Orzo Pasta Salad

This light & fresh Orzo Pasta Salad is full of colorful veggies and a delicious homemade dressing. Perfect for BBQs or meal prep it for the week!

The post Orzo Pasta Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Every now and then I come across a recipe at a restaurant that I absolutely love, then I spend the next few moments trying to guess what’s in it so I can recreate it at home…for a lot less! Well today, I’m sharing one of those recipes! This Orzo Pasta Salad is inspired by a dish at one of my favorite restaurants, J. Alexander’s, and it’s now going into my pasta salads rotation!🙌 It includes fresh veggies like bell peppers, tomatoes and onion, along with tart & slightly sweet dried cranberries, and the best homemade vinaigrette dressing to bring it all together. This pasta salad recipe will definitely become a new favorite!

Overhead view of Orzo Pasta Salad in a white serving bowl with wood serving spoons on the side.

Ingredients For Orzo Pasta Salad

The restaurant version of this recipe includes wild rice, but I decided to leave the rice out because for one…wild rice can be expensive, and two…wild rice takes quite a bit of time to cook. But I absolutely love this version instead! So here’s everything you need to make this simple orzo pasta salad recipe:

  • Orzo: Orzo is a small shaped pasta that looks similar to rice. It cooks quickly and is popular in soups and salads just like this one. If you don’t have access to orzo pasta, you can certainly substitute it for a different small-shaped pasta instead.
  • Vegetables: A combination of veggies like bell peppers, roma tomatoes, red onion and sweet corn, adds lots of color, flavor, and texture. I made sure to dice the vegetables small so they match the proportion size of the rest of the ingredients.
  • Dried Cranberries: One of the things I love most about this pasta salad is the addition of the dried cranberries. It adds a tart & slightly sweet flavor and compliments the sweet corn and dressing perfectly!
  • Vinaigrette Dressing: To keep things light and fresh, I opted for a homemade vinaigrette dressing made with simple pantry ingredients and sweetened with a bit of honey. It’s so good!!

Variations & Recipe Tips!

  1. Switch it up! If you’re looking to change up the flavor profile, then try adding some Kalamata olives, crumbled feta cheese, and greek salad dressing, for a Mediterranean-inspired orzo pasta salad!
  2. Wanna make it more filling? Add some grilled chicken, grilled shrimp, or a can of chickpeas (drained & rinsed). 
  3. Cool down the pasta. Don’t forget to give the cooked pasta and corn a quick rinse under cool water to stop the cooking process and cool off the pasta before adding the veggies, herbs and cheese.

Serving Suggestions

This light and summery orzo pasta salad is perfect for BBQs and cookouts! Add it to your summer menu and enjoy it with some turkey burgers or grilled salmon. It’s also great with leaner proteins like Baked Cod, Pan-Seared Chicken Breasts, or even some Garlic Butter Shrimp on the side.

Side view of orzo pasta salad in a white serving bowl.
Overhead view of Orzo Pasta Salad in a white serving bowl with wood serving spoons on the side.
Print

Orzo Pasta Salad

This light & fresh Orzo Pasta Salad is full of colorful veggies and a delicious homemade dressing. Perfect for BBQs or meal prep it for the week!
Course Lunch, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Total Cost $9.99 recipe / $1.24 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8 (1 cup each)
Calories 265kcal

Ingredients

Vinaigrette Dressing

  • 1/3 cup olive oil $0.96
  • 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar $0.39
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard $0.04
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp honey $0.18

Pasta Salad

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked orzo pasta $1.49
  • 1 cup frozen corn $0.41
  • 1 red bell pepper $1.59
  • 1 yellow bell pepper $1.59
  • 2 roma tomatoes $0.78
  • 1/2 red onion $0.40
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries $1.70
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley $0.29
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02

Instructions

  • Start by making the vinaigrette dressing. In a medium bowl whisk together the olive oil, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, basil, salt and honey until smooth. Set the vinaigrette aside.
  • Cook the orzo pasta according to the package directions. Add the frozen corn to the boiling water during the last 3 minutes of the pasta cook time.  Drain the pasta and corn in a colander and rinse briefly with cool water to cool off the pasta.
  • While the pasta is cooking, prepare the veggies. Dice the bell peppers and tomatoes, finely dice the red onion, measure out the dried cranberries, and chop the parsley.
  • Transfer the pasta and corn to a large bowl. Add the chopped vegetables, chopped parsley and dried cranberries.
  • Give the vinaigrette dressing another stir. Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and season with 1/4 tsp salt. Toss the salad ingredients together until everything is evenly coated in the dressing. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to enjoy.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 265kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 10g | Sodium: 163mg | Fiber: 3g
Overhead view of two white bowls of orzo pasta salad.

How to Make Orzo Pasta Salad – Step by Step Photos

Vinaigrette dressing for orzo pasta salad.

Start by making the vinaigrette dressing. In a medium bowl whisk together 1/3 cup olive oil, 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar, 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/2 tsp basil, 1/4 tsp salt and 1 Tbsp honey until smooth. Set the vinaigrette aside.

Cooked orzo and corn drained in a colander.

Cook 1 1/2 cups of orzo pasta according to the package directions. Add 1 cup frozen corn to the boiling water during the last 3 minutes of the pasta cook time.  Drain the pasta and corn in a colander and rinse briefly with cool water to cool off the pasta.

Chopped vegetables on a cutting board.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the veggies. Dice 1 red bell pepper, 1 yellow bell pepper, 2 roma tomatoes, finely dice 1/2 red onion, measure out 3/4 cups dried cranberries, and chop 1/4 cup fresh parsley. (Frozen corn is pictured on the cutting board, but is added in the previous step with the boiling pasta).

Cooked orzo, corn, and chopped vegetables in a large bowl with vinaigrette dressing being poured on top.

Transfer the cooked pasta and corn to a large bowl. Add the chopped vegetables, chopped parsley and dried cranberries. Give the vinaigrette dressing another stir. Pour the dressing over the pasta salad.

Orzo pasta salad ingredients mixed together in a large bowl.

Toss the salad ingredients together until everything is evenly coated in the dressing. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to enjoy!

Overhead view of orzo pasta salad in a large white serving bowl with wooden serving spoons on the side.

Enjoy this light, fresh and summery orzo pasta salad at your next BBQ, cookout or family gathering! Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

The post Orzo Pasta Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Pasta Salad

This easy Pasta Salad is full of fresh flavors and tossed in a zesty Italian dressing. It will be the star at your next BBQ or summer cookout!

The post Pasta Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Friends, this is the pasta salad recipe that I grew up on! A simple mix of cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, and pasta, all tossed together in a zesty and tangy Italian dressing. It’s a classic! And it was always everyone’s favorite side dish at summer BBQs and cookouts! It’s fresh, vibrant, and it definitely feeds a crowd. There are also lots of ways you can customize this easy pasta salad to fit within your budget and make it your own. I’m sharing a basic version in today’s post, but I’ll also share lots of fun ways to switch things up!

Overhead view of pasta salad in a large white serving bowl with wood serving utensils on the side.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Here’s everything you need to make this traditional pasta salad recipe:

  • Pasta: I opted for rotini pasta because it’s easy to grab with a fork and it’s little crevices are perfect for holding the salad dressing. With that being said, my mom always made this recipe with spaghetti pasta…and it was always a hit! So use your favorite pasta or whatever you have on hand. Bowtie pasta also works well!
  • Vegetables: A variety of fresh vegetables like bell peppers, cucumber, onion and tomatoes adds lots of color, flavor, and texture! I chose red and orange bell peppers for lots of color, but feel free to use whichever color you prefer.
  • Salad Dressing: Tangy Italian dressing is a classic with this recipe and brings the entire salad together. I’ll list a couple more options below.
  • Cheese: Just a little bit of feta cheese adds a nice creamy-salty flavor to the salad.
  • Fresh Herbs: Fresh chopped parsley tops off this veggie-packed pasta salad!

Pasta Salad Dressing

Since I usually make this recipe for potlucks & BBQs, along with a few other dishes, I find it a lot easier to buy bottled Italian dressing simply for convenience. But if you have a well stocked pantry, you can totally make your own vinaigrette dressing to add to this pasta salad. You can also try our homemade Italian dressing, a greek vinaigrette, or a balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

What Else Can I Add?

