Mushroom Stroganoff

This healthy mushroom stroganoff made with shiitake, baby portabella, and cremini mushrooms and noodles in a light creamy sauce is a quick and easy meal, perfect for Meatless Mondays! Mushroom Stroganoff I love beef stroganoff, but I wanted to see if there was a way to make it vegetarian for days I want to go […]

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This healthy mushroom stroganoff made with shiitake, baby portabella, and cremini mushrooms and noodles in a light creamy sauce is a quick and easy meal, perfect for Meatless Mondays!

This healthy stroganoff with shiitake, baby portabella, and cremini mushrooms with noodles in a light creamy sauce is a quick and easy meal, perfect for Meatless Mondays!
Mushroom Stroganoff

I love beef stroganoff, but I wanted to see if there was a way to make it vegetarian for days I want to go meatless. I played around with this Mushroom Stroganoff until we were sick of it, but it was well worth it! This recipe was a huge hit in my house. For more of my favorite Meatless Monday pasta recipes, try Fettuccini with Winter Greens and Poached Egg, Cheesy Baked Pumpkin Pasta, and Spaghetti with Mushrooms, Garlic, and Oil.

(more…)

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Roasted Vegetable Baked Penne

This was actually supposed to be a baked ziti, but it turns out ziti is just about impossible to find in grocery stores right now, so I went with a Roasted Vegetable Baked Penne instead. Sometimes you just have to roll with it! This recipe is a very vegetable-forward version of my Classic Baked Ziti, chock […]

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This was actually supposed to be a baked ziti, but it turns out ziti is just about impossible to find in grocery stores right now, so I went with a Roasted Vegetable Baked Penne instead. Sometimes you just have to roll with it! This recipe is a very vegetable-forward version of my Classic Baked Ziti, chock full of colorful vegetables, a quick homemade red sauce, and layers of ooey-gooey cheese. This recipes makes a LOT of pasta but the leftovers are awesome and freezable! 

Overhead view of a casserole dish full of roasted vegetable baked penne

Take a Short Cut

This roasted vegetable baked penne is kind of a labor of love because there are so many moving parts, BUT you can take a short cut by using some jarred pasta sauce instead of making your own. Use about one and a half 24oz. jars of store-bought pasta sauce in place of the homemade sauce listed below.

How to Store Leftovers

As I mentioned in the intro, this makes a LOT of pasta. But the leftovers are super yummy, and it makes a really great item to stash in your freezer for grab-n-go lunches or quick dinners on busy nights. After baking, divide the pasta into single serving containers and transfer to the refrigerator. Once fully cooled, you can transfer some (or all) of the containers to the freezer for longer storage. I usually leave as many as I can eat in one week in the fridge and freeze the left. The leftovers can be reheated quickly in the microwave.

What Vegetables Can You Use?

I used a classic mix of zucchini, yellow squash, red onion, and bell pepper so I could have a really colorful mix. If you want to substitute any of these vegetables, here are some other good options:

  • Mushrooms
  • Eggplant
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots

In general you want to opt for softer vegetables for this dish, as opposed to harder root vegetables, but if you do want to include vegetables that are more firm, make sure to cut them into much smaller pieces to help them soften more quickly while they roast.

Close up front view of roasted vegetable baked penne being scooped out of the casserole dish

 
Overhead view of roasted vegetable baked penne being scooped out of the casserole dish

Roasted Vegetable Baked Penne

Layers of pasta, flavorful roasted vegetables, a simple homemade red sauce, and melty cheese make this roasted vegetable baked penne to die for!
Total Cost $11.34 recipe / $1.42 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 494.86kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Roasted Vegetables

  • 1 red onion $0.44
  • 1 zucchini $0.79
  • 1 yellow squash $1.11
  • 1 bell pepper $1.69
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.26
  • tsp salt $0.02
  • tsp pepper $0.02

Simple Red Sauce

  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.26
  • 1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes $0.79
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste $0.12
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning* $0.30
  • ¼ tsp salt $0.02
  • ½ cup water $0.02

Pasta & Cheese

  • 1 lb. penne $1.00
  • 15 oz. ricotta $2.19
  • 2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend**, divided $1.86
  • 1/4 tsp pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional garnish) $0.11

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Dice the red onion, zucchini, yellow squash, and bell pepper into 1-inch pieces. Spread the diced vegetables out over a large baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss until all the vegetables are coated in oil.
  • Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven, stirring once half way through, for about 45 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and the edges are brown and caramelized.
  • While the vegetables are roasting, begin the red sauce. Finely dice the yellow onion and add it to a sauce pot with the butter. Sauté for a few minutes, or until the onion is soft. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, salt, and water.
  • Stir the sauce to combine. Allow the sauce to come up to a simmer, then turn the heat down to low and let the sauce simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are finished roasting (about 30 minutes).
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the shredded Italian cheese blend, and ¼ tsp each of salt and pepper.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the penne. Once boiling, add the penne and continue to boil until the pasta is tender. Drain the penne in a colander, then return it to the pot with the heat turned off.
  • Stir one cup of the red sauce into the drained pasta to coat the pasta in flavor. Add the roasted vegetables to the remaining red sauce and stir to combine.
  • To layer the casserole, place half of the sauce coated penne in the bottom of a 9x13" or 3 quart casserole dish. Add half of the cheese mixture on top in dollops, followed by half of the roasted vegetable and red sauce mixture. The ingredients do not need to create a solid layer or completely cover the previous layer. Repeat with a second layer of pasta, cheese, and vegetable red sauce. Finally, top the casserole with the second cup of shredded Italian cheese blend.
  • Cover the casserole with foil, making sure it doesn't touch the cheese on top. Place the casserole in the oven (still turned on to 400ºF) and bake for 35 minutes. After 35 minutes, remove the foil and switch the oven from bake to broil. Broil the top of the casserole to brown the cheese for 3-5 minutes (watch closely as broilers can vary quite a bit from oven to oven). Top with chopped parsley if desired and serve!

