Brown Sugar Roasted Pork Loin

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

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

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

Pork Loin vs. Pork Tenderloin

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

About that Brown Sugar Rub…

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

The Key to Good Pork Loin

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

How Long to Cook Pork Loin

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

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

What to Serve with Roasted Pork Loin

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

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

Brown Sugar Roasted Pork Loin

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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

Notes

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

Nutrition

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

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

Brown sugar rub ingredients in a bowl

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

Mixed brown sugar rub in a bowl

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

Pork loin in the package

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

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

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

Roasted pork loin with a meat thermometer in it

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

Sliced brown sugar roasted pork loin on a cutting board

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

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

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Garlic Marinated Chicken

This simple all-purpose Garlic Marinated Chicken is great to add to sandwiches, salads, pasta dishes, and more!

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I had this recipe for Garlic Marinated Chicken hidden away within an old meal prep post, but this chicken is just SO good and SO simple that I think it deserved a post on its own. This is my favorite all-purpose quick chicken recipe that I use as an addition to all sorts of meals, so I know this is one you’ll want to save and use over and over again. Keep on reading for all the ways you can use this versatile, finger-lickin’ good chicken.

Sliced garlic marinated chicken on a plate with a fork and cauliflower salad

What Does it Taste Like?

Perhaps I should call this Lemon Garlic Marinated Chicken, because this chicken is slightly tangy, super garlicky, and absolutely delicious. The natural sugars in the lemon juice caramelize beautifully in the skillet, giving it even more depth of flavor. And because lemon and garlic are such versatile flavors, you’ll find that you can pair this garlic chicken with just about anything.

How to Serve Garlic Marinated Chicken

In addition to just serving it as a main dish with a couple of sides, this chicken is great to add to other recipes. You can slice this garlic chicken up and use it for a sandwich, to top a salad, or even to top a big plate of pasta. Here are a few recipes that would benefit from being topped with this garlic marinated chicken:

Great for Meal Prep!

This chicken is absolutely perfect for meal prep! Cook up a couple chicken breasts worth on the weekend, then use the cooked and sliced chicken to add to your meal prep for the next few days. The cooked chicken can be refrigerated for about 3-4 days.

Can I Grill Garlic Marinated Chicken?

Absolutely! This chicken is great on the grill, whether you have a charcoal grill, gas grill, or even an indoor countertop grill, like a George Foreman.

Can I Use Chicken Thighs?

Yes, this recipe also works great with chicken thighs and they even require a little less prep! Because chicken thighs are already on the thin side and they don’t over cook quite as easily, you can skip filleting the thighs into two thinner pieces, like you need to do with a chicken breast. Simply marinate, then cook on each side until browned and the chicken is cooked through.

A fork picking up a slice of garlic marinated chicken from a plate
Garlic Marinated Chicken cooked

Garlic Marinated Chicken

This simple all-purpose Garlic Marinated Chicken is great to add to sandwiches, salads, pasta dishes, and more!
Total Cost $3.37 recipe / $0.84 serving
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Calories 331.5kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil $0.52
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice $0.18
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced $0.24
  • 1/2 Tbsp dried oregano $0.15
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • Freshly cracked pepper $0.05
  • 1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts* $5.37

Instructions

  • Add the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper to a bowl or a large zip top bag. Stir the ingredients in the dish until combined.
  • Filet each chicken breast into two thinner pieces. Place the pieces in the bag or in a shallow dish, then pour the marinade over top, making sure the chicken pieces are completely covered in marinade. Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes, or up to 8 hours (refrigerated), turning occasionally to maximize the chicken's contact with the marinade.
  • When ready to cook, heat a large skillet over medium. Transfer the chicken from the marinade to the hot skillet and cook on each side until well browned and cooked through (about 5-7 minutes each side, depending on the size of the pieces). Cook two pieces at a time to avoid overcrowding the skillet, which can cause juices to pool and prevents browning. Discard the excess marinade.
  • Transfer the cooked chicken from the skillet to a cutting board and let rest for five minutes before slicing and serving.

Notes

*This marinade can also be used for chicken thighs. The amount of marinade listed in the recipe can handle about 4-6 chicken thighs, depending on their size.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 331.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 2.28g | Protein: 38.35g | Fat: 11.3g | Sodium: 432.18mg | Fiber: 0.4g

How to Make Garlic Marinated Chicken – Step by Step Photos

Prepared garlic marinade

In a small bow, combine ¼ cup olive oil, ¼ cup lemon juice, 3 cloves minced garlic, ½ Tbsp dried oregano, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper.

Filleted chicken breasts on a cutting board

Use a sharp knife to filet two chicken breasts into two thinner pieces. If your knife skills are not strong enough to make this cut, you can cover the chicken breast with plastic and use a mallet or rolling pin to pound the chicken until it’s about ½ inch thick. Then cut each breast in half to make two pieces.

Marinade being poured over the chicken in a dish

Place the chicken in a shallow dish or a zip-top bag and pour the marinade over top. Turn the chicken to make sure it all gets coated in marinade. Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes up to 8 hours (refrigerated), turning the chicken occasionally to make sure it is all in contact with the marinade.

Cooked chicken in a skillet

When you’re ready to cook the chicken, heat a skillet over medium. Once the skillet is hot, add two pieces of chicken at a time, and cook until browned on each side and cooked through. The chicken will already be coated in oil from the marinade, so no extra oil is needed to coat the skillet. Discard the excess marinade.

Sliced chicken on a cutting board with tongs

After cooking the chicken, transfer it to a cutting board and let it rest for five minutes before slicing and serving.

Sliced garlic marinated chicken on a plate with a fork

Enjoy that garlicky goodness!

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Sheet Pan Cranberry Chicken Dinner

One of my favorite simple dinner “formulas” is two roasted vegetables and a meat. It’s just so simple and when I can cook them all on one sheet pan, it’s even better. For this Sheet Pan Cranberry Chicken Dinner I also added a balsamic cranberry sauce that cooks on the stovetop, but it’s only three ingredients and takes only about 10 minutes, so it really couldn’t be easier.

