House of Cards is great and all, but in truth our favorite thing to binge watch is cooking videos. There’s something addictive, even therapeutic, about watching someone bake, roast, chop, and purée ingredients into a delicious meal. And after watching, you’ve actually learned some skills you can put to use in your life. (We can’t say the same about spending the weekend with Frank Underwood.) Alas, these days the sheer amount of cooking videos available online can be overwhelming—how do you sift through the millions to find the recipes, and the cooks, you can trust?
1. Greek Yogurt Pancakes (Everyday Belle)
Because we always have room for another Greek yogurt recipe! In this video, Everyday Belle whips up single-serving (but easily multiplied) pancakes using the yogurt as a protein-rich, filling anchor for this four-ingredient recipe. Thanks to drool-worthy close-ups of the cooking process, you can almost reach out and feel how fluffy the golden-brown discs are as she flips them on the pan. And you can use flavored Greek yogurt to add a little fruit or sweetness to the mix.
2. Flourless Oat and Almond Butter Muffins With Goji and Dark Chocolate (Fit Men Cook)
This video lasts only a minute, which is fitting since throwing together these flourless, gluten-free muffins doesn’t take much longer. Half the batter comes together in the blender, and the rest is just a quick stir and scoop into the muffin pan. The result: six wholesome and portable treats. Bake up a batch on a lazy Sunday, and you’ll have breakfast set for the week.
3. Chia Seed Pudding Breakfast (Nicko’s Kitchen)
If you’ve never worked with chia seeds before, watching this video is a great way to get a sense of how these tiny superfood spheres thicken up into a gel-like consistency, perfect for mimicking the texutre of pudding. This clip also includes a recipe for rhubarb compote, giving a useful visual guide for cooking with this lesser-used plant. But don’t worry if it’s not rhubarb season; alternatives are offered too.
4. 3 Delicious Breakfast Pitas (Domestic Geek)
You get three recipes for the click of one button with this video, which features a trio of quick and healthy spins on scrambled eggs, each with a distinctive flavor profile, nestled into a carb-y pita pocket. With cheesy, spicy, or even Hawaiian-inspired twists on the breakfast staple, it's multiple choice for a hearty, quick, and protein-rich start to your day.
5. Crepes (Jenny Can Cook)
Right off the bat, Jenny Jones’s casual, laid-back approach puts you at ease in this video, which is reassuring since crepes have a reputation of being finicky and tricky to flip. Ingredient swaps, like 1 percent instead of whole milk and canola oil for butter, keep these light. Jones also ditches the need to religiously stick to measurements and still ends up with a pretty perfect, papery-thin stack, taking the fuss out of the recipe and giving you the confidence to attempt it yourself.
6. Summer Porridge (Sorted Food)
Devoted to offering budget-friendly and easy recipes, Sorted Food is the top global cooking show on YouTube. Begin with their video for the classic (and gorgeous!) Bircher muesli before you get sucked into the rest of their impressive collection. Grated apple brings sweetness and a hit of antioxidants to the base, and natural yogurt adds protein and creaminess. Using (very scientific) measurements like “a big fistful” and some amusing trivia about the origins of the dish, it’s entertaining and educational at the same time—multitasking at its best!
Salads, Snacks, and Soups
7. Candied Sweet Potato Fries (Tara Stiles)
When a recipe calls for “eyeballing” ingredients, it can result in either a culinary masterpiece or disaster, depending on your comfort level with winging it. That’s why it’s helpful to actually watch Tara Stiles make these candied “fries” and see how she freely pours out coconut oil and maple syrup. Thankfully, the dish is very forgiving and loaded up with nutritional benefits: Coconut oil, sweet potato, and maple syrup bring beta-carotene and polyphenols to the plate in addition to deliciousness.
8. Creamy Potato Salad (Dani Spies)
If there’s one reason to watch this video (aside from the fact that it’s creamy potato salad), it’s to discover Dani Spies’s genius tactic for making Greek yogurt taste like mayo. At the same time, she also isn’t afraid to use some of the real stuff either—a reflection of her philosophy that healthy eating doesn’t require an all-or-nothing approach. Throwing in boiled eggs for more protein, she takes this rich, heavy picnic staple to a lighter, more balanced place.
