Best Classic Beef Chili Recipe

Are you ready to enjoy the best classic beef chili you have ever tasted? Made with hearty ingredients like ground beef and beans, and full of flavor from our chili seasonings. 

classic beef chili made with ground beef topped with avocado next to cheese and tortilla chips

This recipe was originally created for the Beef Throwdown with New York Beef Council

I love a good bowl of chili, but depending on where you live, chili can look a little different. So I decided to take it back to the good ole’ days and create a classic beef chili that has those traditional flavors, heartiness, and simple ingredients. 

In case you are wondering, this is actually a healthy beef chili recipe and is packed full of protein. Obviously ground beef plays a big part, but the black beans and pinto beans are a good source of plant-based protein too. 

Beef is a great source of iron and helps with muscle maintenance, growth, keeps you fuller because of the protein content, and is full of vitamins and minerals, including creatine.

One of my favorite things about this homemade chili is that it requires pantry staples. This means you probably already have most of the ingredients on hand so you may not even have to make a trip to the store!

Classic Beef Chili Ingredients

Protein: ground beef, black beans, pinto beans

Spices: salt, garlic (minced and powder), chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt

Veggies: carrots, onion, fire roasted crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, jalapeno

Liquids: olive oil, beef, or chicken broth

Toppings: sour cream, cheese, avocado, chives, tortilla chips

How to Make this Ground Beef Chili Recipe with Beans

Heat a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, then add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the ground beef and salt. Brown the beef until it’s no longer pink. 

Drain off the grease, but keep 1 to 2 tablespoons in the pot. Set the cooked ground beef to the side for now. 

Add the diced onions and carrots, allow them to cook just until softened. 

Place the jalapeno and garlic in, continuing cooking for another 2 minutes. 

Sprinkle in the remaining spices, and stir to combine. Then add the tomato paste and stir until the veggies are coated and saute for 2 more minutes. 

Pour in the roasted tomatoes and broth. Be sure to scrap the bottom when stirring to remove any bits that are stuck. 

Stir in the beans and cooked beef, then bring the chili to a low simmer. 

Cover and let it cook on low heat for at least 45 minutes. Chili is really great and flavorful when it cooks for at least 2 hours, so if you have the time, let it go longer. 

Stir occasionally. If you find that it is becoming too thick, you can add a little water or broth. 

Serve with your favorite toppings! 

ground beef chili in a bowl topped with tortilla chips, avocado, cheese, chives, and sour cream

What Beef Can Be Used in Chili? 

Because I was going for a classic recipe I chose ground beef, but there are tons of varieties of beef chilis. Here are a few cuts that are more popular:

  • Brisket – if you like corned beef or pastrami you would like brisket chili
  • Beef Chuck – because this cut is a little tougher, this is best for slow cooker chili
  • Meat from boneless short ribs – these are cheaper than bone in ribs

How to Store Healthy Beef Chili

Allow the chili to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container and refrigerate. It will stay fresh for up to 4 days. 

To freeze, place the chili in a freezer-friendly container and store for up to 2 months. You can also freeze in single-serving portions to make meal prep easier. If you want to reheat the full batch, store the chili flat in a plastic bag to save space in the freezer. 

classic ground beef chili and beans in a red bowl topped with garnishes

Hosting a Chili Bar Party 

If you want to let your guests do the work or allow them to customize their chili to their liking try a chili bar. 

Simply make the chili then set it out, along with all of the toppings. You could also transfer the chili to a slow cooker and place it on warm if you wanted to set up a table with all of the ingredients. 

Chili bars are great for parties and game days, plus you hardly have to worry about entertaining full time! 

Chili Bar Topping Ideas  

  • Sour cream 
  • Greek yogurt 
  • Cheddar cheese 
  • Sliced jalapenos 
  • Pico de gallo 
  • Tortilla crunchies 
  • Oyster crackers 
  • Chives 
  • Hot sauce
  • Diced onions
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ground beef chili in a bowl topped with tortilla chips, avocado, cheese, chives, and sour cream

Classic Chili with Ground Beef

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x

Description

Are you ready to enjoy the best classic beef chili you have ever tasted? Made with hearty ingredients like ground beef and beans, and full of flavor from our chili seasonings. 


Ingredients

Scale

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 ½ pounds ground beef

2 teaspoons salt

1 medium onion, diced

4 carrots, peeled and finely diced

1 jalapeno, finely minced (optional)

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons cumin

1 tablespoon oregano

1 teaspoon garlic powder

4 tablespoons tomato paste

1 (28-ounce) can fire roasted crushed tomatoes

2 cups beef or chicken broth

1 (14-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 (14-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

Toppings: sour cream, cheese, avocado, chives, tortilla chips, etc.


Instructions

  1. Heat a large Dutch oven or pot over medium high heat. Add oil and let heat to medium high heat. Add the ground beef, breaking into small crumbles with a wooden spoon. Add salt and continue to cook until beef have browned and fully cooked.
  2. Drain beef draining off most of the fat, but reserve 1-2 tablespoons in the pot. Add the onions and carrots. Sauté until soft. Add the jalapeno and garlic. Continue to sauté for another 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
  3. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, and garlic powder. Stir to combine. Add the tomato paste and stir to coat the vegetables. Sauté for about 2 minutes.
  4. Pour in the fire roasted tomatoes and broth, scraping the bottom of the pan to lift anything that started to stick.
  5. Stir in the beef, black beans, and pinto beans.
  6. Bring chili to a low simmer. Cover the pot and allow to simmer on low heat for at least 45 minutes (ideally up to 2 hours to really develop the flavors!) Keep checking and stirring the chili every so often. If the chili becomes too thick, thin with additional broth or water.
  7. Top with your favorite topping and enjoy!

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More Soups, Stews, and Chilis to Try:

Beef Meatball Gyros

Beef Meatball Gyros have all of the traditional flavors and are topped with a homemade Greek yogurt tzatziki sauce that is better than any restaurant you have ever tasted! 

beef meatball gyro open faced on small white plate with greek yogurt tzatziki

Most of the time you probably don’t make gyros at home, because they seem a little complicated and they have to taste just right because you are comparing them to the best Greek takeout in town. 

Using ground beef and making a meatball gyro is so much easier and when you top it with my famous greek yogurt tzatziki sauce it’s even better! 

What Is Typically in a Gyro? 

Traditional gyros are made from shaved lamb, beef, a combination of both, and sometimes chicken. If you were to see a behind-the-scenes view of an authentic Greek restaurant you would probably notice the vertical rotisserie. Also if you have ever been to a fair, you know what i am talking about. 

The seasoned meat (it usually has a lot of herbs for the Greek flavor, heavy on the garlic) is served on a warm pita, topped with lettuce, onions, feta, and smothered in tzatziki. 

Why Use Ground Beef? 

Beef is an excellent source of protein, choline, iron, and other important vitamins that help our bodies stay healthy. 

According to the New York Beef Council, “On average, a 3 ounce serving of beef provides half (25grams) of the Daily Value for protein, which is one of the most satisfying nutrients.”