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One of my favorite simple dinner “formulas” is two roasted vegetables and a meat. It’s just so simple and when I can cook them all on one sheet pan, it’s even better. For this Sheet Pan Cranberry Chicken Dinner I also added a balsamic cranberry sauce that cooks on the stovetop, but it’s only three ingredients and takes only about 10 minutes, so it really couldn’t be easier. I hope you get plenty of use out of this super easy, fall/winter-inspired sheet pan meal!

Cranberry chicken on a plate with roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes

What’s That Sauce?

As I mentioned above, I made a super simple balsamic cranberry sauce to drench the chicken with flavor. The sauce is simple: whole berry cranberry sauce (canned), balsamic vinegar, and butter. It makes the most deliciously sweet, tangy, and rich sauce that you’ll want to spoon over everything!

Can I Use Bone-In Chicken?

The cooking times and temperatures below are for boneless, skinless chicken breasts that have been pounded to a ¾ to 1-inch thickness. This allows them to cook quickly and evenly. Bone-in chicken takes much longer to cook and it would be best if they are roasted separately. For example purposes, here is a recipe for roasted bone-in chicken breasts.

Meal Prep It!

Sheet pan meals like this are perfect for meal prep! Just portion everything up into individual containers after baking and keep refrigerated for 3-4 days for quick lunches (reheat in the microwave).

Sheet pan cranberry chicken dinner on a plate with a fork lifting a bite of chicken
Sheet Pan Cranberry Chicken Dinner on a plate, viewed from the side

Sheet Pan Cranberry Chicken Dinner

This Sheet Pan Cranberry Chicken Dinner is an easy and flavorful weeknight dinner that requires very little prep and cleanup!
Total Cost $13.26 recipe / $3.32 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 552.53kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Roasted Vegetables

  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts $1.99
  • 1.5 lbs. sweet potatoes $1.79
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly crackd black pepper $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.03

Herb Baked Chicken Breasts

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1.33 lbs. total) $7.70*
  • 2 Tbsp butter, room temperature $0.28
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme $0.03
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder $0.01
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02

Cranberry Balsamic Glaze

  • 1/2 cup whole berry cranberry sauce (canned) $0.30
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar $0.55
  • 1 Tbsp butter $0.14

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Rinse the Brussels sprouts and then cut them in half. Peel and dice the sweet potatoes into ½ to ¾-inch pieces.
  • Place the Brussels sprouts on one half of a large baking sheet and the sweet potatoes on the other half. Drizzle 1 Tbsp olive oil over each side. Sprinkle ¼ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper over the vegetables, then add ¼ tsp garlic powder just to the Brussels sprouts. Toss the vegetables, keeping each on its own side, until they're coated in oil and seasoning. Spread the seasoned vegetables out so they are in an even layer. Transfer the baking sheet with the vegetable to the preheated oven and roast for 15 minutes.
  • While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the herb baked chicken. In a small bowl, combine the room temperature butter, sage, thyme, garlic powder, and salt. Stir together until it forms an herb-butter paste.
  • Place the chicken breast on a cutting board and cover with a piece of plastic wrap. Use a mallet or rolling pin to gently pound the chicken breasts out to an even ¾-inch thickeness. Cut each pounded chicken breast in half to make two pieces. Pat the chicken dry, then spread the herb butter over the surface of each piece of chicken.
  • Once the vegetables have been roasting for 15 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven and give the vegetables a stir, keeping each on their own side. Push the vegetables to the side a bit (it's okay if they pile up a little) to make room for the chicken breast. Place the four butter and herb coated pieces of chicken down the center of the baking sheet. Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
  • While the chicken and vegetables finish cooking, prepare the cranberry balsamic sauce. Add the cranberry sauce and balsamic vinegar to a sauce pot. Stir and cook the two together over medium heat, allowing the mixture to come up to a simmer. Once simmering, lower the heat slightly and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. After ten minutes, remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the butter. Set the cranberry balsamic sauce aside.
  • After roasting for 20 minutes, check the internal temperature of the chicken breasts. It should be 165ºF. If it's not, bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF. If the vegetables are done before the chicken, simply remove them from the baking sheet before returning the chicken to the oven.
  • To serve, spoon the cranberry balsamic sauce over the chicken. Divide the roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes between four plates and add one piece of chicken to each.

Notes

*This price was for organic chicken breasts.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 552.53kcal | Carbohydrates: 42.33g | Protein: 35.98g | Fat: 26.03g | Sodium: 779.7mg | Fiber: 4.23g

How to Make Sheet Pan Cranberry Chicken Dinner – Step by Step Photos

Prepped Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes on a baking sheet

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Wash 1 lb. Brussels sprouts and slice them in half. Peel and dice 1.5 lbs. sweet potatoes into ½ to ¾-inch cubes. Place them on a large baking sheet, keeping each on its own side. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp olive oil and season with ¼ tsp each of salt and pepper. Add ¼ tsp garlic powder to just the Brussels sprouts. Toss the vegetables, keeping them separate, until they’re coated in oil and seasoning. Transfer to the preheated oven and roast for 15 minutes.

Butter and herbs in a bowl

While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the herb butter baked chicken. In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbsp room temperature butter, ½ tsp dried sage, ¼ tsp dried thyme, ⅛ tsp garlic powder, and ¼ tsp salt. Stir them together until it forms an herb-butter paste.

Chicken breast on a cutting board being pounded with a rolling pin

Place two boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1.3 lbs. total) on a cutting board and cover with plastic wrap. Use a mallet or rolling pin to pound the chicken into an even ¾-inch thickness. This helps it cook quickly and evenly.

Herb butter being spread over the chicken breasts

Cut each chicken breast into two pieces. Pat them dry, then spread the herb butter over the surface of each piece.

Chicken added to the baking sheet with the roasted vegetables

After the vegetables have roasted for 15 minutes, remove the baking sheet and give them a good stir. Push them to the sides (it’s okay if they pile up now) to make room for the chicken. Place the herb-butter coated chicken in the center of the baking sheet. Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes.

