How to Find Good Tomatoes in the Winter

For tomato lovers, August is a sacred month—it’s the magical time of year when the farmer’s market overflows with ripe, juicy, heirloom tomatoes. These in-season beauties are delicious on their own, or as the star of a simple tomato sandwich. In the winter months, the selection is slimmer. Out of season tomatoes can pale, watery, and flavorless. Don’t despair just yet! The secret to how to find good tomatoes in the winter lies in plain sight. 

good winter tomatoes

Smaller tomatoes don’t need as many resources to ripen. They also have a lower water content, so they’re less likely to taste, well, watery. In the winter months, the smaller the better. Look for cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes. If you can find them, vine-on cherry tomatoes will be the best bet. Once you get your tomatoes home, be sure to store them properly to preserve flavor

Even in the depths of winter, cherry tomatoes will bring bright flavor to salads, pastas and grain bowls. These are some of our favorite tomato recipes to make all year long. 

Cherry tomato recipes

Spicy Beef Tacos with Cherry Tomato Salsa & Creamy Corn

beef and tomato tacos

These tacos feature jalapeños two exciting ways: fresh, in a simple salsa (your cherry tomatoes may be red or yellow), and dried, in the chipotle paste used to season the beef. Chipotles are smoked, dried red jalapeños, and their bold, savory flavor complements the beef’s richness. 

Salsa Verde Shrimp & Cavatappi Pasta with Tomatoes & Zucchini

shrimp and tomato pasta

Cavatappi pasta provides a perfect complement to the bright flavors and textures of sautéed shrimp and zucchini in this easy dish. It’s all brought together by a light sauce of mascarpone cheese and our piquant salsa verde.

Crispy Baked Chicken & Honey-Chipotle Sauce with Cilantro Rice & Tomatoes

breaded chicken with tomatoes

You’ll make a delightfully crispy, golden coating for chicken breasts by dredging them in spiced butter and cheesy breadcrumbs before baking in the oven to achieve a golden, crunchy exterior. They’re finished with a drizzle of spicy-sweet chipotle sauce and a topping of dressed tomatoes for welcome freshness and acidity.

Fried Egg & Pesto Grain Bowls with Spinach, Tomatoes & Feta Cheese

egg grain bowl with tomatoes

Kickstart your day with these flavorful breakfast bowls, which feature pesto-dressed farro topped with garlicky spinach, tomatoes, fried eggs, and tangy feta.

Romaine Salad with Mozzarella, Tomatoes & Fig Vinaigrette

tomato romaine salad

This vibrant salad gets deliciously sweet flavor from a simple fig jam and apple cider vinaigrette. It’s perfectly balanced by a bounty of crisp vegetables (romaine, tomatoes, and radishes) and creamy mozzarella.

Italian Chicken & Orzo with Bell Peppers, Tomatoes & Onion

chicken and tomato dinner

Classic Italian ingredients like olives, capers, crushed red pepper, and more come together to make the bright, zesty sauce that mixes into tender orzo pasta. It’s the ideal pairing for chicken seared with sage, oregano, and more Italian-style herbs and spices.

Meatball Pizza with Bell Pepper, Fresh Mozzarella, & Cherry Tomatoes

tomato meatball pizza

Tonight’s pizza is sure to be a household favorite. We’re topping our dough with fresh mozzarella, garlic, and green bell pepper, then baking it to meld those dynamic flavors. To top the pizza just before serving, we’re cooking meatballs—seasoned with classic Italian spices—in a savory sauce made from cherry tomatoes (yours may be red or yellow).

Turkey Piccata Meatballs with Zucchini, Tomatoes & Orzo

tomato turkey rice

In this spin on an Italian-American classic, we’re cooking our turkey meatballs and vegetables in a rich butter sauce that highlights fresh meyer lemon juice, briny capers, and garlic.

One-Pot Chicken & Creamy Spinach Rice with Olives & Marinated Tomatoes

Winter tomato one pot chicken

This wholesome dish features savory-seasoned chicken and rice mixed with creamy mayo, spinach, and roasted red peppers, which all comes together in one pot.

If you know how to find good tomatoes in the winter, you can enjoy the taste of summer all year long.

