Classic Gazpacho

This classic gazpacho recipe is a vibrant red-orange and full of traditional Spanish flavor! It’s quick to blend up this…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This classic gazpacho recipe is a vibrant red-orange and full of traditional Spanish flavor! It’s quick to blend up this summer soup.

Gazpacho recipe

What’s better than a creamy, cool gazpacho on a blazing hot day? Sure, some Americans aren’t into cold soups. But this Spanish soup, born in the heat of Southern Spain, is the true definition of refreshing. The cool puree of tomato and cucumber against the zing of the sherry vinegar and rich olive oil is truly one of life’s great pleasures. Finally, we’ve got a great recipe for a summer gazpacho: made like the Spanish do.

What’s gazpacho, exactly?

Gazpacho is a cold tomato-based soup from the Andalusia region of Southern Spain. It’s made of raw, pureed vegetables and is now eaten around the world. An important thing about gazpacho: it’s intended as a refreshment on a hot day, not to be a filling main course! So it’s usually served as a starter or tapas recipe. There are a few similar Spanish soups, like salmorejo (creamier and made with bread) and ajoblanco (a white garlic version).

Lucky for us, Alex and I have been able to experience first hand a good, cold gazpacho in the Spanish heat! It was our first meal in country on a trip to Spain a few years ago, in a tiny restaurant in the center of a white-washed village. Dang, was it refreshing! Since then, we’ve been perfecting our perfect gazpacho recipe to recreate that special moment.

Spain travel | Frigiliana Spain
Here’s the Spanish village where we had the transcendental gazpacho

Ingredients in a classic gazpacho recipe

The ingredients in a classic Spanish gazpacho vary, like any traditional recipe. Everyone has their perfect way to make gazpacho! Here are the ingredients we selected to make this gazpacho similar to our perfect Spanish rendition:

  • Ripe tomatoes: only the best, ripe summer tomatoes will do
  • Cucumber
  • Red bell pepper
  • Shallot: this brings a more subtle flavor than onion, which can be spicy
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Sherry vinegar: traditionally used in Spanish recipes and brings in that authentic flavor
  • Smoked paprika: the secret ingredient! See below.
  • Salt
Gazpacho recipe

What makes this gazpacho recipe great

There are good gazpacho recipes, and there are great ones. We hope you’ll find this one to be in the latter category! We’ve studied the Spanish tradition and tried to stick as close to authentic as possible. Here are a few notes on what makes this recipe great:

  • Sherry vinegar and smoked paprika bring authentic flavor. Smoked paprika (aka pimentón) is a traditional Spanish ingredient and adds just the right hint of complexity here. Sherry vinegar is another Spanish ingredient, and it’s astringent flavor lends just the right flair. It’s worth finding for this recipe.
  • It nixes the bread. Some Spanish gazpacho recipes use soaked bread for creaminess, but it can dilute the flavor. Plus, we took cues from our favorite Spanish Chef (José Andrés) who doesn’t use it in his. Try a Salmorejo recipe for a bread-thickened soup.
  • It’s pureed, but not strained. Some chefs strain their gazpacho, but we like ours pureed, right from the blender. But we think a good gazpacho should be blended, not chunky! Chunky gazpacho seems to be more of an American creation, not Spanish.

Chill until cold, about 2 hours (or up to 3 days)

Gazpacho is very simple to make: simply throw the ingredients in a blender, and blend until pureed! The hardest part is waiting for it to chill. Here are a few notes:

  • Chilling makes it cold, and helps the flavors meld. Don’t be tempted to throw it in the freezer to speed things up. The timing helps the flavors to mesh while they also cool.
  • Refrigerate up to 3 days. Personally we like it within 1 day of making. But you can also make in advance and refrigerate until serving.
Gazpacho

How to garnish gazpacho

A great gazpacho is also all about the garnish! It works in either bowls or small cups or glasses. It’s most often served with chopped veggies and a crusty piece of bread. Here’s what to use for a garnish for gazpacho:

  • Chopped tomatoes, cucumbers or shallot
  • Fresh herbs like oregano, chives or basil
  • Crusty bread like crostini or grilled bread
  • Olive oil drizzle

More Spanish recipes

Love Spanish recipes? After studying in Spain years ago, I fell head over heels with this special cuisine. Here are a few more of the Spanish recipes we love to make at home:

This gazpacho recipe is…

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

Print
Gazpacho

Gazpacho


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 small servings (about 4 cups)
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ripe quality tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped (about 3 large)
  • 1/2 medium cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika (pimenton)

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust salt as needed.
  2. Refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours, or up to 3 days before serving.
  3. Serve topped with additional chopped veggies, a drizzle of olive oil, and toasted bread. 
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: Spanish

Keywords: Gazpacho, gazpacho recipe

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

10 Types of Tomatoes We Aspire to Eat Every Day This Summer

Every month, Melina Hammer, Food52’s very own Hudson Valley correspondent, is serving up all the bounty that upstate New York has to offer.

We have entered my favorite season: the season of gorging on tomatoes. I grow both hybrid and heirloom tomato…

Every month, Melina Hammer, Food52's very own Hudson Valley correspondent, is serving up all the bounty that upstate New York has to offer.


We have entered my favorite season: the season of gorging on tomatoes. I grow both hybrid and heirloom tomatoes at Catbird Cottage, and once the first fruits have ripened, after a gleeful harvest, there are BLT sandwiches and numerous batches of sauce and confit that follow. I clear the calendar to bottle my surplus, preserving the season so I can enjoy their exceptional flavor year-round.

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Pan Con Tomate

Pan con tomate (“bread with tomato”) is an easy Spanish tapas recipe! It’s quite possibly the best way to use…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Pan con tomate (“bread with tomato”) is an easy Spanish tapas recipe! It’s quite possibly the best way to use a ripe tomato…period.

Pan Con Tomate

Got a ripe summer tomato? Here’s quite possibly one of the best ways to use it…in the world. Try Pan Con Tomate, a Spanish tapas recipe with only a few ingredients but immeasurably massive flavor. Take one bite and it’s like ingesting the pure soul of a tomato: all its memories of growing plump in the summer sun. This transcendental summer tomato recipe will make you a quick convert.

What is pan con tomate?

Pan con tomate translates to “bread with tomato,” a Spanish dish that consists of toasted bread topped with tomato pulp, garlic and olive oil. It’s served throughout Spain as tapas or a snack, and it’s especially common in Catalan cuisine where it’s called Pa amb tomàquet.

I fell in love with pan con tomate when I lived in Madrid in university, then again when Alex and I visited Spain recently. Many tapas-style restaurants have popped up in the US since then that have imported the concept. It’s important to honor the heritage of this incredible dish: Spanish cuisine, which has also brought us iconic dishes like paella, sangria, gazpacho, and more.

Pan con tomate

Ingredients for pan con tomate

Pan con tomate is one summer’s best concepts: this Spanish recipe uses just 5 ingredients with no real cooking involved! It’s best for when you’ve got a big, juicy summer tomato. One bite, and you’ll be happy dancing with the explosive flavors! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Ripe tomatoes
  • Bread
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Salt

Grill or broil the bread

The bread for pan con tomate can be grilled or toasted in the broiler. Either way, spread the bread slices with a bit of olive oil and salt before cooking it. Here are the pros and cons to each method:

  • Grilled bread: Grilled bread is very traditional and adds a charred flavor. This is best flavor-wise, but it does take time to preheat the grill.
  • Broiled bread: Broiled bread doesn’t have a charred flavor, but it’s quick and easy in the broiler! Broiling gets it nice and crispy, with dark edges.
Pan con tomate

Grate the tomatoes

How to get that beautiful tomato essence in pan con tomate? You’ll grate the tomatoes. Yes, grab a box grater and use the large holes to grate the tomato into a bowl. You’ll feel like you’re destroying it! But take one taste of the pulp, and it will make your tastebuds sing! Season it with a few pinches of kosher salt.

Rub the bread with garlic

The other key to pan con tomate is seasoning the bread with garlic. Unlike a bruschetta where you mince the garlic, with this Spanish tapas recipe you’ll rub the garlic right onto the toast.

  • Peel the garlic and slice it in half.
  • Take the cut side and rub it right onto the bread. You won’t see anything on the bread, and it will feel like you haven’t done anything. But one taste and you’ll see that it’s infused with the intoxicating aroma of fresh garlic!
Pan con tomate

Make pan con tomate right before serving

Take one bite of pan con tomate, and it’s absolute magic: the crunch of the bread, the juicy tomato pulp, and the golden rich drizzle of olive oil. In fact, you’ll want to eat it every day. But here’s the thing: the tomatoes do make the bread soggy over time. So it’s best to eat this treat right away!

