Potatoes Au Gratin

When you need pure comfort in a casserole dish, Potatoes Au Gratin deliver. These thinly sliced potatoes baked in a creamy, cheesy sauce hit all the comfort food buttons. And the leftovers are awesome, so you can feed on that casserole heaven all week!

The post Potatoes Au Gratin appeared first on Budget Bytes.

When you need pure comfort in a casserole dish, Potatoes Au Gratin deliver. These thinly sliced potatoes baked in a creamy, cheesy sauce hit all the comfort food buttons. And the leftovers are awesome, so you can feed on that casserole heaven all week! 🙌

Potatoes au Gratin being scooped out of the casserole dish

What are Potatoes Au Gratin?

Potatoes au gratin are basically scalloped potatoes with cheese (haha, that made me think of “royale with cheese”). So if you like scalloped potatoes and you like cheese, you’ll LOVE potatoes au gratin!

If you’ve never had scalloped potatoes, you can think of potatoes au gratin like this: thinly sliced potatoes layered with cheese and a creamy white sauce, then baked until bubbly and delicious. It’s pretty incredible.

What Kind of Cheese Can I Use?

In general, you want to stick to smooth melting cheeses for potatoes au gratin and avoid hard aged cheeses that don’t melt as easily (like Parmesan, although that would make a nice topper mixed with breadcrumbs!). I had some cheddar cheese on hand today, that I used, but Gruyere is another popular choice for potatoes au gratin.

What to Serve with Potatoes Au Gratin

This is such a rich comforting dish that it pairs well with any roasted or baked comfort food. I would pair it with something like Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Cheddar Cheeseburger Meatloaf, or Herb Butter Chicken Thighs. And of course you’ll probably need some sort of vegetable to balance out all that richness, so add a simple side of steamed green beans for good measure. ;)

What Kind of Potatoes are Best?

Most people like a waxier variety for potatoes au gratin, like Yukon gold or red potatoes, but I’m the opposite. I like russet potatoes because they are starchier, which helps keep the sauce nice and thick, and I enjoy how soft they get when baked in the creamy sauce. If you prefer a more firm slice, go with Yukon gold or red potatoes.

Overhead view of casserole dish full of potatoes au gratin
close up of potatoes au gratin being scooped out of the casserole dish

Potatoes Au Gratin

Thinly sliced potatoes baked in a creamy, cheesy sauce makes these Potatoes Au Gratin pure heaven in a casserole dish.
Total Cost $5.33 recipe / $0.67 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 302.69kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. potatoes $1.79
  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 4 Tbsp butter $0.56
  • 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.04
  • 1 cup chicken broth $0.12
  • 2 cups whole milk $0.75
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg $0.02
  • 8 oz. cheddar, shredded $1.69

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Peel and slice the potatoes into ⅛-inch thick slices. If you're not yet confident in your knife skills, use a mandoline or food processor to slice the potatoes into thin, even pieces.
  • Finely dice the yellow onion. Sauté the onion in a sauce pot with the butter until soft (about five minutes). Once soft, add the flour to the pot and continue to cook and stir for about two minutes. Finally, whisk in the milk until the flour is fully dissolved.
  • Allow the milk to come up to a gentle simmer over medium heat, whisking often. Once simmering, the milk with thicken. Whisk in the chicken broth and allow it to come back to a simmer. Season the sauce with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  • Layer half of the potatoes in the bottom of a 4 quart casserole dish. Top the potatoes with half of the white sauce and half of the shredded cheddar. Repeat with one more layer of potatoes, sauce, and shredded cheddar.
  • Cover the casserole dish with foil and bake in the preheated 350ºF oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for another 30 minutes, or until the cheese is browned and bubbling on top. Let the casserole stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 302.69kcal | Carbohydrates: 39.15g | Protein: 9.68g | Fat: 12.66g | Sodium: 462.3mg | Fiber: 2.68g
close up of potatoes au gratin being scooped out of the casserole dish

How to Make X – Step by Step Photos

peeled and sliced potatoes

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Peel and slice three pounds of potatoes into ⅛-inch thick rounds. If you’re not confident in your knife skills, you can use a mandoline or food processor with a slicer attachment to create the thin, even slices.

Onion and butter in sauce pot

Finely dice one yellow onion. Sauté the onion with 4 Tbsp butter in a sauce pot until the onions are tender (about 5 minutes).