It’s also an affordable meat that can go a long way when feeding larger families depending on the dish you are making.

folding together the homemade beef gyro on a white plate

Ingredients Needed for Ground Beef Meatball Gyros 

panko breadcrumbs – no need to grab the seasoned kind just go with the plain

milk

lean ground beef

onion, grated

cloves of garlic

Egg

Spices: Italian parsley, cumin, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper

What You Need for Greek Yogurt Tzatziki:

plain Greek yogurt

English cucumber

garlic

olive oil

fresh dill

Salt and black pepper

fresh lemon juice

close up of a homemade meatball gyro with tzatziki and toppings

Making the Greek Yogurt Tzatziki Sauce

Combine the Greek yogurt, cucumber, oil, spices, lemon juice, and cucumber into a small bowl. Taste, then adjust the seasonings as desired. 

Place it in the fridge covered until you are ready to serve. You can also make it ahead of time if needed. 

How to Make Homemade Gyros Using Ground Beef 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and preheat the oven to 450 degrees. 

Stir together the plain breadcrumbs and milk in a large bowl. Let it sit for 5 minutes. 

Then add the ground beef, eggs, and spices. Use a wooden spoon or your hands to mix the ingredients together. You want each meatball to have a little taste of all of the ingredients. 

Pinch off small amounts of the beef mixture to make the meatballs or use a cookie or ice cream scoop for more precise measurement. 

Place the meatballs on a baking sheet leaving a little bit of room in between each one. 

Bake until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees which should take no more than 18 minutes. Sometimes the cooking time may vary based on the size of your gyro meatballs. 

Once they are ready, let them rest just a few minutes before making your gyro. 

close up of a meatball gyro on a flatbread garnished with parsley

Assembling the Perfect Meatball Gyro 

Combine the tomatoes, red onion, and cucumber in a small bowl and sprinkle with salt. 

Add a few meatballs in the center of each flatbread (warm these first if you would like). Then spoon on the greek yogurt tzatziki sauce down the center, top with the cucumber mixture. 

Add a little feta and chopped parsley, then wrap and serve! 

ground beef meatball gyro topped with feta and greek yogurt tzatziki sauce

Storing Leftovers

If you have any leftovers, store the meatballs, tzatziki, and cucumber mixture in the fridge for up to 4 days. 

It’s best to assemble when you are ready to serve so your bread doesn’t get soggy! 

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beef meatball gyro open faced on small white plate with greek yogurt tzatziki

Beef Meatball Gyros

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x

Description

Beef Meatball Gyros have all of the traditional flavors and are topped with a homemade greek yogurt tzatziki sauce that is better than any restaurant you have ever tasted! 


Ingredients

Scale

For the Tzatziki sauce:

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup English cucumber, grated, pat dry with a paper towel

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Gyro Meatballs:

½ cup panko breadcrumbs

¼ cup milk

1 pound 93% lean ground beef

½ small onion, grated

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 large egg, beaten

2 tablespoons flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon dried thyme

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

To assemble:

1 cup English cucumber, finely diced

1 cup tomatoes, finely diced

1/2 cup red onion, finely diced

4 Flatbreads, likely toasted, if desired

Feta Cheese (optional)

Parsley for garnish (optional)


Instructions

For the Tzatziki Sauce:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, cucumber, garlic, olive oil, dill, salt, black pepper, and lemon juice. Adjust to taste. Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

 

For the gyro meatballs:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the panko breadcrumbs and milk. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the ground beef, onion, garlic, egg, parsley, cumin, oregano, thyme, salt, and black pepper. With a wooden spoon (I prefer to use my hands!) mix until ingredients are evenly dispersed through the meat mixture.
  4. Form small meatballs, by using a small ice-cream scoop or eye-ball measurements, and place on the backing sheet.
  5. Bake for 12-18 minutes or internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. (Cook time will vary depending on the size of your meatballs.)
  6. Allow meatballs to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

 

To assemble:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the cucumber, tomatoes, and red onion. Sprinkle with salt.
  2. Place a few meatballs down the center of each flatbread. Spoon a generous amount of Tzatziki sauce down the center next to the meatballs and top with a heaping spoonful of the tomato and cucumber mixture. Garnish with feta cheese and chopped parsley, if desired. Wrap up and enjoy!

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Beef and Barley Soup

Cozy up to a bowl of Beef and Barley Soup. Not only can you add layers and layers of flavors, but they also can be balanced nutritionally.

Beef & Barley Soup in a white bowl garnished with parsley

I am on a total soup and stew kick lately. Mainly because I can cook once and eat all week.

I am teaching three cooking classes this week, so cooking all day at work, the last thing I want to do when I get home it to cook again and wash more dishes!

What is Hulled Barley?

Aim to add more whole grains in soups and stews when you can. Barley is a fantastic whole grain. I chose to use hull-less barley. This type of barley has an outer hull that’s so loosely attached to the kernel that it generally falls off during harvesting. This cuts down on processing and ensures that all of the bran and germ are retained.

Ingredients for Beef and Barley Soup 

all-purpose flour

Veggies: celery, carrots, garlic, kale, onion

Spices: salt, pepper, oregano, parsley

beef chuck roast – trim the fat if needed and dice into bite size pieces

olive oil

red wine

tomato paste

beef broth

water

hulless barley

kale

fresh parsley

top shot of hulled barley soup in a white bowl with a garnish next to dishtowel

How to Make Hulled Barley Soup 

Once you have trimmed and diced the beef, add the flour, salt, and pepper to a shallow bowl or dish and dredge each piece. Shake off the excess flour if needed. 

Add the olive oil to a large pot and heat over medium-high heat. 

Brown the beef, turning as needed. You will need to do this step in batches because you don’t want to overload the pot. Once the meat has finished browning, remove and set aside. 

Add the carrots, celery, diced onions, garlic, and oregano. Stirring occasionally, cook the veggies until they are soft. 

Pour in the red wine to deglaze the bottom of the pot, scraping the brown bits. Simmer and reduce the red wine by half. Add in the tomato paste and stir. 

Place the beef back in the pot, and add the water and broth. 

Bring it to a boil then add the hulled barley. 

Turn the heat down low, and simmer for 45 minutes. The meat should be tender and the barley should be cooked all the way through. 

Be sure to stir it occasionally; this will keep the barley from sticking together. 

Once the soup is done, remove the pot from the heat and the kale. Season with salt and pepper! 

My Barley Soup is Too Thick, What Do I Do? 

If you find that the soup is too thick for your liking after it is done simmering, add some more water until it reaches a consistency you are happy with. 

Tips for Making and Storing 

  • Be sure to add the kale while the soup is still hot so it will wilt. 
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 5 days. 
  • This barley soup is great for freezing. Let it cool completely before placing it in the freezer. To serve again, reheat on the stovetop over low heat until it is warm all the way through. 

Soups are great! Not only can you add layers and layers of flavors, but they also can be balanced nutritionally. Any good soup starts with mirepoix. I like to use dry herbs and spices in my soup recipes because you are able to add them during the cooking process, as they can stand up to the heat. 