Cranberry sauce and balsamic vinegar in a small sacuepot

While the chicken and vegetables finish cooking, prepare the cranberry balsamic sauce. Add ½ cup whole berry cranberry sauce and ¼ cup balsamic vinegar to a small sauce pot. Cook and stir over medium heat until it comes up to a simmer. Then, reduce the heat slightly and allow the sauce to simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Butter added to the cranberry balsamic sauce

After the sauce has simmered for about 10 minutes, remove it from the heat and stir in 1 Tbsp butter until melted. Set the sauce aside.

Baked chicken and vegetables on the baking sheet

After bakind 20 minutes, the internal temperature of the chicken breast pieces should be 165ºF. If it’s not, simply bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until it does reach 165ºF. If the vegetables finish roasting before the chicken, just remove it from the baking sheet before returning the chicken to the oven.

Cranberry balsamic sauce being spooned over the chicken on the baking sheet

Finally, spoon the cranberry balsamic sauce over the baked chicken. To serve, divide the Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes between four plates, then add one piece of chicken to each.

Cranberry Chicken Dinner on a plate with a black fork

Delish!

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Sausage and Egg Breakfast Quesadillas

Breakfast quesadillas are one of my absolute favorite foods. Not just a favorite breakfast food, but a favorite any time food. Normally I stick to a quick fried egg and a slice of cheese, but this weekend I made these Sausage and Egg Breakfast Quesadillas, which are a step above my busy weekday version.

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Breakfast quesadillas are one of my absolute favorite foods. Not just a favorite breakfast food, but a favorite any time food. Normally I stick to a quick fried egg and a slice of cheese, but this weekend I made these Sausage and Egg Breakfast Quesadillas, which are a step above my busy weekday version. And the best part? I froze the other five quesadillas so I can reheat them anytime (like I did for lunch today!)

Stacked sausage and egg breakfast quesadillas held close to the camera

What’s in a Breakfast Quesadilla?

Okay, so I kept these breakfast quesadillas super simple, but I’ve got some ideas for “spicing” them up below, if you’re interested. The only thing you need is sausage, eggs, cheese, tortillas, salt, and pepper. It’s just that easy! Since these quesadillas are super simple, they do have a more mild flavor (this one is for all my friends with sensitive tongues). If you want some extra flavor, read on.

What Else Can I Add?

Quesadillas are great for using up leftovers in your fridge. So whether you want to add more flavor or you just want to use up some things that are floating around in your fridge, here are some good picks for these sausage and egg breakfast quesadillas:

  • Sliced green onions
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Everything bagel seasoning
  • Sriracha or chili garlic sauce
  • Diced bell pepper (sauté with the browned sausage until tender)
  • Crumbled feta
  • Fresh spinach

How to Serve Breakfast Quesadillas

If you’re in a hurry, or just lazy like me, you can eat these breakfast quesadillas just as they are. They make a great hand-held meal for when you’re on the go. If you are sitting down to your meal, you can serve them with a side of salsa and sour cream for dipping!

How to Freeze and Reheat

As I mentioned in the intro, I froze most of my quesadillas so I could reheat them later. To freeze the quesadillas, fill and fold the tortillas like you are about to toast them in the skillet, but instead stack them on a plate or baking sheet with parchment between each one. Transfer that to the freezer and freeze for about an hour or until they’re frozen solid. Once solid, transfer to an air-tight freezer bag for long term storage. They’ll probably be good for about three months.

To reheat, place one of the frozen quesadillas in a skillet and heat over medium-low heat. Cook on each side until golden brown and crispy. It’s VERY important not to have the heat too high, or else the tortilla will burn before the filling has time to thaw and heat through. So go slow.

What is Country Sausage?

I used country sausage for these breakfast quesadillas, which is a loose (not in links) raw sausage that is fairly mild in flavor (there are hot varieties). It is sometimes also called breakfast sausage, although it is not sweet like a maple breakfast sausage. I used this brand, but there are many recipes for country sausage online if you want to make your own using ground pork.

Sausage and egg breakfast quesadillas on a plate with a dipping cup full of salsa
Stacked sausage and egg breakfast quesadillas held close to the camera

Sausage and Egg Breakfast Quesadillas

Sausage and egg breakfast quesadillas are an easy and filling breakfast option that is also freezer-friendly, so you can stock up for later!
Total Cost $5.02 recipe / $0.34 per quesadilla
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 quesadillas
Calories 325.15kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. country sausage $1.45
  • 6 large eggs $1.40
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp pepper $0.02
  • 6 oz. cheddar $1.27
  • 6 medium flour tortillas $0.86

Instructions

  • Add the sausage to a skillet and cook over medium heat until the sausage is browned and crispy on the edges. When the sausage is cooked, remove it from the skillet using a slotted spoon so they grease stays behind in the skillet.
  • While the sausage is cooking, crack six eggs into a bowl and season with salt and pepper (about ¼ tsp each). Whisk the eggs. Shred the cheddar cheese.
  • Add the whisked eggs to the skillet with the sausage grease, and continue to cook them over medium heat, gently folding them as the eggs set. Cook until the eggs are set, but still moist. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  • With the skillet off the heat, add the cooked sausage and shredded cheddar to the skillet with the scrambled eggs. Fold the ingredients together until they are evenly combined.
  • Place about ½ cup of the sausage, egg, and cheese mixture into each tortilla, spreading it out to cover half of the tortilla. Fold the tortilla closed. You can either toast or freeze the quesadillas at this point (see freezing instructions above the recipe).
  • To cook the quesadillas, add them back to the skillet (I like to do this in a dry skillet) and cook over medium heat on each side until the tortilla is brown and crispy and the cheese on the inside is melted. Slice the quesadilla into three pieces, then serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1quesadilla | Calories: 325.15kcal | Carbohydrates: 23.37g | Protein: 16.5g | Fat: 17.55g | Sodium: 1273.23mg | Fiber: 2.33g
A stack of sausage and egg breakfast quesadillas on a plate with a dish of salsa

How to Make Sausage and Egg Breakfast Quesadillas – Step by Step Photos

Browned sausage in a skillet

Brown 8oz. country sausage in a skillet over medium heat. Cook it until the edges are brown and crispy, not just until it’s no longer pink. When the sausage is cooked, remove it from the skillet with a slotted spoon, so the grease stays in the skillet.

