Chicken Liver Toast with Spiced Pecans
Photography by Ingalls Photography

Sweetbreads, liver, tripe: Mere words that, when uttered allowed, are often followed by someone shivering in dismay. But if you cook these off-cuts right, they’re just as delicious as any other cut of meat. And organ meats have some unique advantages: deep flavor and tenderness that rivals any steak.

With more restaurants serving offal right alongside duck and pork, many of these off-cuts are easier to get than ever. Here are 11 ways to get the most of them.


Foie de Veau en Persillade avec Pommes de Terre (Calf’s Liver with Parsley, Garlic, and Fried Potatoes)

Seared calf’s liver, potatoes, and bacon are natural partners in this dish from Aux Lyonnais.

Jerusalem Mixed Grill

A pita sandwich of griddled spiced meats and onions is one of Jerusalem’s most beloved street foods. Organ meats such as chicken hearts and livers provide a burst of rich, gamey flavor.

Pasta with Sweetbread and Tripe Ragù (Rigatoni Pajata alla Finta)

Braised in a spicy tomato sauce, sweetbreads and tripe become tender and succulent, while ricotta adds rich creaminess and mint a refreshing, springlike accent to this Italian pasta. Get the recipe for Pasta with Sweetbread and Tripe Ragù (Rigatoni Pajata alla Finta) »

Sweetbreads with Chimichurri Criollo

The key to these sweetbreads is an aggressive char—you want the outside to get super crispy.

Beef Broth with Liver Dumplings and Saffron

This dish is known in Slovenia as “Sunday soup,” a reference to the long simmering time it takes to extract flavor from beef bones for the broth. Get the recipe for Beef Broth with Liver Dumplings and Saffron »

Chicken Liver Crostini

Creamy, earthy chicken livers are pureed with vin santo and sauteed vegetables for a classic and addictive spread.
Get the recipe for Fried Chicken Livers »
The cumin-spiced Sweetbread Pita from Yossi Elad of Jerusalem’s Machneyuda has a bright topping of chopped preserved lemon and jalapeño.

Paprikas Libamej (Paprika Foie Gras on Toast)

Eszter Bodrogi fries goose liver in paprika-spiced goose fat. Our adaptation of the dish calls for duck foie gras.

Sweetbreads with Chestnuts and Parsnips

This elegant preparation of poached and pan-seared sweetbreads served over wilted escarole with a port wine–cream sauce, comes from Boston chef Barbara Lynch.