Our Best Butternut Squash Soup

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

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

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

Vegan butternut squash soup

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

All about butternut squash

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

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

Ingredients in this butternut squash soup recipe

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

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

What’s the best way to cut butternut squash?

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

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

How to make butternut squash soup

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

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

Chickpeas add body, protein and fiber to a vegan soup

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

What to serve with butternut squash soup

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

Vegan butternut squash soup

What else to do with butternut squash?

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

This butternut squash soup recipe is…

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

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Vegan butternut squash soup

Best Butternut Squash Soup Recipe


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

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

Description

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


Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

Notes

*To speed up prep, substitute frozen butternut squash. 

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

Keywords: Butternut squash soup recipe, vegan butternut squash soup

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

Quick Chili Recipe

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

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

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

Quick chili recipe

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

Ingredients for this quick chili recipe

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

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

What are the best plant based or vegan meat substitutes?

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

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

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

Use ground beef if you prefer a standard chili

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

Best quick chili toppings

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

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

Sides to go with chili

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

This quick chili recipe is…

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

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Quick chili recipe

Quick Chili Recipe (25 minutes!)


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

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

Description

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


Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

Notes

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

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

Keywords: Quick chili recipe, quick chili

More chili recipes

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

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

Brussels Sprouts with Maple Glaze

Here’s how to make the best Brussels sprouts recipe…ever. They’re baked until impossibly crispy and drizzled with a maple balsamic glaze. Every now and then, a recipe comes along that blows us out of the water. Such is the case with these Brussels sprouts. These really are next level, and here’s why. They’re impossibly crispy, baked until they’re caramelized and the outside layers flake off into darkened crunchy chips. Then they’re draped in a tangy maple balsamic glaze that heightens the flavors to their peak. One bite of these, and everyone around the table will be asking how you did it. How to cook Brussels sprouts to perfection Sure, you can fry up these mighty sprouts. They’re delicious, but it’s messy and it uses a lot of oil. So to us, the optimal cooking method for Brussels sprouts is roasting them until crispy. But there are a few tricks to getting that perfect charred caramelization. Here’s what to know: Roast at high heat, in a single layer cut side down. 450 degrees Fahrenheit is the ultimate temperature for roasting vegetables. Place all those cute sprouts cut side down for the best caramelization. You’ll want them in a single layer: no […]

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

Here’s how to make the best Brussels sprouts recipe…ever. They’re baked until impossibly crispy and drizzled with a maple balsamic glaze.

Brussels sprouts

Every now and then, a recipe comes along that blows us out of the water. Such is the case with these Brussels sprouts. These really are next level, and here’s why. They’re impossibly crispy, baked until they’re caramelized and the outside layers flake off into darkened crunchy chips. Then they’re draped in a tangy maple balsamic glaze that heightens the flavors to their peak. One bite of these, and everyone around the table will be asking how you did it.

How to cook Brussels sprouts to perfection

Sure, you can fry up these mighty sprouts. They’re delicious, but it’s messy and it uses a lot of oil. So to us, the optimal cooking method for Brussels sprouts is roasting them until crispy. But there are a few tricks to getting that perfect charred caramelization. Here’s what to know:

  • Roast at high heat, in a single layer cut side down. 450 degrees Fahrenheit is the ultimate temperature for roasting vegetables. Place all those cute sprouts cut side down for the best caramelization. You’ll want them in a single layer: no stacking!
  • Use parchment paper to line your baking sheet: not a silicone mat! Parchment paper makes them the crispiest; silicone mats make them soggy.
  • Bake one tray at a time. To get maximum airflow in your oven, bake only one tray at once. (We learned this the hard way.)
  • Don’t stir! That’s right, don’t even think about stirring! Throw them in for 25 minutes and they should crisp up beautifully.
Brussels sprouts

Accent with a maple glaze (optional!)

These Brussels sprouts are absolutely delicious roasted with olive oil and salt. The outer layers fall off and make crunchy, salty chips that are irresistibly good. Most of the time we eat them plain: because we like them savory! But want to take them over the top? They’re fantastic with a little sweet nuance from a tangy sweet glaze.

For the maple glaze, all you’ll do is heat equal parts maple syrup and balsamic vinegar until they reduce into a slightly thick syrup. We added a shake of soy sauce for good measure. Drizzle that over your Brussels sprouts, and you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven.

More flavor variations

Want to get creative? There are lots more ways to flavor Brussels sprouts. Here are some ideas:

  • Spicy: Make a spicy variation by adding hot sauce to the maple glaze (about 1 teaspoon), or try these Spicy Brussels Sprouts.
  • Honey: Another great flavor pairing is honey! Drizzle simply with honey or even hot honey.
  • Hoisin: Brussels go well with Asian-style flavors. Toss with purchased or homemade hoisin sauce.
Brussels sprouts with maple glaze

How to make a larger serving of Brussels sprouts

Did you read all our tips above about crispy Brussels sprouts? Let’s see if you were paying attention. How many trays can you have in the oven at once? One tray. That’s right: to get the maximum airflow around your sprouts while they bake, the oven must not have any other food in it.

How to roast more than 1 1/2 pounds at one time? You can do this if you have a larger baking sheet that covers the entire baking rack. That’s an 18 x 13 pan, also called a “half sheet pan“. You could comfortably fit about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds of Brussels sprouts on a half sheet pan, making sure they have a little space around each.

