The Bagel Lunch Box

Here’s another quick lunch box idea (or meal prep breakfast idea) for you! While this one isn’t completely no-cook because it contains a hard boiled egg, it is still a super easy no-reheat lunch box that you can take to work, school, or on the road. This Bagel Lunch Box includes a mini bagel, some […]

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Here’s another quick lunch box idea (or meal prep breakfast idea) for you! While this one isn’t completely no-cook because it contains a hard boiled egg, it is still a super easy no-reheat lunch box that you can take to work, school, or on the road. This Bagel Lunch Box includes a mini bagel, some of my favorite Scallion Herb Cream Cheese, a handful of vegetables that go oh so well with the flavored cream cheese, and a simple hard boiled egg. It’s super simple to put together, but it makes life so much easier when your mornings are busy. Just grab a lunch box and go!

Three glass meal prep containers in a diagonal line filled with the bagel lunch box items

About that Cream Cheese…

I included my Scallion Herb Cream Cheese in this bagel lunch box because it has so much flavor and really adds a nice element of interest to the meal. If you don’t want to make this cream cheese you can use plain cream cheese or use a store-bought flavored cream cheese. Another nice option is to use plain cream cheese, but then bring some Everything Bagel Seasoning with you to add some extra flavor.

Other Lunch Box Add-In Ideas

If you want to substitute any of the ingredients or add to this lunch box, here are some good ideas of things that would also match well:

  • Smoked salmon
  • Carrot sticks
  • An orange, tangerine, or cutie
  • Grapes
  • Deli ham
  • Alfalfa sprouts

Where Did You Get Those Containers?

The divided glass meal prep containers and the small metal cups were both purchased on Amazon (links in the bottom of the recipe card below). 

Three bagel lunch boxes lined up in a row

 
Three bagel lunch boxes lined up in a row

The Bagel Lunch Box

This Bagel Lunch Box is an easy and affordable grab and go breakfast or lunch idea, perfect for work or school.
Total Cost $5.32 recipe / $1.33 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 307.18kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Scallion Herb Cream Cheese

  • 4 oz. cream cheese $0.60
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley $0.06
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro $0.04
  • 1 green onion, sliced $0.11
  • 1/16 tsp garlic powder $0.01
  • 1/16 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice $0.02

Lunch Box Ingredients

  • 4 mini bagels $1.52
  • 4 large eggs $0.92
  • 1 cucumber, sliced $1.29
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes $0.75

Instructions

  • To hard boil the eggs, place the eggs in a sauce pot and add water until the eggs are covered by one inch. Place the pot over high heat and allow the water to come up to a full boil. When it reaches a full boil, turn off the heat, place a lid on the pot, and let the eggs sit in the hot water for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water to cool.
  • To make the scallion herb cream cheese, combine the cream cheese, parsley, cilantro, green onion, garlic powder, salt, and lemon juice in a bowl. Stir together until evenly combined.
  • Place one bagel in each lunch box along with ¼ of the cucumber slices, ¼ of the grape tomatoes, ¼ of the cream cheese (1 oz.), and one hard boiled egg. Refrigerate up to five days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1lunch box | Calories: 307.18kcal | Carbohydrates: 30.6g | Protein: 12.98g | Fat: 15.1g | Sodium: 420.95mg | Fiber: 420.95g

How to Make the Bagel Lunch Box – Step by Step Photos

Place Eggs in Ice Bath

To hard boil the eggs, add the eggs to a sauce pot and add enough water to cover them by one inch. Place the pot over high heat and allow the water to come up to a full boil. Once boiling, turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let the eggs sit in the hot water for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, transfer the eggs to an ice water bath to cool.

Scallion Herb Cream Cheese Spread mixed

To make the scallion herb cream cheese, combine 4 oz. cream cheese, 1 Tbsp chopped parsley, 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro, one sliced green onion, 1/16 tsp (or one pinch) garlic powder, 1/16 tsp (one pinch) salt, and ½ Tbsp lemon juice in a bowl. Stir until everything is evenly combined.

One bagel lunch box in a glass meal prep container

Place one bagel, one hard boiled egg, ¼ of the sliced cucumbers, ¼ of the tomatoes, and ¼ of the cream cheese (1 oz.) in each lunch box. Refrigerate up to five days.

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The Peanut Butter Lunch Box

Continuing on with the series of no-cook lunch boxes, I bring you The Peanut Butter Lunch Box! This one is so simple, yet I may have enjoyed this one the most out of all the lunch boxes I’ve prepared so far. I don’t know if it was the sweet-salty combo, or maybe it was just […]

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Continuing on with the series of no-cook lunch boxes, I bring you The Peanut Butter Lunch Box! This one is so simple, yet I may have enjoyed this one the most out of all the lunch boxes I’ve prepared so far. I don’t know if it was the sweet-salty combo, or maybe it was just nostalgia (for about two years straight in elementary school I ate peanut butter apple sandwiches for lunch), but every day I looked forward to this lunch box! So, if you’re a fan of peanut butter sandwiches, but want to change things up, give this peanut butter lunch box a try!

Three glass containers lined up with peanut butter apples, celery, pretzels and dates.

What’s in the Peanut Butter Lunch Box

Peanut butter is the focus of this lunch box, with both sweet and savory side items that are all delicious dipped into the creamy peanut butter. For my peanut butter lunch box I added pretzels, apple slices, celery, and dates. If you can’t eat peanut butter, this lunch box would be just as good with any other nut butter you prefer (almond, cashew, sunflower, etc.).

About Those Dates…

If you’ve never eaten dates with peanut butter before, prepare for your mind to be blown! Medjool dates are rich, sweet, sticky, and taste a little bit like caramel, so it tastes like you’re eating caramel with peanut butter! It’s the perfectly rich and sweet natural dessert.

