Thai Basil Chicken

Fragrant and savory this Thai Basil Chicken recipe is simple, fast and flavorful!  Perfect for weeknight dinners or an easy delicious lunch ready to serve in under 30 minutes. Re-examine all that you have been told… dismiss that which insults you…

Thai Basil Chicken is simple, fast and flavorful!  Made with ground chicken (or ground turkey) it's ready to serve in under 30 minutes.
Fragrant and savory this Thai Basil Chicken recipe is simple, fast and flavorful!  Perfect for weeknight dinners or an easy delicious lunch ready to serve in under 30 minutes. Re-examine all that you have been told… dismiss that which insults your soul.~ Walt Whitman Thai Basil Chicken is a simple stir fry that couldn’t be...

Vegetable Fried Rice

Vegetable Fried Rice is a fast, easy, delicious, and budget-friendly meal that you can whip up with ingredients on hand at any time!

The post Vegetable Fried Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Fried rice is a take-out classic because it’s fast, easy, filling, delicious, and inexpensive, which is everything I want from a meal made at home, too! I love making vegetable fried rice at home because it’s an easy way to use up odds and ends in my fridge, it’s always satisfying, and it’s FAST. Plus, I can always add some meat or seafood if I’m feeling it!

Originally posted 6/2/2010, updated 3/30/2022.

Overhead view of a black plate full of vegetable fried rice on a yellow background

What is Fried Rice?

Fried rice is a Chinese dish made with cooked rice that is then stir-fried in a wok with other ingredients, like meat, seafood, vegetables, and eggs, and then seasoned with a savory sauce. It’s extremely flexible and budget-friendly, which is why we love this dish! The recipe below is an American adaptation, using a skillet instead of a wok and ingredients that are easily sourced in most American grocery stores. If you’d like to try an authentic Chinese Fried Rice recipe, be sure to check out Chinese Fried Rice from Rasa Malaysia, Egg Fried Rice from Red House Spice, or Classic Chicken Fried Rice from The Woks of Life.

Use Leftover Rice for Best Results

To avoid clumpy or gummy fried rice, use rice that has been previously cooked and completely cooled, preferably overnight. The slightly drier, less starchy rice is perfect for stir-frying because it can absorb moisture from the sauce and vegetables without becoming overly sticky. If you don’t have leftover rice from the day before, simply cook some rice, spread it out thin on a baking sheet or wide baking dish for faster cooling, then refrigerate until completely cool before using in the stir fry. 

Do I Need a Wok?

Woks are wonderful for stir fry because the large surface area makes it possible to add a lot of ingredients without overcrowding. While using a frying pan doesn’t work quite as well, we can make up for the crowding issue by cooking the ingredients separately, then combining them at the very end. 

What Else Can I Add to Vegetable Stir Fry?

Here’s my favorite part. A simple Vegetable Stiry is a blank slate for all sorts of add ins, whether it’s more vegetables, a meat or seafood, a different sauce, or even a crunchy topping! Here are some other fun add-ins for your stir fry:

  • Other vegetables like beansprouts, mushrooms, green beans, corn, broccoli, red chiles, or kimchi
  • Meat or seafood like chicken, beef, shrimp, pork, or sausage
  • Other sauces like oyster sauce, sriracha, or chili crisp
  • Crunchy toppers like cashews, peanuts, sesame seeds, crushed ramen noodles

Overhead view of fried rice in a skillet with a wooden spoon.

Overhead view of a plate full of vegetable fried rice on a yellow background.

Vegetable Fried Rice

Vegetable Fried Rice is a fast, easy, delicious, and budget-friendly meal that you can whip up with ingredients on hand at any time!
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American, Chinese
Total Cost $4.50 recipe / $1.13 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 4 about 1.25 cups each
Calories 336kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger $0.10
  • 1 carrot, diced $0.16
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced $1.50
  • 4 green onions, sliced $0.40
  • 1 cup frozen peas $0.50
  • 3 Tbsp cooking oil, divided $0.12
  • 3 cups cooked and cooled rice $0.62
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce $0.18
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil $0.30