Eggs in a bowl with salt, pepper, and a whisk

While the sausage is cooking, crack six eggs into a bowl and season with salt and pepper (about ¼ tsp each). Whisk the eggs.

Shredded cheddar on a cutting board

Shred six ounces of cheddar cheese.

Scrambled eggs in the skillet

Add the whisked eggs to the skillet with the remaining sausage grease. Continue to cook over medium, gently folding the eggs as they set. Cook the eggs until they are set, but still moist. Don’t overcook the eggs. ;)

Sausage and cheese added to the skillet with the eggs

Remove the skillet from the heat and add the cooked sausage and shredded cheese.

finished breakfast quesadilla filling in the skillet

Fold the ingredients together until they’re evenly combined.

Tortillas being filled

Add about ½ cup of the sausage, egg, cheese mixture to each tortilla, spreading it out over half of the tortilla, then fold it closed. Once filled and folded, they can either be cooked or frozen.

Quesadillas toasted in the skillet

To cook the quesadillas, add them back to the skillet (I don’t add any oil or butter, but you can if you prefer). Cook over medium on each side, or until the tortilla is brown and crispy and the cheese is melted on the inside.

quesadilla cut into three pieces

Slice each quesadilla into three pieces, then serve!

stacked quesadillas for freezing

To freeze the quesadillas, stack them on a plate or baking sheet with parchment paper between each layer. Freeze for about an hour or until solid, then transfer to a freezer bag. To reheat from frozen, simply add to a skillet and heat over medium-low until they are brown and crispy on the outside and heated through.

A stack of breakfast quesadillas on a plate with salsa in the background

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Honey Mustard Pork Chops

Simple homemade sauces (or glazes) are your secret weapon in the kitchen. They’re the easiest way to turn a boring piece of meat into something really mouthwatering and amazing. Case in point: Honey Mustard Pork Chops. This particularly awesome sauce is a mix of honey, Dijon mustard, a little mayo for creaminess, and a few […]

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Simple homemade sauces (or glazes) are your secret weapon in the kitchen. They’re the easiest way to turn a boring piece of meat into something really mouthwatering and amazing. Case in point: Honey Mustard Pork Chops. This particularly awesome sauce is a mix of honey, Dijon mustard, a little mayo for creaminess, and a few spices. Smear that awesome sauce on a some pan seared pork chops, pop them in the oven to heat through, and then finish them off with a few minutes under the broiler. The end result is creamy, caramelized, honey mustard madness. Madness in a good way, of course.

Originally posted 1-10-2015, updated 10-23-2020.

Overhead view of honey mustard pork chops in a round casserole dish

Baking Time May Vary

Pork chops are delicate flowers. If you over bake them, they get tough and dry, so you really have to pay them some attention. This is where cooking intuition comes in handy. I’ve provided a general estimated bake time in the recipe below, but the total time needed to get the internal temperature of the pork chops up to 145ºF will vary depending on several factors. The thickness of your pork chops will greatly determine how long they need to bake, as will the amount of time they spent in the skillet while searing. The longer they’re in the skillet, the less time they’ll need in the oven. So keep these things in mind as you cook your chops and I wish you all the most juicy and tender pork chop success!

Can I Use Boneless Pork Chops?

Yes, you can achieve something similar with boneless pork chops and a slightly altered technique. The recipe below is written for bone-in pork chops, which take longer to cook than boneless chops. If using boneless chops you can shorten the bake time considerably. Keep your meat thermometer handy so you can test their temperature and prevent overcooking. If you’re using thin boneless pork chops, you may not even need to bake them after searing. Simply slather the seared chops with the sauce right in the skillet and let the sauce reduce a little bit to more of a glaze consistency. Either way, make sure they reach an internal temperature of 145ºF. 

What to Serve with Honey Mustard Pork Chops

I served my Honey Mustard Pork Chops with some Roasted Brussels Sprouts and roasted sweet potatoes. Because they cooked at different temperatures from the pork chops, I cooked the vegetables first, then lowered the oven’s temperature before adding the pork chops. Make sure the oven is all the way down to the correct temperature before baking the pork chops, so you don’t accidentally over cook them! :)

Honey mustard pork chop on a plate with brussels sprouts and sweet potato

baked honey mustard pork chops in a casserole dish from the side

Honey Mustard Pork Chops

Honey Mustard Pork Chops are anything but boring with a sweet, tangy, and savory homemade honey mustard glaze.
Total Cost $6.11 recipe / $1.53 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 475.63kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise $0.53
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard $0.18
  • 2 Tbsp honey $0.24
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly cracked pepper $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.02
  • 4 bone-in pork chops, one-inch thick (about 2.5 lbs.) $5.02

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Prepare the honey mustard sauce by stirring together the mayonnaise, Dijon, honey, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and freshly cracked black pepper.
  • Use a paper towel to dry off the surface of the pork chops, then season each side with a pinch of salt and freshly cracked pepper. Heat one tablespoon of cooking oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is very hot add two pork chops at a time and cook until golden brown on each side (3 minutes each side). Place the browned pork chops in a casserole dish (it's okay if they overlap slihtly).
  • Smear the honey mustard sauce over both sides of the pork chops in the casserole dish. Bake for about 30 minutes for 1-inch thick chops, about 20 minutes for ¾-inch thick chops, or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF. To achieve more browning, switch the oven to broil and broil the chops for 3-5 minutes or until the surface is golden brown and bubbly. Serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 475.63kcal | Carbohydrates: 8.9g | Protein: 49.85g | Fat: 25.65g | Sodium: 613.25mg | Fiber: 0.08g

baked honey mustard pork chops in a casserole dish from the side

How to Make Baked Honey Mustard Pork Chops – Step by Step Photos

honey mustard ingredients in a bowl

Start by mixing up the honey mustard sauce. Stir together 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 2 Tbsp honey, 1/8 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper (about 15 cranks of a pepper mill).

Mixed honey mustard sauce

Then you have a really delicious honey mustard sauce that you will have to restrain yourself from licking off the spoon. Set it aside and try to forget about it for a minute.