You’ll find Medjool dates in the produce department of most major grocery stores (scroll down to the photos below the recipe card to see what type of container they come in). They usually have a small pit inside, but they are easily pulled open with your fingers, and then you can simply remove the pit before smearing that creamy peanut butter all over the date.

How to Keep the Apple Slices Fresh

As most people know, apples begin to brown after they are sliced in response to exposure to oxygen. This brown color is a simple chemical reaction and does not indicate that the apple has gone “bad.” To help slow the browning, keep the apple slices bunched closely together to reduce the exposure to oxygen on the cut surfaces (see photos). You can also sprinkle a little lemon juice over your apple slices to further slow the browning, if you prefer. Even without lemon juice, my apple slices only browned a very small amount over four days in the refrigerator.

What Containers Do You Use?

For this lunch box I used a set of divided glass containers that I purchased on Amazon (linked below in the bottom of the recipe card). The dividers don’t go all the way up to the lid, so they don’t keep liquid items separate, but for solids or super thick stuff like peanut butter, it works just fine. 

A single peanut butter lunch box with peanut butter on a Medjool date and a pretzel dipping into the peanut butter

 
Three glass containers of the peanut butter lunch box lined up in a row

The Peanut Butter Lunch Box

This peanut butter lunch box is an easy no-cook lunch idea for school, work, picnics, or road trips! No reheating needed!
Total Cost $4.57 recipe / $1.14 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 572.68kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup peanut butter* $1.49
  • 60 mini pretzels $0.26
  • 2 apples $0.78
  • 8 Medjool dates $1.33
  • 4 ribs celery $0.70
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (optional) $0.01

Instructions

  • Wash and slice the celery into sticks. Slice each apple in half, remove the core, then cut into slices. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the apple slices to slow browning, if desired.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of peanut butter to each container. Add about 15 pretzels to each container, along with ½ an apple, some celery sticks, and two dates. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate up to five days.

Notes

I used natural style peanut butter, but you can use whichever type you prefer, or another type of nut butter.

Nutrition

Serving: 1lunch box | Calories: 572.68kcal | Carbohydrates: 80.15g | Protein: 14.53g | Fat: 25.65g | Sodium: 517.13mg | Fiber: 9.93g

The Peanut Butter Lunch Box – Extra Notes

Cored and sliced apples

I used Granny Smith Apples for this lunch box, but you can use any variety of apples you like. I included ½ an apple with each box. Slice the apples in half, then remove the core (I used a sharp measuring spoon, but you could use something like a melon baller as well). Slice each apple half into slices. Keeping the slices close together prevents oxygen exposure, which will slow the browning. You can also sprinkle a little lemon juice over the slices to further help slow the browning.

Medjool date container

Medjool dates are usually sold in a container like this, but sometimes I see them sold loose by the pound, which is really nice when you only need a few! I see them at just about every grocery store now, so they are widely available. You’ll find them in the produce department, usually not refrigerated.

Open Medjool date

To eat the dates, simply pull them open with your hands. They are soft and sticky, so they pull open very easily. You’ll find a small pit in the center (you can see the pit on the left side). Remove the pit.

Date half with peanut butter

Smear a little peanut butter on each half of the date and enjoy! This combo is super rich and sweet, so you’ll only need one or two! Enjoy!

Three peanut butter lunch boxes in glass containers

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The Tuna Salad Lunch Box

Here’s another no-cook cold lunch idea for you! Tuna salad is a classic cold lunch item, but you can’t prep a few days worth of sandwiches ahead and expect them to hold up and not turn into a soggy mess. Unlike piling tuna salad onto a sandwich or onto a bed of greens, this Tuna […]

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Here’s another no-cook cold lunch idea for you! Tuna salad is a classic cold lunch item, but you can’t prep a few days worth of sandwiches ahead and expect them to hold up and not turn into a soggy mess. Unlike piling tuna salad onto a sandwich or onto a bed of greens, this Tuna Salad Lunch Box holds up for days in the refrigerator, so you can pack your lunch for the week all in one go. 

These no-cook lunch ideas are convenient for the hot summer months, work places that don’t have a microwave for reheating, picnics, and road trips! Scroll down for a list with more of my no-cook lunch boxes just below the recipe!

Three divided glass meal prep containers with tuna salad, crackers, and vegetables

What Kind of Tuna Salad Should You Use?

You can use your favorite tuna salad recipe in your tuna salad lunch box. I used my Classic Tuna Salad, but this would also work well with my Sweet and Spicy Tuna Salad, Sesame Tuna Salad, or even my White Bean and Tuna Salad.

How to Keep the Crackers Crunchy

Tuna salad does have a lot of moisture in it, so if you put your crackers in the same box without any protection they will slowly absorb that moisture and soften. To avoid this you can either wrap the crackers in a fold top sandwich baggie, or just pack them separately.

Other Tuna Salad Lunch Box Ingredient Options

If you don’t like the items I packed in my tuna salad lunch box, there are more options! You can pack sliced cucumber, carrot sticks, pretzels, or even butter lettuce leaves (to use as a sort of wrap). 

If you want to make your lunch more filling, consider adding an apple, orange, or a cup of yogurt on the side.

What Are Those Containers??

I got these divided glass meal prep containers on Amazon. You can find a link to them in the bottom of the recipe card below.

