How to Prepare Shrimp for Cooking 

prepared shrimp

Cooking a shrimp dinner is easy. These small crustaceans just need a few minutes in the pan to transform into a juicy, delicious meal. Choosing shrimp can be a bit more confusing. You’ll find a plethora of shrimp options at your local grocery store. Jumbo, colossal, peeled, frozen, and fresh—purchasing one bag of shrimp can require a lot of decision making. Read on to learn how to buy and prepare shrimp for cooking. 

What’s the difference between jumbo and colossal shrimp? 

Labels like small, large, jumbo, and colossal refer to the size of the shrimp for sale. Shrimp are measured by weight, and the size refers to the number of shrimp it would take to make up a pound. It takes 16-25 jumbo shrimp to reach a pound. For colossal shrimp, there will be fewer than 15 shrimp per pound. 

Larger shrimp aren’t necessarily better, but they may be better suited for some dishes. If you’re grilling whole shrimp, a jumbo or colossal shrimp is less likely to slip through the grates. For a seafood pasta, large or medium shrimp will do nicely and cost less. 

Fresh or frozen shrimp 

The vast majority of shrimp for sale in U.S. supermarkets are frozen or have been frozen at some point. Shrimp are very perishable. To extend their shelf life, most shrimp are flash frozen as soon as they’re caught. The “fresh” shrimp in the seafood case at the grocery store is no exception. Most often, the shrimp in the seafood case is the same shrimp that they’re selling in the freezer aisle, just thawed and displayed. Once frozen shrimp have been thawed, they should be used quickly. Unless you’re planning to cook immediately, it’s better to buy the frozen shrimp and thaw them yourself. 

Make sure your frozen shrimp are thoroughly thawed before cooking. To speed up this process, place the frozen shrimp in a colander and run them under cold water (don’t use warm).

Do I need to devein shrimp?

prepare shrimp vein
This is is the digestive tract, which should be removed

Shrimp are available in several states of processing. You can find pre-cooked, pre-peeled, deveined with shell on, or whole shrimp. Blue Apron sends peeled, deveined shrimp for quick and easy preparation. If you buy whole shrimp, you’ll need to remove the what’s colloquially known as “the vein.”

Just scrape away with a knife

Shrimp have a long black ‘vein’ running across their back. Although we call it the vein, it’s actually their digestive tract, and it should be removed. Yes, it’s full of shrimp poop. It’s not dangerous, but it can have a gritty, unpleasant texture. To remove the shrimp vein, just use a paring knife to make a slit down the back of the shrimp, and then scrape or rinse the vein away. 

This is a true vein, nothing to worry about here

Some shrimp may also have a visible vein on their belly. This is a true vein, and does not need to be removed. Deveined shrimp will still have this vein. It will dissolve during cooking and will not be noticeable. 

Try some of our 10 favorite shrimp recipes.

10 Highly Rated Shrimp Recipes

Shrimp can be a weeknight dinner savior. They’re ready to eat in just a few minutes, they work well in a variety of cuisines, and they’re delicious. A shrimp dinner is an easy way to make a dinner at home meal that feels extra special.

Each week, cooks across the country prepare Blue Apron recipes and share their feedback. These are some of our customer’s fan favorite shrimp dinners.

Blue Apron’s best shrimp recipes

Cajun Shrimp & Corn Pancakes with Sautéed Summer Vegetables

This zesty seasonal dish calls on beloved flavors of the South, like smoky spiced shrimp and cornbread-style pancakes, which get a fresh twist from bites of sweet corn stirred right into the batter. 

Veracruz-Style Shrimp & Vegetables with Farro

This hearty dish is bursting with bold, zesty flavors thanks to the herbaceous mix of cilantro sauce, pickled jalapeño, and fresh lime juice (a nod to classic Argentinian chimichurri) that we’re drizzling over our shrimp, sautéed vegetables, and barley.

Seared Strip Steak & Oregano Pan Sauce with Calabrian Shrimp & Pearl Couscous

Have a date night at home with our take on surf and turf. A pan sauce of crunchy pistachios, earthy oregano, piquant shallot and capers, and fresh lemon juice makes the steak shine, while nutty pearl couscous with shrimp and vegetables comes together in a praise-worthy side. 

