Warming Red Lentil Sweet Potato Soup (Instant Pot!)

Cold temperatures call for warming soups! Inspired by our fan-favorite Creamy Curried Cauliflower Soup, this incredibly delicious sweet potato soup is made in the Instant Pot.
It’s a 1-pot recipe with warming spices, creamy coconut milk, and sne…

Warming Red Lentil Sweet Potato Soup (Instant Pot!)

Cold temperatures call for warming soups! Inspired by our fan-favorite Creamy Curried Cauliflower Soup, this incredibly delicious sweet potato soup is made in the Instant Pot.

It’s a 1-pot recipe with warming spices, creamy coconut milk, and sneaky red lentils for a protein and fiber boost. Let us show you how it’s done!

While experimenting for our guide to beans and lentils in the Instant Pot, we learned a couple things about red lentils.

Warming Red Lentil Sweet Potato Soup (Instant Pot!) from Minimalist Baker →

Smoky Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas & Greens (Vegan)

Happy New Year, friends! What better way to kick off a new year than with a big bowl of Black Eyed Peas & Greens? Not only is it incredibly delicious, but this dish is also believed to bring good luck and prosperity, and we could all use a little m…

Smoky Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas & Greens (Vegan)

Happy New Year, friends! What better way to kick off a new year than with a big bowl of Black Eyed Peas & Greens? Not only is it incredibly delicious, but this dish is also believed to bring good luck and prosperity, and we could all use a little more of that in our lives.

This plant-based version is incredibly comforting and delicious. Plus, it’s quick and easy to make with a little help from the Instant Pot.

Smoky Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas & Greens (Vegan) from Minimalist Baker →

Quickie Black Eyed Peas and Greens

It’s said that eating black eyed peas on New Year’s Day brings you good luck. Now, I’m not usually superstitious, but after a year like 2020, I’m willing to try anything (just kidding, but I’m not). So let’s ring in good luck for the new year with this quick pot of black eyed peas and greens. Vegetarian and meat options included!

The post Quickie Black Eyed Peas and Greens appeared first on Budget Bytes.

It’s said that eating black eyed peas on New Year’s Day brings you good luck. Now, I’m not usually superstitious, but after a year like 2020, I’m willing to try anything (just kidding, but I’m not). I have an awesome recipe for slow simmered black eyed peas and greens that I made years ago, but it’s a long process that starts with dry peas. So I wanted to make a “quickie” version, using canned black eyed peas, that’s a little faster and easier for times when you haven’t planned ahead.

Overhead view of a pot of black eyed peas and greens on a wooden surface

How to Serve Black Eyed Peas and Greens

There are two basic ways that I like to serve a bit pot of beans or peas like this. Either in a bowl with rice, or in a bowl with a big chunk of crusty bread for dipping. Having some sort of starch to kind of balance the meal out makes it super satisfying and filling.

A little dash of hot sauce on top of your bowl or even a dollop of sour cream on top is also pretty awesome. ;)

Can I Use Dry Peas?

This recipe is specifically made for canned peas, which are already cooked. If you’d like to make something similar using dry peas, follow my recipe for Slow Simmered Black Eyed Peas and Greens.

Can I Add Meat?

The recipe below is vegetarian (vegan, actually), but it’s super easy to add meat to this meal. You have three easy options to keep this a “quick” meal: bacon, ham, or smoked sausage. Whichever one you decide to use, just sauté the meat in the pot before beginning with the onion and garlic in step one below.

Can I Freeze Black Eyed Peas?

Yes! This recipe is great for stocking your freezer. Just divide it into single portions, cool it in the fridge first, then once cool transfer it to the freezer for longer storage (about 3 months or so). Any freezer-safe container will do. To reheat, either use a microwave or heat in a sauce pot over medium-low, stirring often, until heated through.

