Baked Chicken Alfredo

Chicken Alfredo Bake (otherwise known as Trending TikTok Dump & Bake Chicken Alfredo) is a one-dish pasta bake recipe with lots of
The post Baked Chicken Alfredo appeared first on Salty Side Dish Recipes.

Chicken Alfredo Bake (otherwise known as Trending TikTok Dump & Bake Chicken Alfredo) is a one-dish pasta bake recipe with lots of

The post Baked Chicken Alfredo appeared first on Salty Side Dish Recipes.

Easy Baked Fish

This baked fish recipe uses simple ingredients for big Mediterranean flavor! It’s a crowd-pleaser with any type of white fish.…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This baked fish recipe uses simple ingredients for big Mediterranean flavor! It’s a crowd-pleaser with any type of white fish.

Baked Fish

Baked fish might sound a bit pedestrian…until you’ve tried this Mediterranean baked fish recipe! One bite and you’ll be singing its praises. Roast up any white fish with lemon, garlic and a simple mix of tomatoes, onions and olives. It comes out perfectly fork tender with a punchy zip from the lemon and tender vegetables to flavor each bite. The minute we tried it, we knew it was destined for our regular rotation: it works as both an easy weeknight meal and for dinner parties!

Types of fish to use

You can use any type of white fish in this baked fish recipe: in fact, it doesn’t even need to be white fish! It works with salmon too. Here are some varieties of mild white fish that work well. Keep in mind that each type of fish has a varying level of fillet thickness:

  • Tilapia
  • Halibut
  • Cod
  • Grouper
  • Snapper
  • Pollock
  • Bass
Baked Fish

Ingredients in this baked fish recipe

This baked fish recipe uses a simple Mediterranean preparation to bring big flavors to the dish! It’s easy to slice up the vegetables before baking, and it comes together into something that seems much greater than the sum of its parts. The genius of this recipe is this: the fish bakes on top of the Mediterranean-style vegetables, which give it just the right amount of moisture. The vegetables then form a tangy sauce that infuses a pop of zingy flavor into each bite. When you plate it up, make sure to add Here’s what you’ll need:

  • White fish fillets
  • Cherry tomatoes, red onion, garlic
  • Green olives and capers
  • Fresh parsley
  • Olive oil
  • Dried oregano
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
Baked Fish

How to bake fish

Baking white fish is pretty straightforward: it’s all about how thick the fillet is! Here are a few simple tips for how to bake fish:

  • Pat the fillet dry, then season with olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon. This is a great basic flavor profile.
  • Bake the fish for approximately 20 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. The exact timing depends on the thickness of the fish. A very thin fillet may take 15 minutes, and very thick may take 25 minutes or more.
  • Bake fish until the internal temperature is 140 degrees Fahrenheit when measured with a food thermometer. This is a more precise measurement that yields perfectly cooked fish.

About the olives

This baked fish recipe uses olives for the Mediterranean-style preparation: which can be a polarizing ingredient! You can omit the olives if you’re cooking for olive haters; the dish is still delicious. But we highly recommend using them for the best flavor here! The Italian variety Castelvetrano is a green olive with a mild, buttery flavor: you can find this variety in many grocery stores near the other canned olives.

Baked Fish Recipe

Sides for baked fish

Once you’ve got a pan of this baked fish recipe, we think you’ll agree: it’s a winner! Our entire family loves this one. Here are a few ways to pair this Mediterranean-style dinner: both for quick weeknight meals and for dinners to impress:

More baked fish recipes

Love baked fish recipes? There are loads of ways to prepare fish in the oven. Here are a few more ideas:

This baked fish recipe is…

Pescatarian, gluten-free and dairy free.

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Baked Fish

Easy Baked Fish


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Description

This baked fish recipe uses simple ingredients for big Mediterranean flavor! It’s a crowd-pleaser with any type of white fish.


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds white fish fillets (tilapia, halibut, cod, snapper, and so forth)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • ¼ cup green olives, sliced in half (optional*; we like Castelvetrano)
  • ¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow the fish to stand at room temperature while prepping the vegetables.
  2. Chop the tomatoes, olives, red onion and garlic, as noted above.
  3. Place the chopped vegetables, drained capers, and 1 tablespoon chopped parsley in the bottom of a 9 x 13″ baking dish. Mix with 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and fresh ground black pepper.
  4. Pat the fish dry. Rub it with 1 tablespoon olive oil and ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, split between the filets. Sprinkle both with the oregano and a few grinds black pepper. Place the fillets on top of the vegetables in the pan, then gently drizzle the fillets with the lemon juice.
  5. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish; check at 15 minutes for very thin fillets), until the fish is flaky and the internal temperature is 140 degrees Fahrenheit when measured with a food thermometer. Garnish with the remaining 1 tablespoon chopped parsley and serve immediately, adding a few spoonful of vegetables to each plate (over the top or next to the fish).

Notes

*Omit the olives if you’re cooking for olive haters; the dish is still delicious. But we highly recommend using them for the best flavor here! The Italian variety Castelvetrano has a mild, buttery flavor. 

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Fish
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: Baked fish, baked fish recipe, how to bake fish, baked fish recipes

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Million Dollar Spaghetti

Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole is a large quantity baked spaghetti recipe that is quick and easy and loaded with layers of noodles,
The post Million Dollar Spaghetti appeared first on Salty Side Dish Recipes.

Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole is a large quantity baked spaghetti recipe that is quick and easy and loaded with layers of noodles,

The post Million Dollar Spaghetti appeared first on Salty Side Dish Recipes.

Healthy Mac and Cheese with Broccoli

Healthy mac and cheese? This recipe has big flavor with less cheese than most and added broccoli for fiber and…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Healthy mac and cheese? This recipe has big flavor with less cheese than most and added broccoli for fiber and nutrients!

Healthy Mac and Cheese

Healthy mac and cheese? There are lots of implications around the word healthy (which we’ll get into below). Here’s the thing: mac and cheese can be part of a healthy, balanced diet. And this one is all about balance: it’s got big flavor, a bit less cheese per serving than the standard recipe, and it’s loaded with broccoli for a dose of nutrients and fiber. What’s not to love? This one’s on our regular rotation (and it’s 100% kid friendly: our 5 year old adores it!).

Ingredients in this healthy mac and cheese

The word “healthy” is a loaded term: to many people it connotes shame and diet culture. It’s also incredibly subjective, because there’s no exact definition on exactly what healthy is. Mac and cheese can be part of a healthy, balanced diet when it’s eaten in moderation and served with a balance of fruits and vegetables.

This recipe is an exercise in that balance: it’s got a bit less cheese than the standard mac and cheese recipe, and it’s got broccoli to balance the carbs out with fiber. Of course, you can have your broccoli on the side if you prefer it that way: and it’s just as good. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Pasta: macaroni, shells or short pasta (we used cavatappi)
  • Olive oil
  • Broccoli
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Milk
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Salt
  • Italian panko, for serving: we like to top with seasoned breadcrumbs! Italian panko are seasoned with Italian herbs and salt (you can also use them instead of croutons, like in this Kale Caesar Salad).
Healthy Mac and Cheese

The secret ingredient

The secret ingredient in this healthy mac and cheese? Pecorino Romano cheese! Pecorino Romano is an aged cheese with a very salty, savory flavor. This cheese has long been one of our favorite types of cheese to use because it’s so flavorful. It especially transforms vegetarian dishes because of its intensely savory flavor.

All you need are two tablespoons of grated Pecorino Romano here, and it makes all the difference! Try not to leave it out. (We tried once and it didn’t taste nearly as delicious!) You should be able to find it at your local grocery store in either grated or shredded containers. If you can’t find it, use Parmesan cheese and a few more pinches of salt. 

Healthy Mac and Cheese

Why to add broccoli to healthy mac and cheese

Of course, you can eat the broccoli on the side: or a side salad! But this healthy mac and cheese actually very tasty with the broccoli intermixed. Here’s why we like it:

  • The contrast in texture helps you slow down while eating it. Ever feel like you can quickly inhale a mountain of mac and cheese? The different texture of broccoli helps us to slow down and enjoy each bite, making it a more satisfying meal and helping us eat a reasonable portion size.
  • It adds fiber. There’s no fiber in noodles. But 1 cup of broccoli adds 2.4 grams fiber, which is 5 to 10% of your daily need (this is the amount in one serving of the mac and cheese).
  • It also adds nutrients. Broccoli is also high in nutrients like iron, folate, potassium, manganese, and vitamins C and K1.

Sides for healthy mac and cheese

This healthy mac and cheese is part of our regular repertoire — our 5 year old in particular loves it! And so do we. Here are a few kid friendly and adult friendly side dish ideas to pair with it for an easy weeknight:

Healthy Mac and Cheese

More mac and cheese recipes

We’ve got traditional mac and cheese recipes too! Here are a few of our top favorite ways to make this classic:

This healthy mac and cheese recipe is…

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

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Healthy Mac and Cheese

Healthy Mac and Cheese with Broccoli


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

Description

Healthy mac and cheese? This recipe has big flavor with less cheese than most and added broccoli for fiber and nutrients!


Ingredients

  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni, shells or other short cut pasta (if desired, use gluten-free or legume pasta)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups small florets of broccoli (2 heads)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup 2% milk
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese (or 1 cup cheddar)
  • 2 tablespoons grated or shredded Pecorino Romano cheese (don’t omit!*)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Italian seasoned panko, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook just until al dente, (about 8 minutes; start tasting a few minutes before your package instructions indicate). 
  2. Cut the broccoli into very small florets. In a large saucepan, add a drizzle of olive oil and heat on medium high. Add the broccoli and cook for 4 minutes until tender, then add a splash of water and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Cook 2 minutes more until bright green and tender. Remove the broccoli from the pan (and wipe it out if necessary).
  3. In the same pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the flour to create a paste for 1 minute. Gradually add the milk and whisk until smooth. Increase the heat to medium and continue whisking until the sauce starts to thicken, about 2 minutes. Stir in the shredded mozzarella, cheddar and Pecorino Romano cheese and continue stirring until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Add the ½ teaspoon salt. (If the sauce is too sticky, you can add ¼ cup more milk to get a creamier texture.) 
  4. Add the pasta and broccoli to the sauce, stirring to combine, and heat just until the pasta is warmed through. Taste and add the remaining ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. If desired, sprinkle with Italian panko and serve. 

Notes

*This is the secret flavor maker. Pecorino Romano is an aged cheese similar to Parmesan, but saltier and more savory. If you can’t find it, use Parmesan cheese and a few more pinches of salt. 

