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.

Print
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

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

These deliciously easy banana oatmeal pancakes are made in a blender using oats and bananas: no flour! They’re delicious with…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

These deliciously easy banana oatmeal pancakes are made in a blender using oats and bananas: no flour! They’re delicious with a healthy spin.

Banana oatmeal pancakes

Here at A Couple Cooks, we love pancakes that taste good and are full of nutrient-dense whole foods. Enter, these healthy banana oatmeal pancakes! They’re a mashup of our fan-favorite Oatmeal Pancakes and Banana Pancakes and man, are they delicious. We literally could not stop eating them (excuse me for stuffing my face…!). Even better: they’re made mainly of oats and bananas in a blender. That’s right: no all purpose flour at all! No one will believe the magic.

Why make these banana oatmeal pancakes?

Let’s get our unpopular opinion out there right now: most pancakes are an excuse to eat cake for breakfast. (Sorry!) But to be honest: a huge dose of sugar and refined flour in the morning doesn’t make us feel so great. The hearty, wholesome option? These banana oatmeal pancakes. What’s great about them?

  • They’re made mainly of oats: no flour. This makes them 100% whole grain and naturally gluten free pancakes. You’ll find they stick with you: they’re filling and make your stomach feel full, not ready for a sugar crash! It’s basically like eating a bowl of oatmeal.
  • They’re so easy to make! All you need is a blender and these pancakes come together in a breeze.
  • They’ve got amazing flavor. Take one bite, and you’ll be a believer. We promise!
Banana oatmeal pancakes

They’re easy to make: in a blender!

How to make pancakes easy? Simply whiz up everything in a blender and you’re ready to go! For some reason, using a blender seems easier than whisking everything together: maybe because there’s a little less mess? Then cook them up the same as a standard pancake.

The batter for these banana oatmeal pancakes is a slightly more delicate than a standard pancake since these oatmeal blender pancakes have no gluten. But they don’t require a lot of extra babying! It should feel essentially the same as a normal pancake when they’re on the griddle.

Variations on these banana oatmeal pancakes

Here are a few variations on these banana oatmeal pancakes:

  • Dairy free: Use almond milk instead of standard milk, and neutral oil instead of butter. Try vegan yogurt for the yogurt, or you can just add the same amount of non-dairy milk.
  • Vegan / plant based: Honestly, we’d recommend our Vegan Pancakes instead. But you can try using flax eggs in place of the egg! To learn more, go to How to make a flax egg.
Banana oatmeal pancakes

How to step up these banana oatmeal pancakes

We love serving these banana oatmeal pancakes with just a drizzle of maple syrup! Of course it’s essential to be light-handed on toppings for a healthy pancake recipe, or it kind of negates the purpose of being healthier in the first place, right? Here are a few fun ways to dress up your gluten free banana oatmeal pancakes, with a healthy spin:

Love banana flavor? Our Healthy Banana Muffins or Healthy Banana Bread use the same method! Or browse our favorite banana recipes.

More great pancakes recipes

Want more pancakes recipes? We’ve got ’em! Try our original oatmeal pancakes and more:

This banana oatmeal pancakes recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten free, and dairy free. For vegan and plant-based, substitute a flax egg for the eggs.

Print

Banana Oatmeal Pancakes (Best Ever!)


  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: About 9 large or 12 small pancakes

Description

These deliciously easy banana oatmeal pancakes are made in a blender using oats and bananas: no flour! They’re delicious with a healthy spin. NOTE: Recipe updated 5/26/2021 to address reader comments. 


Ingredients

  • 2 cups Old Fashioned rolled oats
  • ¼ cup plain or vanilla yogurt (Greek or whole milk work)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup milk of choice
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted (or neutral oil)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (or maple syrup)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup mashed bananas  (2 medium)

Instructions

  1. Place the oats, Greek yogurt, eggs, milk, melted butter, brown sugar, vanilla, baking powder and kosher salt in a blender. Blend on high until a smooth batter forms. 
  2. Mash the bananas, then stir them into the blender with a spatula. 
  3. Lightly grease a skillet with butter and wipe off extra grease with a paper towel. Heat the skillet over low heat. Add a few more tablespoons milk to the better until it is still thick but can pour out of the blender. Pour the batter into small circles. Cook the pancakes until the bubbles pop on the top and the bottoms are golden: low and slow is the key! Then flip them and cook until golden on the other side. 
  4. Add another tablespoon or two to the remaining batter and stir so that it is pourable. Cook the remaining batter, adjusting the heat as necessary (the skillet can get very hot on the second batch). Place the cooked pancakes under an inverted bowl to keep them warm. Serve immediately with maple syrup.
  • Category: Brunch
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

Last updated: June 2021

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Easy Frittata Recipe

Here’s the best egg frittata recipe: perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner! This basic filling is fast and tasty, or…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Here’s the best egg frittata recipe: perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner! This basic filling is fast and tasty, or any veggies you like.

Frittata

Got eggs and need a meal? Enter, The Frittata! A frittata is an Italian dish that’s best described as a crustless egg pie. It’s often served for breakfast or brunch, but it works for dinner too. You can eat it at any temperature and it saves well: and it’s great for using up odds and ends in your veggie drawer. In fact, we think it’s one of the essential non-recipes every home cook should know!

