Quick and Easy Instant Pot Guinness Beef Stew

This quick and easy Instant Pot Guinness Beef Stew is the perfect weeknight meal, or way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day! It’s full of delicious, hearty flavors and comes together in less than one hour.

Quick and Easy Instant Pot Guinness Beef Stew | CaliGirlCooking.com

It’s been a while, but I hope you’ll forgive me once you take a look at this Quick and Easy Instant Pot Guinness Beef Stew!

In case you don’t follow along on social media, I’ve been hard at work in what has become a favorite new capacity of mine – baby meal prepper! Just this week I came out with my second ever ebook, 30 Freezer-Friendly Recipes for Babies and Toddlers and it has been receiving rave reviews. It’s chock full of healthy recipes that the little ones go gaga over and – I have to say – I’m pretty darn proud of it!

One thing I’ve learned since becoming a mom is that delicious, healthy food doesn’t have to be elaborate or take hours to make. Whereas before I took pride in never taking the shortcut for any food I was preparing, I now take immense pride in figuring out ways to cook delicious meals using as many shortcuts as possible.

Quick and Easy Instant Pot Guinness Beef Stew | CaliGirlCooking.com

Perhaps the greatest “shortcut” I’ve discovered is the Instant Pot. To be honest, it took me a while to give in to the Instant Pot craze. Did I really need ANOTHER kitchen appliance? Was it really going to be THAT life-changing? It took a great sale last fall for me to finally break down and get one and I can now say with 100% certainty that YES, it is that life-changing. There’s a bit of a learning curve getting started, but once you get the hang of it you’ll never want to use your slow cooker again.

If you’re also new to the Instant Pot game (or are planning to be), these have been some of my favorite IP recipes I’ve made so far:

Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup from Gimme Some Oven

Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup from Jo Cooks

Healthier Instant Pot Coq Au Vin from Half Baked Harvest

Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Kalua Pig from Nom Nom Paleo

While I have an Instant Pot recipe in my new ebook and am working on adapting some of my old recipes for the IP, this Quick and Easy Instant Pot Guinness Beef Stew is the first blog recipe I’ve developed for all of you IP fans out there and, if you don’t have an IP yet, now’s the time to get one! (*affiliate link)

Quick and Easy Instant Pot Guinness Beef Stew | CaliGirlCooking.com

We have had one of the rainiest winters we’ve had in a loooong time, so I’ve been craving all the comfort food. To me, there’s nothing like a hot bowl of soup or stew and a crusty piece of warm bread on a chilly, rainy evening. We had beef stew fairly often when I was growing up, but I’d never ventured into making my own…until now! With the Instant Pot, it comes together in less than an hour yet still fills your home with that delicious, slow-cooked aroma.  Did I mention it tastes amazing?

Since St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, I thought I’d jazz up what would be considered a traditional beef stew with a healthy dose of Guinness (after all, you know I love my cocktails.) Otherwise, I kept things pretty traditional with the typical carrots, onions and potatoes.

Quick and Easy Instant Pot Guinness Beef Stew | CaliGirlCooking.com

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with the couch, some beef stew and a big ol’ glass of wine. And will you do me a favor? Let me know your favorite Instant Pot recipes in the comments below!

Quick and Easy Instant Pot Guinness Beef Stew
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
43 mins
Total Time
53 mins
 

This quick and easy Instant Pot Guinness Beef Stew is the perfect weeknight meal, or way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day! It’s full of delicious, hearty flavors and comes together in less than one hour.

Course: Main Course
Keyword: beef, dinner, Instant Pot, stew, weeknight
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 719 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat
  • 5 tablespoons flour, divided
  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 11.2-ounce bottle Guinness beer Or 1 can would be fine
  • 4 Yukon gold potatoes, large diced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Place the beef and 3 tablespoons of flour in a medium bowl and toss so the beef is evenly coated in the flour.

  2. Place 3 tablespoons of butter in the Instant Pot and set it on sauté for about 8 minutes. Once the butter is melted, add the beef. Let beef brown for at least a couple of minutes on one side and then stir to get a nice brown on all sides. 