Garlic Shrimp & Pesto Barley with Corn & Tomatoes

This vibrant dish features hearty barley studded with corn, tomatoes, and plump, juicy shrimp—sautéed with a bit of garlic for a kick of flavor. 

Calabrian Shrimp & Prosciutto Crostini with Pesto Corn & Pasta Salad

Pair succulent shrimp with Calabrian chile paste for a simple preparation that lets the protein shine. We’re making this meal complete with prosciutto crostini and a nutty, herbaceous pasta salad. 

Salmon & Shrimp Poke Bowl with Avocado & Spicy Mayo

Our take on the classic poke bowl features sushi rice topped with cooked shrimp and salmon (flaked and dressed with sesame oil and seaweed-based furikake), crispy onions, and more—all finished with a drizzle of sambal mayo and a sweet and tangy soy-lime sauce.

Indian Shrimp & Mustard Seed Rice with Roasted Vegetables & Toasted Garlic Naan

We’re coating sautéed shrimp in a sauce of tomato chutney and crème fraîche for a curry-inspired dinner. Garlic naan and roasted squash take this meal to the next level.

Garlic & Soy-Glazed Shrimp with Broccoli & Jalapeño-Lime Sauce

The star of this irresistibly savory dish is the spicy sauce we’re drizzling over our shrimp, rice, and broccoli, which features spicy jalapeño pepper tempered with brown sugar and the bright zest and juice of a lime.

Chimichurri Shrimp with Barley, Pepper & Tomatoes

This hearty dish is bursting with bold, zesty flavors thanks to the herbaceous mix of cilantro sauce, pickled jalapeño, and fresh lime juice (a nod to classic Argentinian chimichurri) that we’re drizzling over our shrimp, sautéed vegetables, and barley.

Calabrian Shrimp & Orzo with Zucchini

This quick and easy dish highlights tender orzo pasta and plump shrimp, which get vibrant depth of flavor (and the perfect amount of mild heat) from a coating of hot red chile paste. We’re finishing it all with a bit of cooling crème fraîche and tart lemon juice.

Find more recipes like these in the Blue Apron cookbook.

Why We’re Joining the Ocean Disclosure Project


If you’ve ever used to learn about sustainable fish, you know how crucial sourcing is. Depending on where it originated and how it was caught, most fish can be considered a ‘best choice’, ‘good alternative’ or ‘avoid.’ The problem is that it’s not always clear where the fish in packaged meals is coming from. That’s why Blue Apron decided to become the first meal-kit company to disclose its seafood sourcing through the Ocean Disclosure Project.

Blue Apron and Sustainability 

We love cooking with seafood. We also recognize the urgent need to source it responsibly. Joining the Ocean Disclosure project is just the most recent example of our commitment to sustainable seafood. We’ve also partnered with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch since 2016. We’ve worked with them to source only seafood rated as ‘best choice,’ ‘good alternative,’ or that has a comparable third-party verified sustainability certification at the time it is selected.

These partnerships have empowered us to make sustainable seafood choices, but we don’t stop at fish. We take pride in our strict sourcing standards for all of our high-quality ingredients. We work with a trusted network that includes farmers, ranchers, and specialty suppliers so that our customers can prepare our globally-inspired, chef curated recipes each week. All of the ingredients that we source are certified by our suppliers as non-GMO. Our beef, pork and poultry is produced exclusively from animals that are vegetarian-fed, never treated with growth hormones, and never fed subtherapeutic antibiotics. 

Working with suppliers who meet these standards isn’t easy, but partners like the Ocean Disclosure Project make sustainability more achievable for companies and consumers alike.

What is the Ocean Disclosure Project?

The ODP was launched in 2015 by Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, a nonprofit organization that aims to rebuild depleted fish stocks and reduce the environmental and social impacts of fishing and fish farming. The ODP wants to make it easier for consumers to learn where their seafood comes from. 

To do this, the ODP provides a complete picture of the seafood supply chain. This allows shoppers to discover the origin and sustainability of wild caught and farmed seafood sourced by participating businesses. On the ODP website, customers can view the species, origin, and catch or production method, as well as any sustainability certifications, ratings, or environmental impacts for each fish.

Why is Blue Apron joining the ODP?

By joining the ODP, Blue Apron is demonstrating its commitment to transparency and responsible ingredient sourcing. In 2020, 100% of our seafood was sourced from sustainability certified fisheries and farms.