Beef & Barley Soup in bowls with a white and blue striped napkin

This beef and barley soup may take a little longer to prepare, but it’s worth the wait.

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Beef and Barley Soup

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 50
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stove Top

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 lb boneless beef chuck roast, fat trimmed off and cubed
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 3 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 3/4 cup hulless barley
  • 4 cups kale, spines removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions

In a shallow dish combine flour, salt, and pepper. Dredge the beef cubes with flour, shaking off excess flour. 

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven (or large pot) over medium-high heat. Add the beef to the pot and cook just until the meat starts to brown, turning as needed. Do this in 2 or 3 batches, to not crowd the pot. Remove the meat from the pot and set aside.

In the same pot, add the chopped onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and oregano. Cook the vegetables until soft, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Deglaze the pan with red wine scraping the fond (the brown bits) from the bottom of the pan. Let simmer and reduce red wine by half. Add tomato paste and stir to coat the vegetables.

Add beef back to the pot with water and beef broth. Stir to combine.

Bring to a boil, add barley and turn down to a simmer for 45-50 minutes, until meat is tender and barley is cooked through. Stir occasionally so the barley won’t stick together. If you find that too much liquid has evaporated or the soup is too thick add more water as necessary until you get the desired consistency.

Remove soup from heat and stir in the kale while the soup is still hot to wilt. Season with salt and pepper, as needed. 

Garnish with parsley, if using.


Notes

If you do not want to use wine, deglaze with additional beef broth.

Keywords: barley, beef, soup, batch cooking, meal prep

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Cranberry Relish

With just five simple ingredients this Cranberry Relish will add a pop of color and a side dish full of nutrients that will be a great addition to the table at any holiday gathering.

a small bowl of cranberry relish next to lemon, garnish, and single cranberries


With Thanksgiving just a few days away, everyone is finalizing their Thanksgiving Day menu. Thanksgiving dinner is all about timing. What needs to be in/out the oven or stovetop. I am always a fan of the menu items that can be made ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about factoring that in the day of the festivities.


This recipe is inspired by one of my friend’s aunt’s recipe. (Hi Steph!) I was scrambling last week to get a menu together for my Thanksgiving cooking class at work. I’ve been teaching multiple Thanksgiving Day-themed cooking classes for work the past 3 years now. I get a lot of the same people attending the classes, so I didn’t want to repeat any previous recipes used in class.


I tend to catch up with family and friends on my way to and from work in the car. Whoever invented Bluetooth, thank you! I was chatting with Steph on my way home from work and I mentioned how I didn’t know what I was making yet for my class the next day. She was told me about her Aunt’s cranberry relish recipe that her family goes crazy for every year. What I really loved about it was it was only a few simple ingredients and everything goes right into a food processor. Plus, it is a recipe that can be made ahead of time. I did tweak the original recipe to make it healthier.

Cranberries: What’s So Great About Them?

I’m so glad you asked! Cranberries are actually full of antioxidants known as PACs, which may help reduce inflammation related to chronic diseases and aging.

A cup of fresh cranberries is a great source of fiber and Vitamin C, but the downside is that they only come into season during the fall.

The good news is that you can buy up several bags of fresh cranberries and freeze them to have year-round!


Also, research indicates that consumption of flavonoids in foods and beverages may decrease the risk of atherosclerosis.

In vitro and in vivo experiments with flavonoids demonstrate that flavonoids are dietary antioxidants and inhibit LDL oxidation, inhibit platelet aggregation and adhesion, inhibit enzymes involved in lipid and lipoprotein metabolism that affect the immune response to oxidized LDL and their uptake by endothelial macrophages, may induce endothelium-dependent vassorelaxation, and may increase reverse cholesterol transport and decrease total and LDL cholesterol.

Cranberries contain both hydroxycinnamic acids and flavonoids. The cranberry flavonoids belong to three groups: anthocyanins, flavonols, and proanthocyanidins, which make cranberries a great addition as part of a heart-healthy diet. Source: The Cranberry Insitute.

infographic describing the health benefits and nutrition of cranberries

What You Need For Cranberry Relish

  • fresh cranberries
  • lemon
  • pineapple rings – I am using canned with the juice drained, you can use fresh if you would like.
  • sugar
  • honey

How To Make Cranberry Relish

Add the cranberries to the food processor and pulse until they begin breaking down. Depending on the size of your food processor you may have to do this in batches.

Slice the lemon into wedges and remove the seeds. Add the wedges, with the peel on, to the processor and pulse just until it breaks down.

Then add the sugar, honey, and pineapple rings. Continue pulsing until the relish reaches your desired consistency.

Can You Make Cranberry Relish with Nuts?

Yes! Because I recommend chilling cranberry relish overnight so all of the flavors come together, fold them in just before serving. Pecans and walnuts pair well with cranberry dishes, but you can add any variety of nuts.

I like smaller pieces, so if you have whole pecan or walnuts chop you can chop by hand or throw them in a food processor for a few pulses.

close up of cranberry relish made with real cranberries next to lemon half

What’s the Difference Between Cranberry Sauce and Cranberry Relish?

Relish is made with raw ingredients that are blended together then chilled. Traditionally cranberry sauce is actually cooked (unless you are eating it from the can) and is much sweeter.

Can You Use Frozen Cranberries?

You can use frozen, just know the flavor is much more muted, but that’s usually the case when you swap frozen fruits and veggies for fresh.

Be sure you allow for some additional time so they can thaw completely. Then drain the cranberries to remove the excess liquid.

Cranberry Relish Serving Suggestions

In case you were wondering, here are some of the popular ways cranberry relish is served.

  • As a holiday side dish
  • Over Brie or cream cheese
  • With crackers – you could use a salty variety or graham crackers for a sweeter version
  • Topping – use the leftover to top off your pancakes, waffles, or yogurt bowls

How Long is Cranberry Relish Good For?

You can store it in the fridge for up to 5 days. This also means you can make it ahead of time if you are prepping for holiday meals to ease the stress! 

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cranberry relish in a white bowl

Cranberry Relish

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x
  • Category: side dish

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 (12 oz) bag fresh cranberries
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 (20 oz) can pineapple rings, juice drained
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey

Instructions

  1. Place cranberries in a large food processor and pulse to begin to break down the cranberries.
  2. Cut lemon into small wedges and remove any seeds. Add the whole lemon to the food processor with the cranberries (do NOT remove the peel). Pulse to begin to break down the lemons with the cranberries.
  3. Add pineapple, sugar, and honey. Pulse to reach desired consistency.
  4. Let chill overnight to allow the flavors to come together.

Notes

*If using frozen cranberries, let thaw completely and drain to remove any excess liquid before preparing this recipe.

