The Funky, Flavorful Side Dishes to Complete Any Korean Meal

“Banchan is very important to me,” says Sunny Lee, who leads the banchan program at the Korean restaurant Insa in Brooklyn, New York. “It has a very long history in Korea.”

Banchan means side dish in Korean, but in reality it’s a bunch of small dishes…

"Banchan is very important to me," says Sunny Lee, who leads the banchan program at the Korean restaurant Insa in Brooklyn, New York. "It has a very long history in Korea."

Banchan means side dish in Korean, but in reality it's a bunch of small dishes filled to the brim with pickles and the like that scatter the table at lunch or dinner. And if you've ever eaten at a Korean barbecue restaurant, or somewhere more traditional, you'll know them by their multitude, and that they all somehow fit together: often different kimchis and beans, or sprouts and tiny fish to snack on before and with a meal. I asked Sunny, and Michael Stokes, Insa's chef de cuisine, to give me a lowdown on banchan, and how its history details much of Korea's itself.

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10 Ultra-Creamy Side Dishes Ready for the Holidays

We’ve partnered with Hood®—makers of great-tasting, high-quality heavy cream and half-and-half made from premium Hood Milk—to make your holidays even more delicious with our favorite creamy side dishes.

What’s a holiday dinner without a bunch of dre…

We've partnered with Hood®—makers of great-tasting, high-quality heavy cream and half-and-half made from premium Hood Milk—to make your holidays even more delicious with our favorite creamy side dishes.


What’s a holiday dinner without a bunch of dreamy, creamy sides? I can’t leave the store between the months of September to December without a quart or two of heavy cream in tow—my pick is Hood® Heavy Cream for the silky, rich creaminess it brings to all sorts of dishes.

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26 Sweet Potato Sides, From Mashed to Ottolenghi-fied

Whether you like your sweet potatoes snow-capped with marshmallows or as savory as these orange tubers can be, there’s no doubt that a sweet potato side dish belongs on your Thanksgiving menu. We’ve broken it down by texture—mashed, roasted, pancake-if…

Whether you like your sweet potatoes snow-capped with marshmallows or as savory as these orange tubers can be, there’s no doubt that a sweet potato side dish belongs on your Thanksgiving menu. We’ve broken it down by texture—mashed, roasted, pancake-ified, you name it—so you’re one step closer to deciding how you want to present these crowd-pleasers.


Casseroles & Bakes

1. Sweet Potato Casserole with Brown Sugar Fluff

Homemade (brown! sugar!) fluff is marshmallow with more sass, and gives you the opportunity to add some dramatic swooshes to this traditional casserole.

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The Smokiest, Spiciest Baked Beans for Your End-of-Summer Barbecues

We’ve teamed up with our friends at All-Clad to bring you Pans With a Plan—a series sharing smart techniques, tasty recipe ideas, and all sorts of handy tips for cooking novices and seasoned pros alike. Here, food writer and recipe developer Asha Loupy…

We’ve teamed up with our friends at All-Clad to bring you Pans With a Plan—a series sharing smart techniques, tasty recipe ideas, and all sorts of handy tips for cooking novices and seasoned pros alike. Here, food writer and recipe developer Asha Loupy shows us how to make the ultimate summer side dish—smoky, spicy baked beans with ham hock—using All-Clad’s FUSIONTEC™ 4.5-Quart Universal Pan.


As a kid, I never liked Labor Day. It always seemed to mark the end of carefree summer fun—slip-and-sliding in the front yard, late-night sleepovers with friends, food-filled barbecues in the Sacramento sun—and signaled the start of the school year. Even as an adult, that back-to-reality dread still sneaks in as Labor Day approaches.

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16 Cool-as-a-Cucumber-Salad Recipes

We love ’em for snacking, or slicing them thin and using them to infuse water so it makes it feel like we’re at a spa. But another way to enjoy cucumbers is in the form of a crisp, cool cucumber salad. Keep things simple by tossing them in herby yogurt sauce, mixing them with mozzarella and chickpeas for a hearty twist on a Panzanella salad, or giving them some kick with a spicy, dry-fried combination of Thai dried chile peppers, jalapeño peppers, and Sichuan peppercorns. If any of those ideas sound appealing, you’re in luck. We’re sharing 16 different cucumber salad recipes that are crisp and refreshing (even when they pack in some heat).


