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Vegan Oatmeal Cookies

Wow is all we can say about these vegan oatmeal cookies! These delightfully chewy, cinnamon-spiced chocolate chip cookies please eaters…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Wow is all we can say about these vegan oatmeal cookies! These delightfully chewy, cinnamon-spiced chocolate chip cookies please eaters of any diet: no one will believe they’re vegan. We dare you to eat just one!

Vegan Oatmeal Cookies

Wow is all we can say about these vegan oatmeal cookies: outrageously chewy, full-flavored, and so delicious no one would guess they are plant-based. This spin on our popular vegan chocolate chip cookies might be even tastier (if that’s possible!). They’re loaded with hearty Old Fashioned oats, seasoned with cinnamon, and have got just the right chewy texture. We stumbled upon this formula for delicious vegan cookies and have been riffing on it ever since: and these are stupendous if we might say so ourselves!

Key ingredients for vegan oatmeal cookies

Making a vegan cookie is quite the challenge, because vegan baking requires omitting the butter and eggs that make a typical cookie texture. Here at A Couple Cooks we developed a formula for making a great vegan chocolate chip cookie using a combination of neutral oil, coconut oil, and applesauce to stand in for the typical butter and eggs. It works like a charm, making a deliciously chewy cookie with crispy edges, not cakey or dry. The texture really is quite magical!

This basic formula makes a really great vegan oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, with a good amount of Old Fashioned oats mixed in and a handful of chocolate chips (or you can substitute raisins). Here are a few ingredient notes on the key ingredients for these cookies:

  • Refined coconut oil: Refined is important because it has a neutral flavor; unrefined coconut oil has more of a coconut flavor. Using coconut oil is important for the dough texture because it is a fat that is solid at room temperature, similar to butter.
  • Neutral oil: You can use grapeseed, canola or vegetable oil; we typically use grapeseed.
  • Granulated and light brown sugar: The mix of sugars is key for the flavor here, especially the brown sugar since it has hints of molasses in the flavor.
  • Unsweetened applesauce: Applesauce works surprisingly well in place of the egg to hold the dough together and add moisture. You can substitute sweetened applesauce if desired.
  • Vanilla extract and almond extract: Vanilla extract is key to cookie dough. But we’ve added one more element: a hint of almond extract! It brings a toasty, complex nuance to the flavor without overpowering it.
Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Notes on almond extract

We highly recommend using the almond extract for the best flavor! This is helpful for a vegan cookie since it doesn’t have the richness of egg or butter. The recipe calls for 1/16 teaspoon extract, which equates to 1 to 2 drops, just enough to give it a nuance in flavor but not enough that it is strongly perceptible.

It might sound like a random measurement, but don’t be tempted to skip it! We use a ⅛ teaspoon measure and fill it halfway; if you don’t have one, you can approximate using a ¼ teaspoon.

Vegan Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

Tips for baking vegan oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

These vegan oatmeal cookies are so simple to put together. Many cookie recipes require the dough to chill before baking, but this recipe requires no wait time at all! Mix up the batter and get to it. Here are a few things to note about equipment that helps to pull these cookies together:

  • Use a cookie scoop or weigh the batter. If you have a 3 tablespoon cookie scoop, it’s helpful for portioning the dough: just overfill it slightly. You can also weigh out the batter at approximately 50 grams per cookie (or weigh your entire dough and divide by 18).
  • Non-stick cookie sheets are helpful. This has become our preferred method for cookies. We recommend using two of these non-stick cookie sheets for the most even bake.
  • Bake each tray separately for the most even bake. Do not refrigerate the cookie dough while the first tray bakes. We found that the dough texture is even better if it’s room temperature. If you have a very even oven, you can try baking both sheets at once and rotate the sheets halfway through.
  • Allow the cookies to sit on the baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes before transferring to a baking rack to cool.
Vegan Oatmeal Cookies

Storage info

Vegan oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are tasty warm, after sitting on the baking sheet for 10 minutes and cooling on a baking rack for 10 minutes. The cookies also hold up well over time, keeping their chewy texture. Here’s what to note about storing these vegan oatmeal cookies cookies:

  • Store in a sealed container at room temperature for 1 week. The texture holds up well: no need to add anything to the container.
  • Store refrigerated for 2 weeks. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.
  • Store frozen for up to 3 months. 
Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

We love making vegan recipes that don’t taste like there are any compromises. Here are a few more vegan desserts and cookies you’ll love:

This vegan oatmeal cookies recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free. For gluten-free and vegan, go to Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies.

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Vegan Oatmeal Cookies

*Amazing* Vegan Oatmeal Cookies


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 18 to 19 cookies

Description

Wow is all we can say about these vegan oatmeal cookies! These delightfully chewy, cinnamon-spiced chocolate chip cookies please eaters of any diet: no one will believe they’re vegan. We dare you to eat just one!


Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup neutral oil (grapeseed, canola or vegetable)
  • ¼ cup refined coconut oil (at room temperature)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/16 teaspoon almond extract*
  • 2 cups [280 g] all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ¼ cups Old Fashioned oats
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips (we used 63% Guittard) or raisins

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper, or omit if using non-stick cookie sheets (we swear by these).
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl), add the neutral oil, coconut oil, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Mix with the paddle attachment (or an electric mixer) on Medium speed until fully combined, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the applesauce, vanilla extract, and almond extract and mix until combined, a few seconds. 
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, kosher salt, and Old Fashioned Oats. Turn on the mixer and gradually add the flour and oats mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Add the chocolate chips and mix on low for a few seconds until mixed in. The dough will feel slightly oily, but this is as expected.
  4. Scoop nine 3-tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto the prepared cookie sheet, leaving a few inches between each cookie for spreading (using a cookie scoop is helpful; we overfilled our 2 tablespoon scoop or weigh out 50 grams each). Bake one batch for 12 to 13 minutes, or until just golden (baking one batch at a time makes the most even bake). Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool fully. They taste great warm after cooling on the rack for about 10 minutes, or fully cooled. 
  5. While the cookies cool, portion out and bake the second batch of dough; don’t refrigerate the dough in between. Store in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 5 days or refrigerated for 3 weeks (bring to room temperature before serving).

Notes

*We highly recommend using the almond extract for the best flavor! 1/16 teaspoon equates to 1 to 2 drops, just enough to give it a nuance in flavor but not enough that it is strongly perceptible. We use a ⅛ teaspoon measure and fill it halfway; if you don’t have one, you can approximate using a ¼ teaspoon.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Dessert
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Vegan oatmeal cookies, vegan oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Garbanzo Bean Salad

This garbanzo bean salad is protein-packed and bursting with fresh flavors, perfect for a light lunch or side dish! Simple…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This garbanzo bean salad is protein-packed and bursting with fresh flavors, perfect for a light lunch or side dish! Simple ingredients and a quick prep time make it an easy and healthy meal prep option.

