5 Templates for Easy Vegan Dinners

The older I get the more I love meals where I can just throw whatever I have into one pot, bowl, or skillet. I’ve noticed that these “easy dinners” usually fall into five distinct categories: stir fries, bowl meals, curries, soups and stews, or salads. It doesn’t matter what ingredients you have on hand or […]

The post 5 Templates for Easy Vegan Dinners appeared first on Budget Bytes.

The older I get the more I love meals where I can just throw whatever I have into one pot, bowl, or skillet. I’ve noticed that these “easy dinners” usually fall into five distinct categories: stir fries, bowl meals, curries, soups and stews, or salads. It doesn’t matter what ingredients you have on hand or what you happened to get at the farmer’s market or in your CSA that week, you can usually toss just about anything into one of these easy vegan dinners.

And guess what? If you have some family members who are vegan and some that aren’t, it’s super easy to cook a meat on the side and add it to individual portions of any of these meals!

Collage of six easy vegan dinners with title box in the center

 

Stir Fry

Stir fry is the ultimate use-whatever-you-have meal. All you need is a hot pan, a few handfuls of vegetables or proteins, a simple sauce, and some noodles or rice to spoon to soak up all that delciousness. Ultimately, the stir fry is all about the stir fry sauce. Check out these simple vegan stir fry recipes to explore some different simple stir fry sauces: 

A bowl of Spicy Coconut Vegetable Stir Fry ready to be eaten.

Spicy Coconut Vegetable Stir Fry

This rich and spicy coconut vegetable stir fry is adaptable to whatever vegetables are lingering in your fridge, making it a great sweep the kitchen recipe!
Go to the recipe >>>

Spicy Coconut Vegetable Stir Fry

Eating a large plate of Salad Bar Vegetable Lo Mein

Salad Bar Vegetable Lo Mein

When you need dinner to be fast, easy, and satisfying, this Salad Bar Vegetable Lo Mein is your answer. It's as simple and satisfying as it gets!
Go to the recipe >>>

Salad Bar Vegetable Lo Mein

With just a few ingredients you can make these easy and delicious Mushroom Broccoli Stir Fry Noodles for a fast weeknight dinner. BudgetBytes.com

Simple Mushroom Broccoli Stir Fry Noodles

With just a few ingredients you can make these easy and delicious Mushroom Broccoli Stir Fry Noodles for a fast weeknight dinner.
Go to the recipe >>>

Simple Mushroom Broccoli Stir Fry Noodles

Pan Fried Sesame Tofu with Broccoli

This Pan Fried Sesame Tofu is seriously crispy and drenched in a tangy sesame sauce. Broccoli florets and cooked rice make it a meal.
Go to the recipe >>>

Pan Fried Sesame Tofu with Broccoli

Vegetable Stir Fry Noodle Bowls - Budget Bytes

SNAP Challenge: Vegetable Stir Fry with Noodles

This colorful vegetable stir fry with noodles is packed with vegetables and drenched in a salty sweet sauce. Fast, easy, and customizable.
Go to the recipe >>>

Vegetable Stir Fry with Noodles

 

Bowl Meals

The “bowl meal” formula is easy. Base (grain or greens) + protein + vegetable(s) + sauce. Every bowl is a complete meal, no need to plan side dishes. And an added bonus: bowl meals are great for meal prepping, so tomorrow’s lunch is covered! Here are some of my favorite vegan bowl meals:

Sweet Chili Stir Fried Tofu Bowls

Sweet Chili Tofu Bowls are an easy, fresh, and flavorful vegan weeknight dinner, packed with vibrant colors and flavors. Perfect for meal prep!
Go to the recipe >>>

Sweet Chili Tofu Bowls

These rich and spicy Coconut Jerk Peas are super simple to make and pair brilliantly with a sweet and vibrant pineapple salsa. BudgetBytes.com

Coconut Jerk Peas with Pineapple Salsa

These rich and spicy Coconut Jerk Peas are super simple to make and pair brilliantly with a sweet and vibrant pineapple salsa. 
Go to the recipe >>>

Coconut Jerk Peas with Pineapple Salsa

Sesame Tempeh Bowls being eaten with chopsticks

Sesame Tempeh Bowls

These Sesame Tempeh Bowls are a great vegan alternative to sesame chicken and only take about 20 minutes to make. An easy fast vegan meal prep! 
Go to the recipe >>>

Sesame Tempeh Bowls

Broiled Balsamic Vegetables with Lemon Parsley Rice

Broiled balsamic vegetables top a vibrant and fresh lemon parsley rice to make this light and healthy dish. Works great as a side or a light meal. 
Go to the recipe >>>

Broiled Balsamic Vegetables with Lemon Parsley Rice

These vegan Soy Marinated Tofu Bowls are full of rich flavors and plenty of texture to keep your taste buds happy and your belly full. BudgetBytes.com

Soy Marinated Tofu Bowls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

These vegan Soy Marinated Tofu Bowls are full of rich flavors and plenty of texture to keep your taste buds happy and your belly full. 
Go to the recipe >>>