How to cook Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts nutrition

Are Brussels sprouts healthy? Gone are the days of soggy canned sprouts being forced on kids to get their vegetables. These crispy sprouts taste good, they’re almost as addicting as French fries. So are they good for you? Here are the nutrition facts for 1/2 cup plain cooked Brussels sprouts:

IngredientCaloriesProteinCarbsFiberFat
Brussels sprouts28 calories2 grams6 grams2 grams0 grams

Keep in mind that oil and the glaze add calories to the nutrition info! Here are some of the top benefits of these mighty sprouts. Brussels sprouts are (data source):

  • Low in calories and relatively high in fiber.
  • Full of Vitamin K and Vitamin C (137% and 81% of your daily need respectively), and other vitamins and nutrients.
  • Full of antioxidants which may decrease inflammation and increase heart health.
Brussels sprouts with maple glaze recipe

More ways to cook Brussels sprouts

This Brussels sprouts recipe is a favorite healthy side dish, perfect for any easy dinner (or even Thanksgiving). But there are lots of other great ways to prepare this healthy vegetable. Here are some more Brussels sprouts recipes that show more ways to cook them:

Brussels sprouts recipe

This Brussels sprouts recipe is…

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

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Brussels sprouts

Brussels Sprouts with Maple Glaze


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Here’s how to make the best Brussels sprouts recipe…ever. They’re baked until impossibly crispy and drizzled with a maple balsamic glaze.


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce (or tamari or coconut aminos)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. (To get them perfectly crispy, make sure this is the only pan in the oven and you’re not roasting anything else at the same time.)
  2. Slice off any hard ends of the Brussels sprouts, as needed. Slice them in half lengthwise and place them in a large bowl.
  3. Mix the sprouts with the olive oil, kosher salt, and lots of fresh ground black pepper.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper*, then pour the spouts onto the sheet. Turn them all cut side down.
  5. Roast for 25 minutes until very browned and tender (don’t stir!). 
  6. While the sprouts are roasting, place the maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, and soy sauce in a small saucepan. Simmer 3 to 5 minutes on medium low heat until thickened slightly and reduced (this should result in about 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons glaze). 
  7. When the sprouts are done, pour over the maple balsamic glaze. Serve immediately.

Notes

*Don’t use a silicone baking mat, since these can also make the Brussels sprouts less crispy. If you don’t have parchment paper, you can skip it and roast directly on the sheet.

  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Brussels sprouts, Brussels sprouts recipe

More easy side dish recipes

This recipe is one of our top easy side dish recipes…ever! Sprouts are always a hit. But here are a few more ideas for vegetable side dishes:

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

Butternut Squash Curry

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

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

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

Butternut squash curry

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

Is this an authentic Thai red curry?  

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

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

Butternut squash curry

The key to butternut squash curry: red curry paste!

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

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

How to cut butternut squash: some tips!

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

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

Can you substitute frozen squash? (No.)

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

A few ideas for adding protein to butternut squash curry

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

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

What to serve with butternut squash curry? 

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

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

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

Butternut squashs curry

More recipes with red curry paste

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

This butternut squash curry recipe is…

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

Print
Butternut squash curry

Butternut Squash Curry


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

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

Description

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


Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

Notes

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

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

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

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

Keywords: Butternut squash curry

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

Garibaldi Cocktail (Campari & Orange!)

The Garibaldi cocktail is an Italian drink with only 2 ingredients: Campari and orange juice! It’s a surprisingly balanced combination. Here’s a unique drink to whip up at home: the Garibaldi cocktail! This Italian cocktail has so much going for it, it’s hard to know where to start. It’s got only two ingredients, which makes it supremely easy to mix up. There’s a little textural little flair with a foamy topping. And the flavor? It comes out balanced and refreshing, with bitter, sweet and tangy notes all intermingling in the perfect sip. From the first drink, I was both surprised, delighted, and ready to make another one. Here’s what to know about this seriously simple drink! What’s a Garibaldi cocktail? The Garibaldi is a two-ingredient Italian cocktail made with Campari and orange juice. The drink is named after Giuseppe Garibaldi, a general who contributed to the unification of Italy back in 1871. The idea is that Campari comes from the North of Italy and oranges come from the South…hence the unification of the North and South occur right in your glass! The drink is an aperativo or aperatif, meant to be drunk before dinner. You’ll find the Garibaldi on cocktail […]

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

The Garibaldi cocktail is an Italian drink with only 2 ingredients: Campari and orange juice! It’s a surprisingly balanced combination.

Garibaldi Cocktail

Here’s a unique drink to whip up at home: the Garibaldi cocktail! This Italian cocktail has so much going for it, it’s hard to know where to start. It’s got only two ingredients, which makes it supremely easy to mix up. There’s a little textural little flair with a foamy topping. And the flavor? It comes out balanced and refreshing, with bitter, sweet and tangy notes all intermingling in the perfect sip. From the first drink, I was both surprised, delighted, and ready to make another one. Here’s what to know about this seriously simple drink!

What’s a Garibaldi cocktail?

The Garibaldi is a two-ingredient Italian cocktail made with Campari and orange juice. The drink is named after Giuseppe Garibaldi, a general who contributed to the unification of Italy back in 1871. The idea is that Campari comes from the North of Italy and oranges come from the South…hence the unification of the North and South occur right in your glass! The drink is an aperativo or aperatif, meant to be drunk before dinner.

You’ll find the Garibaldi on cocktail menus in Italy, and it’s also a famous drink served at the Dante cocktail bar in NYC. The only ingredients you’ll need for a Garibaldi cocktail are:

  • Campari
  • Fresh squeezed orange juice (see more below)
Garibaldi cocktail

The orange juice to use

The important part about the orange juice in a Garibaldi: do not even think about using a bottle of purchased OJ here. The magic is in the fresh squeezed orange juice. You can use any type of orange; here are our favorite options:

  • Valencia oranges are most classic for the drink.
  • Blood oranges are another great choice. This is what we used here: blood oranges have a beautiful red color which goes well with the bright red Campari. The dark red of the blood orange slice also looks dramatic as a garnish.