Bone-in Pork chops on a cutting board

You’ll want four thick-cut bone-in pork chops for this recipe. Try to get pork chops that are 3/4 to 1-inch thick. The pork chops I used today are about ¾-inch thick. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Use a paper towel to dry off the surface of the chops (this helps them sear better), then season each side with a pinch of salt and some freshly cracked pepper.

Seared pork chops in a skillet

Heat one Tbsp cooking oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Make sure the skillet and oil are very hot, then add two chops at a time and cook until golden brown on each side (about 3 minutes per side). If it’s taking longer than about 3 minutes to get a nice brown color, make sure you reduce the baking time to compensate because the pork chops will already be more cooked when they go into the oven.

Pork chops coated with honey mustard glaze

After browning the chops, place them into a casserole dish (it’s okay if they overlap just a little). Smear the honey mustard sauce over both sides of the pork chops. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 145ºF (about 20 min for ¾-inch thick, or closer to 30 for 1-inch thick chops).

baked honey mustard pork chops in a casserole dish

Finish them off with just a few minutes under the broiler for maximum browning action (I did not move the oven rack, I simply switched the setting from bake to broil and kept an eye on them). 

Finished honey mustard pork chops garnished with parsley

So yummy! I garnished with a little parsley for color, but it’s not needed to flavor the honey mustard pork chops. 

The post Honey Mustard Pork Chops appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sheet Pan Kielbasa Potatoes and Green Beans

THIS is the sheet pan meal to end all sheet pan meals! It’s similar to some I’ve made before, but it is by far the easiest one yet, and without sacrificing any flavor. This Sheet Pan Kielbasa, Potatoes, and Green Beans recipe is filling, tasty, and as easy as it gets, with only SIX simple ingredients, […]

The post Sheet Pan Kielbasa Potatoes and Green Beans appeared first on Budget Bytes.

THIS is the sheet pan meal to end all sheet pan meals! It’s similar to some I’ve made before, but it is by far the easiest one yet, and without sacrificing any flavor. This Sheet Pan Kielbasa, Potatoes, and Green Beans recipe is filling, tasty, and as easy as it gets, with only SIX simple ingredients, and very little hands on time. I don’t know what more you could want from a dinner recipe! 🙌

Sheet pan kielbasa, potatoes, and green beans with a spatula

Can I Use a Different Sausage?

Yes, if you can not find kielbasa, any sort of smoked sausage will taste delicious with this combination of ingredients. It’s so flexible!

Can I Use Fresh Green Beans?

I used frozen green beans for this recipe because they are already cleaned, cut, and blanched before freezing. The blanching keeps the green beans a little more moist as they roast in the oven. You can use fresh green beans if you prefer, just keep in mind that they will dry out a little more while roasting than frozen green beans.

What is Steak Seasoning?

Steak seasoning is my short cut for this recipe. It’s a bottled spice blend, sometimes called Montreal Steak Seasoning, that you should be able to find at any major grocery store in the U.S. It’s a chunky mix of salt, pepper, garlic, red pepper, and sometimes a couple other spices. I love steak seasoning because that chunky grind of the spices gives the dish not only texture but these wonderful pops of flavor in every bite. Don’t skip it! :)

Can I Use Different Potatoes?

Yes! Again, this recipe is so flexible. I used small red potatoes, but you can substitute larger red potatoes or even russet potatoes if that is what you have. Just make sure to cut the potatoes into one-inch pieces so they roast at an even pace with everything else.

Sheet pan kielbasa, potatoes, and green beans in a bowl with a fork

 
Sheet pan roasted kielbasa potatoes and green beans with a spatula

Sheet Pan Kielbasa Potatoes and Green Beans

Sheet pan meals don't get an easier or more delicious than this Sheet Pan Kielbasa Potatoes and Green Beans dinner.
Total Cost $9.47 recipe / $2.37 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 504.88kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 24 oz. petite red potatoes $2.99
  • 12 oz. kielbasa $4.69
  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 12 oz. frozen green beans $1.00
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 1/2 Tbsp steak seasoning $0.15

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Wash and slice the potatoes into 1-inch pieces. Slice the kielbasa into medallions. Dice the onion into 1-inch pieces.
  • Add the potatoes, kielbasa, onion, and frozen green beans (no need to thaw) to a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle the steak seasoning over top. Use your hands to toss the ingredients until everything is coated in oil and spices.
  • Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and roast in the oven for 20 minutes, then give the ingredients on the sheet pan a good stir. Roast for an additional 15 minutes, or until the ingredients achieve the level of browning you desire. Serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 504.88kcal | Carbohydrates: 40.3g | Protein: 15.65g | Fat: 32.45g | Sodium: 1028.88mg | Fiber: 5.88g

Love Sheet Pan Meals? Try these other flavors:

How to Make Sheet Pan Kielbasa Potatoes and Green Beans – Step by Step Photos

Meal ingredients whole on the sheet pan

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. This is all that goes into the dinner, plus some olive oil and steak seasoning. How simple is that?? 24oz. petite red potatoes, 12oz. kielbasa, 12oz. frozen green beans, and one yellow onion.

Chopped ingredients on the sheet pan

Chop the potatoes into 1-inch pieces. Slice the kielbasa into medallions. Dice the onion into 1-inch pieces. Add the potatoes, kielbasa, onion, and green beans (no need to thaw) to the sheet pan.

Steak seasoning bottle close up

This is all I used to season the sheet pan meal. The chunky texture of this seasoning blend really adds a lot of texture and flavor differentiation to every bite! 

Seasoned sheet pan meal

Add 2 Tbsp olive oil and ½ Tbsp of the steak seasoning to the ingredients on the sheet pan, then toss really well until everything is coated in oil and seasoning.

Roasted sheet pan meal

Then place the sheet pan in the oven, roast for 20 minutes, then give it a good stir. Return it to the oven and roast for about another 15 minutes, or until it’s browned to the level that you like. 

