The Best Cheese for Cheeseburgers, Period

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. This month, Marissa is sharing her thoughts on the best possible cheese to melt on a burger, inspired by the Absolute Best Tests column.


It was in 1934 that the term “cheeseburger” was first coined, on the menu at Kaelin’s restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky. They topped a patty with American cheese in the hopes of adding a “new tang to the hamburger,” and this now-classic staple would soon appear everywhere from diners to backyards, all across the U.S. Over the years, the cheeseburger has morphed from its humble origins—sometimes so much that the folks at Kaelin’s probably wouldn’t recognize it as the same dish. Restaurants love to experiment with various toppings and condiments, from sautéed mushrooms and crispy onions to aioli and pickle relish, to transform the traditional cheeseburger into something new. At the core, however, the cheeseburger always relies on a ground beef base and gooey cheese topping.

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BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken

Forget boring or bland baked chicken breasts, this BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken is going to be the star of your dinner plate.

The post BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I used to think chicken breasts were bland and boring, but then I changed how I approached them. Instead of seeing chicken breast as the main feature of a recipe, now I see them simply as the vehicle for the flavor in a recipe. In this BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken, the chicken breast is a filling base that carries the tangy BBQ sauce, creamy cheddar, zesty red onion, and fresh cilantro straight to your taste buds. When chicken breast is used like this, I’m ALL ABOUT IT.

Overhead view of BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken in a baking dish

Tips for Baking Chicken Breast

Successfully baking chicken breast can take a little know-how. If you want to avoid overcooked or dry chicken breast, here are a few tips:

  • Adjust baking time for the size of your chicken breast. Larger or thicker chicken breasts will take longer to cook (20-25 minutes), while thinner or smaller chicken breasts will take less time (15-18 minutes).
  • Use a mallet or rolling pin to gently pound the thick end of your chicken breasts to make the breast a more even thickness. This helps them cook quickly and evenly.
  • Use a meat thermometer for best results. Chicken breasts should be cooked until they reach an internal temperature of 165ºF. The more it cooks beyond that point the more it will begin to dry out and become tough.
  • Let the chicken breast rest after baking. Make sure to let the chicken breast sit for 5-10 minutes after baking to reduce the steam pressure within the meat. This helps the juices stay in the meat once it’s cut, rather than escaping and leaving behind dry, tough meat.

Can I Use Bone-In Chicken?

This recipe is best suited to boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs. Bone-in chicken takes much longer to cook through and you may find that the BBQ sauce begins to burn with those longer cook times.

What Kind of BBQ Sauce is Best?

For an inexpensive yet flavorful BBQ sauce, I usually go with Sweet Baby Ray’s, but I highly suggest using whatever brand BBQ sauce you like the best. And while just about any flavor BBQ sauce would work for this dish, I would lean toward something more on the savory or smoky side rather than a sweeter BBQ sauce.

What to Serve with BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken

I served my BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken with some potato salad and a colorful bean salad (recipes coming next week), but I think it would also go great with Cowboy Caviar, Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potato Cornbread, Summer Sweet Corn Salad, Spicy Sweet Potato Fries, or Green Chile Mac and Cheese.

BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken on a plate with potato salad and bean salad, a fork grabbing a slice of chicken
close up of a fork taking a piece of bbq cheddar baked chicken off a plate

BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken

Forget boring or bland baked chicken breasts, this BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken is going to be the star of your dinner plate.
Total Cost $8.89 recipe / $2.22 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Total Time 33 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 320kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1.3 pounds total) $7.58
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce $0.13
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar $0.85
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion $0.05
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro $0.09

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. If your chicken breasts are very thick or uneven in thickness, use a mallet or rolling pin to first pound them out to a more even thickness. Slice the chicken breasts in half, so you have four pieces.
  • Combine the smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Pat the chicken dry with paper towel, then sprinkle the seasoning mix over both sides of each piece of chicken.
  • Place the seasoned chicken pieces in a baking dish, then spoon 1 Tbsp BBQ sauce over top of each piece, spreading it from edge to edge to cover the chicken.
  • Bake the chicken in the preheated 400ºF oven for about 18 minutes (less for smaller or thinner pieces).
  • Remove the chicken from the oven and top each piece with shredded cheddar. Return the chicken to the oven and continue baking for five minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF.
  • After baking the chicken, let the chicken rest for five minutes, then top with diced red onion and chopped cilantro just before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 320kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 13g | Sodium: 677mg | Fiber: 1g
bbq cheddar baked chicken being lifted out of the baking dish, viewed from the side

How to Make BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken – Step by Step Photos

Pounded Chicken Breast

You’ll need two boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe, about 1.3 lbs. total. If your chicken breasts are very thick or a very uneven thickness, use a mallet or rolling pin to gently pound them to a more even thickness. This helps them cook more quickly and evenly. (Covering them with plastic helps keep everything clean as you pound.