Garbanzo bean salad

When you’ve been writing recipes and cookbooks as long us we have (over a decade), it can feel like everything has been done before. So when it comes to simple ideas like garbanzo bean salad, we know it’s not revolutionary. But this one is so quick and tasty, we had to share it with you! It’s perfect for lunches or as a side dish, packed with protein and filled with zingy, herby and fresh flavors. We know we never tire of easy lunch ideas, so bring it on!

What you need for garbanzo bean salad

A can of garbanzo beans can magically become a meal with a few fresh ingredients, since they’re packed with protein for staying power. We often eat garbanzo beans for lunch, and this salad is a riff on one Alex makes often. You’ll need just a few fresh ingredients to pull it together, and you can swap things in and out easily. Here’s an outline of what you’ll need (jump to the recipe below for quantities):

  • Garbanzo beans: Drain and rinse the beans before adding.
  • Bell pepper: We used two colors of bell peppers for visual appeal, but you can use just one if you prefer. Here’s a handy guide for how to cut a bell pepper quickly.
  • Shallot: Shallot is integral to the flavor here; we prefer the mild onion flavor to a red onion.
  • Italian parsley: Fresh parsley brings an herby punch; look for Italian parsley, though curly also works.
  • Parmesan or Pecorino cheese: Grated sharp cheese adds a nuance to the flavor.
  • White wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, olive oil, dried tarragon, and salt: Mix these together to make a quick and simple dressing.
Garbanzo Bean Salad in bowl

Variations and additions

This garbanzo bean salad is more of a template, really: you can swap in any of your favorite herbs, seasonings, and whatever vegetables you have in your refrigerator. Use it as a way to get creative (and make the TV show Chopped come to life in your own kitchen). Try not to add too many vegetables or you’ll have to increase the amount of dressing. Here are a few additional options:

  • Carrot: Peeled and thinly sliced carrots can stand in for bell pepper or be an addition.
  • Cucumber: Cucumber adds a nice crunch. Add a bit of English cucumber or peeled and seeded standard cucumber.
  • Cherry tomatoes: A handful of sliced or quartered cherry tomatoes adds a nice addition.
  • Garlic: We add minced garlic to just about everything, and it’s great here.
  • Torn or chopped herbs: If they’re on hand, add fresh chives, basil, dill, oregano, or thyme.
  • Celery seed: A pinch of celery seed adds a bit of complexity.
  • Italian seasoning or Greek seasoningAdd just a pinch of these spices add a little boost.

Garbanzo bean salad storage

You can make garbanzo bean salad in advance if you’re using it for meal prep for lunches or dinners. It lasts refrigerated for up to 3 days. Keep in mind it’s best eaten at room temperature, so allow it to stand for a few minutes before serving. It also does dull in flavor over time, so refresh it with a pinch of salt and if desired, a drizzle of olive oil.

Garbanzo Bean Salad

Make it a meal

This garbanzo bean salad is perfect as a light lunch, served with a few sides. Here are a few great ways to serve this salad or make it a more filling meal:

  • Bread or crackers: Add a bit of crusty artisan bread (like this no knead loaf) or hearty crackers to serve as a lunch.
  • Add rice or quinoa. Cook a pot of white rice or quinoa in about 20 minutes.
  • Whip up couscous or orzo. For an even quicker side, couscous and orzo cook up in 10 minutes.
  • Make it into a bowl meal, and dollop with hummus or drizzle with sauce! A creamy sauce is nice if you have some hummus in the fridge, or our best tahini sauce is pretty fast.

And that’s it! Let us know if you try this garbanzo bean salad and what you think in the comments below.

More garbanzo bean recipes

Garbanzo beans are also known as chickpeas, and they’re a staple in our diet! If you’re trying to eat vegetarian and plant-based meals, these little guys are your friends. Here are a few of our top chickpea recipes for eating them in hearty meals:

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Garbanzo bean salad

Garbanzo Bean Salad


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

Description

This garbanzo bean salad is protein-packed and bursting with fresh flavors, perfect for a light lunch or side dish! Simple ingredients and a quick prep time make it an easy and healthy meal prep option.


Ingredients

  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, diced (optional)
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon dried tarragon
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans.
  2. Chop all vegetables as noted in the ingredients list above.
  3. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. If omitting cheese, add a few extra pinches of salt. Store for up to 3 days refrigerated; tastes best at room temperature and if desired, add a pinch of salt or drizzle of olive oil to taste before serving.
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Vegetables
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Garbanzo bean salad

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

One Pot Chicken and Rice

This one pot chicken and rice is the perfect easy dinner that’s bursting with flavor! Tender chicken thighs and fluffy…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This one pot chicken and rice is the perfect easy dinner that’s bursting with flavor! Tender chicken thighs and fluffy rice simmer in a cozy broth, with a burst of freshness from the zesty parsley and lemon gremolata topping.

Chicken and rice recipe

The word “one pot wonder” comes to mind with this recipe (though is that term is a bit retro?). Whatever the case, this glorious one pot chicken and rice meal really is the easy dinner you need in your life. It’s cozy and comforting, from the garlic and herb scented rice to the tender chicken thighs. The zingy parsley lemon gremolata makes the ideal fresh counterpoint to the cozy grains. We’ve made this one pot meal dozens of times for friends and family, and it’s a hit every time (even with unadventurous eaters).

What you need for this chicken and rice recipe

There’s something about a one pot meal that’s filling, cozy, and pleases everyone. This one is your best bet for chicken eaters, since it’s full of big flavors and minimal effort. The cook time is about 30 minutes, and you can likely do most of the prep in 15 minutes. This recipe features economical chicken thighs, which make it a cost-effective dinner as well. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • Garlic powder, onion powder, and dried dill
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • White or yellow onion
  • White rice
  • Chicken broth
  • Parsley
  • Lemon zest
Chicken and Rice recipe in skillet with lemons

Chicken thighs are ultra flavorful

Many chefs and experts say that chicken thighs are the best cut of chicken, and we agree! A chicken breast can be delicious when butterflied and cooked properly (like in chicken piccata), but chicken thighs can be even more flavorful. They’re fattier than chicken breasts, which gives them a more intense, rich flavor than the white meat. There are two ways to buy chicken thighs: boneless and bone-in.

  • This recipe is for boneless, skinless chicken thighs. This type of thigh cooks quicker and is easier to eat. We like it for skillet dinners and pan frying because it makes for a fast dinner that’s easy for our entire family to eat (versus pulling meat off the bones, which can be tricky for the kids).
  • Bone-in, skin-on thighs are tasty, but we prefer using them in other recipes. Bone-in thighs flavors inside the bone spread out onto the meat, leaving you with a meatier, richer flavor. They will take longer too cook in this recipe and we have not tested the timing. We prefer using bone-in, skin-on thighs for our fan favorite Baked Chicken Thighs recipe, where they come out with deliciously crispy skin.
Gremolata dish next to garlic head

Why to add gremolata

This chicken and rice recipe is tasty as is, but it’s even better topped with the fresh garnish: gremolata! Gremolata is an Italian condiment that adds a burst of freshness and brightness to dishes. Traditionally, it’s a combination of finely chopped fresh parsley, grated lemon zest, and minced garlic, to create a flavor profile that is both herbaceous and citrusy.