Close up of sheet pan kielbasa potatoes and green beans on a sheet pan

It’s hard to describe how awesome this is. It doesn’t even need any sort of dressing or sauce. The fat and seasoning from the kielbasa soak into the potatoes and coats the other vegetables in an incredible amount of flavor, then you have the steak seasoning on top. It’s just 100% awesome! Serve hot and enjoy. :)

The post Sheet Pan Kielbasa Potatoes and Green Beans appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Oven Roasted Autumn Medley

Years ago I made Nature’s Candy, which was a deliciously sweet and savory oven roasted side dish that was so good I’d almost call it a dessert. Well, I decided to take that amazing flavor combination and turn it into a sheet pan dinner. I added some sweet Italian sausage, a red onion for a […]

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Years ago I made Nature’s Candy, which was a deliciously sweet and savory oven roasted side dish that was so good I’d almost call it a dessert. Well, I decided to take that amazing flavor combination and turn it into a sheet pan dinner. I added some sweet Italian sausage, a red onion for a slightly more savory twist, and a few more fall-inspired herbs. This Oven Roasted Autumn Medley has all the best flavors of the season in one sheet pan!

Originally posted 9-26-2013, updated 10-5-2020.

Oven Roasted Autumn Medley on a plate with mashed potatoes and a black fork on the side

How to Serve Oven Roasted Autumn Medley

I served this sheet pan mix with a side of mashed potatoes, but you could also serve the roasted sausage and vegetables over a bed of greens for a fall-inspired salad. Or just serve it on its own with a nice piece of crusty bread and some butter on the side. :)

Can I Use a Different Sausage?

Yes, if you don’t like or can’t get sweet Italian sausage, you can use a maple or apple flavored turkey sausage in its place. Any type of sausage with those fall vibes will work great!

Other Vegetable Options

This dish is also pretty flexible when it comes to the vegetables. You can swap out the sweet potato or just add some butternut squash, acorn squash, or pumpkin. All of those hard, slightly sweet winter squashes work great. Carrots, with their subtle sweetness, are another great option!

Tips for Roasting Vegetables

One of the goals when roasting vegetables in the oven is to get that nice caramelization on the edges. The caramelized edges are sweeter and have a deep, intense flavor. To get this nice browning action, make sure your vegetables are not too crowded on the baking sheet. They should be in a single layer. If the vegetables are piled too high on top of each other the steam will get trapped and the vegetables will essentially steam in their juices instead of getting that nice caramelization. 

So, if you decide to double this recipe, make sure to use two sheet pans!

side view of a fork picking up some oven roasted autumn medley from the plate

 
Oven roasted autumn medley on a plate with mashed potatoes and a black fork

Oven Roasted Autumn Medley

This Oven Roasted Autumn Medley is an herb-infused, sweet and savory sheet pan dinner with sausage, apples, sweet potatoes and more.
Total Cost $4.38 recipe / $2.19 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 671.2kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 red onion $0.44
  • 1 lb. sweet potato $1.07
  • 2 apples $0.76
  • 8 oz. sweet Italian sausage $1.40
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 1 tsp dried basil $0.10
  • 1 tsp dried sage $0.10
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional) $0.11

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Core and dice the apples into 1-inch pieces. Peel and dice the sweet potato and red onion into 1-inch pieces.
  • Place the chopped apples, onions, sweet potatoes, and Italian sausage links on a large 9x13-inch baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over top, then add the basil, sage, rosemary, salt, and freshly cracked pepper. Toss until everything is well coated in oil and herbs.
  • Transfer the baking sheet to the preheated oven and roast for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the baking sheet and use tongs to transfer the sausage to a cutting board. Slice the sausage into medallions, then add them back to the baking sheet. Return the baking sheet to the oven.
  • Roast the autumn medley for another 20 minutes, or until it reaches your desired level of browning. Top with chopped parsley for garnish after roasting, then serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 671.2kcal | Carbohydrates: 77.65g | Protein: 23.05g | Fat: 32.4g | Sodium: 1746.95mg | Fiber: 13g

A forkful of Oven Roasted Autumn Medley held close to the camera

 

How to Make Oven Roasted Autumn Medley – Step by Step Photos

Oven roasted autumn medley ingredients on the sheet pan, whole

For this recipe I used two sweet Italian sausage links, one sweet potato (about 1 lb.), two apples, one red onion, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp dried basil, 1 tsp dried sage, 1 tsp dried rosemary, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Diced apples, sweet potatoes, and sausage being seasoned with herbs

Core and dice the apples, peel and dice the sweet potato, and peel and dice the red onion (all 1-inch pieces). Place the apple, sweet potato, onion, and sausage links on a large sheet pan. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp olive oil, then sprinkle the herbs and spices over top (basil, sage, rosemary, salt, and pepper). 

autumn medley ready to roast on the sheet pan

Toss to coat everything really well in oil and herbs. Make sure everything is spread out on the sheet pan as evenly as possible.

Half-roasted autumn medley with sliced sausage.

Roast the autumn medley for 20 minutes, then remove it from the oven. The sausage will be about half-cooked at this point, but firm enough to slice into medallions. Carefully remove the sausage with tongs to a cutting board, slice, then return the slices to the sheet pan. Return the sheet pan to the oven.

Finished oven roasted autumn medley on the sheet pan

Roast the autumn medley for another 20 minutes, or until it achieves the level of browning that you like. Top with a tablespoon of chopped parsley, if desired (just for garnish). 

Oven roasted autumn medley on a plate with mashed potatoes and a black fork

Serve immediately and enjoy! This mix also works great for meal prep!

The post Oven Roasted Autumn Medley appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Creamy Mushroom Chicken with Crispy Onions

Creamy mushroom sauces make me weak in the knees. Anyone else? The chicken here is purely a vehicle for the creamy, garlicky, heavenly mushroom sauce. And the crispy onions? Well that’s just icing on the cake! This Creamy Mushroom Chicken with Crispy Onions is a really simple and scrumptious dinner with plenty of customizable options […]

The post Creamy Mushroom Chicken with Crispy Onions appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Creamy mushroom sauces make me weak in the knees. Anyone else? The chicken here is purely a vehicle for the creamy, garlicky, heavenly mushroom sauce. And the crispy onions? Well that’s just icing on the cake! This Creamy Mushroom Chicken with Crispy Onions is a really simple and scrumptious dinner with plenty of customizable options that I’ll outline for you below. Tuck this one in your back pocket (browser bookmarks?) because I’m sure you’re going to be making it again and again. ;)

Overhead view of creamy mushroom chicken in the skillet

What Are “Crispy Onions”?