Keywords: cranberry relish, cranberry, side dish, thanksgiving, holiday

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Chef Julie Harrington, RD - Culinary Nutrition Consultant of julieharringtonrd.com
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Roasted Maple-Mustard Glazed Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Maple Mustard Brussels Sprouts have just enough tang and the right amount of sweetness! The perfect side dish that pairs well with just about any meal! 

close up of maple mustard glazed brussels sprouts in a white bowl

Some people may turn their nose up at the thought of Brussels sprouts, but honestly, they just need to try cooking them a different way! The maple mustard glaze brings in so much flavor, adding a twist to just regular roasted sprouts. 

With the holiday season just around the corner, these become a staple around our house. Once you try them I promise you will be eating this delicious side dish all year long! 

Because this is a sheet pan recipe, it’s easy to make and almost hands off! So while these are great during the week, you can easily double or triple the recipe to feed a larger crowd without much more prep work.

Why I Love Brussels Sprouts

For starters, brussels sprouts are packed full of nutrients and rich in Vitamin K and Vitamin C. They also contain an antioxidant called kaempferol, that may help to reduce inflammation and promote a healthy heart. 

If you aren’t a seafood lover, double up on your Brussels because they are one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3s! 

So besides all of the amazing health benefits, Brussels sprouts can be cooked in so many ways which makes them really versatile in the kitchen.  Simply changing out the sauce, glaze, or seasoning offers a whole new side dish. Let’s not forget they are great in salads when they are shredded too! 

top shot of roasted maple mustard brussels sprouts in a white bowl

Ingredients for Maple Mustard Brussels Sprouts 

lemon juice

Dijon mustard

maple syrup

olive oil

salt and pepper

Brussels sprouts

How to Make Roasted Maple Mustard Brussels Sprouts 

Prep your baking sheet by spraying it with non-stick spray or using parchment paper and preheat your oven to 400 degrees. 

Whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, maple syrup, oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. 

Once you have halved and trimmed the Brussels sprouts, mix those in and stir until they are fully coated. 

brussels sprouts roasted with a maple mustard glaze in a white bowl

Pour the mixture in an even layer onto the baking sheets. You can drizzle the remaining glaze over if there’s any left in the bowl. 

Roast for about 30 minutes or until the brussels are tender and caramelized. Stir them occasionally or flip with a spatula half way through. 

Can You Use Frozen Brussels Sprouts? 

You can if that’s all you have. Allow them to thaw completely before roasting.

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Roasted Maple-Mustard Glazed Brussels Sprouts

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: roasting

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 lbs. Brussels sprouts, halved and trimmed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a large baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, olive oil, and salt and pepper.
  3. Mix in the Brussels sprouts until they are fully coated. Pour the Brussels sprouts on an even layer on the baking sheet, drizzling any remaining glaze on top.
  4. Roast for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Brussels sprouts should be tender and caramelized to your desired doneness.

Keywords: Brussels sprouts, roasting, vegetable side dish

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Chef Julie Harrington, RD - Culinary Nutrition Consultant of julieharringtonrd.com
close up of roasted brussels sprouts with a maple mustard glaze with text overlay

Veggie-Packed Beef Lasagna

Lasagna is such an underrated dinner. Maybe, it is because when most people think of lasagna, the thought of having to assemble this meal detours many. Adding a little twist on a classic, try this Veggie-Packed Beef Lasagna.

This post is sponsored by the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative, a subcontractor to the Beef Checkoff. Thank you for supporting brands that make this blog possible!

What if I told you I could provide you with tips to make this meal both delicious and easy to prepare?

Lasagna is one of those recipes that can be made ahead, frozen for later, and a hearty meal that can help make weeknight meals a breeze. Also, depending on how you make this dish it can incorporate four of the five food groups all in one pan.

Dietitian Tip:  Aim to have at least 3 food groups featured for meals (making one of those a fruit or vegetable!)

Each food group has its own properties which can be beneficial for one’s health. Building colorful balanced plates can help maintain healthy eating patterns, providing essential vitamins and minerals to keep the body healthy. For example:

Grains: Grains have carbohydrates which provide our body with energy. Grains are divided into 2 subgroups: Whole Grains and Refined Grains. Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel ― the bran, germ, and endosperm. Refined grains have been milled, a process that removes the bran and germ. Aim to make half of your grains whole grains.

Protein: Is a building block for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

Fruits: Contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which may also help to protect you from chronic diseases.

Vegetables: Eating vegetables that are of different colors will help to provide your body with important nutrients like fiber (can help you to feel fuller for longer), folate (beneficial for fetus growth during pregnancy),and vitamins A (aids in good vision) and C (aids in a strong immune system).

Dairy: Which has a strong association to improved bone health. 

Can beef fit onto a healthy plate?

When building a balanced plate, beef goes beyond just being a good source of protein.

Beef supplies 10 essential nutrients including:

  • Iron – helps your body use oxygen
  • Choline – supports nervous system development
  • Vitamins B6 & B12 – helps maintain brain function and gives energy
  • Phosphorus – helps build bones and teeth
  • Zinc – helps maintain a healthy immune system
  • Niacin – supports energy production and metabolism
  • Riboflavin – helps convert food into fuel
  • Selenium – helps protect cells from damage

One 3-ounce cooked serving of beef provides approximately 50% of your Daily Value (25 grams) of this important nutrient—making it an excellent source! Protein helps maintain a healthy weight, as well as preserve and build muscle.

New research suggests it’s not only important to just get enough protein in at dinner or lunch but to spread it throughout your day for optimal health. Aim for 25-30 grams of protein at each meal.

EASY, DELICIOUS, BEEF AND VEGETABLE, LASAGNA 

Does this lasagna recipe freeze well?

There is no reason to feel like you need to finish this meal in one night. This is a prime dish to freeze and heat back up on a future date. You may have already tried some of my other freezer friendly recipes like my Beef & Barley Soup, Freezer Oatmeal Cups, or Zucchini Carrot Fritters. Add this beef and vegetable lasagna to the list for nights when you have less time to prepare a meal for dinner.

How long can I freeze lasagna?

For the best results, freeze lasagna after it has been assembled but before it’s been baked. Freezing food this way will help maintain the lasagna’s cheese and noodle texture and prevent it from getting soggy.

If you’ve already baked your lasagna, don’t worry; it can still be frozen! The texture may be a little different than freshly baked.

If properly stored, it will maintain best quality for about 2 to 3 months but will remain safe beyond that time.

How do I reheat lasagna?

When you’re ready to use your frozen lasagna, transfer it to the refrigerator and let it defrost overnight. Then, take it out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes while your oven preheats to 375°.

Remove the lasagna’s freezer wrappings, cover the top with new foil and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until heated through (a thermometer inserted in the center should read 165°). Remove the foil and bake the lasagna for 10 more minutes or until browned on the top. Pull the lasagna from the oven and let it sit for another 10 minutes before slicing into it.

Why are Family Meals Important?

It is easy to get caught up in after school activities or with work assignments which can take away from sit down meals with the family. But family meals are important for a variety of reasons such as:

  • Regular family meals are linked to higher grades and self-esteem
  • Adults and children who eat at home more regularly are less likely to suffer from obesity
  • Family meals nourish the spirit, brain, and health of all family members.

Make it a Family Affair:

Another aspect that I love about this meal is that it is easy enough so that the whole family can participate in creating this dish.