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Healthy mac and cheese

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Creamy Shrimp Risotto

This shrimp risotto recipe makes a crowd-pleasing dinner, pairing the bold flavors of Parmesan and lemon with creamy rice and…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This shrimp risotto recipe makes a crowd-pleasing dinner, pairing the bold flavors of Parmesan and lemon with creamy rice and juicy shrimp.

Shrimp Risotto

Looking for a fun dinner idea? Try this Shrimp Risotto recipe! This Italian-style dish is full of bold flavor: juicy, succulent shrimp sit over a bed of creamy, Parmesan and lemon-scented rice. It’s great for impressing guests as a main dish, but it’s simple enough to work as a weeknight meal, too. Our entire family gobbled it up!

Ingredients for this shrimp risotto recipe

Risotto is an Italian rice dish where short grain Arborio rice is cooked in broth until it becomes creamy. It’s generally served as a first course in Italy, where meals are structured as antipasti, first plate, and second plate. But when we’re looking to conjure up the flavors of Italy at home, we eat it as a dinner with a green salad. Most risotto methods use butter, onion, and garlic, white wine to deglaze the pan, and Parmesan cheese to finish. Here’s what you’ll need for this shrimp risotto recipe:

  • Medium shrimp
  • Smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper
  • Butter
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Seafood stock
  • Olive oil
  • Arborio rice
  • Dry white wine (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Lemon
Shrimp Risotto

Tips for buying shrimp

It can be overwhelming shopping for shrimp at the store, because there are so many variations! Here’s what to look for when shopping for this shrimp risotto recipe:

  • Medium shrimp: We like medium shrimp here, but you can also use large or jumbo which looks elegant on the plate. Medium is labeled as 41 to 50 count (the number of shrimp per pound). Large is 31 to 35 count, and jumbo is 21 to 25 shrimp.
  • Wild caught: Fish that is wild caught in your country is usually a sustainable choice. There are also quality options in well-regulated farms; see Seafood Watch Consumer Guide.
  • Tail on or peeled: Tail on looks the best for shrimp risotto. But it can be messy when you’re eating it! Make sure to serve it with a bowl for the tails. Or, buy peeled shrimp for easier eating.
  • Fresh or frozen: Both are similar in quality. Frozen shrimp can be as high quality as fresh if it’s frozen as soon as it’s caught. Make sure to fully thaw the shrimp before you make the recipe.

Making shrimp risotto: 6 steps

Making a risotto is simple, but it requires a bit of patience. Once you’ve made it once, the process becomes familiar. Here are the basic steps for a shrimp risotto recipe:

  • Heat the broth first. You can’t add cold broth to a risotto! Arborio rice immediately absorbs the broth if it’s hot. but if it’s cold it changes the temperature of the dish and affects the cooking process.
  • Sauté the shrimp: To get good flavor and a nice sear on the shrimp, cook them first in a hot pan and then set aside while you make the rice.
  • Saute the onion and garlic, then deglaze the pan. Using wine to deglaze the pan adds a tangy, sophisticated flavor. But you can skip this step if you prefer not cooking with alcohol!
  • Stir in broth gradually: be patient! Add a few ladles, then keep stirring to incorporate the broth. As soon as it’s absorbed, add more. Continue in this way for about 12 minutes. Grab a glass of wine and enjoy the process!
  • Adjust the heat as necessary to keep a steady simmer. If the heat is too high, it can burn or not cook through. If the heat too low, the rice grains can get waterlogged.
  • It’s ready when it’s tender but slightly al dente. The grains of rice should be slightly al dente (to have a bite of chew in the center) and stay separate from each other as they float in the thickened broth. Add the shrimp and serve!
Shrimp Risotto

Variation for serving size

This shrimp risotto tastes best the day of serving, so you may want to adjust the serving size accordingly. Using 2 cups rice makes quite a bit of risotto rice. If you want a smaller serving size with more protein, make half of the risotto and use the same quantity of shrimp. Or of course, you can make half of the entire recipe!

Storage and leftover info

The flavor and texture of this shrimp risotto best the day of making. You can store leftovers refrigerated for up to 3 days, but keep in mind: the texture becomes less creamy when chilled. Reheat the risotto on the stovetop and add a little extra broth and Parmesan cheese, and a few pinches salt to taste.

Shrimp Risotto

Ways to serve shrimp risotto

What to pair with this shrimp risotto recipe? We love adding a green salad. Roasted broccoli, broccolini or asparagus also makes a lovely addition to the plate. Here are some ideas:

This shrimp risotto recipe is…

Gluten-free and pescatarian.

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Shrimp Risotto

Creamy Shrimp Risotto


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6

Description

This shrimp risotto recipe makes a crowd-pleasing dinner, pairing the bold flavors of Parmesan and lemon with creamy rice and juicy shrimp.


