Easy Pasta Salad Recipe in Your Instant Pot

Bowl of easy pasta salad

This Instant Pot Easy Pasta Salad Recipe is delightful! It has so much built-in flavor from the rotini being cooked in Italian Dressing. The pasta salad is then stocked full of salami, feta cheese, tomatoes, and bell peppers. Did someone say picnic?! 

The other day, Matt and I went to a park for date night. We’ve been trying to do date night once a week in order to relax and have some fun with each other!

A few days ago, it was an absolutely GORGEOUS day. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and I could finally see that beautiful blue sky for the first time in literal months (clouds are a kill-joy during Michigan winters). 

We packed a picnic, and searched for a park that neither one of us had been to before. We laid out a blanket and ended up having a picnic on the dock of a random lake. It was so fun, and definitely a great way to soak up some sunshine!

I made this easy pasta salad recipe for our picnic. And the best part? I threw it together in my Instant Pot about a half an hour before we left! It was ready so fast!

This dish is perfect for a picnic because it is hearty, but is best enjoyed cold. I threw my recipe together with what I had on hand, but keep reading for some really delicious ways to customize your Easy Pasta Salad in the Instant Pot! 

close up of Easy Pasta Salad recipe

What Ingredients are in this Easy Pasta Salad Recipe? 

Rotini Noodles
Italian dressing
Chicken broth
Orange bell pepper
Feta cheese
Salami 
Cherry tomatoes 

How to Make this Easy Pasta Salad Recipe

Open the lid of your Instant Pot, and add the Italian dressing and the chicken broth. Add the noodles into the Pot, making sure that all of the noodles are covered by the liquid. Put the lid on the Instant Pot and turn it to HIGH for 6 minutes. Once the cooking cycle is complete, perform a Quick Release. 

Pour the noodles and the extra liquid into a bowl, and place in the fridge for about a half an hour.

At the end of the half hour, check on your noodles. They should be cold and should have absorbed the rest of the liquid in the bowl. 

Add the bell peppers, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, and salami. Stir and enjoy! If you like a stronger Italian dressing flavor or more liquid in your pasta salad, you can add ½ cup of Italian dressing into the bowl after tasting and stir. 

Leave a comment on this post letting me know what you thought! 

Can You Make Pasta Salad the Night Before? 

Yes! The great thing about Pasta Salad is that it’s meant to be eaten cold. This means that you can make it whenever is best for you, and then store it in the fridge until it’s time to enjoy! 

My best recommendation would be to cook the pasta the night before and store in the fridge. Then, on the day you want to eat it, add the rest of the topping ingredients (bell pepper, tomatoes, feta cheese, salami). 

In my opinion, this ensures that everything is as fresh as possible. The tomatoes are crunchier, etc. 

However, if you’re only option is to make everything ahead of time, that certainly is a safe and delicious option! Ultimately, you can do whatever is best for you!

What are Good Occasions to Make this Easy Pasta Salad Recipe? 

Oh there are so many. Pasta salad is a great summer dish, meaning that there are so many occasions that you can make it for! 

It’s a great dish to take on picnics in the park, because it’s hearty but doesn’t need to be warm to enjoy. You can also serve it at graduation parties or as a side dish at summer barbecues. 

And, hey, if you want to eat this pasta salad when it’s snowing outside…. I’m not judging! 

Feel free to enjoy this dish whenever is best for you. It’s great as an appetizer or as a side dish for a fresh and healthy dinner. But if you’re looking for something a little lighter, you can also serve it as a main dish, particularly for lunch. 

close up of easy pasta salad in the instant pot

Can I Add or Subtract Ingredients? 

Of course! And honestly, you can pretty much do that for all of the recipes on my website. 

Other great ideas of ingredients to include in pasta salad are: 

  • Olives 
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Red Onion
  • Pepperoncini 
  • Parsley 
  • Zucchini 
  • Green Onions
  • Basil 
  • Lemon Juice

I chose the ingredients that I chose because I had them on hand. If you want to include any of these other ingredients, those would be great options!

If you customize your Instant Pot Easy Pasta Salad Recipe, leave a comment and let me know what you thought! I love to try new combinations, so maybe you can inspire me with something that you’ve tried and loved! 

What Kind of Italian Dressing Did You Use? 

I wanted this recipe to be as quick as possible when I was making it (life is busy, hello!!!). So instead of making Italian dressing from home, I just went to my local grocery store and bought a bottle. 

I ended up with Wishbone Italian Dressing, and simply used that when making this recipe!

If you want to make your own Italian dressing, you can totally do that!! I really love this recipe from FiveHeartHome.com. Though I haven’t tried it specifically with this Easy Pasta Salad Recipe, I know that it would be absolutely delicious! 

easy pasta salad outside for picnics

How Long Will this Easy Pasta Salad Recipe Last in the Fridge? 

Your Instant Pot Pasta Salad should last in the fridge for about 5-7 days. This is, of course, only if the veggies that you add into your salad are fresh!

Keep an eye on the vegetables in the dish. The longer you keep it in the fridge, the less fresh they will become. I’d recommend eating your pasta salad before the 5 day mark, but it can last up to 7 days if necessary 🙂 

Did you like this Easy Pasta Salad Recipe? If so, leave a comment letting me know what you thought! Don’t forget to take a photo and post it on Facebook or Instagram tagging @TheForeignFork or hashtag #TheForeignFork. 