Side view of a bowl of black eyed peas with greens and rice
Side view of a ladle lifting some black eyed peas and greens from the pot

Quickie Black Eyed Peas and Greens

Ring in good luck for the new year with this quick pot of black eyed peas and greens. Vegetarian and meat options included!
Total Cost $4.43 recipe / $1.11 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Calories 330.33kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 3 15oz. cans black eyed peas $2.37
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika $0.05
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.03
  • 2 cups vegetable broth $0.26
  • 4 oz. fresh spinach $0.85

Instructions

  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add both to a large soup pot with the olive oil and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent.
  • Drain the canned black eyed peas, then add them to the pot along with the oregano, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and vegetable broth. Stir to combine.
  • Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium high, and bring the pot up to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low, and allow the peas to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • After the peas have simmered for about 15 minutes, use the back of a spoon to smash some of the peas against the side of the pot to thicken the broth (or use an immersion blender to blend a small portion of the peas).
  • Add the fresh spinach to the pot and stir until it has wilted into the peas. Give the peas a taste and adjust the salt or seasoning to your liking. Serve hot with bread or rice.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 330.33kcal | Carbohydrates: 56.3g | Protein: 19.88g | Fat: 7.18g | Sodium: 1414.65mg | Fiber: 14.68g
Close up of a ladle full of black eyed peas and greens with the pot in the background

How to Make Quickie Black Eyed Peas and Greens – Step by Step Photos

Onions and garlic in soup pot

Dice one yellow onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Add the onion and garlic to a large soup pot with 2 Tbsp olive oil and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent.

Beans, seasoning, and broth added to the soup pot

Drain three 15oz. cans of black eyed peas and add them to the pot along with ½ tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp smoked paprika, ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper, ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper, and 2 cups of vegetable broth.

Black eyed peas before simmering

Stir the peas, broth, and seasoning together. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring it up to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low, and let it simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Simmered black eyed peas in the pot with a spoon

After simmering, the peas will have swelled even a little bit more and they will be even more soft. Use a large spoon to smash some of the peas against the side of the pot, or use an immersion blender to purée a small amount of the peas.

Thickened peas in the pot

Smashing some of the peas makes the broth thick and creamy.

Spinach wilted into the peas in the pot

Add 4 oz. fresh spinach (½ of an 8oz. bag) and stir until it has wilted into the peas. Give the peas a taste and adjust the salt or seasonings to your liking.

Overhead view of a bowl of black eyed peas and greens with rice in the center

Serve with crusty bread or rice and enjoy your good luck in the new year! :)

The post Quickie Black Eyed Peas and Greens appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Brown Sugar Roasted Pork Loin

Roasted pork loin is probably one of the easiest (and inexpensive) main dishes you can make. Just add a little seasoning, pop it in the oven, and let it do its thing. The only thing you have to be mindful of is overcooking.

The post Brown Sugar Roasted Pork Loin appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Roasted pork loin is probably one of the easiest (and inexpensive) main dishes you can make. Just add a little seasoning, pop it in the oven, and let it do its thing. The only thing you have to be mindful of is overcooking, but we’ll talk more about that below. As long as you avoid that one pitfall, you’ll have a tender, juicy pork loin that makes a deeelish main dish that can be paired with tons of different sides.

Slices of brown sugar roasted pork loin on a white oval serving dish

Pork Loin vs. Pork Tenderloin

This recipe is written for pork loin, sometimes called a pork loin roast, which is different than pork tenderloin. Pork loin is a large roast, usually sold in 3-4 pound cuts. Pork tenderloin is a different, smaller muscle that tends to be slightly darker and more tender. Here is a more in-depth look (with photos) at the difference between pork loin and pork tenderloin. If you’re looking for a recipe for roasted pork tenderloin, try my Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin.

About that Brown Sugar Rub…

If you’ve made my Glazed Pork Chops, you’ll be familiar with this sweet and spicy brown sugar rub. It’s the perfect mix of sweet, savory, and spicy, and it’s just so incredibly simple. When it’s used with the direct contact heat of a skillet it turns into a glaze, but when it’s baked in the dry air of an oven it forms a delicious crust on the surface of the pork. Either way, it’s a winner!

The Key to Good Pork Loin

Don’t overcook it. That’s it! Overcooked pork is dry, tough, and resembles something like a hockey puck. So how do you not overcook it? You really need to get a meat thermometer (my favorite is linked in the recipe card below) since every pork loin is a different size and shape, and every oven cooks a little different.

