Chickpea Salad Sandwich Without Mayo

Get out of your lunchtime rut and make packing lunches more exciting with this Chickpea Salad Sandwich. 

half of a chickpea salad sandwich on a cutting board

Ever get in a lunch rut? Need new ideas for packing your kids’ or your own lunch? Are packable noontime options dwindling? Surely you’ve met the ‘What shall I pack for lunch?” question.

I always pack my lunch for the next day the night before. If not, I’m typically running out the door and a Siggi’s yogurt, KIND bar, and a piece of fruit are just tossed in my bag on my way out. I don’t mind those “snacky” kind of lunches once in a while, but I’d prefer more of a meal kind of lunch.

Plant-Based Proteins:

This chickpea walnut sandwich is a plant-based tuna/chicken salad makeover. I always try and make sure protein is present at lunchtime to help keep me full through the afternoon. Chickpeas are the perfect pulse for this recipe because the firm texture holds its shape. The addition of the walnuts is key for the crunch factor, while also providing heart-healthy fats.

chickpea salad sandwich on rye bread with an apple

Are garbanzo beans the same as chickpeas?

Yes. Originally the name garbanzo bean came from the Spanish community and over time different cultures have referred to them as another name. Eventually, these beans came to be known as chickpeas to most people in the world today.

Are chickpeas lectins?

Yes, chickpeas are considered a legume, and all legumes contain lectin. Lectin, a protein, binds to carbs and is known to some as an anti-nutrient. This is somewhat a controversial concept, because people with stomach sensitives may see an effect, but most do not. Also, most foods containing lectin are high in antioxidants, so the good outweighs the bad. If you are concerned about lectins, know that once they are cooked, the lectin is deactivated.

chickpea salad sandwich on rye bread cut in half

Ingredients for Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

  • chickpeas
  • walnuts
  • plain Greek yogurt – Greek yogurt is a great substitute for mayonnaise to trim back on saturated fat and replace it with a boost of protein and calcium instead.
  •  Dijon mustard
  •  honey
  • scallions
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • whole wheat bread, toasted
  • (Optional) Toppings: lettuce, tomato, onion

How to Make a Chickpea Salad Sandwich Without Mayo

Mash the chickpeas in a small bowl using a fork. Don’t over-mash, we aren’t making hummus!

Mix in the nuts, mustard, greek yogurt, honey, and scallions. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spread the chickpea salad on your bread to make the perfect sandwich. You can also add it on top of a salad, or dip with crackers – this chickpea walnut mixture is versatile to get you out of your lunchtime rut.

vegetarian chickpea salad sandwich on a cutting board

Should you rinse canned garbanzo beans?

You should and mainly it’s because the liquid contains a lot of unnecessary sodium which is why. most recommend draining and rinsing chickpeas before using.

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cut in half chickpea sandwich

Chickpea Walnut Sandwich

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2
  • Category: sandwich

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ⅓ cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons scallions, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 slices whole wheat bread, toasted
  • (Optional) Toppings: lettuce, tomato, onion

Instructions

  1. Add chickpeas to a bowl and lightly mash with a fork. (Not too much. We aren’t making hummus!) Add walnuts, Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, honey, and scallions and mix together. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Add a desired amount of the chickpea mixture to the bread and add desired toppings. Top with the other slice of bread.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker.

Keywords: sandwich, vegetarian, plant-based

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Make PERFECT Hard Boiled and Soft Boiled Eggs in the Instant Pot

Do you have an Instant Pot and don’t know where to start? I am still getting the hang of it, but I’ve mastered how to make PERFECT hard-boiled and soft-boiled eggs in the Instant Pot.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by the American Egg Board and the Egg Nutrition Center. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible!

instant pot hard boiled eggs on a gray plate next to egg carton and shells

What Can the Instant Pot Do?

215,000+ Amazon customers purchased the Instant Pot on Prime Day alone. Now that it’s in everyone’s kitchen they are looking for new recipes to try.