If you liked this Instant Pot Pasta Recipe, make sure to check out these other recipes that I think you’ll like as well! 

Easy Pasta Salad

Easy Pasta Salad Recipe

This Instant Pot Easy Pasta Salad Recipe is delightful! It has so much built-in flavor from the rotini being cooked in Italian Dressing. The pasta salad is then stocked full of salami, feta cheese, tomatoes, and bell peppers. Did someone say picnic?!
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Pressure Building 5 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 oz dry rotini noodles
  • 1 cup Italian dressing
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 orange bell pepper chopped
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 oz salami cut into pieces
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

Instructions

  1. Open the lid of your Instant Pot, and add the Italian dressing and the chicken broth. Add the noodles into the Pot, making sure that all of the noodles are covered by the liquid. Put the lid on the Instant Pot and turn it to HIGH for 6 minutes. Once the cooking cycle is complete, perform a Quick Release.
  2. Pour the noodles and the extra liquid into a bowl, and place in the fridge for about a half an hour.
  3. At the end of the half hour, check on your noodles. They should be cold and should have absorbed the rest of the liquid in the bowl.
  4. Add the bell peppers, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, and salami. Stir and enjoy! If you like a stronger Italian dressing flavor or more liquid in your pasta salad, you can add ½ cup of Italian dressing into the bowl after tasting and stir.
  5. Leave a comment on this post letting me know what you thought!

Recipe Notes

Recipe copyright The Foreign Fork. For personal or educational purposes only. 

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Close up of roasted red pepper dip

This Roasted Red Pepper Dip is made with cream cheese and jarred red peppers. This quick appetizer comes together in less than 5 minutes and tastes absolutely delicious! It is great as a veggie dip or as an appetizer to serve with crackers. 

This Roasted Red Pepper Dip is so delicious and SO extremely easy to make. I still remember making it with my aunt when I was young, thinking that we were master chefs for whipping up this dip. 

In reality, you simply throw both ingredients in the blender and press a button. Soon enough, you have a delicious dip that is bound to impress! 

What Ingredients are in Roasted Red Pepper Dip? 

Whipped cream cheese
Roasted red peppers, jarred and drained

For full ingredient measurements and instructions, visit the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

How to Make this Recipe

Put the whipped cream cheese and the drained roasted red peppers in a blender or a food processor. 

Blend until combined. Enjoy! 

Cream cheese in the food processor

Extra Tips for Making this Roasted Red Pepper Dip

My only additional tip for making this dip would be to not overblend it. The longer you blend the dip, the waterier it gets, meaning that it becomes harder to dip things in! 

I would take care to blend the dip enough that the red peppers break down entirely. Once the peppers are blended completely, turn off the blender and you’re done! 

Cream cheese and red peppers in food processor

What to Use Roasted Red Pepper Dip With 

As you can see in my photo we had quite a bit of dippers with our dip. You can use fresh vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, tomatoes, or peppers.

You can also use crackers, which are absolutely delicious as well! I enjoyed the Rosemary flavored triscuits, but you can use anything that sounds good to you. 

If you don’t want to use this recipe as a dip, you can always double it as a spread. This is delicious on sandwiches! 

Roasted red pepper dip with serving platter

How Long Will the Dip Last in the Fridge? 

Because of the dairy in the recipe, I would say that your roasted red pepper dip will last for about a week in the fridge. Make sure to store it in an airtight container. 

Did you like this recipe? If so, leave a comment on this post letting me know! When you make this recipe, post a photo on Facebook or Instagram and tag @TheForeignFork and hashtag #TheForeignFork.

If you liked this recipe, you might also like these other recipes  I picked out just for you:

Close up of roasted red pepper dip
5 from 1 vote
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Roasted Red Pepper Dip

This Roasted Red Pepper Dip is made with cream cheese and jarred red peppers. This quick appetizer comes together in less than 5 minutes and tastes absolutely delicious! It is great as a veggie dip or as an appetizer to serve with crackers.
Course appetizers, dips
Prep Time 2 minutes
Servings 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 12 oz whipped cream cheese
  • 8 oz roasted red peppers jarred, drained

Instructions

  1. Put all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

  2. Use crackers or vegetables to dip or use as a spread on sandwiches.
  3. Leave a comment on this post letting me know what you thought!

Recipe Notes

Recipe copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational and personal use only.

Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers from Croatia

This recipe for Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers are a quick take on a classic! The peppers are stuffed with ground meat and rice and topped with tomato sauce.

During my time in Croatia, I had plenty of delicious meals. One of my very favorite meals that I had was the stuffed peppers that I ate on a restaurant patio on the coast, overlooking the ocean. 

The peppers were served alongside mashed potatoes, and they were delicious!!

As you know, I’ve been obsessed with my Instant Pot lately, so I decided to make this recipe a recipe for Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers! A well-rounded and delicious dinner has never been so easy. 

close up of orange bell pepper

What Ingredients are in this Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers Recipe? 