Seasoned chicken breast

Pat the chicken breast dry, then cut each one in half so that you have four pieces. Combine 1 tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper. Sprinkle the seasoning over all sides of the chicken pieces.

BBQ sauce being spread over chicken in a baking dish

Place 1 Tbsp BBQ sauce over each piece of chicken and spread it to cover the surface. Transfer the chicken to the preheated 400ºF oven and bake for about 18 minutes (a few minutes less for smaller or thinner chicken pieces).

Prepared toppings: red onion, cilantro, and cheddar

While the chicken is baking, prepare the toppings. Shred about 1 cup cheddar cheese, finely dice about ¼ cup red onion, and roughly chop ¼ cup cilantro.

Shredded cheese being added to the baked chicken

After baking for about 18 minutes, remove the chicken from the oven and top the chicken with about 1 cup shredded cheese (about ¼ cup per piece of chicken). Return the chicken to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165ºF.

Baked bbq chicken topped with red onion and cilantro

After baking, let the chicken rest for about 5 minutes, then top with the diced red onion and chopped cilantro.

close up of a fork taking a piece of bbq cheddar baked chicken off a plate

Serve and enjoy!!

The post BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Beef and Cauliflower Taco Skillet

This beef and cauliflower taco skillet has layers of flavor, color, and texture, and all of your favorite taco flavors in one hearty bowl.

The post Beef and Cauliflower Taco Skillet appeared first on Budget Bytes.

A couple of months ago I posted a side dish, Southwest Cauliflower Rice, and ever since I’ve been dying to flesh it out into a main dish. This week I finally got around to it, and OMG, so good! I added some ground beef, black beans, and a bunch of fresh ingredients on top, so you get this wonderful mix of hot and cold flavors and textures, kind of like when you eat a taco, but in bowl form.

Overhead view of beef and cauliflower taco skillet with vegetables on the side and a spatula in the side

Is it Spicy?

The heat level in this recipe depends on the spiciness of two ingredients: the canned diced tomatoes with green chiles (like Ro-tel) and your chili powder. Unfortunately, with both of these ingredients, some brands are spicy and some are not. So you may need to do some experimenting to find the brands that match the heat level that you prefer.

Fresh or Frozen Cauliflower Rice?

You can use either fresh homemade cauliflower rice or frozen store-bought cauliflower rice for this recipe. Both types of riced cauliflower cook very quickly and you shouldn’t need to make any changes to the recipe based on the type of cauliflower rice used.

Take the Taco Seasoning Short Cut

The recipe below includes all the herbs and spices in my homemade taco seasoning. If you don’t have a well stocked spice cabinet, you can use a packet of store-bought taco seasoning in place of the chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper listed in the recipe below.

Other Topping Ideas

This recipe is so flexible! If you don’t like some of the toppings that I used, here are some other ideas:

Make it Low Carb or Vegetarian

If you want to make this tasty skillet low-carb, you can skip the black beans and use a full pound of ground beef instead.

If you want to make this taco skillet vegetarian, add an extra can of beans in place of the ground beef. You can use an extra can of black beans, or add a can of pinto or kidney beans.

Close up side view of beef and cauliflower taco skillet being scooped out of the skillet
overhead view of beef and cauliflower taco skillet with vegetables on the sides

Beef and Cauliflower Taco Skillet

This beef and cauliflower taco skillet has layers of flavor, color, and texture, and all of your favorite taco flavors in one hearty bowl.
Total Cost $7.74 recipe . /$1.94 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Calories 467kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef $2.50
  • 3 cups riced cauliflower $1.25
  • 1 10oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles $0.55
  • 1 15oz. can black beans $0.50
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder $0.30
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika $0.10
  • 1 tsp ground cumin $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp pepper $0.02
  • 2 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded $0.38
  • 1 avocado $0.99
  • 1 tomato $0.46
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion $0.10
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro $0.10