Notes

*If you do not have Italian seasoning, you can replace this with equal parts dried basil, dried oregano, dried morjoram, and thyme.
*If you do not have shredded Italian cheese blend, use equal amounts shredded mozzarella, Parmesan, and provolone. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 494.86kcal | Carbohydrates: 60.24g | Protein: 20.76g | Fat: 19.79g | Sodium: 681.56mg | Fiber: 5.35g

How to Make Roasted Vegetable Baked Penne

Whole vegetables on a cutting board

For the roasted vegetables I used one red onion, one zucchini, one yellow squash, and one red bell pepper. You can choose just about any vegetable you’d like (see notes above the recipe for suggestions).

Diced vegetables on a baking sheet

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Dice the vegetables into 1-inch pieces. Place the diced vegetables on a large baking sheet, drizzle with 2 Tbsp olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss the vegetables until they are coated in oil.

Roasted vegetables on the baking sheet

Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and roast, stirring once halfway through, for about 45 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and caramelized on the edges.

Diced onion and butter in a sauce pot

While the vegetables are roasting, begin the rest of the casserole. Start with the homemade red sauce. Dice one yellow onion and add it to a sauce pot with 2 Tbsp butter. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft.

Red sauce ingredients in the pot

Once the onions are soft, add one 28oz. can crushed tomatoes, 3 Tbsp tomato paste, 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning, 1/4 tsp salt, and ½ cup water. Stir to combine. Allow the sauce to come up to the simmer, then turn the heat down to low and let it continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are done roasting (about 30 minutes). 

Cheese mixture ingredients in a bowl

While the vegetables are roasting and the red sauce is simmering away, prepare the cheese. Stir together 15oz. ricotta, 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend, ¼ tsp pepper, and ¼ tsp salt.

Stirring red sauce into cooked pasta.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add 1 lb. penne and continue to boil until the penne is tender. Drain the pasta in a colander, then return it to the pot with the heat turned off. Add 1 cup of the red sauce and stir to coat.

Roasted vegetables added to the pot of red sauce.

Stir the roasted vegetables into the rest of the red sauce.

Layer one of baked penne in the casserole dish

Now that the sauce, cheese, and pasta are done, it’s time to start layering! Add half of the sauce coated pasta to the bottom of a 9×13″ (3 quart) casserole dish. Next, add half of the cheese mixture in dollops, followed by half of the vegetable red sauce. Each layer will not fully cover the previous layer. You don’t need to spend time trying to spread it out. It will all melt together as it bakes.

Second layers of baked penne in the casserole dish

Repeat with a second layer of pasta, cheese, and vegetable red sauce. Finally, add the second cup of shredded Italian cheese blend on top.

Baked Penne casserole with foil covering half the dish

Cover the casserole dish with foil, taking care not to let it touch the cheese. Bake the casserole for 35 minutes.

Finished roasted vegetable baked penne in the casserole dish

After 35 minutes, remove the foil and change the oven from bake to broil. Let it broil for a few minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown on top. Top with a couple tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley for garnish, if desired.

Overhead view of roasted vegetable baked penne being scooped out of the casserole dish

Enjoy!

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Pesto Shrimp Pasta

I’ve been experimenting with shrimp a lot lately. Yes, it can be a little on the expensive side, but if you pair it whith an inexpensive ingredient like pasta, you can really stretch that dollar and work it into an affordable meal. This Pesto Shrimp Pasta is an incredibly easy (and FAST) recipe that will […]

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I’ve been experimenting with shrimp a lot lately. Yes, it can be a little on the expensive side, but if you pair it whith an inexpensive ingredient like pasta, you can really stretch that dollar and work it into an affordable meal. This Pesto Shrimp Pasta is an incredibly easy (and FAST) recipe that will make you feel like you’re eating a restaurant quality meal at home. So even if shrimp is just a once in a while special occasion splurge, you’ll still be saving a TON by making this splurge at home instead of having it at a restaurant!

Originally posted 12-28-2010, updated 8-27-2020.

Overhead view of a bowl full of pesto shrimp pasta with a black fork in the middle

This recipe was originally posted in 2010. When updating this recipe I made only minor changes to the recipe yield, ingredient quantities, and preparation method. If you prefer the old recipe, you can reach out to us at support@budgetbytes.com and we can send you a pdf of the old version.