Gremolata is typically served as a finishing touch, sprinkled over cooked fish, meat, vegetables, or even pasta for an instant flavor upgrade. Keep in mind that it’s dry in texture, not oil-based like a chimichurri or pistou.

Buy organic chicken if possible

When shopping for this chicken and rice recipe, keep in mind: the best chicken to buy is organic. This makes sure that it is the highest quality meat that was raised sustainably. It is also free of chemicals and additives so it’s the healthiest option for eating.

Per the USDA, organic chicken must be raised in living conditions that accommodate their natural behaviors (like grazing on pasture), fed 100% organic feed and forage, and not given antibiotics or hormones.

Chicken and Rice recipe

Simple ways to make chicken and rice a meal

This chicken and rice skillet is simple to whip up, and even better: you’ve got one side dish covered! Add a green veggie and it’s a meal. Here are a few ways we like to serve it that are easy to make on the side:

One pot chicken and rice skillet dinner

More chicken dinners

This chicken and rice recipe is the best easy dinner idea for chicken lovers! Our entire family gobbles it up, and we tested it on my in laws who are big fans. Even our unadventurous eaters loved the gremolata. Here are a few more top chicken dinners to try:

This chicken and rice recipe is…

Gluten-free and dairy-free.

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Chicken and rice recipe

One Pot Chicken and Rice


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Description

This one-pot chicken and rice is the perfect easy dinner that’s bursting with flavor! Tender chicken thighs and fluffy rice simmer in a cozy broth, with a burst of freshness from the zesty parsley and lemon gremolata topping.


Ingredients

For the chicken

  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the rice

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, minced
  • 1 ½ cups white rice
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill

For the gremolata

  • ⅓ cup finely chopped Italian parsley, (about 1/2 bunch)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (1 large lemon)
  • 1/2 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 grind black pepper

Instructions

  1. Dry the chicken thighs and season with the kosher salt, garlic powder, onion powder and lots of fresh ground pepper. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, until golden brown. Remove the chicken to a plate, leaving the juices in the pan.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the garlic and onion. Cook for 5 minutes, until the onions are very tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in the broth, rice, dill and kosher salt, scraping the bottom of the pan to pick up all of the seasoning from the chicken. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and top with the browned chicken thighs. Cover with a lid and cook at a low simmer for 15 to 18 minutes until rice is tender and all of the liquid is absorbed.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl mix together the ingredients for the gremolata. 
  4. Remove the heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff the rice with a fork, then top with the gremolata and serve warm.
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Chicken
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: Chicken and rice recipe, chicken and rice

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Sweet Potato Pancakes

These sweet potato pancakes are so fluffy, moist and flavorful, they’ve moved to the top of our favorites list! This…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

These sweet potato pancakes are so fluffy, moist and flavorful, they’ve moved to the top of our favorites list! This recipe is the ultimate way to transform leftover sweet potatoes into a satisfying breakfast.

Sweet potato pancakes in stack

These sweet potato pancakes are so fluffy, moist and cinnamon-scented, they immediately moved to the top of our favorites list (along with these banana oatmeal pancakes). In fact, we’d recommend boiling up a potato just so you can make them, though they’re also the absolute best use of leftover cooked sweet potatoes. They turn into the most delicious, fluffy breakfast treat: incredibly moist and packed with cozy flavors. Get ready to fall in love with this easy and satisfying breakfast idea!

What you need for sweet potato pancakes

Once you taste a cozy-scented, fluffy moist bite of this sweet potato pancake recipe, you’ll be a believer! In fact, we were surprised at how delicious these turned out. They’re a riff on our pumpkin pancakes, but we think they’re even tastier (maybe because the potato adds a nuanced sweetness that is missing from pumpkin). Either way, our kids absolutely adore them and leftovers are perfect for snacks, too. You’ll need just a handful of ingredients for this one:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Brown sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Cooked sweet potato
  • Milk of choice
  • Neutral oil (grapeseed, organic vegetable or canola)
  • Butter, for cooking (or more oil)
Sweet potatoes of different sizes in a line

Ways to cook a sweet potato (or use leftovers)

This sweet potato pancake recipe is ideal if you’ve got some leftover cooked sweet potatoes (like mashed potato pancakes). But there are a few quick ways to cook a sweet potato if you want to make it especially for this recipe. To be honest, we are people who crave things on a whim so we often just boil the sweet potato right before making this recipe. Here are a few methods to cook a sweet potato:

  • Boiling: Boiling a sweet potato is the quickest way to cook it. You’ll peel and dice it, then boil for 7 to 12 minutes until fork tender. See How to Boil Sweet Potatoes.
  • Roasting: Baking or roasting a sweet potato is good if you’re making it in advance. You can bake a whole potato, or cut them in half to shorten the bake time. See How to Bake a Sweet Potato.
  • Microwave: While you can microwave a sweet potato, we do not recommend it as a first choice for this recipe. It can dry out the sweet potato, which causes baked goods to become very dry (this happened with a recipe tester for our Sweet Potato Bread when she used a microwaved sweet potato).
How to boil sweet potatoes

Tips for cooking sweet potato pancakes

Sweet potato pancakes are simple to whip up, once you’ve cooked the sweet potato! Here are a few of our top tips for the process making pancakes:

  • Use a large griddle: a non-stick surface is helpful. Some griddles have uneven heating, so use a quality griddle or skillet. A non-stick surface is a plus, though you’ll still want to cook the pancakes in butter or oil to get them golden brown.
  • Experiment to find the right heat level. Medium low heat is ideal, but it’s different on every stovetop. It should take a few minutes to get the pan up to heat. If the heat is too low, the pancakes won’t puff as much when cooking.
  • Don’t worry if the first pancake isn’t perfect! Use it as a test for honing in your pancake skills and adjust the heat accordingly.
  • The batter sometimes becomes very thick while waiting for the second batch. If so, add a teaspoon or two of milk until the batter is pourable. 
Sweet Potato Pancakes with syrup pouring over

Toppings and mix ins

These sweet potato pancakes are perfect topped with butter and pure maple syrup. But we know many of you like to get creative with mix-ins and toppings! We recommend using toppings that compliment the flavor and vibe of sweet potatoes. Here are a few ideas:

  • Pecans: Add a hint of nutty flavor with a handful of finely chopped pecans in each pancake or sprinkled over the top.
  • Brown sugar or vanilla syrup: Add intrigue to the flavor with brown sugar syrup or vanilla syrup.
  • Whipped cream: For a bit of weekend decadence, add homemade whipped cream or even a bourbon-infused whipped cream.
  • Cinnamon butter: Spiced butter adds another layer of cozy comfort.
  • Chocolate chips: For those with a sweet tooth, use them as a topping or mix into the batter.
Sweet potato pancakes in a stack with syrup

More sweet potato recipes

The sweet potato is one of our favorite ways to use this wholesome ingredient. Here are a few more essential sweet potato recipes to try:

This sweet potato pancakes recipe is…

Vegetarian. For dairy-free, use dairy-free milk: we like oat milk here but almond or soy work as well.