Instructions

  • Prepare the vegetables before hand so they're ready to go when needed. Mince the garlic, grate the ginger, dice the carrot and bell pepper, slice the green onions (separate the green ends from the white ends), and measure the frozen peas.
  • Lightly whisk the eggs in a small bowl. Heat a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add 2 Tbsp of cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the eggs and gently scramble until cooked through. Transfer the cooked eggs to a clean bowl or plate.
  • There should be a good amount of oil left in the skillet. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Add the diced carrots and stir and cook for about two minutes. Next add the bell pepper and the white firm ends of the green onions. Cook and stir for one minute more. Finally, add the frozen peas and stir and cook until heated through. Transfer the vegetables to a clean bowl or plate.
  • Add the remaining 1 Tbsp cooking oil to the skillet and swirl to coat the surface. Add the garlic, ginger, and cooked and cooled rice to the skillet. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes, or until the rice is heated through.
  • Pour the soy sauce and toasted sesame oil over the rice. Stir the rice and sauce together until evenly combined. Turn the heat off.
  • Add the eggs and vegetables back to the skillet with the rice and stir to combine. Allow the residual heat to heat everything through. Top with the remaining green ends of the sliced green onions. Taste and adjust the soy sauce or sesame oil to your liking.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.25cups | Calories: 336kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 15g | Sodium: 771mg | Fiber: 4g

side view of a plate full of fried rice with chop sticks on the side.

How to Make Fried Rice – Step By Step Photos

Chopped vegetables on a cutting board

Prep the vegetables before you begin cooking because once you start, it will go fast! Mince two cloves of garlic and mince or grate about 1 tsp fresh ginger. Peel and dice one large carrot and one red bell pepper. Slice four green onions, separating the tender green top half from the firm lower half, and measure out one cup of frozen peas.

Scrambled eggs in a skillet

Lightly whisk two large eggs. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 2 Tbsp cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the eggs to the skillet and gently scramble until cooked through. Remove the scrambled eggs to a clean bowl or plate.

Sautéed vegetables in the skillet

There should be quite a bit of oil left in the skillet after removing the eggs. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Add the diced carrot to the skillet and stir fry for about two minutes. Next, add the bell pepper and the firm white ends of the sliced green onion. Stir fry for about a minute more. Lastly, add the frozen peas and stir fry just until heated through. Remove the vegetables to a clean bowl or plate.

Stir fried rice in the skillet.

Add another tablespoon of cooking oil to the skillet and swirl to coat the surface again. Add the minced garlic, ginger, and three cups of cooked and cooled rice to the hot skillet. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes. Don’t worry if the rice sticks a bit to the bottom. It will loosen after the sauce is added.

Stir fry sauce being poured over the rice.

Add 3 Tbsp soy sauce and 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil to the rice. Fold the rice and sauce together until the rice is evenly coated in the sauce.

vegetables and eggs added back to the rice.

Add the vegetables and eggs back to the skillet. Turn the heat off and stir to combine, allowing the residual heat to reheat everything through.

Finished vegetable fried rice in the skillet.

Top with the sliced green ends of the green onions and you’re done! Give it a taste and add extra soy sauce or sesame oil to fit your taste buds.

finished vegetable fried rice in a skillet against a yellow background.

What do you like to put in your fried rice?

You Might Also Like:

The post Vegetable Fried Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Rice Paper Sushi without Seaweed or Fish

Nori sheets give the umami flavor to sushi. However, if you don’t like the taste of seaweed, this rice paper sushi recipe will be perfect for you. They are filled with mango, avocado, and roasted red pepper slices, drizzled with creamy wasabi may…

Nori sheets give the umami flavor to sushi. However, if you don’t like the taste of seaweed, this rice paper sushi recipe will be perfect for you. They are filled with mango, avocado, and roasted red pepper slices, drizzled with creamy wasabi mayonnaise and sprinkled with black sesame seeds. This recipe is not the only...

Read More

The post Rice Paper Sushi without Seaweed or Fish appeared first on My Pure Plants.

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

These easy Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas are a simple hands-off way to get that smoky-sweet flavor of traditional griddle fajitas.

The post Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas appeared first on Budget Bytes.

These Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas have been a Budget Bytes staple recipe since I first posted them eight years ago! I love fajitas, but they require a super hot griddle to get that nice smoky flavor, which also means a lot of smoky smell in my house and standing over a super hot stove. Not my favorite way to spend my evening. So I make baked fajitas instead. Is it exactly the same? No, BUT it’s almost completely hands-off (yay) and you get some nice caramelization on the edges of the peppers and onions, which gives you a similar char effect. I’ll save the real deal fajitas for when I’m at a restaurant and not doing the cooking. 😄 

Originally posted 2-18-13, updated 3-12-21

A sheet pan full of fajita chicken, onions, and peppers

What Kind of Sheet Pan to Use

You definitely want the largest sheet pan (or baking dish) you can find for this recipe. It’s imperative that the chicken and vegetables are not too crowded on the baking sheet otherwise the steam will get trapped as they bake and you won’t get that nice caramelization that only happens in a dry heat environment. I’m using a 13×16 inch baking sheet here and in the original version of this recipe I used a 13×15 inch glass baking dish.