The Instant Pot is a single appliance that does the job of seven (yes, seven!) different kitchen appliances. It can handle the tasks of a slow cooker, electric pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, sauté/browning pan, and a warming pot. Think of all those appliances taking up space in your kitchen that can be replaced by one.

New to using the Instant Pot? Learn about these seven tips for efficiently using your Instant Pot.

While I am still learning all the functions of the Instant Pot, the first technique I mastered was preparing hard and soft-boiled eggs.

infographic for cooking eggs in the instant pot

How Are Eggs Healthy?

One large egg has 6 grams of high-quality protein and all 9 essential amino acids. Nearly half the protein is in the yolk so don’t ditch the yolk!

Eggs were once avoided and criticized for their cholesterol content. However, the totality of scientific research has shown no or little effect between dietary cholesterol and cardiac outcomes or markers of heart disease risk in healthy individuals.

Government and health organizations have revised their dietary cholesterol recommendations. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans place no daily limit on dietary cholesterol intake. Foods like egg yolks and some shellfish are higher in dietary cholesterol but not saturated fats making them a healthful choice along with healthy eating patterns.

Hard-boiled eggs are something I pretty much meal prep every week for myself. One large egg has varying amounts of 13 essential vitamins and minerals, including choline plus the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, all just for 70 calories.

three hard boiled instant pot eggs on a gray plate next to the shells

Why the Instant Pot method works:

Now, I know making hard-boiled eggs on the stovetop is not too challenging, but this Instant Pot method makes it even simpler and in just 5 minutes, they are ready. Plus, there is a science behind why cooking eggs in the Instant Pot make them easier to peel. The reason according to Alton Brown is:

“Eggs that are quickly heated are easier to peel than eggs that are slowly heated, say in cold water brought to a boil. Fast cooking prevents the white from bonding so epoxy-like to the outer membranes. Since pressure steamers can generate temperatures between 230 and 250 degrees F it is suspected that this is actually why folks think they’re magic egg machines.” Also, thorough cooling eases peeling by allowing the proteins in the albumen to fully set and harden, thus preventing tearing.

instant pot sitting next to gray striped towel

How to Make Soft Boiled Eggs in the Instant Pot

Pour the water in and place the rack (trivet) in the bottom. Then sit the eggs on the rack in the Instant Pot in a single layer.

Cook for 3 minutes on high pressure. Once the timer goes off, quickly release the pressure.

Transfer the eggs to a bowl with ice and cold water until they are cool enough to hold in your hand.

Peel right away.

The Best Pressure Cooker Hard Boiled Eggs

If you want to make hard boiled eggs in the Instant Pot, pour the water in. Set the rack in the bottom. Place the eggs on the rack. Cook for 5 minutes using high pressure. Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then transfer to an ice bath. Peel once they are cool enough for you to hold.

Tips for Making

  • Make sure the eggs are in a single layer, do not stack them.
  • There is an accessory you can buy that is specifically for making eggs in the Instant Pot that may allow you to cook more at a time.
  • When you release the pressure, place a towel over the top. Also make sure the pressure cooker is away from cabinets so the steam doesn’t ruin them.

How Long Do Cooked Eggs Last?

Hard-Boiled Eggs will keep up to a week in your refrigerator. Make a few perfect hard-boiled eggs to create delicious recipes throughout the week.

cobb salad topped with hard boiled eggs made in the pressure cooker

A few ways I use hard-boiled eggs are:

  • Pair hard-boiled eggs with avocado and tomato. I usually just add a little salt and pepper, but when I’m looking to add an extra pop of flavor, I add everything but the bagel, sesame seasoning blend.
  • For a filling snack, try my version of a “quick deviled egg”. Scoop out the yolk, mix with hummus and fill back in the egg white.

Ways to Use Instant Pot Eggs

(source)

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Make PERFECT Hard Boiled and Soft Boiled Eggs in the Instant Pot

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 3
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Total Time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: 5
  • Method: Instant Pot

Description

Make PERFECT Hard Boiled and Soft Boiled Eggs in the Instant Pot EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.