How to make the Garibaldi: blend the juice to make a frothy top!

Here’s the cool thing about the orange juice in a Garibaldi cocktail: it’s blended so that the top forms a frothy foam. It’s almost like a natural version of the classic egg white foam that tops a whiskey sour. The froth was traditionally from the juicer, but you can also use a blender or a few other tools to achieve the same effect. Here are a few tools you can use:

  • Blender: Throw your orange juice in the blender and blend until foamy.
  • Hand frother: We have a hand frother to froth milk for lattes, and it works like a charm here!
  • Whisk: You can also just use a handheld whisk. Whisk it vigorously until you see some froth.

From there, all you have to do is combine the two ingredients in a highball glass and fill it with ice. It’s that easy: no cocktail shaker needed!

Campari

More about Campari

If it’s not already in your liquor cabinet, you should grab a bottle of Campari! It’s a well known spirit that can make all sorts of drinks. Here’s what to know:

  • Campari is an Italian bitter with a bright red color. It’s easy to find, most famously used in the Negroni and other classic cocktails like the Americano and Boulevardier.
  • What does Campari taste like? It’s tastes bitter, fruity, and spicy all at once. It’s infused with different herbs and fruits, part of a secret recipe.
  • Fun fact: Campari was originally colored so brightly red due to a dye made of crushed insects! That’s no longer in the modern recipe, so it shouldn’t deter you from grabbing a bottle.

Step it up: try clear ice!

Want to take your Garibaldi cocktail to the next level? Make with clear ice. It’s an artisan style of ice that’s crystal clear and looks like the type you’d get at a fancy bar. You can cut large chunks and they take this drink to superstar level. All you need is 24 hours and a small cooler! Go to How to Make Clear Ice.

Garibaldi cocktail

More Campari cocktails

What else to make with a bottle of Campari? This Italian liqueur stars in lots of famous and unique cocktails. Here are a few more to try:

  • Classic Negroni The Negroni is the most famous Campari cocktail: equal parts gin, Campari and dry vermouth. It’s ultra dry and bitter, so we prefer some of the spin-offs on this famous drink.
  • Negroni Sbagliato is a Negroni made with Prosecco, or the Boulevardier Cocktail is a Negroni made with bourbon. Both are even better than the original!
  • Campari Spritz Bitter and bubbly, this refreshing mixed drink is perfect for sipping! Make this easy cocktail with 3 ingredients in 3 minutes.
  • Jungle Bird Truly special! A tropical rum cocktail with a twist: bitter Campari offsets sweet pineapple juice.

When to serve a Garibaldi cocktail

The Garibaldi cocktail is a festive and fun drink that’s very easy to whip up. The brilliant red-orange color makes it great for parties, or it’s perfect for a laid back evening! (With the blood orange juice, it’s also a fun Halloween cocktail idea.) It’s great as a:

  • Italian cocktail for a dinner party
  • Signature drink
  • Cocktail hour drink
  • Party drink
  • Happy hour drink
  • Dinner party drink
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Garibaldi Cocktail

Garibaldi Cocktail (Campari & Orange!)


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

The Garibaldi cocktail is an Italian drink with only 2 ingredients: Campari and orange juice! It’s a surprisingly balanced combination.


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) Campari
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) fresh squeezed orange juice (or blood orange juice)
  • Garnish: orange wedge (optional)

Instructions

  1. Squeeze the orange juice. Use an immersion blender, hand frother or whisk to blend the orange juice until it is foamy.
  2. Add Campari to a highball filled with ice. Top with foamed orange juice and stir gently. Top with an orange wedge. 

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Cocktails

Keywords: Garibaldi cocktail, Garibaldi

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

Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal

This pumpkin baked oatmeal is the ideal fall breakfast: cozy spiced and full of healthy oats! Bake up a pan and eat off of it all week. Oatmeal is our go-to for healthy, whole grain breakfasts. So why not dress it up in fall glory? This Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal is like a cinnamon and ginger-spiced hug. It’s full of autumnal flavor, yet at the same time a healthy way to start the day! Whole grain oats provide lots of protein and fiber, and are the perfect backdrop for pumpkin puree and cozy spices. Make up a big pan and eat off of it all week, or make it for guests! Either way, it’s the ideal way to make fall mornings more delicious (we couldn’t stop eating it). Ingredients for pumpkin baked oatmeal This pumpkin baked oatmeal is pretty simple to whip up: it requires a pretty standard cast of characters when it comes to pumpkin recipes. Here are the main ingredients you’ll need: Old Fashioned rolled oats: Do not substitute steel cut oats or instant oats! They cook much differently than Old Fashioned. For steel cut, go to Pumpkin Baked Steel Cut Oats: it tastes just like pumpkin pie! Pecans: […]

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

This pumpkin baked oatmeal is the ideal fall breakfast: cozy spiced and full of healthy oats! Bake up a pan and eat off of it all week.

Pumpkin baked oatmeal

Oatmeal is our go-to for healthy, whole grain breakfasts. So why not dress it up in fall glory? This Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal is like a cinnamon and ginger-spiced hug. It’s full of autumnal flavor, yet at the same time a healthy way to start the day! Whole grain oats provide lots of protein and fiber, and are the perfect backdrop for pumpkin puree and cozy spices. Make up a big pan and eat off of it all week, or make it for guests! Either way, it’s the ideal way to make fall mornings more delicious (we couldn’t stop eating it).