Flour added to pot with sautéed onions

Add 4 Tbsp flour to the pot with the sautéed onions and continue to cook and stir over medium heat for about two more minutes.

milk being poured into sauce pot

Whisk 2 cups milk into the pot with the onions and flour. Whisk well until all the flour is dissolved. Allow the milk to come up to a gentle simmer, at which point it will thicken.

chicken broth being poured into the sauce pot

Whisk in 1 cup chicken broth and allow it to come back up to a simmer.

Seasoning added to white sauce

Season the white sauce with ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper, and ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg.

Layer potatoes and sauce in casserole dish

Layer half of the sliced potatoes in a 4 quart casserole dish. top with half of the white sauce and 4oz. shredded cheddar.

shredded cheese on potatoes in casserole dish

Repeat all three layers one more time: sliced potatoes, white sauce, and shredded cheese. Cover the casserole dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes in the preheated 350ºF oven.

Baked potatoes au gratin in the casserole dish

Remove the foil after 45 minutes and bake without foil for an additional 30 minutes. Let the potatoes stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Overhead view of potatoes au gratin the casserole dish

I garnished with a little parsley for color, but parsley is not needed to flavor this dish.

The post Potatoes Au Gratin appeared first on Budget Bytes.

What in the World Is Cheese Powder?

I don’t mean to blow up your work week, but I recently discovered that it’s possible to make anything taste like Doritos without ever touching a chip.

Some, such as Wylie Dufresne, James Beard Award–winning chef and a father of molecular gastronomy, m…

I don’t mean to blow up your work week, but I recently discovered that it’s possible to make anything taste like Doritos without ever touching a chip.

Some, such as Wylie Dufresne, James Beard Award–winning chef and a father of molecular gastronomy, might say I’m late to this epiphany, like when I called to ask if he’d heard of cheese powder, a dehydrated, concentrated version of the fresh stuff.

Read More >>

How to Pair Cheese With Halloween Candy (Because We All Need a Little Fun)

That Cheese Plate is a column by Marissa Mullen—cookbook author, photographer, and Food52’s Resident Cheese Plater. With Marissa’s expertise all things cheddar, comté, and crudité—plus tips for how to make it all look extra special, using stuff you pro…

That Cheese Plate is a column by Marissa Mullen—cookbook author, photographer, and Food52's Resident Cheese Plater. With Marissa's expertise all things cheddar, comté, and crudité—plus tips for how to make it all look extra special, using stuff you probably have on hand—we'll be crafting our own cheesy masterpieces without a hitch.


The air is getting colder, the days are getting shorter, and all I want to do is drink pumpkin beer while snacking on chocolate. Last time we paired potato chips with cheese, offering some delicious salty and savory combinations. Now it’s time to switch gears into the world of sweets. Halloween is approaching: It's the time of year when we all devour candy like nobody’s business.

Read More >>

Homemade Mac and Cheese

Here’s how to make homemade mac and cheese! Cook this ultimate comfort food from scratch and it’s better than any you’ve ever had. Ready for the best EVER homemade mac and cheese? We promise: it’s really worth pulling out the superlatives here! Making this comfort food from scratch makes it taste infinitely better than the kind from a box. Want to impress everyone? This homemade mac and cheese tastes homey and cozy, with the best gooey, cheesy sauce and crunchy breadcrumbs. Alex and I made this for a recent family gathering and everyone around the table agreed: “this is the best mac and cheese.” How to make homemade mac and cheese: basic steps! Here’s the thing. Making homemade mac and cheese is easy, but you need to know a few basic cooking techniques to make it perfect. Here are the two techniques you’ll have to master: How to cook pasta to al dente. How to make a roux. Once you’ve got these two skills under your belt, the rest is a piece of cake! Let’s talk through these briefly before we start. How (and why!) to cook pasta to al dente What is al dente? Al dente means “to the […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Here’s how to make homemade mac and cheese! Cook this ultimate comfort food from scratch and it’s better than any you’ve ever had.

Homemade mac and cheese

Ready for the best EVER homemade mac and cheese? We promise: it’s really worth pulling out the superlatives here! Making this comfort food from scratch makes it taste infinitely better than the kind from a box. Want to impress everyone? This homemade mac and cheese tastes homey and cozy, with the best gooey, cheesy sauce and crunchy breadcrumbs. Alex and I made this for a recent family gathering and everyone around the table agreed: “this is the best mac and cheese.”

How to make homemade mac and cheese: basic steps!