Long Grain White Rice 
Chicken broth 
Ground pork 
Ground beef
Egg
Onion
Garlic
Canned tomato juice
Dried mint 
Oregano 
Salt
Paprika 
Bell peppers

How to Make this recipe for Insatnt Pot Stuffed Pepper Recipe

Add the rice and chicken broth into the pot at the same time. Put the lid on and turn the pressure to MANUAL or HIGH. Cook for 6 minutes. When the cooking cycle is complete, perform a quick release. The rice should be mostly cooked, but not completely. Set aside. 

In a large bowl, combine the ground pork, ground beef, egg, onion, garlic, ¼ cup tomato juice, mint, oregano, salt, and paprika. Use a wooden spoon or your hands to combine everything. 

Use a knife to cut the tops off of each bell pepper. Cut a circle around the top rim of each pepper. Discard the top/stem. Scoop out any remaining seeds. 

Divide the meat mixture into 4 parts. Stuff each pepper with the filling. 

Pour 1 cup of water into the bottom of your Instant Pot. Insert the trivet. Place each stuffed pepper onto the trivet. Spoon about 1 tbsp extra tomato sauce onto the top of each pepper. 

Add the lid onto the Instant pot and hit MANUAL or HIGH. Cook for 9 minutes. When the cooking cycle is complete, perform a quick release. The peppers should be easily pierced by a fork. If not ready, pour a bit more water into the bottom of the pot and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. 

Enjoy! Leave a comment on this post letting me know what you thought 🙂 

bell peppers in instant pot

Do You Have to Cook the Meat Before Stuffing Peppers?

No! When you make the stuffed peppers, you will mix the raw meat with the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl. You then stuff this raw meat into the uncooked pepper shell, and the entire dish cooks together at once! 

The meat in this dish is cooked by pressure and steam! The cup of water in the bottom of the Instant Pot will pressurize in the Instant Pot and cook the meat all the way through. 

What Kind of Peppers Should I Use for these Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers? 

In this recipe for Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers, I am using bell peppers. You can use any color of bell peppers, though I would refrain from green peppers. 

This is mostly because I think that green peppers taste differently than red, yellow, or orange stuffed peppers. However, if you are partial to green peppers, of course use them! You can always modify this recipe however you’d like. 

In Croatia, it is actually traditional to use green peppers for this dish as opposed to red, yellow, or orange bell peppers. 

Is this Considered a Full Meal?

Absolutely! Each bell pepper contains a quarter pound of meat, a starch, and a serving of vegetables! Serving this dish as is counts as a wonderful all-encompassing meal. 

However, when I ordered Stuffed Peppers in Croatia, they were served with a side of mashed potatoes! The mashed potatoes are absolutely delicious and add another layer of depth to this already diverse meal. 

inside of stuffed bell peppers

How Should I Reheat Stuffed Peppers? 

In many cases, my recommendation is to reheat dishes by putting them in the oven. In the case of these Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers, however, I would recommend simply using the microwave to heat up the dish. 

The oven won’t offer any benefits when heating up the dish (nothing needs to stay crispy or crunchy) and the oven just takes a large amount of time. 

I would recommend simply putting the Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers on a plate, covering them, and reheating in the microwave. 

How Long Are Stuffed Peppers Good for In the Fridge? 

The stuffed peppers will last for about 5 days in the fridge. Because there is meat in them, I wouldn’t try to keep them for much longer than that. 

Make sure to store your peppers in an airtight container and keep cool in the fridge until it is time to reheat them. 

Did you like this recipe for Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers? Make sure to check out some of these other posts on my page and let me know what you think about them as well. I’ve picked them out just for you! 

Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers

This recipe for Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers takes a classic and decreases the cooking time drastically! The peppers are stuffed with ground pork, ground beef, rice, and a mixture of delicious seasonings.

Course dinner, Main Course
Cuisine croatia
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 9 minutes
Pressure building 8 minutes
Servings 4 peppers

Ingredients

  • ½ cup long grain white rice
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ lb ground pork
  • ½ lb ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • ½ onion chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic minced
  • ½ cup canned tomato sauce separated in ¼ cup measurements
  • 2 tsp dried mint
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 4 bell peppers

Instructions

  1. Add the rice and chicken broth into the pot at the same time. Put the lid on and turn the pressure to MANUAL or HIGH. Cook for 6 minutes. When the cooking cycle is complete, perform a quick release. The rice should be mostly cooked, but not completely. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the ground pork, ground beef, rice, egg, onion, garlic, ¼ cup tomato sauce, mint, oregano, salt, and paprika. Use a wooden spoon or your hands to combine everything.

  3. Use a knife to cut the tops off of each bell pepper. Cut a circle around the top rim of each pepper. Discard the top/stem. Scoop out any remaining seeds.
  4. Divide the meat mixture into 4 parts. Stuff each pepper with the filling.
  5. Pour 1 cup of water into the bottom of your Instant Pot. Insert the trivet. Place each stuffed pepper onto the trivet. Spoon about 1 tbsp extra tomato sauce onto the top of each pepper.
  6. Add the lid onto the Instant pot and hit MANUAL or HIGH. Cook for 9 minutes. When the cooking cycle is complete, perform a quick release. The peppers should be easily pierced by a fork. If not ready, pour a bit more water into the bottom of the pot and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  7. Enjoy! Leave a comment on this post letting me know what you thought 🙂

Recipe Notes

Recipe copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational and personal use only. 

Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Recipe

Poulet DG on a plate

In Cameroon there’s a scrumptious chicken recipe called Poulet DG, which is really just a fancy name for Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Recipe. The chicken thighs are cooked in a cast iron skillet alongside vegetables like bell peppers, green beans, and plantains and then coated in a yummy parsley sauce. 

Why is this Recipe Called “Poulet DG”?

As you may recall, the national languages of Cameroon are English and French. And the word for chicken in French is… you guessed it… le poulet.

Now the “DG” in this recipe stands for Directeur Général, because this dish is meant to be served to only the most important of guests. 

In Cameroon, this dish is still served to important dinner guests, at holidays, and on very fancy menus. That makes it sound unapproachable or difficult, but don’t worry! This is an easy meal to make at home without too much hassle. 

Making this Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Recipe with No Oven

If you’re looking for a stovetop chicken recipe, you’re in luck! This entire chicken recipe is made in your cast iron skillet. No need to preheat that oven if it’s hot outside. No need to wait for your chicken to cook in the oven! 

Instead, this entire recipe can be made in one pot (or two… actually, I’d recommend 2. Just a little one to fry the plantains and then another to cook the chicken). 

ingredients for Poulet Dg

What Ingredients Do I Need to Make this Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Recipe? 

Plantains
Olive Oil
Chicken thighs
Ginger root
Chicken bouillon cube
Celery
Green onions
Carrots
Green beans
Parsley
White pepper
Bell pepper 

For full measurements and instructions, visit the recipe card at the bottom of the page. 

This recipe for Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Thighs with plantains and green beans is such a healthy and delicious meal! Click for the recipe

How Do I Make This Recipe? 

Season your chicken with black pepper and salt.

Heat the oil in a large pan on your stove top. 

Fry the chicken on both sides until it turns brown but doesn’t cook all the way through. 

Remove the chicken and set on a plate.

Blend parsley, onion, olive oil, ginger, garlic, celery in a blender. 

Add the blender mixture into the large pan along with a bouillon cube and heat for a few moments until the bouillon cube melts. 

Combine ¼ cup water, green beans, carrots, and red bell pepper into the pan and cook for about 15 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften. 

Add chicken back in and cook, covered for another 20. 

While the chicken is cooking, slice the plantains into inch slices. Fry them in a little bit of oil so that they become slightly crispy and cook through. 

After the chicken and vegetables are done cooking, arrange the plantains in the pan. Serve and enjoy!  

Poulet DG Pinterest Image

How Do I Fry the Plantains?

To fry the plantains for this recipe, slice them up to about 1/2 inch thick. Heat some vegetable oil in a skillet and allow it to warm up enough that when the plantain touches the oil, it begins to fry immediately.

Put the plantain on the oil and allow it to crisp up for a few minutes. Then, flip and allow the other side to fry.

This process is identical to the 1st steps of making homemade tostones.

If you’d like to watch a video about how to make these plantains, view the first half of this video, before I smash the plantains with the glass 🙂

Making the Sauce for this Recipe

The original recipe for this post featured 1 bunch of parsley, 1 clove of garlic, 1 stalk of celery, etc.

The dish was delicious this way, but it didn’t provide enough sauce! I wanted my chicken to have enough sauce that it was covered in it.

So I doubled the ingredients for the blender steps, hoping that I could get 2 times as much sauce out of it. It turned out perfectly!

Now you have double the flavor and moisture in your Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Recipe.

Is this Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Thighs Recipe Whole30? Paleo? 

Yes, you lucky duck! It’s both!

There are no grains in this recipe whatsoever and no dairy or sugar either. This makes it a compliant Whole30 meal, as well as a compliant Paleo meal.

You’re welcome 😉 

If you like this recipe, post a photo of it on Facebook or Instagram and tag @TheForeignFork and hashtag #TheForeignFork. I can’t wait to see what you make! You can also leave a comment on this post letting me know what you thought.

If you liked this recipe, you might also like the following: 

Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Recipe

In Cameroon there’s a scrumptious chicken recipe called Poulet DG, which is really just a fancy name for Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Recipe. The chicken thighs are cooked in a cast iron skillet alongside vegetables like bell peppers, green beans, and plantains and then coated in a yummy parsley sauce. 

Course chicken, Main Course
Cuisine cameroon
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 5 servings

Ingredients

  • 5 chicken thighs
  • Olive oil for frying
  • 2 bunch parsley
  • 8 stalks green onions chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 inches ginger root grated
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 2 tsp garlic minced
  • White pepper to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 handful green beans ends trimmed and washed
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 2 carrots peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 3 plantains slightly ripe, sliced into rounds about one inch thick

Instructions

  1. Season your chicken to taste with black pepper and salt.
  2. Coat the bottom of your pan in olive oil, about 1/8-1/4 inc thick. Heat the oil in a large pan on your stove top.
  3. Fry the chicken on both sides until it turns brown but doesn’t cook all the way through.
  4. Remove the chicken and set on a plate.
  5. Blend parsley, green onion, olive oil, ginger, garlic, celery, white pepper, and salt in a blender.

  6. Add the blender mixture into the large pan along with a bouillon cube and heat for a few moments until the bouillon cube melts.
  7. Add ¼ cup water, green beans, carrots, and red bell pepper into the pot and cook for about 15 minutes until they begin to soften.
  8. Add chicken back in and cook, covered for another 20.
  9. While the chicken is cooking, slice the plantains into inch slices. Fry them in a little bit of oil so that they become slightly crispy and cook through.
  10. After the chicken and vegetables are done cooking, arrange the plantains in the pan. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Recipe copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational or personal use only. 

