Grilled Pizza

How to make grilled pizza and everything you need to know to get it right – with topping ideas!

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When you pair a hot grill with great pizza dough plus a handful of seasonal toppings, your meal game is going to be next level. Grilled pizza season is on and this post covers everything you need to know to about how to get it right.
Grilled Pizza topped with Corn, Chiles, and Mozzarella”   border=

How to Grill Pizza: The Basics

To grill great pizza start with a hot grill that has been cleaned well with a brush. Also key, it helps to be organized. Have your pizza dough, pizza sauce and all toppings ready. Like, right next to the grill. Once you slide your pizza dough onto the grill, the next steps come in rapid succession. This means, whether you’re ready or not. Brush one side of the pizza dough with olive oil and cook that side first, flip it, brush the grilled side with sauce and toppings. Then finish cooking. If you’re a bit on the slow side arranging toppings, you’ll want to pull the pizza off the grill for this step. This helps to avoid the potential for burning. Return the topped pizza to the grill for final cooking. Happens in a flash!

Grilled Pizza topped with Kale, Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella” border=

General Grilled Pizza Tips

  • Start with a good pizza dough foundation. This is my go-to homemade pizza dough, and it works well on the grill.
  • Similar to baking pizza in an oven, you want to achieve medium-high to high heat here. Pre-heat the grill as long as possible and check the temperature before starting the pizza. I aim for 450-500F-ish. You can go hotter if you’re baking your pizza on an upper grill rack, but run the risk of scorchy (burnt) grill marks if it’s in a more direct spot. If you’re using a pizza stone, ignore this and get your grill hot hot hot.
  • Pizza on the grill differs from baking pizza in the oven in that with grilled pizza you generally flip the dough once before adding toppings.
  • Consider pre-cooking any veggies or other toppings if needed. They won’t have much time to cook on the grill. Arrange each in an individual bowl along with the rest of your toppings bar.  
  • Use a bit of olive oil on the pizza dough to prevent the first side from sticking to the grill.

Close-up photo of a white pizza topped with corn, chiles, and mozzarella” border=

Grilled Pizza: The Dough

Start with the right dough: As I mentioned up above, you need to start with a pizza dough that is on your team. I love this pizza dough. It’s the one you see in the pictures here. You can read all about why I like it, in short: the flavor is great, it’s easy to work with, you don’t need a mixer, and there is no need to proof the yeast you’re using. Great in an oven or on a grill. It’s super flex and adaptable. Alternately, you can experiment with doughs purchased from local pizza spots or stores.

Grill Temperature

Temperature: This is the second pillar after good dough. Controlling the grill temperature is key to your success – and, I’ll be honest, there can be a bit of a leaning curve. If you’re having trouble with pizza dough sticking to the grill, dial up the heat. And when using a gas grill, the lid is your friend. Use the lid to control the heat, and to get the hot air circulating all the way around the dough. If you need your toppings to cook/melt more quickly – slap the lid on for a bit. Keep in mind, you have to be particularly vigilant with pizzas you’ve pulled parchment thin – they’ll burn through in a flash. If you’re worried about burning pizzas, you can move them to the upper rack if your grill has one.

Broadly speaking, whatever type of outdoor oven/grill I’m using I obsessively check the bottom and top of the dough and let it tell me what it needs – more time, more heat, a flip, etc. If you have a grill with dual burners, or a way to set up a hot zone, and a not-so-hot zone, moving the dough around can also be helpful.

Grilled pizza dough arranged on sheets of parchment paper before baking” border=

The Parchment Technique

When grilling pizzas this is the approach I like. First, pull the dough out and shape it on a sheet of parchment paper that has been spritzed with a bit of olive oil. Unlike oven-baked pizza you skip the flour here. You can then gently flip the dough onto the grill with the parchment providing a nice amount of structure (see below). Peel the parchment paper away and proceed.

Placing dough on hot grill

Do you need a Pizza Stone to Grill Pizza?

If you have and use a pizza stone in your oven, you can use it on the grill. That said, you don’t need a pizza stone to grill pizza.

Pizza toppings arranged on a baking sheet

Best Toppings for Grilled Pizza

This is the fun part. The rule of thumb here is to use toppings that really sing after a just a couple minutes on the grill. This means you might want to pre-cook (or pre-grill) any toppings that would take longer than that. Use flavor-packed, fast cooking ingredients that have a tendency to melt (or cook) quickly for your toppings. Don’t go overboard, thoughtfully curate each pizza so the flavors of each ingredient have room to speak. Some favorites include:

  • Vegetables: corn, thin asparagus, roasted cherry tomatoes, peas, roasted mushrooms, caramelized onions, olives, fava beans, citrus zests, grilled artichoke hearts, sautéed thinly sliced potatoes.
  • Cheeses: ricotta, fresh mozzarella, gruyere, feta, freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino
  • Finishing touches: lemon olive oil, tangerine olive oil, makrut lime oil, chives and chive flowers, hot honey
  • Herbs: a sprinkle of fresh herbs like oregano, thyme, fresh basil, minced chives, lemon verbena

Spreading tomato sauce on pizza dough” border=

  • Topping Combinations:
    – tomato sauce, mozzarella, crushed kale chips, lemon oil (pictured)
    – mozzarella, roasted corn, pickled serrano chiles, chive flowers, pine nuts (pictured)
    – caramelized fennel & olives
    – spinach/pea & ricotta pesto, potatoes & smoke chile sauce
    – tomato & roasted red peppers with goat cheese
    – a while back I also compiled this page of A+ grilled pizza topping ideas
    – And, here’s a page where I’ve listed a lot of recent favorite pizza combinations

Pizza dough on grill prior to adding toppings” border=

Thick or Thin Pizzas?

Play around with how thick or thin you pull your pizza dough. You’ll get widely varying results. As far as the thick or thin debate goes, I tend to lean into thin. That being said, leaving the dough a bit thicker yields a pizza with a different personality, still delicious – try both to see what you like.

Make-Ahead Crusts

You can pre-grill pizza crusts up to a few hours ahead of time. For example, if you’re feeding a crowd and want to get a bit of a jump start. Lightly grill both sides and then allow to cool on a rack. The key is to go light, knowing they will be going back on the grill later. When you’re ready for prime time, sauce and top each pizza and do the final grilling.

If you’ve never tried this, give it a go! It’s fun to set up for a small crowd because everyone can take a turn making their own custom pizza. Let me know your favorite topping combos in the comments.

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Compound Butters – Adding Things to Butter to Make it Extra Awesome

Compound butters are a lazy cook’s secret weapon. They’re a way to add intense flavor to preparations without a whole lot of extra effort. I’ve included a list of favorites here.

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I thought we could do a dive into compound butters today. Compound butters are a lazy cook’s secret weapon. They’re a way to add intense flavor to preparations without a whole lot of extra effort. They also freeze really well, earning them bonus points as far as I’m concerned. Thaw, stir, and you’ve got a powerful flavor accent at your disposal. To make a compound butter you incorporate ingredients into a butter base. As much as I love good butter, I also can’t help but constantly ask myself – what can I add to this butter to make it extra awesome? I’ve included a few recent favorites here, and I’ll also mention a few things to think about for when you set out to try out your own ideas.
An assortment of compound butters on a counter

Compound Butter Ideas & Variations

The range of possible compound butters is limited only by your imagination. Here are a few past favorites to get you thinking, but please think of them as jumping off points! Have fun and experiment.
Roasted Strawberry Ginger Compound Butter in a small bowl
Roasted Strawberry Ginger Compound Butter

Roasted Strawberry Ginger Compound Butter:
Let’s kick things off with a sweet compound butter. I make it on occasion during strawberry season using strawberries I’ve roasted and cooled. Use a food processor to whip 1 stick (4 oz.) of room temperature unsalted butter until fluffy. Transfer to a bowl and old in 1/8 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, 3 tablespoons chopped candied ginger, 15 chopped candied pecans, and a couple teaspoons of runny honey. Stir until everything comes together and then loosely fold in about 1/4 cup roasted strawberries. Great with: brunch.

