4 Savoury-Sweet Swaps You Need To Try Immediately

Fight flavour fatigue with these unexpected combos.
Published April 2, 2018

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut making the same foods over and over again. Oftentimes the thought of trying out brand new recipes (especially on weeknights) is overwhelming, not only are you trying out new meals but you also need to grocery shop for any specialty ingredients you might not already have sitting in your fridge or pantry. A simple way to combat recipe fatigue is to try swapping out sweet ingredients for savoury (and vice versa). This obvious but underused technique will have you reinventing all sorts of classic recipes. You’ll definitely find yourself surprised by the sudden extra mileage you can get out of the foods you cook on a regular basis.

Savoury yogurt

Forget your go-to fruit and granola yogurt parfait and experiment with creating memorable savoury yogurt recipes. Begin with best quality nonfat plain yogurt as a base ingredient and move on to build the savoury yogurt bowl of your dreams.

  • Top yogurt with a generous spoonful of hummus, baba ganoush or refried beans (or any other healthy dip).
  • Add plenty of crunch with grated carrots, beets, jicama or any other firm vegetable. Use a sharp knife or mandolin to thinly slice cucumbers, radishes, and peppers.
  • Don’t be afraid of fresh herbs! Basil, parsley, cilantro, and dill are all delicious when sprinkled over a savoury yogurt bowl.
  • Use boldly flavoured condiments to finish the dish; Asian-inspired hot sauce, miso, kimchi, pesto, and salsa all add an impressive amount of flavour!

Sweet grilled cheese

While one shouldn’t mess with perfection (that would be grilled cheese served with a dab of ketchup and a deli-style pickle) it’s fun to get creative with sweetened up versions of the original recipe. Although the cheese can be savoury, you can then use a wide variety of slightly sweetened complementary ingredients for a truly memorable sandwich.

  • Chutneys and fruit salsas make excellent fillings for sweetened up grilled cheese. Spread a thin layer directly onto the bread and top with your favourite melty cheese.
  • Fresh cheeses such as ricotta, chevre, and burrata pair wonderfully with fruit jams and preserves (raspberry, strawberry, and apricot truly shine here).
  • Sauté thinly sliced apples and pears in a small amount of butter and add them to a grilled blue cheese, brie or camembert-based grilled cheese sandwich.

Savoury oatmeal

Bored by your morning oatmeal routine? Ditch the brown sugar and fruit for an easy savoury version of the classic healthy breakfast meal.

  • For added fibre and nutrients stir in a handful of grated zucchini or carrots, you’ll feel satisfied and energized for hours after eating your savoury oats.
  • Instead of cooking the oats in water or milk, try subbing in stock (vegetable or chicken stock works particularly well), miso broth or cashew milk.
  • Top savoury oatmeal with shredded chicken or turkey breast, pork belly, small tofu cubes or a crispy fried egg.
  • Toast seeds and nuts in a dry skillet until fragrant and sprinkle on top of your savoury oats for a touch of instant sophistication.

Sweet soups

Skip the savoury next time you’re making homemade soup and experiment with fruit and other naturally sweet ingredients instead. Sweet soups can be eaten anytime but are best served as part of a light lunch or as an appetizer before dinner.

  • Purée canned peaches and pears in their syrup for an easy soup base (just make sure the syrup has no added sugar).
  • Fresh and frozen berries turn sweet soups into photo-worthy creations packed with vitamins and antioxidants.
  • For a creamy texture swirl in a dollop of nonfat plain yogurt, the tanginess will help undercut some of the sweetness from the fruit. 
  • Watermelon, honeydew, and cantaloupe can be blitzed in a food processor or blender until smooth and used as a base for other flavours.
  • Try stirring in a splash of your favourite wine. Rosé, moscato, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and sparkling wine all work beautifully.