From breaking scientific studies, surveys, and special promotional events, to the latest and greatest creations in fast food, drinks, and snacks, we’ve skimmed off the cream of the crop and are serving it up in fun and informative bite-sized pieces that are still enough to chew on.
Chili can be a surprisingly contentious subject (even before you dare to mention canned chili); so many cooks insist there’s a “right” way to make it, and every other way is dead wrong. Even those who stay out of the fight likely have their own personal idea of perfection. Most probably have one or two secret ingredients they deem essential to the dish. Some aren’t too surprising—chocolate, liquid smoke—while others might raise eyebrows (fish sauce, bourbon).
This cool weather classic is certainly eminently tweakable and open to experimentation, which is why you can easily end up with an ingredients list running to the dozens of items, with a pinch of this here, a soupçon of that there. But that’s OK, as long as you remember to write down all the things you’re adding so you can replicate the results next time (do as I say, not as I do).
Whether you believe beans and/or tomatoes in chili are anathema or a must-have, and whether you like all the meat or none at all, you’ll want to build layers of savory complexity in the pot (or slow cooker). These additional flavor agents help do just that.
Related Reading: The Best Meat Delivery Services & Butcher Subscription Boxes
Still, don’t forget to toast your spices, make homemade chili paste if you have the time, thoroughly brown your meat, simmer low and slow, and take care of all those other basics while you’re at it. These secret ingredients are flavor boosters, after all, so they should be added to an already-solid foundation.
Here are some of the most common (and most effective) flavor boosters to add to your chili recipe.
Booze (Beer, Wine, or Liquor)
Beer chili is a whole genre, and adding a bottle of your favorite brew is a wise move, but other kinds of alcohol can add their own little something-something. A smaller amount of red wine imparts richness, depth, and body to beefy chili (like a larger amount does to boeuf bourguignon), and a shot or two of liquor like bourbon—even vodka or tequila—toward the end lifts the other flavors without obviously announcing its own presence. Still, as you were warned in college, you’re best off choosing one booze and sticking to it rather than mixing them.
If you want to add a smoky dimension to your chili, this is a no-brainer, although if you’re opposed to the oft-maligned ingredient, a few teaspoons of chipotles in adobo makes a nice substitute, as does smoked paprika. You could also use bacon, but most commercial brands are actually treated with liquid smoke to give them that characteristic tang—so you may as well reach for the bottle in the first place. (You can also mash-up these first and second options by adding a smoked beer to your chili.)
Brine or Vinegar
A few tablespoons of brine from a jar of pickled jalapeños (or any sort of pickles, really), stirred in at the end as a finishing touch, adds a bright acidity that perks everything up. Plain white vinegar can work the same magic trick—even balsamic or apple cider vinegar, if you want a suggestion of sweetness too.
Not just for stir fries, a few dashes of soy sauce enhances the umami savor of your chili, and is good for adding some meaty depth to veggie chilis too. Liquid aminos can do the same. You might even try miso in small doses.
This serves the same purpose as soy, really: emphasizing meaty umami notes and bringing a little piquant salt. Added judiciously, it doesn’t taste at all like fish once stirred into the pot. Some people even use a couple anchovies as a briny, umami-rich component that melts away into the other ingredients.
Similar to but more complex than soy sauce, liquid aminos, and fish sauce, Worcestershire sauce is another great umami amplifier; that’s why it turns up in Bloody Marys, after all. (And while traditional Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies, you can find vegan Worcestershire too if you need to boost your meatless chili.)
Coffee or Espresso Powder
A moderate amount of bitter, roasty espresso, strong-brewed black coffee, or instant coffee granules will beef up the deep, complex flavors of chili, and work well alone or in concert with a little chocolate.
Added in the form of cocoa powder or unsweetened baking chocolate, this secret ingredient adds another subtle bass note, but you can also try dark chocolate that contains some sugar for a twin touch of sweetness, or even sandy Mexican chocolate (with dark sugar and cinnamon already added) to complement the spicy, acidic, and umami flavors.
Cinnamon is a fairly common addition to chili, but you can also use small amount of nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and other sweet spices to make it more aromatic. Even a bit of star anise can enhance the beefy, spicy flavor of chili without being too licorice-forward (add too much, though, and it may taste more like pho).