How to make a frittata: basic formula

Everyone has their own method for making a frittata, and to be honest: there are some duds out there. Many frittata recipes we’ve tried are tasteless, rubbery, or too thin. A good frittata should have lots of flavor and a nice moist texture that’s not too eggy. Here are a few tips on how to achieve this (or skip to the recipe below);

  • Use 8 eggs and a 10-inch skillet. This gives just the right thickness of frittata.
  • Use whole or 2% milk. The dairy fat helps to achieve the desired texture.
  • Use cheese. The combination of feta and Parmesan adds just the right savory nuance to the flavor.
Frittata recipe
The thickness is deliciously substantial

Why this frittata recipe is the best

Why is this frittata recipe better than others on the internet? Well, we’re a little biased (obviously). But this is the best one we’ve tasted. Here’s why:

  • It’s got just the right thickness and texture. Many recipes come out very thin or rubbery. This one has just the right texture.
  • The spinach feta filling is perfectly salted, savory and delicious. You can make it with lots of different fillings, but try the one in the recipe below. It’s a knock out!

Frittata filling ideas

The filling in this frittata recipe is spinach and feta: our ideal filling that we make again and again! Why? It’s easy, and only requires 2 to 3 minutes of sautéing the spinach before assembling the frittata. But if you want to get fancy, there are so many different combinations! Here’s what to know about filling:

  • Chop and sauté the vegetables first. The veggies will not cook inside the frittata: so make sure to give them a good sauté before assembling. Make sure the pieces are bite sized and not too large.
  • Herbs can be used fresh. A nice sprinkling of chopped basil, oregano, thyme, or dill doesn’t need any heat.

Some creative filling combinations to get you started:

How to make a frittata

Find the right frittata pan

The only equipment you’ll need to make a frittata recipe? The right pan. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 10-inch seasoned cast-iron skillet. Make sure that it’s well-seasoned to break it in before making this recipe (otherwise it will stick).
  • Or, a 10-inch oven-safe skillet. You’ll cook on the stovetop first, then place it in the oven to finish cooking. Speaking of…

Start on the stovetop, finish in the oven

The key to a frittata recipe is watching it closely during the cooking! You’ll cook it in two parts: first the stovetop, then the oven. Here’s what to look out for:

  • Cook on the stovetop until the top is set and the bottom is lightly browned. Don’t overcook, or it will get too browned in the oven! We like to use a spatula to pull back the sides and check to see if it’s firming up.
  • Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until the top solidifies. You’ll want it to just harden into a solid texture on the top.
Frittata recipe

What to serve with a frittata

Let’s say you’re making this frittata recipe for dinner. What to serve with it? It’s easy to think about breakfast or brunch side dishes (hash browns, biscuits, etc). But what about dinner sides? Here’s what we like to pair:

More tasty egg recipes

More to do with eggs? We’re egg-sperts (sorry!) with using this ingredient to whip up meals. Here are some favorite egg recipes for dinner…and for eggs for breakfast:

This frittata recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

Print
Frittata

Easy Frittata Recipe


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Here’s how to make a frittata recipe: an easy breakfast, lunch or dinner! This basic filling idea is fast and tasty, or any veggies you have on hand.


Ingredients

  • 8 large eggs
  • ¼ cup milk (whole or 2%)
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup feta crumbles, plus more for sprinkling*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 ounces (about 6 cups) packed spinach leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Optional: fresh basil leaves, for the garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, oregano, kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Whisk in the Parmesan and feta cheese.

  3. In a 10-inch oven-safe skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the spinach leaves, stirring until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes, spreading it around as you cook so that you spread oil up the sides of the pan. Add the garlic powder and 2 pinches kosher salt and sauté for another minute.

  4. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet. If necessary, use a fork to rearrange the spinach in an even layer so you can see if on the top. Sprinkle the top with a little more feta cheese. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes over medium heat until the bottom is set and lightly browned, checking for doneness by pulling back the side with a spatula.

  5. Place the skillet in the oven and bake 10 to 12 minutes until the top is puffed, set, and slightly browned. Let rest for 10 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve warm, with sour cream or crème fraiche if desired. Leftovers save well: refrigerate for up to 5 days and serve them cold, room temperature, or warmed.

Notes

*Or use goat cheese crumbles or mozzarella cheese and add one more pinch of salt. 

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Frittata, Frittata recipe, How to make a frittata

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Easy BBQ Tofu

This epic BBQ tofu recipe is fast, easy and full of savory sweet flavor! A great way to make anyone…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This epic BBQ tofu recipe is fast, easy and full of savory sweet flavor! A great way to make anyone into a tofu fan.

BBQ Tofu

Here’s a must-make recipe for tofu fans: and eaters on the fence, too. Try this irresistible BBQ Tofu recipe! Each bite has just the right chewy texture, bathed in a silky, sweet, savory sauce. You’ll want to keep eating it for days. This plate disappeared very quickly at our house! This recipe is easy to put together and a great starter recipe for people who are wary of the stuff. In fact, it might turn them into unabashed fans,

How to make BBQ tofu: fast & easy

One huge advantage to this recipe: you can use the tofu out of the package, no pressing required! Many tofu recipes call for pressing the water out of the tofu for 30 minutes prior to making the recipe. But if you’re like us, you don’t have an extra 30 minutes to spare. This BBQ tofu recipe uses tofu right out of the package! Here are the basic steps (but for the full recipe, scroll down!):

  • Cut the tofu and pat it dry with a towel.
  • Pan fry it 5 minutes in a skillet on medium high heat. Flip and cook 5 minutes more.
  • Add BBQ sauce, soy sauce and chili sauce and cook another 4 minutes on low heat until the sauce thickens.

That’s it! It’s one of the fastest, easiest ways to make tofu taste irresistibly good.

