GRILLED SKIRT STEAK SALADOur Grilled Skirt Steak Salad with fresh peaches and creamy burrata is one of our favorite things to serve guests during the summer. It’s so fresh, packed with so much flavor, super satisfying, and the best part? -it̵…
Bún chả (Vietnamese Meatballs) are simple, light, fresh, and perfect for a hot summer day or as a make-ahead meal.
This light and fresh Bún Chả recipe features flavorful and juicy pork meatballs paired with vermicelli noodles and plenty of herbs and vegetables. Bún chả is light yet filling and it comes together effortlessly in a few straightforward steps. Served with a homemade dipping sauce, this refreshing recipe is perfect for a hot summer day or as a make-ahead meal.
What is Bún Chả?
Growing up, I didn’t realize there was a name for these delicious juicy pork meatballs. They were just something my mom made for me because it was one of the five things that I was willing to eat without question. It’s a recipe that you can easily make, you can scale it up or down, and most importantly, it’s super flavorful.
Bún chả, also known as Vietnamese pork meatballs with vermicelli noodles, is a popular Vietnamese dish that is thought to have originated in Hanoi. You can find them served anywhere from street food stalls to restaurants in Hanoi. While a popular lunchtime recipe, you can enjoy this recipe any time of the day. I love how refreshing the noodles, vegetables, and herbs are on a hot summer day. You can even find Anthony Bourdain and Barack Obama enjoying it on an episode of Parts Unknown!
What is fish sauce?
Fish sauce is the secret ingredient of this entire recipe. It goes into the meatballs as well as the dipping sauce (nước chấm) and is an absolute umami bomb. It is a liquid condiment that is made from fermenting fish over time. It adds major savory, salty, and general deliciousness to the overall dish. You can find fish sauce in the international aisle in most grocery stores, or at an Asian grocer.
What is lemongrass?
Lemongrass is an aromatic herb that has a fragrant complex flavor that is bright and citrusy. You can purchase lemongrass fresh or frozen. I usually find frozen lemongrass at Asian grocers and like to stock up my freezer with them. If you can’t find lemongrass, lemon zest and some ginger could work in a pinch, but I highly recommend not substituting the lemongrass because it is key to achieving the authentic Vietnamese flavor profile.
When using fresh lemongrass, keep in mind that the bottom woody section should be discarded. I’ve been noticing more chain grocery stores carrying fresh lemongrass so you should be able to find it relatively easily. If not, check where the ginger paste is kept and you might find lemongrass paste instead for an easy swap!
How to store leftovers
This recipe is perfect for meal prepping! Store the rice noodles, veggies, and herbs in one container and the pork meatballs in another container. This makes reheating the meatballs much easier, especially at work. Everything should keep and stay fresh for up to 4 days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Tips for Making Bún Chả
- Do not overpack the meatballs while shaping the meatballs as you do not want them to be dense.
- For uniformed meatballs, use a cookie scoop. This helps them cook evenly as well. You do not want to go any larger than around a golf ball’s size.
- For the nước chấm, feel free to adjust the ingredients to suit your tastes.
- While I use a non-stick skillet, you can use a grilling pan or cast-iron skillet as well.
- When buying rice vermicelli noodles, make sure to double-check the ingredients. At first glance, they look similar to cellophane noodles but they are not the same.
- 1 lb. ground pork $4.49
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped $0.24
- 1/4 cup chopped shallot $0.68
- 4 Tbsp minced lemongrass $0.60
- 2 Tbsp honey $0.24
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce $0.23
- 1 tsp salt $0.05
- 1/4 tsp pepper $0.02
Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Cham)
- 1/4 cup lime juice (about 2 limes) $1.20
- 3/4 cup water $0.00
- 3 Tbsp fish sauce $0.68
- 1 Thai red chili pepper $0.10
- 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
- 2 Tbsp sugar $0.02
- 1 carrot, thinly sliced $0.16
- 8 oz. rice vermicelli noodles $2.99
- 1 head butter lettuce $1.59
- 1 handful fresh mint $2.19
- 1 carrot, sliced $0.16
- 1/2 cucumber, sliced $0.50
For the Meatballs:
- CHop the garlic and shallots, and mince the lemongrass.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the pork, fish sauce, salt, pepper, honey, lemongrass, shallots, and garlic. Set the mixture aside for 1 to 2 hours in the fridge.