We believe that transparency is a way to hold ourselves accountable. The ODP provides third-party validation of our internal seafood policies, and also allows us to track our progress as we strive to be even more sustainable. 

At Blue Apron, we’re always excited to add new ingredients to our menu. As we research new seafood suppliers to partner with, the ODP allows us to keep up to date on the seafood industry’s sustainability landscape, and to be able to support a more sustainable seafood supply chain through our sourcing decisions.

Steelhead Trout: What It Is & Why They’re Great

norwegian steelhead trout farm
A Hofseth farm nestled in a beautiful fjord

Hofseth’s pristine Norwegian fjords might not be exactly what you picture when you think of farmed fish, but that’s a good thing. Hofseth strives to produce high-quality products like its Norwegian steelhead trout in an environmentally conscious manner. The result is a delicious fish with a clean flavor that Blue Apron is proud to introduce to its menu

What makes steelhead trout unique?

Hofseth’s Norwegian Steelhead Trout is known for its vibrant color, firm flesh, and lean protein content. It packs a powerful nutritional profile: it’s an excellent source of niacin, vitamin B12, and omega 3 fatty acids. Steelhead trout is ranked as one of the healthier food options by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, and chefs love its firm texture and satisfying bite. 

What are some of the challenges of farming steelhead trout?

steelhead trout smolt
“Smolt” is the life cycle stage during which young trout migrate to the sea

Hofseth owns and operates the whole value chain for steelhead: from smolt to processing. Unlike many other farming countries, farmers in Norway don’t use antibiotics. They work with clean fjords and extensive preventive measures. Our goal is to produce fish in a carbon-neutral way, and we recently received certification that all our processing facilities utilize 100% renewable energy.

What’s unique about the way Hofseth operates?

Hofseth operates as efficiently as possible throughout the supply chain. Our processing plants are equipped with the newest machinery, ensuring both accuracy and maximum speed. As one of the few processors in Norway, Hofseth facilities are within 2 hours of transport from our farms, resulting in fresher fish while incurring substantially lower risks. Freshly frozen products have the advantages of low spoilage, substantially lower costs, consistent quality and low carbon emission due to transfer by sea. After processing, steelhead off-cuts from our seafood processing facilities are provided to feed suppliers to use in the creation of animal feed products that contain high quality biomarine ingredients. This ensures that no part of the fish goes to waste.

What do people misunderstand about aquaculture?  

The misconception of what farm raised seafood looks like is a challenge for every seafood supplier. Many people envision crowded, dirty pens, but that’s not always the case. Hofseth’s steelhead trout is raised in the beautiful, pristine fjords of Norway, in deep open waters with low pen density. These practices ensure maximum comfort for the fish. We replicate the diet of wild steelhead, and ensure they’re given all-natural feed. 

What are the benefits of eating Hofseth fish? 

We manage every aspect of our operation, from smolt to delivery, and because our fish never leave the Hofseth supply chain, we guarantee its quality and taste. Steelhead Trout thrive in the Norwegian Fjords, where glacial rivers meet the sea. High in vitamins A, D, and B12, antioxidants, as well as Omega-3s, Steelhead is a healthy fish that tastes as clean as the waters it comes from.

Look for Hofseth’s Norwegian steelhead trout coming to the Blue Apron menu this spring.

How to Cook Scallops

seared scallops

Scallops are easy to love. They’re juicy and mild, with a beautiful buttery texture. They can be a light dinner when served on a salad, or a decadent feast when they’re part of a surf ‘n turf. We especially like them when nestled into a bright dish of pasta. The best way to cook scallops depends on the meal you’re planning.

Tips for Buying & Choosing Fresh Scallops

It’s always important to start with good ingredients. The best scallops are usually called dry-packed, day boat, or diver scallops. This means they haven’t been treated with a preservative called sodium bisulfite, which bleaches them, plumps them with water, and makes them nearly impossible to brown. Don’t shy away from frozen scallops, especially if you live far away from the coast. Seafood is often frozen directly on the boat, making it super fresh.

How to Prepare Scallops

how to sear scallops

After you take your scallops home, use your hands to remove and discard the tough side muscle from each scallop. Before cooking scallops in pan (or the grill), it’s important to make sure they’re completely dry. If there is water on the surface of the scallop, it will evaporate in the pan and steam the surface of the scallop. This will prevent the outside from developing a delicious crunchy sear. Just use paper towels to pat away any moisture.

