Homemade Mac and Cheese

Here’s how to make homemade mac and cheese! Cook this ultimate comfort food from scratch and it’s better than any you’ve ever had. Ready for the best EVER homemade mac and cheese? We promise: it’s really worth pulling out the superlatives here! Making this comfort food from scratch makes it taste infinitely better than the kind from a box. Want to impress everyone? This homemade mac and cheese tastes homey and cozy, with the best gooey, cheesy sauce and crunchy breadcrumbs. Alex and I made this for a recent family gathering and everyone around the table agreed: “this is the best mac and cheese.” How to make homemade mac and cheese: basic steps! Here’s the thing. Making homemade mac and cheese is easy, but you need to know a few basic cooking techniques to make it perfect. Here are the two techniques you’ll have to master: How to cook pasta to al dente. How to make a roux. Once you’ve got these two skills under your belt, the rest is a piece of cake! Let’s talk through these briefly before we start. How (and why!) to cook pasta to al dente What is al dente? Al dente means “to the […]

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

Here’s how to make homemade mac and cheese! Cook this ultimate comfort food from scratch and it’s better than any you’ve ever had.

Homemade mac and cheese

Ready for the best EVER homemade mac and cheese? We promise: it’s really worth pulling out the superlatives here! Making this comfort food from scratch makes it taste infinitely better than the kind from a box. Want to impress everyone? This homemade mac and cheese tastes homey and cozy, with the best gooey, cheesy sauce and crunchy breadcrumbs. Alex and I made this for a recent family gathering and everyone around the table agreed: “this is the best mac and cheese.”

How to make homemade mac and cheese: basic steps!

Here’s the thing. Making homemade mac and cheese is easy, but you need to know a few basic cooking techniques to make it perfect. Here are the two techniques you’ll have to master:

  • How to cook pasta to al dente.
  • How to make a roux.

Once you’ve got these two skills under your belt, the rest is a piece of cake! Let’s talk through these briefly before we start.

How to make mac and cheese

How (and why!) to cook pasta to al dente

What is al dente? Al dente means “to the bite” in Italian. It refers to cooking pasta to just the point where it’s tender but has a subtly firm center. Here’s the thing: overcooked pasta is not only rubbery and unappetizing. It also has less nutrients and it makes you less full (read more here). Cooking the pasta for this homemade mac and cheese to al dente means it tastes better, you get more nutrients, and you’re full for longer. Win, win, win! Here are some notes on how to cook pasta to al dente:

  • Don’t trust the package instructions! Most pasta packages have timing that results in overcooked pasta. Start tasting the pasta a few minutes before the package indicates.
  • Taste and drain it right when it’s tender but firm inside. Some chefs say to look for a small white fleck at the core (others think it should just disappear for perfect al dente).
  • Move quickly! Pasta can go from al dente to overcooked in a matter of seconds.

Tips for making a roux

The main kitchen technique you need for homemade mac and cheese is making a roux. What’s a roux? A “roux” (pronounced “Roo“) is flour and butter cooked together and used to thicken sauces. It’s usually made from equal parts of flour and butter. For mac and cheese, you make a roux and then add the cheese. This is what makes the gooey sauce: cheese by its would be too sticky. There are a few important things to note about making a roux:

  • Measure out your ingredients in advance (mise en place). The cooking process goes fast, so you don’t want to be distracted by measuring. The French way to say measure out all your ingredients is mise en place, which means everything in its place.
  • Don’t leave the stove, and watch closely. The flour and butter can burn easily here! You must stand by the stove and start adding milk right when the flour turns golden brown.
  • Add the milk gradually. Pour in the milk and constantly whisk, adding it little by little, until it forms a smooth sauce. Once you get to this point, it’s smooth sailing!
Homemade mac and cheese

Best noodles for homemade mac and cheese

By the way…you don’t have to use macaroni for homemade mac and cheese! No: it’s actually even tastier when you use different types of noodles. You can use all sorts of short pasta shapes, from shells to bowties to penne. Here are our favorite types of short pasta for mac and cheese, in order of preference:

Mac and cheese

Best cheese for homemade mac and cheese

There are a few different cheeses that work well in this homemade mac and cheese. Here’s what we’d recommend, and then a few other options:

  • Use sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack. This is the perfect combination for a classic mac and cheese flavor! But be aware…
  • Don’t use aged cheddar! It sounds like it would taste delicious, but aged cheddar doesn’t have quite the right flavor. Stay with a standard sharp.
  • Get fancy with gouda, Havarti or white cheddar. Substitute the cheddar, or try our separate recipes: Gouda Mac and Cheese, Pesto Havarti Mac and Cheese, or White Cheddar Mac and Cheese.

Sides to serve with homemade mac and cheese

Cook this pasta to al dente and this cozy homemade mac and cheese is the stuff dreams are made of! We recently made a pan of this for family who were grieving a loved one, and it was just the right food that tastes like a hug. It’s perfect for anytime you need a cozy meal. Here are a few sides that are full of nutrients and fiber to make it into a healthy dinner idea:

Homemade Mac and Cheese

Tip: how to reheat mac and cheese!

Here’s a great homemade mac and cheese kitchen hack! You can save leftovers of mac and cheese in the refrigerator for about 5 days. But the cheese solidifies and dries out in the fridge! How to get it back to a creamy sauce? Here are our tips:

  • Place it in a skillet and add a splash of milk. Use a ratio of about 1 cup noodles to 1 tablespoon milk.
  • Heat over medium heat and stir until the sauce becomes creamy again!

This homemade mac and cheese recipe is…

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

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Homemade Mac and Cheese

*Best* Homemade Mac and Cheese


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 to 12 as a side, 6 to 8 as a main
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Here’s how to make homemade mac and cheese! Cook this ultimate comfort food from scratch and it’s better than any you’ve ever had.


Ingredients

  • 1 pound short pasta of any type (we like large shells)
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (not aged)
  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup seasoned Italian breadcrumbs (or plain breadcrumbs)

Instructions

  1. Boil the pasta: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add about 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Start tasting the pasta a few minutes before the package instructions and stop cooking once the pasta is just tender but still firm. Then drain the pasta in a colander and rinse it quickly with warm water.
  2. Meanwhile, make the sauce: Grate the cheese (if necessary). Measure out the butter, flour, milk, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the butter over medium heat; when it melts, stir in the flour. Heat the mixture for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Immediately when the color starts to turn light brown, reduce the heat to low. Start to add the milk very slowly: whisk constantly until the mixture is completely smooth, then add a bit more milk until it is fully incorporated, then repeat. Once all the milk is added, add the salt, onion powder, and garlic powder. Continue cooking on low heat for about 2 minutes to thicken slightly, whisking frequently. After 2 minutes, gradually add the grated cheese and keep stirring until it is fully melted.
  3. Top with breadcrumbs and serve: Stir the pasta into the cheese sauce, then pour it into a dish and top with breadcrumbs. If you’d like, place it in a baking dish and broil it for 2 to 4 minutes until the crumbs are lightly browned, turning the pan to even out the browning as necessary. Serve immediately. Refrigerate leftovers up to 4 days. Reheat on the stovetop with a splash of milk and stir until creamy. 

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

Keywords: Homemade mac and cheese, how to make mac and cheese

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

Carrot Fries (Ranch Seasoned!)

These carrot fries are full of big flavor, sprinkled with ranch seasoning and baked until lightly crispy! Everyone will ask for the recipe. Good news, fry lovers: there’s a new fry in town. Carrot fries! This healthy fry recipe is full of all the nutrients of this popular vegetable: but tastes like your favorite greasy comfort food. Even better: they’re coated in ranch seasoning! This play on the standard pairing of carrots and ranch gives a savory zing to each bite. Of course, you can dip them in ranch too for double the fun. They’re baked, and there’s a little trick to give them a lightly crispy exterior. Everyone will love them! We couldn’t stop sneaking bites off the baking sheet. Ingredients for the best carrot fries You’ll need just a handful of ingredients for carrot fries: and most of them are the spices you’ll need of the ranch seasoning. Here’s what you’ll need to have on hand: Carrots: medium to large carrots work best, since they’re easiest for cutting fries Olive oil Spices: garlic powder, onion powder, dried dill, dried parsley Cornstarch Salt How to cut carrots into fries The hardest part of this recipe is actually cutting the […]

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

These carrot fries are full of big flavor, sprinkled with ranch seasoning and baked until lightly crispy! Everyone will ask for the recipe.