- Shape the mixture into small meatballs (about 20 meatballs), and then gently flatten them a bit.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil and add the meatballs in a single layer. Cook the meatballs until they are golden and caramelized, around 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set the cooked meatballs aside.
For the Sauce:
- Whisk the sauce ingredients together and adjust to your tastes. Optional: heat the water and whisk the sugar in to dissolve before adding the rest of the ingredients.
For the Bowls:
- Prepare the vermicelli noodles according to package instructions (usually cook 2-3 minutes in a pot of boiling water).
- Serve the noodles with the meatballs along with a handful of lettuce, mint, carrots, and cucumbers with the nuoc cham on the side.
How to Make Bún chả – Step by Step Photos
First, prepare the aromatics for the meatballs. Mince three cloves of garlic, ¼ cup shallots, and 4 tablespoons lemongrass.
Add the garlic, shallots, and lemongrass to a bowl with about one pound of ground pork, 2 Tablespoons of honey, 1 Tablespoon fish sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Mix the ingredients together then set the mixture aside for 1 to 2 hours in the fridge so the flavors can blend.
Shape the mixture into small meatballs, and then gently flatten them a bit. To help divide the mixture evenly, first, dive the meat into four equal pieces, then divide each quarter into five pieces to yield 20 meatballs.
Heat a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add a tablespoon or two of cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add the meatballs to the hot skillet in a single layer. Cook the meatballs until they are golden and caramelized, around 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set the cooked meatballs aside.
For the sauce, whisk together ¼ cup lime juice, ¾ cup water, 3 Tablespoons fish sauce, 1 minced clove of garlic, 1 finely chopped red chili, 2 Tablespoons of sugar, and some thinly sliced carrots (optional garnish). Taste the sauce and adjust the ingredients to your taste buds.
Prepare the vermicelli noodles according to package instructions (they usually require cooking for 2-3 minutes in a pot of boiling water). Drain the noodles and set them aside.
Prepare the rest of the vegetables for your bowls. Slice a cucumber, slice a carrot into matchsticks, pull a handful of mint leaves from the stems, and wash some tender lettuce.
Build the Bún chả bowls by adding the rice vermicelli noodles to a bowl along with some lettuce, cucumber, carrot, and Bún chả. Dip the Bún chả into the sauce, or drizzle a little over the bowl.
SO fresh and so GOOD!
This panzanella salad is a quick and delicious way to use up day-old bread, ripe tomatoes, and other summer produce. For the ultimate convenience, you can even prep the ingredients ahead of time.
My friends, don’t sleep on this simple Panzanella salad! It’s a quick and delicious way to use up day-old bread, ripe tomatoes, and other summer produce. For the ultimate convenience, you can even prep the ingredients ahead of time. What’s not to love?!?!
What Is Panzanella?
Panzanella is a hearty Tuscan salad and an OG food waste recipe. It was created by Italian peasants to keep stale bread out of the trash and to use up garden produce before it spoiled. It can be made with almost any combination of fruits and veggies, but traditionally, the stars of the show are juicy summer tomatoes and crusty bread that’s had time to absorb the salad’s tangy dressing.
Ingredients You’ll Need
You’ll need some day-old bread, ripe tomatoes, some fresh greens, and any other summer fruit and veg you want to take advantage of. You can dress it with your favorite bottled dressing, or you can use our easy homemade balsamic vinaigrette. Beth and I added mozzarella pearls because, YES. Then we just drizzled it with a little olive oil and vinegar that we emulsified in a mason jar. (That’s just chef-speak for shaking the ever-living life out of it until the oil and vinegar transform into a creamy dressing.)
