Chimichurri Chickpea Salad

We’re still experiencing a lot of grocery shortages in the middle of this pandemic, but when I ventured out to the grocery store this week I noticed something. The produce department was very well stocked, while many of the shelf stable items were sold out. I presume that’s because people are afraid to buy perishables. So, […]

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We’re still experiencing a lot of grocery shortages in the middle of this pandemic, but when I ventured out to the grocery store this week I noticed something. The produce department was very well stocked, while many of the shelf stable items were sold out. I presume that’s because people are afraid to buy perishables. So, that made me rethink my strategy. I’m going to focus on fresh ingredients for about a week after shopping, then transition into the more shelf stable recipes (like my 15 Pantry Staple Recipes) for the second week, or until my next grocery run. Besides, after eating so many pantry recipes over the past month, I’m craving fresh produce hard. So this week I grabbed some fresh parsley, cilantro, and a pint of tomatoes, and whipped up this SUPER easy Chimichurri Chickpea Salad.

…Because chimichurri is good on anything and everything. ;)

Chickpea Salad with Chimichurri and Feta

Overhead view of Chimichurri Chickpea Salad with triangles of pita bread stuck in the side.

How to Serve Chimichurri Chickpea Salad

This salad is the perfect side dish as the weather starts to warm up. I think this would go great with just about any type of grilled meat, or if you’re cooking inside I can see this matching well with dishes like Garlic Butter Baked Chicken Thighs, Herb Roasted Pork Loin, or Balsamic Chicken and Mushrooms

If you want to turn this into a vegetarian meal, consider chopping up some pita or a crusty bread and stirring it right into the salad to make it like a Panzanella, or adding a few greens and a chopped hard boiled egg.

How to Use Leftover Parsley and Cilantro

Don’t let the rest of the parsley and cilantro go to waste after you make this salad! Parsley and cilantro are great in and on so many other dishes. This chickpea salad recipe uses a half batch of my basic Chimichurri recipe, but you could always make the full size batch and use half on this salad, then use the other half for dipping some crusty bread. That will use up more of your parsley and cilantro.

Here are some other great recipes for using parsley and cilantro:

Make sure to scroll down to the step by step photos to see how I store my leftover feta so it doesn’t go to waste!

Close up side view of the bowl of Chimichurri Chickpea Salad with pita triangles in the side of the bowl

 
Overhead view of a bowl of Chimichurri Chickpea Salad with pita in the side of the bowl
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Chimichurri Chickpea Salad

This super simple chickpea salad is bright and flavorful thanks to homemade chimichurri and feta. Goes great with all your summer grilling!
Total Cost $4.36 recipe / $0.73 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 about 1 cup each
Calories 328.57kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Chimichurri

  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley $0.18
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro $0.10
  • ¼ cup olive oil $0.42
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar $0.20
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • ½ tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02

Salad

  • 2 15oz. cans chickpeas $0.49
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes $1.69
  • 2 oz. feta $1.09

Instructions

  • Make the chimichurri first. Rinse the fresh parsley and cilantro, then drain well. Roughly chop the parsley and cilantro, then add it to a bowl along with the olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, oregano, cumin, crushed red pepper, and salt. Stir to combine, then set the dressing aside.
  • Rinse and drain both cans of chickpeas. Slice the grape tomatoes in half. Add the chickpeas and tomatoes to a large bowl. Crumble the feta, add it to the bowl, then drizzle the chimichurri over top. Stir to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat (up to four days).

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 328.57kcal | Carbohydrates: 35.67g | Protein: 13.58g | Fat: 15.98g | Sodium: 675.75mg | Fiber: 11.7g

How to Make Chimichurri Chickpea Salad – Step by Step Photos

Chimichurri ingredients in a bowl, not stirred

Make the chimichurri first. Rinse and drain the fresh parsley and cilantro. Roughly chop the parsley and cilantro, you’ll need ½ cup parsley (about ¼ bunch) and about ¼ cup cilantro (a big handful). Add them to the bowl along with 1 minced clove of garlic, ¼ cup olive oil, 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar, ½ tsp dried oregano, ¼ tsp ground cumin, ⅛ tsp crushed red pepper, and ¼ tsp salt.

Mixed chimichurri in a bowl with a spoon

Stir the ingredients together and now you have chimichurri! Set the chimichurri aside.

Chickpeas, tomatoes, and feta in a bowl, chimichurri being poured over top

Rinse and drain 2 15oz. cans of chickpeas. Slice 1 pint of grape tomatoes in half. Crumble 2oz. feta. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, and feta to a bowl, then pour the chimichurri over top.

Finished chimichurri chickpea salad in a bowl with a spoon

Stir to combine and it’s ready to eat! Or refrigerate for up to 4 days.

block of feta in a freezer bag, inside a plastic container, ready to freeze.

I like to buy my feta in a block, as opposed to pre-crumbled, because it’s easier to save for later. I cut the block into quarters first (right through the plastic) because I usually use about 2oz. per recipe. I then place the rest of the block, still in the original plastic, inside a freezer bag, then inside a re-usable freezer container. I can take out one 2oz. block at a time to use whenever needed!

Overhead view of a bowl of Chimichurri Chickpea Salad with pita in the side of the bowl

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Chunky Ham and Bean Soup

Soup season is already on its way out, but I couldn’t resist one more warm and cozy pot of goodness. For this super easy and deliciously chunky Ham and Bean Soup I took cue from my easy Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup and used a puréed can of beans to thicken the pot, combined that […]

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Soup season is already on its way out, but I couldn’t resist one more warm and cozy pot of goodness. For this super easy and deliciously chunky Ham and Bean Soup I took cue from my easy Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup and used a puréed can of beans to thicken the pot, combined that with some chunky and colorful vegetables and a handful of diced ham to round out this meal in a bowl. This is also a great use for your leftover holiday ham, so bookmark this recipe for Easter next month!

Thick & Chunky Ham and Bean Soup

Two bowls of chunky ham and bean soup with torn chunks of bread on the side

What Kind of Beans Should I Use?

I used cannellini beans for this soup because I love their large shape and creamy texture. You can also use a different type of white beans, like navy beans or great northern beans. 

Can I Use Dry Beans?

This recipe is written specifically for canned beans. Using dry beans would require different methods and different amounts of liquids and seasoning, so I would need to develop and test a recipe specifically for dry beans before providing instructions.

What Kind of Ham Can I Use?

You can use virtually any cooked ham. The ham I used is an uncured, fully cooked, thick sliced ham. If using pre-sliced ham, a thicker slice works a little better than thin sandwich slices, which won’t give much texture to the soup. If you have leftover cooked ham from Easter or any other holiday, that can also be used in this recipe.

Can I Freeze Ham and Bean Soup?

Yes, this soup is a great candidate for freezing! Simply chill the soup completely in the refrigerator overnight before transferring to the freezer for long term storage (about 3 months). I prefer to divide my soup into single servings before freezing, so they can be reheated as needed and in the amount needed. Quart-sized freezer bags are great for freezing soup, as are the small blue-top Ziploc food storage containers.

Close up front view of a bowl full of chunky ham and bean soup with a spoon lifting some and a chunk of bread in the side of the bowl.

