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.

A Guide to Fall Aromatics

Fall is harvest season. Each year, an abundance of delicious fruits and vegetables hits the stands at grocery stores and farmers’ markets. Working with seasonal fall aromatics is one of the best ways to create a flavorful meal.

The following are some of our favorite heirloom and specialty varieties. The best place to find them is at your local farmers’ market, or you can grow them. The seeds are available at seed saver websites.

What are aromatics?

Aromatics are vegetables and herbs that can add rich, deep flavors to your meals. Common aromatics include onions, garlic, and ginger. Many recipes start by sautéing aromatics to create a base flavor profile for your dish.

Seasonal fall aromatics

Garlic: The first ingredient in hundreds of Blue Apron dinners, spicy garlic is a powerful aromatic ingredient. Multiple varieties, including black garlic and Italian purple garlic, are in season in the fall.

fall aromatic fennel

Bronze Fennel: Often used as an ornamental plant. Its dull golden leaves and bulb can be used much in the same way as green fennel. Try fennel in pasta dishes or on top of a pizza.

celery

Celery: Modern celery is derivative of wild celery that has been carefully cultivated to be tender and crisp. This ancient vegetable has been mentioned as far back as Homer’s Iliad. Celery is a key ingredient in mirepoix and sofrito, the essential aromatic bases of French and Italian cuisine.

celeriac

Celeriac: The edible root of certain varieties. Distinct, earthy, yet crisp flavor. Can be eaten both raw and cooked. 

fennel pollen

Fennel Pollen: A fine powder found in the flowers of the fennel plant. Intensely aromatic when heated.

leeks are a fall aromatic

Leeks: Leeks are a type of onion characterized by bundled cylinders of tightly packed leaves. Leeks have been grown in Mesopotamia since at least 2000 B.C.E.

fall aromatic lovage
loveage

Lovage: Perennial herb. In Old English, called “love-ache.” Herbaceous rosettes of leaves. Very strong and reminiscent of celery, but more nuanced and floral. 

Red Celery: Long considered a “gentleman’s vegetable.” Grown in the U.S. since the 18th Century. (At first, only in the gardens of the well-to-do.)

Craving more seasonal produce? Learn more about the types of pears in season this fall.

A Field Guide to Pumpkins & Hard Squash

types of pumpkins

A pumpkin probably calls a specific image to mind: a large, orange orb, with a green stem. In reality, there are many different types of pumpkin and squash. Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall all have their own unique varieties. They’re all members of the same family, which includes an incredible assortment of culinary fruits and veggies, including gourds, cucumbers and even watermelons! Squash are a large and special part of that family. There are four basic species of squash. But, even within each species, there are radically different varieties.

For instance, pumpkins and zucchini are technically the same species, even though they ripen at different times of the year and look completely different. The real difference has to do with their maturity. Zucchini, and most other “summer squash,” have thin skins and very small, tender seeds. They’re perfectly ripe in summer—and juicy with summer rain. 

The pumpkin is a completely different story. Though pumpkins grow best in the summer, they aren’t ready for harvest until fall. They have thick skins and mature seeds (which are also called “pepitas” and have a distinct flavor). Pumpkins, instead of soaking up water and using it to create a tender fruit, use it to grow large, sturdy, and hearty enough to survive cooler weather. They mature slowly and aren’t ready to be picked until autumn. 

Put it simply, fall squash don’t mind waiting. And it’s absolutely worth the wait. The recipes in this chapter take full advantage of fall’s hearty squash (seeds, too).

What’s the difference between a squash and a pumpkin?

The difference between a squash and a pumpkin is largely social. It’s fair game to call any squash with a hard shell a pumpkin (no offense to zucchini). 

What’s the difference between a gourd and a pumpkin?

Gourds have a hollow, dried-out shell, and are primarily grown for ornamentation. Most types of pumpkin have thinner skin and edible flesh. They are typically grown and harvested to eat, although some varieties are tastier than others. 

Types of pumpkin and hard squash 

Acorn Squash

acorn squash

Named for its acorn-like shape. Ripens in late fall. Produces edible flowers. 

Blue Hubbard Squash

Blue Hubbard Squash

An especially durable variety. First advertised in the U.S. in the 1850s.

Butternut Squash

butternut squash

Versatile, diverse. One of the most popular culinary squashes. Developed in Massachusetts in the 1940s.  We love it in everything from pie to pasta.

Delicata Squash

delicata squash

An heirloom variety introduced by a New York City seed company. Delicate flesh makes it hard transport on a large scale. Mainly available from small-scale, local farms. 

Kobocha Squash

kobocha pumpkin squash

Tastes and cooks like a cross between sweet potatoes and pumpkins. Often used in tempuras. Brought to Cambodia by the Portuguese. 

Red October Pumpkin

red october squash

Bright red and teardrop shaped. Nutty and mild. Best used simply.

Sugar Pumpkin

sugar pumpkin

A smaller version of the large, decorative pumpkin. Harvested early, just after they turn orange. Higher concentrations of sugar and a creamier, smoother texture.