Our Best Cucumber Salad Recipes

1. Cantaloupe & Cucumber Salad with Basil & Feta

This simple summery salad isn’t too fussy or over-the-top, which is for the best. The low-key method really allows the melon and cucumbers to shine alongside feta cheese and fresh basil. Just be sure to use really good quality ingredients (down to the balsamic vinegar and flaky sea salt) so that everything is on its A-Game.

Read More >>

We love ’em for snacking, or slicing them thin and using them to infuse water so it makes it feel like we’re at a spa. But another way to enjoy cucumbers is in the form of a crisp, cool cucumber salad. Keep things simple by tossing them in herby yogurt sauce, mixing them with mozzarella and chickpeas for a hearty twist on a Panzanella salad, or giving them some kick with a spicy, dry-fried combination of Thai dried chile peppers, jalapeño peppers, and Sichuan peppercorns. If any of those ideas sound appealing, you’re in luck. We’re sharing 16 different cucumber salad recipes that are crisp and refreshing (even when they pack in some heat).


Our Best Cucumber Salad Recipes

1. Cantaloupe & Cucumber Salad with Basil & Feta

This simple summery salad isn’t too fussy or over-the-top, which is for the best. The low-key method really allows the melon and cucumbers to shine alongside feta cheese and fresh basil. Just be sure to use really good quality ingredients (down to the balsamic vinegar and flaky sea salt) so that everything is on its A-Game.

Read More >>

Our 21 Best Side Dishes for Ribs—Because Your BBQ Deserves It

Whether they’re dry rubbed or tossed in a sticky-sweet Kansas City-style sauce that leaves stains in unexpected places, baby back ribs instantly turn up the volume on your summer gathering. Pounds of ribs laid side by side is a sight to behold—and the …

Whether they're dry rubbed or tossed in a sticky-sweet Kansas City-style sauce that leaves stains in unexpected places, baby back ribs instantly turn up the volume on your summer gathering. Pounds of ribs laid side by side is a sight to behold—and the smell of them coming right off the grill or being pulled out of the oven guarantees that neighbors will walk over uninvited to say, "what's cooking?" But hey, the more the merrier, especially when it comes to such a crowd-friendly main course like ribs.

And while the meat is plenty filling on its own, a true barbecue feast will also feature an all-star lineup of side dishes like potato salad, coleslaw, grilled summer vegetables, baked beans, sautéed greens, and a whole lot more. Here are 21 of the best side dishes to serve with ribs all summer long.

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21 Stellar Side Dishes for July 4

Sides are the perfect opportunity to add color, punch, texture and variety to the main event, whether that’s a humungo piece of grilled meat or veggie burgers. Personally my favorite kind of feast is when there are lots of sides and you just dig into t…

Sides are the perfect opportunity to add color, punch, texture and variety to the main event, whether that’s a humungo piece of grilled meat or veggie burgers. Personally my favorite kind of feast is when there are lots of sides and you just dig into them like tapas, main dish conspicuously missing. But hey, however you serve it, these sides—which you can grill on the day of or make ahead; serve piping hot or let sit in the sun for hours with no effect on quality—do right by the 4th of July.

1. Asparagus With Lemon-Pepper Marinade From Bryant Terry

Will you be grilling this 4th of July? Then let your main dish scoot over a bit to make room for some sides, like this vegan asparagus wonder where the marinade becomes the sauce.

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27 Stellar Side Dishes for Chicken

So, you’re making chicken for dinner. Maybe it is oven-fried or feta-brined or milk-braised. But it is chicken and it needs a side. That’s where these 27 recipes come in.

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our…

So, you’re making chicken for dinner. Maybe it is oven-fried or feta-brined or milk-braised. But it is chicken and it needs a side. That’s where these 27 recipes come in.