10 Tasty Taco Recipes for All of Your Dinner Needs

Tacos: they’re not just for Tuesdays. Tacos are a crowd-pleasing dinner any night of the week. Depending on the fillings that you choose, this versatile dish can be meaty or vegetarian. Tacos can be a quick dinner solution or an elaborate feast. Try some of our favorite taco recipes for dinner tonight. If you’re missing a few ingredients, it’s ok to get creative. Tacos are forgiving, you can substitute your favorite proteins or vegetables in almost any recipe.

Flour vs corn tortillas 

Traditionally, tacos should be served on two corn tortillas that have been warmed until soft. Corn tortillas are made from masa, a ground corn flour. They’re naturally gluten-free, and have a delicate corn falvor and a soft bite. Occasionally we like to mix up our taco recipes and flour tortillas, which are made from wheat flour, and are chewier and stretchier than their corn counterparts. 

Taco recipes 

Spicy Beef Tacos with Cherry Tomato Salsa & Creamy Corn

beef taco recipe

These tacos feature jalapeños two exciting ways: fresh, in a simple salsa (your cherry tomatoes may be red or yellow), and dried, in the chipotle paste used to season the beef. Chipotles are smoked, dried red jalapeños, and their bold, savory flavor complements the beef’s richness. To tame the heat, we’re serving it all atop a sweet, creamy layer of sautéed corn stirred together with sour cream, lime zest, and cilantro.

Spicy Chicken Tacos with Poblano Pepper & White Cheddar Cheese

chicken tacos with sweet potatoes

In this recipe, soft flour tortillas are toasted with a layer of melty cheddar cheese, then filled with a duo of sautéed chicken and poblano pepper. They’re perfectly matched by a side of fiery chipotle-roasted sweet potatoes and a bright, cooling lime mayo for dipping.

Steak Tacos with Fresh Tomato Salsa & Lime Sour Cream

steak taco recipe

Packed inside flour tortillas, slices of Mexican-spiced steak and a juicy tomato-jalapeño salsa find cooling contrast from bright lime sour cream, plus a side of zucchini sprinkled with cotija.

Spicy Black Bean & Caramelized Onion Tacos with Roasted Zucchini

vegetarian taco recipe

We’re using sharp cave-aged cheddar to create a melty layer on top of warm flour tortillas—the perfect base for our smoky, spicy, and rich filling. To accompany our tacos, we’re serving a side of roasted zucchini topped with fresh lime juice for a bright, tangy lift.

Cheesy Chicken & Poblano Tacos with Mexican-Spiced Fingerlings

cheesy chicken taco

In this recipe, soft flour tortillas are toasted with a layer of melty cheddar cheese, then filled with a duo of sautéed chicken and poblano pepper—perfectly matched by a side of Mexican-spiced fingerling potatoes and a cooling lime mayo for dipping. 

Veracruz-Style Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro & Lime Sour Cream

shrimp tacos

Veracruz, a Mexican state along the Gulf, is known for its delicious seafood dishes. For tonight’s Veracruz-style tacos, we’re filling soft flour tortillas with sautéed shrimp, marinated in a spicy paste made from smoked, dried jalapeños. Thin-sliced red cabbage and peanuts give the tacos plenty of satisfying crunch, while avocado and sour cream (brightened with a bit of fresh cilantro and lime) help balance the dish’s heat.

Veggie Tacos with Mexican Street Corn

veggie tacos

Tucked inside warm flour tortillas, bites of grilled poblano pepper, onion, and zucchini find cooling contrast from a layer of sour cream. For an easy take on Mexican street corn, or elote, we’re serving these tacos with a side of corn on the cob dressed with creamy lime mayo and tangy cotija cheese

Guajillo Pork Tacos with Smoky Sweet Potatoes & Lime Sour Cream

pork taco recipe

These zesty tacos get a smoky, flavorful boost from our guajillo chile pepper sauce, which we’re using to coat our pork filling as it cooks in the pan and also as a finishing drizzle for the tacos just before serving. We’re serving them alongside roasted sweet potatoes with a lime sour cream dipping sauce.

Mushroom & Potato Tacos with Romaine & Orange Salad

mushroom and potato tacos

For this hearty vegetarian meal, we’re filling soft flour tortillas with mushrooms and potato—seasoned with a zesty, chorizo-inspired blend, then roasted. A pickled pepper relish lends bright flavor to the tacos, all tied together with a creamy sauce seasoned with the same spices. Our side salad of juicy orange and crunchy romaine rounds out the dish.

