Split Pea Soup

There are few things more comforting than a bowl of this thick and hearty split pea soup, rich and velvety and topped with smokey bits of crisp bacon. Simple ingredient list, complex flavor. Flavored simply with bacon, onion, chicken broth and a smidge of thyme, you’ll be surprised at the sheer amount of flavor from […]

The post Split Pea Soup first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

There are few things more comforting than a bowl of this thick and hearty split pea soup, rich and velvety and topped with smokey bits of crisp bacon.

Simple ingredient list, complex flavor. Flavored simply with bacon, onion, chicken broth and a smidge of thyme, you’ll be surprised at the sheer amount of flavor from such a limited ingredient list.

Two big white mugs with Split Pea Soup, with blue napkin and spoons

Split pea soup is one of those recipes that gets a bad wrap. Or no wrap, actually, since it’s regularly overlooked and downright omitted from the soup lexicon in lieu of more ubiquitous options like chicken noodle and tomato the like. I mean, when was the last time you actually saw pea soup on a restaurant menu (when you weren’t driving through Buellton, California, that is)? Pea soup is more often used as a less-than-appetizing descriptor of thick, murky fog than actual soup.

I fully admit that split pea soup was so far outside my mind it was never something I even thought of until I found myself with a random bag of split peas, an impulse buy if you will (Get it? impulse? because peas are pulses? I’m so punny).

In reality, split pea soup is actually quite wonderful. There’s a reason this recipe has stood the test of time (and in fact, split pea soup or something quite like it, can be dated back to medieval Europe).

(more…)

Vegetable Soup

I made a big pot of Vegetable Soup last week and I’ve decided that it needs to be in our regular rotation. This classic soup is so simple to make and SO good! We ate it for dinner one night and then I enjoyed the leftovers for lunch all week. One…

I made a big pot of Vegetable Soup last week and I’ve decided that it needs to be in our regular rotation. This classic soup is so simple to make and SO good! We ate it for dinner one night and then I enjoyed the leftovers for lunch all week. One bowl of this soup…

The post Vegetable Soup appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew

Y’all. I am SO ready for sweater weather and cozy slow cooker stews! To kick the season off, I made this super simple Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew this week. It’s nothing fancy, it’s just simple, good, comforting food! I love the simplicity of this dish and the flexibility. It’s the perfect thing to have simmering […]

The post Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Y’all. I am SO ready for sweater weather and cozy slow cooker stews! To kick the season off, I made this super simple Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew this week. It’s nothing fancy, it’s just simple, good, comforting food! I love the simplicity of this dish and the flexibility. It’s the perfect thing to have simmering away on the weekend as you do your chores or relax and enjoy watching the changing of the seasons. :)

Overhead view of a bowl of slow cooker hamburger stew with bread on the side

What’s in Hamburger Stew?

Hamburger stew is very similar to traditional beef stew, but it’s made with ground beef instead of stew meat. Using ground beef is a little bit less expensive than using stew meat, and I like how you get a little bit of beef in every bite! 

In addition to the beef we have a medley of fresh vegetables (carrots, onions, potatoes, peas), beef broth, herbs and spices, plus a little Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce to zhuzh it up a bit. It’s incredibly simple, but creates that beautifully subtle slow stewed flavor.

Why Brown The Hamburger First?

For this Hamburger Stew I browned the ground beef in a skillet before adding it to the slow cooker. I did this for two reasons. One, to render off some of the fat. I used 15% fat ground beef and there was quite a bit that needed to be drained away (I actually tested this recipe once without draining the fat and it just ended up far too oily). The second reason is that you get a nice browning (maillard reaction) on the beef in the dry environment of a skillet that you do not get in the wet environment of a slow cooker. So you’ll get just a little bit more flavor with this extra step!

Can I Use Different Vegetables?

Yes! Stews are very flexible. If you don’t like one of the vegetables listed, go ahead and skip it. Just keep in mind that the potatoes do help thicken the stew, so if you skip the potatoes you’ll have more of a soup texture. Other great vegetables to use in beef stew include:

  • mushrooms
  • pearl onions
  • parsnips
  • turnips
  • rutabagas
  • sweet potatoes
  • winter squash (acorn, butternut, pumpkin)

What Are Stewed Tomatoes?

This recipe calls for stewed tomatoes, which are a variety of canned tomatoes that are popular in the U.S. (example: Hunts stewed tomatoes). These tomatoes are cooked with seasonings and a little bit of sugar to give them the slightest sweetness. Stewed tomatoes add a little extra special unique flavor to the broth of this stew. While you can use diced tomatoes if stewed tomatoes are not available, this substitution will slightly change the flavor of the stew.

How Long Is Hamburger Stew Good?

After cooking the hamburger stew, I suggest dividing it into single portions (so that it cools faster) and refrigerating it right away. It will stay good in the refrigerator for 4-5 days, or it can be transferred to the freezer for longer storage (about 3 months). This stew is a great item to have stashed in your freezer for busy nights! It can be reheated quickly in the microwave, or slowly over medium-low heat in a pot on the stove.