Soy Marinated Tofu Bowls

Chili Garlic Tofu Bowls

Chili Garlic Tofu Bowls are a fiber and flavor filled healthy lunch that you can pre-pack for your week ahead
Go to the recipe >>>

Chili Garlic Tofu Bowls

These Sweet Potato Grain Bowls with Green Tahini Sauce are prefect for meal prep and bursting with color, texture, and flavor! BudgetBytes.com

Sweet Potato Grain Bowls with Green Tahini Sauce

These Sweet Potato Grain Bowls with Green Tahini Sauce are prefect for meal prep and bursting with color, texture, and flavor!
Go to the recipe >>>

Sweet Potato Grain Bowls with Green Tahini Sauce

 

Curry

Curries are another “it’s all about the sauce” meal. As long as you have a delicious curry sauce, you can pour it over any vegetable or protein and your meal is going to be awesome. I like to make my curries with either a tomato based sauce or a creamy coconut based sauce. Both varieties are super easy, flavorful, and versatile! Try these simple vegan curries:

A hand dipping a piece of naan into the Creamy Coconut Curried Lentils with Spinach on a plate with curry roasted carrots

Creamy Coconut Curry Lentils with Spinach

These rich, creamy, and earthy Coconut Curry Lentils are an easy and delicious vegan option for dinner or weekly meal prep!
Go to the recipe >>>

Creamy Coconut Curry Lentils with Spinach

These super fast Curried Chickpeas with spinach are packed with flavor and nutrients, vegan, gluten-free, and filling! Plus they freeze great! BudgetBytes.com

Curried Chickpeas with Spinach

These super fast Curried Chickpeas with spinach are packed with flavor and nutrients, vegan, gluten-free, and filling! Plus they freeze great!
Go to the recipe >>>

Curried Chickpeas with Spinach

Two bowls of chana saag with rice, next to the skillet and a piece of torn naan

Chana Saag

Chana saag is a creamy chickpea and spinach curry that comes together quickly, is full of warm spices, filling, and vegan! Perfect for meal prep!
Go to the recipe >>>

Chana Saag – Chickpea and Spinach Curry

Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Lentils

Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Lentils are an easy, hands-off, fiber filled, freezer friendly vegan dinner. 
Go to the recipe >>>

Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Lentils

 

Salad

Salads aren’t just for side dishes! Pile ’em high with lots of vegetables and whatever protein you prefer, and you’ve got a filling meal with more color, flavor, and texture than most people get in one day. Get creative with your salad greens, too. In addition to the traditional mixed greens, spinach, or Romaine, you can also build a great salad on kale, cabbage, or parsley. Beef up your salad by adding a grain or a handful of nuts for extra filling power. Try these meal-worthy vegan salads: 

Four glass containers with Roasted Vegetable Salad and three dressing containers

Roasted Vegetable Salad Meal Prep

These Roasted Vegetable Salad Meal Prep boxes are an easy, no-reheat, plan-ahead lunch option that will help you get your daily vegetables!
Go to the recipe >>>

Roasted Vegetable Salad Meal Prep

Overhead view of Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad in a bowl with lemon wedges and a fork.

Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad

This Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad is a light and refreshing summer salad that holds up well in the refrigerator and is perfect for meal prep!
Go to the recipe >>>

Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad

Peanut Lime Dressing being poured onto a bowl of Cold Peanut Noodle Salad

Cold Peanut Noodle Salad

This Cold Peanut Noodle Salad with homemade peanut lime dressing is the perfect meal prep for summer! No reheating necessary.
Go to the recipe >>>

Cold Peanut Noodle Salad

This Roasted Cauliflower Salad combines sweet roasted red onions, spiced chickpeas, tender cauliflower, and a tangy lemon tahini dressing. BudgetBytes.com

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

This Roasted Cauliflower Salad combines sweet roasted red onions, spiced chickpeas, tender cauliflower, and a tangy lemon tahini dressing.
Go to the recipe >>>

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

This Apple Dijon Kale Salad is tangy, sweet, and crunchy with Granny Smith apples, walnuts, raisins, and a homemade Dijon vinaigrette. BudgetBytes.com

Apple Dijon Kale Salad

This Apple Dijon Kale Salad is tangy, sweet, and crunchy with Granny Smith apples, walnuts, raisins, and a homemade Dijon vinaigrette.
Go to the recipe >>>

Apple Dijon Kale Salad

A bowl of Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad on a teal napkin.

Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad

This Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad holds up well in the refrigerator for days, making it perfect for meal prep or brown bagging your lunch. 
Go to the recipe >>>

Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad

 

Soup & Stew

Soups and stews are the cold-weather counterpart to my big ol’ summer salads. They’re always very quick and easy to make, they don’t require any difficult cooking skills, and they are so flexible. Plus, because they’re usually large-batch recipes, they’re great for busy people. Soups and stews make great leftovers and often freeze well. So if you’re a busy bee but want to still eat meals full of flavor and texture, check out some of these vegan soups and stews:

Overhead view of a pot full of vegetable barley soup with bread on the side

Vegetable Barley Soup

Loaded with colorful vegetables and filling pearled barley, this Vegetable Barley Soup is a healthy, freezer-friendly staple recipe for winter!
Go to the recipe >>>

Vegetable Barley Soup 

A hand scooping up a spoonful of Vegan West African Peanut Stew with Rice

Vegan Peanut Stew

With a rich peanut and tomato sauce, sweet potatoes, collard greens, and crunchy peanuts, this Vegan Peanut Stew is comfort in a bowl! 
Go to the recipe >>>

Vean Peanut Stew

Overhead view of secret ingredient tomato soup in a white bowl with black rim, and a black spoon.