Some people swear by peanut butter to add a little fatty oomph to leaner veggie chilis, but it also shows up in meaty versions, from turkey to beef (and, hey, peanut butter burgers are a thing). Using a natural peanut butter will give you that creamy richness and nutty nuance without too much added salt and sugar.
Dark, slightly smoky, and a little sweet in a caramelized way, molasses is another method of adding a certain je ne sais quoi to your chili. Use unsulphured molasses, dark if you like a stronger flavor, but stay away from the blackstrap variety, which is much more bitter.
Marmite or Vegemite
Divisive though they may be, European imports Marmite and Vegemite are both complex, strong, salty flavor bombs that boost the baseline tastes of your chili. You don’t need to go out of your way to buy either one, but if you happen to have a jar in your pantry, why not scoop a smidge into the pot?
While some degree of moderation is probably prudent, you can absolutely deploy several of the above secret weapons in a single batch of chili.
I always do, and certified food genius J. Kenji López-Alt uses a whole bunch at once for his favorite chili, so be bold, add extras in small doses to start (like, one teaspoon at a time), and taste often.
And don’t let anyone bully you into thinking your chili is bad because it’s not authentic! Even if you go with more idiosyncratic additions, like yellow mustard, pineapple, Coca-Cola, apple butter, and grape jam, what’s important is that you like eating it.
Try one of the secret-ingredient chili recipes below to get you started, and experiment as you see fit.
A little liquid hickory smoke, Worcestershire sauce, and a bottle of hoppy IPA add their charms to this ground beef and bean chili—which comes together in the slow cooker, always a bonus. Get the Slow Cooker Beef Chili with Beer, Liquid Smoke, and Worcestershire recipe.
A quick and easy chicken chili with bell peppers and black-eyed peas gets a lift from pickled jalapeño brine. It doesn’t make it too spicy, but if you want more heat, chop some of the peppers themselves for garnishing your bowl. Get the Chicken and Black-Eyed Pea Chili with Jalapeño Brine recipe.
Cincinnati chili is a great regional style, traditionally served over spaghetti (and beans if you want ’em), although you can skip the noodles if you prefer. It’s generally saucier and more finely textured than other chilis, and usually includes unsweetened chocolate or cocoa powder and warm spices like cinnamon (so add a stick to the simmering pot if you want to have that flavor along with the called-for cloves here). This version melts in three ounces of dark chocolate right at the end for extra richness, with a shot of sherry vinegar to brighten it up a bit. Get the Chocolate Lover’s Cincinnati Chili recipe.
Meatless chili can still be, well, meaty, as this hearty veggie version proves. With complexity and depth from chocolate stout, actual bittersweet chocolate, espresso powder, and molasses, it’s delicious even if you can’t find the vegan chipotle sausage called for. A squirt of lime provides the final spark of acid. Get the Vegetarian Chipotle and Chocolate Stout Chili with Espresso Powder recipe.
If you like a chunky chili, this one is chock-full of tender hunks of beef, augmented with homemade chili powder and dried beans rather than canned. There’s also some molasses, cocoa powder, and mild lager in the mix (you could swap in a darker porter or stout for sure). A small amount of cornmeal adds even more body to the chili and is another good secret weapon to keep in mind. Get the Chili con Carne with Molasses, Cocoa Powder, and Beer recipe.
Another meat-free recipe, this pumpkin and butternut squash chili is smoky from chipotle, silky with pumpkin puree, and elevated with a hefty half cup of bourbon—but since it’s added earlier on, most of it cooks off, while still lending great flavor that’s perfect for fall. Get the Chipotle Bourbon Pumpkin Chili recipe.
This Instant Pot chili is ready in less than an hour, but additions of soy sauce, fish sauce, and cocoa powder make for a deep, hearty, super-savory bowl despite the short cook time. Get the Instant Pot Chili with Cocoa, Fish Sauce, and Soy Sauce recipe.
If you prefer sipping a glass of vino to cracking a cold one, try a robust red wine in your beef chili for a welcome change. You’ll still want to pile on plenty of cheese, as usual. Get the Beef and Red Wine Chili recipe.