Carrot fries

Good news, fry lovers: there’s a new fry in town. Carrot fries! This healthy fry recipe is full of all the nutrients of this popular vegetable: but tastes like your favorite greasy comfort food. Even better: they’re coated in ranch seasoning! This play on the standard pairing of carrots and ranch gives a savory zing to each bite. Of course, you can dip them in ranch too for double the fun. They’re baked, and there’s a little trick to give them a lightly crispy exterior. Everyone will love them! We couldn’t stop sneaking bites off the baking sheet.

Ingredients for the best carrot fries

You’ll need just a handful of ingredients for carrot fries: and most of them are the spices you’ll need of the ranch seasoning. Here’s what you’ll need to have on hand:

  • Carrots: medium to large carrots work best, since they’re easiest for cutting fries
  • Olive oil
  • Spices: garlic powder, onion powder, dried dill, dried parsley
  • Cornstarch
  • Salt

How to cut carrots into fries

The hardest part of this recipe is actually cutting the carrots into fries! How to get those perfect rectangle fry shapes? Well, it’s similar to the steps for cutting fries out of a potato. Here’s what to do:

  • Slice off the ends of the carrot.
  • Square off each of the sides of the carrot to make a rectangular box shape.
  • Cut into 3/8-inch wide slices, then cut each slice into strips.
Carrot fries

The tricks to crispy baked carrot fries

Here’s the thing. When you bake carrots, they turn out beautifully tender: like with these Roasted Carrots. But that’s not what you want with fries! We don’t have a deep fryer and typically don’t like frying at home (it’s messy and not worth the effort). So we’ve found a few tricks to making lightly crispy baked carrot fries! They don’t come out crunchy like they would in a deep fryer, but they’re lightly crisp and totally satisfying. Here’s what to know:

  1. Coat in cornstarch. Cornstarch helps to form a crispy coating for the carrots, which can turn soggy and tender in the oven.
  2. Place on parchment paper. Don’t use a Silpat or silicon baking sheet, which can make for soggy fries! Paper is the way to go.
  3. Spread apart on the baking sheet. Spread the fries as far apart on the baking sheet as possible: this allows for maximum airflow and enhances crispiness. Bake a maximum of 2 pounds of carrots in the oven at once.
Carrots

Are these healthy fries?

We think so! These healthy carrot fries are part of a whole food plant based (WFPB) diet. Here’s why these fries pale in comparison to those from your favorite fast food chain:

  • The ingredients are just carrots, minimal olive oil and a bit of salt. These are all healthy, whole food ingredients. They’re basically baked carrots!
  • They have all the nutrients of carrots. Scroll down for more on that.
  • The serving size is moderate. The serving size is much less than a restaurant would serve, so that helps to keep the calories down.

Carrots nutrition

Carrot are one of the best vegetables you can eat! They’re not just good for your eyesight. Here are some of the top nutritional benefits of this tasty orange veggie (source):

  • Low in calories, high in fiber: One cup of chopped carrots has only 52 calories and 3.6 grams of fiber. (source)
  • Packed with Vitamin A (beta carotene): This root veggie has 428% of your daily vitamin A in 1 cup! It’s present as beta-carotene, an antioxidant that could help in cancer prevention. Your body converts beta carotene into Vitamin A.
  • High in Vitamins C, K and potassium: Carrot are also are high in these vitamins.

Yes, all these good things are present in a recipe of carrot fries! So why not give them a taste?

Carrot fries

Dipping sauces for carrot fries

These carrot fries are delicious on their own, as an easy healthy side dish for dinner. But of course you can spice them up with a dipping sauce! Here are a few we’d recommend:

Serving these fries

These carrot fries are a fantastic healthy side dish to complete a meal. They’d be perfect with all sorts of dinner ideas — here are a few of our top choices:

This carrot fries recipe is…

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

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Carrot fries

Carrot Fries (Ranch Seasoned!)


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

These carrot fries are full of big flavor, sprinkled with ranch seasoning and baked until lightly crispy! Everyone will ask for the recipe.


Ingredients

  • 2 pounds carrots, medium to large
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Finely chopped fresh parsley, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Peel the carrots. Cut the carrots into thin fries: slice off the ends, then square off each of the sides to make a rectangular box shape. Cut into 3/8-inch wide slices, then cut the slices into strips. 
  3. Place the fries in a large bowl. Mix the garlic powder, onion powder, dried dill, dried parsley, salt, and cornstarch in a small bowl. Drizzle the carrots with the olive oil, then add the spices and cornstarch. Mix thoroughly to combine.
  4. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the fries on the paper, placing them as far apart as possible. 
  5. Bake 12 minutes on one side, then flip the fries and bake 12 to 17 additional minutes until the fries are dry and slightly browned; watch them carefully as the cooking time can depend on the thickness and the heat of your oven. Thinner fries will turn out crispier than larger fries (you’ll likely have some variation).
  6. Cool a few minutes, then serve immediately. (Note: Fries are best right out of the oven; they become softer as they sit.)

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

Keywords: Carrot fries

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

Perfect Spinach Salad

This classy spinach salad is a salad to impress! Smoky pecans and a creamy balsamic vinaigrette make the best counterpoint to this leafy green. Here’s a salad to impress. It’s everything a classy spinach salad should be, full of texture and flavor contrasts. You’ll barely notice you’re eating this healthy leafy green when it’s covered tangy balsamic vinaigrette. There’s crunchy smoky pecans, almost bacon-like glazed with maple syrup and soy sauce. Add hard boiled eggs or a crisp-tart apple, and you’ve got a stunning side salad that will make everyone ooo and ahhh. (It happens every time we serve it…really.) It’s almost like the little black dress of salads: it’s brilliant for any occasion. Ingredients in the best spinach salad You may notice this salad has a vague retro vibe. In fact, it’s a spin on my Grandma’s 1970’s spinach salad…with a few tweaks! For the dressing we went with a classic balsamic vinaigrette, which complements the flavors perfectly. Instead of bacon, smoky glazed pecans create the illusion of meat but make the salad vegetarian. (For a fully plant based salad, we’ve got options too!) Here’s what you’ll need for this classic spinach salad: Hard boiled eggs or apple: Hard […]

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

This classy spinach salad is a salad to impress! Smoky pecans and a creamy balsamic vinaigrette make the best counterpoint to this leafy green.

Spinach salad

Here’s a salad to impress. It’s everything a classy spinach salad should be, full of texture and flavor contrasts. You’ll barely notice you’re eating this healthy leafy green when it’s covered tangy balsamic vinaigrette. There’s crunchy smoky pecans, almost bacon-like glazed with maple syrup and soy sauce. Add hard boiled eggs or a crisp-tart apple, and you’ve got a stunning side salad that will make everyone ooo and ahhh. (It happens every time we serve it…really.) It’s almost like the little black dress of salads: it’s brilliant for any occasion.

Ingredients in the best spinach salad

You may notice this salad has a vague retro vibe. In fact, it’s a spin on my Grandma’s 1970’s spinach salad…with a few tweaks! For the dressing we went with a classic balsamic vinaigrette, which complements the flavors perfectly. Instead of bacon, smoky glazed pecans create the illusion of meat but make the salad vegetarian. (For a fully plant based salad, we’ve got options too!) Here’s what you’ll need for this classic spinach salad:

  • Hard boiled eggs or apple: Hard boiled eggs require forethought, so to whip this up in a flash substitute a crisp-tart apple. It’s just as good!
  • Smoky pecans: The secret to bacon flavor without meat! Glaze whole pecans in a mixture of soy sauce, maple syrup and smoked paprika.
  • Spinach: Baby spinach is more tender with a sweeter flavor; or, use chopped standard spinach.
  • Shallot: Thinly sliced shallot is the best trick for green salads. Its delicate oniony flavor is gentler than red onion.
  • Feta (optional): A sprinkle of feta cheese looks like confetti and brings a salty pop.
  • Balsamic vinaigrette: Tie it all together with this incredible homemade dressing.
Spinach salad

How to make smoky pecans (or use plain!)

One of the best parts of this salad is the pecans masquerading as bacon. Of course, if you’re running short on time: you can skip this step and just use plain pecans! But to make a truly magnificent spinach salad, it’s worth the time. Here are a few notes about the process:

  • You’ll need a skillet and 6 to 8 minutes. This is the time it takes to heat the glaze to cover the nuts.
  • They may come out soft or crunchy: either works! Making glazed nuts requires hitting the perfect sugar caramelization step to get them to dry into a crunchy glaze. If they come out soft: that’s ok! In fact, they taste more like bacon that way.

The best spinach salad dressing

What’s the best dressing for a spinach salad? Balsamic vinaigrette. Why? Spinach can have a bitter flavor undertone, so the tangy and subtly sweet notes of the dressing are the perfect pairing. Our favorite balsamic vinaigrette is very easy to whip up at home. All you need is 4 ingredients:

  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Dijon mustard
  • Maple syrup
  • Olive oil

The only other thing to note is to add the olive oil 1 tablespoon at a time and whisk vigorously. This is the key to getting a perfectly creamy emulsion. The Djion mustard also helps to make a fantastically creamy texture.

