Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce

Let the slow cooker do all the work for you when you make this big batch of freezer-friendly homemade spaghetti sauce.

The post Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’ve made a few variations of pasta sauce over the years, but this Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce is definitely one of my favorites. The long slow simmer caramelizes the sugars in the tomatoes and creates a depth of flavor that can’t be matched. Plus, what more could you ask for than to just throw some ingredients in a pot, forget about it for 8 hours, and then come back to a rich, delicious homemade sauce? Then you can divide the sauce into portions, freeze, and you’ll have delicious homemade pasta sauce on hand for quick busy weeknight dinners.

Originally posted on 11/4/2011, updated 1/12/2022.

Pasta sauce in a slow cooker with a spoon, garnished with parsley

Why make Homemade Spaghetti Sauce?

Pasta sauce can be bought premade really cheaply, so I think in a lot of cases it does make sense to just buy a jar and go with it. But if you want to have a little more control over the quality and ingredients of your pasta sauce while still keeping costs low, this Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce is a great option. 

What Size Slow Cooker to Use

This recipe makes about 2 quarts of sauce, so I would suggest using a 3 quart or larger slow cooker. You don’t need anything fancy, just a very basic slow cooker with basic functions like warm, low, and high. I do find that slow cookers made with a thick ceramic insert (or “crock”) cook much more evenly than metal inserts, like you’d have when using the slow cooker function on an Instant Pot.

Why Add Balsamic Vinegar?

The balsamic vinegar in this recipe adds a subtle depth and brightness to the sauce. It can seem strong at first, but it mellows out as the sauce is cooked. If you’re not a fan of balsamic vinegar or just don’t have any on hand, this recipe will still make a really amazing sauce even if you leave it out.

Can I Add Meat?

I’ve tried this sauce before with ground beef and I found the cook time to be far too long for the ground beef, so if you do want to add meat I suggest browning it separately and then just stirring it into the sauce after cooking. You can also check out my quick Weeknight Pasta Sauce for an easy and flavorful meat sauce option.

How to Freeze Pasta Sauce

This recipe makes about 7 cups. I suggest dividing the sauce into two or three cup portions before freezing so you can take out just enough for one recipe at a time to thaw. Let the spaghetti sauce cool completely in the fridge, then transfer to freezer-safe containers to freeze. The sauce will stay good in the freezer for about three months, but this can vary depending on the conditions in your freezer. If you use quart-sized freezer bags and freeze them laying flat they stack nicely in the freezer without taking up much space. 

You can thaw the sauce in the refrigerator overnight or just cut the bag away from the frozen sauce, place it in a saucepot, and heat over medium-low until it’s heated through (stir occasionally).

This sauce goes great with Homemade Meatballs (also freezer-friendly)!

A plate of pasta covered in sauce with bread on the side

Pasta sauce in a slow cooker garnished with parsley

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce

Let the slow cooker do all the work for you when you make this big batch of freezer-friendly homemade spaghetti sauce.
Course Dinner, Sauce
Cuisine American, Italian
Total Cost $4.40 recipe / $0.63 per cup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings 7 cups
Calories 77kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.32
  • 2 28oz. cans crushed tomatoes $2.00
  • 1 6oz. can tomato paste $0.69
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil $0.30
  • 1.5 tsp dried oregano $0.15
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar $0.03
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar $0.14
  • 4 Tbsp butter $0.40
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste) $0.05

Instructions

  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Place both in a 3 quart or larger slow cooker.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, oregano, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and butter to the slow cooker. Stir everything together well.
  • Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours.
  • After cooking, give it a good stir, then add salt to taste. Start with just ½ tsp of salt and add more if needed (I added 1 tsp). Use the sauce immediately, refrigerate, or freeze for later.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 77kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Sodium: 393mg | Fiber: 1g

Homemade pasta sauce being spooned over a plate of spaghetti

How to Make Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce – Step By Step Photos

Onion and garlic in slow cooker

Dice one yellow onion and mince four cloves of garlic. Add both to a 3 quart or larger slow cooker.

Tomatoes added to slow cooker

Add 2 28oz. cans of crushed tomatoes and one 6oz. can of tomato paste to the slow cooker.

Seasonings added to the slow cooker

Also add 1 Tbsp dried basil, 1.5 tsp dried oregano, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, and 4 Tbsp butter to the slow cooker. 

