22 Quick and Easy Recipes in 30 Minutes (or less) + 5 Chef Secrets To Make You A Better Cook!

Book Sneak Peek + A Bonus Pre-Order Gift

Tested & Perfected Recipes

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Once upon a chef cookbook

Photo by Alexandra Grablewski (Chronicle Books, 2018)

Photo Credit: Alexandra Grablewski

Dear Readers,

In three weeks, Once Upon A Chef, The Cookbook: 100 Tested, Perfected, and Family-Approved Recipes — the book I’ve been dreaming of writing for 20-plus years — is coming to the world. I’m over-the-moon excited and a bundle of nerves. I can’t wait to share my favorite new recipes with you but I’m also slightly terrified looking at my upcoming calendar. I’ll be leaving the comfort of my kitchen for TV and radio interviews, public speaking, and live cooking demos — please send good vibes (or, better yet, wine!).

Today, I have a few fun things to share ahead of the on-sale date. First, many of you have asked to see a list of recipes in book, so I’m happy to share the full list of recipes below (there are 70 brand new recipes and 30 favorites from the blog). I hope it makes you hungry!

Secondly, a few months ago I asked for your support with pre-orders since they can literally make or break a book’s success. You all came through in a MAJOR way. The book had so many pre-orders that it already went to second printing — and it’s currently listed as one of Amazon’s Best Books of the Month!

As a thank you to all who have pre-ordered and anyone who still wishes to do so, my publisher is offering a small gift in the form of a bonus cookie recipe that we just couldn’t fit into the book. Simply fill in this form with your order number, and you’ll receive an exclusive bonus recipe (hint: if you’re a coconut fan, you’ll love it!). The book is available for pre-order wherever books are sold, including the online retailers below. Thank you, as always, for your support.

US: Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Chronicle Books    |    IndieBound

UK: Amazon

Canada: Amazon    |    Indigo

Australia: Booktopia

New Zealand: Cook The Books

Cookbook Table of Contents

1. Starters & Snacks
Sweet, Salty & Spicy Candied Pecans
Cajun Spiced Popcorn
Joanne’s Refrigerator Dill Pickles
Homemade Tortilla Chips
Chunky Pea Guacamole
L’Auberge Chez Francois’ Herbed Cottage Cheese Spread
Roasted Eggplant & Chickpea Tapenade
Warm Caramelized Onion & Gruyère Dip
Rolled Spanakopita
Deviled Eggs with Candied Bacon & Chives
Ahi Tuna Poke Tartare with Avocado & Rice Crackers
Maryland-Style Crab Cakes with Tartar Sauce
Grilled Beef Satay with Peanut Sauce
Pro Tips From My Kitchen: Mastering Salt

2. Soups & Sandwiches
Golden Orange Gazpacho with Basil
Chilled Cucumber & Yogurt Soup
Autumn Curried Carrot & Sweet Potato Soup
Fiery Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
Creamy Wild Mushroom Soup with Herbs & Croutons
Hearty Beef with Barley Stoup
Pasta e Fagioli
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Open-Faced Bacon, Avocado & Pickled Onion Sandwich
Pickled Red Onions
Smoked Gouda & Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Pro Tips From My Kitchen: The Mise en Place

3. Salads
Heirloom Tomato Salad with Burrata, Pesto & Pine Nuts
Black Bean & Corn Salad with Chipotle Honey Vinaigrette
Thai Crunch Salad with Peanut Dressing
Middle Eastern Chopped Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Creamy Grilled Lemon Chicken Salad with Herbs
Celery, Toasted Walnut & Pecorino Salad
Arugula with Roasted Beets, Clementines, Feta & Pistachios
Nutty Wild Rice Salad with Dried Cranberries, Apples & Orange Vinaigrette
Sam & Harry’s Steak Salad with Fennel, Blue Cheese and Apple-Walnut Vinaigrette
Pro Tips From My Kitchen: Balancing Flavor