Ingredients

Scale

Ingredients:
Eggs (up to as many that can fit in an even layer in your Instant Pot – do not stack)
1 cup water

Equipment:
Instant Pot with the rack


Instructions

Place the rack in the bottom of the pot. Pour the water in the pot. Place the eggs on the rack.

For soft-boiled:
Set Instant pot on high pressure on manual 3 minutes. Quick release placing a towel over the valve. Quickly add eggs to a bowl with cold water and ice until cool enough to hold. Peel right away.

For hard-boiled:
Set Instant Pot on high pressure on manual 5 minutes. Natural release 5 minutes then use quick release placing a towel over the valve. Quickly add eggs to a bowl with cold water and ice until cool enough to hold. Peel right away.


Keywords: eggs, instant pot, meal prep

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Make PERFECT Hard Boiled and Soft Boiled Eggs in the Instant Pot #instantpot #protein #cookingtip #healthy #breakfast #snack #eggs
Make PERFECT Hard Boiled and Soft Boiled Eggs in the Instant Pot #instantpot #protein #cookingtip #healthy #breakfast #snack #eggs

Zucchini Bread Smoothie

This Zucchini Smoothie tastes exactly like your favorite veggie bread! Only 8 ingredients needed for a full on powerhouse in a glass!

zucchini smoothie in a small glass with straw next to diced zucchini

This smoothie literally does taste like zucchini bread. When I took the first sip of this smoothie, my tastebuds could identify every single flavor that was blended together.

We pretty much have all heard of adding leafy greens to smoothies but have you considered veggies like zucchini. I recently started adding this vegetable to my smoothie with the plethora I’ve been picking up from the farmer’s market.

The other recipe that I run to when I have too many zucchini on hand is my chocolate chip zucchini bread, which I’m sure everyone has tried at some point (there’s also a gluten free version). One thing I really love about this smoothie is that it’s healthy, but its taste is absolutely delicious!

Don’t let the green color be a turn-off. Actually, most green smoothies are the ones with the best nutrition profiles!

For the future when you need a savory zucchini side dish try these Zucchini Carrot Fritters.

green zucchini smoothie on a board next to white towel and diced zucchini pieces

Healthy Zucchini Smoothie Ingredients

Check out all of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are packed in every glass you make!

Banana: rich in potassium and fiber
Zucchini: vitamins C and A, potassium, folate, and fiber
Spinach: potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B6, B9, and E, high amounts of carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron, and calcium
Walnuts: rich in omega-3 fats, protein, copper, manganese
Cinnamon: polyphenol antioxidants
Ginger: anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties
Orange Zest: fiber, vitamins, and polyphenols

Smoothie Meal Prep Tips

If you are a beginner at making smoothies, I recommend starting with baby spinach. It’s a neutral veggie that blends well. Honestly, if you are using nut butters, protein powder, and/or berries; all of those ingredients overpower the taste of the spinach. You can’t even tell it’s in there!

PRO TIP: After you open your spinach (the kind in the plastic containers from the store) place a paper towel on top. This keeps the condensation from the lid off the greens and makes it stay fresher a little longer.

Chop and steam your zucchini before adding it to your smoothie. Not only does it blend better this way, but your body can absorb more nutrition. When you steam the zucchini, it breaks down the cell wall and opens up the micronutrients, which makes it easier for your body to absorb and digest.

Transfer the steamed zucchini to a parchment-lined baking sheet and place it in the freezer (this is also a good tip for berries too). Once they are frozen, place them in small plastic bags so you can easily toss them in the blender the next time you go to make a smoothie.

