Trending Recipes, presented by the California Walnut Board.

As a chef in the competitive world of foodservice, you know that if you’re not staying ahead of the latest trends, you’re falling behind the competition. One trend that’s caught on big is cooking with wholesome ingredients like California walnuts. Using walnuts is an easy way to add natural taste and texture, plus the great nutrition that consumers know walnuts provide.

Walnut and Swiss Chard Sopesitos

Walnut and Swiss Chard SopesitosCreated by Trent Page, Chef de Cuisine and Manager at YouTube Cafe

Bite-size sopesitos are small enough to be finger-food, but big on flavor.

Vegetable Mixture:

    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 cup onions, red, halved, thinly sliced
    • 3 teaspoons garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 teaspoons cumin seed, whole, toasted, ground
    • 2/3 cup yellow corn kernels, roasted
    • 4 cups red Swiss chard, packed, stems and leaves separated, julienned
    • 2 teaspoons lime juice, freshly squeezed
    • 1/2 cup California walnut halves, toasted, chopped
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 2 tablespoons poblanos, roasted, seeded, medium-diced
Pickled Peppers:

    • 2 red jalapenos, thinly sliced
    • 2 green jalapenos, thinly sliced
    • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon agave sugar
Poblano-Walnut Cream Sauce:

    • 2-3 poblanos, whole, fresh, roasted, stemmed, seeded
    • 1/3 cup yogurt, whole milk, Greek
    • 1/3 cup California walnuts, toasted
    • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
    • 1/3 cup cilantro, packed
    • 4 garlic cloves, pan-roasted

    • 1 1/2 cups corn masa harina
    • 1 cup water, warm
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
    • Canola oil for frying, as needed


Vegetable Mixture:

  1. Heat sauté pan and add olive oil. Add red onions and garlic and cook until onions are slightly translucent.
  2. Add cumin, roasted corn, and red Swiss chard. Cook until red Swiss chard begins to wilt.
  3. Turn heat off, combine remaining ingredients and mix well. Keep warm and set aside.

Pickled Peppers Mixture:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl. Let marinade 4 hours up to overnight.

Poblano-Walnut Cream Sauce:

  1. Using a blender, combine all ingredients and puree to a coarse texture.


  1. In a mixing bowl add corn masa harina, kosher salt, and coconut oil. Blend together until coconut oil is mixed in well. Add warm water and mix well until dough comes together. Dough will be slightly wet, but not sticky.


  1. Take 1-ounce dough balls and form 3-inch oval sopesitos, making sure to form a ridged edge to hold vegetable mixture. May be made a day before, covered in an airtight container.
  2. In a frying pan, heat canola oil to 350°F. Add sopesitos and fry until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes, and flip over to brown both sides. Drain on a paper towel and fry remaining sopesitos.
  3. Scoop 1 1/2 teaspoons poblano-walnut cream sauce into fried sopesitos, top with 1 tablespoon vegetable mixture and garnish with 1/4 teaspoon pickled jalapeno.

For nutrition, prep time, and more information, click here.

Beluga Lentils with Walnuts and Spring Vegetables

Beluga Lentils with Walnuts and Spring VegetablesCreated by Trent Page, Chef de Cuisine and Manager at YouTube Cafe

The delicate flavor of beluga lentils is balanced out by the tanginess of the yogurt sauce. Spring vegetables add splashes of color to this earthy, Middle Eastern dish.

Cooked Beluga Lentils:

    • 2/3 cup black lentils, dried
    • 3 cups water
Spring Vegetable Mixture:

    • 2 each heirloom baby carrots, yellow, tops removed, peeled, shaved
    • 2 each heirloom baby carrots, red/orange, tops removed, peeled, shaved
    • 4 each asparagus, top 2″ shaved, bottoms peeled, rounds shaved
    • 1 cup sugar snap peas, blanched, chilled, drained, tips cut, separated to expose peas
    • 1 cup baby arugula, packed
    • 1 cup California walnuts, toasted, chopped

    • 1/4 cup California walnuts, toasted, chopped
    • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon pomegranate syrup
    • 1 teaspoon orange zest
    • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon cumin, whole, toasted, ground
    • 1 teaspoon coriander, whole, toasted, ground
    • 1/2 teaspoon rose water
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Seasoned Beluga Lentil Mixture:

    • 2 cups black lentils, cooked
    • 1/4 cup vinaigrette
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
Yogurt Sauce Mixture:

    • 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
    • 2 tablespoons milk, 2%
    • Kosher salt, to taste
Aleppo Oil Mixture:

    • 3/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper, ground
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Cooked Beluga Lentils:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook lentils for 20-25 minutes.
  2. Check for doneness, drain, and chill with cold water until lentils are cool to the touch. Fully drain, cover, and set aside until ready for use.