Instructions

  • Mince the garlic. Add the garlic, olive oil, and ground beef to a large skillet and cook over medium heat until the ground beef is browned. If you're using a high fat content beef, you may want to drain off the excess fat before the next step.
  • Drain the can of black beans and add them to the skillet along with the diced tomatoes with green chiles (not drained), chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir and cook until the skillet is simmering.
  • Add the riced cauliflower to the skillet (no need to thaw, if frozen). Continue to stir and cook over medium heat until the cauliflower is tender (about five minutes).
  • While the beef and cauliflower are heating, dice the tomato, avocado, and red onion. Roughly chop the cilantro.
  • Top the beef and cauliflower mixture with the shredded cheddar. Place a lid on the skillet, and let it heat over medium for a few minutes, or until the cheddar has melted.
  • Once the cheese is melted, top the skillet with the tomato, avocado, red onion, and cilantro. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 467kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 28g | Sodium: 360mg | Fiber: 14g
beef and cauliflower taco skillet in a bowl with a fork on the side

How to Make Beef and Cauliflower Taco Skillet – Step by Step Photos

browned ground beef in a skillet

Mince two cloves of garlic. Add the garlic to a large skillet with 1 Tbsp olive oil and ½ lb. ground beef. Cook over medium heat until the ground beef is browned.

Tomatoes, beans, and seasoning added to the skillet

Drain one 15oz. can of black beans and add them to the skillet along with one 10oz. can of diced tomatoes with green chiles (not drained), 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp cumin, ½ tsp oregano, ¼ tsp salt, and ⅛ tsp pepper. Continue to cook and stir until the skillet is simmering.

Frozen riced cauliflower added to the skillet.

Add 3 cups riced cauliflower to the skillet. Continue to cook and stir until the riced cauliflower is tender (about 5 minutes).

Diced tomato, avocado, and onion

While the cauliflower and beef are heating, dice one tomato and one avocado. Finely dice about ¼ cup red onion. Roughly chop one small handful of cilantro.

Shredded cheddar being added to the skillet

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

skillet topped with fresh tomato, avocado, red onion, and cilantro

Once the cheese is melted, top with the fresh tomato, avocado, red onion, and cilantro, then serve!

A fork lifting a bite of beef and cauliflower taco skillet out of a bowl

That’s one FLAVORFUL bowl!!

The post Beef and Cauliflower Taco Skillet appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Cheeseburger Pasta Skillet

Y’all know I love to get creative with flavors, but every once in a while I get in the mood for straight-up American comfort food, like cheeseburgers. When that craving hit this week I decided to make a cheeseburger flavored pasta, which gives me all that cheeseburger flavor with a lot less actual burger. Because […]

The post Cheeseburger Pasta Skillet appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Y’all know I love to get creative with flavors, but every once in a while I get in the mood for straight-up American comfort food, like cheeseburgers. When that craving hit this week I decided to make a cheeseburger flavored pasta, which gives me all that cheeseburger flavor with a lot less actual burger. Because when meat is one of the most expensive items at the grocery store you have to streeeeeeeeetch it any way you can. This  Cheeseburger Pasta Skillet does just that. If you loved Hamburger Helper when you were growing up, you’re going to love this homemade version even more!

Originally posted 4-27-2016, updated 5-29-2021.

Overhead view of cheeseburger pasta skillet in the pan with a spatula in the side

Hot Dog Relish is the Secret Ingredient

This cheeseburger pasta is super good even without the relish, but adding a couple spoonfuls of hotdog relish at the end really makes it taste like you’re eating a hamburger. What is hot dog relish? It’s basically a dill pickle relish mixed with yellow mustard. If you can’t find hot dog relish at your grocery store, you can buy plain dill relish and mix a little yellow mustard into it (about a teaspoon). 

Tips for Cooking One Pot Pasta

Cooking one pot pasta recipes is a little bit like riding a bike. You have to watch it and adjust to the nuances of the pasta as it cooks, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a breeze. Here are a few tips:

  • Use heavy, thick cookware to help the ingredients heat evenly.
  • Use a burner size close to the size of the bottom of your pot for even heating.
  • The broth does not need to fully cover the pasta for it to cook, so resist the urge to add extra water or broth.
  • Make sure the liquid is simmering the whole time the pasta is cooking. If the heat is too low, the pasta will just get gummy.
  • Stir the pot occasionally to prevent sticking, but not too often or your risk breaking down the pasta.
  • Use your judgment. If your pasta looks close to being cooked through, but there is too much liquid left in the skillet, let it finish simmering with the lid off. If the liquid is gone but your pasta is still not tender, add a splash more water or broth and continue to simmer.

How to Serve Skillet Cheeseburger Pasta

I’m usually all about stuffing my recipes with as many vegetables as possible, but I couldn’t figure out a way to incorporate more vegetables into this recipe without making it less hamburger-like, so I’m just going to suggest you serve it with a simple side salad. Nothing fancy, maybe just some Romaine, tomatoes, and dressing. Keep it easy. :) And maybe Homemade Garlic Bread. Because every meal is better with garlic bread. ;)

Freeze Some For Later

Saucy pasta dishes like this freezer pretty well, IMHO, so if you’re cooking for yourself this would make a good cook-and-freeze-for-later dish. If you’re extra sensitive to texture changes like pasta getting slightly softer, though, you may not be a fan of the leftovers.