You can watch the video for all of the smoothie tips if you want!

healthy zucchini smoothie in a small glass with paper straw next to diced zucchini pieces
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Zucchini Bread Smoothie via Chef Julie Harrington, RD @ChefJulie_RD #zucchini #zucchinibread #smoothie

Zucchini Bread Smoothie

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 serving 1x
  • Category: Drinks
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Zucchini bread in smoothie form, while adding in extra veggies!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 small banana (frozen)
  • 1/2 cup zucchini (chopped, steamed, and frozen)
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon walnuts, chopped (or 1 tablespoon Pamela’s Nut Flour Blend)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or milk of choice)

Instructions

  1. In a blender, combine all ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  2. For a thicker consistency, add ice. For a thinner consistency, add water.

Keywords: smoothie, drink

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Instant Pot Lemon Ginger Salmon

Instant Pot Lemon Ginger Salmon is a quick and easy 20 minute meal that’s also healthy and can be served with just about any side dish.

salmon layered with ginger and lemon in an instant pot

A lot of Instant Pot recipes are used for tough cuts of meat. The function of the Instant Pot creates steam under extreme pressure and forces its way to the tough fibers of the meat breaking them down to become tender.

But what if you have an already delicate protein like salmon?

You can still utilize the Instant Pot for more delicate proteins like salmon, but the Instant Pot is utilized a little differently.

Instead of searing and submerging in liquid, utilize the steaming rack of the Instant Pot. Add a little liquid on the bottom which will steam the salmon and infuse flavors into the final product. For this recipe, I used vegetable broth and a few sprigs of parsley. Utilize different herbs to infuse flavors.

Why I Love Instant Pot Salmon

  • Tender and never dry or overcooked
  • Juicy, flavorful, and ready in less than 30 minutes
  • A great meal prep recipe
  • Minimal ingredients needed
hands holding a bowl of quinoa, salmon, and green beans

Salmon Nutrition

Research shows eating seafood two to three times per week reduces the risk of death from any health-related cause. Seafood provides unique health benefits as a lean protein and is the best source for omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthy fats essential to human health and development.

Use this simple and flavorful Instant Pot Lemon Ginger Salmon to help you meet the mark for enjoying seafood 2-3 times each week!

Embrace the unsaturated fats found in foods such as walnuts, seeds, plant oils, avocados, and fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, trout, sardines, mackerel, and herring.

Fats play an essential role in human health from head (brain) to toe (joints). Replacing just 5 percent of your caloric intake from so-called bad fats (like trans and saturated fat found in red meat) with unsaturated fat from seafood and plant-based foods can reduce your risk of death by 27 percent.
(source)

Choosing the Best Salmon

There is no right or wrong choice when it comes to picking out salmon, but there are quite a few differences.

Wild, Farm-Raised, or Frozen?

It’s important to know that just because salmon can be frozen, doesn’t mean it loses its nutritional value. Frozen salmon is a great budget option and good seafood to have on hand in the freezer.

Farm raised salmon typically contains more fat because of the diet and environment the fish are in. Compared to wild salmon, which feed on other natural food sources. Wild caught salmon usually contains more minerals as well.

While both breeds have contaminants, they are higher in the farmed salmon, but stricter rules have been put in place.

Lemon Ginger Salmon Ingredients

  • vegetable broth
  • fresh parsley
  • salmon fillet
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh ginger
  • lemon
salmon placed in an instant pot topped with lemon and ginger slices

How to Make Lemon Ginger Salmon in the Instant Pot

Pour the veggie broth into the Instant Pot and add the trivet in. Spray the trivet with cooking spray.

Skin side down, place the salmon on the rack, and season with salt and pepper. Lay the pieces of ginger and lemon on top. By simply laying the lemon and ginger on top of the salmon fillet, the flavors penetrate into the salmon fillet creating fresh and vibrant flavors.

Place the lid on and turn the valve to the sealing position. Cook on high pressure for 3 minutes.

Once it’s ready, turn the valve back to quickly release the pressure. Be careful and stand back, the steam is extremely hot.

Take the trivet out by grabbing the handles then transfer the salmon to serve.

Can You Use Frozen Salmon?

