Creamy White Chicken Chili

This creamy White Chicken Chili is fast, easy, and extra cozy for those cold fall and winter nights. The leftovers are great, too!

The post Creamy White Chicken Chili appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’m all about cozy soups and stews this time of year and our Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili has always been one of my favorites. But this week I changed it up by making a faster stovetop version with no jarred salsa, and a super creamy finish. The result is an extra cozy, creamy, and lush White Chicken Chili that is easy enough for a weeknight. It’s so good, I think you’re going to want to make it all winter long!

close up overhead view of a bowl of white chicken chili with chips and cheese.

What’s in White Chicken Chili?

White chicken chili is a thick and rich chicken and bean stew made with tender chicken thighs, beans, corn, green chiles, jalapeño, onion, garlic, and a medley of southwest-inspired spices. Rather than using a tomato-based broth, like beef chili, white chicken chili uses chicken broth thickened with a little cream cheese and sour cream to make it extra rich and delicious.

Can I use Chicken Breast?

I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this recipe because they’re super forgiving and always stay tender and delicious. Chicken breasts, on the other hand, can be a bit finicky and can dry out if overcooked. You can use chicken breasts for this recipe but you’ll want to be very careful not to cook them over too high of heat. Keep the chili on a gentle simmer so the breast meat cooks slowly without getting tough and dry.

Is White Chicken Chile Spicy?

You can make this white chicken chili either spicy or mild! If you prefer a mild chicken chili, simply skip the fresh jalapeño, make sure to buy mild canned diced green chiles, and skip the cayenne pepper.

If you’d like a spicier white chicken chili, make sure to include some of the seeds from the jalapeño, buy hot diced green chiles, and add more cayenne pepper to your liking. A few dashes of hot sauce would be awesome, as well!

It’s All About the Toppings

My favorite part of chili, be it beef chili or white chicken chili, is the toppings. Sure, you can eat (and enjoy) a bowl of this chili plain, but I love to pile on the toppings to make my bowl my own. Here are some delicious topping ideas for white chicken chili:

  • Sour Cream
  • Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack Cheese
  • Green Onion
  • Cilantro
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Hot Sauce
  • Fresh or Pickled Jalapenos
  • Avocado
  • Lime
Overhead view of white chicken chili in the pot with toppings and a spoon.
Overhead view of a bowl of creamy white chicken chili with toppings and a spoon.
Print

Creamy White Chicken Chili

This creamy White Chicken Chili is easy and extra cozy for those cold fall and winter nights. The leftovers are great, too!
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American, Southwest
Total Cost $12.81 recipe / $1.60 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 1.25 cups each
Calories 403kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.13
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.34
  • 1 jalapeño $0.22
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.13
  • 1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs $4.94
  • 2 15oz. cans cannellini beans (drained) $1.78
  • 1 15oz. can pinto beans (drained) $0.79
  • 1 7oz. can diced green chiles $1.39
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin $0.30
  • 1 tsp dried oregano $0.10
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 3 cups chicken broth $0.35
  • 1 cup frozen corn $0.47
  • 4 oz. cream cheese $1.10
  • ½ cup sour cream $0.45

Instructions

  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Deseed then dice the jalapeño. Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeño to a large pot with the olive oil. Sauté over medium heat until the onions have softened.
  • Add the chicken thighs, cannellini beans, pinto beans, diced green chiles, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, pepper, and chicken broth to the pot. Stir to combine.
  • Place a lid on the pot and turn the heat up to medium-high. Allow the chili to come up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the chili simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • After 30 minutes, remove the chicken thighs and shred with two forks. Add the shredded meat back to the pot along with the corn. Stir to combine and heat through.
  • Cut the cream cheese into chunks and stir it into the chili until melted. Stir in the sour cream. To further thicken the chili, smash some of the beans against the side of the pot.
  • Taste the chili and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Serve hot with your favorite toppings!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.25cups | Calories: 403kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 14g | Sodium: 701mg | Fiber: 9g
Overhead view of a bowl of white chicken chili with toppings.

How to Make White Chicken Chili – Step by Step Photos

Diced aromatics in the pot with oil.

Dice one yellow onion and mince four cloves of garlic. Deseed then dice one jalapeño. Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeño to a large pot with one tablespoon of olive oil. Cook over medium heat until the onions have softened.

Chicken, beans, spices, and broth added to the pot.

Add 1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, one 15oz. can of pinto beans (drained), two 15oz. cans of cannellini beans (drained), one 7oz. can of diced green chiles, 1 Tbsp cumin, 1 tsp dried oregano, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, ¼ tsp smoked paprika, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper, and 3 cups chicken broth to the pot.

Chicken chili before simmering.

Stir everything together until combined. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the chili to come up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low, and let simmer for 30 minutes.

Simmered chili in the pot with a spoon.

After simmering for 30 minutes, remove the cooked chicken thighs to a cutting board and shred them with two forks.

Corn being poured into the chili in the pot.

Return the shredded chicken to the pot and add 1 cup of frozen corn kernels. Stir to combine and heat through.

Cream cheese chunks added to the chili.

Add 4 oz. of cream cheese (cut into chunks) to the chili and stir until it has melted in. Stir in ½ cup sour cream.

finished creamy white chicken chili in the pot with a spoon.

To thicken the chili further, smash some of the beans against the side of the pot. The chili will thicken even more as it begins to cool. Taste the chili and adjust the salt or other seasonings to your liking.

White chicken chili in the pot topped with cheese, tortilla chips, and cilantro.

Serve the chili hot with your favorite toppings!

The post Creamy White Chicken Chili appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Puerto Rican Rice And Beans

Boricuas eat Puerto Rican Rice and Beans almost every day because the dish has bold flavors, it’s easy to prepare, and it’s budget-friendly!

The post Puerto Rican Rice And Beans appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Boricuas (i.e., people from Puerto Rico) eat Puerto Rican Rice and Beans almost every day because the dish has bold flavors, is easy to prepare, and is budget-friendly! Arroz Con Habichuelas, as it’s called on the island, can be a meal on its own with a side of ripe yellow plantain slices, or you can serve it as a sidekick to any protein. Welcome to your new favorite weeknight staple!