Korean Pork Tacos with Spicy Red Cabbage Slaw

korean tacos

Tacos make for a quick, easy way to showcase delicious Korean flavors. Our saucy pork filling owes its kick of heat to gochujang, or Korean red chile paste­—which we’re also adding to a kimchi-inspired slaw of crisp red cabbage slaw. Tangy, vinegar-infused sour cream perfectly tempers the spice. (Mixing in a splash of rice vinegar brightens the sour cream and gives it just the right consistency for drizzling over the tacos.)

Leftover tortillas? Try these eight great dinner ideas with tortillas.

Recipe for Blue Apron Asian-Style Sautéed Aromatics

If you’ve ordered dishes like Korean Pork & Rice Cakes with Bok Choy or One-Pan Udon Noodle & Spicy Peanut Stir-Fry then you’ve cooked with Blue Apron’s Asian-style sautéed aromatics. 

It might seem like this prepackaged blend is a magical substance that makes every meal delicious, but it’s actually just a mix of common ingredients found in many Asian-inspired meals. We pre-package the mixture to save you cooking time, but if you want to recreate any of these recipes at home, it’s easy to make your own version with a few ingredients and a good knife. 

Chef Lili shows us how to make Asian-Style Sautéed Aromatics

Recipe for Asian-Style Sautéed Aromatics 

  • 3 Tbsps finely chopped peeled ginger, about one 3” piece 
  • 3 Tbsps finely chopped scallions 
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • 3 Tbsps neutral oil  

Prep and finely chop the ginger, scallions, and garlic. Use both the white and the green portions of the scallions.  

In a small sauce pot, heat the oil. Add the chopped aromatics, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 5-7 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally, until the aromatics are softened.

Use as a base for flavorful stir frys, noodle dishes, and more! 

Here are some of our favorite dishes using Asian-Style sautéed aromatics 

General Tso’s Chicken with Bok Choy & Jasmine Rice

General Tso's Chicken with Asian-Style Sautéed Aromatics 

Try making this classic takeout dish at home. Our recipe features a sweet and tangy sauce, bok choy, and soft jasmine rice. 

Chicken & Wonton Noodle Stir-Fry with Peas, Carrots & Cabbage

Chicken & Wonton Noodle Stir-Fry with asian-style sauteed aromatics

For this comforting stir-fry, we’re making a sweet and savory sauce to coat fresh wonton noodles, tender chicken, and crisp veggies—first cooked with our fragrant blend of sautéed aromatics for a boost of bright flavor.

Sweet & Savory Sesame Chicken with Vegetables & Jasmine Rice

Sweet & Savory Sesame Chicken asian-style sautéed aromatics

Tender chicken, bok choy, and carrots come together in the pan with a simple, flavorful sauce of tahini (a nutty paste made from sesame seeds), sweet hoisin, and ponzu. The fluffy rice soaks up any extra sauce. 

Korean-Style Beef Bowls with Bok Choy & Gochujang Mayo

Korean-Style Beef Bowls with Bok Choy & Gochujang Mayo

A simple drizzle of mayo mixed with gochujang—a savory paste made from chiles and fermented soybeans—deliciously brings together contrasting textures of tender beef, crisp bok choy, and crunchy marinated radishes.

Soy-Glazed Wonton Noodles with Red Cabbage & Soft-Boiled Eggs

Soy-Glazed Wonton Noodles with Red Cabbage & Soft-Boiled Eggs

In this quick-cooking dish, delightfully chewy wonton noodles and a duo of vibrant veggies are tossed with an umami-filled combination of black bean sauce, sweet chili sauce, and soy glaze. A rich soft-boiled egg served on top lends even more savory flavor to the noodles.

Hoisin Pork & Gochujang Rice Bowls with Mushrooms, Radishes & Marinated Cucumbers

Hoisin Pork & Gochujang Rice Bowls with Mushrooms, Radishes & Marinated Cucumbers

For these bowls, we’re mixing fluffy white rice with spicy gochujang, then topping it off with pork cooked with lightly sweet hoisin sauce. Crispy marinated radishes and cucumbers provide delightful cooling contrast.

Find more recipes like these with the online Blue Apron Cookbook.