Salad Seasoning: McCormick salad seasoning is another popular ingredient in pasta salads and something that I often use when making this recipe. I was tempted to add it this time until I saw the current price at my local store. It’s definitely a splurge! I also find myself not using the entire bottle before it expires. But I’m happy to report this version tastes just as good without the added seasoning mix. But if you do have the extra coins, add 2 Tbsp of salad seasoning to your pasta salad for even more flavor!!

Other Ingredients: What I love most about pasta salads is that they’re super easy to customize. Try swapping out some of the veggies or adding any of these options: 

  • Broccoli florets, roughly chopped
  • Kalamata olives
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Zucchini
  • Salami
  • Mozzarella cubes or pearls
  • Parmesan cheese

Storing Leftovers

This pasta salad recipe stores very well in the refrigerator. It often tastes better the next day after the salad has had plenty of time to marinate in the dressing. You can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Side view of pasta salad in a white serving bowl.
Overhead view of pasta salad in a large white serving bowl with wood serving utensils on the side.
Print

Pasta Salad

This easy Pasta Salad is full of fresh flavors and tossed in a zesty Italian dressing. It will be the star at your next BBQ or summer cookout!
Course Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Total Cost $13.44 recipe / $1.34 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Servings 10 (1.5 cups each)
Calories 307kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. rotini pasta $1.25
  • 1 english cucumber $1.49
  • 1 red bell pepper $1.59
  • 1 orange bell pepper $1.59
  • 10 oz. grape tomatoes $2.49
  • 1/2 red onion $0.37
  • 2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley $0.29
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese $1.83
  • 16 oz. bottled zesty Italian dressing $2.50
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta in a colander and rinse briefly with cool water to cool off the pasta. Drain well.
  • While the pasta is cooking, prepare the veggies. Slice the cucumber into half moons, chop the bell peppers, slice the tomatoes in half, thinly slice the red onion, and chop the parsley. Set the vegetables and chopped parsley aside.
  • Once the pasta has drained, transfer it to a large bowl. Add the chopped vegetables, chopped parsley and feta cheese.
  • Pour the dressing over the pasta salad. Toss the salad ingredients together until everything is evenly coated in the dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste, I added about ¼ tsp of salt and ¼ tsp ground black pepper. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.*

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*I prefer to let the pasta salad refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours prior to serving so all the flavors can marry together. If you are making this ahead of time, wait to add the feta cheese until right before serving.
**I portioned this into generous servings, but this recipe can definitely feed a lot more people if you’re serving this with other side dishes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 307kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 11g | Sodium: 558mg | Fiber: 3g
Overhead view of a serving of pasta salad on a plate with a fork on the side.

How to Make Pasta Salad – Step by Step Photos

Cooked and drained rotini pasta in a colander.

Cook 1 lb. of rotini pasta according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta in a colander and rinse briefly with cool water to cool off the pasta. Drain well.

Chopped pasta salad vegetable ingredients on a cutting board.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the veggies. Slice 1 cucumber into half moons, chop 1 red bell pepper and 1 orange bell pepper, slice 10 oz. of grape tomatoes in half, thinly slice 1/2 red onion, and chop 2 Tbsp of fresh parsley. Set the vegetables and herbs aside.

Pasta salad ingredients added to a large white serving bowl.

Once the pasta has drained, transfer it to a large bowl. Add the chopped vegetables, chopped parsley and 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese.

Italian dressing being poured over pasta salad.

Pour 16 oz. of zesty Italian dressing over the pasta salad. Sometimes I like to reserve 1/4 cup of the dressing to add right before I serve it.

Pasta salad being tossed and mixed together with serving utensils.

Toss the salad ingredients together until everything is evenly coated in the dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste, I added about ¼ tsp of salt and ¼ tsp ground black pepper. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat. I prefer to let it refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours prior to serving so all the flavors can marry together. If you are making this ahead of time, wait to add the feta cheese until right before serving.

Overhead view of pasta salad in a large white serving bowl with wood serving utensils on the side.

Enjoy this tasty pasta salad recipe at your next summer BBQ, potluck, or family gathering!

Close up view of pasta salad in a white serving bowl.

The post Pasta Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sheet Pan Pancakes

These sheet pan pancakes make breakfast on weekends a breeze! They’re easy to whip up and they’re freezer-friendly. Perfect for breakfast meal prep!

The post Sheet Pan Pancakes appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’m always looking for ways to get breakfast and dinner on the table faster and these Sheet Pan Pancakes might just be my new best friend! Not only are they easy to whip up, but they’re super convenient. You can pour the entire pancake batter on one baking sheet and top it with your favorite toppings, or leave it plain and let everyone add their own toppings after it bakes. What I love most about these sheet pan pancakes are that they’re perfect for breakfast meal prep. They freeze perfectly and whenever I need a quick breakfast, I just pop 2 pancakes in my toaster and breakfast is done!🙌

Overhead view of sheet pan pancakes with fresh fruit and maple syrup on the side.

Why Sheet Pan Pancakes?

I’m not sure if your family loves pancakes as much as mine, but it has now turned into our Saturday morning routine. But flipping and making several batches of regular pancakes takes quite a while. And I have to try and keep the first few batches warm in the oven, while I make the rest of the pancakes. Sheet Pan Pancakes keeps you from having to do that back and forth dance. You can make pancakes for the whole family in one big batch, all on one baking sheet, and customize it with their favorite mix-ins and toppings. It’s honestly genius!

Ingredients For Sheet Pan Pancakes

To make these sheet pan pancakes, I used our homemade pancakes recipe as a base foundation and adjusted the measurements to accommodate a larger portion size. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • All-Purpose Flour: Flour adds structure and is the foundation of the pancakes.
  • Baking Powder: Baking powder is what makes the pancakes light and fluffy instead of dense and gummy.
  • Sugar: A little bit of sugar adds the perfect amount of sweetness to the pancakes.
  • Milk: Milk combines with the flour to add moisture and helps create the batter.
  • Egg: Eggs help hold the pancakes together and also helps leaven the pancakes.
  • Butter: Butter adds flavor and richness to the pancakes.
  • Vanilla Extract: A small amount of vanilla extract adds a wonderful flavor and depth to the pancake.
  • Salt: A little bit of salt helps enhance the flavor of the pancakes.
  • Toppings: This is where you can really have fun! I used a combination of my favorite fruits like strawberries and blueberries. And for some variety I added some chocolate chips and peanut butter & raspberry jam.

More Toppings and Mix-in Ideas

My favorite part about making sheet pan pancakes is adding different mix-ins and toppings. I personally love adding fresh fruit, but here are some more topping ideas for you to try:

Close up side view of sheet pan pancakes on a serving plate with maple syrup being drizzled over the top.

Recipe Tips!

  1. Don’t overmix the batter. Stir the dry and wet ingredients together until they are just combined and there are no traces of dry flour left in the bowl. Over-mixing the batter will develop the gluten in the flour and make the pancakes rubbery rather than soft and fluffy.
  2. Grease your sheet pan well. Make sure to generously coat your sheet pan well with cooking spray to keep the pancakes from sticking.
  3. Dry your fruit well. If you’re adding fresh fruit, make sure to wash and dry your fruit well with paper towels to prevent any excess water or fruit juices from bleeding into the pancake batter.
  4. If necessary, use some parchment paper. Sheet pan pancakes seem to work better with baking sheets that aren’t too old. So if your baking sheet is older or a little beat up, you may want to line it with some parchment paper first.

How To Store & Freeze Sheet Pan Pancakes

What I love most about making sheet pan pancakes is that they’re extremely easy to store and freeze for later when you need a quick & easy breakfast. To store, let the pancakes cool completely, then transfer them to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

To freeze, place the cooled pancakes in a freezer safe storage bag, in single layers with parchment paper between the layers to prevent sticking. Freeze for up to 3 months. You can easily reheat frozen pancakes in a toaster or in the microwave until hot.