Ingredients

For the shrimp*:

  • 1 pound medium shrimp, deveined (tail on or peeled)
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika (or substitute standard paprika)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter

For the risotto:

  • ½ cup minced white onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 quart seafood stock
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups dry white arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay**
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Prep the vegetables: Prepare the onion and garlic and noted above.
  2. Heat the broth: Combine the broth with 4 cups water and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a saucepan and bring it to a low simmer. Reduce heat to low.
  3. Sauté the shrimp: Pat the shrimp dry. In a medium bowl, mix the shrimp with ½ teaspoon kosher salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. In a large skillet, heat the butter on medium high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side until just opaque and cooked through, turning them with tongs. Remove the shrimp to a bowl.
  4. Sauté the vegetables: In the same skillet, add the olive oil and set the heat to medium. Add the minced onion and cook for about 2 minutes until tender. Add the garlic and dry rice and cook, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes until the rice starts to turn light brown.
  5. Add the wine: Stir in the wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is fully absorbed, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add the broth: Add two ladles of the hot broth to the risotto. Cook, stirring occasionally until the liquid is fully absorbed, then add two more ladles of both. Cook in this same manner for about 12 minutes, adding two ladles and stirring frequently. Continue to adjust the heat to make sure the risotto is at a steady simmer. After 12 minutes, taste a grain of rice. If it’s creamy but still al dente in the center, you’re ready for the final step! If not, continue to cook and add broth for a few minutes more. (You’ll have some broth left over: save it for reheating leftovers.) 
  7. Finish the risotto: When the rice is al dente, reduce the heat to low. Add two more ladles of broth, the Parmesan cheese and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes until you’ve got a thick and creamy risotto. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and black pepper. Taste and add more salt as desired (we add another heaping ¼ teaspoon kosher salt).
  8. Serve with shrimp, additional Parmesan cheese, lemon wedges and parsley. Drizzle with the shrimp juices if desired. Storage info: Flavor and texture are best the day of making. You can store leftovers refrigerated for up to 3 days, but the texture will become less creamy when chilled. Reheat on the stovetop and add a little extra broth and Parmesan cheese, and a few pinches salt to taste.

Notes

*If you want a smaller serving size with more protein, make half of the risotto and use the same quantity of shrimp. 

**If you prefer avoiding wine, you can skip Step 4 and move straight to adding the broth.

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian inspired
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: Shrimp risotto, shrimp risotto recipe, shrimp with risotto recipe, risotto with shrimp

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Crispy Sesame Chicken

No takeout needed to enjoy crispy, sweet, and delicious Sesame chicken. Perfect for families, one thing everyone can agree on is a
The post Crispy Sesame Chicken appeared first on Salty Side Dish Recipes.

No takeout needed to enjoy crispy, sweet, and delicious Sesame chicken. Perfect for families, one thing everyone can agree on is a

The post Crispy Sesame Chicken appeared first on Salty Side Dish Recipes.

Cacio e Pepe

This Cacio e Pepe recipe makes the perfect creamy, cozy dish of that classic Roman “cheese and pepper” pasta! There’s…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This Cacio e Pepe recipe makes the perfect creamy, cozy dish of that classic Roman “cheese and pepper” pasta!

Cacio e pepe

There’s something intoxicating about this shallow bowl of steaming pasta covered in salty, creamy sauce, black pepper and fluffy bits of Pecorino Cheese. Yes, it’s cacio e pepe, that famous Roman pasta that’s blown up in world-wide popularity. Years ago, we tasted a bowl on a trip to Rome, Italy that was so divine we never wanted it to end. Anthony Bourdain once said that cacio e pepe “could be the greatest thing in the history of the world”: and we’re inclined to agree with him. Turns out, this pasta is beyond simple to whip up at home: it’s got a short ingredient list and takes just minutes to whip up. Here’s our spin on this Italian classic!

What is cacio e pepe?

Cacio e pepe is a Roman pasta dish that translates to “cheese and pepper,” referring the simple sauce made of Pecorino Romano cheese and pepper. The sauce is made simply with hot pasta water and freshly grated cheese, which combine to form a luscious, creamy coating to the pasta noodles. According to legend, the dish was invented by shepherds who needed a simple meal with easy to carry staple ingredients. The modern Cacio e pepe was likely invented in the 1800’s, when eating pasta became popular in Rome.

Cacio e pepe

Ingredients in cacio e pepe

Restaurants in Rome each have their own version of cacio e pepe, and we’ve been lucky enough to sample quite a few (we prefer the version at Roscioli if you’re planning a trip!). Here’s what you’ll need for this spin on the classic:

  • Spaghetti or bucatini pasta: Spaghetti is most traditional. We also like bucatini (pictured), which is like hollow spaghetti
  • Pecorino Romano cheese: This sharp, salty aged cheese is what carries the flavor of cacio e pepe. There’s absolutely no substitute for it! Try to buy it in a block if you can (see below).
  • Parmesan cheese: Using this secondary, ore popular cheese helps to round out the flavors. Don’t want to buy two cheeses? Substitute more Pecorino (it’s just as authentic).
  • Butter: This extra ingredient helps the sauce to come together.
  • Black pepper: A generous helping of pepper rounds out the dish.

Tips for cooking pasta to al dente

With cacio e pepe and any Italian pasta recipe, it’s important to cook the pasta to the perfect al dente. Al dente means “to the bite” in Italian: pasta that’s tender with a firm center. Overcooked pasta turns out rubbery and unappetizing. Interestingly, it also has less nutrients and makes you less full. Here’s how to cook pasta to al dente:

  • Set your timer a few minutes before the package instructions indicate. Often, the timing on the pasta package makes overcooked pasta. Start taste testing a few minutes before the package says to.
  • Look for small white fleck at the core. You want to catch it right when there’s a small white fleck at the core, or just as it disappears. Move quickly: there’s no remedy for overcooked pasta!
Cacio e pepe recipe

How to make cacio e pepe (with a smooth sauce)