Sauce ingredients being stirred together before cooking

Give the ingredients a good stir until they’re evenly incorporated.

Simmered pasta sauce in the slow cooker

Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours. After cooking, it will look a little like the photo above (the white is just the milk fats from the butter). Give it a good stir.

Finished pasta sauce in the slow cooker garnished with parsley

Add salt to the sauce to taste. Start with ½ teaspoon and add more until the flavors pop. I ended up using one teaspoon total. 

Side view of pasta sauce in the slow cooker

Use the slow cooker spaghetti sauce immediately or refrigerate then freeze for long-term storage.

The post Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Skillet Chickpeas with Whipped Ricotta

I shared my favorite Vegetarian Dinner Recipes and now I have one more! This Skillet Chickpeas with Whipped Ricotta recipe is a perfect 10! You should probably add it to your dinner menu right now! It takes less than 30 minutes to make; it’s the …

I shared my favorite Vegetarian Dinner Recipes and now I have one more! This Skillet Chickpeas with Whipped Ricotta recipe is a perfect 10! You should probably add it to your dinner menu right now! It takes less than 30 minutes to make; it’s the perfect weeknight meal. The recipe is made with mostly pantry…

The post Skillet Chickpeas with Whipped Ricotta appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Cabbage Soup

It’s soup season and I am HERE for it! I love cozying up to a big bowl of piping hot soup! Today, I am sharing my Cabbage Soup recipe and I think you are going to LOVE it! I know, I know, cabbage soup doesn’t sound that exciting, BUT this i…

It’s soup season and I am HERE for it! I love cozying up to a big bowl of piping hot soup! Today, I am sharing my Cabbage Soup recipe and I think you are going to LOVE it! I know, I know, cabbage soup doesn’t sound that exciting, BUT this is one of my favorite…

The post Cabbage Soup appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Pesto Gnocchi

This pesto gnocchi recipe comes out irresistibly creamy in 10 minutes! Use this trick for a tasty and easy side…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This pesto gnocchi recipe comes out irresistibly creamy in 10 minutes! Use this trick for a tasty and easy side dish in a flash.

Pesto Gnocchi

Here’s a trick to a fast side dish or simple dinner: this Skillet Pesto Gnocchi! Get this: you don’t even need to boil the gnocchi! Cook up these Italian potato dumplings right in a skillet and they cook right in the sauce, helping to thicken it as they release starch. Stir in purchased pesto and you’ve got a bright and herbaceous sauce: in just 10 minutes total. This trick has become a staple in our house when we need a quick meal!

Pesto gnocchi: how it works!

Gnocchi (pronounced NYOW-kee) are Italian pasta dumplings made with potatoes, egg and flour. Typically in a gnocchi recipe, you boil it up then add the dumplings to a sauce. But in this recipe, everything cooks in one skillet! You can cook both the sauce and the gnocchi in just 5 minutes. That’s pretty magical, in our opinion! Here’s what to know about the process:

  • In a deep skillet, bring milk and basil pesto to a simmer. Once it’s ready, add the gnocchi.
  • Add uncooked gnocchi and cook about 5 minutes. The dumplings cook right in the sauce, and as they cook they release starch. The sauce becomes thick and saucy, then add the Parmesan cheese.
  • Adjust flavors to taste. See below!
Pesto gnocchi

Pesto to use, and how to adjust flavors

Here’s the thing about pesto: purchased pesto varies greatly between brands. Even more importantly, jarred pesto is nothing like the fresh flavor of the real thing. Many purchased brands taste intensely acidic or have an odd aftertaste. Here’s what to know:

  • Purchased pesto brands vary greatly, so find one you love. We’ve experimented with lots of different jars: and they all have a different salt and acid level. But when it’s the winter, it’s t the only option!
  • Homemade pesto has the best flavor! Again, this is only an option when you have loads of fresh basil. But Basil Pesto is best homemade.
  • After cooking the pesto gnocchi, taste and adjust flavors. Add a pinch or two of salt, then if it needs it add up to 1 tablespoon additional pesto. It all depends on the brand!
  • Lemon zest adds freshness. If you happen to have a lemon on hand, lemon zest balances out the flavor of purchased pesto.

Can you use homemade gnocchi?

