What to Make With Blueberries
Keep calm and berry on.
Blueberries are a crown jewel of summer produce. Their season may be fleeting, but that just makes the anticipation of these blue orbs that much sweeter. When they’re at their peak, blueberries deliver sweet, juicy flavor with a hearty dose of antioxidants and vitamin C. They’re totally snackable by the handful on their own, but as these recipes prove, the humble blueberry is ripe for starring in dishes both sweet and savory. Celebrate the season and maximize your bounty with some of our favorite blueberry recipes. (And if you can’t get to them all now, freeze them for later with these pro tips.)
When blueberries meet heat, a magical transformation takes place: They plump up, then burst into a syrupy sweetness that makes them a go-to ingredient for all manner of baked goods.
For the fastest path to blueberry pie bliss, try this 4-Ingredient Blueberry Pie (pictured up top), which saves on time by utilizing refrigerated pie crusts. Got a little more time on your hands? Check out Ina Garten’s Fresh Blueberry Pie, which tucks four cups of blueberries between two layers of her Perfect Pie Crust. Pro tip: The pie can be baked up to 24 hours in advance and then reheated for 10 minutes at 350˚F and served warm or at room temperature. A scoop of vanilla ice cream is optional, but highly recommended.
If you’re intimidated by the thought of making your own pie crust, try a forgiving, free-form galette or crostata, in which you fold the crust up around the filling. We especially love this Blueberry Cheesecake Galette, which puts the blueberries front and center in a lush cream cheese filling. Ina’s Summer Fruit Crostata is another winner, especially since it pairs blueberries with juicy wedges of plums and peaches.
A virtually foolproof way to highlight your berry bounty is to bake them into a Blueberry Cobbler. The blueberries are spooned over a simple batter in a baking dish coated in melted butter, and as it bakes, the batter rises around the berries to form a buttery crust on top. Crisps are another simple yet impressive dessert, as with this Blueberry Oatmeal Crisp, where the blueberries bake and bubble under a blanket of brown-sugar-oat-butter topping.
Blueberry muffins are a great standby, especially when you start with our Best Blueberry Muffins. The secret? Two cups of blueberries ensure a burst of berry flavor in every bite, plus creaming the butter helps support the weight and moisture of the berries (no gummy batter here!). Fresh blueberries also work their magic in this Vegan Blueberry Muffins recipe, by ensuring that the sweet, tender crumb stays moist.
To really take blueberry baked goods to another flavor dimension, pair the berries with their BFF: lemon. Lemon juice and zest bring out the berries’ subtle tartness while accentuating its juicy sweetness. Case in point? This Lemon-Blueberry Sunshine Tart (pictured) showcases a vibrant yellow lemon curd center filling edged with plump blueberries. The pattern looks impressive, but no special equipment is needed to make the star-shaped shortbread — just folded foil. This Upside-Down Blueberry-Lemon Cake follows the same technique for pineapple upside down cake, and yields a sticky, blueberry shellacked top on a tender crumb scented with lemon zest. For these Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze, Tyler Florence pulls in both lemon juice and zest to create a glaze with just the right amount of pucker.
Take ‘em Savory
Proof that blueberries are tiny-yet-mighty is their sheer versatility — their sweet-tart profile brings balance and a depth of flavor to savory dishes, too. Ree Drummond’s Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Bruschetta (pictured) are the definition of breezy summer dining. She macerates blueberries by letting them hang out with sugar and balsamic vinegar till syrupy, then dollops the fruity topping onto grilled bread slathered with lemon ricotta. Claire Robinson pulls in blueberry preserves along with chipotle powder and whole grain mustard to create a tangy glaze for her Spicy Blueberry Pork Tenderloin.
Vivian Howard calls her Blueberry BBQ Chicken an homage to her native North Carolina barbecue, but with a blueberry twist. To make the Blue Q sauce, fresh blueberries are cooked down with apple cider vinegar, chile flakes, sugar and a cinnamon stick. Once slathered on the chicken skin, it caramelizes into a sticky, finger-licking sauce. For more tips and a step-by-step how-to, check out Vivian’s class on the Food Network Kitchen app.
