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Three wallet-friendly, healthy recipes for that bag of walnuts at the back of the cupboard

Go nuts: one bag of walnuts can go a long way  (Sorted)
Go nuts: one bag of walnuts can go a long way (Sorted)

If you’ve got a bag of walnuts languishing at the back of your kitchen cupboard, enjoy the health benefits, maximise on flavour and minimise on food waste with these delicious recipes.

Rich in healthy fats, protein and fibre, walnuts can also improve your heart and gut health, blood pressure and even fertility. Even better, these nutritional powerhouses can keep your brain functioning well as you age and are also able to suppress cancer growth.

Basically, you aren’t using them enough, so these cheap, cheerful and healthy recipes from Sorted Food will make the most of this wonderful ingredient.

We’ve also provided a handy shopping list for the ingredients (though hopefully most of it will be knocking about already), which are used across all recipes to ensure minimal food waste. You just need to decide where to shop, whether it’s locally or online.

Shopping list

1 red onion

3 cloves garlic

200g cherry tomatoes

1 lemon

20g fresh chives

30g fresh parsley

30g fresh mint

30g unsalted butter

20g hard Italian cheese

2 salmon fillets, skin on

500g lamb mince

200ml olive oil

2 tbsp tomato puree

300g jarred roasted red peppers

200g dried pasta

150g couscous

150g quinoa

120g walnut halves

40g dried panko breadcrumbs

2 tsp ground cumin

187ml red wine

Spiced lamb kofte with muhammara and mint couscous

Muhammara is a walnut and red pepper dip, hailing from Syria (Sorted)
Muhammara is a walnut and red pepper dip, hailing from Syria (Sorted)

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

300g jarred roasted red pepper

50g walnut halves

8 tbsp olive oil

1 red onion

20g fresh mint

300g lamb mince

2 tsp ground cumin

150g couscous

1 lemon

2 cloves garlic

20g dried panko breadcrumbs

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180C – this will be for the peppers and lamb later. Fill the kettle with water and put it on to boil – this will be for the couscous.

2. Toss the peppers with 50g of walnuts, 2 tbsp of olive oil, and a generous pinch of salt on a large baking tray. Spread everything out into 1 even layer.

3. Roast for 6-7 minutes, until the peppers are soft, browned in places, and the walnuts are well-toasted. Get on with the rest of the dish in the next steps while you wait.

4. Halve, peel, and finely dice 1 onion, then finely chop 15g of the mint – we will use the remaining 5g of leaves for garnish later.

5. Add 300g of lamb mince, ¾ of the chopped onion, 2 tsp of cumin, and a generous pinch of salt to a large mixing bowl. Mix well with your hands, then give them a good wash.

6. Add 2 tbsp of oil to a large, oven proof frying pan and place it over a medium heat. Get on with the next step while the oil comes up to temperature.

7. Work the lamb mix into 6 even-sized balls, and lay them straight into the pan. Fry, rolling occasionally for 4-5 minutes, until golden all over but not cooked throughout yet. Get on with the rest of the dish in the next steps while you wait.

8. Tip 150g of couscous into a large mixing bowl, then drizzle in 2 tbsp of oil. Finely grate over the zest from 1 lemon, season with salt and pepper, add the chopped mint, then give everything a quick mix.

9. Tip enough boiling water from the kettle to just cover the grains, and give everything a quick mix. Set the couscous aside to soften and absorb the liquid while you get on with the rest of the dish.

10. Once the balls are golden all over, pop the whole pan into the oven. Roast the balls for a further 4-5 minutes, until just cooked throughout. Get on with the rest of the dish in the next steps while you wait.

11. Once the peppers and walnuts are ready, tip them into a measuring jug along with 2 peeled cloves of garlic and 20g of breadcrumbs. Squeeze in the juice from the lemon.

12. Blitz until smooth with a hand blender, then slowly dribble in another 2 tbsp of oil, and continue to blitz all the while until the mix is glossy and hummus-like. Loosen with a splash of water if necessary.

13. Spread the muhammara out to form even discs in shallow bowls. Fluff the couscous with a fork then load it on too. Top with the lamb balls, reserved onion and mint leaves, then serve!