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Sweet potato pancakes in stack

Sweet Potato Pancakes


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

Description

These sweet potato pancakes are so fluffy, moist and flavorful, they’ve moved to the top of our favorites list! This recipe is the ultimate way to transform leftover sweet potatoes into a satisfying breakfast.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup [140 g] all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup cooked and mashed sweet potato (boiled or baked), about 1 small potato
  • ¾ cup milk of choice (dairy or dairy-free)
  • ¼ cup neutral oil (or melted unsalted butter)
  • Butter or oil, for cooking

Instructions

  1. Boil the sweet potato (or make a baked sweet potato in advance; great for using up leftovers!).
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and kosher salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the sweet potato, milk, and oil (or melted butter).
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula until no dry patches remain and a smooth batter forms.
  5. Lightly butter or oil a skillet or griddle and wipe off extra grease with a paper towel. Heat the skillet to medium low heat. Pour the batter into small circles (about ¼ cup). Cook the pancakes until the bubbles pop on the top and the bottoms are golden. Then flip them and cook until cooked through and no longer gooey at the edges (the batter may ooze out a bit at the sides; just keep cooking until fully cooked, adjusting the heat as necessary so they don’t brown too fast).
  6. Place the cooked pancakes under an inverted bowl to keep them warm. Repeat with the remaining batter, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain an even temperature. Serve immediately with butter and maple syrup.
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Breakfast
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Sweet potato pancakes, sweet potato pancake recipe

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Radicchio Salad

Try this vibrant radicchio salad, the perfect side dish! Sweet pears, crunchy almonds, tangy goat cheese, and a bright citrus…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Try this vibrant radicchio salad, the perfect side dish! Sweet pears, crunchy almonds, tangy goat cheese, and a bright citrus vinaigrette dress up a colorful bed of greens.

Radicchio Salad

Move over kale: there’s a new salad green in town (or, a new purple?). As cookbook authors who’ve made over 60 salad recipes, it’s hard to impress us with something new. But this radicchio salad is a vibrant explosion of flavors and textures that will send your tastebuds into overdrive! Bitter bright purple radicchio leaves are balanced by the sweetness of ripe pears, the satisfying crunch of toasted almonds, the creamy tang of goat cheese, and a zesty citrus vinaigrette that ties it all together. This isn’t your average salad!

What is radicchio?

It’s hard to believe that in a decade of writing recipes, we’ve barely scratched the surface on this leafy green. Radicchio is a bitter green that’s a member of the chicory family, known for its striking purple color and bitter flavor. It forms compact heads with deep red or maroon leaves that have contrasting white veins.

Radicchio’s bitterness comes from a compound called intybin, which mellows when cooking. Much like other bitter vegetables like Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, when it’s grilled, roasted, or braised, radicchio has a sweeter, more nuanced flavor profile. You might find charred radicchio on a restaurant menu, and the vegetable is common in Italian cuisine.

Radicchio

Ingredients for radicchio salad

Working with this ingredient in the past (in this endive salad, for example), we noticed one overriding characteristic: radicchio tastes bitter. To balance out the bitterness, we’ve prefer not to have an entire salad of the purple leaves: it’s much too strong. Instead, balance radicchio with other greens, like butter lettuce, baby arugula, mizuna, or other mild greens. Adding fruit like pears or apples also helps to balance with sweetness, and strong cheeses pair well too.

Here are the ingredients for this radicchio salad:

  • Radicchio
  • Butter lettuce, baby arugula, baby mizuna: You can use any type of mild green. We like the texture of baby arugula or baby mizuna, which is a green similar to arugula but not as peppery. Avoid mature arugula as it is much too spicy.
  • Pear: Use a ripe pear or substitute a green or red apple.
  • Shallot: The mild flavor of shallot pairs well here. Red onion works too.
  • Almonds: Making toasted almonds brings out their nutty flavor, or for a fancy salad use pine nuts.
  • Cheese: Goat cheese crumbles, feta, or gorgonzola cheese work well (we like goat cheese best). For a vegan salad, omit the cheese.
  • Herbs: Fresh mint bring a pop of fresh flavor.
  • Citrus vinaigrette: This homemade orange vinaigrette is essential to the flavor, as orange and radicchio are a common flavor pairing.
Radicchio Salad

Why toasting the nuts makes a difference

You might not want to spend the 5 extra minutes toasting nuts, but here’s why it’s important (and required, in our opinion!). Toasting nuts brings out at nutty essence to the flavor that’s otherwise undetectable. You have to taste it to believe it, but there’s a huge difference between a raw nut and a toasted nut.

Over here, we always toast our nuts before adding them to salads and desserts. You can toast nuts on the stovetop or in the oven. For salad, we typically use the stovetop since it’s so quick and it’s just a small quantity. Here’s How to Toast Nuts (2 Best Ways!).

For the orange vinaigrette

This radicchio salad goes hand in hand with the homemade vinaigrette: it’s got just the right sweet tart, zingy citrus flavor to contrast the bitterness of the purple leaves. It uses simple ingredients you’ll likely already have on hand in your pantry and fridge, with the exception of an orange. You’ll need to zest the orange, which we like to do with a microplane grater: it’s quick and easy to use. The ingredients you’ll need are:

  • Zest of one orange
  • White wine vinegar
  • Dijon mustard
  • Maple syrup or honey
  • Olive oil
Radicchio Salad recipe

Alternative dressings

This radicchio salad is the perfect fall salad or winter salad to pair with cozy dishes, but it works in any season. It’s great with chicken, seafood, pasta, pizza, and more! A few other dressings can work with this radicchio salad, though we love the orange vinaigrette the most. Here are a few homemade salad dressings to consider:

More salad recipes

There are so many different greens to highlight in salads: and it’s not just kale and spinach! Here are some of our favorite salads featuring different leafy greens:

This radicchio salad recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For plant-based, dairy-free and vegan, omit the cheese.

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Radicchio Salad

Radicchio Salad


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

Description

Try this vibrant radicchio salad, the perfect side dish! Sweet pears, crunchy almonds, tangy goat cheese, and a bright citrus vinaigrette dress up a colorful bed of greens.