Ingredients for pumpkin baked oatmeal

This pumpkin baked oatmeal is pretty simple to whip up: it requires a pretty standard cast of characters when it comes to pumpkin recipes. Here are the main ingredients you’ll need:

  • Old Fashioned rolled oats: Do not substitute steel cut oats or instant oats! They cook much differently than Old Fashioned. For steel cut, go to Pumpkin Baked Steel Cut Oats: it tastes just like pumpkin pie!
  • Pecans: Optional, but they add great texture to this oatmeal
  • Spices: You can use either cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg: or pumpkin pie spice! Grab some at the store or make it at home.
  • Pumpkin puree: Make sure it’s pumpkin puree: not pie filling!
  • Milk of choice: Whatever you’d like! Non-dairy milk makes it a vegan pumpkin baked oatmeal recipe.
  • Maple syrup: Pure maple syrup adds just the right sweetness, and it’s a natural sweetener. You could use any other liquid sweetener of choice (honey or agave syrup).
  • Vanilla: Vanilla adds depth of flavor.
Pumpkin baked oatmeal

It takes 1 hour, but leftovers save well

This pumpkin baked oatmeal takes 1 hour start to finish, but most of the time is hands off while the oatmeal bakes. Because it takes longer than the standard breakfast, we like to make a pan and eat off oft it all week. It saves well in the refrigerator, and you can eat it cold or room temp: no reheating necessary! If you’d like, you can heat it in the oven or microwave.

Variations: steel cut and stovetop pumpkin oatmeal

Want to make pumpkin baked oatmeal with steel cut oats? Or want a really fast version of pumpkin oatmeal? Here are some variations:

  • Pumpkin baked steel cut oats: This Pumpkin Baked Steel Cut Oats really tastes like pumpkin pie, according to feedback we’ve been getting for years. Using Old Fashioned oats in this recipe makes it taste more like pumpkin bars, but the steel cut version is very moist and tastes like pie filling. Go to Pumpkin Baked Steel Cut Oats.
  • Pumpkin oatmeal (on the stove): Want to have the same flavors in just 10 minutes? Make our Pumpkin Oatmeal on the stovetop. It’s got a similar vibe but is more like a creamy bowl of oatmeal.
Pumpkin baked oatmeal

Toppings for pumpkin baked oatmeal

Make up a batch of this pumpkin baked oatmeal and it’s a fantastic vegan and healthy breakfast. The toppings are where this recipe really shines! Here’s what to know about topping the oatmeal:

  • Maple syrup: A bit of maple syrup is all you need for a little sparkle. Or heat it with a little melted coconut oil for a dreamy drizzle.
  • Maple yogurt: It’s also tasty with maple yogurt. We mixed Greek yogurt, maple syrup and vanilla for a swirled topping (quantities are listed below). If you make this, still add a tiny drizzle of maple over the top: it adds the final flavoring.
  • Glazed pecans or walnuts. Get fancy and use maple glazed pecans or glazed walnuts.
  • Pepitas. Pumpkin seeds work too! Roasted salted have the best flavor.
  • Nut butter. Almond butter or cashew butter are the best nut butters to go with pumpkin! Peanut butter can overwhelm the flavor.
Pumpkin baked oatmeal

Make ahead instructions for pumpkin baked oatmeal

Can you make this pumpkin baked oatmeal ahead? Kind of! Note that this is not overnight oats: you cannot mix it up the night before and place in the refrigerator! The oats would soak up all the liquid and come out much too dry. If you do want to prep in advance, here’s what to do:

  • Minimal prep: Mix up the wets and dries separately and store in separate containers (with the wets refrigerated). Pour them together in the morning and bake. OR:
  • Bake in advance: Make up a pan on a Sunday night, then refrigerate it for eating off of throughout the week. You can refrigerate leftovers for up to 1 week, and re-warm them in a 300 degree oven or the microwave.
Pumpkin baked oatmeal

This pumpkin baked oatmeal recipe is…

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

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Pumpkin baked oatmeal

Cozy Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 to 8
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This pumpkin baked oatmeal is the ideal fall breakfast: cozy spiced and full of healthy oats! Bake up a pan and eat off of it all week.


Ingredients

  • 2 cups Old Fashioned rolled oats (don’t substitute steel cut or instant oats)
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces (or chopped pecans)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice (or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 3/4 cups milk of choice (dairy, almond or oat)
  • 6 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled to room temp
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • For serving: 1 tablespoon coconut oil melted with 1 tablespoon maple syrup or maple Greek yogurt*

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.*
  2. Butter an 8 x 8″ or 9 x 9″ pan. In a medium bowl, mix together the rolled oats, pecan pieces, baking powder, pumpkin spice, and kosher salt.
  3. Dump the dries into the prepared pan. 
  4. In the same bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, milk, maple syrup, melted cooled coconut oil, and vanilla. Drizzle the milk mixture over the oats. Stir lightly with a fork to make everything gets evenly incorporated.
  5. Bake 40 to 45 minutes until the top is nicely golden and the oat mixture has set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
  6. Before serving, drizzle with maple syrup OR add maple Greek yogurt* plus a drizzle of maple. Store leftovers refrigerated for up to 1 week: reheat in a 300 degree oven or microwave until warm.

Notes

*For the maple Greek yogurt, mix 1/2 cup Greek yogurt with 1 tablespoon maple syrup and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Make sure to still add a small drizzle of maple over the top when serving.

  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Pumpkin baked oatmeal

More pumpkin recipes

Pumpkin is in the air! Here are a few more pumpkin recipes to use a can of pumpkin puree:

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

Sauteed Apples (a la Mode!)

