January 2018 • Birdseed Kitchen

Pressure Cooker Chipotle Chicken Thighs

Pressure Cooker Chipotle Chicken Thighs

These Pressure Cooker Chipotle Chicken Thighs can be made with frozen or refrigerated boneless, skinless chicken thighs. The subtle chipotle flavor is smoky and not too spicy – great for the whole family.

Chicken thighs are an ideal protein for meal prep, and accommodate a lot of different seasonings. They are juicy, flavorful, tender, and well-suited for braising in a pressure cooker. They’re one of my favorite staples for meal prep.

I added only one chipotle pepper (canned, in adobo sauce) to these Chipotle Chicken Thighs before cooking, but if you want to make them spicier, just add more peppers and sauce.

And I’m glad I have leftover chipotles, because I need to make thesePressure Cooker Chipotle Chicken Thighs again this week. They were supposed to be for meal prep, made into lunch bowls with Mexican cauliflower rice, beans, red peppers, and avocado. But the chicken disappeared before I could make more than two lunches from it. Normally, I would blame my teenager, but we all helped eat the delicious chicken tacos that this Chipotle Chicken went into.

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Pressure Cooker Chipotle Chicken Thighs

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8
Author Rachel


  • 1/2 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
  • 2.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs I like Bare brand - no brines or solutions
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, roughly chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped


  1. In a pressure cooker over medium heat, add oil. Heat until oil is shimmering.

  2. Add fresh or frozen chicken thighs, arranging them so each thigh has some contact with the bottom of the pot.

  3. Sauté until lightly golden on most surfaces, turning occasionally.

  4. Add remaining ingredients to pressure cooker, along with 1 cup of water. Stir gently to distribute ingredients.

  5. Seal pressure cooker. Bring up to high pressure and cook 10 minutes for fresh chicken thighs, 15 minutes for frozen chicken thighs. Use a natural pressure release.

  6. Remove cover. Remove chicken from liquid and shred lightly with forks. (It won't be difficult - it mostly falls apart!)

  7. Store in a container for meal prep or use immediately for tacos, enchiladas, burritos, salads, or whatever!

Recipe Notes

If you plan to use frozen chicken thighs, be sure to break them apart before adding them to the pressure cooker.

Roasted Beet, Walnut, and Gorgonzola Salad

Roasted Beet, Walnut and Gorgonzola Salad

A hearty winter salad made from roasted beets, toasted walnuts, and creamy gorgonzola with a lightly herbed olive oil vinaigrette.

Roasted vegetable salads keep me eating salads in the winter, when I don’t necessarily want a bowl of cold greens. This Roasted Beet, Walnut and Gorgonzola salad is a little bit salad, and a little bit side dish.

I love beets, and they’re one of my favorite vegetable to roast. We especially love to spiralize them, which speeds up the roasting time, and honestly, makes them just a little more fun to eat. If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can also slice the beets or cut them into chunks. As long as they’re all about the same size, you’ll be ok. Adjust your roasting time accordingly.

There aren’t many things I like better with beets than creamy gorgonzola and toasted walnuts. They both add some protein, and walnuts have lots of healthy fats.

Yup. Toasted walnuts and creamy gorgonzola are right at home in this salad. And then it’s finished off with a simple herbed vinaigrette made with sherry vinegar. The recipe for the dressing is based on Food 52’s instructions on how to create a vinaigrette without a recipe, and their formula is easy to memorize and will forever change the way you dress salads:

3:1 (oil to vinegar) + emulsifier (dijon mustard) + sweetener (honey, agave, whatever) + herbs and seasonings

Roasted Beet, Walnut and Gorgonzola Salad

This recipe for vinaigrette will make a lot – about a cup. You won’t need a lot for each salad, just a drizzle to add a perk of acid and pull it all together. We like to keep the rest in the refrigerator in a squeeze bottle, mason jar, or cruet.

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Roasted Beet, Walnut, and Gorgonzola Salad

Course Side Dish
Servings 2
Author Rachel


For the Salad

  • 2 beets spiralized with fettuccine blade, or sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 small red onion very thinly sliced or spiralized
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1 tbsp gorgonzola cheese crumbled

For the Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 heaping tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 shallot finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme minced
  • 1/2 tsp fresh oregano minced
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


Prepare the Salad Ingredients

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Prepare the beets by scrubbing them clean with a brush and trimming the stem and root ends. If desired, spiralized them with a fettuccine blade. Or, slice them into julienne strips.

  3. Spread beets on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and toss to coat, then season with salt and fresh black pepper.