How Long Does Panzanella Last?
While it lives forever in my dreams, in real life, Panzanella doesn’t last longer than a day. You’ll need to make it an hour or so before serving to give the bread time to soak up the dressing.
Can I Meal-Prep Panzanella?
I’ve had lots of success prepping Panzanella components ahead of time. Chop and toast the bread, cool it, then store it in an air-tight container with a folded paper towel in it to absorb humidity. Slice and salt the tomatoes and store them in an airtight container as well. The salt forces them to release their juices, which you can then incorporate into your dressing. Chop the rest of your ingredients and also store them in your fridge in an airtight container. Then it’s as easy as mixing everything together with greens and dressing. Toasted bread will stay fresh at room temperature for a few days. Chopped produce will also stay fresh for a few days in the fridge.
- 3 cups bread, cubed $2.00
- 1/4 cup olive oil, divided $0.64
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes $3.49
- 1 nectarine $0.90
- 1 cucumber $0.69
- 1/2 red onion $0.40
- 10 oz. baby spring mix $3.49
- 4 oz. mozzarella pearls $1.75
- 1 tsp salt $0.08
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar $0.10
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Slice the bread into 2 x 2-inch cubes and place in the sheet pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toss to combine. Bake until toasted, about 20 minutes.
- While the bread toasts, wash all of the produce. Slice cherry tomatoes in half. Cut the cucumber in 1/2 inch thick quarter rounds. Slice the nectarine in 1/2 inch thick slices. Slice the red onion in 1/4 inch thick half moons.
- Once the bread has toasted, pull it from the oven, and allow it to cool.
- Add the toasted bread to a very large bowl and top with salad greens. Top the greens with tomatoes, nectarines, cucumbers, red onions, and mozzarella pearls.
- Add remaining olive oil, vinegar, and salt to a small mason jar or other container with a tight-fitting lid. Close the lid tightly and shake the oil and vinegar until combined. Dress the salad. Toss to coat.
- Let the salad sit for at least an hour to allow the bread to soak up the dressing. Serve and enjoy!
How to Make Panzanella- Step by Step Photos
Slice three cups of day-old (or fresh) bread into 2 x 2-inch cubes and place in the sheet pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toss to combine. Bake until toasted, about 20 minutes.
While the bread toasts, wash all of the produce. Slice the pint of cherry tomatoes in half. Cut the cucumber in 1/2 inch thick quarter rounds. Slice the nectarine into 1/2 inch thick slices. Slice half of a red onion in 1/4 inch thick half moons.
Once the bread has toasted, pull it from the oven, and allow it to cool.
Add the toasted bread to a very large bowl and top with 10 oz. of salad greens. Top the greens with tomatoes, nectarines, cucumbers, and red onions. Finish with mozzarella pearls (not pictured here.)
Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the tablespoon of vinegar, and the teaspoon of salt to a small mason jar or another container with a tight-fitting lid. Close the lid tightly and shake the oil and vinegar until combined. Dress the salad. Toss to coat.
Let the salad sit for at least an hour to allow the bread to soak up the dressing. Serve and enjoy!
Check out these other great summer salads
STRAWBERRY AND TOMATO GAZPACHOWe love a refreshing chilled soup, especially on a hot summer day and our Strawberry and Tomato Gazpacho Recipe is one of our absolute favorites! It’s light, super refreshing, slightly sweet, spicy and savory. ItR…
Peanut Butter Banana Smoothies are slightly sweet, super creamy, deliciously filling, and make a fast and easy snack or breakfast!
Peanut butter banana smoothies have been a favorite snack (or dessert) of mine since I was a teenager. I usually always have the ingredients on have on hand, they’re ultra-creamy, just sweet enough to kill my sweet tooth, and filling enough to stand in for breakfast. Plus, they’re INEXPENSIVE. There are a lot of ways you can modify this simple banana smoothie if you want to make it your own, so if you haven’t tried this one yet, definitely put it on your list!