 
Two bowls of chunky ham and bean soup with chunks of bread on the side
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Chunky Ham and Bean Soup

This incredibly easy and deliciously chunky Ham and Bean Soup features a medley of colorful vegetables, browned ham, and plenty of hearty white beans.
Total Cost $6.70 recipe / $1.68 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Calories 553.83kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 3 carrots $0.30
  • 3 ribs celery $0.35
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 lb. cooked ham $3.75
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 3 15oz. cans cannellini beans $1.47
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme $0.02
  • freshly cracked black pepper $0.03
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or more as needed) $0.26

Instructions

  • Dice the onion, peel and slice the carrots, slice the celery, and mince the garlic.
  • Dice the ham into bite-sized chunks. Add the ham and cooking oil to a large soup pot. Sauté the ham for 3-5 minutes over medium heat, or until it achieves a decent amount of browning. Remove the browned ham to a clean bowl.
  • Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic to the pot in place of the ham. Sauté the vegetables for about 5 minutes over medium heat, or until the onions have softened. Allow the moisture released from the vegetables to help dissolve the browned bits of ham from the bottom of the soup pot as you stir.
  • While the vegetables are sautéing, add one of the three cans of beans to a blender, with the liquid from the can, and purée until smooth. Drain the remaining two cans of beans.
  • Add all three cans of beans (one puréed and two drained) to the soup pot with the vegetables. Also add 1/4 tsp dried thyme, some freshly cracked pepper (about 10 cranks of a pepper mill), and 2 cups chicken broth. Stir to combine, then turn the heat up to medium-high and allow the soup to come to a boil.
  • Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to medium and allow the soup to continue to boil for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. As the soup boils it will reduce and thicken. If the soup becomes too thick, add more vegetable broth or water to achieve your desired soup consistency.
  • After the soup has boiled for 15 minutes and has thickened, stir the cooked ham back into the soup. Give the soup a taste and adjust the salt or pepper to your liking. I did not add any additional salt, but I did top each bowl with a little fresh pepper. Serve hot!

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 553.83kcal | Carbohydrates: 75.33g | Protein: 41.75g | Fat: 9.98g | Sodium: 2143.8mg | Fiber: 18.23g

Close up of a ladle full of chunky ham and bean soup being held over the soup pot

How to Make Ham and Bean Soup – Step by Step Photos

Chopped vegetables on a cutting board

Before you begin, dice one yellow onion, peel and slice three carrots, slice three ribs of celery, and mince two cloves of garlic.

Uncured ham pacakge

This is the type of ham I used. You can use any cooked ham, but a thicker slice works better than thin sandwich slices. You can also use cooked holiday ham. You’ll need one pound of cooked ham.

Browned ham in the soup pot

Dice one pound of ham and add it to a soup pot with one tablespoon cooking oil. Cook the ham over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the ham is browned on the edges. Remove the ham to a clean bowl.

Diced vegetables cooked in soup pot.

Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to the pot in place of the ham and continue to cook over medium for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are softened. Use the moisture released from the vegetables to dissolve the browned bits off the bottom of the pot.

Whole and pureed beans added to soup pot

While the vegetables are cooking, add one of the three cans of cannellini beans to a blender (with the liquid from the can) and purée until smooth. Drain the other two cans. Add the puréed beans and drained beans to the soup pot.

thyme pepper and chicken broth added to the soup pot

Also add 1/4 tsp dried thyme, some freshly cracked pepper, and 2 cups of chicken broth to the pot. Stir to combine. The soup will be fairly watery at this point.

Boiled ham and bean soup

Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring the soup up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down slightly to medium and let the soup boil for 15 minutes, stirring often. The soup will reduce and thicken as it boils. If it becomes too thick for your liking, simply add a little more water or chicken broth to reach your desired consistency.

Cooked ham being poured back into the soup pot

After boiling the soup for 15 minutes, stir the cooked ham back into the pot. Give the soup a taste and adjust the salt or pepper, if needed.

Finished chunky ham and bean soup in the soup pot with bread on the side

Serve the chunky Ham and Bean Soup hot, preferably with crusty bread for dipping!

Two bowls of chunky ham and bean soup with chunks of bread on the side

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Turkey Taco Skillet

I’ve probably made a hundred iterations of the bean-salsa-corn combo over the years, and yet I still keep making more. Why? Because it never stops being delicious, it’s super versatile, and I love making new versions to fit new different lifestyles. This Turkey Taco Skillet version is super fast (unlike the original Slow Cooker Taco […]

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I’ve probably made a hundred iterations of the bean-salsa-corn combo over the years, and yet I still keep making more. Why? Because it never stops being delicious, it’s super versatile, and I love making new versions to fit new different lifestyles. This Turkey Taco Skillet version is super fast (unlike the original Slow Cooker Taco Chicken Bowls), it doesn’t include rice  (unlike the Southwest Chicken Skillet), and is every bit as delicious. This version literally takes about 15-20 minutes, you can serve it several different ways, and is a great make-ahead, stock-your-freezer type recipe!

Ground Turkey Taco Skillet

Turkey Taco Skillet next to tortilla chips, toasted corn tortillas, and a bowl of sour cream

How to Serve Turkey Taco Skillet

My favorite thing about this recipe is that you can do so many different things with it. The most obvious use for this delicious skillet mix is to use it as a taco filling. Simply toast some tortillas, add a scoop of this turkey taco filling, and top with whatever you fancy (cheese, sour cream, pickled red onions, cilantro, jalapeños, etc.)

Another option is to use it for taco salads. Just fill a bowl with your favorite greens, top with the ground turkey taco mixture, and add any extra toppings you might like.

But my favorite? I love to just scoop it up with some tortilla chips and call that a meal. 😅

You can also make a bowl meal with a bed of rice, stuff this into a burrito, or put it inside a folded over tortilla with cheese and toast it up in a skillet for some quesadillas. And I’m sure there are other great ways to use this mix, as well.

Can I Substitute the Turkey?

Yep! This recipe works just as well with ground beef or ground chicken. 

Can I Substitute the Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles?

Yes, you can substitute that, too! (See? This recipe is so versatile.) If you don’t have access to Rotel or canned diced tomatoes with green chiles, you can either use 1.5 cups red salsa, or a can of plain diced tomatoes plus a 4oz. can of diced green chiles.

How to Freeze Turkey Taco Skillet

Chill your turkey taco skillet mixture in the refrigerator overnight, then transfer to quart-sized freezer bags (I would do this in 1-2 serving sized portions), label and date the bag, then freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, either thaw in the refrigerator overnight, or cut away the bag, place the frozen mixture in a skillet, add a couple tablespoons of water, and heat over low with a lid, stirring occasionally as soon as it loosens up enough to stir. Or just pop it in the microwave and use the defrost then heat functions. :)

Close up of some turkey taco skillet being scooped up by a tortilla chip

 

Turkey Taco Skillet

This easy and versatile Turkey Taco Skillet takes about 20 minutes to make, is freezer friendly, and can be served several different ways.

Taco Seasoning*

  • 1 Tbsp chili powder ($0.30)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika ($0.10)
  • 1 tsp cumin ($0.10)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional) ($0.02)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.03)
  • 1/2 tsp salt ($0.01)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper ($0.02)

Taco Skillet

  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.08)
  • 1 lb. ground turkey ($3.99)
  • 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
  • 1 10oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles ($0.45)
  • 1 15oz. can black beans ($0.48)
  • 1 cup frozen corn ($0.35)
  • 1/2 bunch green onions ($0.45)
  1. Combine the spices for the homemade taco seasoning, then set the seasoning aside.

  2. Add the cooking oil and ground turkey to a large skillet. Begin to cook the turkey over medium heat, breaking it up into pieces as it cooks.

  3. While the turkey is cooking, dice the onion. Add the onion to the skillet with the turkey and continue to stir and cook until the onions are soft. Add the prepared taco seasoning, then continue to stir and cook for 1-2 minutes more.

  4. Drain the black beans then add them to the skillet with the diced tomatoes (with juices) and frozen corn (no need to thaw). Stir the ingredients in the skillet to combine, then heat through over medium.

  5. While the mixture is heating, slice the green onions. Stir the green onions into the skillet just before serving.

*You can use store bought taco seasoning if you do not have a well stocked spice cabinet.

Serving Suggestions:

Turkey Taco Skillet served with toasted tortillas and sour cream

Use to fill tacos, then top with your favorite toppings (sour cream, cheese, pickled red onions, jalapeños, etc.)

Turkey taco skillet used to make a taco salad

Serve it up taco salad style, over a bed of greens and with your favorite toppings.

Turkey taco skillet in a small bowl with tortilla chips for dipping

Or just scoop it up with some tortilla chips! 