  3. Add onion, garlic, carrots and celery to the Instant Pot and stir to combine. Pour in the Guinness to deglaze the pan.

  4. Add potatoes, Worcestershire, tomato paste, beef broth, thyme and bay leaves to the Instant Pot. Stir to combine. 

  5. Turn the valve to Sealing, press the Meat/Stew button and select high heat for 35 minutes. The pot will take a bit of time to preheat, then it will begin to count down.

  6. Once the time is up, turn the valve to vent. It will take a few minutes for all of the pressure to release. While you’re waiting, place remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a small, microwave-safe dish and microwave until melted, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Once butter is melted, stir in remaining 2 tablespoons of flour. Add this mixture to the stew in the Instant Pot and stir to combine. This will help thicken it up.

  7. Remove bay leaves and serve warm.

Red Wine Roast Chicken with Grapes and Herbs

This Red Wine Roast Chicken with Grapes and Herbs is simple to make yet full of flavor. It’s the perfect entrée for your holiday gatherings and showcases some of the season’s best ingredients.

This Red Wine Roast Chicken with Grapes and Herbs is an easy, showstopper entree for fall dinners or holiday entertaining.
Silas Fallstich
www.fullframefotos.us

With all of the craziness of the holidays, it’s often easier to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of things than it is to slow down and take time for what this time of year is really about – spending quality time with family and friends. In this season of life where I feel like there are never enough hours in the day, I find myself craving these types of moments more than ever. That’s why, when some of my favorite ladies in the food, wine and entertaining industries decided to get together for a Fall Harvest Feast, I quickly agreed to participate – and brought this Red Wine Roast Chicken with Grapes and Herbs as the dinner’s centerpiece. It was almost like Friendsgiving came early and I’m so excited to share all of the details (including this roast chicken recipe!) with you today.

I’m going to make a general assumption here, and that assumption is that many of you feel intimidated about roasting large cuts of meat or whole birds. Am I right? I mean, I was once in the same boat. But I’m a firm believer that practice makes perfect and, let me tell you, I have practiced and practiced roasting chicken and – no brag – have pretty much perfected a super simple recipe for you.

This Red Wine Roast Chicken with Grapes and Herbs is an easy, showstopper entree for fall dinners or holiday entertaining.
Silas Fallstich
www.fullframefotos.us

You may remember that a while back I posted a similar recipe – this Champagne Roast Chicken with Grapes and Shallots – as a great show-stopper for any dinner party (or weeknight meal, for that matter.) Well, this is ALMOST the same recipe, but with a few autumn-inspired tweaks that make it perfect for any gathering you may be hosting in the next couple of months.

And yes, it is so easy. Aside from spending maybe 10 minutes prepping the bird and one flip about 15 minutes into roasting, it’s basically a “set it and forget it” recipe, so you can spend that quality time with all of your loved ones. It also looks quite stunning in its finished form, so if you’re looking for a dinner dish that will add that festive feel to your table, this Red Wine Roast Chicken is it!

But enough about my chicken, I want to tell you a little bit about the dinner itself! First off, the location and one other very important component of any harvest dinner – the wine! We were lucky enough to go back to the beautiful Folded Hills, a winery and farmstead about 30 minutes up the coast from Santa Barbara. If you want to learn more about them, I wrote an entire post about it here. Long story short, if you’re looking for friendly faces, delicious wines, the best chocolate chip cookies and cute little farm critters, be sure to plan a stop here the next time you’re cruising the 101.

This Red Wine Roast Chicken with Grapes and Herbs is an easy, showstopper entree for fall dinners or holiday entertaining.
Silas Fallstich
www.fullframefotos.us

And then, of course, I can’t leave out all of the other wonderful ladies who contributed their talents to this gorgeous feast. The table was set and styled by the lovely Viktoriya of Fold Santa Barbara, who makes beautiful linens both for retail and special events.

