No-Bake Banana Cream Tiramisu Recipe

banana tiramisu

We love summer, but sometimes the heat makes us want to stay out of our kitchens. When a dessert craving strikes but it’s way too hot to think about pie, we turn to no-bake options. This banana tiramisu combines the flavors of two beloved desserts: banana cream pie and tiramisu.

Grab a bunch of ripe bananas, brew a little espresso, layer and chill. It’s the perfect dessert a summer dinner party, but you might just love it so much you’ll want to make it all year round.

banana tiramisu ingredients
Banana tiramisu ingredients

Banana cream tiramisu recipe

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 oz mascarpone cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 8 oz chilled coffee or espresso
  • 4 medium bananas, thinly sliced
  • 1 box vanilla wafer cookies
  • Cinnamon, for serving

Place the softened mascarpone in a large bowl. In a separate large bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer), combine the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla. Beat on medium-high 2 to 4 minutes, or until stiff peaks form. Transfer half the whipped cream to the bowl of softened mascarpone and mix to loosen and combine. Transfer the remaining whipped cream to the bowl and gently fold until just combined. 

Line the bottom of an 8 by 8-inch square baking dish with an even layer of vanilla wafter cookies; leave as little empty space as possible (some overlapping cookies are okay). Evenly top the cookies with half the iced coffee or espresso, then top with an even layer of sliced bananas.

Gently dollop half the whipped mascarpone cream on top of the bananas and spread in an even layer. Repeat with another layer of wafer cookies and the remaining coffee, bananas, and whipped mascarpone. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours, or up to overnight. Just before serving, dust the top of the finished tiramisu with cinnamon (and espresso powder, if desired). Enjoy!

decorate banana tiramisu
Dust with cocoa powder for an easy, beautiful finish

Still have a sweet tooth? Find some of our other favorite dessert recipes here.

Blue Apron Tomatillo Poblano Sauce

tomatillo poblano sauce

Recreate Blue Apron’s signature tomatillo poblano sauce at home. You can use this recipe to replicate your favorite Blue Apron meals, or you can improvise. Try it on any protein, bean dishes, or roasted vegetables. For a creamy kick, stir a spoonful into yogurt or sour cream to make a rich sauce.

This recipe makes more than our standard packages, but don’t worry. The leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to a week. You can use them to spice up everything from breakfast tacos to seared steaks.

Tomatillo poblano sauce ingredients
Tomatillo poblano sauce ingredients

Tomatillo poblano sauce recipe

  • 6 medium tomatillos, about 1 lb, husks removed, rinsed, and left whole
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1  jalapeño, whole
  • 1 poblano, whole
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
  • The juice of 1 lime, about 2 tablespoons
  • 1 small bunch cilantro leaves and tender stems, about 20 grams

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 450°F. Line a sheet pan with foil. Transfer the prepared tomatillos, onion, jalapeño, poblano, and garlic to the sheet pan. Drizzle generously with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and arrange in an even layer. Roast 14 to 16 minutes, or until the vegetables are browned and tender when pierced with a knife. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Remove and discard the stems from the roasted poblano and jalapeño. Transfer the roasted vegetables to a blender or food processor. Add the lime juice and cilantro. Pulse or blend until thoroughly combined and mostly smooth. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Enjoy!

Recipes with tomatillo poblano sauce

Southwest-Style Turkey Skillet

This delightful skillet brings together all the classic taco fixings: black beans, melty cheese, tomatoes, and creamy guacamole for a crowd-pleasing meal.

Tomatillo-Poblano Chicken Thighs

chicken thighs with tomatillo poblano sauce

 This dish showcases our bright tomatillo-poblano sauce, which we’re mixing with rich mascarpone cheese to make a creamy, zesty sauce for our seared chicken—perfectly accompanied by a trio of roasted squash, potatoes, and onion.

Pepita & Panko-Crusted Tofu

tofu with tomatillo poblano sauce

These hearty tofu steaks get an incredibly flavorful, crispy exterior when baked under layers of traditional Mexican spices, sweet honey, and a duo of panko breadcrumbs and chopped pepitas (or pumpkin seeds). We’re finishing them with a drizzle of our bright tomatillo-poblano sauce, which also gets stirred into a simple side of brown rice.

Mexican-Spiced Shrimp Bake

Bold, zesty flavors abound in this comforting dish thanks to spices like smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and more that coat the shrimp, vegetables, and crunchy breadcrumb topping, and a zesty tomatillo-sour cream sauce that’s drizzled on top.