A tuna salad lunch box with tuna in a pepper and a cracker tipping into the salad

 
A tuna salad lunch box with tuna in a pepper and a cracker tipping into the salad

The Tuna Salad Lunch Box

This Tuna Salad Lunch Box is an easy make-ahead lunch idea with plenty of vegetables and protein to keep you full.
Total Cost $7.68 recipe /. $1.92 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 573.98kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Classic Tuna Salad

  • 1 12oz. cans chunk light tuna in water $3.98
  • 1 cup diced celery $0.35
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts $0.30
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.12
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise $0.40
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice $0.04
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Other Box Ingredients

  • 4 ribs celery $0.52
  • 12 mini sweet peppers $1.22
  • 20 crackers $0.74

Instructions

  • Drain the tuna well. Finely dice the celery and slice the green onion. Combine the tuna, celery, green onion, walnuts, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Stir until everything is evenly combined.
  • Slice the remaining celery into sticks. Cut each mini sweet pepper in half and scoop out the seeds.
  • Divide the tuna salad between four containers (about 1 cup each). Add celery sticks, mini sweet peppers, and crackers to each box with the tuna salad. For extra protection, either wrap the crackers in a sandwich baggie or pack them separately. Refrigerate the lunch boxes up to four days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1box | Calories: 573.98kcal | Carbohydrates: 18.93g | Protein: 44.1g | Fat: 34.8g | Sodium: 1409.73mg | Fiber: 8.03g

Check Out These Other No-Cook Lunch Ideas:

Three glass containers of the tuna salad lunch box scattered

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The Cheese Board Lunch Box

Continuing on with my no-cook lunch box series, today I bring you The Cheese Board Lunch Box! This one goes out to everyone who is perfectly happy nibbling on a charcuterie board for dinner, instead of as an appetizer to dinner. 😉 Just be careful, this lunch box is going to tempt you to drink […]

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Continuing on with my no-cook lunch box series, today I bring you The Cheese Board Lunch Box! This one goes out to everyone who is perfectly happy nibbling on a charcuterie board for dinner, instead of as an appetizer to dinner. ;) Just be careful, this lunch box is going to tempt you to drink a glass of wine with lunch!

Four glass meal prep containers filled with the cheese board lunch box

Where Are the Vegetables??

I know, I know. I’m usually a vegetable-with-every meal type of person, but I think it’s entirely possible to have a cheese board lunch box and still keep balance in your day. Try eating a veggie heavy breakfast bowl, like my Vegetable Breakfast Scrambles, and make sure you include a veggie heavy dinner, like a stir fry, soup, or meal-worthy salad. Or hey, you can always just pack a side salad to go with this box for lunch. :)

What Else Can I Add to My Cheese Board Lunch Box?

As with all of these no-cook lunch box ideas, this Cheese Board Lunch Box is very flexible! Here are some other items you can include with or in place of any of the ingredients I put into my box:

  • Pickles
  • Grapes
  • Apple slices
  • A small container of your favorite jam
  • A small container of jam
  • A small container of pesto
  • Olives
  • Almonds
  • Dried cherries or cranberries
  • Sliced bell peppers

Other Meat Options

I used salami in my cheese board lunch box, but there are so many options with this one. You can use other cured meats, like prosciutto, capicola, soppressata. If all of that is too fancy or too hard to find, regular deli meat is just as great in this box! Roll up the slices into little “cigars” to make the presentation extra pretty and you’ll still feel like you’re eating an extra special lunch.

Wrap the Crackers for Freshness

To keep your crackers nice and crunchy, you’ll probably want to wrap the crackers in an extra fold-top sandwich bag or waxed paper to keep the moisture from the other ingredients out. I didn’t do this (because I’m lazy) and my crackers got a little soft, but I still enjoyed the box quite a bit over the next four days.

What Containers Do You Use?

These containers are made by Pyrex and are my favorite meal prep containers. While they’re not divided, the single compartment makes them very versatile. Also, the lid is simple, snaps on, and has no moving parts to break. There is a link to these containers in the bottom of the recipe card below. 

Overhead view of one Cheese board Lunch Box with a cracker stacked with cheese and salami.

 
Four cheese board lunch boxes lined up in a row

The Cheese Board Lunch Box

This easy no-cook lunch idea is perfect for the cheese lovers of the world! The Cheese Board Lunch Box makes a meal out of savory nibbles.
Total Cost $7.45 recipe / $1.86 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 638.5kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. cheese $2.12
  • 4 oz. salami $1.99
  • 20 crackers $0.74
  • 16 dried apricots $1.40
  • 1 cup walnuts $1.20

Instructions

  • Slice the cheese. Wrap sets of 5 crackers in fold-top sandwich bags or waxed paper.
  • Divide the cheese salami, wrapped crackers, dried apricots, and walnuts between four containers. Refrigerate until ready to eat, or up to five days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1box | Calories: 638.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 24.63g | Protein: 26.95g | Fat: 48.95g | Sodium: 901mg | Fiber: 4.03g

How to Make The Cheese Board Lunch Box

Packages of ingredients for the cheese board lunch box

These are all the ingredients I used for the cheese board lunch box (this is all from ALDI). You can use whatever type of cheese or crackers that you like. I chose sharp cheddar and got a box of assorted crackers. Check the list earlier in the post if you want ideas for other items to include.

Four cheese board lunch boxes lined up in a row

Slice the cheese and wrap groups of five crackers in a sandwich baggie or waxed paper (I skipped wrapping my crackers). Divide all the ingredients between four containers.

Four glass containers of the cheese board lunch box staggered

Refrigerate your cheese board lunch boxes until you’re ready to eat, or up to five days! Enjoy!

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The Hummus Lunch Box

Are y’all ready for the next installment in the no-cook lunch box series? The Hummus Lunch Box is a classic, one that I’m sure many of you have made before, but it definitely deserves its own mention in the series because it is flexible and always a pleaser. I’ve got a few different ways you […]

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Are y’all ready for the next installment in the no-cook lunch box series? The Hummus Lunch Box is a classic, one that I’m sure many of you have made before, but it definitely deserves its own mention in the series because it is flexible and always a pleaser. I’ve got a few different ways you can eat or serve this lunch box listed below, so even if you’ve made this before, make sure to go check out the alternate ideas!