This Red Wine Roast Chicken with Grapes and Herbs is an easy, showstopper entree for fall dinners or holiday entertaining.
Silas Fallstich
www.fullframefotos.us

My girl Becky from Baking the Goods contributed a Fall Harvest Grazing Board and the tastiest Spiced Up Grape Apple Pie. Be sure to check out her blog for some of the best baking recipes around!

Spiced Up Apple Grape Pie from BakingtheGoods.com is the perfect holiday dessert!
Silas Fallstich
www.fullframefotos.us

Denisse (aka Le Petit Chef Santa Barbara) added a stunning Root Vegetable Gratin that was absolutely devoured. And can you believe blogging isn’t even her full-time gig? When she’s not blogging (or slinging donuts with her husband), Denisse is a private chef in and around SB. Did I mention she’s also extremely well-versed in vegan and other special diet cooking?

This Root Vegetable Gratin from LePetitChefSantaBarbara.com is the perfect autumn side dish for fall entertaining.
Silas Fallstich
www.fullframefotos.us

Wine pairings and a mouth-watering Roasted Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette were provided by my dear friend Hana-Lee of Wander and Wine. If you’re looking for all things wine- and travel-related, you definitely don’t want to miss out on her blog.

This Acorn Squash Salad with Warm Apple Cider Vinaigrette is another perfect side dish for fall entertaining.
Silas Fallstich
www.fullframefotos.us

Finally, I can’t leave out our very talented photographer, Silas Fallstich (aka Full Frame Fotos). If you live in Santa Barbara (or anywhere nearby), chances are you’ve seen Silas’ work. It’s featured in many of our local publications on a regular basis and we were so grateful to have such talent capturing our lovely day. We have him to thank for all of these gorgeous photos!

This Red Wine Roast Chicken with Grapes and Herbs is an easy, showstopper entree for fall dinners or holiday entertaining.
Silas Fallstich
www.fullframefotos.us

Sure, we call this “work” – and it is – but it’s days like these that make all of those hours in the kitchen, behind the camera, typing on the computer and with our arms elbow-deep in dirty dishwater completely worth it. If there’s one thing I’ve taken away from this line of work, it’s that every blogger, entrepreneur or creative truly wants to help and support one another. Forget competition, we’re all in this together. And as we inch closer and closer to the ultimate day of gratitude, I have to say I’m so thankful for each and every one of these folks I’ve met along the way and the support structure we’ve built around one another.

A lovely Harvest Dinner at Folded Hills Winery and Farmstead in Santa Barbara, CA.
Silas Fallstich
www.fullframefotos.us

Here’s to a season of gratitude, thoughtfulness, positivity and support!

Red Wine Roast Chicken with Grapes and Herbs
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 30 mins
Resting Time
10 mins
Total Time
1 hr 40 mins
 

This Red Wine Roast Chicken with Grapes and Herbs is simple to make yet full of flavor. It’s the perfect entrée for your holiday gatherings and showcases some of the season’s best ingredients.

Course: Main Course
Keyword: chicken, entertaining, entree, main course, protein
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 287 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 approximately 5-pound whole chicken
  • 1 cup red wine
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 sprigs each fresh rosemary, sage and thyme, plus additional for garnish
  • 1 pound seedless red grapes
  • 2 large shallots, peeled and quartered
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Remove innards from chicken and rinse with cold water. Let drain in a large colander for 2 minutes.

  3. Pat chicken dry and place in roasting pan, breast side down. Pour red wine all over and inside the chicken. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Stuff the fresh herbs inside the chicken. 

  5. Place chicken in oven and turn down heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Roast, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

  6. Remove chicken from oven and, using tongs or wooden spoons, flip chicken over so that the breast side is now facing up.

  7. Return to oven and continue cooking until a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Start checking the temperature after about an hour and a half. For the last 10-15 minutes of cooking, add shallots and grapes to bottom of roasting pan.

  8. Once meat thermometer reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit, remove from oven. Transfer grapes and shallots to a serving platter first, and then transfer chicken so it sits in the middle of the grapes and shallots. Garnish with additional fresh herbs. Use a carving fork and knife to serve.