For more flavorful sauces, try our favorite pesto recipe.

The Top 10 Blue Apron Recipes of All-Time 

We’re celebrating our birthday with a look back at some of our favorite recipes throughout the years. The Blue Apron menu is always changing. We introduce new ingredients and techniques every year. We love every meal we make, and it’s hard to play favorites. These are some of our all-time most memorable dishes.

2012: Barbecue Cornish Game Hen with Coleslaw & Sauteed Corn

cornish game hen recipe

Barbecue chicken with slaw and corn is traditional across the American South. Flavors of the sauce itself can vary from state to state. Ours has a terrific balance of sweet and tangy notes and coats a Cornish game hen in place of chicken. We spice up the typical coleslaw and corn with sesame oil and cilantro. It’s a flavorful twist on an American classic.

2013: Maple & Ginger Glazed Salmon with Watercress, Orange & Parsnip Salad

maple ginger salmon

Parsnips have been a staple food in Europe and Asia since ancient times. They resemble carrots in shape and texture, but have a cream-colored, uniquely flavored flesh. Though they can be harvested year round, the best parsnips are plucked in spring, after the winter frosts. Cold weather turns some of the starch in parsnips to natural sugar and preserves their crunch, making them the perfect, subtly sweet addition to this salad.

2014: Thai Shrimp Soup with Coconut, Lemongrass & Red Curry

coconut thai shrimp

In this recipe, we’re using lemongrass, an ancient Southeast Asian herb, two different ways. First, we’re smashing one of the stalks, and simmering it in the coconut milk broth to infuse the dish with flavor. We’re also thinly slicing another stalk and briefly sautéing it with other aromatics (garlic, ginger and scallion). This step brings a wonderful crunch to the rich curry, adding texture and brightness to each bite.

2015: Chicken & Sage Biscuit Pot Pie with Cremini Mushrooms & Purple Top Turnip

chicken pot pie

Chicken pot pie is the ultimate comfort food. We love breaking through a flaky pastry crust into a rich stew of chicken and vegetables. Here, we’re doing something special with the crust: replacing it with mouthwatering, fresh sage-infused biscuits. These “drop biscuits” (named for the technique of spooning them onto a filling) have an amazing effect: the stew steams the dough, creating an almost dumpling-like bottom, while the top becomes golden brown, crumbly and utterly delicious.

2016: Steaks au Poivre with Crispy Fingerling Potatoes & Sautéed Kale

steak and potatoes

Steak au poivre, or peppered steak, is a French bistro classic. It features steak coated with a layer of cracked peppercorns, then served under a peppercorn cream sauce. We’re doing just that in this recipe, making our pan sauce with smooth crème fraîche. And we’re completing the steaks with fingerling potatoes­—boiled, then browned on the stove until perfectly crisp (a preparation known in French as “pommes rissolées”)­—and a light sauté of Parmesan-enriched kale.

2017: Shiitake Mushroom Burgers with Miso Mayonnaise & Roasted Sweet Potato

mushroom burger

Chefs, the secret to these burgers’ spectacular umami (or savory) flavor is dried shiitake mushrooms, which pack even more potency than their fresh counterparts. After rehydrating the mushrooms with a bit of hot water, we’re adding them directly to our patties, along with hoisin sauce for a salty-sweet touch. A creamy spread of mayo and miso paste is the perfect complement to the juicy burgers.

2018: Spicy Chicken & Stir-Fried Vegetables with Jasmine Rice

chicken stir fry

In this dish, a coating of rice flour on chopped chicken just before it hits a hot pan creates a delicate crust—perfect for soaking up a flavorful sauce made with spicy sambal oelek. It’s balanced by fluffy jasmine rice and vegetables stir-fried in a tangy-sweet sauce.

2019: Spicy Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry with Persimmon Rice

chicken stir fry

This easy stir-fry brings together tender bites of chicken, bok choy, and carrot with a unique sauce made with miso paste, ponzu sauce, and Thai yellow curry paste—for savory-sweet flavor and a layer of bright heat. It’s served over simple jasmine rice, which gets a sweet lift from persimmon, an autumn fruit beloved in many Asian cuisines.