You can, just allow it time to thaw before adding it to the pressure cooker.

quinoa, salmon, and green beans in a white bowl with white napkin
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Instant Pot Lemon Ginger Salmon

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 3
  • Total Time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4 1x
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot

Description

You’ll be soon adding this easy Instant Pot Lemon Ginger Salmon to your weekly dinner menu rotation.


Ingredients

Scale

1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 small bunch of fresh parsley
1 pound salmon fillet (about 1-inch thick)
salt and pepper, to taste
1 small knob (about 2 tablespoons) fresh ginger, sliced
1 lemon, sliced


Instructions

Pour broth and parsley in the Instant Pot and then put in the steamer rack (coated with cooking spray) at the bottom, making sure the handles are extended up.

Place salmon, skin side down, on the steamer rack. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Layer on pieces of ginger and lemon.

Close the Instant Pot and make sure vent is turned to “Sealing”. Plug it in, press “Steam” and press the + or – buttons to set it to 3 minutes. When the Instant Pot beeps that it’s done, quick release the pressure, being careful to stay out of the way of the steam that will shoot up. Press the “Warm/Cancel” button. Remove lid, and using hot pads, carefully remove rack with salmon and set on a plate.

Serve alongside a whole grain and vegetable for a complete meal. 


Notes

Cooking time may vary. Depending on the thickness of your salmon, 3 minutes is perfect for a fillet that’s about 1 inch at its thickest part.

Keywords: salmon, Instant Pot, dinner, healthy fats, heart healthy

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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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Other recipes you may enjoy

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
  • 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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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

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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Cast Iron Seared Steaks with Garlic Seasoned Salt

No grill, no problem! Learn how to perfectly cook steak in your cast iron skillet.

sliced medium rare steak

This post is sponsored by the New York Beef Council in collaboration for their first-ever #BeefTogether Virtual Steak Night. Thank you for supporting brands that make this blog possible!

I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in a virtual cooking class with the New York Beef Council to learn more cooking techniques to perfectly cook a steak on the cast iron skillet. I picked up a few new tips. 

Lean beef can be part of a heart-healthy lifestyle and is a nutrient-dense food. Beef is a source of important nutrients such as protein, iron, and zinc. Iron carries oxygen to our brain and body and zinc boosts our immune system.

Intimidated by cooking steak at home? Don’t be! Plus, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Create a simple dry rub and grab your cast iron skillet. Simply follow these steps to create a delicious steak at home.

How to cook steak on a cast-iron skillet:

This cooking technique first sears the steak stovetop, then finishes the cooking process in the oven.

Step One:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. The cook time for medium-rare (145 degrees F) can range anywhere from 7-15 minutes of cook time in the oven. There are many variables that can cause such a range, like if the steak is cold vs. room temperature or the thickness of the steak.

Instead of basing the cooking on time, shift the focus of the cooking time depending on the internal temperature.

strip steak on wooden cutting board

Step Two:

Allow the steak to come to room temperature – no longer than 30 minutes. Pat the steak dry with paper towels. This will promote more even browning and the rub to stick on better. Trim off excess fat, if desired. Rub seasoning blend on both sides evenly.

strip steak with dry rub

Step Three:

Place cast-iron skillet stovetop over high heat. Add 1-2 tablespoons of canola oil (or avocado oil) and allow to heat until shiny and glistening.
Note: Start the cooking process with oil as it has a higher smoke point than butter. If you want to add butter at the end, you can always baste it on top.

Step Four:

Using tongs, place the steak in the center of the pan. (Using tongs can help prevent any oil splattering on your hands.) Sear for about 1 minute, until a nice browned sear and the steak is easily able to move in the pan. If the steak is sticking to the pan, it’s not ready to be flipped. Don’t force it. Let it continue to cook then flip when ready and sear the other side.