Tarator (Cucumber Yogurt Soup) from Bulgaria

Jump to Recipe

Tarator is a Bulgarian cold soup made with yogurt and cucumbers. My version is also served with walnuts, dill, and red pepper. This soup is perfect for a light meal in the heat of summertime and would be delicious with a slice of crusty bread!

Bulgarians are HELLA proud of their yogurt, my friends. When I say proud, I don’t mean they’re like “hey look how cool this yogurt is” proud. I mean they’re like “yo, our yogurt rocks” proud. I mean they’re like “dudes, our yogurt is the literal best thing that has been made on planet earth” proud. And they’re not wrong!

How is Bulgarian Yogurt Different?

So Bulgarian yogurt is (obviously, based on the pride) different than most yogurts. First of all, the yogurt needs to be made with the Lactobacillus bulgaricus and the Streptococcus thermophilus bacteria. These two strains of bacteria are what gives the Bulgarian yogurt its classic taste, a taste that’s identifiable as Bulgarian from yogurt enthusiasts around the world. Bulgarian yogurt is creamy, but not as thick as Greek yogurt. It is a bit more tart than normal yogurt because it is typically made with sheep’s milk, not cow’s milk. For a taste of true Bulgarian yogurt, click here.

Health Benefits of Bulgarian Yogurt

In addition to its distinct taste, Bulgarian yogurt is also special because of its health benefits. The livestock that are used to make the yogurt (sheep and sometimes cows) graze on the herb-rich fields in Bulgaria. The nutrients and vitamins that are in the herbs are then transferred into the dairy of the animals. Bulgarian yogurt is known to be incredibly healthy because of this! This is why most Bulgarians credit their yogurt for their longevity.

Tarator Soup

So it’s clear by now that Bulgarians love their yogurt. Clearly, I had to make something with it! One of the most famous yogurt dishes in Bulgaria is Tarator, a cold yogurt, cucumber soup. This soup is perfect for the dog days of summer, when the sun is hot and you want a refreshing, light lunch to cool down with. This soup would be perfect served with some crusty bread!

Red Pepper in your Tarator

I’ll be straightforward with you all… I made this recipe without the red pepper, and the yogurt taste was just a bit strong for my liking. This doesn’t mean it was bad… Just that I wasn’t a huge fan myself. When I added in the red pepper, the yogurt taste was cut juuuust enough, and suddenly, this soup was making me do a little happy dance!

Make sure to top the soup with olive oil, dill, and walnuts like I did! It makes the serving SO beautiful, and so much fun to eat!

If this soup made you happy dance like it did for me, I want you to let me know! Leave me a comment on this post, and post a photo to Facebook or Instagram tagging @TheForeignFork and hashtagging #TheForeignFork. If you liked this soup recipe, you’d also like this Thai Inspired Meatball Soup with Rice Noodles, this Borsht Soup from Belarus, or this Chickpea Stew from Algeria. Thanks so much for stopping by everyone! I can’t wait to keep cooking the rest of Bulgaria with you. 

Cold Cucumber Yogurt Soup (Bulgaria)

Tarator is a Bulgarian cold soup made with yogurt and
cucumbers. My version is also served with walnuts, dill, and red pepper. This
soup is perfect for a light meal in the heat of summertime and would be
delicious with a slice of crusty bread!

Course Appetizer, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Bulgaria
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 large cucumber peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1/4 cup walnuts or more for garnishing
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or more for garnishing
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt or more to taste
  • 1 cup yogurt plain, non-flavored
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice or more to taste
  • 1/3 red pepper chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill

Instructions

  1. Peel the cucumber and cut it the long way down the middle. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Then, chop the cucumbers into 1/2 inch cubes.

  2. In a food processor or blender, blend the walnuts and olive oil together until very fine.

  3. Add the rest of the ingredients except the water into the food processor.

  4. Pulse lightly so that the soup blends but does not becomes too fine.

  5. Add the water little by little until soup reaches desires consistency.

  6. Garnish soup with a drizzle of olive oil, chopped walnuts, and fresh dill. Enjoy!

  7. Leave a comment on this recipe to let me know what you thought.

Recipe Notes

Recipe copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational or personal use only. 

Sautéed Spinach from Botswana

sauteed spinach from botswana

Sautéed spinach from Botswana is so healthy and delicious! Keep reading to find out how to make this awesome side dish with just a few simple ingredients. 

What pairs well with a bowl of cornmeal and some stew? Sautéed Spinach of course! In Botswana, sautéed spinach is a must. It makes every meal better! This recipe is so easy to throw together and so very delicious.

This spinach definitely has big enough portions that it could be served as a side at a party. It mades about 10-12 servings in total. 

How to Make Sautéed Spinach from Botswana

To make this dish, simply cut up the onion, tomato, and red bell pepper into bite-sized pieces. Warm some olive oil in a pan on the stove and add the vegetables to the pan. Cook over the heat until the vegetables soften and are easy to poke through with a fork. Right before the vegetables are done, add the spinach to the pan. You may need to add the spinach in rounds to allow the leaves the space to wilt and make room for more spinach leaves. 