How to Make Turkey Taco Skillet – Step by Step Photos

Homemade taco seasoning ingredients in a bowl

First, make your homemade taco seasoning (you can use store bought, if that works better for you). In a small bowl, combine 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp cumin, ¼ tsp cayenne (optional), ½ tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp salt, and about ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper. I skipped the cayenne this day because I wanted a less spicy turkey taco skillet.

Cooked ground turkey and onions in the skillet

Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil and 1 lb. ground turkey to a large skillet. Cook over medium heat, breaking up the ground turkey as you stir. While the turkey is cooking, dice one yellow onion, then add it to the skillet and continue to cook with the turkey until the onion is soft.

Taco seasoning being added to the skillet with turkey and onion

Add the taco seasoning to the skillet with the ground turkey and onion. Continue to cook and stir for 1-2 minutes more.

Black beans, tomatoes with green chiles, and corn added to the skillet

Drain one 15oz. can of black beans, then add them to the skillet with one 10oz. can of diced tomatoes with green chiles, and 1 cup frozen corn (no need to thaw). Stir to combine, then heat through over medium, stirring occasionally.

Sliced green onions added to the skillet

While the skillet is heating through, slice half a bunch of green onions (about 4 green onions). Add the green onions just before serving and stir to combine.

Finished turkey taco skillet

Look how colorful and delicious that is!! 

Overhead view of turkey taco skillet next to tortilla chips, a bowl of sour cream, and toasted tortillas

Dinner is served!

Close up side view of the turkey taco skillet

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White Beans with Mushrooms and Marinara

The other day I was scrolling through Pinterest and an image of some cheesy, tomatoey gnocchi made me stop in my tracks and drool a little. But the funny part is that at first I thought the gnocchi were white beans. Long story short, I eventually realized that they were gnocchi, but was still stuck […]

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The other day I was scrolling through Pinterest and an image of some cheesy, tomatoey gnocchi made me stop in my tracks and drool a little. But the funny part is that at first I thought the gnocchi were white beans. Long story short, I eventually realized that they were gnocchi, but was still stuck on this idea of white beans baked with marinara and cheese. I loved the idea of swapping gnocchi with high fiber beans, so I had to give it a shot. These White Beans with Mushrooms and Marinara lived up to everything I would hoping they would be, and this recipe has quite a bit of potential for customization, so I can’t wait to share it with you!

Cheesy White Beans with Mushrooms and Marinara

Close up overhead view of a skillet full of white beans with mushrooms and marinara and a wooden spoon scooping some out.

What Kind of White Beans Should I Use?

I used large butter beans for this recipe because they’re huge and look similar to gnocchi. If you don’t like butter beans or can’t find them, cannellini beans are a good second choice because they are creamy in flavor, still slightly larger, and they hold their shape well. And while you can use navy beans, they’re my last choice for this dish because they’re small and they tend to break down easily, so you won’t get as good of a texture in the final dish.

Can I Add Meat?

Sure! I designed this one to be a filling vegetarian dish, but this recipe easily accommodates the addition of meat. My first choice would be Italian sausage (browned in the skillet before the mushrooms), but pepperoni would also be pretty amazing. You can either crisp up the pepperoni in the skillet before adding the mushrooms, or chop up the pepperoni and stir them in with the sauce.

What Other Vegetables can I Add?

If you’re not into mushrooms or are just looking for other vegetables to add in addition to the mushrooms, there are definitely some great options. Zucchini would match really well with these flavors, as would spinach. For zucchini, I suggest slicing and sautéing after the mushrooms. For spinach, stir it in after the sauce has heated through, just until it is wilted. Eggplant would also be amazing, just dice and sauté after the mushrooms.

How to Serve White Beans with Mushrooms and Marinara

You’ll want to sop up every drop of that marinara, so I suggest serving this dish with a side of Garlic Bread. Also, because garlic bread is always a good idea. You can also spoon this mixture over something like zoodles, a halved roasted eggplant, or, if you’re not trying to avoid pasta, just serve it over a bed of good ol’ pasta.

 

Overhead view of the baked skillet full of white beans with mushrooms and marinara

 

White Beans with Mushrooms and Marinara

White beans make a fiber-filled swap for gnocchi in this cheesy, indulgent skillet full of white beans, mushrooms, and marinara.

  • 8 oz. mushrooms ($2.29)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper ($0.05)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 2 cups marinara (or more to your liking) ($1.00)
  • 2 15oz. cans butter beans ($2.00)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil ($0.05)
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper ($0.02)
  • 4 oz. mozzarella ($0.65)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Wash and slice the mushrooms. Add the mushrooms, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper to a deep skillet. Sauté the mushrooms until they have wilted and all the moisture in the skillet has evaporated.

  2. While the mushrooms are sautéing, mince the garlic, drain and rinse the butter beans. Add the garlic to the skillet with the mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes more.

  3. Add the rinsed butter beans, marinara, basil, and red pepper to the skillet. Stir everything to combine, then allow it to heat through, stirring occasionally.

  4. While the skillet is heating through, shred the mozzarella. Top the skillet with the mozzarella, then cover the skillet with foil. Transfer the skillet to the oven* and bake for 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

  5. Once the cheese has melted, remove the foil, switch the oven to broil, and broil the skillet for a few minutes more to brown the cheese (watch closely, as browning can happen quickly with the broiler). Serve hot, with garlic bread for dipping!

*If you don’t have an oven safe skillet, simply transfer the beans, mushrooms, and marinara to a casserole dish before baking with the cheese.

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Close up of a piece of garlic bread dipped in white beans with mushrooms and marinara

How to make White Beans with Mushrooms and Marinara – Step by Step Photos

Sliced Mushrooms

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Wash and slice 8oz. mushrooms.

Sautéed mushrooms and garlic

Add the sliced mushrooms to a deep skillet with 2 Tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté over medium until the mushrooms are wilted and the moisture has evaporated out of the skillet. While the mushrooms are sautéing, mince 2 cloves of garlic, then add them to the skillet and sauté for about 2 minutes more.

Add beans and marinara to the skillet

Rinse and drain two cans of butter beans, then add them to the skillet with 2 cups marinara (or more if you want it to be slightly saucier). Stir to combine.

Add herbs to marinara

I like to amp up my jarred marinara a bit, so also add 1/2 tsp dried basil and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Stir them into the sauce, then allow the skillet to heat through, stirring occasionally (5 minutes).

Add shredded mozzarella to the skillet

Shred 4 oz. of mozzarella, then sprinkle it on top of the skillet. (If you don’t have an oven safe skillet, transfer the beans and marinara to a casserole dish first.)

Melted mozzarella in skillet covered with foil.

Cover the skillet with foil, then transfer to the preheated oven, and bake for 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Broiled cheese on skillet

Remove the foil from the skillet, switch the oven from bake to broil, then broil a few minutes more to brown the cheese. Watch the skillet closely, as broiling can brown the cheese very quickly. (I also topped with a little chopped parsley for color, but it’s not needed for flavor).

Finished White Beans with Mushrooms and Marinara, a piece of garlic bread dipped in the side

Serve hot with garlic bread for dipping, over roasted vegetables, or over pasta.

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Louisiana Style Red Beans and Rice

Ahhh, red beans and rice. This classic dish has been filling hungry bellies on a dime for centuries. It’s rich, flavorful, has a TON of fiber and protein, makes a ton of freezer-friendly leftovers, and is basically a budget cook’s dream. But these classic Louisiana Red Beans and Rice do take a little time to […]

The post Louisiana Style Red Beans and Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Ahhh, red beans and rice. This classic dish has been filling hungry bellies on a dime for centuries. It’s rich, flavorful, has a TON of fiber and protein, makes a ton of freezer-friendly leftovers, and is basically a budget cook’s dream. But these classic Louisiana Red Beans and Rice do take a little time to cook, so plan this one for a Saturday or Sunday afternoon when you’ll be chillin’ at home. Your house will smell amazing and you’ll have food for the whole week!