These sauteed apples are the perfect easy dessert! They take just minutes to make: serve topped with melty vanilla ice cream. Want an easy dessert? Look no further than these sauteed apples! There’s no baking necessary, and no advanced preparation. Just slice up some apples, saute them in butter and spices, and bam! Eat it warm topped with vanilla ice cream, and there’s really not much better. In fact, why even make apple crisp or apple pie at all? Here’s more about how to make this healthy dessert, and a few more topping ideas. Best apples for sauteed apples What variety of apple is best for sauteed apples? First off, please do not cook with red delicious apples. (Or perhaps, just stop buying them.) The ideal variety for sauteed apples is a firm, crisp tart apple. Crisp tart apples cook well and the tangy tartness accents the sweetness that’s naturally present. Here are some of the best apples for baking and cooking: Honey Crisp Jonathon or Jonagold Granny Smith Gala Fuji To peel or not to peel? Many people make sauteed apples with peeled apples. But we prefer leaving the skin on! Why? Skin on apples look prettier. The light […]

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

These sauteed apples are the perfect easy dessert! They take just minutes to make: serve topped with melty vanilla ice cream.

Sauteed apples

Want an easy dessert? Look no further than these sauteed apples! There’s no baking necessary, and no advanced preparation. Just slice up some apples, saute them in butter and spices, and bam! Eat it warm topped with vanilla ice cream, and there’s really not much better. In fact, why even make apple crisp or apple pie at all? Here’s more about how to make this healthy dessert, and a few more topping ideas.

Best apples for sauteed apples

What variety of apple is best for sauteed apples? First off, please do not cook with red delicious apples. (Or perhaps, just stop buying them.) The ideal variety for sauteed apples is a firm, crisp tart apple. Crisp tart apples cook well and the tangy tartness accents the sweetness that’s naturally present. Here are some of the best apples for baking and cooking:

  • Honey Crisp
  • Jonathon or Jonagold
  • Granny Smith
  • Gala
  • Fuji
Sauteed apples

To peel or not to peel?

Many people make sauteed apples with peeled apples. But we prefer leaving the skin on! Why?

  • Skin on apples look prettier. The light blush shade makes the apples look lovely, instead of just brown mushy mounds.
  • The apple skin adds texture. Sauteeing the apple with the skin gives a nice texture when you bite into it, instead of turning into mush.
  • The apple skin has lots of nutrients. Not that you’re looking for nutrients in a dessert recipe! But the apple skin has lots of vitamins like Vitamin K, Vitamin A and Vitamin C that you’re throwing away with the skin.

How to cut apples…the fast way!

You’ll need to cut the apples into 1/4-inch slices for this sauteed apples recipe. We recently learned a trick to how to cut apples the fast way. Yes, this one is a lifesaver, and we use it on a daily basis. Here’s the method or check out the video below!

  1. Holding the core of the apple, use a large chef’s knife to slice off four sides of the apple, cutting as close to the core as possible.
  2. Take one of the quarters and place it flat side down on the cutting board. Then cut it into thin slices.
  3. Repeat with the remaining quarters!

How to slice apples

How to make sauteed apples: a few tips

Outside of slicing the apples, there’s not too much to know about sauteed apples! But here are a few things to note before proceeding to the recipe below:

  • Heat the butter until it’s just starting to brown. It’s like making browned butter, but you’ll add the apples right after it browns. This technique infuses a bit of nutty flavor into the apples.
  • Cook until just tender. Some recipes for sauteed apples you cook them until they’re mush. Not here! We like our sauteed apples on the crisp tender side: this takes only 5 minutes.
  • Ice cream is required! These sauteed apples are just sweet enough on their own: they’re customized to serve a la mode! The ice cream adds the remaining necessary sweetness. A great dairy-free and vegan option is this Cinnamon Ice Cream.
How to make sauteed apples

Topping ideas for sauteed apples

What other toppings are great for sauteed apples? This fall apple dessert is perfect with so many things. Add your own flair to this easy recipe by topping with whatever tasty crunchy bits or drizzles that you’d like. Here are some ideas:

This sauteed apples recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, use coconut oil and vegan ice cream.

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Sauteed apples

Sauteed Apples (a la Mode!)


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

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

Description

These sauteed apples are the perfect easy dessert! They take just minutes to make: serve topped with melty vanilla ice cream.


Ingredients

  • 3 firm large tart-sweet apples (like Honey Crisp, Jonathon, Granny Smith, Gala, Fuji, etc) — enough for 5 to 6 cups sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 /2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons butter (or coconut oil for vegan)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Cointreau, optional
  • Vanilla ice cream or vegan cinnamon ice cream, for serving

Instructions

  1. Cut the apples into 1/4” slices (no need to peel unless you want to). In a medium bowl, stir together the apples with the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
  2. In a large skillet heat the butter over medium heat until the butter is just starting to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the apples and saute 4 to 5 minutes until crisp tender. Add Cointreau if using and cook for additional 20 seconds. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Sauteed
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Sauteed apples

More great apple recipes

There are so many great ways to use apples, from breakfast to dessert. Here are some of our favorite apple recipes:

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

Ultimate Hummus Sandwich

A hummus sandwich is the best healthy easy lunch idea! This plant based recipe takes just a few minutes to make with colorful crunchy veggies. Looking for healthy and easy lunch ideas? Here’s a genius idea for busy days or even a lightening fast weeknight dinner. This Ultimate Hummus Sandwich! That’s right: hummus on a sandwich. You don’t have to reserve hummus just for carrots and pita triangles! It works as a sandwich spread that’s full of plant-based protein to keep you full for hours. Throw it on bread with all your favorite crunchy veggies and it’s a lunch or snack that couldn’t be easier to whip up. Here’s all you need to know about making the ultimate hummus sandwich of your dreams. Ingredients for the ultimate hummus sandwich This hummus sandwich make look like just a random assortment of vegetables with hummus, but it’s more than that! Here are some things to note about getting just the right combination of flavors and textures in a hummus sandwich: Hummus: Use your favorite hummus brand, or even better: make a batch of homemade! The flavor varies widely in store-bought brands, so choose wisely. Bread: We suggest using a crusty artisan bread. […]

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

A hummus sandwich is the best healthy easy lunch idea! This plant based recipe takes just a few minutes to make with colorful crunchy veggies.