What Kind of Shrimp is Best for Pesto Shrimp Pasta

A smaller sized shrimp works best for this recipe so you get more shrimp pieces throughout the pasta. If you check your package of shrimp you’ll see a number range specifying the number of shrimp per pound. The higher the number, the smaller the shrimp (more shrimp per pound). The shrimp I used were 41-60 size, or 41-60 shrimp per pound.

You can purchase your shrimp with or without the shell and tail, but you’ll want to remove the shell and tail before cooking. You can leave the tail on, but I find that tail-on shrimp is more difficult to eat in a dish like pasta because you have to stop and remove the tail with every bite.

This recipe is written for raw (frozen or fresh) shrimp, but you can use pre-cooked shrimp if that’s what you have available. To use pre-cooked shrimp, simply add them into the pasta at the end.

How to Thaw Frozen Shrimp

If you know you’ll be making this recipe a head of time, you can transfer your shrimp from the freezer to the refrigerator to thaw overnight. If you didn’t plan ahead, don’t worry! Shrimp thaws very quickly under running water. I just place my shrimp in a colander and run cool water over the shrimp for a few minutes until it has thawed. Once thawed and peeled, make sure to dab the shrimp dry with paper towel.

Can I Substitute the Shrimp?

If you’re not into shrimp, this recipe would also be good using diced chicken, sea scallops, or even chopped artichoke hearts! 

Tips for Cooking Shrimp

Shrimp can be intimidating for people who have never cooked it before, but I promise it’s very easy! The trick is that shrimp cooks very quickly and if you continue to cook it longer than necessary, the proteins will continue to contract leaving you with tough, rubbery shrimp. So watch your shrimp closely and remove them from the skillet just as soon as they turn pink and opaque. It only takes a few minutes (depending on the shrimp’s size and the heat level under the skillet)!

What Kind of Pesto to Use

Pesto is another ingredient that can be pricy if you don’t shop around. I used pesto from ALDI, which is very affordable, but if you don’t have an ALDI store near you check to see if your grocery store has their own store brand, or look for Classico or Barilla brand pesto, which usually tends to be a bit more affordable. I used basil pesto for this pasta, but I bet it would also be great with other flavors!

Overhead view of the skillet full of pesto shrimp pasta

 
Overhead view of a bowl full of pesto shrimp pasta with a black fork in the center

Pesto Shrimp Pasta

This Pesto Shrimp Pasta is a restaurant quality meal that you can make in under 30 minutes! The perfect quick weeknight meal.
Total Cost $8.07 recipe / $2.02 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 446.23kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. shrimp, peeled and deveined $4.99
  • 8 oz. angel hair pasta $0.53
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided $0.24
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes $1.49
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto $0.55
  • 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan $0.11

Instructions

  • If using frozen shrimp, place them in a colander and run cool water over top to thaw (this should only take a few minutes). Peel the shrimp and remove the tails. Pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add the pasta and continue to boil until the pasta is tender (about seven minutes). Reserve about ½ cup of the starchy pasta water before draining the pasta in a colander.
  • While the pasta is cooking, prepare the rest of the dish. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet. Once hot, add the prepared shrimp and sauté just until the shrimp turns pink and opaque (2-3 minutes). Remove the cooked shrimp to a clean bowl.
  • Add another tablespoon olive oil to the skillet and add the grape tomatoes and minced garlic. Continue to sauté over medium until the tomatoes begin to burst and release their juices. If the garlic begins to brown before the tomatoes have burst, add a couple tablespoons of water to the skillet to slow the browning.
  • Once the tomatoes have broken down in the skillet, add the cooked and drained pasta, ¼ cup pesto, and about half of the reserved pasta water. Stir to coat everything in the pesto, adding more of the pasta water if needed to loosen the pasta and spread the pesto over everything.
  • Finally, return the cooked shrimp to the skillet and stir to combine with the pasta. Top with grated Parmesan, then serve!

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 446.23kcal | Carbohydrates: 49.3g | Protein: 26.4g | Fat: 15.58g | Sodium: 602.68mg | Fiber: 3.78g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Try These Other Budget-Friendly Shrimp Recipes:

Front view of a bowl full of pesto shrimp pasta with a fork twirling the pasta in the center

How to Make Pesto Shrimp Pasta – Step by Step Photos

Shrimp Package

This is the shrimp I used. 41-60 size (that means 41-60 shrimp per pound) and this is a 12oz. bag. To thaw the shrimp I placed them in a colander and ran cool water over them for a few minutes, or until they were thawed enough to peel and remove the tails. Once thawed, pat them dry with a paper towel to remove the excess water.

A measuring cup scooping out starchy pasta water from the pot

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add ½ lb. angel hair pasta to the pot and continue to boil until the pasta is tender (about 7 minutes). Reserve ½ cup of the starchy pasta water before draining in a colander. You can begin cooking the shrimp while the pasta boils.

Cooked shrimp in a skillet

Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once the skillet and oil are hot, add the shrimp and sauté just until they are pink and opaque (2-3 minutes), then remove them from the skillet to a clean bowl. Make sure not to over cook them!