The biggest issue you’ll find with a homemade cacio e pepe recipe? The sauce comes out clumpy and globby. The sauce is made with hot pasta water, and often when you add the cheese and stir it will glob to the spoon and the pasta instead of integrating into a smooth sauce. Here are a few ways to ensure a creamy sauce:

  • Freshly grate the cheese from a block instead of buying grated. Buy blocks of Pecorino Romano and Parmesan cheese and grate them yourself. Pre-grated cheese can contain anti-caking agents and additives that can make the cheese stick together instead of incorporating into a creamy sauce.
  • Don’t drain the pasta: transfer it to the sauce using tongs. Add any pasta water that clings to the noodles right into the sauce.
  • Add additional pasta water and keep stirring. If it starts to clump, add additional pasta water and keep stirring until the cheese incorporates.
Cacio e pepe

What to serve alongside

With such a simple pasta dish, you can go either pared back or elegant: either work! Here are a few Italian-style side dishes to serve with cacio e pepe:

What do you plan to serve it with? Let us know in the comments below.

More Italian pasta recipes

Love a great Italian-style pasta? Us too! Here are a few more great pasta recipes:

This cacio e pepe recipe is…

Vegetarian.

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Cacio e pepe

Cacio e Pepe


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

Description

This Cacio e Pepe recipe makes the perfect creamy, cozy dish of that classic Roman “cheese and pepper” pasta!


Ingredients

  • 12 ounces spaghetti or bucatini pasta
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese*
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese*

Instructions

  1. Bring a salted pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente (taste testing a minute or two before the package instructions indicate). Don’t drain the pasta and reserve 1 cup pasta water.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat until it melts, then turn the heat to low. Add the black pepper, Pecorino Romano cheese and Parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons of the hot pasta water. Stir until a thick paste forms, then remove from the heat and wait until the pasta is done.
  3. Right when pasta is al dente, transfer the pasta without draining it: use tongs to transfer it into the saucepan along with any pasta water clinging to the noodles. Add an additional ½ cup of pasta water and return the heat to low. Toss the pasta with the cheesy paste until a thick sauce forms, about 2 minutes. If the cheese starts to glob up, add more pasta water and continue to stir. Top with additional grated Pecorino cheese and serve hot.

Notes

*If you can, buy blocks of Pecorino Romano and Parmesan cheese and grate them yourself. Pre-grated cheese can contain anti-caking agents and additives that can make the cheese stick together instead of incorporating into a creamy sauce.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Cacio e pepe, cacio e pepe recipe

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Salmon Sandwich with Dill Sauce

This salmon sandwich recipe is bursting with flavor! Top the savory fish with feta crumbles and creamy dill sauce. Want…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This salmon sandwich recipe is bursting with flavor! Top the savory fish with feta crumbles and creamy dill sauce.

Salmon Sandwich

Want an interesting way to serve everyone’s favorite fish? Try this Salmon Sandwich with Dill Sauce! There’s something so satisfying about a good fish sandwich, and this one is irresistibly tasty. Throw a fillet of Old-Bay seasoned pan seared salmon onto a bun, then top with feta crumbles, red onion and creamy, lemony dill sauce. This is one for the books: our entire family loved it. Here’s what to do!

Ingredients for this salmon sandwich

You can build a salmon sandwich in many ways, like a Smoked Salmon Sandwich or a Salmon Salad Sandwich. But this one is a straight up salmon sandwich, pairing a lovely fillet of salmon with a creamy dill sauce. Here’s what you’ll need to put together this simple meal:

  • Salmon fillets, skin on (wild caught if possible)
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Dill Sauce
  • Buns or focaccia bread
  • Baby arugula
  • Red onion slices
  • Feta cheese crumbles
Salmon Sandwich

How to cook the salmon: pan fry or grill

This salmon sandwich recipe works with any type of cooking method for salmon. In the recipe below, we list instructions on how to pan fry the salmon. It comes out delicious and works in any season! Of course, if it’s grill season, grilled salmon is the way to go. You can also use any of these other options for how to cook salmon, adjusting the flavor to align with the Old Bay seasoning in this recipe:

  • Pan seared salmon: It’s fast and easy, and cooks in about 10 minutes. Go to the recipe below!
  • Grilled salmon: If it’s grilling season, pull out the grill for this one! Go to Easy Grilled Salmon.
  • Broiled salmon: This cooking method is very quick and totally hands off. Go to Quick Broiled Salmon.
  • Baked salmon: This oven baked salmon is a stand-by easy cooking method.

How to buy a great piece of salmon

This salmon sandwich is dependent on one thing: the quality of the salmon! Unfortunately there’s no way to “fix” poor quality salmon: even drowning it with a sauce. Keep in mind: lower quality salmon can taste fishy and have a mushy texture. You can use frozen salmon, but we’ve found that fresh salmon tends to taste better and be higher quality. Here’s how to buy a great piece of salmon:

  • Buy wild caught salmon. Fish that is wild caught in your country is usually a sustainable choice. There are also quality options in well-regulated farms; see Seafood Watch Consumer Guide. Buy it fresh from the fish counter if you can; frozen works too.
  • Look for US caught (if you’re in the US). 90% of the seafood we eat in the US is imported. Imported seafood runs the risk of being overfished, caught under unfair labor practices, or farmed in environmentally harmful ways.
  • Coho is a good choice for great flavor. We tend to like Coho salmon for its mild flavor: it’s a good middle of the road option in terms of price. Of course, King salmon is incredible but it’s on the expensive end. Atlantic salmon is typically farmed salmon, so we tend to avoid it: however, we have found some good quality Atlantic salmon fillets at the fish counter.
Dill sauce for salmon