Make it Fit Your Budget

Red, yellow, and orange bell peppers are usually significantly more expensive than green bell peppers, but you can use any mix that fits your budget. Despite using a couple of more expensive colored peppers, I used more vegetables than meat to keep costs low. The meat to veggie ratio ended up being perfect once everything had been cooked down. If you want to make these Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas vegetarian, try this Chipotle Portobello Oven Fajita recipe.

Make Your Own Fajita Seasoning or Buy Pre-Made

The ingredient list below might look long, but most of that is the fajita seasoning mix. So if you’re looking for a short cut or your kitchen spice cabinet is not well-stocked, you can simply use a packet of store-bought fajita seasoning.

Toppings for Chicken Fajitas

I like to keep my chicken fajitas really simple with just a squeeze of lime, maybe some fresh cilantro, and a small dollop of sour cream, but there are so many other things you could use to top your chicken fajitas. Try these toppings

What to Serve with Oven Baked Fajitas

Need a side dish to go with your Oven Fajitas? Try one of these awesome sides: Warm Corn and Avocado Salad, (not) Refried Beans, Pico de Gallo, Cilantro Lime Rice.

Prepared chicken fajitas on a plate with sour cream and cilantro

Sheet pan full of chicken fajitas with rice and tortillas on the side

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

These easy Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas are a simple hands-off way to get that smoky-sweet flavor of traditional griddle fajitas.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Southwest
Total Cost $13.90 recipe / $3.48 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 (2 fajitas each)
Calories 576.93kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

FAJITA SEASONING

  • 1 Tbsp chili powder $0.30
  • 1/2 Tbsp paprika $0.15
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp cumin $0.03
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 1 tsp sugar $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02

FAJITAS

  • 2 small yellow onions (or one large) $0.57
  • 3 bell peppers, any color $3.69
  • 1 lb. chicken breast $6.24
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08
  • 1 lime $0.30
  • 8 6-inch tortillas $1.28
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (optional) $0.90
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro (optional) $0.22

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Mix all of the spices for the fajita seasoning in a small bowl and set aside (chili powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, sugar, and salt).
  • Cut the onion and bell peppers into 1/4-inch wide strips. Slice the chicken breast into thin strips. Add the chicken and vegetables to a large baking sheet or casserole dish.
  • Drizzle the cooking oil over the chicken and vegetables, then sprinkle the fajita seasoning mix over top. Use your hands to toss the ingredients until everything is well coated in oil and seasoning. Spread the chicken and vegetables out over the baking sheet evenly.
  • Bake the chicken and vegetables in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Squeeze the juice from half of the lime over top of the meat and vegetables after they come out of the oven.
  • To serve, scoop a small amount of meat and vegetables into the center of each tortilla. Top with a few sprigs of cilantro, a dollop of sour cream, and an extra squeeze of lime if desired.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 576.93kcal | Carbohydrates: 47.98g | Protein: 31.6g | Fat: 28.8g | Sodium: 927.43mg | Fiber: 6.63g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Close up of baked chicken fajita meat and vegetables with wedges of lime.

How to Make Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas – Step By Step Photos:

Spices for fajita seasoning in a bowl

Begin by preheating the oven to 400ºF. In a small bowl, stir together 1 Tbsp chili powder (this is a mild blend, not hot red chiles), 1/2 Tbsp paprika, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/8 tsp cayenne, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp sugar. The sugar helps the vegetables caramelize and gives the dish a very subtle sweetness.

Vegetables for chicken fajitas on a cutting board.

Slice three bell peppers and two small onions (or one large onion) into thin, 1/4-inch wide strips. Red, yellow, and orange bell peppers are usually more expensive than green, so use a mix of peppers that fits your budget. 