Grape tomatoes and garlic in the skillet

Add the second tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet along with the pint of grape tomatoes and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Sauté the garlic and tomatoes over medium heat until the tomatoes begin to burst and break down.

Cooked grape tomatoes

If the tomatoes are not very ripe they may take a while to burst, so if your garlic begins to brown before the tomatoes start releasing their juices, you can add a couple tablespoons of water to the skillet to prevent the garlic from browning. The juices from the tomatoes will create a sweet jam-like sauce on the bottom of the skillet.

Cooked pasta and pesto added to the skillet with tomatoes and garlic

Once the tomatoes are at least half way broken down, add the cooked and drained pasta, ¼ cup pesto, and about half of the reserved pasta water to the skillet. Stir to coat everything in the pesto, adding more of the starchy pasta water if needed to loosen things up and help the pesto spread.

Cooked shrimp added to the pasta

Finally, return the cooked shrimp back to the skillet and stir to combine with the pasta and pesto.

finished pesto shrimp pasta in the skillet

I like to add just a little (about 1 Tbsp) grated Parmesan on top, and you can add some chopped parsley for color if you’d like (it’s not necessary for the flavor).

Overhead view of a finished bowl of pesto shrimp pasta with a fork on the side

Enjoy! (A little extra freshly cracked pepper on top doesn’t hurt, and if you’re into spicy try adding a pinch of crushed red pepper!)

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Creamy Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli

I’m all about the quick skillet meals because, let’s face it, sometimes after a long day of work you don’t really want to cook anything… but you still gotta eat. This super quick Creamy Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli combines the vibrant flavors of basil pesto with tangy cream cheese to make a deliciously […]

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I’m all about the quick skillet meals because, let’s face it, sometimes after a long day of work you don’t really want to cook anything… but you still gotta eat. This super quick Creamy Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli combines the vibrant flavors of basil pesto with tangy cream cheese to make a deliciously rich sauce to smother the pasta, chicken, and broccoli. The pesto provides all the garlic and herbal flavor needed, so there’s no need to even dice an onion, mince garlic, or measure any herbs and spices—it’s already in the sauce! The whole dish cooks very quickly so you can have this one on the dinner table in about 30 minutes.

Originally posted 11-24-2013, updated 8-9-2020.

Creamy pesto pasta with chicken and broccoli in the skillet, viewed from above

Can I Use a Different Pasta Shape?

Yep! Any short shaped pasta, like penne, rotini, or even macaroni will work fine for this recipe. You can use a longer type pasta, like fettuccine or linguine, but it’s a little harder to stir chunky ingredients, like the chicken and broccoli, into long pasta. Sometimes breaking it in half before cooking can help.

What Kind of Pesto Do You Use?

I used basil pesto from ALDI for this recipe because it’s super affordable. If you don’t have an ALDI store near you, Classico brand pesto and Barilla brand pesto also tend to be very affordable. 

Can I Substitute the Cream Cheese?

If you’re not into cream cheese, you can make a similar creamy sauce by substituting the cream cheese with about a ½ cup heavy cream, or replace both the chicken broth and cream cheese with 1 cup half and half. The sauce will be nice and creamy, but it won’t have that tangy cream cheese flavor that some people are not a fan of. You may need to add a pinch or two of salt at the end if you’re skipping the chicken broth.

Make it a Vegetarian Creamy Pesto Pasta

This Creamy Pesto Pasta can easily be made vegetarian. Just use a little extra broccoli, substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth, and you’re good to go!

Front view of a bowl of creamy pesto pasta with chicken and broccoli, a fork lifting one bite

 
A bowl full of creamy pesto pasta with chicken and broccoli, a black fork on the side

Creamy Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli

A super fast creamy pesto sauce drenches tender pasta, chicken breast, and broccoli for an easy weeknight dinner.
Total Cost $5.48 recipe / $1.37 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 606.33kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. bow tie pasta $0.67
  • 8 oz. frozen broccoli florets $1.00
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.12
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast $2.49
  • 1/3 cup basil pesto $0.73
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth $0.07
  • 4 oz. cream cheese $0.40

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Once it reaches a full boil, add the pasta and continue to boil just until the pasta is tender, but still slightly firm in the center (7-8 minutes). Once the pasta is tender, add the frozen broccoli florets to the water with the pasta and continue to cook for 2-3 more minutes, or until the broccoli is tender. Drain the pasta and broccoli in a colander.
  • While the pasta is cooking, cut the chicken breast into ½-inch pieces. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the chicken and continue to cook until the outside of the chicken pieces are white, but they're still tender in the center (they will continue to cook as more ingredients are added).
  • Add the chicken broth to the skillet with the chicken and allow it to heat through. Once hot, add the cream cheese (cut into small pieces) and pesto. Continue to stir and cook until the cream cheese has melted and created a smooth, creamy sauce with the pesto and chicken broth.
  • Finally, add the cooked and drained pasta and broccoli to the skillet and stir to coat it in the cream sauce. If the sauce becomes too dry or thick, add another splash of chicken broth to loosen it up. Serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 606.33kcal | Carbohydrates: 53.58g | Protein: 37.18g | Fat: 28.33g | Sodium: 725.78mg | Fiber: 7.15g

How to Use Your Leftover Pesto

Not sure what to do with the rest of the jar of pesto? Try these recipes:

How to Make Creamy Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli – Step by Step Photos

Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add 8oz. bowtie pasta and continue to boil for 7-8 minutes, or just until it’s tender with a little firmness in the center. Add ½ lb. frozen broccoli florets and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes more or just until the broccoli is tender. Drain the pasta and broccoli in a colander.