Lemon Miso Bowl in a small serving bowl
Lemon Miso Compound Butter

Lemon Miso Compound Butter
:
Use a food processor to whip 1 stick (4 oz.) of room temperature unsalted butter until fluffy. Pulse in 1 tablespoon miso, zest of one lemon (or yuzu), 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon ground toasted cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Taste and adjust if needed. Fold in 2 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds. Great on: brown rice bowls, roasted delicate squash, sautéed vegetables, baked potatoes, roasted tomatoes.

Saffron Date Compound Butter in a small serving bowl
Saffron Date Compound Butter

Saffron Date Compound Butter:
Add 1 pinch of saffron threads in 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, allow to sit for five minutes. Use a food processor to whip 1 stick (4 oz.) of room temperature unsalted butter until fluffy. Pulse in 1 tablespoon honey, and 1/8 teaspoon fine grain sea salt. Add the saffron-almond extract mixture, scraping down the sides of the processor bowl regularly. Pulse in five plump dates, leaving them a bit chunky. Great on: hot oatmeal, flatbreads, sautéed greens.

Garlic Green Olive Compound Butter in a Small Serving Bowl
Green Garlic Olive Compound Butter

Garlic Green Olive Compound Butter:
Use a food processor to whip 1 stick (4 oz.) of room temperature unsalted butter until fluffy. Pulse in 1 large clove of peeled garlic, and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Start with 1/8 teaspoon, but add more if you like. Pulse in a dozen plump green olives that you have pitted, rinsed, and dried in a clean towel. I like to squeeze the olives between my palms to rid them of as much olive water as possible before pulsing them in. Great on: pasta, polenta, a wide range of vegetables, it’s easy magic.

callion Dill Compound Butter in a small serving bowlScallion Dill Compound Butter

Scallion Dill Compound Butter:
Use a food processor to whip 1 stick (4 oz.) of room temperature unsalted butter until fluffy. Pulse in a scant 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, a large clove of garlic (or 1 head of trimmed green garlic), 2 scallions, and a handful of fresh dill you’ve de-stemmed. Pulse well here, until everything blends together into a vibrant, electric green butter. Great on: just about everything – grilled asparagus, to finish sautéed mushrooms, perfect on corn later in the year, or cornbread. Also, biscuits, polenta, rice bowls, potatoes, egg salad. It’s incredibly versatile.
An assortment of compound butters on a counter

More Compound Butter Recipes!

Dry Desert Lime Compound Butter: I’ve been playing around quite a bit lately using tea as a seasoning. Many times I’ll grind up tea leaves in a mortar and pestle and use it the way you might use a pepper. The fragrance that comes off the ground leaves is wonderful and brings an unexpected element to many preparations. Depending on the tea I am using this can range from smoky to floral to fresh and bright. In this case I choose a dried lime tisane (or herbal tea) instead. There is something haunting, vibrant and ancient in the taste of dried lime and I thought it might lend itself nicely to a compound butter for use on a range of foods like: sweet potatoes (mashed/roasted), grilled corn, or as a spread on sandwiches, etc. To make: 4 tablespoons unsalted organic butter, room temperature 1 or 2 Numi Desert Lime tea bags (depending on how strong you want it), cut open and the contents ground in a mortar and pestle 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt. Combine in a small bowl and refrigerate.

Freeze-Dried Strawberry Compound Butter: Freeze-dried fruit is quite common now. You can get strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and pineapple. Crush and chop these strawberries, whip them into butter and you get a textured, color-flecked spread perfect for pancakes, toast, muffins and the like. The strawberries are on the very tart side of sweet so I sweetened this one up with a bit of sugar – I used Florida Crystals because I didn’t want a browner sugar to impact its bright color. To make:  4 tablespoons unsalted organic butter, room temperature 1 tablespoon organic cane sugar, 1/3 cup dehydrated organic strawberries, minced. Combine in a small bowl and refrigerate.

Raw Serrano Compound Butter: This one is for the cornbreads of the world. It has a little heat and a lot of flavor. I used 2 medium serrano chiles, but you can scale up or down on the chile scale depending on your tastes. A pretty pale green butter flecked with dark green freckles I’m also love it on crepes, and grilled corn, and to toss fresh summer shell beans, and for pasta. I think a great variation on this one would be to add roasted garlic and pan-toast the chiles before blending them in. To make: 4 tablespoons unsalted organic butter, room temperature 2 serrano chiles, deveined and seeded, loosely chopped plus 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt. Combine in a small bowl and puree with a hand blender until the chiles are fully incorporated. Refrigerate.

Smoked Paprika Compound Butter: Fragrant, delicious, and a stunning rusty-orange color a little of this butter goes the distance. It will lend itself nicely to brown rice, certain kabobs, sandwiches, corn soup, toasted artisan breads, and zucchini muffins. To make: 4 tablespoons unsalted organic butter, room temperature 1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika plus 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt Combine in a small bowl and refrigerate.

Let me know if you come up with any special butters we should know about. Keep in mind, compound butters are a great way to use up smaller quantities of herbs, spices, the odd clove of garlic, the bottom of the jar of sun-dried tomatoes, or capers. Melted, many are great on your favorite pancakes or homemade popcorn. They also freeze really well. I recommend freezing in small quantities, so you can easily pull just enough for a couple of days use. One other tip – concentrated ingredients with little moisture work best. For example, roasted strawberries versus fresh strawberries. Orange zest versus orange segments. Have fun! -h

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12+ Camping Recipes to Make Camping Meals No Big Deal

If you’re looking for quick, easy and inspired camping recipes to deploy on your next camping trip, you’re in the right place.

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If you’re looking for camping meal ideas to deploy on your next camping trip, you’re in the right place. Over the years we’ve done plenty of camping in tents, in cars, and in our Airstream. On the food front the goal is always the same – delicious camping meals without a lot of fuss, gear, or clean up. Quick and easy is the name of the game. Bonus points are earned for being able to prep components ahead of time. I went through the archives to select all my favorite camping recipes. Most can be cooked with a single piece of cookware – favorites include a pot, a skillet, or a griddle. Let’s start by talking about your camp cooking gear.

Camp Cooking Equipment on a Picnic Table Next to an Airstream

Essential Camp Cooking Gear

Whether car camping or traveling with the Airstream, the bones of our basic culinary camping kit is generally the same. Camping gear on the cooking front can get out of hand fast, so I’ve tried to wrangle what we bring down to a reasonable amount that still allows a range of deliciousness while we are out enjoying new places! This is ever-evolving, I’m always experimenting with difference camp-friendly combinations, but here’s how it stands now.

  • A good cooler: Great for loading bricks of frozen sauces, marinades, and other ingredients along with perishables.
  • A propane burner: Even when we have the trailer I prefer to cook outdoors. I tend to use a single burner and swap in whatever pot, pan, griddle, tava, or comal on top of that. It’s super flexible and enables a lot of options.
  • A large pot: Crucial for one-pot soups, stews, curries, and chili.
  • Grill: If the weather is nice when you’re camping, you’re going to want to grill. Many campsites have charcoal grills permanently built into each site, but we often bring a small grill with us.
  • A griddle of some sort: This is a highly personal choice. I talk to a lot of campers about their cooking set-up and in the past few years the Blackstone has really taken camp cooking by storm. My sister has one, they camp a lot, and she says they basically cook every meal on it – from pancakes to stir-fries. I still like to use a cast iron skillet for pancakes and an Indian tava for stir-fries, they are items I already use at home and they work with a basic propane burner. Basically, either way, you’re after a large, flat, hot metal expanse that you can cook a range of recipes on. The skottle systems (like this and this) are similar to my current set-up. 
  • A knife & cutting board: I like a good-sized cutting board.
  • Ooni Pizza Oven: This is a real wildcard, and a bit of a pain if I’m being honest. On occasion, we load up the Ooni and bring it camping, especially if the weather is set to be beautiful. We have the Ooni 16, the one powered by propane, so it collapses down flat-ish. It’s great for cooking camp pizzas, roasting veggies, bean dishes, a range of flat breads, and I love it for paneer veggie kebabs (down below). It takes some time to get to know, but it’s pretty amazing once you stop burning things in it. If you bring the pizza oven, you also need to bring a peel, tongs, extra flour/cornmeal, and a plan for dough. Pro-tip: if you bring a large enough cutting board you can use it as a second peel.