How Long to Cook Pork Loin

The safe internal temperature for pork (excluding ground pork) is 145ºF. The estimated amount of time you’ll need to cook your pork loin using the method below (starting at 400ºF then reducing to 350ºF), is about 15 minutes per pound after the initial ten minutes at 400ºF. Use your trusty thermometer about ten minutes before the estimated time to see if you’re getting close, then about every 10-15 minutes after that until you reach 145ºF.

And lastly, make sure to let your pork rest for about 10 minutes after it’s removed from the oven before slicing. This gives the steam pressure time to reduce, which means more of the moisture will stay in the meat instead of evaporating out once it’s sliced.

What to Serve with Roasted Pork Loin

I love classic comfort foods with this Brown Sugar Roasted Pork Loin. I have it pictured with mashed potatoes and some roasted broccoli, but I think something like macaroni and cheese, collard greens, coleslaw, or potato salad would also be awesome!

Two slices of roasted pork loin on a plate with broccoli and mashed potatoes
Sliced brown sugar pork loin on a serving dish, viewed from the front

Brown Sugar Roasted Pork Loin

This super simple Brown Sugar Roasted Pork Loin is tender and juicy with a sweet and spicy brown sugar coating!
Total Cost $9.12 recipe / $1.14 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8 ½ lb. each
Calories 475.06kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs. pork loin $7.92
  • ½ cup brown sugar $0.32
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper $0.10*
  • 1 tsp garlic powder $0.10
  • 1 tsp paprika $0.10
  • 1 tsp salt $0.05
  • ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.05
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil $0.48

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, cayenne, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.
  • Place the pork loin on a parchment lined baking sheet or in a large casserole dish with the fat cap facing up. Begin packing the brown sugar and spice mixture all over the surface of the pork loin (no need to get the bottom). The moisture from the pork loin should help the sugar mixture stick to the surface.
  • Transfer the pork loin to the oven. Roast at 400ºF for ten minutes, then reduce the heat to 350ºF and continue to roast for about 15 minutes per pound of roast, or until the internal temperature reaches 145ºF. Always use a meat thermometer just to be sure.
  • After roasting, let the pork loin rest for 10 minutes before slicing into ½-inch thick slices and serving.

Notes

*To reduce the spiciness of this dish, reduce the cayenne to ½ or even ¼ tsp.

Nutrition

Serving: 2slices | Calories: 475.06kcal | Carbohydrates: 7.31g | Protein: 48.15g | Fat: 24.06g | Sodium: 465.2mg | Fiber: 0.2g
Two slices of pork loin on a plate with broccoli and mashed potatoes, viewed from the side

How to Make Brown Sugar Roasted Pork Loin – Step by Step Photos

Brown sugar rub ingredients in a bowl

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Combine ½ cup brown sugar, 1 tsp cayenne, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, and 3 Tbsp olive oil in a bowl.

Mixed brown sugar rub in a bowl

Mix the rub ingredients together until they look like damp sand.

Pork loin in the package

This is the pork loin I used, which was 4 pounds. Your cooking time will vary depending on the size of your pork loin, so make sure to use a meat thermometer so you can prevent over or under-cooking the pork. Pork loin usually has a “fat cap” which is a layer of fat on one side (it’s on the bottom in the photo above so you can’t see it).

Brown sugar rub on the pork loin, on a parchment lined baking sheet

Place the pork loin on a parchment-lined baking sheet or in a casserole dish with the fat cap side facing up. Pack the brown sugar rub all over the surface of the pork loin.

Roasted pork loin with a meat thermometer in it

Roast the pork for 10 minutes at 400ºF, then reduce the heat to 350ºF and roast for an additional 20 minutes per pound of pork, or until the internal temperature reaches 145ºF. The temperature of the roast will continue to rise slightly after it is taken out of the oven, due to carryover cooking. (Don’t worry if the brown sugar burns on the baking sheet, the rub ON the pork will not be burned. The burned sugar can be cleaned off with a quick soak in hot soapy water.)

Sliced brown sugar roasted pork loin on a cutting board

Let the pork loin rest for ten minutes before slicing into ½-inch slices and serving.