If you have time and energy, you can make homemade gnocchi with potatoes and flour. But it’s a bit of a process! Do it on a day off when you have energy to channel Italian grandmother vibes. If you make homemade gnocchi, we don’t suggest using it here. We’ve only tested this recipe with purchased gnocchi, and homemade have a different texture. Add your favorite marinara or butter sauce for those!

Basil pesto
Homemade pesto has a brighter green color and fresher flavor than purchased. If you don’t have access to fresh basil, use jarred pesto!

Serve pesto gnocchi as a side or main

You can eat pesto gnocchi as an easy side dish, or even a main dish if you accessorize it properly! Here are a few things to note:

Pesto gnocchi

More recipes with gnocchi

There are lots of ways to cook gnocchi! Here are a few of our favorite gnocchi recipes:

This pesto gnocchi recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free gnocchi.

Print
Pesto gnocchi

Pesto Gnocchi


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Total Time: 7 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This pesto gnocchi recipe comes out irresistibly creamy in 10 minutes! Use this trick for a tasty and easy side dish in a flash.


Ingredients

  • 1 pound purchased uncooked gnocchi
  • ¼ cup basil pesto (purchased or Homemade Basil Pesto), plus 1 tablespoon to finish
  • 1 ½ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to finish
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Zest of 1/4 lemon, optional

Instructions

  1. In a deep skillet, bring the milk, pesto, and salt to a gentle simmer. Add the gnocchi, breaking it apart with your fingers if any are stuck together.
  2. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the gnocchi are tender and the sauce becomes creamy. Stir in the Parmesan cheese until it melts. 
  3. Taste the sauce and add salt (we usually add ⅛ teaspoon) and if it needs it, the final 1 tablespoon pesto. Add a bit of lemon zest if you have it, which freshens the flavors even more. The amounts will vary since all pesto brands are differently salted and flavored. Serve immediately. The sauce becomes very thick as it sits, so if necessary, add a splash of milk and reheat, stirring until creamy. Store leftovers refrigerated for 3 days and reheat in the same way. (You can also serve this as a main dish like pasta: just add some vegetables and additional protein.)
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian inspired

Keywords: Pesto gnocchi

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Tomato Ricotta Flatbreads with Chipotle-Garlic Butter

Simple, no-yeast flatbreads topped with ricotta and sliced tomatoes. The finishing touch is a drizzle of smoky chipotle-garlic butter and some fresh basil. This is a delicious savoury brunch dish (or easy lunch) made with simple ingredients but packed …

Simple, no-yeast flatbreads topped with ricotta and sliced tomatoes. The finishing touch is a drizzle of smoky chipotle-garlic butter and some fresh basil. This is a delicious savoury brunch dish (or easy lunch) made with simple ingredients but packed with flavour. KCHossack Pottery x Top With Cinnamon Collaboration The ceramics in the images here are …

Tomato Ricotta Flatbreads with Chipotle-Garlic Butter Read More »

The post Tomato Ricotta Flatbreads with Chipotle-Garlic Butter appeared first on Izy Hossack - Top With Cinnamon.

One Pot Veggie Pasta

This one pot veggie pasta is an easy, satisfying, and quick dinner. Use whatever vegetables you have on hand and make it your own!

The post One Pot Veggie Pasta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Here’s a quick little one pot pasta I’ve been making lately with my leftover veggies. You can literally add in whatever you have on hand and it creates a tasty one pot meal with tons of color, flavor, and texture. It may not be revolutionary, but I think sometimes it helps to see what quick meals other people are making and this One Pot Veggie Pasta is my latest go-to quick fix. :)

Overhead view of one pot veggie pasta in a bowl

Use Your Leftovers

As far as one pot pasta goes, this recipe isn’t that revolutionary, but I love it for one main reason—it’s perfect for using up leftovers. Got two carrots left? Or maybe a half of a bell pepper. A handful of mushrooms? How about that partial bag of broccoli florets hiding the back of your freezer? They can all go in this super quick one pot pasta! The more colors and textures the merrier.

Use Your Favorite Sauce

Convenience is the name of the game with this quick weeknight pasta dish, so I used a jar of pasta sauce instead of making my own this time around. You can literally use any red pasta sauce, as long as it’s one you know you like. …Actually, I bet you could also turn this into a really tasty alfredo! *jots down notes for testing next week*

How Are the Leftovers?

