paste.

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

Summer Pesto Mini Meatball Soup.

Um how delicious is this summer pesto mini meatball soup? It’s just the cutest too. Sure, it’s in the 90s this week and might stay there for the remainder of the month, but nothing can keep me from a comforting bowl of soup. Am I right? Summer soup for me usually means chowder (and yes […]

The post Summer Pesto Mini Meatball Soup. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Um how delicious is this summer pesto mini meatball soup?

summer pesto mini meatball soup

It’s just the cutest too.

Sure, it’s in the 90s this week and might stay there for the remainder of the month, but nothing can keep me from a comforting bowl of soup.

Am I right?

mini chicken meatballs

Summer soup for me usually means chowder (and yes I have another one coming!) but the thought of this pesto-y, brothy bowl sounded amazing right now. 

Plus, mini meatballs!

This soup reminds me a little of my homemade spaghettios, and not just because I use the same noodles. While these tiny noodles are the best, I love how simple and flavorful the meal is. I guess it’s sort of like spaghettios, meatballs included, without the tomato sauce?!

Which means I looooove it. 

annelini pasta

I made a mini chicken meatball soup years ago and it’s still a really popular recipe here on the site. Of course, you can make these meatballs any size you’d like, but making them tiny means they are spoonable and therefore, makes the entire bowl more enjoyable. 

It’s a whole meal in a bowl, but soup!

summer pesto mini meatball soup

Here’s the deal with the pesto!

I’m including a smaller batch pesto recipe below, but you could totally use a good jarred pesto if you have one that you enjoy. This is also a recipe that you can make when you have leftover pesto, or pesto frozen from earlier in the year. As long as you’re using a pesto that you like, it will work in the soup. 

And this goes for any pesto! I’ve done kale pesto, pistachio pesto, arugula pesto and many more. All of them will work here!

summer pesto mini meatball soup with spoon

The pesto works in magic ways: we’re using it to flavor the meatballs (which is incredible!) and then we’re also stirring it into the soup. Then, you can even finish off the soup with a big dollop of it on top.

It’s the BEST way to enjoy pesto. Loaded with flavor! 

summer pesto mini meatball soup with spoon

The soup comes together pretty quickly too. You can make the pesto and even the meatballs ahead of time if you wish. You can even make a batch of meatballs and freeze them! It’s a great freezer prep meal that just requires a bit of defrosting before cooking.

And it’s ridiculously comforting, without being heavy.

summer pesto mini meatball soup with spoon

Hello dinner tonight!

summer pesto mini meatball soup

Pesto Mini Meatball Soup

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Summer Pesto Mini Meatball Soup

This summer pesto mini meatball soup is the perfect comfort food in warmer months! Lots of fresh basil, a delicious broth and noodles. Delish.
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

small batch pesto

  • 1 cup packed fresh basil
  • ¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • pinch of crushed red pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

mini meatballs & soup

  • 1 pound lean ground chicken or turkey
  • ¼ cup seasoned breadcrumbs, panko or fine crumbs both work
  • 3 tablespoons pesto
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot diced
  • 8 cups chicken stock or broth, low sodium is fine - you may want a pinch more salt
  • 12 ounces tiny cut pasta, like ditalini or annellini
  • fresh basil, for topping
  • shaved parmesan, for topping

Instructions

pesto

  • Place the basil, parmesan, pine nuts, garlic, red peppers flakes and a pinch of salt and pepper in the bowl of your food processor or blender. Pulse until small pieces remain. Blend while streaming in the olive oil until combined. You can store extras of this in the fridge for about a week.

mini meatballs & soup

  • In a bowl, combine the chicken/turkey with the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, pesto and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix until just combined the form the mixture into mini meatballs. (Or large! Whatever you prefer!)
  • Heat a large stock pot over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the meatballs in a single later, browning on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes total. Remove the meatballs from the pan and place them on a plate.
  • Keep the pot over medium heat and add the remaining olive oil. Stir in the shallot with a pinch of salt and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the meatballs back to the pot. Add in the broth.
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer and stir in the pasta. Cook, uncovered and stirring often, until the pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Once the pasta is cooked, stir in 1 or 2 tablespoons of the pesto. (Note: the soup is not a pretty color!) Ladle the soup into bowls and the stir in more pesto on a bowl-by-bowl basis, however much you want. Garnish with shaved parmesan and extra fresh basil and serve!

up close summer pesto mini meatball soup

Garlic bread on the side please!