BBQ Tofu

Use a good BBQ sauce

We used an organic BBQ sauce for this BBQ tofu recipe. Using a quality brand is key, because the flavor of sauces can vary. Look for sauces that are sweetened with sugar or natural ingredients, not high fructose corn syrup. You can also use homemade BBQ sauce, like one of these recipes:

We also have Mustard BBQ Sauce and White BBQ Sauce recipes, but they’re a bit different in character so we wouldn’t suggest them here.

Vegan BBQ sauce

Is tofu healthy?

Misinformation swirls about tofu and soy products. Is tofu healthy? Here’s what to know about eating tofu and other soy products like tempeh and edamame:

  • Tofu in moderation is part of a healthy diet (several times per week). Per to the Harvard School of Nutrition, soy is a nutrient-dense source of protein that can safely be consumed several times a week.
  • Tofu is likely to provide health benefits, especially when you eat it as an alternative to red meat and processed meat. For more, go to Straight Talk About Soy and Is Tofu Good for You?

Ways to serve this BBQ tofu recipe

Once you’ve got your BBQ tofu recipe, there are endless ways to serve it! Turn it into a healthy dinner recipe with a few easy sides. Here are a few of the ways we’d pair it with sides to make a meal:

BBQ tofu recipe

More great ways to eat tofu

Here at A Couple Cooks, we used to avoid tofu because it felt like it was trying to be meat. But we’ve learned that tofu is so much more than that! It’s a delicious plant-based protein that can be eaten in so many delicious ways. Here are some favorites:

This BBQ tofu recipe is…

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

Print
BBQ Tofu

Easy BBQ Tofu


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This epic BBQ tofu recipe is fast, easy and full of savory sweet flavor! A great way to make anyone into a tofu fan.


Ingredients

  • 14-ounces firm or extra firm tofu*
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil
  • Kosher salt
  • ¾ cup BBQ sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ tablespoon chili garlic sauce, if desired

Instructions

  1. Cut the tofu into large cubes (about 1.5″ x 2″) and pat it dry with a towel.
  2. Add the oil to a non-stick pan and add the tofu cubes and a few pinches kosher salt. Turn on the heat to medium-high. Cook 5 to 6 minutes until lightly browned on the bottom.
  3. Briefly remove the pan from the heat to reduce spitting. Flip the tofu with chopsticks (the easiest method!) or tongs. Return the heat to medium-high and cook additional 5 to 6 minutes until browned.
  4. Meanwhile, stir together the BBQ sauce, soy sauce and chili garlic sauce.
  5. Briefly remove the pan from the heat again and drizzle with the sauce (watch for spitting). Return to low heat and cook 4 minutes, turning occasionally, until sauce is thickened. Serve immediately.

Notes

*Note: You can also use this method with Grilled Tofu: simply substitute BBQ sauce for the sauce in that recipe.

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

Keywords: BBQ Tofu, BBQ Tofu Recipe

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Gin Basil Smash

Here’s the perfect summer cocktail for when herbs abound: the Gin Basil Smash! Use your basil plant for this refreshing…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Here’s the perfect summer cocktail for when herbs abound: the Gin Basil Smash! Use your basil plant for this refreshing and herbaceous drink.

Gin basil smash

Got basil? Love gin? Here’s the ideal drink for you: the Gin Basil Smash! This modern spin on the Whiskey Smash is light and herbaceous, pairing peppery basil with botanical gin. If there’s summer in a cocktail glass, this is it! We love drinking our herbs all season long, and this new addition to our summer cocktails perfectly captures that feeling of fresh cut grass between your toes and sticky melted popsicle fingers. (At least, we think so!)

What’s in a Gin Basil Smash?

The Gin Basil Smash is a cocktail made with gin, basil and fresh lemon juice, a riff on the popular Whiskey Smash. First published as a recipe in 1887, the Whiskey Smash pairs lemon, mint, sugar and crushed ice as a refreshing summer cocktail. Substitute in basil and gin, and you’ve got this drink.

This gin variation was invented in 2008 by a man named Jörg Meyer, owner of the Germany bar Bar Le Lion, who posted the recipe on his website. It became an international success and is now made around the world. (Read more about the origin story.) Here’s what you need to make a Gin Basil Smash:

  • Gin
  • Basil leaves
  • Lemon juice
  • Simple syrup
Gin basil smash

How to muddle basil

The best time to make a Gin Basil Smash? The summer, when you have a big pot of bright green basil! You’ll need 8 to 10 basil leaves per drink, so it’s more economical to go the home-grown route. The cocktail skill we’ll use to extract that delicious, peppery flavor is called muddling. Muddling is gently mashing herbs to release their juices, which helps the flavors incorporate into drinks.

When it comes to herbs, you’ll want to have a gentle touch when muddling. Here’s how to muddle herbs, including basil:

  • Place the basil leaves in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. If you don’t have one, you can use a large metal cup or bowl.
  • With a wooden cocktail muddler or unfinished wooden spoon, gently mash the mint a few times to release the juices. Do not mash the basil with lots of force! The key to muddling is a light touch.

Basil is so easy to grow at home! Go to How to Grow Basil and How to Harvest Basil for more.

