21 Recipes for Mint Lovers

Mint Stracciatella Semifreddo
Photo: Greg DuPree

With its refreshing and fragrant flavor, mint is a welcome addition to both sweet and savory dishes. We love it smashed with fava beans and pecorino to top toast, whizzed into a minty pesto as a perfect accompaniment to lamb, and tossed into a cooling watermelon salad with lime for a summer dessert. Better yet, wash it all down with a delightfully effervescent mojito. It's no wonder mint is such a popular herb — here are some of our favorite mint recipes.

01 of 21

Watermelon Salad with Mint and Lime

Watermelon Salad with Mint and Lime
© John Kernick

Chef Matt Neal calls this supremely simple fruit salad the ultimate refresher on a hot day. For a grown-up version, he adds splashes of rum. "It's even more satisfying then," he jokes.

02 of 21

Masala Grilled Vegetables with Spicy Mint Chutney

Masala Grilled Vegetables with Spicy Mint Chutney
Greg DuPree

Grilled summer produce meets a chile-spiked herb dressing in this recipe. Using a blender or food processor to prepare the sauce safeguards the colors by instantly cutting and coating the herbs with oil, locking in the green.

03 of 21

Coconut Mojito

coconut mojitos with rum bottles
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

Homemade coconut-mint syrup lends cool, quenching freshness to this lime-kissed, delightfully effervescent mojito. Blanching and shocking the mint leaves before infusing them into the syrup preserves their bright color. Use leftover syrup for a whole batch of cocktails or mocktails, stir some into fresh-squeezed lemonade, or drizzle it over sliced fruit for a refreshing summer treat.

04 of 21

Mint Pesto

Mint Pesto
© Karen Mordechai

Toss this mint pesto with pasta or mix it with soft, fresh goat cheese and spread it on crostini. Brush on lamb chops (a classic pairing!), chicken, fish, pork, seafood, or vegetables after grilling, or serve alongside burgers, sausages, or grilled bread.

05 of 21

Vermicelli with Chicken Skewers and Nuoc Cham

Vermicelli with Chicken Skewers and Nuoc Cham
© Dana Gallagher

In this Vietnamese-style recipe, individual piles of cucumber, fresh herbs, and grilled chicken are arranged on a platter of vermicelli and bean sprouts; tangy nuoc cham sauce is poured over it all. The high acidity, citrus and mineral flavors, and slight sweetness of German Riesling make it a perfect foil for the dish's sweet and savory notes.

06 of 21

Spicy Brussels Sprouts with Mint

Spicy Brussel Sprouts with Mint
© Gabriele Stabile

The key to this dish from chef David Chang is to almost burn the brussels sprouts; the charred flavor is irresistible.

07 of 21

Fresh Mint Stracciatella Semifreddo

Mint Stracciatella Semifreddo
Greg DuPree

Fistfuls of fresh mint are steeped in the custard base of this semifreddo; a slow simmer releases the herb's oils into the base without leeching any color.

08 of 21

Smashed Fava Beans on Toast with Pecorino and Mint

Smashed Fava Beans Toast with Pecorino and Mint Recipe
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Dickey / Prop Styling by Heather Chadduck Hillegas

"Fava beans are one of spring's most coveted ingredients, and my favorite way of preparing them is to smash them with mint and pecorino into a chunky spread for topping toast," says cookbook author Andrea Slonecker. "Once the favas are blanched and shelled, the spread comes together in mere minutes."

09 of 21

Thin Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, Feta, and Mint

Thin Spaghetti with Tomatoes Kalamata Olives Feta Mint
Greg DuPree

On a weeknight when speed is key, whip up this one-pot pasta. Whole cherry tomatoes, briny olives, salty feta cheese, and fresh mint and oregano make for a satisfying Greek-inspired summer meal with very little effort.

10 of 21

Spring Peas with Mint

Spring Peas with Mint
© John Kernick

Make the most of spring vegetables with this crisp, cool no-cook pea and mint salad. Pairing suggestion: Vinegary dishes and wine can be a terrible combination, but the sharp chopped red onion chef Mark Ladner tosses with these tangy peas makes the recipe delicious with a lightly tannic red.