Sliced onions, peppers, and chicken on a baking sheet

Slice 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast into thin strips as well. Place the sliced bell peppers, onion, and chicken on a large sheet pan (13×16-inch). You want to avoid piling the ingredients in so deep that they begin to stew in their juices in the oven, instead of browning, so you’ll need the largest dish available. You can also use an extra large casserole dish, if you don’t have a large sheet pan.

fajita spices being sprinkled over the chicken and vegetables

Drizzle 2 Tbsp cooking oil over the meat and vegetables, followed by the fajita spice mix, then toss the ingredients until everything is well coated in oil and spices.

Seasoned chicken and vegetables ready to go into the oven

Now that everything is coated in oil and spices, it’s ready to go into the oven. 

Baked chicken fajitas on the sheet pan.

Roast the chicken and vegetables for 35-40 minutes at 400ºF, stirring once halfway through, or until the fajita veggies have softened slightly and are a bit brown on the edges.

lime juice being squeezed over the chicken and vegetables

Squeeze the fresh lime juice over the chicken and fajita veggies.

Sheet pan full of chicken fajitas with rice and tortillas on the side

Serve hot with tortillas, extra lime wedges, sour cream, cilantro, or whatever other fajita toppings you like! 

Two fajitas on a wooden plate with toppings on the sides

Easy Oven Fajitas practically cook themselves with no need to slave over a hot griddle. BudgetBytes.com

The post Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Hearty Vegan Breakfast Hash (Oyster Mushroom Jerky)

Isn’t a hearty vegan breakfast is the best way to start your day? Fire up your skillet and make fried potatoes, crispy oyster mushroom jerky mixed with a rainbow of veggies like green peans, onions, and bell peppers to create a delicious vegan ha…

Isn’t a hearty vegan breakfast is the best way to start your day? Fire up your skillet and make fried potatoes, crispy oyster mushroom jerky mixed with a rainbow of veggies like green peans, onions, and bell peppers to create a delicious vegan hash. If you also like savory breakfast or brunch recipes try this...

Read More

The post Hearty Vegan Breakfast Hash (Oyster Mushroom Jerky) appeared first on My Pure Plants.

Easy Veggie Hummus Quesadillas Without Cheese

If you are looking for an easy, yummy, fajita-inspired hummus quesadillas recipe, look no further. They are packed with vegetables like oyster mushrooms, bell pepper, and onion seasoned with a fajita spice mix. Plus we added black beans and avocado to …

If you are looking for an easy, yummy, fajita-inspired hummus quesadillas recipe, look no further. They are packed with vegetables like oyster mushrooms, bell pepper, and onion seasoned with a fajita spice mix. Plus we added black beans and avocado to make the pan-fried veggie filling even more hearty. No cheese is needed as hummus...

Read More

The post Easy Veggie Hummus Quesadillas Without Cheese appeared first on My Pure Plants.

Cabbage Soup

Forget the cabbage soup diet, you’ll want to eat this super healthy vegetable-filled cabbage soup just because it tastes incredible!

The post Cabbage Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Do you remember the cabbage soup diet? It was one of those crazy fad diets where you were supposed to eat as much as you want of just one thing (in this case cabbage soup) and you’d supposedly lose weight without trying. While I’m not a fan of that type of diet, I am a big fan of the cabbage soup that the diet was centered around. Why? For one simple reason—it’s absolutely DELICIOUSYeah, I was surprised too. The first time I had the famed diet cabbage soup I expected it to be boring and bland, but I was pleasantly surprised by how extremely flavorful and comforting the soup was. I actually ended up eating it over and over again just because I wanted to. And it became a winter comfort food staple for me ever since. 😅

Originally published 1/15/2018, updated 1/8/2022.

Overhead view of a pot of cabbage soup with a ladle

Is Cabbage Soup Healthy?

I’m not going to tell you this cabbage soup will “detox” you or make you lose weight, but this soup is chock-full of a lot of the one thing that almost all of us are guilty of not getting enough of—vegetables.

I’m nicknamed this soup All You Can Eat Cabbage Soup as a tongue-in-cheek reference to the old fad diet, but seriously, eat as much as you want. The more the better, really. You’ll just be getting more of the good stuff. And guess what? This cabbage soup is insanely inexpensive, too! So even more reason to feel free to eat as much as you want!

What’s in Cabbage Soup?