Step Five:

Using oven mitts, transfer the steak in the cast-iron skillet into the oven. Cook for 7 minutes and take the temperature by placing the instant-read thermometer horizontally from the side so it penetrates into the thickest part of the steak.

temping a streak

Step Six: 

For medium-rare, pull out of the oven when the thermometer reads 140 degrees, then allow to rest to factor in carryover cooking to reach an optimal temperature of 145 degrees F. Using tongs, remove steak from the pan onto a clean cutting board. Tent with aluminum foil and allow steak to rest 5-10 minutes.

tenting a steak in foil

Step Seven:

Slice the steak across the grain and serve immediately. And most importantly, enjoy it!

sliced medium rare steak

Tips for using dry rubs:

  • Dry herbs consist of herbs, spices, and other seasonings.
  • Rubs can be applied just before cooking or up to 2 hours in advance and refrigerated until cooking time.
ingredients for a spice blend

When to use dry rubs:

Trouble deciding if you should use a dry rub or marinade? Dry rubs are used for tender cuts of meat. Marinades are used for less tender cuts of meat, as the acid in the marinade helps tenderize the meat.

Cooking tips:

How to properly temp a steak:

Insert an instant-read thermometer horizontally from the side so it penetrates the thickest part of the center of the steak.

Thawing a frozen steak:

For best quality, defrost beef in the refrigerator. (Never at room temperature!) Place the frozen package on a plate or tray to catch any juices.

For ½ to ¾ inch steaks, allow for approximately 12 hours to thaw in the refrigerator.

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strip steak cooked to medium rare, sliced

Cast Iron Seared Strip Steaks with Garlic Seasoned Salt

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7-15 minutes
  • Total Time: 16 minute
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: stove top to oven
  • Cuisine: american

Ingredients

Scale

2 (about 810 ounces each) boneless Strip Steaks, cut 1-inch thick
1-2 tablespoons canola oil (or avocado oil)

Garlic Seasoning Salt:
4 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon onion granules
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
4 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika


Instructions

  1. Allow steak to rest for up to 30 minutes to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. 
  2. In a small food processor or spice grinder, pulse the rosemary, oregano, and onion granules to break them down to a similar size as the kosher salt. In a small bowl, combine the rosemary, oregano, onion granules, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
  3. Pat the steak dry with paper towels. Trim off excess fat, if desired. Rub seasoning blend on both sides evenly.
  4. Place cast-iron skillet stovetop over high heat. Add 1-2 tablespoons of canola oil and allow to heat until shiny and glistening. Using tongs, place the steak in the center of the pan. Sear for about 1 minute, until a nice browned sear and the steak is easily able to move in the pan. Then flip and sear the other side until browned.
  5. Using oven mitts, transfer the steak in the cast-iron skillet into the oven. Cook for 7 minutes and take the temperature by placing the instant-read thermometer horizontally from the side so it penetrates into the thickest part of the steak. Cook for temperature vs. time. The USDA recommends cooking until 145 degrees F for medium-rare. Adjust cooking time until the desired temperature is reached.
  6. Using tongs, remove steak from the pan onto a clean cutting board. Tent with aluminum foil and allow the steak to rest 5-10 minutes.
  7. Slice the steak across the grain and serve immediately.

Keywords: steak, strip steak, beef, dinner, cast iron

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FAQ:

Where does the strip steak cut come from?

Strip steaks are cut from the short loin of a cow, which is located behind the rib area with the tenderloin.

anatomy of a cow
(image source: unknown)

What temperature should I cook the steak to?

Medium-rare: 145 degrees F
Medium: 160 degrees F
Well Done: 170 degrees F

What qualifies beef as “lean”?

Beef can only be claimed as “lean” if the cut of beef is less than 10 grams total fat, 4.5 grams or less saturated fat, and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per serving per 100 grams (about 3 ¾ ounces by weight).

What other ways can I use this Garlic Seasoned Salt?

  • Roasted vegetables
  • Popcorn
  • Homemade pita chips

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White Bean Shakshuka

Whip up this one-pan smoky White Bean Shakshuka for a weekend brunch, but it is just as good for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

cast iron skillet with white bean shakshuka with a piece of bread

What is Shakshuka?