Foil-wrapped Baked Potatoes in a Campfire

Best Camping Recipes to Make Camping Meals No Big Deal

I’ve organized these recipes based on the type of cooking you might be doing. One of the things we’ve noticed over the years is the prohibition of campfires allowed at campsites. It might be different in other regions, but on the West Coast of the United States, because of the fire danger, open campfires are becoming increasingly rare. So cooking meals in foil packets (and the like) isn’t an option in many of the places we’ve been recently. I’ll add a bunch of links and resources down below related to campfire cooking and hopefully we’ll be able to revisit open-fire cooking more reliable in future years. I’ll add and photograph a dutch oven section at that point!

Airstream Trailer Parked at Campsite in New Mexico

Grill Camping Recipes

On the grill front, we often prep a few components in advance. For example, I’ll pre-make the mixture for the tofu burgers, or any special sauces. If at all possible I love to hit up local farmers markets to find more grill-friendly ingredients.

Grilled Veggie Kebabs

1. Grilled Veggie Kebabs

You can marinade the ingredients for these kebabs before leaving on a camping trip. Kept cold they can be used up to 4-5 days later. Spicy grilled veggie kebabs made with a flavor-packed yogurt marinade and mix of vegetables with paneer cheese. A favorite that you can make ahead, and grill or bake year-round. We most often make these on the grill, but they’re great in the pizza oven as well.

Grillable Tofu Burger

2. Grillable Tofu Burgers

Seasoned with a good amount of cumin, cayenne and mustard, these are hearty, filling, easy to make, dump-everything-in-the-food processor grillable tofu burgers. Pre-make the burger mixture and flat-pack in a baggie, then shape at the campsite prior to grilling. Kept cool, the mixture is good for 4-5 days.

Wedge Salad with Ranch Dressing

3. Grilled Wedge Salad

With the best spicy ranch dressing! So easy, especially if you pre-make the dressing. A delicious, crisp grilled wedge salad topped with a spicy ranch dressing, chives, and nuts.

Simple Bruschetta

4. Simple Bruschetta

Bring a loaf of good sourdough and some olive oil on your camping adventures and you’re half way to amazing bruschetta. The ideas for toppings are vast, and can range from beautiful tomatoes to other vegetables you can toss on the grill -mushrooms, spring onions, grilled corn, artichokes hearts, etc. You can cook the toppings, if appropriate, on the grill along with the slabs of bread.

Skillet Camping Recipes

Few items in my camping kitchen get more use than my classic cast iron skillet. It can be used over a fire, over a burner, and in an oven. Camp Breakfast Hash

5. Camp Breakfast Hash

A favorite way to use up leftovers when camping. This Camp Breakfast Hash is peppered with plant-based hot dogs, potatoes, serrano chiles, and finished with salsa and a dusting of grated cheese. It’s a flexible, one-skillet go-to that can be made on a griddle, flat top, or in a skillet. Frittata in a Cast Iron Skillet

6. A Tasty Frittata

The tastiest, super adaptable frittata recipe. Made with potatoes, onions, and eggs drizzled with a cilantro chile sauce. You can flat-freeze the chile sauce and bring it in your cooler.

Stack of Pancakes topped with Butter and Maple Syrup

7. Pancakes

If you’re after classic pancakes, this is your recipe. For camping, I often pre-measure the pancake ingredients into a mason jar for easy packing. Add the liquid ingredients just before you’re ready to put them on the griddle. This is a pancake recipe that delivers a beautiful, classic stack with impossibly tender crumb and golden edges. The pancakes have lightness and lift (especially if you fold in the whipped egg whites), and good color.

Flat-top, griddle, or Blackstone Camping Recipes

Many of the recipes in this category can also be made in a large skillet. A Favorite Stir-fry with Noodles and Lots of Vegetables

8. A Favorite Rice Noodle Stir-fry

I like to do a stir-fry when we’re out camping. Usually, some variation on a stir-fry like this. A favorite noodle-based stir fry with silky rice noodles, bright and crunchy broccoli, toasted cashews, quick-marinated crumbled tofu, and pan-seared onions tossed in a feisty chile-boosted soy sauce. It works on everything from a large skillet to a Blackstone.

Coconut Corn Salad

9. Coconut Corn Salad

Butter a griddle, skillet, or flattop and add corn, fresh thyme, red onions, toasted almonds and coconut. Finish with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice. So simple, so tasty!

Meal in a Jar Tortellini Soup

Meal in a Jar Camping Recipes

Making a few of these “meals in a jar” is the best thing I do when preparing camping meals for a trip. I always make up 2-3 of these and then it’s simply just add water (and perhaps another common pantry item or two), and you’ve got a great meal. Perfect for travel days, or any camping days when you’re short on cooking time.

Meal in a Jar Tortellini Soup

10. Meal in a Jar Tortellini Soup

Just add water and a can of crushed tomatoes. It’s so simple and so good! A one-pot lentil and tomato-based stew, dotted with plump, tender tortellini, spiked with a range of spices. Perfect for one-pot camping or weeknight meals.

Meal in a Jar Spicy Curry Noodles

11. Meal in a Jar Spicy Coconut Curry Noodles

Just add water and a splash of coconut milk to make this fragrant curry noodle pot. A dynamic and feisty broth is bolstered with cayenne, ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric enveloping egg noodles and whatever seasonal vegetables you have on hand.

Meal in a Jar Italian Barley Soup

12. Meal in a Jar Italian Barley Soup

This is a favorite flavor-packed meal in a jar – an herb-flecked, hearty, Italian Barley Soup with a bit of a hippie twist. Just add water and a can of crushed tomatoes and you’re on your way to a really great pot of soup.

Campsite in the Desert

Other Helpful Camping Recipe Links

If you are serious about open-flame cooking, seek out William Rubel’s The Magic of Fire: One Hundred Recipes for the Fireplace or Campfire. Published by Ten Speed Press in 2002, this is a beautiful, large-format, hardback volume I stumbled across years back while browsing the stacks at the San Francisco Library. It immediately sparked fantastic visions of fire-baked breads and ember-roasted Russets. Alternately, you can visit William’s website here. You’ll notice he mentions the Joy of Cooking: 75th Anniversary Edition as having “the best introduction to hearth cooking of any book that I know of anywhere.” He contributed that section to the book.

– Wikipedia: Campfire Cooking. Check out the photo of the oven made from scraps!

This is Camino: This is another favorite cookbook focused on fire-based cooking by Russ Moore and Allison Hopelain. Camino was a brilliant Oakland-based restaurant centered around a beautiful open hearth and seasonal ingredients – the book will push your imagination in directions related to what’s possible with great ingredients, an open flame, and a bit of know-how.

Ok, that’s it for now. This will be a regularly updated page! Let me know your favorite camping recipes down in the comments!

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Homemade Bouillon Powder

Let’s talk about bouillon and the reasons I’ve started to make my own homemade bouillon powder. I found myself surveying vegetarian bouillon options last year when I started pre-mixing dry ingredients for soups and stews to take on our camping trips – meals in jars. I wanted to have amazing, quick, one pot meals I […]

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Let’s talk about bouillon and the reasons I’ve started to make my own homemade bouillon powder. I found myself surveying vegetarian bouillon options last year when I started pre-mixing dry ingredients for soups and stews to take on our camping trips – meals in jars. I wanted to have amazing, quick, one pot meals I could make by adding water and just one or two other common pantry items like crushed tomatoes or chickpeas. In a couple of the soup mixes I call for a bouillon cube. Bouillon cubes are a super handy way to get a jumpstart on introducing flavors – whatever you’re cooking. That said, many of the commercially available options are very salty, have artificial ingredients and flavor enhancers, and a good number of you wrote to me asking for suggestions. So here we are, let’s make our own!
Homemade Bouillon Powder in a Small Glass Jar

What is Bouillon?

Technically, a bouillon cube is a dehydrated cube or powder used to create an instant stock. You see a range of bouillon in stores, often available as vegetable, meat, or chicken bouillon. It is used to make quick, flavorful broth when cooking soups, stews, grains, risottos, curries, and the like. They’re a great way to introduce depth and flavor to your cooking. Bouillon cubes are quite common in stores, and bouillon pastes seem to be increasingly common.
Close-up Photo of Homemade Bouillon Powder Ingredients

What is store-bought bouillon made of?