Best gin to use

Any type of gin works for a Gin Basil Smash! Try to find a mid-priced bottle, since price is usually indicative of quality when it comes to spirits. Here are a few tips for buying gin:

  • Every brand is different. There’s a wide range of botanical flavors in different brands of gin. Experiment to find your favorite!
  • Malfy gin is a good option: it has a nice balance of flavors.
  • Steer away from Tanqueray gin: in our opinion, it’s a little too floral.
Gin basil smash

More basil cocktails & mint cocktails

There are so many ways to use fresh herbs in cocktails in the summer! Here are a few more ideas:

When to serve a Gin Basil Smash

This refreshing cocktail is perfect for summer when basil abounds, but of course it works year round. Try it as a:

  • Summer cocktail
  • Happy hour drink
  • Dinner party drink
  • Late night drinks drink
  • Guys or girls night drink
  • Cocktail hour drink
Print
Gin basil smash

Gin Basil Smash


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

Description

Here’s the perfect summer cocktail for when herbs abound: the Gin Basil Smash! Use your basil plant for this refreshing and herbaceous drink.


Ingredients

  • 8 to 10 large basil leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 2 ½ ounces* gin
  • ¾ ounce lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup
  • Ice, for serving (try clear ice)

Instructions

  1. Place the basil leaves in a cocktail shaker and muddle them (gently mash).
  2. Add the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup to the cocktail shaker. Add 2 handfuls ice and shake until cold.
  3. Strain the drink into an ice-filled lowball glass. If desired, top with splash of soda water. Garnish with additional basil leaves.

Notes

*To convert to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons. 

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails

Keywords: Gin basil smash

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Gluten Free Banana Bread

This epic gluten free banana bread recipe will make its way into your heart on first bite! It’s deliciously moist…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This epic gluten free banana bread recipe will make its way into your heart on first bite! It’s deliciously moist and made with oats.

Gluten free banana bread

Who needs AP flour, really? This one’s our favorite banana bread recipe…and there’s no flour to speak of. Just good old fashioned oats, bananas and a bit of magic. Try this golden brown Gluten Free Banana Bread recipe! It’s got just the right moist texture, nuanced sweetness, and pure banana flavor. There’s a crunchy sugar topping, too (yum). Whip it all up in a blender and wait while comfy, cozy aroma winds it’s way from the oven.

What you need for gluten free banana bread

For gluten free banana bread, there are three basic options for the flour component. Make it with oat flour, almond flour, or gluten free flour. Gluten free flour can have additives and gums, so we don’t generally use it in our recipes. Almond flour is delicious but send the calories through the roof. So we picked oats! You’ll use the same trick behind our Healthy Banana Muffins: blend them up until they form a natural flour. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Old Fashioned rolled oats (not steel cut or instant oats)
  • Very ripe bananas
  • Sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • Baking soda, baking powder and salt
  • Eggs
  • Neutral oil
  • Honey
  • Vanilla and cinnamon
  • Turbinado sugar, for topping
Gluten free banana bread recipe

Tips for this banana bread recipe

This gluten free banana bread is a riff on some of our blender muffins and breads, but even better. We’ve tested it time upon time to get it just right! Here are a few things to keep in mind when you make it:

  • Use the ripest possible bananas. This is the cardinal rule of banana bread, and especially true with the gluten free variety. Don’t attempt this without brown bananas.
  • Mash and measure the bananas. You’ll use half in the blender, then stir in half so the batter gets a lumpy texture: just like normal banana bread!
  • Allow to come to room temp before cutting. This is important, since it doesn’t have gluten to hold it together.
  • Cut large slices. This also helps the bread stay together without gluten.

How to tell when it’s done

This banana bread gets dry when overbaked. How to know when it’s done? The top should be puffed and golden brown. When you insert a toothpick, it will come out mostly dry but with some crumbs still clinging to it. If you push it to a fully dry toothpick, the bread will be too dry. Trust us!

Gluten free banana bread

Gluten free banana bread mix-ins

You can add mix-ins to this gluten-free banana bread, but read this important note first. Adding anything to the texture of this banana bread can cause it to be less stable when sliced. If you do want to add mix-ins, chop them as small as possible. For example:

  • Try mini or small chocolate chips
  • Chop walnuts or pecans very small

More gluten free banana recipes

Love this gluten free quick bread concept? We’ve got lots of fun ways to vary it. Here are some more riffs on the idea:

Gluten free banana bread

This gluten free banana bread recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

Print
Gluten free banana bread

Gluten Free Banana Bread


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 slices
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This delicious gluten free banana bread recipe will make its way into your heart on first bite! It’s deliciously moist and made with oats.


Ingredients

  • 3 cups Old Fashioned rolled oats (do not use steel cut or instant oats)
  • 1 ½ cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 4 medium bananas)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar or coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 eggs (or flax eggs for vegan)
  • ½ cup neutral oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • Turbinado sugar or more granulated sugar, for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  
  2. Grease an 8 or 9-inch bread pan with oil.
  3. Add the oats to a blender and blend until the oats are finely ground and resemble a flour. Add ¾ cup of the mashed bananas, the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, kosher salt, eggs, neutral oil, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon, stirring a bit with a spatula to incorporate the liquids a bit before you start. Blend until a smooth batter forms, stopping and scraping the bowl of the blender as necessary. Stir in the remaining ¾ cup bananas with a spatula so the batter comes to a lightly lumpy texture (like you’d expect in a good banana bread!). 
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Top with a sprinkle of turbinado sugar or more granulated sugar.
  5. Bake 50 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick comes out mostly clean but with some clinging crumbs (the exact timing depends on the size of pan and your oven). 
  6. Allow to cool in the pan until room temperature (this is important for the texture). Run a knife around the edges and invert. Slice into thick pieces and serve (because it’s 100% oats, thicker slices are better). Storage info: Stores for about 3 days at room temperature: keep it on a cutting board and cover with a towel. Or store refrigerated for 1 week, or freeze it in slices for up to 3 months.
  • Category: Baked Good
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Quick Bread