The post Summer Pesto Mini Meatball Soup. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Sun Dried Tomato and Sweet Corn Skillet Lasagna.

This summer skillet lasagna is sponsored by Stella Cheese! I’ll be creating a few fun recipes for them throughout 2020. Today we’re eating the epitome of summer in a skillet lasagna. It’s no secret that skillet lasagna is one of my absolute favorites! It’s an easy way to enjoy lasagna and a great throw-together weeknight […]

The post Sun Dried Tomato and Sweet Corn Skillet Lasagna. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

This summer skillet lasagna is sponsored by Stella Cheese! I’ll be creating a few fun recipes for them throughout 2020.

Today we’re eating the epitome of summer in a skillet lasagna.

summer skillet lasagna

It’s no secret that skillet lasagna is one of my absolute favorites! It’s an easy way to enjoy lasagna and a great throw-together weeknight meal. I love it so much. You can use what you have on hand, a variety of pasta shapes and of course… CHEESE.

Give me all the cheese please.

freshly grated parmesan cheese

Today I’m partnering with Stella Cheese and I could not be more excited! Dream come true level.

Um, hello, my name is Jessica and I am the biggest cheese lover on the planet. Stella has a huge selection of artisan cheeses with a rich Italian heritage. It is super high quality and tastes fantastic, which really allows you to elevate your everyday meals. Today, I’m using their Stella Parmesan Cheese which has been aged for 10 months. It’s nutty and buttery and absolutely delish.

ingredients for sun dried tomato pesto

The Stella Parmesan Cheese is working double duty for us today: I’m using it in the pesto and in the skillet lasagna. It’s one of those cheeses that adds so much depth of flavor.

I’m also throwing some of the Stella Fresh Mozzarella on top for an extra cheesy melt. This is perfect on pizza too.

pureed sun dried tomato pesto

So skillet lasagna, let’s get to it.

To start, we have a sun-dried tomato pesto. Oh my GOSH. Okay guys this might be my pesto of the summer. It is so ridiculously flavorful. Sun dried tomatoes, tons of fresh basil, the buttery, nutty Stella Parmesan Cheese, lots of garlic and toasted pine nuts.

Yes yes yes! Blend that up and you’re in pesto heaven.

Now, making this pesto babe from scratch does give you an extra step. But it’s one you can do ahead of time and something that can be stored in the fridge. And if you are unable to grab all the ingredients right now, feel free to use your favorite jarred pesto!

summer skillet lasagna

The rest of the lasagna is really quite simple, especially if you use some ingredients you have in your kitchen. We do some lightly caramelized shallots and sweet corn cut straight from the cob since we’re hitting the summer season. Of course, you can use another variety of corn at the moment if fresh corn isn’t accessible right now.

We’re throwing in a touch of ricotta for the lasagna touch and the fresh mozzarella cheese because WHY NOT MORE CHEESE?! Another sprinkle of the Stella Parmesan Cheese on top too.

Fresh herbs. Lots of basil.

It’s easy but wildly flavorful!

summer skillet lasagna

And of course, use whatever pasta you have on hand. I like to break the lasagna noodles into third and use those, but bowties work too! You can layer your noodles or throw them all together if you’re in the dinner rush. However these ingredients end up together in the skillet will be wonderful.

sun dried tomato and sweet corn skillet lasagna

Isn’t it so gorgeous too?! It’s also a great dish that you can transport – throw it in a baking dish instead of the skillet to take to a cookout or dinner party with friends.

Comforting, cheesy and tastes like summer!