Hummus Lunch Box packed in divided glass containers

What’s in the Hummus Lunch Box:

Hummus (of course), kalamata olives, cucumber, grape tomatoes, and pita bread. I love this lunch box because of its simplicity, it requires so little prep, and I just like “snacky” finger foods. The only prep work I had to do was slicing the cucumber and draining the jar of olives! For the sake of convenience, and because ALDI has very inexpensive hummus, I used store bought hummus this time. But if you want to make your own hummus or want to experiment with different hummus flavors, try my homemade hummus recipe (four flavors).

Serving Options

As I mentioned in intro, there are a few different ways you can eat this lunch box. The obvious way is to eat it in a “snacky” fashion, eating a little of this, a little of that, etc. But here are a couple other options:

  • Make it into a pita sandwich. Instead of cutting the pita bread into triangles like in my photos, leave your pita cut in half, then when you sit down for lunch smear the hummus inside, add some cucumber slices, olives, and tomatoes, and eat it like a sandwich!
  • Make it into a salad. Pack a separate bowl of mixed greens, then when you sit down to lunch, add the vegetables and hummus on top and eat it as a giant sandwich! You might also want to some dressing on the side (I suggest a vinaigrette, like Greek dressing, Italian, or Caesar dressing).

Alternate Ingredient Ideas

Just like all the no-cook lunch boxes in this series, this hummus lunch box is very flexible. If you don’t like some of the ingredients I included in mine, here are a few other ideas:

  • Pita chips or pretzel crackers in place of the pita bread
  • Feta cheese cubes
  • Marinated white beans
  • Celery or carrot sticks
  • Bell peppers
  • Sliced grilled chicken

How Long Does the Lunch Box Keep?

This lunch box holds up very well to refrigeration, so it will probably keep about 5 days in the refrigerator, depending on the freshness of your ingredients when the boxes are made and the conditions inside your refrigerator.

What Containers Do You Use?

I got these divided glass meal prep containers on Amazon. You can find a link to the product in the bottom of the recipe card below. (P.S. these containers came three to a set and this recipe makes FOUR lunch boxes, so I ate the fourth portion on a plate the day that I packed them. 😄)

Three glass containers filled with hummus lunch box ingredients

 
Three glass containers filled with hummus lunch box ingredients

The Hummus Lunch Box

This Hummus Lunch Box is a cold lunch classic. With almost zero prep work, this is the fastest, easiest no-cook lunch around.
Total Cost $8.04 recipe / $2.01 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Calories 362.55kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 cucumber $1.29
  • 2 pita breads $0.66
  • 1 cup hummus $1.95
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes $1.99
  • 1 6oz. jar kalamata olives $2.15

Instructions

  • Slice the cucumber and cut the pita bread into triangles.
  • Divide the hummus, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, and pita triangles between four containers. Refrigerate up to 5 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1box | Calories: 362.55kcal | Carbohydrates: 36.28g | Protein: 8.58g | Fat: 22.95g | Sodium: 1155.63mg | Fiber: 9.1g

More No-Cook Lunch Ideas:

Overhead view of one hummus lunch box.

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The Pizza Roll Up Lunch Box

The heat is getting to me, y’all! So last week I sat down and brainstormed some no-cook lunch boxes, or meal preps that I can keep in the fridge for quick meals over the next couple of months. I’ll be posting these lunch box ideas over the next few weeks, the first being this Pizza […]

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The heat is getting to me, y’all! So last week I sat down and brainstormed some no-cook lunch boxes, or meal preps that I can keep in the fridge for quick meals over the next couple of months. I’ll be posting these lunch box ideas over the next few weeks, the first being this Pizza Roll Up Lunch Box. These easy no-cook lunch boxes make great “brown bag” lunches for the work week, especially for those of you who don’t have access to a refrigerator or microwave during your work day. Just pop one of these in an insulated lunch pack and you’re good to go!

This one goes out to everyone who grew up eating those pizza lunchables. ;)

Four rectangular glass containers with pizza roll ups, green bell pepper, and a dipping cup of pizza sauce.

There is no “one size fits all” lunch box

We all need different amounts of food, so make sure you flex your lunch box up or down to fit your appetite. Here are some other things you can add to this pizza roll up lunch box to beef it up, if you need more!

  • Add an apple, orange, or yogurt cup on the side for dessert
  • Add an extra layer of turkey, ham, or salami sliced deli meat to the roll up
  • Add a layer of caramelized onions to the wrap
  • Spread ricotta cheese on the tortilla in place of pesto (option drizzle pesto on the ricotta and have both!)
  • Add a few banana pepper rings inside the roll up
  • Pack a simple green salad on the side

There are an endless number of toppings you could add to your roll up, but just be careful with “chunky” ingredients that may make it hard to keep the roll up closed.

How long do the lunch boxes last?

You can keep these lunch boxes in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Longevity may vary depending on the conditions inside your refrigerator and freshness of your ingredients.

What containers do you use?

These are Pyrex glass containers, and small metal dipping cups (both are linked in the bottom of the recipe card below). I have the dipping cups in the glass containers in the photos, but they are actually taller than the container and would need to be packed outside the glass container for it to be closed properly.