I’m not sure how popular crispy fried onions are outside the U.S. so I wanted to take a second to explain and link out to this product for those who are unfamiliar. They’re basically deep fried onions that you can buy in a carton and are often used to top the classic Thanksgiving recipe, Green Bean Casserole. The onions are super crispy, a little salty, and they just add a wonderful texture and flavor in contrast the to the creamy mushroom sauce. The only brand I know that makes them is French’s, but you might be able to find a generic version at some grocery stores. 

Can I Use Chicken Thighs?

Yes, boneless, skinless chicken thighs will work beautifully for this recipe and, because they are already thin and flat, will not require the pounding step that I show for the chicken breasts below. I do not suggest bone-in chicken thighs or breasts for this recipe because they require a much longer cooking time.

Can I Substitute the Mushrooms?

Not a mushroom lover? No problem. This recipe would also be great with spinach. Simply make the sauce without the mushrooms by adding the garlic to the skillet after removing the chicken, then proceeding to deglaze the skillet with broth as directed below. After adding the cream, simmer for a few minutes to thicken the sauce, then stir in fresh spinach until wilted. Finally, add the chicken and warm through.

Make it Dairy-Free

Full fat coconut milk will work well here in place of the heavy cream, just as it does in my Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen. Make sure to use full-fat coconut milk in a can, not the kind in a carton, which is thinner and meant to be a substitute for dairy milk. Shake up the can well before measuring, to distribute as much fat throughout the liquid as possible. Also, use coconut oil or your cooking oil of choice in place of butter.

Creamy mushroom chicken on a plate with mashed potatoes and green beans

Pictured with Steamed Green Beans and mashed potatoes.

 
Creamy mushroom chicken on a plate with mashed potatoes and green beans

Creamy Mushroom Chicken with Crispy Onions

Creamy Mushroom Chicken topped with delicious crispy onions is an easy weeknight dinner with plenty of options for customization!
Total Cost $8.70 recipe / $2.18 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 369.8kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. baby bella mushrooms $1.69
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 1.3 lbs. total) $5.63
  • 1 pinch salt $0.02
  • 1 pinch pepper $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp butter, divided $0.26
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.32
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth $0.07
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream $0.39
  • 1/4 cup crispy fried onions $0.37
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional garnish) $0.05

Instructions

  • Rinse and slice the mushrooms. Set the sliced mushrooms aside.
  • Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board and cover with plastic wrap. Use a mallet or rolling pin to gently pound the chicken until it is an even thickness, about ¾-inch thick. Cut each chicken breast into two pieces, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Add one tablespoon of the butter to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once the butter is melted and the skillet is hot, add the chicken and cook until golden brown on both sides (about 5 minutes per side). Remove the chicken to a clean plate and cover with foil or an upside down plate to keep it warm.
  • Add the second tablespoon of butter and the sliced mushrooms to the skillet. Sauté the mushrooms until they release all their water and the skillet begins to dry up again. Add the minced garlic and sauté for about a minute more.
  • Pour the chicken broth into the skillet and stir to dissolve any browned bits off the bottom of the skillet. Add the heavy cream and stir to combine.
  • Return the chicken to the skillet and spoon mushroom cream sauce over each piece. Allow the chicken to simmer in the sauce for about 5 minutes more, or until the sauce is slightly reduced. Top the chicken with the crispy fried onions and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 369.8kcal | Carbohydrates: 5.25g | Protein: 36.13g | Fat: 22.4g | Sodium: 345.45mg | Fiber: 0.65g

How to Make Creamy Mushroom Chicken with Crispy Onions – Step by Step Photos

Sliced mushrooms

Wash and slice 8oz. baby bella mushrooms. Set the mushrooms aside.

Pounded chicken breasts on a cutting board with a rolling pin

Place two boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1.3 lbs. total) on a cutting board and cover with plastic wrap. Use a mallet or a rolling pin to gently pound the chicken until it is an even thickness, about ¾-inch. This helps the chicken cook quickly and evenly in the skillet.

Chicken portions seasoned with salt and pepper on the cutting board

Cut each chicken breast in half to create four portions, then season each with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Cooked chicken in the skillet

Add one tablespoon butter to a large skillet and heat over medium. When the butter is melted and the skillet is hot, add the chicken and cook until golden brown on each side (about 5 minutes per side). Remove the chicken to a clean plate and cover to keep it warm (either foil or another plate turned upside down).

Sautéed mushrooms and garlic in the skillet

Add another tablespoon of butter and the sliced mushrooms to the skillet. Sauté the mushrooms until they release all their water and the skillet dries up again. Add four cloves minced garlic and continue to sauté for about a minute more.

Cream being poured into the skillet with mushrooms

Add ½ cup chicken broth to the skillet and stir to dissolve any browned bits off the bottom. Add ½ cup heavy cream to the skillet and stir to combine.

Chicken in creamy mushroom sauce in the skillet

Add the cooked chicken back to the skillet and spoon the creamy mushroom sauce over the chicken. Let the chicken simmer in the sauce for about 5 minutes, or until warmed through and the sauce is slightly reduced.

Creamy mushroom chicken in the skillet, topped with crispy fried onions

Top the chicken with crispy fried onions (I used about ¼ cup total). 

Finished Creamy Mushroom Chicken with Crispy Onions, garnished with parsley

Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if desired, then serve. This goes really well with mashed potatoes or pasta, so the creamy sauce can be spooned over top like a gravy.

The post Creamy Mushroom Chicken with Crispy Onions appeared first on Budget Bytes.

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.

Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew

Y’all. I am SO ready for sweater weather and cozy slow cooker stews! To kick the season off, I made this super simple Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew this week. It’s nothing fancy, it’s just simple, good, comforting food! I love the simplicity of this dish and the flexibility. It’s the perfect thing to have simmering […]

The post Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Y’all. I am SO ready for sweater weather and cozy slow cooker stews! To kick the season off, I made this super simple Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew this week. It’s nothing fancy, it’s just simple, good, comforting food! I love the simplicity of this dish and the flexibility. It’s the perfect thing to have simmering away on the weekend as you do your chores or relax and enjoy watching the changing of the seasons. :)

Overhead view of a bowl of slow cooker hamburger stew with bread on the side

What’s in Hamburger Stew?