Hummus Sandwich

Looking for healthy and easy lunch ideas? Here’s a genius idea for busy days or even a lightening fast weeknight dinner. This Ultimate Hummus Sandwich! That’s right: hummus on a sandwich. You don’t have to reserve hummus just for carrots and pita triangles! It works as a sandwich spread that’s full of plant-based protein to keep you full for hours. Throw it on bread with all your favorite crunchy veggies and it’s a lunch or snack that couldn’t be easier to whip up. Here’s all you need to know about making the ultimate hummus sandwich of your dreams.

Ingredients for the ultimate hummus sandwich

This hummus sandwich make look like just a random assortment of vegetables with hummus, but it’s more than that! Here are some things to note about getting just the right combination of flavors and textures in a hummus sandwich:

  • Hummus: Use your favorite hummus brand, or even better: make a batch of homemade! The flavor varies widely in store-bought brands, so choose wisely.
  • Bread: We suggest using a crusty artisan bread. If you’re an overachiever, you can make homemade! Try our Sandwich Bread, Whole Wheat Bread, or No Knead Bread.
  • Pickled Vegetables: This is the flavor maker! Using pickled vegetables brings in the best nuance of tangy, sweet, and salty flavor.
  • Raw Vegetables: You can use any combo you like. We used cucumber, red onion and tomato.
  • Cheese: Add cheese for a vegetarian sandwich, or keep it as a vegan sandwich and omit!
  • Sprouts or Microgreens: The finishing touch! It’s optional, but adds nice texture.
Hummus sandwich

The flavor maker: pickled vegetables!

Let’s talk about those pickled vegetables again! This is a trick we picked up from an Italian sandwich shop we visited in Traverse City this summer (Folgarelli’s: we highly recommend it!). One of their vegetable sandwiches had a garlic cheese spread, raw vegetables and the kicker: marinated vegetables from the Italian deli. They added such great tangy, nuanced flavor that it made the entire sandwich taste better!

You can use either mixed pickled vegetables or marinated vegetables. Try pickled cauliflower and carrots (or this recipe for homemade), or whatever you see that strikes your fancy. Or grab some marinated vegetables, jarred or from the antipasto bar if your grocery has one.

Tip: remove excess moisture!

The most important part of this hummus sandwich is this: make sure to remove all excess moisture from the vegetables before you start. Pickled vegetables have quite a bit of moisture (since they’re canned in brine), and so do veggies like tomatoes.

All you have to do is squeeze out the pickled veggies in a paper towel or clean dish towel before building your sandwich! You can also blot the tomatoes with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.

Hummus sandwich

Step it up with homemade hummus

Step up your hummus sandwich by using homemade hummus! It’s the best way to bring in big flavor. Or, use one of our hummus flavors below to mix it up. Here are some ideas:

Variations: more hummus sandwich toppings

It goes without saying that you can vary the toppings in this hummus sandwich to your liking! This is more of a concept than a recipe that has to be followed exactly. Here are some ideas on how to branch out and create thousands of hummus sandwich variations:

Hummus sandwich ingredients

Make-ahead info for a hummus sandwich

Last thing to note about this hummus sandwich. It is best made right before eating! Because hummus has moisture and the veggies have moisture, it gets a little too soggy in the fridge. If you want to bring it to an office or outside of the house, here’s what to do:

  • Slice the veggies in advance and place in a container. Assemble the sandwich right before eating.
  • Try making the sandwich as a wrap. A wrap can better hold up to storage than bread.

This hummus sandwich recipe is…

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

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Hummus Sandwich

Ultimate Hummus Sandwich


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 sandwiches
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

A hummus sandwich is the best healthy easy lunch idea! This plant based recipe takes just a few minutes to make with colorful crunchy veggies.


Ingredients

  • 1/4 medium cucumber
  • 1 small tomato 
  • 1/4 small red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped jarred pickled vegetables (we used pickled cauliflower and carrots)
  • 1 cup hummus
  • 2 slices provolone cheese, optional (omit for vegan)
  • 4 slices bread
  • Microgreens or sprouts, optional
  • Other optional toppings: avocado slices, roasted red pepper, lettuce, feta or goat cheese crumbles, fresh herbs, etc.

Instructions

  1. Chop the veggies: Peel and slice the cucumber (or peel alternating strips as we did here). Thinly slice the tomato. Slice the red onion. Chop the pickled vegetables. 
  2. Toast the bread: If desired, toast the bread.
  3. Remove excess moisture: Meanwhile, place the chopped pickles in a paper towel or clean dish towel and squeeze out any extra water. Place the tomatoes on a paper towel or towel and blot them to remove excess moisture.
  4. Build the sandwich: Place the cucumber slices on the bottom of the sandwich to act as a moisture barrier. Top with a layer of hummus. Add the cheese (optional), pickled vegetables, red onion, tomato, and microgreens or sprouts (if using). Spread the remaining hummus on the top slice of bread and place it on top. Note: This sandwich is best made right before eating. If you’re bringing it outside the house like to work, we recommend chopping the components in advance, then building the sandwich right before you eat it. To make it in advance, you could make it as a wrap.