Secret Ingredient Tomato Soup

This super thick, warm, and comforting tomato soup has two secret ingredients that make it rich and delicious without any dairy. 100% vegan!
Go to the recipe >>>

Secret Ingredient Tomato Soup

Close up overhead view of a bowl full of vegan creamy mushroom ramen with chopsticks lifting some noodles

Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen

This incredibly simple Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen is a rich and flavorful 15 minute meal that only requires a handful of ingredients! 
Go to the recipe >>>

Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen

A bowl of Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup with two pieces of toasted bread and a black spoon in the middle.

Easy Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup

This incredibly easy Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup takes only eight simple ingredients to deliver a bowl full of rich, bold flavor.
Go to the recipe >>>

Easy Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup

A rich and hearty medley of vegetables, lentils, and herbs makes this freezer-friendly Vegan Winter Lentil Stew the perfect cold-weather comfort food. Budgetbytes.com

Vegan Winter Lentil Stew

A rich and hearty medley of vegetables, lentils, and herbs makes this freezer-friendly Vegan Winter Lentil Stew the perfect cold-weather comfort food. 
Go to the recipe >>>

Vegan Winter Lentil Stew

This Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lentil Chili makes a huge batch, is packed with flavor and nutrients, and can be made for only about 5 dollars! Budgetbytes.com

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lentil Chili

This Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lentil Chili makes a huge batch, is packed with flavor and nutrients, and can be made for only about 5 dollars! 
Go to the recipe >>>

Slow Cooker Lentil Vegetarian Chili

Chunky Lentil and Vegetable Soup

This Chunky Lentil and Vegetable Soup is packed with hearty flavor, texture, and good-for-you vegetables! 
Go to the recipe >>>

Chunky Lentil and Vegetable Soup

The post 5 Templates for Easy Vegan Dinners appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Make-Ahead Breakfast Recipes

Whether you call it a “make-ahead breakfast” or “breakfast meal prep,” having breakfast already made and ready to be eaten on busy mornings is a lifesaver. Start your week off right by taking a few moments to prepare one of these make-ahead breakfast recipes on Sunday night, so you can have a fast, satisfying breakfast […]

The post Make-Ahead Breakfast Recipes appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Whether you call it a “make-ahead breakfast” or “breakfast meal prep,” having breakfast already made and ready to be eaten on busy mornings is a lifesaver. Start your week off right by taking a few moments to prepare one of these make-ahead breakfast recipes on Sunday night, so you can have a fast, satisfying breakfast all week long! 

Bonus: some of these recipes are freezer-friendly, so you can prep more than just 4-5 days worth at a time!

collage of breakfast recipe photos with a title box in the center

 

Grab and go breakfast ideas for busy mornings:


One Country Breakfast Bowl in a glass container being eaten with a black fork next to a newspaper, coffee mug, and apple

Country Breakfast Bowls

Country breakfast bowls combine roasted potatoes, scrambled eggs, salsa, and cheese for an easy freezer-friendly make ahead breakfast meal prep!
Go to the recipe >>>

1. Country Breakfast Bowls

These hearty bowls are freezer-friendly and are the perfect BIG breakfast for when you have a BIG day ahead and no time! Just pop one in the microwave or take it with you to reheat at work.


"Oatmeal Cookie" Baked Oatmeal

This freezable Oatmeal Cookie Baked Oatmeal tastes like an oatmeal cookie's older, more healthful sibling. Perfect for breakfast meal prep. 
Go to the recipe >>>

2. “Oatmeal Cookie” Baked Oatmeal

Tastes like you’re eating a cookie for breakfast, but really it’s hearty oats with a lot less sugar than a cookie. You can freeze or refrigerate your portions of baked oatmeal, and it can be eaten reheated or cold!


Layer ingredients in container for Make Ahead Microwave Breakfast Scrambles.

Make Ahead Microwave Breakfast Scrambles

Make Ahead Microwave Breakfast Scrambles make a fast, easy, and healthy breakfast when you’re short on time! 
Go to the recipe >>>

3. Make-Ahead Microwave Breakfast Scrambles

These are basically the homemade version of those little “just add an egg” cups that you can find at the grocery store. Make them with your favorite meat and vegetables, then just add a fresh egg, stir, and microwave each morning!


Cottage cheese, blueberries, sliced almonds, and honey in a glass meal prep container

Blueberry Almond Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowl

Creamy cottage cheese, juicy blueberries, crunchy almonds, and a little drizzle of honey make a breakfast bowl that tastes surprisingly like blueberry cheesecake!
Go to the recipe >>>

4. Blueberry Almond Cottage Cheese Bowls

When you want something sweet, but you also want a lot of protein, these Blueberry Almond Cottage Cheese Bowls are it. They taste like a cheese danish, but without the sugar crash later.


