I was talking to someone the other day about Quorn. Immediately, I noticed that their nose curled up, and they had a look on their face akin to that which someone who’d realised their baby desperately needed changing would have.
As a vegetarian for many years, I’ve never really understood why so many people have an aversion to this product. Here I want to share with you my favourite Quorn recipes for healthy lifestyles that also are great for diets or those just wanting a change.
In the past, some of the items might have been a little lacking in taste, but then many people say that about white breast meat from the chicken. I guess we can conclude that it’s what you do with the Quorn that’s important and will result in a meal you do or don’t enjoy.
Quorn comes in several guises, more in fact. In the past, you were a little limited to chicken-style pieces, mince, sausages and burgers, whereas now, you are able to indulge in nuggets (our household gives these a massive thumbs up!), southern-style burgers, fishless fillets and many more.
Despite the increased range, I do find that I revert to my trusted favourites: the mince and the pieces, so here are some of my favourite recipes using them. Be sure to check out my other vegetarian and vegan recipes too!
Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers
When it comes to injecting flavour into your Quorn, you can’t go far wrong with this recipe. Combining the moisture and saltiness from the vegetable stock, the tanginess of the tinned tomatoes and the spicy kick from the cheese and chilli combo, vegetarian stuffed peppers using Quorn mince will be a firm family favourite for sure. And one of the best things about this recipe?
The amount of preparation required is minimal as it’s a slow cooker recipe, relying on time to allow the flavours to almost melt together. The only downside is being in the house, the delicious smell wafting through to the office where I’m working, and then realising that it still has an hour or two left to cook. Having said that, it takes about three hours in total, which, for this kind of method of cooking, is relatively short.
Top Tip: Don’t add too much salt as there will be some coming from the stock (some brands are saltier than others). You can always give it a taste towards the end of the cooking time and then add a little more if you feel it is necessary.
Chilli Non Carne
Having been a vegetarian for three-quarters of my life, chilli is one dish that I feel I have perfected. Absolutely no one in the world, not even profanity extraordinaire, Gordon Ramsey, could say that this dish is bland. Quorn mince replaces beef mince to change it from chilli con carne (literally meaning chilli with meat) to chilli non carne.
Finely diced red chilli in addition to a little chilli powder will give you that tingling feeling in your mouth where you just want to keep diving back in, enjoying mouthful after mouthful. The use of red onion rather than white in this dish offers a subtle difference in flavour to the usual version, and the addition of peppers (and colour except for green as they add too much bitterness) really elevates this dish.
I must say that I have made this dish successfully on both the hob and in the slow cooker. It all depends on how much time I have on that particular day as to which method I choose. I like to serve this with fluffy white rice and a side salad.
Top Tip: Using a slow cooker means that you may have too much liquid left at the end of cooking. Rather than putting in the entire tin of tomatoes, I sometimes strain off (and keep to one side) some of the juice, adding it in later if the dish seems too dry. Alternatively, using cornflour or thickening granules can thicken up the sauce, ensuring maximum flavour is retained.
Easy Indian Curry with Lemon and Ginger Rice
It doesn’t matter how little or long I’ve been on a diet for, Friday nights are usually the time when I crave a takeaway most of all. Knowing the damage that indulging in those can do (you only need to take off the lid to the foil tray to see the curry swimming in oil to realise they are unhealthy), I try to opt for a fakeaway instead.
This way, I am in control. My easy Indian curry recipe is amazing for creating a tasty dish with Quorn chicken-style pieces. Packed with mouth-watering flavour, this curry will tantalise the tastebuds of even the greatest curry connoisseur.
Top Tip: Try adding the Quorn pieces at the same time as the mushrooms. They will be dry, so it’s best to add the liquid as early as possible to prevent it from becoming crispy.
Moroccan Quorn (Chicken) Casserole
Fancying a taste of the Middle East? This Moroccan chicken casserole is perfect for adapting to include Quorn chicken-style pieces or fillets. On a cold winter night, I don’t know about you, but I like to eat something hearty and warming. This ticks those boxes as well as offers a satisfying level of spice.
Ensuring the spices fully coat the Quorn pieces or fillets ensures the flavour infuses throughout. There’s nothing more disappointing than having a delicious mouthful of a meal followed by a less tasty one.
Top Tip: You may not need to cook this dish for as long as my recipe suggests for chicken. If cooking the Quorn pieces or fillets from frozen, ensure they are fully defrosted before serving, but crank the heat down to prevent the moisture from escaping.