Best Ways to Cook & Eat Scallops


If you’ve cooked scallops at home, you’ve probably seared them. This method is very straightforward and just like cooking a steak. Heat butter or oil in a pan until very hot, carefully place scallops in the pan and cook for about 4-5 minutes or until golden brown (the scallops should easily release from the pan). Carefully flip each scallop and cook until opaque, about 1-2 more minutes. 


Grilling scallops will make you look like a superstar, even though they’re incredibly easy. Simply drizzle your scallops with olive oil, salt, and pepper and thread onto a skewer. For extra stability, use two skewers side by side so the scallops can’t twirl around. Cook on a medium-hot grill for about 3 minutes per side or until opaque. 

Raw scallops

Don’t be intimidated by this restaurant-style cooking method. Simply slice each scallop into 3 thin rounds and scatter onto a platter in a single layer. Top with an acidic dressing. This will cook the scallops for you! You can keep it simple with just lemon juice and olive oil, or you can try something a little more involved like an aguachile: a dressing made from lime juice, fresh chiles, herbs, and cucumbers. 

Ready to try cooking scallops at home? Look for them on the Blue Apron premium menu.

Best Types of Fish to Cook at Home & How to Do It

side of salmon
A shiny side of salmon

If you’re afraid to cook fish at home, you might be suffering from some misconceptions. In fact, a few fish recipes should be in every home cook’s arsenal. In general, fish fillets cook extremely quickly, making fish an easy way to get a delicious dinner on the table quickly. These are some of the best types of fish to cook at home for beginners, and a few methods to get you started. 


Salmon is easy to love. It has a beautiful orange color and a buttery texture. Its falvor is both rich and mild, which makes it a crowd-pleasing option for homecooks with a family. It pairs well with sweet glazes and vegetable side dishes, as well as any grain. In stores, you’re mostly likely to find salmon fillets, steaks, or whole sides. Any of these cuts will work well at home, but cooking time will vary based on the thickness of the cut and cooking method. 

There are many choices for sustainable salmon options, including Atlantic salmon farmed worldwide in indoor recirculating tanks. If determining the source of the salmon in a store gets confusing, try ordering online or asking for more information at the meat counter.


Tilapia is actually the name for a large family of fish. These fish are mostly found in freshwater, and in recent years have become popular candidates for aquaculture and aquaponics.

Tilapia has a sweet, mild flavor. The versatile taste and low cost have made Tilapia one of the most-consumed types of fish in the United States. Their medium firm texture makes this fish exceptionally easy to prepare at home. 


Cod is a classic, clean-flavored whitefish. Often cod is the first fish people come to love in the form of fish sticks. Its mild flavor means that it is delightful paired with tangy toppings, like a lemon-butter sauce. It’s firm texture helps it stand up to vigorous cooking methods like frying, making cod a popular choice for fish tacos. 

Once you’ve conquered your fears of cooking fish, step outside the supermarket aisles. Find a good local fishmonger, and ask what they love. Sometimes lesser known fish can be more sustainable. 

Ways to Cook Fish

After you’ve left the store, the battle is half over. Now you just need to decide on a cooking method.

How to Bake Fish

Baking fish is a quick and hands-off way to get dinner on the table. All you need is a sheet pan and some aluminum foil to prevent sticking. Line the pan with aluminum foil, season your fish and place it in the oven. There’s no need to flip during the baking process.

Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your cut, but in general, the fish should look opaque, feel firm, and flake apart easily when tested with a fork. The cod in this Japanese-inspired recipe bakes for 8-10 minutes. Look for an internal temperature of 145°F.

How to Sear Fish

One of the greatest challenges of cooking fish is making sure that it doesn’t fall apart. Ideally, you end up with a beautifully seared piece of tender fish that stays in one piece. Watching your cooking time closely will help with this, as will a good fish spatula

To sear fish, grab a good nonstick pan and add enough oil to coat the bottom. Wait for the oil to heat up before introducing the fillet. The oil should shimmer slightly. The fish won’t need to stay in the pan long! Two to three minutes per side should do it. If your fish has skin, start with the skin side up, that way you’ll be able to check the flakiness of the fish for doneness while you’re cooking the second side. Try our recipe for seared salmon with chili glaze here.