Keywords: Gluten free banana bread

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Portobello Mushroom Pizza

This portobello mushroom pizza flips the typical pizza on its head! Use the mushroom as a crust for an easy dinner or side dish. Portobello mushroom pizza sounds like mushrooms are the toppings, right? Well, meet the new best way to use portobellos on pizza: as the crust! There’s no veggie that’s not delicious with pizza on top, and mushrooms are no exception. These meaty giant fungi make the perfect personal pizza size for all your favorite toppings. Use the idea as a tasty gluten free dinner, or a fun side dish. Here’s how to pull off this trick! Basic idea for portobello mushroom pizza The concept of portobello mushroom pizza is very simple: roast the mushrooms, add the toppings, and bake until the cheese melts. But as with any recipe, there are a few helpful hints to keep in mind for the process. Brush the portbello caps with oil and spices. Get them fully covered, then sprinkle with salt. Roast at 450 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, until nice and tender. Drain of all excess water! This is the most important part of the process. Mushrooms are full of water, and release water as they bake. Discard all […]

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

This portobello mushroom pizza flips the typical pizza on its head! Use the mushroom as a crust for an easy dinner or side dish.

Portobello Mushroom Pizza

Portobello mushroom pizza sounds like mushrooms are the toppings, right? Well, meet the new best way to use portobellos on pizza: as the crust! There’s no veggie that’s not delicious with pizza on top, and mushrooms are no exception. These meaty giant fungi make the perfect personal pizza size for all your favorite toppings. Use the idea as a tasty gluten free dinner, or a fun side dish. Here’s how to pull off this trick!

Basic idea for portobello mushroom pizza

The concept of portobello mushroom pizza is very simple: roast the mushrooms, add the toppings, and bake until the cheese melts. But as with any recipe, there are a few helpful hints to keep in mind for the process.

  • Brush the portbello caps with oil and spices. Get them fully covered, then sprinkle with salt.
  • Roast at 450 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, until nice and tender.
  • Drain of all excess water! This is the most important part of the process. Mushrooms are full of water, and release water as they bake. Discard all of the water to avoid watery pizza.
  • Top and bake again. Just a few more minutes in the oven is all they need: just to melt the cheese!
Portobello pizza

Key to the flavor: Pecorino Romano cheese

Here’s a tip we love to use for topping any type of pizza: use Pecorino Romano cheese! Pecorino Romano cheese is an aged Italian cheese that’s similar to Parmesan, but even saltier and more savory. Trust us: this will revolutionize your pizza! Put a few sprinkles on a portobello pizza and it’s gold.

What’s a Pecorino substitute? Parmesan cheese is pretty close, but doesn’t have quite the magic of Pecorino. If you do decide to use it, make sure to add another pinch of salt to the top of each pizza.

More topping ideas for portobello pizza

You can use any toppings you like on portobello mushroom pizza, of course! If you have 5 minutes, our Easy Pizza Sauce is incredible delicious. Then add whatever you like! This recipe is more of a concept than a strict guide to follow. A few topping ideas to try:

  • Pepperoni or Prosciutto
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Jarred bell peppers
  • Olives
  • Feta cheese
  • Herbs like basil, oregano or thyme

Toppings to avoid? Because portobellos do have extra moisture, avoid watery toppings like fresh mozzarella cheese or burrata.

Portobello mushroom pizza

How to serve a portobello mushroom pizza

Last important thing to note: this portobello mushroom pizza is not quite a meal in itself. Whatever way you serve it, a mushroom is not nearly as filling as a traditional pizza crust. So if you’re serving this as a main dish, make sure to add some hearty, filling side dishes. You also can serve the pizzas as a side dish. Here are some ideas for ways to serve portobello pizza as a main:

More portobello recipes

Not sure about you, but we’re a little obsessed with the meaty, succulent portobello mushroom. This mighty fungus is pretty darn special. Here are a few more of our favorite portobello recipes for ideas to serve it:

Portobello pizza

This portobello pizza recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

Print
Portobello Mushroom Pizza

Easy Portobello Mushroom Pizza


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 pizzas (4 as a side, 2 to 3 as a main)
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This portobello mushroom pizza flips the typical pizza on its head! Use the mushroom as a crust for an easy dinner or side dish.


Ingredients

  • 6 medium portobello caps (about 10 to 12 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups Easy Pizza Sauce
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup Pecorino Romano cheese (highly recommended*)
  • Toppings: sliced Fresno peppers, fresh basil, other toppings as desired

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Clean the portobello mushrooms and remove the stems. Place the mushrooms on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet gill side up. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil with the oregano and garlic powder. Brush the tops and bottoms of the mushroom caps with the oil, adding a little more to the bowl of spices if it runs out. Sprinkle the kosher salt evenly divided among the mushroom caps.
  3. Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast the mushrooms for 10 to 15 minutes until tender. Once baked, drain the caps of all of the excess liquid (this step is important: otherwise the mushrooms are much too watery).
  4. Turn down the oven heat to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread each cap with pizza sauce, then add mozzarella and Pecorino cheese, and desired toppings. Bake 6 to 8 minutes until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.  

Notes

*Pecorino has the best savory, salty flavor. If you can’t find it, substitute Parmesan cheese but add a few more pinches salt. 

