Buffalo Beans and Greens

These Buffalo beans and greens are a little bowl of luxury on a shoestring budget. We just can’t get enough!

The post Buffalo Beans and Greens appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I love any dish where I can sneak in some kale without complaints from the haters; there’s just something so fun about sneaking them in and hearing the good ol’, “I usually hate kale, but this is SO good!” These Buffalo beans and greens pack in a whole lot of nutrition and flavor on a shoestring budget. Creamy white beans, rich kale, and wholesome diced veggies all tossed in spicy buffalo sauce. Drizzle it with some blue cheese dressing, and I just can’t get enough! One of my favorite Nashville institutions recently closed (I sob) and they had a killer Buffalo beans and greens dish on their menu, so this tip of the hat goes out to my friends at The Wild Cow.

overhead view of buffalo beans and greens over white rice on a white plate with white sauce drizzled over top.

What Are Buffalo Beans and Greens?

If you’ve made our Saucy White Beans with Spinach, then you know how good stewed beans can be. These buffalo beans and greens are a fun riff on the classic “Buffalo chicken” that all Americans know and love, but we’ve turned it into a veg-friendly complete meal. It’s a balanced, comforting, and wholesome meal with just the right amount of spice.

Ingredients for Buffalo Beans and Greens

Here’s what you’ll need to make buffalo beans and greens:

  • Unsalted Butter: Helps sauté the veggies without burning and adds richness to the dish. Dairy free? No problem, olive oil is a suitable substitute.
  • Vegetables: Yellow onion, celery, and carrots create a sweet, earthy, and crunchy base of flavor for this dish.
  • Garlic: Adds an earthy and savory element to the dish.
  • Cannellini Beans: These creamy white beans are a great meat replacement and are packed full of fiber and protein.
  • Buffalo Sauce: Adds a touch of spice to the dish.
  • Blue Cheese Dressing: You can use as much or as little as you like. It’s just for a drizzle on top at the end. Blue cheese can be polarizing, so if you’re not a fan, you can leave it off or try a drizzle of Homemade Ranch Dressing instead!
  • Fresh Kale: Wilts into this dish to create a delightfully earthy flavor and texture.
  • White Rice: Serve these beans and greens over rice for a complete, filling meal.

What Else Can I Put In Buffalo Beans and Greens?

This is a great recipe for fridge cleanout day since it’s easy to add any number of leftover veggies, meats, or cheeses to it. Try:

  • Broccoli or cauliflower florets
  • Diced zucchini or summer squash
  • Cut green beans or asparagus
  • Frozen peas or corn
  • Cooked bacon, Italian sausage, or pancetta
  • Leftover shredded chicken
  • Crumbled blue cheese

What to Serve with Buffalo Beans and Greens

We love the simplicity of this dish served over white rice, but of course, brown rice is a great healthy alternative. You could also serve it over some Mashed Potatoes, Deruny, Oven Roasted Potatoes, Creamy Polenta, or Cheese Grits. And if you hate blue cheese, try serving these buffalo beans and greens drizzled with Homemade Ranch Dressing.

overhead view of buffalo beans and greens in a pan.
overhead view of buffalo beans and greens over white rice on a white plate with white sauce drizzled over top.
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Buffalo Beans and Greens

These Buffalo beans and greens pack in a whole lot of nutrition and flavor on a shoestring budget. I just can't get enough!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $6.61 recipe / $1.65 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 (about 1.5 cups each)
Calories 569kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter $0.75
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced small $0.39
  • 3 celery stalks, diced small $0.26
  • 2 medium carrots, diced small $0.26
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced $0.42
  • 2 15oz. cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed $2.56
  • 1/4 cup Buffalo-style hot sauce $0.52
  • 2 tbsp water $0.00
  • 2 cups fresh kale, chopped $0.50
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese dressing $0.31
  • 1 cup white rice, cooked $0.64

Instructions

  • Cook rice according to package directions. (1 dry cup will yield about 3 cooked cups of rice.) Drain and rinse the cannellini beans.
  • Dice celery, yellow onion, and carrots to make a mirepoix.
  • Add the butter, salt, celery, onions, and carrots to a large skillet. Sauté over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or just until the veggies begin to soften. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the white beans, Buffalo-style hot sauce and water to the skillet. Stir and cook over medium heat until the beans are heated through.
  • Add the kale to the pan and stir until bright green and wilted. No need to cook for too long. Serve a heaping spoonful on top of rice, drizzling blue cheese dressing over the top. Add salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Enjoy!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 569kcal | Carbohydrates: 91g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 14g | Sodium: 682mg | Fiber: 14g
overhead view of buffalo beans and greens over white rice with white sauce on a white plate with a fork.

how to make Buffalo Beans and Greens – step by step photos

finely diced onion, carrot, and celery on a bamboo cutting board.

Cook rice according to package directions. (1 dry cup will yield about 3 cooked cups of rice.) Drain and rinse the cannellini beans. Dice 3 stalks celery, 1/2 of a yellow onion, and 2 medium carrots to make a mirepoix.

onion, carrot, celery, and garlic in a pan.

Add 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, celery, onion, and carrots to a large skillet. Sauté over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or just until the veggies begin to soften. Add 6 cloves of minced garlic and sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes.

cannellini beans and buffalo sauce added to sauteed veggies in a pan.