I’ve looked at the labels on many packages of bouillon in stores. Some of the ingredients I’ve seen on store-bought bouillon cubes include: maltodextrin, natural and artificial flavors, MSG, wheat flour, disodium inosinuate, and disodium guanylate. There’s usually some sort of fat component (for example: palm oil, soybean oil, canola oil), along with a sweetener. It’s tricky to find a readily-available bouillon option made with natural, minimally processed ingredients. The good news is it is exceptionally easy to make your own homemade bouillon powder.

Canned broth versus bouillon?

For my purpose of making dry soup mixes in a jar (like this or this), pre-made broths weren’t an option, but I’ll weigh in here anyway. I’m a hard-pass on most canned broth or pre-made broth in cartons. I generally don’t like how they taste – often muddied flavors or salty. I actually prefer to start with water and control salt levels myself, and will choose this route over packaged broths nearly always. I do love this homamde bouillon paste from years back, but it doesn’t work if you’re pre-prepping dry ingredients.
Bouillon Powder Ingredients in Individual Bowls prior to Mixing

Homemade Bouillon Powder Ingredients

Ok! Let’s talk though the ingredients in this DIY bouillon, so you’ll have a better understanding of where we landed for the “base” recipe. I’m also going to follow that up with a number of variations. The recipes are all for a general vegetarian bouillon, but there are endless ways for you to adapt the recipe with seaweed, or mushroom powder, or chiles to swing the flavor profile in one direction or another. That said, the key is nailing down your base bouillon recipe first!

  • Nutritional Yeast: My love for nutritional yeast runs deep and it’s a non-negotiable in this bouillon powder. It’s rich in flavor, body, and b-vitamins. It’s the backbone of this recipe and delivers umami-rich, chicken soup broth vibes. I’m not sure if there’s any truth to this, but I swear nutritional yeast is what makes my hair and nails grow extra fast.
  • Salt: I’ve been conflicted about how much salt to put in this base recipe. I was tempted to make it sodium-free or low-sodium, instructing people to salt to taste while cooking. But I think part of the wild popularity of bouillon and pre-made broths is that it helps home cooks season their food more than they might otherwise? In a good way. I landed on a ratio of 1 tablespoon of salt to 1 cup nutritional yeast, and that would yield the equivalent of 24 bouillon cubes. I like how this tastes as a baseline, while leaving room to add more salt if you like.
  • Herbs & Spices: I like the combination of oregano and thyme here. It works with a lot of recipes and the scent and flavors of the brothy herbs is nostalgia triggering for me. I boost this powder with a bit of turmeric, black pepper, onions and garlic. I’ve used it in brothy soups and spicy curries and it works great.
  • Coconut Milk Powder: This is my wildcard. I noticed a lot of the commercial bouillons have ingredients that seem to be included to thicken broth and give it a bit of fatty mouth feel. I’ve been playing around with a bag of coconut milk powder recently, and though it might work nicely here as an optional add. In the context of the other ingredients in the bouillon it isn’t overly strong on the coconut front, but does bring a nice amount of body. I’ve also been adding the powder to these Spicy Coconut Curry Noodles, and this Tortellini Soup instead of bringing cans of coconut milk out with us and it works great.

Blended Bouillon Powder Ingredients in High-Speed Blender

Homemade Bouillon Powder Variations

  • Nori Bouillon Powder:  If you’re looking for a bouillon powder that is flavored more like the sea, I like to lightly toast a sheet of nori and pulse that into my bouillon powder.
  • Mushroom Bouillon Powder: There are many amazing mushroom powders and dried mushrooms available to cooks now. Adding 2 teaspoons of your favorite powder this recipe or 1/4 cup chopped dried culinary mushrooms before blending is a fun direction to explore.
  • Spicy Bouillon Powder: I tend to keep my spicy components separate from my bouillon. This allows you to control those ingredients independently. That said, adding a couple dried chiles (or blend of dried chiles) to your bouillon mix might be you path to the ultimate spicy broth over time.

Homemade Bouillon Paste in a Vintage Jar

Homemade Bouillon Paste

If having a dry bouillon isn’t important to you, this is another option. Pam Corbin included a homemade bouillon paste in the back of the River Cottage Preserves Handbook, and people love it. It’s a beautiful, pureed, concentrated paste of vegetables and herbs, preserved with salt.
Top Down Photo of Homemade Bouillon Powder in a Small Glass Jar

More Ideas

This bouillon powder isn’t just for broths and soup. I’ve been sprinkling it on buckwheat crepes as they start to set, so good! It’s also really delicious dusted across a bowl of popcorn. Or as a finishing magic touch on a simple bowl of rice.

Have fun with the bouillon and let me know if you take it other directions, I’ve love to hear about it. Here are some links to soup recipes to put it into play. Favorites for this bouillon powder include – Meal in a Jar: Tortellini Soup, Meal in a Jar: Italian Barley Soup, and Meal in a Jar: Spicy Coconut Curry Noodle Soup, Vegetarian Tortilla Soup, Vegetarian Split Pea Soup, or this Vegetable Noodle Soup.

Eight Homemade Spice Blends

If these sorts of seasonings and spices are your thing (I love them!), be sure to check out this post of 8 Homemade Spice Blends. I made a downloadable PDF of a number of my favorite spice blend recipes and on that page you can take a closer look, and you can use this bouillon powder in a number of them! 

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8 Homemade Spice Blends

A collection of eight bold, flavor-packed spice blends. The recipes are the ones I use regularly, the ones in my notebooks with lots of stars and hearts next to them.

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One of the things I’ve been working on recently is a collection of recipes I’ve created specifically for the members of my site. I mined my notebooks from the past few years to create a collection of favorite spice blends, seasonings, sprinkles and the like. A little magic for your food. The blends are bold, flavor-packed, and meant to be delicious and fun. They’re the ones I use regularly, the ones in my notebooks with lots of stars and hearts next to them. Let’s dive in! *Note: if you’re already a member (thank you!) the PDF will be in the downloads section of your account.

Spice Blends for the Win

One of the best ways to personalize your cooking is by using spices, herbs, edible flowers, seeds, and zests. You can highlight each ingredient individually or combine multiples into punctuating seasoning and spice blends. The components can be electric with flavor, vibrant in color, and often have deep and rich histories of culinary use. Today I’m highlighting one of my favorite custom spice blends (Mandarin Marjoram Salt), along with glimpses of some of the other recipes included in the collection.
Spice Blends - Mandarin Marjoram Salt

Mandarin Marjoram Salt

I’m going to include the recipe for this blend down at the bottom of the post. With citrus accents, fennel and sesame seeds, dried marjoram and lemon verbena this salt is a multi-purpose ringer. It’s the perfect finishing touch on avocado toast, guacamole, or scrambled eggs. It’s also great on hummus, and as a bread crumb seasoning. My absolute favorite way to use it is as a generous sprinkle on top of a silky, simple pureed carrot soup with a finishing thread of good olive oil. The recipe is at the bottom of this post.
Spice Blends - Pink Dragon Dust

Pink Dragon Dust

This dust comes to life when stirred into ingredients like honey, nut butters, or yogurt – all to taste. It’s also great sprinkled across the top of fruit salad. The recipe is included in the Spice / Herb / Flower / Zest recipe collection.
Diablo Powder Seasoning Blend

Diablo Powder

This is what I think of as a “dry” soup or curry starter. I like to make up a few little dry spice pouches whenever we go camping or take our Airstream out. They make for easy one-pot, just-add-water style meals. Add whatever protein and vegetable you have on hand. This broth mad from this spice blend is warming and chile-forward, but also grounding from the mushrooms. A finishing splash of coconut (or cashew milk) brings everything together. The recipe is included in the Spice / Herb / Flower / Zest recipe collection.
Spice Blends - Toasted Coconut Pepper