9. Almond Cauliflower Chilled Soup (Joyous Health)
Joy McCarthy’s channel is a treasure trove of recipes guaranteed to be bursting with healthy bonuses, and the best part is the host’s breakdown of the nutritional benefits of each ingredient as she uses it—who better to trust with that information than a registered and certified holistic nutritionist? This flavorful dish comes together in the blender, so it's just seconds till soup’s on. One silky, tangy bowl provides protein from the almonds, vitamin C from the cauliflower, and vitamin K from the cucumber.
10. Pizza Scones (Mind Over Munch)
Alyssia’s energy is so downright infectious, it’s impossible not to crack a smile as she lists out all the reasons to make this recipe that includes, “Pizza makes you go AHHHH!” Here she pairs a fast-food favorite with a teatime classic for a baked good hybrid that could give the cronut some competition. What’s more, it’s ridiculously simple and surprisingly healthy. With a speedy, made-from-scratch dough that’s gluten-free and Paleo-friendly, we may never order delivery again.
11. Baked Buffalo Wings (Hilah Cooking)
We love how Hilah Johnson talks to her viewers like they’re her friends watching her cook via Google Hangouts. Just witness the first step in this recipe: Get yourself a drink! Clearly she doesn’t take herself—or her recipes—too seriously. That said, Johnson knows her way around a kitchen because these crispy wings, with a fraction of the butter and baked instead of fried, look supremely delicious. Johnson also uses traditional Frank’s Hot Sauce to bump up the heat here, and she includes a how-to for cutting the perfect drumette from those wings, plus a lightened-up blue cheese sauce for dipping.
12. Crispy Kale Chips (Fablunch)
If making kale chips has always struck you as way too fussy, this video by Olga Bykina at Fablunch may just change your mind. Bykina does a good job selling kale chips as “one of the healthiest snacks out there,” reminding us that they’re high in fiber and iron, and loaded up with vitamins A and C. With non-obscure ingredients, clearly outlined steps, and helpful tips, her basic template shows just how straightforward it is to throw a pan together. And if you wanna riff of the basic batch, there’s plenty of other suggested seasonings. Chipotle pepper chips, anyone?
13. Green Pepper Bowls (Brettcap)
Brett Cap’s YouTube channel focuses on fitness and exercise, but with this video, he shows us that a post-workout meal doesn’t have to mean a protein shake and egg whites. Filled to the brim with generously seasoned chicken, rice, and veggies, these green pepper bowls are a real-food way to refuel muscles, or simply a well-rounded dinner for busy weeknights. Lean protein from the chicken and antioxidants from the broccoli and peppers cover the nutritional bases. Plus, you gotta love any meal served in edible vessels!
14. Zucchini Pasta With Creamy Pesto (Deliciously Ella)
Frankly, we’d eat anything Ella Woodward made in her bright and airy kitchen. But our first choice would be these zucchini—or “courgettes,” as Woodward calls them in her British accent—noodles, which are all the rage these days. In this video, Woodward demonstrates how anybody can make them, even without a spiralizer. Watch as she tops them with an inventive, vegan twist on traditional pesto made from heart-healthy avocado and Brazil nuts. She also adds sautéed mushrooms for a warm, meaty touch to the otherwise raw meal.
15. The Creamiest Mac and Cheese (The Sweetest Vegan)
Vegan mac and cheese variations seem endless these days, but Tasha Edwards’s stands out in that it doesn’t rely on nuts or tofu for the cheese sauce. Instead, she replaces the usual fat- and dairy-bomb with a potassium- and fiber-filled mix of puréed sweet potato, beans, and bell pepper. Edwards is also refreshingly up-front about her own cooking process, admitting mistakes she made during previous attempts at the dish and having initially low expectations about it at first. Thankfully, she was blown away by this mac and cheese, and we’re happy to reap the benefits.
16. Grilled Salmon and Avocado Salad (Byron Talbott)
By now most of us got the memo that salmon is one of the best varieties of omega-3 fatty acids you can consume. Byron Talbott’s salad not only features the fabulous fish, but by mixing it with avocado, it’s a tasty celebration of healthy fats. In a video with clean and glossy production, you can watch how it takes mere minutes to put together. But Talbott take the simple prep over the top by nestling the salad into the empty shells of the avocado, making for truly party-ready presentation.