As with any leftover pasta dish, the rotini does get a little softer as it is stored in the refrigerator. Personally, that has never bothered me or stopped me from eating leftover pasta, but if you’re sensitive to textures, you might not enjoy the leftovers of this pasta.

Success with One Pot Pasta Recipes

Learning how to cook a one pot pasta can take a little practice. It’s all about observing and adjusting. The goal is to have the pasta simmer in a small amount of liquid so that by the time the pasta is tender, there is only a small amount of saucy liquid left in the bottom of the pot. You need to simmer with the lid on (to hold in the steam) and stir occasionally. Every time you stir, check the pasta texture and the amount of liquid left in the pot. If the pasta is almost tender and there is still a lot of liquid, let it simmer without a lid. If the liquid is almost gone but the pasta is not tender, add a splash more water. Here are some more tips for cooking one pot pastas:

  • Use a pot with a thick bottom. Thin-bottomed pots will create hot and cold spots that tend to cook the pasta unevenly.
  • Use a burner close in size to the bottom of the pot. If the burner is too small the outer edges will not simmer and the pasta will cook unevenly.
  • Make sure the broth is simmering the whole time. If it stops simmering, the pasta will stop cooking and will become mushy.
One Pot Veggie Pasta in the pot half scooped
One pot veggie pasta in a bowl with a fork

One Pot Veggie Pasta

This one pot veggie pasta is an easy, satisfying, and quick dinner. Use whatever vegetables you have on hand and make it your own!
Total Cost $7.99 recipe / $2.00 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 461kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 yellow onion $0.28
  • 2 carrots $0.16
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 8 oz. mushrooms $1.49
  • 1 zucchini $0.90
  • 1 red bell pepper $1.50
  • 1/2 lb. rotini (not cooked) $0.50
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 2 cups vegetable broth $0.26
  • 24 oz. pasta sauce $1.49
  • 4 oz. mozzarella, shredded (optional) $0.83

Instructions

  • Mince the garlic, dice the onion, and slice the carrots. Add the garlic, onion, and carrots to a large pot with the olive oil. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent.
  • While the vegetables are sautéing, slice the mushrooms. Once sliced, add them to the pot with the other vegetables and continue sautéing.
  • While the rest of the vegetables are sautéing, dice the zucchini and bell pepper.
  • Once the bell pepper and zucchini are diced, add them to the pot along with the rotini, basil, oregano, and vegetable broth. Stir to combine. It's okay if the broth doesn't fully submerge the pasta.
  • Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the broth to come up to a boil.
  • Once the broth reaches a full boil, give the pasta a quick stir, replace the lid, then turn the heat down to medium-low. Let the pasta simmer over medium-low, stirring occasionally and always replacing the lid, for about 10 minutes, or until the pasta is tender.
  • Once the pasta is tender, add the pasta sauce to the pot and stir to combine. Top with the shredded cheese then place the lid back on the pot. Let the pasta heat for a few minutes, or just until the cheese is melted. Serve hot!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 461kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 15g | Sodium: 1573mg | Fiber: 8g
Close up of one pot veggie pasta being lifted on a spoon

How to Make One Pot Veggie Pasta – Step by Step Photos

Onion carrot and garlic in the pot

Mince two cloves of garlic, dice one yellow onion, and slice 2 carrots. Add the garlic, onion, and carrots to a large pot with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Sauté over medium for about five minutes, or until the onions are soft.

Sliced mushrooms added to the pot

While the garlic, onion, and carrots are sautéing, slice 8oz. mushrooms (or you can buy pre-sliced). Add the sliced mushrooms to the pot and continue to sauté while you chop the rest of the vegetables. Chop one zucchini and one red bell pepper.

pasta, vegetables, and broth added to the pot

Add the chopped zucchini and bell pepper to the pot along with 8oz. rotini (not cooked), ½ tsp basil, ½ tsp oregano, and 2 cups vegetable broth.

Stirred but uncooked pasta and vegetables in the pot

Stir everything together. Don’t worry about the pasta not being fully submerged in the broth. I promise it still works. Place a lid on the pot and turn the heat up to medium-high. Bring the broth to a boil. When it reaches a full boil, give everything a quick stir, put the lid back on top, and turn the heat down to medium-low.