Preparing individual oat packs with seeds, seasoning, and other add-ins, like these Make Ahead Seeded Oats, makes having a healthy breakfast fast and easy. BudgetBytes.com

Make Ahead Seeded Oats

Preparing individual oat packs with seeds, seasoning, and other add-ins, like these Make Ahead Seeded Oats, makes having a healthy breakfast fast and easy. 
Go to the recipe >>>

5. Make Ahead Seeded Oats

If you like your oatmeal full of lots of nuts, seeds, and other add-ins, you’ll love these make-ahead seeded oats. Just add water and microwave every morning for a hot bowl of oaty goodness.


A hand holding half of a breakfast burrito with the open cut side facing the camera.

Freezer Breakfast Burritos

Make ahead breakfast burritos are an easy reheatable and portable breakfast meal prep idea. Including options for vegetarian or other add-ins! BudgetBytes.com
Go to the recipe >>>

6. Freezer Breakfast Burritos

Who doesn’t love a breakfast burrito?? A totally customizable, super filling, no-utensils-need breakfast big enough to fill up even the most active individuals.


These Blueberry Almond Overnight Oats are naturally sweet without any added sugar, and provide plenty of flavor and texture to keep you happy and full all morning. BudgetBytes.com

No Sugar Added Blueberry Almond Overnight Oats

These Blueberry Almond Overnight Oats are naturally sweet without any added sugar, and provide plenty of flavor and texture to keep you happy and full all morning. 
Go to the recipe >>>

7. No Sugar Added Blueberry Almond Overnight Oats

Naturally sweet applesauce and frozen blueberries provide all the sweetness you need in these cold and refreshing overnight oats. Just add your favorite milk and refrigerate overnight or up to four days!


A glass bowl with cottage cheese, hard boiled egg, tomatoes, cucumber, and pepper.

Savory Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowl

Creamy cottage cheese, fresh crunchy vegetables, an extra shot of protein from a hard boiled egg, and a little black pepper to kick things up make this easy, protein-filled breakfast!
Go to the recipe >>>

8. Savory Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowls

If you’re looking for a lower carb make-ahead breakfast, these savory cottage cheese bowls fit the bill. Loaded with vegetables, creamy cottage cheese, and an optional hard boiled egg. 


Stir Mango Coconut Chia Pudding

Mango Coconut Chia Pudding

These Mango Coconut Chia Pudding cups are a fast and easy make-ahead breakfast with tons of fiber and protein.
Go to the recipe >>>

9. Mango Coconut Chia Pudding

This creamy vegan breakfast is packed with fiber from chia seeds and tropical mango-coconut flavor! This is a great breakfast to get you through those hot mornings of summer.


Veggie Packed Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches

Meal prep six days of breakfast at once with these Veggie Packed Freezer Ready Breakfast Sandwiches to stay on track on those busy mornings!
Go to the recipe >>>

10. Veggie Packed Freezer-Ready Breakfast Sandwiches

It’s like an Egg McMuffin, but with a lot more vegetables! This is another great handheld breakfast option for those who never stop moving in the morning!


No Sugar Added Apple Pie Overnight Oats

No Sugar Added Apple Pie Overnight Oats are an easy, healthy, and delicious make-ahead breakfast that you can eat either hot or cold.
Go to the recipe >>>

11. No Sugar Added Apple Pie Overnight Oats

If you’ve ever wanted to eat apple pie for breakfast, you’ve got to try these overnight oats. They seriously taste like apple pie, but they have no added sugar whatsoever. And you can eat them hot or cold, your choice!


Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal

Fresh fruit and rich, custardy oats make this baked oatmeal a filling and flavorful "fix ahead" breakfast. Just heat and eat each morning!
Go to the recipe >>>

12. Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal

Another great, basic baked oatmeal recipe full of bananas and dotted with blueberries. After baking just divide and refrigerate or freeze your portions for later! 


Tropical Yogurt Parfaits

Tropical Yogurt Parfaits are the perfect healthy summer breakfast when you're short on time. Prepare them on the weekend and eat good all week. 
Go to the recipe >>>

13. Tropical Yogurt Parfaits

Cold and refreshing layers of creamy yogurt, soft soaked oats, juicy tropical fruit, and a light sprinkle of coconut. Grab a spoon and a jar as you pass through the kitchen on your way to work, and you’re good to go!


What are your favorite make-ahead breakfast recipes? Share yours in the comments below!

The post Make-Ahead Breakfast Recipes appeared first on Budget Bytes.

10 Simple Homemade Salad Dressing Recipes

To DIY or not to DIY, that is the question. Whether you want to make your own homemade salad dressing because it’s more delicious, cost effective, or because you have control over the ingredients, having an arsenal of homemade dressing recipes at your fingertips will help. While I don’t always make my dressings homemade (more […]

The post 10 Simple Homemade Salad Dressing Recipes appeared first on Budget Bytes.

