Simple Sautéed Vegetables

“What should I serve on the side?” is one of the most common questions I get. So it’s never a bad idea to have an arsenal of simple side dishes that you know how to make by heart and that can be paired with just about anything you cook. These simple sautéed vegetables are exactly […]

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“What should I serve on the side?” is one of the most common questions I get. So it’s never a bad idea to have an arsenal of simple side dishes that you know how to make by heart and that can be paired with just about anything you cook. These simple sautéed vegetables are exactly that. They’re easy, colorful, delicious, flexible, and go with just about anything you make for dinner.

Sautéed vegetables in a skillet with a spatula

This Recipe is Flexible!

This is actually more of a technique than a recipe because you can swap in just about any vegetable or seasoning that you have to make this match your meal. See all my vegetable and seasoning ideas below!

Vegetable Options

I used carrots, red bell pepper, zucchini, and yellow squash for my vegetable sauté, but you can swap in so many different types of vegetables. I suggest aiming for a variety of colors and textures, and chopping them into different shapes to keep things interesting.

The only other thing to know is to add hard vegetables to the skillet first and softer vegetables to the skillet last, so they can all achieve a similar level of doneness. Here are some great vegetable options:

  • Broccoli
  • Red or Yellow Onion
  • Cauliflower
  • Green Beans
  • Snow Peas
  • Mushrooms
  • Asparagus

While this quick sauté is a great option for most vegetables, here are a few that I’d avoid for this method:

  • Potatoes (unless pre-boiled)
  • Tomatoes (too watery, will create a wet cooking environment)
  • Leafy Greens (you might get away with kale, but others are probably too delicate)
Sautéed Vegetables on a plate with chicken and rice

Seasoning Options

I uses a super simple combination of basil, oregano, salt, and pepper for my vegetables because that mix goes with just about anything. But you can totally switch that up and add different seasonings to match your meal. Here are some other seasoning ideas:

High Heat is Key

The one true key to making these sautéed vegetables turn out well is to make sure you use a really hot skillet. Medium-high works well for me, but this can vary depending on your cookware and the individual settings on your stove top. The skillet should be hot enough that water sprinkled on the surface sputters and spatters, but not hot enough that the oil begins to smoke.

Why high heat? High heat ensures that any moisture coming out of the vegetables evaporates quickly, instead of pooling in the skillet, which would cause the vegetables to simmer and soften instead of staying nice and crisp.

Side view of sautéed vegetables in the skillet
Side view of sautéed vegetables in the skillet

Simple Sautéed Vegetables

These simple sautéed vegetables are an easy, delicious, and colorful side dish that can go with just about anything you make for dinner!
Total Cost $2.92 recipe / $0.73 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 1 cup each
Calories 102.55kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 3 carrots $0.42
  • 1 zucchini $0.72
  • 1 yellow squash $0.78
  • 1/2 red bell pepper* $0.75
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp dried oregano $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp butter $0.07
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional) $0.04

Instructions

  • Peel and slice the carrots. Chop the zucchini and yellow squash into half-rounds. Slice the bell pepper.
  • Heat the skillet over medium-high. Once the skillet is very hot, add the cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the sliced carrots and sauté for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Next, add the bell pepper, zucchini, squash, basil, oregano, and garlic powder. Continue to sauté for 2-3 minutes more, or just until the vegetables begin to soften. You want to take the raw edge off the vegetables, but not cook them to the point where they are limp.
  • Once the vegetables have just begun to soften, remove the skillet from the heat. Add the butter and toss until it has melted and coated the vegetables. Finally, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, give them a taste and adjust the salt or pepper as needed. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley just before serving.

Notes

*You can use a full pepper. I happened to have a leftover half pepper from something else, which it’s listed as ½ in the recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 102.55kcal | Carbohydrates: 9.98g | Protein: 2.15g | Fat: 6.9g | Sodium: 166.88mg | Fiber: 3g

How to Make Simple Sautéed Vegetables – Step by Step Photos

Chopped vegetables on a cutting board

Start by chopping all of your vegetables ahead of time because this dish cooks quickly and you won’t have time to do any chopping after the cooking begins. I used 3 carrots, one zucchini, one yellow squash, and half of a red bell pepper (I had that left over from something else). Whatever vegetables you choose, aim for a variety of colors and textures.