  4. Bake for 18 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, toast the walnuts in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat, being careful not to over-toast or burn them. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Prepare the Vinaigrette

  1. In a bowl or blender container, combine all ingredients except olive oil.

  2. While adding oil in a thin stream, whisk constantly until emulsified. Or, run a blender on medium-low speed and drizzle oil in through the top to emulsify.

Assemble the Salad

  1. Layer beets, slivered red onion, walnuts, and gorgonzola on plates, and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

This vinaigrette recipe is based on Food52's excellent article on How to Make a Vinaigrette Without a Recipe. Their proportions are spot-on, and learning them has opened up the possibilities for so many tasty homemade dressings.

You will have leftover dressing - this makes about a cup. We like to store the leftovers in squeeze bottles or mason jars and keep them in the refrigerator. 

Roasted Garlic Dill Deviled Eggs

Roasted Garlic Dill Deviled Eggs - birdseedkitchen.com

The flavors of rich roasted garlic and bright, fresh dill combine to create a rich and flavorful filling for these Roasted Garlic Dill Deviled Eggs.

**This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

I’ve been making deviled eggs my entire adult life. Today is the first time I wrote down a deviled egg recipe.

I usually eyeball the ingredients, and adjust until the filling tastes right. But when I made this deviled egg variation last week, and my teenage son said, “mom, you need to put this on your blog,” I had to write it down. And I totally agree with him. These Roasted Garlic Dill Deviled Eggs are… The One.

Surprisingly, this deviled egg recipe is inspired a favorite sandwich I enjoyed quite often when I was vegan: the Tofu Dill from The Red Herring Restaurant. It’s a vegan version of egg salad, with crumbled tofu standing in for the eggs, seasoned with dill, garlic, and onion, and served on fresh sourdough bread with lettuce and tomato. Just talking about it makes me want one right now!

The Red Herring is an institution on the University of Illinois campus. It is a non-profit, collaboratively-run vegetarian restaurant, and one of the few places to find an all-vegetarian menu in Champaign-Urbana. The food is made from scratch, from local ingredients when possible, and prepared and served by friendly people. The Herring is so cool, it’s literally underground: it’s located in the basement of the Channing-Murray Foundation, a Unitarian Universalist community center.

picture of The Channing Murray Foundation, Urbana IL
The Channing Murray Foundation, Urbana IL. The Red Herring Restaurant is in the basement. (Photo courtesy of the Channing Murray Foundation.)

So these eggs though…

You’ll want to start with one of our Brilliant Basics: Roasted Garlic. We roast two bulbs at a time and keep them on hand in the refrigerator. You can refrigerate them for up to two weeks, or peel the cloves and freeze them.

I use about three large cloves of roasted garlic for this recipe, peeled and smashed with the side of a knife until they become a paste. They blend beautifully with the egg filling.

Use fresh dill if you can get it. I am buying it this winter, but I can’t wait to start a large patch of dill in a pot in my backyard as soon as I can this spring. Dill is prolific and easy to grow. I like dried dill too, but there’s just nothing like that fresh flavor punch from dill when it’s fresh from the garden.

Deviled eggs make great high-protein snacks or lunch dishes. We have them beside a salad at lunch quite often. And if you find yourself really getting into deviled eggs and want to share the love with friends, you can pick up a special deviled egg carrier to take them to your next party.

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Roasted Garlic Dill Deviled Eggs

The flavors of rich roasted garlic and bright, fresh dill combine to create a rich and flavorful filling for these deviled eggs.

Course Appetizer
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8
Author Rachel


  • 8 eggs
  • 3 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup (plus one teaspoon) mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 8 grinds fresh white pepper
  • paprika optional, for garnish


Cook the Eggs

  1. In a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid (preferably a glass lid you can see through), cover 8 eggs with cold water. Cover, and place on medium-high heat.

  2. When the eggs begin to boil, turn off the heat. Do not open the lid. Set a timer for 14 minutes.

  3. After 14 minutes, carefully drain the hot water out of the pan and and cover the eggs with cold water and ice.

  4. Peel eggs when they are cool. (I find it easier to peel eggs under a trickle of running water.)

Make the Filling

  1. Slice the peeled eggs in half, lengthwise. Place yolks into a bowl, and set the whites aside.

  2. Mash the yolks with a fork until crumbly.

  3. Chop the roasted garlic cloves, then use your knife held flat, or a bench scraper, to press down on the garlic and mash it into a paste. Scrape the garlic paste into the bowl with the egg yolks.