Add 1 can of drained and rinsed cannellini beans, 1/4 cup Buffalo-style hot sauce, and 2 Tbsp water to the skillet. Stir and cook over medium heat until the beans are heated through.

kale added to buffalo beans in a pan.

Add 2 cups chopped fresh kale to the pan and stir until bright green and wilted. No need to cook for too long. Serve a heaping spoonful on top of rice, drizzling blue cheese dressing over the top. Add salt and pepper to taste, if needed.

overhead view of buffalo beans and greens in a pan.

This rich and filling buffalo beans and greens is sure to become a weeknight staple!

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Tostadas

These tostadas made with mashed pinto beans are piled high with salsa, veggies, and cheese for a satisfying (and fun!) weeknight meal.

The post Tostadas appeared first on Budget Bytes.

With the sun working overtime during these hot summer months, I’ve got tacos on my mind (and tortillas in my fridge) 24/7. I love how balanced and fresh Mexican-inspired cuisine can be, and these tostadas are no exception! Crispy tortillas are piled high with mashed pinto beans, salsa, veggies, and cheese for a different spin on your typical taco night. Plus, I love that I can use up any leftover tortillas I have on hand so nothing goes to waste! These are super customizable based on your family’s preferences, so you can add or omit just about anything you want.

close up of a hand holding a tostada.

What Is A Tostada?

The word “tostada” translates to “toasted” in reference to the crispy toasted tortilla shell that serves as the base of the dish. It’s sort of like a flattened taco piled high with filling. It’s also a great way to use up the last of those leftover tortillas that are starting to go stale!

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make these tostadas:

  • Onion: I used white onion because it was on sale, but yellow or Vidalia will also work well in this recipe.
  • Jalapeño: Adds a bit of heat to the filling.
  • Olive Oil: Helps the filling cook without burning. Neutral cooking oils like canola or vegetable also work well.
  • Pinto Beans: Create a mushy, refried bean-like texture. If you have some leftover, our favorite (Not) Refried Beans can also work well in this recipe!
  • Taco Seasoning: An easy way to add classic Mexican flavors.
  • Water: Helps make the beans easier to mash.
  • Salsa: Adds freshness to the tostadas. I love this Fire Roasted Salsa, but store-bought works just fine.
  • Tostada Shells: These small, crunchy corn tortillas are like a flat hard taco shell. A Mexican open-faced sandwich, if you will!
  • Radishes: Add a delightful, fresh crunch!
  • Slaw Mix: A cheap and easy hack to add extra veggies to this dish.
  • Sour Cream: Adds creaminess and tanginess.
  • Cilantro: Adds a pop of freshness and color.
  • Avocado: Adds a creamy texture. Guacamole also works well.
  • Queso Fresco: Can’t find queso fresco or cotija cheese? Cheddar cheese will do just fine, or omit it altogether.

What Is the Difference Between A Tostada and a Tortilla?

A tostada is a tortilla that has been baked or fried until it is crispy. You can purchase ready-made tostada shells from popular brands like Old El Paso, or you can make your own by baking 6-inch corn tortillas until toasted and crispy.

How to Eat A Tostada

Tostadas are finger foods, so use your hands, not a fork and knife! I like the two-handed method of holding the edges of the tostada and taking bites like a slice of toast. I also like to crack the tostadas into smaller pieces and eat it in smaller bites that way.

side view of tostadas on a piece of parchment paper on a blue table.
holding a tostada over a table topped with tostadas.
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Tostadas

These tostadas made with mashed pinto beans are piled high with salsa, veggies, and cheese for a satisfying (and fun!) weeknight meal.
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 535kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.20
  • 1/2 white onion, diced $0.45
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced $0.24
  • 1 1-oz. packet taco seasoning $0.59
  • 2 15-oz. cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed $1.78
  • 1 cup water $0.00
  • 8 tostada shells $0.88
  • 1/2 cup salsa $0.49
  • 3 radishes, julienned $0.37
  • 1/2 14-oz. bag pre-chopped slaw mix $0.99
  • 1/4 cup sour cream $0.31
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro $0.12
  • 1 avocado, sliced $0.99
  • 2 Tbsp crumbled queso fresco $0.35

Instructions

  • Add the olive oil, onions, jalapeño, and taco seasoning mix to a skillet. Stir to combine and cook over medium heat until the onions are soft and glossy.
  • Add the drained and rinsed pinto beans to the skillet with 1 cup of water and simmer for 5-8 minutes, until the beans start to dissolve and break down and the liquid reduces to about 1/2.
  • Remove from the heat and mash the bean mixture together. Set aside.
  • Crumble queso fresco, julienne or slice radishes, mince cilantro, thinly the avocado, and gather your premixed cabbage and salsa of choice.
  • Spread out tostada shells on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven at 350°F for 5 minutes. This makes the tostadas extra crunchy!
  • Assemble tostadas: The tostada shell will be on the bottom, topped with mashed pinto beans.
  • Then, add all other toppings; divide the pre-chopped slaw mix, salsa, sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro, avocado, and crumbled queso fresco between all tostadas. Enjoy!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

This recipe is easily made vegan by leaving off the sour cream and cheese. There are amazing vegan substitutes available for both of those ingredients nowadays, too!