Overhead shot of a white bowl of red beans and rice.

A Note On Authenticity

This is not a historically authentic recipe. We strive to create recipes that are accessible to everyone, which means ingredients need to be available at a mainstream budget grocery store. We test recipes using the least amount of steps, tools, and ingredients while still honoring the spirit of the recipe. I was born and raised in Puerto Rico and look forward to a time when our ingredients are available in mainstream markets. Until then, buen provecho!

Can I Substitute The Canned Kidney Beans?

I love how versatile this recipe is. If kidney beans are not your favorite, you can substitute them with almost any other canned bean. Try chickpeas, white, pink, or black beans to keep it truly island-inspired. If you’re working with dry beans, prepare about 3/4 cup of the dried to substitute for a 15-ounce can of beans.

Can I Substitute The WhIte Rice?

Since the medium grain white rice cooks in its own pot, making substitutions is easy. Don’t skip rinsing the rice, as it removes excess starches so the rice won’t clump together. Also, make sure to toast the rice in the oil, which develops nutty flavors and allows the rice to come to a boil faster since it is already warm. The only thing you really have to change is the amount of water you use to make the rice, as different grains require different amounts of liquid to cook fully. Follow these easy guidelines:

  • Brown Rice: 1 cup rice – 1 3/4 cups water
  • Basmati Rice: 1 cup rice – 1 3/4 cups water
  • Jasmine Rice: 1 cup rice to 1 1/2 cups water
  • Long Grain White Rice: 1 cup rice to 2 cups water
  • Medium grain White Rice 1 cup rice to 1 1/2 cups water
  • Short Grain White Rice: 1 cup rice to 1 1/4 cups water

How To Make Vegan Red Beans And Rice

You can make this recipe vegan by omitting the salt pork and substituting the chicken bouillon with vegetable stock. You should also make your own sazón, the all-purpose spice blend that gives Puerto Rican food its deep earthy flavors and orange hues. Many brands of sazón are made with a mineral salt that is animal based. Once you make your sazón, your first step will be to bloom it in the oil. Blooming is chef speak for warming the spices in oil until fragrant, a great trick to keep up your sleeve when you want to add deeper flavors to any recipe. Then just follow the rest of the recipe for Puerto Rican Rice and Beans. Here is a recipe to make your own sazón:

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground annatto
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground oregano
Overhead shot of a white bowl of red beans and rice with a side of ripe plantain slices. and a black spoon in it

Storing Red Beans and Rice

This is the best recipe for meal prep because it’s easy to store and holds up for five days in the fridge. Just place the rice in an airtight container, and do the same with the beans. Then, refrigerate until you’re ready to reheat them. You can also freeze individual portions. They will keep for up to six months.

Reheating Beans and Rice

You have a few options when it comes to reheating. I prefer to use a non-stick pan for the rice because I like the added crunch it gives to the grains on the bottom of the pan. I also sprinkle a little bit of water over the rice (about 1/8th of a teaspoon per cup) to rehydrate the grains. Finally, I reheat the beans in a microwave-safe container until they steam. Of course, you can reheat the rice in the microwave as well. Just remember that sprinkle of water.

WHAT TO DO WITH LeftoverS

If you want to go all out, reheat equal parts of rice and beans and make “Arroz Mamposteao.” Most Puerto Ricans do it with day-old rice and beans, and it is a DELIGHT. You’ll use 1 part beans to 2 parts rice. First, dice some salt pork, about 1/4 cup, and render the fat in a large pot. When the pork is crispy and golden, add a few more tablespoons of sofrito and cook until fragrant. Then add the beans and heat until they are steaming and the sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes. Finally, add the rice, mix, and cook until the rice absorbs the sauce. Boom! You’re welcome!

Side shot of a white bowl of red beans and rice with a side of ripe plantains and a spoon in it.
Overhead shot of a white bowl of red beans and rice.
Print

Puerto Rican Style Red Beans and Rice

Puerto Rican Rice and Beans is a dish with bold flavors, it's easy to prepare, and it's budget-friendly! Make it a meal with a side of ripe yellow plantain slices, or serve it as a sidekick to any protein.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Latin
Total Cost ($8.24 recipe / $0.69 serving)
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12 1/2 cup beans + 1/2 cup rice
Calories 314kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp cooking oil, divided $0.16
  • 1 packet sazón $0.17
  • 1/2 cup salt pork, small dice $1.83
  • 1 onion, diced $0.42
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced (about 3 cloves) $0.14
  • 8 oz tomato sauce $0.59
  • 4 Tbsp sofrito $0.72
  • 1 tsp Better Than Bouillon, Roasted Chicken Base* $0.12
  • 2 Tbsp distilled white vinegar $0.07
  • 1 large sweet potato, large dice $0.74
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced $0.79
  • 2 15 oz. cans kidney beans, drained $1.68
  • 2 cups white medium grain rice, rinsed $0.76
  • 3 cups boiling water $0.00
  • 2 tsp salt, plus more to taste $0.05

Instructions

  • Add 2 tablespoons of cooking oil to a medium-sized heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Once it has warmed, add the salt pork and sazón. Fry until the fat has rendered and the salt pork is golden, about 4 minutes.
  • Lower the heat to medium and add the onion. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the garlic. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Add the tomato sauce, sofrito, chicken bouillon, and vinegar. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, reducing the sauce and developing the flavors.
  • Add the green bell pepper and the sweet potato. Cook for five minutes.
  • Add the beans and enough water to cover them. Stir and taste the broth. Add salt to taste.
  • Cook uncovered over medium heat for 20 minutes until the sweet potato has softened. If halfway through the cook, the liquid in the beans reduces too much, add 1/4 cup of water.
  • For the rice, set a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil has warmed, add the rice, mix it into the oil and let it toast for a minute. Next, add the boiling water and 2 teaspoons of salt to the rice and stir.
  • Cook uncovered until the water begins to evaporate and you see little steam holes form over the surface of the rice, about 5 minutes. Stir the rice once, reduce the heat to low, and cover the pot tightly with a heavy lid, so steam does not escape.
  • Cook the rice without stirring until the grains are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. After you portion out the rice, scrape up the crispy bits on the bottom of the pot to serve on top of your rice.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*A packet of sazón contains about 1.5 teaspoons of sazón.
*If you cannot source Better Than Bouillon, Roasted Chicken Base, use 1 cup of chicken stock.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 314kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17g | Sodium: 885mg | Fiber: 2g

How to Make Puerto Rican Red Beans And Rice – Step by Step Photos

Overhead shot of salt pork frying in a silver pot.

Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a medium-sized heavy-bottomed pot over mid-high heat. Once it has warmed, add 1/2 cup of diced salt pork and a packet of sazón. Fry until the fat has rendered and the salt pork is golden, about 4 minutes.

Overhead shot of salt pork, onions, and garlic, frying in a silver pot.

Lower the heat to medium and add the diced onion. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the tablespoon of minced garlic. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant.

Overhead shot of gray rubber spoon with wood handle scraping the bottom of a silver pot to part sofrito.

Once the garlic releases its aroma, add the 8 ounces of tomato sauce, the 4 tablespoons of sofrito, the teaspoon of Better Than Bouillon, and the 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, reducing the sauce and developing the flavors.

Overhead shot of diced green bell peppers and diced sweet potatoes in a silver pot with sofrito.

Add the diced green bell pepper and the diced large sweet potato. Cook for five minutes.

Overhead shot of water being added to a silver pot full of red beans.

Add the 2 cans of beans and enough water to cover them. Stir and taste the broth. Add salt to taste, but don’t over salt. As water evaporates, the salt will become more pronounced.

Overhead shot of finished red beans in a silver pot with a spoon scooping a cup full.

Cook uncovered over medium heat for 20 minutes until the sweet potato has softened. If halfway through the cook, the liquid in the beans reduces too much, add 1/4 cup of water.

Overhead shot of water being poured into toasted rice in a silver pot.

For the rice, set a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil has warmed, add the 2 cups of rinsed rice, mix it into the oil and let it toast for a minute. Next, add the 3 cups of boiling water to the rice. Finally, add the 2 teaspoons of salt and stir.

Overhead shot of a silver pot of rice with steam vents on the surface of the rice

Cook uncovered until the water begins to evaporate and you see little steam holes form over the surface of the rice, about 5 minutes. Stir the rice once, reduce the heat to low, and cover the pot tightly with a heavy lid, so steam does not escape. Cook the rice without stirring until the grains are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Overhead shot of cooked rice in a silver pot.

After you portion out the rice, scrape up the crispy bits on the bottom of the pot to serve on top of your rice. No, you did not burn your rice. The crispy bits are called “pegao,” and in Puerto Rico, it’s the part of the meal that everyone wants a piece of.

Side shot of a white bowl with red beans and rice and slice ripe plantain with a black spoon in it.

To serve, scoop a 1/2 cup of rice into a bowl and top it with a 1/2 cup of beans. If you want to take it one step further, garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and add a few slices of ripe plantain on the side as we did. It’s a knockout!! As we say in Puerto Rico, “Buen provecho!”

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Dollar Store Dinners – Bean Quesadillas

These easy bean quesadillas and a side of Spanish rice are made using only ingredients from the dollar store for an easy and affordable meal

The post Dollar Store Dinners – Bean Quesadillas appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’m really excited about this Dollar Store Dinner. When I tell you I GOBBLED this down while taking the photographs, that would be an understatement. 😅 Quesadillas are one of my favorite easy meals, so I was really excited to see the ingredients needed to make these awesome Bean Quesadillas at the dollar store. I added a side of seasoned rice pilaf that I fancied up with a can of Rotel, and dinner was done! Seven ingredients, $8.75 total, four servings. 🙌

Dollar Store Dinners

Welcome to the new Dollar Store Dinners series on Budget Bytes. We’re making quick and simple meals using only ingredients found at the dollar store. While the availability of ingredients will vary from store to store, hopefully, these easy recipes will give you some inspiration for when money is tight and access to groceries is limited!

Overhead view of bean quesadillas on a plate with Spanish RIce.

What’s in This Meal?

This meal consists of really simple bean quesadillas that are filled with a mix of beans, vegetables, cheese, and a little seasoning, then cooked until crispy in a skillet. I added a packet of Spanish rice as a side dish and incorporated a can of Rotel (diced tomatoes with green chiles) to make the rice a little more interesting.

Here’s what we bought at the dollar store:

  • Flour tortillas $1.25
  • Santa Fe Blend frozen vegetables (corn, black beans, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, onions) $1.25
  • Canned pinto beans $1.25
  • Rotel (diced tomatoes with green chiles) $1.25
  • Cheddar cheese $1.25
  • Spanish rice mix $1.25
  • Bayou Blend seasoning $1.25

Total: $8.75

Dollar store ingredients for quesadillas and Spanish rice.

And we still had a couple of leftover tortillas and tons of seasoning blend to use in future meals!

What Kind of Seasoning to Use for Quesadillas

Normally I would have bought a taco seasoning packet for quesadillas, but the seasoning packets are only enough for one recipe and they are the same price as this huge bottle of Bayou Blend seasoning. While the Bayou Blend isn’t southwest flavored, it has a wonderfully smoky-spicy flavor that I think still goes great with the beans, cheese, and vegetables. So it was definitely a better bang for my buck (or buck twenty-five). If you do use taco seasoning instead, you may need to add a little salt to the quesadilla filling if your taco seasoning does not contain salt.

What Else Can I Add?

If you have access to more ingredients I’d definitely add some sour cream and/or salsa for dipping! And maybe some green onions to top the Spanish rice. You could also dice up some cooked chicken and add that into the quesadilla filling.

No Dollar store, No Problem.