Toasted Coconut Pepper

With black peppercorns, sesame seeds, toasted coconut flakes, lime, dried garlic or onions, and grated cheese to finish, this seasoning blend is good on everything. You can’t go wrong keeping a little container front and center in your kitchen. The zest (or leaves) of the uniquely fragrant makrut limes make this extra special, but any limes will work great. Work this combo generously into butter for a fantastic compound butter perfect on roasted sweet potatoes. Or, sprinkle it across your favorite grain bowls. I like it on soba as well. The recipe is included in the Spice / Herb / Flower / Zest recipe collection.
Spice Blends - Golden Sesame Sprinkle

Golden Sesame Sprinkle

There’s a lot going on with this hearty blend making it a fragrant fennel-flecked closer that you can use generously. The sesame seeds provide a substantial foundation, the coriander and lemon verbena bring bright citrus notes, and you get a kick from the peppercorns. It’s not shy sprinkled on salted yogurt, accenting brown rice, or tossed with roasted asparagus. The recipe is included in the Spice / Herb / Flower / Zest recipe collection.
Seasoning Blend - Salad Booster

Salad Booster

I often carry a small vial of this spiced kale and nori medley in my purse, refilling it every few days. It’s a blend of seaweed, crisped kale, seeds, and a few wildcards. Nutrient-dense and delicious, you can use it as a healthful seasoning for salad, vegetables, stir-fries – whatever you like. Get the recipe here or in the Spice / Herb / Flower / Zest recipe collection.

Spice Blends - Rose Geranium Lime Sugar

Rose Geranium Lime Sugar

Keep an eagle eye out for rose geranium at your local nursery, the leaves perfume the world around them – perfect for infusing sugars, alcohol, and baked goods. Try this floral sugar sprinkle as a finishing touch on everything from waffles to muffin tops, berry crisps to apple pies. The recipe is included in the Spice / Herb / Flower / Zest recipe collection.

Spice Blends - Yeast Beast

Yeast Beast

If you’re not using nutritional yeast as a seasoning component, you’re missing out. The only thing I reach for more often is sea salt. Nutritional yeast can add a cheesy savoriness to pasta, savory toasts, biscuits, crepes, and just about anything else you can imagine. I love it spiked with curry powder and cut with ground, toasted pepitas. This combo has been a finishing touch on the last pizza I baked, topping for a breakfast bowl of spicy congee, and a kiss of magic on a simple, green lunch salad. The recipe is included in the Spice / Herb / Flower / Zest recipe collection.

Using Spice Blends

Use these seasoning and spice blends to flavor your curries, rim your cocktail glasses, churn into compound butters, press into cookie dough, whisk into dressings, and sprinkle on toast. My hope is you’ll then jump off and explore making your own creations. Have fun! 

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Homemade Pappardelle

Simple, homemade pappardelle pasta is a deliciously versatile shape to make! Pictured below topped with crispy mushrooms, clouds of Parmesan cheese, and lemon.

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It’s time for another pasta session! Pappardelle is one of the pasta shapes I prepare most often. The easy-to-make wide ribbons sweep up sauces beautifully. Flecks of flavor, like zests and grated cheese, love to cling to the expansive surface area. A bowl of homemade pappardelle is a real treat. Let’s talk though the process of making the pasta, and then I’ll share a simple pairing with oven-crisped mushroom, Parmesan and a lemon accent that I like a lot.
Fresh Homemade Pappardelle Noodles

About this Pappardelle Recipe

When you enjoy pappardelle in a restaurant the ratio of eggs to flour is often much, much higher than what I make at home. With the former, the weight of egg yolks can equal the weight of the flour. That means, you might need nearly two dozen yolks for the amount of flour we’re going to use today. This version is going to use some eggs, but nothing extreme.

For home-style pappardelle, I like to use 4 eggs for 400g of flour. It ends up being more egg-y than this basic homemade pasta recipe, but it works great, I always have the ingredients on hand, and it’s perfect for everyday cooking and eating. And there are eggs leftover for the rest of the week.Homemade Pappardelle on a platter with sliced mushrooms and lemon

Which Flour Should I Use?

The pappardelle you see pictured here was made with “00” flour. “00” is powder-fine and made with low gluten, soft wheat flour. If you don’t have “00” you can certainly use all-purpose flour. Or use equal parts “00” and unbleached all-purpose flour. Once you’re comfortable with this, you can even swap in a bit of whole-grain flour if you like – until you have a blend you love. A bit of rye flour is nice for winter pappardelle, or you could play around with chickpea flour, or even oat flour. I have it on my list to try a bit of mesquite flour at some point.Flour and eggs ready to make pasta dough

How To Make Pappardelle Dough By Hand

This is covered in the recipe below, but I wanted to include some step-by-step information in case you find yourself in the weeds.

Start by making a mound of the flour directly on the countertop. Make a deep crater in the top and add the eggs, olive oil, and salt.

Use a fork to break up the eggs without breaking through the walls of your flour mound. You want to try to keep the eggs contained, but don’t worry if they break through – use a spatula or bench scraper to scoop them back in. Work more and more flour into the eggs a bit at a time. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of cold water across the mixture and keep mixing until you’ve got a dough coming together.

If you’re exclusively using all-purpose flour, you might not need more water. Some of the other flours are a bit thirstier, you can drizzle a bit more at time as you go if you feel like your dough is too dry. It should look like the pictures, you want to avoid having a wet dough. With some of the other flours I typically end up using 4-5 tablespoons of water total.

I’ve found that a spray bottle is my favorite way to add water to pasta dough without adding too much, but drizzling works too. Use your hands to bring the dough together into a bag and knead for 7-10 minutes, until the dough is silky smooth and elastic.
Pappardelle dough resting in a bag

How to Roll and Cut Fresh Pappardelle By Hand

To roll out pappardelle dough by hand, make sure your dough is at room temperature. Cut the dough into four equal pieces. Choose one piece to work with, and immediately wrap the rest so they don’t dry out. You’ll need a floured surface, and you’ll want to keep the pasta floured a bit as well, so it doesn’t stick to itself. If the dough is sticking rub with a bit more flour. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to your desired thickness. I tend to go thinner than I think I’ll want because the pasta swells a bit as it cooks. Once you’ve rolled the dough out flat, cut the dough into strips 1-inch wide and 12 inches long. Transfer the cut pasta to a floured baking sheet, rub with a bit of flour, and swirl into little nests with about 6 pieces of pasta in each nest. Repeat with the remaining dough. At this point you can cook the pasta immediately, dry it, refrigerate it, or freeze it.

How to Roll and Cut Fresh Pappardelle by Machine

If your dough was refrigerated, bring it to room temperature before rolling out. Sprinkle a baking sheet generously with flour and aside. When you’re ready to roll out the pasta, make sure your dough is at room temperature. Cut it into six equal wedges, and squish one of them flat-ish with your fingers. Re-wrap the remaining dough immediately so it doesn’t dry out. Feed your flattened wedge though the pasta machine on its widest setting. Run it though 2 or 3 times. You want to get it into a rectangular shape if possible. Fold the dough in thirds so you have a rectangle. Feed it though the pasta maker 2-3 more times on the widest setting. Continue to feed the pasta dough through the pasta maker, decreasing the width as you go. I run the pasta through a 2-3 times on each width, and dust with a bit of flour on both sides if I’m getting any stickiness. I typically roll pappardelle out to the 5 or 6 setting on my Atlas 150. 
Pappardelle dough next to an Atlas Pasta machine
I love my Altas hand-cranked pasta machine, and I’ve used it forever. They’re relatively inexpensive, and a great investment if you think you might want to make homemade pasta more often. I’ve also had great success using the pasta attachment to the Kitchen-Aid. So, if you already have one of those, consider the attachment. 
Pasta machine making sheets of pasta dough from which you cut pappardelle
Cut the sheets into strips roughly 12-inches long by 1-inch thick. You can get super precise, like the photo below, or just eyeball it, and take a more casual approach. Transfer the cut pasta to a floured baking sheet, dust/rub the pasta with a bit of flour, and swirl into little nests. I usually do 6 pappardelle per nest. At this point you can cook the pasta immediately, dry it, refrigerate it, or freeze it.
Cutting homemade pappardelle on marble countertop using ruler as a guide
The pappardelle are lightly dusted (photo below) and then shaped into nests that you can use immediately, or freeze to use at a later time. 
Fresh Homemade Pappardelle Noodles drying a bit on a floured sheet pan

How To Freeze Pappardelle

Freezing is my preferred method of storing any pappardelle I’m not cooking immediately. Arrange freshly made, uncooked nests of pappardelle across a floured baking sheet. Freeze for a couple of hours, and then transfer to double layer plastic bags. You can freeze for up to a couple of months. And you can cook straight from the freezer. No need to thaw, just dump the pappardelle into boiling salted water, and increase the cooking time a bit.Nest of Pappardelle pasta on a floured sheetpan

Variations

You can see in some of my other pasta recipes how to tweak basic pappardelle pasta dough by adding different seasonings and spices. For example, I added black pepper and turmeric to this sunny-looking cavatelli. And beet juice to electrify this fettuccini. You can also play around with the water component. In place of water you can use vegetable juices, purees, stocks or broths, anything of that sort is fair game.
Top-down view of Homemade Pappardelle on a platter with sliced mushrooms and lemon

More Ideas!