Diced chicken breast on an orange cutting board

While the pasta and broccoli are cooking, cut one pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast into ½-inch chunks.

Broth being poured into a skillet with cooked chicken pieces.

Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, add the diced chicken and cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until the chicken is white on the outside, but still slightly tender inside (it will continue to cook as more ingredients are added). Add ½ cup chicken broth to the skillet and allow it to heat through.

pesto and cream cheese added to the skillet with the chicken and broth

Add 4oz. cream cheese (cut into small chunks) and ⅓ cup basil pesto to the skillet. 

Smooth and creamy pesto sauce in the skillet

Stir and cook over medium heat until the cream cheese has melted and created a smooth sauce with the pesto and broth. The cream cheese might look a little chunky as it’s melting, but keep stirring and cooking, it will smooth out once fully melted.

Finished creamy pesto pasta with chicken and broccoli in the skillet with a spatula

Finally, add the cooked and drained pasta and broccoli to the skillet and stir until it is all coated in the creamy pesto sauce. If the sauce becomes too dry or too thick, add another splash of chicken broth to loosen it up.

A bowl full of creamy pesto pasta with chicken and broccoli, a black fork on the side

And that’s that! So easy! If you like ranch flavored foods, I think this tangy, garlicky sauce almost tastes ranch-like. So yum!

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Spaghetti with Sauteed Chicken and Grape Tomatoes

Spaghetti with Sauteed Chicken and Grape Tomatoes, a pasta inspired by the abundance of tomatoes and basil in my garden this year. Spaghetti with Chicken and Grape Tomatoes Each summer, I plant every variety of tomatoes, including grape tomatoes. Grape tomatoes are always the first to grow and ripen. Since I usually wind up with […]

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Spaghetti with Sauteed Chicken and Grape Tomatoes, a pasta inspired by the abundance of tomatoes and basil in my garden this year.

Spaghetti with Sauteed Chicken and Grape Tomatoes in a skillet
Spaghetti with Chicken and Grape Tomatoes

Each summer, I plant every variety of tomatoes, including grape tomatoes. Grape tomatoes are always the first to grow and ripen. Since I usually wind up with more than I can eat in salads, I like to create new recipes with them. Adding them to pasta is one of my favorite ways to cook them. Some other recipes with grape tomatoes you make like are Spiralized Zucchini and Grape Tomatoes, Angel Hair Pasta with Zucchini and Tomatoes, and Sheet Pan Shrimp with Broccolini and Tomatoes.

(more…)

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Gochujang Ramen with Tofu

I love good quality food, but I also have a small place in my heart reserved for convenience foods like instant ramen or frozen pizzas. I don’t indulge in them often, and when I do I often spruce them up with something special to make them a little more interesting. I’ve posted before about the […]

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I love good quality food, but I also have a small place in my heart reserved for convenience foods like instant ramen or frozen pizzas. I don’t indulge in them often, and when I do I often spruce them up with something special to make them a little more interesting. I’ve posted before about the things I like to add to my instant ramen to give it an upgrade, and now I have a new favorite ingredient—gochujang! This sweet-salty-spicy paste creates a rich broth with plenty of umami that I balanced with some fresh spinach and chunks of mild tofu. This Gochujang Ramen with Tofu is a quick and easy way to indulge that noodle craving!

Two bowls of gochujang ramen with tofu, a bowl of gochujang on the side

What is Gochujang?

If you’ve never heard of gochujang, it’s a Korean chile paste made with chile peppers, rice, fermented soybeans, and salt. It kind of reminds me of a spicy version of miso. Gochujang is really starting to trend in the U.S. because of its uniquely sweet-salty-spicy and UMAMI flavor. And because we’re all kind of over our infatuation with sriracha and looking for the next best thing. It’s those fermented soy beans that really set gochujang apart and give whatever you’re adding it to that extra “WOW” factor. So if you haven’t tried it yet, put it on your list!

Where to Buy Gochujang

Because gochujang is really becoming quite popular, you’ll probably be able to find some at most major grocery stores. My local kroger actually carries about 4-5 different kinds! I’m using this Sempio Gochujang. If you have an Asian grocery store near you, you’re sure to find a really good selection there, and probably much better prices. Want to try to make your own? Try this traditional gochujang recipe, or this quickie 5-minute gochujang.

To Use the Ramen Packet or Not to Use the Ramen Packet

Personally, I like to use my own broth when making ramen instead of using the little seasoning packet that comes with the noodles. I like the freedom of tweaking the flavors and salt content, but you can use the seasoning packet if you prefer. Gochujang has quite a bit of salt, so if you do want to use the flavor packet that comes with the instant ramen I suggest adding the gochujang to the water first (3 cups water), then adding a little of the flavor packet at a time until the broth reaches a reasonable salt level for you.

How Spicy is It?

