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 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 in a white bowl

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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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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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/

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! 

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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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Cheesy Chili Cups

These Cheesy Chili Cups are going to become a family favorite recipe.

cheesy chili cup on a white plate

By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Cabot Cheese and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Hello everyone! My name is Corinne Levy and I’m working with Julie to complete my internship. I am a senior studying culinary nutrition at Johnson & Wales University. I absolutely love cooking especially if the dishes I make help others feel happy and healthy! By working for Julie I’m looking forward to learning more about how I can get people excited to be in the kitchen and understand that all foods fit.

As a kid, sitting down as a family for dinner was always important, but throughout time as schedules changed it did become a bit of a challenge. Luckily, we always had some easy meals that brought us together and one of them was a classic Sloppy Joe Cup. It was a simple and fun excuse for us to play around with biscuit dough!   

In honor of it being Family Meals Month, this recipe is an upgrade to Corinne’s old family Sloppy Joe Cup recipe into Cheesy Chili Cups. The base is a simple biscuit with Cabot Habanero Cheddar folded in to give some subtle heat. Instead of sloppy joe, the filling is a one-pot turkey chili with lots of fun veggies hidden in it and topped with Cabot Pepper-Jack. This is a nice hearty and cheesy recipe that the whole family can enjoy together.

Why family meals are important

September is Family Meals Month! The goal of this initiative is to show the positive effects of eating with loved ones has on our behavior. Eating as a family usually results in more at home cooking which then leads to healthier habits. It also saves you money compared to frequently buying takeout. By sitting down and sharing a meal with the ones we care about, we are allowing ourselves to build a positive relationship not just with people but also our food.

Budget-friendly shopping strategies

  • Look at what items are on sale and what coupons are available. 
  • Try to plan meals ahead of time then make your shopping list. Sticking to a list helps prevent impulse buys from getting into your cart.
  • Stock up on frozen produce! They’re often cheaper and last a long time in the freezer.

Strategies for making quick and healthy meals

  • One-pot meals are simple, involve less clean up, and are a great opportunity to use up produce.
    One-pot meal recipe inspiration
  • Sheet pan recipes can be a breeze. Chop up some veggies, season your meat or plant-based protein, toss it all in the oven, and ta-da!
    Sheet pan recipe inspiration
  • Mise en Place: by staying organized and prepared for a recipe the process of cooking will go smoother.
  • Make what you can ahead of time. Marinade things overnight, cut veggies the night before, and store them in the fridge. That way when you’re ready to cook most of the prep is done already.
cheesy chili cup cut in half with the filling falling out on a white plate

How to make cheesy biscuits

Step One: Preheat the oven to 350℉. While that’s heating up assemble all your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt) into a large bowl. Make sure the flour isn’t packed or else you’ll end up with a dense biscuit!

Step Two: Cut the butter into the dry ingredients. This is a common technique in baking where instead of totally creaming together the fat into the mix, you break the butter down into small pieces throughout the dough. This way when you bake them the butter will melt leaving nice air pockets that make the biscuit fluffy.

Step Three: Mix in the shredded cheese and milk until the dough is evenly mixed. For this recipe, we used the Cabot Habanero Cheddar to add a little heat. Cabot cheese is naturally aged cheddar that comes in a huge variety of flavors so you can customize what cheese will best suit your family dinner. Cabot’s cheese also melts nicely in the dough giving a nice rich flavor to what would normally be a simple biscuit.

Step Four: Knead and roll the dough out flat. Cut the dough out into circles (I usually end up with about 24 pieces) and place them into muffin tins or spaced out on a lined baking pan. Bake in the oven for about 10-12 minutes. 

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Cheesy Chili Cups

Cheesy Chili Cups

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 24 chili cups (6-8 servings)
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

For the Filling:
½ lb ground turkey
2 tablespoons olive oil (or canola oil)
1 medium bell pepper, small dice
½ medium onion, small dice
½ medium zucchini, shredded
1 (15 oz.) canned tomato sauce
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 cup Cabot pepper-jack cheddar cheese, shredded

For the Biscuit Cups:
4 cups flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
1 ½ cups milk
1 cup Cabot habanero cheddar, shredded