Here’s the thing. Making homemade mac and cheese is easy, but you need to know a few basic cooking techniques to make it perfect. Here are the two techniques you’ll have to master:

  • How to cook pasta to al dente.
  • How to make a roux.

Once you’ve got these two skills under your belt, the rest is a piece of cake! Let’s talk through these briefly before we start.

How to make mac and cheese

How (and why!) to cook pasta to al dente

What is al dente? Al dente means “to the bite” in Italian. It refers to cooking pasta to just the point where it’s tender but has a subtly firm center. Here’s the thing: overcooked pasta is not only rubbery and unappetizing. It also has less nutrients and it makes you less full (read more here). Cooking the pasta for this homemade mac and cheese to al dente means it tastes better, you get more nutrients, and you’re full for longer. Win, win, win! Here are some notes on how to cook pasta to al dente:

  • Don’t trust the package instructions! Most pasta packages have timing that results in overcooked pasta. Start tasting the pasta a few minutes before the package indicates.
  • Taste and drain it right when it’s tender but firm inside. Some chefs say to look for a small white fleck at the core (others think it should just disappear for perfect al dente).
  • Move quickly! Pasta can go from al dente to overcooked in a matter of seconds.

Tips for making a roux

The main kitchen technique you need for homemade mac and cheese is making a roux. What’s a roux? A “roux” (pronounced “Roo“) is flour and butter cooked together and used to thicken sauces. It’s usually made from equal parts of flour and butter. For mac and cheese, you make a roux and then add the cheese. This is what makes the gooey sauce: cheese by its would be too sticky. There are a few important things to note about making a roux:

  • Measure out your ingredients in advance (mise en place). The cooking process goes fast, so you don’t want to be distracted by measuring. The French way to say measure out all your ingredients is mise en place, which means everything in its place.
  • Don’t leave the stove, and watch closely. The flour and butter can burn easily here! You must stand by the stove and start adding milk right when the flour turns golden brown.
  • Add the milk gradually. Pour in the milk and constantly whisk, adding it little by little, until it forms a smooth sauce. Once you get to this point, it’s smooth sailing!
Homemade mac and cheese

Best noodles for homemade mac and cheese

By the way…you don’t have to use macaroni for homemade mac and cheese! No: it’s actually even tastier when you use different types of noodles. You can use all sorts of short pasta shapes, from shells to bowties to penne. Here are our favorite types of short pasta for mac and cheese, in order of preference:

Mac and cheese

Best cheese for homemade mac and cheese

There are a few different cheeses that work well in this homemade mac and cheese. Here’s what we’d recommend, and then a few other options:

  • Use sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack. This is the perfect combination for a classic mac and cheese flavor! But be aware…
  • Don’t use aged cheddar! It sounds like it would taste delicious, but aged cheddar doesn’t have quite the right flavor. Stay with a standard sharp.
  • Get fancy with gouda, Havarti or white cheddar. Substitute the cheddar, or try our separate recipes: Gouda Mac and Cheese, Pesto Havarti Mac and Cheese, or White Cheddar Mac and Cheese.

Sides to serve with homemade mac and cheese

Cook this pasta to al dente and this cozy homemade mac and cheese is the stuff dreams are made of! We recently made a pan of this for family who were grieving a loved one, and it was just the right food that tastes like a hug. It’s perfect for anytime you need a cozy meal. Here are a few sides that are full of nutrients and fiber to make it into a healthy dinner idea:

Homemade Mac and Cheese

Tip: how to reheat mac and cheese!

Here’s a great homemade mac and cheese kitchen hack! You can save leftovers of mac and cheese in the refrigerator for about 5 days. But the cheese solidifies and dries out in the fridge! How to get it back to a creamy sauce? Here are our tips:

  • Place it in a skillet and add a splash of milk. Use a ratio of about 1 cup noodles to 1 tablespoon milk.
  • Heat over medium heat and stir until the sauce becomes creamy again!

This homemade mac and cheese recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free noodles.

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Homemade Mac and Cheese

*Best* Homemade Mac and Cheese


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 to 12 as a side, 6 to 8 as a main
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Here’s how to make homemade mac and cheese! Cook this ultimate comfort food from scratch and it’s better than any you’ve ever had.