Decently spicy, IMHO. You can reduce the amount of gochujang to make it slightly less spicy, if you prefer. Or, if you’re looking for non-spicy ways to spruce up your ramen, check out my post about 6 Ways to Upgrade Ramen, or my Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen.

What Should I Do With my Leftover Tofu?

This recipe uses half of a traditional 14oz. block of tofu. My first choice for using up the other half of the block would be to make a half batch of my Curried Tofu Salad. That stuff is to die for. You could also toss it into a stir fry, or chop it up, add some BBQ sauce and make yourself a BBQ Tofu Slider.

Gochujang ramen with tofu in the sauce pot on a yellow background with a black and white zig-zag napkin.

 
One bowl of gochujang ramen with tofu, chopsticks on the side

Gochujang Ramen with Tofu

Spicy gochujang gives this instant ramen extra oomph! Gochujang Ramen with Tofu is a quick and easy way to satisfy that noodle craving.
Total Cost $2.26 recipe / $1.13 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 322.15kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 7 oz. extra firm tofu $0.90
  • 1 cup water $0.00
  • 2 cups vegetable broth* $0.26
  • 2 Tbsp gochujang $0.46
  • 1 package instant ramen* $0.19
  • 2 cups fresh spinach $0.25
  • 2 green onions $0.20

Instructions

  • Drain the tofu and cut it into 1/2-inch cubes.
  • Add the water, vegetable broth, and gochujang to a small sauce pot. Whisk until the gochujang is dissolved.
  • Add the cubed tofu to the pot, place a lid on top, and bring it up to a boil over high heat.
  • Once boiling, add the instant ramen noodles (without seasoning). Boil for one to two minutes, or just until the noodles begin to soften and pull loose from each other.
  • Add two handfuls (about 2 cups) fresh spinach and stir it into the hot broth until wilted. The noodles will finish cooking as the spinach wilts.
  • Slice the green onions and sprinkle over top of the ramen just before serving.

Notes

*If using vegetable broth, discard the seasoning packet that comes with the ramen noodles. If using the seasoning packet, use 3 cups of water instead of 1 cup water and 2 cups vegetable broth. Add the gochujang to the water first, then add a small amount of the seasoning packet at a time until you reach the desired level of saltiness for the broth.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 322.15kcal | Carbohydrates: 37.55g | Protein: 15.9g | Fat: 12.6g | Sodium: 1347.35mg | Fiber: 3.1g

side view of a bowl of gochujang ramen with chopsticks picking up a piece of tofu

How to Make Gochujang Ramen with Tofu – Step by Step Photos

cubed tofu on a cutting board

Drain a 14oz. block of tofu and cut half of it into ½-inch cubes. See the notes above the recipe for ideas for using the remaining tofu.

Gochujang broth in a small sauce pot with a whisk, tub of gochujang on the side

Add 1 cup water, 2 cups vegetable broth, and 2 Tbsp gochujang to a small sauce pot. Whisk until the gochujang has dissolved.

Cubed tofu being dropped into the pot

Add the cubed tofu to the pot. Adding the tofu before we start boiling the broth gives it a few minutes to start absorbing some of the flavor from the broth, as opposed to adding it at the end. Place a lid on the pot and bring the broth up to a boil over high heat.

Ramen noodles added to the pot, empty package on the side

Once boiling, add the block of instant ramen noodles (without seasoning packet). Let the noodles boil for about a minute, or just until they being to soften up and loosen up from the block.

Spinach added to the pot

Add a couple handfuls of spinach to the pot and stir it in until wilted. This should give the noodles just enough time to finish cooking as well.

Finished gochujang ramen in the pot

Slice two green onions and sprinkle them over the ramen just before serving.

One bowl of gochujang ramen with tofu, chopsticks on the side

Enjoy that spicy goodness!!

The post Gochujang Ramen with Tofu appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Homemade Pasta

Everything I know about making homemade pasta.Four ingredients! If you have flour, two eggs, a splash of olive oil, and a bit of salt, you can do it right now.

Continue reading Homemade Pasta on 101 Cookbooks

Let’s make homemade pasta! If you have flour, two eggs, a splash of olive oil, and a bit of salt, you can do it right now. You don’t need special Italian pasta flours to make great homemade pasta, and you don’t need to worry if you don’t have a pasta maker. You can make pasta by hand with a basic rolling pin. I make pasta at home all the time, and this has become my go-to “everyday” recipe. It makes a wonderful, versatile dough that you can roll out into a range of noodles and shapes.

“How to Make Homemade Pasta

What you’ll find here is my basic pasta dough and process. The basics. Beyond that, I’m going to give you an earful. I’ll walk you through a number of variations and considerations down below. And I’ll include step-by-step pictures of the process of making pasta dough. You can do it by hand, with a stand maker, or with a pasta maker. Homemade pasta is absolutely one of my favorite things to make and I’m consolidating everything I’ve learned about it over the years into this one post along with links to my favorite resources. It’s an ongoing journey for me, so I’ll continue to update this. Enjoy and happy pasta making!