Instructions

  1. Starting with the filling: In a shallow pot, heat up 2 tablespoons of oil. Then add the ½ lb of ground turkey over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes until browned.
  2. Toss in all of the onion, zucchini, and pepper. Cook for about 5 more minutes until the onions are translucent
  3. Mix in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, and all of the spices. Let the tomato sauce reduce for another 5 minutes to get a nice thick chili. Set aside until it’s time to fill the biscuit cups.
  4. For the Biscuit Cups: Preheat the oven to 350℉. In a medium bowl mix flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Cut the butter into the flour until the butter is in small pea-size pieces and evenly distributed throughout.  For this, you can use a pastry cutter, a fork, or even your hands.
  6. Slowly incorporate the milk and shredded cheese until a solid yet slightly sticky dough has formed.
  7. Knead the dough on a floured surface for a minute. Then, roll it out into a ¼” sheet. Cut circles out of the dough to fit into muffin tins.
  8. Fill the muffin tin with the dough circles and make sure the dough lines the wall of each tin. The goal is to make these into little cups. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes 
  9. Take the biscuits out of the oven. Then make a well in each cup with a spoon to put in the filling. Once the filling is in the cup and topped with Cabot shredded pepper jack, put them back in the oven for 5 more minutes until the cheese is melted and biscuits are finished baking.

Notes

Recipe development support by Corinne Levy, JWU culinary nutrition intern.

Keywords: chili, biscuits, Cabot cheese, cheddar cheese

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FAQ

Can I use pre-made dough? 
Yes absolutely! If I’m in a time crunch Immaculate Baking or just a simple Pillsbury biscuit will do.

How long will these last in the refrigerator?
Like most leftovers, they’ll last in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Do these cheesy chili cups freeze well?
Yes, bag them up and freeze away! Just reheat them in the oven so the biscuit maintains a good texture.

How can this recipe be changed to be vegetarian?
You can switch the turkey out with a combination of beans and chopped mushrooms. The beans will be a good source of protein and the mushrooms will help get that umami flavor!

Does this recipe accommodate dairy allergies?
This is actually why Cabot cheese fits so well for this dish! Cabot cheese is naturally lactose-free thanks to its cheese-making process.

Salmon Burgers with Lemon Dill Horseradish Sauce

Rethink the classic burger with a seafood twist. Add these salmon burgers, made with Norweigan salmon, with lemon dill horseradish sauce to your menu rotation.

salmon burger with creamy sauce on a brioche bun

This post is sponsored by the Norwegian Seafood Council. Thank you for supporting brands that make this blog possible!

One perk of COVID-19 (always trying to find the positive) is that people are cooking more at home. The downside, we don’t necessarily have access to certain ingredients and are limiting grocery store trips.

Being strategic when grocery shopping and relying on pantry staples is key. Here in New Jersey, there are limits on amounts of certain proteins like chicken and eggs. At the grocery store, there is a whole department dedicated just to seafood. Don’t skip it!

opened face salmon burger with creamy dill sauce

Salmon is one of the most popular species consumed. With the high demand, the safest and most efficient way to feed the population is with farm-raised salmon. Norway is the world leader in the production of ocean-farmed sustainable salmon.

Understanding aquaculture

Aquaculture provides safeguarding to the environment and fish stocks for the future is the only way its aquaculture industry can remain sustainable. Sustainability has been one of the main objectives of the Norwegian fishing industry, and they are committed to producing seafood in a safe, controlled, and sustainable manner with strict regulations.

seafood from norway

Seafood from Norway

In Norway, salmon farmers monitor fish conditions carefully, control the salmon’s feed, and keep parasites out. This farmed environment helps resist disease. In Norway, farm-raised salmon live in their natural habitat and have plenty of room to swim. One of the myths about salmon farming is that the fish lives in crowded pens. The fact is, Norwegian salmon has plenty of space to grow as the pen holds 97.5% water and just 2.5% fish. Their pens are designed to ensure optimal growth and living conditions for the dish. Norwegian aquaculture industry sets the standard for high-quality, safe, and sustainably farmed salmon.

salmon burgers in a cast iron skillet
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salmon burger with creamy sauce on a brioche bun

Salmon Burger with Lemon Dill Horseradish Sauce

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale

1 1/2 lbs salmon fillets skin and bones removed, chopped
3/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons fresh dill chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon lemon juice
canola oil for frying (can also use olive oil)

Yogurt-Dill Sauce:
1 cup plain full-fat yogurt
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1/4 cup dill, chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced (about 2 tablespoons) and zested (about 1 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon horseradish