Ingredients

For the radicchio salad

  • 1 head radicchio, washed, dried and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 head butter lettuce, washed, dried and torn into bite-sized pieces or 2 cups baby arugula or baby mizuna
  • 1 ripe pear, thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons toasted almonds (or pine nuts)
  • ¼ cup goat cheese crumbles (or feta or gorgonzola), optional
  • 1 handful fresh mint leaves

For the citrus vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup olive oil

Instructions

  1. Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, orange zest, honey, and kosher salt. Gradually whisk in the olive oil 1 tablespoon at a time until a creamy dressing forms. Store refrigerated; the dressing will solidify when cooled so bring to room temperature before serving.
  2. Toast the nuts
  3. Prepare the radicchio, butter lettuce (if using), pear, shallot as noted above.
  4. On a large platter or on salad plates, place the radicchio pieces and butter lettuce or baby arugula or mizuna. Add the pear slices, then sprinkle over the sliced shallot, toasted nuts, goat cheese crumbles, and mint leaves. Drizzle with the orange dressing and serve.
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Salad
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Radicchio Salad

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Blackened Chicken

Experience the bold flavors and juicy perfection of blackened chicken! This simple recipe comes together in minutes for a flavor-packed…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Experience the bold flavors and juicy perfection of blackened chicken! This simple recipe comes together in minutes for a flavor-packed dinner idea. It’s great as is or served on sandwiches, salads, tacos, and more!

Blackened Chicken

Here’s a trick every home cook should know: how to make blackened chicken! This culinary magic transforms ordinary chicken breasts into flavor powerhouses with a smoky depth and a hint of heat. This recipe lets you to create a restaurant-worthy dish in the comfort of your own home, which works on its own with rice, on a sandwich, or cut into strips to top a salad or for tacos. It’s endlessly versatile, making it one of our top chicken recipes to make at home.

What is blackening?

Blackening is a style of cooking meat or fish in a cast iron skillet with a special blend of Cajun-style spices until the outside is crispy and blackened. This technique was popularized by celebrity Cajun chef Paul Prudhomme of Louisiana. He created a recipe for blackened redfish in a 1980’s cookbook that became an instant hit. Since then, blackening has become a popular technique used with different meat and fish, commonly chicken, salmon and shrimp.

Basic steps for blackened chicken

Blackened chicken takes about 15 minutes to make, making it a fantastic quick and easy dinner idea. The clean up does take a few minutes, but it’s worth it! Here are the basic steps for the process (or jump to the recipe below)

  • Butterfly the chicken by slicing the breasts in half. Chicken cutlets are the quickest and tastiest way to cook a chicken breast.
  • Pat the chicken dry and add blackened seasoning. This recipe uses a simplified version of our classic blackened seasoning for quick and easy prep.
  • Sear the chicken for 4 to 5 minutes per side. A stainless steel or cast iron pan get the best sear on the meat: avoid using a non-stick pan. Cook on medium high heat until it’s cooked through and at 165°F when measured with a food thermometer.
Blackened Chicken

Tips for butterflying the chicken

This blackened chicken recipe uses chicken cutlets, or butterflied chicken breasts, because it makes for the juiciest, most well-seasoned piece of meat. Chicken breasts are often very thick, making them tricky to cook evenly. Slicing the chicken breast in half horizontally (butterflying it) makes thinner pieces that cook quicker and more evenly, are easier to eat, and are better seasoned. You can buy a chicken breast already butterflied, which is marked on the package as butterflied or “cutlets”. If you buy regular chicken breasts, you can butterfly them yourself:

  • Place your hand over the top of the chicken breast. Use a sharp knife to carefully slice the breast horizontally, leaving the edge intact so it can open up like a book.
  • Unfold the chicken breast, then cut along the fold to separate the two halves (each half is a cutlet).
How to butterfly a chicken breast

Ways to serve blackened chicken

Blackened chicken works well with a few side dishes, but it is also ultra versatile! Add it to salads, tacos, sandwiches and more for endless variations. Here are a few ways we like to serve it:

Chicken Tacos

How to clean your pan after blackening

After making blackened chicken, you’ll notice that the pan has a lovely blackened char as well. Don’t worry, it’s a;; part of the fun! Here are a few things to note about cleaning your pan:

  • Clean it right after eating. You can eat your food first, of course! But don’t leave it for hours or overnight or the black crust will solidify, making it much tougher to clean.
  • “Deglaze” the pan with water. Deglazing the pan is a cooking technique where you add wine or another liquid to loosen the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. You can use it for cleaning too! Simply place water in the pan and heat it on a burner over medium heat. When the blackened bits start to loosen, scrape them off gently with a wooden spoon or silicon spatula.
  • Use a non-toxic kitchen cleaner. If you have bits that are really stuck, we like to use a cleaner like Bon Ami.
Blackened Chicken

More blackened recipes

Blackening works as a cooking technique for many different proteins, from fish to shellfish. Here are a few more blackened recipes to try:

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Blackened Chicken

Blackened Chicken


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Description

Experience the bold flavors and juicy perfection of blackened chicken! This simple recipe comes together in minutes for a flavor-packed dinner idea. It’s great as is or served on sandwiches, salads, tacos, and more!


Ingredients

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 to 1 1/2 pound, organic if possible), butterflied or cutlets
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika or sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon celery seed
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. If it is not already butterflied or in cutlets, slice it in half horizontally to make 4 pieces. 
  2. Season the chicken with salt, using 1 teaspoon for 1 pound chicken and up to 1 ½ teaspoons for 1 ½ pounds. 
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the smoked paprika, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, black pepper, celery seed, and cayenne. Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with the seasoning mix.
  4. Add the olive oil to a large stainless steel or cast iron skillet* and heat over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned and the seasoning is starting to blacken, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. When the internal temperature is 165°F or the center is no longer pink, remove to a plate and rest for 3 minutes before serving. (See the section above on how to clean your pan after blackening.)

Notes

*You’ll get the best sear from a stainless steel or cast iron skillet; avoid non-stick surfaces. 

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Chicken
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: Blackened chicken

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Easy Manicotti

This manicotti recipe is pasta bake comfort food at its finest! This easy no-boil method lets you indulge in layers…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This manicotti recipe is pasta bake comfort food at its finest! This easy no-boil method lets you indulge in layers of creamy cheese and savory filling without the fuss.

Manicotti recipe

Looking for a cozy pasta bake? Try this manicotti recipe, classic Italian American comfort food at its finest! There’s something so irresistible about pasta tubes filled with three cheeses and bathed in garlicky, tangy tomato sauce. This recipe is truly the easiest way to make manicotti: you don’t even have to boil pasta! No stovetop cooking required, and no fumbling stuffing flimsy pasta tubes. Fill them dry, then pop them in the oven so you can enjoy all the creamy cheese and savory filling without the fuss!

What is manicotti?