To DIY or not to DIY, that is the question. Whether you want to make your own homemade salad dressing because it’s more delicious, cost effective, or because you have control over the ingredients, having an arsenal of homemade dressing recipes at your fingertips will help. While I don’t always make my dressings homemade (more on that later), knowing how at leasts gives you the option and therefore control. So, that being said, here are 10 homemade salad dressing recipe to keep tucked away in your back pocket (or your browser’s bookmarks) to use when you see fit!

Homemade ranch dressing being poured from a jar onto a salad

Why Make Homemade Salad Dressing from Scratch?

Spoiler alert: I don’t always make my own salad dressing from scratch. Sometimes it makes sense to make it yourself, sometimes it it doesn’t. I’ll quickly run through the advantages and disadvantages to help you decide when and why it will be beneficial to make your own homemade salad dressing, and when to buy store bought.

Advantages of Homemade Salad Dressing:

  • You control the ingredients – you can avoid preservatives, stabilizers, allergens, and control other ingredients like sugar, fat, or salt.
  • It can be cost effective – if you already have the ingredients on hand, you can avoid making an additional purchase. 
  • Fresh flavors – because you’re mixing up the fresh ingredients, you can often times get a bigger flavor punch.
  • Small batches with fewer leftovers – reduce the amount of half used bottles in your fridge by mixing up small batches of dressing as needed.

Disadvantages of Homemade Salad Dressings:

  • Shorter shelf life – because homemade salad dressings don’t contain preservatives, you generally want to keep them no longer than 5 days in the refrigerator.
  • It can be more expensive – if you don’t already have the ingredients on hand, you buy really high quality ingredients, or the dressing requires an ingredient you don’t normally use, it can become costly.
  • You can’t make one serving at a time – if you are cooking for one and tend to eat only one or two salads a week, you may have a hard time using even a small batch of homemade salad dressing before it goes bad.

What do You Need to Make Homemade Salad Dressing?

You don’t need a whole lot! Oil, vinegar, herbs and spices, and sometimes other ingredients like Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, citrus, or avocado. A basic salad dressing consists of these components: fat, acid, flavor, and an emulsifier (ingredients that bond to both fat and water to keep the dressing from separating). Here are some examples of each of those components:

  • Fat: olive oil, neutral oils (safflower, avocado, peanut, canola, grapeseed), tahini, peanut butter, avocado, sour cream, mayonnaise
  • Acid: vinegar (apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, balsamic vinegar, champagne vinegar), lemon juice, lime juice
  • Flavor: garlic, herbs (basil, oregano, thyme, cilantro, chives), spices (cayenne, cumin, paprika, crushed red pepper), ginger, green onion, shallots, sugar, salt, pepper
  • Emulsifiers: mustard (Dijon, yellow mustard, coarse deli mustard), mayonnaise, egg yolk, honey

So, as you can see, many of those ingredients are shelf-stable pantry staples that you can keep on hand to whip up your own dressings on demand! If you don’t have a well stocked pantry right now, just concentrate on buying one or two items per week and you’ll be there in no time!

Working on that basic formula, here are 11 homemade salad dressings that you can start experimenting with!
Dressing being poured onto Sweet Crunch Winter Salad(pictured above: Sweet Crunch Winter Salad)

 

10 Easy DIY Salad Dressing Recipes:

A spoon lifting some homemade balsamic vinaigrette out of a small bowl

Easy Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette

This super simple homemade balsamic vinaigrette is perfect for all your green salads and pasta salads and has several options for customizing!
Go to the recipe >>>

Easy Homemade Balsamic Viniagrette – This is probably the first dressing recipe that everyone should learn. It’s simple, good on everything, and has plenty of room for customization!

Homemade ranch dressing being poured onto a romaine salad with tomatoes and red onion

Homemade Ranch Dressing

Homemade ranch dressing is creamy, tangy, and fully of savory herbs and spices. Drizzle on your favorite salad, or use as a dip for vegetables and chips!
Go to the recipe >>>

Homemade Ranch Dressing – Because who doesn’t love ranch dressing? This is America, right? 😅I like making this homemade version because it’s not as sugar laden as bottled versions, and I feel like bottled ranch tends to have the most questionable ingredients out of all store bought dressings.

A spoon lifting some peanut lime dressing out of a bow, squeezed lime and cilantro on the side.

Peanut Lime Dressing

This Peanut Lime Salad dressing is sweet, savory, tangy, and creamy all in one! Drizzle over salad, grilled chicken, shrimp, or vegetables.
Go to the recipe >>>

Peanut Lime Dressing – This dressing is positively addictive!! Try it on my Cold Peanut Noodle Salad, or just drizzle it over some roasted sweet potatoes and you won’t be disappointed!

Lemon Dill Tahini Dressing dripping off a spoon into a white bowl.

Lemon Dill Tahini Dressing

Pour this tangy Lemon Dill Tahini Dressing over roasted vegetables, grilled salmon or chicken, potato salad, or your favorite green salad.
Go to the recipe >>>

Lemon Dill Tahini Dressing – Tahini is a powerhouse ingredient for homemade salad dressings if you’re vegan or trying to avoid dairy. It offers a nice creaminess to salad dressing without having to use dairy! Plus it lasts just about forever in your fridge.