Shakshuka is a Mediterranean meal of poached eggs in a simmering tomato sauce with spices.

The beauty of this dish is that you can play around with the ingredients to customize it for your preference. I’ve even made a green shakshuka before!

Why you should always keep a well-stocked pantry.

Writing this blog post now, we are in the midst of COVID-19. We are taking fewer trips to the grocery store and may need to rely on pantry staples to create nutritious meals around. Mealtime inspiration is just a can opener away.

cast iron skillet with shakshuka

Is canned food healthy?

Canned foods are an easy, cost-effective way to eat healthy year-round. They are a simple, realistic way people can incorporate nutrients into meals.

Nutritionally speaking, canned food is comparable to its cooked fresh and frozen counterparts. Canned fruits and vegetables are packed at their peak of harvest, which means they are packed at their peak nutrient value. Crops that go directly from the field to the processor often retain vitamins better than those that travel hundreds of miles across the country and sit for days in produce bins. (resource)

portion of white bean shakshuka on a ceramic plate

What ingredients give this shakshuka a smoky flavor?

The smoky flavor mainly comes from two ingredients in this recipe – the fire-roasted tomatoes and smoked paprika.

  • Fire-Roasted Tomatoes
    Fire-roasted tomatoes are made by charring the tomatoes over a flame before they’re diced and canned. You may even see little black flecks within your can. That is from the tomato making direct heat with the flame creating that smoky flavor.
  • Smoked Paprika
    Smoked paprika is made from pimiento peppers that have been dried and smoked over an oak fire, then ground into a fine powder, creating that earthy and smoky taste.
Cast iron skillet with a brunch recipe scooped with a wooden spoon

What equipment you need to make shakshuka:

  • Cast iron skillet or oven-safe pan* (see FAQ below if you don’t have one!)
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Wooden spoon
  • Measuring spoons
  • Can opener
  • Colander
plate of tomato sauce mixture with an egg and bread
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White Bean Shakshuka

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Description

Whip up this one-pan smoky White Bean Shakshuka for a weekend brunch, but it is just as good for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!


Ingredients

Scale

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 (28 oz) can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
1 (15oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups packed baby spinach
4 large eggs
Salt, to taste Pepper, to taste
1/4 cup feta crumbles
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Red pepper flakes, if desired
Crusty bread or pita, for serving


Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet, preferably cast-iron over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook 2-3 minutes until tender and translucent. Add garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds.
  2. Add the smoked paprika, oregano, and tomato paste, consistently stirring for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. 
  3. Pour in the crushed tomatoes with their juices, beans, and spinach. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook for 5 minutes to give the flavors time to come together and spinach has wilted.
  4. Turn off the heat. Use the back of a spoon to make a well in the tomato/bean mixture and crack the egg directly into it. Gently spoon a bit of the tomato mixture over the whites to help contain the egg. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. 
  5. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 8 to 12 minutes. They’re done when the egg whites are an opaque white and the yolks have risen a bit but are still soft. They should still jiggle in the centers. (Keep in mind that they’ll continue cooking after you pull the dish out of the oven.) Cook to preferred doneness.
  6. Transfer the hot skillet to a heat-safe surface like the stove. Top with crumbled feta, fresh parsley, and red pepper flakes, if desired. Serve in bowls with crusty bread or pita on the side.

Notes

Don’t have an oven-safe pan or cast-iron pan? No problem! Once you have cracked the eggs into the skillet, lower the heat and place a lid on top and cook until the desired doneness.

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plate of white bean shakshuka with poached egg and a slice of bread

FAQ:

What if I don’t have a cast-iron pan?

Not a problem! Once you have cracked the eggs into the skillet, lower the heat and place a lid on top and cook until the desired doneness.

What if I can’t find fire-roasted tomatoes?

You can use regular crushed tomatoes for this recipe! If you are looking for an extra smoky flavor, then add a little extra smoked paprika.

What if I don’t prefer the smoky flavor?

Use plain crushed tomatoes and paprika (not smoked).