Manicotti are large pasta tubes that are pointed at the end with ridges, intended to be stuffed and baked. The word comes from the Italian word manicotto, meaning “big sleeves.” Manicotti is a popular Italian American pasta bake where the pasta is stuffed with a ricotta filling that can be either meat filled or vegetarian.

What is the difference between manicotti vs cannelloni? Cannelloni are large tubes just like manicotti, but they’re smooth and have flat ends. They are most often served with a meat filling, whereas manicotti can be vegetarian or with meat.

Manicotti Recipe

What makes this the easiest manicotti recipe

As we researched this manicotti recipe, we saw the same complaint over and over: “Why is it so hard to fill manicotti?” Once you boil the pasta tubes, they can become very delicate and difficult to fill. You can also overcook them, risking rubbery pasta.

Instead, this manicotti recipe is a no boil recipe so the dry pasta cooks in the sauce while baking. You’ll fill the pasta tubes while they are dry, then add 1 cup water to the marinara sauce which is enough moisture to cook the pasta at the same time as baking. (Note that you don’t need to buy no boil pasta, just standard manicotti.) The pasta comes out perfectly al dente: it’s magical!

Boiling option

Of course if you prefer cooking the pasta, you can do that too! Boil the pasta tubes before baking, fill them using a pastry bag, remove the 1 cup water from Step 2, and shorten the bake time by 30 minutes!

Manicotti Recipe

Best ways to fill the pasta

Manicotti is notoriously tricky to fill. It’s easiest to use a pastry bag to fill the tubes, since it squirts the filling right in. But if you’re like me, you might like avoiding the mess and hassle of pulling out your pastry bag.

Since this recipe uses dry pasta, it’s easier to fill! You can simply use a long spoon or other utensil to fill the manicotti. It takes slightly longer than the pastry bag, but it does the job well!

Ingredients for this manicotti recipe

This manicotti recipe has a three cheese filling, stuffed ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese along with with spinach, garlic, and herbs. Don’t worry: meat lovers won’t miss the meat! This one went over extremely well with friends and family! If you prefer meat, you can substitute the spinach for ¾ pound cooked and seasoned ground beef or sausage. Here’s what you’ll need for this manicotti recipe:

  • Manicotti
  • Fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried tarragon (optional)
  • Frozen spinach
  • Ricotta, Parmesan and mozzarella cheese
  • Egg
  • Fresh parsely
  • Kosher salt and pepper
Manicotti Recipe

Fire roasted tomatoes, & why to avoid jarred sauce

You’ll notice from the list above that this manicotti recipe uses a homemade tomato sauce with fire roasted tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and dried oregano. Fire roasted tomatoes are key to the flavor: they’re roasted over an open flame so their flavor is sweet and developed right out of the can. If you can’t find them, use your best quality canned crushed tomatoes and add ¼ teaspoon sugar.

Avoid substituting jarred marinara sauce in this recipe! We tested this recipe with jarred marinara sauce and the flavors tasted flat and uninspired. It takes just 5 minutes to stir together the marinara sauce for this recipe: don’t skip it!

What to serve with manicotti

Want to make this manicotti recipe into a meal? Here are a few great simple sides you can make that don’t require an oven while your manicotti bakes:

This manicotti recipe is…

Vegetarian.

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Manicotti recipe

Easy Manicotti Recipe


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6

Description

This manicotti recipe is pasta bake comfort food at its finest! This easy no-boil method lets you indulge in layers of creamy cheese and savory filling without the fuss.


Ingredients

  • 8 ounces manicotti (14 shells)
  • 28 ounces fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (divided)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, divided
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, plus ½ tablespoon for garnish
  • ¼ teaspoon dried tarragon (optional)
  • Black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. 
  2. Make the tomato sauce: In a medium bowl, mix the fire roasted tomatoes, 1 clove grated or minced garlic, olive oil, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Mix well until all the olive oil is incorporated. Stir in 1 cup water (this added moisture allows the dry pasta to cook while baking*).
  3. Squeeze all the liquid out of the spinach using a strainer over the sink. Mix the spinach, ricotta cheese, ½ cup Parmesan cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, 1 minced garlic clove, egg, parsley, the tarragon, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper to taste. 
  4. Spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13” baking dish.
  5. Use a pastry bag or long spoon to place the filling into the dry manicotti pasta. Then place each pasta tube into the dish.
  6. Top with the remaining tomato sauce. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. Cover with aluminum foil.
  7. Place the pan in the oven and bake covered with foil for 45 minutes, then uncover and bake for 15 minutes.  
  8. Garnish with additional chopped parsley. Allow to stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

*This manicotti recipe is a no boil recipe so the dry pasta cooks in the sauce while baking. You’ll fill the pasta tubes while they are dry, then add 1 cup water to the marinara sauce which is enough moisture to cook the pasta at the same time as baking. (Important: you don’t need to buy no boil pasta, just standard manicotti.) If you prefer cooking the pasta, you can boil the pasta tubes before baking, fill them using a pastry bag, remove the 1 cup water from Step 2, and shorten the bake time by 30 minutes!

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

Keywords: Manicotti, manicotti recipe

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Apple Walnut Salad

Savor the flavors of this apple walnut salad! Crisp apples mix with crunchy toasted walnuts and a sweet-tart dressing. It’s…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.


Savor the flavors of this apple walnut salad! Crisp apples mix with crunchy toasted walnuts and a sweet-tart dressing. It’s an easy side dish or add protein for a satisfying lunch!

Apple Walnut Salad

Need a delicious salad recipe that goes with just about anything? (We’re always game for ideas.) Try this apple walnut salad! The mix of crisp apples, crunchy walnuts, chewy cranberries and a sweet-tart dressing makes a symphony of textures and flavors. It’s perfect as a side dish, but add protein and it also works as a main meal! You can swap out the dressing and mix-ins to make dozens of variations on the theme, making it endlessly versatile for any time and occasion.

Ingredients in apple walnut salad

An apple walnut salad works in many ways: there are many types of dressings and ways to accessorize the apples. And don’t forget about the classic Waldorf salad of apples, walnuts and grapes with a creamy mayo-based dressing! This apple walnuts salad is all about minimal ingredients with maximum impact. It’s fancy enough for entertaining, yet simple enough to pair with an easy weeknight meal. Here’s what you’ll need for this tasty green salad:

Apple Walnut Salad

Best types of apples for a salad

Make sure to use a crisp tart apple variety in this apple walnut salad. Of course, you can use any apple you have on hand! But it’s nice to use an apple that has a hearty crunch when you bite into it, and a hint of tart to make the flavor pop. Here are our top apple varieties for a salad:

  • Pink Lady: This is our favorite type of apple: the flavor is intensely sweet tart and it has a lovely, bright red color.
  • Granny Smith: Granny Smith is great for salads, though we recommend using it with another red apple for color contrast.
  • Honeycrisp: This variety is a bit sweeter and juicier than Pink Lady, but still a great option.