2020: Ginger Pork Meatballs with Bok Choy & White Rice

pork meatballs

We’re giving these pork meatballs an aromatic twist thanks to the fresh ginger mixed in. It’s all boosted by the punchy combo of barbecue sauce and soy glaze we’re using to finish the meatballs and tender bok choy.

2021: Calabrian Beef & Gnocchi with Zucchini & Romano Cheese

gnocchi with beef

Plump gnocchi and ground beef get a delicious kick from Calabrian chile paste, a specialty ingredient from southern Italy known for its irresistibly sweet-hot flavor. We’re finishing it all with a bit of mascarpone cheese, which balances out the heat and provides creamy texture.


All done with dinner? Keep celebrating with a slice of birthday cake.

How Sparkling Wine is Made 

Sparkling wines are synonymous with celebration, but they can also be full of complex flavors that make them exceedingly food-friendly. Here’s a closer look at what it takes to get a bottle of bubbly on your table. 

Blue apron sparkling wine
Try our new sparkling wines

How sparkling wine gets its bubbles

There are several different methods for creating bubbles in sparkling wine. Winemakers chose a method based on their budget, location, and desired flavors.

Méthode champenoise

The méthode champenoise, also known as the traditional method, is the classic way of producing sparkling wine in Champagne, France. The key element of this method is that the wine undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle. The fermentation produces carbon dioxide, which is trapped in the bottle and absorbed by the wine. This creates a fine, delicate carbonation. 

Charmat method

In the charmat method, which is commonly used to create Prosecco, the secondary fermentation occurs in a steel fermenting tank. Compared to the traditional method, the charmant method is simpler and less expensive. 

Ancestral method

This is the oldest method of creating sparkling wine. In this process, the wine is bottled before the initial fermentation is complete. The fermentation finishes in the bottle, creating light carbonation. This method is inexpensive, but can be difficult to control. Today, it is commonly used to create wines labeled pétillant naturel, sometimes referred to as “pét-nats.” 

Carbonation method

In the carbonation method, a still wine is created from start to finish and then carbonated in a pressurized tank. No secondary fermentation occurs. This method is generally only used in lower-quality, bulk-produced wines. 

How méthode champenoise wine is made

Vinification  

Grapes are harvested and fermented into a still, dry wine. This base wine is known as a cuvée

Tirage 

The cuvée is bottled with the addition of a tirage, a liquid solution of sugar and yeast. The tirage kick starts the second fermentation. 

Secondary fermentation 

As the additional yeast cells consume the remaining sugar, they give off carbon dioxide, which creates gas and pressure. Because the bottle is sealed, the wine is forced to absorb the gas, creating carbonation. At this stage, the dead yeast cells remain in the bottle, and are known as the lees. The lees impart delicate, toasty flavors into the wine. 

As the added yeast cells consume the remaining sugar, they give off carbon dioxide. The sealed bottle traps the gas, and the wine is forced to absorb it, creating carbonation. The yeast cells that remain in the bottle are known as the lees. The lees impart delicate, toasty flavors into the wine. 

Riddling 

During riddling, bottles are stored upside down in a slanted rack and rotated. This allows the yeast cells to settle in the neck of the bottle.

Disgorging

To remove the spent yeast cells, the neck of the bottle is quickly frozen. The wine is opened, and the dead cells are forced out by the pressure in the bottle. 

Dosage 

After the yeast cells are removed, a dosage may be added. A dosage is a mixture of wine and sugar, which is added to round out the flavors of the wine. The amount of dosage determines the sweetness of the finished wine. Brut and extra brut wines receive little to no dosage. 

After the yeast cells are removed, a dosage may be added to round out the flavors of the wine. A dosage is a mixture of wine and sugar. The amount added determines the sweetness of the finished wine. 

Cork & cage 

After the wine is finished, it’s closed with a cork. The carbonation creates pressure in the bottle, so a metal cage to keep the cork in place. Each cage is closed with a loop that requires precisely six twists to open. 

The finished wine closed with a cork. Carbonation creates pressure in the bottle, so a metal cage is used to keep the cork in place. Each cage is closed with a loop that requires six twists to open. 

Our new sparkling bottles

The Blue Barrel Brut, Blue Barrel Brut Reserve, and Blue Barrel Brut Rosé are made using méthode champenoise, the most complex and respected method for producing sparkling wine. Our sparkling wines are full of bright acidity and beautiful aromatic fruit that make them easy to enjoy with almost any meal. It’s always a good idea to keep a bottle handy.