This turkey chili not only includes tequila, lime, and a touch of honey, but starts with a panade (which sounds fancy, but is just white bread soaked in milk), mixed into the meat to keep the lean turkey moist during the long cooking time—another nifty trick worth incorporating into your chili even if you don’t do alcohol. Get the Tequila and Lime Turkey Chili recipe.
Our final veggie chili relies on a bit of peanut butter to add richness, cocoa powder to deepen the flavor, and a squeeze of lime to make everything pop. You can try adding peanut butter to beef chili too if the notion appeals. Get the Peanut Butter Vegetarian Chili recipe.
Check out all our other chili recipe ideas and stories for more ways to warm up and stay full.
It’s fall, which means its time to pay tribute to that iconic mascot of the season. As a food, as a piece of natural art, and as an enduring symbol of autumn, pumpkins are practically perfect in every way. So here’s all our best pumpkin content to honor them.
If you’re not certain about squash’s preeminence, please allow us to present some of the evidence in their favor: They’re incredibly healthy; they come in all sorts of enchanting shapes, shades, and sizes; almost every part is edible, from skin to seeds; they’re cooked in cuisines all over the globe; they’re great for decorating your space all fall; and they even make fantastic (if polarizing) beer that’s the alcoholic answer to the PSL!
Seriously, squash is hot. Check out all our premium pumpkin content and see if you don’t come away with a new appreciation of the almighty gourd. (Which is, by the way, technically a fruit, since it’s a seed-bearing structure—though we often treat it like a vegetable, which is yet more proof of its versatility.)
From pumpkin recipes to the art and science of squash, this is everything you need to know about fall’s beloved orange icon.
It’s cheaper, healthier, and tastier too, thanks to real pumpkin puree, homemade pumpkin spice, and maple syrup. Plus, you can make it vegan if you want to. Get our DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe.
You can buy pumpkin-packed products and pumpkin spice everything everywhere these days, but TJ’s has some of the very best. We picked our favorite Trader Joe’s pumpkin products for 2020, including both brand-new items and old standbys.
As in, you can eat the entire thing (well, except the stem). See how to use the whole pumpkin in dessert.
Yes, you can eat gourds for breakfast too. Our mini pumpkin baked eggs recipe with a butternut squash and bacon hash is the most adorable and delicious way to start the day on any autumn weekend.
Still hungry for something different? Try these pumpkin recipe ideas for even more options, both savory and sweet.
Making grub from gourds is a global phenomenon, and for good reason. They’re nutritious, delicious, and versatile enough to star in all sorts of dishes. Get pumpkin recipes from other countries.
It’s a little more than just a spoonful of sugar, so be sure you always grab the right can (and know when you can substitute). Find out the finer points of canned pumpkin vs pumpkin pie filling.
Gourds are great for giving a seasonally festive feel to your home, from Halloween through Thanksgiving, no matter what your style (and ambition level). It’s worth looking at the DIY pumpkin succulent planter, at the very least. Get ideas on decorating with pumpkins for fall.
Sure, it’s a matter of semantics, but we like to know exactly what we’re getting. And the history of how cucurbits ended up in pies—and in cans—in the first place is an interesting one. Discover the truth about pumpkin pie.
Now, that’s a great pumpkin, Charlie Brown! Here’s how people grow those gargantuan gourds—and what it’s like to compete in giant pumpkin contests (surprisingly lucrative, in some cases). Learn the secrets to growing giant pumpkins.
We break down the science of the flavors we fall for every autumn. Even if you don’t like ’em in your latte, these warm spices will work together to win you over. See what pumpkin spice is made of (and how to make your own).
If you’re suddenly craving that warm fall flavor, check out the best pumpkin spice products to buy online right now. (And see even more in our pumpkin spice product taste test from last year; some were smashing, and are still available in 2020.)
Should you prefer to DIY, we collected the best pumpkin spice recipe ideas that go way beyond pie and lattes, including some savory options for dinner.
Turns out, you might have George Washington to thank—or blame—for pumpkin beer! And is there actually pumpkin in it? Slake your thirst for knowledge and find out how pumpkin beer is made and who invented it.