If you’re serving this as a tapas appetizer at a party, try to avoid letting it sit out on a table for hours. Pass it around or have people enjoy it right as it comes out of the kitchen. If you want to make it in advance, here’s what to do:

  • Grate the tomatoes and refrigerate the pulp. Bring it to room temperature before serving.
  • Toast the bread and assemble right before serving. You’ll want to keep that bread deliciously crunchy!

More Spanish recipes

If you’ve followed us for a while, you’ll know we love studying traditional Spanish recipes. Here are a few of our favorites to make at home:

This pan con tomato recipe is…

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

Print

Pan Con Tomate


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Pan con tomate (“bread with tomato”) is an easy Spanish tapas recipe! It’s quite possibly the best way to use a ripe tomato…period.


Ingredients

  • 1/2 rustic baguette (8 slices)
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes (1 pound)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Grill or broil the bread: Cut bread into 1/2-inch slices cut on the bias. Place the slices on a baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil onto each slice, followed by a sprinkle of kosher salt. Grill the bread or broil it on high until the bread until toasted and crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. (As a quicker method, you can use a toaster.)
  2. Grate the tomato: Meanwhile, use the large holes of a box grater to grate the tomatoes into a bowl, discarding the skins (you will get about 1 cup pup). Season the grated tomatoes with ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste.
  3. Serve: When the bread is done, rub each piece of bread with the cut side of the garlic (this will infuse a large amount of garlic flavor into the toast). Spoon the tomato pulp onto each slice. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and serve immediately. The bread becomes soggy after a few minutes, so top with the tomatoes directly before serving.
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: Spanish

Keywords: Pan con tomate

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Sweet Corn Salsa

Fresh and juicy summer sweet corn makes the best corn salsa for topping tacos, salads, bowl meals, or dipping with your favorite chips.

The post Sweet Corn Salsa appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you’ve never raw fresh sweet corn, let this recipe be a sign that you totally need to try it. Fresh sweet corn is one of the best parts of summer and when it’s raw it is deliciously sweet, crunchy, and *juicy*. And this Fresh Sweet Corn Salsa is the perfect way for you to dip your toes into the waters and experience the awesomeness that is raw sweet corn.

Overhead view of a bowl of sweet corn salsa with lime and salt on the side

What’s in Corn Salsa?

I like to keep things simple in life, so I made my corn salsa super simple, kind of like a pico de gallo with corn. It has fresh sweet corn, tomatoes, red onion, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. That’s it! It hits all my favorite flavor elements: sweet, salty, acidic, and spicy!

Do You Have to Use Fresh Corn?

You don’t have to use fresh corn for this salsa, but it’s definitely going to make the salsa top-notch. If you want to make this salsa in the off-season or just don’t have good fresh corn available, the next best choice would be frozen corn. I don’t suggest canned corn for this recipe because it will definitely throw the flavor off since it is canned in liquid that usually contains both sugar and salt.

If you want to use fresh corn but just don’t want to use raw corn, grilling the corn first will give this salsa a nice smokey flavor. You can also just do your usual boil, steam, or oven roasting.

If you need help knowing how to pick the best fresh corn, check out this short tutorial from Taste of Home about How to Pick the Best Corn.

What Else Can You Add?

If you do want to fancy it up some, here are some other great flavors that would be awesome in corn salsa:

  • Avocado (the fat will balance the heat nicely)
  • Cotija cheese
  • Green onion (a great sub for red onion, if needed)
  • Black beans
  • Red bell pepper

How to Serve Corn Salsa

Corn salsa is that great all-purpose summer condiment or side. You can serve it on things or just as a sort of side salad to your meal. I served mine this week on top of my Fish Tacos, but it would also be great with Beef Taco Skillet, Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas, Easy Cilantro Chicken, Creamy White Bean and Spinach Quesadillas, or Black Bean and Avocado Enchiladas.