Nutrition

Serving: 2tostadas | Calories: 535kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 24g | Sodium: 1649mg | Fiber: 19g

how to make Tostadas – step by step photos

onion, jalapeno, and taco seasoning in a frying pan.

Add the 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 diced white onion, 1 seeded and diced jalapeño, and 1 oz. packet of taco seasoning mix to a skillet. Stir to combine and cook over medium heat until the onions are soft and glossy.

step 2: add beans and water

Add the 2 cans of drained and rinsed pinto beans to the skillet with 1 cup of water and simmer for 5-8 minutes, until the beans start to dissolve and break down and the liquid reduces by about 1/2.

step 4: mash the beans

Remove from the heat and mash the bean mixture together.

step 6: chopped veggies on cutting board

Crumble 2 Tbsp queso fresco, julienne or slice 3 radishes, mince 2 Tbsp cilantro, thinly slice the avocado, and gather your premixed cabbage and salsa of choice.

step 6 lay out tostadas and toast

Spread out 8 tostada shells on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven at 350°F for 5 minutes. This makes the tostadas extra crunchy!

step 7: add beans to tostatdas

Assemble tostadas: The tostada shell will be on the bottom, topped with mashed pinto beans.

8 add all the toppings 1 by 1 to tostadas

Then, add all other toppings; divide the 1/2 bag of pre-chopped slaw mix, 1/2 cup salsa, 1/4 cup sour cream, 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, 1 sliced avocado, and 2 Tbsp crumbled queso fresco between all tostadas. Enjoy!

overhead view of tostadas on a piece of parchment paper on a blue table.

More Recipes with Tortillas

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Chorizo Stuffed Bell Peppers

These Chorizo Stuffed Bell Peppers are packed with southwest flavor, perfectly portioned for meal prep, and freezer-friendly!

The post Chorizo Stuffed Bell Peppers appeared first on Budget Bytes.

We’re in love with stuffed bell peppers here at the Budget Bytes kitchen, so I decided to make a new variation just so I could have an excuse to eat stuffed bell peppers again. These Chorizo Stuffed Bell Peppers are full of super flavorful Mexican chorizo, hearty rice, and a rich sauce, then topped with melty mozzarella cheese. They’re SO filling, perfectly portioned for meal prep or freezer cooking, and quite flexible if you want to change up the ingredients to make them even more budget-friendly! Put this one one your to-cook list because I know you’re going to love them!

Overhead view of chorizo stuffed bell peppers in a baking dish on a yellow background.

Ingredients for Chorizo Stuffed Bell Peppers

These stuffed bell peppers are packed with flavorful herbs and spices and a rich tomato-y sauce so that every bite is deee-licious. Here are the ingredients for chorizo stuffed bell peppers:

  • Bell Peppers: You’ll need three bell peppers to make six servings for this recipe. We used a mix of colors to make it more festive, but you can use any color pepper that fits your budget.
  • Mexican Chorizo: Mexican chorizo is a fresh (not cured) sausage that is packed with spices. You can usually either buy this loose or in links. If you buy them in links, simply squeeze the meat out of the casing into the skillet. I like Johnsonville brand, but many larger grocery stores also make their own generic version.
  • Garlic & Onion: A little fresh onion and garlic add flavor and texture to the bell pepper stuffing.
  • Rice: Long grain white rice bulks up this meal to make it filling while keeping the cost low. We cook the rice right in the pot with the chorizo, spices, and broth for maximum flavor.
  • Chicken Broth: The rice is cooked in chicken broth to ensure that every bite is super flavorful. We use Better Than Bouillon to make our broth because it’s budget-friendly and has great flavor.
  • Tomato Paste: Tomato paste is added to the broth to help create an enchilada sauce-like flavor in the rice mixture.
  • Diced Green Chiles: Green chiles add even more flavor, color, and texture to the filling. If you prefer a milder stuffed pepper, you can leave out the green chiles or look for a mild green chile.
  • Spices: We packed this bell pepper stuffing with even more spices including chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and salt.
  • Mozzarella: The stuffed bell peppers are topped with mozzarella cheese for a rich finish, but you can substitute with a different type of cheese if preferred, like Monterey jack, pepper jack, cheddar, or a Mexican blend.
  • Green Onion: A few sliced green onions sprinkled over top of the stuffed bell peppers add a fresh finish, but are entirely optional!

What Else Can I Add?

This recipe is pretty flexible, so if you want to change it up or make it more budget-friendly, here are some other ingredients you can add:

  • Beans: Try swapping half of the chorizo with a can of black beans or pinto beans for more fiber and less cost.
  • Diced Tomatoes: If you want more color and texture in your bell pepper filling, try adding a drained can of petite diced tomatoes, or diced tomatoes with chiles (Rotel).
  • Sweet Potato: Chorizo and sweet potato are a perfect flavor pair. Replace half of the chorizo with one small finely diced sweet potato for a spicy-sweet flavor profile (add it with the rice so it can simmer and soften with the rice).

Mexican Chorizo vs. Spanish Chorizo

It’s really important to use the correct type of chorizo for this recipe. You’ll need Mexican chorizo, which is a fresh (uncooked & uncured) sausage. You’ll find Mexican chorizo in the fresh meat department, usually near bratwurst and other fresh sausages. Spanish chorizo is a cured, sliceable sausage that you’ll usually find near cheese, pepperoni, or other charcuterie-type foods.