Carrots being sautéed in a skillet

Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Once the skillet is very hot, add 1 Tbsp cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the sliced carrots and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Since carrots are a hard vegetable and they take a bit longer to cook, they will go in before the rest of the vegetables.

Zucchini, squash, bell pepper, and herbs added to the skillet

Next, add the zucchini, yellow squash, and bell pepper, along with ¼ tsp dried basil, ⅛ tsp dried oregano, and ⅛ tsp garlic powder. Sauté for 2-3 minutes more, or until the vegetables just begin to soften. You want to take the raw edge off, but not cook them to the point where they are soft and mushy.

butter added to sautéed vegetables in the skillet

Once the vegetables being to soften a bit, remove the skillet from the heat and add 1 Tbsp butter. Toss until the butter is melted and coating the vegetables.

Finished sautéed vegetables in the skillet with a spatula

Finish the vegetables by seasoning with a pinch of salt and pepper. Give them a taste and adjust the salt and pepper to your liking. Garnish with chopped parsley (optional) and serve!

Close up side view of sautéed vegetables in the skillet

Eat the rainbow!

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Lemony Vegan White Bean Soup

Do you feel like having refreshing and warm comfort food? Then try this Vegan White Bean Soup. It is a roux-based veggie-packed soup with a zesty taste. The addition of freshly chopped parsley will complement the lemony flavor perfectly. No fancy ingre…

Do you feel like having refreshing and warm comfort food? Then try this Vegan White Bean Soup. It is a roux-based veggie-packed soup with a zesty taste. The addition of freshly chopped parsley will complement the lemony flavor perfectly. No fancy ingredients or complicated steps to make this light, simple and comforting vegan soup. Are...

Read More

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Classic Chicken Noodle Soup

You can’t go wrong with a bowl of classic Chicken Noodle Soup. This is one of those recipes that just makes you feel better! It is the ultimate comfort food.  Our Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup is VERY popular, but some of you requested a classi…

You can’t go wrong with a bowl of classic Chicken Noodle Soup. This is one of those recipes that just makes you feel better! It is the ultimate comfort food.  Our Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup is VERY popular, but some of you requested a classic chicken noodle soup recipe and this is the best one…

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Mediterranean Tuna Salad

This simple, fresh, and filling Mediterranean Tuna Salad makes an easy protein-packed make-ahead lunch for your workweek. Tons of ideas for add-ins and substitutions included!

The post Mediterranean Tuna Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I had a request for more tuna recipes lately but instead of heavy casseroles, I was in the mood for something lighter and more fresh (I’m soooo ready for Spring). So I made this Mediterranean Tuna Salad, which is sort of a hybrid of two of my other favorite recipes. And guess what? It holds up great in the fridge, so it’s another meal prep ready salad! 🙌

Overhead view of a bowl full of Mediterranean Tuna Salad with a fork in the side

What’s in Mediterranean Tuna Salad?

As I mentioned in the intro, this salad is a hybrid of two of my other favorite recipes: Super Fresh Cucumber Salad and Tuna and White Bean Salad. The salad starts with a base of fresh vegetables, like cucumber, tomato, red onion, and parsley, then gets a dose of protein from tuna and white beans, and is finished off with a tangy homemade vinaigrette and just the right amount of crumbled feta. The combo is absolutely perfect!

What Else Can I Add?

What I love about “refrigerator salads” (besides the fact that they hold up for days in the fridge) is that they are always quite flexible. You can add, substitute, or skip ingredients based on your needs. Here are some other ingredients that you can add into this Mediterranean Tuna Salad:

  • Sun dried tomatoes
  • Olives
  • Bell peppers
  • Chickpeas
  • Avocado
  • Cooked orzo, penne, or bowtie pasta
  • Spinach or Romaine (keep separate if meal prepping)
  • Roasted red peppers

How to Serve Mediterranean Tuna Salad

This well rounded salad could be served on its own in a larger portion as a stand alone meal, but you could also round it out by adding some pita and hummus on the side, stuffing the salad itself into a pita or wrap, or adding some cooked pasta to make it into a pasta salad. However you eat it, it’s going to be filling, fresh, and flavorful!