For the dill sauce

This salmon sandwich owes everything to the creamy Dill Sauce, which drapes everything in a luxuriously silky, herbaceous drizzle. Don’t attempt to make this sandwich without it (or use one of the substitutes below). The sauce requires simple ingredients and comes together quickly. You’ll need:

  • Sour cream
  • Mayonnaise
  • Fresh dill
  • Lemon juice
  • Garlic powder
  • Dried dill
  • Sugar
  • Salt

You can also use this sauce simply for serving with plain grilled, broiled or pan seared salmon for a simple meal. It adds a bright pop of flavor and looks lovely too. Head to Dill Sauce for Salmon for more.

Alternative sauce ideas

Not a big dill person? Just make sure to serve this sandwich with a creamy sauce, otherwise it’s much too dry. Here are a few alternative salmon sandwich sauce ideas:

And that’s it! This tasty salmon sandwich is perfect as a healthy dinner recipe: we love it especially as a summer dinner on the patio. But of course, it works in any season! Let us know if you try it in the comments below.

Salmon Sandwich Recipe

More salmon recipes

Love salmon? Here are some of our favorite salmon recipes that make a great meal:

This salmon sandwich recipe is…

Pescatarian.

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Salmon Sandwich

Salmon Sandwich with Dill Sauce


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

Description

This salmon sandwich recipe is bursting with flavor! Top the savory fish with feta crumbles and creamy dill sauce.


Ingredients

  • 1 pound salmon fillets, skin on (wild caught if possible)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for brining
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 recipe Dill Sauce
  • 4 buns, focaccia bread, or other buns 
  • Baby arugula
  • Red onion slices
  • Feta cheese crumbles

Instructions

  1. Brine the salmon* (optional): In a large shallow dish, whisk together 4 cups room temperature water and 3 tablespoons kosher salt until dissolved. Place the salmon in the water and wait for 15 minutes. Otherwise, allow the salmon to come to room temperature. 
  2. Pan sear the salmon (or grill the salmon): Pat the salmon dry with a clean towel. Sprinkle it with the kosher salt, Old Bay seasoning, and generous grinds of fresh ground pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the salmon skin side up and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until cooked about halfway to the center of the thick part of salmon.
  3. Flip the salmon (a fish spatula makes easy work of it). Tilt the pan down slightly and quickly spoon the pan juices over the top of the fish a few times. Spoon the pan juices a few times again. Cook for 2 to 5 minutes, depending on the thickness, until just tender and pink at the center (the internal temperature should be between 125 to 130 Fahrenheit in the center when removed). If the pieces are very thick, you can place them in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven to finish cooking. Remove from the heat.
  4. Prepare the toppings: Make the Dill Sauce. Toss the arugula with a bit of olive oil and a few pinches kosher salt. Thinly slice the red onion.
  5. Serve: To serve, place the cooked salmon on the buns. Top with arugula, red onion slices, feta cheese crumbles, and the dill sauce. Serve immediately.

Notes

*This is most important for salmon that is lower quality; it helps to reduce the white stuff that comes out when cooking fish (albumin).

  • Category: Salmon
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Seafood

Keywords: Salmon sandwich, salmon sandwich recipe

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Savory Tomato Galette

This savory tomato galette is sublime, starring juicy ripe tomatoes, a ricotta filling, and a golden flaky pastry crust. Here’s…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This savory tomato galette is sublime, starring juicy ripe tomatoes, a ricotta filling, and a golden flaky pastry crust.

Tomato Galette

Here’s a great way to use those peak, juicy summer tomatoes: try a Savory Tomato Galette! This freeform French tart is usually associated with dessert, but you can make a savory galette too! Think of it as a quiche with tomatoes, or a ricotta pizza with pie crust. It’s irresistibly tasty, featuring juicy ripe heirloom tomatoes, a garlic and ricotta filling, and a golden flaky pastry crust. Eat it for dinner with a green salad, or as a lovely summer brunch idea. It was a huge hit in this house!

Ingredients for this tomato galette

A galette is a rustic French tart: a round pie made without a pie dish using a folded pastry crust. There’s no need for precise rolling and sizing of the dough. Simply roll it out, place on a baking sheet, and fold over the crust. Galettes are most often served as desserts (like this Peach Galette or Blueberry Galette), but you can make a savory galette too! It’s similar to quiche with vegetable and cheese fillings. Here’s what you’ll need to make this tomato galette:

  • Ripe tomatoes: make this recipe only when you have the juiciest, ripe summer tomatoes. You’ll want them perfectly ripe, not overripe (or they com out too watery).
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • Garlic
  • Fresh thyme
  • Flour
  • Butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Salt
  • Baking powder
  • Egg
Savory galettte