Cooked pasta and vegetables in the pot

Let the pasta and vegetables simmer, stirring occasionally and always replacing the lid, until the pasta is tender and there is very little liquid left on the bottom of the pot.

Pasta sauce being poured into the pot

Add a 24 oz. jar of your favorite pasta sauce and stir to combine.

Shredded cheese being added on top

Top the pasta with 4 oz. shredded mozzarella. Place the lid back on the pot and let the pasta sit for about 2 minutes, or just until the cheese is melted.

Finished one pot veggie pasta garnished with parsley

And then it’s done! I garnished with a little chopped parsley to make it pretty, but it’s totally unnecessary for flavor.

Close up side view of a bowl of veggie pasta with cheese

Enjoy!

Love One Pot Pastas? Try These Other Flavors:

The post One Pot Veggie Pasta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Baked Spaghetti

Pasta is on our dinner menu almost every single week. We are always mixing it up, but we have our favorites. My boys love Spaghetti and Meatballs, what kid doesn’t? They also love Baked Spaghetti, especially when garlic bread is served on the sid…

Pasta is on our dinner menu almost every single week. We are always mixing it up, but we have our favorites. My boys love Spaghetti and Meatballs, what kid doesn’t? They also love Baked Spaghetti, especially when garlic bread is served on the side. It is a regular dinner at our house! This baked spaghetti…

The post Baked Spaghetti appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Easy Caprese Pizza

Creamy mozzarella, fresh tomatoes and basil, and a light drizzle of tangy balsamic glaze make this easy Caprese pizza phenomenal!

The post Easy Caprese Pizza appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Here’s a little tasty treat that I’ve been making for myself lately, super easy Caprese Pizza! They’re quick, light, and fresh, which is a nice change of pace sometimes in the middle of all of fall and winter. Plus, they just kind of feel extra special on a weeknight or night spent at home. So the next time you have a pizza and movie night, try making these cute little Caprese Pizzas. The night will feel extra special without a ton of extra work!

Balsamic reduction being drizzled over the caprese pizza

What is Caprese Pizza?

Caprese pizza is a pizza based on the flavors of Caprese Salad, fresh tomato, mozzarella, and basil. While balsamic glaze is not usually part of caprese salads, the flavor goes beautifully with these ingredients and just adds a something a little extra special to the pizza’s flavor (not to mention that stunning color contrast!).

Do I Need Fresh Basil?

Yes and no. The fresh basil really changes the entire flavor personality of these pizza, so if you leave it out you’ll be missing a LOT. That being said, I would never turn down melted cheese on bread of any kind, so if I couldn’t get the fresh basil for some reason I would still totally make this pizza. You can sprinkle it with dried basil if you want, but just be aware that the flavor of fresh basil compared to dried basil is completely different.

Can I Make a Whole Caprese Pizza instead of Minis?

Yes, this is super easy to make as a whole pizza instead of mini individual pizzas. Just use your favorite pizza dough or store-bought pre-baked crust. Baking time will be slightly longer, since they’re larger, but just keep an eye on them and bake until the cheese is melted. Since you don’t really want the mozzarella to brown at all on this pizza, I would definitely par-bake any raw pizza crust first and then add the cheese and tomatoes later rather than adding all the toppings to the raw dough like you normally would.

What to Serve with Caprese Pizza

The beauty of this pizza is that it is incredibly simple, so I would stick with a very simple side dish as well, like a Simple Side Salad. Keep it light and fresh with delicate greens, a light vinaigrette dressing, and maybe just one or two extra vegetables, like artichoke hearts or olives. And then maybe some Garlic Bread on the side, too, because garlic bread goes with everything. ;)

four mini caprese pizzas on a baking sheet
Balsamic reduction being drizzled onto a mini caprese pizza

Easy Caprese Pizzas

Creamy mozzarella, fresh tomatoes and basil, and a light drizzle of tangy balsamic glaze make this easy Caprese pizza phenomenal!
Total Cost $5.47 recipe / $1.37 each
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 235kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Balsamic Glaze

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar $1.08
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar $0.08

Caprese Pizzas

  • 4 mini naan $2.00
  • 2 Roma tomatoes $0.52
  • 4 oz. mozzarella, shredded $0.83
  • 4 fresh basil leaves $0.90
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper $0.05

