15 New Years Drinks & Cocktails

Here are the best New Years drinks to ring in the new year! Try everything from sparkling New Years Eve cocktails to cozy brunch drinks. Ready to ring in the New Year? New Years is the perfect time to celebrate with a signature drink! There are lots of options for classy cocktails: whether you love sparkling wine or want something a little more outside the box. And don’t forget about New Years Day: there are lots of great brunch cocktails for enjoying the morning after. Here are all the best New Years drinks and cocktails to try! Try the classic champagne cocktail as a New Years Eve drink, or a round of Bloody Marys or mimosas for cozy New Years cocktail for brunch. And we’ve got just about everything in between. Let’s get mixing! And now…the best New Years drinks and cocktails! A few more drink options Need a few more ideas? Here are a few more unique champagne cocktails that are a little outside the box…but still perfect for the New Year: Try an Old Cuban Cocktail: it’s one part Mojito, one part French 75, and all parts delicious. Go for a Pineapple Mimosa: fruity and tropical, with a creamy coconut […]

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

Here are the best New Years drinks to ring in the new year! Try everything from sparkling New Years Eve cocktails to cozy brunch drinks.

New Years drinks and cocktails

Ready to ring in the New Year? New Years is the perfect time to celebrate with a signature drink! There are lots of options for classy cocktails: whether you love sparkling wine or want something a little more outside the box. And don’t forget about New Years Day: there are lots of great brunch cocktails for enjoying the morning after.

Here are all the best New Years drinks and cocktails to try! Try the classic champagne cocktail as a New Years Eve drink, or a round of Bloody Marys or mimosas for cozy New Years cocktail for brunch. And we’ve got just about everything in between. Let’s get mixing!

And now…the best New Years drinks and cocktails!

A few more drink options

Need a few more ideas? Here are a few more unique champagne cocktails that are a little outside the box…but still perfect for the New Year:

Want recipes too? Try our 20 New Years Eve Recipes, from shrimp cocktail to black eyed pea dip.

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New Years Drinks

New Years Champagne Cocktail (& More Drinks!)


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

Description

The Champagne Cocktail is a classic drink that’s festive and elegant: the perfect for New Years drink! The sugar cube makes it sparkle.


Ingredients

  • 1 sugar cube
  • 5 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Squeezed lemon peel
  • 5 ounces champagne (10 tablespoons)
  • For the garnish: Lemon twist

Instructions

  1. Make the lemon twist garnish, if using.
  2. Add a sugar cube to bottom of a champagne flute. Add 5 dashes of bitters to the sugar cube. Use a vegetable peeler to peel off a small strip of lemon skin. Squeeze the lemon skin into the flute to release the oils.
  3. Fill the glass with champagne and serve immediately: watch how the sugar cube makes the bubbles sparkle! Garnish with a lemon twist if desired.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Poured
  • Cuisine: Cocktails

Keywords: new years drinks, new years eve drinks, new years cocktails, new years eve cocktail

More cocktails

Looking for more drinks outside of these New Years cocktails? We’ve got 200+ cocktails for every occasion:

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

45 Best Thanksgiving Recipes

Here are all the best Thanksgiving recipes to add to your table! These fresh and healthy spins on the classics are absolutely full of flavor. Thanksgiving is the top food holiday of the year, and we take it very seriously around here. Looking for Thanksgiving recipes? We’ve put together a list of the best of the best recipes to make your table shine. The approach? Our recipes are full of colorful vegetables, seasonal flavors and cozy vibes. You’ll find recipes for all types of diets: vegetarian and vegan Thanksgiving recipes, gluten free spins, and overall healthier spins on classics. You’ll find gourmet green bean casserole made from scratch, and pumpkin pie made with not one ounce of butter. But the overwhelming theme here? Each recipe is absolutely, undeniably delicious. Pick from this list of Thanksgiving side dish recipes, main dish ideas, desserts and holiday drinks: your family will thank you later! Let’s get started. And now…our top Thanksgiving recipes (everything but the turkey)! More Thanksgiving inspiration We’ve got lots more lists of great ideas for Thanksgiving entertaining! If you didn’t see something that fits your fancy, pick from one of the following: Vegetarian Thanksgiving Main Dishes Want to skip the […]

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

Here are all the best Thanksgiving recipes to add to your table! These fresh and healthy spins on the classics are absolutely full of flavor.

Best green bean casserole

Thanksgiving is the top food holiday of the year, and we take it very seriously around here. Looking for Thanksgiving recipes? We’ve put together a list of the best of the best recipes to make your table shine. The approach? Our recipes are full of colorful vegetables, seasonal flavors and cozy vibes. You’ll find recipes for all types of diets: vegetarian and vegan Thanksgiving recipes, gluten free spins, and overall healthier spins on classics. You’ll find gourmet green bean casserole made from scratch, and pumpkin pie made with not one ounce of butter.

But the overwhelming theme here? Each recipe is absolutely, undeniably delicious. Pick from this list of Thanksgiving side dish recipes, main dish ideas, desserts and holiday drinks: your family will thank you later! Let’s get started.

And now…our top Thanksgiving recipes (everything but the turkey)!

More Thanksgiving inspiration

We’ve got lots more lists of great ideas for Thanksgiving entertaining! If you didn’t see something that fits your fancy, pick from one of the following:

  • Vegetarian Thanksgiving Main Dishes Want to skip the turkey? Pick from these tasty vegetarian Thanksgiving main dishes, from risotto to pot pie.
  • Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dishes For a holiday that’s all about food, there can be a whole lots of lifeless mashed potatoes and brown mushy stuffing. But guess what? Thanksgiving side dishes can be vibrant, good-for-you, and drop dead delicious.
  • Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes Some of the best, tastiest holiday recipes can be plant based and vegan! Holidays like Thanksgiving can be hard to manage for families with a variety of eaters. Here’s a list that shows plant-based recipes can be showy and celebratory, too!
  • Instant Pot Thanksgiving Recipes The Instant Pot is a genius extension of your kitchen for holiday cooking. While your oven and stovetop are occupied cooking other things, the Instant Pot can be making up a monstrous batch of mashed potatoes or one of these other tasty sides!
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Mashed sweet potatoes

Mashed Sweet Potatoes (& More Thanksgiving Recipes!)


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

These mashed sweet potatoes are at the top of our Thanksgiving recipes! Go savory with garlic and fresh chives. For the remaining Thanksgiving recipes, scroll up!