4. Entrees
Spaghetti with Kale & Walnut Pesto
Three-Cheese White Pizzas with Arugula
Fussili Alfredo (AKA Aunt Jenn’s Special Pasta)
Cedar Planked Salmon with Ancho-Brown Sugar Spice Rub
Baja Fish Tacos
Pan-Seared Halibut with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil
Steamed Mussels with Thai Green Curry Broth
Grilled Buffalo Chicken Kebabs
Smoky BBQ Chicken with Sweet & Tangy BBQ Sauce
Peruvian Chicken with Green Sauce
Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard Sauce
Andouille Sausage & Shrimp Gumbo
Persian Kofta with Tzatziki
Juicy Steakhouse Burgers (AKA “Segal Burgers”)
Moroccan-Style Brisket with Dried Fruits & Olives
Valérie’s Steak au Poivre
Pro Tips From My Kitchen: Is It Cooked? How To Tell When Meat, Fish & Poultry Are Done

5. Sides
Roasted Corn on the Cob with Lime-Basil Butter
Basmati Cilantro Rice Pilaf
Springtime Asparagus & Peas
Cauliflower Purée with Thyme
Curried Roasted Carrots
Butter-Braised Brussels Sprouts with Shallots
Roasted Swiss Chard with Feta
Garlic & Herb Roasted Baby Potatoes
Broccoli Tots
Pro Tips From My Kitchen: Transform Vegetable Scraps, Stale Bread & Other Leftovers

6. Breakfast & Brunch
Maple, Coconut & Blueberry Granola
Stone Fruit with Ginger-Lime Syrup & Mint
Addictive Almond Biscotti
Kale & Berry Breakfast Smoothie
Peanut Butter Granola Bars
Banana Pancakes
Chocolate-Banana Muffins with Pecan Streusel
Blueberry Scones with Tart Lemon Glaze
Baked Bourbon French Toast with Praline Topping
Smoked Salmon Spread
Creamy Scrambled Eggs with Dill & Chives
Savory Ham & Cheese Waffles
Spinach & Gruyere Quiche
Sausage & Cheddar Bread Pudding
Pro Tips From My Kitchen: Cheats To Keep You Sane When Cooking For A Crowd

7. Breads
Soft & Fluffy Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls
Braided Honey Challah
Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Salt-Crusted Currant Rye Bread
Almost Southern Buttermilk Biscuits
Monterey Jack & Jalapeno Cornbread
Mini Savory Cheddar Dijon Scones with Chives
Garlic & Herb Ciabatta
Baking Like A Pro: Why It’s Important To Follow A Few Firm Rules

8. Dessert
No-Churn Cheesecake Ice Cream with Graham Cracker-Pecan Crumble
Red, White & Blue Summer Berry Trifle
Persian Lime “Key Lime” Pie
Old-Fashioned Ginger Spice Cookies
Toffee Almond Sandies
Apple-Oat-Pecan Crisp
Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding
Chocolate Buttercrunch with Sea Salt
Indoor S’mores
Luscious Lemon Squares
Sticky Butterscotch Banana Cake
Glazed Pumpkin Pound Cake
Honey’s Coconut Cupcakes
Chocolate Lover’s Birthday Cake
Pro Tips From My Kitchen: Creating Recipes

9. Cocktails
Sparkling White Sangria with Nectarines, Oranges and Frozen Grapes
Pink Vodka Lemonade
Kir Royale
Mojito Jello Shots
White Russian Milkshakes
Boozy Hot Chocolate
Pro Tips From My Kitchen: How To Stock A Home Bar


  • Can your quiches be adjusted to make mini quiches?

  • Good afternoon from sunny U.K. I’ve pre ordered your book and can’t wait to give to hubby. You have been our go to chef while stuck at home ( thank you for saving us with yummy meals, puddings). Only yesterday, I was going to complete form but started with kids 😳🤩. I’m trying to complete form – to no avail. Pls help. Looking forward to bbq this Sunday – your chicken kebabs, lamb meatballs and a few dips all on menu .