Balsamic vinaigrette recipe

Using hard boiled eggs in salad

This spinach salad is absolutely classic with hard boiled eggs, as it harkens back to that 1970’s bacon and egg salad. And, they add a great amount of protein! One egg has 7 grams of protein. This is specifically helpful when you are looking for a side dish with protein to round out a vegetarian dinner.

If you can, make up a batch of hard boiled eggs in advance. This makes the salad quicker to put together. Store the hard boiled eggs refrigerated with the shell on (this keeps them fresher).

Apple makes this spinach salad quick and easy (and vegan)

Often we don’t think ahead enough to have time for hard boiled eggs. So if we’re serving this for an easy weeknight meal side dish, we like to use an apple instead! Using a crisp-tart apple makes a great flavor and texture contrast and fills out the salad. Of course, it doesn’t have the protein that a hard boiled egg does. But it’s a great stand-in! Of course, you can also add apple to salad with the eggs: even better!

You can also use this as a vegan variation. Use a crisp tart apple and omit the feta cheese crumbles: or use a dairy free cheese crumble of your choice.

Best spinach salad

Other adders to this salad!

Here are a few more ingredients you could add to this salad that make it incredible tasty:

  • Mushrooms: Thinly sliced raw mushrooms are common in a classic spinach salad. Add these if you like!
  • Bacon: Can’t live without actual bacon? Swap the smoky pecans for bacon.
  • Prosciutto: Cured ham like prosciutto or jamón serrano would also work well.
  • Croutons: Try these Homemade Garlic Croutons.

Ways to serve this spinach salad

There are so many ways to pair this spinach salad! In fact, it’s one of the most versatile green salad recipes we have. Use it to round out a vegetarian dinner, or it pairs well with seafood and chicken. Here are our top ways to serve it:

Spinach salad

A few more spinach salads

Love spinach salad? Us too. Here are a few more variations on this easy side dish for all the seasons:

This spinach salad recipe is…

Vegetarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free. For vegan and plant-based, use the variations listed above.

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Spinach salad

Perfect Spinach Salad (No, Really)


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

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

Description

This classy spinach salad is a salad to impress! Smoky pecans and a creamy balsamic vinaigrette make the best counterpoint to this green.


Ingredients

  • 2 hard boiled eggs or 1 large crisp tart apple
  • 1/2 cup whole pecans*
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or tamari or coconut aminos)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup or sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 pinches kosher salt or flaky sea salt
  • 1 recipe Best Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • 6 cups baby spinach leaves or chopped standard spinach
  • 1 shallot
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles (optional)

Instructions

  1. Make the hard boiled eggs: Make the hard boiled eggs, if using (or make them in advance). Chop them into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Make the smoky pecans: Add the pecans, soy sauce, maple syrup and smoked paprika to a small non-stick skillet over medium heat. When it just starts to bubble, reduce the heat to low but still slowly bubbling. Simmer 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. In the last minute when the liquid is mostly evaporated, stir continuously until it is totally cooked out and the nuts start clumping together. Immediately remove from the heat and transfer the pecans to a sheet of parchment paper in a single layer. Sprinkle with 2 pinches kosher salt and allow to cool to room temperature, about 5 minutes. 
  3. Make the dressing: Make the Balsamic Vinaigrette
  4. Prep the fresh ingredients: Thinly slice the shallot. If using apple instead of hard boiled egg, thinly slice the apple. 
  5. Serve: Place the spinach on plates or in bowls. Top with hard boiled eggs or apple slices, smoky pecans, sliced shallot, and feta cheese crumbles.

Notes

*You can also use plain pecans and skip the soy sauce, maple syrup, and smoked paprika. Or, you can make maple glazed pecans.

  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Spinach salad

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

Quinoa Tabbouleh

Quinoa tabbouleh is always a hit, starring lemon and fresh herbs! This spin on the classic Middle Eastern salad is an easy healthy side dish. Are you a tabbouleh fan? This Middle Eastern salad is one of the tastiest salads there is. There’s something about the combination of herbaceous parsley, bright lemon and crunchy tomatoes and cucumber that makes magic. Traditional tabbouleh is made with bulgur wheat, a quick cooking whole grain. But seeing as quinoa is the grain of the moment…why not try it with quinoa? Turns out it works perfectly, making a delicious gluten free spin on this classic salad. What is tabbouleh? Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern salad that’s made with fresh parsley, bulgur wheat, tomatoes, cucumbers, and seasoned with lemon juice and olive oil. Sometimes spelled tabouli or tabbouli, it’s a staple in Greek, Lebanese and Syrian cuisine. You’ll often see it alongside hummus and baba ganoush in a mezze platter. The fresh brightness of the lemon and parsley are the perfect contrast to more savory and heavy flavors. There is no “exact” science on how to make tabbouleh because every cook has their own recipe. We researched the traditional ingredients in tabouli and used those […]

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

Quinoa tabbouleh is always a hit, starring lemon and fresh herbs! This spin on the classic Middle Eastern salad is an easy healthy side dish.

Quinoa tabbouleh

Are you a tabbouleh fan? This Middle Eastern salad is one of the tastiest salads there is. There’s something about the combination of herbaceous parsley, bright lemon and crunchy tomatoes and cucumber that makes magic. Traditional tabbouleh is made with bulgur wheat, a quick cooking whole grain. But seeing as quinoa is the grain of the moment…why not try it with quinoa? Turns out it works perfectly, making a delicious gluten free spin on this classic salad.

What is tabbouleh?

Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern salad that’s made with fresh parsley, bulgur wheat, tomatoes, cucumbers, and seasoned with lemon juice and olive oil. Sometimes spelled tabouli or tabbouli, it’s a staple in Greek, Lebanese and Syrian cuisine. You’ll often see it alongside hummus and baba ganoush in a mezze platter. The fresh brightness of the lemon and parsley are the perfect contrast to more savory and heavy flavors.

There is no “exact” science on how to make tabbouleh because every cook has their own recipe. We researched the traditional ingredients in tabouli and used those as a basic for this quinoa version. The first time Alex and I had tabbouleh was back when we first met, at a Greek restaurant in our college town. I remember falling instantly in love with the herbaceous flavor of tabbouleh. (I fell in love with Alex much later!)

How to make quinoa tabbouleh

Ingredients in quinoa tabbouleh

This quinoa tabbouleh recipe is a spin on a traditional tabbouleh using quinoa instead of bulgur wheat! Using quinoa makes this into a gluten-free salad: and you also get all the nutritional benefits of quinoa. The advantage of bulgur wheat is that all you need to do is let it stand in boiling water for 10 minutes. The quinoa cooking process takes just a little longer! But it’s 100% worth the time. Combine the quinoa with these traditional tabbouleh ingredients to make a standout salad:

  • Quinoa
  • Curly parsley (that’s right: see below!)
  • Mint
  • Green onions
  • Tomatoes
  • English cucumber
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

As a note: some tabbouleh recipes are almost 2/3 parsley with only a bit of the grain. Others are all whole grain and only a little bit of the herb. This quinoa tabbouleh recipe falls in the middle. We love parsley-forward tabbouleh recipes, but also wanted to have a good amount of quinoa. Speaking of parsley…

Curly parsley vs Italian parsley: which to use in tabbouleh?

There are two main types of parsley: curly and Italian parsley (also called “flat leaf”). The difference? Curly parsley has very curly leaves and tastes grassy; Italian parsley has leaves that are flat like cilantro and tastes bright and herbaceous. We used to adhere to the mantra that curly parsley is used only as decoration, not in cooking. Only use Italian parsley in your cooking, we’d say! But guess what: the best parsley to use in tabbouleh is curly parsley.

Why? Curly parsley has more texture. When you chop it, it remains light and fluffy, versus Italian parsley that is perfectly flat and can become soggy. Also: the flavor tastes like what you expect from a Greek or Lebanese restaurant. So lesson learned: use curly parsley!

You’ll need to buy quite a lot of parsley for this recipe. It takes a while to chop 2 cups of parsley: but never fear! All the work is worth it. You can use this How to Cut Cilantro video as a guide.