Ingredients

  • pounds sweet potatoes
  • pounds Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1/2 cup milk (or dairy free milk for vegan)
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Peel and dice the potatoes.
  2. Place the Yukon gold potatoes in a large pot and cover with 3 to 4 inches of water; add a generous amount of kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then add the sweet potatoes after 5 minutes. Boil 10 to 15 minutes more until both types of potatoes are tender. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of the water. Return the potatoes to the pot. 
  3. In the pot, pour back the 1/2 cup water to potatoes. Add the grated garlic (you can grate it right in), milk, kosher salt, chopped chives, and fresh ground black pepper. Mash until the desired consistency is reached. Serve immediately.
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Thanksgiving recipes

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

Top 5 Spritz Recipes

Here are the best spritz recipes to try! Liquor, soda and sparkling wine make these bubbly drinks, from the classic Aperol spritz to more unique spins. The most refreshing cocktails on the planet? Meet the Spritz family! A spritz is a cocktail that’s a blend of sparkling wine (usually Prosecco), bitter liqueur, and soda water. The most famous spritz of all is the popular Aperol spritz, a classic cocktail on the list of IBA official cocktails. But there are many ways to make this bubbly drink by varying the liquor! Here are our top 5 must-try spritz recipes! Start with the classic with Aperol, then branch out to bitter Campari, fruity St Germain and cool, crisp Lillet Blanc. There’s something for everyone! And now…the best spritz recipes to try! What’s the spritz ratio? The classic spritz ratio is present in all of the recipes above. The basic idea is to use the following quantities of each ingredient: 3 parts sparkling wine (Prosecco or champagne) 2 parts liqueur 1 part soda water Once you’ve memorized this ratio, you can use it to make endless variations. You can do them with any type of liqueur: feel free to get creative! Let us know what you try […]

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

Here are the best spritz recipes to try! Liquor, soda and sparkling wine make these bubbly drinks, from the classic Aperol spritz to more unique spins.

Spritz recipes

The most refreshing cocktails on the planet? Meet the Spritz family! A spritz is a cocktail that’s a blend of sparkling wine (usually Prosecco), bitter liqueur, and soda water. The most famous spritz of all is the popular Aperol spritz, a classic cocktail on the list of IBA official cocktails. But there are many ways to make this bubbly drink by varying the liquor!

Here are our top 5 must-try spritz recipes! Start with the classic with Aperol, then branch out to bitter Campari, fruity St Germain and cool, crisp Lillet Blanc. There’s something for everyone!

And now…the best spritz recipes to try!

What’s the spritz ratio?

The classic spritz ratio is present in all of the recipes above. The basic idea is to use the following quantities of each ingredient:

  • 3 parts sparkling wine (Prosecco or champagne)
  • 2 parts liqueur
  • 1 part soda water

Once you’ve memorized this ratio, you can use it to make endless variations. You can do them with any type of liqueur: feel free to get creative! Let us know what you try in the comments below.

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Aperol spritz

Aperol Spritz


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

The classic Aperol spritz is worth the hype! It’s light and bubbly, with hints of citrus and herbs: one of the most refreshing mixed drinks of all time.


Ingredients

  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) Aperol, chilled
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) Prosecco or other sparkling wine, chilled
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) soda water
  • Ice (try clear ice!)
  • For the garnish: orange wedge, a straw if you like

Instructions

  1. Add the Aperol to a glass filled with ice and stir. Top with the sparkling wine and soda water.
  2. Squeeze in the orange wedge and stir gently, then serve. Serve with a straw to minimize dilution!

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

Keywords: Spritz

More summer drinks

The cocktails above are perfect for summer! They’re bubbly and light, perfect for lazy afternoons, pool parties, or dinner parties on the patio. Need more ideas? Here are some more easy breezy summer drinks:

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

15 Best Margarita Recipes

The BEST margarita recipes to impress everyone! The classic recipe has just 3 ingredients, then try all the variations: frozen, jalapeno, mango, & more. The margarita is at the top of our list of great cocktail recipes you should know. Crisp, cool, tart and refreshing, they’re one of the most popular and versatile drinks of all time. From late night drinks to a dinner party to brunch, there’s no time that’s not better with a margarita in hand. Here we’re sharing how to make a margarita: the classic way, and then our very favorite variations! Frozen, skinny, pitcher, beer, jalapeno margaritas…even margarita mix! There are countless ways to change up this incredible drink. And now…the best margarita recipes! How to make a margarita There’s nothing better than a classic margarita! It’s tart, with just the right bite from the tequila and scent of orange from the Cointreau. Did you know the classic margarita has no added sugar? Many bars and mixes load it down with sugar. But that strays far from an authentic margarita. The margarita is a classic alcoholic drink on the list of International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails. This means that there’s an “official” definition of this drink: […]

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

The BEST margarita recipes to impress everyone! The classic recipe has just 3 ingredients, then try all the variations: frozen, jalapeno, mango, & more.

Best margarita

The margarita is at the top of our list of great cocktail recipes you should know. Crisp, cool, tart and refreshing, they’re one of the most popular and versatile drinks of all time. From late night drinks to a dinner party to brunch, there’s no time that’s not better with a margarita in hand. Here we’re sharing how to make a margarita: the classic way, and then our very favorite variations! Frozen, skinny, pitcher, beer, jalapeno margaritas…even margarita mix! There are countless ways to change up this incredible drink.

And now…the best margarita recipes!

How to make a margarita

There’s nothing better than a classic margarita! It’s tart, with just the right bite from the tequila and scent of orange from the Cointreau. Did you know the classic margarita has no added sugar? Many bars and mixes load it down with sugar. But that strays far from an authentic margarita.

The margarita is a classic alcoholic drink on the list of International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails. This means that there’s an “official” definition of this drink: the ingredients and approximate quantities are always the same. Here’s what’s we’ve found is the perfect formula:

  • 1 1/2 ounces tequila
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • 3/4 ounce lime juice

3 steps to make a margarita

Once you’ve got the ingredients, here are the steps:

  1. Rim the glass with salt. A classic margarita has salt on the rim. Why? The salt enhances the sweet and sour flavors in the drink!
  2. Shake in a cocktail shaker. Take that tequila, Cointreau and lime juice and shake it together in a cocktail shaker with 4 ice cubes.
  3. Strain into a glass. Add ice if serving on the rocks. The margarita is often served in a lowball or Old Fashioned glass, though of course you can use the classic margarita glass too. If you’d like to serve it on the rocks, throw in a few ice cubes (use Clear Ice for a stunning look).
Skinny margarita

Best tequila for a margarita

Here’s the key to how to make a good margarita: buy a good tequila! A cocktail is only as good as the alcohol you use. Instead of recommending a specific brand, look for a mid-price range tequila (or a high end one, if your budget allows). The price is typically an indicator of quality. The other tip: use tequila reposado instead of blanco! Because it’s aged, it has a more interesting flavor. Here’s the difference between these types of tequila:

  • Tequila blanco (or “new” tequila) has been aged less than 2 months and has a strong, straightforward flavor.
  • Tequila reposado (“rested” in Spanish) is aged longer, from 2 to 12 months. It has a more nuanced flavor, with notes of oak and vanilla.

How to make a salt rim

The salt rim is essential to how to make a margarita. The salt enhances the flavors in the drink, and gives it that classic look. Try our Margarita Salt for a colorful flair: lime zest and orange zest add beautiful orange and green. Here’s how to make a salt rim:

  • Spread on a plate: Spread the kosher salt, flaky sea salt, or margarita salt on a plate in an even layer.
  • Wet the glass with a lime: Take a lime wedge and cut a notch in the middle: then slide it around the rim of the glass. This perfectly moistens the glass rim without having to use your fingers!
  • Rim the outside edge only: Tilt the glass so that only the outside edge goes into the salt. You don’t want it on the inside where it can fall into the drink. Shake off any loose salt into the sink.