Three pizza roll up lunch boxes lined up in a row

 
Three pizza roll up lunch boxes lined up in a row

The Pizza Roll Up Lunch Box

These easy pizza roll up lunch boxes are a great no-cook lunch idea for your work week. No reheating required for this lunch meal prep!
Total Cost $5.64 recipe / $1.41 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 598.05kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 4 large tortillas (burrito size) $0.65
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto $0.55
  • 8 slices provolone cheese $1.19
  • 36 slices pepperoni $0.97
  • 4 cups fresh spinach $0.32
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce $0.43
  • 2 green bell peppers $1.53

Instructions

  • Spread 1 Tbsp pesto over the surface of each tortilla (it does not need to cover the entire surface. Lay two slices of provolone over one half of each tortilla, followed by about 9 pepperoni. Lastly, add one handful of fresh spinach to each tortilla.
  • Roll each tortilla up, trying to keep the roll as tight as possible. With the seams facing down, slice the rolls into one-inch sections. Place the sliced roll-ups in your meal prep container. Pack them closely together to keep them from coming unrolled.
  • Slice the green bell peppers into strips. Divide the bell pepper strips between the four containers.
  • Fill four small containers with 2 Tbsp pizza sauce each. Refrigerate your roll ups, bell peppers, and pizza sauce for up to five days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1box | Calories: 598.05kcal | Carbohydrates: 44.18g | Protein: 26.3g | Fat: 35.15g | Sodium: 1509.63mg | Fiber: 5.08g

Want more cold lunch ideas? Check out our No-Reheat Meal Prep category!

A pizza roll up being dipped into a small cup full of pizza sauce

How to Make Pizza Roll Up Lunch Boxes – Step by Step Photos

pesto, provolone, and pepperoni on a tortilla

Spread 1 Tbsp of pesto over each tortilla. Lay two pieces of provolone and about 9 pepperoni on one half of the tortilla.

spinach added to the tortilla

Sprinkle one handful of spinach over each tortilla.

Rolled up and sliced tortilla on a cutting board with a knife

Roll up the tortilla, making sure to roll as tightly as possible. Slice the roll into one-inch sections. The two end pieces might not stay rolled, but as long as the roll is seam-side down, the rest should stay rolled.

Finished pizza roll up lunch boxes

Place the sliced roll-ups in your containers. Cut two green bell peppers into strips and divide them among the four containers. Place 2 Tbsp pizza sauce into four small containers. Pack up your boxes and refrigerate up to 5 days!

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Cottage Cheese Crab Bowl

Every now and then I like to share things with you that aren’t exactly “recipes” but are just the random bowl meals that I make out of things found in my fridge. I’ve discovered so many great flavor combinations by experimenting with these bowl meals and I hope they inspire you as well. This Cottage […]

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Every now and then I like to share things with you that aren’t exactly “recipes” but are just the random bowl meals that I make out of things found in my fridge. I’ve discovered so many great flavor combinations by experimenting with these bowl meals and I hope they inspire you as well. This Cottage Cheese Crab Bowl is my most recent favorite. It’s light and fresh for this early summer heat, but still filling enough to serve as a whole meal (for me, at least).

Sriracha being drizzled onto a cottage cheese crab bowl, from above

What’s In This Bowl

This cottage cheese crab bowl was inspired by the classic sushi roll, the California roll, which contains crab (or often times imitation crab), cucumber, and avocado. I had been seeing imitation crab every time I stopped and Aldi and I eventually started craving it, so I bought a pack, I grabbed a cucumber, and threw them on top of the cottage cheese I had in my fridge. I also went a step further and sprinkled on a little bit of Everything Bagel Seasoning, and a light drizzle of sriracha for fun. It’s not fancy, but it’s soooo good!

P.S. If you have avocado on hand, it would go marvelously with these flavors, just like it does in the California roll. 

What is Everything Bagel Seasoning?

Everything bagel seasoning has been taking the food market by storm lately. It’s basically the mix of ingredients that you’d find on top of an “everything” bagel, or sesame seeds, poppy seeds, flakey salt, dehydrated garlic, and dehydrated onion. I’m not sure who marketed this seasoning blend first, but the first time I saw it was at Trader Joes. It’s gotten so popular lately that several other grocery stores are now making their own version, including Kroger and Aldi. 

What is Imitation Crab?

Imitation crab might throw some people off, and I totally get it. Imitation crab is basically fish that has been processed to taste and look more like crab. It’s probably not the most wholesome choice of proteins, but it’s so much less expensive than real crab and since I only eat it maybe once a year, I’m not going to sweat it. I’m all about everything in moderation, and I encourage everyone to make the food choices that they are comfortable with. Here is a great article from Healthline breaking down exactly what imitation crab is and how it compares to real crab, so you can decide for yourself: What is Imitation Crab and Should I Eat It?

Can I Substitute…

The whole idea of a “bowl meal” is that you allow yourself to be a little experimental, throw in whatever you have, and just go with it. So, can you substitute the imitation crab? Sure, go with what you have. Maybe a soft boiled egg, some canned tuna, real crab, cooked salmon, or smoked salmon. Can you substitute the Everything Bagel Seasoning? Sure, maybe try some plain sesame seeds, or just some freshly cracked pepper and flakey sea salt. Can you substitute the cottage cheese? Sure, try a bed of rice, or maybe some fresh greens. I can’t guarantee you’ll like any of these substitutes, but the point is that you try it and see for yourself. :)

Close up of a bite of Cottage Cheese Crab Bowl on a fork

 
Overhead view of a Cottage Cheese Crab Bowl with a black fork in the side

Cottage Cheese Crab Bowl

This Cottage Cheese Crab Bowl is the perfect light, fresh, and filling lunch for summer. It also meal preps well, so pack a few to take to work for lunch! 
Total Cost $1.21 each
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Calories 149.2kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese $0.27
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber $0.32
  • 1/3 cup imitation crab $0.58
  • 1/4 tsp everything bagel seasoning $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp sriracha $0.02

Instructions

  • Add the cottage cheese, chopped cucumber, and crab meat to a bowl. Top with everything bagel seasoning and a light drizzle of sriracha.
  • Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat, up to four days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 149.2kcal | Carbohydrates: 15.4g | Protein: 15.7g | Fat: 2.8g | Sodium: 710.4mg | Fiber: 0.8g

Want more bowl meals? Check out our bowl meal category

How to Make Cottage Cheese Crab Bowls – Step by Step Photos

Sliced cucumber on a cutting board with a knife

Chop about a ½ cup cucumber. Depending on the girth of your cucumber, you may want to either halve or quarter the slices to make them bite-sized.