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Roasted
  • Cuisine: Pizza

Keywords: Portobello mushroom pizza, Portobello pizza

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

35 Best Summer Cocktails

Here are the best summer cocktails, from classics to frozen drinks to mixers with gin and vodka. Let summer drink season begin! When it’s summer, there’s nothing better than a fruity, herby or frozen drink in hand! There’s a great variety of summer cocktails that play on the flavors of the season: sweet watermelon and juicy peaches, herbaceous mint and basil, and bright berries. Even better: icy summer drinks are the perfect way to beat the heat. Here are all the best summer cocktails to try! We’ve got classics like the minty Mojito and the tangy margarita, and frozen drinks like daiquiris and pina coladas. There’s also gin and vodka cocktails, and fun fruity spins like watermelon cocktails and peach margaritas. Really: we want to drink them all. Want specific liquors? Go to Summer Vodka Cocktails, Summer Gin Cocktails or Summer Rum Cocktails. And now…the best summer cocktails! More types of cocktails There are lots more great cocktail recipes to try outside of these summer cocktails! Here are some of our best summer drink collections: Sour Cocktails All the very best sours: Boston Sour, Sidecar, even the Margarita and Mojito. Lemon Cocktails or Lime Cocktails The best cocktails to make when you’re craving citrus! Includes so many classics. […]

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

Here are the best summer cocktails, from classics to frozen drinks to mixers with gin and vodka. Let summer drink season begin!

Summer cocktails and summer drinks

When it’s summer, there’s nothing better than a fruity, herby or frozen drink in hand! There’s a great variety of summer cocktails that play on the flavors of the season: sweet watermelon and juicy peaches, herbaceous mint and basil, and bright berries. Even better: icy summer drinks are the perfect way to beat the heat.

Here are all the best summer cocktails to try! We’ve got classics like the minty Mojito and the tangy margarita, and frozen drinks like daiquiris and pina coladas. There’s also gin and vodka cocktails, and fun fruity spins like watermelon cocktails and peach margaritas. Really: we want to drink them all.

Want specific liquors? Go to Summer Vodka Cocktails, Summer Gin Cocktails or Summer Rum Cocktails.

And now…the best summer cocktails!

Print
Summer cocktails

Best Summer Cocktails (Mojito & More!)


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

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

Description

Here’s a classic mojito recipe, perfectly balanced with lime, rum and fresh mint! This iconic Cuban cocktail is refreshing and just sweet enough.


Ingredients

  • 3 mint leaves, plus additional for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) maple syrup or simple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) white rum
  • 1/2 cup soda water

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the mint leaves with the lime juice and syrup. (Here’s how to muddle mint.)
  2. Add the rum and fill the cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until cold.
  3. Place ice into a glass, and strain in the liquid. Top off the glass with soda water. Garnish with additional mint leaves.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails

Keywords: Summer Cocktails, Summer Drinks, Summer Vodka Cocktails, Summer Gin Cocktails

More types of cocktails

There are lots more great cocktail recipes to try outside of these summer cocktails! Here are some of our best summer drink collections:

Last updated: May 2021

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

Three Bean Salad (Better Than Grandma’s!)

Here’s how to make the best three bean salad recipe: a fresh spin on Grandma’s! It’s so easy to throw together for picnics and potlucks. OK, Grandma: don’t be offended. But we’ve got an even fresher spin on that classic Bean Salad! You know, the kind that’s at picnics and potlucks long into the cicada-buzzing summer? This American classic has been gracing tables for generations, and everyone has their own take on it. Here we’ve taken the bean salad of our youth and transformed it into a fresh spin, with a little less sugar and more fresh ingredients. But it’s still an easy three bean salad that requires little more than dump and stir. Give it a try and let us know…is it actually better than Grandma’s? The anatomy of a bean salad! Bean salad is a classic American salad of canned beans marinated in a vinaigrette. It’s a staple at picnics and potlucks, because it doesn’t require refrigeration! It’s a side dish that can sit out in the heat for hours. The origin story of this classic is hazy, but it’s safe to say it originated in the 1950’s because that’s when recipes started appearing in cookbooks (per this […]

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

Here’s how to make the best three bean salad recipe: a fresh spin on Grandma’s! It’s so easy to throw together for picnics and potlucks.

Bean Salad

OK, Grandma: don’t be offended. But we’ve got an even fresher spin on that classic Bean Salad! You know, the kind that’s at picnics and potlucks long into the cicada-buzzing summer? This American classic has been gracing tables for generations, and everyone has their own take on it. Here we’ve taken the bean salad of our youth and transformed it into a fresh spin, with a little less sugar and more fresh ingredients. But it’s still an easy three bean salad that requires little more than dump and stir. Give it a try and let us know…is it actually better than Grandma’s?

The anatomy of a bean salad!

Bean salad is a classic American salad of canned beans marinated in a vinaigrette. It’s a staple at picnics and potlucks, because it doesn’t require refrigeration! It’s a side dish that can sit out in the heat for hours. The origin story of this classic is hazy, but it’s safe to say it originated in the 1950’s because that’s when recipes started appearing in cookbooks (per this source). Either way: Alex and I have been enjoying it for our entire lives.

Bean salad recipes vary and most cooks have their own regional spin. The most common ingredients are kidney beans, green beans, and garbanzo beans (it’s often called three bean salad). Other ingredients you’ll often see are pinto beans, wax beans, and onions. It’s almost always marinated in a dressing of vinegar, oil, sugar and salt.