Ingredients

  • 1 pound short pasta of any type (we like large shells)
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (not aged)
  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup seasoned Italian breadcrumbs (or plain breadcrumbs)

Instructions

  1. Boil the pasta: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add about 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Start tasting the pasta a few minutes before the package instructions and stop cooking once the pasta is just tender but still firm. Then drain the pasta in a colander and rinse it quickly with warm water.
  2. Meanwhile, make the sauce: Grate the cheese (if necessary). Measure out the butter, flour, milk, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the butter over medium heat; when it melts, stir in the flour. Heat the mixture for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Immediately when the color starts to turn light brown, reduce the heat to low. Start to add the milk very slowly: whisk constantly until the mixture is completely smooth, then add a bit more milk until it is fully incorporated, then repeat. Once all the milk is added, add the salt, onion powder, and garlic powder. Continue cooking on low heat for about 2 minutes to thicken slightly, whisking frequently. After 2 minutes, gradually add the grated cheese and keep stirring until it is fully melted.
  3. Top with breadcrumbs and serve: Stir the pasta into the cheese sauce, then pour it into a dish and top with breadcrumbs. If you’d like, place it in a baking dish and broil it for 2 to 4 minutes until the crumbs are lightly browned, turning the pan to even out the browning as necessary. Serve immediately. Refrigerate leftovers up to 4 days. Reheat on the stovetop with a splash of milk and stir until creamy. 

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Homemade mac and cheese, how to make mac and cheese

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Broccoli Cheddar Stuffed Spaghetti Squash.

Dinner tonight is broccoli cheddar spaghetti squash! Oh my. I mean, I could get my veggies in like this every day. I crave anything broccoli cheddar and this melty, cheesy broccoli sauce stuffed into tender spaghetti squash noodles does not disappoint. It’s satisfying and comforting and tasted like heaven! It seriously blows my mind that […]

The post Broccoli Cheddar Stuffed Spaghetti Squash. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Dinner tonight is broccoli cheddar spaghetti squash! Oh my.

broccoli cheddar stuffed spaghetti squash

I mean, I could get my veggies in like this every day.

cheesy broccoli cheddar spaghetti squash

I crave anything broccoli cheddar and this melty, cheesy broccoli sauce stuffed into tender spaghetti squash noodles does not disappoint. It’s satisfying and comforting and tasted like heaven!

It seriously blows my mind that I didn’t enjoy anything broccoli cheddar when I was kid. Actually, I’m pretty sure that I would order broccoli cheddar stuffed potatoes and just eat the cheddar and the potato. Riddle me that.

fresh roasted spaghetti squash

These days, broccoli competes for my number one favorite vegetable. It absolutely blows my mind. If you would have told me when I started this blog that I’d actually learn to love almost every vegetable, I would have laughed in your face. Hysterically.

Super glad things have changed around here! If I can become a veggie lover, anyone can. Trust me.

So!

Much like my spaghetti squash parmesan, this is a staple for us when it comes to cozy fall weeknight dinners. The kids love that they can have a “bowl” made of squash and it helps that the mixture is fully of golden brown bubbly cheese. 

cheesy melty broccoli cheddar

It also comes together so easily! The worst part is probably having to actually CUT the squash. But you gotta cut it in half! (P.S. here’s a little trick to make it easier.)

First, you roast the squash so you can scrape the noodles a bit. The edges get golden and caramely and smell incredible. While the squash is in the oven, you sauté some broccoli and shallot and garlic and stir in milk and cheese, making a quick cheesy sauce. 

stuffed the spaghetti squash with broccoli cheddar

Then you stuff the broccoli cheddar mixture into the squash boats, sprinkle with a little more cheese and breadcrumbs and bake until bubbly.

Yessss.

Bake until bubbly.

broccoli cheddar stuffed spaghetti squash

Oh my word.

This is so, so delicious. So hearty, but kind of light at the same time if that makes sense? It’s weeknight perfection.

It will become a new favorite dinner!

broccoli cheddar stuffed spaghetti squash

Broccoli Cheddar Spaghetti Squash

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Broccoli Cheddar Spaghetti Squash

This broccoli cheddar spaghetti squash is so comforting and satisfying. Tender squash noodles stuffed with melty, cheesy broccoli. Delish!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 2 spaghetti squash, cut in half with seeds scraped out
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups grated white cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray.
  • Slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the sides. Brush the cut sides with olive oil. Place the squash cut-side down on a baking sheet. Roast for 25 minutes.
  • While the squash is roasting, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the broccoli florets and cook, stirring often, for 6 to 8 minutes, until they are slightly softened. Stir in the milk and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until it is warmed through. Stir in 1 cup of the cheddar and turn off the heat. Stir until the cheddar melts.
  • Remove squash from the oven and flip them over. Use a fork to scrape some of the squash. Season the squash with salt and pepper. Evenly distribute the broccoli cheddar mix in each squash bowl. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar on top. Sprinkle on the breadcrumbs.
  • Return the sheet to the oven and bake 10 to 15 minutes, until the cheese is golden and bubbly.

broccoli cheddar stuffed spaghetti squash

Those golden cheese bits. OMG.