Tips for galette dough

The most important part of making a tomato galette? The dough! This pastry dough is easy to work with, but it have a few challenging points if it’s your first time. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Spoon and level the flour (or weigh it in grams). Spoon the flour into the measuring cup, then level it with the back of the spoon. This provides most accurate measurement: scooping flour right out of the container can result in more flour per cup. Or better yet, use a food scale and weigh the flour out in grams.
  • Use a pastry cutter or fork to cut the butter into the dough. Mash the butter into the dry ingredients until a pebbly texture forms.
  • Add just enough water for the dough to come together. Usually it takes us about 5 tablespoons, though this depends on the exact flour amount (again; grams is most accurate).
  • Chill 1 hour. This is important so that the butter can solidify. Otherwise, the crust can melt in the oven.
  • Roll into a 12-inch circle, then add the filling. Flour your work surface first. Pick up the dough and add more flour to the surface as necessary if it’s sticking. Then add the ricotta filling and tomatoes.
  • Gently fold it up to create a 2-inch crust. Overlap the folds to make a circle around the filling: see the photos.
  • Brush with an egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. An egg wash makes a nice golden sheen on the crust.
Tomato galette

For the cheese

If you can, we recommend finding Pecorino Romano cheese for this tomato galette. This aged Italian cheese is similar to Parmesan, but it has an even saltier, more savory flavor. It really makes the pie!

Pecorino Romano becoming easier to find in American grocery stores: you can find it in blocks, shredded or grated. Can’t find it? Substitute Parmesan cheese and a pinch of extra salt. It will still taste incredible!

Tomato galette

Serving this tomato galette

Once you’ve baked up this savory tomato galette, it will look and smell incredible! But don’t dig into it just yet: the cooling time is important!

  • Cool the savory galette to room temperature, about 1 hour. Then garnish it with thyme leaves and slice into pieces. Of course if you just can’t wait, you can cheat a little!
  • It’s great as a simple dinner, with a green salad. It tastes a bit like pizza.
  • It also works as a savory brunch. Since it’s like a quiche, it works well for brunch with banana nut muffins, yogurt parfaits and coffee.

Storage info

Got leftovers of this tomato galette? Place it in a storage container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Want to make it the day before? Bake it and leave it out on the counter for about 30 minutes before serving to let it come to room temperature. You can also gently reheat it in a 350 degree oven.

More tomato recipes

Got summer tomatoes? When it’s the season, we love to make all the fresh tomato recipes. Here are some you’ll enjoy:

This savory galette recipe is…

Vegetarian.

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Tomato galette

Savory Tomato Galette


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 hours (including chill time)
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8

Description

This savory tomato galette is sublime, starring juicy ripe tomatoes, a ricotta filling, and a golden flaky pastry crust.


Ingredients

For the galette dough: 

  • 1 ½ cups [210 grams] all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (or vegan butter)
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 egg, for the egg wash
  • Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

For the filling: 

  • 3 to 4 small heirloom tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup shredded Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, sugar, kosher salt, and baking powder. Slice the butter into small pieces, then use a pastry blender or fork to cut it into the flour mixture until mostly incorporated and a pebbly texture forms (with pea-sized or smaller pieces).
  2. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of the cool water over the flour, mixing gradually with a fork until the flour is mostly incorporated. Add the additional 1 to 2 tablespoons of water until all the flour is incorporated, kneading with your fingers until the dough comes together. (Resist the urge to add more water; it should come together!) Form the dough into a ball and flatten into a thick disk. Wrap it in plastic or place it in a covered container and chill the dough for 1 hour. (To make in advance, you can refrigerate the dough up to 3 days; allow to sit at room temperature 30 minutes before rolling. Or, wrap in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and freeze up to 3 months, then defrost overnight in the refrigerator before rolling.)
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Slice the tomatoes and place them on a cutting board or paper towel. Sprinkle them with ½ teaspoon kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, divided between the slices. Allow them to sit while you prepare the rest of the filling (about 15 to 20 minutes).
  5. Mix the ricotta, Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese, grated garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and fresh ground pepper. 
  6. On a floured surface, roll the dough into an even 12” circle, leaving the edges rough (if needed, move the dough around and add a bit more flour underneath to keep it from sticking). Carefully transfer the dough to a sheet of parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet. 
  7. Gently spread the cheese mixture on the dough, leaving at least 2 inches of dough around the outside edge. Place the tomato slices on top, shaking any liquid off of each slice before placing it onto the galette. As necessary, slice tomatoes in half to fill the entire circle of cheese filling (see the photos above). Fold in the outside edges of the dough over the filling to form an approximately 2-inch crust, overlapping the folds as shown in the photos. 
  8. Whisk the egg and use a pastry brush to brush it onto the crust. 
  9. Bake the galette for 25 to 30 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer the parchment paper to a baking rack to cool. Cool to room temperature (about 1 hour) before topping with thyme leaves. Slice into pieces and serve. Store leftovers for up to 3 days refrigerated; bring to room temperature or warm in the oven before serving.
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: French inspired
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Tomato galette, savory galette

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Caprese Flatbread

Caprese flatbread is a quick dinner or easy appetizer recipe, staring the classic combination of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil! Is…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Caprese flatbread is a quick dinner or easy appetizer recipe, staring the classic combination of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil!

Caprese Flatbread

Is there anything better than that classic combination of tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella? Here’s a fun dinner idea or easy appetizer that riffs on the classic Italian salad: Caprese Flatbread! It’s a flatbread pizza that uses naan bread as a base: or any type of flatbread you can find. Layer it up with mozzarella, tomatoes and fresh basil, and the key ingredient: a drizzle of balsamic glaze. It’s heavenly for dinner, or we served it as a fun summer appetizer (it works room temperature on a platter!).