Close up shot of fresh corn salsa from the side
overhead view of a bowl full of corn salsa

Sweet Corn Salsa

Fresh and juicy summer sweet corn makes the best corn salsa for topping tacos, salads, bowl meals, or dipping with your favorite chips.
Total Cost $2.65 recipe / $0.44 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 ½ cup each
Calories 83kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 3 ears sweet corn $0.90
  • 2 Roma tomatoes $0.93
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion $0.07
  • 1 jalapeño $0.07
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro $0.17
  • 1 fresh lime (2 Tbsp juice) $0.50
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02

Instructions

  • Remove the husks and silk from the fresh corn. Cut the stem off the bottom to create a flat, stable surface on which to stand the ear of corn. Stand the ear of corn upright, stem side down, and slice downward with a sharp knife to remove the kernels. Place the sliced kernels in a large bowl.
  • Dice the tomatoes. Remove the seeds from the jalapeño, then finely dice. Finely dice the red onion, and roughly chop the cilantro. Add the tomatoes, jalapeño, onion, and cilantro to the bowl with the corn.
  • Juice the lime then drizzle about 2 Tbsp of the juice on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle the salt over top, give everything a good stir, taste, then adjust the lime or salt to your liking. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 83kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 196mg | Fiber: 2g
side view of a bowl full of fresh sweet corn salsa

How to Make Sweet Corn Salsa – Step by Step Photos

corn kernels sliced off an ear of corn in a baking tray

Remove the husk and silk from three ears of fresh sweet corn. Slice the stem off the bottom to create a flat surface on which to stand the ear of corn. Stand the ear up on its end, then use a sharp knife to slice downward to remove the kernels. I like to do this on a rimmed baking sheet to catch the kernels as they fall.

Diced roma tomatoes on a cutting board

Dice three Roma tomatoes. Try to make it a small dice, similar in size to the corn kernels.

Diced jalapeño, red onion, and chopped cilantro

Remove the seeds from one jalapeño, then finely dice. Finely dice about ¼ cup red onion and roughly chop about ¼ cup fresh cilantro.

lime juice being drizzled over the bowl of salsa ingredients

Add the corn, tomatoes, jalapeño, red onion, and cilantro to a bowl. Squeeze the juice from one lime, then add about 2 Tbsp of the juice to the bowl. Sprinkle ½ tsp salt over top.

Stirred fresh corn salsa in the bowl

Stir until everything is combined and coated in juice and salt.

overhead view of a bowl full of corn salsa

Serve immediately or refrigerate for later. If refrigerating, make sure to give it a good stir before serving to redistribute the juices.

The post Sweet Corn Salsa appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Oven Roasted Ratatouille

What happens when you take thinly sliced vegetables, layer them in a dish, add a rich red sauce, plenty of herbs, and a cheesy topping? You get this insanely delicious Oven Roasted Ratatouille, aka “the vegetable dish that vegetable haters won’t be able to get enough of.” While this interpretation of ratatouille isn’t exactly traditional, […]

The post Oven Roasted Ratatouille appeared first on Budget Bytes.

What happens when you take thinly sliced vegetables, layer them in a dish, add a rich red sauce, plenty of herbs, and a cheesy topping? You get this insanely delicious Oven Roasted Ratatouille, aka “the vegetable dish that vegetable haters won’t be able to get enough of.” While this interpretation of ratatouille isn’t exactly traditional, I think you’re going to love it. It kind of reminds me of pizza, but like, made out of really pretty vegetables (and it certainly made my house smell like pizza).

Originally posted 5-19-2014, updated 7-8-2021.

Overhead view of oven roasted ratatouille in the casserole dish with a serving spoon

What is Ratatouille?

Ratatouille is a classic French dish made of stewed vegetables, like tomato, zucchini, eggplant, onion, and bell pepper. It’s rich, comforting, and perfect for sopping up with a piece of crusty artisan bread or ladling over a bowl of polenta. As with most recipes that have been around for generations, there are many interpretations of ratatouille, and I definitely took mine in a different direction.

Rather than stewing the vegetables together in a pot, I chose to make an oven roasted ratatouille, which is a common alternative to the stewed version. Not only is oven roasting the sliced vegetables super pretty, but it’s a little more hands-off than stewing vegetables in a pot, which I appreciate. I also added marinara sauce to the bottom of my casserole dish which ends up mixing with the juices from the vegetables and creating the most delicious sauce (get some bread ready for dipping). Lastly, I topped with cheese, which definitely isn’t the norm for ratatouille, but it sure was delicious! And it really created that pizza-like effect. 