Use any Nut Butter
I love the classic peanut butter-banana combo, but if you don’t like peanut butter or can’t have it for other reasons, feel free to substitute it with any type of nut or seed butter. Almond butter or Sun Butter would be awesome, and it would also be fun to experiment with flavored nut butters. The nut butter makes this smoothie extra rich and delicious, so don’t skip this ingredient!
Use Frozen Bananas for the Best Texture
The key to getting this ultra-creamy milkshake-like consistency is to use frozen bananas. Not only will frozen bananas make the smoothie extra thick and creamy, but they also keep it cold without having to add ice, which would water down the smoothie. So anytime I have bananas that are on their last leg, I make sure to peel, slice, and freeze them to use in smoothies and other desserts later.
Use Any Type of Milk
This smoothie recipe is incredibly flexible. You can use any type of dairy or non-dairy milk for this smoothie, keeping in mind that the creamier the milk, the creamier the smoothie will be. I like whole milk the best, but I think coconut would also pair nicely with these flavors!
What Else Can I Add?
As mentioned above, there are a lot of different things you can add to this smoothie to take it in a different direction. Try adding some of these ingredients to your banana smoothie:
- Quick oats (about ¼ cup)
- Ground flaxseed
- Cocoa powder
- Instant coffee
- Chia seeds
Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
- 1 frozen banana, sliced $0.22
- 2 Tbsp peanut butter $0.14
- 1 tsp brown sugar $0.02
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract $0.13
- 1 cup milk $0.20
- Add the sliced banana, peanut butter, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and milk to a blender.
- Blend the ingredients until smooth. If the smoothie is too thick, add more milk. If the smoothie is too thin, add more frozen banana. Taste and adjust the sweetness to your liking.
How to Make a Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie – Step by Step Photos
Add one sliced frozen banana to a blender along with 2 Tbsp peanut butter, 1 tsp brown sugar, and ¼ tsp vanilla extract.
Add one cup of milk. I use whole milk, but you can use the milk of your choice.
Blend the ingredients until smooth. If the smoothie is too thick, you can add more milk. If it’s too liquidy for your taste, you can add more frozen sliced banana.
Try These Other Smoothie Recipes:
BUTTER ROASTED CHERRY TOMATO PASTAOne of my favorite things to make during the summer is this Butter Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta! This recipe is a great way to use up a lot of super ripe and seasonal cherry tomatoes that are readily available during th…
Colorful summer vegetables simmered in a red sauce and spooned over warm polenta make a hearty and inexpensive summer meal.
One of my favorite things about summer is all of the colorful vegetables. I pack my plate with as many vegetables as I can this time of year because I know that six months from now they won’t be nearly as delicious or inexpensive. Simmering a medley of vegetables in a simple jar of pasta sauce makes a really quick, filling, and inexpensive meal that you can spoon over a bowl of polenta, a plate of pasta, or even a hearty piece of toast. Simple and delicious!
What Vegetables to Use
Whenever I make a recipe with multiple vegetables, I always try to make sure to get a variety of colors. So today I used eggplant (dark/purple), zucchini (green), red bell pepper (red), and yellow onion (white). But here are some other vegetables that would also work well in this recipe:
- Yellow squash
- Green bell pepper
- Spinach or kale
Red Sauce Options
To keep this recipe extra simple, I just used a jar of store-bought pasta sauce, but just about any red pasta sauce will work here. If you prefer to make your own instead of buying pre-made sauce, you can try my quick weeknight pasta sauce, or a deeper slow cooker pasta sauce.
What to Serve with Vegetables in Red Sauce
I whipped up a quick Parmesan polenta to serve as the base for these vegetables and sauce, but they would be equally good over pasta, mashed potatoes, or even a sturdy piece of toast.