How to Fry Fish 

Introducing breading to the mix tends to make things a bit more complicated, but if you’re craving a crispy fish taco or the perfect accompaniment for potato salad, then frying is the way to go. 

To fry, you’ll want to make sure to have a neutral oil on hand. Olive oil is delicious, but it’s best suited for lower temperature cooking methods. Canola or peanut oil will stand up better to the heat for this method. 

When it’s time to coat, remember this: dry sticks to wet. Start by patting your fish dry with paper towels and coating it lightly in flour. This will create a dry surface for your egg batter to stick to. After the fish has been dunked in egg batter, you’ll have a wet surface for the breadcrumbs. After the breadcrumbs, the next stop is the frying pan. 

Once it’s time to fry, be sure not to overcrowd the pan. If you add too many pieces of fish at once, the temperature in the pan will drop and the fish won’t brown properly. Fry for 2-3 minutes per side, and enjoy.

Anchovies vs. Sardines: What’s the Difference?

Chefs love to sing the praises of canned fish. They’re affordable, shelf-stable, and a great way to add depth of flavor to almost any dish. For the uninitiated, they can be slightly intimidating. If you’re ready to hop on board the anchovy-flavored bandwagon, consider this a primer. 

Braised greens with anchovy
Braised greens with anchovy

The difference between a sardine and an anchovy 

There’s a wide world of tinned fish available to the supermarket shopper, but the two most popular options are sardines and anchovies. Even though they’re both small and oily, these tinned fish have distinctly different flavors, appearances, and origins. Sardines are native to the southern Mediterranean. They’re larger than anchovies, and are in the same family as herring. When compared to sardines, anchovies are even smaller and more oily. Although we tend to paint them with a broad brush, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations lists over 140 types of anchovies. The main commercial anchovy is the European anchovy. 

Can you substitute one for the other?

It’s not a good idea to substitute anchovies for sardines or vice versa. These two fish behave very differently when cooked. Anchovies tend to melt away, flavoring the entire dish with their savory saltiness. Sardines are meatier and more mellow. The thick flesh of a sardine won’t dissolve the way an anchovy fillet will. Trying to emulsify a sardine into a caesar salad dressing would be nothing short of catastrophic. 

How to Eat Anchovies 

anchovy tin
Snug in their tin

Chef John Adler didn’t always love tinned fish. Growing up, he watched with a pinched nose while his father polished off full tins of King Oscar sardines on buttered wheat toast for lunch. Of course, his opinion has evolved. He’s cured and pickled his own fish as a professional chef, and at home he happily uses sardines, canned clams, and pickled mussels. 

This recipe showcases Chef John’s true love: the anchovy. It was inspired by his summer cooking in Italy, where the kitchen was always filled with fresh seafood. There, fresh anchovies were cured in salt and packed in olive oil before serving over braised bitter greens with a hefty squeeze of lemon.

This recipe is a home-friendly interpretation of that meal, using canned anchovies.

Braised Greens with Anchovy

  • 2 bunches dandelion greens (or chicory, curly kale, turnip greens or mustards) – washed and roughly chopped
  • 4 small (or 2 medium-large) cloves garlic – roughly chopped
  • 6 anchovy fillets
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (or 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar)

1. In a large pan over medium heat, heat oil and butter until the butter is fully melted and begins to sizzle. Add the garlic and cook 1- 2 minutes until beginning to soften. 

2. Add in anchovy fillets and crushed red pepper flakes and cook until the anchovies have begun to break down.

3. Add the greens and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly wilted. Turn off the heat and add lemon juice (or vinegar). Stir to incorporate. 

4. Transfer to a serving dish and finish with a healthy glug of full-bodied olive oil.

Serves 2 – 4 as a side dish, or as a perfectly acceptable lunch for one with a few slices of good bread and cheese. 

How to Eat Sardines

Sardine toast with plenty of butter

If you like a tuna sandwich, you’ll love Chef Kristen Merris-Huffman’s meaty sardine toast. This is easy to pull together for a quick lunch or snack. It feels elegant, and yet it’s delightfully budget-friendly. 

Calabrian-Chili Butter Sardine Toast

  • 4 slices of crusty bread
  • 1/2 stick of butter, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp chopped Calabrian chiles
  • 1 can of sardines
  • 2 Tbsp chopped scallions
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp olive oil

1. Heat the oven to 450°F. Place slices of bread on a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes. Allow to cool. 