Bean salad recipe

How to make this three bean salad recipe

Our spin on Grandma’s three bean salad is just as easy to make as the 1950’s style classic. That means the main steps are “dump and stir:” open the bean cans and stir everything together! At the same time, we wanted to freshen up the classic by cutting back on the sugar and adding a little freshness. Here are the elements we added to this three bean salad to make a modern spin:

  • Kidney beans and pinto beans: Why no chickpeas? They can have a tough texture and don’t soak up the marinade as quickly. We prefer pinto beans in a bean salad.
  • Green and yellow beans: Use just green beans for a classic three bean salad. But we like the color contrast of adding yellow wax beans to the mix.
  • White onion and red onion: White onion is standard and has the most classic flavor. Red onion adds brightness with the lovely purple! It’s optional but makes a nice visual statement.
  • Curly parsley: The green confetti adds a fresh flavor and visual flair. Use curly parsley if you have it, but Italian also works.
  • White vinegar and olive oil: The salad where it’s appropriate to use white vinegar instead of white wine vinegar? Bean salad. (And German cucumber salad, of course.) It adds just the right astringent punch, balanced by the salt and sugar.
  • Dill and garlic powder: These spices aren’t standard, but they amp the flavors just enough.
Three bean salad

Eat immediately, or marinate at least 1 hour

You can eat your bean salad recipe right away and it’s very tasty. Or pop it in the refrigerator to let it marinate for at least 1 hour, and it’s even better. The refrigeration time really lets the flavors soak in.

The end result? This recipe has half the sugar as the standard, but it’s just as delicious! It’s got all the classic elements so you feel like you’re eating Grandma’s. We’ll be eating this for years to come.

Tip: how to slice the onions

One area where home cooks can be tripped up: how to cut the onions into slivers! The cut that looks best in this bean salad recipe is different from the standard half-moon shape. Some people call it French cut: it’s a way of making the onion slivers look attractive instead of long and floppy.

  • How to do it? It’s easiest to explain by showing you. Go to minute 1:40 of this How to Cut an Onion video!
  • The basic explanation? Cut slices from the tip to the root (instead of through the middle).

Storage info

How long does homemade bean salad last? Store it refrigerated for 3 to 5 days. Like a pickle, the flavor intensifies over time! It’s great for lunches throughout the week. Beans don’t last indefinitely refrigerated, so make sure not to leave it longer than the storage recommendation.

Three bean salad recipe

When to serve bean salad (really anytime!)

Last but not least: how to serve bean salad! We’re huge fans of this easy salad and we think it works anytime: picnics, potlucks, and meals any time of the year. It’s a great protein-packed vegan side dish, and it helps to make any vegetarian or plant-based meal more filling. It also is great for summer grilled meals. Here are a few other salads you could pair with it for a stellar summer salad spread:

This bean salad recipe is…

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

Print
Bean Salad

Classic Bean Salad (Better Than Grandma’s!)


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Here’s how to make the best three bean salad recipe: a fresh spin on Grandma’s! It’s easy to throw together for picnics and potlucks. 


Ingredients

  • 15-ounce can kidney beans
  • 15-ounce can white beans or pinto beans
  • 15-ounce can green beans
  • 15-ounce can wax beans (or another 15-ounce can green beans)
  • 1/2 medium white onion
  • 1/4 medium red onion (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped curly parsley (or Italian parsley)
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar*
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon each dried dill and garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Drain and rinse the beans. 
  2. Thinly slice the onions into slivers (go to minute 1:40 of this How to Cut an Onion video to see how!). Finely chop the parsley. 
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the white vinegar, olive oil, sugar, dill, garlic, powder, and kosher salt. Add the beans, onions and parsley and stir until coated. You can eat immediately, but for best results refrigerate for 1 hour to allow the salad to marinate. Store leftovers refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Notes

*Use standard white vinegar, not white wine vinegar! 

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Salad

Keywords: Bean salad, bean salad recipe, three bean salad, three bean salad recipe

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

Classic Baba Ganoush

This baba ganoush recipe is so creamy and delicious! A classic Mediterranean dip, it’s perfect for appetizer spreads or healthy snacking. Baba ganoush lovers, unite! This creamy dip is a Lebanese classic with a smoky finish to the flavor that makes it absolutely irresistible for dipping. Turns out, it’s actually very simple to make at home, and a fabulous eggplant recipe for when you’re brainstorming what to do with this vegetable. This specific baba ganoush recipe comes straight from the book Tables and Spreads by Shelly Westerhausen Worcel of Vegetarian Ventures. It’s an incredible collection to help you nosh your way entertaining and happy hour! Here’s how to make it: and more about this fantastic collection. What is baba ganoush? Baba ganoush is a Lebanese eggplant dip made with roasted or grilled eggplant, tahini, olive oil, and lemon. It’s also spelled Baba ghanoush or baba ghanouj. It’s common in cuisines all over the Mediterranean, but it’s Lebanese in origin. While many Greek restaurants serve baba ganoush, the Greek version of eggplant dip is melitzanosalata. What makes baba ganoush taste smoky? Traditionally baba ganoush is made with eggplant that’s been roasted over a fire or grilled, which infuses a light smoky […]

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

This baba ganoush recipe is so creamy and delicious! A classic Mediterranean dip, it’s perfect for appetizer spreads or healthy snacking.

Baba ganoush

Baba ganoush lovers, unite! This creamy dip is a Lebanese classic with a smoky finish to the flavor that makes it absolutely irresistible for dipping. Turns out, it’s actually very simple to make at home, and a fabulous eggplant recipe for when you’re brainstorming what to do with this vegetable. This specific baba ganoush recipe comes straight from the book Tables and Spreads by Shelly Westerhausen Worcel of Vegetarian Ventures. It’s an incredible collection to help you nosh your way entertaining and happy hour! Here’s how to make it: and more about this fantastic collection.

Tables and spreads
Keep reading for more about Tables & Spreads — recipe excerpted from the book with permission from Shelly Westerhausen Worcel

What is baba ganoush?