Try clear ice to look like a pro!

Want a professional look to your margarita? Add clear ice! It will make your drink look like it came from a trendy bar, but you can easily make it in your own home. All you need is a small cooler and 24 hours. Go to How to Make Clear Ice.

Virgin margarita
Clear ice makes for a stunning cocktail.

This margarita recipe is…

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

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Margarita

The Original Margarita Recipe


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (10 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 best margarita recipe! Here’s how to make a classic margarita on the rocks with 3 simple ingredients: lime, Cointreau and tequila (no added sugar!).


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) tequila blanco or reposado
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) Cointreau
  • 3/4 ounce (1 1/2 tablespoons) fresh lime juice
  • Kosher salt or flaky sea salt, for the rim
  • For the garnish: Lime wedge

Instructions

  1. Cut a notch in a lime wedge, then run the lime around the rim of a glass. Dip the edge of the rim into a plate of flaky sea salt (or for a festive look, use our Margarita Salt).
  2. Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with 4 ice cubes and shake until cold.
  3. Strain the margarita into the glass with the salted rim. Fill the glass with ice and serve.

  • Category: Cocktails
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: Margarita recipes

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

28 Day Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan

Here’s a monthly Mediterranean diet meal plan! It’s got lots of recipes and inspiration, planning ideas, and a meal planning calendar download. Need healthy food to cook this month? We’ve got answers. Here at A Couple Cooks, Alex and I have spent years honing our method for how to eat healthy meals every day, not just here and there. We made it our MO, wrote a cookbook called Pretty Simple Cooking, and have devoted our careers to helping connect people to healthy recipes. But how to do you do it…every day? Here’s our new 28 day Mediterranean diet meal plan, designed to do exactly that! The goal of this plan is to help you make a sustainable practice of cooking and eating healthy food at home. In the process, we hope you’ll become inspired and find a handful of recipes you’ll make again and again. (If you like: Subscribe to our newsletter for new weekly recipes.) Is this Mediterranean diet meal plan right for you? This Mediterranean diet meal plan is right for you if you eat a variety of foods but want to focus on veggies. This meal plan includes fish, shellfish, vegetarian, and plant based / vegan recipes. If […]

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

Here’s a monthly Mediterranean diet meal plan! It’s got lots of recipes and inspiration, planning ideas, and a meal planning calendar download.

Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan

Need healthy food to cook this month? We’ve got answers. Here at A Couple Cooks, Alex and I have spent years honing our method for how to eat healthy meals every day, not just here and there. We made it our MO, wrote a cookbook called Pretty Simple Cooking, and have devoted our careers to helping connect people to healthy recipes. But how to do you do it…every day?

Here’s our new 28 day Mediterranean diet meal plan, designed to do exactly that! The goal of this plan is to help you make a sustainable practice of cooking and eating healthy food at home. In the process, we hope you’ll become inspired and find a handful of recipes you’ll make again and again. (If you like: Subscribe to our newsletter for new weekly recipes.)

Is this Mediterranean diet meal plan right for you?

This Mediterranean diet meal plan is right for you if you eat a variety of foods but want to focus on veggies. This meal plan includes fish, shellfish, vegetarian, and plant based / vegan recipes. If you eat exclusively vegetarian or vegan, choose from one of the following meal plan options:

If you have a very specific diet or health condition, consult a medical professional to understand whether these recipes are right for you.

What makes our Mediterranean diet meal plan different?

One problem with standard meal planning calendars and weekly meal plans is that they offer no flexibility. Many meal plans call for cooking something new every day of the week. They’re overwhelming with the amount of food prep! Many also don’t account for your schedule: what if Monday nights I have a weekly meeting where I eat dinner? Or this Friday night I’m going out with friends?

Here’s what makes our Mediterranean diet meal plan different:

  • It focuses on dinner ideas. Dinner is the main meal where Alex and I cook and get the majority of our nutrients for the day. Our approach is this: Go big on dinner. Go super simple on breakfast and lunch. At the bottom of the meal plan you’ll find lists of healthy breakfast ideas, snack ideas, and lunch ideas.
  • The approach: Pick 3. Each week, we offer 3 healthy dinner ideas. You can make them on any day that week! This encourages you to customize the ideas based on your schedule and particular tastes, and to eat up leftovers.
  • Repeat your favorites! Offering only 3 dinner ideas encourages you to make dinner ideas you liked from previous weeks.

What if this meal plan doesn’t work for me?

It’s possible this meal plan might not work for you – and that’s ok! This meal plan might provide too much flexibility for you. There might not be enough options. Or, you might not like the style of these recipes. This meal plan is not for everyone, but it’s an outline of how Alex and I cook on a weekly basis.

Run out of dinner recipes? We’ve got hundreds! Here are some places to browse:

Download: Mediterranean diet meal plan spreadsheet

To make our Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan tangible, we’ve created a downloadable meal planning calendar for you! It’s our Meal Plan spreadsheet, where you can copy in your meal planning ideas for each week. Simply download the spreadsheet and then copy in the links to the recipes for each week below. Here’s the download!

Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan

Before you start: here’s how to use our Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan!

  • Pick at least 3 dinner ideas. Alex and I don’t cook every night! We make enough for leftovers and eat them throughout the week, sometimes re-purposing them in new ways. For this meal plan, pick 3 days that you want to cook dinners. Fill in the other days with eating leftovers, “clean out the fridge” meals, or allowing for meals out. If you need more healthy dinner ideas for that week: pick another one of our other Dinner Recipes, or our 28 Day Healthy Meal Plan and 28 Day Pescatarian Meal Plan.
  • Fill in breakfast, lunch, and snacks ideas. We like to keep breakfast, lunches, and snacks SUPER simple. If possible, things that don’t use recipes are great: like carrots and hummus, English muffins with peanut butter, yogurt with fruit. Doing this, we save our cooking energy for dinner.
  • Copy the links into your Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan spreadsheet. Using a spreadsheet makes things much more tangible than just using a list! Once you’ve taken stock of what nights you’ll have time to cook, fill in your dinner ideas accordingly. We suggest filling out the meal plan on the weekend (Sundays seem to be good for many people).
  • Read the meal prep planning notes. Below each week of healthy dinner ideas, we’ve included some meal prep planning notes to help with ways to make ahead or prep in advance.

Dinner Ideas Week 1

*Pick at least 3 dinners to cook at home and copy them into your Meal Plan spreadsheet on the days for Week 1! On days you’re not cooking, use up leftovers or do “clean out the fridge” meals, and allow for meals out.