What Size Vegetables to Use

This recipe is extremely flexible. I’ve given some approximate weight values for the vegetables below, but you can really use whatever size you have available and whatever you can squeeze into your baking dish. But a word of advice–once sliced the volume of the vegetables always ends up being more than you estimated, so err on the side of smaller vegetables.

And you don’t have to make the vegetables line up or alternate perfectly in the dish. Just squeeze the slices in there and you’ll be good! I promise it will still taste great even if it doesn’t look perfect. ;) 

What Kind of Baking Dish to Use 

The size of the dish you’ll need will probably vary a bit with the size of your vegetables, but I would suggest using something in the neighborhood of a 9″x11″ rectangular casserole dish, or a 3 quart round dish. You can use a dish made with glass, ceramic, or metal. 

How to Serve Oven Roasted Ratatouille

Oven roasted ratatouille makes a delicious side dish for grilled or roasted meat, like Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Garlic Butter Baked Cod, or Herb Roasted Chicken Breast. You could also serve this as part of a vegetarian meal by pairing it with something like a rich and creamy risotto or serving it on top of a bowl of polenta.

side view of ratatouille in the casserole dish

oven roasted ratatouille with a portion scooped out of the corner

Oven Roasted Ratatouille

Oven roasted ratatouille combines all of summer's delicious vegetables into one rich, flavorful, and beautiful side dish.
Total Cost $5.68 recipe / $0.71 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 8 ¾ cup each
Calories 99kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup marinara sauce $0.50
  • 1 yellow onion $0.25
  • 1 eggplant (about 1 lb.) $1.49
  • 1 zucchini (about ½ lb.) $0.71
  • 1 yellow squash (about ½ lb.) $0.55
  • 3 Roma tomatoes $0.87
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/8 tsp Freshly cracked black pepper $0.01
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella $0.94
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley (optional) $0.09

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Thinly slice the yellow onion. Slice the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, and tomatoes into ⅛-inch thick slices. Cut any pieces with a larger diameter into half-rounds.
  • Pour the marinara in the bottom of a large casserole dish. Sprinkle the sliced onions over top.
  • Begin to line up the sliced eggplant, zucchini, squash, and tomatoes into the dish, standing on their sides, and in an alternating pattern until all of the pieces are used up. Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables, then sprinkle the basil, oregano, salt, and pepper over top.
  • Transfer the dish to the oven and roast the vegetables for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, remove the dish from the oven and sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over top. Return the casserole dish to the oven for five minutes, or until the cheese is melted and creamy.
  • After roasting, sprinkle the chopped parsley over top, then serve.

Notes

Try to purchase vegetables that are a close size in diameter to make layering easier.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 99kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 291mg | Fiber: 3g

How to Make Oven Roasted Ratatouille – Step by Step Photos

Eggplant, onion, squash, and tomatoes whole on a cutting board

For this recipe, I used one small eggplant (about 1 lb.), one yellow onion, one yellow squash (1/2 lb.), one zucchini (½ lb.), and three Roma tomatoes. The eggplant, squash, zucchini, and tomatoes are the vegetables that will get layered pretty in the dish, while the onion will be hiding underneath in a base layer.

Sliced eggplant, squash, zucchini, and tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Thinly slice the eggplant, squash, zucchini, and tomatoes. You want everything to be similar in height when placed in the casserole dish, so for pieces with a larger diameter, you’ll want to slice those in half (I did this for the eggplant and larger ends of the squash and zucchini). Aim for ⅛-inch thick slices. 

onion and marinara in the casserole dish

Thinly slice the onion. Spread 1 cup marinara in the bottom of a large casserole dish. Sprinkle the sliced onion over top.

Layered vegetables in the casserole dish

Layer the vegetables in the dish standing up on their sides, like cards in a card catalog (wait, did I just date myself??). They do NOT need to be perfect. Just start squeezing them in as best you can. It’s nice to try to alternate them in a pattern, but once you get toward the end you might have more left of one type of vegetable, so just start popping them in there anywhere they’ll fit. Drizzle 1 Tbsp olive oil over top. Sprinkle ½ tsp dried basil, ½ tsp dried oregano, ⅛ tsp freshly cracked pepper, and ¼ tsp salt on top of the vegetables.