These unusual squashes are eye-catching and palate-pleasing, but they can be hard to find, so get thee to a pumpkin patch, posthaste. Or take a virtual tour of interesting and uncommon kinds of winter squash.
If you’re feeling the urge to hit up your nearest farm stand, STAT, Yelp curated the the best pumpkin patches in America, and we picked a few of our own. Even if you don’t have a kid to entertain, your inner child will have tons of fun—you could even see corn boxes, pig races, and a pumpkin-eating dinosaur. Plus, you can pick up delicious things to eat along the way.
They’re perfect, they’re beautiful, they look like Linda Evangelista—I mean, they’re a nutritional powerhouse. And they are definitely a model member of the superfood club. Discover the health benefits of pumpkin for even more reasons to love eating them.
These are the right tools for the job—of pretending you’re competing on “Halloween Wars” (or just pulling off the best jack-o-lantern on the block). See how to carve a pumpkin like a pro, and pumpkin carving tools that make it even easier to create a monsterpiece.
Don’t throw them out! These pumpkin seed recipe ideas range from roasting them at home to making them into pesto and salsa, and even turning them into brittle and bark (we are approaching peak candy season, after all).
We have plenty of pumpkin recipe ideas in addition to the ones already mentioned above, but here are a few more worth spotlighting:
This pillowy pumpkin sourdough focaccia recipe is just the thing to pair with all your fall soups and stews.
For a sweeter take, this is our executive editor’s pick for the best pumpkin bread recipe of all time.
This easy pumpkin cake recipe is so good it could even sway those on Team Pie. The warm spices and rich chocolate cream cheese frosting are simply fantastic.
There are many well-known fall fruits and vegetables none of us can seem to get enough of—apples, pumpkins, pears, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, figs, cranberries, mushrooms, pomegranates, and so on—but there are also bushels of underappreciated autumn edibles we urge you to try if you haven’t yet had the pleasure.
The season is ripe (pun intended) for eating nutritious and comforting veggie-centric recipes—and not just the carveable kind.
“After cooking light in the warmer months, it’s great to start working with deeper, richer and hearty ingredients, with a variety of different applications,” says Greg Grossman, co-founder and president of meal delivery company Kettlebell Kitchen.
Read ahead for the most appetizing fall produce that flies under the radar:
Also known as celery root, this versatile vegetable may not be much to look at it, but it’s packed with fiber, minerals, and antioxidants. It also tastes great in any form; raw, its nutty crunch is perfect for fall slaw and salad. Cooked, it mellows out and picks up a little sweetness—and works pureed in soup, mashed in place of potatoes (or mixed in with them), or roasted or sauteed for stuffing, gratins, and other sides. You can even shred it and turn it into latkes!
A close relative of the carrot, parsnips bring a bit of sweetness to the root vegetable family. “Parsnips have an impressive level of vitamin C, which can boost eye health and aid in fighting macular degeneration,” says Grossman. They’re also high in fiber and folate, which together with vitamin C can boost your heart health, Grossman says. Puree them as a replacement for mashed potatoes or serve them roasted in lieu of carrots. Try our Honey-Mustard Parsnips recipe.
These bitter little members of the chicory family are good sources of vitamin A, fiber, and phytonutrients including kaempferol, which has anti-inflammatory benefits. Raw, endive has fabulous crunch but needs to be offset by other, sweeter flavors (like in these endive bites with figs, pecans, and blue cheese), but you can also braise it to tone down the bitterness and make it silky soft. This Braised Endive recipe from Emily Wight’s “Dutch Feast” pairs it with bacon and mustard sauce.
The reddish leafy vegetable is not only a source of a slew of B vitamins that help metabolize fat, protein, and carbohydrates, radicchio is also high in vitamins C and K, good for the immune system and bone health, respectively. “Radicchio is one of my favorite (and vastly underrated) vegetables,” Grossman says. “I love charring it and serving with an acidic vinaigrette, gremolata, and lots of fresh herbs.”
For an unconventional approach to radicchio try our Radicchio Risotto recipe.
You know broccoli, but what about its bolder, cooler cousin, broccoli rabe? Rich in vitamins and minerals like calcium, folate, and iron, broccoli rabe has a pleasing bitterness and takes well to all the same preparations as your usual florets. Roast it, steam it, or saute it with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper; add some anchovies if you like, or pair with the sweetness of caramelized onions.