Summer Vegetables in Red Sauce
Vegetables in Red Sauce
- 1 yellow onion $0.32
- 4 cloves garlic $0.32
- 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
- 1 eggplant $1.49
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning $0.10
- 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
- 1/4 tsp pepper $0.03
- 1 red bell pepper $1.50
- 1 zucchini $1.47
- 1 24oz. jar pasta sauce $1.50
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional garnish) $0.10
Parmesan Cornmeal (optional)
- 5 cups water $0.00
- 1 tsp salt $0.05
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal $0.40
- 2 Tbsp butter $0.22
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan $0.36
- Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the onion, garlic, and olive oil to a large pot. Sauté over medium heat until the onions have softened.
- While the onion and garlic are cooking, dice the eggplant into ½-inch pieces. Add the eggplant to the pot with the Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper, and continue to sauté over medium heat.
- Dice the red bell pepper. Once the eggplant has softened, add the diced bell pepper to the pot and continue to sauté.
- Slice the zucchini into ¼-inch thick quarter-rounds, then add them to the pot. Continue to sauté just a couple minutes more, or until the zucchini just begin to soften.
- Add the red sauce and 1/4 cup water to the pot and stir to combine. Let the vegetables simmer in the sauce for 5-10 minutes, or until they reach your desired level of tenderness.
- While the vegetables are simmering, bring a separate pot of water to a boil.
- Once boiling, stir in the salt, then pour in the cornmeal while whisking. Continue to cook and whisk until the cornmeal thickens (this should happen quickly).
- Once the cornmeal has thickened, stir in the butter until melted, then add the grated Parmesan. Stir to combine, then taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
- To serve, spoon ⅔ cup cornmeal into a bowl then top with one cup of the vegetables and red sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley if desired.
How to Make Summer Vegetables in Red Sauce – Step by Step Photos
Dice one yellow onion and mince four cloves of garlic. Add the onion and garlic to a large pot along with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Sauté over medium heat until the onions have softened.
While the onion and garlic are cooking, dice an eggplant into ½-inch pieces. Add them to the pot with 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning, and continue to sauté until the eggplant have softened.
Dice one red bell pepper, add it to the pot, and continue to sauté.
Slice one zucchini into 1/4-inch thick quarter-rounds. Add the zucchini to the pot and sauté just until the zucchini begins to soften.
Add one 24oz. jar (3 cups) red sauce and 1/4 cup water to the pot and stir to combine.
Let the vegetables simmer in the red sauce for about 10 more minutes. Taste and season with salt to taste.
If you’d like to serve the vegetables over polenta, bring 5 cups of water up to a boil. Once boiling, stir in one teaspoon salt, then add one cup of cornmeal while whisking. Continue to cook and whisk until it thickens (this only takes a minute or two).
Stir two tablespoons of butter into the thickened cornmeal.
Finally, Stir in ¼ cup grated Parmesan. Taste the cornmeal and adjust the seasonings to your liking.
Add about ⅔ cup of the cornmeal to a bowl and top with 1 cup of the vegetables in red sauce. Top with a little more Parmesan and some chopped fresh parsley. Enjoy!
This Big Kale Pasta Salad is the perfect fast and filling summer lunch, packed with flavors, textures, and colors. Great for meal prep!
I probably wouldn’t survive the summer if it wasn’t for big cold “meal salads” like this Big Kale Pasta Salad. It’s cold, filling, has tons of flavors and textures to keep me interested, and it’s just super easy to pull together. Oh, and it holds up REALLY well in the fridge, too. So yeah, it pretty much wins the “perfect summer meal” prize. :)
What’s in the BIG Kale Pasta Salad?
I combined a few of my favorite things for this BIG kale pasta salad. I used my favorite homemade balsamic vinaigrette to massage the kale and make it a little more tender, then added some chickpeas for extra bulk, grape tomatoes for freshness, red onion for a savory note, and a little Parmesan for more umami. This one is hitting all the bases!