Dressing variations

This apple walnut salad is delicious with the maple vinaigrette listed in the recipe below. However, it works very well with other dressing ideas as well! Here are some top salad dressings that work with the flavors of this salad:

Apple Walnut Salad

Apple walnut salad topping ideas

Want to mix up the toppings for this apple walnut salad? The sky is the limit! Keep the greens, apples, and walnuts steady and add additional cheese, nuts or other mix ins for a versatile side. Here are some of our top ideas:

  • Feta crumbles or goat cheese crumbles add a pop of salt and a visual appeal.
  • Dried cherries, pomegranate seeds, or raisins can stand in for the cranberries.
  • Parmesan, gorgonzola, gouda, or Manchego also work for the cheese.
  • Try adding a handful of almonds, pecans, pistachios, or hazelnuts alongside the walnuts.
  • Using pepitas is another fun way to mix up the crunchy elements.

Add protein to make it a main dish

Lastly, it’s simple to turn apple walnut salad into a main dish. Simply top with protein! The flavors in this salad work well with chicken, shrimp, salmon, and even tofu as a vegan salad option. Here are some recipes for cooking the protein:

More salad recipes

Love eating salads? We are salad obsessed around here! Here are some of our top favorite salads:

This apple walnut salad recipe is…

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

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Apple Walnut Salad

Apple Walnut Salad


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

Description

Savor the flavors of this apple walnut salad! Crisp apples mix with crunchy toasted walnuts and a sweet-tart dressing. It’s an easy side dish or add protein for a satisfying lunch!


Ingredients

For the apple walnut salad

  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 1 crisp tart apple (like Pink Lady)
  • 8 cups mixed greens or tender lettuces (like butter or Bibb lettuce, frisee, etc)
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 handful sliced red onion* (or shallot)
  • ¼ cup feta cheese crumbles (optional; not shown)

For the dressing

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Fresh ground black pepper (optional)
  • To make it a main: Blackened Chicken, Sauteed Shrimp, Baked Salmon, or Baked Tofu

Instructions

  1. Place the nuts in a dry skillet (no oil) over medium heat. Heat, shaking the pan and stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the nuts are fragrant and slightly darker brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove immediately from the heat and transfer to a plate to stop the cooking.
  2. Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk the maple syrup, vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, and black pepper. Whisk in the olive oil 1 tablespoon at a time until a creamy dressing forms. (If desired, make in advance and refrigerate up to 2 weeks; bring to room temperature prior to serving).
  3. Thinly slice the apple.
  4. Place the greens on a large platter or individual plates. Top with apple slices, toasted walnuts, dried cranberries, and red onion slices. If desired, add a sprinkle of feta cheese. Top with about 6 tablespoons of the dressing (or more as desired) and serve immediately. (To make ahead, keep all components separate with fresh ingredients and dressing refrigerated. Toss the apples with lemon juice to prevent browning. Bring dressing to room temperature and add all ingredients together directly before serving.)

Notes

*To remove some of the strong flavor of the red onion, you can soak it in cold water for 5 to 10 minutes before assembling the salad.

  • Category: Salad
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Salad
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Apple walnut salad,

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Creamy Gemelli Pasta

Gemelli pasta has a corkscrew-shape that traps sauces beautifully, from light and vibrant to creamy and decadent! Dive into this…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Gemelli pasta has a corkscrew-shape that traps sauces beautifully, from light and vibrant to creamy and decadent! Dive into this guide for cooking tips, recipe ideas, and why gemelli deserves a spot in your pantry.

Gemelli Pasta

Want to take your pasta shapes up a notch? Instead of the standard spirals, here’s a pasta shape that has captured our heart: gemelli pasta! The unique corkscrew shape not only looks beautiful, but its twists and turns are key to holding onto the flavor of sauces. Here’s our favorite way to serve it: smothered in a rich, garlicky Parmesan cream sauce. Tender spinach wilts into the mix, adding a pop of color and dose of vegetables. Each bite is a delightful dance of textures and flavors: creamy, cheesy, and oh-so-satisfying. Here’s more about this fun pasta shape: and scroll down for the recipe!

What is gemelli pasta?

Gemelli pasta is corkscrew shaped pasta. Gemelli means “twins” in Italian, referring to what looks like two strands wrapped around each other. But the shape is actually crafted from a single piece of pasta, twisted and twirled to create nooks and crannies that trap seasonings and flavor.

Gemelli works with a variety of sauces, from vibrant pesto to tangy marinara sauce or a rich and creamy alfredo. It’s great in everything from pasta salads to to pasta bakes. It has a more sophisticated appearance than the popular rotini. So ditch the spirals and embrace the playful, flavorful twist of gemelli pasta!

Gemelli Pasta

Best ways to serve gemelli pasta

Gemelli pasta works in a variety of types of recipes, from creamy sauces to tangy marinara, from pasta salads to pasta bakes. Substitute it in any recipe where you’d use a short cut pasta: it’s a perfect substitute for rotini (spirals), bow ties, or penne. Here are some of our favorite ways to use it:

Gemelli Pasta

Ingredients in this creamy gemelli recipe

Here’s our favorite way to serve gemelli pasta: with a creamy garlicky Parmesan sauce and spinach! This recipe is quick and simple, relying on a simple list of quality ingredients. Even better, leftovers even stay flavorful in the fridge (which is our personal test for a good pasta recipe). Here’s what you’ll need for this creamy gemelli pasta recipe:

  • Gemelli pasta
  • Butter
  • Garlic
  • Oregano
  • Milk
  • Heavy cream
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • All-purpose flour
  • Fresh spinach
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Cook the pasta to al dente

The most important thing to remember when making any pasta is to cook the pasta to al dente! Al dente means “to the bite” in Italian, or when it’s tender with a small white speck inside when you bite into a piece. There’s nothing worse than soft, rubbery pasta. Here are a few tips for the perfect al dente pasta:

  • Boil the pasta a few minutes less than indicated on the package instructions. Often package instructions make for overcooked pasta.
  • Start taste testing early. Start taste testing and stop cooking when the pasta is just tender but you can still see a small white speck inside.
Gemelli Pasta

A note on serving size

The gemelli pasta recipe below makes enough for 8 ounces of pasta, which is technically 4 servings. However, we find that if you eat this pasta as a main dish, it makes more like 3 servings. Feel free to double the recipe if desired: click the 2X recipe button below!

Leftovers and storage info

Creamy gemelli pasta tastes the best the day it is made. However, the flavor still tastes great as leftovers! Store leftovers for up to 3 days refrigerated. You can reheat them in a skillet on the stove, adding a splash of milk to keep the sauce creamy. Or you can simply eat them cold (they’re still good!).

More pasta recipes

Want more tasty Italian pasta recipes and pasta sauces? Here are a few more ideas:

This gemelli pasta recipe is…

Vegetarian.