Learn more about how to pair these wines here.

Homemade Snacks: Creamy Avocado Dip

When an afternoon snack craving hits, creamy avocado dip will pick up your energy and lift your spirits right away.

avocado dip ingredients

Avocado delivers the kind of creamy satisfaction that normally only comes from foods that are a little bit less healthful than this popular, irresistible fruit.

Creamy Avocado Dip Snack
Creamy Avocado Dip Snack

This isn’t guacamole. We’ve created a creamier dip by switching up the texture with some added sour cream. A generous addition of chopped cilantro adds even more bright green flavor, and a little bit of minced pepper keeps everything perky. Pack up a serving and add it to your lunchbox or keep the ingredients in the fridge and mash up some dip for an after-work snack.

Creamy Avocado Dip Snack

Read on for the full recipe.

Continue reading “Homemade Snacks: Creamy Avocado Dip”

Introducing the Blue Apron Tailgating Box

This fall, get ready for game day with Blue Apron. Host an at-home watch party or a family movie night with our new Tailgating box, inspired by classic game day treats. Recreate the ultimate viewing party experience at home with hearty, elevated party snacks.

Skip menu planning stress and last-minute trips to the grocery store with this party in a box. All the ingredients you need are delivered straight to your door. Our chefs designed this menu to be both satisfying and snackable. These crowd-pleasing dishes are finger-food friendly—forks and spoons are strictly optional. 

The Menu

Queso Fundido with Chorizo & Fresh Tomato Salsa

A cheesy, meaty delight topped with fresh salsa for a refreshing kick.

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Sandwiches with Buttermilk Dressing & Carrot Slaw

Flavorful chicken gets a spicy kick from hot honey, all sandwiched between soft, fluffy buns. 

BBQ Pulled Pork Tacos with Mango Salsa & Guacamole

Make your own tropical salsa for these satisfying pork tacos. Don’t worry about elaboration prep—we’re sending peeled and pitted mango and cooked pulled pork. Just chop, sauté, and go. 

The Tailgating box is portioned to serve 8 people. It will be available on the menu and in the marketplace starting 9/5. With a menu like this, your party is sure to be a hit. Even if you’re not watching the game, you’ll want to come for the food.

Celebrate 10 Years of Blue Apron

This month marks 10 years since the founding of Blue Apron. To celebrate, we’re taking a look back at some memorable moments from our past. We’ve developed hundreds of recipes and spent countless hours in the kitchen together, all for the love of food. 

From our very first meal to our latest menu additions, we’ve loved cooking with you. We can’t wait to see where the next ten years will take us. 

Vegan Tahini Ice Cream Recipe 

vegan ice cream with tahini

Make vegan ice cream at home without an ice cream maker. This no-churn dairy-free ice cream gets its creamy texture from one of our favorite ingredients: tahini. 

Soom was founded by three sisters with the mission to share the childhood flavors that they loved with the world. As they grew up, they realized the tahini available in American grocery stores paled in comparison to the selection abroad. They decided to take matters into their own hands, and Soom was born. Today, Soom supplies all of the tahini for Blue Apron meal kids. 

Tahini is made from ground sesame seeds. Sesame seeds are filled with protein and have a naturally rich flavor. A tablespoon of Soom tahini has 6 grams of protein, all from plants. 

Creamy, luscious sesame seed tahini makes a perfect base for vegan ice cream. This recipe combines tahini with coconut milk for body and swirls of sweet date syrup. It tastes a bit like traditional butter pecan ice cream, but it’s 100% vegan. Top off your bowl with pecans or chocolate chips (or both!) for an added crunch. 

No-churn vegan ice cream with tahini and date syrup 

Ingredients

  • 2 14 oz. cans coconut cream (if you can’t find it, you can sub full-fat coconut milk for a less creamy result)
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup Soom Premium Tahini
  • 4 Tbsp Soom Silan Date Syrup, divided
  • 1 Tbsp tapioca flour (can sub cornstarch)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • Chopped toasted pecans and/or chocolate chips for serving, optional

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the coconut cream, sugar, tahini, 2 tablespoons of the silan date syrup, tapioca flour, vanilla, and salt. Whisk to combine. Bring mixture to a gentle boil, whisking frequently as the mixture comes together. Once boiling, reduce heat slightly and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, until it thickens slightly. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  2. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, and pour in the cooled ice cream mixture. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface. Freeze for 3-4 hours, or until the ice cream is semi-frozen, enough to still be able to stir it around to swirl in the remaining silan date syrup. Remove from the freezer and drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons silan date syrup over the ice cream. Using a knife, swirl the silan date syrup into the ice cream.
  3. Press the piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface and let freeze for an additional 4-6 hours, or overnight. Once ready to eat, remove from the freezer 30 minutes or so before you want to consume, so that it’s easier to scoop. Garnish with chopped pecans and chocolate chips, if desired. Serve.