The post Broccoli Cheddar Stuffed Spaghetti Squash. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

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

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

Beef Taco Skillet

Sometimes I just throw random leftovers into a pot or skillet and just see how it turns out. 😜 But you can’t really go wrong with the ingredients that I used this time around. This Beef Taco Skillet isn’t that novel of a concept, but it was quite tasty and has a lot of room […]

The post Beef Taco Skillet appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sometimes I just throw random leftovers into a pot or skillet and just see how it turns out. 😜 But you can’t really go wrong with the ingredients that I used this time around. This Beef Taco Skillet isn’t that novel of a concept, but it was quite tasty and has a lot of room for customization, so I thought it would be the perfect “easy fix” meal to share. So tuck this Beef Taco Skillet Recipe into your bookmarks, because I think you’ll get great use out of it!

Beef Taco Skillet viewed from above, bowl of green onions on the side

I had a half pound of ground beef in my freezer, a pint of grape tomatoes that I bought for something else and never got around to using, the ever present half bunch of green onions in my fridge, and a bag of tortilla chips. They all went into the skillet with my homemade taco seasoning, a little cheese on top (I always seem to have random partial blocks of cheese in my fridge, too), and I had an incredibly easy and tasty dinner. 

Don’t the Chips Get Soft?

The tortilla chips soak up all the flavor in the skillet and get kind of soft, kind of like they do in chilaquiles, migas, or tortilla soup. It’s not a bad thing, IMHO. But if you’re not a fan of soft tortilla chips, you can always crush them over top of your skillet just before serving to make this more like a taco salad (minus the salad part). 

Other Topping Ideas

As I mentioned in the intro, this recipe is ripe for customization and you can throw just about any leftover ingredients that you might have on hand into the skillet. Anything that you might like on a taco, taco salad, or in a burrito would be good in this skillet. So check your fridge, freezer, and pantry for any of these items and toss them into the mix:

Can I Use Store Bought Taco Seasoning?

Yes, if you don’t have all the herbs and spices needed for the homemade taco seasoning in the recipe below, simply substitute one packet of store bought taco seasoning.

Can I Substitute the Ground Beef?

Yep, that’s easy, too! You can use any other ground meat (turkey, chicken, pork), or even just do an extra can of beans of you want to keep it vegetarian (extra black beans or pinto beans).

Close up of Beef Taco Skillet with a spatula scooping some out of the side

 
Close up overhead shot of beef taco skillet

Beef Taco Skillet

This Beef Taco Skillet can repurpose your leftover ingredients into a fast, easy, and hearty weeknight dinner.
Total Cost $6.30 recipe / $1.58 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 487.05kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Homemade Taco Seasoning

  • 1 Tbsp chili powder* $0.30
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika $0.10
  • 1 tsp ground cumin $0.10
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Skillet Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. ground beef $2.85
  • 1 15oz. can black beans $0.89
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes (or one large tomato) $1.49
  • 4 oz. tortilla chips $0.50
  • 2 oz. shredded cheddar cheese $0.42
  • 1 green onion $0.11

Instructions

  • Combine the ingredients for the homemade taco seasoning in a small bowl (chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne, oregano, salt, and pepper).
  • Slice the green onion and cut the grape tomatoes in half (if using one large tomato, cut it into a small dice).
  • Add the ground beef to a skillet and cook over medium until it is fully browned. If you're using a higher fat content beef (20% or higher), drain the excess fat before moving to the next step. If you're using a very lean ground beef (<10% fat) you may need to add a touch of oil to the skillet to keep the beef from sticking.
  • While the beef is cooking, rinse and drain the can of black beans. Add the black beans to the skillet with the prepared taco seasoning. Continue to stir and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes more, or until heated through.
  • Add the tomatoes to the skillet and continue to cook over medium, stirring often, until the tomatoes begin to break down a bit (about three more minutes).
  • Finally, add the tortilla chips and stir to combine with the other ingredients in the skillet.
  • Top the skillet with the shredded cheese, place a lid on top, and let it heat for 1-2 minutes, or just until the cheese is melted. Sprinkle the sliced green onions over top just before serving.