Curly parsley

Make the quinoa in advance if you have time

Cooking quinoa for the quinoa tabbouleh takes about 25 minutes total. You can cook it while you chop the veggies: but the easiest way to do it is cooking it in advance! Here’s why:

  • Making the quinoa in advance is helpful. You don’t want hot quinoa for tabbouleh, you need quinoa that’s room temperature or cold. Why? Right after you cook it, quinoa retains a lot of moisture. You’ll want the grains to dry out a bit so they don’t stick together. Also, the salad is served room temperature. So, the easiest way to make this salad is to cook the quinoa in advance and refrigerate.
  • Here’s a quick tip for cooling quinoa…fast! If you don’t think ahead, you can use this tip for cooling quinoa quickly. Spread it in a single layer on a baking sheet and pop it in the freezer for a few minutes. This allows the steam to dissipate and makes the cooling much faster than plopping it in a bowl.

How to make quinoa tabbouleh…a few more tips!

Once you’ve cooked the quinoa, tabbouleh is a breeze to whip up! The basic method for this recipe is very easy: cook quinoa, chop veggies, add dressing. But there are a few more things to note:

  • Chop the vegetables very finely. You’ll want the veggies to integrate into the texture of the salad well, so chop them as finely as you can.
  • Core and seed the tomatoes. Another tip for reducing moisture is coring and seeding the tomatoes when you chop them. This removes any soggy seeds from the salad. For more, go to How to Cut Tomatoes.
Quinoa tabbouleh

Storage info

Once you’ve mixed up a batch of this quinoa tabbouleh, you can use it as a healthy side dish for lunch and dinner recipes throughout the week! It stores refrigerated for about 3 to 4 days, and holds up pretty well.

How to serve quinoa tabbouleh

Tabbouleh is a fantastic healthy and easy side dish or appetizer for all sorts of meals. Some of our grain salad recipes can double as a main dish, but here we’d recommend keeping it as a side dish. It almost feels like a condiment like an Indian raita: it’s lovely to mix into the flavors already on your plate to bring a fresh brightness. Here are some ways we’d serve it!

This quinoa tabbouleh recipe is…

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

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Quinoa tabbouleh

Quinoa Tabbouleh


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Quinoa tabbouleh is always a hit, starring lemon and fresh herbs! This spin on the classic Middle Eastern salad is an easy healthy side dish. 


Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups finely chopped curly parsley (2 bunches)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 3 green onions
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 1/2 English cucumber (1 cup finely chopped)
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Make the quinoa: Rinse the quinoa using a fine mesh strainer, then drain it completely. Place it in a saucepan with 2 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer where the water is just bubbling for about 17 to 20 minutes, until the water has been completely absorbed. (Check by pulling back the quinoa with a fork to see if water remains.) Turn off the heat and let sit with the lid on to steam for 5 minutes, then fluff the quinoa with a fork. 
  2. Cool the quinoa to room temperature: To do this quickly, dump the quinoa onto a baking sheet and spread it in an even layer. Pop it in the freezer for 2 to 3 minutes until cooled to room temperature. Or, you can make the quinoa in advance and let it sit at room temp or refrigerate until serving (it cools fastest spread on a baking sheet).
  3. Meanwhile, chop the vegetables: Finely chop the parsley and mint. Thinly slice the green onions. Finely chop the tomato, removing the core and seeds. Finely chop the cucumber (if you’re using a standard cucumber and not English cucumber, remove the seeds too.)
  4. Add the dressing: Juice the lemon and whisk it together with the olive oil. In a large bowl, toss the quinoa and vegetables with the dressing, kosher salt and pepper. Taste and adjust flavors as necessary. Serve immediately or refrigerate for 3 to 4 days.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Salad
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern inspired

Keywords: Quinoa tabbouleh

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

World’s Best Sweet Potato Fries

Here’s how to make sweet potato fries: the best you’ll have at home! They’re incredible: baked until crispy and seasoned to perfection. Hello, fry lovers. Meet our new favorite healthy fries: the World’s Best Sweet Potato Fries! Ok, we’ll admit: we haven’t performed a scientific survey to validate this claim. However: we’ve made a lot of homemade fries. In fact, you could call us fry experts. This recipe is the culmination of years of research: our quest to find the best crispy baked sweet potato fries you can make at home! All our knowledge from regular French fries translates to this master recipe, plus a little secret on how to make them crispy. 4 tricks to crispy baked sweet potato fries There are lots of people who claim to have the secret to the best baked sweet potato fries. Here’s the the problem with sweet potatoes: they have more moisture than a typical russet potato. So it’s tricky to get them to crisp up unless you deep fry them. Here are four tricks that make baked sweet potato fries come out crispy: Soak for 10 minutes in cold water. This really works! Soaking removes excess potato starch, resulting in maximum […]

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

Here’s how to make sweet potato fries: the best you’ll have at home! They’re incredible: baked until crispy and seasoned to perfection.

Sweet potato fries

Hello, fry lovers. Meet our new favorite healthy fries: the World’s Best Sweet Potato Fries! Ok, we’ll admit: we haven’t performed a scientific survey to validate this claim. However: we’ve made a lot of homemade fries. In fact, you could call us fry experts. This recipe is the culmination of years of research: our quest to find the best crispy baked sweet potato fries you can make at home! All our knowledge from regular French fries translates to this master recipe, plus a little secret on how to make them crispy.

4 tricks to crispy baked sweet potato fries

There are lots of people who claim to have the secret to the best baked sweet potato fries. Here’s the the problem with sweet potatoes: they have more moisture than a typical russet potato. So it’s tricky to get them to crisp up unless you deep fry them. Here are four tricks that make baked sweet potato fries come out crispy:

  1. Soak for 10 minutes in cold water. This really works! Soaking removes excess potato starch, resulting in maximum crispiness. The best part: you can do this while you preheat the oven, so there’s no time lost.
  2. Coat in cornstarch. Cornstarch helps to form a crispy coating for sweet potatoes, which can turn soggy and limp in the oven, unlike a russet potato.
  3. Place on parchment paper. Don’t use a Silpat or silicon baking sheet, which can make for soggy fries! Paper is the way to go.
  4. Spread apart on the baking sheet. Spread the fries as far apart on the baking sheet as possible: this allows for maximum airflow and enhances crispiness. Bake a maximum of 2 pounds of potatoes in the oven at once.
Sweet potato fries

Ingredients for sweet potato fries

These sweet potato fries require only a few ingredients to make fry perfection. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Small to medium sweet potatoes: Weigh out 2 pounds when you buy them: they vary in size widely, so it’s easiest to specify weight. Some sweet potatoes can be massive: these are hard to cut and don’t make pretty fries. Look for small to medium sized sweet potatoes for the best looking fries.
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic powder and onion powder
  • Cornstarch
  • Salt
Crispy sweet potato fries

How to cut fries by hand

Cutting fries is easy: but there are a few tricks! For sweet potato fries, we like to leave the peels on. That way you get all the nutrients and don’t have to waste time doing it! Here’s our method and see below for a video:

  • Slice off the ends of each potato, then slice off part of the side to make a base.
  • Place the potato half cut side down and cut off a 3/8-inch slice, then lay the slice on its side and cut it into several long 3/8-inch wide strips.
  • Repeat until all potatoes have been cut into fries!

Cutting sweet potato fries with a fry cutter

You can also use a fry cutter to cut fries! This is only for the most serious of home cooks, because it’s a unitasker (only good for one thing) and rather large. We got one because we make a lot fries around here! It makes for beautifully perfect fries. Here are some notes:

  • Sweet potatoes are more difficult to cut with a fry cutter than russet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are much tougher than russets, so they take much more strength to pass through the cutter. We struggled here, but eventually made it work (with Alex’s muscles). We don’t necessarily recommend using a fry cutter, but it did work.
  • The fry cutter works brilliantly for russets and other vegetables. Here’s a link to the French fry cutter we use.
Best sweet potato fries

Why these are healthy sweet potato fries

These sweet potato fries aren’t fried, so we think you can call them healthy fries! Here’s why these are a healthy, whole food version of the standard comfort food:

  • You’ll just use sweet potatoes, minimal olive oil and a bit of salt. These are all healthy, whole food ingredients. They’re basically roasted potatoes!
  • The serving size is moderate. The serving size is much less than a restaurant would serve, so that helps to keep the calories down.

Seasoning and dipping sweet potato fries

Once you’ve cut your fries, seasoned and baked them: you’ll want to start sneaking bites right off of the baking sheet! In fact, it’s hard to actually get them on our table because we want to devour them so quickly. You definitely don’t need a dipping sauce with these. But if you love a little flair (we do), here are some seasoning mixes and sauces for dipping:

Sweet potato fries

This sweet potato fries recipe is…

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

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Sweet potato fries

World’s Best Sweet Potato Fries


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Here’s how to make sweet potato fries: the best you’ll have at home! They’re incredible: baked until crispy and seasoned to perfection.