What to Serve with Chorizo Stuffed Bell Peppers

These southwest-inspired peppers are really filling on their own, but if you want to serve something on the side they pair really well with Cumin Lime Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Cowboy Caviar, Sweet Potato Cornbread, or Warm Corn and Avocado Salad.

How To Store Leftovers

I love making stuffed bell peppers for meal prep, so this is how I store and reheat them. The cooked bell peppers can be stored in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. I like to reheat them quickly in the microwave (about 2 minutes each).

Or, once chilled in the refrigerator, you can transfer them to the freezer. I suggest packaging them individually in a freezer-safe, air-tight container, so you can reheat one at a time as needed. Frozen stuffed bell peppers can be thawed in the refrigerator overnight and then reheated the next day in the microwave, or thawed straight from the freezer in the microwave using the defrost function, then heated through on full power.

Side view of a fork lifting some stuffing out of the bell pepper with the cheese pulling.
Overhead view of chorizo stuffed bell peppers in a round baking dish.
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Chorizo Stuffed Bell Peppers

These Chorizo Stuffed Bell Peppers are packed with southwest flavor, perfectly portioned for meal prep, and freezer-friendly!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Amercian, Mexican
Total Cost $12.91 recipe / $2.15 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 380kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 bell peppers $4.07
  • 1 lb. Mexican chorizo $4.99
  • 1 yellow onion $0.37
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 4oz. can diced green chiles $0.99
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste $0.20
  • 2 tsp chili powder $0.20
  • 1/2 tsp cumin $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/2 cup long grain white rice (uncooked) $0.13
  • 1 cup chicken broth $0.19
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella $1.25

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cut each bell pepper in half so there is a top and bottom portion, then remove the seeds and ribs. You can either carefully cut the stem out of the center of the top half, or eat around it later. Place the halved bell peppers in a baking dish, cut sides up. Par-bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
  • Add the chorizo to a large deep skillet and cook over medium heat until browned. While the chorizo is cooking, dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the onion and garlic to the chorizo and continue to cook until the onions are softened.
  • Add the diced green chiles, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and salt to the skillet and stir until combined.
  • Add the uncooked rice and chicken broth to the skillet and stir until combined again. Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the broth to come up to a boil.
  • As soon as the broth begins to boil, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer over, low without lifting the lid or stirring, for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn off the heat and let it rest for five more minutes.
  • Finally, remove the lid and gently stir the rice and chorizo mixture. All of the broth should be absorbed and the rice tender.
  • Divide the rice and chorizo mixture between the six bell pepper halves, then top with shredded cheese. Cover the baking dish and return it to the 350ºF oven and bake for 20 minutes more. Finally, top with sliced green onions and serve!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pepper | Calories: 380kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 24g | Sodium: 1032mg | Fiber: 3g
Overhead view of two stuffed bell peppers on a plate with a fork digging into one.

How to Make Chorizo Stuffed Bell Peppers – Step by Step Photos

Prepped bell peppers in a baking dish.

Begin by preheating the oven to 350ºF. Cut three bell peppers in half to create a top and bottom piece for each pepper. Scoop out the seeds and ribs. You can either cut out the stem from the top half of the peppers, or eat around them later. Place the halved peppers in a baking dish and par-bake them for 15 minutes in the fully preheated 350ºF oven.

Cooked chorizo and onion in a skillet.

Meanwhile, cook 1 lb. of Mexican chorizo in a large deep skillet over medium heat until browned. The chorizo has plenty of fat, so you likely won’t need to add any additional to the skillet. Dice one yellow onion and mince 2 cloves of garlic. Add the onion and garlic to the skillet with the chorizo, and continue to cook until the onions are softened.

Green chiles, tomato paste, and spices added to the skillet.

Add one 4oz. can of diced green chiles, 2 Tbsp tomato paste, 2 tsp chili powder, ½ tsp cumin, ½ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, and ¼ tsp salt to the meat and onions. Stir to combine.

Rice added to the skillet, broth being poured in the side.

Add ½ cup of uncooked long grain white rice and 1 cup of chicken broth to the skillet. Stir well to combine, then place a lid on top, and turn the heat up to medium-high. When the broth reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and allow it to continue to simmer over low (without removing the lid or stirring) for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest for 5 more minutes.

Cooked chorizo and rice in the skillet being scooped to the side with a spoon.

After simmering for 20 minutes the broth should be absorbed and the rice should be tender. Gently stir the rice and chorizo mixture with a spoon.

Filled bell peppers in a baking dish being topped with shredded cheese.

Divide the rice and chorizo mixture between the six par-baked bell pepper halves, then top with shredded mozzarella cheese (about 1 cup). Cover the dish and bake in the 350ºF oven for 20 minutes.

Finished stuffed bell peppers topped with sliced green onion.

Top the chorizo stuffed bell peppers with sliced green onions and serve!

Close up side view of a fork lifting some of the filling out of a stuffed bell pepper.

Enjoy the cheesy chorizo-y goodness!!

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Lemony Chickpea Soup

This Lemony Chickpea Soup recipe is simple, budget-friendly, and delicious. It’s the perfect comforting low-effort meal for busy nights.