Overhead view of sheet pan pancakes cut into squares with one slice being lifted out.
Overhead view of sheet pan pancakes cut into squares with one slice being lifted out.
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Sheet Pan Pancakes

These sheet pan pancakes make breakfast on weekends a breeze! They’re easy to whip up and they’re freezer-friendly. Perfect for breakfast meal prep!
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine American
Total Cost $2.22 recipe / $0.55 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 (2 pancakes each)
Calories 467kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour $0.40
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar $0.10
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder $0.18
  • 3/4 tsp salt $0.08
  • 1 1/2 cup milk $0.30
  • 2 large eggs $0.33
  • 4 Tbsp butter, melted $0.53
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract $0.30
  • cooking spray

Optional Toppings*

  • fresh strawberries, sliced
  • blueberries
  • chocolate chips
  • peanut butter and fruit jam

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  • In the same bowl, add in the milk, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Whisk the wet ingredients together with the dry ingredients until just combined. Be careful not to over mix.
  • Generously coat a 11×17-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Pour the pancake batter onto the baking sheet. Spread the batter evenly around the baking sheet with a rubber spatula or tap the pan a few times on the counter to even out the batter.
  • Visually divide the pancake batter into four equal sections and add your desired toppings on top into each section. I used a combination of sliced strawberries, blueberries, chocolate chips, and a peanut butter and raspberry jam swirl. To make the pb&j swirl, I simply added dollops of natural peanut butter and jam, then swirled the two together using a toothpick.
  • Place the sheet pan in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Allow the pan to cool slightly, then slice the sheet pan pancake into 8 equal portions. Feel free to make smaller slices if you want to make more servings. Serve warm with syrup and extra toppings if you like. Enjoy!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*I added about 1/4 cup of chocolate chips and blueberries. For the strawberries and PB&J swirl, I simply eyeballed it until I filled up each section.

Nutrition

Serving: 2pancakes | Calories: 467kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 17g | Sodium: 912mg | Fiber: 2g
Overhead view of sliced sheet pan pancakes on two serving dishes with fruit and syrup on the side.

How to Make Sheet Pan Pancakes – Step by Step Photos

Dry ingredients in a bowl for sheet pan pancakes.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a large bowl whisk together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 Tbsp baking powder, and 3/4 tsp salt.

Dry and wet ingredients in a bowl for sheet pan pancakes.

In the same bowl, add in 1 1/2 cups milk, 2 large eggs, 4 Tbsp melted butter, and 1 tsp vanilla extract.

Sheet pan pancake ingredients mixed in a bowl.

Whisk the wet ingredients together with the dry ingredients until just combined. Be careful not to over mix at this point.

Sheet pan pancake batter poured onto a sheet pan.

Generously coat an 11×17-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Pour the pancake batter onto the baking sheet. Spread the batter evenly around the baking sheet with a rubber spatula or tap the pan a few times on the counter to even out the batter.

Sheet pan pancake batter with fruit added on top poured onto a sheet pan.

Visually divide the pancake batter into four equal sections and add your desired toppings on top into each section. I used a combination of sliced strawberries, blueberries, chocolate chips, and a peanut butter and raspberry jam swirl. To make the pb&j swirl, I simply added dollops of natural peanut butter and jam, then swirled the two together using a toothpick.

Finished sheet pan pancakes with four different toppings on top.

Place the sheet pan in the pre-heated oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Overhead view of sheet pan pancakes cut into squares with one slice being lifted out.

Allow the pan to cool slightly, then slice the sheet pan pancake into 8 equal portions. Feel free to make smaller slices if you want to make more servings. Serve warm with syrup and extra toppings if you like!

Sheet pan pancakes in a freezer bag.

These pancakes are super easy to freeze! Just place the cooled pancakes in a freezer safe storage bag, in single layers with parchment paper between the layers to prevent sticking. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Frozen sheet pan pancakes in a toaster.

You can easily reheat frozen pancakes in a toaster or in the microwave until hot.

Close up side view of strawberry sheet pan pancakes on a serving plate with maple syrup being drizzled over the top.

The post Sheet Pan Pancakes appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Best Brunch Recipes

20 Easy Brunch Recipes that are perfect for special occasions and holidays or just a weekend at home in your pajamas.

The post Best Brunch Recipes appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you enjoy a good brunch menu but don’t want to spend tons of money eating out, then this roundup is just for you! We’ve gathered 20 of our favorite brunch recipes that’s perfect for holidays and special occasions or just a simple weekend at home in your pajamas. We’re sharing lots of savory and sweet brunch recipes including breakfast casseroles, quiche, french toast, and more!🍳

Collage of six brunch recipes with title text in the center.

Spinach And Mushroom Crustless Quiche

Spinach Mushroom and Feta Crustless Quiche

close up view of sliced spinach and mushroom crustless quiche in the pie dish
This easy, tasty Spinach Mushroom and Feta Crustless Quiche is low on carbs and big on flavor. This veggie-filled breakfast will keep you full and happy.
4.85 from 271 votes
$5.89 recipe / $0.98 serving Get the Recipe

Quiche is a brunch classic and it’s so much easier than you’d think! We like this Spinach Mushroom and Feta Crustless Quiche version, but you could certainly pour this into a par-baked pie crust as well.

Sweet Potato Hash

Sweet Potato Hash

Overhead view of sweet potato hash in a skillet garnished with sliced avocado.
This easy, one-skillet Sweet Potato Hash is the perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors and hearty ingredients. It's great for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
5 from 4 votes
$5.36 recipe / $0.89 serving Get the Recipe

A little bit savory, a little bit sweet, this one-skillet Sweet Potato Hash is the perfect addition to any breakfast or brunch table.

Dutch Baby

Dutch Baby

Overhead view of a dutch baby in a cast iron skillet with fresh berries in the center and maple syrup on the side.
This Dutch Baby recipe looks super fancy, but is so easy to make! Perfect anytime you want an extra special breakfast or weekend brunch.
5 from 6 votes
$1.60 recipe / $0.40 serving Get the Recipe

If you really want to impress your guests for breakfast or show off for a Mother’s Day brunch, then you have to make this Dutch Baby recipe! It’s thin, light, super easy to make and an absolute showstopper!

Salsa Poached Eggs

Salsa Poached Eggs

Close up of salsa poached eggs in the skillet with tortilla chips
These salsa poached eggs are like a southwest spin on shakshuka. Eggs poached in a rich and flavorful tomato sauce with green chiles.
4.50 from 16 votes
$3.96 recipe / $0.99 serving Get the Recipe

If you love shakshuka, then you’ll love this Salsa Poached Eggs recipe! It’s a southwest spin on the classic poached eggs in tomato sauce!

Sausage Breakfast Casserole

Sausage Breakfast Casserole

close up overhead view of breakfast casserole
This deliciously cheesy sausage breakfast casserole is easy to throw together when you need a filling breakfast to feed a crowd.
4.80 from 5 votes
$10.93 recipe / $1.82 serving Get the Recipe

If you’ve got a crowd to feed, this easy Sausage Breakfast Casserole gets the job done!

Lemon Blueberry Cream Cheese Galette

Lemon Blueberry Cream Cheese Galette

This Lemon Blueberry Cream Cheese Galette is a simple and rustic dessert that can be made with frozen or fresh berries. BudgetBytes.com
This rustic Lemon Blueberry Cream Cheese Galette is a simple dessert that can be made with frozen or fresh berries. Easier than pie! 
4.88 from 16 votes
$5.00 recipe / $0.83 serving Get the Recipe

Why make a bunch of little danishes when you can make one big MONSTER danish?? Galettes are a super simple, rustic version of a pie and this Lemon Blueberry Galette is filled with a little cream cheese, blueberries, and bright lemon. So delish!

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Close up overhead view of cream cheese icing being spread onto homemade cinnamon rolls.
These incredibly delicious homemade cinnamon rolls have soft, buttery layers of cinnamon and sugar topped with a rich cream cheese frosting. 
4.50 from 6 votes
$4.59 recipe / $0.51 each Get the Recipe

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls??…umm, yes please!! Trust me, these fluffy, buttery, and gooey cinnamon rolls will not last long at your brunch gathering.

Crispy Baked Bacon

How to Cook Bacon in the Oven

Several strips of bacon on a paper towel covered plate, viewed from the side
Learn how to cook bacon in the oven with very little effort and no hot splattering bacon grease! Perfect, crispy bacon in the oven every time.
4.91 from 11 votes
Get the Recipe

When you’re putting together a big brunch, you’ll want to use a hands-off cooking method for your bacon like this Crispy Baked Bacon, so you can tend to the rest of the meal.

Cheese Grits

Cheese Grits

Cheese grits dripping off the serving spoon into the pot
These cheese grits are extra rich, creamy, and flavorful. They make a hearty and comforting breakfast or a delicious side dish with dinner.
5 from 8 votes
$3.39 recipe / $0.85 serving Get the Recipe

For an extra cozy weekend brunch, make sure to whip up a batch of these rich and cheesy grits!