  1. Salmon with Capers (30 minutes) + Pesto Quinoa
  2. Mediterranean Couscous Bowls (30 minutes)
  3. Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo (25 minutes) + Easy Arugula Salad
  4. Quick Garlicky Shrimp Couscous (15 minutes)
  5. Leftovers from above*

*Meal Prep Plan Notes

  • Salmon: If using frozen salmon, make sure to refrigerate the night before. It’s an easy recipe so not much can be made in advance. (The caper butter could be, but you’ll have to re-melt it anyway.) You can make the quinoa in advance and refrigerate: wait to mix it with the pesto until the day of serving.
  • Couscous Bowls: You can make the tahini sauce and chickpeas in advance and refrigerate until serving. You could make the couscous in advance, but it cooks so fast it works the day of. For gluten-free, substitute quinoa or rice. You could make a big pot of quinoa and use it in the Salmon, Couscous Bowls, and Shrimp Couscous. Of you’re serving with couscous, you could make extra if you’re planning to make the shrimp.
  • Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo: Make the sauce in advance and refrigerate until serving. Reheat and serve with fresh cooked pasta for a quick and easy meal. Make the salad while the pasta boils.
  • Shrimp & Couscous: This one is lightening fast. If you’re using frozen shrimp, throw it in the refrigerator the night before. If you have leftover couscous or quinoa from the above meals, it will be even faster.
Salmon with capers
Salmon with Capers is a simple preparation with big flavor.

Dinner Ideas Week 2

*Pick at least 3 dinners to cook at home and copy them into your Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan spreadsheet on the days for Week 2! On days you’re not cooking, use up leftovers or do “clean out the fridge” meals, and allow for meals out.

  1. Easy Sheet Pan Dinner (45 minutes)
  2. Lentil Sloppy Joes (30 minutes)
  3. Nicoise Salad (40 minutes)
  4. Make again! 1 or 2 favorite dinner ideas from Week 1
  5. Leftovers from above*

Meal Plan Prep Notes

  • Sheet Pan Dinner: Chop the veggies in advance, then just pop them in the oven the day of serving. Or, you can roast them in advance and just reheat in a 350 degree oven until heated through, about 10 to 15 minutes. You also can make the rice or quinoa in advance and reheat prior to serving.
  • Lentil Sloppy Joes: Cook the lentils in advance, then make the sauce the day of. Even better, make the entire filling in advance (it tastes better as it sits). If you’re serving with Pickled onions, make those in advance too.
  • Nicoise Salad: This classic French salad has lots of components, but they can all be made ahead! Make the hard boiled eggs, beans, potatoes, and lemon vinaigrette in advance and refrigerate until serving. Make sure to let the dressing come to room temp before serving.
Nicoise salad
The classic French Nicoise Salad is 100% Mediterranean diet.

Dinner Ideas Week 3

*Pick at least 3 dinners to cook at home and copy them into your Meal Plan spreadsheet on the days for Week 4! On days you’re not cooking, use up leftovers or do “clean out the fridge” meals, and allow for meals out.

  1. Shrimp Marinara (30 minutes) + Arugula Beet Salad
  2. Best Damn Lentil Soup or Curry Lentil Soup (45 minutes)
  3. Best Chickpea Burgers (40 minutes)
  4. Make again! 1 or 2 favorite dinner ideas from Week 1 or 2
  5. Leftovers from above*

Meal Plan Prep Notes

  • Shrimp Marinara: If you’re using frozen shrimp, throw it in the refrigerator the night before. You can use purchased marinara sauce or make the Easy Marinara in advance. For the arugula salad, use store-bought boiled beets for easiest prep.
  • Lentil Soup: You could make the entire soup in advance and refrigerate: it saves well. (Leftovers also freeze well.) Or you could chop the veggies in advance to speed up prep.
  • Chickpea Burgers: These save well! Make the entire burger in advance and refrigerate or freeze until serving. Consider making a double batch. You can also make the shiitake bacon in advance. For gluten-free, serve without the bun or on a salad with tahini sauce drizzle.
Chickpea burgers
These Best Chickpea Burgers are super satisfying.

Healthy Dinner Ideas Week 4

*Pick at least 3 dinners to cook at home and copy them into your Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan spreadsheet on the days for Week 4! On days you’re not cooking, use up leftovers or do “clean out the fridge” meals, and allow for meals out.

  1. Lemon Dill Salmon (20 minutes) + BEST Steamed Broccoli
  2. Easy Chickpea Curry (20 minutes) + Basmati Rice
  3. Tuscan Soup with White Beans (30 minutes) + crusty bread
  4. Make again! 1 or 2 favorite dinner ideas from Week 1, 2 or 3
  5. Leftovers from above*

Meal Plan Prep Notes

  • Salmon: If using frozen salmon, make sure to refrigerate the night before. You can make the lemon dill sauce in advance and refrigerate. The broccoli comes together quickly and you can make it while the salmon bakes.
  • Curry: This one is quick to put together, but you could chop the veggies in advance and refrigerate. Make the Basmati Rice in advance. To reheat: place in a pan with a splash of water and simmer until it’s heated through and moist.
  • Tuscan Soup: This soup is pretty quick to whip up, but you could chop the vegetables in advance and refrigerate to save a few minutes on prep.
Easy Chickpea Curry
Easy Chickpea Curry is quick and full of flavor.

Healthy Breakfast Ideas Weeks 1-4

Here are lots of simple ideas for healthy Mediterranean diet breakfasts! Pick any of these to eat throughout the week and copy them into your Meal Plan spreadsheet. We’ve offered quite a bit of options to account for your breakfast tastes and style. Do repeats as much as you’d like!

PB&J oatmeal toppings
Best Oatmeal with peanut butter is a breakfast that sticks!

Healthy Snack Ideas Weeks 1-4

Pick any of these to eat throughout the week and copy them into your Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan spreadsheet.

Stuffed dates
Easy Stuffed Dates are a filling snack

Healthy Lunch Ideas Weeks 1-4

Lunches can be hard, especially if you’re eating at your desk! Again, our philosophy for lunches is: keep them very simple, without a recipe if possible. Pick any of these to eat throughout the week and copy them into your Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan spreadsheet.

Simple chickpea salad
Simple Chickpea Salad takes just 5 minutes and is perfect for desk lunches.

Did you like this Mediterranean diet meal plan?

We’d love to hear your feedback on this Mediterranean diet meal plan: let us know in the comments below (or click the heart below). And let us know if you have any questions!

For more recipes like these: try our cookbook, Pretty Simple Cooking!

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

20 Best Vegetables to Eat Today

We’ve all heard, “Eat more vegetables.” But how to do it? Here are the best healthy vegetables to get into your diet, and recipes for how to eat them! We’ve all heard the refrain: Eat more fruits and vegetables! But what does that really look like? And what are the healthiest vegetables to eat? Well, we’ve got answers. Alex and I are cookbook authors of a vegetarian cookbook and our website has over 1,000 recipes for how to make plants taste delicious. But today, we wanted to delve into this question: What are the best vegetables to include in a healthy diet? After lots of research, we’ve compiled a list of the 20 best vegetables to include in your everyday. The great news? There are so many ways to make them taste delicious. With each vegetable, we’ve included our top recipes for making it taste good. (And you can click the “Get Recipes” button to get even more recipes.) Ready to get started? Want more ideas? Try our Cruciferous Vegetables Guide The best vegetables to eat in a healthy diet? More resources Looking for more resources on how to eat more veggies? Here are a few more of our favorite […]

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

We’ve all heard, “Eat more vegetables.” But how to do it? Here are the best healthy vegetables to get into your diet, and recipes for how to eat them!