Making fresh pasta is one of my favorite things to do. It’s even better when you have others around to help, taking turns in shifts. I did a basic primer on making homemade pasta a while ago, if you love fettuccine noodles or anything along those lines, start there. You can also try making gnocchi (it’s perfect with this pesto), or a favorite simple tomato sauce. And all my pasta recipes live here. Have a blast and enjoy!

 

 

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A Tasty Frittata

The tastiest, super adaptable frittata recipe. Made with potatoes, onions, and eggs drizzled with a cilantro chile sauce.

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I make a lot of frittatas. They fill your belly, allow you to put neglected ingredients in your refrigerator to good use, and deliver a one-pan meal that is nutritious and filling. Breakfast, lunch, dinner – if you’ve got a six-pack of eggs on hand, a simple, satisfying meal is never more than a few minutes away.
“Frittata Recipe

Frittata Inspiration

This particular frittata recipe was inspired by a few things – a small bag of little potatoes I picked up at the market, and some delicious vegetables that came courtesy of a nutrient-packed mystery box I picked up regularly from Mariquita Farm when I lived in San Francisco. That’s what great about knowing how to cook a great frittata. You can switch it up using all sorts of different ingredients. And they’re great for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner. 

The Special Sauce

I’ll let you in on a little secret, the magic touch in this particular frittata is the vibrant cilantro chile sauce I drizzle over the top of it. Drizzle the sauce over the eggs just before the frittata goes into the oven, then layer the potatoes and onions on top of the sauce – everything melds together into a color-flecked pan of deliciousness. The pumpkin seeds add just the right amount of crust – playing off the creaminess of the eggs and goat cheese. The cilantro sauce would also be delicious on Lori’s Skillet Smashed Potatoes or these oven fries.
“Frittata in a Cast Iron Pan

What is the Best Frittata Pan?

The main thing to think about when choosing a frittata pan is making sure it is oven-safe. I always reach for my well-seasoned cast iron pan. A lot of people like to use non-stick pans any time they cook eggs, and that is fine. For this recipe just be sure whatever you choose can handle a few minutes in a very hot oven. I love finishing my frittatas in the oven because they puff up, the eggs set up nicely, and the whole frittata comes together beautifully.

“Favorite Frittata Recipe with a Wedge Cut Out

Favorite Frittata Variations

I switch up my frittatas a thousand different ways. Some favorite ways: add a big dollop of green or red curry paste to the whisked eggs. Sriracha is also fair game. You can switch up the cheese, or nuts, or top them with just about any pre-cooked vegetables. I love broccoli, or asparagus, or mix chopped kale into the egg mixture.

Give this a try! Other favorite egg recipes include: deviled eggs, egg salad sandwich, this skinny omelette, and pickled turmeric eggs. If you’re looking for more brunchy breakfast recipes don’t miss this healthy granola, or the best waffle recipe, these homemade cinnamon rolls, classic pancakes, tofu scramble, Herb Cream Cheese Scrambled Eggs, and the baked oatmeal is always popular!

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Perfect Stovetop Popcorn

If you’ve ever been frustrated by making homemade popcorn, this post is for you! It’s my technique for perfect stovetop popcorn every time.

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I often half-jokingly tell people one of the hardest things to cook consistently is perfect stovetop popcorn. Keyword: consistently. If you’ve ever burned a batch, or ended up with dozens of un-popped kernels, you know what I’m saying. Pull up a seat. This is where I’ve netted out after hundreds of batches of homemade popcorn.
Perfect Stovetop Popcorn

Homemade Popcorn: Why Bother?

It’s a quick, fantastic, inexpensive, healthful snack. Everyone delights in popcorn. And, everyone loves to get involved in experimenting with different flavors. You can make perfect stovetop popcorn in a flash, so ditch those bags of pre-popped kernels. When you make homemade popcorn you also know exactly what ingredients are going in the bowl. Also, microwave popcorn? Just no.

Popcorn Pro-tip: Skip the Oil

Let’s get this out of the way first. Pop your popcorn in a dry pan or skillet, no oil. Controversial, I know, but I find that popping popcorn in hot oil increases the likelihood of burnt popcorn and dead kernels. Dry pan popping results in beautiful light popcorn that provides the perfect blank canvas for all your favorite seasonings.
Yellow Popcorn Kernels

Best Pan for Making Perfect Stovetop Popcorn?

The two pans I use most for making popcorn are a deep pasta pot (big batch), and a wide, deep skillet (small batch). You’re going for wide, with a lot of surface area. In either case a fitted lid is needed, although in a pinch you might try placing a baking sheet over your pot. Careful though, it gets hot. 

A lot of people will recommend using thick bottom pots or Dutch ovens to make popcorn. It’s decent advice, especially if you’re not the most attentive cook. If you can hit the right steady temperature, thick pots are more forgiving. That said, I love using my copper pans to pop popcorn. They’re relatively thin and very responsive. That makes it easy to dial back the heat and adjust quickly of you sense your pan is hot. A long way of saying, keeping an eye on your temps is probably more important than obsessing about the perfect pot to use.
Homemade Popcorn in a Bowl after Popping

Cover but Crack

A good lid is important when making popcorn, but there’s a bit of a strategy here. For the best results, and lowest number of un-popped kernels leave the lid  open just a hairline amount. It allows any steam or moisture to get out as well, resulting in fluffy kernels.
Homemade Popcorn

Popcorn Seasoning Ideas

Once you have a perfect bowl of fluffy, crisp kernels the seasoning game is on. Here are a few ideas. And please, if you have other favorite popcorn seasonings, drop a comment.

Turmeric Popcorn: A long time fave. Kernels tossed with a short list of power ingredients – ghee, clarified butter, or coconut oil plus turmeric, saffron, nutritional yeast, sesame, and toasted coconut.

Use Compound Butters: Gently melt any of these for flavor-packed drizzles. Lemon Miso Butter is great here, as is Scallion Dill Butter.

Bloody Mary Popcorn:  It’s what happens when popcorn meets the flavors of a Bloody Mary cocktail.

Chile Lime Tequila: Fresh popcorn is tossed with melted butter, lime juice, jalapeno peppers, red pepper flakes, cumin and a splash of tequila.

Classic Buttered Popcorn: This is built into the recipe below, but I’ll mention an alternative here. Ghee is a great swap for melted butter on popcorn. It has wonderful brown butter notes from the toasted milk solids, and less water content. This means no soggy kernels.

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How To Cook Quinoa (and 20 Quinoa Recipes)

How to cook quinoa perfectly, every time. You can use it in everything from salads and bowls, stews and sourdough, or any of my 20 favorite quinoa recipes highlighted below.

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If you know how to cook quinoa perfectly, you’re on your way to a wide range of amazing meals. It’s a fantastic adventure to cook your way through the world’s wonderful heirloom grains (and grain-like seeds), and quinoa is one of them. The trick to nailing the perfect fluffy pot of quinoa is using the right ratio of water to quinoa and knowing a few little tricks. While I initially purchased quinoa for its nutritional perks (of which there are many) I kept purchasing it for its grassy taste and fluffed up, creamy-while-crunchy texture.
Best Quinoa Recipes

What is Quinoa?