    • Hi Iqbal, So glad you like the recipes and they gave you some semblance of normalcy during the past 18 months. You mentioned you’re having a hard time with the form. I’m not sure what you’re referring to. Can you clarify? Thanks!

  • I have tried over a dozen of your cookbook recipes. They are all fantastic!!! Your recipes are a huge hit in our household.

  • I have your book, Jenn. And I have been following your blog for years! Your recipes have blessed my family with great home-cooked food. I have shared your website to friends too. Thank you!

  • I can’t wait for your next book Jen! I can taste your natural talent with your recipes… the elegance of your ingredients marks your space in the hall of fame!
    Thank you for sharing.

    • — Rosalind Ventura
    • Reply
    • ❤️

    • Your recipes are always truly amazing. On top of that what stands you out is how responsive you are to our queries – makes me less hesitant about trying new recipes! Good luck with the book – I will be buying!

  • Unfortunately, I did not pre-order since I just found your blog. I was lucky to receive your treasure trove of recipes for Christmas. Our favorite has been the barbecue chicken. We love your blog and I always check here first when I am making dinner or baking!

    • — Connie Hoffman
    • Reply
    • So glad you’re enjoying the cookbook, Connie! ❤️

  • As an amateur tester for your cookbook, I was amazed how pretty and, especially, delicious the braided honey challah bread turned out! Truly wonderful! A fan for years now. Gifting your cookbook to younger relatives to share the wealth! Please keep up your website! Joan S

    • So glad you like the challah, Joan (and thank you again for being a recipe tester for the book)! I will definitely be maintaining my blog. 🙂

  • Congratulations on your wonderful cookbook! I love the smoked salmon spread and can’t wait to try the buttermilk fried chicken tenders with honey mustard sauce. I want to make them all!!

    • — Elizabeth Barrett
    • Reply
    • Thank so much Elizabeth — I hope you find lots of new favorites in the book!!

  • Just picked up my pre-ordered book! Beautiful. Literally can’t wait. Right now steamed mussels with green Thai curry broth on the go and Peruvian chicken with green sauce in fridge marinating for tomorrow. Congratulations Jen! BTW made the Sticky Butterscotch Banana Cake last weekend – what can I say:)))

    • Thanks so much for your support with the book – so glad you’re enjoying what you see so far! I appreciate you taking the time to let me know. 🙂

  • Can’t wait to try your Baha Fish Tacos. I found your website last year when I was looking for some unique dishes to try. Love your idea! I am ordering the cookbook right now!

    • Thank you, Nora! 🙂

  • Amazon delivered the cookbook to me today and I can’t wait to substitute it for the laptop computer screen that I normally use to follow your recipes! My mother knows how much I rely on your webiste and wanted to order the cookbook for me but I beat her to it. Hopefully she ordered one for herself! The cookbook looks great and includes some of my faves, including the best spinach & gruyere quiche. Congratulations!

    • Hi Beth, glad you received the book – thanks so much for your support! In addition to some of your current favorites, I hope you find many new recipes you enjoy! 🙂

    • I made your Persian key lime pie for our biking group of 10. Not a morsel left on anyone’s plate! All the men wanted the recipe. So yum!! So easy !!
      Loving my cookbook. Just in time for summer.

      • So glad to hear that, Teri!

  • Just got your book Jenn – it looks great. I have been receiving your emails for a long time and tried many for sure over 20. your Firery Roasted Tomato Soup is super – keep lots in the freezer. Going to try more as I go through your book. Hope you keep up the email as it gives me iedas for meals. Hope you sell a ton.

    • Glad you like what you see so far and hope you find lots of new recipe favorites in the book. 🙂 Yes, I will definitely continue with the blog and newsletter! Good to know you enjoy it as I love doing it!