Food of the gods? Yup, that’s what the Latin name for the tree this fruit comes from translates to. It’s little wonder then that the fruit is so delicious. “They provide a heaping amount of powerful antioxidants, are rich in fiber and can help fight inflammatory stress throughout flu/cold season,” says dietitian Megan Sewards, M.S., R.D. Add persimmons to a salad, cook them into a jam or skip over your usual fruit picks and serve them fresh over yogurt, Sewards says.
Related Reading: 7 Wild Ingredients to Forage for This Fall
Searching for a crunchy veggie to chow down on this fall? Look no further than this herb. Along with being rich in vitamin C (good for the immune system!), fennel is also packed with important minerals like magnesium and iron. Add them to veggie juice blends or bake them with a bit of olive oil and grated parmesan for a side dish, says Sewards. “They also can be eaten raw as a crunchy snack, much like celery,” she says.
Keep things simple and serve up our Shaved Fennel and Pistachio recipe.
Related Reading: The Ultimate Guide to Fennel, From Fronds to Seeds
A quince is a hard fruit that looks a bit like a yellow-green apple/pear hybrid, but even tart food fans won’t want to eat one raw. They’re extremely astringent so are always cooked, often into quince paste (aka, membrillo) to be paired with cheese per Spanish tapas tradition. They also turn up frequently in stewed or baked desserts, but try them in our Tunisian Lamb Stew recipe for a savory take. There haven’t been that many studies as to their health benefits (underappreciated, remember?), but they are full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and may help soothe your stomach.
These purple- or green-skinned vegetables are loaded with antioxidants. If you love eating broccoli stems (and if you didn’t know you could, you can!), kohlrabi may taste familiar. It’s a mild, slightly sweet veggie that’s good raw or cooked, and though it looks like a root vegetable (or an alien egg pod), it’s actually related to the brassicas: cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli. In German, the name means “cabbage turnip.” Try mashing it to top our Kohlrabi Shepherd’s Pie recipe, roasting it for a side to salmon, or using it in Mock Potato Salad. Or just thinly slice for slaw or salad.
Rutabagas are rich in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. You’ll recognize them at the store by their ivory-into-purple coloring and squat shape (the green tops are usually trimmed off before you see them). Their slightly bitter flavor gets sweeter when roasted or sauteed; try sharpening them back up with mustard and scallions, or simply simmer until tender and blend into our silky Smoked Paprika and Rutabaga Soup recipe.
Beets: simply unbeatable when it comes to their color, flavor, and health benefits. And it’s not that these are unknown so much as unwelcome on many tables. But we think they should be part of everyone’s fall feasts!
“This root vegetable is known for its deep rich ruby color and an earthy flavor that turns mellow and sweet when cooked,” says Megan Casper, M.S., R.D.N., dietitian and owner of Nourished Bite Nutrition. People who drink beet juice before an intense workout can keep going 16 percent longer, Casper says, adding that the vegetable is great raw on salads, added to a juice, or roasted and sprinkled with walnuts and vinaigrette. “Don’t forget the greens, which can be sauteed or steamed,” Casper says.
These little tubers are also called sunchokes (they’re related to sunflowers, but have nothing to do with Jerusalem, nor do they taste like artichokes). They’re high in potassium and iron, plus a great source of prebiotic fiber. The taste and texture are fairly similar to potatoes, although unlike spuds, they’re good eaten raw—with one caveat. The inulin that makes them such a great prebiotic food does also mean they can have unwanted digestive side effects when eaten raw or in large quantities. If you’re not scared off, try our Jerusalem Artichokes with Crispy Prosciutto recipe.
Swap out your standard spuds for the more colorful blue potato. “Not only do these peculiar potatoes look gorgeous, but they also can help lower and regulate blood pressure, help prevent blood clots, and are packed with nutrients and antioxidants,” says Julie Joffrion, fitness nutrition specialist at All Inclusive Health. Try this variety as mashed potatoes, roasted wedges, or a fall potato salad, she suggests.