The post Lemony Chickpea Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Quick and easy soups made with canned beans have become my favorite go-to easy meal when I’m too tired to cook and too broke to eat out. I’ve made several variations of this soup over the years, including the viral Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup, but this week I made a Mediterranean-inspired Lemony Chickpea Soup. It’s fast, easy, has bright flavors, and pairs perfectly with some crusty bread for a simple no-fuss meal.

Overhead view of three bowls of lemony chickpea soup garnished with a lemon slice.

This incredibly simple Lemony Chickpea soup combines puréed chickpeas, broth, and some seasoning to create a perfectly comforting and flavorful bowl of soup. And since most of these ingredients are shelf-stable, this is a pantry meal you can make any time with no planning head.

Ingredients for Lemony Chickpea Soup

Here’s all you’ll need to make this deliciously easy chickpea soup:

  • Garlic: A hefty dose of garlic gives this soup a deep savory flavor and perfectly balances the bright lemon.
  • Olive Oil: Olive oil is used to sauté the garlic and give the soup a little bit of richness in the mouthfeel.
  • Chickpeas: This recipe uses canned chickpeas to make the entire preparation fast and easy. If you prefer to use chickpeas cooked from dry, you’ll need about 4-5 cups of cooked chickpeas.
  • Chicken Broth: Broth adds a lot of savory depth to the soup as well as the salt needed to make each flavor pop.
  • Lemon: A splash of lemon juice brightens up the flavors in the soup, provides a nice contrast to the savory garlic flavor, and gives the soup a fresh Mediterranean flavor.
  • Seasoning: The seasoning profile for the soup is fairly simple with just a little bit of thyme, oregano, red pepper, and black pepper. Keeping the seasoning light gives the soup a bright and fresh flavor.

What to Serve with Lemony Chickpea Soup

This chickpea soup is just begging for some crusty bread for dipping, so I highly suggest making a loaf of our easy no-knead bread or focaccia rolls. Or, if you need something a little faster, homemade garlic bread would also be amazing with this soup. And, if you want some veggies on the side, a simple side salad would be awesome, or you could go with something a little heftier, like tortellini salad.

Tips for Smooth Chickpea Soup

Canned chickpeas can often be a bit on the firm side, so to make sure your chickpea soup is extra smooth you may need to pre-boil the chickpeas, but it depends largely on the brand of chickpeas. Some canned chickpeas are quite soft, while others are very firm or borderline undercooked.

If your chickpeas are very firm, simply empty the can and liquid into a small saucepot and simmer them for about 10 minutes. Let the chickpeas cool before transferring to the blender to purée.

Overhead view of a pot full of lemony chickpea soup with garlic bread on the side.
Overhead view of a bowl of lemony chickpea soup with a spoon in the middle.
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Lemony Chickpea Soup

This Lemony Chickpea Soup recipe is simple, budget-friendly, and delicious. It's the perfect comforting low-effort meal for busy nights.
Course Dinner, Lunch, Soup
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Total Cost $4.52 recipe $1.13 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
Servings 4 (1.25 cups each)
Calories 375kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 15oz. cans chickpeas, divided $2.67
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.32
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 2 cups chicken broth $0.26
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper $0.02
  • 1 lemon $0.79
  • 1/4 tsp salt (or to taste) $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Instructions

  • Add 2 of the cans of chickpeas to a blender with the liquid in the can and purée until smooth.* Drain the third can of chickpeas and set aside.
  • Mince the garlic and add it to a saucepot with the olive oil. Sauté the garlic over medium heat for about one minute, or just until the garlic becomes very fragrant.
  • Add the puréed chickpeas, drained chickpeas, chicken broth, thyme, oregano, red pepper, salt, and pepper to the soup pot with the garlic. Stir to combine.
  • Allow the soup to come up to a simmer, then simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • While the soup simmers, zest and juice half of the lemon (you'll need about 2 Tbsp juice and ½ tsp zest). Slice the remaining lemon for garnish.
  • After the soup has simmered, add 2 Tbsp juice and a pinch of lemon zest, then stir to combine.
  • Taste the soup and adjust the salt, lemon juice, pepper, or other herbs to your liking. The amount of salt needed to properly flavor the soup will depend on the salt content of your broth, so make sure to salt to taste at the end.
  • Garnish the soup with the remaining lemon slices and zest, a drizzle of olive oil, and more pepper if desired, then serve with crusty bread and enjoy!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*Some brands of canned chickpeas are quite firm. To make the soup really smooth you may need to pre-simmer the beans for about 10 minutes to make them softer before blending. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1.25cup | Calories: 375kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 14g | Sodium: 1527mg | Fiber: 15g
Overhead view of three bowls of lemony chickpea soup garnished with slices of lemon.

How to Make Lemony Chickpea Soup – Step by Step Photos

Blended chickpeas in a blender with a spoon.

Add two 15oz. cans of chickpeas to a blender, with the liquid in the can, and purée until smooth. If the brand of chickpeas you’re using are extra firm, you may want to simmer the chickpeas in the liquid for about 10 minutes before blending to soften them more. Let the simmered chickpeas cool slightly before blending, as blending hot liquids can be dangerous.

Minced garlic in a soup pot with olive oil.

Mince four cloves of garlic (or more, if you’d like!) and add them to a saucepot with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Sauté the minced garlic over medium heat for about one minute, or just until the garlic becomes very fragrant.

Beans, broth, and herbs in the soup pot.