Overhead view of cheeseburger pasta in a bowl with a fork on the side

Close up of cheeseburger pasta skillet being scooped out with a spoon

Cheeseburger Pasta Skillet

Cheeseburger Pasta Skillet is a fast and easy homemade version of hamburger helper that cooks all in one pot for easy cleanup!
Total Cost $5.03 recipe / $1.26 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Calories 555kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.25
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef $2.50
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.02
  • 1 8oz. can tomato sauce $0.29
  • 2 cups beef broth $0.26
  • 1/2 lb. pasta shells, uncooked $0.50
  • 4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded $0.75
  • 2 Tbsp hot dog relish $0.16
  • 2 green onions, sliced (optional) $0.20

Instructions

  • Finely dice the onion. Add the onion, olive oil, and ground beef to a large deep skillet and sauté over medium heat until the beef is fully browned and the onion is soft and translucent. Drain off any excess fat, if needed.
  • Add the flour to the skillet and continue to stir and cook for one minute more. The flour will begin to coat the bottom of the skillet. Be careful not to let the flour burn.
  • Add the tomato sauce and beef broth to the skillet and stir to dissolve the flour off the bottom of the skillet.
  • Add the uncooked pasta to the skillet and stir to combine. The liquid in the skillet may not fully cover the pasta, but that is okay.
  • Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and let the liquid come up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, give it a quick stir to loosen any pasta from the bottom of the skillet, replace the lid, and turn the heat down to low. Let the pasta simmer, stirring occasionally (always replacing the lid), for about 10 minutes, or until the pasta is tender and the sauce has thickened. Turn the heat off.
  • Add the shredded cheddar to the skillet and stir until it has melted into the sauce. Stir the hot dog relish into the sauce and then top with sliced green onions. Serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 555kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 26g | Sodium: 1045mg | Fiber: 4g

If you love easy one pot pasta dinners, check out our One Pot Meals category!

Close up of cheeseburger pasta skillet being scooped out with a spoon

How to Make Cheeseburger Pasta Skillet – Step by Step Photos

Ground beef and onion cooked in the skillet

Start by finely dicing one onion. Add the onion, 1/2 lb. lean ground beef, and 1 Tbsp olive oil to a large deep skillet. Sauté the onion and beef until the beef is fully browned and the onions are soft and translucent. Drain off any excess fat, if needed (if you’re using 90% lean or higher, there probably isn’t anything to be drained off).

Flour added to the cooked ground beef

Add 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour to the skillet and continue to stir and cook for one minute. The flour will bein to coat the bottom of the skillet. This is okay, just be sure to watch it closely and not let it burn. The flour will help thicken the sauce and help the cheese melt smoothly into the sauce.

Tomato sauce in the skillet, beef broth being poured in

Add an 8oz. can of tomato sauce and 2 cups beef broth. Stir to dissolve the flour off the bottom of the skillet.

Uncooked pasta shells added to the skillet

Add ½ lb. uncooked pasta shells to the skillet and stir to combine. The liquid in the skillet does NOT need to fully cover the pasta for it to cook. The steam in the skillet will help cook the pasta that is above the surface and the pasta will be stirred to ensure even cooking.

Cooked pasta in the skillet a spatula pulling the pasta aside to show the sauce

Place a lid on the skillet and turn the heat up to medium-high. Allow the liquid to come to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, give it a quick stir to loosen any pasta from the bottom of the skillet, replace the lid, and turn the heat down to low. Let the skillet simmer, stirring occasionally (always replacing the lid), for about 10 minutes, or until the pasta is tender and the sauce has thickened. Turn the heat off.

Shredded cheddar added to the skillet

Add 4oz. shredded cheddar cheese and stir it into the pasta until it is melted and creamy.

hot dog relish added to the skillet

Finally, add 2 Tbsp of hot dog relish (mustard dill relish), and stir it into the sauce. I feel like the relish is what really made this taste like a hamburger, but if you’re not into relish you skip this last step and still have an amazingly cheesy beef pasta. 

cheeseburger pasta skillet topped with sliced green onions

I had some green onions in the fridge, so I sliced a couple up and added them on top. They add just a little extra pop of flavor and nice visual appeal to the otherwise very monochromatic dish.