Roasted ratatouille in the casserole dish

Transfer the dish to the preheated 400ºF oven and roast for 40 minutes.

Cheese being sprinkled on top of the ratatouille

After 40 minutes, remove the dish from the oven and sprinkle 1 cup of shredded mozzarella on top. Return the dish to the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and creamy.

Melted cheese on oven roasted ratatouille

Top with a little chopped parsley, then serve!

oven roasted ratatouille with a portion scooped out of the corner

So delicious… and it’s just begging for a beautiful baguette to bathe in it. Mmmmm. You’ve got to spoon some of that sauce from the bottom of the pan onto your plate!

Close up side view of ratatouille in the casserole dish

Closer look? So pretty. I ❤️ vegetables!

The post Oven Roasted Ratatouille appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Extra Thick Homemade Pizza Sauce

No one likes a watery pizza. That’s why our favorite homemade pizza sauce is extra thick, like bordering on tomato paste-thick, not to mention packed with garlic, herbs, and an intense tomato flavor. While you might be tempted to use a pizza sauce straight from the jar, we find most commercial sauces far too thin […]

The post Extra Thick Homemade Pizza Sauce first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

No one likes a watery pizza. That’s why our favorite homemade pizza sauce is extra thick, like bordering on tomato paste-thick, not to mention packed with garlic, herbs, and an intense tomato flavor.

While you might be tempted to use a pizza sauce straight from the jar, we find most commercial sauces far too thin for our tastes, resulting in sad, soggy pizza centers. If chewy, crispy-bottomed pizza crust is your jam (it sure is ours), we find the extra time to make a batch of this extra-thick homemade sauce is well worth the effort.

White bowl with homemade pizza sauce and spoon, homemade pizza on a plate in the background

The texture of this extra-thick pizza sauce falls somewhere in between tomato sauce and tomato paste, probably leaning more towards the paste end of the spectrum when all is said and done.

The flavor is so intense you really only need a few spoonfuls on your pizza (2-3 tablespoons is just about right for a 9-inch two person pizza); that small quantity packs the same amount of flavor without the extra liquid.

Seasoning-wise it’s deceivingly simple, just a bit of garlic sautéed in olive oil, salt, pepper, and dried Italian herb seasoning to help enhance the tomato flavor even further.

Paired with our favorite pizza crust recipe and assorted toppings of your choice, you’re in for a truly epic pizza night.

(more…)

Quick Burrito Bowl

This burrito bowl recipe is a lightning fast easy dinner idea! Add veggies and drizzle with creamy chipotle ranch dressing.…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This burrito bowl recipe is a lightning fast easy dinner idea! Add veggies and drizzle with creamy chipotle ranch dressing.

Burrito bowl recipe

Here’s a quick dinner idea that’s always satisfying and works for nearly every diet. That’s right, the good old Burrito Bowl! We can thank Chipotle for its widespread popularity, but it really is a killer idea. Throw rice, veggies, and burrito fillings in a bowl and call it meal! Here’s the thing: a good burrito bowl can actually take a while to make at home with all the components. Want a burrito bowl that’s lightening fast to make? We’ve got you. In fact, you can make this one 15 minutes (we timed ourselves).

How to make a burrito bowl… fast!

The longest lead time item in a burrito bowl is the rice. If you want to make a speedy bowl, you’ve got to short cut the rice cook time. There are a few options:

  • Fastest: Use packaged pre-cooked rice! There are a few brands on the market (we used Seeds of Change)
  • Fast: Cook the rice the night before, then reheat it with a splash of water on the stovetop
  • Medium speed: Cook white rice in 20 minutes on the stovetop, or even better make Cilantro Lime Rice
  • Longest: Cook brown rice in 45 minutes on the stovetop (consider doing this in advance)
Black bean and corn salad

Make shortcut black bean salad

The other key to this quick burrito bowl? Our shortcut Black Bean and Corn Salad! We discovered this trick and have been using it ever since. All you have to do is mix together 3 ingredients, and you’ve got a salad that tastes like you spend hours chopping. The keys? Mix together:

  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 cup purchased pico de gallo: you’ll find this packaged in the refrigerated section at your local grocery! It may be labeled pico de gallo or fresh salsa. It’s a total lifesaver and adds a tangy zing to the entire salad.