Notes

*chili powder is a blend of spices used to season chili and may be mild or hot depending on the brand. It is not pure ground red chile peppers.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 487.05kcal | Carbohydrates: 51.88g | Protein: 26.4g | Fat: 20.5g | Sodium: 863.3mg | Fiber: 15.1g

Close up overhead shot of beef taco skillet

How to Make Beef Taco Skillet – Step by Step Photos

taco seasoning spices in a small bowl

Combine the spices for the homemade taco seasoning: 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, ½ tsp dried oregano, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper. You can use a packet of store bought taco seasoning in place of the homemade taco seasoning, if needed.

Sliced green onion and grape tomatoes

Slice a green onion and a pint of grape tomatoes in half. You can use one large tomato in place of the grape tomatoes (I just happened to have those on hand and they needed to be used). If using a large tomato, cut it into a small dice.

browned ground beef in a skillet

Add 1/2 lb. ground beef to a skillet and cook over medium heat until it is fully browned. If you’re using a high fat ground beef you’ll want to drain the excess fat off before moving to the next step. If you’re using a really low fat ground beef, you may need to add a little oil to the skillet to keep it from sticking. I used 15% fat beef, which didn’t need any extra oil and didn’t need to be drained.

black beans and taco seasoning added to the skillet

While the beef is cooking, rinse and drain the black beans. Add them to the skillet along with the taco seasoning. Continue to cook and stir over medium heat for a couple more minutes.

tomatoes added to the skillet

Add the tomatoes to the skillet and continue to stir and cook just until the tomatoes begin to break down (about 3 more minutes).

Tortilla chips added to the skillet

Finally, add about 4 oz. tortilla chips (you don’t have to be exact here. I just looked on the label and it said each serving was 1 oz., or about 12 chips, so I estimated). Stir the chips into the skillet.

Shredded cheese being added to the skillet

Top the skillet with 2 oz. shredded cheddar (about ½ cup). Place a lid on top and let it heat for a couple of minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

green onions added on top of the melted cheese in the skillet

Sprinkle the sliced green onions over the beef taco skillet just before serving.

Close up side view of the finished beef taco skillet

Enjoy this taco-nacho hybrid in a skillet for all its cheesy goodness!

The post Beef Taco Skillet appeared first on Budget Bytes.

The Easiest, Cheesiest Tomato Recipe to Repeat All Summer

A Big Little Recipe has the smallest-possible ingredient list and big everything else—flavor, creativity, wow factor. Psst: We don’t count water, salt, black pepper, and certain fats (specifically, 1/2 cup or less of olive oil, vegetable oil, and butte…

A Big Little Recipe has the smallest-possible ingredient list and big everything else—flavor, creativity, wow factor. Psst: We don't count water, salt, black pepper, and certain fats (specifically, 1/2 cup or less of olive oil, vegetable oil, and butter), since we're guessing you have those covered. Today, we’re getting cheesy.


A juicy, heavy tomato needs no more than a pinch of salt to turn into an afternoon snack. And, several times every summer, I do just that. But when making a meal out of a tomato, there are other ingredients to zhuzh things up.

Read More >>

Honey Mustard Cajun Shrimp with Cheddar Grits.

New favorite thing ever: honey mustard cajun shrimp! And grits. Why of course! Please make this for dinner tonight! It’s the most comforting dish EVER. And we all really need some comfort right now. The meal comes together fairly quickly. You can use a store bought cajun seasoning or make your own. You can use […]

The post Honey Mustard Cajun Shrimp with Cheddar Grits. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

New favorite thing ever: honey mustard cajun shrimp! And grits. Why of course!

Honey Mustard Cajun Shrimp with Cheddar Grits

Please make this for dinner tonight! It’s the most comforting dish EVER. And we all really need some comfort right now.

honey mustard cajun shrimp in a skillet

The meal comes together fairly quickly. You can use a store bought cajun seasoning or make your own. You can use stone ground or instant grits! Whatever you need to make this easy and so you can get a delish meal on the table in no time at all. 

Let’s do it! 

honey mustard cajun shrimp close up

First, THIS SHRIMP.