Air Fryer Potatoes

Air Fryer Potatoes

fork dipping an air fryer potato into ketchup.
Air fryer potatoes are soft on the inside, crispy on the outside, and made for dipping. They're the perfect side for any meal!
5 from 1 vote
$3.60 recipe / $0.90 serving Get the Recipe

You can’t have breakfast or brunch without some type of potatoes. These Air Fryer Potatoes are a must and so easy to make! Just chop, season, and pop them in the air fryer while you work on the rest of your breakfast menu.

Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding

Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding

Close up of a fork cutting into a piece of apple cinnamon bread pudding
Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding (also known as French Toast Casserole) is a rich and sweet breakfast treat or after-dinner dessert!
 
4.89 from 9 votes
$4.22 recipe / $0.70 serving Get the Recipe

Cozy, sweet, and rich, this Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding will fill your house with all the cozy aromas!

Country Sausage Gravy

Country Sausage Gravy

Side view of biscuits and gravy on a plate with eggs
Make this easy Country Sausage Gravy from scratch in under 20 minutes for a hearty southern style breakfast at home.
4.90 from 19 votes
$2.53 recipe / $0.63 serving Get the Recipe

If you’re in the south, you can’t have a weekend breakfast or brunch without some rich and cozy Country Sausage Gravy!🙌

Smoky White Bean Shakshuka

Smoky White Bean Shakshuka

Smoky White Bean Shakshuka makes the BEST breakfast for dinner! BudgetBytes.com
Eggs poached in a rich and smoky tomato sauce speckled with white beans, this Smoky White Bean Shakshuka is a filling and inexpensive breakfast or dinner! BudgetBytes.com
4.86 from 68 votes
$6.49 recipe / $1.62 serving Get the Recipe

If you’re team #savorybreakfast you’re going to love this single skillet Smoky White Bean Shakshuka. But make sure you get some really good quality bread to dip into that gorgeous tomato sauce!

Fluffy Homemade Pancakes

Fluffy Homemade Pancakes

Side view of a stack of pancakes with a fork.
This easy homemade pancake recipe makes the most delicious and fluffy stack of pancakes around! Perfect for a cozy weekend breakfast.
4.32 from 32 votes
$0.95 recipe / $0.24 serving Get the Recipe

Homemade pancakes are a classic and a must-have for any breakfast or brunch gathering. These fluffy pancakes are perfectly golden, easy to make, and can be topped with lots of fun toppings!

Brown Sugar Bacon Breakfast Sandwiches

Brown Sugar Bacon Breakfast Sandwiches with Chipotle Mayo

Brown Sugar Bacon Breakfast Sandwiches with Chipotle Mayo are the perfect mix of salty, sweet, and spicy for your weekend brunch.
4.73 from 18 votes
$9.80 recipe / $2.45 per sandwich Get the Recipe

These aren’t just any breakfast sandwiches, these are special weekend brunch-approved breakfast sandwiches! The sweet and salty brown sugar bacon pairs perfectly with the smoky and spicy chipotle mayo, and it’s all stuffed inside a soft and sweet brioche bun. This is how you do brunch.

Easy Quiche Lorraine

Easy Quiche Lorraine

Overhead shot of a slice of Quiche Lorraine being lifted out of the pie plate.
You're going to love this silky, savory, and ridiculously Easy Quiche Lorraine! The puff pastry crust makes it absolutely effortless!
5 from 6 votes
$10.13 recipe / $1.27 serving Get the Recipe

This Easy Quiche Lorraine will steal the show at your next brunch gathering. It’s silky, savory, flavorful, and so delicious.

Carrot Cake Muffins

Carrot Cake Muffins

Close up side view of carrot cake muffins on a cooling rack.
These soft, fluffy, and moist carrot cake muffins are full of delicious carrot cake flavor and the perfect sweet treat any time of the day!
5 from 7 votes
$4.55 recipe / $0.45 each Get the Recipe

These Carrot Cake Muffins are fluffy, super moist, and the perfect addition to your breakfast or brunch menu!

French Toast

French Toast

Side view of four slices of french toast stacked on a white plate being drizzled with maple syrup.
This easy French Toast recipe makes the perfect light, fluffy, and golden brown French toast, perfect for a weekend breakfast or brunch.
5 from 6 votes
$3.69 recipe / $0.92 serving Get the Recipe

I can’t think of a better way to enjoy a simple breakfast or brunch than with crispy, fluffy, custardy slices of French Toast. They have just the right amount of sweetness and they’re perfect drizzled with some warm maple syrup.

Easy Hollandaise Sauce

Easy Hollandaise Sauce

hollandaise sauce dripping off a spoon into a bowl in front of a plate of asparagus
An easy, no-fail method for making homemade hollandaise sauce in just minutes. Anyone can make this rich and creamy lemon butter sauce!
4.47 from 65 votes
$0.72 recipe / $0.36 serving Get the Recipe

Whether you’re making eggs benedict or you just want to drizzle some of this creamy sauce over your favorite vegetables, no brunch is complete without Hollandaise sauce!

Ham and Cheese Sliders

Ham and Cheese Sliders

Front side view of a stack of ham and cheese sliders on a plate.
These easy Ham and Cheese Sliders are a must-have for parties! They’re buttery, sweet, salty, gooey, and insanely delicious!
5 from 5 votes
$11.09 recipe / $1.84 serving Get the Recipe

These buttery Ham and Cheese Sliders can be served for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner! They’re a huge favorite at family gatherings and they’re absolutely perfect to add to your brunch menu!

The post Best Brunch Recipes appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Taco Dip

This 4-ingredient Taco Dip is creamy, super easy to make, and has the perfect amount of spice. It’s great for parties or to treat yourself!

The post Taco Dip appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’m that person who always chooses queso or spinach dip when I go out to my favorite restaurants. Dips are my absolute favorite appetizer and they’re perfect for sharing at parties and family gatherings. This 4-ingredient Taco Dip is creamy, super easy to make, and has the perfect amount of spice. Toppings are optional but I loved adding some tomatoes, jalapeños and sliced green onions on top of mine. And you don’t have to wait until the next big event to make this taco dip recipe…treat yourself this weekend to some chips & dip, you deserve it!😉

Overhead view of a serving bowl full of taco dip, topped with cherry tomatoes and jalapenos and chips served on the side.

What’s In Taco Dip?

When I say this dip recipe is super easy, I really mean it. It’s one of those recipes you can memorize after making it one time and it’s easy to keep all the ingredients on hand for whenever you want to whip up a quick batch. For this taco dip we simply used cream cheese, sour cream, taco seasoning, and a little bit of salsa. That’s it! You can customize it by adding your favorite toppings or keep it simple and enjoy with lots of tortilla chips!

Can I Add Meat?

Oftentimes you may see taco dip made similar to our 7 layer dip recipe with ground beef added and layered with lots of veggies. I opted for a simpler version that can be made quickly with fewer ingredients, but still packs in lots of those Mexican-inspired flavors that I love. With that being said, you can definitely add some seasoned taco meat if you want to make this dip more filling. I suggest adding ½ lb. of seasoned ground beef on top of the cream cheese layer, then finish with your favorite toppings.

Topping Ideas

I love adding my favorite nacho-style toppings to this creamy dip. You can keep things simple like we did with a few tomatoes, sliced jalapeños, and sliced green onions or have fun adding any of these toppings listed below:

Making It Ahead & Storing Leftovers

You can easily make this taco dip ahead of time and just wait to add on any extra toppings. Follow the recipe listed below then cover the dip tightly with plastic wrap or in an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. Store any leftovers covered tightly in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Side view of a hand scooping some taco dip with a tortilla chip.
Overhead view of Taco Dip in a serving bowl with a chip scooping some out.
Print

Taco Dip

This 4-ingredient Taco Dip is creamy, super easy to make, and has the perfect amount of spice. It’s great for parties or to treat yourself!
Course Appetizer, Dip
Cuisine American
Total Cost $3.98 recipe / $0.40 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 10 (about 1/4 cup each)
Calories 128kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened* $1.85
  • 1 cup sour cream $1.12
  • 2 Tbsp taco seasoning** $0.59
  • 1/4 cup salsa $0.42

Instructions

  • In a large bowl combine the softened cream cheese, sour cream, taco seasoning, and salsa.
  • Using a hand mixer blend all the ingredients together until completely smooth and the cream cheese is fully incorporated.
  • Add the taco dip to a serving dish and top with your favorite toppings. I topped mine with some grape tomatoes, sliced jalapeño, and sliced green onions. Enjoy!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*Make sure your cream cheese is softened so the ingredients can blend easily and smoothly.
**You can use our homemade taco seasoning recipe or a store-bought taco seasoning packet. The store-bought packets are about 3 Tbsp of seasoning mix. You can use the entire packet for a more intense flavor or measure out 2 Tbsps and save the rest for later. I tested this recipe with 2 Tbsp of seasoning mix vs. the entire seasoning packet, and 2 Tbsp was definitely the way to go!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Sodium: 161mg | Fiber: 0.2g

How to Make Taco Dip – Step by Step Photos

Taco Dip ingredients in a white bowl.