Add the puréed beans, one can of drained chickpeas, 2 cups of chicken broth, ½ tsp dried thyme, ½ tsp dried oregano, 1 pinch of crushed red pepper, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper to the pot. Stir to combine and bring the soup up to a simmer over medium heat.

Zested and juiced lemon.

Let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, zest and juice half of a lemon (you’ll need 2 Tbsp juice and about ½ tsp zest). Slice the other half of the lemon to use as a garnish.

Lemon juice being added to the soup.

After the soup has simmered for about 10 minutes, add 2 Tbsp lemon juice to the soup along with a pinch of lemon zest.

Finished soup being stirred in the pot.

Taste the soup and adjust the salt, lemon juice, zest, or other herbs to your liking. The amount of salt needed will depend on the salt content of the broth used and it can really help the flavors pop, so make sure to salt to taste at the end.

A ladle full of lemony chickpea soup held close to the camera over the pot of soup.

Garnish the soup with the remaining slices of lemon and lemon zest, extra pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. We also had some parsley in the fridge, so we added some of that for color.

Overhead view of a bowl of lemony chickpea soup with a spoon in the middle.

The post Lemony Chickpea Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sunday pinto beans

Every Sunday afternoon, I make a pot of pinto beans. They’re nothing special, I just like to keep beans on hand for when I get a craving during the week….
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Every Sunday afternoon, I make a pot of pinto beans. They’re nothing special, I just like to keep beans on hand for when I get a craving during the week....

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Green chile pork and pinto bean stew

At the Indianapolis 500 race in 1970, Texas and New Mexico were pitted against each other, both on the track and off. In the lineup of drivers was Lloyd Ruby…
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At the Indianapolis 500 race in 1970, Texas and New Mexico were pitted against each other, both on the track and off. In the lineup of drivers was Lloyd Ruby...

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Black-eyed pea cornbread

When my uncle gave me a bag of dried black-eyed peas he’d grown this summer, I mentioned that last year I’d made black-eyed pea tamales. Intrigued, he peppered me with…
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When my uncle gave me a bag of dried black-eyed peas he'd grown this summer, I mentioned that last year I’d made black-eyed pea tamales. Intrigued, he peppered me with...

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Black-Eyed Peas

Black Eyed Peas are a flavorful, budget-friendly, and nutrient packed meal for New Year’s Day or any day of the year!

The post Black-Eyed Peas appeared first on Budget Bytes.

It may be tradition to eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day, but I’m here to say that you need to be making these delicious and budget-friendly beans year-round! This big ol’ pot of peas is hearty, delicious, freezer-friendly, and about as budget-friendly as it gets. So try them out this New Year’s Day and then add them to your regular rotation for the coming year. Your wallet and taste buds will thank you. ;)

Overhead view of a pot of black-eyed peas being stirred with a wooden spoon.

What Are Black-Eyed Peas?

Black-eyed peas are a small white legume with a black dot, or “eye”, in the center. They’re traditionally served on New Year’s Day in the United States alongside collard greens (or mustard or turnip greens) to bring wealth in the new year. The black-eyed peas represent coins, while the greens signify paper dollars. Some even believe you must consume 365 black-eyed peas to bring the wealth, so make sure to dish yourself up an extra large bowl!

Ingredients for Black-Eyed Peas

Here’s what you’ll need to make this incredibly delicious pot of black-eyed peas:

  • Black-Eyed Peas: You’ll need one pound of dry black-eyed peas. You can find these near the other dry beans in the grocery store, or on a special display if you’re buying near the New Year!
  • Bacon: Bacon gives the black-eyed peas a deliciously smoky flavor and the fat gives the peas body and a wonderful mouthfeel. You can substitute by adding a ham hock or smoked turkey wing to the peas before simmering and using a bit of oil to sauté the vegetables in the beginning.
  • Vegetables: The black-eyed peas are flavored with a medley of vegetables like onion, garlic, bell pepper, and celery. The vegetables add flavor, color, and texture to the dish.
  • Spices: The pot of peas is seasoned with a savory mix of smoked paprika, oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper, and black pepper.
  • Chicken Broth: The black-eyed peas cook in chicken broth for maximum flavor. Make sure to use a good broth to ensure the peas are very flavorful. We like to use Better Than Bouillon because it’s cost-effective and has great flavor
  • Salt: As with any bean, it’s very important to add salt to taste at the end of cooking. Salt doesn’t just make food “salty” but it amplifies all of the flavors so you can taste each and every ingredient.

Recipe Variations

Vegetarian or Vegan: To make these black-eyed peas vegetarian, simply skip the bacon and use a few tablespoons of coconut oil to sauté the vegetables. The coconut oil has a similar mouthfeel to pork fat, making the peas extra hearty. You’ll also want to increase the smoked paprika slightly to make up for the smokiness of the bacon and swap vegetable broth for chicken broth.

Slow Cooker: To make black-eyed peas in the slow cooker, simply add all of the ingredients (including the pre-soaked peas) to a slow cooker and cook on high for about four hours, or until the peas are tender.

Canned Black-Eyed Peas: If you’re in a rush or forgot to soak your peas, canned black-eyed peas are a great shortcut. Simply follow our recipe for Quickie Black-Eyed Peas with Greens.