The classic “cabbage soup diet” cabbage soup has taken many forms over the years, but they all have one thing in common—they’re stuffed full of non-starchy vegetables swimming in a flavorful herb-filled broth. I like my broth a bit more tomatoey, so I added some tomato sauce to thicken it up. Some people use V8 instead, but tomato sauce is much less expensive, especially when only a small amount is needed. I also added a bit of smoked paprika (because that’s my fav), and a splash of lemon juice at the end to brighten it up.

How to Store Leftovers

This recipe does make a really large batch, so it’s a good idea to freeze about half of it, just in case you can’t eat all of it within about five days. To freeze this soup, divide it into single-serving portions, chill it completely in the refrigerator first, then transfer to the freezer for longer storage. Keep in the freezer for up to three months.

Add More Protien

Soup recipes in general are very flexible, so you could always add a little extra protein to this soup to make it more filling. Here are some other great ingredients you can add:

  • Beans (cannellini, chickpeas, kidney beans)
  • Ground beef (or check out my Beef and Cabbage Soup)
  • Italian sausage
  • Cubed tofu (extra firm)
  • Shredded chicken

a bowl of cabbage soup with a spoon and garlic bread on the side

Shown with Homemade Garlic Bread.

close up of the pot of cabbage soup

Cabbage Soup

Forget the cabbage soup diet, you'll want to eat this super healthy vegetable-filled cabbage soup just because it tastes incredible! 
Course Dinner, Soup
Cuisine American
Total Cost $7.13 recipe / $1.19 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 2 cups each
Calories 133kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.32
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 4 carrots $0.57
  • 4 ribs celery $0.50
  • 1 green bell pepper $0.69
  • 1 28oz. can diced tomatoes $1.00
  • 1 8oz. can tomato sauce $0.34
  • 1/2 lb. frozen green beans $0.67
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley $0.23
  • 1/2 Tbsp smoked paprika $0.15
  • 1 tsp dried oregano $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 6 cups chopped cabbage (½ head) $1.14
  • 6 cups vegetable broth $0.78
  • 1 tsp salt $0.05
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice $0.04

Instructions

  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the onion, garlic, and olive oil to a large soup pot and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft.
  • While the onion and garlic are sautéing, peel and slice the carrots, chop the celery, and dice the bell pepper. Add the carrot, celery, and bell pepper to the pot. Continue to sauté as you measure the rest of the ingredients.
  • Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), tomato sauce, frozen green beans, chopped parsley, smoked paprika, oregano, thyme, and pepper. Continue to stir and cook while you chop the cabbage.
  • Chop the cabbage into 1-inch pieces. Add the cabbage to the pot along with the vegetable broth and stir to combine.
  • Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the soup to come to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and allow continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 40 minutes or until the cabbage is to your desired tenderness.
  • Once the cabbage is tender, season the soup with salt, starting with ½ tsp and adding more to your liking. Finish the soup by adding the lemon juice and stirring to combine. Serve hot with crusty bread for dipping.

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 1783mg | Fiber: 7g

A ladle full of cabbage soup held over the pot

How to Make Cabbage Soup – Step by Step Photos

Onion and garlic in a soup pot

Start by mincing four cloves of garlic and dicing one large onion. Add them both to a large soup pot with one tablespoon olive oil. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent.

Celery, carrot, and bell pepper added to the pot

While the onion and garlic are sautéing, peel and slice 4 carrots, slice 4 stalks of celery, and dice one green bell pepper. Add the carrots, celery, and bell pepper to the pot. Continue to sauté over medium.

Tomatoes, spices, parsley, and green beans added to the pot

Add one 28oz. can diced tomatoes (I used petite diced), one 8oz. can tomato sauce, ½ lb. frozen green beans, ¼ cup chopped parsley, ½ Tbsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp oregano, ½ tsp thyme, and ¼ tsp pepper. Stir to combine.

cabbage in soup pot, broth being poured in

Chop 1/2 head of cabbage into one-inch pieces (about 5-6 cups once chopped). Add the chopped cabbage to the pot along with 6 cups of vegetable broth.

Cabbage soup before simmering

Stir everything together, place a lid on the pot, and turn the heat up to medium-high. Allow the soup to come to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Let the soup simmer over medium-low, stirring occasionally, for about 40 minutes, or until the cabbage is to your desired tenderness.

Salt being added to the soup

Once the cabbage is tender, season the soup with salt, starting with 1/2 teaspoon, then adding more to taste (I used 1 tsp total). Next, add one tablespoon of lemon juice, which really helps brighten the flavors. 

close up of the pot of cabbage soup

And then slurp down all that vegetable-y goodness! I garnished with a little more fresh parsley, but it’s not needed for extra flavor.

close up of a bowl of cabbage soup

This soup goes great with some crusty bread (garlic or not) to soak up that delicious broth!