In a large bowl combine 8 oz. softened cream cheese, 1 cup sour cream, 2 Tbsp taco seasoning, and 1/4 cup salsa. I like using chunky mild salsa.

Taco Dip mixed together in a white bowl.

Using a hand mixer blend all the ingredients together until completely smooth and the cream cheese is fully incorporated.

Taco Dip spread out in a serving bowl.

Transfer the taco dip to a serving dish or bowl and top with your favorite toppings. I topped mine with some grape tomatoes, sliced jalapeño, and sliced green onions.

Overhead view of Taco Dip in a serving bowl with a chip scooping some out.

Now just grab a bag or tortilla chips and enjoy by yourself or with your family and friends!

The post Taco Dip appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Porcupine Meatballs

These easy and flavorful Porcupine Meatballs are made with ground beef and rice, then simmered in a savory tomato sauce.

The post Porcupine Meatballs appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I don’t know how I let Beth talk me into making these porcupine meatballs, but I’m glad she did!😄 They’re incredibly tender, super flavorful, very filling, and so delicious! They were a hit in my house and my husband and kids absolutely loved them! And don’t let the name scare you, these meatballs are simply made with ground beef, rice, seasoning and a savory homemade tomato sauce. Adding in inexpensive rice is also a great way to stretch a pound of beef into more servings. And did I mention this meatball recipe is also perfect for meal prep!

Overhead view of porcupine meatballs on a serving plate with white rice and a fork cutting a meatball in half.

What Are Porcupine Meatballs?

Porcupine meatballs are an American comfort food dish that was popular during the Great Depression. During that time supply was limited and these porcupine meatballs only required a few basic ingredients like ground beef, rice, and tomato soup. Their funny name comes from their unique appearance. As the meatballs cook the rice begins to poke out of the side, resembling the look of a porcupine! Does anyone else remember these tasty little meatballs growing up?

Ingredients For Porcupine Meatballs

Here’s everything you need to make these easy porcupine meatballs:

  • Lean Ground Beef: I used 93% lean ground beef to reduce the amount of grease that collects inside the pot while the meatballs are cooking. But 85% lean should also work pretty well.
  • Long Grain White Rice: Rice is a key ingredient! Not only does it help bulk up the meatballs and makes them more filling, but it’s also how you get the classic porcupine look! You’ll want to use long-grain white rice for this recipe. 
  • Onion and Garlic: Onion and garlic creates a wonderful flavor base for the meatballs. 
  • Seasoning:  The meatballs are seasoned with Italian seasoning for lots of herbal flavor along with onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  • Egg: The egg is used as a binder to help keep the meatballs from falling apart.
  • Tomato Sauce: Another key part of this meatball recipe is the delicious tomato sauce. Instead of just using a can of plain tomato sauce, I added Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and black pepper to add more depth of flavor. I also added a can of crushed tomatoes to thicken the sauce, a little bit of sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes, and water to help the rice cook. All together this sauce adds wonderful flavor to these porcupine meatballs!

Should You Cook The Rice First?

You may be wondering if you have to cook the rice first before adding it to the meatballs. The answer is no. Cooking the rice first just adds an extra step to the process, and I didn’t find it necessary. Using uncooked rice allows the rice to cook at the same time as the meatballs and soak up all the seasoning and flavors from the dish.

How To Store & Freeze Porcupine Meatballs

You can store any leftover cooked meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat, simply microwave for about 2 minutes, or until heated through.

If you want to freeze the meatballs, I suggest freezing them uncooked, then make the tomato sauce fresh when you need a quick weeknight dinner meal. To freeze uncooked meatballs, place the raw meatballs on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze on the baking sheet until solid (1-2 hours) before transferring to a gallon-sized freezer bag to store for up to three months. When you’re ready to cook them, thaw the meatballs in the fridge overnight, then simmer them in the sauce as directed.

Serving Suggestions

You can easily serve these porcupine meatballs with a simple side salad or caesar salad. We served them over a bed of rice, but mashed potatoes or pasta would also be good.

Overhead view of porcupine meatballs in a dutch oven covered in tomato sauce.
Overhead view of porcupine meatballs on a serving plate with white rice and a fork cutting a meatball in half.
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Porcupine Meatballs

These easy and flavorful Porcupine Meatballs are made with ground beef and rice, then simmered in a savory tomato sauce.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Italian
Total Cost $11.34 recipe / $1.89 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6 (4 meatballs each)
Calories 191kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

Meatballs

Tomato Sauce

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, stir together the Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.
  • Rinse the rice in cool water and drain well. Add the lean ground beef to a large bowl along with the rice, finely diced onion, minced garlic, egg, and the seasoning mixture.
  • Use your hands to mix everything together until evenly combined. Try not to overmix as this can make the meatballs tough.
  • Divide and shape the meat mixture into 24 meatballs, about two tablespoons each. Place the shaped meatballs into a large pot or dutch oven. It’s ok if the meatballs are touching each other. I also stacked a few on top of each other.
  • Now make the sauce. In a medium bowl combine the tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, black pepper, garlic powder, and water. Mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Pour the tomato sauce mixture over the meatballs.
  • Cover the pot with a lid and bring the pot to a low boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the meatballs simmer for 35-40 minutes.
  • Serve over rice or mashed potatoes with fresh chopped parsley on top and enjoy!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 4meatballs | Calories: 191kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 685mg | Fiber: 1g
Overhead view of porcupine meatballs on a serving plate with white rice.

How to Make Porcupine Meatballs – Step by Step Photos

Overhead view of spice ingredients for porcupine meatballs.

In a small bowl, stir together 2 tsp Italian seasoning, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper.

Meat and ingredients for porcupine meatballs added to a large bowl.

Rinse 1/2 cup uncooked long grain white rice in cool water and drain well. Add 1 lb. lean ground beef to a large bowl along with the rice, 1/2 finely diced onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 egg, and the seasoning mixture. Use your hands to mix everything together until evenly combined. Try not to overmix as this can make the meatballs tough.

Overhead view of meatballs being rolled and shaped.

Divide and shape the meat mixture into 24 meatballs, about two tablespoons each.

Porcupine meatballs added to a dutch oven.

Place the shaped meatballs into a large pot or dutch oven. It’s ok if the meatballs are touching each other. I also stacked a few on top of each other.

Overhead view of homemade tomato sauce ingredients in a medium bowl.

Now make the sauce. In a medium bowl combine one 15oz. can tomato sauce, one 15oz. can crushed tomatoes, 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 Tbsp sugar, 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, and 1/2 cup water. Mix all the ingredients together until well combined.

Tomato sauce being poured over meatballs in the dutch oven.

Pour the tomato sauce mixture over the meatballs.

Cooked porcupine meatballs inside dutch oven.

Cover the pot with a lid and bring the pot to a low boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the meatballs simmer for 35-40 minutes.

Overhead view of porcupine meatballs on a serving plate with white rice and a fork cutting a meatball in half.

Enjoy by themselves or serve over extra rice or mashed potatoes and top with fresh chopped parsley. I’m a believer now Beth, you were right about this one!😄

Overhead view of porcupine meatballs in a dutch oven covered in tomato sauce.

The post Porcupine Meatballs appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Avocado Toast

A classic avocado toast recipe with 3 easy variations. Perfect for a quick breakfast, lunch or midday snack!

The post Avocado Toast appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Avocado toast was all the rage just a few years ago, but I have good news…this easy 5-10 minute meal never goes out of style. It only requires a few simple ingredients, but you can always spice things up with extra toppings to make it a super filling meal. Today I’m sharing my favorite basic avocado toast recipe along with helpful tips and 3 easy recipe variations. It’s quick and easy which makes it perfect to whip up for breakfast, lunch or a midday snack. And for those of you who are avocado toast experts, like my colleague Jess, then I’m sure you have a few favorite combinations as well. Wanna share? Let’s meet in the comments!😉

Overhead view of avocado toast made 4 different ways.