Slow cooker hamburger stew in a ladle over the slow cooker

 
Overhead view of a bowl full of slow cooker hamburger stew with bread and a spoon on the side

Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew

This super easy Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew is simple, comforting food at its best. And the leftovers are even better the next day!
Total Cost $9.88 recipe / $1.65 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6 1.5 cups each
Calories 348.27kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. russet potatoes $1.20
  • 1/2 lb. carrots (about 4 carrots) $0.45
  • 1 yellow onion 0.32
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary $0.05
  • ½ tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1 lb. ground beef $5.69
  • 1 15oz. can stewed tomatoes $1.00
  • 2 cups beef broth $0.26
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce $0.06
  • 1 cup frozen peas $0.60

Instructions

  • Peel and dice the potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Peel and slice the carrots. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the potatoes, carrots, onion, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and pepper to a slow cooker (4 quarts or larger).
  • Brown the ground beef in a skillet, then drain off the excess fat. Add the browned and drained beef to the slow cooker along with the can of stewed tomatoes (with juices). Finally, add the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce to the slow cooker.
  • Give the contents of the slow cooker a brief stir to make sure everything is evenly combined (the broth may not fully cover the other ingredients). Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours, or low for eight hours.
  • After cooking on high for four hours or low for eight hours, remove the lid and stir the stew. Use the back of a spoon to slightly mash some of the potatoes, which will help thicken the stew.
  • Add the frozen peas (no need to thaw) and stir to combine into the stew. Taste the stew and add extra salt if needed (I did not add any, this will depend on the salt content of your beef broth). Serve hot with bread for dipping!

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 348.27kcal | Carbohydrates: 41.42g | Protein: 20.15g | Fat: 11.83g | Sodium: 751.72mg | Fiber: 5.07g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Try These Other Stew Recipes:

Front view of Hamburger Stew in the slow cooker

How to Make Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew – Step by Step Photos

Vegetables herbs and spices in the slow cooker

Peel and dice 2 lbs. of potatoes into 1-inch pieces. Peel and slice ½ lb. carrots (about 4 carrots). Dice one onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Add the potatoes, carrots, onion, and garlic to a slow cooker along with ½ tsp dried rosemary, ½ tsp dried tyme, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper.

Browned ground beef and stewed tomatoes added to slow cooker

Brown one pound of ground beef and drain off the excess fat. Add the browned ground beef to the slow cooker along with one 15oz. can of stewed tomatoes (with the juices).

Beef broth Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce added to slow cooker

Add 2 cups beef broth, 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, and 1 Tbsp soy sauce to the slow cooker.

Slow cooker ready to be turned on

Give the contents of the slow cooker a brief stir to combine. The broth will not fully cover the meat and vegetables, but that’s okay. The vegetables will release more moisture and increase the broth as they cook. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours.

Cooked hamburger stew in the slow cooker

After cooking on high for four hours or low for eight hours, it will look like this. Give it a good stir and smash some of the potatoes against the side of the slow cooker. The smashed potatoes will help thicken the broth into a nice hearty stew.

Frozen peas being added to the slow cooker

Stir one cup of frozen peas into the slow cooker (they’ll thaw and heat within a minute or so). 

Finished slow cooker hamburger stew in the slow cooker

Give the hamburger stew a final taste and adjust the salt to your liking. I didn’t need to add any because the broth I use (Better than Bouillon) has a decent amount, but if your broth has less sodium you may find that a pinch of salt at the end helps the flavors pop!

Slow Cooker Hamburger stew in a bowl with a spoon lifting a bite

Serve the hamburger stew immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat (but I don’t know how you’ll resist having a bowl after smelling that cooking all day!).

The post Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Spanish Paella Recipe

Here’s how to make a paella recipe…the Spanish way! This stunning one pan dinner features shrimp, vegetables and all the authentic flavors of this traditional dish. Here’s a stunning one pan dinner that’s made for celebrations: paella! This traditional Spanish rice dish has thousands of variations. but it’s always rice with an explosion of colorful toppings. This one is our best classic paella recipe, based on our travels through Spain! We’ve perfected the skills so you can try it at home. It stars saffron-scented rice, mixed colorful vegetables and shrimp, and it’s full of traditional flavor. Here’s everything you need to know to make paella at home! What paella types are there? Paella is a traditional Spanish dish with saffron-flavored rice topped with seafood, meat and/or vegetables and served in a shallow paella pan. There are varying sizes of paella pans: small pans for two people, and massive paella pans for a crowd. (Fun fact: the world’s largest paella was made in a pan big enough for 30,000 people!) What types of paella are there? Spaniards themselves differ on what is the most classic, authentic paella recipe. Alex and I have eaten paella in Valencia, Barcelona, and Madrid, and all […]

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

Here’s how to make a paella recipe…the Spanish way! This stunning one pan dinner features shrimp, vegetables and all the authentic flavors of this traditional dish.

Paella Recipe

Here’s a stunning one pan dinner that’s made for celebrations: paella! This traditional Spanish rice dish has thousands of variations. but it’s always rice with an explosion of colorful toppings. This one is our best classic paella recipe, based on our travels through Spain! We’ve perfected the skills so you can try it at home. It stars saffron-scented rice, mixed colorful vegetables and shrimp, and it’s full of traditional flavor. Here’s everything you need to know to make paella at home!

What paella types are there?