Brown sugar roasted pork loin sliced and served on an oval dish

The post Brown Sugar Roasted Pork Loin appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Homemade Chili Powder

With winter in full swing, it’s chili season around here — time for our favorite cold-weather dish. But after recently running out of chili powder, we decided to make our own, and I’m so glad we did.
This homemade chili powder takes just 15 minutes to…

Homemade Chili Powder

With winter in full swing, it’s chili season around here — time for our favorite cold-weather dish. But after recently running out of chili powder, we decided to make our own, and I’m so glad we did.

This homemade chili powder takes just 15 minutes to make when using whole dried chiles, and just 5 minutes to make if using pre-ground chiles. And we must say, it’s so fresh and much better than store-bought, so there’s no going back!

Homemade Chili Powder from Minimalist Baker →

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

With winter weather approaching, I wanted to perfect butternut squash soup that was not only easy to make but also incredibly delicious.
After a few trial runs, I reached the perfect intersection of minimal effort and maximum flavor. Let us show you h…

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

With winter weather approaching, I wanted to perfect butternut squash soup that was not only easy to make but also incredibly delicious.

After a few trial runs, I reached the perfect intersection of minimal effort and maximum flavor. Let us show you how easy it is to make this seriously dreamy butternut squash soup that’s perfect for the holidays and beyond.

This 10-ingredient soup starts with roasting the squash, carrots, onion, and garlic to enhance their natural sweetness and maximize flavor.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup from Minimalist Baker →

Candied Pecans

My favorite classic candied pecans recipe is easy to make with 7 ingredients.  Perfect for gifting or sprinkling on everything from salads to yogurt, casseroles, ice cream and more! Raise your hand if you love candied pecans as much as I do! ♡ These sweet treats have always been a favorite of mine, especially around […]

My favorite classic candied pecans recipe is easy to make with 7 ingredients.  Perfect for gifting or sprinkling on everything from salads to yogurt, casseroles, ice cream and more!

Candied Pecans in Mason Jar

Raise your hand if you love candied pecans as much as I do! ♡

These sweet treats have always been a favorite of mine, especially around the holidays, and this is is the old-fashioned candied pecans recipe that I fell in love with years ago and have made since more times than I can count.  By contrast to my recipe for naturally-sweetened maple candied pecans, this retro recipe unapologetically features a thick and crunchy cinnamon sugar coating made with two kinds of sugar, plus the perfect hint of sea salt and cayenne to balance out the sweetness.  And when baked up until perfectly toasty and crunchy in the oven, I’m telling you, these candied pecans are absolutely irresistible.

I always love baking up a few batches at the end of the year to pass out as fun holiday gifts.  But they taste great anytime of the year as a sweet snack, or sprinkled on everything from salads to yogurt, casseroles, baked sweet potatoes, ice cream and more.  They are also incredibly easy to make with just 7 simple ingredients, the recipe is naturally gluten-free, and these candied pecans have the added bonus of making your home smell absolutely heavenly as they bake in the oven.

I’m warning you now — one you start snacking on these little guys, it’s hard to stop. ♡  You’re going to love them!
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Autumn Kale and Sweet Potato Salad

I don’t know about you, but I need a good salad right about now. I’ve been kind of over doing the comfort foods lately and my body is like, “pleeeease, can I have some fresh vegetables??” But I’m still trying to enjoy these fall vibes, so I whipped up this Autumn Kale and Sweet Potato Salad. It meal preps well, which means that every time I open my fridge there is a delicious salad staring at me, ready to be eaten. That helps. That helps a lot. 😛

The post Autumn Kale and Sweet Potato Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I don’t know about you, but I need a good salad right about now. I’ve been kind of over doing the comfort foods lately and my body is like, “pleeeease, can I have some fresh vegetables??” But I’m still trying to enjoy these fall vibes, so I whipped up this Autumn Kale and Sweet Potato Salad. It meal preps well, which means that every time I open my fridge there is a delicious salad staring at me, ready to be eaten. That helps. That helps a lot. :P

Autumn kale and sweet potato salads in glass meal prep containers

How Long Do the Salads Last?

Thanks to the heartiness of kale and the low moisture ingredients, you can prep this salad and keep it in your fridge for about five days. You can either keep the dressing separate, or toss the salad in the dressing ahead of time to help soften the kale. If you do toss the salad in the dressing before storage, you may want to make extra dressing, as some of it will be absorbed as the salad refrigerates.