What Kind of Tuna Should I Use?

I definitely suggest chunk light tuna for this recipe because I think it’s the happy medium between good texture (large pieces instead of tiny flakes) and price. You can use tuna packed in either water or oil, whichever you prefer. The nutritional stats below are calculated using tuna packed in water.

How Long Does it Last?

My salad stayed fresh for about 3-4 days. The ingredients hold up extremely well in the refrigerator. You do want to give it a good stir before serving, though, to redistribute the dressing and make sure everything is as flavorful as possible.

Close up side view of Mediterranean Tuna Salad in a bowl
Close up side view of Mediterranean Tuna Salad in a bowl

Mediterranean Tuna Salad

This simple, fresh, and filling Mediterranean Tuna Salad makes an easy protein-packed make-ahead lunch for your workweek.
Total Cost $7.89 recipe / $1.32 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 about 1 cup each
Calories 283.55kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup olive oil $0.52
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar $0.20
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice $0.06
  • 1 tsp dried oregano $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Salad

  • 1 English cucumber* $1.29
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes* $1.49
  • 1/2 red onion $0.16
  • 1/4 bunch fresh parsley, chopped (about ½ cup) $0.35
  • 1 15oz. can cannellini beans $0.69
  • 1 12oz. can chunk light tuna $1.89
  • 2 oz. feta $1.10

Instructions

  • Make the vinaigrette first, so the flavors have a little time to blend. In a bowl or jar, combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, oregano, salt, and pepper. Whisk the ingredients together, or close the jar and shake until combined. Set the vinaigrette aside.
  • If you want to soften the flavor of the red onion a bit, slice it then soak the slices in ice water for about five minutes before dicing. Otherwise, finely dice the red onion, cut the cucumber into quarter rounds, slice the tomatoes in half, and roughly chop the parsley.
  • Combine the cucumber, tomato, onion, and parsley in a bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over top, then stir until the vegetables are coated.
  • Rinse and drain the beans, and drain the tuna. Add the beans, tuna, and feta to the salad, then gently stir to combine. These three are added last and only gently stirred to make sure the tuna remains in larger flakes instead of falling apart into tiny pieces.
  • Serve immediately, or refrigerate up to four days. Give it a quick stir after refrigerating and before serving to redistribute the dressing.

Notes

*You can use a conventional cucumber and diced Roma tomatoes in place of English cucumber and grape tomatoes if needed. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 283.55kcal | Carbohydrates: 23.75g | Protein: 22.48g | Fat: 11.98g | Sodium: 691.93mg | Fiber: 5.18g

How to Make Mediterranean Tuna Salad – Step by Step Photos

Homemade vinaigrette in a bowl with a fork

Start with the vinaigrette, so the flavors have a little time to blend. Combine ¼ cup olive oil, 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper. Set the dressing aside.

red onion slices soaking in a bowl of water

If you want to soften the flavor of the red onions, soaking them for five minutes or so in ice water really helps! I slice them first to give more surface area to water contact, then finely dice them after soaking. For this recipe I used about ½ of a red onion.

Chopped vegetables in a bowl

You also want to cut one cucumber into quarter rounds, slice a pint of grape tomatoes in half, and roughly chop about ¼ bunch of parsley (about ½ cup chopped). Add them all to a bowl with the finely diced red onion.

Vinaigrette being poured over vegetables in the bowl

Pour the vinaigrette over top, then stir until everything is coated. We’ll add the tuna and feta last so they don’t break apart too much when stirring.

beans, tuna, and feta added to the salad

Rinse and drain one 15oz. can of cannellini beans, and drain one 12oz. can of chunk light tuna. Add the beans, tuna, and 2oz. feta to the salad, then fold to combine.

Finished Mediterranean Tuna Salad in the bowl with a spatula

And that’s a wrap! Your Mediterranean Tuna Salad is ready to go. You can either serve it immediately or refrigerate for up to four days. Enjoy!