Paella is a traditional Spanish dish with saffron-flavored rice topped with seafood, meat and/or vegetables and served in a shallow paella pan. There are varying sizes of paella pans: small pans for two people, and massive paella pans for a crowd. (Fun fact: the world’s largest paella was made in a pan big enough for 30,000 people!)

What types of paella are there? Spaniards themselves differ on what is the most classic, authentic paella recipe. Alex and I have eaten paella in Valencia, Barcelona, and Madrid, and all of them have been vastly different. There are four main types of paella:

  • Paella de mariscos: Seafood paella with shrimp, prawns, scallops or mussels
  • Paella mixta: A mixed paella with seafood, meat and vegetables
  • Valenican-style paella (paella Valenciana): Chicken, rabbit, garrofó (a variety of lima bean), saffron, and rosemary
  • Paella de verduras: vegetarian paella with vegetables only
Spanish paella recipe

Ingredients in this paella recipe

For our best paella recipe, we used the common elements in the paella recipes we’ve had in different regions in Spain. Here’s what’s featured in this paella:

  • Traditional paella pan: you can also use a skillet (see below)
  • Bomba rice: you can also use arborio
  • Tomato, onion and garlic to make a quick “sofrito”
  • Saffron and pimentón aka smoked paprika
  • Mixed vegetables like artichokes, red pepper and peas
  • Seafood: you can also make vegetarian paella (see below)
  • Lemon wedges: garnishing with lemon is the perfect bright finish
Best paella recipe

What is the best paella pan? Do you need to use one?

A paella pan is a large round, shallow pan with handles used for cooking paella. The shallow shape lets rice cook consistently and lets it dry out more than it can in a skillet. If you have a paella pan or want one, now’s the time to use it! This recipe is for a 15-inch paella pan that serves 4 people. If you’re looking for one, here’s a link to purchase a 4-person paella pan.

Don’t have a paella pan? Don’t worry! Make this paella in your largest skillet. The larger the better! You may need to adjust the cook time slightly if you are using a skillet.

Paella pan care instructions: Paella pans are made of carbon steel and can rust. Make sure to dry the pan completely after cleaning it, and rub it with a bit of vegetable oil to prevent rusting.

Paella rice

What’s the best rice to use in paella?

The most authentic paella rice type is called bomba rice. Bomba rice is a white short grain rice. You can also use Arborio rice, which is easier to find but can result in a gummier texture than bomba. Either work! For this recipe we tried bomba and felt like it had more consistent results. You can find bomba rice online. Order it: Bomba rice

The secret spices: saffron and pimentón

This is an authentic style paella recipe, so it uses two special spices to get that traditional flavor. Here’s what to know:

  • Saffron brings an earthy flavor and a beautiful color to the dish. It’s an expensive spice, but it’s worth the splurge. What can you substitute for saffron? If you can’t find it or don’t want to splurge, use 1/2 teaspoon turmeric.
  • Smoked paprika: Called pimentón or Spanish smoked paprika, this bright red spice gives the dish more color and a smoky undertone. It’s easy to find and you’ll find it in many of our recipes here. (Here are our 20 best smoked paprika recipes.)
Easy paella recipe

Do not stir this paella recipe!

Once all the ingredients are added to the pan in paella, here’s what to do…or really, what not to do. Don’t stir it! Please repeat: no stirring allowed. The broth and spices boil through the rice, leaving everything perfectly flavored and cooked.

Traditionally, it’s good to get a brown crust on the bottom of the rice (perfectly brown, without burning it). The Spanish call this socarrat. It’s difficult to achieve the perfect socarrat because so much depends on the exact timing. It’s also a little harder to get it if you’re using a skillet. But never fear! Each time you cook this recipe, you’ll learn new things about perfecting your paella technique.

Paella variations

Variation: vegan and vegetarian paella

Don’t want to make a shrimp paella recipe? No problem. We love making vegan and vegetarian paella as well. (Or go to this Simple Vegetarian Paella.) Here’s what to do to customize this recipe:

  • Omit the shrimp! Obviously.
  • Add 1 15-ounce can chickpeas (1 1/2 cups cooked). Drain and rinse them, then add them when you add the vegetable broth.
  • Increase the salt by 1/4 teaspoon. You’ll need it to flavor the chickpeas.

This paella recipe is…

Gluten-free, pescatarian, and dairy-free. For vegetarian, plant-based, and dairy-free, see the section above.

Print
Paella Recipe

Spanish Paella Recipe


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: 4
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Here’s how to make a paella recipe…the Spanish way! This stunning one pan dinner features shrimp, vegetables and all the authentic flavors of this traditional dish.