  • Congratulations, I have your book on my wish list. Mother’s Day is just around the corner. I am excited to make your Autumn curried carrot and sweet potato soup. I make soups for my husband’s 96-year-old Auntie. This soup sounds like a great addition. Thank you

    • Thanks for your support, Candy – I hope someone in your family comes through for mother’s day and gifts you the book! 🙂

  • Congratulations Jenn! Pre-ordered the cookbook and it’s on the way! I’ve been testing your recipes for a few years now which have all become family favs. Thanks to you I’m enjoying cooking again as you keep it simple and delicious!

    • Thanks so much for purchasing the cookbook, Trish — Hope it becomes an often-used resource in your kitchen! XO

  • Jenn,
    Your cookbook is in my hand. The cookbook is just beautiful! One of the nicest cookbooks I have ever owned. I love the layout, the pictures, your tips and how you write a recipe. I am so excited to give copies of this cookbook as gifts. Thank you for allowing me to be one of your recipe testers. I wish you much success.

    • So glad you’re happy with the cookbook, Carole – that means so much! Thanks for taking the time to let me know. XOXO

  • My book has been shipped and I can’t wait to receive it. I like others have been following your blog for awhile now. I love your recipes as they are awesome and easy to follow. I am so happy for you Jenn and I wish you many years of success in cooking and baking.
    Jacqueline Patrick

    • — Jacqueline Patrick
    • Reply
    • Thanks so much, Jacqueline — I hope you like the cookbook!! ❤️

  • 4/18/18
    Hi Jen,
    …just ordered 2 cookbooks.
    Congratulations on all your hard work!
    I need a new wood cutting board. I love the esthetic of boards that use different colors of wood. However, are these boards harder on knives than a board of a single species of wood? I’ve just invested in a new santoku knife and sharpener. I want to keep it in the best shape possible.

    • Thank you so much, Dianne! I hope you enjoy the book. As for cutting boards, I love my Boos boards.

  • Jenn, I just received an email notifying me that your cookbook has been shipped! Congratulations!!! I have been a follower for years, a taster for the cookbook, and an ardent supporter in directing people to your website. You are well known in my household and we are very happy for you! Can’t wait to get the book!

    • — Julie Thompson
    • Reply
    • Thanks so much for your support, Julie!! I hope the cookbook becomes an often used one in your kitchen. 🙂

  • Congratulations! You must feel very proud. Not only do you share your wonderful recipes with us, you have a career that just enhances your role as Mom and wife. There are no greater roles than those and when one is able to enhance great child care/being a wife with one’s career….then life couldn’t be better – for all. All the best. And, oh yes, I love every recipe I have tried of yours. Quite often when using recipes, I change them to suit our tastes and my own culinary ideas. (I make most things “from scratch”, always have and I love to cook. ) Recipes to me have generally been “a seed to create something”. However, yours seem to go right along with the way I cook and the way we eat so I generally make them as is, knowing you have tested them. Thanks!

    • Thank you, Marion…after working long hours and weekends in the restaurant business for many years, I feel very lucky to be able to work from home. And I’m so happy you’re having success with the recipes! 😊

  • Congratulations Jenn! I cannot wait to get your book…it should be here this week! You’re website has been my go to for many years and your recipes have become my favorite and are in my regular rotation of dinners! I just read my family the table of contents and they oohed and ahhhed! When I finished my 9 year old son says Mom, you have to make ALL of them! I could’t agree more☺️

    • Aww, thanks so much Jessica. ❤️ I hope you and your family enjoy the book!

  • Hi Jenn,
    I just pre ordered the book!
    Your recipes are scrumptious!!

    I wish you all the best!

    • Thanks so much, Dila – I hope you enjoy the cookbook! 😊

  • I ordered in October. The wait is almost over! So anxious for arrival!

    • — Karen L. Calanchini
    • Reply
    • Thank you, Karen! 😊

  • Hi Jenn,

    I just wanted to write to celebrate your upcoming book release!

    I have been a dedicated fan of your recipes for some time now and have shared them with my mother-in-law (among others) who also loves them just as much as I do. We somehow feel like we got better at cooking when we make your recipes.