Originally posted 3-14-2010, updated 2-16-2020. If you prefer the old version, download it here.

Classic Louisiana Red Beans and Rice with Sausage

A serving of red beans and rice next to the pot full of red beans.

Are Red Beans and Kidney Beans the Same Thing?

Nope! They’re both red, but they are two different beans. Red beans and rice is traditionally made with “small red beans” but you can use kidney beans if small red beans are not available in your area. Scroll down to my step by step photos after the recipe to see a photo of red beans and kidney beans side by side.

Do I Have to Soak the Red Beans Overnight?

No, there are other options. There are two other “quick soak” methods, but both still take an hour or more. To read more about other methods of soaking your beans, read How to Soak Your Beans from Camellia Beans. 

What Kind of Sausage Should I Use?

Traditionally, red beans and rice is made with Andouille sausage, which is a smoked pork sausage originating from France, but also popular in Louisiana. If you can’t find Andouille sausage, you can use any type of smoked pork or beef sausage that is available to you.

Is Red Beans and Rice Spicy?

It can be. The heat level in this recipe will depend on the type of sausage you use and how much cayenne pepper you add. The Andouille sausage I used had a “medium” spice level, and I used 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, so my red beans were moderately spicy. Use a mild sausage and no cayenne pepper to make your red beans mild.

Close up of a spoon scooping some red beans and andouille sausage out of the pot

Is Red Beans and Rice Healthy?

“Healthy” is a very subjective term, but I will say that this classic dish is packed with fiber, protein, and vegetables, which to me makes a quality meal. It is a little high on sodium, but the amount of salt you add at the end of the recipe is totally within your control. If you want to reduce the saturated fat, simply drain the fat from the andouille sausage before adding the vegetables to the pot. And lastly, you can always swap out the white rice for brown rice for even more fiber and nutrients!

Can I Make it Vegetarian?

have successfully made a very delicious pot of red beans and rice without the smoked sausage. To see how it’s done, make sure to visit my recipe for Vegan Red Beans and Rice. (It’s automatically vegan because the only animal product in the recipe is the sausage.)

How to Freeze Red Beans and Rice

As with any food, you want to chill your cooked red beans and rice as quickly as possible after cooking to avoid food safety issues. I recommend dividing the red beans and rice into single portions before refrigerating. This will make it cool down faster, and you’ll already have single portions that can be reheated quickly in the microwave straight from the refrigerator, or freezer. Once the red beans and rice are completely chilled, you can transfer them to the freezer for long term storage (about 3 months).

Overhead view of a pot full of Louisiana Red Beans

 

Louisiana Style Red Beans and Rice with Sausage

Classic Louisiana style red beans and rice are a naturally budget friendly meal that will give you leftovers for days! Freezer friendly!

  • 1 lb. dry red beans ($1.49)
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.08)
  • 14 oz. Andouille sausage ($3.79)
  • 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
  • 1 green bell pepper ($0.69)
  • 3 ribs celery ($0.46)
  • 4 cloves garlic ($0.32)
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika ($0.20)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano ($0.10)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme ($0.10)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper ($0.03)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper ($0.02)
  • 2 bay leaves ($0.60)
  • 6 cups water ($0.00)
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley ($0.20)
  • 1 Tbsp salt, or to taste ($0.10)
  • 1.5 cups long grain white rice (uncooked) ($0.93)
  • 3 green onions ($0.22)
  1. The night before, add the dry beans to a large bowl with double their volume in water. Allow the beans to soak in the refrigerator overnight.

  2. When you're ready to start cooking, slice the sausage into rounds. Add the cooking oil and sliced sausage to a large pot and cook over medium until the sausage pieces are browned. Remove the cooked sausage with a slotted spoon to a clean bowl. Place the cooked sausage in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the dish.

  3. While the sausage is cooking, dice the onion, bell pepper, and celery. Mince the garlic.

  4. After removing the cooked sausage, add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic to the pot. Sauté over medium heat, allowing the moisture from the vegetables to help dissolve any browned bits off the bottom of the pot as you stir.

  5. Add the smoked paprika, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, black pepper, and bay leaves to the pot. Stir and cook for one minute more.

  6. Drain and rinse the soaked beans. Add them to the pot along with 6 cups water and give the pot a brief stir to combine the ingredients.

  7. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring it up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low, and let the pot boil for one hour, stirring occasionally. Replace the lid every time you stir.

  8. After boiling for one hour, the beans should be tender. Begin to smash the beans with the back of a spoon against the side of the pot. Continue smashing the beans and letting the pot simmer without a lid for 30 minutes to thicken the pot.

  9. While the beans are simmering for their final 30 minutes, cook the rice. Add the rice and 3 cups water to a sauce pot. Place a lid on top, turn the heat on to high, and bring it up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the rice rest for 5 minutes without removing the lid. Fluff the rice with a fork before serving.

  10. Once the red beans have thickened, add the cooked sausage back to the pot along with 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley. Stir to combine. Taste the red beans and add salt to your liking. Start with 1 tsp and add more as needed. I used 1 Tbsp total (3 tsp).

  11. Serve the red beans in a bowl topped with a scoop of rice and a sprinkle of sliced green onions.

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Close up overhead view of a bowl full of red beans topped with a scoop of rice, parsley, and green onion.

 

How to Make Red Beans and Rice – Step By Step Photos

Red beans and kidney beans side by side

Red beans and rice is traditionally made with small red beans, but if you can’t find them in your area, you can use red kidney beans (dark or light). You’ll need one pound of dry beans for this recipe.

Soaked Beans in a bowl with water

Soak the beans in water (make sure to use twice as much water as beans) overnight. If you forgot to soak your beans, use one of the other methods described in this article. (this photo is after the beans have been soaking overnight)

Package of andouille sausage

This is the Andouille sausage that I used. This happens to be a 14oz. package, but if yours comes in any size between 12 and 16oz. that will also work. If you can not source Andouille sausage, you can use any other smoked pork or beef sausage.

Browned sausage in pot

Slice the sausage into rounds and add them to a large pot with 2 Tbsp cooking oil. Cook over medium heat until the sausage is well browned. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon to a clean bowl and place it in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the recipe. If you want to reduce the fat in your red beans, you can drain off most of the fat left behind by the sausage. I left the fat in, though, because it’s super flavorful!

Chopped trinity and garlic

While the sausage is cooking, dice one onion, one green bell pepper, and about three ribs of celery. This trio of flavors (onion, bell pepper, celery) is called “holy trinity.” But I also like to add four cloves of garlic, so mince those up as well.

Onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic in the pot

Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic to the pot after removing the sausage. Sauté the vegetables over medium until the onions are soft. Use the moisture from the vegetables to dissolve the browned bits of meat off the bottom of the pot as you stir.

Cajun seasoning added to pot

Once the vegetables have softened, add the Cajun seasoning (2 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp dried thyme, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, and about 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper) and two bay leaves. Cook and stir for about a minute more.

Drained red beans and water added to the pot

Drain and rinse the soaked red beans, then add them to the pot with 6 cups of fresh water.

Stir red beans and spices before boiling

Give the pot a brief stir to distribute the spices and other ingredients. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring it up to a full boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the beans simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally.

Boiled red beans in the pot

After boiling the beans for one hour, the beans should be tender but the pot as a whole will still look pretty watery. To thicken the pot, begin smashing the red beans against the side of the pot with your spoon. Smash the red beans and let it continue to simmer without a lid for an extra 30 minutes. I stood and smashed my beans for about 10 minutes, and let it keep simmering for an extra 20 (30 min total).

Cooked rice in sauce pot

While the red beans are in their final 30 minute simmer, cook your rice. Add 1.5 cups long grain white rice to a sauce pot with 3 cups water. Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to high, and allow it to come up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the pot rest for an additional 5 minutes without removing the lid. Fluff the rice with a fork just before serving.