The post Cabbage Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

How to Make the Ultimate Veggie Sandwich

Use what you have on hand to build an ultimate veggie sandwich packed with color, flavor, and texture. Eat the rainbow!

The post How to Make the Ultimate Veggie Sandwich appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I love a good veggie sandwich. There are so many colors, textures, and flavors in every bite that it’s just beyond satisfying. And, because they’re super flexible, you can build an ultimate veggie sandwich using odds and ends of things you may already have in your fridge. And that is one of the most valuable characteristics of a recipe or meal when it comes to eating on a budget.

An ultimate veggie sandwich cut in half and stacked, cut sides facing the camera

This is going to be more of a how-to than a recipe because it’s so extremely flexible and it’s unlikely that you’ll end up using the exact same mix of ingredients as I did. For that reason, and because some of these ingredients are nearly impossible to accurately measure let alone calculate the cost of, I didn’t do a cost breakdown this time. But I’m willing to bet that it cost me less than shelling out $8 for a veggie sandwich at a deli!

I will put a recipe card with my exact sandwich ingredients below for anyone who is interested in trying to duplicate the exact sandwich pictured.

Step 1: Choose Your Bread

I suggest a good, hearty bread for veggie sandwiches, like wheat bread, sourdough, focaccia, or ciabatta. You need something that can hold up to the hefty texture of the vegetables without ripping and something that will provide a little weight in your stomach next to all those lightweight veggies. If you want to make your own bread, no-knead bread or focaccia would be awesome.

You could also make your veggie sandwich into a wrap using an extra-large tortilla. A pita pocket might work too, but it might be difficult to squeeze all those veggies in without it ripping.

The sandwich in the photos was made using Dave’s Killer Bread, Good Seed flavor. It was my first time trying this bread and while it was strong enough for the sandwich, it was a little softer than I’d prefer and the flavor was a bit too sweet for my liking.

Step 3: Choose Your Spread

Using some sort of sandwich spread adds moisture, flavor, and a little fat, which gives the sandwich a more satisfying mouthfeel.

I whipped up a quick scallion cream cheese that was basically a scaled-back version of my Scallion Herb Cream Cheese Spread. I just mixed together 2oz. cream cheese with one sliced green onion, ½ tsp lemon juice, ⅛ tsp garlic powder, ⅛ tsp dried dill, and a pinch of salt.

Other good sandwich spread options include:

  • Hummus
  • Guacamole
  • Pesto
  • Mayo (or a pesto-mayo mix)
  • Thick salad dressings, like ranch or green goddess
  • Boursin
  • Marinara
A veggie sandwich being built, ingredients all around.

Step 4: Add Cheese (Optional)

Since my spread was technically a cheese, I didn’t add any extra cheese. A little cheese can go a long way toward making a veggie sandwich very filling. Here are some good cheese options for veggie sandwiches:

  • White cheddar
  • Feta
  • Goat cheese (chevre)
  • Havarti
  • Swiss
  • Fresh mozzarella

Step 5: Pile On the Veggies!

And here’s where you can start to get really creative! I pulled a lonely carrot out of my produce drawer, grabbed a handful of leftover fresh spinach, sliced up a cucumber and tomato, and used the leftover half of a red bell pepper that I had from the day before. Oh, and I added some alfalfa sprouts because I love the texture they bring to the sandwich! Here are some other vegetables you can add:

  • Sliced button mushrooms or grilled portobello
  • Avocado
  • Coleslaw (this would act like a veggie-spread combo ingredient)
  • Pickles
  • Red onion
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Fresh or grilled zucchini
  • Roasted beets (sliced thin)
  • Sauer kraut
  • Jalapeño
  • Fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro
  • Broccoli (chopped fine)

You’ll want to slice most of your vegetables thinly, which helps keep everything packed together tightly. For hard vegetables, like the carrot I used, it’s helpful to chop or shred them into very small pieces. I used a cheese grater to grate my carrot, but something like broccoli I would just chop finely.

Step 6: Top with Extras

With so many veggies piled onto one sandwich, a little extra ✨spice✨ is never a bad idea. I always like to add some salt and freshly cracked pepper to my tomato layer, but you can also add things like Italian herbs, sunflower seeds, everything bagel seasoning, crushed red pepper, furikake, or nutritional yeast.