Homemade Pasta Equipment

Let’s start with equipment. I have opinions related to some of the pasta equipment out there and have purchased and used quite a range over the years. My takeaway? In the end, you don’t need much. Certainly not to get started. Start by making your pasta by hand first, and if you’re into it, buy an Marcato Atlas 150 hand-crank pasta maker. I’ve had mine for nearly twenty years, and with a little TLC it should last a lifetime. I make my pasta dough by hand, roll it out with the Atlas.

  • Rolling Pin: If you’re starting out and making pasta by hand, a rolling pin (and a sharp knife to cut the noodles) should do the job. In a pinch, if you’re short the rolling pin, a tall water bottle could do the trick.
  • Pasta Maker: My Atlas 150 pasta maker is a workhorse. You can collect different attachments over time to experiment with different pasta shapes. With a bit of practice it makes rolling pasta dough to uniform thickness a breeze. You’ll need a counter or tabletop to clamp it to. An alternative? A lot of people like to mix their dough in a stand mixer, and use the KitchenAid Pasta Roller & Cutter attachment to finish their pasta. I’ll cover how to use that down below as well.
  • Pasta Drying Racks: Let me be honest, I have a range of them. Rarely use any of them. If I want to save pasta for later I freeze it (details down below). I did buy a stack of these Eppicotispai drying racks, but use them for herbs and chiles more than anything else.
  • Beautiful Pasta Tools: I have a soft spot for beautiful pasta tools, and have assembled a bit of a collection. Some favorites are a traditional garganelli board, and I ask for a new LaGondola brass tool or pasta stamp each Christmas. My fantasy is that I will someday be able to use a mattarello to roll out a perfect sfoglia of uncut pasta. But my reality is that I love my Atlas, my sfolglia adventures are frustrating, and that’s where I’m at in my pasta journey.
  • Spray Bottle & Dough Scraper: I’ll put these two items in the bonus category. They’re nice to have, but not necessary. I like the spray bottle to control the amount of water in my pasta dough. You don’t want your dough to get too wet, the spray bottle allows you to mist it, if necessary, to add hydration a bit at a time. The dough scraper is great for cleaning flour off countertops, wrangling run-away liquids when they break through flour walls, and cutting dough into pieces.

Homemade Pasta Ingredients

  • Flour: You can make homemade pasta with many different flours. Experiment! It’s half the fun. When it comes to pasta I tend to think of flours on a spectrum of silky and fine to hearty and substantial. The type of flour you use will help dictate the personality and “grip” of your noodles, but the idea that you need super specific flours to start making wonderful, beautiful, delicious pasta is no good.
    • All-purpose Flour: There’s seems to be a stigma against using all-purpose flour for homemade pasta, but I actually think it’s a great place to start. Especially if that’s what you have in your pantry right this minute. You end up with silky smooth pasta noodles that I love a number of ways. I like to pair pasta made with all-purpose flour with super simple tomato sauce, drop them into a feisty broth, they’re also great as a curry component (cook them, drain, and ladle curry broth over them). And now that you have a baseline with the all-purpose flour, you can start experimenting by using different ratios of “00”, semolina, and/or whole grain flours. And you’ll notice the differences.
    • “00” flour: Powder-fine grind made with low gluten, soft wheat flour. This is what is used in most of the traditional egg pastas you encounter. It looks and almost feels like powdered sugar.
    • Whole Grain Flours: Each whole-grain flour has it’s own flavor, texture, protein profile, and personality. Play around, starting with a percentage of your overall flour. I generally experiment with flours that will develop gluten – rye, spelt, farro, kamut, or whole wheat. Try 1/2 cup, or if you’re feeling bolder, go for a full cup. The recipe below calls for 2 cups of flour, so that would be half of your overall flour. See how you like it, make notes, adjust. Repeat.
    • Semolina Flour: Made from durum wheat, a hard wheat, using semolina results in a stiffer pasta dough. I like this when I want my pasta to be more toothsome, textured, or more rustic. Track semolina flour down if you want to make the egg-free pasta dough (below). I’ve noticed the grinds can be subtly different between brands, for example Bob’s Red Mill Semolina is a bit sandier when compared to the more powdery Hayden Flour Mills Semolina. I’ve made delicious pasta with both, just note what you like so you can develop your own style and personal preference! When you increase the amount of semolina flour in your dough you’ll need to increase your cooking time.
  • Eggs: My basic, everyday pasta recipe (the one we’re working with today) calls for two eggs. I’ve made lots of pasta with a higher ratio of eggs, and I sometimes make pasta with no egg (see below) — I like two eggs. It lends little richness, color, elasticity and durability to the dough that I find makes the pasta quite versatile. Especially if I’m making a good amount of pasta for freezing later. Meaning, I’m not sure what sort of sauce or preparation I’ll do. Good quality eggs matter here.
  • Extra-virgin Olive Oil: Not everyone uses olive oil in their dough. I use a touch. I feel like it helps keep the dough hydrated, and helps facilitate smooth rolling through the pasta maker rollers if you’re going that route.
  • Fine-grain Sea Salt: You want to salt your pasta dough and your pasta water.

