5 Filling Crepes That Make a Real Meal

Crepes are delicious, though many home cooks are intimidated by them. Don’t be! How can you go wrong with a paper-thin pancake usually dressed with Nutella, honey, and fruit, or sweet cheese? Especially when they’re so easy: These French classics involve just a thin batter, a hot buttered pan, a spatula, and hungry mouths. The first crepe may tear or fold, but it will still taste good, and you’ll get the hang of it with the subsequent crepes. You’ll be a crepe pro in no time.

The only problem with crepes is that, for all the love we have for food wrapped in little packages (see: dumplings, tacos), crepes are usually just shy of being heavy enough to be a real meal. These crepes, however, are real meals. Stuffed with savory fillings, they have enough goodness inside to stand on their own, or perhaps with a side salad, for a meal.

Though these crepes are worthy of setting out to make from start to finish, we hope that these recipes will inspire you to crepe your leftovers for a fresh spin on last night’s dinner. With a batch of crepe batter, tonight’s leftover curry, grilled vegetables, pot pie filling, and fajita fixings all become tomorrow’s crepes. Mix with scrambled eggs for breakfast or simply reheat and toss into the waiting belly of a freshly made crepe and serve with a side salad. Crepes are a vehicle for good food, and the destinations are limitless.

Source: iStock

1. Roasted Ratatouille Crepes With Goat Cheese

Roasting the vegetables for ratatouille turns the vegetables, usually drowned together in a tomato sauce, into concentrated, caramelized bursts of individual flavor for these crepes. These crepes from Healthy Delicious also benefit from roasted garlic — since you’re roasting everything anyway, it’s no extra effort or time, but a lot of extra flavor. The whole affair is lightened with the tang of goat cheese and served simply, perhaps beside a side salad of spicy mesclun greens to balance the inherent sweetness of roasted veggies. For the crepes, we like this recipe from Alton Brown.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 large plum tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 large red bell pepper, quartered
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 1 head garlic
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ cup shredded fresh basil
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 6 crepes

Directions: Heat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Add the eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, bell pepper, and onion in a shallow roasting pan large enough to fit all of the vegetables in one flat layer. Cut a ¼-inch slice off the root of the head of garlic and place the garlic in the center of a large square of foil. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Bring up the corners of the foil and crimp to seal tightly. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over the vegetables and add the thyme; season with salt and pepper, and place in the oven with the wrapped garlic on the oven rack next to the roasting pan. Roast, stirring often, until the onions are browned around the edges and the peppers are crinkly, about 45 minutes.

Transfer the roasted vegetables to a large bowl and cool. Unwrap the garlic and cool. Finely chop the vegetables; stir in the basil. Pull the garlic apart and squeeze the pulp from the individual cloves onto the vegetables; stir well. Crumble in the goat cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon about ½ cup of ratatouille into each crepe and serve.

Source: iStock

2. Steak, Spinach, and Mushroom Crepes With Balsamic Glaze

These crepes from Half Baked Harvest are an amazing meal year-round. Warm enough to grill? Slap the beef on there and cook it outside. Grilling not an option? Sear it on the stove. Obviously, cook the steak to your liking, but these crepes benefit from thinly sliced steak cooked between medium-rare and medium. And, as always, be sure to let your steak rest for 10 t0 15 minutes to avoid a waterfall of juices escaping your steak as soon as you cut into it.

These crepes are certainly possible to do on your own, but they’re the perfect cooking project for twp people. One person can be in charge of the crepe making and reducing the balsamic glaze, another the steak and the mushroom spinach filling. It comes together perfectly.

Ingredients:

Crepes

  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup water

Filling

  • Two 4- to 6-ounce beef tenderloin filets
  • Freshly cracked coarse black pepper
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic minced or grated
  • 6 to 12 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 ounces fresh spinach
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of fresh nutmeg
  • 2 to 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • Fresh parsley, for garnish

Balsamic glaze

  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar

Directions: Add butter to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. Whisk constantly until brown bits appear on the bottom, about 5 to 6 minutes, then immediately remove the butter from the pan and set aside to cool slightly. Combine all the remaining crepe ingredients in a blender or food processor. Add the browned butter and pulse for 30 seconds or until well combined. Place the crepe batter in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. This allows the bubbles to subside so the crepes will be less likely to tear during cooking. The batter will keep for up to 48 hours.