To serve:
Brioche buns
Butter lettuce


Instructions

  1. In a food processor add salmon. Pulse a few times until the salmon breaks down into small pieces. (Tip: Pulse a few times vs. running the food processor)
  2. In a large bowl, combine salmon, breadcrumbs, egg, dill, salt, garlic powder, and lemon juice. Mix well, but make sure to not overwork the mixture. Shape into 6 burgers.
  3. For the yogurt-dill sauce: In a small bowl, stir together yogurt, mustard, dill, lemon juice, lemon zest, and horseradish. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add salmon burgers and cook on each side for about 2-3 minutes or until internal temperature reaches at least 145 F.
  5. To serve: Place a few pieces of butter lettuce on the bottom half of the bun, top with a burger, and a generous dollop of the yogurt-dill sauce.

Keywords: salmon, salmon burger, burger, seafood, omega3, heart healthy

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salmon burger with creamy sauce on a bun

FAQ

Can I freeze these salmon burgers?

Yes! Form the salmon into patties. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (so they don’t freeze to the pan!) and freeze until solid. Once frozen, wrap each individually with plastic wrap, then foil, then store in a freezer bag removing as much air as possible.

Can I grill these salmon burgers?

Yes, of course! I like using a cast-iron skillet to get a good sear, but grilling works great too! Tip for if you decide to grill – After forming the patties, refrigerate them for 10-20 minutes so they firm up a little to prevent them from falling apart on the grill.

How else can I use the salmon burgers?

These salmon burgers as leftovers are delicious! Here are a few suggestions:

  • Add to leafy greens
  • Crumble and scramble with eggs
  • Chop and add to a wrap
  • Serve with a sunny side egg on top

What else can I use the lemon dill horseradish sauce with?

Utilize this sauce any way you would utilize any other condiments! This pairs well with many foods.

bowl of lemon dill horseradish sauce

Other recipes you may enjoy

This post contains affiliate links. Read full disclosure here.

Pear Walnut Muffins

Enjoy as part of breakfast or alone as a snack. These Pear Walnut Muffins are simple to make with big flavor.

Pear walnut muffins stacked on top of each other
pear walnut muffins stacked on top of each other on a cooling rack

How to know if a pear is ripe

Remember to “check the neck”. Pears are one of the few fruits that don’t ripen on the tree. Pears are harvested when they reach maturity, and when left at room temperature pears slowly ripen from the inside out.

Apply gentle pressure to the neck of the pear with your thumb. If it yields to pressure, it’s ripe.

What’s different about green anjou pears?

Anjou pears have a more egg shape appearance. Their dense flesh holds up well in heated applications like baking, poaching, roasting, or grilling and they are delicious when sliced fresh in salads or eaten as an out-of-hand snack.

pear walnut muffin cut in half on a white plate

How to make Pear Walnut Muffins

The recipe for these pear walnut muffins is pretty much a straight forward muffin recipe.

  1. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
  2. Fold in mix-ins.
  3. Bake!

Recipe Notes:

Why sift flour?

Sifted flour is much lighter than unsifted flour and easier to mix into other ingredients when forming a cake or muffin batter. When flour is sifted with other dry ingredients, it helps combine them evenly before they are mixed with other ingredients.

Be mindful of the size.

When chopping ingredients to mix into the batter, be mindful of the size. Chop ingredients in an even size. For the pears in this recipe, think about each bite of the muffin – big enough to note the taste and texture but not too big that it takes over.

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Pear walnut muffins stacked on top of each other

Pear Walnut Muffins

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 10
  • Category: muffin
  • Method: baking

Description

These pear walnut muffins are the perfect addition to a breakfast or enjoy alone as a snack. Learn baking tips to create perfect muffins every time!


Ingredients

1 large ripe pear peeled, cored and diced (preferably d’Anjou)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup apple cider
1/4 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled slightly
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup chopped walnuts

Optional topping:
coconut sugar or coarse sugar
chopped walnuts


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease a muffin tin with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together diced pears, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl sift together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and granulated sugar. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. 
  4. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the egg, Greek yogurt, apple cider, butter, and vanilla, until smooth. 
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Gently fold together until the dry ingredients are just moistened.
  6. Add the walnuts and pear mixture and any accumulated juice to the batter. Gently fold with a spatula until the pecans and pears are incorporated.
  7. Divide the batter between the muffin wells. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins generously with coconut sugar and chopped walnuts. Allow the muffins to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before baking.
  8. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with no wet batter.
  9. Cool the muffins in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

Why sift flour? Sifted flour is much lighter than unsifted flour and easier to mix into other ingredients when forming a cake or muffin batter. When flour is sifted with other dry ingredients, it helps combine them evenly before they are mixed with other ingredients.