  4. Add remaining ingredients, except paprika. Stir to thoroughly combine. Adjust salt to your taste.

  5. Fill egg whites with yolk mixture.

  6. Garnish with a light sprinkle of paprika, if desired. Makes 8 servings (one whole egg per serving.)

Brilliant Basics: Roasted Garlic

Roasted Garlic

Roasted Garlic is a miraculous transformation, from spicy and pungent to silky and sweet, with just the addition of a little oil, heat, salt, and pepper. Added to soups and stews, or simply spread on bread, creamy cloves of Roasted Garlic are a great way to add richness to any dish. Roasted garlic’s versatility makes it another one of our Brilliant Basics.

**This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

We’re garlic lovers in this house. Everyone knows about the garlic breath issue, and I say there is an easy way around that.

Find someone who also loves garlic and settle down together. Cook meals with lots of garlic, repeat, repeat, repeat. You’ll both smell lovely.

Storing Roasted Garlic

Roasted garlic keeps well in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. You can store it in a plastic bag, but I prefer a mason jar to keep the garlic fragrance contained.

Please DO NOT store roasted garlic cloves submerged in oil, even in the refrigerator, and never store garlic in oil at room temperature. Covering garlic in oil produces an anaerobic (oxygen-free) environment that supports the formation of deadly botulism toxins. For more information about storing garlic safely, download this PDF on how to safely store garlic from the University of California.

Making Roasted Garlic

Roasted Garlic - ready for the oven

It couldn’t be easier. All you need is a couple of bulbs of garlic (or several), salt, pepper, and olive oil. This recipe for roasted garlic comes from one of our favorite cookbooks: The Olives Table by Todd English. We’ve successfully roasted garlic with this recipe in both the full-size oven and the toaster oven.

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Brilliant Basics: Roasted Garlic

Added to soups and stews, or simply spread on bread, creamy cloves of Roasted Garlic are a great way to add richness to any dish. Originally published in The Olives Table by Todd English.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 heads


  • 2 garlic bulbs unpeeled, tops sliced off
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Place the garlic bulbs on a foil-lined tray. Drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

  3. Bake, uncovered, until the garlic is lightly browned and soft, about 25 minutes.

  4. Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator (see storing guidelines above.)

Roasted Garlic - birdseedkitchen.com

Thai Lime and Chili Roasted Chickpeas

Thai Lime and Chili Roasted Chickpeas - birdseedkitchen.com

Tangy, savory, and spicy, these crispy Thai Lime and Chili Roasted Chickpeas pack a punch of spicy and savory Thai flavors. Baked in the oven, they are a protein-packed healthier way to satisfy your salty snack craving.

Ever since I tried Trader Joe’s Thai Lime and Chili Cashews, I have loved the flavors of tangy lime, spicy chili, aromatic lemongrass, and Funky Umami (new band name!) in a snack food.

But here’s my problem: the nearest Trader Joe’s is over 100 miles away.

So I set forth into the kitchen on this long holiday weekend to try to replicate those flavors, or at least come close. And here’s the point in the post where you might expect a fun story about how I came up with the recipe, or a bit of backstory about a particular ingredient.

But I’m not going to do that.

Because you need this recipe… RIGHT. NOW.

Thai Lime and Chili Roasted Chickpeas - birdseedkitchen.com

So let’s get to it: these flavors are soooo good. And if you haven’t had roasted chickpeas, you’re missing out on a super-tasty, high-protein snack. I barely had enough of these left to photograph, because everyone munched on them right out of the oven.

Make sure you let them cool completely before storing them in a sealed container, because you don’t want any steam to reduce their crispness.

So here they are: Thai Lime and Chili Roasted Chickpeas. Also known as: your newest snacking addiction. Enjoy!

Thai Lime and Chili Roasted Chickpeas - birdseedkitchen.com

Thai Lime and Chili Roasted Chickpeas

Tangy, savory, and spicy, these crispy roasted chickpeas with Thai flavors are a healthier way to satisfy your craving for a salty snack.

Course Snack
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8
Author Rachel


  • 1 can (29 oz) chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp canola or olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp fish sauce (or soy sauce for vegan option)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tbsp lemongrass finely minced
  • 4 Kaffir lime leaves finely minced
  • zest of one lime


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

  2. Drain and rinse chickpeas. Spread out on a clean kitchen towel or a baking sheet lined with paper towels and pat to dry thoroughly. Set aside.

  3. In a medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Add chickpeas to the bowl and toss with oil mixture until well-coated.

  4. Pour chickpeas onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Be sure to scrape the bowl - don't leave that flavor behind!

  5. Roast for 45-50 minutes, shaking pan every 15 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.

  6. Allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container. (If they last that long!)