Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet

Hello, new favorite! I think of this Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet kind of like “jambalaya light”. It has similar flavors and ingredients as jambalaya, but it’s a slightly scaled back, simplified version, perfect for quick weeknight dinner. And the best part? The leftovers are SO GOOD. So feel free to add this tasty skillet […]

The post Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Hello, new favorite! I think of this Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet kind of like “jambalaya light”. It has similar flavors and ingredients as jambalaya, but it’s a slightly scaled back, simplified version, perfect for quick weeknight dinner. And the best part? The leftovers are SO GOOD. So feel free to add this tasty skillet to your meal prep rotation!

Cajun Sausage and Rice in the skillet with a wooden spoon and lid half on

What Kind of Sausage Do I Use?

To make this skillet meal taste the best, try to find Andouille sausage, which is a smoked pork sausage commonly used in Louisiana cooking. If you can’t find any in your area (I’m not sure how readily available this is outside the southern U.S.), you can use any smoked sausage in its place. If you want to go so far as to special order some to get the full experience, check out the selection from Cajungrocer.com

Is Cajun Sausage and Rice Spicy?

It can be, depending on the ingredients you use. I used a “medium” heat Andouille sausage, which had a good amount of spicy heat, as well as a little cayenne pepper in my Cajun seasoning blend. If you want to make this dish mild, make sure to get a non-spicy smoked sausage, and you can skip the cayenne pepper in the spices listed in the recipe. 

Can I Use Store Bought Cajun Seasoning?

The recipe below includes a half batch of my homemade Cajun seasoning, minus the salt because the other ingredients in the skillet contained enough salt that I didn’t need to add more. The total amount of spices used is about 1 tablespoon. If you’d like to use a store bought Cajun seasoning blend, first check to see how much salt it contains. Many store bought Cajun seasoning blends contain a lot of salt and are used more like a seasoning salt, or table seasoning, and probably will not work well for this recipe. If the blend you have is mostly just herbs and spices, I would use about 1 Tbsp for this recipe.

Can I Use Brown Rice?

Brown rice requires more liquid and a much longer cook time than white rice, so you will need to take these into account if you attempt to substitute brown rice for the white rice in this recipe. While I haven’t tested a brown rice version, I would probably add at least another cup of chicken broth and increase the simmer time to closer to 40 minutes.

Side view of a skillet full of Cajun Sausage and Rice

 
Side view of a skillet full of Cajun Sausage and Rice

Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet

This easy Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet is the perfect easy and filling weeknight dinner, packed with plenty of smoky-spicy flavor!
Total Cost $7.21 recipe / $1.80 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Calories 547.75kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 14 oz. Andouille sausage* $3.99
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1 bell pepper $0.89
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.01
  • 1 15oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes $1.00
  • 1 cup long grain white rice $0.62
  • 1.5 cups chicken broth $0.20
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.20

Instructions

  • Slice the sausage into ¼-½ inch thick slices. Add the sausage and cooking oil to a deep skillet or Dutch oven and sauté over medium heat until the sausage is well browned. Don't worry if the sausage begins to brown on the bottom of the skillet. That's extra flavor that will cook into the rice later.
  • While the sausage is cooking, dice the bell pepper. Once the sausage is browned, add the bell pepper to the skillet and continue to sauté for about one more minute.
  • Add the spices (smoked paprika, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, and black pepper) to the skillet with the sausage and bell pepper and continue to sauté for one minute more to toast the spices.
  • Add the fire roasted diced tomatoes (with juices), rice, and chicken broth to the skillet. Stir to combine and dissolve any browned bits off the bottom of the skillet.
  • Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the broth to come to a full boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let the skillet simmer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the skillet from the heat and let it rest, with the lid on, for an additional 5 minutes.
  • After the skillet has rested, remove the lid, and fold the sausage and rice to redistribute the rice and sausage throughout. Top with sliced green onions and serve!

Notes

*If you can not find Andouille in your area, use any smoked pork sausage.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 547.75kcal | Carbohydrates: 50.8g | Protein: 22.23g | Fat: 28.8g | Sodium: 1328.93mg | Fiber: 4.15g

Overhead view of a bowl full of Cajun Sausage and Rice with a black fork in the side

How to Make Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet – Step by Step Photos

Andouille sausage package

This is the Andouille sausage that I used. Andouille may not be readily available in all areas, so if you can’t find any, just try to get a smoked pork sausage of some sort instead. You really want that smoky flavor!