2. Place room temperature butter and Calabrian chiles in a bowl and mix until well incorporated. 

4. Drain the oil or water from the canned sardines. Place the fish, scallions, lemon juice, and olive oil in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Gently toss the ingredients together, flaking the fish slightly with the back of a spoon. 

5. Once the bread is cool, spread with a generous portion of butter and top with the scallion sardine mixture. Top with flaky salt and drizzle with more olive oil if you are feeling fancy. Enjoy!

Tuna Noodle Casserole is a Bowl of Comfort Topped with Crackers

This week, the extra time at home inspired chef Lisa Appleton to revive a childhood classic. Luckily for all of us, her mom’s traditional tuna noodle casserole is a pantry-friendly dish of nostalgia. 

Tuna noodle casserole ingredients
A pantry specialty

Comfort food, comfort food, comfort food. I can keep cooking it, but I always want more. As a native midwesterner, nothing says comfort for me like a casserole. 

Growing up, my favorite version of this dish was tuna noodle casserole. It’s incredibly simple to make, and comes together with just a few ingredients. As an adult, it’s not something I prepare regularly. Recently, I’ve been having a craving. Something about spending all this time at home contemplating the contents of my pantry made me feel like it was the perfect time to revive a childhood classic. 

Although there are many recipes to choose from online and in cookbooks, this particular version comes from my mother’s memory. The original source is unknown, but to me that makes it more special. You could sauté some onions and celery to add into the mix, or even some fresh mushrooms, but I wanted to stick to the original. 

After tasting, I can definitely say it lived up to the hype. This dish is nostalgia at its finest. In the future, I may jazz it up with more fresh ingredients, or create an even crunchier topping, but for now it was just the comfort I was looking for. 

A few cans of soup and a little magic

Recipe: The Appleton Family’s Tuna Noodle Casserole 

  • 1 16oz bag egg noodles (fresh or dried, either works)
  • 10 to 20 Ritz crackers (amount is to your liking, can even add more)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can tuna, drained (packed in water)
  • Frozen peas, defrosted (amount is to your liking)

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Cook the noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, crush the Ritz crackers with a rolling pin to the size of breadcrumbs. Stir the crushed ritz into the melted butter. 

tuna noodle casserole topping
Future casserole topping

3.Drain the noodles and return to the pot. Stir in the 3 cans of soup and tuna. Fold in the peas. Transfer to a 13×9 baking dish. 

4.Top with the buttered Ritz breadcrumbs. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the Ritz have browned, and the casserole is bubbling around the edges. Let stand for about 5 minute to cool slightly. Enjoy!

Canned Tuna Is the Star of This Pantry-friendly Dinner

Chef Jessica Halper is staying home, but she’s still committed to eating well. Here’s how she’s making the most of her limited runs to the grocery store.

Canned tuna, artichokes, and white beans
Canned tuna, artichokes, and white beans

These days, my trips to the grocery store are few and far between. While that’s ultimately the best thing for everyone’s health, it can make it difficult to maintain a nutritious and diverse diet. Grabbing a box of mac and cheese or a frozen pizza to fill my stomach and comfort my soul has never been so tempting. While these options are both consoling and accessible, they likely do not provide the essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals to keep our bodies in fighting shape.

Cooking with canned goods can be an inexpensive and pandemic proof method for maintaining a nutritious diet when fresh produce is unavailable. This bright and healthy recipe utilizes two of my favorite canned products: beans and tuna. The canned tuna provides a daily dose of lean protein rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and the beans are packed with fiber, which makes for a happy and healthy gut (and a vocal one too!). Artichoke hearts are also an excellent source of fiber and antioxidants, even in their canned state.

Quick note: When buying canned goods, choose options that are low in sodium or have  no salt added. If you aren’t sure, give the ingredient a quick rinse before using.

Tuscan-style White Bean Salad with Canned Tuna, Artichokes, and Shallot Vinaigrette

Serves 2

  • 1 15 oz can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 4 oz can of tuna, packed in olive oil or water, drained
  • ¼ cup canned artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, thinly sliced on a bias
  • 2 teaspoons capers, drained
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 oz greens (arugula, spinach, mixed greens, etc) (optional)
  1. In a large bowl, combine the drained beans, chopped artichoke hearts, drained tuna, capers, celery and mixed greens (if using). 
  2. Combine the chopped shallot, vinegar, mustard and olive oil in a jar. Shake the jar until the vinaigrette has emulsified. Taste, then season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  3. Add half the vinaigrette to the salad; season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Add the remaining vinaigrette if desired or store in the refrigerator covered for up to one week. Enjoy!

