The 5 minute (no prep!) side dish

While I love taking my time in the kitchen devising the next plated masterpiece, I also love a flash meal or side dish that literally takes no time at all. Luckily, I have that for you! It is the perfect side to balance any protein forward meal, and brings vibrant and fresh acidity to round it all out.

This dish is inspired by, and my spin, on a panzanella salad.


If I want to make it a complete meal, it’s a very filling lunch dish, I will add a protein – here it’s pictured with Morningstar Farms Meal Starters Chik’n Strips, or vegan chicken strips. I’m not vegan or vegetarian, but I have sworn by these little guys for years.

This dish still only takes 5 minutes even with the strips in there!

You’re probably ready to find out what you need to make this? 5 ingredients! And you probably already have them on hand! No salt and pepper needed.

3 cups escarole

1T olive oil

1/4 cup hot banana pepper rings

3T parmesan cheese

3T whole wheat panko breadcrumbs

And this recipe is so easily doubled or tripled, I’ve made the entire bag of escarole before! You can use any sturdy green here, such as kale or chard, but escarole is my favorite because I love how the center of the leaf stays crisp but the rest softens, so it’s a great balance of texture. Spinach could also be used if you prefer, just not the textural difference as it wilts completely.

Add the escarole to the pan, then turn the pan on med-high heat. (For this dish I do not like my escarole to be charred, and if you add it to an already hot pan this will happen.) Drizzle with half the olive oil. Stir frequently as the escarole begins to wilt, add banana peppers. I also like to splash a bit of the vinegar from the pepper jar, it gives the dish a nice punchy heat element (this is optional). In the last minute, add both the parmesan cheese and panko to the mixture, drizzle with remaining olive oil, and stir to combine. This will allow the cheese and panko to get a slight toast to them and add a savory component.

That’s it! And if you were watching the clock, it should have only taken 5 minutes! If you did want to add a protein, like cooked chicken or the faux chicken strips, just add at the beginning with the escarole.

I hope you love this as much as I do, and it finds a regular home on your plate!




For the above recipe, I use one serving size (12 strips) Chik’n Strips



One thought on “The 5 minute (no prep!) side dish

  1. Anna says:

    Love this side dish recipie. It is so simply yet so savory. I love that it can be adapted to my low carb or no gluten diet. I cannot wait to whip this up and share with friends. 😋


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