Spring Vegetable Mixture:

  1. Place all mixture ingredients in a clean container and toss lightly. Keep covered with a damp paper towel and store in the refrigerator until ready for use.
  2. Before serving, toss lightly with 2 tablespoons vinaigrette and use immediately.


  1. Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl and season to taste with kosher salt. Set aside until ready for use.

Seasoned Beluga Lentil Mixture

  1. Combine cooked beluga lentils and vinaigrette in a non-reactive bowl. Toss lightly until lentils are coated evenly. Season to taste with kosher salt.
  2. Cover and keep refrigerated until ready for use.

Yogurt Sauce Mixture

  1. Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl and season to taste with kosher salt.
  2. Set aside until ready for use.

Aleppo Oil Mixture

  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, remove from heat, and let steep for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Place Aleppo oil in a stainless steel container, let cool, cover, and set aside until ready for use.


  1. To assemble the dish, dollop 1 tablespoon yogurt sauce onto a chilled plate. Fan the sauce out into a 4″ circle.
  2. Using a 3½” ring mold, center on top of yogurt sauce. Place ½ cup seasoned beluga lentil mixture and press down with back of spoon to set lentils. Top with ¼ cup chopped toasted walnuts.
  3. Remove ring mold slowly, taking care not to disturb the lentil mold. Toss 2 tablespoons vinaigrette with spring vegetable mixture and lightly toss until all vegetables are evenly coated.
  4. Place ¼ cup seasoned vegetable mixture on top of chopped walnuts. Drizzle with Aleppo oil and reserved vinaigrette.

For nutrition, prep time, and more information, click here.

Walnut-Crusted Chicken Cordon Bleu

Walnut-Crusted Chicken Cordon BleuCreated by Chef Dave Martin.

Classic, hearty, American favorites like Chicken Cordon Bleu never really go out of style. When it’s created with ingredients like California walnuts, red kale and Maytag bleu cheese, this popular standby really becomes something special.


    • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (to coat pan)
    • 4 each chicken thighs or breasts, free-range, boneless, thinly pounded out
    • 4 slices rosemary ham, thinly sliced
    • 1/4 cup California walnuts, roasted, roughly chopped
    • 1/4 cup Maytag bleu cheese, crumbled
    • 1 cup (one bunch) Russian red kale, organic, blanched, ribs removed and torn into small pieces (see directions)

    • 1/2 cup rice flour
    • 1/2 cup California walnuts, ground in food processor
    • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 2 eggs
Roasted Walnut Hollandaise:

    • 2 egg yolks
    • 1/2 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice, freshly squeezed
    • 2 ounces butter, unsalted, melted
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, dried
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, ground
    • 2 tablespoons California walnuts, roasted, finely chopped (pulsed in food processor)



  1. Arrange 1/4 cup California walnuts on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake 8 minutes to toast, checking frequently to prevent burning. Let cool and rough chop.
  2. Boil a pot of water. Rinse kale and remove ribs and tear in small pieces, then blanch in salted water (it should taste like the ocean). Remove from water and dry off.
  3. For chicken pieces: mix roasted and chopped walnuts and bleu cheese together and set aside.
  4. For coating: blend rice flour and ground walnuts and seasoning together and set aside.
  5. Lay the chicken thighs or breasts between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, gently pound the chicken to 1/4-inch thickness.
  6. Remove the top sheet of plastic and place 1 1/2 to 2 ounces of kale, then layer 1 ounce of the California walnuts and bleu cheese mixture and top with 1 slice of ham. Tuck in the sides of the breasts/thighs and roll up tight like a jellyroll inside the plastic wrap.
  7. Squeeze the log gently to seal and twist both ends tight to form a nice log. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  8. Unwrap stuffed chicken pieces from the plastic wrap. Crack two eggs into small bowl. Beat together the eggs and then carefully dip chicken roulades into the dry mixture, then into the eggs and then back into dry mixture. Set aside.
  9. Coat the base of the pan with olive oil and heat to high. Carefully place a couple of pieces of rolled chicken into the pan and lower the heat to medium high. (Pieces should be browned in this step only.)
  10. If pan is oven safe, cover it and bake in pre-heated oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked completely. Remove from oven and let rest. Serve with Roasted Walnut Hollandaise over the top.

Roasted Walnut Hollandaise:

  1. Vigorously whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together in a stainless steel bowl until the mixture is thickened and doubled in volume.
  2. Place the bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water (or use a double boiler). The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Continue to whisk rapidly. Be careful not to let the eggs get too hot, or they will scramble.
  3. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume. Remove from heat and whisk in cayenne, salt, pepper and walnuts. Cover and place in a warm spot until ready to use. If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water before serving and the sauce will come back together perfectly.