Ingredients

  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 to 3 roma or plum tomatoes (1 1/2 cups finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, peel and deveined*
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 large pinch saffron
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 3 cups seafood stock or vegetable stock 
  • 1 1/2 cups short grain Bomba rice or arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas, thawed under water
  • 1/2 cup artichoke hearts, quartered
  • Lemon wedges from 1/2 lemon
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Prep the vegetables: Mince the onion. Mince the garlic. Finely chop the tomatoes, removing the cores but keeping the seeds with their juices.
  2. Measure out the ingredients: Measure out all the remaining ingredients before you start. The cooking process goes fast!
  3. Cook the shrimp: Dry the shrimp and add it to a bowl with 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. In your largest skillet or a 4-serving paella pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the shrimp and saute until it is just barely opaque, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove the shrimp and set it aside.
  4. Cook the paella: In the same pan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil on medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic until just translucent, about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chopped tomatoes, the remaining 1 teaspoon smoked paprika and red pepper flakes, and cook until the tomatoes have broken down and most of the liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in the stock, saffron and 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Sprinkle the rice evenly across the broth and tap the pan with a spoon to evenly spread the rice. Bring to a medium simmer and cook without stirring until liquid is absorbed, about 18 to 22 minutes (adjust the cook time as necessary if using a skillet).
  5. Adjust the heat as necessary: If your pan is large enough to span multiple burners on your stovetop, adjust the heat on each burner so you achieve a steady medium simmer. Rotate the pan every few minutes for an even cook.
  6. Add the artichokes and peas: When the top of the rice is beginning to show through the liquid (about 10 minutes into the cook time), press the artichokes and peas lightly into the rice.
  7. Assess whether the paella is done: In last few minutes, carefully watch the paella and rotate pan more frequently. As the paella finishes, you’ll see the steam start to slow down as the water cooks out. If desired, peek at the bottom of a pan by using a knife to scrape back the rice — you shouldn’t see any standing water. The sound will start to change from a simmer to a crackle. This indicates the crust is forming. Let the crackling continue for about 2 minutes before removing from the heat. If you smell any burning, remove immediately.
  8. Add the shrimp and serve: When the paella is done, add the shrimp to top of paella and squeeze the lemon wedges onto the top of the pan. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of kosher salt and add the parsley, if using. Serve with additional lemon wedges.

Notes

*Vegetarian and vegan variation: Remove the shrimp. Add 1 15-ounce can chickpeas (or 1 1/2 cups cooked) when you add the veggie broth. Increase the salt by 1/4 teaspoon.

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

Keywords: Paella Recipe, Paella

More paella recipes

Love paella? Here are a few more options to try:

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

Copycat IKEA Veggie Balls

Have you tried the vegan veggie balls in Ikea? They are so delicious and flavorful. If you don’t have an Ikea nearby, try our Copycat Ikea Veggie Balls recipe, where we added 8 different vegetables the same as in the original with a tasty mix of …

Have you tried the vegan veggie balls in Ikea? They are so delicious and flavorful. If you don’t have an Ikea nearby, try our Copycat Ikea Veggie Balls recipe, where we added 8 different vegetables the same as in the original with a tasty mix of spices and herbs to get the flavors just right. ...

Read More

The post Copycat IKEA Veggie Balls appeared first on My Pure Plants.

smashed potatoes with sweet corn relish

One of the reasons it’s been relatively quiet here is because as meaningful (okay I’m being sarcastic) as it was when a shampoo brand I ordered from five years ago sent me an email last week about their support of the Black Lives M…

One of the reasons it’s been relatively quiet here is because as meaningful (okay I’m being sarcastic) as it was when a shampoo brand I ordered from five years ago sent me an email last week about their support of the Black Lives Matter movement, I’m wary of using my platform in a way that places more value on the performance of allyship than the practice of it. If you’re concerned about what my values are, I spoke about them in greater detail in last week’s newsletter. It would ring hollow to pivot away from what I love the most in June — grilled vegetables, summer salads, icy drinks, and birthday cake — for a detailed look at, say, bail funds only to pivot back two days later because I wanted to make lemon bars. But it would have been disingenuous to feign interest in berry shortcakes as usual while my head was everywhere else. So, I’ve been taking some time offline to process, learn, plan, and parent, until I could find a way to move forward in a way that feels authentic to my values and where I’m at, and to what this site has always been, a place where I hope you’ll find your new favorite thing to cook.

Black cookbooks and memoirs

I created a new reference page, too. A few people had messaged me asking for cookbook and food memoir suggestions by Black writers and so I went to my bookshelves and I pulled out several — plus a few more I don’t have or have lent out but highly recommend — and shared a little about each. This is not, of course, an exhaustive list and I’m sure I’ve missed some great ones. This is simply what I’ve read and enjoyed over the years. Perhaps you’ll find a few new favorites, too.

Read more »

Smoky Beet Burger with Minty Pea Puree

Beet burger is the queen of all veggie burgers. It is colorful, hearty, and delicious. This 7-ingredient beetroot burger recipe is vegan (so egg-free and dairy-free), but juicy, flavorful, and loaded with simple and easy to find ingredients like r…

Beet burger is the queen of all veggie burgers. It is colorful, hearty, and delicious. This 7-ingredient beetroot burger recipe is vegan (so egg-free and dairy-free), but juicy, flavorful, and loaded with simple and easy to find ingredients like raw, grated beets, cannellini beans, and oats. The result is a real crowd-pleaser, hearty, and so-so yummy...

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The post Smoky Beet Burger with Minty Pea Puree appeared first on My Pure Plants.

Fried Rice (Takeout Style!)