What you need for Caprese flatbread

Caprese flatbread is essentially a pizza based on the popular Italian salad, Caprese salad (aka, “salad from Capri” in Italian). This Italian combination of fresh mozzarella, ripe tomatoes and a sprinkle of fresh basil stems back to the 1920’s, and today it’s known around the world. Chefs and home cooks have made endless spins on these ingredient combinations: like a Caprese Sandwich, Caprese Pasta Salad, Caprese Skewers and more. Here’s what you’ll need for this simple pizza topping:

  • Naan breads (or other purchased flatbread)
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Easy Pizza Sauce or purchased pizza sauce
  • Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Balsamic reduction or glaze (purchased or homemade)
Caprese Flatbread

For the flatbread: use naan or other

A flatbread pizza is a pizza made with a dough base that’s already baked (like naan or another type of flatbread) instead of pizza dough. The easiest way to make Caprese flatbread is with purchased bread, but of course you can use homemade flatbread if you prefer! The difference with a standard pizza is that the pizza dough is raw when you make a pizza, but with flatbread pizza the dough is already cooked. Here are some favorite options for the flatbread base:

  • Purchased naan is the easiest! It should be easy to find in the bread aisle at your local grocery store. We also have a homemade naan recipe if you’d like to make it homemade.
  • Or, look for other types of purchased flatbread. You’ll want it to be roughly as thick as naan (about 1 inch). You can also use homemade flatbread.
  • Update the “pre-toasting” timing accordingly. You’ll toast the naan or flatbread in the oven first until it’s lightly crisp. The timing for another type of flatbread might be slightly different than naan, so keep an eye on it and adjust accordingly.

Tips for working with fresh mozzarella

Fresh mozzarella cheese is ooey, gooey and stretchy: perfect for topping a margherita pizza or Caprese flatbread. But keep in mind: this type of cheese contains a lot of water: much more than a typical shredded mozzarella cheese! Here are a few tips for working with this kind of cheese:

  • Cut into pieces and allow to sit 15 minutes on a paper towel. Slice the mozzarella cheese into ¼-inch thick pieces and let it sit on a paper towel to remove moisture while you prepare the pizzas. Dab the mozzarella with the paper towel to remove any additional moisture before using it.
  • After baking, dab the flatbread with a paper towel if necessary. Sometimes fresh mozzarella can be watery after baking, depending on the brand. If necessary, use the corner of a paper towel to dab at the moisture.
Caprese Flatbread

For the balsamic reduction

Take Caprese flatbread over the top with a balsamic reduction or glaze! This is simply balsamic vinegar that’s been cooked (or reduced) until it forms a shiny, sweet tart liquid that’s ideal for drizzling on salads and pizza. Caprese salad is often served with a balsamic reduction in America, though that’s not the classic Italian way to do it. But it’s a fun way to serve this pizza as it looks stunning and gives it a nice tangy boost in flavor.

It’s easiest to buy balsamic reduction or balsamic glaze: several brands sell it in a tall bottle that you can use to squeeze right onto the flatbread. Typically we buy it, since there’s not much of a flavor difference with homemade. But if you like, try making balsamic reduction at home: it’s fun and satisfying!

How to serve Caprese flatbread

This Caprese flatbread is all about presentation! We served it as an easy appetizer recipe and it worked great. A few things to note about serving:

  • Add basil after baking. Never cook a pizza with basil in the oven: it turns brown! Add the basil afterwards.
  • Slice into triangle shapes, if possible. We like the way that naan looks when sliced into triangles: it’s more appetizing than the squares you get on an oval base (like this).
  • Serve warm or at room temperature. This Caprese flatbread tastes great at room temperature, making it a great appetizer to set out on a platter.

More Caprese-inspired recipes

Looking for more with this powerhouse trio of ingredients? Try the following recipes:

This Caprese flatbread recipe is…

Vegetarian.

Print
Caprese Flatbread

Caprese Flatbread


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 pizzas (4 main dish or 20 appetizer servings)

Description

Caprese flatbread is a quick dinner or easy appetizer recipe, staring the classic combination of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil!


Ingredients

  • 4 purchased naan breads (or other purchased flatbread*)
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup Easy Pizza Sauce or purchased pizza sauce (or omit for a simpler flatbread)
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 large handful basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • Balsamic reduction or glaze (purchased or homemade)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Slice the mozzarella cheese into ¼ inch thick pieces. Allow it to sit on a paper towel to remove moisture for about 15 minutes while you prepare the pizzas, then dab the mozzarella with the paper towel to remove any additional moisture.
  3. Make the pizza sauce (time saving tip: you can also stir together the ingredients in a bowl instead of blending them!).
  4. Place the naan bread directly on the oven grates. Bake 3 minutes. Flip and bake another 2 minutes until lightly crisped on the outside and toasted.
  5. Carefully remove the naan from the oven grates and place them on 2 baking sheets. Spread each with a thin layer of pizza sauce, then add the mozzarella cheese, Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, cherry tomatoes, and a sprinkle of kosher salt.
  6. Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake until the cheese melts, about 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven. (You may notice some extra moisture after baking: you can dab lightly with a paper towel as necessary.) Slice the flatbread into pieces and top with thinly sliced basil. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and serve. This works as a main dish or an appetizer (can be served room temperature on a platter).

Notes

*Use purchased naan or any other type of flatbread you can find (roughly as thick as naan, about 1-inch thick). The timing for toasting the flatbread in Step 4 will vary based on the brand, so adjust accordingly. You can also use homemade naan or homemade flatbread.

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian inspired
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Caprese flatbread

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.