Sun Dried Tomato and Corn Skillet Lasagna

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Sun Dried Tomato and Sweet Corn Skillet Lasagna

This skillet lasagna is loaded with a sun dried tomato pesto, sweet corn right off the cob, tons of ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan. Delicious.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

sun dried tomato pesto

  • 1 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1 7 oz jar sun dried tomatoes in olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup freshly grated Stella Parmesan Cheese
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ⅓ to ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

lasagna

Instructions

sun dried tomato pesto

  • Combine the basil, sun dried tomatoes (and the oil from the jar), garlic, parmesan, pine nuts, salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until combined. With the processor on, stream in the olive oil, starting with ⅓ cup. You may need a bit more depending on how much olive oil is in your jar of tomatoes. You can make this ahead of time!

lasagna

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil so you can cook the lasagna noodles. Cook them according to the package directions, but shave 1 minute off the cook time so the noodles are al dente. Drain the noodles once they are finished boiling.
  • Heat an oven-safe 8 or 10-inch skillet over medium-low heat and add the olive oil. Add the shallots with a pinch of salt and pepper and stir. Cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the corn kernels. Stir in the pesto.
  • Take the noodles and fold them into the corn and pesto mixture in the skillet. Add on some spoonfuls of ricotta cheese and a few slices of the Stella Fresh Mozzarella, along with grated Stella Parmesan Cheese (save some for topping!). I like to make sure all the noodles are coated! Top with remaining sliced mozzarella and parmesan.
  • Bake the lasagna for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove it from the oven and garnish with extra fresh basil. Serve!

sun dried tomato and corn skillet lasagna

My middle name should be cheese.

The post Sun Dried Tomato and Sweet Corn Skillet Lasagna. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Quick Soba Noodles

Need a quick noodle fix? These simple soba noodles are fast and full of flavor: perfect as an Asian style side dish or easy dinner. Need a quick noodle fix? Try these simple soba noodles! Soba are a Japanese buckwheat noodle, and they’re perfect as a component for a fast and easy dinner. Done in about 15 minutes, they’re covered in a zingy sauce of soy, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and honey and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. Throw them in a bowl and top with an egg or sauteed shrimp, and you’ve got dinner! Because they’re so fast, Alex and I have been relying on them as a crutch for quick weeknight meals. They’re also a great side dish for Asian-style meals like Teriyaki Salmon or Shrimp and Broccoli. Here’s what you need to know about soba! Types of soba noodles Soba are a traditional Japanese buckwheat noodle. They’re easy to find at your local grocery, either in the noodles section or near the Japanese ingredients. Because they’re made with buckwheat flour, most soba are naturally gluten-free. However, some brands also have wheat flour in them: so make sure to check the package if you eat gluten free. There […]

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

Need a quick noodle fix? These simple soba noodles are fast and full of flavor: perfect as an Asian style side dish or easy dinner.

Soba noodles

Need a quick noodle fix? Try these simple soba noodles! Soba are a Japanese buckwheat noodle, and they’re perfect as a component for a fast and easy dinner. Done in about 15 minutes, they’re covered in a zingy sauce of soy, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and honey and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. Throw them in a bowl and top with an egg or sauteed shrimp, and you’ve got dinner! Because they’re so fast, Alex and I have been relying on them as a crutch for quick weeknight meals. They’re also a great side dish for Asian-style meals like Teriyaki Salmon or Shrimp and Broccoli. Here’s what you need to know about soba!

Types of soba noodles

Soba are a traditional Japanese buckwheat noodle. They’re easy to find at your local grocery, either in the noodles section or near the Japanese ingredients. Because they’re made with buckwheat flour, most soba are naturally gluten-free. However, some brands also have wheat flour in them: so make sure to check the package if you eat gluten free.

There is a lot of variation in soba noodle brands! Alex and I have tested dozens, and we find that every brand of soba is different. Some are very thin and tend to break, so we try to look for soba that are thicker and hold up better. Make sure to experiment a bit to find the brand of soba that you like best.