Looking for more canned tuna ideas? Try these cream of mushroom tuna croquettes.

Cream of Mushroom Tuna Croquettes Are a Pantry-Friendly Throwback

The responsible thing to do right now is to stay put, so that’s what the Blue Apron Test Kitchen is doing. Just because we’re cooped up at home, that doesn’t mean we’re not cooking. For now, you’ll find us in our home kitchens, chopping, frying, and baking up a storm. 

This week, Chef Jessica Halper pulled out her Bubby’s cookbook and found a surprising pantry recipe:

Yes — you read that title correctly. In an effort to get the best “bang for my buck” and maintain sanity during these trying times, I am cooking through my Bubby’s recipe collection. The recipes skew Eastern European (no surprise there). They’re inexpensive, comforting, and utilize lots of canned goods — great for a cold winter’s night, and great for a pandemic. The ingredients showcase pantry staples, which can typically be found hiding in my cupboards or on the back shelf of any bodega. While the fresh aromatics and herbs add a bright touch, they can always be substituted for their dried counterparts.

pantry recipe staples
A pantry party

This daring recipe comes from her 1968 B’nai Brith Cookbook, and supposedly includes “family favorites” like gefilte fish, potato kugel, Chinese stew, and “Norene’s famous cheesecake”  —who’s Norene? I’ve updated the ingredient list to be a touch more modern, but rest assured, the recipe still uses a can of cream of mushroom soup.

cream of mushroom soup
A pantry classic in all its glory

So how did this vintage delight hold up in modern times? While we’re only a party of two, and we’re currently confined to the couch, our reviews were full of surprise and delight. The finished croquettes were pleasingly refined, delightfully weird and, best of all, pantry proof. As my boyfriend succinctly put it: “Hmm – this is actually really good.” 

Cream of Mushroom Tuna Croquettes

With pickle chive mayo

Makes 5 croquettes 

  • 1 5-oz can of tuna, drained
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced separating the white bottoms from the green tops
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • ¼ cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon of cornichons or other pickled items, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of chives, thinly sliced (optional) 

In a large bowl, combine the tuna, white scallion bottoms, ½ cup breadcrumbs, egg, soup and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Mix to thoroughly combine and form into 5 evenly shaped patties. Coat in the remaining breadcrumbs.

pantry recipe: pickle chive mayo
Pickle chive mayo

In a medium pan (nonstick if you have one), heat the canola oil until a breadcrumb sizzles on contact. Add the patties and cook, 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. After they’re done, transfer to a paper-towel lined plate and generously sprinkle with salt. 

While the patties cook, combine the mayonnaise, chopped pickles, the remaining lemon juice and the sliced chives if using. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Serve the croquettes alongside the pickle chive mayo. Garnish with the green scallion tops, or simply dig in.

Fried and ready to eat

Yes, You Can Make Hibachi at Home

A homemade hibachi meal

What comes to mind when you hear the word hibachi? A giant grill, flashes of flame, and an onion volcano? You’re not alone.

Technically, hibachi refers to a style of grill, but the hibachi experience in the U.S. is about way more than food. It’s dinner and a show rolled into one. Hibachi chefs rose to fame for their knife twirling and shrimp tossing antics, even though several of the most famous examples are actually cooking on a teppanyaki grill. 

For John Adler, head chef of Blue Apron, hibachi is defined by its flavor profile. Namely: a balance of sweetness and pleasant bitterness. The sweetness comes from the sauces and natural sugars in the ingredients, the bitterness is from creating hard sear over high heat. 

Luckily, those flavors don’t have to come off of a hibachi grill. Maybe you can’t make an onion volcano at home, but according to chef John, “you can create all the same flavors with a really good pan.” 

If you’re looking for a cooking challenge, grab a pan and keep reading. This is everything you need to know to attempt hibachi at home. 