17. Cauliflower Crust Pizza (Autumn Calabrese)
Ever since cauliflower replaced kale as the “veggie en vogue,” there’s no shortage of recipes that spotlight this cruciferous powerhouse. Autumn Calabrese and her featured guest make a cauliflower pizza dough that uses zero flour but still resembles a traditional thin-crust when it comes out of the oven. While they top it with the unbeatable mozzarella-and-basil combo, they’re quick to assure you that toppings are completely customizable. They even provide swaps for making the crust completely cheese-free so those with gluten or dairy intolerances can join the pizza party.
18. Poached Egg and Edamame Rice Bowl (Everyday Food)
If you need more single-serving recipes in your life, this beautifully produced video has your back. On display, a heap of assorted veggies atop brown rice and edamame, which makes for an extremely nutritious meal. This pretty and filling rice bowl will lure lone diners away from a makeshift dinner of breakfast cereal. As a bonus, there’s a useful poached egg tutorial here too—perfect for anyone out there who’s still, shall we say, walking on eggshells, when it comes to that technique.
19. Shakshuka (Cooking With Alia)
Breakfast rut? This Saudi twist on eggs will put an end to that. A fragrant garlic, onion, and tomato-based gravy that we can practically inhale off the screen provides the base. Tomatoes bring along antioxidant lycopene, and then it's topped with six eggs for a super protein boost. Serve it with bread to make it a complete, satiating meal and, of course, to sop up all that yolky goodness.
20. Spanish Omelette (Original Naked Chef)
Spanish omelet (a.k.a. tortilla española) is usually fried in an alarmingly deep pool of oil. But this healthier rendition of the popular eggy dish uses just a few tablespoons of olive oil instead. The result is less greasy, but it still retains the signature elements that make this small-plate staple enticing: richness from the eggs and caramelized onions, crispiness from the outer crust, and creaminess from the potato layers underneath. It’s easily in the running for the best tapas in town.
21. Fried Rice (Chinese Healthy Cook)
Fried rice is pretty much the poster child of greasy delivery. This video transforms the usual calorie bomb and makes it better for your heart and digestion. Don’t be misled by the name; the rice here is fried in just a fraction of the oil and salt used in regular recipes. But it keeps the eggs to add a punch of protein to the carb-heavy dish. (Vegan? Sub in tofu!) With five main ingredients—none of which include MSG or hard-to-find condiments— this may be a painless way to end your takeout addiction.
22. Mexican Charro Beans (Laura Muller)
Looking for a way to lighten up Mexican night? Check out Laura Muller’s Mexican charro beans (a.k.a. frijoles charro) for a recipe that transforms typically dense of south-of-the-border fare into a healthy, hearty dish. Folate-rich pinto beans are simmered into a soup along with homemade turkey chorizo and chopped veggies. It’s an authentic, frugal, one-pot meal presented with heaps of enthusiasm and the correct, full-on "r"-rolling pronunciation of “charro.”
23. Stir-fried Vegetables (Japanese Cooking 101)
Technically, “stir-fry” is more a method than an actual recipe, but that ambiguity is one more reason why so many of us just can’t get the hang of it! Enter Japanese Cooking 101, where home cooks Noriko and Yuko walk you through the basics of sautéing and seasoning veggies the Japanese way—like keeping the veggies crisp and going minimal with the sauce, which is always a healthy approach. Mix and match your proteins and produce depending on what’s hanging out in your fridge.
24. Spaghetti With Fresh Cherry Tomato Marinara (Laura in the Kitchen)
Making marinara sauce tends to imply hours watching a simmering pot. But Laura—one of the most popular Italian cooks on YouTube—proves that a tasty sauce doesn’t mean spending the day manning the stove. Using fresh cherry tomatoes that are slightly reduced to release their lycopene-rich juices, her version can be served up in less than 30 minutes. Garlic-infused olive oil and basil cling to each strand of pasta, so it tastes like you’ve been slaving for hours when in fact it came together with minimal prep.