Ingredients

  • 2 pounds small to medium sweet potatoes*
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Evenly space the oven racks to ensure even cooking.
  2. Cut the potatoes into fries: (Watch this video or use a fry cutter.) Wash the potatoes, leaving the skins on. Slice off the ends of each potato, then slice off part of the side to make a base. Place the potato half cut side down and cut off a 3/8-inch slice, then lay the slice on its side and cut it into several long strips. Repeat until all potatoes have been cut into fries. The pieces can be uneven, but aim for as uniform of thickness as possible**. See the video for full instructions!
  3. Soak in cold water (10 minutes): Place the cut fries into a medium bowl and rinse with cold water until water is clear. Then fill the bowl with cold water and allow to rest for 10 minutes (while the oven preheats). Then drain the potatoes and dry them thoroughly with a clean dish towel.
  4. Season the fries: Place the fries in a large bowl; drizzle with the olive oil, then add the garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, and cornstarch. Mix thoroughly to combine. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the fries on the paper, placing them as far apart as possible.
  5. Bake: Bake 15 minutes on one side. Remove the trays from the oven and flip the fries. Place them back in the oven (on reversed oven racks for even baking) and bake 16 to 19 minutes until the fries are dry and slightly browned. Watch them carefully as the cooking time can depend on the thickness and your specific oven. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Notes

*Weigh out the potatoes for accuracy. Sweet potatoes vary widely in size so it’s easiest to specify quantity by weight instead of a number of potatoes. Small to medium potatoes have the best shape for fries.

**You can also use a fry cutter; it’s a little harder to use on sweet potatoes but still works (see above).

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

Keywords: Sweet potato fries, healthy fries, how to make sweet potato fries, best sweet potato fries, homemade sweet potato fries

More sweet potato recipes

The humble sweet potato is one of our favorite ingredients for healthy meals! Here are more sweet potato recipes to try:

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

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

No one can resist this roasted cauliflower with Parmesan! It’s as irresistible as French fries, baked in a hot oven until browned and crisp. Want to make it easy to eat your veggies? This Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower is so irresistible, you’ll find yourself inhaling bites off the baking sheet before you even sit down to serve it. Admittedly, adding cheese to veggies is an age old trick to make them more palatable. But this recipe features roasted cauliflower: baked at high heat the vegetable breaks down into a sweet, caramelized version of itself. Add crunchy Parmesan cheese and Italian seasonings, and it’s a sophisticated, restaurant-style spin on the concept behind cheesy broccoli. Heck, we think it’s even better than French fries. Also try: Perfect Roasted Cauliflower Ingredients for roasted cauliflower with Parmesan There’s a short list of ingredients for Parmesan roasted cauliflower! All you need is a few basics and about 40 minutes to make this recipe. Here’s what you’ll need: 2 pounds cauliflower The size of cauliflower heads can vary greatly between small, medium and large. Look for a medium cauliflower and weigh it out at the store. Olive oil Garlic powder Oregano Shredded Parmesan cheese You’ll want the […]

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

No one can resist this roasted cauliflower with Parmesan! It’s as irresistible as French fries, baked in a hot oven until browned and crisp.

Roasted Cauliflower Parmesan

Want to make it easy to eat your veggies? This Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower is so irresistible, you’ll find yourself inhaling bites off the baking sheet before you even sit down to serve it. Admittedly, adding cheese to veggies is an age old trick to make them more palatable. But this recipe features roasted cauliflower: baked at high heat the vegetable breaks down into a sweet, caramelized version of itself. Add crunchy Parmesan cheese and Italian seasonings, and it’s a sophisticated, restaurant-style spin on the concept behind cheesy broccoli. Heck, we think it’s even better than French fries.

Also try: Perfect Roasted Cauliflower

Ingredients for roasted cauliflower with Parmesan

There’s a short list of ingredients for Parmesan roasted cauliflower! All you need is a few basics and about 40 minutes to make this recipe. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 pounds cauliflower The size of cauliflower heads can vary greatly between small, medium and large. Look for a medium cauliflower and weigh it out at the store.
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic powder
  • Oregano
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese You’ll want the kind that looks like tiny sticks: not the powdery shaker can version: that’s grated!
Roasted Cauliflower Parmesane

The secrets to Parmesan roasted cauliflower

There are lots of recipes for roasted cauliflower with Parmesan out there: what makes this one special? A few things:

  • Use very high heat: 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t trust any recipes that say to roast cauliflower at 350. Roasting at high heat gets the cauliflower tender and browned: that Maillard reaction where food browns and caramelizes when in contact with high heat! Low heat doesn’t get nearly the right flavor and texture.
  • Add Parmesan in the last 10 minutes. It won’t get overly browned this way, but still gets perfectly crispy.
  • It’s seasoned to perfection. Some Parmesan roasted cauliflower don’t specify the amount of salt. It’s important to have it it perfectly salted: otherwise it tastes oddly bland.

Tips on how to chop cauliflower

The place where most home cooks have an issue with cauliflower: the chopping! It can be difficult to chop florets without getting a huge mess all over your kitchen. For this roasted cauliflower Parmesan, use our streamlined method cutting this veggie! See How to Cut Cauliflower or the video below.

  1. Remove the leaves: Remove large leaves from the base of the cauliflower so that the stem is exposed; discard the leaves.
  2. Cut around the stem: With a paring knife, cut around the stem of the cauliflower.
  3. Break into florets: Break the cauliflower into large florets with your fingers. Remove any large stems, cutting the cauliflower into smaller florets as needed for the recipe.

Ways to serve Parmesan roasted cauliflower

This Parmesan roasted cauliflower is such a treat. We serve it as a late night snack just as often as we make it as an easy side dish…but that’s just us! Here are a few ideas for ways to eat it:

  • Grain bowl. Add a whole grain, chickpeas or white beans, and a few raw veggies like arugula and sliced cherry tomatoes. The perfect easy dinner!
  • Side for seafood. This would be fantastic next to Pesto Salmon, Grilled Tilapia, Creamy Shrimp Pasta or Easy Pesto Shrimp.
  • Pasta. Make an easy main dish by throwing this into a pot of spaghetti or bucatini! Drizzle with olive oil and salt until it pops. You could also add chickpeas or torn fresh mozzarella for additional filling protein.
Parmesan roasted cauliflower

Cauliflower nutrition

Like we mentioned above…roasted cauliflower with Parmesan has much of the addictive power of fries! It doesn’t just cut down on calories: it adds lots of nutrients too. You get all the nutrient-density of a head of cauliflower. Here’s a breakdown of cauliflower nutrition (source Harvard Medical School):

  • Low calorie food: 1 cup of chopped cauliflower has only 25 calories and 5 grams carbs
  • High in vitamins: Cauliflower is a great source of Vitamin C! It’s also a good source of Vitamin B and potassium.
  • Relatively high in fiber: Cauliflower is high in fiber: 1 cup has about 10% of your daily needs.
Roasted cauliflower Parmesan

This roasted cauliflower Parmesan recipe is…

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

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Roasted Cauliflower Parmesan

*Best* Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

No one can resist this roasted cauliflower with Parmesan! It’s as irresistible as French fries, baked in a hot oven until browned and crisp.


Ingredients

  • 1 medium head cauliflower (2 pounds or about 6 to 7 heaping cups florets)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • For the garnish: finely chopped Italian parsley (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Clean and chop the cauliflower into medium florets. In a bowl, combine the cauliflower with the olive oil, garlic powder, oregano, and kosher salt.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the cauliflower on a baking sheet and bake about 20 minutes or until browned on the bottom (we used our bottom oven rack to get them extra brown).
  4. Remove the baking sheet, toss with the Parmesan cheese. Roast another 7 to 10 minutes until the cheese is browned and the cauliflower is tender. Serve immediately, garnished with finely chopped parsley if desired.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Roasted
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Roasted Cauliflower Parmesan, Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

More cauliflower recipes

Cauliflower is one of the most versatile of all vegetables! Here are some of our favorite ways to use it:

  • Buffalo Cauliflower Wings The best baked cauliflower wings! They’re crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and tossed with spicy buffalo sauce.
  • Roasted Cauliflower Pasta Loaded with flavor, packed with caramelized roasted cauliflower, Parmesan cheese, and fresh basil!
  • Coconut Cauliflower Curry This easy dinner recipe is warm-spiced, nutrient packed, and ready in just over 30 minutes. Dinnertime win.