Spaghetti Squash

Mellow, nutty. When cooked, its flesh can be separated into long strands that resemble noodles. Introduced to the American market from Asia in the 1930s.

Sweet Dumpling Squash

sweet dumpling pumpkin squash

Has a three-month maturation period and needs direct sunlight to mature. Grows all summer, soaking up light. Not ripe until mid-fall. Try baking this cute little squash whole.

Tardiva de Napoli

An Italian variety. “Tardivo” literally translates to “late.” Named for its late ripening period. Certain cabbages with similar characteristics share the name. 

Can’t get enough squash? Learn more about our new 898 squash.

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.

What Does ‘Healthy’ Mean to You?

This post was written by Heather Sachs. Heather is a Registered Dietitian with a Masters degree in Clinical Nutrition. She has more than 15 years of experience combining her knowledge in food, nutrition, and regulatory affairs as well as translating science into impactful brand communication. Heather is currently Blue Apron’s Director of Regulatory Affairs. 

In September 2022, Registered Dietitian’s around The United States received a long overdue gift. Following the industry’s 2015 challenge of the definition of the term healthy and subsequent comment period, FDA finally issued its proposed definition of the term Healthy when used as a claim on food packaging.

The goal of this new definition is to better align the term healthy with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, based on current science as well as the updated nutrition facts label.

Under this proposed definition, products may be labeled as “healthy” if they contain meaningful amounts of food from at least one of the food groups or subgroups recommended by the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs). (fruits, vegetables, dairy, whole grains, etc.)

The new proposed definition also aims to limit nutrients in certain food categories which in overabundance can lead to negative health outcomes (saturated fat, sodium, added sugar).

The additional focus on food groups that this expanded proposed definition introduces, rather than solely on a set of nutrients could help consumers more clearly identify food to choose to sustain healthy dietary practices.

FDA is also currently looking into the creation of a symbol to represent the term healthy which could be used on a product to convey the product meets the healthy criteria.

The regulatory definition of the term is complicated, but what does healthy actually mean to you?  

Many people strive to follow a healthy diet. Depending on your lifestyle, healthy eating can look pretty different. You don’t have to follow an entirely organic, plant-based, and local style to feel like you’re making healthy choices. 

Life is crazy, but healthy eating can be fun and enjoyable. Maybe some days you eat locally, while on busier days you rely on pre-prepared foods. Whether it’s takeout, cooking a meal from scratch, or cooking semi-prepped ingredients, the foods that we eat are an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. 

It’s also important to consider mental health. For busy working parents, saving time by having a Blue Apron Wellness box delivered each week can free up time to spend with your family, and will deliver fresh produce straight to your door.

Healthy may have a strict regulatory definition, but that’s not necessarily the way we live our lives. It’s helpful to understand how the term is used in marketing, but it’s equally important to create your own definition of healthy for yourself and your family. 

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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All About Shishito Peppers & 3 Delicious Recipes

Charred peppers just need a sprinkle of salt

Tender, smoky shishito peppers are a restaurant staple—but they’re easy to use at home too. These vibrantly green and slightly smoky Japanese chiles—shaped a bit like wrinkled fingers— have become a late summer and early fall favorite on menus across the country. It’s for good reason: they’re delicious, super snackable, and, despite their fancy appearance when blistered and sprinkled with flaky salt, incredibly easy to prepare. Shishito peppers are small green peppers of Japanese origin. These peppers ripen from green to red, but they’re typically harvested while still green. 

These peppers have a very thin skin. Their delicate nature means that they will cook quickly compared to heartier varieties like bell peppers. They are often served lightly charred or blistered. This can be done in a pan or on the grill. Either way, it will take less than 10 minutes. After they’re charred, they can be served as a snack with just a sprinkle of crunchy salt, or incorporated into a dish. 

How to cook shishito peppers 

Char the peppers:
Charring peppers in a pan

Charring or blistering these small peppers is simple. All you need is a pan and a heat proof spoon or spatula. 

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the peppers in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned; season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, or until charred and softened. Season to your liking and serve immediately. 

Should you remove the seeds?

Leave those ribs and seeds alone! Shishitos can be eaten whole, so all you have to do is cut off the stem—unless you serve them as finger food, where the stem can act as a nifty handle. Each pepper contains a lot of seeds (more than you might expect), but they’re totally edible and don’t need to be removed.

Are shishito peppers spicy?

While most shishito peppers are mild, about 1 in 10 is spicy. The occasional hot one is the result of over-exposure to the sun. Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you’re a thrill seeker) there are no visual cues for spiciness; while the peppers turn red as they ripen, that’s not indicative of flavor, so bite carefully!

Can you eat shishito peppers raw?

Shishito peppers can be eaten raw, although it’s more common to serve them charred or blistered. If eaten raw, they will have a slightly sweeter, fruiter taste. 

Recipes with shishito peppers 

Pair shishito peppers with crunchy green beans for a healthy green side dish. 

Top charred peppers with fragrant lime salt for extra fruity flavor. 

Roasted peppers add flavor and texture to this Mexican-inspired grain bowl.