Vegetarian Thanksgiving: 3 Tips for a Hearty Dinner

vegetarian thanksgiving

Let’s be honest: Turkey has never been the star of the holiday table. You can create a satisfying vegetarian Thanksgiving meal that’s bursting with fall flavors without a bird in sight. Follow these tips for a plant-based special occasion meal that everyone will love. 

Tip 1: Start with quality produce 

If you start out with delicious produce and flavorful extras, you’ll end up with a meal to be thankful for. Lean into the flavors of fall with hearty vegetables like delicata squash and Brussels sprouts. Add a pop of brightness with seasonal citrus. Nuts and seeds, like pepitas and almonds, add texture and richness that enhance roasted flavors. 

salad and pie

Tip 2: Embrace indulgence 

Being a vegetarian doesn’t mean that you only eat vegetables. Thanksgiving is the time to bring in comfort food. We’re talking carbs, cheese, and everything rich. Our favorite vegetarian Thanksgiving main is essentially a dressed-up mac and cheese. This year we’re serving a Three-Cheese Cascatelli Pasta Bake with Mushrooms, Spinach & Truffle Breadcrumbs. A decadent mix of cheeses makes this dish a little indulgent—perfect for a holiday meal. 

vegetarian thanksgiving main

Tip 3: Bring on the umami 

Savory, rich umami flavor can be a little hard to find in a vegetarian diet. It’s naturally present in meats and fish, but you have to look a little harder in the plant-based world. Mushrooms, including truffle zest, are a natural umami bomb. We’re using truffle zest to add a punch of flavor to our vegetarian main dish. Roasting vegetables is also a great way to enhance their savory flavor. A little dark brown caramelization will bring rich complexity to any dish. 

fall vegetables

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Menu

Wondering what to serve instead of a turkey? Here’s what’s on our table this year. 

  • Three-Cheese Cascatelli Pasta Bake with Mushrooms, Spinach & Truffle Breadcrumbs
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Calabrian Brown Butter Vinaigrette & Walnuts
  • Arugula & Orange Salad with Pistachios & Creamy Date Dressing
  • Smoky Delicata Squash with Pepitas & Almonds
  • Chocolate Mousse Pie with Whipped Cream & Candied Peanuts

The Blue Apron vegetarian holiday box will be available to ship starting November 7th. Stay up to date here.

7 Magical Quesadilla Recipes for Dinner

A quesadilla doesn’t have to be fancy. It’s delicious even in its simplest form—gooey cheese that’s been melted inside of a crispy tortilla. Any additional ingredients are strictly optional, but bulking up a quesadilla with vegetables, protein, and a topping or side dish is a great way to turn this beloved snack into a satisfying meal. Try some of our favorite quesadilla recipes for a dinner that everyone will love. 

Loaded Quesadilla Recipes 

Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas with Butter Lettuce & Pickled Pepper Salad

chicken quesadilla

These zesty Tex-Mex quesadillas are loaded with bites of spiced chicken and two kinds of melty cheese. Tender butter lettuce tossed with pickled peppers, peanuts, and creamy dressing rounds out the dish.

Spicy Mushroom & Onion Quesadillas with Guacamole

mushroom quesadilla

In these crispy quesadillas, mild monterey jack cheese delightfully melts around a rich filling of tender cremini mushrooms and onion—sautéed in chipotle chile paste (a specialty condiment made from dried, smoked jalapeños) for a kick of heat. In traditional style, we’re serving them with a topping of zesty guacamole.

Spicy Zucchini Quesadillas with Poblano Pepper & Fried Eggs

vegetable quesadilla

To top these zesty shredded zucchini and cheddar quesadillas, we’re making an easy take on rajas con crema, a comforting Mexican dish of smoky roasted poblano strips coated with smooth crema or sour cream. The rich yolks from our crispy fried eggs provide the perfect finishing touch

Cheesy Chipotle Black Bean Quesadillas with Caramelized Shallot

black bean quesadilla

These crispy quesadillas are loaded with melty cheese and a duo of saucy black beans and caramelized onion, which get deliciously smoky heat from chipotle chile paste.

Spinach & Sweet Potato Quesadillas with Queso Oaxaca & Guacamole

sweet potato quesadilla

These quesadillas pack plenty of cheesy, zesty flavor, thanks to queso Oaxaca (a delightfully stringy Mexican cheese) and a blend of cumin, paprika, cayenne and more. We’re also layering in a couple of seasonal additions: sautéed spinach and roasted sweet potato. Fresh guacamole and cooling sour cream, served on the side, make for tasty dipping or dolloping.