Close up side view of cheeseburger pasta skillet with a spoon dug in the side

OMG look at that cheesy sauce! 😍

Skillet Cheeseburger Pasta is a fast and easy "from scratch" version of the classic hamburger helper. BudgetBytes.com

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Broccoli Cheddar Pizza

This broccoli cheddar pizza starts with a super creamy herb-filled white sauce then is topped with tender broccoli florets and cheddar.

The post Broccoli Cheddar Pizza appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I always feel kind of embarrassed to say that my favorite food is pizza because it sounds so generic, but like, it’s truly one of the most flexible foods out there. You can get so creative with it! And I absolutely love coming up with new flavor combos for my pizza. This week it was a Broccoli Cheddar Pizza with a super creamy, herb-filled white sauce. SO GOOD.

Overhead view of a broccoli cheddar pizza

Pizza Crust Options

You can use any type of pizza dough or pizza crust for this recipe. I used my super quick Thin & Crispy Pizza Crust recipe, but you could also use store-bought dough, store-bought pre-baked pizza crust, or even something like naan or tortillas.

Can You Use Fresh Broccoli?

Yes, absolutely. I used frozen broccoli because it’s par-boiled before freezing, so it’s already tender and ready to go, but if you prefer fresh broccoli you can certainly use that. You can either leave it fresh for extra crunch, or you can steam or par-boil it first to make it more tender. If using broccoli fresh without any pre-cooking, I suggest tossing it in a little bit of oil to prevent it from drying out when in the oven.

What Else Can I Add?

I’m a huge advocate of checking your pantry, fridge, or freezer for leftover ingredients that you can toss into your meal. Pizza is one of the best recipes for using up random ingredients. Here are some ingredients that would go awesome on this pizza, if you have them:

  • Red onion
  • Bacon
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Feta
  • Pesto
  • Cooked chicken (rotisserie, grilled breast, etc.)
  • Ham
One slice of broccoli cheddar pizza being pulled from the pie
One slice of broccoli cheddar pizza being pulled from the pie

Broccoli Cheddar Pizza

This broccoli cheddar pizza starts with a super creamy herb-filled white sauce then is topped with tender broccoli florets and cheddar.
Total Cost $3.28 recipe / $0.82 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 2 slices each
Calories 588.48kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Herby White Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp butter $0.11
  • 4 oz. cream cheese $0.40
  • 1/2 cup milk $0.15
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.01

Pizza Toppings

  • 12 oz. frozen broccoli florets, thawed $0.89
  • 6 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded $1.27

Instructions

  • Prepare the herby white sauce first. Combine the butter, cream cheese, milk, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper in a small saucepot. Heat and stir over medium until the cream cheese has fully melted and the sauce is thick and creamy.
  • Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Stretch your pizza dough over a pizza pan. Spread the herby white sauce over the surface of the pizza dough.
  • Chop the thawed frozen broccoli into smaller pieces. Sprinkle the chopped broccoli over the herby white sauce on the pizza. Top with the shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Bake the pizza for 10-15 minutes, or until the pizza crust is golden brown and the cheddar on top is melted. Cut into eight pieces and serve!

Notes

*I used Thin and Crispy Pizza Crust, which requires a five-minute pre-bake before topping. 

Nutrition

Serving: 2slices | Calories: 588.48kcal | Carbohydrates: 58.95g | Protein: 22.23g | Fat: 28.88g | Sodium: 953.7mg | Fiber: 4.53g
One slice of broccoli cheddar pizza being held close to the camera

How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Pizza – Step by Step Photos

Herby white sauce ingredients (minus milk) in the saucepot

Start with the herby white sauce. Add 1 Tbsp butter, 4 oz. cream cheese, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp onion powder, ½ tsp dried basil, ½ tsp dried oregano, ⅛ tsp pepper, ¼ tsp salt, and ½ cup milk to a saucepot (photo is before adding the milk).

Finished herby white sauce on a spoon in the sauce pot

Heat and stir the sauce ingredients over medium until the cream cheese is fully melted and the sauce is thick and creamy.

White sauce being spread onto pizza dough

Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Stretch your pizza dough onto a pizza pan, then spread the herby white sauce over the surface.

Chopped broccoli on a cutting board

Chop 12 oz. of thawed frozen broccoli florets into smaller, bite-sized pieces.

Broccoli added to the pizza

Add the chopped broccoli on top of the white sauce.

pizza topped with shredded cheddar

Finally, top with 6oz. shredded cheddar.

Baked broccoli cheddar pizza on the pizza pan

Bake the broccoli cheddar pizza in the preheated 450ºF oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheddar is melted.