Imitation crab meat package

This is the imitation crab meat that I got at Aldi. You can usually find it in the seafood department in grocery stores, but at Aldi it’s with the seasonal refrigerated items. So I’m not sure if they’ll continue to carry this item forever.

Everything bagel seasoning bottle

And here is the everything bagel seasoning I used. I’ve used different brands and each seems to have a different salt content, so you may just want to add your seasoning to the bowl according to your tastes. I find that this one from Aldi has a lot more salt than the one from Kroger (I prefer the less salt version). 

Adding everything bagel seasoning to the crab bowl

To make the cottage cheese crab bowl, start with ½ cup cottage cheese, add ½ cup chopped cucumber, about ⅓ cup of the imitation crab, and then sprinkle on some of the everything bagel seasoning (I used ¼ tsp, but would have used more if it had less salt).

cottage cheese crab bowl being drizzled with sriracha

Finally, drizzle a little sriracha on top.

Finished Cottage Cheese Crab Bowl with a black fork in the side

Then enjoy! This bowl meal preps really well, so feel free to make a few for easy grab and go lunches later in the week!

The post Cottage Cheese Crab Bowl appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Freezer Breakfast Burritos

I’m a huge proponent of batch cooking and stocking your freezer with portioned meals that you can just grab-reheat-and-go! Not only are these make-ahead freezer breakfast burritos a great answer to the “I’m too busy to make breakfast” conundrum, but for someone who loves breakfast for dinner as much as I do, these burritos make […]

The post Freezer Breakfast Burritos appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’m a huge proponent of batch cooking and stocking your freezer with portioned meals that you can just grab-reheat-and-go! Not only are these make-ahead freezer breakfast burritos a great answer to the “I’m too busy to make breakfast” conundrum, but for someone who loves breakfast for dinner as much as I do, these burritos make a fast and easy anytime meal. #brinner

Originally posted 1-9-2011, updated 3-15-2020. You can download the original version here.

Freezer-Friendly Homemade Breakfast Burritos

A freezer breakfast burrito cut open on a plate with little cups of salsa and sour cream, a cup of coffee and a tangerine on the side.

What Can I Add to Breakfast Burritos?

I kept my breakfast burritos super simple with just eggs, cheese, sautéed peppers and onions, and cooked ham, but this is another wonderfully flexible recipe. You can skip the ham to make them vegetarian, or switch them up with any of the following ingredients:

  • Meat (cooked): bacon, breakfast sausage
  • Vegetables: hash browns (cooked), avocado, green onion, jalapeño, pickled red onions, spinach
  • Beans: black beans, hummus
  • Cheeses and Sauces: Monterey jack or pepper jack, cotija, feta, taco sauce (sparingly), salsa (thick type, not a watery variety), guacamole

I do not suggest adding sour cream to your breakfast burritos because sour cream doesn’t hold up well to freezing and thawing. Instead, serve sour cream on the side for dipping after reheating.

How Long do Breakfast Burritos Lasts?

I always suggest using up your frozen food within three months for best quality. Frozen goods slowly lose moisture and develop freezer burn over time, so while you may get longer freezer life out of them, the quality will slowly diminish the longer they are stored. So, make sure to label and date everything that goes in your freezer! :)

How to Reheat Freezer Burritos

You’ll have the best results if you let the burrito thaw in the refrigerator overnight or until they are no longer frozen solid in the middle. Reheating from the chilled state instead of straight from the freezer takes less heat and makes it easier to reheat without overcooking the egg. Reheating from a refrigerated, non-frozen state can be done in the microwave (1-2 minutes on high), or in a skillet over medium-low heat until the tortilla is nice and crispy and the insides are heated through. A toaster oven is also a great option, although I don’t own one so I was not able to test the cooking time needed.

If you do need to reheat straight from the freezer, I suggest using the defrost function on your microwave fist for 3-5 minutes to help defrost the inside, before microwaving on high for 1-2 minutes. Cooking times in the microwave will vary depending on the wattage of your microwave.

How to Prevent a Soggy Freezer Burrito

Overcooking eggs during reheating is probably the biggest culprit of a soggy breakfast burrito. As eggs continue to cook, the protein molecules seize up and squeeze out water. So, to prevent the eggs from expelling a ton of liquid, reheat only until the burritos are warmed through.

Another culprit is using ingredients that contain a lot of water. Avoid using salsa that are very watery, and if using high-water content vegetables, just make sure to sauté them first to remove some of their moisture.

A hand holding half of a breakfast burrito with the open cut side facing the camera.

 
A hand holding half of a breakfast burrito with the open cut side facing the camera.
Print

Freezer Breakfast Burritos

Make ahead breakfast burritos are an easy reheatable and portable breakfast meal prep idea. Including options for vegetarian or other add-ins! BudgetBytes.com
Total Cost $11.29 recipe / $1.41 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 615.36kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. cheddar $1.69
  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 1 bell pepper $1.00
  • 2 Tbsp butter, divided $0.26
  • 2 pinches salt and pepper $0.05
  • 1 lb. cooked ham $3.75
  • 12 large eggs $2.79
  • 8 large flour tortillas (burrito size) $1.39