Hamburger stew is very similar to traditional beef stew, but it’s made with ground beef instead of stew meat. Using ground beef is a little bit less expensive than using stew meat, and I like how you get a little bit of beef in every bite! 

In addition to the beef we have a medley of fresh vegetables (carrots, onions, potatoes, peas), beef broth, herbs and spices, plus a little Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce to zhuzh it up a bit. It’s incredibly simple, but creates that beautifully subtle slow stewed flavor.

Why Brown The Hamburger First?

For this Hamburger Stew I browned the ground beef in a skillet before adding it to the slow cooker. I did this for two reasons. One, to render off some of the fat. I used 15% fat ground beef and there was quite a bit that needed to be drained away (I actually tested this recipe once without draining the fat and it just ended up far too oily). The second reason is that you get a nice browning (maillard reaction) on the beef in the dry environment of a skillet that you do not get in the wet environment of a slow cooker. So you’ll get just a little bit more flavor with this extra step!

Can I Use Different Vegetables?

Yes! Stews are very flexible. If you don’t like one of the vegetables listed, go ahead and skip it. Just keep in mind that the potatoes do help thicken the stew, so if you skip the potatoes you’ll have more of a soup texture. Other great vegetables to use in beef stew include:

  • mushrooms
  • pearl onions
  • parsnips
  • turnips
  • rutabagas
  • sweet potatoes
  • winter squash (acorn, butternut, pumpkin)

What Are Stewed Tomatoes?

This recipe calls for stewed tomatoes, which are a variety of canned tomatoes that are popular in the U.S. (example: Hunts stewed tomatoes). These tomatoes are cooked with seasonings and a little bit of sugar to give them the slightest sweetness. Stewed tomatoes add a little extra special unique flavor to the broth of this stew. While you can use diced tomatoes if stewed tomatoes are not available, this substitution will slightly change the flavor of the stew.

How Long Is Hamburger Stew Good?

After cooking the hamburger stew, I suggest dividing it into single portions (so that it cools faster) and refrigerating it right away. It will stay good in the refrigerator for 4-5 days, or it can be transferred to the freezer for longer storage (about 3 months). This stew is a great item to have stashed in your freezer for busy nights! It can be reheated quickly in the microwave, or slowly over medium-low heat in a pot on the stove.

Slow cooker hamburger stew in a ladle over the slow cooker

 
Overhead view of a bowl full of slow cooker hamburger stew with bread and a spoon on the side

Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew

This super easy Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew is simple, comforting food at its best. And the leftovers are even better the next day!
Total Cost $9.88 recipe / $1.65 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6 1.5 cups each
Calories 348.27kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. russet potatoes $1.20
  • 1/2 lb. carrots (about 4 carrots) $0.45
  • 1 yellow onion 0.32
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary $0.05
  • ½ tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1 lb. ground beef $5.69
  • 1 15oz. can stewed tomatoes $1.00
  • 2 cups beef broth $0.26
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce $0.06
  • 1 cup frozen peas $0.60

Instructions

  • Peel and dice the potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Peel and slice the carrots. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the potatoes, carrots, onion, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and pepper to a slow cooker (4 quarts or larger).
  • Brown the ground beef in a skillet, then drain off the excess fat. Add the browned and drained beef to the slow cooker along with the can of stewed tomatoes (with juices). Finally, add the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce to the slow cooker.
  • Give the contents of the slow cooker a brief stir to make sure everything is evenly combined (the broth may not fully cover the other ingredients). Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours, or low for eight hours.
  • After cooking on high for four hours or low for eight hours, remove the lid and stir the stew. Use the back of a spoon to slightly mash some of the potatoes, which will help thicken the stew.
  • Add the frozen peas (no need to thaw) and stir to combine into the stew. Taste the stew and add extra salt if needed (I did not add any, this will depend on the salt content of your beef broth). Serve hot with bread for dipping!

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 348.27kcal | Carbohydrates: 41.42g | Protein: 20.15g | Fat: 11.83g | Sodium: 751.72mg | Fiber: 5.07g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Try These Other Stew Recipes:

Front view of Hamburger Stew in the slow cooker

How to Make Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew – Step by Step Photos

Vegetables herbs and spices in the slow cooker

Peel and dice 2 lbs. of potatoes into 1-inch pieces. Peel and slice ½ lb. carrots (about 4 carrots). Dice one onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Add the potatoes, carrots, onion, and garlic to a slow cooker along with ½ tsp dried rosemary, ½ tsp dried tyme, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper.

Browned ground beef and stewed tomatoes added to slow cooker

Brown one pound of ground beef and drain off the excess fat. Add the browned ground beef to the slow cooker along with one 15oz. can of stewed tomatoes (with the juices).

Beef broth Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce added to slow cooker

Add 2 cups beef broth, 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, and 1 Tbsp soy sauce to the slow cooker.

Slow cooker ready to be turned on

Give the contents of the slow cooker a brief stir to combine. The broth will not fully cover the meat and vegetables, but that’s okay. The vegetables will release more moisture and increase the broth as they cook. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours.

Cooked hamburger stew in the slow cooker

After cooking on high for four hours or low for eight hours, it will look like this. Give it a good stir and smash some of the potatoes against the side of the slow cooker. The smashed potatoes will help thicken the broth into a nice hearty stew.

Frozen peas being added to the slow cooker

Stir one cup of frozen peas into the slow cooker (they’ll thaw and heat within a minute or so). 

Finished slow cooker hamburger stew in the slow cooker

Give the hamburger stew a final taste and adjust the salt to your liking. I didn’t need to add any because the broth I use (Better than Bouillon) has a decent amount, but if your broth has less sodium you may find that a pinch of salt at the end helps the flavors pop!

Slow Cooker Hamburger stew in a bowl with a spoon lifting a bite

Serve the hamburger stew immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat (but I don’t know how you’ll resist having a bowl after smelling that cooking all day!).

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