This recipe was crafted using the limited ingredients available at a dollar store for those who only have access to groceries this way, but you can make the same or similar recipes using ingredients from regular grocery stores, and oftentimes for a lower price. This meal was actually inspired by two of our other recipes: Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas and Tomato Rice. So you can check those out if you want a more “from scratch” approach.

Close up view of stacked quesadillas held in hands..
Side view of a plate full of bean quesadillas and Spanish rice.
Print

Bean Quesadillas and Spanish Rice

These easy bean quesadillas and a side of Spanish rice are made using only ingredients from the dollar store for an easy and affordable meal
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Southwest
Total Cost $8.75 recipe / $2.19 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 2 quesadillas and 1 cup rice
Calories 599kcal

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. Santa Fe Blend frozen vegetables $1.25
  • 1 15oz. can pinto beans $1.25
  • 4 oz. cheddar cheese $1.25
  • 1.5 tsp Bayou Blend seasoning* $1.25
  • 8 flour tortillas $1.25
  • 1 5.6oz. pkg Spanish rice $1.25
  • 1 10oz. can Rotel (diced tomatoes with chiles) $1.25

Instructions

  • Thaw the frozen vegetables and drain them well. Rinse and drain the pinto beans. Shred the cheddar cheese.
  • Add the thawed vegetables, pinto beans, shredded cheese, and 1.5 tsp seasoning blend to a large bowl and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning or salt to your liking. Set the quesadilla filling aside.
  • Drain the liquid from the can of Rotel into a liquid measuring cup, then add water until you have 2 cups liquid total (or the recommended amount on the package of rice).
  • Add the rice packet, drained tomatoes, and measured liquid to a saucepot. Stir to combine. Place a lid on top and bring it up to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 7 minutes (or follow the instructions on the packet). After 7 minutes, turn the heat off and set the rice aside.
  • While the rice is cooking, divide the quesadilla filling between 8 tortillas (a scant ½ cup each), spreading it over one half of the tortilla, then folding it closed.
  • Cook the filled quesadillas in a skillet over medium heat until the cheese is melted on the inside and the tortillas are crispy on the outside (I do not use oil, but you can if you prefer).
  • Slice the quesadillas in half or into thirds. Fluff the Spanish rice. Serve the quesadillas and rice together and enjoy!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*You can use taco seasoning instead, but you may need to add salt if your taco seasoning does not contain any.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 599kcal | Carbohydrates: 92g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 16g | Sodium: 1347mg | Fiber: 13g
Side view of a plate full of bean quesadillas and Spanish rice.

How to Make Bean Quesadillas – Step by Step Photos

Dollar store ingredients for quesadillas and Spanish rice.

Here are the items we bought at the dollar store to make this meal: flour tortillas, Santa Fe blend frozen vegetables, pinto beans, Rotel, cheddar cheese, Bayou Blend seasoning, and a Spanish rice packet.

Thawed Santa Fe vegetables in a bowl.

Thaw the 12 oz. bag of frozen vegetables first so you can drain off the excess water. You don’t want soggy quesadillas! I just microwaved mine for a minute or two, stirring occasionally, until they were fully thawed, then drained them really well.

Beans, cheese, and seasoning added to the vegetables.

Rinse and drain one 15oz. can of pinto beans. Shred 4oz. cheddar cheese. Add the beans, cheese, and 1.5 tsp Bayou seasoning (or taco seasoning – you may need salt if your taco seasoning doesn’t contain any).

quesadilla filling in the bowl.

Stir everything together, then taste the filling and adjust the seasoning or salt to your liking. Set the quesadilla filling aside.

Rotel tomatoes being drained into a measuring cup.

It’s time to start cooking the Spanish rice. The directions on the packet said to add 2 cups of water, but I wanted to add Rotel tomatoes to the mix. So I drained the juices from the can into a measuring cup, then added enough water until it reached the 2 cups of liquid suggested on the packet.

Spanish rice mix and Rotel in a pot, water being poured in the side.

Add the contents of the Spanish rice packet into a saucepot. Add the drained tomatoes and 2 cups of liquid (juices from the Rotel + water). Stir everything to combine, place a lid on top, then bring it up to a boil. When it reaches a boil, turn it down to medium-low and simmer for about 7 minutes. After 7 minutes, turn the heat off and set it aside.

Tortillas being filled with quesadilla mix.

While the rice is cooking, fill the quesadillas. I had just under 4 cups of the filling, so I filled 8 tortillas with a scant ½ cup of the filling. Spread the filling over one side, then fold them closed.

Cooked quesadillas in the skillet.

Cook the quesadillas in a skillet over medium heat until the cheese is melted on the inside and the tortilla is brown and crispy on the outside. I did not use oil in the skillet, but you can if you prefer a more fried effect.

Quesadillas being sliced.

Slice the quesadillas into two or three pieces each. I like to use a pizza cutter for this, but a large knife works well, too!

Fluffed Spanish rice in the pot.

Fluff the Spanish rice with a fork.

Plated quesadillas and Spanish rice.

Serve your cheesy bean quesadillas and Spanish rice and enjoy!

The post Dollar Store Dinners – Bean Quesadillas appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Black bean chili, Texas style

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Baked Beans

These baked beans combine the simplicity of canned beans with bacon and a sweet, smoky, and tangy homemade BBQ sauce.

The post Baked Beans appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you’ve only had canned baked beans in the past then you’ve GOT to try these homemade baked beans. They’re seriously delicious and make really incredible leftovers. I used canned beans to keep these baked beans super easy, but then combined them with bacon (bacon makes everything better!) and a super simple homemade BBQ sauce to take the beans to the next level. The beans are then slowly baked to rich, sweet, smoky perfection. You’re going to LOVE them!

Close up overhead view of baked beans in a cast iron skillet with a wooden spoon.

What Kind of Beans to Use for Baked Beans

Navy beans or Great Northern beans are my top picks for baked beans. The small shape, creamy texture, and neutral flavor of both navy and Great Northern beans make them the perfect complement to the rich and tangy sauce. Great Northern beans will hold their shape better, whereas navy beans may break down a bit if stirred too much.

What’s in the Sauce?