Lamb and walnut ragu pasta

This simple sauce is made up of storecupboard staples (Sorted)
This simple sauce is made up of storecupboard staples (Sorted)

Serves: 2

Chef’s tip: Swap out lamb mince for beef mince if you can't find it.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil

40g walnut halves

200g lamb mince

200g dried pasta

2 tbsp tomato puree

187ml red wine

10g fresh chives

30g unsalted butter

5g fresh parsley

Method:

1. Fill the kettle with water and put it on to boil – this will be for the pasta later.

2. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to a large frying pan and place it over a high heat. Crack on with the next step while it comes up to temperature.

3. Finely chop 40g of walnuts.

4. Once the oil starts to shimmer and loosen, tip in ¾ of the walnuts, and add 200g of lamb mince. Fry, tossing occasionally, for 6-8 minutes until golden and crisp in places. Get on with the rest of the dish in the next steps while you wait.

5. Add 200g of pasta to a medium saucepan, season with salt, and cover with boiling water from the kettle. Place the pan over a high heat.

6. Cook the pasta for 8-10 minutes, until soft but still with a slight bite. Get on with the rest of the dish in the next steps while you wait.

7. Once the lamb and walnuts are ready, add 2 tbsp of tomato paste. Continue to fry for a further 2-3 minutes, until darkened and sticky.

8. Deglaze with 187ml of red wine, and reduce by ¾ – this should take 2-3 minutes. Get on with the rest of the dish in the next steps while you wait.

9. Finely chop 10g of chives crossways.

10. Once the pasta is ready, use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer it into the pan with the tomato mix. Add 30g of butter and chives, then toss to coat over the heat. Loosen with a splash of the pasta water if necessary – we are looking for a loose, glossy glaze that coats the pasta.

11. Divide the pasta between bowls, then scatter over the reserved chopped nuts. Top with the leaves from 5g of parsley, then serve.

Herb and walnut baked salmon with roast tomato quinoa

Salmon is packed full of omega-3 fatty acids (Sorted)
Salmon is packed full of omega-3 fatty acids (Sorted)

Serves: 2

Chef’s tip: A food processor might be helpful here, but don’t worry if you don’t have one. This recipe can be easily made using a trusty knife and board

Ingredients:

200g cherry tomatoes

4 tbsp olive oil

150g quinoa

1 clove garlic

10g fresh chives

25g fresh parsley

10g fresh mint

30g walnut halves

20g hard Italian cheese

20g dried panko breadcrumbs

2 salmon fillets, skin on

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200C – this will be for the tomatoes and salmon later. Line a small tray with tin foil – this will be for the salmon.

2. Halve 200g of cherry tomatoes and tip them onto a medium roasting tray.

3. Toss the tomatoes with a generous pinch of salt and 2 tbsp of olive oil.

4. Roast in the oven for 8-10 minutes, until soft and jammy. Get on with the rest of the dish in the next steps while you wait.

5. Tip 150g of quinoa into a medium saucepan, finely grate in 1 clove of garlic, season with salt, and add 350ml of water. Place the pan over a high heat.

6. Once the water starts to boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 6-8 minutes, until the grains are soft and all the water has been absorbed. Get on with the rest of the dish in the next steps while you wait.

7. Very finely chop 10g of chives, 25g of parsley, 10g of mint, and 30g of walnuts on the same board. Save some of the chives back for later, but transfer everything else into a large mixing bowl. This step can be made easier by using a food processor if you have one.

8. Finely grate in 20g of cheese, add 20g of breadcrumbs, season generously with salt, and fold everything together with 2 tbsp of oil. When the mixture is pressed, it should hold together a bit like raw pastry – add more oil if it feels a little dry. As with the previous step, a food processor might be useful here if you have one to get a vibrant green mix.

9. Lay 2 fillets of salmon onto the lined tray, skin-side down. Place the herb crust onto both of the fillets to cover their upper surface fully. We will use the excess crust for garnish later.

10. Bake in the oven for 12-14 minutes, until the fish flakes easily when pressed and is cooked throughout. Get on with the rest of the dish in the next steps while you wait.

11. Once the quinoa and tomatoes are ready, tip the quinoa into the tray with the tomatoes. Toss to coat the grains in the jammy tomatoes. Crack on with a bit of washing up while you wait for the salmon.

12. Divide the quinoa between plates, top each portion with a crusted salmon fillet and sprinkle over the remaining chives and herb crust. Tuck in!

In response to the rising cost of living, we have teamed up with Sorted Food to bring you easy, affordable, quick and (most importantly) tasty recipes once a month. Find out more about Sorted and their nifty meal-planning app Sidekick at sortedfood.com/sidekick.