This recipe is coming right in time to celebrate National Family Meals Month. This initiative is a nationwide event which encourages families to have at least one meal at home per week.

What if I have a picky eater?

No one wants to be a short order cook preparing separate meals for each family member. When introducing new foods or new recipes, start with what I like to call lateral shifts. Meaning, start with something they are familiar with – for instance traditional beef lasagna. Adding vegetables won’t drastically change the original, it just adds a new flair. Understanding your family’s preferences is also key. Knowing that if they see the vegetables is going to cause resistance, chop them finer or even puree them into the sauce. The more exposure to new lateral shift type meals, can be helpful.

What You will Need to Create this Veggie-Packed Beef Lasagna

For the filling:
93% lean ground beef
Olive oil
Yellow onion
Mushrooms
Salt
Zucchini
Baby spinach

For the tomato sauce:
Olive oil
Garlic
Crushed tomatoes
Fresh basil
Salt
Crushed red pepper flakes

Don’t feel like making your own sauce? No worries! Substitute with 2 cups of your favorite prepared marinara sauce.

Remaining ingredients:
Ricotta cheese
Parmesan cheese
Mozzarella cheese
Egg
Italian seasoning
Salt
Black pepper
No-boil lasagna noodles (see notes in the recipe)

How to make this Veggie-Packed Beef Lasagna

Preheat your oven and coat a deep baking dish with cooking spray.

Cook the ground beef, then remove from the pan. Using the same pan (because who wants to wash more dishes), cook the vegetables. Add beef back in and set aside.

Make the sauce by gently sautéing the garlic (we don’t want it to burn, then add the remaining sauce ingredients to simmer and allow flavors to develop.

Mix the ricotta cheese and some of the parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. Add a beaten egg (this will help hold the cheese mixture together and not seep out of the lasagna). Season with Italian herbs, salt, and pepper.

To assemble, start with adding a layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan. Then layer in the order, noodles, ricotta mixture, beef & veggie mixture, sauce, and sprinkle cheese. Top with more lasagna noodles and repeat.

Wrap in parchment paper and bake!

Recipe Shortcuts:

  • To cut down on prep time, buy pre-sliced mushrooms, & frozen diced onions, zucchini, and spinach. (Just be mindful when swapping out with frozen to drain excess liquid when cooking)
  • Skip making your own sauce and use your favorite jarred variety.
  • Freeze in individual servings for pre-portioned leftovers instead of defrosting the whole dish.
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Veggie-Packed Beef Lasagna

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

Lasagna is such an underrated dinner. Maybe, it is because when most people think of lasagna, the thought of having to assemble this meal detours many. Adding a little twist on a classic, try this Veggie-Packed Beef Lasagna.


Ingredients

Scale

For the filling:
1-pound 93% lean ground beef
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 (8 ounce) container sliced mushrooms
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup zucchini, chopped into a small dice
1 cup baby spinach, roughly chopped

Tomato sauce*:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 ounce) crushed tomatoes
¼ cup fresh basil, chiffonade (ribbon like slices) + additional for garnish
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, more or less as desired

Remaining ingredients:
2 cups (16 ounces) ricotta cheese
3/4 cup parmesan cheese, divided
2 cups freshly grated mozzarella cheese, divided
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
9 no-boil lasagna noodles*


Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat a 9×13-inch deep baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add ground beef breaking apart into small crumbles. Cook until meat has browned, no longer pink, about 6-8 minutes. Remove beef from the pan, drain any excess fat from the beef and set beef aside.
  3. Return skillet to medium heat. Add olive oil. Sauté onions and mushrooms until tender. During the cooking process add salt to help draw out excess moisture. Once excess moisture has evaporated, add the zucchini, and continue to cook until tender. Add spinach and continue to cook until wilted and excess moisture has evaporated. Add beef back to the veggie mixture, stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. In a medium pot add olive oil over low heat. Sauté garlic for about 1 minute or until fragrant, being careful not to burn. Pour in the crushed tomatoes, basil, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer to allow the flavors to come together.
  5. In a medium bowl, add the ricotta, ¼ cup parmesan, 3/4 cup mozzarella, egg, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Mix well until combined.
  6. To assemble: Spread 1 cup of tomato sauce evenly over the bottom of a baking dish. Layer 3 lasagna noodles on top (snap off their ends to fit, and/or overlap their edges as necessary). Spread half of the ricotta cheese mixture evenly over the noodles. Top with half the beef & veggie mixture. Then spread 1 cup tomato sauce on top and sprinkle 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella and 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese. Top with 3 more lasagna noodles and repeat the previous order. Then top with remaining 3 lasagna noodles, remaining sauce and sprinkle remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese on top.
  7. Wrap a sheet of parchment paper or foil around the top of the lasagna (not letting it touch the cheese). Bake, covered, for 20 minutes, then remove the cover, rotate the pan by 180° and continue cooking for about 10 to 12 more minutes, until the cheese is melted and slightly bubbling on the sides.
  8. Remove from the oven and let the lasagna cool for 15 to 20 minutes, so it has time to set and cool down to a reasonable temperature. Sprinkle additional basil over the top, then slice and serve. Top with additional sauce or cheese, as desired.

Notes

  • Looking to save a step? Substitute the tomato sauce with 2 cups of prepared marinara sauce.
  • At the grocery store I see lasagna noodles as “no-boil” or “oven-ready” lasagna sheets. Read package directions as some brands need additional liquid.
  • Can’t find no boil or oven-ready lasagna noodles? Buy regular lasagna noodles, cook according to package directions, and use the same way. Cook time may decrease.

Keywords: lasagna, beef lasagna, family meal, dinner recipe, easy dinner

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Other recipes you will love:

References:
Paddon-Jones D, Rasmussen BB. Dietary protein recommendations and the prevention of sarcopenia. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care 2009;12:86-90

Mamerow MM, et al. Dietary protein distribution positively influences 24-h muscle protein synthesis in healthy adults. J Nutr 2014;144:876-80

https://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/

https://www.nebpi.org/

Mediterranean Tuna Pasta Salad

Mediterranean Tuna Pasta Salad is a great party dish and is even better when it comes to meal prepping lunches! 

side view of tuna pasta salad in small white bowl

When it comes to using tuna in recipes, sometimes the easy ones can be boring, especially when it comes to making lunches. The Mediterranean flavors and pasta add a whole new dimension to tuna salad! 

Not only is tuna an excellent source of vitamin D and omega 3s but it’s also a lean meat that is packed full of protein. Adding in more protein keeps you fuller longer, leads to less snacking, and supports overall health. Because it is a lean meat, that means it’s lower in calories but has a high nutritional value.

In addition to all of these other nutrition benefits, a serving of tuna is a good source of selenium, iodine, B6, iron, and potassium. 

top shot of 2 bowls of mediterranean tuna pasta salad

Did you know that eating seafood twice a week could help to improve your omega-3 levels and reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease? Just a simple shift in your eating pattern can put you on a positive path to improve your heart health.