A hand holding both halves of a cut open ultimate veggie sandwich

Veggie Sandwich Ideas

Before we get into exactly what was on the sandwich pictured above, here are a few other fun veggie sandwich combo ideas:

  • The Green Goddess: Green goddess dressing, spinach, sprouts, cucumber, avocado, feta on any bread.
  • The Roasted Veggie: Hummus, roasted red peppers, roasted portobellos, roasted zucchini, feta, everything bagel seasoning, on any bread.
  • The “Pizza”: Marinara, grilled or roasted eggplant or portobello, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, black olives, red onion, fresh mozzarella, on ciabatta bread.
  • Coleslaw Sandwich: Creamy coleslaw, tomato, Swiss or havarti, salt and pepper, on sourdough.
A hand holding both halves of a cut open ultimate veggie sandwich

The Ultimate Veggie Sandwich

Use what you have on hand to build an ultimate veggie sandwich packed with color, flavor, and texture. Eat the rainbow!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 411kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Scallion Cream Cheese

  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp dried dill
  • 1 pinch salt

Sandwich

  • 2 slices hearty bread
  • 6 slices cucumber
  • 2 slices tomato
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1 handful alfalfa sprouts
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch pepper

Instructions

  • Whip the ingredients for the scallion cream cheese together in a small bowl (I used a fork).
  • Lightly toast the bread. Spread the cream cheese over one side of each pieces of bread.
  • Pile the vegetables onto the bread, then close. Slice in half and enjoy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 411kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 22g | Sodium: 560mg | Fiber: 9g
Side view of a closed veggie sandwich, uncut

Got Leftover Ingredients?

If you did happen to buy ingredients specifically for making a veggie sandwich, here are some really flexible recipes that you can make to use up any leftovers:

The post How to Make the Ultimate Veggie Sandwich appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Crispy Sticky Teriyaki Fried Tofu (Copycat Pei Wei)

To get perfect crispy Teriyaki Tofu sometimes it is not about the ingredients, but the method of preparing them. In this case, to get it crispy we used a technique of slicing and frying we saw in Pei Wei Restaurant. The end result is a crispy, sticky f…

To get perfect crispy Teriyaki Tofu sometimes it is not about the ingredients, but the method of preparing them. In this case, to get it crispy we used a technique of slicing and frying we saw in Pei Wei Restaurant. The end result is a crispy, sticky fried tofu which you can serve with rice...

Read More

The post Crispy Sticky Teriyaki Fried Tofu (Copycat Pei Wei) appeared first on My Pure Plants.

Black Bean and Roasted Salsa Soup

Colorful oven-roasted vegetables, black beans, fresh cilantro, and lime come together to make a vibrant soup that’s great any time of year.

The post Black Bean and Roasted Salsa Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’ll just admit it. I love salsa so much that sometimes I wish I could eat it with a spoon as if it were soup. So that’s basically what I did. I made a homemade salsa with roasted vegetables, combined it with black beans to make the soup more filling, and added some fresh cilantro and lime to freshen things up. This soup is colorful, flavorful, and is giving me all the salsa vibes. I wouldn’t even say no to crushing some tortilla chips on top of the bowl!

Originally posted 12-13-2010, updated 8-11-2021.

Overhead view of a bowl of black bean and roasted salsa soup, cornbread and limes on the side

This soup is based off of my Fire Roasted Salsa recipe, which is one of my absolute favorite salsa recipes. It’s made with fresh vegetables that are oven roasted until they’re all sweet and caramelized on the edges. The flavor is absolutely amazing!

Add More to Your Soup

You know I love flexible recipes, and this black bean and roasted salsa soup is no exception. You can have tons of fun by adding ingredients or toppings to make it your own. Here are some ideas:

  • For a creamier soup, stir in some cream, sour cream, plain yogurt or cream cheese
  • Add a few chipotle peppers in adobe sauce for a smokier, spicier soup
  • If you’re in a meaty mood, chorizo would be a perfect addition
  • Top the soup with a variety of garnishes:
    • Avocados
    • Sour cream
    • Shredded cheese
    • Crushed tortilla chips
    • Green Onion
    • Cilantro
    • Pico de gallo
    • Lime wedges

What to Serve with Roasted Salsa Soup

I served my soup as a main with some Cheddar Jalapeño Cornbread on the side, but this soup would also be great served as a side with Chipotle Lime Chicken and Rice, Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas, or Black Bean and Avocado Enchiladas.