The Quick Soak Method

If you don’t have time to soak your beans overnight (or you just forgot), you can use the quick soak method to get the beans ready for cooking in about an hour. Here’s how to quick soak beans:

  1. Rinse the beans with cold water, then add them to a large pot. Add enough fresh water to cover the beans by 2-3 inches.
  2. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat on to high, and bring the beans up to a boil. Allow the beans to boil for two minutes.
  3. Remove the beans from the heat and let them sit in the hot water, with the lid in place, for one hour.
  4. Rinse the soaked beans and continue to use them in place of the beans soaked overnight.

How to Store Leftover Black-Eyed Peas

This recipe is great for meal prep because the leftovers are amazing. Store the cooked black-eyed peas in the refrigerator for up to five days, or, once they’re chilled, transfer single portions to the freezer for longer storage. They can be kept in the freezer for about three months and easily reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop over medium-low heat, stirring often.

Overhead view of a bowl of black-eyed peas with a piece of cornbread on the side.
Overhead view of a pot of black-eyed peas with a wooden spoon.
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Black-Eyed Peas

Black Eyed Peas are a flavorful, budget-friendly, and nutrient packed meal for New Year's Day or any day of the year!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $6.36 recipe / $1.06 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Soak Time 8 hours
Total Time 9 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6 (1.3 cups each)
Calories 362kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. dry black-eyed peas $1.99
  • 4 oz. bacon $1.33
  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.32
  • 1 bell pepper $0.99
  • 2 stalks celery $0.45
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika $0.10
  • 1 tsp dried oregano $0.10
  • 1 tsp dried thyme $0.10
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper $0.02
  • 1 bay leaf $0.15
  • 4 cups chicken broth $0.42
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste) $0.05

Instructions

  • The day before, rinse the peas with cool water then place them in a large bowl and cover with 2-3 inches of cold water. Soak the peas in the refrigerator for eight hours or overnight.
  • When you're ready to cook the peas, add the bacon to a large pot and cook over medium heat until the bacon is brown and crispy. Remove the bacon, saving it for later, and leave all of the bacon grease in the pot.
  • Dice the onion, bell pepper, and celery, and mince the garlic. Add the onion to the pot with the bacon grease and cook over medium until the onion is tender.
  • Add the bell pepper, celery, and garlic to the pot and continue to cook for about five minutes more.
  • Drain the peas and give them a brief rinse. Add the peas to the pot along with the smoked paprika, oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper, black pepper, bay leaf, and chicken broth. Stir everything to combine, then place a lid on the pot.
  • Turn the heat up to medium-high and allow the pot to come to a boil. Once it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the peas simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally, or until the peas are tender.
  • Once the peas have softened, crumble the bacon and stir it back into the pot. Season the peas with salt to taste, starting with ½ tsp and adding more until the flavors of the pot pop.
  • Remove the bay leaf from the pot and serve the peas with a side of collard greens and cornbread, or over a bowl of rice.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.3cups | Calories: 362kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 1119mg | Fiber: 9g
Close up overhead view of a pot of black eyed peas with a bay leaf.

How to Make Black-Eyed Peas – Step By Step Photos

Soaked black-eyed peas in a bowl.

The night before, begin soaking the black-eyed peas. Rinse the peas well with cool water, then place them in a large bowl and cover with at least three inches of water. Soak the peas for at least eight hours in the refrigerator.

Browned bacon in a Dutch oven.

When you’re ready to cook the peas, add 4oz. bacon to a large pot and cook over medium heat until the bacon is brown and crispy. Remove the bacon and set it aside for later, leaving all of the bacon grease in the pot.

Diced bell pepper and celery added to the pot with sautéed onion and garlic.

Dice one yellow onion, one green bell pepper, and two stalks of celery. Mince four cloves of garlic. Add the diced onion to the pot with the bacon grease and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft, then add the bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Continue to sauté for about five minutes more.

Beans, spices, and chicken broth added to the pot.

Add the drained black-eyed peas to the pot along with 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ¼ tsp black pepper, one bay leaf, and four cups of chicken broth.

Ingredients being stirred in the pot before cooking.

Stir all of the ingredients together, place a lid on the pot, and turn the heat up to medium-high. Allow the pot to come to a boil. Once it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the peas simmer, stirring occasionally, for one hour or until the peas are tender.

Salt being added to the pot of beans.

Once the peas are soft, crumble the bacon and stir it into the pot. Season the pot of peas with salt, starting with ½ teaspoon, and then add more to taste. The total amount needed will vary depending on how much salt is in the chicken broth used, but we used one teaspoon total.

Overhead view of a pot of black-eyed peas with a wooden spoon.

Remove the bay leaf then serve with a side of collard greens and cornbread, or over a bed of rice. Enjoy!

The post Black-Eyed Peas appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Black Beans with Eggs

Eggs poached in seasoned black beans served over a bed of rice with fresh onion and cilantro makes a fast, filling, and budget-friendly meal!

The post Black Beans with Eggs appeared first on Budget Bytes.

What are two of my favorite budget-friendly ingredients? Beans and eggs! And they come together perfectly to create a really simple and filling meal that’s great for breakfast, brunch, or just any time of the day (eggs all day every day, please!). And you really can’t beat the cost of this dish. Even with a few fancier toppings, my price per serving came in just over a dollar. 🙌

Overhead view of a bowl full of rice, black beans and eggs garnished with onion and cilantro.