Easy Double Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie with Fresh Herbs

A tasty twist on the classic comfort food, Shepherd’s Pie gets a fall makeover with the addition of pumpkin and the season’s best fresh herbs.

This Easy Double Pumpkin Shepherd's Pie with Fresh Herbs puts a fall twist on the classic comfort food. It's an easy weeknight meal and kid-friendly!

If there’s one thing that never fails to get me in the mood for fall and the impending holiday season, it’s our annual #virtualpumpkinparty! This is my third consecutive year participating in the virtual get-together and, let me tell you, it’s something worth getting excited about. Our count has now grown to over 60 bloggers and each one of us has a tasty pumpkin recipe (both sweet AND savory) that we’re sharing with you today. You can find the entire list of pumpkin recipes here, but I’ve got to tell you all about what is probably my newest fall comfort food obsession – Easy Double Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie with Fresh Herbs!

Do you ever have a meal that you just love to eat but have never taken on the task of making yourself? That’s what Shepherd’s Pie was to me – well, up until a couple of weeks ago. For someone who grew up eating a lot of meat and potatoes, I sure don’t make ‘em a lot these days. But whenever someone would make me this one dish creation that happens to have meat, potatoes and veggies in one, I would be surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It was about time I tried making it myself, but of course not without my own little twist!

And let me tell you, this twist just makes my version of Shepherd’s Pie over-the-top delicious. Not only did I add mashed fresh pumpkin to the potato topping, but I also cubed up some of that same fresh pumpkin and added it to the ground beef and pea filling. Oh, and we can’t forget the fresh herbs – there’s nothing like some fresh sage and thyme to make a dish REALLY feel like fall!

This Easy Double Pumpkin Shepherd's Pie with Fresh Herbs puts a fall twist on the classic comfort food. It's an easy weeknight meal and kid-friendly!

Now I know you’re already dying to whip up this Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie for dinner, but let me make the decision even easier for you. This is a TWO-pot meal, folks. You’ll use one large pot to boil the potatoes and pumpkin for your topping, and a cast iron skillet to assemble all the pieces together and broil under the oven for a few minutes. So easy!

Oh, and hey! Where my mamas at? Easy Double Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie is also a GREAT dish for baby-led weaning and for kids in general! For the little babes, I’d say just be careful with the peas. Either omit them completely or you can pick them out for your littlest ones if you just can’t give them up 😉

Okay friends, I’m going to keep this short and sweet today because, I mean, I have about 60 other pumpkin recipes to try my hand at, but I’ll tell ya – you’ll be doing yourself a huge disservice if you don’t give this Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie a shot. And be sure YOU also check out all of the other fun recipes for our 2018 #virtualpumpkinparty!

This Easy Double Pumpkin Shepherd's Pie with Fresh Herbs puts a fall twist on the classic comfort food. It's an easy weeknight meal and kid-friendly!

Easy Double Pumpkin Shepherd's Pie with Fresh Herbs
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

A tasty twist on the classic comfort food, Shepherd’s Pie gets a fall makeover with the addition of pumpkin and the season’s best fresh herbs. 

Course: Main Course
Keyword: beef, comfort food, dinner, entree, kid-friendly, main dish, potatoes, pumpkin, weeknight
Servings: 5 people
Calories: 620 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 whole sugar pie pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into large cubes plus ¼ of a second sugar pie pumpkin peeled, seeded and cut into a small dice (about 1 cup)
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes
  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon each chopped fresh sage and thyme
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/3 cup beef broth or stock
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once water is boiling, add large pumpkin chunks and potatoes. Boil for 10-15 minutes or until pieces can be pierced easily with a fork. Strain out water and let cool slightly while you prepare the filling.

  2. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and small cubed pumpkin and saute until onions are translucent and fragrant, 5-10 minutes. Add beef, brown slightly, and then toss in fresh herbs. 

  3. Add flour, beef stock and frozen peas and stir to combine. Let cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until beef is no longer bright pink.