Can I Use a Different Green?

Yes, if you are not a fan of the texture of kale, you can swap it out for spinach. You might also consider trying lacinato kale, which is a little bit softer than the curly kale I used. You can also make this salad over finely shredded cabbage and carrots, which would be similar to my Sweet Crunch Winter Salad.

What Other Dressings Can I Use

This slightly sweet and savory Maple Tahini Dressing is by far the best match for these flavors, but if you must swap it out for something else I would go with some sort of sweet vinaigrette, like either a honey poppyseed, apple cider or pomegranate vinaigrette, honey mustard dressing, or even a raspberry vinaigrette.

Swap Out the Sweet Potatoes

If you happen to have leftover roasted winter squash of any kind (butternut, acorn, delicata, pumpkin, kabocha, etc.) you can use that in place of the sweet potatoes and still have all those fall flavors! I just find sweet potatoes to be easier to source and prepare, so I chose those today.

front view of maple tahini dressing being poured over autumn kale and sweet potato salad
dressing being poured over the autumn kale and sweet potato salad in a bowl

Autumn Kale and Sweet Potato Salad

This fresh and crisp Autumn Kale and Sweet Potato Salad is chock full of fresh produce, but still has all those cozy fall flavors!
Total Cost $6.67 recipe / $1.67 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 629.05kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

  • 2 lbs. sweet potatoes $2.40
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.01

Maple Tahini Dressing

  • 1/4 cup tahini $0.85
  • 1/4 cup water $0.00
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice $0.09
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup $0.60
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02

Salad

  • 6 cups chopped kale (about 1/2 bunch) $0.50
  • 1 large apple* $0.70
  • 1/4 cup pepitas $0.60
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans $0.52
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries $0.22

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Peel and dice the sweet potatoes into 1/2-inch pieces. Place the sweet potatoes on a parchment lined baking sheet and add the cooking oil, cinnamon, cumin, smoked paprika, and salt. Toss the sweet potatoes until they are coated in oil and spices.
  • Roast the sweet potatoes for about 30 minutes, or until they are tender and browned on the edges, stirring once half way through.
  • While the sweet potatoes are roasting, prepare the rest of the salad. Start with the dressing. Add the tahini, water, lemon juice, maple syrup, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and salt to a blender or bowl. Blend or whisk together until the ingredients are emulsified and smooth. Set the dressing aside.
  • Pull the kale leaves from the tough woody stems and rinse them well in a colander with cool water. Drain the kale well, then slice it into thin strips (they don't have to be perfect, so don't stress about this, just aim for smaller pieces). Divide the sliced kale between four bowls or containers.
  • Cut the apple into quarters and remove the core. Cut each quarter into thin slices. Add the apple slices to each container.
  • Add 1 Tbsp each of the pepitas, chopped pecans, and dried cranberries to each container. When the sweet potatoes are finished roasting, let them cool for about 5 minutes, then divide them between the containers. Divide the dressing between four small containers. Enjoy the salad immediately or refrigerate up to five days.

Notes

*Use a sweet or sweet-tart variety of apple. I used Honeycrisp, but Gala would be another nice option.

Nutrition

Serving: 1salad | Calories: 629.05kcal | Carbohydrates: 85.83g | Protein: 9.48g | Fat: 31.13g | Sodium: 941.68mg | Fiber: 13.35g
dressing being poured over the autumn kale and sweet potato salad in a bowl

How to Make Autumn Kale and Sweet Potato Salad – Step by Step Photos

Sweet potatoes prepped for roasting on a sheet pan

Start with the sweet potatoes. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Peel and dice 2 lbs. sweet potatoes into ½-inch cubes. Place the sweet potatoes on a parchment lined baking sheet, drizzle with 1 Tbsp oil, ¼ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp smoked paprika, and ¼ tsp salt. Toss until the sweet potatoes are coated in oil and spices.

Roasted sweet potatoes on the baking sheet

Roast the sweet potatoes for about 30 minutes, or until they’re tender and browned on the edges, stirring half way through roasting.

maple tahini dressing in a blender

While the sweet potatoes are roasting, prepare the rest of the salad. Begin with the dressing. Add ¼ cup tahini, ¼ cup water, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 Tbsp maple syrup, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ⅛ tsp cayenne, and ¼ tsp salt to a blender or bowl. Blend or whisk until the ingredients are smooth.