Instructions

  • Begin by preparing all of the filling ingredients for the breakfast burritos. Shred the cheddar, if not purchased pre-shredded.
  • Dice the onion and bell pepper. Add the onion and bell pepper to a large skillet with ½ Tbsp butter and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent (about 5 minutes). Season the bell pepper and onion with a pinch of salt and pepper. Transfer the bell pepper and onion to a bowl.
  • Dice the ham, then add it to the skillet with another ½ Tbp butter. Sauté the ham over medium heat until it is browned (about 5 minutes). Transfer the ham to a separate bowl and clean the skillet.
  • Crack 12 eggs into a bowl and lightly whisk. Add the last tablespoon butter to the skillet and heat over medium. Once the skillet is hot, spread the butter to coat the surface, then pour in the whisked eggs.
  • Push the eggs in toward the center of the skillet as they set on the bottom, until most of the eggs have set, but the eggs still look moist. Do not over cook the eggs or they'll become dry. Season the eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • To assemble the burritos, add a scoop of scrambled eggs to the middle of each tortilla, then top with a scoop of cooked bell pepper and onion, a handful of cheese, and some of the cooked ham.
  • To roll the burritos, first fold the tortilla up from the bottom, then fold in the sides, and then finish rolling the burrito up until it has closed. Wrap each burrito in parchment paper using the same folding and rolling method (bottom up, sides in, finish rolling up). Label each burrito on the parchment paper or on masking tape
  • Transfer the wrapped burritos to freezer bags, label and date the bags, then place in the freezer.

To Reheat Breakfast Burritos

  • Transfer the breakfast burrito to the refrigerator the day before to thaw. Once thawed, microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or heat in a skillet over medium-low, about 5 minutes on each side, or until the tortilla is crispy and the insides are warm.
  • To reheat from frozen, use the microwave's defrost setting for about 5 minutes, then microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through.

Nutrition

Serving: 1burrito | Calories: 615.36kcal | Carbohydrates: 47.38g | Protein: 33.31g | Fat: 30.54g | Sodium: 1243.15mg | Fiber: 1.69g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

The open sides of a cut open breakfast burrito held toward the camera, close up.

How to Make Freezer Breakfast Burritos – Step by Step Photos

Shredded cheddar on a cutting board with the cheese grater.

Prepare all the components of the breakfast burritos before assembly. Shred one 8oz. block of cheddar cheese (or whatever flavor cheese you prefer–pepper jack is also awesome in these!).

 

Sautéed peppers and onions in a skillet

Dice one onion and one bell pepper. You can use any color bell pepper, I just happened to have an extra orange pepper, so I used that. Add the pepper and onion to a skillet with ½ Tbsp butter and sauté over medium until the onions are soft and translucent. Season the peppers and onions with a pinch of salt and pepper, then transfer them to a bowl.

Cooked ham in the skillet

Dice one pound of cooked ham. Add the ham to the skillet with another ½ Tbsp of butter and cook over medium until the ham is browned. Transfer the cooked ham to another bowl. Clean out the skillet.

Whisked eggs in a bowl

Whisk one dozen eggs in a bowl. I like to only lightly whisk my eggs because I enjoy some ribbons of whites and yolks in my scrambled eggs. You can use less or more eggs, if you prefer, but using 12 eggs for 8 burritos will give you 1.5 eggs per burrito, which I find to be a good compromise between budget and quantity.

Cooked eggs in the skillet

Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is melted and the skillet is heated, pour in the whisked eggs. Gently push the eggs in toward the center of the skillet as they set on the bottom, until most of the eggs are set, but they still look moist. Avoid over cooking the eggs or they will become dry. Season the scrambled eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Build breakfast burritos, eggs on tortillas first

Now that all the components are prepared, it’s time to start assembling the burritos. You can do this one at a time, or lay out all eight tortillas and do them together if that makes it easier for you to divide the ingredients evenly between all eight. Begin with the scrambled eggs.

Add peppers, onions, and cheese to breakfast burritos

Next, add a scoop of the cooked peppers and onions, and a handful of shredded cheese.

Cooked ham added to the breakfast burritos

Finally, add some of the cooked ham to the breakfast burrito (or leave it out if you want to make plain egg and cheese burritos).

Fold and roll breakfast burritos

To roll the breakfast burritos, first roll up the bottom, then fold in the sides, and then finish rolling up from the bottom until it is closed.

Breakfast burrito wrapped in parchment paper and labeled.

Place the rolled breakfast burrito on a square of parchment paper, then use the same rolling technique to wrap it in paper (bottom up, sides in, then finish rolling up). Label your breakfast burrito (I used sharpie on the parchment, but you can also do masking tape and then write on that).

Breakfast burritos in freezer bags

Then place your wrapped breakfast burritos in freezer bags, label the bags with name and date, and transfer to the freezer. For reheating instructions, refer to the text above the recipe card for options.

A reheated breakfast burrito on a plate with a newsprint liner, two small dishes of salsa and sour cream, a tangerine and cup of coffee on the side

And then pat yourself on the back because you have amazing breakfasts prepared and ready to go! (serving suggestion: salsa or sour cream for dipping). 

The post Freezer Breakfast Burritos 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.

Smoky Roasted Sausage and Vegetables

Sheet pan meals are my savior. There’s really nothing easier than roasting vegetables in the oven, and it happens to make them taste really good, too. Add a little meat to the vegetables and you have a meal! For this Smoky Roasted Sausage and Vegetables sheet pan meal, I also added a homemade smoky vinaigrette […]

The post Smoky Roasted Sausage and Vegetables appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sheet pan meals are my savior. There’s really nothing easier than roasting vegetables in the oven, and it happens to make them taste really good, too. Add a little meat to the vegetables and you have a meal! For this Smoky Roasted Sausage and Vegetables sheet pan meal, I also added a homemade smoky vinaigrette for an extra blast of flavor. And as always, this recipe meal preps well! So cook now and enjoy later. ;)

Sheet Pan Smoky Roasted Sausage and Vegetables

A hand drizzling smoky vinaigrette over a sheet pan full of roasted sausage and vegetables

What Kind of Smoked Sausage Should I Use?