Another reason I love this recipe is that canned tuna is affordable and budget-friendly so you don’t have to break the bank to eat healthier in this case! Not to mention most of the ingredients you need are pantry staples, which means you probably already have them at home, win, win!

Wait! Isn’t Tuna Full of Mercury? 

Tuna fish does have a higher mercury content than others, but when you are using canned tuna, it’s less because they use smaller fish. Also, light tuna tends to contain less mercury than white tuna.

What’s the Difference Between White Tuna and Light Tuna?

White tuna is also known as albacore, whereas the term light tuna includes a variety of different species. 

Light tuna typically has more flavor, is flakier, and is pinker in color. Albacore is usually consumed in bigger chunks or steaks, compared to light tuna which is much smaller pieces and is normally what is found in canned tuna. 

tuna pasta salad in a mixing bowl next to wooden spoon

Ingredients Needed For Mediterranean Tuna Pasta Salad 

Pasta – I like using penne, fusilli, or bow ties

Canned tuna – try to find the kind that is packed in olive oil

Cucumber

Cherry tomatoes

Kalamata olives

Roasted red peppers

Marinated artichokes

Shallot

Feta cheese – you could also use another white cheese

Red wine vinegar

Oregano – Italian seasoning works well too! 

top shot of mediterranean tuna pasta salad in glass bowl before being mixed up

Why You Shouldn’t Drain the Canned Tuna

In most canned tuna recipes, they call for the tuna to be drained first. In this case, you DO NOT want to drain the tuna! Not only is the olive oil used for the dressing, but it also mixes with some of the tuna’s natural fat, so some of its omega-3 fatty acids (along with the nutrition) also go down the sink when you drain oil-packed tuna.

close up of Mediterranean tuna pasta salad with a scoop on a wooden spoon

How to Make Tuna Salad with Pasta 

Before we make the salad, start by cooking the pasta according to the instructions on the package. When it’s al dente, drain it and set aside. Be sure it has cooled completely before adding it to the other ingredients. 

In a large bowl combine the tuna, diced cucumbers and tomatoes, pitted olives, shallots, roasted red peppers, artichokes, cheese, red wine vinegar, cooled pasta, and oregano. 

Stir to combine, making sure the tuna is broken up and all of the ingredients are coated well.

Add some salt and pepper to taste, then you are ready to serve! 

tuna pasta salad in a white bowl with spoon

What Kind of Pasta is the Best for Tuna Salad 

As I mentioned before I like to use penne, fusilli, or bow ties. You can also use brands like Banza for added protein and as a gluten free option. If you prefer whole wheat, that’s fine too! 

How To Store 

Tuna pasta salad is the best when it is eaten within the first 2 days of cooking. However, as long as it is refrigerated in an airtight container it will last up to 5 days.

several bowls of tuna pasta salad next to tomatoes

Other Ways to Use Canned Tuna

  • As a spread on toast
  • Tuna patties
  • On a sandwich or wrap
  • In a quiche
  • Lettuce wraps
  • With crackers or veggies
  • In casseroles 
  • Tuna melts
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several bowls of tuna pasta salad next to tomatoes

Mediterranean Tuna Pasta Salad

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: side dish
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Description

Mediterranean Tuna Pasta Salad is a great party dish and is even better when it comes to meal prepping lunches! 


Ingredients

Scale

1/2 pound pasta (like penne, fusilli, bow ties)
2 (4.5 oz) cans tuna, packed in olive oil
1 cup English cucumber, peeled and diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted, halved
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, diced
1/2 cup marinated artichokes, quartered
1 tablespoon shallot, finely minced
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons dried oregano (or Italian seasoning)
salt and pepper, to taste


Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Let cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, tuna, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, roasted red peppers, artichokes, shallot, feta cheese, red wine vinegar, and oregano. Toss to combine making sure the tuna is broken up and all ingredients are distributed throughout the mixture.
  3. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Notes

  • Can use alternative pasta choices like a bean-based pasta, whole grain pasta, or any pasta of choice.

Keywords: pasta salad, pasta, tuna, tuna salad, mediterranean

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Beef Banh Mi

This Beef Banh Mi offers so many interesting flavors and textures in one bite. This recipe for a banh mi sandwich starts with a crusty roll that’s piled high with tender grilled beef, pickled vegetables, and fresh herbs.

Close up image of a Beef Banh Mi sandwich

This post is sponsored by the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative a subcontractor to the Beef Checkoff. Thank you for supporting brands that make this blog possible!

Banh Mi is a Vietnamese sandwich that has depths of flavor. Banh Mi has its origins in French colonialism in Vietnam, with bread being brought into the country by the French. The Banh Mi became popular when it was sold on street corners as an inexpensive fast food option for workers who needed to eat on-the-go. It’s popularity has resurged recently with new versions of Banh Mi, using other proteins such as beef, shrimp, or tofu instead of pork, providing even more flavor options!

In culinary school, one of my practicals for my World Cuisine class I was assigned to Vietnam and had to make a dish highlighting the flavors of that cuisine. I went with a more traditional Banh Mi, using pork, daikon radish, shrimp paste, and making the bread from scratch!

I added my own twist to the classic, swapping out pork for beef while still maintaining the traditional Vietnamese flavors.

glass bowl with sliced radishes and shredded carrots

History of Vietnamese flavor profiles

Vietnamese cooking is all about balance. The five flavors of Vietnamese cuisine are sour, bitter, spicy, salty and sweet. Interestingly enough, recipes vary from region to region and city to city but share a common theme of contrasting flavors and textures.

The food of the north is heavily influenced by China. As you move south, there is more flavor-blending with Thailand and Cambodia. The tropical climate down south sustains rice paddies, coconut groves, jackfruit trees, and herb gardens. Southern Vietnamese food tends to be sweeter than northern Vietnamese food: sweeter broths for pho; use of palm sugar in savory dishes; and popular taffy-like coconut candies made with coconut cream are made from a mix with milk and sugar.

Beef Banh Mi sandwich on a wooden cutting board

Staple Ingredients of Vietnamese Cuisine

You may have some of these staple Vietnamese ingredients already in your pantry. Here are a few ingredients you will most likely find in any Vietnamese recipe.

  • Fish Sauce: Fish sauce is a condiment made by fermenting fish with salt. It has an intense, salty flavor which when combined with the sweetness of Vietnamese dishes help balance out flavors
  • Shrimp Paste: This potent paste is made from fermented shrimp or krill that has been mashed together with salt then dried to produce the salty, pungent paste.
  • Pickled Vegetables: Pickled vegetables are a staple in Vietnamese cuisine. Pickling is an ancient preservation technique that doesn’t require refrigeration and has been used for centuries across the world to preserve food.
  • Oyster Sauce: Oyster sauce is a condiment made from oysters that are cooked and mashed.
  • Sambal Oelek (chili paste): A chili paste usually consisting of chopped red chilies, garlic, shallots and vinegar. It’s used as a spicy flavoring for dishes such as satay or fried rice but it also makes an appearance in many Vietnamese recipes including Banh Mi!
  • Hoisin Sauce: Hoisin sauce is an Asian condiment made from soybeans, garlic and spices. The sauce provides sweet and salty flavors as well as some heat but not too much!
  • Cilantro: Cilantro is a herb that has a citrusy, peppery flavor. It’s often used in Vietnamese cuisine because it can be added to dishes without overpowering the other flavors.
  • Lemongrass: The herb is most commonly used to braise meats, often with fish sauce, sugar, and chilies. It adds lemony, bright, and citrusy notes.
Beef Banh Mi sandwich on a wooden cutting board

Ways to tenderize beef

Beef is a very hearty and rich meat with a natural taste of umami. It’s also popularly used in Vietnamese recipes. When using leaner cuts of beef, they contain less fat, so marinating the meat to maximize flavor and help tenderize the meat is key.