Here’s how to make the very best fried rice: takeout style! Egg, veggies, garlic and ginger bring aromatic flavor to this homemade comfort food. What’s your favorite comfort food? Mac and cheese and pizza can do the trick, but here’s our ultimate: Fried Rice! There’s something about the chewy clumps of eggs and the savory ginger and soy-infused bites that feels positively life giving. Usually we make fried rice on the fly without a recipe. But after years of tinkering, we wanted to share our master method. Here’s how to make the very best fried rice: it tastes just like takeout from your favorite restaurant! Start with day old rice, if possible! The most basic adage for this classic recipe is: use day old rice. Why use day old rice for fried rice?  Freshly cooked rice has a lot of moisture. If you use fresh rice, it clumps together and turns out soggy. Day old rice dries out. When you cook it, the grains stay separate and form that signature texture. For the best fried rice, make it using leftovers (stored up to 5 days in the refrigerator) or boil a pot the night before. What if you don’t have day […]

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

Here’s how to make the very best fried rice: takeout style! Egg, veggies, garlic and ginger bring aromatic flavor to this homemade comfort food.

Best Fried Rice

What’s your favorite comfort food? Mac and cheese and pizza can do the trick, but here’s our ultimate: Fried Rice! There’s something about the chewy clumps of eggs and the savory ginger and soy-infused bites that feels positively life giving. Usually we make fried rice on the fly without a recipe. But after years of tinkering, we wanted to share our master method. Here’s how to make the very best fried rice: it tastes just like takeout from your favorite restaurant!

Start with day old rice, if possible!

The most basic adage for this classic recipe is: use day old rice. Why use day old rice for fried rice? 

  • Freshly cooked rice has a lot of moisture. If you use fresh rice, it clumps together and turns out soggy.
  • Day old rice dries out. When you cook it, the grains stay separate and form that signature texture. For the best fried rice, make it using leftovers (stored up to 5 days in the refrigerator) or boil a pot the night before.
  • What if you don’t have day old rice? Keep reading for a shortcut…
How to make fried rice

No day old rice for fried rice? Here’s a trick!

Sometimes we don’t think ahead enough to have rice made up the night before. While that’s the primary path to fried rice, we’ve got a little shortcut. If you want to make fried rice the same day, here’s our shortcut.

  • Make the rice. Once it’s finished steaming, proceed to the next step.
  • Spread on a tray and freeze 15 minutes: Spread the freshly cooked rice onto a rimmed sheet pan or tray: you’ll notice lots of steam since it’s still hot. Place the tray in the freezer and freeze for about 15 to 20 minutes until the grains become cool to the touch. Some might even become frozen: that’s ok! They’ll heat right back up once they hit the pan.
Egg fried rice

Ingredients for the best fried rice

The very best fried rice, the kind that tastes like takeout, has very specific ingredients to get that signature flavor. Here are the ingredients for fried rice:

  • Rice: Medium or long grain rice is best, because short grain rice can become clumpy. Basmati rice is a nice option. You can use either white rice or brown rice.
  • Sesame oil: For cooking; use the standard variety, not toasted sesame oil.
  • Onion and garlic: These aromatic veggies form the base.
  • Fresh ginger: Very important for the very best flavor. Find fresh ginger root in the produce section in your grocery.
  • Carrots, peas, and green cabbage (optional): Carrots and peas are classic. Green cabbage is optional, but it adds a nice contrasting texture.
  • Eggs: Eggs are a must and add protein to make the recipe filling.
  • Soy sauce: Essential for the final flavoring.
  • Fish sauce (optional): It really amps the flavors to the next level, if you have it on hand. But it’s not necessary!

Fried rice variations

With a recipe as time-honored as this, there’s bound to be endless variations on the theme. Here are some of our favorite ways to change up fried rice, in order of preference:

  • Shrimp Fried Rice: Add sauteed shrimp to make an incredibly flavorful and filling main dish. Our family favorite!
  • Other Protein: Cook up some chicken, beef or pork to add to the mix.
  • Quinoa Fried Rice: Use quinoa instead of rice for a unique spin.
  • Three Onion Fried Rice: Use onions, shallots, and green onions to enhance the savory flavor.
  • Cauliflower Fried Rice: Go grain free! Use cauliflower rice in place of the standard whole grain.
Shrimp fried rice
Adding shrimp makes it a filling healthy dinner recipe

Make it a meal! What to serve with fried rice

Confession: in the past we’ve floundered when it comes to what to serve with egg fried rice. But take note: you’ve got to add some side dishes to make it a healthy meal. (Or make the shrimp version and it’s a full meal!) Here are some of our favorite sides to go with fried rice:

Homemade fried rice

Vegan fried rice variation!

Love eating plant based? The egg is integral to the texture: but we’ve got a substitute for you that makes vegan fried rice:

  • Make a tofu scramble! Go to Easy Tofu Scramble. Make sure to get the pieces fairly small so they’ll integrate into the texture like an egg would.
  • Make the fried rice without the egg, then stir in the tofu at the end.

This fried rice recipe is…

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

Print
Best Fried Rice

*Best* Fried Rice (Takeout Style!)


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

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

Description

Here’s how to make the very best fried rice: takeout style! Egg, veggies, garlic and ginger bring aromatic flavor to this homemade comfort food.