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. To make the balsamic glaze, add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar to a small saucepot. Place over medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Allow the vinegar to come up to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until thickened. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Place the mini naan on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Pre-bake the naan for 5 minutes in the preheated oven.
  • Slice each Roma tomato into eight slices. Place 1/4 of the shredded mozzarella and four slices of tomato on each piece of naan.
  • Bake the topped pizzas in the oven for about 7 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubby.
  • While the pizzas are in the oven, thinly slice the basil. Top each pizza with a pinch of salt and pepper, a little fresh basil, and a drizzle of the balsamic glaze just before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pizza | Calories: 235kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 410mg | Fiber: 1g
Close up side view of a caprese pizza

How to Make How to Make Caprese Pizza – Step by Step Photos

mini naan in the package

I used this mini inidividual-sized naan from Aldi as my pizza base, but you could use a regular size naan, or your favorite pizza crust or dough instead. You could even par-bake a tortilla until stiff and use that!

balsamic glaze being stirred

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. While the oven is preheating, make the balsamic glaze. Add ½ cup balsamic vinegar and 2 Tbsp brown sugar to a small saucepot and stir to dissolve the brown sugar. Heat the mixture over medium, allowing it to come up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down slightly and allow it to continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until it has reduced in volume by half (about ten minutes). It will appear slightly thicker, but it will fully thicken upon cooling.

four naan on a parchment lined baking sheet

Once the oven is hot, place four pieces of naan on a parchment-lined baking sheet and then pre-bake for about 5 minutes just to get them heated through. If you want to be *extra special* you can lightly brush your naan with olive oil and sprinkle a little garlic powder over top.

Prepped pizza toppings on a cutting board

While the naan are preheating, you can prepare the toppings. Slice two Roma tomatoes into eight slices each so that you’ll have four slices of tomato per mini-pizza. Shred 4oz. mozzarella, and thinly slice about four basil leaves (you can wait to do the basil while the topped pizzas are in the oven, if you run out of time).

Topped pizzas on the baking sheet

Once the naan is heated, top each pizza with four slices of fresh tomato and ¼ of the shredded mozzarella (I put mozzarella under the tomatoes and then just a pinch on top as well).

baked caprese pizzas

Bake the caprese pizzas again for about 7 minutes, or just until the cheese is melted and beginning to bubble a bit. You don’t really want the cheese to brown for this one as we’re trying to keep things light and fresh.

Balsamic glaze being drizzled over the pizzas

Add a pinch of salt and pepper to each pizza, then drizzle the balsamic reduction over top.

finished caprese pizzas topped with fresh basil

And finally, top the pizzas with the sliced basil and enjoy!

four finished caprese pizzas on a baking sheet

These little homemade pizzas will make you feel ✨so fancy✨!

The post Easy Caprese Pizza appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Butternut Squash Lasagna (Vegan, GF Optional)

One of our all-time favorite fall vegetables is the ever-versatile butternut squash! And after you try this lasagna, you’ll see why. What started as an attempt at gluten-free ravioli turned into something even more AMAZING! This new twist on classic la…

Butternut Squash Lasagna (Vegan, GF Optional)

One of our all-time favorite fall vegetables is the ever-versatile butternut squash! And after you try this lasagna, you’ll see why. What started as an attempt at gluten-free ravioli turned into something even more AMAZING! This new twist on classic lasagna swaps tomato sauce for a savory, creamy, butternut squash cashew sauce that pairs perfectly with lasagna noodles and sautéed kale and mushrooms. 

This plant-based (and gluten-free optional) entreé is undeniably comforting and crowd-pleasing and will make an excellent addition to holiday dinner tables or as meal prep for the week’s lunches!

Butternut Squash Lasagna (Vegan, GF Optional) from Minimalist Baker →

Stuffed Pepper Soup

Soup season is my favorite season. You can’t be a one pot meal! If you are a fan of the traditional stuffed bell peppers, you are going to LOVE this soup. It has all of the same flavors, but is super easy to make! Instead of stuffing individual b…

Soup season is my favorite season. You can’t be a one pot meal! If you are a fan of the traditional stuffed bell peppers, you are going to LOVE this soup. It has all of the same flavors, but is super easy to make! Instead of stuffing individual bell peppers, you put all of the…

The post Stuffed Pepper Soup appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.