Thickened pot of red beans

After smashing and simmering for a bit longer, the red beans will have thickened quite a bit. They’ll continue to thicken even more as they cool a bit.

Andouille and parsley added to red beans

Finally, add the cooked Andouille sausage back to the pot along with about 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley. Stir to combine. Taste the red beans and add salt to your liking. You will need at least SOME salt to make the flavors come out in this dish. I added 1 Tbsp for the whole pot, but I suggest starting with 1 tsp and adding more to your liking.

A bowl with Louisiana red beans and rice next to the pot full of cooked red beans

Serve the red beans with a coop of cooked rice on top, and sliced green onion sprinkled over top!

The post Louisiana Style Red Beans and Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls

Taco bowls, burrito bowls, whatever you want to call them! I went with taco bowls this time because of the homemade taco seasoning used on the roasted cauliflower, plus the fresh toppings like tomatoes and cilantro. But whatever you call it, it’s a lot of yummy stuff in one bowl! These cauliflower bowls make a […]

The post Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Taco bowls, burrito bowls, whatever you want to call them! I went with taco bowls this time because of the homemade taco seasoning used on the roasted cauliflower, plus the fresh toppings like tomatoes and cilantro. But whatever you call it, it’s a lot of yummy stuff in one bowl! These cauliflower bowls make a super colorful, vibrant, flavorful dinner, but they also meal prep well, so consider making them for your weekday lunches!

Taco Roasted Cauliflower Bowls with Cilantro Lime Ranch

Overhead view of a roasted cauliflower taco bowl next to a lime and bowl of cilantro lime ranch

Are There Any Shortcuts I can Take?

This recipe does look like a lot of “parts” but I promise it really is easy to throw together. That being said, there are a couple of shortcuts you can take if you want to make it even easier. If you have access to a Trader Joe’s, they sell a frozen corn that is already “fire roasted” and it’s SO good. You can use that in place of blistering the regular frozen corn in the skillet. You can definitely use a store-bought cilantro lime ranch instead of making your own, or any southwest-inspired ranch dressing you can find (chipotle, avocado, etc.). And lastly, if you don’t have a well stocked spice cabinet, you can use a packet of taco seasoning in place of the taco spices listed below.

What Else Can I Put in My Taco Bowl?

One of the reasons I love bowl meals the most is that they are extremely flexible and they allow you to use leftover ingredients that are lingering in your fridge, pantry, or freezer. Here are some other things that you can throw into your taco bowl, if you have them:

  • tortilla chips
  • avocado or guacamole
  • cheese (cheddar, pepper jack, Monterey jack, even feta)
  • radishes (sliced thin)
  • fresh red onion
  • pickled red onion
  • bell peppers (diced, sliced, or roasted)
  • salsa
  • lettuce

How to Meal Prep Your Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls

If you want to prepare this meal for grab and go lunches (meal prep), divide the roasted cauliflower, cooked rice, and blistered corn between four containers as soon as they are done cooking. You can skip heating the black beans, because you’ll just be placing the containers straight into the refrigerator, to be reheated later. Pack the bowls with the remaining fresh ingredients (tomatoes, cilantro, green onion, lime wedges), but leave the dressing separate. When you’re ready to eat your bowl, reheat the bowl in the microwave until hot, then top with the dressing and enjoy.

Can I Use Frozen Cauliflower?

Frozen cauliflower roasts really well in the oven, but you may have a hard time getting the taco seasoning to stick to the frozen cauliflower. You would probably need to let it thaw completely before seasoning and roasting. The thawed frozen cauliflower will likely roast a bit faster than the fresh cauliflower. I would use about 1 pound frozen cauliflower for this recipe.

Close up side view of a roasted cauliflower taco bowl topped with cilantro lime ranch

 

Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls with Cilantro Lime Ranch

These light and flavorful Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls have tons of color, flavor, and texture to keep you coming back for more! Great for meal prep!

Cilantro Lime Ranch

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise ($0.13)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream ($0.11)
  • 1 lime ($0.50)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder ($0.01)
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro ($0.05)
  • 1 green onion, chopped ($0.11)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)

Taco Roasted Cauliflower

  • 1 head cauliflower ($2.39)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 1/2 Tbsp chili powder* ($0.15)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin ($0.05)
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • freshly cracked pepper ($0.03)

Bowl Ingredients

  • 1 cup long grain white rice ($0.62)
  • 1.5 cups water ($0.00)
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans ($0.89)
  • 1 cup frozen corn ($0.20)
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.08)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes ($2.29)
  • Fresh cilantro and sliced green onion for garnish ($0.20)
  1. Prepare the cilantro lime ranch first, so the flavors have time to blend. Zest the lime, then squeeze the juice from half, and cut the other half into wedges for serving. You'll need about 1 Tbsp lime juice. Finely chop about 1 Tbsp cilantro and one green onion.

  2. Combine the ingredients for the cilantro lime ranch in a bowl (mayonnaise, sour cream, 1 Tbsp lime juice, 1/2 tsp lime zest, garlic powder, onion powder, chopped cilantro, chopped green onion, salt). Refrigerate the cilantro lime ranch until you're ready to eat.

  3. Next, preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the head of cauliflower into florets, then place them in a bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine the ingredients for the taco seasoning (chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne, oregano, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper). Drizzle the olive oil over the cauliflower, followed by the taco seasoning, then toss until the cauliflower is evenly coated in oil and spices.

  4. Spread the seasoned cauliflower out over the prepared baking sheet. Roast the cauliflower in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until it's brown and crispy on the edges.

  5. While the cauliflower is roasting, begin cooking the rice. Add the rice and 1.5 cups water to a sauce pot. Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to high, and bring the water up to a boil. Once it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer for 15 minutes without lifting the lid. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the rice rest for 5 minutes without lifting the lid. Finally, fluff the rice with a fork and divide it between four bowls or containers.

  6. Add the undrained can of black beans to a small sauce pot and heat over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until heated through (if making the bowls for meal prep, skip heating the beans).

  7. Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add the frozen corn. Cook the corn, stirring only occasionally, until it is browned and blistered (about 7-8 minutes). Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

  8. Slice the grape tomatoes, roughly chop the cilantro, and slice a green onions for garnish.

  9. To build the bowls, divide the roasted cauliflower, cooked rice, beans, corn, and tomatoes between four bowls or containers. Top with a pinch of cilantro, sliced green onion, and a wedge of lime. Drizzle the cilantro lime ranch over top just before eating.

*The chili powder listed is a blend of spices, usually fairly mild, that is generally used to season a pot of chili. It is not straight ground red chiles. 

Close up overhead view of a roasted cauliflower taco bowl topped with cilantro lime ranch and a black fork in the middle

How to Make Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls – Step by Step Photos

Cilantro lime ranch in a bowl

Make the cilantro lime ranch first. Zest the lime and squeeze the juice from half of it (you’ll need 1 Tbsp juice). Slice the other half into wedges for serving. Combine 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1 Tbsp lime juice, 1/2 tsp lime zest, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/8 tsp onion powder, 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro, 1 chopped green onion, and 1/4 tsp salt in a bowl. Refrigerate the cilantro lime ranch until ready to eat.

Season cauliflower florets with taco seasoning

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Cut a head of cauliflower into florets, then place them in a bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine the ingredients for the taco seasoning: 1/2 Tbsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp oregano, 1/4 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper. Drizzle 2 Tbsp olive oil over the cauliflower, followed by the taco seasoning, then toss until the cauliflower is evenly coated in oil and spices.

Seasoned cauliflower on baking sheet covered with parchment paper

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the seasoned cauliflower out over the baking sheet. 

Roasted cauliflower on the baking sheet

Roast the cauliflower in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until it is browned and crispy on the edges.

Cooked rice in sauce pot

While the cauliflower is roasting, begin the rice. Add 1 cup long grain white rice to a small sauce pot with 1.5 cups water. Place a lid on top, turn the heat on to high, and bring it up to a boil. Once it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the rice rest for 5 more minutes with the lid in place. Finally, fluff the rice with a fork and divide it between four bowls or containers.