Keywords: pear, walnut, muffins, baked goods, baking

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How to freeze muffins and prevent freezer burn

Cool muffins completely before wrapping and freezing. To freeze, wrap securely in foil or freezer wrap, or place in freezer bags. Be sure to remove as much excess air within the bag as possible. Muffins can be stored frozen for up to 3 months.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Do you have an overabundance of zucchini from your garden or the farmer’s market? Turn it into this delicious Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread. With only a hint of sweetness, this can be enjoyed with any meal or snack.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread on a marble slab

I tend to enjoy cooking more as you can adjust the taste as you go and have more control throughout the process of a dish during the cooking process. For me, baking (especially when developing a new recipe), is much more intimidating. Why? Because you measure, mix, pour into a pan… and then hope for the best! Once that timer goes off you find out if it’s a win or a flop.

This quickbread is a little denser than regular quick bread, as I used half whole wheat flour. When I bake I try to squeeze in whole grains where I can. My favorite whole grain flours to bake with are whole wheat flour and oat flour. I’ve also been experimenting with almond flour and coconut flour too, which totally throw you for a curveball because they have very different baking properties.

Why We Love Zucchini 

Just like most green vegetables, zucchini is a great source of vitamins and minerals including Vitamin C. 

It can be cooked in so many ways, including baking. You can eat it raw or cooked. 

If you have little ones, because of its mild taste you can sneak these veggies into baking recipes and they won’t even know it’s there but still get added nutrition!

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread sliced on a marble slab

When is Zucchini in Season and the Freshest?

Zucchini is primarily considered a summer veggie with its peak season being June through late August. However, most local markets and stores have zucchini available year-round, which is great because zucchini bread is popular around the fall, winter, and other holidays. 

What You Need For Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

eggs

unsweetened applesauce

brown sugar

vanilla extract

whole wheat flour

all-purpose flour

salt

baking soda

baking powder

cinnamon

shredded zucchini

chocolate chips

How to Make Zucchini Bread with Chocolate Chips 

Prep your loaf pan by spraying some non-stick spray. You can also use parchment paper if you choose. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Start by shredding the zucchini. Once you are finished try to get rid of as much moisture as possible by pressing firmly with paper towels. 

Whisk together the eggs, sugar, applesauce, and vanilla in a large bowl until the mixture is smooth. 

Grab another mixing bowl and sift together your flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. 

Gently fold in the zucchini, being careful not to overmix. By folding the zucchini in you don’t have to worry about clumps, instead you will get a little bit in every bite.

Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl with the egg mixture slowly while constantly stirring. Add just a little at a time. 

Toss in the chocolate chips and fold just until they are distributed evenly. 

Pour the zucchini bread batter in the 9×5 loaf pan. 

Bake for about 50 minutes. Check it with a toothpick to be sure that it is done. If it is, the toothpick will come out clean. 

Take the bread from the oven and let it rest for at least 15 minutes before transferring it out of the loaf pan. 

Cool completely before slicing so it doesn’t fall apart.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread on a marble slab with chocolate chips sprinkled on top and around the loaf

Variations of Zucchini Bread 

  • Want to make banana zucchini bread? Simply swap the applesauce for mashed bananas!
  • Feel free to use any variety of chocolate (white, semi-sweet, dark, or milk). 
  • Add in some nuts for a nice crunch! Walnuts are my favorite to add to quick bread recipes.

Tips for Baking with Zucchini 

  • Do you have to peel zucchini before using it? Nope! Generally speaking, zucchini is not a veggie that needs peeling before eating. 
  • Zucchini contains a lot of moisture, so always follow the recipe when it comes to knowing whether or not to leave it or to remove as much as possible. 
  • To shred zucchini, you can use one of the sides of your cheese grater so no fancy equipment needed! 

How to Store Zucchini Bread with Chocolate Chips 

Wrap the zucchini loaf in plastic wrap and you can store it at room temperature for at least 4 days. You can also refrigerate it if you would rather do that. 