Soba noodles

What’s in this soba noodles recipe?

This soba noodles recipe is fast and easy to make, and most of the ingredients are pantry staples! It’s essentially a pantry meal aside from the green onion. So you can leave out the green onions if you don’t have them on hand! Here’s what’s in this soba noodles recipe:

  • Soba noodles
  • Soy sauce or liquid aminos
  • Toasted sesame oil: make sure it is toasted, not regular! Toasted sesame oil is intended for flavoring, whereas regular sesame oil is neutral in flavor
  • Rice vinegar
  • Honey or maple syrup
  • Miso: optional but adds great flavor (see below)
  • Garlic
  • Green onions (optional)
  • Sesame seeds (optional; if you use them toast them!)
Soba noodles with sesame seeds

Rinse your soba to remove starch!

Here’s an important note about cooking soba noodles: rinse them after they’re done cooking! Rinsing pasta is not required for something like Italian spaghetti or penne. But for soba, rinsing is necessary to remove starch the builds up during cooking.

If you don’t rinse, here’s what happens: the soba becomes very gummy and mushy. It also absorbs the sauce and becomes dry instead of saucy. So please: rinse your soba after cooking! You’ll notice a big difference.

A secret ingredient: miso

This soba noodles recipe contains a little secret ingredient: miso! If you’ve never cooked with it, we highly recommend getting a container for your fridge (and it lasts for months). Miso is a Japanese fermented soybean paste that’s full of nutrients and savory flavor (or, umami). Umami is the so called “fifth flavor” after sour, salty, sweet, and bitter. It adds incredible flavor to any dish!

You can find miso at most major grocery stores near the other Japanese ingredients. There are many different types of miso, all with different flavors: red, yellow, and brown. Alex and I used brown miso here, which contributed to the dark color of these noodles.

Since we cook mostly plant based, Alex and I tend to use it to get a meaty or cheesy flavor in recipes. It’s great in Easy Miso Ramen, and even works to substitute Parmesan flavor in our Vegan Pesto!

Sesame soba noodles

Why to toast sesame seeds

For the best flavor, garnish these soba noodles with toasted sesame seeds! Of course, you can just use straight up sesame seeds. But toasting your sesame seeds in a pan heightens the nutty flavor considerably. It’s almost like using salt on food: it brings out the existing flavor and takes it to new heights! It only takes 3 minutes to toast sesame seeds, and you can store leftovers in a sealed container for months. Go to How to Toast Sesame Seeds.

Make it a meal!

Now for the fun part: how to make these soba noodles into a meal! You can serve them as part of an easy dinner main dish, or a side to an Asian style entree. Here’s what we recommend:

  • Top with an egg. The easiest way to make it dinner! Top with a fried egg or soft boiled egg. Dinner, solved!
  • Top with tofu. This Pan fried tofu is our favorite method for weeknights. Or try Marinaded tofu, which requires little hands on effort and can be stored in the fridge.
  • Top with shrimp. Try this quick and healthy Sauteed shrimp! To stick with Asian flavors, use plain sesame oil for cooking and substitute the lemon for a drizzle of rice vinegar and soy sauce at the end.
  • Add edamame. This quick Asian style side is so simple! Try with Easy Edamame or Spicy Edamame.
  • Serve with a stir fry! Try it with our Easy Stir Fry Vegetables!
  • Serve as a side dish to shrimp or salmon. Try it with Teriyaki Salmon or Shrimp and Broccoli.
Soba noodles recipe

This soba noodles recipe is…

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

Print
Soba noodles

Quick Soba Noodles


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

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

Description

Need a quick noodle fix? These simple soba noodles are fast and full of flavor: perfect as an Asian style side dish or easy dinner.