Quinoa [Keen-wah] is a fantastic grain to utilize in year-round cooking. It has long been celebrated as a nutritional powerhouse – protein-rich, delicious, and charmingly versatile. Technically not a true grain, it is related botanically to Swiss chard and beets, but it is grain-like in spirit when it comes to cooking.

Which Color Quinoa is Best?

Quinoa grows in a wide range of colors. The most commonly available in the U.S. are red, brown, black, and ivory. You can also buy tri-color blends of quinoas. Most quinoa tastes very similar to me. White often cooks up fluffiest. The colors have very similar nutritional profiles, although I suspect red and black quinoa have increased phytonutrients. Black can also take a few extra minutes to cook. The biggest difference to me is visual impact. I tend to go with the ivory quinoa if making a meal for someone who might not be a very adventurous eater, or picky kids. The light colored quinoa tends to blend or bake right into things seamlessly. That said, I love the visual punch colored quinoa delivers to pizza crusts, muffins, grain bowls, and the like. So that’s usually my choice.

Why Do I Need to Rinse Quinoa?

This is a thing. Always rinse quinoa before using to remove bitter saponin coating (which the plant produces to deter  birds and insects).

Quinoa Cooking Basics

  • What kind of quinoa should I buy? Consider sourcing fair-trade and organic quinoa. This supports local farm communities, and helps preserve the health and integrity of the land and farming communities.
  • Can I use a rice cooker to cook quinoa? Yes, absolutely. Use the following water (or broth) to quinoa ratio and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Can I use a donabe to cook quinoa? Yes! I use my clay pot donabe to cook quinoa often. Use gentle heat, the ratio below, and the same technique you would use to cook rice.
  • How much water to quinoa should I use? This has been an ever-evolving issue for me over the years. And I’ve landed on 1 cup quinoa to 1 2/3 cups liquid. A steady, gentle simmer for about 20 minutes, covered, will result in a beautiful pot of quinoa. Just fluff with a fork and enjoy.

Get Creative! Cook Your Quinoa with Flavor

Nearly every basic quinoa recipe will instruct you to use water to cook your quinoa. I think this is great advice your first few times through. You can get a real sense of the flavor of quinoa by keeping it simple. Just know, there is a world of flavor to explore beyond that! I love to cook my quinoa with strong broths. A dollop of curry paste is always welcome for a jolt of flavor. Or you can experiment with spices like turmeric, powdered chiles, or seaweeds, or mushroom powders. Chopped garlic? Yes! Miso? So good. The realm of possibilities is endless.

How Can I Add Quinoa to My Baking?

Stir leftover quinoa into all your favorite baked goods for more interesting flavor, texture, and nutritional punch. The key here is experimenting. Stir a cup of cooked, room-temperature quinoa into your favorite muffin mix. Or cut it into your best pie crust, or biscuit dough. This amount is usually a good place to start until you get a feel for things. Make notes! Then, add more or less quinoa the next time through. This is one of my favorite baking pro-tips. Once you start adding things like quinoa or millet to your baking, all-white flour baking gets less and less interesting.

How to Store Cooked Quinoa

Store leftover quinoa in the refrigerator for up to a few days, beyond that, transfer it to the freezer. It freezes beautifully. When you’re ready to use it, bring to room temperature and then transfer to a bowl. Use a fork to break up clumps and make uniform. My motto here is: Fridge, freeze, fluff.

The Nutritional Benefits of Quinoa

Nutrient-rich quinoa is often considered a whole grain, but it actually a seed! And it has a lot going for it. Quinoa is a wonderful source of plant-based fiber and protein. And added bonus is that quinoa is that it is a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids our bodies aren’t able to produce on their own. It is naturally gluten-free and can be enjoyed by people who need to avoid gluten for a range of reasons. It is also a source of magnesium, folate, thiamine, and calcium.

Is Quinoa Better than Rice?

I’m occasionally asked if quinoa is better than rice. It’s a great question. One of the nice things about quinoa is it has a low glycemic index when compared to many rices. It clearly stands out in this regard. It beats out brown rice in many other regards as well – more protein, and more amino acids. They’re neck and neck on the fiber front. That said, I love rice (there’s an amazing range available), and one of the things I like to do is add a percentage of quinoa to my rice when cooking. Or stir in cooked quinoa to rice for some added nutritional boost. It’s generally agreed that quinoa has significantly more micro-nutrients than brown rice.

Easy Ways to Incorporate Quinoa Into Your Diet

I’ll list off some favorite quinoa recipes below, but I thought it might be helpful to list off easy “non-recipe” ways I like to incorporate quinoa into my meals and snacks. I often cook a pot of quinoa at the start of the week, and then add it to a wide range of things.

  • Add some cooked quinoa to your favorite cookie dough. Start with 1/3 of a cup and see how you like it. You can always increase or decrease the amount of quinoa in future batches.
  • I love adding a few tablespoons of cooked quinoa to any tart or pizza dough I’m making.
  • Sprinkle cooked quinoa into your favorite potato salad, green salad, egg salad, or even macaroni salad. 
  • Stir some quinoa into whatever other grain you’re cooking for a bit of nutritional diversity.

Twenty Favorite Quinoa Recipes

If you’re looking for great quinoa recipes, you’re in the right place!

  1. Double Broccoli Quinoa

    Broccoli lovers delight, with a broccoli pesto, quinoa, sliced avocado and a drizzle of feisty chile pepper oil.
    Double Broccoli Quinoa

  2. Mung Quinoa Power Bowl Recipe

    Simply mung beans and quinoa with deeply sautéed and spiced celery.
    Mung Quinoa Power Bowl Recipe

  3. Spicy Instant Pot Taco Soup Recipe

    A hearty melding of beans, and corn, and taco spices, and quinoa.
    Spicy Instant Pot Taco Soup Recipe

  4. Super Green Vegan Quinoa Burritos

    Vegan burritos packed with all the good stuff – quinoa, mung beans, and lots of kale.

     

    Super Green Vegan Quinoa Burritos

  5. Vegan Double Broccoli Buddha Bowl

    Double up on broccoli through a coconut green curry pesto and florets, then toss with a quinoa base. Vegan Double Broccoli Buddha Bowl

  6. Kale Quinoa Bites

    The perfect on-the-go snack or mini meal.
    Kale Quinoa Bites

  7. Life Changing Green Rice Porridge

    A one pot, effortless, green, nutrient-packed twist on one of my favorite things to eat. Life Changing Green Rice Porridge

  8. Super Natural Vegan Sushi

    Vegan sushi made with sweet potato fries, seasoned tofu, avocado, kale chips, and a quinoa-sushi rice blend. Super Natural Vegan Sushi

  9. Rustic Tomato Tart

    The crust of this tart deploys a favorite baking trinity of mine – rye, cooked quinoa, and all-purpose (or bread) flour. Rustic Tomato Tart

  10. Warm and Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa

    A berry-studded breakfast quinoa with pecans and blackberries, sweetened with agave nectar or honey. Warm and Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa Recipe

  11. Coconut Quinoa Bowl

    The next time you have leftover quinoa (other other favorite grain) give it a try – coconut, garlic, almonds, kale, topped with salted yogurt and avocado. Coconut Quinoa Bowl Recipe

  12. Quinoa Skillet Bread

    A rustic, minimally structured, custard-topped, crusty-edged, herb-scented corn-quinoa skillet bread. Quinoa Skillet Bread Recipe

  13. Heather’s Quinoa

    A one-skillet quinoa recipe – quinoa, corn, chopped kale and pan-toasted tofu tossed with a big dollop of pesto and finished off with a few roasted cherry tomatoes. Heather’s Quinoa Recipe

  14. Quinoa Hemp Snack Balls

    A quick way to get quinoa, hemp seeds, chia, and coconut into one naturally sweetened, no-bake snack.

  15. Perfect Healthy Granola

    Deeply chocolate-flavored with dark black cocoa and cocoa nibs, this granola is packed with heart-healthy oats, quinoa crispies and seeds.

  16. Lemon-scented Quinoa Salad

    An impromptu quinoa salad recipe made by tossing a quick tahini dressing with chickpeas, red onion, and cilantro.