1. Citrus Salad With Brown Butter Vinaigrette, Dates & Almonds

This sweet and sour citrus salad, with juicy oranges, sticky dates, and crunchy almonds, is the perfect foil to rich, fatty roast chicken. Or crispy chicken cutlets, sliced into strips.

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42 Side Dishes for a Traditional (or Nontraditional!) Easter

Main dishes tend to steal the show when it comes to the Easter table—be it the classic honey-glazed ham or an impressive leg of lamb. But with this spring’s festivities affected by the pandemic for the second year in a row, some traditions may have shi…

Main dishes tend to steal the show when it comes to the Easter table—be it the classic honey-glazed ham or an impressive leg of lamb. But with this spring’s festivities affected by the pandemic for the second year in a row, some traditions may have shifted. Regardless of what your Easter (or Passover) looks like, or how many you’re feeding, this year, the holiday provides an opportunity to appreciate spring’s bounty. And really, I’ll take any excuse to celebrate and cook for those I love.

Consider this a master list of both traditional and nontraditional side dishes for Easter, some old standbys and others that are sure to become instant classics. There’s something on here for the whole family, from your vegan sister to gluten-free aunt to picky cousins. Here are over 40 recipes that put side dishes in the limelight, so you’re guaranteed to have your best Easter spread yet.

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Perfect Vegan Caesar Salad

This vegan Caesar salad tastes even better than the original! It features an irresistibly creamy dressing, capers, and crunchy croutons. There’s nothing quite like a great Caesar salad. So there’s no reason why there shouldn’t be an irresistibly tasty vegan version of it in your life. Meet: our perfect Vegan Caesar Salad! Of course, we love ourselves a great classic Caesar salad. But this one comes extraordinarily close: in fact, Alex even said he liked it better than the original! It’s got an irresistibly creamy, savory vegan Caesar dressing, crunchy croutons, and salty pops of flavor from the capers. In fact, the capers are the secret to making it taste so savory and delicious, you barely notice it’s totally plant-based. Ingredients for the best vegan Caesar salad This vegan Caesar salad is a big favorite in our house: especially the salad dressing. In fact, we like making this one more than the original. Here are the elements that make it perfectly delicious: Vegan Caesar dressing: This dressing is so incredibly savory, you’ll forget there’s no mayo, Parmesan or anchovies like the real thing. Capers: Yes, capers are the key! They give a pop of savory flavor to each bite that mimics the […]

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

This vegan Caesar salad tastes even better than the original! It features an irresistibly creamy dressing, capers, and crunchy croutons.

Vegan caesar salad

There’s nothing quite like a great Caesar salad. So there’s no reason why there shouldn’t be an irresistibly tasty vegan version of it in your life. Meet: our perfect Vegan Caesar Salad! Of course, we love ourselves a great classic Caesar salad. But this one comes extraordinarily close: in fact, Alex even said he liked it better than the original! It’s got an irresistibly creamy, savory vegan Caesar dressing, crunchy croutons, and salty pops of flavor from the capers. In fact, the capers are the secret to making it taste so savory and delicious, you barely notice it’s totally plant-based.

Ingredients for the best vegan Caesar salad

This vegan Caesar salad is a big favorite in our house: especially the salad dressing. In fact, we like making this one more than the original. Here are the elements that make it perfectly delicious:

  • Vegan Caesar dressing: This dressing is so incredibly savory, you’ll forget there’s no mayo, Parmesan or anchovies like the real thing.
  • Capers: Yes, capers are the key! They give a pop of savory flavor to each bite that mimics the salty punch of Parmesan shavings.
  • Homemade croutons: If you have time, homemade croutons are crazy good. Tear the bread into uneven pieces to make fluffy, crunchy orbs.
  • Avocado & lemon zest (optional): Use avocado to add even more richness, and lemon for a zing.
  • Tuscan kale & romaine: Use a mix of greens to add variety and contrast in flavor.
Vegan caesar dressing

Secrets to homemade vegan Caesar dressing

The hardest part about making a vegan Caesar salad is…the dressing! A classic Caesar dressing relies on mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, and anchovies to make an umami-packed flavor sensation. A plant-based Caesar dressing gets none of these easy shortcuts to flavor. What does it use?