Warmed black beans in a sauce pot, a spoon lifting some toward the camera

Add one 15oz. can of black beans (undrained) to a small sauce pot and heat over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until heated through. If making your cauliflower bowls for meal prep, you can skip heating the beans, since the bowls will be going straight into the refrigerator.

Blistered corn in a skillet

Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a large skillet over medium. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add 1 cup frozen corn. Cook the corn, stirring only occasionally, until it is a little browned and blistered (7-8 minutes).

Chopped fresh toppings for cauliflower bowls

Finally, prepare the rest of the fresh ingredients. Slice the grape tomatoes in half, cut the remaining half lime into wedges (if you haven’t already), slice a green onion or two, and chop a little cilantro.

Build the cauliflower taco bowls

Once all the components are prepared, it’s time to build the bowls! Divide the roasted cauliflower, cooked rice, beans, corn, and tomatoes between four bowls or containers. Top with a little cilantro and sliced green onion.

Cilantro lime ranch being drizzled over a cauliflower bowl

When you’re ready to eat, reheat the bowl if it is refrigerated, then top with a drizzle of cilantro lime ranch and enjoy!

A finished roasted cauliflower taco bowl with cilantro lime ranch, with a black fork on the side.

The post Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

This Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili is the perfect example of why people love slow cookers so much. You literally just dump everything in the slow cooker, give it a quick stir, then turn it on and walk away. When you come back you have this hearty white bean chicken chili that’s ready for topping […]

The post Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili appeared first on Budget Bytes.

This Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili is the perfect example of why people love slow cookers so much. You literally just dump everything in the slow cooker, give it a quick stir, then turn it on and walk away. When you come back you have this hearty white bean chicken chili that’s ready for topping with creamy cheese and diving in with some tortilla chips. And when the sky is dark, the air is cold, and you’ve got the winter blues, easy dinners like this are a total life saver!

Originally posted 1-2-2015, updated 2-9-2020.

Crock Pot White Chicken Chili

Two bowls of slow cooker white chicken chili topped with cheese and blue tortilla chips on the side

See this recipe used in my weekly meal prep.

Does White Chicken Chili Have Chili Powder?

Nope! Unlike traditional red chili, this “white” chili does not contain chili powder. It’s flavored using salsa verde, cumin, and oregano. This chili gets its name from the white beans used in place of the red kidney beans used in red chili.

Is This Chili Spicy?

This chili is a “medium” level spicy. If you want to make the chili more mild, skip the jalapeño and cayenne pepper listed in the ingredients, and make sure to use a mild salsa verde.

What Size Slow Cooker do I Need?

You can make this in a 3-4 quart slow cooker, or double the recipe for a 5-7 qt slow cooker and feed a crowd. I have a 5 quart slow cooker (affiliate link) and the recipe, as listed below, filled it about half way.

Can This White Chicken Chili be Frozen?

Yes, this chili freezes very well! As always, make sure to chill your chili completely in the refrigerator first, before transferring to the freezer for long term storage. I prefer to freeze all my leftovers in single portions so they can be reheated one by one whenever I get hungry.

Chili Topping Ideas

I highly suggest topping this chili with something creamy, like the Monterrey jack cheese listed in the ingredients below, some sour cream, or avocado. The creamy flavor is the perfect contrast to the salsa verde. You can also top with some green onion, sliced jalapeño, cilantro, pico de gallo, crumbled cornbread, or pickled red onions.

Overhead view of Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili in the slow cooker

 

Easy Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

The slow cooker does all the work with this easy, flavorful, and healthy white chicken chili. This "dump and go" dinner will become a family favorite!

  • 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 1 jalapeño (optional) ($0.11)
  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast (about 3/4 lb.) ($3.62)
  • 1 16 oz. jar salsa verde ($2.59)
  • 2 15 oz. cans cannellini beans ($0.98)
  • 1 15 oz. can pinto beans ($0.89)
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin ($0.30)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano ($0.10)
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper ($0.02)
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper ($0.03)
  • 2 cups chicken broth ($0.26)
  • 4 oz Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded ($0.85)
  1. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Slice the jalapeńo lengthwise, scrape out the seeds with a spoon, then dice. Place the onion, garlic, jalapeño, and chicken breast in the bottom of a slow cooker.
  2. Drain and rinse the cannellini beans and pinto beans, then add them to the slow cooker, along with the cumin, oregano, cayenne, and freshly ground black pepper. Pour the salsa over top.

  3. Pour two cups of chicken broth over the contents in the cooker and then give everything a brief stir. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours, or on low for eight hours.

  4. After four hours on high, or eight hours on low, carefully remove the chicken breast from the slow cooker and use two forks to shred the meat. Return the meat to the slow cooker. Stir the chili, slightly mashing the beans with the back of the spoon as you stir. The mashed beans will help thicken the chili.

  5. Serve the chili topped with shredded Monterrey Jack cheese. Other optional toppings include fresh cilantro, diced avocado, freshly squeeze lime, or tortilla chips.

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Close up overhead view of a bowl full of slow cooker white chicken chili

How to Make Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili – Step by Step Photos

Onion, garlic, jalapeño, and chicken breast in the slow cooker

Dice one yellow onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Slice the jalapeño in half, scrape out the seeds, then dice the remaining pepper. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeño, and chicken breast to the slow cooker.

Beans and spices added to slow cooker

Drain and rinse two 15oz. cans of cannellini beans and one 15oz. can of pinto beans. Add the drained beans to the slow cooker along with 1 Tbsp cumin, 1 tsp oregano, ¼ tsp cayenne, and some freshly cracked black pepper.

Salsa verde being poured into the slow cooker

Pour one 16oz. jar of salsa verde into the slow cooker (I’ve used many brands for this recipe in the past, the one in the photo is Kroger’s Private Selectrion brand).

Chicken broth being poured into the slow cooker

Pour two cups of chicken broth into the slow cooker.

Briefly stir the slow cooker

Briefly stir the contents of the slow cooker to distribute the spices. Place a lid on top and cook on high for four hours, or low for eight hours.

Chicken breast being removed from slow cooker with tongs

After cooking on high for four hours, or on low for eight hours, remove the chicken breast to a clean cutting board to shred (or you can shred directly in the pot with two forks).

Shredded chicken on cutting board

Shred the chicken using two forks.

Chicken returned to slow cooker

Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Use the back of a spoon to smash some of the beans agains the side of the pot. The smashed beans will help thicken the chili.

A spoonful of white chicken chili being lifted out of the bowl, blue corn chips in the background

Top with your favorite ingredients and enjoy!

The post Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Simple Sesame Rice

Sometimes you just need something simple to flesh out your meal, to bulk it up without adding a lot of work, or without adding a lot of $$$. Rice is my favorite ingredient for that job. But as much as I love rice, even I can get sick of it sometimes, so it’s important to […]

The post Simple Sesame Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sometimes you just need something simple to flesh out your meal, to bulk it up without adding a lot of work, or without adding a lot of $$$. Rice is my favorite ingredient for that job. But as much as I love rice, even I can get sick of it sometimes, so it’s important to know how to jazz it up just a bit to make things interesting while still keeping it simple. This toasty Sesame Rice recipe does just that.

Super Simple Savory Sesame Rice

A bowl of sesame rice with chopsticks balanced on the rim and a small bowl of sesame seeds on the side

It’s All About the Toasted Sesame Oil

The magic in this savory sesame rice is the toasted sesame oil. If you haven’t discovered this magical ingredient yet, you’re in for a treat! Even just a small amount of this toasty oil gives any food a deliciously nutty aroma and flavor. It’s a finishing oil, so you’ll want to drizzle it onto your food after cooking for maximum impact.