I used my homemade BBQ sauce for these baked beans. It’s really simple to prepare, just stir all the ingredients together and let it bake along with the beans and bacon for maximum flavor! The sauce includes tomato sauce, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, molasses, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and spices, like smoked paprika and garlic powder. It’s sweet, savory, tangy, and smoky!

Baked beans on a spoon held close to the camera.

How to Serve Baked Beans

Baked beans are so good that they may become the focal point of your plate, even when served as a side! I love to serve them with southern classics like pulled pork, burgers, coleslaw, potato salad, and mac and cheese. But you could also use them as a bowl meal! Add them to some mashed potatoes, top with cheese and green onion, and you’ve got a cozy and filling bowl of comfort.

What Cookware to Use

I used a well-seasoned cast iron skillet for my baked beans, but any heavy-duty ceramic or cast iron baking dish or Dutch oven will do well. Thinner materials like metal or glass may cause the sauce to overcook or burn around the edges. You’ll want a dish that can hold about two quarts in volume.

What Else Can I Add?

A lot of baked beans recipes will also include bell pepper and onion. When I originally tested this recipe I included finely diced bell pepper and onion that I sautéed until soft in the bacon fat after the bacon had browned, but I wanted to simplify the recipe this time around (less chopping and fewer ingredients!) I found the version without to be every bit as delicious!

Overhead view of baked beans in the skillet with a wooden spoon.
Overhead view of baked beans in the skillet with a wooden spoon.

Baked Beans

These baked beans combine the simplicity of canned beans with bacon and a sweet, smoky, and tangy homemade BBQ sauce.
Course Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Total Cost $7.56 recipe / $0.76 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 10 ½ cup each
Calories 307kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. bacon $2.40
  • 3 15oz. cans Great Northern Beans $2.37
  • 1 15oz. can tomato sauce $0.89
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste $0.32
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar $0.17
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar $0.16
  • 1/4 cup molasses $0.77
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard $0.05
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce $0.03
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika $0.20
  • 1 tsp garlic powder $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cut the bacon into 1-inch pieces and cook in a skillet over medium heat until brown and crispy. Drain off all but 1-2 Tbsp of the bacon fat.
  • Drain the canned beans well, then add them to the skillet and stir to combine with the bacon.
  • Add the remaining ingredients: tomato sauce, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, molasses, Dijon, Worcestershire sauce, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne and black pepper. Stir until everything is very well combined.
  • Bake the beans for 60-75 minutes, stirring once at 30 minutes and again at 60 minutes. If the sauce is thick at 60 minutes, it's done. If it's still a bit runny, bake 10-15 minutes longer.
  • Serve hot with your other favorite comfort foods!

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 307kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 10g | Sodium: 446mg | Fiber: 7g
Close up side view of baked beans in the skillet.

How to Make Baked Beans – Step by Step Photos

Bacon cooking in a cast iron skillet.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cut 8 oz. bacon into 1-inch pieces. Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until it is brown and crispy. Drain off all but 1-2 Tbsp of the bacon grease. If you’ll be baking your beans in a different vessel, go ahead and transfer the cooked bacon and remaining fat to your baking dish.

Beans added to skillet with cooked bacon.

Drain 3 cans of Great Northern or navy beans well. Add them to the skillet and stir to combine with the bacon.

BBQ sauce ingredients added to the skillet.

Add the ingredients for the BBQ sauce to the skillet: 15 oz. tomato sauce, ¼ cup tomato paste, ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, ¼ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup molasses, 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 2 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp onion powder, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper.

Baked beans in a skillet before going into the oven.

Stir the ingredients until everything is evenly combined. Transfer the beans to the preheated 350ºF oven.

Baked beans after baking, a spoon stirring them slightly.

Bake the beans for 60-75 minutes (uncovered), stirring once after 30 minutes of baking, and again at 60 minutes. If the sauce is nice and thick at 60 seconds, they’re done. If it’s still a bit liquidy, bake until the sauce is thick.

Finished baked beans stirred in the cast iron skillet.

Serve your homemade baked beans hot with other classic comfort foods like mashed potatoes, green beans, and mac and cheese!

The post Baked Beans appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Succotash

Succotash is a simple and colorful side dish made with corn and lima beans that is savory, subtly sweet, and full of delicious flavor.

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If you’re looking for a simple, hearty, and inexpensive side dish that you pair with just about any meal, you’ve got to try succotash. This colorful mix of corn, lima beans, and tomatoes has a natural subtle sweetness balanced with savory broth, herbs, and a creamy butter finish. It’s one of those combinations that is so simple, but you won’t be able to stop shoveling it into your mouth, forkful after forkful.

Succotash in a skillet with a wooden spoon, garnished with parsley.

What is Succotash?

Succotash is a simple dish of stewed corn and beans that originated with the Narragansett people in what is now the New England region of the U.S. The Narragansett called the dish sahquttahhash, or “broken corn kernels”, and introduced it to colonists in the 17th century when it likely took on its current name. Over the centuries the dish has taken many forms and has become part of classic southern cuisine in the U.S. The version you’ll find below is simple, delicious, and most importantly budget-friendly!

What’s in Succotash?

Succotash can take many forms, but the common thread between most versions is a combination of corn and lima beans stewed together with other vegetables, herbs, and sometimes a fatty meat. My version is very simple with corn, lima beans, tomatoes, and onions, all stewed together in a little bit of chicken broth and finished with a little creamy butter.

Some people love to add a little bacon or salt pork to their succotash to give it an extra flavor punch. Other vegetables that can be commonly found in succotash include red bell pepper, okra, squash, and garlic.

What to Serve with Succotash

Succotash is a very versatile side dish and can be served alongside any grilled meat, baked fish, or pork chops. Succotash would also be great to add to a bowl meal, or just it as a bed on your plate for some Garlic Butter Shrimp. YUM!

Overhead view of a bowl of succotash with a black spoon.
Overhead view of a skillet full of soccotash.