  17. Lemon-scented Quinoa Salad

    This quinoa and grilled zucchini recipe is tossed with a pretty, pale green cilantro-flecked avocado dressing.

  18. Quinoa Cloud Cookies

    Cookies made from toasted quinoa and wheat flours, flecked with chocolate shavings, rolled and stamped into cloud shapes.

  19. Quinoa with Currants, Dill, and Zucchini

    A quinoa salad made from a quirky combination of quinoa, dill, shredded zucchini, and currants.

  20. Tokyo Five Grain

    A colorful grain blend inspired by a trip to Japan.

Have fun cooking with quinoa! Use it in soups, on salads, as a base for all sorts of quinoa bowls, and as a nutrient-packed alternative to white rice or pasta. Stir it into your batters and fold it into your bread and pizza doughs. If you find you enjoy recipes featuring whole quinoa, there are also other forms of quinoa available. Keep an eye out for quinoa flakes, popped/puffed quinoa as well as quinoa flour. All are delicious, interesting, and easy to incorporate into your cooking. Have fun!

 

Continue reading How To Cook Quinoa (and 20 Quinoa Recipes) on 101 Cookbooks

Sunny Citrus Recipes + How to Use Lots of Citrus

Favorite citrus recipes and all the ways I put a big box of citrus to use this week. Oranges, Meyer and Eureka lemons, mandarins, and grapefruits are all in the mix.

Continue reading Sunny Citrus Recipes + How to Use Lots of Citrus on 101 Cookbooks

The abundance of homegrown citrus this time of year in Los Angeles is a peak reason I love being a Californian. You see front yard Meyer lemon trees groaning with yellow orbs. Pomelos and grapefruits frame driveways, and trees impossibly heavy with oranges regularly warrant a double-take. Being surround with this much citrus is happy-making. Especially if you can get your hands on it. And did I ever. My dad’s neighbors generously dropped off a huge crate of Meyers, mandarins, oranges, and Eureka lemons the other day – a legit “bend with your knees” box. So here I am jotting down the ways I’ve been using it, saving it, and the citrus recipes I’ve been making all week.

Ginger Grapefruit Curd

A Week in Citrus

I thought I’d start by talking through everything I’ve done with citrus in the past week. It has been a mix! I’ll include recipes down below for the pastes and syrups.

  • Kosho: I started a batch of Meyer lemon kosho. Kosho is traditionally a spicy, fermented Japanese Yuzu paste, but because lemons are more plentiful here, I tend to use them.
  • Citrus Peel Pastes: I also blended Meyer lemon, Eureka, and orange peels into a number of quick (unfermented) pastes, and froze them in single use quantities. I’ll write up the recipes down below. I use them to season and boost everything! From pastas and soups to rice bowls and roasted vegetable tacos.
  • Most of the mandarins were simply peeled and popped into mouths, but a few have made it into my favorite citrus salad (I’ll highlight that down below).
  • Meyer Lemon & Rose Geranium No-heat Syrup: I love the intensity of no-heat syrups, and made a thick, intensely flavored Meyer lemon syrup by massaging lots of lemon peel with sugar and rose geranium leaves.
  • Orange No-heat Syrup: Same process as the lemon syrup, but kept it to orange peel here. See the recipe below.
  • Citrus Ice Cubes: After peeling citrus and making pastes or syrups, all of the juice was frozen in ice cube trays for future use in drinks, granitas, soups, etc.

Favorite Citrus Salad from Super Natural Simple Cookbook

My Favorite Citrus Salad

I love this salad. It has a mix of citrus segments, peanuts, red onions, a few saffron threads and almond extract along with good olive oil. The recipe is in Super Natural Simple which will be out next month. There’s more information (and so many good soups & salads) here.

Oranges Being Peeled

How To Efficiently Peel Citrus

Ok, let’s talk about peeling citrus. There was a lot of it going on this week. Peeling citrus isn’t a quick task. Know that going in, and you’ll enjoy the process much more. I basically have three moves (see below). 1. Start with clean, dry citrus, and slice citrus from top to bottom in wide slabs. Some peelers work well at this stage, but I often just use a knife. 2. Trim all the bitter pith away. To do this, keep the peel flat agains the cutting board, and trim away from yourself. 3. Scrape any remaining pith from peel with the dull or “flip-side” of a knife.
How To Peel Citrus

What about the Juice?

Lots of peel means lots of juice. Sometimes we just drink it, or use it over the coming days. But, if you freeze the juice in ice cube trays you end up with easy to thaw portions for use in dressing, granitas, soups, curries – basically any place where you can imagine a sunny citrus boost!

Meyer Lemon Ice Cubes

So Many Ways To Use Citrus Peel Pastes

Citrus peel pastes are fragrant flavor blasts. You can make them as simple or complex as you want. I tend to keep mine pretty straightforward, but love the addition of garlic – quite a lot of it. You might add spice blends, mix citruses, you could use other oils in place of olive oil, etc. Here’s how I put them to use after making them:

Orange & Garlic Citrus Paste (recipe below) is super garlicky and was amazing combined with a healthy amount of cayenne pepper, water, and coconut milk to make a beautiful broth for soba noodles – season with more salt to taste to make it just right. I also put a dollop on my lunchtime chana masala and loved the way it brightened everything up. It was also incredibly good dolloped on top of a bowl of this Fire Broth Noodle Soup. And lastly, I used it as a finishing accent on roasted vegetable tacos (cauliflower & mushroom) on homemade corn tortillas. Orange & Garlic Citrus Paste is pictured below.

Meyer Lemon & Garlic Citrus Paste (recipe below) was perfect tossed with a bowl of pan-fried golden artichoke hearts. The next day I tossed a generous amount  of the citrus paste with hot noodles, extra olive oil, pasta water, lots of scallions, a bit of torn mozzarella, herbs and broccoli – so good! And it was the perfect slather across the top of a simple buckwheat and gruyere crepe the other night.
Orange Peel and Garlic Paste in a Blender

No-Heat Citrus Peel Syrups

Heating fruit changes the flavor profile. As I mentioned up above,  I love the intensity, and uncooked clarity that rings through citrus peel syrups. Made by patiently massaging citrus peels with sugar and leaving to macerate, you strain and end up with an intense, full-bodied syrup to use in countless ways. A favorite this week was an easy drinking dark rum cocktail made with a splash of orange syrup, a shot of dark rum, shaken with tons of ice and topped off with pampelmousse La Croix, and a kiss of lime juice.

Bottle of Homemade Meyer Lemon Syrup
Making Homemade Orange Syrup

Cookbooks Focused on Citrus Recipes

Citri – I love this little 60-ish page cookbook zine by Loria Stern. I’ve encountered Loria and her beautiful creations a number of times since moving to Los Angeles (thanks to Jessica & Joanna), and she made sure I had Citri at the perfect time – peak citrus season. It’s a love letter to citrus with 25 bright and brilliant recipes.
Citri Cookbook with Pink Cover and Yellow Spiral Binding 

Also, have a look at Citrus : Sweet and Savory Sun-Kissed Recipes by Valerie Aikman-Smith and Victoria Pearson, Pucker: A Cookbook for Citrus Lovers by Gwendolyn Richards, and also Citrus: 150 Recipes Celebrating the Sweet and the Sour by Catherine Phipps.

More Citrus Recipes from the Archives

There are a lot of citrus-centric recipes in the 101 archives, and I’ll put them in the related searches below, but these two recipes have been exceptionally popular over the years. A few years back, I also linked out to a bunch of great winter citrus recipes here.
Candied Citrus Pops
Candied Citrus Lollipops: Two-ingredient magic. Plump, juicy, citrus segments coated in thin, crunchy, sugar shells. They’re the perfect, delightful sweet treat.
Citrus Salt
A Spectrum of Citrus Salts: Citrus salts made from all sorts of winter citrus zest – clementines, wild lime, Meyer lemon, kalamansi oranges, and mandarinquats. Couldn’t be simpler.

Let me know your favorite ultra citrus centric recipes and resources. And in the meantime, I hope you find a bit of inspiration here, especially with the citrus peel pastes. Enjoy! -h

Continue reading Sunny Citrus Recipes + How to Use Lots of Citrus on 101 Cookbooks