Honey Mustard Sauce dripping off a spoon into a bowl

Honey Mustard Sauce

This sweet, tangy, and creamy homemade honey mustard sauce only takes a few minutes to make and is great for sandwiches, salads, dipping, and more!
Go to the recipe >>>

Honey Mustard Sauce – This one is both a sauce AND a dressing. I love it on my Honey Mustard Broccoli Salad, but you can also use it as a dressing for chicken salad.

This tangy, creamy, fresh, and garlicky Lime Crema is the key to taking your tacos, nachos, salads, and more to the next level. Budgetbytes.com

Lime Crema

This tangy, creamy, fresh, and garlicky Lime Crema is the key to taking your tacos, nachos, salads, and more to the next level. 
Go to the recipe >>>

Lime Crema – This dressing has earned a cult following. Just a few simple ingredients and it’s so freaking amazing drizzled on just about anything. Use it on a taco salad, tacos themselves, or even a roasted vegetable salad like my Roasted Sweet Potato Rainbow Salad.

Side view of a spoonful of kale pesto being lifted from the bowl.

Kale Pesto

Making a small batch of kale pesto is a great way to use leftover kale. This flavorful pesto is great on sandwiches, in soups, dips, and more!
Go to the recipe >>>

Homemade Kale Pesto – Pesto makes a great dressing, especially for pasta salads. And with this cheaper kale version, you’ll also be adding a healthy dose of greens to your meal. 

Sesame Ginger Dressing

Soy sauce, honey, fresh ginger, and sesame oil provide big flavor in this homemade Sesame Ginger Dressing.
Go to the recipe >>>

Sesame Ginger Dressing – Zingy fresh ginger and nutty toasted sesame oil come together for a flavorful dressing that will go with any Southeast Asian inspired salad. It goes really great with finely shredded cabbage, chicken, or shrimp!

A black ceramic bowl of chimichurri with a spoon, sitting on a wooden cutting board.

Chimichurri Sauce: Good on Anything and Everything

Chimichurri sauce is a tangy, fresh, and garlicky sauce that delivers big flavor to any meal. Use as a marinade, dipping sauce, or condiment.
Go to the recipe >>>

Chimichurri Sauce – Sauces can often times double as a dressing. I love using a chimichurri sauce as a dressing for pasta salad, or as a dressing to drizzle over kebabs!

Creamy Avocado Dressing

This super fresh creamy avocado dressing is light, fresh, and great for dipping vegetables or pouring over a nice, crunchy salad.
Go to the recipe >>>

Creamy Avocado Dressing – If you love “green” flavors, this one is for you. It’s creamy, but light and herby, which makes it perfect for your big bowl garden vegetables type salads! This one also makes a great dip for fresh vegetables. 

The post 10 Simple Homemade Salad Dressing Recipes appeared first on Budget Bytes.

19 Refrigerator Salads for Eating Healthy On The GO!

I talk about “refrigerator salads” a lot because they’re my favorite way to make sure I’m eating healthy even when I’m like, SUPER busy. I know I’ve turned a lot of you into refrigerator salad fans too, so I thought I’d round up my favorite refrigerator salads in one place to make them easy to […]

The post 19 Refrigerator Salads for Eating Healthy On The GO! appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I talk about “refrigerator salads” a lot because they’re my favorite way to make sure I’m eating healthy even when I’m like, SUPER busy. I know I’ve turned a lot of you into refrigerator salad fans too, so I thought I’d round up my favorite refrigerator salads in one place to make them easy to find! Scroll on down to read more about what a refrigerator salad is, why I love them, and see what made the list!

Collage of six salads with title text in a box in the center.

What is a “Refrigerator Salad”

Simply put, a refrigerator salad is a salad that holds up well to refrigeration. It’s a salad that I make on Sunday and I can keep in my refrigerator for quick meals throughout the week (and by “throughout the week” I mean for the next four days or so). I try to keep one refrigerator salad prepared and waiting every week and it really helps me meet my daily vegetable goals (because honestly, if I didn’t have a salad ready to go in the fridge I’d probably just melt some cheese in a tortilla for dinner).

The Versatility of Refrigerator Salads

Another reason I love refrigerator salads is because they can be quite versatile. Many of them can be as a side dish with dinner, usd as a bed for some grilled chicken or a boiled egg for lunch, or stuffed into a wrap or pita and make a sandwich! So you can change it up throughout the week and prevent boredom.

How Long Do Refrigerator Salads Last?

The lifespan of each salad will vary and you can find more details on the best way to store each salad by clicking through to their blog post, but to make it into this “refrigerator salad” category, I picked salads that hold up well for at least three days of refrigeration. As with most prepared foods, I don’t suggest refrigerating longer than 5 days. The environment of your particular refrigerator and ingredient freshness can impact their longevity.

19 Refrigerator Salads for Eating Healthy on the Go!

*Vegan salads marked with an asterisk.

Overhead view of Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad in a bowl with lemon wedges and a fork.

Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad

This Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad is a light and refreshing summer salad that holds up well in the refrigerator and is perfect for meal prep!
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Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad* – This one is kind of like a cold version of my Spanish Chickpeas and Rice. Lemony, artichokey goodness with plenty of plant based protein to make it meal-worthy.

Front view of a bowl of Honey Mustard Broccoli Salad with a black fork and spoon in the side of the bowl.

Honey Mustard Broccoli Salad

This crunchy, sweet, tangy, and creamy Honey Mustard Broccoli Salad only takes minutes to makes the perfect summer side dish.
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Honey Mustard Broccoli Salad – This salad is my new current obsession! The tangy, creamy, sweet Honey Mustard Sauce is the perfect pair for the crunchy bitter green flavor of fresh broccoli. You’ll be hitting those daily vegetable goals EASILY with this salad.

Parmesan Balsamic Vinaigrette being poured onto a bowl of Tomato Mozzarella Salad from a jar.

Tomato Mozzarella Pasta Salad

This Tomato Mozzarella Pasta Salad with homemade Parmesan Balsamic Vinaigrette is the perfect light and fresh summer meal. Perfect for potlucks!
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Tomato Mozzarella Pasta Salad – That dressing, tho… 🤤 This indulgent salad is kind of like a Caprese salad meets pasta salad. I like to add slices of grilled chicken to this one for a totally restaurant-worthy meal, but for a lot less $$$. Keep this one refrigerated sans dressing for optimal longevity if your fridge! 

Peanut Lime Dressing being poured onto a bowl of Cold Peanut Noodle Salad

Cold Peanut Noodle Salad

This Cold Peanut Noodle Salad with homemade peanut lime dressing is the perfect meal prep for summer! No reheating necessary.
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Cold Peanut Noodle Salad* – Eat the rainbow! This colorful salad tastes as festive as it looks. Super crunchy, full flavored goodness that is just as delish on day four as it was on day one! It’s super filling on its own, but would also be awesome with fried tofu cubes or shredded chicken.

Cucumber and Black Bean Salad in a bowl with a black spoon

Cucumber and Black Bean Salad

This light and fresh cucumber and black bean salad is the perfect summer side dish. It is refrigerator stable so make it once and snack on it all week!
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Cucumber and Black Bean Salad – Hello, SUMMER. I pretty much serve this as a side dish to everything during the summer months. The fresh cucumber and salty feta give this hearty black bean salad a 1-2 flavor punch. So simple, but SO good.

This Parsley Salad with Almonds and Apricots is savory, sweet, crunchy, and drenched in a tangy homemade vinaigrette! Holds up well to refrigeration and perfect for meal prep! Budgetbytes.com

Parsley Salad with Almonds and Apricots

This Parsley Salad with Almonds and Apricots is savory, sweet, crunchy, and drenched in a tangy homemade vinaigrette! Holds up well to refrigeration and perfect for meal prep! 
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Parsley Salad with Almonds and Apricots* – This salad is so underrated. The bulgur (cracked wheat) makes this salad super hearty, while the fresh parsley keeps everything light and fresh. Crunchy almonds, sweet dried apricots, and a homemade vinaigrette give the salad plenty of flavor and texture. I love this salad throughout the fall and winter months because it doesn’t rely on a lot of fresh summery vegetables, like most salads.

Roasted Vegetable Couscous is an easy side dish with complex flavor, with sweet roasted vegetables mixed with savory, fluffy couscous. Budgetbytes.com

Roasted Vegetable Couscous

Roasted Vegetable Couscous is an easy side dish with complex flavor, with sweet roasted vegetables mixed with savory, fluffy couscous.
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Roasted Vegetable Couscous* – When summer vegetables are at their peak, this salad is a staple! It makes a great side dish, a tasty bed for grilled meat, or a flavorful filling for wrap sandwiches!

Cowboy Caviar is like a cross between a bean salad and fresh salsa with its colorful mix of beans, vegetables, and a fresh lime infused dressing. BudgetBytes.com

Cowboy Caviar

Cowboy Caviar is like a cross between a bean salad and fresh salsa with its colorful mix of beans, vegetables, and a fresh lime infused dressing.
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Cowboy Caviar* – This potluck classic is one that I love to make year round. It has more color, texture, and flavor than any sald I’ve made, and is so good that I like to just scoop it up with chips. I love offering this salad as a “healthy” chip dip option at parties. Even if it’s a party of one. Me. I’m the party. 

A bowl of Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad on a teal napkin.

Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad

This Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad holds up well in the refrigerator for days, making it perfect for meal prep or brown bagging your lunch. 
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Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad* – This totally killer salad has the amazing super power of being freezer friendly! Yes, you can FREEZE this salad! It may be the first of its kind. So keep a few portions of this on hand in your freezer for “emergencies.” 

When fresh vegetables are in short supply, make this Sweet Crunch Winter Salad packed full of winter vegetables and a homemade Maple Tahini Dressing. BudgetBytes.com

Sweet Crunch Winter Salad

When fresh vegetables are in short supply, make this Sweet Crunch Winter Salad packed full of winter vegetables and a homemade Maple Tahini Dressing. 
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Sweet Crunch Winter Salad* – Another great winter refrigerator salad option! When the fresh, juicy, summer vegetables are long gone you can make delish salads using the hearty vegetables of fall and winter, like cabbage, carrots, and broccoli. 