Heat a 12-inch nonstick pan. Add butter or cooking spray to coat. Pour ⅓ cup of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly. Cook for 30 seconds and flip. Cook for another 10 seconds and remove to the cutting board. Lay them out flat so they can cool. Continue until all batter is gone. Makes about 10 crepes.

To make the balsamic glaze, add the vinegar and brown sugar to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a very low simmer and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until liquid reduces by about half and is slightly syrupy. Remove from heat, pour the glaze into a serving vessel, and set aside to cool and thicken.

Heat your grill to medium-high. Rub the steaks with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper on both sides and grill until your preferred doneness, about 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Remove the steaks and place on a cutting board. Let them rest at least 10 minutes before slicing against the grain into ¼ inch strips.

Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons butter, and add the mushrooms in a single layer, not stirring. Let them sizzle until they have caramelized on the bottom, about 2 minutes. When the bottoms are caramelized, toss them once and add the spinach. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Continue cooking about 5 minutes or until the spinach is beginning to wilt. Add the garlic and cook for about 10 seconds. Add the 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and simmer until the mushrooms have soaked up all remaining liquid. Remove from the heat, taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

To assemble, layer a crepe flat on a plate and sprinkle on the spinach and mushrooms. Add a few slices of steak and a sprinkle of blue cheese. Fold the crepe up into triangles or little burritos. Drizzle with the balsamic glaze and sprinkle with fresh parsley.

Source: iStock

3. Bacon-, Egg-, and Cheese-Stuffed Crepes With Leeks and Tomato

Breakfast is a meal, too! Sometimes a crepe with banana and honey doesn’t cut it, and you need a hefty breakfast to get you through the morning. In times like those, make these crepes from Rachael Ray to power you through the day. If you’re into breakfast for dinner, these make a fine stand-in for anything you might have been planning to cook up.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 9 eggs
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 1 leek, diced
  • 3 tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 5 ounces soft goat cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil or nonstick spray, for cooking the crepes

Directions: In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour and sugar. Add the milk, water, and 3 eggs and mix well. Refrigerate the batter for 1 hour.

Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook it until brown and crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on paper towels. Pour out half of the grease. Return the pan to the heat and add the leeks, cooking for 1 minute. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining eggs and add them to the pan, stirring until they start to set but are still a bit runny. Add the tomato and goat cheese, and stir until the eggs are cooked but not dry. Remove the pan from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, preheat a crepe pan or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and coat the pan with vegetable oil or nonstick spray. Remove the batter from the refrigerator. Coat the pan with about ¼ cup of batter, cook until the edges start to brown, then flip the crepe. Cook for 10 more seconds and remove from the pan. Keep warm while cooking the remaining crepes.

Place 2 large spoonfuls of the egg mixture in each crepe and roll them. Place 2 crepes on each plate and serve immediately.

Source: iStock

4. Corn Crepes With BBQ Chicken

This recipe starts with chicken legs and thighs coated in a spice rub and cooked in a crockpot all day, then shredded into pulled BBQ chicken. The coffee BBQ sauce needs to simmer and reduce for 2 hours, but it makes enough to last through multiple meals. These crepes from Eats Well With Others take another Southern spin by using corn to add a little extra flavor to the dish. If it’s the season for ramps (the foraged spring green garlic) and you can find them, use them. If not, sub in some scallions.

Ingredients:

Chicken

  • 8 chicken legs and thighs
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoons coriander seeds, toasted and crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 minced shallot
  • 4 bay leaves, crumbled
  • ¼ cup water

Coffee BBQ sauce

  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1½ tablespoons coriander seeds, toasted
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 cup strong coffee
  • 1½ cup tomato sauce
  • ½ tablespoon chipotle powder
  • Sriracha, to taste

Crepes

  • ½ cup corn kernels
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • ½ cup sliced ramps or scallions
  • 1 cup shredded chicken
  • 1 cup coffee barbecue sauce

Directions: Rinse the chicken legs and thighs, and pat dry. Transfer to a large zip-top bag. Mix together all of the ingredients through the bay leaves. Coat the legs and thighs all over with the mixture. Close the bag and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, put the chicken in the crockpot along with ¼ cup water. Cook it on low for 5 to 6 hours, or until cooked through and easily shreddable.