Vegetables
This Rainbow Vegetable Sandwich is a tasty way to eat lots at once!

We’ve all heard the refrain: Eat more fruits and vegetables! But what does that really look like? And what are the healthiest vegetables to eat? Well, we’ve got answers. Alex and I are cookbook authors of a vegetarian cookbook and our website has over 1,000 recipes for how to make plants taste delicious. But today, we wanted to delve into this question: What are the best vegetables to include in a healthy diet?

After lots of research, we’ve compiled a list of the 20 best vegetables to include in your everyday. The great news? There are so many ways to make them taste delicious. With each vegetable, we’ve included our top recipes for making it taste good. (And you can click the “Get Recipes” button to get even more recipes.) Ready to get started?

Want more ideas? Try our Cruciferous Vegetables Guide

The best vegetables to eat in a healthy diet?

More resources

Looking for more resources on how to eat more veggies? Here are a few more of our favorite resources for eating lots of veggies:

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

How to Go Vegan: Guide & Recipes

Here’s how to go vegan: a beginners guide and all the healthy recipes you need. Plant based eating can be affordable, filling and delicious! Looking to start a vegan diet? You’ve come to the right place. Here at A Couple Cooks, we’re experts in plant based cooking and cookbook authors. Alex and I have devoted our careers to making eating vegetables delicious! While we don’t eat a strict vegan diet, the majority of the recipes we eat are plant based! We’ve learned all the tricks to making this lifestyle affordable, filling, and most of all: delicious! Here’s a crash course in how to go vegan, and all the recipes you need! What is a vegan diet? First things first: what is a vegan diet? A vegan diet is a diet that excludes all animal products. Here are the foods that are off limits: Meat Fish and shellfish All dairy (milk, cheese, sour cream, butter, yogurt) Eggs Honey Don’t worry, that still leaves lots and lots of things to eat! Here’s what is part of a vegan diet: Vegetables (here are the best 20 veggies to eat!) Legumes like lentils and beans Whole grains like rice, quinoa, farro, bulgur, and more Soy […]

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

Here’s how to go vegan: a beginners guide and all the healthy recipes you need. Plant based eating can be affordable, filling and delicious!

Vegan Sloppy Joes

Looking to start a vegan diet? You’ve come to the right place. Here at A Couple Cooks, we’re experts in plant based cooking and cookbook authors. Alex and I have devoted our careers to making eating vegetables delicious! While we don’t eat a strict vegan diet, the majority of the recipes we eat are plant based! We’ve learned all the tricks to making this lifestyle affordable, filling, and most of all: delicious! Here’s a crash course in how to go vegan, and all the recipes you need!

What is a vegan diet?

First things first: what is a vegan diet? A vegan diet is a diet that excludes all animal products. Here are the foods that are off limits:

  • Meat
  • Fish and shellfish
  • All dairy (milk, cheese, sour cream, butter, yogurt)
  • Eggs
  • Honey

Don’t worry, that still leaves lots and lots of things to eat! Here’s what is part of a vegan diet:

  • Vegetables (here are the best 20 veggies to eat!)
  • Legumes like lentils and beans
  • Whole grains like rice, quinoa, farro, bulgur, and more
  • Soy products like tofu and tempeh

Tip 1: Understand vegan protein & how to stay full!

Here’s one of the most important parts of eating vegan: plant based protein is key for staying satiated and full. The most important part of eating recipes without meat and dairy is to make sure they’re packed with plant based protein. If not, we’ll be hungry an hour later! There lots of options for adding plant based protein to your meals to make them filling and nutritious. Here’s are the top plant-based protein filled foods:

Choose from a variety of sources!

When you’re eating lots of protein from plants, it’s important to get a wide variety of protein sources. The point isn’t just to eat a can of black beans every day! According to Harvard School of Public Health, make sure to mix up your sources so no “essential” components of protein are missing. For more on plant based protein and lots of recipes, go to All About Plant Based Protein.

Is soy healthy?

According to the Harvard TH Chan School of Nutrition, soy is a nutrient-dense source of protein that can safely be consumed several times a week. It’s likely to provide health benefits—especially when eaten as an alternative to red and processed meat!

Tip 2: Eat whole foods!

When thinking about how to go vegan, consider this: focus on whole foods and a variety of veggies! It’s possible to eat a vegan diet and eat only processed foods: chips, crackers, fries, and the like. Here are a few tips for eating whole foods:

  • Try to cut down on packaged foods and make your own instead! Try our crackers, chips, pita chips, nacho cheese, etc.
  • Read the labels of anything pre-packaged and make sure that anything you buy has minimally processed ingredients. Try to avoid lots of preservatives and additives.
  • This will require more time in your schedule for cooking! See Tip 4 below.

Tip 3: Consider B12.

Dairy, eggs, and seafood have the Vitamin B12, which is important for avoiding anemia and does not occur naturally in plants. If you eat a fully vegan diet, you may need to add a supplement (specifically vitamin B12) to make sure you receive all the nutrients required. Consult your doctor for more.

Tip 4: Make time and space! And find a buddy.

What does going vegan mean? Carving out more space in your life to cook! Are you already in the practice of cooking on the regular? Here are a few things to think about as your make this diet change:

  • Baby steps: it doesn’t happen overnight! It takes a while to figure out your tastes and what recipes will be your go-to’s (see below for all ours!). Give yourself the grace and time to figure it out over weeks and months. It’s all about long term sustainability!
  • If a recipe bombs: try another! Cooking is all about finding things that work for your life and your personal tastes. If you make a recipe you don’t like: find another and try that one! Have the courage to keep trying new flavors and techniques.
  • Find a buddy. This is one of our top recommendations: find a buddy: friend, roommate, spouse, partner — who can help navigate the change with you. Share recipes with each other! Talk about things you like, and things that didn’t work. Food is all about relationship, and having a cheerleader is half the fun.

Tip 5: A few foods to watch for!

When you go vegan, here are a few foods to remember are off limits and what to substitute:

  • Honey: Use maple syrup instead!
  • Worcestershire sauce: Look for vegan Worcestershire sauce (standard contains anchovies)
  • Caesar dressing: Has anchovies and Parmesan; look for vegan Caesar
  • Pesto: Has Parmesan: use our Vegan Pesto
  • Mayonnaise: Has eggs: look for vegan mayo or use our Cashew Cream as a substitute

And now, our top go-to recipes for how to go vegan!