  4. While beef mixture is cooking, mash your pumpkin and potatoes. Add 4 tablespoons of butter and heavy cream to the pot where the pumpkin and potatoes have been cooling. Using a hand mixer or immersion blender, cream everything together until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  5. Once beef mixture is cooked, taste and season with salt and pepper as necessary. Turn off the burner your cast iron skillet has been cooking over and preheat your oven’s broiler (on high.)

  6. Spread the mashed pumpkin and potato mixture evenly over the beef in the cast iron skillet. Top with grated Parmesan and place under the broiler until the top has a lovely golden hue, which can take anywhere from 5-15 minutes. Just keep a close eye on it as it is under the broiler as things can take a turn towards burnt very easily!

  7. Serve pie by scooping the mixture out into bowls while it’s still warm. 

The Ultimate Turkey Day Leftover Waffles

I’m not kidding when I call them “The Ultimate”…

This delicious recipe for Thanksgiving leftovers is the perfect dish to serve up over the long holiday weekend!

We’re talking perfectly crispy potato-laced waffles topped with all your favorite Thanksgiving fixings – juicy roast turkey, sweet and tart cranberry sauce, your favorite stuffing, even gravy if you please. Basically all of the delicious things we look forward to for arguably the biggest food holiday of the year served up in one delicious dish that is perfectly acceptable for to be enjoyed as breakfast, lunch or dinner – Ultimate Turkey Day Leftover Waffles, your day has arrived!

Well, on Friday it will have arrived, but I’m planning on taking a little break from this here blog for the long weekend so we can really enjoy our time up north with our family – and introducing everyone to our newest little addition! Plus, I figured everyone would be either (a) too busy Black Friday shopping or (b) too lazy watching football on the couch to be catching up on their favorite blogs the day after Thanksgiving, hence why I’m hitting you with my new favorite Turkey Day leftovers recipe today while we’re still craving alllll those foods and wondering what we’re going to do with the monstrous amounts of leftovers.

Make an Ultimate Turkey Day Leftover Waffle as soon as your second craving for turkey strikes!

Okay, to be honest, The Ultimate Turkey Day Leftover Waffles don’t REALLY involve that much of a recipe, because they are totally customizable to whatever types of leftovers you have on hand. The one constant that I highly recommend is the potato waffles. I adapted them from Justin Chapple’s recipe for Food & Wine and they are the perfect hybrid of a typical Belgian waffle and hashbrowns/your favorite potato latke.

Even better, they can easily be made in advance and frozen until ready to use, so if you know you’ll be low on cooking steam by Friday, whip some of these waffles up in the next couple of days so you can just pull them out and defrost them in the toaster or the oven as soon as you start craving that first hit of leftovers. I mean, I wouldn’t even blame you if you turned to these for a late-night snack on the big day itself!

The Ultimate Turkey Day Leftover Waffles will easily get you through the rest of Thanksgiving weekend.

After you make the waffles, you can really go in whichever direction you want as far as toppings. The hubs and I had a blast doing an early Thanksgiving back in September when I was working on stockpiling content for maternity leave, and I roasted up a simple turkey breast to enjoy with this Zucchini Stuffing and some simple cranberry sauce. All of these made the perfect toppings for potato-y waffles, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wish I’d made more of them to have ready to go this weekend.

Now, I kept it fairly traditional/simple with the toppings for my Ultimate Turkey Day Leftover Waffles, but the sky’s the limit when it comes to possibilities. Here are just a few of the many ways to dress these waffles up:

Gravy
Sweet Potato Casserole
Green Bean Casserole
Roasted Vegetables

All creative license is yours!

Serve up The Ultimate Turkey Day Leftover Waffles as an easy breakfast the next day!

I’ll be back on Wednesday with one more fun Thanksgiving weekend cocktail to share with you all (HINT: It involves everyone’s favorite espresso drink of the season!) before I sign off for a few days, but until then I hope you get yourself in the kitchen and start prepping all the delicious components of The Ultimate Turkey Day Leftover Waffles!

The Ultimate Turkey Day Leftover Waffles
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

These potato-laced waffles are loaded with all of your favorite Thanksgiving leftovers - turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and more!