A marinade works by  breaking down the muscle fibers and helping to soften connective tissues. Some ingredients that are good for marinating beef include: soy sauce, ginger, garlic, vinegar or lime juice. This recipe uses Vietnamese flavor profile utilizing:

  • soy sauce
  • fish sauce
  • brown sugar
  • lemongrass
  • garlic
  • sesame oil
beef marinating in a glass bowl

Tips for marinades

  • You will need approximately 1/4 to 1/2 cup of marinade for every pound of beef
  • Always marinate in the refrigerator, not at room temperature
  • Before cooking, remove beef from marinade and pat dry with a paper towel to promote even browning and prevent steaming

Cooking Tips

For this Banh Mi recipe, follow these few tips listed within the recipe below.

  • To help easily slice the sirloin, place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Use a sharp knife and cut across the grain. Cutting across the grain means to slice perpendicular to the fibers, so the fibers in cut pieces of meat become much shorter, making it easier to chew them.
  • Use the white part of the lemon grass. Peel away the hard chewy parts, and mince the softer middle white part of the stem.
  • Utilize a peeler to create carrot ribbons or use a mandolin to create julienne slices.

While this recipe may look like a lot of mini recipes within one recipe, it’s worth it. You can thank me later as you are chowing down 😉

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Beef Banh Mi

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: sandwiches
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vietnamese

Description

Adding a twist to the classic Beef Banh Mi by swapping out pork for beef while still maintaining the traditional Vietnamese flavors.


Ingredients

Scale

For the pickled vegetables:
3/4 cup radish, thinly sliced
3/4 cup carrot, peeled and julienned
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the beef:
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons lemongrass, white parts only, finely minced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 lb. sirloin, thinly sliced

For the sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder

For the sandwiches:
1 French baguette, cut into 4 pieces, then split lengthwise, toasted if desired
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 cup English cucumber, thinly sliced


Instructions

  1. Combine carrots and radishes in a bowl; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt, until sugar dissolves. Pour over vegetables. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, lemongrass, garlic, sesame oil, and salt. Add the thinly sliced steak and coat with the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. In a large skillet, heat canola oil over medium heat. Add the marinated beef. Cook without stirring for 4 minutes. Give it a stir and continue to cook for 1 minute.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, hoisin sauce, and garlic powder.
  5. Spread mayo mixture on bottom half of the bread. Layer cucumbers, cilantro beef, then pickled veggies. Place on the top half and slice crosswise before serving.


Notes

  • Use a mandolin to help easily slice the radishes, carrots, and cucumber.
  • To easily slice beef into thin slices, place the sirloin in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before slicing, then slice across the grain.

Keywords: banh mi, sandwich, beef banh mi, beef recipe

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Other recipes you may enjoy

Chipotle Lime Shrimp Tacos with Creamy Avocado Broccoli Slaw

Get dinner on the table under 30 minutes! These Chipotle Lime Shrimp Tacos with a Creamy Avocado Broccoli Slaw is simple to make and you might already have all the ingredients already on hand!

The beauty of tacos is that they are easily customizable. Kick it up a notch and add more spices to the shrimp. Swap shrimp for cod. What I love about taco recipes is that they act more as a guide. You don’t need to follow them exactly. That is what’s fun about cooking, you get to be creative in the kitchen!

Chipotle Lime Shrimp Tacos with Creamy Avocado Broccoli Slaw on a white linen napkin
raw shrimp in a glass bowl with marinade ingredients

How to make Chipotle Lime Shrimp Tacos with Creamy Avocado Broccoli Slaw

Ingredients

  • Shrimp. I prefer using large or jumbo shrimp. Cut down on prep time by purchasing already peeled and deveined shrimp.
  • Olive oil. Olive oil or any neutral oil works.
  • Lime. The title of the recipe is lime tacos .. so ya know .. lime is needed here.
  • Chipotle seasoning blend. Take out the guess work and use a blend. The blend I used was a combo of: Sweet Chili Pepper, Chipotle Chili Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Oregano, Cumin, Parsley, Mustard, Garlic, Onion, Carrot, Sugar, Citric Acid, Orange Peel, Lemon Peel, Oil Of Lemon & Lime.
  • Ground cumin. To add a warm, earthy flavor and aroma with a bit of both sweetness and bitterness.
  • Salt. To enhance the flavors!
  • Broccoli slaw mix. Cut down on prep time and use a slaw mix which is typically a mixture of shredded broccoli stalks with julienned carrots and a bit of purple cabbage. It can be purchased at almost any grocery store along with the bagged salads.
  • Scallions.
  • Plain yogurt. I used this in place of sour cream. Yogurt will add the same tanginess and creaminess needed for the slaw.
  • Avocado. Your avocado still hard as a rock? Place it in a brown paper bag with a banana overnight. The banana will ripen faster giving off ethylene gas in a closed space to help ripen the avocado faster.
  • Cilantro. Don’t go crazy picking off each individual leaf. The stems pack in a ton of flavor too!
  • Tortillas. Use flour or corn tortilla – whatever you like best!
broccoli slaw in a glass bowl with scallions, avocado, lime, yogurt, cilantro, black pepper, salt surrounding the bowl on a marble platter

Equipment

  • Large mixing bowls for both marinating the shrimp and mixing the broccoli slaw.
  • A microplane is needed to zest the lime.
  • A food processor or blender helps make the avocado yogurt mixture creamy, but it’s not needed. Use a potato masher to mash to desired consistency.
  • A grill or grill pan to cook the shrimp and give it a smokier flavor.
  • Wooden skewers will help to easily flip the shrimp as it cooks.
three shrimp tacos in flour tortillas garnished with yogurt and cilantro

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Rinse and pat the shrimp dry. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and lime juice. Sprinkle with the lime zest, chipotle seasoning, cumin, and salt. Toss to coat evenly. Cover in place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 20 minutes. Soak skewers in water as the shrimp marinades.
  2. In a bowl, combine the broccoli slaw and scallions. In a food processor, combine the yogurt, avocado, cilantro, lime juice, and zest. Pour over the slaw and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Heat a grill (or grill pan) to medium-high heat. Place the shrimp on the skewers and grill until shrimp turn pink, about 1-2 minutes per side. (Alternatively, heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the shrimp to the hot pan and sauté, flipping occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked through.)
  4. Assemble tacos by layering the broccoli slaw, shrimp, then toppings in the tortilla.