All our vegan recipe collections

That’s not enough? Here are our plant based recipes by category:

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

Easy Champagne Cocktails

Nothing’s more festive than bubbly champagne cocktails! They’re easy to make, and add class and style to any celebration. Are you ready to celebrate? Champagne has been a festive drink for centuries. Of course, you can just pop the cork and drink it straight up (which Alex and I do, often!). But why not try a champagne cocktail? The tangy, bubbly sparkling wine is perfect with all sorts of flavors, from lemon to St Germain to cranberry. Even just adding one or two ingredients to champagne really alters the flavor and adds depth. And of course, holding a glass says, “Hey, I’m someone with sophistication and class!” Ready to toast? And now… the best easy champagne cocktails to try! When to serve champagne cocktails The champagne cocktails are so festive, they work well for almost any occasions! Here are some times we can imagine serving them, though it’s not an exhaustive list! Champagne cocktails are perfect as a: New Year’s Eve drink Christmas or holiday drink Bridal shower drink or bachelorette party drink Girls night drink Celebration drink (job, anniversary, baby, etc!) Dinner party drink Romantic dinner drink Brunch drink (Mother’s Day, etc) What type of champagne should I buy? With […]

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

Nothing’s more festive than bubbly champagne cocktails! They’re easy to make, and add class and style to any celebration.

Champagne cocktails

Are you ready to celebrate? Champagne has been a festive drink for centuries. Of course, you can just pop the cork and drink it straight up (which Alex and I do, often!). But why not try a champagne cocktail? The tangy, bubbly sparkling wine is perfect with all sorts of flavors, from lemon to St Germain to cranberry. Even just adding one or two ingredients to champagne really alters the flavor and adds depth. And of course, holding a glass says, “Hey, I’m someone with sophistication and class!” Ready to toast?

And now… the best easy champagne cocktails to try!

When to serve champagne cocktails

The champagne cocktails are so festive, they work well for almost any occasions! Here are some times we can imagine serving them, though it’s not an exhaustive list! Champagne cocktails are perfect as a:

What type of champagne should I buy?

With champagne and most alcohol, the higher the quality, the better the flavor. We use the rule: buy something in the medium price range, and you’re usually safe. That is: don’t buy the cheapest bottle. But don’t go overboard on the most pricey one either! Usually middle of the road in price is a good quality bottle.

Also, make sure to buy “Brut”, which means dry. If you’d like to geek out more on champagne, head to 5 Things to Know About Buying Champagne.

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Champagne cocktail

“The” Champagne Cocktail


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 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

Description

The Champagne Cocktail is a classic drink that’s festive and elegant, perfect for celebration. The sugar cube makes it sparkle!


Ingredients

  • 1 sugar cube
  • 5 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Squeezed lemon peel
  • 1 glass champagne (10 tablespoons)*
  • For the garnish: Lemon twist

Instructions

  1. Make the lemon twist garnish, if using.
  2. Add a sugar cube to bottom of a champagne flute**. Add 5 dashes of bitters to the sugar cube. Use a vegetable peeler to peel off a small strip of lemon skin. Squeeze the lemon skin into the flute to release the oils.
  3. Fill the glass with champagne and serve immediately: watch how the sugar cube makes the bubbles sparkle! Garnish with a lemon twist if desired (here’s how to make a lemon twist).

Notes

*You’ll get about 5 drinks per 1 bottle of champagne. **You can also serve this drinks on the rocks in a cocktail glass. Follow the same instructions, just place the ice in the glass with the sugar cube, then top with champagne. The drink will have a more subtle flavor.

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Cocktail
  • Cuisine: Cocktails

Keywords: Champagne Cocktails

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

Instant Pot Thanksgiving Recipes

Bust out your pressure cooker on holidays: it saves valuable stove and oven space! Here are the very best Instant Pot Thanksgiving recipes everyone will love. The best time to use a pressure cooker? Thanksgiving! Yes, the Instant Pot is a genius extension of your kitchen for holiday cooking. While your oven and stovetop are occupied cooking other things, the Instant Pot can be making up a monstrous batch of mashed potatoes. Or cooking an apple crisp. Or making green bean casserole. Yes, the Instant Pot is perfect for holiday cooking. (Did we mention it’s portable?) This year, we’ll be making a few of these Instant Pot Thanksgiving recipes for our various celebrations. Each and everyone of them is so, so delicious, they’re sure to become family favorites in no time. While most of these recipes are Thanksgiving sides, the stuffed squash would be a fabulous main dish. And don’t forget dessert! We’re starting to get hungry over here… PS don’t forget to try out our Vegetarian Gravy or Vegan Gravy on those fluffy mashed potatoes! Best Instant Pot Thanksgiving recipes! What Instant Pot do you use? All of these Instant Pot Thanksgiving recipes have been tested using an Instant Pot […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, Vegetarian Recipes

Bust out your pressure cooker on holidays: it saves valuable stove and oven space! Here are the very best Instant Pot Thanksgiving recipes everyone will love.

Instant Pot Thanksgiving recipes

The best time to use a pressure cooker? Thanksgiving! Yes, the Instant Pot is a genius extension of your kitchen for holiday cooking. While your oven and stovetop are occupied cooking other things, the Instant Pot can be making up a monstrous batch of mashed potatoes. Or cooking an apple crisp. Or making green bean casserole.

Yes, the Instant Pot is perfect for holiday cooking. (Did we mention it’s portable?) This year, we’ll be making a few of these Instant Pot Thanksgiving recipes for our various celebrations. Each and everyone of them is so, so delicious, they’re sure to become family favorites in no time. While most of these recipes are Thanksgiving sides, the stuffed squash would be a fabulous main dish. And don’t forget dessert!

We’re starting to get hungry over here… PS don’t forget to try out our Vegetarian Gravy or Vegan Gravy on those fluffy mashed potatoes!

Best Instant Pot Thanksgiving recipes!

One of the very best Instant Pot Thanksgiving recipes? These perfectly creamy, fluffy mashed potatoes. Yes, mashed potatoes are so much easier in a pressure cooker! You don’t have to worry about them boiling over on the stovetop, or keep testing them to see when they’re done. Nope, just throw them in your pressure cooker and press Go! It also gets that massive pot off the stove top make way for all your other Thanksgiving prep.

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Here's an Instant Pot Thanksgiving spin on the 1950's classic green bean casserole! And this ain’t your mama’s green bean casserole: it's a fresh spin made all from scratch! It’s got crisp tender green beans and real mushrooms. The creamy sauce coats each of the beans, but isn’t gloppy. And it’s got a new take on the traditional fried onion topping: using crushed potato chips!

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Here's a standout Instant Pot Thanksgiving recipe that works as a vegetarian main dish or a side dish, too! Tender, creamy acorn squash is draped with a savory, herb-laden pecan and rice stuffing that truly makes your kitchen smell like a fall wonderland. Really! 

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Instead of sugary marshmallow sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving, how about savory mashed instead? These Instant Pot mashed sweet potatoes have just the right fluffy texture. The secret? They're combined with Yukon gold potatoes to give them that classic texture. Add garlic and top with chives, and they'll be a hit with everyone around the table.