Oh my gosh. I am basically sharing this recipe for the shrimp alone. I thought I was in love with this lime fajita shrimp but this honey mustard cajun shrimp is where it’s at. 

The flavor! Holy cow. It’s a bit spicy from the cajun seasoning but then you have this sweet + tangy combo from the honey mustard.

pot of grits with grated cheddar

You can pretty much do anything with this shrimp – except stay away from it. I wanted to eat every piece out of the pan right here. 

You have cajun shrimp pan-fried in butter and then cooked in the sweet and sticky honey mustard. The excess sauce in the pan is so wonderful as a drizzle on the grits too. Or right off a spoon, not going to lie.

stirring cheddar into grits

It’s an indulgent treat that I can’t get enough of. 

I mean, oh my gosh.

Honey Mustard Cajun Shrimp with Cheddar Grits

So I’ve made shrimp and grits a few times before.

These brown butter shrimp and grits are seriously unreal. Kind of like a classic. And this buffalo shrimp with blue cheese grits is an over-the-top version that we love! Especially when I’m craving all things buffalo-ish. 

Honey Mustard Cajun Shrimp with Cheddar Grits

I usually make the quick cooking grits (the horror, I know!) because I’m just not a grits purist. But I did make the stone ground version for this recipe and my oh my are they GOOD.

Honey Mustard Cajun Shrimp with Cheddar Grits

Eddie used to travel a ton when I first started the blog. I mentioned it in my blog posts but I didn’t quite explain the extent he traveled – many times Sunday through Friday – and I kept it on the DL since I was home alone. He would be in the south for work and ate copious amounts of shrimp and grits – they are easily one of his favorite dishes. 

Honey Mustard Cajun Shrimp with Cheddar Grits

When I make the grits, I go.to.town with the cheese and cream. He tells me that’s the only way to do it! And I can’t argue… I mean they basically melt in your mouth. 

They are ridiculously cheesy and creamy.

Honey Mustard Cajun Shrimp with Cheddar Grits

This is our ideal comfort food – even in the warmer months. I just wish I could make you a big bowl of it!

Honey Mustard Cajun Shrimp with Cheddar Grits

Honey Mustard Cajun Shrimp with Cheddar Grits

Print

Honey Mustard Cajun Shrimp and Cheddar Grits

This honey mustard cajun shrimp is absolutely loaded with flavor! Served over cheddar grits for the ultimate comfort food.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

cheddar grits

  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock or water
  • 1 1/2 cups stone ground corn grits
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar, freshly grated
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup heavy cream

honey mustard cajun shrimp

  • 1 pound peeled and deveined raw shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons dijon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or cilantro

Instructions

  • Place the stock, grits and salt in a large pot and bring it to a boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, turn off the heat and and cover the pot for 10 minutes.
  • During this time, pat the shrimp completely dry and sprinkle it with cajun seasoning. Whisk together the honey and the dijon.
  • After 10 minutes, bring the grits back to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring often and scraping the bottom, until most of the water is absorbed and the grits are al dente or tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the grits from the heat and stick in the cheddar, parmesan and cream. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed!
  • While the grits are cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the butter. Add the shrimp in a single layer and cook about 2 to 3 minutes per side, just until it’s opaque and pink. Once the shrimp is flipped, pour in the honey djion mixture. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for a few minutes to bring the flavors together. Sprinkle with the fresh herbs.
  • Once the grits are done, serve them in a bowl. Top with the shrimp. Serve immediately!

Honey Mustard Cajun Shrimp with Cheddar Grits

Can’t you just taste it?!

The post Honey Mustard Cajun Shrimp with Cheddar Grits. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Broccoli Cheddar Fritters

Broccoli Cheddar Fritters- Easy fritters made with quinoa, broccoli, and cheddar cheese. This easy and healthy fritter recipe can be served as a snack or appetizer. Broccoli Cheddar Fritters In our cookbook, there is a recipe for Cauliflower Quinoa Fri…

Broccoli Cheddar Fritters- Easy fritters made with quinoa, broccoli, and cheddar cheese. This easy and healthy fritter recipe can be served as a snack or appetizer. Broccoli Cheddar Fritters In our cookbook, there is a recipe for Cauliflower Quinoa Fritters with Romesco Sauce that I LOVE! The other day I was going to make them,…

The post Broccoli Cheddar Fritters appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.