  • Chickpeas AND aquafaba make it creamy! Aquafaba is the liquid inside a can of chickpeas, and it’s an amazing way to add silky texture to sauces (like avocado mayo). You can even use it for things like vegan meringues! It adds just the right silky richness to the dressing here.
  • Miso paste adds massive savory flavor. Miso is a fermented Japanese soybean paste that adds great flavor to vegan dishes. Look for yellow or white miso paste; red or brown is not recommended.
  • Dijon mustard also brings in tangy, savory flavor. Dijon is key here!
  • Garlic, lemon and oil round it out. Speaking of the oil…

Why to use a mix of olive oil and neutral oil

This vegan Caesar dressing uses a mix of olive oil and neutral oil. Why is this necessary?

  • All olive oil makes a bright yellow dressing. You can certainly use 100% olive oil in this dressing, especially if you like cooking with olive oil for health reasons. Olive oil is one of the healthiest cooking oils in the world. But it does make the color quite bright!
  • Neutral oil keeps the color closer to a Caesar dressing. It also adds a nuance to the flavor. Use grapeseed oil or organic canola or vegetable oil: anything that has a lighter color and a neutral flavor.
Vegan Caesar salad

Capers are the key!

Capers are part of the magic behind this vegan Caesar salad: because they really mimic the burst of flavor that comes from Parmesan shavings. Here’s a bit more info about this beautiful ingredient if you’ve never worked with it:

  • Capers are a berry of the caper bush that’s native to the Mediterranean. They’re round and dark green gray, about the size of a peppercorn. You’ll find them in Italian and Mediterranean recipes.
  • What do capers taste like? They have a bright, briny and salty flavor.
  • Where to find capers? Capers are served pickled, so you’ll find them in small, thin jars near the olives at the grocery store.
  • What recipes use capers? Make Roasted Eggplant Pasta, Salmon with Capers or Remoulade Sauce.
Vegan caesar salad

Variations: make it a main dish!

If you take all this time to make Caesar salad…why not turn it into a main dish meal? At least, that’s the way we think around here! We love it as a side, but it’s fun as a main dish too. Here’s how to add plant-based protein and turn it into a meal:

How would you serve it? Let us know in the comments below!

Vegan Caesar salad recipe

This vegan Caesar salad recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free. For gluten free, omit the croutons or use gluten free bread.

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Vegan caesar salad

Perfect Vegan Caesar Salad


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 4.67 out of 5)

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

Description

This vegan Caesar salad tastes even better than the original! It features an irresistibly creamy dressing, capers, and crunchy croutons. 


Ingredients

For the Vegan Caesar Dressing (makes 1 cup)

  • 1 medium garlic clove
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained + 1/4 cup aquafaba (liquid from the can)
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons yellow miso paste (or any miso marked light or white*)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons neutral oil 
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • Fresh ground black pepper

For the salad

  • 1 cup croutons, store-bought or homemade
  • 1 head romaine or 2 romaine hearts
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained
  • 1 ripe avocado (optional)
  • Lemon zest (optional)

Instructions

  1. Make the croutons (optional): If using, make the Homemade Croutons, tearing the bread into pieces before baking instead of slicing it into cubes. Or, use purchased croutons. 
  2. Make the dressing: Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Drain the chickpeas into a liquid measuring cup: save 1/4 cup of the liquid (aquafaba) for the dressing. In a large blender, place the garlic, chickpeas, aquafaba, lemon juice, light miso paste, Dijon mustard, olive oil, neutral oil, kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Blend until a creamy dressing forms. Makes 1 cup; serve immediately or refrigerate up to 1 month; bring to room temperature before serving. 
  3. Prep the fresh ingredients: Chop the romaine and Tuscan kale. Chop the avocado, if using.
  4. Serve: To serve, place the greens in serving bowls and top with drained capers, avocado, croutons, lemon zest (optional), and a few tablespoons of the dressing. 

Notes

*Do not substitute brown or red miso, as the flavor is too strong and it makes the dressing too dark in color. Yellow, light or white miso is best here. 

  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Keywords: Vegan caesar salad

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