If you’re not into balsamic dressing or you just don’t want to make your own, any store-bought vinaigrette-style dressing will be great with this salad. Italian dressing, Caesar dressing, or tomato basil vinaigrette would also be good.
What Else Can I Add?
As with most salads, this Big Kale Pasta Salad is extremely flexible. Here are some other great ingredient options that you could add in place of or in addition to what I used:
How Long Does it Last?
This salad will stay good in the fridge for about 4-5 days. Kale holds up beautifully to dressing and pasta salads in general also hold up very well. If you plan to meal prep the salad, I do suggest that you reserve the rest of the dressing after massaging the kale to add to the salad just before serving (to prevent the salad from drying out as it’s refrigerated).
BIG Kale Pasta Salad
Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 1/3 cup olive oil $0.85
- 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar $0.42
- 2 Tbsp mayonnaise $0.15
- 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard $0.09
- 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
- 1/2 tsp dried basil $0.05
- 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
- 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
- 8 oz. penne pasta $0.67
- 8 oz. chopped kale* $1.50
- 1 pint grape tomatoes $2.00
- 1/2 red onion $0.22
- 1 15oz. can chickpeas $1.09
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan $0.72
- Make the vinaigrette first. Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mayonnaise, Dijon, minced garlic, basil, salt, and pepper in a bowl until smooth and creamy. Set the dressing aside.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add the pasta and boil until tender (7-8 minutes). Drain the pasta in a colander and allow it to cool.
- Add the kale to a large bowl. Drizzle ⅓ of the prepared balsamic dressing over the kale and then use your hands to massage the dressing into the kale. Massage the kale for 3-5 minutes, or until it has wilted to half its volume.
- Slice the grape tomatoes in half, thinly slice the red onion, and rinse and drain the chickpeas.
- Add the drained and cooled pasta to the bowl with the kale, along with the tomatoes, onions, chickpeas, and Parmesan.
- Pour the rest of the dressing over top, then stir the salad until everything is evenly combined and coated in dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste, then serve.
How to Make A BIG Kale Pasta Salad – Step by Step Photos
Make the dressing first. Whisk together ⅓ cup olive oil, 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 Tbsp mayonnaise, ½ Tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 clove of minced garlic, ½ tsp dried basil, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Set the dressing aside.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, then add ½ lb. of pasta (any short shape). Boil until tender and then drain in a colander.
Meanwhile, begin to prepare the kale. I use this pre-chopped kale because it’s super convenient and also inexpensive. If you are using a bunch of kale instead of pre-chopped, simply remove the stems and chop the kale into 1-2 inch pieces. I used half of this one-pound bag for my salad.
Before massaging the kale, it has a lot of volume and entirely fills my big salad bowl.
Add about ⅓ of the prepared dressing to the kale and then use your hands to massage the dressing into the kale. The kale will get softer and lose volume as it is massaged. Set the kale aside.
Slice ½ of a red onion. If red onion is a bit too strong for you, you can soak it briefly in ice water to take the sharp edge off.
Slice one pint of grape tomatoes in half.
Add the drained and cooled pasta, tomatoes, sliced onions, one drained 15oz. can of chickpeas, and ½ cup grated Parmesan to the bowl with the kale. Pour the remaining dressing over top.
Stir everything together, then season the salad to taste with salt and pepper.
Enjoy the salad immediately or refrigerate for later!
Looking for an easy, budget-friendly dessert that’ll help you beat the summer heat? This dangerously delicious, no-churn strawberry ice cream recipe is a winner!
What if I told you that you don’t need to buy a fancy appliance to make your own homemade ice cream?? Not only is this simple homemade ice cream delicious, but you can make so many different flavors and it’s just a super fun summer project. This year we took advantage of some of the season’s fresh strawberries to make this dangerously delicious, no-churn strawberry ice cream, and it might be my favorite flavor yet. So make sure to bookmark this recipe for this weekend. You’ll be so happy to have some homemade ice cream stashed away in your freezer later. ;)
What Does No-Churn Mean?