Sautéed Andouille in the skillet

Slice the Andouille into medallions and add to a skillet with a tablespoon of cooking oil. Sauté over medium heat until the sausage is well browned. Don’t worry if the bottom of the skillet turns brown. That’s just extra flavor that will soak into the rice later!

Bell pepper and spices added to the skillet

While the sausage is browning, dice one bell pepper. Add it to the skillet and continue to sauté for about a minute. Then add the Cajun seasoning: 1 tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp dried thyme, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp onion powder, ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper, and ⅛ tsp freshly cracked black pepper. Continue to sauté the spices for another minute.

Tomatoes, rice, and broth added to the skillet

Next, add one 15oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes (with juices), 1 cup long grain white rice, and 1.5 cups chicken broth to the skillet. Stir to combine and dissolve those browned bits off the bottom of the skillet.

Skillet ready to simmer

Once everything is combined, place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the broth to come up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let the skillet simmer for 20 minutes. (Pictured: before simmering)

Simmered sausage and rice skillet

After simmering for 20 minutes, remove it from the heat and let it rest for an additional five minutes (with the lid on). After resting, it will look like the photo above.

Stirred Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet

Fold everything together to redistribute the sausage, rice, and bell peppers. OMG it looks so good at this point I just want to dive in!

Finished Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet with green onions

Top the skillet with sliced green onions and serve! It’s rich, spicy, smoky, and all around DELICIOUS.

The post Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Chili Cornbread Skillet

Some nights you just need something warm, comforting, and easy to help melt off the stresses of the day, like a big bowl of chili. And maybe some cornbread, too, for good measure. This easy Chili Cornbread Skillet has all the comfort of a pot of chili, with homemade cornbread baked right on top to […]

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Some nights you just need something warm, comforting, and easy to help melt off the stresses of the day, like a big bowl of chili. And maybe some cornbread, too, for good measure. This easy Chili Cornbread Skillet has all the comfort of a pot of chili, with homemade cornbread baked right on top to avoid excess dishes. Oh, and I hid a layer of gooey cheddar cheese between the chili and cornbread, too. Because cheese makes everything better!🧀

Originally posted 10-5-2013, updated 12-12-2019.

Cozy Chili Cornbread Skillet

Chili cornbread skillet in the skillet with wooden spoon, a serving scooped out onto a plate on the side.

What Kind of Skillet Should I Use?

You’ll want a deep, 4-quart skillet for this recipe. I used my 10″ 4-quart Oxo stainless steel skillet for this recipe. If needed, you could also use a smaller wide soup pot or Dutch oven. Using an oven safe skillet or pot is the best option, but read on if you do not own an oven safe skillet or pot.

What if I Don’t Have an Oven Safe Skillet?

If you only own teflon skillets, skillets with plastic handles, or skillets that have other non-safe parts, you can still make this recipe. Simply let the chili simmer in your skillet or pot while you make the cornbread, and then transfer to a 4-quart casserole dish before topping with the cornbread batter and baking.

Can I Add Meat to the Chili Cornbread Skillet?

Absolutely! I made a vegetarian version this time around because it’s quite cost effective and it makes the meal more pantry-staple friendly, but you can always add meat if you have it on hand or prefer your chili con carne. Simply replace one can of beans with one pound ground beef or turkey. Brown the meat in the skillet before adding the onion, garlic, and jalapeño in the beginning. 

Meal Prep and Freezer Friendly

This Chili Cornbread Skillet holds up extremely well in the refrigerator, and is also freezer friendly. As with any meal prep recipe, make sure to divide the dish into single serving portions right after cooking and get it into the refrigerator as soon as possible, so it cools quickly. Once cooled, the chili cornbread will keep in the refrigerator for about four days, or can be transferred to the refrigerator and kept frozen for about 3 months. You can see some of my favorite meal prep containers here.

Chili Cornbread Skillet in the skillet with some scooped out, on a yellow surface with black and white striped napkin

 

Chili Cornbread Skillet

This hearty and comforting Chili Cornbread Skillet is an easy, one-pot meal that is sure to make the whole family happy. Freezer friendly!

Chili

  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.04)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
  • 1 jalapeño (optional) ($0.15)
  • 1 15 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes ($0.89)
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste ($0.39)
  • 3 15 oz. cans beans (kidney, pinto, black) ($2.67)
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder* ($0.30)
  • 1 tsp cumin ($0.10)
  • 1/2 tsp oregano ($0.05)
  • 1 tsp salt ($0.05)
  • 1 cup water ($0.00)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar ($0.85)

Cornbread

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal ($0.24)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour ($0.15)
  • 1/4 cup sugar ($0.20)
  • 4 tsp baking powder ($0.24)
  • 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 1 cup milk ($0.31)
  • 1 large egg ($0.23)
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil ($0.16)
  1. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Slice the jalapeño lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, and then dice the pepper. Add the cooking oil, onion, garlic, and jalapeño to a large 4-quart oven safe skillet. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent (about 5 minutes).