Ingredients For Avocado Toast

You only need a few simple ingredients to make a classic avocado toast. Here’s what I used:

  • Avocado: Avocado is one of the main ingredients, so you’ll want to choose it wisely. Look for avocados that have a slight give when squeezed, but are not mushy.
  • Bread: You’ll want to choose a good quality, sturdy bread. I like using sourdough or whole grain bread.
  • Garlic: Rubbing a little bit of fresh garlic over toasted bread while it’s still warm adds incredible flavor.
  • Lemon: A small squeeze of fresh lemon juice adds a pop of brightness and keeps the avocado from browning.
  • Salt & Pepper: Don’t skip the salt! Just a pinch of salt and pepper enhances the flavor of the avocado toast.
  • Red pepper flakes (optional): This is optional but it adds a kick and a little bit of extra heat to the avocado toast.

Tips For Making The Best Avocado Toast

  1. Choose your bread wisely: Use a good quality, sturdy bread for the base of your avocado toast like sourdough, multigrain or whole grain bread. Toasted, sturdy bread holds the mashed avocado and any extra toppings a lot better than white sandwich bread.
  2. Picking the perfect avocado: When picking your avocado, look for blackish, dark-green skin, which indicates the avocado has ripened. Also give the avocado a gentle press with your finger, the flesh should give slightly under pressure. If it’s mushy, its time has passed.
  3. Don’t skip the extras! Yes, rubbing your toast with a fresh garlic clove may seem like an unnecessary step, but it adds SO much flavor and compliments this simple meal perfectly. Also the small squeeze of lemon juice gives just the right about of brightness and the pinch of salt makes all the flavors pop!

Topping Ideas

There are lots of fun ways to enjoy your avocado toast! In addition to the recipe variations listed in the step-by-step photos below, here are a few more ingredients and topping ideas for you to try:

Overhead view of avocado toast made 4 different ways with parsley, avocado, and a napkin on the side.
Overhead view of avocado toast made 4 different ways with parsley, avocado, and a napkin on the side.
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Avocado Toast

A classic avocado toast recipe with 3 easy variations. Perfect for a quick breakfast, lunch or midday snack!
Course Breakfast, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine American
Total Cost $2.61 recipe / $1.30 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 slices
Calories 338kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 slices sturdy bread $1.00
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled $0.08
  • 1 medium avocado $1.33
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice $0.14
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • pinch of red pepper flakes $0.02

Instructions

  • Cut 2 slices of sturdy bread. Toast the bread in a toaster or in a skillet on the stovetop until golden brown.
  • Rub the peeled garlic clove over the top of the warm toasted bread, making sure to fully cover the entire surface area.
  • Next, halve the avocado and remove the pit. Scoop out the avocado flesh from both halves and place it in a bowl. Add a small squeeze of fresh lemon juice (about 1 tsp), salt and pepper to the bowl and mash the avocado with a fork. I recommend leaving it just a little chunky.
  • Divide the avocado mixture and spread it on top of each slice of toast. Top with a pinch of red pepper flakes and a pinch of sea salt (optional).

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 338kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 16g | Sodium: 539mg | Fiber: 8g
Overhead view of 2 pieces of plain avocado toast on a white plate.

How to Make Avocado Toast – Step by Step Photos

Overhead view of sourdough bread sliced on a cutting board.

Cut 2 slices of sturdy bread. Toast the bread in a toaster or on the stovetop until golden brown.

Toasted sourdough bread with a garlic clove being rubbed over the top.

Rub 1 peeled garlic clove over the top of the warm toasted bread, making sure to fully cover the entire surface area.

A hand holding a fork and mashing avocado in a white bowl.

Next, halve 1 avocado and remove the pit. Scoop out the avocado flesh from both halves and place it in a medium bowl. Add a small squeeze of lemon juice (about 1 tsp), 1/8 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper to the bowl and mash the avocado with a fork. I recommend leaving it just a little chunky, but you can certainly mash until it’s completely smooth. It’s up to you!

Overhead view of 2 pieces of plain avocado toast on a white plate.

Divide the avocado mixture and spread on top of each slice of toast. Top with a pinch of red pepper flakes and a pinch of sea salt (optional). Enjoy as is or try out one of the recipe variations listed below.😉

Avocado toast with sliced tomatoes and balsamic glaze drizzled on top.

Recipe Variation 1: If you love juicy, ripe tomatoes then this variation is just for you! Top your avocado toast with two slices of tomatoes, a drizzle of balsamic glaze, and freshly cracked black pepper. This combo is perfect for the summer when tomatoes are in their peak season. So delicious!

Two slices of avocado toast with a hard boiled egg and soft scrambled egg on top.

Recipe Variation 2: My absolute favorite way to enjoy avocado toast is by adding some scrambled eggs, a fried egg, or hard boiled egg on top. You can even take it a step further and add a little chili crisp on top too!

Avocado toast with cottage cheese on top.

Recipe Variation 3: And for all of my cottage cheese lovers out there, try topping your thick crusty bread with a spoonful or two of small curd cottage cheese, 1/2 avocado sliced, salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Enjoy!

Overhead view of avocado toast made 4 different ways with parsley, avocado, and a napkin on the side.

The post Avocado Toast appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Carrot Cake Muffins

These soft, fluffy, and super-moist carrot cake muffins are full of delicious carrot cake flavor and the perfect sweet treat any time of the day!

The post Carrot Cake Muffins appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Carrot cake is one of those recipes where some people love it and others strongly dislike it. Well today, these Carrot Cake Muffins deserve to be in a class of their own. They’re soft, fluffy, and perfectly moist with all the wonderful flavors of carrot cake, but in a convenient, easy to share muffin size. And spoiler alert, I’m a carrot cake lover, so I’ll be enjoying these muffins all season long! Have fun adding your favorite carrot cake mix-ins like sweet raisins and walnuts, or you can keep things simple and save a little bit on your budget. Either way you’re guaranteed to love these delicious carrot cake muffins.

Close up side view of carrot cake muffins on a cooling rack.

Ingredients For Carrot Cake Muffins

I used my zucchini muffins recipe, that I absolutely love, as inspiration for these muffins. I adjusted the measurements and added a few extra spices to fit the flavor profile of carrot cake. The results were absolutely ahhmazing! Here’s everything you need:

  • Carrots: Carrots are of course the star of the show, so you’ll need about 3-4 large whole carrots, finely grated for this recipe. 
  • All-Purpose Flour:  All-purpose flour gives the muffins structure. You can safely substitute up to half of the flour for whole wheat flour without affecting the flavor or texture too much.
  • Baking Powder & Baking Soda: These are both leavening agents to help the muffins rise. I use both due to the extra acidity from the applesauce.
  • Eggs: Eggs to help bind all of the muffin ingredients together.
  • White Granulated Sugar & Dark Brown Sugar: The combination of both sugars help balance the sweetness, moisture and texture of the muffins.
  • Applesauce & Oil: The combination of both cooking oil and applesauce keeps the muffins moist, but not too oily, and you gain more flavor and moisture by incorporating the applesauce.
  • Cinnamon, Nutmeg & Ginger: These are classic spices that are often found in carrot cake. We use the right amount of each one to give these carrot cake muffins a wonderful flavor!  
  • Vanilla: A touch of vanilla extract adds more rich flavor to the carrot muffins.
  • Golden Raisins: The added raisins were honestly my favorite part of the muffins. They added a subtle sweetness and more texture to the muffins. Feel free to use regular raisins instead of golden raisins if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Turbinado Sugar (optional): Adding a sprinkle of turbinado sugar on top of each muffin is totally optional, but such a special treat. It gives each muffin a sweet and light crunch on the top. If you don’t have turbinado sugar, no worries, these muffins are still delicious without it.

How To Grate Your Carrots

As I mentioned above, you definitely want to grate fresh whole carrots for this recipe. Although its tempting to buy pre-shredded matchstick carrots at the grocery store, they simply are not moist enough for these muffins. They also aren’t grated fine enough and won’t mix well with the batter. Grating fresh carrots yourself is the way to go!