You can also use the Black Bean and Corn Salad as a shortcut black bean salsa dip for chips, or try it in our Shrimp Bowls.

Burrito bowl

Whip up the chipotle ranch dressing

When we timed ourselves making this burrito bowl, we used pre-cooked packaged rice for maximum speed. So we had plenty of time to whip up this Chipotle Ranch Dressing! It’s so delicious and easy to put together. Here are the magic ingredients:

  • Yogurt plus mayonnaise: Using yogurt with the mayo helps cut down calories but maintains some of the richness of standard ranch dressing.
  • Adobo sauce: You’ll use adobo sauce from a can of chipotle chilis. It’s typically easy to find this ingredient next to the Mexican ingredients in your grocery. Only use the sauce from the can.

Want a milder version of this sauce, especially for kids? Just use half the adobo sauce (1 tablespoon). It won’t be spicy, but it will still have great smoky flavor!

Chipotle ranch dressing

Burrito bowl recipe variations

The best part about a burrito bowl, in our opinion? You can customize it to any diet. In fact, you can make these bowls for a crowd and provide options for everyone. It’s absolutely our go-to for large gatherings! As is, this burrito bowl is vegetarian and gluten free. Here’s how to modify it for other diets:

Other add ins!

Of course, you can also make this burrito bowl a whole lot fancier. We designed it as a quick weeknight meal. But if you’re hosting a dinner party, here are ways to step it up:

Let us know what you think of this quick burrito bowl recipe: we hope it comes in handy for times when you need a healthy dinner…fast!

Burrito bowl recipe

More bowl meals

Love meals in a bowl? Us too! Here are a few of our top bowl meals to try:

This burrito bowl recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, use chipotle sauce.

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Burrito bowl recipe

Quick Burrito Bowl


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

Description

This burrito bowl is a lightning fast easy dinner idea! Add veggies and drizzle with creamy chipotle ranch dressing.


Ingredients

For the burrito bowl

For the chipotle ranch (use chipotle sauce for vegan)

  • ½ cup plain whole milk yogurt (or Greek yogurt plus 1 tablespoon water)
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 each teaspoon each dried dill, garlic powder and onion powder
  • 1/4 each teaspoon each kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotle chilis**

Instructions

  1. Cook the rice: make the Stovetop White Rice, Stovetop Brown Rice,Instant Pot Rice, or Cilantro Lime Rice. Alternatively, buy a precooked package that cooks in 2 minutes (like Seeds of Change brand). When the rice is done, fluff it with a fork and add a few pinches salt and a drizzle of olive oil, to taste (don’t skip this step!).
  2. Make the black bean and corn salad: In a bowl, mix together the beans (drained and rinsed), corn, and pico de gallo with the kosher salt.
  3. Chop the veggies: Cut the avocado. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half, and thinly slice the onions.
  4. Make the chipotle ranch: Mix all dressing ingredients in a small bowl until fully combined.
  5. Serve: Add the rice to bowls, then top with the black bean and corn salad, veggies, and chipotle ranch dressing.

Notes

*You’ll find this packaged in the refrigerated section at your local grocery: it may be labeled pico de gallo or fresh salsa. If you can’t find it, make homemade Pico de Gallo.

**Customize to your heat level. For a mild version, use 1 tablespoon adobo sauce.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican inspired

Keywords: Burrito bowl

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Beef and Cauliflower Taco Skillet

This beef and cauliflower taco skillet has layers of flavor, color, and texture, and all of your favorite taco flavors in one hearty bowl.

The post Beef and Cauliflower Taco Skillet appeared first on Budget Bytes.

A couple of months ago I posted a side dish, Southwest Cauliflower Rice, and ever since I’ve been dying to flesh it out into a main dish. This week I finally got around to it, and OMG, so good! I added some ground beef, black beans, and a bunch of fresh ingredients on top, so you get this wonderful mix of hot and cold flavors and textures, kind of like when you eat a taco, but in bowl form.

Overhead view of beef and cauliflower taco skillet with vegetables on the side and a spatula in the side

Is it Spicy?

The heat level in this recipe depends on the spiciness of two ingredients: the canned diced tomatoes with green chiles (like Ro-tel) and your chili powder. Unfortunately, with both of these ingredients, some brands are spicy and some are not. So you may need to do some experimenting to find the brands that match the heat level that you prefer.