Chopped kale in a bowl

Pull the kale leaves from the woody stems and give them a good rinse with cool water in a colander. Drain well, then slice the kale into thin strips (this doesn’t have to be perfect, so don’t stress, just aim for smaller pieces).

Cored and sliced apple

Cut a large apple into quarters, then remove the core. Slice each quarter into thin slices.

kale, apple, and sweet potato in a bowl

When the sweet potatoes are finished roasting, let them cool for about five minutes. Divide the kale between four bowls or meal prep containers, followed by the apple slices, and the roasted sweet potato.

cranberries, seeds, and nuts added to the salad

Then add 1 Tbsp dried cranberries, pepitas, and chopped pecans to each bowl or container. Divide the dressing into four small containers as well.

autumn kale and sweet potato salad being eaten

Drizzle the maple tahini dressing over top, then enjoy!

meal prep containers full of autumn kale and sweet potato salad

Or refrigerate the salad up to five days and enjoy later. :)

The post Autumn Kale and Sweet Potato Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

BBQ Roasted Sweet Potato Croutons

While throwing together dinner one night, I added some leftover roasted sweet potatoes to a green salad with a zesty dressing and thought, “This would be even better if the potatoes were roasted like ‘croutons’ and tossed in BBQ seasoning.” The r…

BBQ Roasted Sweet Potato Croutons

While throwing together dinner one night, I added some leftover roasted sweet potatoes to a green salad with a zesty dressing and thought, “This would be even better if the potatoes were roasted like ‘croutons’ and tossed in BBQ seasoning.” The rest is history. 

Let us show you how this 30-minute, 9-ingredient recipe is made! It’s incredibly versatile and can be added to salads, bowls, wraps, and beyond!

BBQ Roasted Sweet Potato Croutons from Minimalist Baker →

Easy Broccoli Cheddar Soup

If ever there was a meal-worthy soup, it would be Broccoli Cheddar! This bowl full of colorful, chunky vegetables and a super thick cheesy “broth” are sure to leave you warm, happy, and satisfied. Unlike some broccoli cheddar soups, my Broccoli Cheddar Soup doesn’t use heavy cream and is ever so slightly lighter on the […]

The post Easy Broccoli Cheddar Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If ever there was a meal-worthy soup, it would be Broccoli Cheddar! This bowl full of colorful, chunky vegetables and a super thick cheesy “broth” are sure to leave you warm, happy, and satisfied. Unlike some broccoli cheddar soups, my Broccoli Cheddar Soup doesn’t use heavy cream and is ever so slightly lighter on the cheese, so you still get all that creamy, cheesy goodness without feeling totally weighed down. But, you can always add more cheese if you’d like. #norules This soup is so dang easy I’m sure it’s going to go into my regular rotation!

Three bowls of Broccoli Cheddar Soup with saltine crackers on the side

Smaller Batch for No Leftovers

Most of my soup recipes are big batch so you can freeze the leftovers and stock your freezer with all that goodness, but this Broccoli Cheddar Soup is the exception. Cheese sauces (and in this case broths) thickened with butter and flour roux don’t tend to hold up to freezing and thawing, so I made this a small batch soup so you don’t have to worry about having too many leftovers. This recipe makes four generous servings.

How Long Does Broccoli Cheddar Soup Keep?

As mentioned above, you don’t want to freeze this soup, but it will stay good in your fridge for 4-5 days. And boy are the leftovers ever DELICIOUS. They reheat beautifully in the microwave, or can be reheated on the stove top over medium-low heat, stirring often.

What to Serve with Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This super thick, cheesy “broth” is just begging for some crackers or thick crusty bread for scooping up every last drop. I love saltine crackers with mine, but oyster crackers would be awesome, as would my focaccia rolls

Can I Use Frozen Broccoli?

Yes, frozen broccoli works quite well for this recipe. I do suggest letting them thaw completely before adding them to the soup, and you probably will still want to chop them into much smaller pieces (think bite-sized, fits-on-a-spoon small).