Moroccan chicken casserole recipe that can be adapted to use Quorn
Cowboy Cheesy Potato Bake
If you’re looking for a firm family favourite using Quorn mince, you can’t go far wrong with this cheesy take on a cowboy pie. Combining Quorn mince, a colourful mix of peppers, chopped tomatoes and baked beans with a cheesy sliced potato topping.
Cooking the potatoes separately on a baking tray means it’ll need less time in the oven than a traditional potato bake. Undercooked potato is about as far from a crowd pleaser as you can get, so it’s good to know you won’t get that with this dish.
Top Tip: Add the mince after frying off the garlic, onion and peppers. This will prevent the mince from becoming mushy in texture.
Quorn Cottage pie
This traditional family favourite is easily made with Quorn mince and is just as tasty. It is full of flavour and perfect for warming comforting meals when you just fancy one of those homestyle meals that remind you of your childhood.
When thinking about Quorn recipes for healthy diets it is easy to forget simple classics like this so be sure to add it to your meal plan.
Top Tip: Simmer for less time than with beef mince so the Quorn mince does not become soggy and spongy.
A common family meal usually made with mince but have you tried it with Quorn mince? If not then why not give it a try, even meat-eaters are sure to love it. The recipe is so easily adaptable to add whichever vegetables you like. If you love peppers but hate mushrooms just add lots of peppers and omit the mushrooms it really is up to you!
Top Tip: Be sure to chop vegetables small if you want to convince fussy kids to eat this bolognese.
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Malaysian red pepper and Quorn curry
This recipe is really easy to make and full of flavour, a different curry to those you are used to and definitely worth trying. It is one of Stuart’s favourites with chicken so I make myself a vegetarian version with Quorn pieces or cut up Quorn fillets. This is one of my favourite Quorn recipes for healthy diets as it means we easily have the same meal and it is delicious!
If you don’t want to buy lots of red peppers it is just as tasty with yellow peppers in too but I would avoid the green peppers as they are often a bit too bitter for this recipe. Of course, the choice is yours, however!
Top Tip: I usually cook the Quorn slightly less than I do the chicken because it just doesn’t need it. Also, I often add extra tomatoes and onions just to bump up the vegetables!
Quorn keema curry
Have you made a keema curry with mince before? It is really easy to substitute beef mince with Quorn mince so why not give it a try. The mince cooks well whichever mince you use and the flavours are slow-cooked so infuse well.
This slow cooker keema curry recipe is a great quick easy meal to pop in the slow cooker in the morning for a tasty tea later on. It is really fragrant too so when you walk back in the house it smells amazing!
Top Tip: If you want to easily increase the number of vegetables in your meal grate some cauliflower into the recipe and it is just as delicious and hardly noticeable.
Quorn and mushroom curry
A vegetarian take on the popular chicken and mushroom curry is so easy to make and I promise it is delicious. It can be easily adapted to be creamier or add more liquid depending on your preference and is a perfect addition to a Chinese fakeaway.
Chinese dishes are often cooked in oil so this recipe eliminates some of the calories already by removing that but also using yoghurt adds the creaminess without too many extra calories!
Top Tip: If you use frozen mushrooms defrost them and drain them first or it makes this recipe very watery!
An easy vegetarian version with Quorn of the popular chicken jalfrezi. I personally prefer it with chunks of cut-up plain Quorn fillets for larger pieces but it works well with Quorn pieces.
As you get used to making this you will find you don’t bother measuring anymore and just chuck in the right amounts. The recipe is that simple it really will become a family favourite!
Top Tip: Don’t use frozen peppers, they are too soggy and really ruin the curry in my opinion. Of course, if that is all you have there is no reason not to use them but it really won’t be as nice!
Quorn Tikka Masala
There is no reason as a vegetarian that you can’t enjoy a tikka masala and with my healthier recipe, it is easy to use Quorn instead of chicken and make it just as tasty. Whilst it will never be as good as the one from the takeaway it is so much healthier it is definitely worth giving a go!
If you buy Quorn from the fridges in the supermarket it is easy to pop it in the freezer to keep it for longer. If you have frozen Quorn and it defrosts I always recommend cooking it before freezing it to ensure any bacteria is killed too.
Once you have used it to make a meal it freezes easily and can be defrosted to reheat within three months for another tasty meal. Always check your freezer guidelines though to be sure. All these Quorn recipes can be easily frozen and suit various healthy diets easily too.
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