No-churn simply means you don’t need an ice cream maker to make this INSANELY easy dessert. The ice cream base doesn’t need to be continuously stirred as it freezes to stay soft and fluffy, and you don’t need to stand over a stove gently simmering and stirring eggs, cream, and sugar into a smooth custard. Halleloo! Whipping the ingredients together before freezing helps keep the ice crystals small and the ice cream smooth and delicious.
With just five ingredients and a hand mixer, this recipe will give you delectable, velvety results. This ice cream is so good I make a double batch because I know that despite my best efforts, I will devour most of it in one sitting.
How Do You Flavor Ice Cream?
There are two ways to flavor your no-churn ice cream. You can flavor the ice cream base or you can swirl flavorful ingredients into the whipped ice cream just before freezing. To keep this recipe simple, we flavored the base with just a touch of vanilla, then swirled in strawberries and strawberry syrup just before freezing.
If you don’t have fresh strawberries or don’t want to make your own strawberry syrup, you can swirl in a little thinned-out strawberry jam. Simply loosen up the strawberry jam by stirring in a little warm water until it is just loose enough to run off a spoon. Then swirl it in as we did with the strawberry syrup below.
What Keeps No-Churn Ice Cream Soft?
Ice cream made in an ice cream maker is slowly churned as it freezes, which incorporates air into the mixture and keeps the ice crystals really small as they form. With no-churn ice cream, the mixture is whipped before freezing to incorporate the air, and the high fat and sugar content of the base helps prevent large ice crystals from forming as it freezes. It’s so incredibly easy and the results are so fantastic, you’ll be glad you didn’t drop $$$ on that ice cream machine.
No-Churn Strawberry Ice Cream
- 1 lb. fresh strawberries, divided $1.99
- 1/3 cup sugar (granulated) $0.05
- 1/8 tsp vanilla extract $0.06
- 1 pinch salt $0.01
Ice Cream Base
- 1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk $1.59
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream $2.39
- 1 tsp vanilla extract $0.50
- 1 pinch salt $0.01
- Make the strawberry syrup first. Wash the strawberries and remove the green tops. Dice the strawberries into ¼-inch pieces. Reserve half of the chopped strawberries to fold into the ice cream later.
- Add the other half of the diced strawberries to a sauce pot with the sugar. Stir and cook over medium heat until the strawberries release their liquid and form a syrup in the saucepot.
- Let the strawberries simmer in the syrup, stirring occasionally until they break down and lose their shape and the syrup has thickened slightly. You'll know it's ready when you drag a wooden spoon across the bottom center of the pot and the syrup stays parted for a few seconds. Remove the syrup from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Set the strawberry syrup aside to cool.
- While the syrup is cooling, prepare the ice cream base. Add the sweetened condensed milk, heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract, and salt to a bowl. Use a hand mixer to whip the mixture until it is light and fluffy, and has formed soft peaks.
- Fold the reserved chopped fresh strawberries into the ice cream base. Transfer the whipped ice cream base to a freezer-safe container. Drizzle the cooled strawberry syrup over the ice cream and gently swirl it into the mixture.
- Cover the ice cream and freeze for eight hours before scooping and serving.
How to Make Strawberry Ice Cream – Step by Step Photos
Make the strawberry syrup first. Wash the strawberries and remove the green tops from one pound of strawberries. Dice the strawberries into ¼-inch pieces. Reserve half of the chopped strawberries to fold into the ice cream later.
Add the other half of the diced strawberries to a sauce pot with ⅓ cup sugar.
Stir and cook over medium heat until the strawberries release their liquid and form a syrup in the saucepot and the mixture comes up to a simmer.