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

Baked Zucchini

This baked zucchini is so easy to make, covered in a light coating of crunchy breadcrumbs and Parmesan! This veggie is at its best roasted in a hot oven. Oh hey, it’s the vegetable of the season: zucchini! There are so many creative ways to use this veggie, from casserole to chocolate cake. One of our new favorites though, is this baked zucchini! It’s the opposite of soggy or slimy: coat this tasty veggie lightly with breadcrumbs and a little Parmesan cheese. Even better, it’s not so labor intensive as zucchini fries (where you dip in flour and egg): so you get the best of both worlds! Pop it in the oven and it’s a tasty and easy side dish for summer meals. Here’s what to do! Want a quicker way to cook zucchini? Try Perfect Sauteed Zucchini. How to season baked zucchini Here’s the thing about this green vegetable. Zucchini contains over 90% water. Wow! Not only does it give off a lot of water when it cooks, it needs quite a bit of seasoning. Ever bitten into a zucchini and it tastes watery and bland? This is exactly what we don’t want. Here are the seasonings that will […]

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

This baked zucchini is so easy to make, covered in a light coating of crunchy breadcrumbs and Parmesan! This veggie is at its best roasted in a hot oven.

Baked zucchini

Oh hey, it’s the vegetable of the season: zucchini! There are so many creative ways to use this veggie, from casserole to chocolate cake. One of our new favorites though, is this baked zucchini! It’s the opposite of soggy or slimy: coat this tasty veggie lightly with breadcrumbs and a little Parmesan cheese. Even better, it’s not so labor intensive as zucchini fries (where you dip in flour and egg): so you get the best of both worlds! Pop it in the oven and it’s a tasty and easy side dish for summer meals. Here’s what to do!

Want a quicker way to cook zucchini? Try Perfect Sauteed Zucchini.

How to season baked zucchini

Here’s the thing about this green vegetable. Zucchini contains over 90% water. Wow! Not only does it give off a lot of water when it cooks, it needs quite a bit of seasoning. Ever bitten into a zucchini and it tastes watery and bland? This is exactly what we don’t want. Here are the seasonings that will cover your zucchini in the best savory Mediterranean flavors:

  • Dried oregano
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Italian style bread crumbs
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

There are a few things to note about these breadcrumbs (you can also skip them if desired). Here’s what to know!

Baked Zucchini

Use Italian Panko or breadcrumbs, or this substitute

This recipe uses Italian style Panko or breadcrumbs, not plain. What’s the difference? Italian breadcrumbs are made with seasonings and salt. This gives them quite a bit of extra flavor when you use them. Italian breadcrumbs and panko are easy to find at most grocery stores. If you can’t find it, here’s a substitute:

  • Use 1/2 regular panko or make homemade breadcrumbs.
  • Mix in 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Because you’re already adding Italian-style seasonings to the zucchini, you won’t lose much without the seasonings in the breadcrumbs.

Don’t want to use breadcrumbs in your baked zucchini? No problem.

Not into breadcrumbs? Or do you eat a gluten-free diet? You can absolutely make baked zucchini without them. Here’s what to do:

  • Omit the breadcrumbs.
  • Toss the zucchini with grated Parmesan cheese after baking!

As a note: there are lots of gluten-free breadcrumbs or Panko on the market these days, so you can use those to make this recipe gluten-free as well.

How to make baked zucchini

Grated vs shredded Parmesan cheese

For some reason, even after all this time of cooking for a living I have a hard time remembering the difference between shredded and grated Parmesan cheese. Here’s what you need for this recipe:

  • Grated Parmesan cheese: This is the powdery cheese that looks like snow! You can use either the shaker can or the or the containers. This is what you’ll need in this recipe, because it integrates into the texture of the bread crumbs.
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese: Shredded Parmesan cheese looks like little sticks of Parmesan. It’s great for garnishing salads and soups. You could use it here in a pinch, but it has a different look. See Roasted Zucchini and Squash.

How to make roasted / baked zucchini: a few tips!

Here are a few tips for making this baked zucchini, aka roasted zucchini! Alex and I tried making zucchini fries and realized that they were a bit time intensive. You have to dip the zucchini in flour and egg before the breadcrumbs, and it ends up all gummy and messy. (If you have a great zucchini fries method, let us know!) So for this baked zucchini, we were inspired to make it like fries but without the fuss. You’ll get a light coating of bread crumbs for a little crunch, but they’re not fully coated like fries. Here’s what to know:

  • Mix some breadcrumbs with oil-coated zucchini first. Not all of them will stick to the zucchini: that’s ok! The same is true when you place them on the baking sheet. So…
  • Move any breadcrumbs that fall onto the baking sheet to the top of the zucchini. Just quickly move any piles of breadcrumbs to the top of the zucchini. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
  • Finish by sprinkling with more dry breadcrumbs & Parm. This gets another fresh coating of crumbs on top.
  • Bake until just tender (keep an eye on it). The bake time will depend on exactly how thin the zucchini is: so keep an eye on it! You want it to be just tender: crisp and water, but not overly soggy. Take a taste if you need to assess doneness!
Roasted zucchini
Lots of breadcrumbs will end up on the baking sheet: that’s ok!

Main dishes that pair with baked zucchini

OK so you’ve got your crunchy, crispy baked zucchini: what to serve it with? It’s easiest to serve it with dishes that don’t use the oven. Here are a few great main dishes that pair well:

This baked zucchini recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free bread crumbs or panko, or omit the breadcrumbs.

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Baked Zucchini

Baked Zucchini (Perfectly Seasoned!)


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

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

Description

This baked zucchini is so easy to make, covered in a light coating of crunchy breadcrumbs and Parmesan! This veggie is at its best roasted in a hot oven.


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds zucchini (3 medium small)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Italian style panko or bread crumbs, divided
  • 6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Slice the zucchini into 1/4-inch thick rounds. In a large bowl, mix it with the olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and kosher salt. (If using plain bread crumbs, mix in a generous 1/4 teaspoon salt.) To the bowl add 1/4 cup breadcrumbs and 3 tablespoons of the grated Parmesan cheese and toss.
  3. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the vegetables in a single layer on the baking sheets, then use your fingers to quickly place breadcrumbs that fall onto the sheet on the top of the zucchini rounds (it doesn’t have to be perfect). Top with the remaining 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs (divided across the two sheets) and 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese.
  4. Roast until just tender, 15 to 20 minutes. If your oven is uneven, switch the trays at the 7 to 8 minute mark. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

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

Keywords: Baked zucchini

More zucchini recipes

Summer is all about zucchini recipes! Here are some we recommend giving a try:

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

Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

Here’s how to make the best baked cauliflower wings! They’re crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and tossed with spicy buffalo sauce. Here’s a treat for you today: vegan wings! Love eating plant based foods? Here’s the way to have your cake and eat it too. Buffalo cauliflower wings! These tasty morsels are crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and tossed with spicy, tangy buffalo sauce. You’ll see these in restaurants here in the US these days…and this recipe? It tastes just as good as restaurant-style. Better, in fact! Let’s be honest: this one requires a bit of time and effort. But if you’re craving vegan wings: this is your recipe! Let’s get cooking! How to make cauliflower wings: the baked method! Here’s an outline of what you’re signing yourself up for with cauliflower wings! Now, Alex and I have a buffalo cauliflower recipe we’ve been making for years: but that’s just straight up roasted, no breading. The breading is what makes these wings taste like they’re made in a restaurant! But instead of fried like a restaurant, they’re baked in the oven until crisp! You’ll need about 40 minutes for the entire process. Here’s what […]

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

Here’s how to make the best baked cauliflower wings! They’re crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and tossed with spicy buffalo sauce.

Cauliflower wings

Here’s a treat for you today: vegan wings! Love eating plant based foods? Here’s the way to have your cake and eat it too. Buffalo cauliflower wings! These tasty morsels are crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and tossed with spicy, tangy buffalo sauce. You’ll see these in restaurants here in the US these days…and this recipe? It tastes just as good as restaurant-style. Better, in fact! Let’s be honest: this one requires a bit of time and effort. But if you’re craving vegan wings: this is your recipe! Let’s get cooking!

How to make cauliflower wings: the baked method!

Here’s an outline of what you’re signing yourself up for with cauliflower wings! Now, Alex and I have a buffalo cauliflower recipe we’ve been making for years: but that’s just straight up roasted, no breading. The breading is what makes these wings taste like they’re made in a restaurant! But instead of fried like a restaurant, they’re baked in the oven until crisp! You’ll need about 40 minutes for the entire process. Here’s what to do:

  • Make the batter. It’s got the perfect spice blend, and soda water is like using beer in a batter for fish or wings. This makes the best fluffy consistency (see below).
  • Dip the florets in batter, then place on an baking rack on top of a baking sheet. Using a baking rack allows all sides to get crispy in the oven. This isn’t a common cooking method, but it works like a charm here.
  • Bake 25 minutes until crispy.
  • Toss with the buffalo sauce and enjoy!
Cauliflower wings

The perfect wings batter uses soda water

The batter for these cauliflower wings uses an interesting ingredient: soda water! It’s just like using beer in a batter for fish or wings. There are two reasons why carbonation is helpful to a batter, per Cooks Illustrated:

  • Bubbles make a fluffier dough. They lift as they escape from the batter while cooking.
  • Carbonation makes the batter slightly more acidic. This limits how much gluten can form, which prevents it from being tough.