Close up of sliced broccoli cheddar pizza

Slice the pizza into eight pieces, then serve!

The post Broccoli Cheddar Pizza appeared first on Budget Bytes.

The 11 Best Trader Joe’s Cheeses for Creamy, Melty Bliss

Shopping at Trader Joe’s can be quite the overwhelming grocery store experience. The beloved chain boasts thousands of affordable products, many of which come earmarked with a “best ever” accolade from the dozens of rankings, lists, and articles you ca…

Shopping at Trader Joe’s can be quite the overwhelming grocery store experience. The beloved chain boasts thousands of affordable products, many of which come earmarked with a “best ever” accolade from the dozens of rankings, lists, and articles you can find on the good ol’ internet. But there is, perhaps, no more intimidating section of the store than the Trader Joe’s cheese "wall"—a library (nay, a veritable archive!) of dairy concoctions in different shapes and colors, both familiar and obscure.

To help you navigate this plethora of milky goodness, we’ve rounded up 11 must-have cheeses for anyone who needs assistance in narrowing down the best of the best. But before we delve into our top picks, it’s important to keep a few key things in mind:

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Southwest Tortilla Baked Eggs

These southwest inspired tortilla baked eggs make an easy and delicious weekend breakfast with plenty of room for customization!

The post Southwest Tortilla Baked Eggs appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you missed my first post about this, I’m officially obsessed with baking my eggs in a tortilla shell. Not only do I already always have eggs and tortillas in my fridge, but you can toss in any kind of leftover vegetable, meat, or cheese that you happen to have, so it’s a great way to use up the leftovers from the week. Hello, easy and delicious weekend breakfast!

Two plates with southwest tortilla baked eggs and sour cream, a jar of salsa on the side

The first time I made tortilla baked eggs, I used a really simple mix of fresh spinach, grape tomatoes, and cheddar cheese. And after my first bite, my head spun with all the fun flavor combos that could be used for this dish. So today I’m sharing this southwest inspired version, with green chiles, red bell pepper, cheese, green onion, and salsa. It’s soooo delicious!

What Kind of Dish to Use

You can bake your eggs in any circular oven-safe dish that has a rim. The key is to use a tortilla that is 1-2 inches larger in diameter than your baking dish so that some of the tortilla folds up the sides and holds in the filling.

I am using an 8-inch tortilla and a 7-inch dish to bake four eggs. If you use a larger tortilla and dish, you may want to add more eggs and increase the baking time.

What Else Can You Add?

This recipe is very flexible, so it’s a great way to use up odds and ends in your kitchen at the end of the week. If you want to stay with the southwest flavor theme, you can add ingredients like: black beans, chorizo, bacon, cilantro, corn, chicken, chili powder, pepper jack cheese, cotija cheese, red onion, pico de gallo, or jalapeño. The key is going to be to only add a small amount of each ingredient so the tortilla doesn’t get too full or contain too much moisture.

What to Serve with Tortilla Baked Eggs

I like to add a little sour cream after baking, but a few slices of fresh avocado would also be amazing. Add a side of fruit and breakfast is done!

Close up of a slice of southwest tortilla baked eggs
Southwest tortilla baked eggs on a plate with sour cream and a fork

Southwest Tortilla Baked Eggs

These southwest inspired tortilla baked eggs make an easy and delicious weekend breakfast with plenty of room for customization!
Total Cost $2.41 recipe / $0.60 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 371.7kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil $0.09
  • 1 8" flour tortilla $0.14
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese $0.50
  • 1/4 red bell pepper $0.28
  • 2 Tbsp diced green chiles $0.25
  • 4 large eggs $0.92
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp pepper $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp salsa $0.13
  • 1 green onion, sliced $0.06

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Brush the olive oil over the inside surface of a circular baking dish.
  • Press the tortilla down into the baking dish so that the edges fold up the sides of the dish. It may help to microwave the tortilla for a few seconds first to make it more pliable.
  • Sprinkle 1/2 of the shredded cheddar into the bottom of the tortilla. Dice the bell pepper and add it on top of the cheese along with the diced green chiles.
  • Crack four eggs into the dish on top of the vegetables and cheese. Season with a pinch fo salt and pepper.
  • Top with the remaining shredded cheese.
  • Bake the eggs for about 20 minutes, or until the whites are set and the yolks are still a bit liquid. You can shake the dish a bit to easily see how much the eggs are set.
  • After baking, spoon a couple tablespoons of salsa over the tortilla baked eggs and sprinkle the sliced green onion over top.
  • Loosen the tortilla by sliding a knife around the edge between the tortilla and dish, then slide the tortilla baked eggs out of the dish and use a large knife to cut it into quarters. Serve hot and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5recipe | Calories: 371.7kcal | Carbohydrates: 15.55g | Protein: 22.05g | Fat: 24.5g | Sodium: 902.6mg | Fiber: 1.6g
Southwest tortilla baked eggs on a plate with sour cream and a fork

How to Make Southwest Tortilla Baked Eggs – Step by Step Photos

Oil being brushed onto a round bakign dish

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Brush about ½ Tbsp olive oil inside a round baking dish. The baking dish can be ceramic, metal, or glass. Choose a baking dish that is an inch or two smaller in diameter than your tortilla.