  2. Drain the canned beans then add them to the skillet with the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and water. Stir to combine.

  3. Allow the chili to come up to a simmer. Let the chili continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, as you prepare the cornbread topping.

  4. Begin to preheat the oven to 425ºF. In a large bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until very well combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and oil. Pour the milk mixture into the bowl with the cornmeal mixture and stir just until everything is moistened.

  5. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese over top of the simmering chili. Carefully pour the cornbread batter over the chili and cheese, and spread it around until the surface is evenly covered.

  6. Transfer the skillet to the fully preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until the cornbread is golden brown on the surface. To serve, simply scoop the cornbread and chili beneath onto a plate or bowl, and enjoy!

*The chili powder is a mild blend of chile peppers and other spices. It is not cayenne pepper, which is very spicy. I use this product, which has no heat at all. If your chili powder is spicy, start with a small amount and add more as needed.

Love chili? Check out my Simple Homemade Chili recipe with tons of ways to customize the flavors to make it your own! 

A plate with one serving of Chili Cornbread Skillet on a yellow surface with striped napkin

 

How to Make Chili Cornbread Skillet – Step by Step Photos

Diced onion jalapeño and garlic

Dice one yellow onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Slice the jalapeño lengthwise, scrape out the seeds with a spoon, then dice the remaining pepper. Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeño to a skillet with 1 Tbsp cooking oil. Sauté over medium heat until the onion is soft and translucent (about 5 minutes).

Remaining chili ingredients added to the skillet

Drain three 15 oz. cans of beans (any combo of kidney, black bean, or pinto—I used two black beans, one kidney). Add the beans to the skillet along with one 15 oz. can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, one 6 oz. can of tomato paste, 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1 tsp salt, and 1 cup water. Stir to combine. Allow the chili to come up to a simmer over medium heat. Continue to simmer the chili, stirring occasionally, as you prepare the cornbread batter.

Cornbread dry ingredients in a white bowl

Begin preheating the oven to 425ºF. Combine 1 cup cornmeal, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 4 tsp baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt in a large bowl. Stir until they are very well combined.

Cornbread wet ingredients in a separate white bowl

In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 cup milk, 1 large egg, and 1/4 cup cooking oil. Pour the bowl of whisked wet ingredients into the bowl with the cornmeal mixture and stir just until the batter is combined (don’t over stir).

Add Cheese to Simmering Chili

Before adding the cornbread batter to the chili, sprinkle 1 cup of shredded cheddar over the surface of the chili.

Spread cornbread batter over chili in skillet

Carefully spread the cornbread batter over the surface of the hot chili, making sure to spread from edge to edge.

Baked chili cornbread skillet finished

Bake the Chili Cornbread Skillet in the fully preheated 425ºF oven for about 25 minutes, or until the top of the cornbread is golden brown.

Close up of chili cornbread skillet being scooped out of the skillet

To serve, simply scoop the cornbread and chili beneath out of the skillet and onto a plate or bowl.

Chili cornbread skillet with some scooped out onto a white plate beside the skillet

COMFORT FOOD.

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Smoky Black Bean Soup

I hope you guys don’t get sick of all my soup recipes, because I pretty much live off of soup this time of year! This Smoky Black Bean Soup is definitely going to be one of my new fav’s because it’s so fast, super thick and hearty, and leaves the door open for tons of fun […]

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I hope you guys don’t get sick of all my soup recipes, because I pretty much live off of soup this time of year! This Smoky Black Bean Soup is definitely going to be one of my new fav’s because it’s so fast, super thick and hearty, and leaves the door open for tons of fun toppings. Kind of like tacos, in soup form! I think you’re going to love this smoky, rich, just-happens-to-be-vegan soup!

30-Minute Smoky Black Bean Soup

Two bowls of Smoky Black Bean Soup with different toppings, like cornbread, jalapeño, cheddar, and green onion

Load it Up with Toppings!