For nutrition, prep time, and more information, click here.

Walnut Soy-Miso Tsukemeh

Walnut Soy-Miso Tsukemeh

Created by Trent Page, Chef de Cuisine and Manager at YouTube Cafe

This gourmet ethnic bowl adds exotic flavor and delicious diversity to any menu.

Kombu Broth:

    • 2 cups water
    • 1 each 2″ x 1″ Kombu strip
    • 1/2 cup packed or 2 tablespoons shiitake mushrooms, dry, sliced
Walnut-Miso Sauce:

    • 1 cup California walnuts, toasted
    • 1 1/2 cups Kombu broth
    • 2 tablespoons Chinese soy sauce
    • 2 tablespoons red miso paste

    • 2 pounds ramen, fresh

    • 1/2 cup California walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped
    • 1/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced
    • 8 eggs, soft poached
    • 1/4 nori strips, julienned
    • 1/4 cup shichimi togorashi (Japanese spice mixture)


Kombu Broth:

  1. In a saucepan, add water, Kombu, and shiitake mushrooms. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a summer for 5 to 8 minutes. Strain through a coarse wire mesh, then discard Kombu and shiitake mushrooms. Yield: 1 1/2 cups.

Walnut-Miso Sauce:

  1. Place walnuts in a large, dry frying pan over medium-low heat and toast until fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. In a blender, add toasted walnuts, Kombu broth, soy sauce and red miso paste, and blend into a smooth consistency. Pour into a clean container and set aside until ready for use. Yield: 2 cups.(The walnut-miso mixture can be made up to 1 to 2 days ahead and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Add more Kombu broth for a thinner consistency, if the sauce has thickened. Bring sauce to room temperature before serving.)


  1. Cook ramen according to the package. Serve immediately while warm.


  1. Divide the ramen into eight 4-ounce portions. Ladle 4 fluid ounces of the Walnut-Miso Sauce at the bottom of a wide-mouth ceramic bowl, top with 4 ounces of cooked ramen and garnish with poached egg, nori strips, additional toasted walnuts, scallions, and shichimi togorashi.

For nutrition, prep time, and more information, click here.

Walnut Chocolate Macaron Pops

Walnut Chocolate Macaron Pops

Created by Pastry Chef Kei Hasegawa of Matsuhisa

Who says you can’t play with your food? Create this fun dessert where the natural, nutty flavor of California walnuts perfectly complements the rich flavor of the chocolate.

Walnut Macarons:

    • 9 1/4 ounces California walnuts
    • 9 1/4 ounces sugar, powdered
    • 6 ounces egg whites, divided
    • 8 3/4 ounces sugar, granulated
    • 2 1/8 ounces (1/4 cup) water, filtered
Walnut Praline Paste:

    • 8 1/4 ounces sugar, granulated
    • 2 1/8 ounces water, filtered
    • 8 3/4 ounces California walnuts
    • 2/3 ounce butter, unsalted
Walnut Ganache:

    • 2 tablespoons sugar, inverted*
    • 2/3 cup milk, whole
    • 13 ounces 46% milk chocolate
    • 2 1/8 ounces Walnut Praline Paste
    • 1/4 cup walnut liqueur*Inverted sugar is sweeter and helps products retain moisture and be less prone to crystallization. Inverted sugar may be made by mixing two parts granulated sucrose and one part water, and simmering for 5 to 7 minutes.


Walnut Macarons:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grind walnut with food processor into fine powder. Sift the powdered sugar and walnut powder. Add 3 ounces of egg whites into flour mixture and beat until incorporated.
  2. Combine granulated sugar and water in a pot over medium-high heat to make a sugar syrup. In a standing mixer on high speed, whip 3 ounces of egg whites to stiff peaks. When sugar syrup mixture reaches 235°F, slowly pour it to the beaten egg whites. Reduce speed to medium after 1 to 2 minutes until the meringue is cooled.
  3. Fold the meringue into the flour mixture. Scoop the mixture into a pastry bag and pipe the batter in 1.5-inch circles onto a silicone baking mat. Leave them to dry at room temperature for 15 minutes, then move them into the oven and bake for 12 minutes.

Walnut Praline Paste:

  1. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and heat to 235°F. Add walnuts and cook, stirring continuously, until sugar begins to turn a light brown caramel color.
  2. Remove from heat and add butter. Spread the mixture on a sheet tray to cool to room temperature.
  3. Place cooled walnuts in a food processor and process until they form a paste consistency. Use 2 1/8 ounce of this paste in the Walnut Ganache.