Mediterranean Tuna Salad in a white serving dish from above

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Pasta Fagioli

I was in the mood for major comfort food so I made a big pot of Pasta Fagioli. Pasta Fagioli (Pasta e Fagioli) means “pasta and beans”, and is a traditional Italian soup. It is made with tomatoes, vegetables, beans, herbs, and pasta. Basica…

I was in the mood for major comfort food so I made a big pot of Pasta Fagioli. Pasta Fagioli (Pasta e Fagioli) means “pasta and beans”, and is a traditional Italian soup. It is made with tomatoes, vegetables, beans, herbs, and pasta. Basically all of my favorites in one pot! It is 100% cozy…

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Lentil Salad

Okay, I know a Lentil Salad doesn’t sound all that exciting, BUT hear me out. Lentils are GOOD…if you’ve tried our Lentil Soup, you know of their goodness:) This Lentil Salad is one of my very favorites. Seriously! I make it all of th…

Okay, I know a Lentil Salad doesn’t sound all that exciting, BUT hear me out. Lentils are GOOD…if you’ve tried our Lentil Soup, you know of their goodness:) This Lentil Salad is one of my very favorites. Seriously! I make it all of the time and eat it for days because it’s so good! Lentils…

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Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Buttermilk Fried Chicken
This crispy buttermilk fried chicken recipe is THE BEST thanks to an overnight marinade, a dip in buttermilk, and a special dredging technique. Extra crunchy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside, you won’t want …

A silver plate with parchment paper topped with crispy fried chicken pieces with a small cup of ranch dressing.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

This crispy buttermilk fried chicken recipe is THE BEST thanks to an overnight marinade, a dip in buttermilk, and a special dredging technique. Extra crunchy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside, you won’t want to put this chicken down! Make a delicious fried chicken sandwich, or use this recipe for fried chicken […]

READ: Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Easy Tapenade

Olive lovers, tapenade is for you! Tapenade is an olive spread or dip hailing from the Provence region in France. It’s bold, zippy, briny and salty, though…

The post Easy Tapenade appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

easy tapenade recipe

Olive lovers, tapenade is for you! Tapenade is an olive spread or dip hailing from the Provence region in France. It’s bold, zippy, briny and salty, though we’ll be sure to keep the salt level in check.

Served with crostini or crackers, tapenade is a wonderful appetizer with drinks. It offers some welcome contrast when served with creamy dips, like hummus or spinach artichoke dip. You can also spread it onto sandwiches, dollop it onto salads, and more. Tapenade will keep for a week or two in the fridge, so you’ll find many uses for it.

tapenade ingredients

Tapenade is named after the Provençal word for capers, tapenas. Over the years, olives have become the predominant ingredient, and I used capers as a subtle accent. Similar olive spreads have been served in the Mediterranean for ages, which is why tapenade is a natural pairing with your favorite Mediterranean flavors.

Traditional tapenade also includes anchovies, but being vegetarian, I omitted them. This dip is loaded with complex flavor regardless, and it’s suitable for vegans and those with shellfish allergies as well.

To make this easy tapenade, you’ll need just a few basic ingredients and a food processor. It comes together in about 10 minutes with mostly pantry ingredients! You’ll need Castelvetrano and Kalamata olives, fresh parsley, capers, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice. Let’s make some already.

Continue to the recipe...

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Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed Mushrooms might be the best holiday appetizer (along with baked brie)! They’re really, really simple to prepare, need minimal oven time, and everyone loves them. It’s usually the first empty plate on a table of appetizers! I love ma…

Stuffed Mushrooms might be the best holiday appetizer (along with baked brie)! They’re really, really simple to prepare, need minimal oven time, and everyone loves them. It’s usually the first empty plate on a table of appetizers! I love making this easy appetizer year-round, but especially during the holidays. It’s a simple dish that will…

The post Stuffed Mushrooms appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Marinated Cauliflower Salad

Marinated cauliflower salad is a crunchy and colorful “refrigerator salad” that’s is the perfect winter side dish or meal prep salad.

The post Marinated Cauliflower Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Can’t stop, won’t stop with refrigerator salads! If you’re new here, refrigerator salads are salads that hold up really well in the refrigerator, so you can have delicious and colorful meals all week. This Marinated Cauliflower Salad is the perfect example. In fact, this salad gets better as it refrigerates. The flavors mix and mingle, and all those good flavors get soaked right up by the crunchy cauliflower. 👌

Overhead view of marinated cauliflower salad in a serving bowl

Take a Short Cut

I included a homemade Italian dressing in this cauliflower salad recipe, but if you want to make this salad even a little faster you can easily sub your favorite store-bought bottled Italian Dressing. You’ll need about one cup, but you can just add as much or as little as you’d like.