25. Moong Daal Khichdi (Bhavna’s Kitchen)
You might not recognize khichdi by name, but it’s as quintessential in Indian households as pasta is in Italian ones—and it’s healthy by default. Rice and your choice of lentils are cooked together, forming a complete protein and a carb-rich bowl that’s spot on when you feel hanger rage building. The turmeric and ginger used to flavor the rice contain all sorts of anti-inflammatory properties. But you can customize the spices according to your preferences, or follow the recipe to the letter and get mildly spiced khichdi cooked to soft perfection.
26. Thai Sour Curry (Middle Fish TV)
Thai food isn’t all pad Thai and tom yum soup! Expand your knowledge and go really authentic with Middle Fish TV’s “kang som.” This coconut milk-free, orange curry does call for a few special ingredients (shrimp paste, fish sauce, etc.), but nothing you can’t find in the Asian section of your grocery store. Filled with plenty of seafood and veggies, this spicy and sour stew is a flavorful way to get in your omega-3s.
27. Homemade Tiramisu (Ingrid Nilsen)
Ingrid Nilsen’s take on tiramisu ditches the cloying, heavy whipped cream base for one that celebrates its coffee and chocolate flavors. (And, hey, both of these have polyphenols, which protect from cardiovascular diseases and cancer.) With a few more steps than the other videos here, this one is a bit longer but hardly more complex. Nilsen shares personal anecdotes as she goes along too, including the fact that this recipe was passed down from her boyfriend’s grandmother. And clearly nana knew best, because the result is a stunning dessert that looks like it’s straight out of a fancy Italian restaurant but with a sleeker, lighter makeover.
28. Raw Chocolate Avocado Slice (Bondi Harvest)
When a bunch of surfer dudes describe a raw, no-cook dessert as “epic,” even skeptics will deem it worth a shot. Watch as host Guy Turland effortlessly whips up this no-cook “slice.” A walnut-based crust adds omega-3s, and the silky chocolaty filling from avocado and coconut oil adds plenty of healthy fats. With an attitude that’s as laid back and unstuffy as their recipes, Bondi Harvest’s video—actually, pretty much their entire playlist—is a must for your regular YouTube rotation.
29. Baked Blackberry and Blueberry Crumble (Green Kitchen Stories)
Besides the cheery guitar strum, this video is oddly soundless in the first half, but that allows you to focus on the exquisitely shot ingredients, from the berries tumbling into a dish to the amber drizzles of maple syrup to the mason jars and wooden slates setup. The vibe it creates perfectly matches with the crumble’s rustic appearance. Not only does the finished dessert look oh-so-homey and comforting, but this video may take top marks for production too.
30. Chocolate Macaroons (Heather Nicholds)
Full disclosure: This is more of a “non-recipe” recipe; Heather Nicholds combines her no-bake macaroon ingredients to her preferred taste and texture, all freehand. (Check out her blog for exact measurements.) If you’re ready to experiment a bit in the kitchen, this video will boost your confidence. Plus as a holistic nutritionist, Nicholds shares trustworthy descriptions of the health benefits of her recipe, such as coconut oil's potential to boost your “good” cholesterol levels. But whatever your thoughts on cholesterol, there’s a tray of chocolaty, coconut-y yumminess waiting at the end.
31. Healthy Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich (Blogilates)
Next time you hear anyone complain that healthy eating is expensive, point them in the direction of this ice cream sandwich video. Host Cassey Ho’s dessert is a thrifty 49 cents per sammie, plus it’s made with only bananas and heart-healthy oats. Talk about a sweet no-sugar-added treat! This is one of those genius ideas that makes us wonder how we went so long without it. And Ho is so peppy and full of energy, we’re filled with can-do spirit to tackle this dessert.
32. Healthy Paleo Brownies (The Squishy Monster)
No flour, no black beans, no sugar. So... what do these “squishy monster” brownies contain? Eggs, honey, cocoa, and dates (among a few other ingredients). Dates add potassium, honey adds antioxidants, and eggs bring along a little protein to this sweet treat. You won’t miss the flour and sugar in these gluten-free beauties, and when host Angela Kim cuts into the batch, you’ll see that all the ooey, gooey, fudgy goodness is still 100 percent intact.