Ingredients

  • 1/2 yellow or white onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger (about 1 inch nub)
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 cups chopped green cabbage (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • 4 eggs*
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 4 cups cooked rice, at least 1 day old (use How to Cook Rice or Instant Pot Rice), or use shortcut**
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons soy sauce (or liquid aminos)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
  • Green onion, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Mince the onion. Mince the garlic. Mince the ginger. Peel the carrots, then dice them. If using, chop the cabbage.
  2. In a large skillet or wok, heat 2 tablespoons of the sesame oil medium high. Saute the carrots and onion for 2 minutes. Add the cabbage, garlic and ginger and saute for 2 minutes. Stir in the rice, peas and salt for 1 minute.
  3. Push the rice to the side. Add 1 tablespoon more oil. Add the eggs and pinch of salt, and scramble them in for 1 to 2 minutes until cooked through.
  4. Add the soy sauce and fish sauce, if using. Taste and add additional soy sauce if necessary. Heat for a minute or two, stirring, until all rice is coated. Serve hot.

Notes

*For a vegan variation, make a Tofu Scramble first, keeping the pieces fairly small. Make the rice without the egg, then stir in the scrambled tofu in the last step. 

**Trick: If you don’t have day old rice, here’s a shortcut. Make the rice.  Then spread it onto a rimmed sheet pan and put it into the freezer. Freeze for about 15 to 20 minutes until the grains become cool to the touch. Some might even become frozen: that’s ok! They’ll heat right back up once they hit the pan.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stir Fried
  • Cuisine: Asian

Keywords: Fried Rice, Egg Fried Rice, How to Make Fried Rice

More rice recipes

There are so many tasty ways to eat rice! Here are some of our favorites:

  • Spanish Rice and Beans A pantry-staple sort of meal that works as a healthy vegan and vegetarian dinner or a hearty side.
  • Black Beans and Rice Long-grain rice is jumbled with black beans and green bell pepper, and seasoned with cumin, lime and cilantro.
  • Asparagus Risotto This flavor-packed risotto pairs creamy arborio rice with Parmesan and lemony roasted asparagus.
  • Easy Shrimp Paella A traditional Spanish dish that looks simply stunning.

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

Vegan Pasta Primavera

This vegan pasta primavera is so full of flavor! It features spaghetti with spring vegetables like asparagus, peas, spinach, and zesty lemon. Ready for a veggie-filled pasta that tastes incredible with no need for cheese? Meet this vegan pasta primavera. Pasta primavera is all about fresh, green spring veggies and a delicate, light flavor. It’s everything that a heavy mac and cheese or lasagna are not. So once the first sprouts of green start to come in the spring: we start to crave pasta primavera. Turns out the concept is pretty loose, so here’s our spin on the classic: full of flavor and fully plant based. What is pasta primavera, anyway? Great question. From the name, you might guess pasta primavera is a time-honored Italian recipe dating back hundreds of years. Italian grandmother fare, right? Couldn’t be further from the truth. Pasta primavera was born in the 1970’s in New York! It was a dish at a New York City restaurant called Le Cirque, made with spaghetti, lots of fresh spring vegetables, and a lemon cream sauce. So much for hundreds of years of tradition. (We came to learn the same is true of broccolini and Saint Germaine. Who knew!) […]

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

This vegan pasta primavera is so full of flavor! It features spaghetti with spring vegetables like asparagus, peas, spinach, and zesty lemon.

Vegan pasta primavera

Ready for a veggie-filled pasta that tastes incredible with no need for cheese? Meet this vegan pasta primavera. Pasta primavera is all about fresh, green spring veggies and a delicate, light flavor. It’s everything that a heavy mac and cheese or lasagna are not. So once the first sprouts of green start to come in the spring: we start to crave pasta primavera. Turns out the concept is pretty loose, so here’s our spin on the classic: full of flavor and fully plant based.

What is pasta primavera, anyway?

Great question. From the name, you might guess pasta primavera is a time-honored Italian recipe dating back hundreds of years. Italian grandmother fare, right? Couldn’t be further from the truth. Pasta primavera was born in the 1970’s in New York! It was a dish at a New York City restaurant called Le Cirque, made with spaghetti, lots of fresh spring vegetables, and a lemon cream sauce. So much for hundreds of years of tradition. (We came to learn the same is true of broccolini and Saint Germaine. Who knew!)

Vegan pasta primavera

Ingredients in this vegan pasta primavera

Is this vegan pasta primavera a classic pasta primavera? Well, turns out it’s one of those things that can be made in many different ways. There’s no real “recipe”: aside from using pasta and the freshest of seasonal vegetables. Plus, it usually has Parmesan cheese and this is a vegan version! So it’s a loose interpretation of the general concept.

Primavera means spring in Italian, we wanted to highlight all our favorite spring vegetables. Here are the good-for-you vegetables in this vegan pasta primavera:

Vegan pasta primavera

Variations on this recipe: other veggie & sauce ideas!