Make it Vegetarian

I used chicken broth as the base for my soup because it tends to be a little more on the mild side and the light color doesn’t overshadow the orange color of the cheese, but you can use vegetable broth instead to make this soup vegetarian. Just be aware that it tends to have a stronger flavor and the darker color may darken your soup. 

CLose up of a ladle full of broccoli cheddar soup

 
Overhead view of a bowl of broccoli cheddar soup with saltine crackers

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This super easy Broccoli Cheddar Soup is chock full of colorful, chunky vegetables in a rich and cheesy broth for a totally meal-worthy soup.
Total Cost $4.97 recipe / $1.24 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 2 cups each
Calories 426.2kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.52
  • 1 lb. broccoli $1.49
  • 2 carrots $0.23
  • 4 Tbsp butter $0.52
  • 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.04
  • 2 cups chicken broth $0.24
  • 2 cups whole milk $0.75
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 6 oz. sharp cheddar, shredded $1.27

Instructions

  • Dice the onion. Chop the broccoli into very small pieces. Peel and slice the carrots.
  • Add the butter and onion to a large soup pot and sauté over medium until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the flour and continue to sauté for about 2 minutes more, or until the flour is coating the bottom of the pot and is a light golden brown color.
  • Add the chicken broth and whisk to dissolve all the flour off the bottom of the pot. Turn the heat up to medium-high and, while stirring often, allow the broth to come up to a simmer. When it reaches a simmer it will thicken to a gravy consistency.
  • Turn the heat back down to medium and whisk in the milk, smoked paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Allow the broth to come back up to a simmer.
  • Add the chopped broccoli and carrots, allow the broth to come back up to a simmer, and continue to simmer the vegetables, stirring often, for 15 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.
  • Finally, turn the heat down to medium-low and stir the shredded cheese into the soup, one handful at a time, until it is fully melted. Taste the soup and add salt if needed (this will depend on the salt content of your broth—I did not add any).

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 426.2kcal | Carbohydrates: 22.43g | Protein: 16.65g | Fat: 30g | Sodium: 949.73mg | Fiber: 2.55g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Overhead view of a bowl of broccoli cheddar soup with saltine crackers

How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Soup – Step by Step Photos

Chopped broccoli

Dice one yellow onion, finely chop one pound of broccoli, and peel and slice two carrots. I’m showing a photo of the broccoli so you can see how fine you want the pieces. I might even go a smidge smaller on the broccoli next time. You want the pieces small enough to easily fit on a spoon!

Sautéed onion and butter, flour being added to the pot

Add the onion and 4 Tbsp butter to a large soup pot and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent. Add 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour and continue to sauté for about 2 minutes more, or until the flour is coating the bottom of the pot and has turned a light golden brown color.

Chicken broth being whisked into the pot

Whisk 2 cups chicken broth into the pot, making sure to dissolve all the flour off the bottom of the pot. Turn the heat up to medium-high and while stirring often, allow the broth to come up to a simmer, at which point it will thicken into a gravy consistency.

Whisk in milk and spices

Turn the heat back down to medium. Whisk 2 cups milk, ½ tsp smoked paprika, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp black pepper, and ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper into the thickened broth. Allow the broth to come back up to a simmer.

Chopped vegetables added to the pot

Add the chopped broccoli and sliced carrots to the pot. Allow it to come back up to a simmer, then continue to simmer the vegetables, stirring often, for 15 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.

Simmered vegetables in the soup

You can test a piece of carrot or broccoli to make sure it’s to your desired tenderness. If not, simmer a bit longer. The soup doesn’t even have any cheese in it yet, but it already looks so good!

Shredded Cheese added to the soup

Finally, add 6 oz. of shredded sharp cheddar, one handful at a time, until it is fully melted into the soup. I stopped at 6oz. (¾ of an 8oz. block), but you could always add the remaining 2oz. if you prefer.

Finished broccoli cheddar soup being stirred

And that’s a wrap! Taste your soup and see if you want to add any additional salt. This will mostly depend on the salt content of your chicken broth. I did not add any, but if your soup is tasting a little bland, a little salt can go a long way toward making the flavors pop!

Side view of broccoli cheddar soup in the pot with the ladle

Soooo thick and cheesy!! 😍

Three bowls of broccoli cheddar soup with saltines on the side

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