Once the spinach has cooked down, add the salt, pepper, and chili powder into the pan as well. Season to taste! Remove the dish from the flame and transfer to a serving bowl. Place a few dollops of butter on top of the spinach and allow the heat from the dish to melt the butter. MMM. 

Easy, right? Now go make it yourself!

Did you like this recipe? Also check out my recipe for Baba Ganoush from Bahrain or these Cumin Roasted Potatoes (Jeera Aloo) from Bangladesh. If you make this recipe, take a photo at home and share it with me on Facebook by tagging @TheForeignFork and hashtagging #TheForeignFork. As always, leave a comment on this post letting me know what you thought as well. Thanks for stopping by!

Sauteed Spinach from Botswana

Sauteed spinach from Botswana is so healthy and delicious! Keep reading to find out how to make this awesome side dish with a few simple ingredients.

Course Side Dish, vegetable
Cuisine botswana
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 Tomatoes cubed
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced
  • 20 oz spinach leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Chili powder to taste
  • 1 tbsp butter

Instructions

  1. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat.

  2. Once the oil is heated, add the cut onion, red pepper, and tomato. Cook until the vegetables are cooked all the way through and are easily pierced with a fork.

  3. Add the spinach. You may need to add it half at a time in order to have enough room. If this is the case, add 10 oz of spinach and wait for it to wilt. Then add the rest.

  4. Cook until the spinach is wilted to your desired consistency. Then sprinkle with salt, pepper, and chili powder to taste.

  5. Transfer spinach to a separate plate. Top with small dollops of butter and allow the heat of the dish to melt it. Enjoy!

  6. Leave a review on this post letting me know what you thought.

Recipe Notes

Recipe copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational or personal use only. 

Ema Datschi (Peppers and Cheese) from Bhutan

Ema Datschi from Bhutan

Ema Datschi from Bhutan is a mixture of chili peppers and cheese that marks every single meal in Bhutan. This version is a delicious and easy recipe to make with ingredients from your local grocery store!

Of all foods in Bhutan, I think most Bhutanese would agree that Ema Datschi reigns supreme. Ema Datschi is a total staple in Bhutan. Not only is it served at most restaurants, it’s served at most meals. In every house, for almost every meal, Ema Datschi is a favorite. Even if it’s not a main dish in the meal, it’s almost always served as an appetizer.

A Vegetarian Meal

As you may know from my Bhutan Introduction, many of the Bhutanese are vegetarians. Bhutan is a Buddhist country, so killing of any kind is strictly forbidden. If any inhabitants of Bhutan ever want to eat meat, it needs to be imported to the country from India. For this reason, vegetarian recipes are very common in Bhutan, and this is a great one!

A bowl of ema datschi from bhutan

The Cheese Blend

Now, of course, this recipe is meant to be made with yak cheese. However, I wasn’t able to find yak cheese (are you sick of hearing this yet? I’ve said it for every Bhutanese recipe so far), so I made my own cheese blend to add to my Ema Datschi. I found that a mix of feta, farmer’s cheese, and sharp cheddar was the perfect blend for this recipe. Of course, if you have access to yak cheese, that would be the most authentic way to make this recipe.

Ema Datschi

Variations of Ema Datschi

All recipes for Ema Datschi are a little different from one another. Some are more watery or soupy, some seem more like peppers smothered in melted cheese. This is a great mix in the middle, though the cheese doesn’t completely melt into the water. Farmer’s cheese tends to not melt into water, so the mixture ends up being more watery. I love it that way!

If you loved this recipe, make sure to post a picture of it on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #TheForeignFork and tag @TheForeignFork. You can also leave a comment on this post! Also make sure to check out this recipe for Pigeon Peas and Rice from The Bahamas and this Mangal (Roasted Vegetable) Salad from Azerbaijan.

Ema Datschi (Bhutan)

Ema Datschi from Bhutan is a mixture of chili peppers and cheese that marks every single meal in Bhutan. This version is a delicious and easy recipe to make with ingredients from your local grocery store!

Course Appetizer, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Bhutan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 red bell pepper cut into thin strips
  • 1 poblano pepper cut into thin strips
  • 2 jalapenos cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic
  • 1 sweet onion sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 oz feta cheese
  • 4 oz farmers cheese
  • 2 oz sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 sliced tomato
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Wash the chili peppers, remove the seeds, and cut them into very thin, horizontal strips (about 1/4 of an inch thick). Wash the tomato, cut in half, and the cut into thin, half-moon slices.

  2. Set a pan on the stove and fill it with ½ cup of water. Now add all of the chopped peppers, chopped garlic, sliced onion, salt, and butter into the pan.
  3. Cover the pot and boil it on low flame for about 20 minutes.
  4. Stir in cheese and allow it to melt.
  5. Enjoy plain in a bowl or served over red rice.


Pigeon Peas and Rice from The Bahamas

how to make pigeon peas with rice

This Pigeon Peas and Rice recipe from The Bahamas is a country staple and delicious one-pot wonder. Bacon fries in a pan and then cooks alongside rice and peas to make a savory, comforting side dish or main meal!