I’ve only provided the price breakdown for the soup itself below because there are just so many options for fun toppings. Not only is adding toppings to soup like this fun, but it’s a great way to use up leftovers in your refrigerator. Here are some toppings that I’ve added to my Smoky Black Bean Soup this week:

Smoky Black Bean Soup is a Great Flexitarian Dinner

If you have a family with different dietary needs, this easy soup is a great place to start. This black bean soup in its base form is vegan and gluten-free, but you can add several things to accommodate other dietary preferences. You can add shredded rotisserie chicken or quickly sautéed shrimp to feed those who want a little meat, stir in a dollop of sour cream or cheddar cheese for those who like dairy, or add any of the toppings listed above.

Want more flexitarian dishes? Check out my round up of 30+ Flexible Recipes for Vegetarians and Omnivores.

Side view of Smoky Black Bean Soup in the pot with a ladle lifting some, showing the thickness of the soup

Is This Soup Spicy?

This soup can be as spicy or as mild as you like. The spicy ingredients in this soup are the jalapeño and chipotle powder. If you prefer a mild soup, skip the jalapeño and use smoked paprika in place of chipotle powder. Or you can do any combination of those ingredients to adjust the heat to your liking. :)

Can you Freeze Smoky Black Bean Soup?

Yes! While this is a fairly small batch recipe, you absolutely can freeze the leftovers. As with freezing all other food, I suggest dividing the soup into single servings just after cooking, then refrigerating until completely cooled before transferring to the freezer for long term storage. The soup can be kept in the the freezer for about three months.

To reheat, either use the defrost function on your microwave, transfer to the refrigerator the day before you plan to reheat, or reheat straight from the freezer in a sauce pot, with a lid, over low heat, stirring often.

 

30-Minute Smoky Black Bean Soup

This super fast and easy Smoky Black Bean Soup is rich, filling, flavorful, and waiting to be piled high with fun toppings! An easy vegan weeknight dinner.

  • 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 1 jalapeño (optional) ($0.15)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 3 15oz. cans black beans ($2.07)
  • 1 15oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes ($1.00)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin ($0.10)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika or chipotle powder* ($0.05)
  • salt to taste ($0.02)
  1. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Remove the stem and seeds from the jalapeño, then dice the remaining jalapeño flesh. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeño, and olive oil to a soup pot and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent.

  2. While the onion, garlic, and jalapeño are sautèing, use a blender to purée two of the three cans of black beans (with liquid from the can). If the beans are too thick to purée, add just enough water to make them blend.

  3. Add all three cans of black beans to the soup pot (one can of whole beans with liquid, two puréed), along with the can of fire roasted diced tomatoes (with juices), the cumin, oregano, and smoked paprika. Stir to combine.

  4. Place a lid on the pot and allow the soup to come up to a simmer. Allow the soup to simmer, stirring often, for about 15 minutes. After simmering for 15 minutes, taste and add salt to taste (I added 1/2 tsp). Serve hot with your choice of toppings.

*For a mild soup, skip the jalapeño and use smoked paprika. For a spicy soup, add the jalapeño and use chipotle powder in place of, or in addition to, smoked paprika.

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

A bowl of Smoky Black Bean Soup with sour cream swirled in and a crumbled corn muffin on top

 

How to Make Smoky Black Bean Soup – Step by Step Photos

Diced onion, jalapeño, and minced garlic in the soup pot

Dice one yellow onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Remove the stem and seeds from a jalapeño, then finely dice the pepper. Add the diced onion, jalapeño, minced garlic, and 2 Tbsp olive oil to a soup pot. Sauté over medium heat for about five minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent.

Puréed black beans in blender

While the onion, garlic, and jalapeño are sautéing, purée two 15 oz. cans of black beans (with liquid) in a blender. If the beans are too thick to blend, add a small amount of water (about 1/4 cup). Leave the third can of black beans whole.

Add whole and puréed black beans to soup pot

Add one 15 oz. can of whole black beans (undrained) and the two cans of puréed black beans to the soup pot.

Add fire roasted diced tomatoes to soup pot

Add one 15 oz. can of fire roasted tomatoes (with juices) to the soup pot.

Spices being stirred into black bean soup

Finally, add 1 tsp cumin, ½ tsp dried oregano, and ½ tsp of either smoked paprika or chipotle powder to the soup. Stir to combine.

Simmered black bean soup in the soup pot

Place a lid on the soup pot and let it come up to a simmer. Simmer the soup, stirring often, for about 15 minutes.

Pot of Smoky Black Bean Soup surrounded by toppings like cheddar, sour cream, green onion, and jalapeño

After simmering for 15 minutes, taste the soup and add salt as needed (I added ½ tsp). Serve hot with your choice of toppings!

Two bowls of Smoky Black Bean Soup with various toppings, next to a bowl of sliced green onion and a crumbled corn muffin.

Yummmmm!

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