Succotash

Succotash is a simple and colorful side dish made with corn and lima beans that is savory, subtly sweet, and full of delicious flavor.
Course Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Total Cost $5.46 recipe / $0.55 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 10 ½ cup each
Calories 128kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.38
  • 4 Tbsp butter, divided $0.50
  • 1 12oz. bag frozen lima beans $1.69
  • 1 12oz. bag frozen sweet corn $1.25
  • 1 cup chicken broth* $0.13
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper $0.02
  • 1 tsp salt, divided $0.05
  • 1 large tomato $1.29
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley $0.10

Instructions

  • Dice the yellow onion and add it to a skillet with 2 Tbsp butter. Sauté the onion in the butter over medium heat until the onion has softened.
  • Add the lima beans, corn, broth, thyme, pepper, and ½ tsp salt to the skillet. Stir to combine and allow the broth to come up to a simmer. Let the corn and beans simmer in the broth, without a lid, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  • While the corn and lima beans are simmering, dice the tomato. Add the diced tomato to the skillet and simmer for an additional five minutes.
  • Give the mixture a taste and add more salt to your liking (I added an extra ½ tsp salt). Add the remaining 2 Tbsp butter and stir until they are melted in.
  • Top the succotash with chopped fresh parsley and another pinch of black pepper. Enjoy hot!

Notes

*Make this recipe vegetarian by substituting vegetable broth.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 377mg | Fiber: 3g
A spoonful of succotash held close to the camera.

How to Make Succotash – Step by Step Photos

Sautéed onions in a skillet.

Begin by dicing one yellow onion. Add the onion and 2 Tbsp butter to a large skillet and sauté over medium heat until the onions are softened.

Corn, lima beans, spices, and broth being poured into the skillet.

Add one 12oz. bag of frozen lima beans, one 12oz. bag of frozen sweet corn, ½ tsp dried thyme, ¼ tsp black pepper, ½ tsp salt, and 1 cup chicken broth. Stir to combine. Allow the broth to come up to a simmer, then simmer the corn and beans in the broth, without a lid, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Diced tomatoes being stirred into the skillet.

While the corn and beans are simmering, dice one large tomato (or 2 small tomatoes). Stir the diced tomatoes into the skillet then continue to simmer, without a lid and stirring occasionally, for an additional 5 minutes.

More butter added to the skillet.

Taste the mixture and add more salt to taste (I added another ½ tsp). Finally, add two more tablespoons of butter and stir them in until melted.

Finished succotash topped with parsley and pepper.

Garnish the finished succotash with fresh chopped parsley and a little more freshly cracked pepper.

Side view of a bowl of succotash with a spoon.

Enjoy hot!

Try These Other Easy Veggie Side Dishes

The post Succotash appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Air Fryer Chickpeas

Air fryer chickpeas are extra crispy, take only minutes to make, are a deliciously crunchy, high-fiber snack!

The post Air Fryer Chickpeas appeared first on Budget Bytes.

In case you haven’t heard, I finally bought an air fryer! After hearing so many wonderful things about them, I just had to try one out for myself. And what’s the first thing I cooked in my air fryer? Crispy air fryer chickpeas! …Because I already had a can of chickpeas on hand, they’re super easy, and I’ll never say no to a delicious crunchy snack. ;)

Overhead view of a bowl of air fryer chickpeas.

What are Air Fried Chickpeas Like?

Air-fried chickpeas are crunchy little snacks with a slightly dense and chewy center. You can season them with just about any seasoning blend you like and, quite honestly, they’re ADDICTIVE. And not only are they high in fiber and protein, these crunchy little chickpeas are also inexpensive, making them a fantastic budget-friendly snack.

Do I Have to Dry the Chickpeas?

If you’re used to roasting chickpeas in the oven, then you probably know that drying the chickpeas really well first is key to getting crispy chickpeas. But with an air fryer, the quickly circulating dry air acts to quickly dry the chickpeas so they can get nice and crispy without taking the extra step ahead of time. That being said, if you do want to take the time to dry them first, your chickpeas will be extra-SUPER crispy.

How to Season Air Fried Chickpeas

We used Everything Bagel Seasoning for these chickpeas because it’s such a tasty all-purpose seasoning, but there are so many different options. Here are some ideas for flavoring your air fryer chickpeas:

Do They Stay Crispy?

Air-fried chickpeas will slowly absorb ambient moisture from the air and get a little soft as they’re left out (similar to a cracker getting stale), so they’re best to eat right away. But if you don’t, you can crisp them back up again by popping them back into the air fryer for 2-3 minutes.

close up side view of air fryer chickpeas.
Close up overhead view of a bowl full of air fryer chickpeas with a spoon.

Air Fryer Chickpeas

Air fryer chickpeas are extra crispy, take only minutes to make, are a deliciously crunchy, high-fiber snack!
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Total Cost $1.07 recipe / $0.27 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 ¼ cup each
Calories 124kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 15oz. can chickpeas $0.88
  • 3 tsp cooking oil, divided $0.04
  • 1/2 Tbsp seasoning of choice* $0.15

Instructions

  • Rinse and drain one can of chickpeas well. For extra crispy chickpeas, press the chickpeas between some paper towels or a lint-free kitchen towel to dry.
  • Add the drained chickpeas to a bowl and drizzle with 2 teaspoons cooking oil. Stir to coat.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 400ºF (if your air fryer does not have a pre-heat function, let it run empty for 2-3 minutes on 400ºF).
  • Add the chickpeas to the air fryer basket and spread them into a single layer. Air fry the chickpeas for 5 minutes, then shake to stir. Air fry for an additional 5 minutes and shake again. Check the chickpeas for doneness and add 2-3 more minutes or until they reach your desired level of doneness (we do 13 minutes total).
  • Transfer the air fried chickpeas to a bowl, drizzle with the second 1 teaspoon oil to help the seasoning stick, and stir to coat. Add your favorite seasoning and salt, if needed, then stir to coat again. Enjoy while warm and crispy!

Notes

*We used everything bagel seasoning. See the blog text for other seasoning ideas.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 124kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 6g | Sodium: 394mg | Fiber: 5g

How to Make Air Fryer Chickpeas – Step by Step Photos

Rinsed Chickpeas in a red colander.