Steak and shrimp, all plated up

Go for a diversity of proteins: 

Chef John chose steak and shrimp for a luxe and delicious dinner 

Turn up the heat

Hibachi is all about high heat. You need a super hot surface to achieve the signature char flavor of a hibachi meal. Don’t despair if your stove top is a little finicky; Chef John recommends taking your oven safe pan, and preheating it in a 400-degree oven for 15 minutes. That will give you a jump start, and make sure your pan is up to temperature before you start searing. Just watch out for the hot handle! 

Searing a steak
Just look at that beautiful carmelization

Don’t fear the sear 

This part is important. After you’ve made sure that your pan is truly hot, you need to let the heat do its work. Don’t be afraid to leave your proteins in the pan without touching them for a few minutes. You’ll know they’re ready to be flipped when you start to smell a slightly sweet charred aroma. 

Choose your vegetables wisely 

Chef John says vegetables with a high natural sugar content will stand up to the high-heat and caramelize beautifully. 

peas in a pan
Peas, cabbage, and carrots will all hold up the the high heat

Don’t forget a rice element:

A hibachi rice dish could incorporate cooked vegetables, like fried rice, or it could be a simple steamed rice with a few nice herbs.

hibachi shrimp in a pan
Tip: keep the shrimp tails on for extra flavor

Season with a vision

In a restaurant, the hibachi experience isn’t exactly subtle: protein is flying through the air, knives are flashing, and everyone is laughing in delight. By cooking hibachi at home, you’ll be able to appreciate some of the more delicate flavors in a more subdued environment. One of Chef John’s favorite hibachi elements is the continuity of flavor that is found throughout the elements of the dish. For his version, Chef John chose to season his proteins with togarashi, a spice blend that includes orange peel. To complement that flavor, he also created a citrus ponzu that’s served alongside the meal. These two citrus elements serve to tie the meal together. 

Learn about making hibachi at home, and other advanced cooking techniques, with Blue Apron Premium

Greenmarket Inspo: Grilled Oysters & Parsley-Chile Butter

Every week, our test kitchen team pays an early morning visit to New York City’s biggest farmers market: the Union Square Greenmarket in Manhattan. Comprised of over 70 stalls bursting with flowers, local products, and beautiful seasonal produce, it’s the perfect place for a hit of mid-week inspiration. Follow us on Instagram to tag along (bring a tote bag, it’s impossible to leave empty handed!) and see what we decide to make with our market haul.

After our success picking up bacon at the Greenmarket, we set out to find another non-produce item to use in the Test Kitchen this week, and landed in front of a stall full of coolers and trays of ice. Farmers’ market seafood may sound odd, but if you live near a fishable body of water, it’s likely some of the freshest you’ll find for sale in your area. In New York, we’re lucky that our markets often offer wild-caught fish and shellfish from off the coast of Long Island alongside the carrots and artisanal sourdough, and we took full advantage, buying a few dozen oysters.

For a last summer hurrah, we lit our grill one final time. Grilling oysters is an easy way to prepare them — especially if you don’t have the tools required for shucking. A brief stint in a hot, closed grill pops the shell open, making them easy to separate by hand and serve however you like. We prepared a slightly spicy, slightly herby compound butter to dot into each shell. Carefully sticking them back on the grill for about a minute melts the butter into a flavorful sauce, and makes each oyster a one-bite celebration of the season. 

Grilled Oysters & Parsley-Chile Butter

Serves 4
Special equipment: grill 


2 dozen oysters, unshucked
1/2 stick (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp Calabrian chile paste
1 clove garlic, finely grated
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley leaves and stems
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
Oil, for the grill


1. Make the compound butter:

In a bowl (or food processor, if you have one), combine the butter, chile paste, garlic paste, and parsley; season with salt and pepper. Form into a log; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until use, at least 15 minutes. Cut into small pieces.

2. Grill the oysters:

Heat a grill to medium-high; oil the grates. Working in batches (do not do more than a few at a time, to avoid overcooking), place the oysters, unshucked, on the grill, flat side up. Close the grill. Cook until the top shells pop open, 3 to 4 minutes. Using tongs or a spatula, carefully transfer to a sheet pan. Discard the ones that don’t open.

3. Finish the oysters & serve your dish:
Remove and discard the top shells. Add a piece of compound butter to each grilled oyster. Carefully place on the grill. Close the grill. Cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the butter is melted. Using tongs or spatula, remove from the grill. Serve immediately. Enjoy!