The Conch Tragedy

I think today is as good of a time as any to tell you about the 2018 Christmas Conch Tragedy. Conch meat is massively popular in The Bahamas, and many of the national dishes of the country have this sea snail as a main ingredient (e.g. conch fritter, conch chowder, conch salad, etc.).

Conch is an incredibly elusive and scarce ingredient in the United State of America. In fact, it’s virtually impossible to find. In the days before Christmas that year, I made a call to my local fish market and learned that a shipment of conch meat was schedule to arrive at the store on Christmas Eve.

Not knowing the true rarity of this seashell treasure, I put off going to pick up the conch until after the holidays. Low and behold, by the time I made it to the store, the conch was long gone… with no restock date in sight!

My advice to you, dear readers, is this: if you stumble across conch meat, pick that monster up and take it home: You never know when you’ll need it. Or when you’ll be able to find it again.

Pigeon Peas and Rice with Conch Shell

Another Bahamian Treasure: Pigeon Peas and Rice

Another national meal of The Bahamas that would be delicious with a classic conch recipe is Pigeon Peas and Rice.

Thankfully, it is far simpler to unearth the ingredients needed for this recipe However, it still took some searching to finally find the cans of pigeon peas at Meijer. If you can’t find at your local grocery store, you can substitute canned green peas in a pinch. While not as sweet as pigeon peas, you’ll get a similar flavor and texture from green peas.

So how was this dish originally created? Pigeon Peas have been a staple in The Bahamas since the 19th century. Pigeon peas and corn were planted next to each other in fields and harvested around the same time. Because of this, corn was ground into grits and mixed with pigeon peas to make a hearty and delicious side dish.

As the years went on, rice finally found its way into the Caribbean through America. Corn grits moved to the side, and Bahamians began mixing their peas with white rice, cumin, tomatoes, and more. The method of cooking “browns” the rice and leaves the eater with a flavorful and satisfying side dish.

Pigeon Peas and Rice Up Close

Classic Pigeon Peas and Rice Recipe

This recipe for Pigeon Peas and Rice comes from the man, the myth, the legend… Guy Fieri himself. I have changed a few items to create my satisfying version of this classic dish, like adding canned corn and skipping the green pepper.

Try my recipe and see what you think!

Here are the ingredients you need:

  • Olive oil – for sautéing
  • Bacon
  • Onion
  • Red bell pepper
  • Long grain white rice
  • Kosher salt
  • Tomato paste
  • Canned veggies – pigeon peas, diced roasted tomatoes, corn
  • Spices – oregano and cumin
  • Chicken stock – I recommend low sodium chicken broth
  • For garnishing – cilantro and scallions

Feel free to add or substitute any other vegetables that you want into this rice as well! Though it may not be traditional, pea pods, corn, cabbage, or broccoli would also be fantastic additions in this dish.

Customize it any way you’d like… Use up those veggies, folks!

Can I Make This Recipe Vegetarian or Vegan?

Absolutely! Easily make this a vegan pigeon peas and rice recipe with just a few ingredients swaps: Instead of bacon you can simply use more cooking oil, and cook with vegetable stock rather than chicken broth.

how to make pigeon peas with rice

How to Make Pigeon Peas and Rice

A one-pan wonder and 35 minutes from start to finish, this dish is fantastic for a quick dinner after work! It is perfect for a hearty side dish or as a lighter main meal.

Here’s how to make this wonderfully simple recipe:

  1. Cooked chopped bacon in oil using a large Dutch oven or deep skillet.
  2. Next, add the chopped vegetables, rice and salt. Cook on medium-high heat for several minutes until the veggies have begun to soften and the rice is lightly toasted and browned.
  3. Adding one ingredient at a time, mix in the tomato paste, seasonings, canned vegetables, chicken stock and one cup of water.
  4. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover the pot with a lid and continue cooking, without stirring or removing the lid, until the rice is tender.
  5. Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Garnish with cilantro and/or scallions and serve warm.

Get the Complete Bahamian Pigeon Peas and Rice Recipe Below!

This rice was spectacular on the first day that I made it, but the next morning it became even better. I fried an over-easy egg in a pan and put it over the rice. Cracking the yolk over the rice makes a beautiful sauce that adds an extra special POP to the dish. Mmmm… I could crack an egg on anything and be one happy gal!

If you like this rice recipe, you’ll also love this Armenian Rice with Vermicelli (Seriously. Try this.), or this Afghan Kabuli Pulao. And as always, please leave comments below to let me know what you think!

What Dishes Go Well With This Pigeon Peas and Rice Side Dish?

Perfect for a relaxing summer evening, Pigeon Peas and Rice would be a terrifically filling side dish to these Tropical Stuffed Avocados from Barbados or with Caribbean Seafood Salad from Antigua and Barbuda.

And if you’re going to enjoy Pigeon Peas and Rice as a light main meal on a busy weeknight, try these Plantain Chips as another quick side dish and snack.

For dessert, you have got to try this classic Coconut Bimini Bread recipe! It is a deliciously sweet bread from The Bahamas that is super yummy served with fresh fruits like mango and kiwi.

Pigeon Peas and Rice (The Bahamas)

This Pigeon Peas and Rice recipe from The Bahamas is a country staple and delicious one-pot wonder. Bacon fries in a pan and then cooks alongside rice and peas to make a savory, comforting side dish or main meal!