You’ll find this makes the perfect light and fluffy breading for cauliflower wings!

Find smoked paprika if you can

The batter for these cauliflower wings calls for smoked paprika. This is a Spanish version of paprika that’s made with smoked peppers, and it infuses a smoky nuance to anything it touches. It’s one of our favorite tricks for vegan recipes: and it’s especially essential in this cauliflower wings recipe! If you can’t find it, you can substitute standard paprika. But it’s worth finding for this recipe!

Smoked paprika may be labeled as any of the following: pimentón, Spanish smoked paprika or sweet smoked paprika. If you can’t find it in your local grocery, you can also buy it online here. And if you need help using up a jar…we’ve got lots of smoked paprika recipe

Buffalo cauliflower wings

Vegan buffalo sauce for cauliflower wings

Because these cauliflower wings are vegan wings: you’ve got to have vegan buffalo sauce for a fully plant-based recipe. What do you need for buffalo sauce? Here are the ingredients for the plant-based version:

  • Frank’s red hot sauce: Frank’s is the brand that has the best flavor: we recommend it here!
  • Coconut oil: instead of butter
  • White vinegar
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Sugar

Simply melt these together in a small saucepan, and you’ve got a spicy, tangy, flavor-filled sauce that’s perfect for these wings.

Cauliflower wings

Dipping sauces to serve with cauliflower wings

Once you’ve got your cauliflower wings, you’ll want to dig in right away! So here are a few ideas for dipping sauces. Here are a few options that are both vegan and vegetarian. We eat mainly vegetarian, so we usually do ranch or blue cheese dip! But this vegan ranch is fantastic too.

  • Vegan Ranch A tasty vegan ranch dressing recipe, using cashews to make a creamy base and savory spices.
  • Ranch Dressing Super creamy with mayo and Greek yogurt! You can also make it vegan by using all vegan mayonnaise.
  • Blue Cheese Dip This creamy sauce is made with yogurt and blue cheese.

This buffalo cauliflower wings recipe is…

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

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Cauliflower wings

Buffalo Cauliflower Wings (Better than Restaurant!)


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Here’s how to make the best baked cauliflower wings! They’re crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and tossed with spicy buffalo sauce.


Ingredients

For the cauliflower wings

  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, divided
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika*
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups soda water (club soda)

For the buffalo sauce

  • 1/2 cup Frank’s red hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

For serving: Vegan Ranch, Ranch or Blue Cheese Dip


Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut the cauliflower into bite-size florets.
  3. Mix 1 cup of the flour with garlic powder, smoked paprika, cornstarch and kosher salt. Pour in the soda water and stir until a smooth batter forms.
  4. Add the remaining 1/2 cup flour to separate bowl.
  5. Place the parchment paper on two baking sheets and place two baking racks on top. Dredge each floret in flour and then dip it into the batter. Place each floret on top of the racks (the batter will drip below, which is ok).
  6. Once all the florets are covered, place the baking sheets with racks on top in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the sheets and bake for 10 more minutes until crispy.
  7. Meanwhile, make the sauce: Place the ingredients for the buffalo sauce into a small saucepan. Heat over medium low heat and whisk until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  8. When the cauliflower wings are done, cool for a few minutes. Then slide a spatula under them or use your fingers to remove them from the baking racks — some of the breading will come off of the bottom, but that’s okay (you won’t notice when they’re coated in sauce). Then in a large bowl, pour the buffalo sauce over wings and turn gently with a spatula until they are fully covered.

Notes

*You can substitute standard paprika if you can’t find smoked, but it’s highly recommended for its lightly smoky flavor.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Keywords: Cauliflower wings, Buffalo cauliflower

More cauliflower recipes

Cauliflower is one of our favorite ingredients because it’s so versatile! Here are a few more delicious cauliflower recipes to try:

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

Seasoned Fries

These seasoned fries taste even better than a restaurant! Bake them until crispy with this magic seasoning blend and prepare to be amazed. Did you know you can make the best fries of your life…homemade? Yes, we’re pretty confident that these seasoned fries will blow you away! Alex and I have been perfecting the art of homemade French fries for years. We’ve picked up some tips to to getting the very best fries possible in a home kitchen. Here’s the thing: they do take a bit of time! But if you have to work for your treat food, it makes it that much more special: right? These are baked in an oven until crispy and coated in the perfect seasoning blend. In fact, we think they’re the best seasoned fries you’ll have. Ready to become a French fries expert? Ingredients for seasoned fries First up: let’s talk French fry seasoning. We’ve tinkered with a whole lot of seasoning blends, and come up with this one. It brings out the best savory, salty flavor in your fries. Here’s what you’ll need: Smoked paprika: This is the Spanish version of paprika that’s made with smoked peppers. It infuses a hint of smokiness into […]

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

These seasoned fries taste even better than a restaurant! Bake them until crispy with this magic seasoning blend and prepare to be amazed.

Seasoned fries

Did you know you can make the best fries of your life…homemade? Yes, we’re pretty confident that these seasoned fries will blow you away! Alex and I have been perfecting the art of homemade French fries for years. We’ve picked up some tips to to getting the very best fries possible in a home kitchen. Here’s the thing: they do take a bit of time! But if you have to work for your treat food, it makes it that much more special: right? These are baked in an oven until crispy and coated in the perfect seasoning blend. In fact, we think they’re the best seasoned fries you’ll have. Ready to become a French fries expert?

Ingredients for seasoned fries

First up: let’s talk French fry seasoning. We’ve tinkered with a whole lot of seasoning blends, and come up with this one. It brings out the best savory, salty flavor in your fries. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Smoked paprika: This is the Spanish version of paprika that’s made with smoked peppers. It infuses a hint of smokiness into each bite. (There are lots of smoked paprika recipes to use up a jar.)
  • Old Bay: Old Bay is a seasoning blend from the American Northeast: it’s often used to season seafood and potatoes. It brings a savory, irresistible flavor to each bit. Look for Old Bay in the spices aisle in the grocery or buy it online. You can also make homemade Old Bay seasoning.
  • Garlic powder
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
Seasoned fries

How to cut seasoned fries: by hand

Once you’ve compiled your spices, you’ve got to cut the fries! You can cut seasoned fries two ways: by hand or with a French fry cutter. We make fries so often that we got a special cutter (below). But you can easily cut them by hand! Here’s our fast and easy method (or watch this video):

  • Slice off the ends of each potato, then slice off part of the side to make a base.
  • Place the potato half cut side down and cut off a 3/8-inch slice, then lay the slice on its side and cut it into several long 3/8-inch wide strips.
  • Repeat until all potatoes have been cut into fries!

Or, use a French fry cutter!

Here’s an option only if you think you’ll make fries a lot: a French fry cutter! Typically Alex and I don’t recommend one-use gadgets. But this one is so slick, we couldn’t resist. A French fry cutter cuts fries from a potato in 1 second! (Really.) It’s easy to use and pumps them out in a jiffy. The only downside: finding storage space for a one-use gadget. Here’s a link to the French fry cutter we use.

Seasoned fries with aioli
Fries are perfect with Pesto Aioli

Secret to the best seasoned fries: a 10-minute soak!

Here’s what you need to do to make the very best seasoned fries: soak them in cold water for 10 minutes. Now, some recipes call for soaking fries for up to 1 hour or more, or even boiling them first. But after lots of tests, we found you only need 10 minutes in cold water! Here’s why:

  • It makes the outside crispy and inside tender. There’s a notable difference when you soak before you bake.
  • You can soak while your oven preheats! Here’s the thing: you don’t lose any time because you can do it while the oven is preheating. Ideally you can cut, soak and season the fries before the oven is ready to go.

Bake them in the oven until perfectly crispy!

Here’s another nice thing about these seasoned fries: they’re baked, not fried! That makes them a healthy seasoned fries option (more on that, below). You’ll cook at high temperature (425 degrees) to get just the right golden exterior. There are only a few tricks to getting them perfectly crisp. Here’s what to know:

  • Space out the oven racks. Make sure your oven racks are evenly spaced for the most even cooking. You’ll also want to reverse the trays in the oven after you pull them out to flip.
  • Spread the fries in an even layer. Having air between each fry is very important to getting them crispy. If you overcrowd the tray, you’ll get soggy fries.
  • Bake 20 minutes, then flip and bake 10 minutes. Flip each fry individually to make sure it crisps up on both sides. This bake time is perfect for the 3/8-inch cut fry, but you may need to adjust based on how even you cut them and your specific oven.
Best seasoned fries

Are these healthy seasoned fries?