Let the strawberries simmer in the syrup, stirring occasionally until they break down and lose their shape, and the syrup has thickened slightly. You’ll know it’s ready when you drag a wooden spoon across the bottom center of the pot and the syrup stays parted for a few seconds. Remove the syrup from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Set the strawberry syrup aside to cool.
While the syrup is cooling, prepare the ice cream base. Add one 14oz. can of sweetened condensed milk, one pint of heavy whipping cream, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt to a bowl.
Use a hand mixer to whip the mixture until it is light and fluffy, and has formed soft peaks (when you lift the beaters out of the mixture it will form a gentle peak that slumps over to the side).
Fold the reserved chopped fresh strawberries into the ice cream base.
Transfer the whipped ice cream base to a freezer-safe container.
Spoon the cooled strawberry syrup over the ice cream and gently swirl it into the mixture. Don’t over mix it! :)
Cover the ice cream and freeze for eight hours before scooping and serving.
This simple Creamy Cucumber Salad is the quintessential side dish of summer. It’s light, fresh, and so quick to prepare!
I don’t know if there’s any salad that says “Summer” more than a simple creamy cucumber salad. This salad is so light and fresh, and it only takes minutes to make, so it’s the perfect side dish for all of your summer meals.
What’s in Creamy Cucumber Salad?
This classic summer salad is made with cucumbers, onions, and a simple creamy dressing. The dressing can vary from recipe to recipe, but it’s usually either a sour cream or yogurt base with some sort of acid (lemon juice or vinegar), a little sugar, and dill. It’s simple, fresh, and delicious!
Can I Use Fresh Dill?
Creamy Cucumber Salad is often made with fresh dill, but since fresh dill can sometimes be hard to find or more expensive, I made the version below with dried dill. You can certainly use fresh dill if you have access to it. I’d use about 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill in place of the dried dill listed below.
To Peel or Not to Peel the Cucumbers
It’s totally up to you whether or not you want to peel the cucumbers. I love the contrast of color the peel provides, but some people experience digestive upset with cucumber peels, so peel them if you prefer. You can also scrape out the seeds if those bother you as well.
How Are the Leftovers?
This salad is best when freshly made because the salt in the dressing will draw the moisture out of the cucumbers and cause the salad to get watery if refrigerated for a day or more. Luckily, this salad is really easy to scale down, or, if you know you plan to eat the leftovers for a few days, you can salt the cucumbers ahead of time to draw out the excess water. But salting the cucumbers will make them softer, which is why it’s not my personally preferred method.
To pre-salt the cucumbers, place the sliced cucumbers in a large colander and toss with ½ tsp salt. Let the cucumbers drain for about ½ hour, then pat dry with a paper towel. Since the cucumbers will already have some salt on them, skip adding salt to the sour cream dressing and just add salt to taste once the salad is assembled.
Creamy Cucumber Salad
- 1/2 cup sour cream $0.55
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice $0.08
- 1/2 tsp dried dill $0.05
- 1 tsp sugar $0.02
- 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
- 1 large cucumber $1.49
- 1/4 red onion $0.10
- To make the dressing, combine the sour cream, lemon juice, sugar, dill, and salt in a bowl. Set the dressing aside.
- Peel the cucumbers, if desired. Slice the cucumbers and thinly slice the red onions.
- Combine the cucumber, red onion, and dressing in a large bowl and stir to combine.
- Let the salad sit for 5-10 minutes, give it another stir, then serve.
How to Make Creamy Cucumber Salad – Step by Step Photos
Make the dressing first. Stir together ½ cup sour cream, ½ tsp dried dill, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp sugar, and ½ tsp salt.
Peel the cucumbers, if desired. Slice one large cucumber and thinly slice ¼ of a red onion.
Add the cucumber, onion, and dressing to a large bowl.
Stir to combine. I like to let the salad sit for about 5-10 minutes before serving just to let the flavors combine a bit. Give it a good stir again before serving.
Enjoy this super fresh summer salad immediately!