Where to Find Toasted Sesame Oil

The tricky part about buying toasted sesame oil is that the label on the bottle doesn’t always say “toasted”, so you’ll have to take a closer look. Regular, or un-toasted, sesame oil has a light straw-like color similar to canola oil, and only has a mildly nutty flavor. Toasted sesame oil has a deep amber color and a strong nutty flavor and aroma. Most oil is sold in a glass bottle, so simply check the color to know if you’ve got the right oil.

Un-toasted sesame oil is usually sold near other cooking oils, while toasted sesame oil is usually found in the international aisle at major grocery stores. Thankfully, this ingredient is becoming more popular in the U.S. so even stores like Trader Joe’s and Aldi are carrying their own brand (and for a great price!). A little bit goes a long way with this oil, so don’t be afraid of the price tag. It will last you quite a while.

Do I Have to Use Jasmine Rice?

No, you can use plain long grain white rice if you prefer, but jasmine rice will provide more flavor. To find jasmine rice for a good price, skip the small containers of “specialty” rice and look on the bottom shelf for a large 5 lb. bag. It’s so good, you’ll use that 5 lbs. in no time!

What to Serve with Sesame Rice

Sesame rice makes a simple side dish to any Southeast Asian inspired meal. You can serve it along side Soy Glazed Eggplant, Easy Sesame Chicken, or Slow Cooker Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken. Or swap it out for plain rice in any of your favorite bowl meals, like Teriyaki Meatball Bowls, Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry Bowls, or Chili Garlic Tofu Bowls.

Close up side view of a bowl full of sesame rice garnished with green onions

Green onions added for garnish.

 

Simple Sesame Rice

Adding just a few ingredients to your rice can really make your meal pop. Try this Simple Sesame Rice with any of your Southeast Asian inspired meals.

  • 1 clove garlic ($0.08)
  • 1 Tbsp butter ($0.13)
  • 1 cup long grain jasmine rice ($0.67)
  • 1.75 cups water ($0.00)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce ($0.06)
  • 1/2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil ($0.15)
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds ($0.02)
  1. Mince the garlic and add it to a medium sauce pot with the butter. Sauté the garlic for 1-2 minutes over medium heat, or just until the garlic begins to soften and becomes very fragrant.

  2. Add the rice to the pot and continue to stir and cook for 2-3 minutes more to toast the rice.

  3. Carefully add the water and soy sauce, then give the pot a brief stir to combine. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to high, and allow it to come to a full boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes.

  4. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the rice rest, undisturbed and with the lid in place, for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Drizzle the toasted sesame oil over top, add the sesame seeds, and gently fold the rice until the sesame oil and seeds are distributed throughout. Serve warm.

A pot full of sesame rice with a bowl of sesame rice on the side, both garnished with green onion

 

How to Make Sesame Rice – Step by Step Photos

Garlic and butter in sauce pot

Mince one clove of garlic and add it to a medium sauce pot with 1 Tbsp butter. Place the pot over medium heat and sauté the garlic for 1-2 minutes, or just until it has softened a bit and is very fragrant.

Rice being poured into the pot

Add 1 cup jasmine rice to the pot and continue to stir and cook for 2-3 minutes more to toast the rice.

Water being poured into the pot

Carefully pour 1.75 cups water into the pot…

Soy sauce being added to the pot

Along with 1 Tbsp soy sauce. Give the pot a brief stir to combine. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to high, and allow it to come up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest for 5 minutes.

Add sesame oil to the cooked rice

After resting without heat for 5 minutes, remove the lid and drizzle ½ Tbsp toasted sesame oil over the cooked rice. Add 1 tsp sesame seeds and gently fold the rice until the oil and seeds are evenly distributed throughout.

Finished sesame rice garnished with green onion

Serve the rice while warm, next to your favorite main dish! (I garnished with green onion, but this is not necessary for the overall flavor of the dish).

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Lentils with Creamy Mushroom Gravy

Ever since I added coconut milk to my ramen broth, I haven’t been able to stop adding coconut milk to all of my savory saucy and brothy dishes. The creaminess of the coconut milk is unmatched, and pairs particularly well with the flavor of mushrooms. So I did it again this week with these Lentils […]

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Ever since I added coconut milk to my ramen broth, I haven’t been able to stop adding coconut milk to all of my savory saucy and brothy dishes. The creaminess of the coconut milk is unmatched, and pairs particularly well with the flavor of mushrooms. So I did it again this week with these Lentils with Creamy Mushroom Gravy, which make a great easy weeknight dinner that you can eat almost like a stew with some crusty bread for dipping, or spoon it over a big bowl of mashed potatoes or rice. It’s hearty, creamy, and just right for cold winter nights!

Lentils with Creamy Mushroom Gravy

Overhead view of a bowl full of Lentils with Creamy Mushroom Gravy served over mashed potatoes, with a black spoon.

Garnished with chopped parsley, for color.

What Kind of Lentils Should I Use?

I suggest using brown lentils for this recipe, which are quick cooking (only requiring 20 minutes of simmering) and hold their shape. These lentils look kind of greenish-brown when dry, so if you’re unsure if you have the right kind of lentil, check the cooking instructions on the package. If they say to simmer for about 20 minutes, you’ve got the right kind of lentil. 

Red or yellow lentils will break down and create more of a split pea soup textured dish, so I don’t suggest using them for this recipe.

What Kind of Mushrooms Should I use?

I used baby bella mushrooms, because they’ve been available for a great price at Aldi lately, but white button mushrooms will work perfectly well and are often less expensive.

Meal Prep It!

These Lentils with Creamy Mushroom Gravy make a great winter meal prep. They hold up perfectly in the refrigerator (for about four days) and also freeze well. You could freeze them right in the same container as your mashed potatoes or rice!

How to Serve Lentils with Creamy Mushroom Gravy

As mentioned in the introduction, you can serve these creamy lentils as is with some bread for dipping, or spoon them over a bowl of mashed potatoes, rice, or even pasta!

Lentils with Creamy Mushroom gravy in the skillet being scooped with a wooden spoon

 

Lentils with Creamy Mushroom Gravy

These Lentils with Creamy Mushroom Gravy are an easy, hearty, and comforting vegan weeknight dinner, perfect for cold winter nights.

  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 8 oz. mushrooms ($1.69)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 1 cup brown lentils ($0.50)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme ($0.05)
  • 3/4 tsp rubbed sage ($0.07)
  • Freshly cracked black pepper ($0.03)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth ($0.26)
  • 1 13.5 oz. can coconut milk ($1.99)
  • salt to taste (about 1/2 tsp) ($0.02)
  1. Mince the garlic and slice the mushrooms. Add the olive oil and garlic to a large skillet and sauté for about one minute. Add the sliced mushrooms and continue to sauté until the mushrooms have released all their moisture and begin to brown.

  2. Add the lentils, sage, thyme, freshly cracked pepper, and vegetable broth to the skillet with the mushrooms. Stir to combine. Place a lid on the skillet, let the broth come up to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low. Let the lentils simmer for 20 minutes (with lid), stirring occasionally.

  3. After simmering for 20 minutes, the lentils should be tender and most of the broth absorbed. Add the coconut milk, stir to combine, turn the heat back up to medium, and let the lentils simmer for about five more minutes (without lid), or until the mixture in the skillet has thickened to a gravy.

  4. Once the mixture has thickened, turn the heat off. Taste the mixture and add salt to your liking. I added about 1/2 tsp. The salt will help the herbal flavors pop and reduce the sweetness of the coconut milk.

  5. Serve hot with crusty bread for dipping or over mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta.

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

A bowl of Lentils with Creamy Mushroom Gravy over mashed potatoes, a bite being lifted by a black spoon.

Shown with Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes and garnished with parsley for color.

 

How to Make Lentils with Creamy Mushroom Gravy – Step by Step Photos

Mushrooms being sliced on a green cutting board

Start by mincing two cloves of garlic and slicing 8 oz. mushrooms.

Mushrooms added to a skillet with sautéed garlic

Add the minced garlic to a large skillet with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Sauté the garlic for about one minute, then add the sliced mushrooms. 