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Gemelli Pasta

Creamy Gemelli Pasta


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces gemelli pasta
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 4 to 5 cups (4 to 5 ounces) fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Start a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and boil until al dente (check a few minutes before the package instructions indicate). Reserve about ½ cup pasta water, then drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Toss with a little olive oil if the sauce is not yet ready. 
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large pan over medium low heat. Melt the butter, then add the garlic and oregano and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute until the garlic is lightly browned and fragrant. Add the milk, heavy cream and Parmesan cheese and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the cheese has melted. In a small bowl, mix the flour with 1 tablespoon pasta water. Pour it into the pan with the sauce, then stir for 1 to 2 minutes until it thickens.
  3. Add the spinach and salt and cook 2 minutes more, until the spinach is wilted.
  4. Add the drained pasta to the sauce and toss. If necessary, add a few splashes of pasta water as necessary to make a creamy consistency. Top with fresh ground black pepper and serve. Enjoy immediately; leftovers last refrigerated for up to 3 days. 
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Pasta
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Gemelli pasta

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Creamy Tuscan Chicken

This creamy Tuscan chicken recipe is the chicken dinner of your dreams! Juicy breasts are bathed in a dreamy sauce…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This creamy Tuscan chicken recipe is the chicken dinner of your dreams! Juicy breasts are bathed in a dreamy sauce of sun dried tomatoes, spinach, garlic, and Parmesan. Ready in just 30 minutes, it’s a dinner idea that’s both easy and impressive!

Tuscan Chicken

If we could eat just one dinner for the rest of our lives, this might be it: a skillet of creamy Tuscan chicken! If you’ve never had Tuscan chicken, let us be the first to tell you: this meal delivers. What is it that makes it so outrageously good? Maybe it’s the dreamy sauce of sun dried tomatoes, spinach, garlic, and Parmesan. Or maybe it’s the savory flavor explosion from the perfectly seasoned and pan seared chicken breast. Either way, it’s beyond delicious, you can whip it up in 30 minutes, and it will please absolutely everyone. Get ready for the chicken dinner of your dreams!

Ingredients in this Tuscan salmon recipe

We’re not exaggerating when we say this is one of the best chicken recipes we’ve made; it ties with Chicken Piccata for our favorite meal to impress. It’s great for weeknight meals, but it’s fancy enough that it’s great for dinner parties and special occasions like Valentine’s Day or Christmas dinner. Each ingredient here packs a flavor punch, so try not to substitute here. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Protein: Boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Pantry: Olive oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper
  • Dairy: Salted butter, milk, heavy cream, Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh ingredients: Garlic, spinach, lemon (for garnish)
  • Special ingredients: Sun dried tomatoes, capers
Tuscan Chicken

Tips for butterflying the chicken

This Tuscan chicken recipe uses chicken cutlets, or you can butterfly the breasts yourself. Chicken breasts are often very thick, making them tricky to cook evenly. Slicing the chicken breast in half horizontally (butterflying it) makes thinner pieces that cook quicker and more evenly, are easier to eat, and are better seasoned. You can buy a chicken breast already butterflied, which is marked on the package as butterflied or “cutlets”. If you buy regular chicken breasts, you can butterfly them yourself:

  • Place your hand over the top of the chicken breast. Use a sharp knife to carefully slice the breast horizontally, leaving the edge intact so it can open up like a book.
  • Unfold the chicken breast, then cut along the fold to separate the two halves (each half is a cutlet).
  • For chicken piccata, cover the chicken with plastic wrap and lightly pound the chicken with a mallet or heavy pan to make it an even 1/4-inch thickness.
Butterfly Chicken

How to make creamy Tuscan chicken: an overview

This Tuscan chicken recipe is quick and simple to make: it takes just about 30 minutes to pull it all together, making it a rock star fast and easy dinner recipe. Because the chicken is butterflied first, it cooks extremely quickly. Here’s an overview of the process (or jump to the recipe below):

  1. Prepare the chicken: Slice the chicken breasts in half horizontally to butterfly them.
  2. Season the chicken: Sprinkle the chicken on all sides with the kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and dried oregano.
  3. Pan fry: Add olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side, until browned on both sides. Remove to a plate.
  4. Make the sauce: In the same skillet, melt the butter. Add the minced garlic and sun dried tomatoes and cook for 1 minute until the garlic is lightly browned and fragrant. Add the capers, cream, milk, and remaining kosher salt. Simmer for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the spinach and cook about 1 minute until wilted, then return the chicken to the pan and warm it for 2 minutes.

Buy organic chicken if possible

When shopping for this Tuscan chicken recipe, keep in mind: the best chicken to buy is organic. This makes sure that it is the highest quality meat that was raised sustainably. It is also free of chemicals and additives, and overall: it just tastes better! Per the USDA, organic chicken must be raised in living conditions that accommodate their natural behaviors, fed 100% organic feed and forage, and not given antibiotics or hormones.

Tuscan Chicken recipe

Leftover storage

This Tuscan salmon recipe stores well, if you do end up having leftovers! (Honestly we never do.) Store in a sealed container for up to 3 days, refrigerated. Re-warm in a skillet over medium heat until warmed through. If the sauce becomes dried out, add a splash of milk or cream.

Sides for creamy Tuscan chicken

Add a few sides to this creamy Tuscan chicken and it’s a simple meal! Here are a few side dishes for chicken that are simple to whip up while making the chicken. Since the oven is free, you can make quick baked or roasted vegetables easily! Here are a few ideas:

Creamy Tuscan Chicken recipe

More great chicken recipes

Love chicken dinners? Here are a few more tasty ways to turn this protein into

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Tuscan Chicken

Tuscan Chicken


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Description

This creamy Tuscan chicken recipe is the chicken dinner of your dreams! Juicy breasts are bathed in a dreamy sauce of sun dried tomatoes, spinach, garlic, and Parmesan. Ready in just 30 minutes, it’s a dinner idea that’s both easy and impressive!


Ingredients

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 to 1 1/2 pounds, organic if possible), butterflied or cutlets
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ¼ cup julienne cut sun dried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 cups baby spinach, loosely packed
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
  • 2 lemon wedges, for serving

Instructions

  1. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel, then slice it in half horizontally (if not already butterflied). Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and a few grinds of black pepper.
  2. Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side, until browned on both sides. When the internal temperature is 165°F or the center is no longer pink, remove to a plate.
  3. Place the pan over low heat and melt the butter. Then add the minced garlic and sun dried tomatoes and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute until the garlic is lightly browned and fragrant. Add the capers, cream, milk, and remaining ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Simmer for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute, then return the chicken to the pan and warm it for 2 minutes, spooning the sauce over the chicken. Serve topped with the sauce and grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: Tuscan chicken, Tuscan chicken recipe, Creamy Tuscan chicken

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