Grapes are a great healthy snack, though you should also try adding them to salad and even cooking with them; the darker their skin, the higher their levels of beneficial antioxidants. But besides your usual black or red table grapes, you may have spotted these oblong specimens that resemble tiny eggplants in autumn. They’re Moon Drop Grapes and they’ve been specially bred (but not genetically modified). They taste a lot like other black seedless grapes, but are sweeter and have a crunchier texture, as well as a much shorter season. Take full advantage of it by simply snacking on them, or add to a cheese plate or the aforementioned salad.
Acorn squash always seems to play second fiddle to the more well-known butternut squash, but try it once and it will likely take a top spot in your rotation. “The truth is, acorn squash tastes just as sweet and is also loaded with potassium, vitamin A and C, fiber, and magnesium,” says certified nutritional health counselor Sara Siskind, founder of Hands On Healthy.
Halve the acorn squash, toss the seeds, and place a mixture of chopped pistachios, quinoa, golden raisins, with cumin, salt, pepper, and olive oil inside each half of the squash and bake on 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes. “You can serve this dish as a delicious complete meal of protein, heart healthy fat, fiber, and nutrients,” Siskind.
Check out all the other winter squash you should seek out while you’re at it!
Kelsey Butler wrote the original version of this story in 2018. It has been updated with additional images, links, and text.]]>
Though you may initially associate gardening with warming spring weather or the dog days of summer, the fall can actually be an ideal time to use your green thumb. Autumn is a prime time for planting many herbs that thrive in cooler weather, like cilantro, mint, parsley, rosemary, thyme, and more. You already know how using herbs can spice up some ho-hum dishes and add an additional kick to your favorite cocktails, but these ingredients can also contribute a slew of health benefits. Cilantro, for example, can combat inflammation, while mint is thought to promote digestion, and rosemary has antibacterial properties.
Given all the positives, you likely don’t need any convincing that having fresh herbs at your disposal will be a boon for both your palate and your health. But how exactly can you set up an herb garden if the only thing you’ve planted recently is yourself…on the couch? We’ve laid out a few simple steps.
First things first, the most important thing is location, location, location. If you’re in an apartment or home without outdoor space, find a window sill or ledge near a window that has plenty of light, since your garden will need sun exposure for at least four hours per day. Pick out some pots for each herb (at least six inches in size), checking that each one has drainage holes, which are key to ensuring that your plants’ roots aren’t sitting in stagnant water. You’ll also likely want to pick up saucers for each pot, to protect any surface that you’re putting them on.
Related Reading: How to Dry Fresh Herbs
If you’re in a milder climate, you can also opt for an outdoor garden. The same rules apply: select a sunny spot. Make sure that if you’re using larger pots, they have drainage holes, or if you are planting directly into the soil, check that your soil will drain well and is clear of stones.
The next step is figuring out what exactly to plant—depending on what hardiness zone you live in, it may be warm enough to grow pretty much anything all fall, including warm weather lovers basil, tarragon, and dill. But even in cooler climes, certain herbs grow well into the autumn. According to Bonnie Plants and Savvy Gardening, some of the best choices for your fall herb garden are:
Once you’ve figured out location and what to grow, you can get to the actual planting part, which will start inside, regardless of where your final garden will end up. The best option is to use a seed starting potting mix, which will allow for proper draining and is lighter than garden soil, and fill up each vessel nearly to the top.
Create a hole for your seeds, using either your hands or a small shovel. The exact depth will vary depending on the specific herb, which should be outlined on the seed packet. Cover the hole back up and return your pots to your preselected sunny area. Regularly water your plants to keep soil moist but not sopping wet. You can also opt to use a fertilizer every one to two weeks to help the plants flourish.
If you’re keeping your plants indoors, then, boom, you’re done and free to enjoy your garden as it grows!
If you plan to move your herb garden outdoors, then you’ll have to ready your outdoor garden for a transfer, about a month and a half to two months after the initial planting. If you haven’t already done so, prepare the planting bed to make sure it is free of stones, and has the adequate soil. The best is loam, which is light and has a loose structure that helps with drainage. If you don’t have adequate soil outdoors, you can improve it by adding peat moss or compost to the area.