Tortilla pressed into baking dish

Press your tortilla down into the baking dish so that the edges fold up the sides of the dish (this holds your eggs and other ingredients in). If your tortillas are stiff, you might try microwaving the tortilla for a few seconds first to make it more pliable.

red bell pepper, green chiles, and cheddar in the tortilla

Dice about ¼ of a red bell pepper. Sprinkle ¼ cup shredded cheddar into the bottom of the tortilla, followed by the diced red bell pepper and 2 Tbsp diced green chiles (I used canned).

Eggs added to the tortilla

Crack four large eggs into the tortilla. It’s okay if the yolk breaks. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

More shredded cheddar added on top of the eggs

Add the remaining ¼ cup shredded cheddar on top of the eggs.

Baked eggs in a tortilla

Baked the egg filled tortilla for about 20 minutes, or until the white are set. You can shake the dish a little to see how firm the eggs are.

Salsa being spooned on top of the tortilla baked eggs

Spoon about 2 Tbsp salsa over your tortilla baked eggs then sprinkle sliced green onion on top.

Sliced tortilla baked eggs on a cutting board

Run a knife around the edge of the tortilla baked eggs (between the tortilla and the baking dish) to loosen the edges, then slide it out of the dish. Use a large knife to cut it into quarters.

Two servings of tortilla baked eggs with a jar of salsa on the side

Serve hot and enjoy!

The post Southwest Tortilla Baked Eggs appeared first on Budget Bytes.

The Best Queso

I’m super excited to share this queso recipe with you. This Mexican dip is cheesy, creamy and full of fresh flavor. It’s surprisingly easy to make and…

The post The Best Queso appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

best queso recipe

I’m super excited to share this queso recipe with you. This Mexican dip is cheesy, creamy and full of fresh flavor. It’s surprisingly easy to make and utterly irresistible.

This recipe uses a simple secret ingredient—cream cheese—to achieve its gloriously creamy texture and light tang. No flour and no fussy roux required here (as a bonus, this queso is gluten free).

This stovetop queso possesses all of Velveeta’s positive attributes, but it tastes a million times nicer. It even cools down with grace, developing just a slight skin on top that really doesn’t detract from its appeal.

queso ingredients

If you’re like me, you probably don’t need an excuse to eat queso while sipping a margarita. I grew up around a lot of Tex-Mex food and like to consider myself a queso connoisseur. If queso is on the menu, I’ve likely sampled it.

My husband, on the other hand, exercises an impressive amount of restraint when it comes to queso. He tells me he doesn’t like it. (He’s generally a rational man, though I question him in cheese-related matters.) This queso is an exception to his rule. He loves it.

We both agree that this is the best queso we’ve ever had. Try it, and I hope you’ll say the same!

Continue to the recipe...

The post The Best Queso appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

This Flower Arrangement Is Actually a Cheese Plate

I’ve built a community around sharing new and exciting ways to arrange cheese plates. Today, we’re taking it beyond the plate with this cheesy bouquet, perfect for Mother’s Day (but let’s be honest, any day will work). You may be thinking, “Marissa, wh…

I’ve built a community around sharing new and exciting ways to arrange cheese plates. Today, we’re taking it beyond the plate with this cheesy bouquet, perfect for Mother’s Day (but let’s be honest, any day will work). You may be thinking, “Marissa, why? Wasn’t cheese already good enough on a plate?” Sure, but I’m here to give you permission to more fully express your creativity when it comes to snacks: Have fun (dare I say, even play) with your food!

This idea was inspired by Edible Arrangements—you know, the bouquets of flower-shaped pineapple chunks and melon cubes. I say it’s time to level up with real flowers, and throw in a few cheese hearts, salami roses, and cracker leaves! The pairings here are thoughtful, not just random fruit that doesn’t really go together: Each skewer includes the ingredients for a perfect bite. Plus, this bouquet makes for a stunning centerpiece for your celebration. Let’s dive in.

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Cheddar Drop Biscuits

These rich, fluffy, and cheesy Cheddar Drop Biscuits are as easy as it gets when it comes to homemade biscuits.