Also, most box graters come with a coarse, medium, and fine grating side. I tested these muffins using both medium and finely grated carrots. The finely grated carrots were the winner! They blended better in the batter and provided a bit more moisture compared to the medium-size grated carrots.

Recipe Tips & Add-Ins

  1. Don’t over mix the batter! Over-mixing will cause the muffins to become dense instead of light and fluffy. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together until they are just barely combined and there are no traces of dry flour left in the bowl.
  2. Oil your muffin pan really well. Even if you are using a nonstick muffin pan, make sure to oil it well or use cupcake liners to prevent your muffins from sticking to the pan.
  3. You can easily stretch this batter and get 12 regular size muffins. I wanted larger, bakery style muffins, so I divided the batter into ten muffin wells.
  4. If you want even more of a carrot cake taste, try adding some chopped walnuts, pecans, or shredded coconut to the batter. And if you really want to take these carrot muffins over the top, add some cream cheese frosting on top! ;)

How To STore Carrot Cake Muffins

Allow the muffins to cool completely at room temperature before storing. You can store leftover carrot cake muffins in an airtight container or a food storage bag in the fridge for 4-5 days. For longer storage, store in a freezer-safe storage bag for up to 3 months. Thaw frozen muffins at room temperature or microwave for about 30 seconds until warm.

Overhead view of 3 carrot cake muffins on a white plate and 2 carrot cake muffins sitting beside the plate.
Close up side view of carrot cake muffins on a cooling rack.
Print

Carrot Cake Muffins

These soft, fluffy, and moist carrot cake muffins are full of delicious carrot cake flavor and the perfect sweet treat any time of the day!
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Total Cost $4.55 recipe / $0.45 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Servings 10 muffins
Calories 314kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups finely grated carrots (3-4 large carrots) $0.57
  • 2 large eggs $0.33
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar $0.28
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar $0.20
  • 1/3 cup sweetened applesauce $0.18
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil $0.32
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract $0.50
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour $0.30
  • 1 tsp baking powder $0.06
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.04
  • 1 tsp cinnamon $0.10
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger $0.05
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins $1.49
  • 1 Tbsp turbinado sugar* $0.06

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Wash, peel and grate the carrots using the small/fine holes on a box grater. Set the grated carrots to the side.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (eggs, dark brown sugar, granulated sugar, applesauce, oil and vanilla extract) until well combined.
  • Add the grated carrots to the bowl with the wet ingredients. Stir until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and ground ginger) until well combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the same bowl as the wet ingredients. Stir together until just combined. Be careful not to overmix at this point.
  • Add the raisins to the bowl and fold them into the batter until just combined.
  • Divide the batter between ten greased or lined muffin wells. Sprinkle a little turbinado sugar on top of each muffin, optional.
  • Bake the muffins for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown and puffed in the center. Allow the muffins to cool for about 5 minutes, then carefully loosen the edges with a knife and transfer the muffins to a wire rack to finish cooling. Enjoy!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*Adding a sprinkle of turbinado sugar on top of each muffin is optional, but it does add a special sweet crunch to the muffins.

Nutrition

Serving: 1muffin | Calories: 314kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 12g | Sodium: 249mg | Fiber: 2g
Overhead view of carrot cake muffins close together on a cooling rack.

How to Make Carrot Cake Muffins – Step by Step Photos

A carrot being grated on a wood cutting board.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Wash, peel and grate 2 cups of finely grated carrots using the small/fine holes on a box grater. Set the grated carrots to the side.

Wet ingredients for carrot cake muffins added to a large bowl.

In a large bowl, whisk together 2 eggs, 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/3 cup applesauce, 1/2 cup cooking oil and 1 tsp vanilla extract until well combined.

Grated carrots added to mixed wet ingredients.

Add the grated carrots to the bowl with the wet ingredients. Stir until combined.

Dry ingredients for carrot cake muffins

In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, and 1/2 tsp ground ginger until well combined.

Wet ingredients and dry ingredients combined in a large bowl.

Add the dry ingredients to the same bowl as the wet ingredients. Stir together until just combined. Be careful not to overmix at this point.

Golden raisins being added to carrot cake muffin batter.

Add 3/4 cup golden raisins to the bowl and fold them into the batter until just combined.

Carrot cake muffin batter added to muffin tins

Divide the batter between ten well-greased or lined muffin wells.

Turbinado sugar being added to Carrot Cake Muffins

Optional: Divide 1 Tbsp turbinado sugar and sprinkle a little on top of each muffin.

Overhead view of cooked Carrot Cake muffins in a muffin tin.

Bake the muffins for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown and puffed in the center. Allow the muffins to cool for about 5 minutes, then carefully loosen the edges with a knife and transfer the muffins to a wire rack to finish cooling. Enjoy!

Overhead view of Carrot Cake Muffins on a cooling rack.

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Easy Dessert Recipes

15 Easy Dessert Recipes including no bake desserts, freezer-friendly desserts, and desserts that require just a few simple ingredients.

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Today we’re sharing our favorite Easy Dessert Recipes that are perfect for holidays, parties, family gatherings, or as a simple weeknight dinner treat. We’ve included several no-bake desserts, freezer-friendly desserts, and easy desserts that require just a few ingredients. Easy desserts that are made with simple pantry ingredients are always a win in our book! ;)

Collage of six easy dessert recipes with title text in the center.

No Bake Pretzel Peanut Butter Bars

No Bake Pretzel Peanut Butter Bars

front view of no bake pretzel peanut butter bars lined up in a grid
These no-bake pretzel peanut butter bars are a ridiculously simple homemade version of your favorite peanut butter cups!
4.93 from 27 votes
$3.94 recipe / 0.16 per square Get the Recipe

We are kicking things off with these ridiculously easy No-Bake Pretzel Peanut Butter Bars! They’re a homemade version of a peanut butter cup and they’re perfect for sharing at parties or stashing away in the freezer for later ;)

Raspberry Oatmeal Bars

Raspberry Oatmeal Bars

A hand holding a stack of raspberry oatmeal bars close to the camera
These easy Raspberry Oatmeal bars are a fast fix for your sweet tooth and they only require a few pantry staples plus your favorite jam!
4.69 from 38 votes
$2.86 recipe / $0.32 serving Get the Recipe

You can easily whip up a batch of these Raspberry Oatmeal Bars when you want a sweet dessert to go with dinner. They’re fun and simple to make with just a few pantry staple ingredients.

Easy Chocolate Pudding

Easy Chocolate Pudding

Overhead view of whipped cream being stirred into a cup of pudding.
This easy chocolate pudding combines simple pantry ingredients to make a rich and sweet chocolate pudding in under 10 minutes.
5 from 7 votes
$2.44 recipe / $0.61 serving Get the Recipe

When we say this Easy Chocolate Pudding recipe is fast, we mean it! All you need are five simple pantry ingredients and 10 minutes and you’ll have a super simple and delicious chocolate pudding dessert!

No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake For Two

No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake for Two

Two jars of no bake strawberry cheesecake side by side with whole strawberries on the side
This No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake is the perfect small batch dessert for Valentine's Day, Galentine's Day, or any day the cheesecake craving hits!
5 from 9 votes
$3.68 recipe / $1.84 serving Get the Recipe

No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake for two…or three! Honestly, you can scale this delicious dessert to feed as many people as you want. It’s a classic dessert that’s easy to make during the week or for special occasions.

Easy Lemon Cream Pie

Easy Lemon Cream Pie

Overhead view of a sliced lemon cream pie with lemons on the sides
This sweet and creamy cloud-like lemon cream pie is an easy summer dessert that can be made completely no-bake, if needed.
4.96 from 22 votes
$4.26 recipe / $0.53 per slice Get the Recipe

This fluffy Lemon Cream Pie is a simple dessert thats perfect for parties and family gatherings. Make it with a buttery graham cracker crust or vanilla wafers and just a few simple ingredients for a sweet and dreamy treat!

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

flourless peanut butter cookies scattered on a surface
These dairy-free flourless peanut butter cookies are soft, rich, and have the perfect salty-sweet balance. 
4.73 from 18 votes
$1.65 recipe / $0.14 each Get the Recipe

These flourless and dairy-free Peanut Butter Cookies are rich, soft, and perfectly salty-sweet. They’re a great option for gluten-free and dairy-free friends and they’re also incredibly easy to make!