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

Keywords: Hummus sandwich

More great sandwich recipes

The sandwich is one of the easiest ways to a healthy lunch or easy snack! Here are some of our favorite sandwich recipes:

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

Iced Chai Latte

Here’s how to make an iced chai latte at home! This sweetly refreshing tea latte is made with black tea, cozy spices and milk. (Plus, why not to call it iced chai tea latte!) We’re all about tea lattes over here, so how about a refreshingly cool variation? Try this Iced Chai Latte! The homemade version of this coffeeshop special is sweetly spiced and oh so delicious. In fact, it tastes much better than the Starbucks version that’s so popular (and has less sugar). This one is sweetened with maple syrup and made with our custom chai spices blend. Make up a big batch of the concentrate and drink off of it all week! Here’s what to know. What’s an iced chai latte? A chai latte is a Western invention: it takes traditional masala chai, the milky spiced tea from India, and combines it with frothy steamed milk of a latte. The iced version serves it over ice, and skips the frothy topping. This drink was popularized by Starbucks in the 1990’s. Many coffeehouse versions of a chai latte have little left of the traditional Indian inspiration: they’re often too sweet and overly spiced. The recipe for our iced chai latte […]

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

Here’s how to make an iced chai latte at home! This sweetly refreshing tea latte is made with black tea, cozy spices and milk. (Plus, why not to call it iced chai tea latte!)

Iced chai latte

We’re all about tea lattes over here, so how about a refreshingly cool variation? Try this Iced Chai Latte! The homemade version of this coffeeshop special is sweetly spiced and oh so delicious. In fact, it tastes much better than the Starbucks version that’s so popular (and has less sugar). This one is sweetened with maple syrup and made with our custom chai spices blend. Make up a big batch of the concentrate and drink off of it all week! Here’s what to know.

What’s an iced chai latte?

A chai latte is a Western invention: it takes traditional masala chai, the milky spiced tea from India, and combines it with frothy steamed milk of a latte. The iced version serves it over ice, and skips the frothy topping. This drink was popularized by Starbucks in the 1990’s. Many coffeehouse versions of a chai latte have little left of the traditional Indian inspiration: they’re often too sweet and overly spiced.

The recipe for our iced chai latte is gently spiced and subtly sweet. It combines our chai spices with milk and ice for a refreshingly cool latte that’s just sweet enough.

Iced chai tea latte

Why to avoid saying “iced chai tea latte”!

Starbucks might say the words “iced chai tea latte” for this drink, but this is a no no. Why? The word chai translates to “tea” in Hindi, so saying chai tea is like saying “tea tea.” The more correct term for the Indian tea blend is masala chai. The word masala refers to a blend of spices used in cooking. Just like the word curry, a Westernized reduction of a complex blend of Indian spices, the American concept of chai can appropriate a rich Indian cultural tradition.

How to make an iced chai latte

Now that we’ve got the right terminology, let’s talk about this drink. Masala chai spices can include many different ingredients based on the cook. To make this iced chai latte, this Homemade Chai Spice mix uses common chai spices. Note there are many more used regionally in Indian blends, and they are often used whole or ground by the chef. Here are the basis steps for an iced chai latte:

  • Make the tea concentrate (30 minutes): Steep the tea bags, chai spices and maple syrup for 30 minutes.
  • Strain: Strain the concentrate into a jar. It makes 4 servings, so you can refrigerate until you’re ready to drink!
  • Add ice and milk: To serve, add the concentrate to a glass with ice. Pour in the milk and serve!
how to make an iced chai latte

Vegan variation

The great thing about this iced chai latte is that it’s easy to make vegan! Just use your favorite non dairy milk for the milk component. Since you don’t need to froth it like a hot latte, it’s easy to replace with any milk of your choice. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Oat milk. It has a great creamy texture and neutral flavor! One of our favorites for lattes. See also our Vegan Chai Latte.
  • Almond milk: Another good choice, but it’s less creamy and has a thinner texture.
  • Soy milk: This also works, but does have a slight soy aftertaste.

Typically we avoid coconut milk for lattes because the coconut flavor is rather strong.

Alternative sweeteners

This iced chai latte is crafted to be just sweet enough! It’s naturally sweetened with maple syrup, our natural sweetener of choice. But if you prefer others, here are some options:

  • Maple syrup (favorite). This vegan natural sweetener adds nuance without maple flavor. (It’s also great for cocktails.)
  • Simple syrup. Simple syrup has more of an intensely sweet, straightforward flavor.
  • Honey. Another great natural sweetener: it adds a bit more golden sweet flavor.
  • Agave syrup. This vegan sweetener is easy to find these days and also works well.

And that’s it! Let us know how you enjoy this drink in the comments below!

Iced chai latte

More tea drinks!

Love drinking tea? Here are a few more tea recipes we love:

  • Chai Latte Here’s how to make a chai latte at home…the easy way! This drink is creamy and cozy spiced with the perfect fluffy foam topping.
  • Perfect Tea Latte Make a straight-up tea latte without the spices: even simpler.
  • Dirty Chai Latte Even better, add a shot of espresso to your chai latte (a favorite!).
  • Cold Brew Tea The easiest iced tea! This recipe takes only 1 minute of hands on time and has a beautifully smooth flavor.
  • Classic Sweet Tea This recipe is easy to make and comes out with best refreshing flavor that’s sweetened just enough.

This iced chai latte recipe is…

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

Print
Iced chai latte

Iced Chai Latte


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Here’s how to make an iced chai latte at home! This sweetly refreshing tea latte is made with black tea, cozy spices and milk.


Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Chai Spices Blend
  • 4 bags black tea (or 4 teaspoons loose leaf black tea in a tea strainer)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or honey, agave syrup or simple syrup)
  • 1 cup milk of choice, for serving (use dairy free for vegan)

Instructions

  1. Make the concentrate: Place the water, chai spices, tea and maple syrup in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once the mixture just starts to boil, remove it from the heat and rest until room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  2. Strain and store the concentrate: Remove the tea bags and strain through a fine mesh strainer into covered container. Store in the refrigerator up to 1 week: make sure to shake before serving! (Makes 4 servings.)
  3. Serve: To serve, place ice in a glass. Combine 3/4 cup chai concentrate and 1/4 cup milk.