Ingredients

  • 8 ounces soba noodles
  • 1/4 cup regular soy sauce (or substitute tamari or coconut aminos)
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon miso (optional; we used dark miso)
  • 1 teaspoon grated garlic
  • 4 green onions
  • Sriracha, to taste (optional)
  • Toasted sesame seeds*
  • To make it a meal: Fried egg or soft boiled egg, Pan fried tofu or Marinaded tofu, or Sauteed shrimp

Instructions

  1. Cook the noodles: Cook the soba noodles according to the package instructions: it should take about 4 to 5 minutes. Important: when the noodles are done cooking, rinse them under cool running water in a strainer, tossing them to remove the starch. Then shake off excess water. If you’d like the noodles to be warm when serving, run them under warm water for a few seconds; you can also serve room temperature or cold. (If you skip this step, the noodles soak up the sauce and become too dry.)
  2. Whisk the sauce: Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together the soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, honey or maple syrup, miso (if using), and grated garlic.
  3. Slice the onions: Thinly slice the green onions on the bias (diagonally), using both white and dark green parts.
  4. Combine and serve: Return the rinsed and shaken dry noodles to the pan or a bowl; stir in the sauce and green onions. Place in serving bowls, top with sesame seeds and serve. 

Notes

*Toasting the sesame seeds really brings out the nutty flavor! It takes only 3 minutes and you can taste the difference. Store toasted sesame seeds for months in a sealed container in the pantry.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Japanese

Keywords: Soba noodles

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

Easy Soba Noodle Bowl

This soba noodle bowl is a quick and easy dinner recipe, perfect for weeknights! It’s a filling vegetarian meal full of healthy veggies. No one’s going to complain about more quick and easy recipes, right? This one the ultimate quick weeknight meal, a filling vegetarian dinner that comes together in 20 minutes flat. Meet this soba noodle bowl! It’s filled with stir fried broccoli, red pepper and onion, mix with a savory sauce with creamy peanut butter. Even better: eggs are scrambled right into the mix (like fried rice, but with noodles~). This healthy stir fry comes to you straight from our friend Rachel’s cookbook Just the Good Stuff. And it’s chock full of good stuff. Why to make this soba noodle bowl This soba noodle bowl is more like an easy stir fry than a free-form noodle bowl with lots of veggie toppings. This makes it quicker and easier to put together than the type of noodle bowl that has lots of components. Here are some of the reasons it’s a candidate for your go-to list: It takes 20 minutes. There’s no limit to the amount of easy dinner recipes you can have in your arsenal! The quick prep […]

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

This soba noodle bowl is a quick and easy dinner recipe, perfect for weeknights! It’s a filling vegetarian meal full of healthy veggies.

Soba noodle bowl

No one’s going to complain about more quick and easy recipes, right? This one the ultimate quick weeknight meal, a filling vegetarian dinner that comes together in 20 minutes flat. Meet this soba noodle bowl! It’s filled with stir fried broccoli, red pepper and onion, mix with a savory sauce with creamy peanut butter. Even better: eggs are scrambled right into the mix (like fried rice, but with noodles~). This healthy stir fry comes to you straight from our friend Rachel’s cookbook Just the Good Stuff. And it’s chock full of good stuff.

Why to make this soba noodle bowl

This soba noodle bowl is more like an easy stir fry than a free-form noodle bowl with lots of veggie toppings. This makes it quicker and easier to put together than the type of noodle bowl that has lots of components. Here are some of the reasons it’s a candidate for your go-to list:

  • It takes 20 minutes. There’s no limit to the amount of easy dinner recipes you can have in your arsenal! The quick prep time makes it perfect for whipping up on a weeknight with limited ingredients.
  • The 2 ingredient sauce brings big flavor. The sauce here couldn’t be easier: just coconut aminos or soy sauce plus nut butter! We used peanut butter, but you could use almond butter or cashew butter. (All 3 link to our homemade versions!)
  • It’s a protein-filled vegetarian dinner. The best part of this recipe is the savory scrambled egg! It’s like the egg you’d scramble into fried rice, but with soba noodles. The egg plus nut butter makes for enough protein to make it a filling meal.
Just the good stuff

About the book: Just the Good Stuff

This soba noodle bowl is from Rachel Mansfield’s book Just the Good Stuff: a compilation of “guilt-free recipes to satisfy all your cravings.” Alex and I met Rachel speaking on a panel together at a conference, and she even more lovely in person than her Instagram self (if that’s possible!).