Course: Breakfast, Main Course
Servings: 4 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled, coarsely shredded and squeezed dry
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • Assorted Thanksgiving leftover toppings such as turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, gravy, casseroles, roasted vegetables, etc.
Instructions
  1. Plug in a waffle iron to heat up and preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. 

  2. Combine all ingredients except toppings in a large mixing bowl to form the waffle batter. 

  3. Scoop batter into preheated waffle iron and cook according to manufacturer’s directions (about 5-7 minutes.) Once waffle is done and golden-brown, transfer it to a rack in your preheated oven to keep warm.

  4. Repeat process until all batter is used up.

  5. Top waffles with your favorite Thanksgiving leftovers and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Justin Chapple’s Loaded Potato Waffles recipe for Food & Wine.

The Ultimate Turkey Day Leftover Waffles | CaliGirlCooking.com

Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs

We’re stepping a bit outside the Thanksgiving box today.

This Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs is the perfect vegan side dish for Thanksgiving.

Because, although not a traditional holiday side dish, this Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs is completely worthy of a spot on your holiday table. It’s full of dried cranberries, whole grains, white beans and seasonal fresh herbs like fresh rosemary, sage and thyme and literally is a Thanksgiving explosion in your mouth. You’re going to get this one on the menu STAT.

I’ve been a big fan of grain salads for quite a while now, as evidenced by this Spring Fava Bean and Burrata Grain Salad, this Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad and this Herbed Grain Salad with Broccoli Rabe and White Beans. I love them because they are filled with a ton of healthy ingredients and filling to boot. The whole grains give them plenty of heft to make them completely suitable as an entire meal, although they are equally delicious (and the portions go a bit further) if you serve them as a side dish among all the other delicious things you typically serve up for a holiday meal.

I’m not joking when I say tell you this Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs tastes like your entire Thanksgiving menu in a bowl. Sure, there’s no turkey in there (although you could easily add some and I wouldn’t be one bit upset about it) but just the cranberries and the fresh herbs alone are enough to mentally transport you to arguably the most well-known food holiday of the year. I love allll the fresh herbs, but there’s also just something about fresh sage in a recipe that really screams fall and all the deliciousness that comes with it.

A bowl of this Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs is filling enough to be a delicious vegan holiday meal.

As far as making the dish goes, it couldn’t be easier. Not only does it come together fairly quickly (the longest step will be cooking up the grains) but it can also be made in advance and served cold or at room temperature, which means it’s easy to fit into an already busy cooking and kitchen schedule once T-day rolls around.

For the whole grains, I used a combination of farro and Italian couscous because they were what we had on hand, but feel free to use other varieties such as quinoa, barley or even wild rice. I also added in some toasted pine nuts, and I highly recommend you do not skip this step, even if you want to sub in some other type of toasted nut for that little extra crunch. (Pecans? Almonds? So many possibilities.)

This Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs is an easy, make-ahead side dish for the holidays.

I would also like to point out that said Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs is completely vegan, which makes it a delicious, healthy, high-protein option for anyone in your group that may have certain dietary preferences. It’s a great way to serve them up some protein and filling flavor without having to bend over backwards making some sort of interesting Tofurkey creation.

Since I was developing recipes so far in advance this holiday season due to our little one’s arrival, I served this up as a side dish at my mother-in-law’s birthday celebration we held down here in Santa Barbara at the beginning of October. Let’s just say my sisters-in-law were already requesting I make it as our contribution to the Thanksgiving meal when we go celebrate with them in a couple of weeks.  I hope you decide to add it to your menu as well!

Serve this vegan Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs as a hearty side dish or light, healthy meal during the holidays.

Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs
Prep Time
10 mins
 

This festive vegan side dish is full of filling whole grains, protein-rich white beans and pine nuts, and the freshest herbs of the season. 

Course: Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Servings: 6 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cooked grains of your choice (I used a combination of farro and Italian couscous)
  • 2 15.5-ounce cans Great Northern or white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to two days before serving.

Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs | CaliGirlCooking.com