A quick homemade balsamic vinaigrette makes this simple Spinach and Orzo Salad extra special. Serve as a light lunch or a side with dinner. BudgetBytes.com

Spinach and Orzo Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

A quick homemade balsamic vinaigrette makes this simple Spinach and Orzo Salad extra special. Serve as a light lunch or a side with dinner.
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Spinach and Orzo Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette – Talk about tangy goodness! Between the sun dried tomatoes, homemade balsamic vinaigrette, and feta, this salad is a tangy food lover’s dream. And if you don’t have orzo, you can always sub for another small pasta variety, like couscous or even bowtie! 

Super Fresh Salad is a cold, crunchy, juicy mix of flavorful vegetables topped with a simple red wine and oregano vinaigrette. BudgetBytes.com

Super Fresh Cucumber Salad

Super Fresh Cucumber Salad is a cold, crunchy, juicy mix of flavorful vegetables topped with a simple red wine and oregano vinaigrette.
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Super Fresh Cucumber Salad – You may have seen me wax poetic about this salad on social media. It’s such a classic summer staple. The aroma of the fresh cucumber and tomato is so intoxicating to me and it fills my entire refrigerator with its “super fresh” aroma, that I want to just stand with the refrigerator door open and sniff. But then I remember that I get to eat it, too. WIN. 

This Roasted Cauliflower Salad combines sweet roasted red onions, spiced chickpeas, tender cauliflower, and a tangy lemon tahini dressing. BudgetBytes.com

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

This Roasted Cauliflower Salad combines sweet roasted red onions, spiced chickpeas, tender cauliflower, and a tangy lemon tahini dressing.
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Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing* – This is one of my most VIRAL recipes, and for good reason. It’s just freaking delicious! Thankfully it holds up well in the fridge, and it’s another great option for the winter months. :)

Fresh and vibrantly flavored, this Quinoa Tabbouleh has all the familiar flavors of traditional tabbouleh, but with easy to cook and nutrient rich quinoa instead of bulgur. Budgetbytes.com

Quinoa Tabbouleh

Fresh and vibrantly flavored, this Quinoa Tabbouleh has all the familiar flavors of traditional tabbouleh, but with easy to cook and nutrient rich quinoa instead of bulgur.
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Quinoa Tabbouleh* – If you’re a lemon and garlic lover, this one is for you. The homemade dressing drenches everything in super tangy lemon garlic flavor, while the cucumbers and tomatoes help keep things light. I could eat my weight in tabbouleh!

This super simple three-ingredient cabbage salad is huge on flavor and is the perfect side for all of your summer grilling. This Vinaigrette slaw with Feta will become your easy go-to side dish. BudgetBytes.com

Vinaigrette Slaw with Feta

This super simple three-ingredient cabbage salad is huge on flavor and is the perfect side for all of your summer grilling. This Vinaigrette slaw with Feta will become your easy go-to side dish.
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Vinaigrette Slaw with Feta – This salad is perhaps my favorite way to eat cabbage. Anytime I have leftover cabbage from another recipe, I make a batch of this Vinaigrette Slaw with Feta because it’s such a tasty snack, or side to go with my dinner. And it’s just so SIMPLE. 

Marinated Lentil Salad

Marinated Lentil Salad is bright and flavorful, and infused with bold flavors like garlic and lemon. 
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Marinated Lentil Salad – Most people only think of eating lentils hot, but they make a great (inexpensive) base for a salad when chilled! You can even add some fresh spinach if you want to up the greens in this salad.

Greek Chicken Pasta Salad

Greek Chicken Pasta Salad is the perfectly refreshing and filling summer meal with its medley of vegetables and tangy lemon garlic dressing.
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Greek Chicken Pasta Salad – Another reader fav! I love this salad as a light lunch, especially during the hot months of summer. It’s filling, fresh, and has everything you need in one bowl. You can swap chickpeas for the chicken to make it vegetarian!

Lemony Cucumber Couscous Salad

Lemony Cucumber Couscous Salad is a light, fresh, and vibrant pasta salad perfect for any summer meal. 
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Lemony Cucumber Couscous Salad – As soon as those summer cucumbers hit the market, this is the FIRST salad I make! It’s so fresh and delightful, with those cute little couscous pearls, I can never get enough. 

This Apple Dijon Kale Salad is tangy, sweet, and crunchy with Granny Smith apples, walnuts, raisins, and a homemade Dijon vinaigrette. BudgetBytes.com

Apple Dijon Kale Salad

This Apple Dijon Kale Salad is tangy, sweet, and crunchy with Granny Smith apples, walnuts, raisins, and a homemade Dijon vinaigrette.
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Apple Dijon Kale Salad* – I know I’ve said every one of these is my favorite, but this one really holds a special place in my heart. Those tart apples, crunchy walnuts, sweet raisins, earthy kale, and tangy homemade vinaigrette come together for one of the tastiest salads EVER. The perfect salad for fall!

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