Like us, Rachel is passionate about eating real food and organic ingredients. The book is filled with gluten-free, Paleo-friendly recipes made with healthy ingredients: but you never feel like you’re giving anything up. If this recipe is any indication, this book is absolutely packed with flavor! (Note: it’s not vegetarian or vegan, but there are plenty of plant based options.)

Get it: Just the Good Stuff

Soba noodle bowl

Scale this soba noodle bowl as needed!

This soba noodle bowl can be made in any quantity. The original healthy noodle stir fry recipe is actually in the “Solo Meals” chapter of Just the Good Stuff: it was written as a recipe for one. But since we are most often cooking for 3 and all the recipes on this website are for 4, we increased the quantity. Plus, we love leftovers! We love cooking once and eating for a few days.

But if you’d rather: this makes a great single serving meal! Just divide the quantities by 4.

The skinny on soba noodles

What are soba noodles? Soba are thin Japanese buckwheat noodles. They’re often served in soups or chilled with a sauce: or in a noodle stir fry like this one! All buckwheat soba noodles are gluten-free, but some brands are made with wheat flour and buckwheat flour. Make sure to check the package if you eat gluten-free.

One note on soba noodle brands: Alex and I have found that every brand of soba is different! There are some brands that very thin and tend to break, and some that are a little thicker that we like better. Make sure to experiment a bit to find the soba you like.

Soba noodle bowl

Variations on this soba noodle bowl

While we love this soba noodle bowl as is, there are plenty of ways to mix it up! Here are some ideas on ways to accessorize it:

  • Add shrimp. Cook up some garlic shrimp on the side and throw it on top!
  • Add tofu. Try our easy marinaded tofu or tofu scramble. Tofu scrambles are perfect as a vegan protein for quick weeknight meals!
  • Add more of your favorite veggies. Anything that would work in a stir fry works here: mushrooms, carrots, cabbage, snap peas, zucchini, edamame, green onion, etc. For approximate cook times, go to Easy Vegetable Stir Fry.
  • Use rice noodles, zucchini noodles or squash noodles. For gluten-free, try any of these three noodle varieties. You can also try Roasted Spaghetti Squash or Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash.
  • For nut free, use sun butter. Sun butter is a good substitute for the nut butter.

This soba noodle bowl recipe is…

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

Print
Soba noodle bowl

Easy Soba Noodle Bowl


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

Description

This soba noodle bowl is a quick and easy dinner recipe, perfect for weeknights! It’s a filling vegetarian meal full of healthy veggies.


Ingredients

  • 10 ounces soba noodles (or zucchini noodles)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 medium onion (1 cup chopped)
  • 1 red bell pepper (1 cup chopped)
  • 1 large head broccoli
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup nut butter (peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter)
  • Sriracha hot sauce, to taste
  • Sesame seeds, for the garnish

Instructions

  1. Start a pot of water to boil. Boil the soba noodles according to the package instructions (it should take about 4 minutes). When it’s done, drain. Then rinse with cold water to wash away the starch, and drain again.
  2. While the starts to boil, mince the garlic. Chop the onion. Chop the pepper into 1-inch squares. Chop the broccoli into florets.
  3. While the noodles cook, heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, onion, bell pepper, and broccoli. Cover the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until soften, about 6 minutes.
  4. Strain the soba noodles and add them to the vegetables in the skillet.
  5. Crack the eggs into the skillet and mix well, breaking up the yolk and white and cooking it into the vegetables and noodles.
  6. Once the egg starts the set, add the coconut aminos or soy sauce and peanut butter and mix well. Serve warm.

Notes

Reprinted with permission from Just The Good Stuff. Copyright © 2020 by Rachel Mansfield Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian Inspired

Keywords: Soba Noodle Bowl, Soba Stir Fry, Noodle Stir Fry

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