Sautéed and browned mushrooms in the skillet

Continue to sauté the mushrooms until all of their moisture evaporates and the mushrooms begin to brown.

Lentils, herbs, and broth added to mushrooms in the skillet

Add 1 cup brown lentils, ½ tsp dried thyme, ¾ tsp rubbed sage, some freshly cracked black pepper, and 2 cups vegetable broth to the skillet. Stir to combine, then place a lid on the skillet and allow the broth to come up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the lentils simmer for 20 minutes (with lid), stirring occasionally.

Coconut milk being poured into the skillet full of lentils

After simmering for 20 minutes, the lentils should be tender and most of the broth absorbed. Add a 13.5 oz. can coconut milk and stir to combine. Turn the heat up to medium and let the mixture simmer for about five more minutes.

Simmered lentils in creamy mushroom gravy

The mixture will thicken a bit more as it simmers and form a rich gravy. Once it has thickened slightly, turn off the heat. Give the lentils a taste and season with salt to your liking. I added about ½ tsp. Adding enough salt will help the flavors of the herbs pop and it will reduce the sweetness of the coconut milk.

Finished lentils with creamy mushroom gravy garnished with parsley in the skillet

You can serve the creamy mushroom lentils as-is with some bread for dipping…

Overhead view of a bowl of mashed potatoes topped with lentils in a creamy mushroom gravy

Or spoon them over something starchy, like a big bowl of mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta! 🤤

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Chili Cornbread Skillet

Some nights you just need something warm, comforting, and easy to help melt off the stresses of the day, like a big bowl of chili. And maybe some cornbread, too, for good measure. This easy Chili Cornbread Skillet has all the comfort of a pot of chili, with homemade cornbread baked right on top to […]

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Some nights you just need something warm, comforting, and easy to help melt off the stresses of the day, like a big bowl of chili. And maybe some cornbread, too, for good measure. This easy Chili Cornbread Skillet has all the comfort of a pot of chili, with homemade cornbread baked right on top to avoid excess dishes. Oh, and I hid a layer of gooey cheddar cheese between the chili and cornbread, too. Because cheese makes everything better!🧀

Originally posted 10-5-2013, updated 12-12-2019.

Cozy Chili Cornbread Skillet

Chili cornbread skillet in the skillet with wooden spoon, a serving scooped out onto a plate on the side.

What Kind of Skillet Should I Use?

You’ll want a deep, 4-quart skillet for this recipe. I used my 10″ 4-quart Oxo stainless steel skillet for this recipe. If needed, you could also use a smaller wide soup pot or Dutch oven. Using an oven safe skillet or pot is the best option, but read on if you do not own an oven safe skillet or pot.

What if I Don’t Have an Oven Safe Skillet?

If you only own teflon skillets, skillets with plastic handles, or skillets that have other non-safe parts, you can still make this recipe. Simply let the chili simmer in your skillet or pot while you make the cornbread, and then transfer to a 4-quart casserole dish before topping with the cornbread batter and baking.

Can I Add Meat to the Chili Cornbread Skillet?

Absolutely! I made a vegetarian version this time around because it’s quite cost effective and it makes the meal more pantry-staple friendly, but you can always add meat if you have it on hand or prefer your chili con carne. Simply replace one can of beans with one pound ground beef or turkey. Brown the meat in the skillet before adding the onion, garlic, and jalapeño in the beginning. 

Meal Prep and Freezer Friendly

This Chili Cornbread Skillet holds up extremely well in the refrigerator, and is also freezer friendly. As with any meal prep recipe, make sure to divide the dish into single serving portions right after cooking and get it into the refrigerator as soon as possible, so it cools quickly. Once cooled, the chili cornbread will keep in the refrigerator for about four days, or can be transferred to the refrigerator and kept frozen for about 3 months. You can see some of my favorite meal prep containers here.

Chili Cornbread Skillet in the skillet with some scooped out, on a yellow surface with black and white striped napkin

 

Chili Cornbread Skillet

This hearty and comforting Chili Cornbread Skillet is an easy, one-pot meal that is sure to make the whole family happy. Freezer friendly!

Chili

  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.04)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
  • 1 jalapeño (optional) ($0.15)
  • 1 15 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes ($0.89)
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste ($0.39)
  • 3 15 oz. cans beans (kidney, pinto, black) ($2.67)
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder* ($0.30)
  • 1 tsp cumin ($0.10)
  • 1/2 tsp oregano ($0.05)
  • 1 tsp salt ($0.05)
  • 1 cup water ($0.00)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar ($0.85)

Cornbread

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal ($0.24)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour ($0.15)
  • 1/4 cup sugar ($0.20)
  • 4 tsp baking powder ($0.24)
  • 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 1 cup milk ($0.31)
  • 1 large egg ($0.23)
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil ($0.16)
  1. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Slice the jalapeño lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, and then dice the pepper. Add the cooking oil, onion, garlic, and jalapeño to a large 4-quart oven safe skillet. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent (about 5 minutes).

  2. Drain the canned beans then add them to the skillet with the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and water. Stir to combine.

  3. Allow the chili to come up to a simmer. Let the chili continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, as you prepare the cornbread topping.

  4. Begin to preheat the oven to 425ºF. In a large bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until very well combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and oil. Pour the milk mixture into the bowl with the cornmeal mixture and stir just until everything is moistened.

  5. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese over top of the simmering chili. Carefully pour the cornbread batter over the chili and cheese, and spread it around until the surface is evenly covered.

  6. Transfer the skillet to the fully preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until the cornbread is golden brown on the surface. To serve, simply scoop the cornbread and chili beneath onto a plate or bowl, and enjoy!

*The chili powder is a mild blend of chile peppers and other spices. It is not cayenne pepper, which is very spicy. I use this product, which has no heat at all. If your chili powder is spicy, start with a small amount and add more as needed.

Love chili? Check out my Simple Homemade Chili recipe with tons of ways to customize the flavors to make it your own! 

A plate with one serving of Chili Cornbread Skillet on a yellow surface with striped napkin

 

How to Make Chili Cornbread Skillet – Step by Step Photos

Diced onion jalapeño and garlic

Dice one yellow onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Slice the jalapeño lengthwise, scrape out the seeds with a spoon, then dice the remaining pepper. Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeño to a skillet with 1 Tbsp cooking oil. Sauté over medium heat until the onion is soft and translucent (about 5 minutes).

Remaining chili ingredients added to the skillet

Drain three 15 oz. cans of beans (any combo of kidney, black bean, or pinto—I used two black beans, one kidney). Add the beans to the skillet along with one 15 oz. can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, one 6 oz. can of tomato paste, 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1 tsp salt, and 1 cup water. Stir to combine. Allow the chili to come up to a simmer over medium heat. Continue to simmer the chili, stirring occasionally, as you prepare the cornbread batter.

Cornbread dry ingredients in a white bowl

Begin preheating the oven to 425ºF. Combine 1 cup cornmeal, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 4 tsp baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt in a large bowl. Stir until they are very well combined.

Cornbread wet ingredients in a separate white bowl

In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 cup milk, 1 large egg, and 1/4 cup cooking oil. Pour the bowl of whisked wet ingredients into the bowl with the cornmeal mixture and stir just until the batter is combined (don’t over stir).

Add Cheese to Simmering Chili

Before adding the cornbread batter to the chili, sprinkle 1 cup of shredded cheddar over the surface of the chili.

Spread cornbread batter over chili in skillet

Carefully spread the cornbread batter over the surface of the hot chili, making sure to spread from edge to edge.

Baked chili cornbread skillet finished

Bake the Chili Cornbread Skillet in the fully preheated 425ºF oven for about 25 minutes, or until the top of the cornbread is golden brown.

Close up of chili cornbread skillet being scooped out of the skillet

To serve, simply scoop the cornbread and chili beneath out of the skillet and onto a plate or bowl.

Chili cornbread skillet with some scooped out onto a white plate beside the skillet

COMFORT FOOD.

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