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Can you make Instant Pot Brussels sprouts? Roasted Brussels sprouts is our very favorite to eat these powerhouse vegetables. The oven makes them tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. Turns out, Instant Pot Brussels are delicious too! They come out crisp tender and mixed with butter, chives, and Parmesan cheese, they’re seriously flavorful.

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May we present: Instant Pot butternut squash soup! It's spiced with sage, with a hint of cinnamon and a smoky undertone. The squash and carrot give it an electric orange hue, and it's rounded out with potato and apple for sweetness. Really, it's pure gold in a bowl! It's a star in our comforting butternut squash recipes.

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The sweet, earthy flavor of beets pairs perfectly with the tang of a balsamic dressing. Here, we’ve used our favorite Best Balsamic Dressing: which takes just 5 minutes and 5 ingredients. The balance of tangy, sweet and savory in this dressing is mind-blowing. Make this with quick Instant Pot beets, which take only about 30 minutes to cook: half the time of roasting them in the oven!

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Let us introduce the best easy Thanksgiving side dish: Instant Pot green beans! They’re super quick to put together and the zesty lemon flavor makes them a crowd pleaser. Because they’re steamed in the pressure cooker, they make space on the stovetop and oven for cooking the main dish! They take only 10 minutes to make: a speed record for the holidays!

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Why not finish this list of Instant Pot Thanksgiving recipes with something sweet? This apple crisp cooks up in minutes, leaving the oven clear for holiday baking (the turkey, perhaps?). It's topped with organic granola for the crumble, and comes out sweet and cozy. A little lemon zest adds some zing, and melty vanilla ice cream puts it over the top.

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Mashed sweet potatoes

Instant Pot Thanksgiving Mashed Sweet Potatoes


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (8 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12

Description

The pressure cooker is perfect for holidays: it saves valuable stove and oven space! These Instant Pot Thanksgiving mashed sweet potatoes are perfectly creamy and sweet-savory: everyone will love them!


Ingredients

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes*
  • 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half (or sub non-dairy milk for vegan)
  • 1 clove grated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Thinly sliced chives, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Peel the potatoes, then cut them into large chunks.
  2. Add the potatoes to the Instant Pot. Add the kosher salt and the water. Lock the lid. Place the pressure release handle (vent) in the “Sealing” position.
  3. Cook on High Pressure for 12 minutes: Press the Pressure Cook button, making sure the “High Pressure” setting is selected, and set the time. Note that it takes about 20 minutes for the pot to “preheat” and come up to pressure before it starts cooking. (During cooking, avoid touching the metal part of the lid.)
  4. Quick release: Vent the remaining steam from the Instant Pot by moving the pressure release handle to “Venting”, covering your hand with a towel or hot pad. Never put your hands or face near the vent when releasing steam. Open the pressure cooker lid.
  5. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher directly in the Instant Pot. Then stir in the cream, grated garlic, and black pepper to the hot potatoes. Taste, and adjust seasonings as desired. Garnish with chopped chives and fresh ground pepper.

Notes

*This amount makes 12 servings and is intended for a crowd. If you’d like to make less, you can half the recipe without affecting the cook time.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Thanksgiving

Keywords: Instant Pot Thanksgiving, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, recipes, thanksgiving, instant pot, pressure cooker

What Instant Pot do you use?

All of these Instant Pot Thanksgiving recipes have been tested using an Instant Pot 6 Qt Multi-Use Programmable Pressure CookerThere is definitely variation between pressure cooker brands and sizes, so you may see some variation in cook time depending on the brand and size you’re using.

Understanding Instant Pot cook time

When you look at cook time with any pressure cooker, you’ll need to factor in a few more things than just the actual cook time. Keep the following in mind:

  • “Preheat” time: Once you add the ingredients to the pot, the pressure cooker requires time to come up to pressure. This time can vary depending on the recipe. Alex and I make sure to state it clearly in each of our Instant Pot recipes, so you know how long they’ll take overall.
  • Natural release: Some recipes call for a Quick Release: here you’ll immediately release the pressure and open the lid. But some recipes call for a Natural Release method, where you wait with the cover on after the cook time for the pressure to naturally release from the pot. Make sure to factor this time in when you’re planning your recipes, not just the cook time.

A note about the sealing ring

The plastic sealing rink inside the pressure cooker lid can pick up odors after cooking. Make sure to clean it fully after using it, and allow it to dry separately from the lid. A good practice is to store the Instant Pot with the lid upside down so the sealing ring is exposed to air, instead of with the lid closed onto the pot. This allows the sealing ring to air out between uses.

To remove the smell from an Instant Pot sealing ring, soak it in vinegar for a few hours. Another option is purchasing two sealing rings. We purchased 2 Instant Pot sealing rings and use one for savory recipes and one for sweet recipes. This is especially helpful if you’re making something like the apple crisp above.

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, Vegetarian Recipes

15 Must-Make Fall Recipes

Don’t let the season go by without trying these must-make fall recipes! Each one is guaranteed to bring cozy cheer using the best foods of the season. Once the weather starts to get cool, recipes turn comforting and nostalgic. What’s better than cozying up with a cup of chili in a sweater, or the wafting aroma of pumpkin cookies? Once the season starts, we’re always clamoring to make the latest greatest fall recipes. So we thought we’d compile the best fall recipes that you must not miss this season. We’ve got sweet, savory, and everything in between. Best flavors of fall What are the best seasonal fall foods? Here’s what foods are often included in seasonal fall recipes. Their availability will vary based on your location. Bonus points if you can find them at a local farmers market! Sweet potatoes Butternut squash Acorn squash Spaghetti squash Pumpkin Cauliflower Brussels sprouts Apples Pears Beets Each of the fall recipes below feature many of these seasonal foods! And make sure to heat over to our Fall Dinner Recipes, Fall Drinks, and Fall Desserts to accessorize with these meals. (Or celebrate with Fall Sangria!) Ready to get started? Ready to get cooking? More […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, Vegetarian Recipes

Don’t let the season go by without trying these must-make fall recipes! Each one is guaranteed to bring cozy cheer using the best foods of the season.

Fall recipes

Once the weather starts to get cool, recipes turn comforting and nostalgic. What’s better than cozying up with a cup of chili in a sweater, or the wafting aroma of pumpkin cookies? Once the season starts, we’re always clamoring to make the latest greatest fall recipes. So we thought we’d compile the best fall recipes that you must not miss this season. We’ve got sweet, savory, and everything in between.

Best flavors of fall

What are the best seasonal fall foods? Here’s what foods are often included in seasonal fall recipes. Their availability will vary based on your location. Bonus points if you can find them at a local farmers market!

Each of the fall recipes below feature many of these seasonal foods! And make sure to heat over to our Fall Dinner Recipes, Fall Drinks, and Fall Desserts to accessorize with these meals. (Or celebrate with Fall Sangria!) Ready to get started?

Ready to get cooking?

Hands up if you like cookies! Once the weather starts getting cooler, we immediately crave these chewy pumpkin oatmeal cookies. They taste like--get this--oatmeal cream pies! The soft cookie is full of pumpkin spices, then drizzled with a powdered sugar icing. These will kick off the fall nostalgia in no time. Said one of our readers, "Made these today!! Delicious!!!" We hear you. (Now we need to make a batch.)