Rinse and drain one 15oz. can of chickpeas. If you want, you can take the extra step to towel-dry the chickpeas for maximum crispiness.

Oil being drizzled over chickpeas.

Place the chickpeas in a bowl and drizzle 2 teaspoons of cooking oil over the chickpeas. Stir the chickpeas well until they are evenly coated in oil.

Uncooked chickpeas in air fryer basket.

Preheat the air fryer to 400ºF (if your air fryer does not have a pre-heat function, simply let it run with an empty basket for about 3 minutes at 400ºF). Add the chickpeas to the basket and spread them into a single layer.

Half-cooked chickpeas in the air fryer basket.

Cook the chickpeas in the air fryer for 10 minutes, shaking the basket after 5 minutes. (Photo above is after 5 minutes of cooking)

Crispy air-fried chickpeas in the air fryer basket.

At ten minutes, shake the basket again and test the chickpeas for doneness. Add 2-3 minutes of cooking time or until they reach your desired level of crispness. We liked our chickpeas at 13 minutes when they were deliciously crispy and slightly cracked open like a kernel of popcorn.

Seasoning being sprinkled over air fried chickpeas.

Add the air-fried chickpeas to a bowl, add the remaining teaspoon of oil and stir to coat. Add seasoning and or salt to your liking and stir to coat again. Enjoy!

Overhead view of a bowl of air fryer chickpeas.

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Cowboy Caviar

Cowboy Caviar is a deliciously fresh bean salad with a colorful mix of beans and vegetables, plus a zesty lime dressing.

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This super fresh and colorful Cowboy Caviar combines two types of beans, delicious summer vegetables, and a sweet and tangy lime dressing to make a bold and versatile dish that you’ll find yourself making over and over. From a party dip to a salad topper, Cowboy Caviar has become a go-to healthy meal prep item in my kitchen. It’s the O.G. refrigerator salad. 😄 Read on for more ideas on how to use this amazing cross between bean salad and salsa!

Originally posted 7-19-2016, updated 6-1-2022.

Close up overhead view of cowboy caviar in a bowl with chips on the side.

What is Cowboy Caviar?

Cowboy Caviar, sometimes called Mexican Caviar, is like a cross between a bean salad and a fresh salsa. It combines two types of beans (black beans and black eyed peas) with a colorful medley of fresh vegetables and a tangy balsamic-lime vinaigrette.

Where Do You Find Black Eyed Peas?

If you can’t find black eyed peas in the canned bean aisle, check with the canned vegetables. Because they’re a “pea” they’re sometimes found with the canned vegetables rather than the beans. And if you can’t find black eyed peas, you can substitute pinto beans or navy beans.

How Long Does it Last?

Well, if you don’t eat it all in one sitting (it can happen!), Cowboy Caviar holds up extremely well in the refrigerator and will be just as tasty after about 4-5 days of refrigeration. While the vegetables will let off a little water, most of the ingredients are very sturdy. Just be sure to stir the salad before serving to redistribute the dressing. This salad will probably not freeze well, due to the fresh herbs and vegetables.

Close up of Cowboy Caviar on a chip.

How to Serve Cowboy Caviar

There are SO many ways to eat Cowboy Caviar that you’ll probably find yourself adding it to everything you eat. But here are a few ideas anyway:

  • Serve it as a side dish with dinner
  • As a chunky dip for chips
  • As a topping for tacos
  • Stuffed into a burrito or as part of a burrito bowl
  • Sprinkled over a green salad
  • Spooned on top of scrambled eggs
  • Stuffed into a quesadilla with some cheese

…and so much more. If you have a favorite way to eat your Cowboy Caviar, feel free to share it with the rest of us in the comments below!

Recipe Variations

One of the best things about Cowboy Caviar is that it is extremely versatile. You can customize this recipe to give it your own personal touch. Here are a couple of substitutions and add-ins that will make it your own:

  • Add avocado for a creamy finish
  • Skip the jalapeño to make it mild, or keep the jalapeño and add a few dashes of hot sauce to make it extra spicy
  • Substitute green onion for the red onion to make the salad milder
  • Add sweet corn for more color and flavor variation
  • Add ½ tsp smoked paprika to the dressing for a smokier finish

Can you Freeze Cowboy Caviar?

I don’t suggest freezing this dish because it has multiple delicate fresh vegetables that will become limp and soggy upon freezing and reheating. You want those veggies to be fresh, juicy, and crunchy to give the salad its amazing texture! :)

close up side view of cowboy caviar in a bowl.

Close up overhead view of cowboy caviar in a bowl with chips on the side.

Cowboy Caviar

Cowboy Caviar is a deliciously fresh bean salad with a colorful mix of beans and vegetables, plus a zesty lime dressing.
Course Dinner, Dip, Lunch, Salad
Cuisine Southwest
Total Cost $5.30 recipe / $0.53 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 10 (1/2 cup each)
Calories 140kcal

Ingredients

DRESSING

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 fresh lime (2 Tbsp juice) $0.33
  • 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder* $0.05
  • 1 tsp ground cumin $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp sugar $0.02

Salad

  • 1 15oz. can black beans $0.89
  • 1 15oz. can black eyed peas $1.09
  • 1 bell pepper (any color) $1.50
  • 2 Roma tomatoes $0.86
  • 1 jalapeño $0.12
  • 1/4 red onion $0.20
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro $0.20

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, 2 Tbsp of juice from the lime, balsamic vinegar, chili powder, cumin, salt, and sugar.
  • Rinse and drain both cans of beans in a colander. Once well drained, transfer them to a large bowl.
  • Finely dice the bell pepper, tomatoes, jalapeño, and red onion. Try to dice the vegetables into pieces that are roughly the same size as the beans. For a less spicy salad, scrape the seeds out of the jalapeño before dicing. Roughly chop the cilantro.
  • Add the chopped vegetables to the bowl with the beans.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad, then stir until everything is well coated. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Video

Notes

*This chili powder is a mild blend of chiles and other spices.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5Cup | Calories: 140kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 122mg | Fiber: 7g

How to Make Cowboy Caviar – Step by Step Photos

Dressing ingredients in a bowl with a whisk.