Spicy Pepper & Onion Quesadillas with Roasted Broccoli Salad

In this zesty Tex-Mex dish, quesadillas are loaded with melty Monterey Jack cheese and sweet peppers and onion—sautéed with chipotle chile paste for a kick of heat. A mashed avocado dipper provides cooling contrast for the spicy quesadillas, while creamy dressed broccoli tossed with roasted peanuts makes for a unique side.

Chicken Korma Quesadillas with Pickled Mustard Seed Veggies & Lime Sour Cream

We’re filling these flavorful quesadillas with monterey jack cheese and chicken cooked in our korma sauce––an Indian cuisine staple made from a blend of aromatics, coconut cream, cashew butter, and traditional spices like garam masala. For hearty complement, we’re serving it all alongside roasted carrots and poblano tossed in lime juice and pickled mustard seeds.

Missing a few ingredients? Just get creative! If you have tortillas, you can use just about anything to make dinner. 

Recipe: Succulent Coconut Shrimp & Sweet Chili Sauce 

coconut shrimp recipe

We’re celebrating a new ingredient arriving on the Blue Apron menu with this recipe for sweet & savory coconut shrimp. 

Unsweetened shredded coconut flakes are made from the meat of coconuts. The coconut is split, peeled, shaved into small pieces, and then dried. The coconut strips retain some natural moisture, giving them a pleasant, chewy texture. No sugar is added during this process, which makes these flakes a perfect addition to baked goods or savory recipes. 

Look for unsweetened shredded coconut flakes appearing on the Blue Apron menu, and get excited by making this classic Polynesian-inspired dish at home. 

coconut shrimp ingredients

Coconut shrimp ingredients

  • 1 lb Tail-On Shrimp (31 to 40 count), peeled and deveined
  • ½ cup All-Purpose Flour
  • ¼ cup Cornstarch
  • ¾ cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
  • ½ cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 2 Eggs
  • Sweet Chili Sauce (optional, for serving)

Coat the shrimp

Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper. Place the flour and cornstarch on a plate or in a shallow bowl and stir to combine; season with salt and pepper. Place the coconut and breadcrumbs on a separate plate or shallow bowl and stir to combine. Crack the eggs into a shallow bowl; season with salt and pepper and beat until smooth. Working one piece at a time, thoroughly coat the seasoned shrimp in the flour mixture (shaking off any excess), then in the beaten egg (letting the excess drip off), then in the coconut breadcrumbs (pressing to adhere). Transfer to a plate. 

Air-fry the shrimp:

Turn the air-fryer to 400°F. Working in batches if necessary, arrange the coated shrimp in an even layer in the basket. Drizzle with olive oil or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Cook 3 minutes, or until starting to brown. Flip the shrimp. Drizzle with olive oil or spray with nonstick spray. Cook 3 minutes, or until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and season with salt. Repeat with any remaining shrimp. Serve the finished shrimp with sweet chili sauce, if desired. Enjoy!

Learn How to Make Glaze at Home

hot honey glazed chicken
Hot Honey Butter-Glazed Chicken

Some of your favorite restaurant and takeout dishes are finished with a sticky cooked sauce, also known as a glaze. Replicating these dishes at home doesn’t have to be complicated. Learn how to make two basic glazes, then take these recipes and mix and match them with your favorite ingredients.

A glaze is basically just a cooked sauce. It can be used on vegetables or proteins. The important thing is that it has a sweet element, like honey or sugar. As the glaze cooks down this sweet element caramelizes, gets sticky, and forms a beautiful glossy coat on whatever you’re cooking. This can be accomplished by baking or heating in a frying pan, depending on your desired results. Cooking in a pan creates a smooth, glossy sauce. Baking yields a sticky coating and bring in tons of caramelized flavor.

how to make glazed meatloaf
Hoisin-Glazed Meatloaf

We use this technique in Blue Apron recipes all the time. Two of our favorites are this Asian-inspired hoisin glaze, seen here on a pork meatloaf, and a sweet and spicy hot honey glaze, which we love to spoon over chicken.