Jello Salad

Jello Salad

Overhead photo of a whole full of jello salad topped with sliced strawberries.
Jello salad is a sweet, creamy, popular dessert that’s easy to make and always a crowd favorite for potlucks, picnics, and holidays!
5 from 2 votes
$7.87 recipe / $1.12 serving Get the Recipe

Well hello, my favorite dessert from childhood! Jello Salad is a classic potluck dessert that’s always fun to share at family gatherings. It’s simple, sweet, and definitely a crowd favorite ;)

Oatmeal Cookies

Oatmeal Cookies

Overhead view of a pile of oatmeal cookies on a plate with a white napkin and a cup of milk on the side.
These delicious Oatmeal Cookies are crispy around the edges and soft & chewy in the center. The perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth!
4.60 from 10 votes
$3.77 recipe / $0.21 each Get the Recipe

Get ready to devour these homemade, delicious Oatmeal Cookies! They’re soft, chewy, and simply irresistible.

Homemade Rice Krispie Treats

Rice Krispie Treats

Stacked rice krispie treats
Sweet and fluffy marshmallows, creamy butter, and crispy rice cereal make these homemade rice krispie treats melt-in-your-mouth delicious!
4.85 from 13 votes
$2.30 recipe / $0.26 serving Get the Recipe

It doesn’t get any easier than these Homemade Rice Krispie Treats! It’s literally just four simple ingredients, but together they become something truly magical!

Easy Chocolate Fudge

Easy Chocolate Fudge

Overhead view of chocolate fudge with walnuts cut into squares on a wooden surface, one with a bite taken out.
This super fast and easy chocolate fudge recipe is perfect for Christmas cookie platters or anytime you need a quick chocolate fix.
5 from 6 votes
$6.88 recipe / $0.43 serving Get the Recipe

If you’re looking for a quick way to get your chocolate fix, you’ve got to try this easy Homemade Chocolate Fudge recipe. It’s perfect for holidays and special occasions or if you simple want an easy weeknight dessert!

Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding

Side shot of three glasses of banana pudding.
This easy, creamy banana pudding recipe has layers of vanilla wafers, bananas & pudding. A Southern classic dessert, perfect for potlucks & gatherings.
5 from 2 votes
$4.91 recipe / $1.23 serving Get the Recipe

I suggest making a double batch of this easy Banana Pudding recipe because it’s always a crowd favorite! Another no-bake dessert that can be made in just 10 minutes!

Cherry Turnovers

Cherry Turnovers

Two cherry turnovers stacked on a plate, one cut in half with filling spilling out.
Cherry Turnovers are a delicious baked dessert made with flaky puff pastry and sweet, tart cherry sauce. This is the best easy dessert recipe!
5 from 3 votes
$9.85 recipe / $1.23 serving Get the Recipe

Who remembers these sweet treats from childhood? These Cherry Turnovers are made with a flaky and buttery puff pastry and a sweet, tart cherry sauce on the inside. So good!

Easy Apple Crisp

Easy Apple Crisp

Apple crisp in a bowl topped with vanilla ice cream
This Easy Apple Crisp is a warm and cozy dessert that features fresh fall apples baked with cinnamon and spices and a crispy oat topping.
4.88 from 8 votes
$2.48 recipe / $0.41 serving Get the Recipe

I love a good fruit crisp dessert. Mainly because they’re uncomplicated, uses simple ingredients, and made with fresh seasonal fruit like this Easy Apple Crisp! It includes baked apples that are seasoned with a little sugar and warm spices, and topped with a sweet and buttery crispy oat topping.

Homemade Vanilla Pudding

Vanilla Pudding

Overhead shot of vanilla pudding in a white bowl topped with a dollop of whipped cream and surrounded by strawberries.
This homemade vanilla pudding recipe is super rich and creamy, only takes a few simple ingredients, and is so much better than instant mixes!
4.60 from 10 votes
$2.79 recipe / $0.70 serving Get the Recipe

This classic vanilla pudding recipe is ultra rich and creamy, delicious warm or cold, and can be made in just 20 minutes!

Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse

Overhead view of three cups of chocolate mousse with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
When it comes to a perfectly luscious and light dessert, it doesn't get much simpler than this deeply flavored easy chocolate mousse. You are four ingredients away from heaven!
5 from 3 votes
$7.57 recipe / $1.26 serving Get the Recipe

Who doesn’t love a good mousse recipe?! This easy Chocolate Mousse is light, luscious, and super simple to make!

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Air Fryer Carrots

These Air Fryer Carrots are savory, super easy to make, inexpensive and the perfect compliment to any weeknight dinner meal.

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Lately I’ve been loving how easy it is to cook vegetables in the air fryer. Just prep, season, and air fry. It’s almost too easy. And carrots are a great inexpensive vegetable to cook any time of the year. Plus, they last a long time in the fridge…WIN! We have lots of roasted carrots recipes on our site, but these Air Fryer Carrots are my new favorite. They’re seasoned with a savory and herby seasoning mix and they’re the perfect compliment for any weeknight dinner meal.

Overhead view of cooked carrots in a black air fryer basket.

Ingredients For Air Fryer Carrots

Here’s everything you need to make these easy Air Fryer Carrots:

  • Carrots: Look for whole carrots that are fairly even in length and girth so they’ll cook more evenly. You can either scrub or peel the carrots, however I prefer to peel them. 
  • Olive Oil and Butter: I used both olive oil and butter for this recipe to keep the carrots moist and to combine with the seasoning mix. And I just love the flavor that you get from using both butter and olive oil.
  • Seasoning: A simple seasoning mix of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dried dill is all you’ll need. And I decided to double down on the dill by adding a little fresh dill at the end to garnish. You can certainly omit the dill if you want, although it does add a nice herby and savory flavor to the carrots. In case you want to switch things up, I’ll share a few more seasoning options below.

Can You Air Fry Baby Carrots?

To make this recipe super easy, you can certainly use baby carrots instead of peeling and cutting whole carrots. Just use the same seasoning mix for a pound of baby carrots and adjust the cook time. Air fry baby carrots at 370°F for approximately 8-10 minutes or until tender to your liking.

Seasoning Ideas

I used a mix of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dried dill for these carrots, but there are so many flavors and spices to choose from. Here are some other seasoning ideas for your air fryer carrots:

What To Serve With These Air Fryer Carrots

Air Fryer Carrots are so versatile and can be served with a number of meals. Try them with our Air Fryer Chicken Breasts, salmon, pork chops, or juicy Pan-Seared Chicken Breasts. And you can easily pair them with another side dish like these Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts or Steamed Green Beans to make a meal!

Overhead view of Air Fryer Carrots in a white serving dish.
Overhead view of Air Fryer Carrots in a white serving dish.
Print

Air Fryer Carrots

These Air Fryer Carrots are savory, super easy to make, inexpensive and the perfect compliment to any weeknight dinner meal.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Total Cost $2.51 recipe / $0.62 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 24 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 105kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Wash, peel, and cut the carrots diagonally into 1-inch pieces. Add the carrots to a large bowl.
  • In a separate small bowl, add the butter and melt in the microwave. Then add the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dried dill to the same bowl. Stir everything together to combine.
  • Pour the butter mixture over the carrots. Toss or stir to coat all of the carrots.
  • Add seasoned carrots to the air fryer basket. Air fry at 370°F for 12-14 minutes until tender, shaking the basket halfway through. Once done garnish with fresh chopped dill (optional).

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 105kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Sodium: 537mg | Fiber: 3g
Close up side view of Air Fryer Carrots in a white serving dish.

How to Make Air Fryer Carrots – Step by Step Photos

Carrots being chopped on a cutting board.

Wash, peel, and cut 1 lb. of carrots diagonally into 1-inch pieces. Add the carrots to a large bowl.

Butter, oil, and seasoning mixed together in a bowl.

In a separate small bowl, add 1 Tbsp of butter and melt in the microwave. Then add 1 Tbsp olive oil, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, and 1/2 tsp dried dill to the same bowl. Stir everything together to combine.

Carrots mixed with butter and dill seasoning in a bowl.

Pour the butter mixture over the carrots. Toss or stir to coat all of the carrots.

Uncooked carrots added to the air fryer basket.

Add seasoned carrots to the air fryer basket. Air fry at 370°F for 12-14 minutes until tender, shaking the basket halfway through.

Cooked Air fryer carrots in an air fryer basket.

Once done garnish with 1 tsp fresh chopped dill (optional) and enjoy!

Overhead view of Air Fryer Carrots in a white serving dish.

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