Fresh or Frozen Cauliflower Rice?

You can use either fresh homemade cauliflower rice or frozen store-bought cauliflower rice for this recipe. Both types of riced cauliflower cook very quickly and you shouldn’t need to make any changes to the recipe based on the type of cauliflower rice used.

Take the Taco Seasoning Short Cut

The recipe below includes all the herbs and spices in my homemade taco seasoning. If you don’t have a well stocked spice cabinet, you can use a packet of store-bought taco seasoning in place of the chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper listed in the recipe below.

Other Topping Ideas

This recipe is so flexible! If you don’t like some of the toppings that I used, here are some other ideas:

Make it Low Carb or Vegetarian

If you want to make this tasty skillet low-carb, you can skip the black beans and use a full pound of ground beef instead.

If you want to make this taco skillet vegetarian, add an extra can of beans in place of the ground beef. You can use an extra can of black beans, or add a can of pinto or kidney beans.

Close up side view of beef and cauliflower taco skillet being scooped out of the skillet
overhead view of beef and cauliflower taco skillet with vegetables on the sides

Beef and Cauliflower Taco Skillet

This beef and cauliflower taco skillet has layers of flavor, color, and texture, and all of your favorite taco flavors in one hearty bowl.
Total Cost $7.74 recipe . /$1.94 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Calories 467kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef $2.50
  • 3 cups riced cauliflower $1.25
  • 1 10oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles $0.55
  • 1 15oz. can black beans $0.50
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder $0.30
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika $0.10
  • 1 tsp ground cumin $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp pepper $0.02
  • 2 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded $0.38
  • 1 avocado $0.99
  • 1 tomato $0.46
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion $0.10
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro $0.10

Instructions

  • Mince the garlic. Add the garlic, olive oil, and ground beef to a large skillet and cook over medium heat until the ground beef is browned. If you're using a high fat content beef, you may want to drain off the excess fat before the next step.
  • Drain the can of black beans and add them to the skillet along with the diced tomatoes with green chiles (not drained), chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir and cook until the skillet is simmering.
  • Add the riced cauliflower to the skillet (no need to thaw, if frozen). Continue to stir and cook over medium heat until the cauliflower is tender (about five minutes).
  • While the beef and cauliflower are heating, dice the tomato, avocado, and red onion. Roughly chop the cilantro.
  • Top the beef and cauliflower mixture with the shredded cheddar. Place a lid on the skillet, and let it heat over medium for a few minutes, or until the cheddar has melted.
  • Once the cheese is melted, top the skillet with the tomato, avocado, red onion, and cilantro. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 467kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 28g | Sodium: 360mg | Fiber: 14g
beef and cauliflower taco skillet in a bowl with a fork on the side

How to Make Beef and Cauliflower Taco Skillet – Step by Step Photos

browned ground beef in a skillet

Mince two cloves of garlic. Add the garlic to a large skillet with 1 Tbsp olive oil and ½ lb. ground beef. Cook over medium heat until the ground beef is browned.

Tomatoes, beans, and seasoning added to the skillet

Drain one 15oz. can of black beans and add them to the skillet along with one 10oz. can of diced tomatoes with green chiles (not drained), 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp cumin, ½ tsp oregano, ¼ tsp salt, and ⅛ tsp pepper. Continue to cook and stir until the skillet is simmering.

Frozen riced cauliflower added to the skillet.

Add 3 cups riced cauliflower to the skillet. Continue to cook and stir until the riced cauliflower is tender (about 5 minutes).

Diced tomato, avocado, and onion

While the cauliflower and beef are heating, dice one tomato and one avocado. Finely dice about ¼ cup red onion. Roughly chop one small handful of cilantro.

Shredded cheddar being added to the skillet

Top the skillet with 2 oz. (about ½ cup) shredded cheddar cheese. Place a lid on the skillet and let it heat over medium for a few minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

skillet topped with fresh tomato, avocado, red onion, and cilantro

Once the cheese is melted, top with the fresh tomato, avocado, red onion, and cilantro, then serve!

A fork lifting a bite of beef and cauliflower taco skillet out of a bowl

That’s one FLAVORFUL bowl!!

The post Beef and Cauliflower Taco Skillet appeared first on Budget Bytes.