Well, we think so! These fries aren’t fried, so there’s less oil in the process. Here’s why we think these can be deemed a healthy version of seasoned fries:

  • You’ll just use potatoes, minimal olive oil and a bit of salt. These are all healthy, whole food ingredients. They’re basically roasted potatoes!
  • The serving size is moderate. The serving size is much less than a restaurant would serve, so that helps to keep the calories down.

Dipping sauces for seasoned fries

Once your fries are done: let’s get to the dipping! There are so many great sauces to use for dipping these tasty fries. Here are some great options:

Seasoned fries

This seasoned fries recipe is…

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

Print
Seasoned fries

Perfect Seasoned Fries


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

These seasoned fries taste even better than a restaurant! Bake them until crispy with this magic seasoning blend and prepare to be amazed.


Ingredients

  • 2 large russet potatoes (1 1/2  to 1 3/4 pounds)*
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning (purchased or homemade)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Evenly space the oven racks to ensure even cooking.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the potatoes into fries: (Watch this video or use a fry cutter.) Wash the potatoes, leaving the skins on. Slice off the ends of each potato, then slice off part of the side to make a base. Place the potato half cut side down and cut off a 3/8-inch slice, then lay the slice on its side and cut it into several long strips. Repeat until all potatoes have been cut into fries. The pieces can be uneven, but aim for as uniform of thickness as possible. See the video for full instructions!
  3. Soak in cold water (10 minutes): Place the cut fries into a medium bowl and rinse with cold water until water is clear. Then fill the bowl with cold water and allow to rest for 10 minutes (while the oven preheats). Then drain the potatoes and dry them thoroughly with a clean dish towel.
  4. Season the fries: Add the fries to a dry bowl and toss them with the olive oil, smoked paprika, garlic powder, Old Bay, black pepper, and kosher salt. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the fries in straight lines on the paper, placing them as far apart as possible.
  5. Bake: Bake the fries for 20 minutes. Take them out of the oven and carefully flip each fry. Return to oven (reversing the pans on top and bottom racks). Bake additional 8 to 10 minutes until they are crisp and golden brown, watching carefully as the bake time depends on the fry thickness and your oven. (If the majority of the fries seem soft, continue to bake a few more minutes.)
  6. Taste and add a few more pinches salt if desired. Serve immediately for the best texture and flavor.

Notes

*This makes a good amount of fries, but much less than a restaurant portion (that’s as intended!). The largest quantity of fries that fits on two baking sheets is 2 pounds, you can increase to that much if desired (adjust seasonings accordingly).

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

Keywords: Seasoned fries

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

Easy Cannellini Beans

Make cannellini beans into a tasty side dish with this easy recipe! It’s packed with Mediterranean flavor and plant-based protein. Here’s an easy recipe that all cooks should know: 5 minute cannellini beans! It’s a lifesaver for weeknight cooking, or the perfect solution for adding plant-based protein to a meal. You’ll be amazed at the flavor you can coax out of one can of beans in just a few minutes. Throw it together in a skillet with a few spices and it tastes like it’s been simmering all day. Here’s how to make a can of beans into a legit delicious healthy side dish (or dinner). Ingredients for these easy cannellini beans The magic of this cannelini beans recipe comes from infusing flavor into a can of beans. Of course, you can cook your own on the stovetop. (Follow the instructions in White Beans on Toast.) But this recipe is designed to be a quick and simple fix for weeknights: where you barely have to think. Here’s what you need for this recipe: 1 can cannellini beans Olive oil Herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning (see below) Chives Salt & pepper Two great seasoning blends (purchased or homemade) There are […]

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

Make cannellini beans into a tasty side dish with this easy recipe! It’s packed with Mediterranean flavor and plant-based protein.

Cannellini Beans

Here’s an easy recipe that all cooks should know: 5 minute cannellini beans! It’s a lifesaver for weeknight cooking, or the perfect solution for adding plant-based protein to a meal. You’ll be amazed at the flavor you can coax out of one can of beans in just a few minutes. Throw it together in a skillet with a few spices and it tastes like it’s been simmering all day. Here’s how to make a can of beans into a legit delicious healthy side dish (or dinner).

Ingredients for these easy cannellini beans

The magic of this cannelini beans recipe comes from infusing flavor into a can of beans. Of course, you can cook your own on the stovetop. (Follow the instructions in White Beans on Toast.) But this recipe is designed to be a quick and simple fix for weeknights: where you barely have to think. Here’s what you need for this recipe:

  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • Olive oil
  • Herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning (see below)
  • Chives
  • Salt & pepper
Cannellini Beans

Two great seasoning blends (purchased or homemade)

There are two different seasoning blends that perfectly compliment the buttery, creamy flavor of cannellini beans. One is used in French cuisine, and one in Italian. Both are easy to find at most grocery stores.

  • Herbes de Provence: This blend is a group of herbs that grow in the Provence region in France, like savory, marjoram, rosemary, lavender, and thyme. It adds a herby flavor with a subtle floral nuance that’s incredibly unique. If you can’t find it, use Italian seasoning or try homemade herbes de Provence.
  • Italian Seasoning: Italian seasoning has a similar vibe but it’s made with common Italian herbs. It’s a blend of oregano, basil, thyme, sage and rosemary. It’s easy to find at grocery stores, but you can also make homemade Italian seasoning.
How to make Cannellini Beans

How to make 5-minute cannellini beans

There’s really no technique required to this cannellini beans recipe: it’s all about the flavorings! Here’s what you’ll do:

  • Drain and rinse the canned beans. This is standard for using canned beans in recipes.
  • Heat the olive oil in a skillet.
  • Add the beans and seasonings, and cook about 2 minutes until heated. Fresh chives add big fresh flavor to this recipe and a beautiful bright green color. If you don’t have them on hand, use a pinch of onion powder.

Take one taste and you’ll be amazed by the amount of flavor that can be coaxed out of a simple can of beans and 5 minutes. Take this concept and use it when you’re hangry and need a healthy, protein packed snack or side dish.

Ways to serve this cannellini beans recipe

Another thing we love about this cannellini beans recipe is that it’s incredibly versatile. It works as a side dish, hearty snack or even a healthy plant-based dinner. Here are a few ways to serve it:

Easy cannellini beans recipe

What are cannellini beans, anyway?

Cannellini beans are an Italian white bean that’s oval shaped, with a creamy texture and mild flavor. They’re one of the easiest white beans to find canned at the grocery, along with Great Northern beans. What’s the difference between cannellini and Great Northern beans? Cannellini are larger, with a creamier color; Great Northern are smaller and whiter.

Not sure how to say cannellini? Say Can-a-leen-ee.

Why to eat more beans

Beans are one of the best foods you can eat: especially if you eat a vegetarian or vegan diet! They’re full of plant-based protein, very shelf stable, and easy to make in delicious recipes. And…there are lots more reasons! Here’s why to eat more beans (per the bean cookbook Cool Beans that we reviewed here):

  • They’re the cheapest source of protein in the world. They’re the only food that’s both categorized as a protein and vegetable by the USDA.
  • They’ve may help you live longer: the list of health benefits if beans is long: they’re nutrient-dense, rich in cancer fighting antioxidants and hearty-healthy fiber. Guess the common element in Blue Zone diet countries where people live the longest in the world? They all eat 1 cup of beans per day.
  • They’re planet-friendly. Beans may be key to feeding the Earth’s growing population: they take less of a toll on the climate than animal proteins.
Cannellini Beans

This recipe is…

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

Print
Cannellini Beans

Easy Cannellini Beans


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4 as a side
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Make cannellini beans into a tasty side dish with this easy recipe! It’s packed with Mediterranean flavor and plant-based protein.


Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Drain and rinse the beans.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a small skillet. Add the beans, Herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning, chives or onion powder, salt, and fresh ground pepper. Heat until just warm, about 2 minutes. 

Notes

 

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

Keywords: Cannellini beans, Cannellini beans recipe

More bean recipes

Beans are one of our favorite ingredients to use in recipes! Here are a few more ways to use beans in your home cooking:

  • Spanish Rice and Beans Brings big flavor to humble ingredients! It’s a tasty vegan and vegetarian main dish or easy side dish.
  • Homemade Refried Beans The texture and flavor are WAY better than canned: plus they’re healthier too (and plant based).
  • Black Beans and Rice This classic Latin-style side dish is perfect with tacos or as a lunch idea.

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