Find more dessert inspiration here.

A Letter from Blue Apron’s CEO on our 10-year Anniversary

To our community of home cooks,

Blue Apron is celebrating its 10 year anniversary, and this year is important to us and to you for a variety of reasons. Between gas prices, food inflation, and a volatile economic environment—bringing value, wellness, and human connection to people all over the country is more important than ever.

Throughout the past decade, we built a network where we source approximately 80% of what goes in the box directly from producers and farms, which in turn, allows us to bring quality ingredients to home cooks everywhere. Over the years, we have grown and scaled that network to play an even more important function today—bringing you value during a time where value is hard to find.

With our direct sourcing model, we are able to offer those quality ingredients at competitive pricing. We do so without compromising on quality of ingredients and still adhere to our animal welfare standards: no added hormones, no subtherapeutic antibiotics, seafood we seek to source sustainably, and quality produce, while keeping our pricing below the inflationary standard. In fact, we have even compared the prices of ingredients in select recipes to ingredients of similar quality in grocery stores across the US markets, and we offered lower cost.*

But cost isn’t the only benefit. Since our founding, we’ve worked to operate our business in a way that mitigates our impact on the world around us. We’ve limited our food and packaging waste, both within our operations and in your homes. And this year, we became a carbon-neutral company, offsetting estimated upstream and downstream emissions that range from sourcing, packaging, and transporting our products. Now you can confidently cook with us, knowing that we offset the impact of your box on our climate.

And finally, we’ve delivered on these benefits, while growing our product selection. Today, we have over 60 menu options for you to choose from each week, including easy breakfast and lunch meals to help you eat well throughout the day to Premium dishes to elevate any experience. 

These past 10 years have taught us a lot—and many of those lessons came from you. Without your dedication and feedback, we could have never gotten to this place. I want to thank you for every single review you left, every #letsblueapron photo you shared, and for inviting us into your homes for moments both big and small. 

All month long, we’ll be celebrating all that we do for the love of food—including sharing all-time top recipes, our favorite customer reviews, and a special first-of-its-kind sweepstakes. Make sure you’re following us on social media to take part in all the fun. 

Thank you again for everything—here’s to the next 10 years. 

Cheers,

Linda

Linda Findley, President and CEO, Blue Apron

*Internal research comparing sample Blue Apron Recipes to comparable groceries in Indiana and New York as well as San Francisco and Cincinnati

How to Make a Perfect Steak

Making yourself a steak? That’s self-care. There’s something so satisfying about creating a golden brown sear on a beautiful piece of meat. If you learn how to make a perfect steak, you’ll always be able to create a meal for at-home dates, special occasions, or occasions where you’re simply very hungry. Follow our tips for the best results.

how to make a perfect steak

How to make a steak at home

Bring the meat to room temperature

To achieve a golden brown exterior without overcooking the interior, you want to cook the meat quickly. If you start out with cold meat it has to warm up before it begins to caramelize.

Heat up the pan

You want your steak to start sizzling as soon as it hits the pan. If the pan isn’t hot enough, the steak will steam instead of searing. Any moisture lingering in the pan will prevent browning.

make a perfect steak in a pan

Season both sides

Adding salt and pepper to both sides of the steak adds flavor and helps create a golden brown crust.

Feel for texture

Sear the steak on both sides for several minutes. The exact timing will depend on the thickness of your cut, but you’ll be able to tell when the steak is done by feel. Press on the steak with the tip of a finger (be careful not to burn yourself!) It should feel firm to the touch, but still slightly springy.

Let it rest

Letting meat rest preserves moisture. A few minutes on the cutting board will give the juices time to redistribute themselves. That way they won’t all run out when the steak is sliced. This is a perfect time to use the browned fond to create a pan sauce.

Slice against the grain

For the best texture, slice meat against the muscle the grain. Once the meat is cooked, you should be able to see the lines of the muscle fibers running across it. Slice perpendicular to these lines to create tender pieces of steak that will fall apart in your mouth.