Make it Vegan

The recipe as written below contains Parmesan cheese, which does give the salad a little bit of body, but if you’d like to make this dish vegan you can easily leave the Parmesan out or add a little nutritional yeast in its place.

What to Serve with Marinated Cauliflower Salad

I served this cauliflower salad with my Garlic Marinated Chicken this week, but it would also go great with Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Baked Ziti, Pizza Baked Chicken, or Easy Oven Baked Fish with Tomatoes. This would also be a great dish to bring to potlucks!

How Long Does It Stay Good?

As I mentioned in the introduction, this salad actually gets better with time in the fridge. …Up to a point. Haha. This salad will be good for about 4-5 days of refrigeration, with the peak flavor being on about day 2-3. As always your mileage may vary depending on the freshness of your ingredients and conditions inside your refrigerator.

Side view of marinated cauliflower salad in a serving bowl
Overhead view of marinated cauliflower salad in a white serving bowl

Marinated Cauliflower Salad

Marinated cauliflower salad is full of crunchy and colorful vegetables marinated in a homemade Italian dressing. Perfect for meal prep!
Total Cost $8.40 recipe / $1.05 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Marinate Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 1 cup each
Calories 175.66kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Italian Dressing*

  • ½ cup olive oil $0.84
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar $0.40
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard $0.06
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning $0.30
  • ½ tsp salt $0.02
  • ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan $0.22

Salad

  • 1 head cauliflower $2.39
  • 1 2.25oz. can sliced black olives $1.49
  • ½ 12oz. jar banana pepper rings $0.90
  • 1 red bell pepper $1.50
  • cup diced red onion $0.16
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley $0.08

Instructions

  • Make the dressing first, so the flavors have time to blend. In a jar or bowl, combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and Parmesan. Whisk the ingredients together or close the jar and shake until combined. Set the dressing aside.
  • Remove the leaves and stem from the cauliflower, then chop it into very small florets (about the size of a grape). Place the chopped cauliflower in a large bowl.
  • Drain the black olives and remove the banana peppers from the jar. Add both to the bowl with the cauliflower.
  • Dice the red bell pepper and finely dice the red onion and parsley. Add them to the bowl.
  • Pour the prepared dressing over the salad, then toss to combine. Refrigerate the salad for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to absorb. Stir again just before serving. This salad gets better as it refrigerates and the cauliflower has more time to marinate. Always stir just before serving to redistribute the flavors.

Notes

*Store-bought Italian dressing can be used in place of homemade.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 175.66kcal | Carbohydrates: 8.06g | Protein: 2.69g | Fat: 15.6g | Sodium: 431.44mg | Fiber: 2.7g

How to Make Marinated Cauliflower Salad – Step by Step Photos

Dressing ingredients in a jar

Make the dressing first so it can have a few moments to blend. In a jar or bowl combine ½ cup olive oil, ¼ cup red wine vinegar, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, ¼ tsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper, and 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan.

shaken Italian dressing in a jar

Shake the jar or whisk the ingredients in a bowl until the dressing is combined. You can use a store-bought Italian dressing in place of homemade, if you prefer. You’ll need about 1 cup dressing.

Chopped cauliflower on a cutting board

Remove the leaves and stem from a head of cauliflower, then chop in to very small florets (about the size of a grape). Place the chopped cauliflower in a bowl.

Cauliflower and other vegetables in a bowl

Drain one 2.25oz. can of black olives, and remove ½ of the peppers from a 12oz. jar of banana pepper rings. Dice one red bell pepper, finely dice about ⅓ cup red onion, and chop about 2 Tbsp parsley. Add everything to the bowl with the chopped cauliflower.

Italian dressing being poured over salad ingredients.

Pour the Italian dressing over the salad ingredients in the bowl, then stir to combine.

Finished marinated cauliflower salad in the bowl with a spoon

Cover the salad and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to give the salad time to absorb the flavors from the dressing. Always give it a stir before serving to redistribute the flavors throughout.

Overhead view of marinated cauliflower salad in a white serving bowl

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