Go beyond fruit salad and add blueberries to savory summer salads to add a boost of berry goodness and an unexpected pop. The contrast of flavors in Giada De Laurentiis’ Red, White and Blue Salad hit all the notes: plump, sweet blueberries and red grapes mingle with quick-pickled cucumbers, bitter radicchio and endive, and a duo of sharp gorgonzola and buttery pistachios. Michael Symon’s Blueberry Coleslaw comes together in 15 minutes and can be served immediately, but if you’ve got time, chill it in the fridge to let the blueberry-cabbage-carrot mixture soak up the mayo-vinegar dressing, which gets an extra burst of flavor from fresh cilantro and toasted cumin seeds.
For her Summer Chicken Salad, Ree folds blueberries into her grilled chicken, corn and red onion mixture at the very end to lightly coat them in the creamy feta-dill dressing, before tucking scoops into lettuce cups for a light summer lunch.
Give ‘em Brunch Billing
Blueberries are packed with flavor and nutrition, making them a frequent addition to breakfast dishes including oatmeal, pancakes, toast with nut butter and smoothies (like this breakfast-of-champions ready Blueberry-Almond Smoothie). But blueberries are also destined for leisurely weekend brunches.
The most time consuming part of this Blueberry-Cream Cheese Pull-Apart Bread (pictured) is waiting for the dough to rise — put it together while you have coffee, let it rise, then bake for 45 minutes. Your patience will be rewarded with a snackable loaf that’s studded with berries and equal parts tender, chewy and melty.
For these kid-approved, healthy Mini Fruit Kebabs with Blueberry Yogurt Dip, Ree skewers blueberries alongside pineapple chunks and fresh raspberries and blends them into a Greek-yogurt-and honey-based dip amped up with fresh vanilla bean. Get the kids in on the action and have them help skewer the fruit. These French Toast Roll-Ups are super fun to make and eat, plus they’re totally customizable. Blueberry and cream cheese make a dynamic duo, but you could also swap in nut butter or ricotta-and-lemon-zest to pair with the berries.
Now you can have your cake and eat it for breakfast, too. This gorgeous Wake and Cake Blueberry Breakfast Cake was inspired by the humble blueberry muffin, but reaches fancy brunch status as a layer cake schmeared with cream cheese frosting and crowned with blueberry preserves. Fancy making your own blueberry preserves? Try this easy Blueberry-Maple Spoon Fruit recipe, which transforms fresh blueberries into a lush, spoonable topping.
Freezing extra fresh blueberries is a great way to extend the season, and frozen berries can be subbed in for fresh blueberries in most baking recipes or added to smoothies and shakes. But enjoying them in frozen confections is also a supremely satisfying way to enjoy them this summer.
You don’t need any fancy equipment for this No-Churn Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream. A syrupy fresh blueberry sauce is layered with cheesecake bites (complete with graham cracker crust) and a quick-and-easy ice cream base, then tucked into the freezer to finish its transformation. Another no-fuss dessert is Valerie Bertinelli’s elegant Blueberry Granita. The recipe calls for thawed frozen berries, but you could easily start with fresh berries. Blend ‘em up with sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract, then strain the mixture into a glass baking dish and freeze, scraping up the frozen clumps every so often until its frozen (not slushy). Spoon into glass bowls or parfait glasses and garnish with fresh mint or basil.
Blueberry preserves plus Greek yogurt add up to these refreshing Blueberry Yogurt Pops (pictured), which make them an excellent choice for a healthy snack or on-the-go breakfast. We’re into the idea of eating popsicles for breakfast — blending fresh blueberries and blueberry preserves with oats and hazelnut milk creates the base for these sweet and luscious Healthy Blueberry-Oat Breakfast Ice Pops.