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Iced chai latte, Iced chai tea latte

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

Perfect Steel Cut Oats

Here’s how to cook steel cut oats! It takes just 25 minutes to make an easy creamy bowl of oatmeal: the ideal healthy breakfast. Are you a steel cut oats fan? These chewy oats have a porridge-like texture and feel like a cozy hug in the morning. They’re a fun way to mix up the standard Old Fashioned oats, and may have some slight benefits over them: though both are an incredibly healthy way to start the day! Alex and I used to avoid this type of oats because they take longer to cook. But here’s the thing: you can make a big pot of steel cut oats in 25 minutes and eat off of the leftovers all week! They come out beautifully creamy and a fitting canvas for tasty toppings. What are steel cut oats? What’s the difference vs rolled oats? Steel cut oats are whole grain oats that are cut into nubs: the grains look like brown rice or barley. Rolled oats are oat groats that are rolled through steel rollers: this gives them a flat shape and makes them much quicker to cook. Both varieties have very similar nutritional profiles: lots of protein and fiber to start your day! An additional benefit […]

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

Here’s how to cook steel cut oats! It takes just 25 minutes to make an easy creamy bowl of oatmeal: the ideal healthy breakfast.

Steel cut oats

Are you a steel cut oats fan? These chewy oats have a porridge-like texture and feel like a cozy hug in the morning. They’re a fun way to mix up the standard Old Fashioned oats, and may have some slight benefits over them: though both are an incredibly healthy way to start the day! Alex and I used to avoid this type of oats because they take longer to cook. But here’s the thing: you can make a big pot of steel cut oats in 25 minutes and eat off of the leftovers all week! They come out beautifully creamy and a fitting canvas for tasty toppings.

What are steel cut oats? What’s the difference vs rolled oats?

Steel cut oats are whole grain oats that are cut into nubs: the grains look like brown rice or barley. Rolled oats are oat groats that are rolled through steel rollers: this gives them a flat shape and makes them much quicker to cook. Both varieties have very similar nutritional profiles: lots of protein and fiber to start your day!

An additional benefit of steel cut oats is that since they are processed the most minimally, they have slightly more fiber and may have a lower glycemic index than rolled oats. This may allow you to feel fuller and have less of a “spike” of energy after eating. (Source)

Steel cut oats vs rolled oats
Rolled oats on the left, steel cut on the right

How to cook steel cut oats: tips!

Steel cut oats might seem daunting, but they’re very easy to cook. You’ll simply simmer them in a mix of milk and water for about 25 minutes, until they become creamy and tender. Here are a few notes on the process:

  • Simmer the water and milk (and watch closely). The mixture of water and milk can quickly go from almost simmering to boiling over. Keep an eye out!
  • Add oats and simmer about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. You’ll want to have the heat on low where it’s just bubbling. Stay close by so you can stir occasionally, or the oats will stick to the bottom and a film will form on the surface.

That’s it! It’s truly simple. It makes for a great make-ahead breakfast that you can store in the refrigerator all week.

How to make steel cut oats

Alternate method: Instant Pot!

You can also cook steel cut oats in an Instant Pot. This makes the method totally hands off, and makes a great creamy texture. This Pressure Cooker Steel Cut Oats makes a big batch of 8 to 10 servings: it’s perfect for entertaining or eating off of all week. Speaking of…

Storage info for steel cut oatmeal

Store your cooked steel cut oatmeal in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Here’s the thing: steel cut oatmeal becomes very thick when it’s chilled. To reheat it, follow these instructions:

  • Add a splash of milk or water.
  • Throw it in the microwave for a minute, or heat it on the stovetop over low heat, stirring until it becomes creamy.
Instant pot steel cut oats

Vegan variation for steel cut oats

Steel cut oats are easy to make vegan! Simply cook them with your favorite non dairy milk. Here are a few non dairy milk options we recommend (all unflavored):

  • Oat milk: It’s got a great creamy body and neutral flavor. This is our top choice for oatmeal.
  • Almond milk: This type of milk also works, but the texture is thinner and almost like water. You may want to consider using all milk instead of the combination of milk plus water.
  • Soy milk: You can also use soy milk for steel cut oats. We typically don’t buy it because we prefer the flavor of oat or almond.

Note: Avoid coconut milk in this case: it has a very strong coconut flavor and is very high fat. It’s better to use in curries and to make vegan whipped cream.

Steel cut oats toppings

Once you’ve got a big bowl of creamy goodness, here’s the fun part: adding toppings! Here are some of our favorite oatmeal topping ideas:

The best is combining flavors into an interesting topping! Try PB&J oats with peanut butter and berry jam, or banana nut oatmeal with bananas, toasted walnuts and a drizzle of honey.

Steel cut oatmeal

More favorite oatmeal recipes

Are you as into oatmeal as we are? It’s our favorite healthy breakfast idea, hands down. Here are a few more of our our best oatmeal recipes to try:

This steel cut oats recipe is…

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

Print
Steel cut oats

Perfect Steel Cut Oats (25 Minutes!)


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1/2 cups (4 to 6 servingfs)
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Here’s how to cook steel cut oats! It takes just 25 minutes to make an easy creamy bowl of oatmeal: the ideal healthy breakfast.


Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups milk of choice (dairy or non-dairy)
  • 1 1/2 cups steel cut oats
  • Scant 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, bring water and milk to a boil (watch closely to make sure that it does not boil over). Once boiling, add the steel cut oats, salt and cinnamon and stir to combine.
  2. Bring to a simmer over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 25 minutes until the oats are creamy and tender. Serve immediately with desired toppings. Stores refrigerated up to 1 week: it will become very thick when chilled, so stir in some milk or water when reheating. 

  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Steel cut oats, steel cut oatmeal, how to cook steel cut oats

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