To freeze, secure the cooled loaf in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer bag. Some also prefer to wrap it in another layer using aluminum foil. Freezing for later is a great idea when making multiple batches or if you want to make it ahead of time for special occasions.

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Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread on a marble slab with a knife and napkin

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: baked goods
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale

3 eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 zucchinis)
1 cup chocolate chips


Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. Shred zucchini. Using paper towels press as much moisture you can from the zucchini.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, applesauce, brown sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Fold zucchini into flour. This will help zucchini being dispersed throughout the bread vs. clumping together.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, a little at a time, mixing until well combined.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips until they are evenly distributed throughout the batter.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle and comes out clean.
  8. Remove the bread from the oven, and let it cool for 10-15 minutes before taking it out of the loaf pan. Cool completely before slicing.

Keywords: zucchini bread, zucchini, chocolate chips, baking, whole grain,

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This recipe was originally posted in 2013. The recipes, images, and content have been updated.

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Peanut Butter Oat Bars

These Peanut Butter Oat Bars are soft, chewy, and subtly sweet to add to a balanced breakfast or enjoyed as a snack.

homemade oat bars on a black slate

Dear future children, please do not have a peanut allergy. Your future peanut butter addict’s mom will be very sad. Peanut butter is a staple food in my diet. I can confidently say I enjoy peanut butter pretty much every day.

Did you know?

It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter. (source)

Health benefits of peanut butter

Replacing saturated fat with similar amounts of unsaturated fats may reduce the risk of heart disease. One serving of dry-roasted peanuts (30 grams) contains 12 grams of unsaturated fat, only two grams of saturated fat, and no trans fat. 

Peanuts are an excellent source of (20% of the Daily Value):

  • Niacin: Niacin is an important B vitamin that helps to convert food to energy, aids with the digestive and nervous system, and helps the skin.
  • Manganese: Manganese is important for processing cholesterol, and nutrients like carbohydrates and protein.
    (source)
homemade snack bars on a black marble slab

Just one bowl, these bars are easy to whip up. Pair with a piece of fruit and/or yogurt for breakfast, or enjoy alone as a snack. If you are peanut butter obsessed like me, I even added a smear of peanut butter on top.

Peanut Butter Oat Bars stacked on top of each other

I kept this Peanut Butter Oat Bars recipe simple, but of course, you can add your own twist. Stir in chocolate chips, some nuts or seeds. I’m even curious to try tahini in place of the peanut butter.

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close up image of peanut butter oat bars

Peanut Butter Oat Bars

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Baked Good
  • Method: Baking

Description

These Peanut Butter Oat Bars are soft, chewy, and subtly sweet to add to a balanced breakfast or enjoyed as a snack.


Ingredients

Scale

1/2 cup natural peanut butter, melted
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 small ripe banana, mashed
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup finely ground flaxseed (see notes)


Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat an 8×8 baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together peanut butter, coconut oil, banana, maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla extract until well combined.
  3. Stir in cinnamon, rolled oats, and flaxseed, until well combined.
  4. Pour into the prepared baking dish and spread in an even layer. Bake for 25-30 minutes until edges are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  5. Cool for 15 minutes before slicing into squares. 

Notes

I used Manitoba Milling Co. Smooth Whole-Milled Flaxseed, which is more of a powdery/flour texture. 

Add chocolate chips or nuts, sprinkled on top or folded into the batter, as desired.

Keywords: peanut butter, oats, bars, breakfast, snack, whole grain,

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Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats (+ Freezer-Friendly Tip)

Make mornings easier by meal prepping a batch of Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats for the week and follow a simple freezer-friendly tip to enjoy steel cut oats in just minutes.

steel cut oats in a small white bowl with blueberries and sliced almonds

Who has time to make a fresh batch of steel-cut oats in the morning? If you do, more power to you, but like many, I prefer extra sleep vs. waking up earlier to make breakfast from scratch.

What Are Steel Cut Oats?

Steel cut oats are the least processed variety of oats, take the longest to cook, and maintain their texture better than others when it comes to a good bowl of oatmeal. It’s literally the whole oat, including the bran (the outermost layer). I previously talked about the differences between steel-cut, rolled, and quick oats.

Are Steel Cut Oats Healthy?