To make the sauce, sweat the onion in the olive oil with a good pinch of salt in a large saucepan over medium-low heat until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the coriander, brown sugar, vinegar, and coffee, and simmer 10 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, chipotle powder, and sriracha. Simmer for 2 hours. Strain, discard the solids, and let cool. Store for up to 1 month in the fridge.

Combine the corn, flour, eggs, milk, salt, pepper, bell pepper, and ramps in the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

Pour a film of oil in a 7- or 8-inch sauté pan over medium heat. Ladle in about 2 tablespoons of batter and cook until it’s slightly browned. Flip the crepe and continue cooking for another minute until it’s cooked through. Transfer to a plate and repeat to cook the remaining crepes, stacking them on top of one another. There should be 4 to 6 crepes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Wrap 2 to 3 tablespoons of chicken with a tablespoon of sauce in each corn crepe to make a cylinder. Arrange the crepes, seam side down, in a baking dish. Bake until heated through, about 10 minutes. Serve topped with more sauce.

Source: iStock

5. Curry Chicken Crepes

These crepes from Fine Cooking are a different way to stuff chicken into a crepe. This is the ultimate fusion food: The curry chicken is a cross between Indian and British Imperial cuisine, while the crepe is French, and the idea of combining all of them together into one stuffed dish is pretty American. They’re even baked covered in sauce, like enchiladas. This recipe is a great way to use up leftover chicken, but if you’re cooking it specifically for this dish, poach it in water flavored with a few slices of fresh ginger.

Ingredients:

Chicken 

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder, or to taste
  • Pinch cayenne, or to taste
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups homemade or low-salt chicken broth
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2½ cups ½-inch pieces cooked chicken
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Crepes

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1½ cups milk, plus more as needed
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more, softened, for the pan

Directions: In a blender, combine the eggs and milk. Add the flour and salt and mix on high speed until smooth, pausing once or twice to scrape down the sides of the blender with a rubber spatula. Strain the batter to remove any lumps into a quart-size measuring cup with a spout or a pitcher. Let the batter rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

For the chicken, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the curry powder and cayenne and cook for another 1 minute. Stir in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the flour has lost its raw taste, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the broth and raisins. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, whisking often, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the cream, season with salt and pepper, increase the heat to high, and boil to thicken for about 3 minutes. Strain about 1 cup of the mixture through a fine sieve to use as the sauce.

Combine the remaining cream mixture with the cooked chicken and stir well to blend. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Set aside to make the crepes.

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the 6 tablespoons of butter. Continue cooking the butter until it turns golden brown and has the aroma of toasted nuts, 3 to 5 minutes. Watch carefully and adjust the heat or move the pan around if necessary; the butter can quickly go from lightly browned to burned. Skim off any foam that rises to the top. Let the butter cool slightly and then stir it into the batter. The batter should be the consistency of heavy cream; thin it with a little more milk, if needed.

Set the skillet over medium-high heat and add about 1 teaspoon butter. Heat the butter, swirling it in the pan, until it stops bubbling. Pour in enough batter to coat the bottom of the pan, about a scant ¼ cup, depending on the size of the pan.

Quickly tilt the pan in all directions to spread the batter evenly over the bottom and a bit up the sides of the pan. Immediately pour any excess batter back into the remaining batter.

Cook until the center of the crepe is set and the bottom is lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes, depending on the size of the skillet. Flip and cook until the center is firm and the edges underneath are lightly browned, about 30 seconds. Repeat with the remaining batter until you have 8 crepes.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly butter a medium baking dish. Arrange the crepes flat on a large work surface. Divide the chicken filling evenly among them about ⅓ cup each, spooning it in the center of each crepe. Roll each crepe into a thick cylinder. Arrange the filled crepes in a single layer in the baking dish. Pour the reserved sauce over the center of the crepes. Bake, uncovered, until the sauce is bubbly and the crêpes are lightly browned on the edges, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds and cilantro and serve.

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