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine The Bahamas
Keyword bahamian recipes, peas and rice, pigeon peas and rice
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 strips bacon finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup red pepper finely diced
  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 15 oz can pigeon peas drained and rinsed
  • 1 14.5 oz can chopped roasted tomatoes
  • 1/2 15 oz can corn
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup scallions chopped for garnish

Instructions

  1. Place a large Dutch oven over medium heat and add the oil and bacon. Cook, stirring, until the bacon is crispy and golden and the fat has rendered, 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add the onions, green peppers, red peppers, rice and salt; cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, until the onion is soft and the rice is lightly toasted.
  3. Add the tomato paste and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring. Add the oregano, cumin, pigeon peas, corn, tomatoes, chicken stock and 1 cup water.

  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook until the rice is tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Garnish with cilantro and scallions.

Recipe Notes

Keep leftovers stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the fridge.

Recipe adapted from Guy Fieri.

 

Did you like this Pigeon Peas and Rice recipe from The Bahamas? Post a photo of your creation on Facebook or Instagram and tag @TheForeignFork or hashtag #TheForeignFork.

Don’t forget to come back next week for more recipes from around the world!

Looking for More Delicious Side Dish Recipes?

Mangal Salad: Roasted Vegetables from Azerbaijan

Roasted Mangal Salad

Mangal salad is a side dish from Azerbaijan made from broiled vegetables, including peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, and red onions. Serve this dish alongside some crusty, toasted bread for a spectacular appetizer, or bake with eggs for a delicious breakfast.

Mangal Salad

Hello hello and welcome to January! 2019! Woah, baby.

As 2019 starts, so does Azerbaijan! And we’re kickin’ this year off with a GREAT Azerbaijani side dish, called Mangal Salad. I am SUPER excited for this recipe because 1. It’s Amazing and 2. It’s Whole30 Compliant!

A January Whole30 and Thoughts on New Year’s Resolutions

Quick interjection: Whole30 is 30 days of cutting out everything that messes with digestion (ie: grains, dairy, legumes, alcohol, and processed sugar). After 30 days without these food groups, you slowly add them back in and see what foods work well with your body.

Yep, I admit it. I jumped on the Whole30 bandwagon for the first month of 2019. Funnily enough, I’m not really a huge “New Year’s Resolution” person. I believe that you can improve yourself or achieve your goals at any time of the year. You don’t need to wait for a new year to begin to do so. But also, a fresh, clean start is never a bad thing… And I wanted to curb those out of control sugar cravings I’ve been having. So here we are: No processed sugar for 30 days.

(As I type this, I have a chocolate pineapple upside down cake baking in the oven for a Post-New-Year-Family-Christmas-Party I’m going to today. Which I CANNOT EAT WHEN IT COMES OUT OF THE OVEN. Name a bigger form of torture. Oh wait. YOU CAN’T.)

This Mangal Salad is G-O-O-D

Anyways. If I’m going to be sad about not eating cake, this mangal salad softens the blow just a bit. It’s super simple to make, and absolutely scrumptious. Once it was done, I spread it on some toasted French bread and ooooh baby I was in heaven. I also baked some eggs into the mangal salad for breakfast, which was deeeeelish.

Leave the vegetables whole, and broil them in the oven until the skin is blackened and the flesh of the vegetables is sweet. Peel the skin off of the vegetables, chop them, and mix them together. Traditional mangal salad does not include mushrooms or almonds, but these additions definitely brought this side dish over the edge. Try it out!

If you like these veggies also try out this Fergese (tomatoes, peppers, and feta cheese) from Albania! If you make this recipe, post a photo of it and tag @theforeignfork or hashtag #theforeignfork!


Mangal Salad

Mangal salad is a side dish from Azerbaijan made from broiled vegetables, including peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, and red onions. Serve this dish alongside some crusty, toasted bread for a spectacular appetizer, or bake with eggs for a delicious breakfast. 

Course Appetizer
Cuisine azerbaijan
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tomatoes whole
  • 2 eggplants halved
  • 1 yellow bell pepper whole
  • 1/2 red onion sliced into rings
  • 8 oz container of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp garlic chopped
  • ½ bunch cilantro chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp Lawry’s seasoned salt (optional, not Whole30 compliant)
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • 1 tbsp ghee

Instructions

  1. Place tomatoes, pepper, red onion slices, and eggplant halves on a pan. Broil in the oven on high until the skin on the peppers and the eggplant starts to blacken and the flesh is sweet. Turn the vegetables over and continue cooking until the other side begins to blacken as well (the tomatoes should not blacken, but they should begin to shrivel a bit). 

  2. Remove vegetables from the oven and allow them to rest until they are cool enough to be handled. 

  3. In the meantime, coat the bottom of a medium pan with olive oil, and add the mushrooms. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Lawry’s to taste. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are soft. 

  4. In a separate, small pan, heat the ghee. Add the slivered almonds and stir over medium heat until they begin to toast. Remove from heat and set aside. 

  5. Once vegetables are cool, remove the peels from the eggplant and the tomatoes. Chop all of the vegetables and mix together, along with mushrooms, the toasted almonds, and the cilantro. 

  6. Allow the mixture to cool in the fridge for about a half an hour before serving. Serve as a side with meat or alongside toasted, crusty bread. Enjoy!