You can literally use any type of smoked sausage for this recipe. I used beef sausage today, but you can use pork, turkey, kielbasa, or any other type of smoked sausage. The key here is to make sure it’s smoked sausage. You want that smoky flavor and a sausage that is firm enough to slice.

Can I Use Different Vegetables?

Absolutely! I would try to include some sort of onion in there, but other than that you can switch them up for anything else, like potatoes, zucchini, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, mushrooms, or even potatoes. Just try to cut your vegetables in similar sized pieces so everything cooks are a fairly similar rate.

How Long Does This Keep?

As with most meal preps, I suggest keeping your meal for a maximum of about four days. This recipe probably isn’t the best candidate for freezing, but if you’re not too picky you might find it perfectly acceptable after freezing and reheating.

Overhead view of a plate with rice and roasted sausage and vegetables. Mason jar with vinaigrette on the side

 

Smoky Roasted Sausage and Vegetables

These Smoky Roasted Sausage and Vegetables are an easy sheet pan meal with a smoky homemade vinaigrette that gives an extra blast of flavor.

Smoky Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup olive oil ($0.64)
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar ($0.20)
  • 1 tsp coarse deli mustard (or Dijon) ($0.08)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano ($0.02)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • freshly cracked black pepper ($0.03)
  • 1/4 tsp sugar ($0.02)

Sausage and Vegetables

  • 12 oz. smoked sausage ($2.75)
  • 1 lb. broccoli crown ($1.69)
  • 1 bell pepper (any color) ($1.00)
  • 1 red onion ($0.44)

For Serving

  • 1 cup long grain white rice ($0.20)
  • 1 handful chopped parsley ($0.20)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. In a small bowl or jar combine the ingredients for the vinaigrette (olive oil, red wine vinegar, mustard, garlic powder, dried oregano, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and sugar). Whisk the ingredients together or close the jar and shake until combined. Set the vinaigrette aside.

  3. Slice the smoked sausage into 1/2-inch medallions. Cut the broccoli into small florets. Dice the bell pepper and onion into 1-inch pieces. Place the sausage, broccoli, bell pepper, and onion onto the baking sheet.

  4. Drizzle 2 Tbsp of the vinaigrette over the sausage and vegetables and toss to coat.

  5. Roast the vegetables in the fully preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until they're browned on the edges, stirring once half way through.

  6. While the sausage and vegetables are roasting, cook the rice. Add the rice and 2 cups water to a sauce pot. Place a lid on the pot and bring it up to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest, undisturbed, lid in place, for an additional 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork just before serving.

  7. After the sausage and vegetables have finished roasting, add half of the remaining vinaigrette and toss to coat. Season with an extra pinch of salt and pepper if needed.

  8. To serving, add about 3/4 cup rice to each bowl or container along with 1/4 of the roasted sausage and vegetables. Drizzle another spoonful of the vinaigrette over top, then finish with a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Three glass meal prep containers with rice and Smoky Roasted Sausage and Vegetables

These are Pyrex 3-cup glass food storage containers. You can find them in my Amazon Shop.

How to Make Smoky Roasted Sausage and Vegetables – Step by Step Photos

Smoky vinaigrette in a mason jar with spoon

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a bowl or jar combine ¼ cup olive oil, 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 tsp coarse deli mustard (or Dijon), ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp smoked paprika, ¼ tsp salt, some freshly cracked pepper, and ¼ tsp sugar. Whisk the ingredients together, or close the jar and shake until combined. Set the dressing aside.

Smoked beef sausage, broccoli, onion, and bell pepper

This time around I used smoked beef sausage, broccoli, red onion, and a yellow bell pepper, but you can modify this to meet your budget or what you have on hand. For some ideas of what else might work, read my suggestions in the paragraphs above the recipe.

Chopped vegetables and sliced sausage on the baking sheet

Slice the smoked sausage into ½-inch thick pieces, cut the broccoli into small florets, and dice the onion and bell pepper into 1-inch pieces. Spread the sausage and vegetables over a parchment lined baking sheet (I don’t have parchment in the photo, because I like to fight stuck on food. J/K, it’s just better for photos). 

Seasoned sausage and vegetables on the baking sheet

Drizzle 2 Tbsp of the smoky vinaigrette over the sausage and vegetables, then toss until they’re well coated.

Roasted sausage and vegetables on the baking sheet

Roast the sausage and vegetables in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until they’re well browned, stirring once half way through.

Cooked Rice

While the sausage and vegetables are roasting, cook the rice. Add 1 cup white rice to a sauce pot with 2 cups water. Place a lid on top and bring it up to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, turn it down to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn off the heat, and let it sit with the lid in place for another 5 minutes. Finally, fluff it with a fork.

vinaigrette being drizzled over sausage and vegetables

After the sausage and vegetables have finished roasting, drizzle about ½ of the remaining smoky vinaigrette over top, and toss to coat. Season with an extra pinch of salt and pepper, if needed.

A bowl of rice with smoky roasted sausage and vegetables, vinaigrette being drizzled on top with a spoon.

To serve, place about ¾ cup rice in a bowl or container, add ¼ of the roasted sausage and vegetables, and drizzle one last spoonful of the vinaigrette over top. Sprinkle a little fresh parsley over the bowl and serve.

meal prepped roasted sausage and vegetables in rectangular glass containers

You can refrigerate the Smoky Roasted Sausage and Vegetables for about four days. Hello lunch!

Smoky Roasted Sausage and Vegetables on the sheet pan with a spatula scooping some in the bottom corner

Love sheet pan meals? Check out my Sheet Pan Pesto Chicken Dinner, Sheet Pan BBQ Meatloaf Dinner, or Sheet Pan Greek Chicken and Vegetables.

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