    Thank you for sharing your gift with the world, Jenn. I feel like a little kid because I just cannot wait to receive your book!

    Congratulations again!!

    • Thanks so much for your note, Noriko, and your kind words – so glad you enjoy the recipes and have spread the word about them to others. 💕 I hope the cookbook is a welcome addition to your kitchen!

  • I pre-ordered 5 copies early on to give as gifts, but alas there was no special offer.

    • Hi Susie, The bonus recipe offer applies to all pre-orders. If you can’t find your order number, please email me and I’m happy to email you the recipe. Thank you so much for your support! ❤️

  • Congratulations, Jenn! I ordered 3 copies of your book from my local Barnes & Noble — one for me and two for friends. There is rarely a week that goes by that I am not cooking or baking one or two (or more) of your recipes. I often print them out and email them to the friends who will receive their gift copies of your book (fun surprise for them!). As we speak, I am making the Turkey, Spinach & Cheese Meatballs…again 🙂 Best wishes for a successful and fun book tour.

    • Thanks so much, Laura! Glad you enjoy the recipes and thanks for spreading the Once Upon a Chef love to your friends! 🙂

  • I am thrilled for you! Thanks for allowing me to recipe test for the new cookbook, and thank you for continuing to send us new recipies theough your blog! I have ordered several cookbooks, and am excited, as I look at the new cookbook table of contents, to see “ what made the cut!”

    • Thank you so much for your help, Gayann! 💕

  • I pre oredered ans am wishing you all the best I am leaving for Budapest next week and going to Chef Parade Cooking school and also to Jewish Hungarian cooking class. I wonder if you havea good Paprikas recipe yet??

    • Hi Gary, thanks for your good wishes and have a wonderful time on your travels- sounds like you will definitely eat well! Unfortunately, I don’t have a proven recipe for paprikash; I’ll have to add it to my list of recipes to potentially develop.

  • Ordered the cookbook and can’t wait to receive it! I recently bought a house and this will be a little ‘housewarming’ gift from me to me! Wishing you and yours much happiness and enjoyment from seeing this labor of love in print and ready for general consumption (pun intended). Thanks for sharing your expertise and insights so willingly. I know when I see your address in my email inbox that I’m in for a treat. I look forward to it every week!
    All the best – Michelle

    • Your kind words made my day (and your pun made me smile) — Thanks Michelle! 🙂

  • WooHoo. . Can’t wait. 🤗🎈

    • Thanks, Susan! ❤️

  • I have a pretty good idea why that young gentleman is smiling. But who taught him to push away from the table or put down his fork? Were I he, you’d be standing next to a stack of medicine balls , the top one having a face on it. looking forward to your book.

    • Thanks Barry! (And my husband has a fast metabolism!) 🙂

  • Hello Jennifer,
    I ordered the book on October 29, 2017 and am really looking forward to receiving it! Some of your recipes have become standard fare at our house, I know there will more!
    Thank you very much and Congratulations!

    • — Josseline Wood
    • Reply
    • Thanks so much, Josseline – I hope you find a bunch of new “keepers” in the book! 🙂

  • Jen

    Your recipes are wonderful and I’ve received so many compliments on them. You are my favorite go to for recipes. I wish you all the best with your cookbook, can’t wait to receive mine. What is your schedule for your book tour?

    thanks and all the best

    • Hi Margaret, Thanks so much for your kind words – glad you enjoy the recipes!! I’m working with my publisher right now to determine exactly where I will be headed for book signings. Once I know exactly where I’ll be, I’ll definitely be promoting it on the blog. Thanks for inquiring – I truly appreciate your support!

  • I pre ordered mine on amazon. cant wait. Jenn your salad recipes are winners in my house and you make me look so good! Will try your carrot cake recipe next. Thanks again and wish I was able to go to the BOOK EVENT in DC..Where will you be next for BOOK SIGNING?

    • Thank you so much, Maureen! Not sure yet where I’ll be next – but likely Chicago or NY. I’ll have more details soon!