Watch the video below to see Chef Lili Dagan demonstrate these recipes, and pick up a few tips for making them at home. After you’ve perfected the process, it’s time to get creative. You can pair these sauces with any protein or vegetable that you enjoy eating.

If you loved this video, check out our guide to making better pantry pasta.

What is 898 Squash?

898 squash

This fall we’re digging into 898 squash—an adorable, travel-sized squash that fits in the palm of your hand. 898 squash is an all-new squash bred by the folks at the Row 7 Seeds Company. Their mission was to pack the sweet and nutty flavor of butternut squash into a tender, single-serving package.  

The Row 7 Seeds Company is dedicated to breeding and crossbreeding better-tasting produce. The selection in American supermarkets is generally limited to one or two cultivars per item. For example, there are over 200 hundred varieties of potatoes available in the United States, but you’ll probably just find russet, sweet, and maybe red potatoes at your local market. The problem is that the varieties that end up on grocery store shelves are often selected for their durability and shelf-life, not their flavor. Row 7 Seeds company is a collaboration between chefs and farmers that hopes to change that. When breeding new seeds, whether for squash or tomatoes, flavor is their top priority. 

How to cook with 898 squash 

baked 898 squash

898 squash can be used in any recipe that calls for butternut squash. It’s delicious roasted with olive oil, mashed up with cheese, or pureed into a sweet and nutty soup. The smaller size (when compared with butternut) shortens the cooking time of this squash. It’s also, conveniently, the perfect serving size for two. 

Recipes with 898 squash

Parmesan-Baked Chicken & Cheesy Pesto Squash with Artichoke, Balsamic Onion & Romaine Salad

chicken dinner

Baked squash, smothered in pesto and melty cheese makes an unbelievable fall side dish. 

Steaks & Creamy Dijon Pan Sauce with Cheesy Mashed Squash & Green Beans

Mashed squash flavored with truffle butter and parmesan is a refreshing alternative to mashed potatoes when paired with seared steaks and a vegetable side.

Try 898 squash at home—look for this new ingredient featured on Blue Apron menus throughout the fall.

10 Perfect Steak Dinners

Following a high-protein diet? Celebrating? Just in the mood for a meaty dinner? Beef is a satisfying, versatile protein. We’ve collected 10 of our favorite steak dinners for all of your carnivorous needs. Whether you’re craving a classic American meat and potato plate or Korean-inspired cuisine, there’s a meal you’ll love on this list. 

Steaks & Brown Butter Sauce with Mashed Potatoes & Fried Rosemary

This classic dish is elevated by a rich, nutty sauce made from brown butter and garlic, and a sprinkle of delicately crispy, pan-fried rosemary. The sophisticated toppings deliciously bring together our juicy steaks, smooth mashed potatoes, and tender roasted carrots.

high-protein steak dinner with mashed potatoes

Spice-Rubbed Steaks & Basmati Rice with Summer Squash, Figs, & Garlic Labneh

Tonight’s vibrant steak dinner is seared with a complex blend of spices—including herby za’atar, citrusy cardamom, and sweet, aromatic allspice—for deeply browned exteriors. Fluffy basmati rice studded with figs and almonds adds contrasting pops of texture to the dish, completed by tender squash and sweet peppers.

high protein dinner with rice

Korean-Style Steak & Rice Bowls with Mushrooms, Bok Choy & Snap Peas

These vibrant bowls feature a bed of fluffy rice topped with tender sautéed vegetables, spicy gochujang-marinated cucumber, and juicy flank steak—all brought together with a drizzle of our irresistibly savory black bean and honey sauce.

korean steak dinner

Steak Tacos with Fresh Tomato Salsa & Lime Sour Cream

These vibrant bowls feature a bed of fluffy rice topped with tender sautéed vegetables, spicy gochujang-marinated cucumber, and juicy flank steak—all brought together with a drizzle of our irresistibly savory black bean and honey sauce.

steak tacos

Seared Steak & Garlic-Herb Red Rice with Lemon-Parsley Sauce

These vibrant bowls feature a bed of fluffy rice topped with tender sautéed vegetables, spicy gochujang-marinated cucumber, and juicy flank steak—all brought together with a drizzle of our irresistibly savory black bean and honey sauce.