Baba ganoush is a Lebanese eggplant dip made with roasted or grilled eggplant, tahini, olive oil, and lemon. It’s also spelled Baba ghanoush or baba ghanouj. It’s common in cuisines all over the Mediterranean, but it’s Lebanese in origin. While many Greek restaurants serve baba ganoush, the Greek version of eggplant dip is melitzanosalata.

What makes baba ganoush taste smoky? Traditionally baba ganoush is made with eggplant that’s been roasted over a fire or grilled, which infuses a light smoky flavor. The easiest way to make it at home is roasted, so here we’ve added smoked paprika for a hint of the smoke we expect from a baba ganoush recipe!

How to make baba ganoush at home

Now, the best baba ganoush you can have is from a Lebanese restaurant! It’s hard to capture the beauty of this traditional eggplant dip at home. But you can get pretty close! Again, the traditional grilled method is what really takes it over the top (see below). But Shelly’s method from Tables and Spreads is simply delicious and easy to pull off. Just make sure to have enough time to roast or grill the eggplant! Here are the basic steps (or jump to the recipe):

  • Roast or grill the eggplant: This takes about 30 minutes total. On the grill, it depends on the size of the eggplant (see below).
  • Remove the flesh from the skin. Quick tip: to remove bitterness, you can remove some of the very seedy parts of the eggplant when you do this.
  • Food process with the other ingredients. Add tahini, lemon, garlic and spices and blend. We like adding a bit of smoked paprika to get in that smoky flavor.
  • Serve! Then top with all the garnishes: olive oil, walnuts, smoked paprika, parsley, etc! The book has a delicious fried walnuts and pomegranate seeds topping idea (head here to learn more about the book).
Baba ganoush

Alternate method: grilled whole eggplant!

The most traditional way to make a baba ganoush recipe is with eggplant charred over an open flame. The best way to do this is with a grill! Here are a few things to note about making a grilled whole eggplant:

  • Grill it whole over medium high heat. That’s 375 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cook until collapsed and charred, about 25 to 45 minutes depending on the size of the eggplant. Once you’re done, you can pick back up at the blending step.

About the book: Tables & Spreads!

This baba ganoush recipe comes straight from Shelly Westerhausen Worcel’s beautiful new book, Tables & Spreads. The cover claims it’s a go-to guide for beautiful snacks, intimate gathering and inviting feasts: and is it ever! It’s filled with Shelly’s brilliantly colorful photography style (which we adore) and full of incredible ideas for entertaining spreads. Now that we can all gather again, it’s a perfect manual for

Shelly is a dear friend of ours we’ve known for years: so not only do we vouch for her recipes, we know first hand that she’s an overall incredible human, too. The spreads that she puts together are inventive, unique, and perfect for creative at-home entertaining. And just so you know: you don’t have to share them with friends either! There are plenty of ideas for a happy hour dinner in (a fun concept everyone enjoys over here!). Congrats to Shelly on this fantastic collection!

Baba ganoush recipe

What to use for dipping baba ganoush

What to serve with baba ganoush? There are many foods you can use for dipping: but we have a few favorites. Then of course, there’s how to accessorize your spread! The book has this recipe as part of a Falafel Mezze Spread that includes a few items below. Here’s what to try:

  • Pita bread: Doughy, stretchy warm pita bread is the ultimate dipper (try our flatbread)
  • Pita chips: Or, use the crunchy version (here’s a homemade recipe)
  • Falafel: Try our falafel or the falafel patties recipe from the book
  • Israeli couscous with herbs and olive oil (see the book)
  • Greek yogurt mixed with olive oil and fresh herbs (see the book)
  • Vegetables: Cherry tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, red onion, roasted red peppers

Storing leftovers and make ahead info

You can store leftover homemade baba ganoush refrigerated for up to 3 days. We think it’s best made freshly or within the first day. We did notice that during storage over a few days, the baba ganoush started to discolor. If you’re making it for entertaining, we’d suggest to roast the eggplant in advance and keep it whole: then blend up the dip prior to serving.

This baba ganoush recipe is…

Baba ganoush is vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

Print
Baba ganoush

Classic Baba Ganoush


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: 4 to 6
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This baba ganoush recipe is so creamy and delicious! A classic Mediterranean dip, it’s perfect for appetizer spreads or healthy snacking.


Ingredients

  • 2 pounds eggplant (1 large or 2 medium)
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, loosely packed
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • For the topping: Olive oil, chopped walnuts, pomegranate seeds, torn parsley leaves, smoked paprika, etc

Instructions

  1. Roast the eggplant*: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Poke the eggplant all over with a fork to speed up the cooking process and put it on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until the eggplant is easily pierced with a knife. Remove from the oven and let cool. 
  2. Blend the baba ganoush: Once the eggplant is cool enough to handle, slice the eggplant in half and scrape out the insides into a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, removing large portions of seeds as you can (this minimizes any bitterness from the seeds). Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, salt, cumin and smoked paprika. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds. With the motor running, pour in the olive oil and process for another 30 seconds or until light and fluffy. 
  3. Serve: Transfer the dip to a serving bowl and top with desired toppings. Serve with pita chips or pita bread. Leftovers store up to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Allow to come to room temperature when serving. 

Notes

*Traditionally eggplant for baba ganoush is grilled, which infuses a distinct smoky flavor. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat (375 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit). Place the eggplant directly on the grill grates and grill for about 25 to 45 minutes, turning occasionally, until charred and tender and the eggplant shape collapses. Then go to step 2. 

  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: Baba ganoush, Baba ganoush recipe

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