  • A hearty congratulations, Jenn! I’m thrilled, though unsurprised that your book has gone in for a second reprint 🙂 I’ve been enjoying your site close to 5 years now, first in Sri Lanka & more recently, Australia. I can’t wait for your book to arrive & want to thank you for sharing your talent with the world. Please keep writing & we’ll keep reading! 🙂
    P.S. – If you do an international book tour, please come to Melbourne! 😀

    • Thank you so much, Ashara! It is such a thrill to know that my recipes are being made in your kitchen across the world. Melbourne is on my bucket list…💕

  • I preordered your book and can’t wait to get it! Congratulations and please let us know when you will spear on TV so we can tune in!

    • Will do, Kelli – thank you so much!

  • Congratulations! I have made so many of your recipes over the last few years. You always make me look like a great cook 😉 I wish you much success. xoxo

    • Thank you, Barbara! ❤️

  • I pre-ordered in February, before we had found a house we like. We are set to close May 2nd so the book will arrive right before we move. I’m so excited to use it in our new kitchen and it’s the perfect housewarming gift to myself. Thanks for releasing the table of contents so I have something to look over while I wait! Glad your long-awaited dream is coming to life 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Hannah. I hope you enjoy the book — and congratulations on your new home. How exciting! 💕

  • Congrats, Jenn! I know your book will be a huge success!

    • ❤️ Thanks, Robin!

  • Congratulations Jenn! I’m truly excited for you and your family on seeing your dream come to fruition. I look forward to enjoying your cookbook and the memories my family and I will make in our kitchen with all the tasty recipes. I also hope to hear an announcement of you joining the Food Network or Cooking Channel someday soon 😊 All the best for continued success!

    • Thank you, thank you, thank you for support Amimah – it means so much to me! ❤️

  • Hey Jen! I ordered the book on 31 October here in Scotland (keen bean!) and it arrived yesterday – earlier than expected! I have planned my whole week’s menu around it 🙂

    It’s beautiful!! I loved reading more of your story, and we are SO excited to see all these new recipes and to support you. Your recipes are famous in our family for being delicious and reliable. We even shared your website in our Christmas newsletter! 🙂

    Making your zucchini frittata as I type – second time in a week 🙂

    Congratulations on seeing this dream become a reality!

    • Hi Megan, So glad you like what you see thus far with the book and plan to cook from it for the next week! Also, thanks so much for spreading the word about the blog in your Christmas newsletter – I’m really flattered! I appreciate you taking the time to write!! XOXO

  • First, let me say that your carrot cake recipe MADE our Easter dinner. A huge hit! The spices were perfection, as was the texture of the cake…incredibly moist, yet light. You are so very talented! Getting ready to make your salmon recipe, and order 3 copies of your book—for a daughter, daughter-in-law, and one for myself. Thank you for sharing your talent…I have learned so much!

    • So glad you’re enjoying the recipes and I really appreciate your support for the cookbook! ❤️

  • Wow!! I preordered awhile ago and cannot wait to get my copy!!! Soooo many recipes!! I already know all your recipes are winners. Look forward to trying even more. Congratulations!!

    • Thanks so much, Amy!! 🙂

  • Huge Congratulations!!! I can’t wsit. I’m so glad I stumbled over your website while looking for something else. I ordered mine in January through amazon. Look up my name. I know you have a busy schedule coming up so no rush but when you get a chance please do send the cookie recipe to my email. Thank you so much

    • Reply
    • Will do, Rachael – thank you!

  • Thanks for sharing the table contents, Jen — it looks GREAT. And I just preordered the book. So excited!!

    • Thanks for your support!! xoxo

  • Oh my gosh! So many great recipes. Can’t wait to make them all. I went to my local bookstore to order it a couple of weeks ago and I can’t wait to receive it. Looking forward to reading all your pro tips!

    • Thanks so much for your support and your enthusiasm, Kathleen – I hope you love the cookbook! 🙂

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