Since there’s a lot of variation in what vegetables are featured in pasta primavera, you could add really any vegetables you like to this recipe. Some we’d recommend are:

  • Sliced ripe cherry tomatoes: Tomatoes are more summery than spring, but they add great color. Whatever you do, make sure they are ripe (some hydroponic grocery tomatoes can be ok off season). Throw in 1 handful with the garlic at the end.
  • Thinly sliced carrot: Carrots also add nice color. Slice them into matchsticks and add them with the asparagus.
  • Zucchini: Many pasta primavera recipes include zucchini; you could throw sliced zucchini in with the asparagus as well.
  • Creamy sauce: Want it creamy instead? Try it with our Vegan Alfredo Sauce (nix the seasonings at the end).
Pasta primavera

The noodles! Use long or short cuts

Long spaghetti noodles feature in our vegan pasta primavera because we like the elegant look of the long noodles. But this dish works with short types of pasta too! Here are a few types we’d recommend trying:

  • Long noodles: It would be great with bucatini, linguine, and fettuccine.
  • Short noodles: It works well with penne, rigatoni, cavatappi, gemelli, or farfalle.

For gluten-free, use your favorite gluten-free pasta, or try some of the legume or lentil pastas on the market.

How to cook pasta to al dente

The key to a good pasta dish is always this: cook the pasta to al dente. You’ll want to make sure it’s perfect for this pasta primavera. What’s al dente? In Italian it means “to the bite.” It refers to pasta that is still firm on the inside when cooked. The ideal al dente texture is a tender exterior balanced by a firm bite with a fleck of white at its core. Here’s how to cook pasta to al dente:

  • Boil the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water.
  • While cooking, check pasta continually for doneness.
  • 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.
Vegan pasta

More vegan pasta recipes

Do you love making vegan pasta? We’ve got lots of great recipes that might be up your alley. Here are our favorites:

  • Vegan Pasta Alfredo Decadent, creamy, and full of healthy plant based ingredients. An easy dinner in under 30 minutes!
  • Favorite Vegan Lasagna About to become your new favorite: guaranteed. Full of flavor, it’s a winner with everyone!
  • Roasted Eggplant Pasta Flavor-packed with roasted eggplant & zesty marinara sauce! An impressive plant based dinner.
  • Vegan Pesto Pasta This killer vegan pesto pasta gets big flavor from emerald green basil pesto, ripe cherry tomatoes, and a drizzle of olive oil.

This vegan pasta primavera recipe is…

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

Print
Vegan pasta primavera

Vegan Pasta Primavera


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This vegan pasta primavera is so full of flavor! It features spaghetti with spring vegetables like asparagus, peas, spinach, and zesty lemon. 


Ingredients

  • 8 ounces spaghetti
  • 2 portabella mushrooms
  • 1/2 pound (1/2 bunch) asparagus
  • 1 bunch broccolini (or 2 cups broccoli florets, with stems kept as long as possible)
  • 3 cups spinach leaves, roughly chopped (or 3 ounces baby spinach)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups frozen peas (10 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or liquid aminos)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus lemon zest to garnish

Or, mix it up: Try it with our Vegan Alfredo Sauce instead (nix the final 4 ingredients).


Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta until it is 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). Then drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
  2. Chop the vegetables: Meanwhile, thinly slice the portobello mushroom caps (remove the stems). Chop off the tough end of the asparagus. Slice in half lengthwise so that each stalk forms 2 long thin stalks (doesn’t have to be perfect). Then slice them in half crosswise. Slice off the thick ends of the broccolini and keep the large florets (if using broccoli, cut the broccoli into medium small florets, keeping the stem as long as possible). Wash and roughly chop the spinach, removing any long stems (skip this if using packaged baby spinach). Mince the garlic.
  3. Cook the vegetables: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute for 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce and saute for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the broccolini and asparagus and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the spinach and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly until wilted. Add the frozen peas and saute for 1 minute. Add the minced garlic and saute for 1 minute. (You could also consider adding a pinch of red pepper flakes at this point!)
  4. Add olive oil to pasta: Once the pasta is cooked and drained, drizzle it with olive oil.
  5. Add final flavorings and serve: In a small bowl stir together the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and the onion powder, dried oregano, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice. After the vegetables are done, stir in the pasta and toss so the vegetables are evenly distributed, then pour the olive oil and spice mixture on the pasta and stir to combine. Taste and add additional salt if necessary (or serve with salt). Serve immediately garnished with lemon zest.

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

Keywords: Vegan Pasta Primavera

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

Vegetable Curry

This easy vegetable curry is the best way to eat your veggies! Cauliflower, bell pepper and chickpeas swim in a flavor-packed broth. A vegetable curry is one of the best ways to make eating your veggies taste incredible. Alex and I adore eating curry for dinner, and guess what? It’s the best way to get loads of nutrients without even noticing. This vegetable curry is so good, you’ll be shoveling it down by the spoonful. It’s full of big flavor and all the best veggies you can eat, like cauliflower, carrots, bell peppers, and chickpeas. It features crisp tender veggies in a seriously flavorful broth. Serve with naan bread or rice and it’s one of the most satisfying plant-based dinners around. What’s a curry, anyway? Curry is a very loose term. Per Bon Appetit, in many countries it was a word used by colonizers to simplify what they saw as foreign cuisines. Today, curry is usually a dish with a spiced sauce and meat or vegetables, often eaten with rice or flatbread like naan. Many times the spice curry powder is included in the sauce, or sometimes curry paste. The dish is made in many countries, including India, Thailand, Cambodia, […]

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

This easy vegetable curry is the best way to eat your veggies! Cauliflower, bell pepper and chickpeas swim in a flavor-packed broth.