rice and beef dinner

Parisian Steak Frites with Roasted Broccoli & Lemon Aioli

Make a simple steak dinner with this herbaceous take on steak frites. A dollop of thyme-infused butter served over the steaks and a side of aioli (a traditional condiment perfect for dipping) add French-inspired flair.

steak and potatoes dinner

Steak & Eggs with Quick Kimchi Fried Rice

steak and eggs

Steak & Tempura Green Beans with Maple-Soy Pan Sauce & Aromatic Rice

Here, seared steaks are drizzled with a rich, savory-sweet pan sauce of soy glaze, maple syrup, and butter, then served alongside crispy tempura-fried green beans and scallions, plus a bed of aromatic rice to soak up all of the delicious flavors.

high protein dinner with steak

Fennel-Spiced Steaks with Garlic Roasted Potato & Green Bean Salad

A bit sweet and pleasantly herbal, fennel seeds are the key to tonight’s gourmet meal. We’re using them both whole and ground to season our steaks, along with rosemary and sage: in a hot pan, the blend forms a delicious crust. The dish comes together with roasted potato, tossed with aromatic garlic oil, and a sophisticated salad of crisp green beans, shaved parmesan, marinated shallot, and almonds.

beef beans and potatoes

Steak Fajitas with Peppers, Onion & Refried Beans

For this crowd-pleasing dish, you’ll fill warm flour tortillas with an irresistible combination of tender sliced steak, sautéed peppers and onion, and more. For hearty compliment, tender pinto beans are mashed with chipotle chile paste and caramelized onions, then finished with zesty fresh lime juice.

fajitas dinner

Ready to get cooking? Learn how to sear the perfect steak at home.

Blue Apron Box Design & Packaging Through the Years

This post was contributed by Gaurav Kale. Kale is the Director of Packaging with Blue Apron and leads the Blue Apron box design, development, strategy, testing and deployment of all packaging.

Times have changed since 2012, and so has the Blue Apron box. Over the past 10 years, our recipes, products, and packing have all evolved. Join us as we take a look back at how our design and packaging have developed since that first delivery.

Blue Apron Box Design Timeline

2012

Our first Blue Apron box was packed and shipped from Brooklyn, NY. It included three recipes—seared hanger steak, barbecue Cornish game hen, and lemongrass shrimp with soba noodles. Check out our original logo printed on the top flap!

original blue apron box design

2014

By 2014 the brand had grown to include a design team. As a result, the branding, packaging, and Blue Apron box design got an update.

blue apron box design 2014

2016

In 2016, Blue Apron partnered with GreenBlue, a non-profit organization and parent company to the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, to understand our packaging baseline and analyze the impact our packaging has on the environment. 

Blue Apron joined the How2Recycle® program, a respected standardized labeling system that clearly communicates recycling instructions to the public.  Through this partnership, we started working on designing custom recyclable plastic packaging for automation based on the organization’s guidance.

2017

In 2017 Blue Apron introduced new box packaging, reflective of its newest branding.

Before
After!

2019

Blue Apron was honored to accept the 2019 Innovation in Design Optimization Award from the Sustainable Packaging Coalition.

This is awarded to companies that “demonstrate the creative and significant work that our industry does to advance sustainability in packaging” according to the Sustainable Packaging Coalition.

In 2019, Blue Apron became the first meal kit company to introduce drain-safe, fully recyclable gel packs (developed in partnership with Nordic Ice). Our packs were so impressive that we received the 2019 Packaging Innovation Award from Dow.

These award-winning gel packs replaced our old polymer ice packs. The polymer version worked well, but it wasn’t recyclable. We’re always looking for opportunities to improve the sustainability of our product, and we knew the ice packs had to be tweaked. The current version of the ice packs can be safely drained down the sink. Once emptied, the plastic exterior can be recycled via in-store drop off. 

blue apron ice packs

2020

Blue Apron launched a dynamic packaging decision making system based on box contents and forecast weather. With the help of Blue Apron-designed technology, we optimize our packaging based on various attributes of a customer’s weekly meal kit order. This allows for the appropriate packaging configuration with the goal of ensuring safe delivery, while reducing the amount of packaging used.

blue apron box design

Blue Apron became the first meal kit company to create custom packaging in accordance with How2Recycle program, a respected standardized labeling system that clearly communicates recycling instructions to the public. Blue Apron partnered with How2Recycle to make it easier for customers to recycle the materials used in its packaging. The How2Recycle label includes clear and concise information on how to prepare materials for recycling, its classification, and guidance on accessibility, such as materials likely to be accepted curbside or through store drop-off.