Yes! They are naturally gluten free for anyone with sensitivities and packed full of fiber. Most don’t know this, but one serving (without added toppings) has 7 grams of protein! Steel cut oats also have a lower glycemic index than others. Even if you don’t take the GI into consideration, know that this is a good concept for everyone, which means your body will digest it slower than other varieties and you will have less of a sugar spike.

steel cut oats in a metal measuring cup

Does Using the Instant Pot Save Time? 

By the time the Instant Pot comes to pressure, the cooking time, and the pressure release time it’s about the same. BUT the greatest thing is that it’s hands-free cooking. So no stirring constantly, wondering if they are ready, and you can do other stuff while you wait on your breakfast!

Instead of spending time each morning making a serving of steel-cut oats meal prep a large batch for the week. Steel-cut oats can easily be made over the stovetop, but I love using the Instant Pot to make steel-cut oats because just add your ingredients, press a few buttons, and done!

steel cut oats in a white bowl with toppings on a marble slab next to the Instant Pot

Ingredients for Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats 

steel cut oats
water
cinnamon sticks – if you don’t have these you can use ground cinnamon instead

How to Cook Steel Cut Oats in a Pressure Cooker

Pour the steel cut oats and water into the Instant Pot and stir. Add in the cinnamon sticks or ground cinnamon and stir once more. 

Place the lid on the Instant Pot and turn the valve to the sealing position. 

Cook for 6 minutes using manual pressure. 

When the timer goes off, allow the pressure cooker to release naturally for 20 minutes, then turn the valve to the venting position. 

Toss out the cinnamon sticks and give it a good stir. 

Serve with your favorite toppings!

Steel Cut Oatmeal Topping Ideas

I prefer to make the batch of steel-cut oats pretty plain because then there is the flexibility to add different toppings to create different flavor combinations. I do enjoy adding a cinnamon stick to the pot and the cinnamon flavor infuses into the oats. (This can easily be done with a few shakes of ground cinnamon too.) Here are some more ideas.

Bananas & Blueberries – a favorite combination! Add these on top just before serving

Syrup & Honey – Need just a touch of sweetness? Drizzle some maple syrup or honey over the oats once they come out of the Instant Pot 

Pumpkin – you could add a couple of spoonfuls of pureed pumpkin before cooking, great for the fall! 

Apples – because that just makes sense with cinnamon! Dice them into small pieces (as even as possible) and stir before you cook or after as a topping. 

  • Other fresh fruit and berries
  • Nuts (almond, walnuts, pecans) 
  • Splash of milk to thin it out if needed.
  • Nut or seed butter
  • Chia seeds or ground flax meal

frozen steel cut oatmeal in a jumbo muffin tin

How Long Do Steel Cut Oats Last After Being Cooked? 

Once you have pressure cooked them, they stay fresh when kept in the refrigerator for up to a week. 

If you want to batch, I recommend freezing them. 

After making a batch of these Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats, spray a jumbo muffin tin with cooking spray and scoop about a cup of oats into each muffin tin well. Then add your favorite topping combinations.

Once hardened, dip the bottom of the muffin tin in warm water to help remove the single-serving steel cut oat portions and freeze in a container or bag for later use.

Then, simply add a single-serving portion of oats to a microwave-safe bowl with a few drops of water, and reheat in the microwave.

Print
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Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats in a white bowl topped with blueberries and almonds

Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 6
  • Total Time: 11 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Instant Pot

Ingredients

Scale

2 1/2 cups steel cut oats
7 cups water
2 cinnamon sticks (or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon)


Instructions

  1. Add steel cut oats, water, and cinnamon sticks to the Instant Pot and stir to combine.
  2. Secure Instant Pot lid and close the vent. Set Instant Pot on the manual setting for 6 minutes.
  3. When Instant Pot beeps, allow the pressure to naturally release for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove lid, discard cinnamon sticks, and stir oats to incorporate any water that has risen to the top.
  5. Serve with your favorite toppings. (Combination recommendation: blueberries, sliced almonds, and honey)

Notes

Leftover oats can be stored in the fridge for up to a week or utilize the freezer-friendly method.

Freezer-Friendly Method:
Spray a jumbo muffin tin with cooking spray and scoop about a cup of oats into each muffin tin well. Then add your favorite topping combinations. Once hardened, dip the bottom of the muffin tin in warm water to help remove the single-serving steel cut oat portions and freeze in a container or bag for later use.

Keywords: oatmeal, Instant Pot, steel cut oats, breakfast, cooking tip, oats

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