Pantry plus: Add our Pumpkin Pie Spice to your cupboard -- or give it as gifts!

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It's not fall until you've made butternut squash risotto! The smell alone of this butternut squash risotto bubbling away is reason to make it. The tender, caramelized roasted squash makes sweet pockets in the creamy Parmesan rice dotted with sage. And that smell of shallots sauteing in butter, with a splash of white wine? DIVINE. It’s a stunner.

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These healthy pumpkin muffins are pretty much the best fall use of a muffin wrapper that there is. There’s the tender interior, perfectly moist with pumpkin puree and infused with pumpkin pie spice. Then there’s the streusel topping: oats and glittery turbinado sugar. It makes a satisfying crunch, and every bite is just the right sweet and spice. Even better? Each one is less than 200 calories. 

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Next up in our must-try fall recipes: stuffed acorn squash! Because when other than fall do you crave its fleshy, sweet goodness? The creamy squash is roasted until tender, then it’s draped in a toasted pecan rice stuffing that makes your kitchen smell like a fall paradise! You know that scent of onions, celery and leeks cooking in butter? Well, this recipe delivers it in spades. Everyone we’ve served it to becomes a believer…and then immediately asks for the recipe.

Want a different filling? Try Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash or Roasted Acorn Squash with Wild Rice Stuffing

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What's more fall than chili? This classic vegetarian chili recipe is a fan favorite, balancing three beans, green chilis, and a healthy dose of chili powder. It's filled with bulgur wheat to mimic the texture of meat (sub cooked quinoa for gluten free). Top with sour cream or nacho cheese (yep!) and it's true perfection.

Serve with: Easy Vegan Cornbread

Want another chili? Try our Quinoa Vegan Chili or Mango Black Bean Chili.

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Get ready to be amazed by the best fall drink recipe! This Fall Sangria recipe pairs sparkling apple cider with red wine, orange and cinnamon. In a word: wow. It's just sweet enough, more like a traditional Spanish sangria. If you'd like, pour it in layers to make the the beautiful two-tones. And don't forget the garnish: a rosemary sprig, orange slice, and cinnamon stick!

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Speaking of best of the best fall recipes...this Vegan Pot Pie is next level. The earthy potatoes and onions are slathered in a savory, creamy sauce, along with fried shallots and white beans. And on top, a flaky sage vegan pie crust that you’d never believe has no butter (the secret: coconut oil). Said one reader: "WOW. This is seriously amazing pot pie. I’ve had a couple of vegan pot pies before, but this is my favorite!"

Love butter? Try our Cozy Vegetarian Pot Pie.

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Fuzzy blankets, wool sweaters and hot cider can’t hold a candle to this one. Yes, this vegan pumpkin bread is spelled C-O-Z-Y. It’s perfectly moist and pumpkin spiced. Even better, it’s light and fluffy: so you get your pumpkin spice fix without it being overly heavy or rich. It’s a seriously good pumpkin bread that happens to be plant-based, too.

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Why not eat everyone's favorite squash as...mac and cheese? Here it’s served in the shell for a beautiful presentation. The spaghetti squash strands are drenched in a creamy Béchamel sauce with Gruyere cheese. What are you waiting for?

Another fan favorite? Try our Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti or Easy Pesto Spaghetti Squash.

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This one's a fall recipe people can't stop talking about: these pumpkin baked steel cut oats. These nutrient-dense oats are mixed with pumpkin puree, pecans and spices and baked up in the oven. The result? A healthy version of pumpkin pie. Said reader Jessica, "SOOOO GOOD!!! Oh my wow. This is probably the best oatmeal I’ve ever made. I felt like I was eating pie for breakfast!"

Got an Instant Pot? Try Apple Cinnamon Pressure Cooker Steel Cut Oats

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Please tell us you will not let fall go by without making this easy fall recipe? Yes Pumpkin HUMMUS is where it's at! Combining this ubiquitous fall vegetable with chickpeas into a savory hummus might seem a little odd at first. But it’s surprisingly good! It's creamy and savory, with an undertone of autumnal goodness. 

Serve with: Homemade Pita Chips

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After all these cozy, gooey, comfort food-y recipes, here's a fall recipe that's crisp and fresh! This shaved Brussels sprout salad features sprouts in their raw form: which taste a bit like a sweet blend of cabbage and lettuce! Top that with a tangy sweet vinaigrette, tart apples and pomegranate seeds. It's a symphony of good for you flavors that are all fall.

More with Brussels Sprouts? Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Goat Cheese or Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans.

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Once the temperatures start to cool down, we immediately dust off this one: pumpkin pasta sauce! Pumpkin puree actually makes for a creamy, irresistible pumpkin pasta sauce. Its texture melds seamlessly with Parmesan cheese, and its subtle flavor works just as well with garlic and chili powder as with pumpkin spices. Even better, this fall pasta recipe is quick to whip up: even with the penne, it takes under 30 minutes to make.

Another variation: Baked Gnocchi with Pumpkin Sauce

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Is it even fall if you don't make pumpkin pancakes? This healthy spin on a fall breakfast recipe features rolled oats (oat flour) instead of all-purpose flour. This makes these pancakes heartier and more filling than a normal all-purpose flour and sugar pancake. And of course, they're infused with lots of pumpkin pie spice! Drizzle with maple syrup and enjoy.

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And to round out our fall recipes...soup. Butternut squash soup isn't really about the food: it's about a fall tradition! Every year we make this soup with butternut squash from the market. And why make butternut squash soup when you can make curried butternut squash soup? Yes, the Thai flavors of coconut, ginger and curry are the perfect match to this lightly sweet orange squash. Yep, you've got to try it to believe it with this one!

More flavors: Butternut Squash Lentil Soup or Easy Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup

SCROLL DOWN to the recipe below!
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More fall recipes

Of course we couldn’t stop with the fall recipes: here are some more of the best things to be eating this season:

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Easy Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup & More Fall Recipes


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (7 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

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

Description

What’s more fall than a cozy butternut squash soup? This easy curried butternut squash soup recipe is perfect, creamy and seasoned with ginger and curry paste. 


Ingredients

  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
  • 4 medium carrots (1 cup chopped)
  • 1 medium butternut squash (4 cups chopped)*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 15-ounce can chickpeas
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk, plus more to garnish
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Cilantro, for the garnish

Instructions

  1. Dice the onion. Mince the ginger. Peel and chop the carrots. 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 ginger, carrots, squash, vegetable broth and kosher salt and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook until carrots are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. When the carrots are soft, add the chickpeas, coconut milk, and red curry paste, and carefully blend with an immersion blender (or in a blender) until the smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
  4. Serve with chopped cilantro, lime wedges, and extra coconut milk if desired.

Notes

*As a time saver, substitute frozen cubed butternut squash.

  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Fall

Keywords: Fall recipes

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, Vegetarian Recipes