The post Cheddar Drop Biscuits appeared first on Budget Bytes.

OMG, these cheddar drop biscuits are to die for. They’re tender, rich, fluffy, and a total cheddar-cheesy delight. Plus, since there’s no kneading or shaping, they’re insanely easy. So if you’re looking for a simple biscuit or roll to serve with dinner, give these cheddar biscuits a try. You won’t be disappointed.

Cheddar drop biscuits on a wire cooling rack, on a blue surface

What is a “Drop Biscuit”?

Drop biscuits are the easiest biscuit to make in the biscuit world. Why? There’s no kneading, shaping, or cutting the biscuit. You literally just scoop up some batter with a spoon and then “drop” it onto a baking sheet. The dough for a drop biscuit does tend to be a bit more wet and sticky than a traditional biscuit dough to allow you to scoop it up with a spoon.

Can I Substitute the Heavy Cream?

No. Unfortunately, heavy cream is the magic ingredient in these biscuits. Because this recipe does not contain any butter, you need the high fat content of heavy cream to make up for its absence. The fat in the heavy cream is what allows these biscuits to turn out so deliciously light, fluffy, and tender.

Drop Biscuits are Freezer Friendly!

Like most breads and baked goods, these cheddar drop biscuits are freezer friendly! Which is great, especially if you’re a smaller household. To freeze these biscuits, just bake as usual and then allow them to fully cool to room temperature. Once cooled, transfer to a freezer bag and freeze for up to three months. To thaw, simply allow them to come to room temperature, and then warm briefly in a hot oven.

How to Serve Cheddar Drop Biscuits

These tasty little biscuits make a delicious side for soups, stews, and chili. The cheddar scallion flavor makes a particularly nice side to vegetable soup or chili. They’d also be great with some Red Beans and Rice, Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew, Salisbury Steak, or even with your eggs and bacon at breakfast.

A cheddar drop biscuit cut in half, open sides facing camera
Cheddar drop biscuits on a wire cooling rack against a blue background

Cheddar Drop Biscuits

These rich, fluffy, and cheesy Cheddar Drop Biscuits are as easy as it gets when it comes to homemade biscuits.
Total Cost $3.15 recipe / $0.26 each
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Servings 12 biscuits
Calories 261.95kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2.25 cups all-purpose flour $0.35
  • 1 tsp salt $0.05
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder $0.06
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1 tsp sugar $0.02
  • 4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded $0.85
  • 3 green onions, sliced $0.25
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream $1.55

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking powder, garlic powder, and sugar until well combined.
  • Add the shredded cheddar and sliced green onions to the flour mixture and stir to combine again.
  • Add the heavy cream and stir until a soft sticky batter forms.
  • Spoon the batter onto the parchment lined baking sheet, about ⅓ cup for each biscuit. You should get about 12 biscuits. Make sure to leave an inch or two between each biscuit because they will expand as they bake.
  • Bake the biscuits for 18-20 minutes in the fully preheated 400ºF oven, or until they are lightly golden brown on top. Serve warm.

Nutrition

Serving: 1biscuit | Calories: 261.95kcal | Carbohydrates: 20.24g | Protein: 5.81g | Fat: 17.76g | Sodium: 392.08mg | Fiber: 0.74g
Side view of cheddar drop biscuits on the wire cooling rack

How to Make Cheddar Drop Biscuits – Step by Step Photos

Dry biscuit ingredients in a bowl

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, stir together 2.25 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 Tbsp baking powder, ¼ tsp garlic powder, and 1 tsp sugar.

shredded cheddar and sliced green onions added to the bowl

Add 4oz. shredded cheddar and three sliced green onions to the bowl with the flour mixture, then stir to combine.

heavy cream being poured into the bowl with the flour mixture

Pour 1 pint (2 cups) heavy whipping cream into the bowl with the flour mixture.

Sticky drop biscuit batter in the bowl

Stir until a soft, sticky batter forms.

Biscuit batter dropped into clumps on the baking sheet

Scoop up the batter with a spoon, about ⅓ cup at a time, and drop it onto the lined baking sheet. Make sure to leave an inch or two between each biscuit because they will expand while baking. You should get about 12 biscuits.

Baked cheddar drop biscuits on the baking sheet

Bake the biscuits in the fully preheated 400ºF oven for 18-20 minutes, or until they are golden brown on top.

Side view of baked cheddar biscuits on the baking sheet

Serve warm and enjoy that rich, fluffy, cheesy goodness!!

Cheddar drop biscuits on a wire cooling rack against a blue background

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