Once your steak is sliced, pour a glass of wine and enjoy. If you liked the video, subscribe to our channel.

Here’s How to Small Dice a Carrot Really Fast

how to dice a whole carrot
Whole carrots, pre small dicing

For chefs, knife skills are a non-negotiable. To work in a restaurant, you have to have several styles of cut down pat. Small dicing is one of these essential kitchen techniques. Whether it’s a potato, onion, or carrot, a small dice is about 1/4 inch square. This would be extremely simple if all vegetables started out as perfect cubes. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Rounded vegetables like carrots tend to roll around, and can be tricky to dice evenly. Learn how to dice a carrot safely with these easy tips.

Start by washing and peeling your carrots to prepare for chopping.

Next, create a flat surface. Cut your carrot in half lengthwise to form two long planks.

Lay the planks down on the newly formed flat sides, this will create stability for the rest of your cuts.

Cut each plank in half lengthwise to form 4 long carrot sticks.

Line the sticks up, so that you can cut across all 4 sticks at the same time. Make even cuts all the way across, about 1/4 inch apart.

Watch the video below to see our chef demonstrate just how easy this knife cut is.

Now that you know how to dice carrot, you’re ready to get cooking. Try this technique for recipes like. Try some of our favorite recipes with diced carrots.

Recipe with diced carrots

Za’atar Beef & Carrots with Zucchini Rice & Lemon Mayo

A hearty duo of spiced beef and carrots is perfectly matched by white rice laden with tender bites of zucchini and currants.

Seared Chicken & Glazed Carrots with Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes

The flavor of fig—a Mediterranean fruit beloved for its rich, densely sweet complexity—elevates the irresistible glaze for tender sautéed carrots in this dish. 

how to dice and glaze a carrot

Smoky Chicken & Creamy Cilantro Sauce over Spicy Carrots & Farro

This vibrant dish is bursting with exciting flavors thanks to the blend of smoky spices.

chicken with diced carrots

Ramen Noodle & Spicy Peanut Stir-Fry with Mushrooms, Carrots & Bok Choy

Hearty, delightfully chewy ramen noodles are a comfort food staple perfect for pairing with umami-rich sauces, like the combo of smooth peanut butter spread, soy sauce, sambal oelek, and more that we’re using in this dish

Want to try this at home? You’ll need a good knife. Check out our guide to essential knives for your home kitchen.

How to Tame a Raw Onion’s Bite

This post was contributed by Lori Yates from Foxes Love Lemons. Today we’re talking raw onions, one of the most common, most flavorful ingredients in our pantry.

raw red onion

I have a love-hate relationship with red onions. My grocery store sells the most amazing chicken salad sandwiches. They’re made with just a few simple ingredients—chicken, celery, dried cherries, red onions, and mayonnaise. One day I attempted to save money by making them myself at home. Unfortunately, my first attempt was a disappointment. The problem? The harsh flavor of the raw onion overpowered everything else in the sandwich, even when I significantly reduced the amount. The whole thing just tasted like an onion salad sandwich, and it left my breath in a sad state of affairs for hours after.

raw onion on a burger

My struggles came to an end in culinary school. During several of my classes, the students were in charge of running the restaurant at the front of the school. One of the most boring (but necessary) tasks was prepping ingredients for side salads. We peeled and thinly slice red onions and then soak them in a big bowl of ice water. The onions soaked in the water at least 10 minutes, but they can really sit in there for several hours while you finish the rest of your daily tasks. After soaking, the onions were drained, patted dry, and refrigerated until lunch service started.

The sulfur compounds that give the raw onions their pungent, harsh flavor dissipate in the bowl of water, leaving the resulting onion with a more mellow flavor. When you use cold water, the onion remains super crunchy. In fact, if you have a slightly older onion that is getting a bit soft, the cold water will make it crunchy again.

soaking raw onion

I’ve had hundreds (thousands?) of simple restaurant side salads in my life, but none are as good as the ones we made at my school. The harsh bite of the red onion was completely tamed by the cold water. The flavor of the onion came through without that spicy, burning feeling in your mouth and nose. Better yet, there was no terrible onion aftertaste for the rest of the day.

Try this trick for salads, sandwiches, tacos, or any dish where you want a little flavor of onion, but don’t want that to be the only thing you taste.