Make the dressing first so the flavors have a few minutes to blend. Whisk together 2 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp lime juice, ½ Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp cumin, ½ tsp chili powder, ½ tsp sugar, and ½ tsp salt.

Rinsed and drained beans in a bowl.

Rinse and drain one 15oz. can of black beans and one 15oz. can of black eyed peas in a colander. 

Fresh vegetables on a cutting board.

Gather one bell pepper (any color), two Roma tomatoes, one jalapeño, 1/4 of a red onion, and 1/4 bunch of cilantro. While any color bell pepper can be used, I like the colorful pop of a yellow or orange bell pepper. 

Chopped vegetables in the bowl with the beans.

Finely dice the bell pepper, tomatoes, jalapeño, and red onion. The idea is to get the pieces close in size to the beans so that you have a “caviar” type appearance in the end. Roughly chop the cilantro leaves. Place the chopped vegetables in the bowl with the rinsed beans.

Dressing being poured over the salad in the bowl.

Pour the prepared dressing over the salad.

Finished cowboy caviar in the bowl.

Stir the salad until everything is coated in the dressing. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat. This is one of those salads that tastes even better after it has time to chill in the fridge, so it’s great to eat over the course of a few days!

Finished cowboy caviar in a bowl with a chip.

Cowboy Caviar makes a great snack with tortilla chips, a topper for tacos, bowl meals, or salads, or spoon some onto baked or grilled fish for a nice light meal!

Try These Other Bean Salad Recipes:

The post Cowboy Caviar appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Wilted Spinach Salad

Wilted spinach salad with bacon, white beans, and a tangy Dijon vinaigrette is a quick, easy, and light summer meal.

The post Wilted Spinach Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you’re looking for a quick, filling, and light summer meal, I’ve got you! This Wilted Spinach Salad can be a light main dish or a side to go with your summer grilling. And, as always, this classic salad has plenty of things you can add in or sub to make it your own. Pair it with a crisp glass of white wine and you’ll have the perfect meal for enjoying outdoors on a balmy summer day!

overhead view of wilted spinach salad in the skillet.

What’s in a Wilted Spinach Salad?

The classic wilted spinach salad is made by cooking bacon, then using the bacon fat to make a warm vinaigrette which is then poured over fresh spinach to slightly wilt the spinach. Hard boiled eggs and red onions are also often added to the salad.

My version of a wilted spinach salad is a little bit different. I’ve really been digging the convenience of canned beans lately, so I swapped the usual hard boiled egg for some cannellini beans. I also used a bit of garlic instead of fresh red onion, and I made my vinaigrette right in the skillet instead of trying to pour off the bacon grease into another container. The result is a quick, super filling yet light, and delicious meal.

What Else Can I Add?

You probably already know by now that I love recipes where you can add all sorts of ingredients and make your own customized creation. This salad definitely fits that category! Here are a few other ingredients you can add to the salad below:

  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Red onion
  • Crispy fried onions
  • Blue cheese
  • Goat cheese
  • Boiled baby potatoes (this would almost be like a mix between German potato salad and spinach salad)
  • Apples (instead of white beans)
  • Walnuts (instead of white beans)
  • Thinly sliced radish
  • Chicken

How Are the Leftovers?

This salad is definitely best when made fresh, as you want the spinach to be just lightly wilted. If you reheat the salad, the spinach will wilt further and become quite flat. It will likely still taste great, but the texture will not be as good as the first day.

Close up overhead view of a bowl of wilted spinach salad.
Close up overhead view of a bowl of wilted spinach salad.

Wilted Spinach Salad

Wilted spinach salad with bacon, white beans, and a tangy Dijon vinaigrette is a quick, easy, and light summer meal.
Course Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Total Cost $6.33 recipe / $1.58 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 443kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 6 oz. bacon $2.06
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 2 15oz. cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained $1.78
  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar $0.18
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard $0.12
  • 1 tsp sugar $0.01
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.01
  • 8 oz. fresh spinach $1.99

Instructions

  • Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until it is brown and crispy. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving the bacon grease in the skillet.
  • Add the minced garlic to the skillet and sauté over medium heat for about one minute.
  • Add the rinsed and drained beans, vinegar, Dijon, sugar, pepper, and salt to the skillet. Continue to cook and stir over medium heat until the beans are heated through and a sauce has formed.
  • Add the fresh spinach to the skillet, carefully stirring it into the hot beans until it is partially wilted. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  • Crumble the bacon over top and fold to combine. Taste and add salt or pepper to your liking. Serve warm!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 443kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 18g | Sodium: 438mg | Fiber: 12g
close up side view of wilted spinach salad in the skillet.

How to Make Wilted Spinach Salad – Step by Step Photos

Cooked bacon in a skillet.

Cook 6oz. bacon in a skillet over medium heat until brown and crispy. Remove the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and leave the bacon grease in the skillet.

Garlic being sautéed in bacon fat in the skillet.

Add two minced cloves of garlic to the skillet and sauté in the bacon fat for about one minute.

Beans and vinaigrette ingredients added to the skillet.

Add two rinsed and drained 15oz. cans of cannellini beans to the skillet along with 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, 2 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp sugar, ¼ tsp pepper, and ⅛ tsp salt.

Heated beans and vinaigrette in the skillet with a spoon.

Heat and stir the ingredients until everything is heated through and the vinaigrette ingredients have combined.

half-wilted spinach mixed into the beans in the skillet.

Add 8oz. fresh spinach and carefully stir until the heat partially wilts the spinach. Remove the skillet from the heat.

spinach and white beans topped with crumbled bacon.

Crumble the cooked bacon over the skillet and fold to combine. Taste the salad and add salt and pepper to your liking. Serve warm!

Finished wilted spinach salad in the skillet.

Try These Other Spinach Salad Recipes:

The post Wilted Spinach Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.