Side view of black bean and roasted salsa soup in a bowl with a spoon in the center
Side view of black bean and roasted salsa soup in a bowl with a spoon in the center

Black Bean and Roasted Salsa Soup

Colorful oven-roasted vegetables, black beans, fresh cilantro, and lime come together to make a  vibrant soup that's great any time of year.
Total Cost $8.07 recipe / $1.35 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6 1.33 cups each
Calories 195kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 6 Roma tomatoes $1.43
  • 1 yellow onion $0.28
  • 1 red bell pepper $1.50
  • 1 jalapeño $0.07
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.32
  • 2 poblano peppers $1.44
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro $0.20
  • 2 15oz. cans black beans $1.60
  • 3 cups vegetable broth, divided $0.39
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin $0.05
  • 3/4 tsp salt $0.04
  • 1 lime $0.67

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Slice the Roma tomatoes in half. Cut the yellow onion into chunks. Remove the stem and seeds from the red bell pepper and jalapeño, then cut them in half. Peel the garlic. Leave the poblano peppers whole. Place the tomatoes, onion, red bell pepper, jalapeño, and poblano on a large baking sheet. Drizzle cooking oil over top, then toss until everything is coated.
  • Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes, or until they are well browned on the edges, stirring once half-way through.
  • Remove the poblano peppers from the baking sheet and allow them to cool slightly. The skin should be blistered and easily peeled from the pepper. Remove the skin, then open the peppers and scrape out the seeds.
  • Add the roasted vegetables and fresh cilantro to a food processor or blender and pulse until the vegetables are about half-puréed. Pour the vegetable mixture into a large soup pot.
  • Drain the canned beans and add them to the food processor with 1 cup of vegetable broth. Pulse until the beans are puréed. Pour the puréed beans into the soup pot along with the remaining 2 cups vegetable broth and cumin.
  • Stir the contents of the soup pot until everything is evenly combined. Turn the heat on to medium, and bring the soup up to a simmer. Allow the soup to simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Taste the soup and add salt to taste (about ¾ tsp). Squeeze about 1 Tbsp juice from the lime and add stir that into the soup as well. Taste and adjust the lime or salt to your liking.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.33cup | Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 769mg | Fiber: 10g
black bean and roasted salsa soup in a Dutch oven garnished with cilantro

How to Make Black Bean and Roasted Salsa Soup – Step By Step Photos

prepped vegetables on a baking sheet with oil being drizzled over top

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Slice 6 Roma tomatoes in half. Cut one yellow onion into chunks. Cut one red bell pepper and one jalapeño in half, then scrape the seeds out. Peel four cloves of garlic. Leave 2 poblano peppers whole. Add all the vegetables to a large baking sheet, then drizzle 2 Tbsp of your favorite cooking oil over top. Toss until the vegetables are well coated in oil.

Roasted vegetables on the baking sheet

Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes, or until they’re well browned on the edges, stirring once halfway through.

Peeled poblanos on a cutting board one with the seeds scraped out

Remove the poblano peppers from the baking sheet and allow them to cool slightly. The skin should be blistered and easily peeled from the flesh. Peel the poblanos, then open them up and scrape out the seeds.

Roasted vegetables in a food processor

Add the roasted vegetables and about ½ cup fresh cilantro to a food processor or blender.

puréed vegetables in the food processor

Pulse the vegetables until they’re about half puréed (I like to leave it just slightly chunky so you can see all the separate colors). Pour the vegetables into a large soup pot.

puréed beans in a food processor

Drain two cans of black beans and add them to the food processor with one cup of vegetable broth. Puré until mostly smooth.

Vegetable broth being poured into the soup pot with vegetables and beans

Pour the beans into the soup pot with the vegetables and add the remaining 2 cups vegetable broth and ½ tsp cumin. Stir until everything is combined.

Finished soup in the pot with salt and lime on the side

Bring the soup up to a simmer over medium heat. Allow the soup to simmer for about 10 minutes, then season with salt and lime juice. I added ¾ tsp salt and 1 Tbsp lime juice, but start small and add according to your taste buds.

Overhead view of a bowl full of black bean and roasted salsa soup with a spoon in the center

The post Black Bean and Roasted Salsa Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.