Vegetable curry

A vegetable curry is one of the best ways to make eating your veggies taste incredible. Alex and I adore eating curry for dinner, and guess what? It’s the best way to get loads of nutrients without even noticing. This vegetable curry is so good, you’ll be shoveling it down by the spoonful. It’s full of big flavor and all the best veggies you can eat, like cauliflower, carrots, bell peppers, and chickpeas. It features crisp tender veggies in a seriously flavorful broth. Serve with naan bread or rice and it’s one of the most satisfying plant-based dinners around.

What’s a curry, anyway?

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

Ingredients in this vegetable curry

Knowing curry has a loose definition, Alex and I designed this vegetable curry to include a sauce with curry powder and feature a variety of healthy vegetables. This curry features crisp tender veggies and a flavorful broth. It’s important to note that it’s not as thick of a sauce as with a tomato or coconut milk-based curry, like our cauliflower curry or chickpea curry.

Here’s what’s in this vegetable curry:

Vegetable curry

What to serve with curry? Rice, naan, and more.

What to serve with this vegetable curry? There are a few options, depending on how much time you have. Alex and I created a new homemade naan recipe especially to go with this curry, which we’d reserve for dinner parties or weekend dinners. But it’s fun to make an oh so tasty! Here are our recommendations for serving this veggie curry:

  • Naan bread: Store-bought naan bread is a great quick side dish for this vegetable curry. Or, use our *new* Garlic Naan.
  • Rice: Start a pot of rice before you even begin prep, and let it cook while you make the curry. Brown generally takes about 30 minutes with our quick method (below), and white takes about 15 minutes. Here are several methods for doing it:
  • Quinoa: We’ve eaten it with quinoa and while not authentic, it tastes good and is very filling! Try our Basic Quinoa or Instant Pot Quinoa.
Garlic naan
This homemade garlic naan is delicious when you have time: it’s perfect for dinner parties!

Is this curry spicy?

Well, yes and no! The heat level in this vegetable curry is directly related to the curry powder that you use. Here’s the thing: some curry powders are spicy, some are mild. It really depends on the brand! And there’s no way to know based on the label. So, you’ll have to do some trial and error to find the curry powder brand you like with a heat level that works for you and your fellow eaters.

Make ahead and storage info

Can you make this vegetable 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.

You also can make rice in advance if you’re serving with rice! 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.

Vegetable curry

More vegetable curry recipes

We have a few other flavorful curry recipes that have become fan favorites! So if you’re looking for another type of curry, here are a few you might like (all of them are plant-based / vegan recipes):

  • Easy Chickpea Curry This chickpea curry is the ultimate healthy and easy weeknight dinner! It’s vegan, full of flavor, and done in 20 minutes!
  • Quick Coconut Lentil Curry Here’s a lentil based curry that’s flavored with coconut and curry paste. A fast and easy dinner idea perfect for weeknights!
  • Coconut Cauliflower Curry Everybody loves this one! It’s an easy dinner recipe is warm-spiced, nutrient packed, and ready in just over 30 minutes.

Is this an authentic Indian curry?

Is this vegetable curry authentic? As we mentioned above, curry is a loose definition and there are many varieties. While this isn’t a 100% authentic Indian curry, it uses the flavors of Indian cuisine to make a fast weeknight dinner. For an authentic Indian dinner recipe from an Indian chef, head to our Masoor Dal (Indian Red Lentils). Another great resource for authentic Indian recipes is chef and author Madhur Jaffrey.

This vegetable curry recipe is…

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

Print
Vegetable curry

Easy Vegetable Curry


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: 3 to 4

Description

This easy vegetable curry is the best way to eat your veggies! Cauliflower, bell pepper and chickpeas swim in a flavor-packed broth.

Note: This curry features crisp tender veggies and a sauce that is broth-like. It’s not as thick of a sauce as with a tomato or coconut milk-based curry like our cauliflower curry or chickpea curry


Ingredients

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, grated
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 small cauliflower
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli or broccolini
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 15-ounce can chickpeas
  • Torn cilantro or roasted salted cashews, for garnish
  • Serve with: white rice, brown rice, quinoa, or naan bread

Instructions

  1. Mince the garlic and grate the ginger; place them in a small bowl and set them aside.
  2. Dice the onion into bite-sized pieces. Peel the carrot and thinly slice it. Cut the pepper into large squares.  Chop the cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Cut the broccoli into florets.
  3. Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat it to medium high. Add the vegetables to the skillet with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fork tender and lightly browned. Once tender, add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Stir in the vegetable broth, curry powder, cumin, turmeric, coriander (optional), 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, peanut butter, peas and chickpeas. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until the sauce is thickened just slightly. (The sauce with be brothy, not thick.) Taste and add additional salt as necessary (we added several more pinches). Spoon the veggies over rice or quinoa, along with a few spoonfuls of broth. Serve with naan bread on the side, if desired.

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

Keywords: Vegetable Curry

More healthy dinner ideas

This vegetable curry is a healthy plant-based dinner recipe that features tons of nutrient-rich vegetables. Here are a few more healthy dinner ideas that are also vegan and plant-based:

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