Loosen each of your existing plants from their pots to get them ready to be moved. Dig holes in your outdoor garden for each of the plants, ensuring that you leave enough room between them (some plants, like mint, require much more room) and that the spaces are deep enough for the plants to be completely in the ground. Take your loosened plants out of their pots and place them into the ground, making sure that the roots are fully in the hole. Fill the remaining hole with soil and tamp it down lightly to make sure the plant is secure. Finally, continue to water and fertilize as you did before, to keep herbs healthy.
Once your garden is in full bloom, you can use your harvest for a host of different meals. Add them to fall veggie “chicken” nuggets or anything you’re roasting; mix them into easy beer bread batter or into compound butter for brushing onto sliders, baked potatoes, and meat; and sprinkle them into salads and on top of soups.
See our 21 Ways to Use Fresh Herbs Before They Go Bad guide, or read on for some specific recipes where your homegrown herbs will be front and center!
This salad is all about letting fresh ingredients (like those last precious farmer’s market tomatoes you’ve been eyeing) shine. Not to mention, you’ll get some use out of the basil and parsley you’ve grown yourself. Get our Herbed Heirloom Tomato Salad recipe.
Related Reading: The Best Ways to Use the Last Summer Produce You Can Find
These delicate, crepe-like omelets are absolutely packed with fresh herbs (any combination you like), and filled with crème fraîche or sour cream, although you can use whatever other fillings you want, like cheese and ham, or cooked vegetables. Get our Fresh Herb Omelets recipe.
If your parsley plant is getting out of control, snip off a whole one and half cups for this terrific tofu recipe; it’s crusted in herbs, garlic, and pistachios, roasted with sweet tomatoes and onions, and topped with a vibrant red chimichurri sauce (you can use fresh oregano in it if you’re growing that too). Get this Pistachio-Crusted Tofu with Red Chimichurri recipe.
Looking for an even healthier version of store-bought hummus? This veggie-centric recipe is the perfect centerpiece for a drool-worthy snack platter, but if you’re fresh out of fresh basil, swap in another herb (just not super strong ones like rosemary or sage, since a little goes a long way; you can add those in smaller quantities). Get our Spinach and Basil Hummus recipe.
Losing track of your thyme? Six tablespoons go into the rub for these hearty braised short ribs. If you can’t find bison, it’s just as good with your standard beef short ribs too. Get our Thyme-Rubbed Bison Short Rib recipe. (And serve it with a salad dressed in our Fresh Thyme Vinaigrette recipe.)
Fresh oregano and cilantro give this spicy, herby Peruvian sauce its verdant character, but there’s a lot more going on in the flavor department too. You can (and should) put this on everything: fish, chicken, steak, roasted veggies… Get the Peruvian Aji Verde recipe.
If you thought all recipes featuring herbs were savory, think again. These homemade cookies will satisfy your sweet tooth and make you never want to reach for a box mix again. Get the Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe.
Herb, citrus, and seafood form a holy trinity for this delicious pasta dish. Even better? This meal will be ready in less time than it takes you to watch your favorite network comedy. Get our Fast Lemon Parsley Shrimp Pasta recipe here.
Say buh-bye to dry, sad chicken! This meal takes poultry from “meh” to “wow” with the help of rosemary, soy sauce, and white vermouth. Get our Roasted Rosemary and Lemon Chicken recipe here.
Slender green chives are often used as a mere garnish, but these biscuits fold a full 1/4 cup into the batter. Serve with stew, roast meat, or as the base of a Benedict. Get our Lemon Chive Biscuit recipe.
This is a simple meal that sings with flavor; the potato gnocchi are easy to make, and only need some fresh sage sizzled in butter and a sprinkle of parmesan to make a comforting fall meal. Get our Potato Gnocchi with Sage Butter recipe.
Yet another way to use your fresh sage besides rubbed on your Thanksgiving turkey: Chop some up and fold it into the pumpkin filling for these easy popovers with chorizo. They’re a perfect snack, starter, or side dish for an autumn meal, and they use crescent roll dough so they come together in a flash. Get the Pumpkin Poppers recipe.
Few things go together better than basil and pasta. For a unique spin, sample this take on spaghetti which boasts a creamy pesto, thanks to the added avocado. Get the Creamy Avocado Basil Pesto Spaghetti recipe.