I love turning an inexpensive can of beans into a delicious meal, so the other day I was thinking, “Hey, I wonder if you could cook eggs in some saucy beans like you do shakshuka?” So I tried it out and it worked! This recipe is super simple, satisfying, and you can make it as simple or as extravagant as you’d like, depending on how you top it.

Ingredients for Black Beans with Eggs

Here’s all you’ll need to make this super budget-friendly meal:

  • Garlic and Jalapeño: Sautéed fresh garlic and jalapeño create a super flavorful base for the beans, adding depth and a little spicy kick. If you don’t like spicy, you can skip the jalapeño. And you can totally “measure with your heart” for the garlic. ;)
  • Black Beans: Beans provide the bulk for this recipe, making it super filling while staying super cheap, AND adding tons of fiber and nutrients. Win! While you could potentially use any bean for this recipe, black beans definitely fit this flavor profile the best and have the best visual appeal.
  • Eggs: I used four large eggs, but you could certainly add more if you prefer. I chose to cook the eggs so the yolks were still a bit runny, but you can cook them longer if you prefer a solid yolk. Or, you could even scramble them separately and simply top your bowl of beans and rice after the fact!
  • Toppings: The toppings are totally customizable and can make this recipe super fancy or very simple. We used a combination of onion, cilantro, avocado, and Cotija cheese. See our list of other topping ideas below for more inspo!
  • Rice: I served the black beans and eggs over a bed of cooked rice, but you could also scoop them into a tortilla and enjoy them like an enchilada or burrito.

How to Store Leftovers

If you plan to eat your black beans and eggs over the course of a few days, do not pre-poach the eggs in the beans. Simply cook the seasoned beans and store the beans, rice, and toppings separately. Then cook a fresh egg each day to top the beans and rice. You can cook the egg using any method: scrambled, fried, soft-boiled, or hard-boiled.

Topping Ideas

This recipe is just asking for all sorts of fun toppings. You can really dress it up with tons of flavor and color, or keep it super simple and budget-friendly by drizzling some store-bought salsa over top. Here are some ideas for toppings other than what we used below:

Overhead view of eggs poached in a skillet full of black beans garnished with cilantro and red onion.
Overhead view of a bowl of black beans with eggs over rice with sliced avocado on the side.
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Black Beans with Eggs

Eggs poached in seasoned black beans served over a bed of rice with fresh onion and cilantro make a fast, filling, and budget-friendly meal!
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Mexican, Southwest
Total Cost $4.72 recipe / $1.18 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 529kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 jalapeño $0.25
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.12
  • 2 15oz. cans black beans $1.58
  • 1 tsp cumin $0.10
  • 1/4 cup water $0.00
  • 4 large eggs $0.42

For Serving (optional)

  • 3 cups cooked rice $0.32
  • 1/4 red onion, diced $0.12
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro $0.20
  • 1 avocado, sliced $0.99
  • 1 oz. cotija, crumbled $0.46

Instructions

  • Mince the garlic and dice the jalapeño (seeds removed). Add the garlic and jalapeño to a large skillet with the olive oil and sauté over medium heat for about one minute, or just until the garlic softens a bit and becomes fragrant.
  • Add the canned beans (without draining) to the skillet along with the water and cumin. Stir to combine, then allow the beans to come up to a simmer.
  • Let the beans simmer, stirring often, for about five minutes. After the beans have softened slightly from simmering, use the back of a large spoon to smash some of the beans to thicken.
  • Turn the heat down to medium-low. Crack the eggs onto the beans. Partially cover the skillet with a lid and allow the eggs to simmer in the beans for 7-10 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked to your liking.
  • Top the skillet with your favorite ingredients (we used onion, cilantro, avocado, and cotija), and serve over a bed of warm rice. Enjoy!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 529kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 18g | Sodium: 160mg | Fiber: 15g

How to Make Black Beans with Eggs – Step by Step Photos

Sautéed garlic and jalapeño in a skillet.

Mince two cloves of garlic (or more, if you’d like!) and one jalapeño (seeds removed). Add the garlic and jalapeño to a large skillet with 1 Tbsp olive oil and sauté over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or just until the garlic softens a bit and becomes very fragrant. Don’t let the garlic brown.

Black beans being poured into the skillet.

Add two undrained cans of black beans to the skillet along with ¼ cup water and 1 tsp cumin.

Simmered black beans in the skillet being smashed with the back of a spoon.

Stir everything to combine, then let the beans simmer over medium for about 5 minutes, stirring often to prevent the beans from sticking to the bottom of the skillet. After simmering for five minutes, use the back of a large spoon to smash some of the beans and thicken the sauce.

Eggs being cracked into the skillet of black beans.

Turn the heat down to medium-low and crack four large eggs onto the surface of the black beans.

Cooked eggs in the black beans.

Partially cover the skillet with a lid and allow the eggs to simmer in the beans for 7-10 minutes, or until they are cooked to your liking (less time for runny yolks, more time for solid yolks). Cook time can vary depending on how hot the beans are and how cold the eggs are, so watch them closely.

Eggs and beans topped with cilantro and onion.

Top the eggs and black beans with chopped cilantro, diced red onion, and crumbled cotija cheese, or the toppings of your choice.

Overhead view of a bowl of black beans with eggs over rice with sliced avocado on the side.

Serve over cooked rice and enjoy!

The post Black Beans with Eggs appeared first on Budget Bytes.