blue apron box design 2020

2021

Blue Apron announced a new sustainable packaging goal for its meal kit boxes of 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable by the end of 2025. To achieve its new packaging goals for its meal kits, Blue Apron plans to continue to build on its progress by:

  • Using dynamic packaging: With the help of Blue Apron-designed technology, the company optimizes its packaging based on various attributes of a customer’s weekly meal kit order. This allows for the appropriate packaging configuration with the goal of ensuring safe delivery, while reducing the amount of packaging used.
  • Identifying new packaging opportunities: Blue Apron’s packaging engineering lab conducts regular tests on new materials and innovative solutions to identify opportunities to reduce environmental footprint, including improved recyclability and increased post-consumer recycled content. This lab facilitates collaboration between members of the Packaging Engineering, Food Safety and Quality Assurance, Operations, and Corporate Social Responsibility teams.
  • Engaging the right partners: To ensure accountability and support progress toward its goals, Blue Apron continues to engage reputable, third-party partners. This includes How2Recycle®, a respected standardized labeling system that clearly communicates recycling instructions to the public, and Sustainable Packaging Coalition, a leading voice in packaging sustainability.
blue apron box design 2021

Gaurav Kale was elected as an Executive Committee member at Sustainable Packaging Coalition.

2022

Blue Apron introduced paper-based liners in its boxes. These liners are 100% recyclable and are one step closer to meeting its sustainable packaging goal for the meal kit boxes of 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable by the end of 2025.

blue apron box packaging

Blue Apron introduced new box packaging, including custom Blue Apron box design for its special occasion boxes. This new offering are limited-time, seasonal meal kits that will be available throughout the year to help bring special occasions to life. The options will include recipe formats that feature ‘best of the season’ proteins, produce and ingredients for a premium and memorable experience. The new category launched with a Summer Lobster Box and a Tailgating Box.

blue apron box design 2022

Enjoy this trip down memory lane? Relive some of your favorite recipes from past years with the Top 10 Blue Apron Recipes of All Time.

3 Ways to Improve your Pantry Pasta

A pantry pasta is always there for you. Even if you don’t particularly feel like cooking, you can make a satisfying dinner with a few basic ingredients on hand.

The formula is simple. Our favorite pantry pastas start with noodles, whatever alliums you have around (garlic, onions, and shallots are all invited to the party), and pretty much any green vegetable. Start with a little olive oil, salt, and red pepper flakes, and you’ve got an easy dinner ready to go. 

When we feel like transforming this dish into something special, we like to add a fun topping. These toppings bring in more texture and flavor. They can turn a humble weeknight dinner into a rustic main that could happily grace the table at a dinner party. 

pantry pasta with breadcrumbs
A simple pasta topped with breadcrumbs

The best part is, the fun doesn’t stop there. Once you’ve learned how to make these toppings you can use them to add flavor and oomph to salads, steaks, and roasted vegetables. Watch the video to see chef Lili Dagan demonstrate how it’s done, and find the topping recipes below. 

Three ways to take your pantry pasta to the next level 

Toasted breadcrumbs 

Garlicky breadcrumbs will add a spicy crunch to pasta, roasted cauliflower, or salads. Follow step three in the recipe above to learn how to make this simple topping at home. You can make this at home with flaky Panko breadcrumbs, or make your own bread crumbs by throwing some stale bread in the food processor. 

Fried herbs 

Fried herbs, nuts, and brown butter instantly bring rich fall flavors and a pleasant crunch to any dish. These topping pairs beautifully with pasta, but would also turn roasted squash into a stunning side. Our recipe starts with fried sage, but you could substitute sage for another hearty herb, like rosemary or thyme. 

Lemon caper compound butter

Compound butter can be made ahead of time and stored in the freezer. If you already have a batch chilled, adding it to pasta is as simple as slicing off a piece, melting it in a pan, and then tossing noodles to coat. If you don’t, you can mix up a batch as you’re making dinner, and then save the rest for your next steak dinner. Adding this lemon caper butter to noodles adds a silky text and a bright pop of lemon caper flavor. 

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more tips from our chefs.

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.