11 of 21

Minty Salsa Verde

Minty Salsa Verde
Abby Hocking

This mint-infused salsa verde from chef April Bloomfield gets a delicious briny hit from salted anchovies, making it an excellent accompaniment to juicy roast lamb.

12 of 21

Sugared Melon With Cardamom and Mint

Don't Forget The Melon
Cedric Angeles

Sugar, cardamom, and fresh mint are all you need to transform ripe melon into a memorable dessert. Muskmelons, such as cantaloupe and honeydew, are sometimes treated like an afterthought — that's why chef Vishwesh Bhatt sometimes calls this recipe Don't Forget the Melon. "If you have the right melon that's nice and ripe, it's just so good," he says.

13 of 21

Roasted Baby Artichokes with Parsley and Mint

Roasted Baby Artichokes with Parsley and Mint Recipe
Eva Kolenko

Removing the outer leaves and inner thistle of each baby artichoke reveals its lightly astringent, mildly sweet core, tender enough for quick cooking. Be sure to wash your cutting board and knife well after preparing the baby artichokes as they can leave behind a bitter residue.

14 of 21

Keralan Crab Cakes with Mint Chutney

Kerlan Crab Cakes with Mint-Chutney
Charles Thompson

Who doesn't love crab cakes? Top Chef judge Padma Lakshmi made this recipe to meld a classic American dish with the hot and tangy flavors of her native Kerala. Since crab dishes are abundant in South Indian cuisine, the marriage is a happy one. She liberally uses hot green chiles, but they can be reduced a bit to taste.

15 of 21

Crunchy Eggplant and Corn Salad with Mint and Feta

Crunchy Eggplant and Corn Salad with Mint and Feta
Victor Protasio

Tossed here with hearty breaded and roasted eggplant, fresh mint, and tangy feta, fresh corn is one of the great joys of late summer. (In fact, the sweetest corn of the year comes in late August and early September).

16 of 21

Grilled Squash Ribbons and Prosciutto with Mint Dressing

Grilled Squash Ribbons and Prosciutto with Mint Dressing
© Con Poulos

Grilling zucchini and summer squash ribbons on skewers is terrific because the edges become wonderfully charred and crisp, while the insides stay tender and juicy.

17 of 21

Mint Ice Cream

Mint Ice Cream
© Frances Janisch

For a cool, refreshing dessert, look to this tasty mint ice cream from Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams. This exceptionally creamy ice cream relies on two unexpected ingredients: corn starch (to help thicken it) and cream cheese (to make it scoopable).

18 of 21

Grilled Figs with Ham, Walnuts, and Mint Cream

Grilled Figs with Ham, Walnuts, and Mint Cream
Christopher Hirsheimer

Chef Frank Stitt started his culinary education by working for the late, great cookbook author Richard Olney in Provence, France. This appetizer, in which ripe figs are stuffed with walnuts, wrapped in ham, and kissed on the grill — a riff on devils on horseback — is inspired by Olney's love of seasonal ingredients.

19 of 21

Sugar Snap Peas with Soffrito, Hot Pepper, and Mint

Sugar Snap Peas with Soffrito, Hot Pepper and Mint. Photo © Dave Lauridsen
© Dave Lauridsen

"It's hard to improve upon a perfect sugar snap pea," says former Gjelina chef Travis Lett. "The question for the chef is, how do you not screw it up?" Lett's answer is to keep things simple by cooking the sweet peas with fresh mint, crushed red pepper, and sofrito (an aromatic Italian mix of sautéed minced vegetables).

20 of 21

Mint Julep

Mint Julep
Photo by Huge Galdones / Food Styling by Christina Zerkis

The Mint Julep has been the iconic drink of the Kentucky Derby since 1939, but references to the cocktail go as far back as the year 900, when it was sipped for medicinal purposes. When New Orleans bartender Chris McMillian was at Bar UnCommon, he recited an ode while mixing Mint Juleps, written in the 1890s by a Kentucky newspaperman, that calls the bourbon and mint cocktail "the very dream of drinks."

21 of 21

Beef Brasato with Pappardelle and Mint

Beef Brasato with Pappardelle and Mint
© Tina Rupp

Chef Chris Cosentino braises beef shank and oxtail in red wine to make the brasato that he serves with housemade mint pappardelle. For this recipe, we simplify things by omitting the oxtail and using fresh store-bought pappardelle.

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