Cooking Tips

A general rule of thumb for marinades is needing approximately 1/4 to 1/2 cup of marinade for every pound of protein. Always marinate in the refrigerator, not at room temperature Before cooking, remove the protein from marinade and pat dry with a paper towel to promote even browning and prevent steaming

opened shrimp taco
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Chipotle Lime Shrimp Tacos with Creamy Avocado Broccoli Slaw

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Ingredients

Scale

For the shrimp:
1 pound large or jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed (fresh or frozen and thawed)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 lime, juiced and zested
1 teaspoon chipotle seasoning blend
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt
Wooden skewers

For the broccoli slaw:
2 cups broccoli slaw mix
2 tablespoons scallions, thinly sliced
½ cup plain yogurt
1 avocado
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced and zested
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the tacos:
8 small flour or corn tortillas
Optional toppings: Cotija cheese, sour cream, cilantro, sliced avocado, lime wedges


Instructions

  1. Rinse and pat the shrimp dry. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and lime juice. Sprinkle with the lime zest, chipotle seasoning, cumin, and salt. Toss to coat evenly. Cover in place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 20 minutes. Soak skewers in water as the shrimp marinades.
  2. In a bowl, combine the broccoli slaw and scallions. In a food processor, combine the yogurt, avocado, cilantro, lime juice, and zest. Pour over the slaw and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Heat a grill (or grill pan) to medium-high heat. Place the shrimp on the skewers and grill until shrimp turn pink, about 1-2 minutes per side. (Alternatively, heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the shrimp to the hot pan and sauté, flipping occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked through.)
  4. Assemble tacos by layering the broccoli slaw, shrimp, then toppings in the tortilla.

Keywords: taco, shrimp tacos, heart healthy, taco Tuesday, healthy tacos

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FAQ

What if I don’t have a grill pan?
Alternatively, heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the shrimp to the hot pan and sauté, flipping occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked through.

What can I use in place of shrimp?
Any mild white flakey fish will do – cod, tilapia, halibut, grouper, etc.

Can I make the broccoli slaw from scratch?
Of course! Create a mixture of shredded broccoli stalks with julienned carrots and thinly sliced purple cabbage.

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Spaghetti Squash Waffle Grilled Cheese

Are you looking for a new and creative way to utilize spaghetti squash? Let me introduce you to my new favorite recipe: Spaghetti Squash Waffle Grilled Cheese! It’s easy to make and the entire family will love it! 

Spaghetti Squash Waffle Grilled Cheese on a white plate, one piece dipped in marinara sauce

We all know that spaghetti squash has many health benefits. It’s rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. One of the reasons I love using spaghetti squash so much when I’m cooking is because of how versatile it can be. 

What ingredients do I use for this Spaghetti Squash Waffle Grilled Cheese?

This recipe calls for ingredients you likely already have in your pantry. From eggs to parmesan cheese and various seasonings, I’m sure you have most of the ingredients on hand already. If you want to kick the recipe up a notch you could add other various seasonings as you see fit! 

How do I make this Spaghetti Squash Waffle Grilled Cheese? 

It’s very easy to make, which is another benefit if you’re busy or on the go. The most difficult part of the entire recipe is preparing the squash (which really isn’t even difficult at all!). 

Spaghetti Squash Waffle Grilled Cheese on a white plate with a small dish of marinara sauce

How do I serve the Grilled Cheese Sandwiches?

Personally, I like to each them alone for a quick lunch or snack. If you want to make these for dinner, you can serve them with your favorite soup! You’ll find some of my favorite soup recipes here: https://julieharringtonrd.com/recipes/?_search=soup 

Spaghetti Squash Waffle Grilled Cheese being dipped in a small white bowl with marinara sauce

How do I cook spaghetti squash? 

The easiest method to cook the spaghetti squash for this recipe is in the microwave. However, you can also use your instant pot or oven. You’ll find the instructions in the recipe card below! 

Print
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Spaghetti Squash Waffle Grilled Cheese on a white plate with a small dish of marinara sauce

Spaghetti Squash Waffle Grilled Cheese

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Do you have spaghetti squash but you aren’t quite sure what to make with it? Let me introduce you to my new favorite recipe: Spaghetti Squash Waffle Grilled Cheese! It’s easy to make and the entire family will love it! 


Ingredients

Scale

1 medium spaghetti squash
2 eggs
⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ tablespoon garlic powder
½ tablespoon Italian seasoning
¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese


Instructions

  1. Cut spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Place the squash halves skin side up in a microwave-safe baking dish. (You can cook each squash half separately if your baking dish is too small to fit both, or cook both at once.) Fill the dish with about 1 inch of water.
  2. Microwave on high for 8 minutes. When done, a fork poked through the skin should slide easily into the squash. Continue microwaving on high for another 2 to 5 minutes as needed, until fork tender. When cool enough to handle, use a fork to scrape the strands of squash from the inside. (see notes below for alternative cooking methods)
  3. Using a cheesecloth or thin dishtowel, squeeze excess liquid from the squash (there will be a lot!). 
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, parmesan, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Add the spaghetti squash and mix well breaking up any clumps of squash. 
  5. Preheat waffle iron to medium-high heat. Coat waffle iron well with cooking spray. Add half the squash mixture to the waffle iron and cook until golden brown, about 5-10 minutes, depending on your waffle iron.
  6. Open waffle iron and sprinkle one side of the waffle with half of the mozzarella cheese. Gently fold over the other half of the waffle on top of the side with the cheese. Gently press down on the waffle iron and continue cooking until the cheese has melted.
  7. Serve alongside tomato soup or dunk in marinara sauce. (or just enjoy it as is!)


Notes

Alternative methods to cook spaghetti squash:

Instant Pot – Slice the spaghetti squash in half and then scoop out the seeds in the center.
Place a trivet or steamer basket in the bottom of the Instant Pot and add a cup of water into the bottom. Arrange the cut squash halves on top of the trivet and secure the lid. Place the steam release valve in the lid is in the sealing position. Use the pressure cook or manual button to set the pressure cooker to cook at high pressure for 7 minutes. Release pressure and remove from Instant Pot.

In the oven – Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds. Drizzle the cut side with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake 40 minutes or just until fork-tender. Let cool until able to handle. Flip spaghetti squash over and run a fork down the squash to separate into strands.

Keywords: spaghetti squash recipe, waffle, low carb, vegetarian

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FAQ

Do these Spaghetti Squash Grilled Cheese Waffles freeze well? How do you reheat them?
Yes! Feel free to meal prep these in advance. I would suggest heating them in the oven to warm up to retain their crispiness.

What if I don’t have a waffle iron?
Not to worry! You can still make the concept of this recipe by adding a scoop of the spaghetti squash mixture to a frying pan, crisp both sides and add cheese in the middle.

Spaghetti Squash Waffle Grilled Cheese on a white plate with a small dish of marinara sauce

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