Walnut Ganache:

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat milk and inverted sugar to 140°F.
  2. In the top of a double boiler, melt the chocolate. Add the milk mixture and blend until smooth with an immersion blender.
  3. Add Walnut Praline Paste and walnut liqueur. Stir to combine and cook until mixture reaches 95°F. Remove from heat and let cool.
  4. To assemble, sandwich ganache between 2 macarons.

For nutrition, prep time, and more information, click here.

Walnut & Pork Stuffed Agnolotti

Walnut & Pork Stuffed Agnolotti

Created by Trent Page, Chef de Cuisine and Manager at YouTube Cafe

An update on meat-filled pasta, this recipe has a great blend of animal- and plant-based proteins.


    • 2 cups California walnuts, toasted, chopped
    • 3/4 pound pork shoulder or pork belly
    • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
    • 6 stalks green garlic, finely chopped
    • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese or crème fraiche
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Pasta Dough:

    • 1 pound all-purpose flour
    • 4 eggs, whole
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 2 tablespoons water, more if necessary
Nettle Spumante:

    • 2 cups nettles, wild, packed
    • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 cup milk, whole
    • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
Garnish (Optional):

    • 3/4 cup California walnuts, toasted, chopped
    • 4-6 each calendula flower, petals removed for garnish
    • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, shaved



  1. Preheat the oven 350°F. In a roasting pan, add pork shoulder and enough water to cover half of the pork shoulder. Cover with foil and braise for 4 hours or until tender. Remove from oven, let cool and reserve. Cook garlic in oil for 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Take cooled braised pork shoulder and pull apart into smaller pieces. Add 1 cup toasted, chopped walnuts and mix well. Pass pork/walnut mixture through meat grinder. Place in mixing bowl.
  3. Add remaining 1 cup toasted, chopped walnuts into pork/walnut mixture. Add Parmesan cheese and mascarpone, season to taste with salt and black pepper. Cover and keep refrigerated until ready for use.

Nettle Spumante:

  1. Heat sauté pan and add olive oil. Add nettles and sauté until fully wilted. Add milk and puree.
  2. Pass through chinois, discarding solids. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Warm and froth to serve.

Pasta Dough:

  1. In a mixing bowl, add flour and kosher salt. Mix thoroughly and make a well. Add whole eggs and egg yolk, extra virgin olive oil, and water if necessary. Mix and knead by hand or with a dough hook until dough forms and pulls away from the bowl. Portion pasta dough into 5-ounce dough balls. Keep covered to prevent dough from forming a skin. Keep refrigerated until ready for use. Note: Bring dough to room temperature before use.
  2. “Knead” with a pasta machine. Instead of extensively kneading the fresh pasta dough, fold it and run it through a pasta maker on one of the thicker settings. Fold the pasta sheet over on itself and run it through the pasta maker again. Repeat 8 to 10 times, or until the pasta is very smooth and elastic.
  3. Let the pasta rest. Wrap it in plastic and let it rest at room temperature for about half an hour.
  4. Cut the pasta into rectangular sheets. As the sheet of pasta comes off the pasta maker, lay it on a floured board and cut it into rectangular sheets about 12 inches long. Sprinkle flour lightly on each sheet after you cut it, and continue stacking sheets on top of each other.


  1. Pipe out the filling. Pull one sheet of pasta off the top of the stack. Put the farce in a large pastry bag fitted with a wide tip (it should be at least 1/2 inch across). Pipe a straight line of filling lengthwise on the pasta sheet, leaving enough pasta at the top to fold over the filling.
  2. Make a pasta tube around the filling. Fold the pasta top over the filling. Press firmly to seal. You can moisten the tip of your finger and run it along the seam if it doesn’t want to stick together. Use a wheeled pasta cutter or a sharp knife to cut the filled tube of pasta away from the rest of the sheet, making sure to keep the sealed strip intact.
  3. Make and cut the Agnolotti pockets. Use the tips of your fingers to pinch the tube of pasta into equally sized sections, creating a seal between pockets of filling. Use the wheeled pasta cutter or a sharp knife to separate the sections. Quickly cut through each, leaning the tube of pasta in the direction you’re cutting. You should be left with small, individual pockets of filled pasta. Place the finished Agnolotti in a tray of coarse cornmeal.
  4. Repeat and store. Repeat until all of the pasta sheets and filling have been used. At this point the pasta can be cooked right away, covered and refrigerated overnight, or frozen. To freeze, freeze until solid on a large baking tray, and then transfer to containers or freezer bags.
  5. To cook fresh or frozen Agnolotti, cook in a large pot of salted boiling water for 2 minutes, or until tender.
  6. To assemble, divide nettle spumante on plates. Place cooked Agnolotti on top. Garnish with toasted, chopped walnuts, calendula flower, and shaved Parmesan cheese (optional).

For nutrition, prep time, and more information, click here.