How to Make Pasta with No Eggs

I know a number of you will want to know how to make pasta with no eggs, or vegan pasta dough. No problem. I actually use a dough like this for one of my favorite pasta shapes – pici. You basically cut 1/4-inch strips of dough and roll out by hand. Eggless doughs like this aren’t typically used for pasta noodles like the other ones we’re primarily focusing on today, but for shapes like pici, cavatelli, trofie, and orecchiette. To make a pasta dough with no eggs: Combine 200g “00” flour, 200g semolina flour, 200g warm water, and 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt. Use these ingredients and proceed with the “How to Make Pasta By Hand” instructions in the recipe section below. There is also an egg free fresh pasta recipe in Rosetta Costantino’s My Calabria made with all-purpose flour.

How To Make Pasta Dough By Hand

This is covered in the recipe below, but I wanted to include some reference pictures and step-by-step information. Start by making a mound of the flour directly on the countertop. Make a deep crater in the top and add the eggs, olive oil, and salt.
“How to Make Homemade Pasta Dough
Use a fork to break up the eggs without breaking through the walls of your mound. You want to try to keep the eggs contained, but don’t worry if they break through – use a spatula or bench scraper to scoop them back in. Work more and more flour into the eggs a bit at a time. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of cold water across the mixture and keep mixing until you’ve got a dough coming together.
How to Make Homemade Pasta Dough
If you’re exclusively using all-purpose flour, you might not need more water. Some of the other flours are a bit thirstier, you can drizzle a bit more at time as you go if you feel like your dough is too dry. It should look like the pictures, you want to avoid having a wet dough. With some of the other flours I typically end up using 4-5 tablespoons of water total.
Homemade Pasta Dough Before Kneading
I’ve found that a spray bottle is my favorite way to add water to pasta dough without adding too much, but drizzling works too. Use your hands to bring the dough together into a bag and knead for 7-10 minutes, until the dough is silky smooth and elastic. You can see the difference in the doughs. The one pictured above hasn’t been kneaded yet, and the one below is pictured after kneading by hand for about ten minutes.
Homemade Pasta Dough After Kneading

How to Roll and Cut Fresh Pasta By Hand

To roll out pasta dough by hand, make sure your dough is at room temperature. Cut the dough into four equal pieces. Choose one piece to work with, and immediately wrap the rest so they don’t dry out. You’ll need a floured surface, and you’ll want to keep the pasta floured a bit as well, so it doesn’t stick to itself. If the dough is sticking rub with a bit more flour. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to your desired thickness. I tend to go thinner than I think I’ll want because the pasta swells a bit as it cooks. Once you’ve rolled the dough out flat, to cut the dough into fettuccine (or whatever width you like), loosely fold/roll the dough into a cylinder, and cut with a sharp knife.

Transfer the cut pasta to a floured baking sheet, swirled into little nests. Repeat with the remaining dough.

How To Roll Out Pasta with A Pasta Maker

Sprinkle a baking sheet generously with flour and aside. When you’re ready to roll out the pasta, make sure your dough is at room temperature. Cut it into six equal wedges, and squish one of them flat-ish with your fingers. Re-wrap the remaining dough immediately so it doesn’t dry out.
Homemade Pasta Dough Cut into Wedges
Feed your flattened wedge though the pasta make on its widest setting. Run it though 2 or 3 times. You want to get it into a rectangular shape if possible, so at this point fold the dough in thirds so you have a rectangle. Feed it though the pasta maker 2-3 more times on the widest setting.
Pasta Sheet Rolled to 4 on Pasta Maker
Continue to feed the pasta dough through the pasta maker, decreasing the width as you go. I run the pasta through a 2-3 times on each width, and dust with a bit of flour on both sides if I’m getting any sticking. The pasta you see pictured here (above and below) was rolled out to 4 on my Atlas 150.
Homemade Pasta Fettuccine
Once your pasta sheet is ready, attach whatever cutter attachment you like, feed the pasta through as you steadily crank. Avoid stopping once you start, and crank steadily. Transfer the cut pasta to a floured baking sheet, swirled into little nests. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Homemade Pasta Shaped into a Nest

How To Make Pasta In A Stand Mixer

First, make the dough. Add the flour, eggs, olive oil, salt and 2 tablespoons of water to the bowl of a stand mixer. Use the dough hook to knead on medium speed for 6-7 minutes. You’ll likely need to add more water, a small splash at a time, just until the dough comes together, you want to avoid an over-wet or sticky dough. See the pictures up above. Mix until the dough looks silky, elastic, and smooth.

Form the dough into a ball and place in a plastic bag. Alternately, you can wrap in plastic wrap. Allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. Use Immediately, or refrigerate for up to a day. You might be able to get away with two days, but the dough will start to discolor.

When you’re ready to roll out the pasta, the method is basically an automated version of the hand-cranked traditional pasta maker. Connect the pasta roller attachment to your mixer, and set the adjustment width to its widest setting.

Feed the pasta through a few times at each width, decreasing the width until the pasta reaches your desired thickness. You’ll want to pat the pasta with a bit of flour now and then as you’re working through the thicknesses to avoid any stickiness. And if your pasta is getting too wide, simply fold it in half or thirds and start over at the widest setting again.

Once you have your pasta sheet, swap out the roller attachment for the cutter attachment and feed the dough through the cutter. Transfer the cut pasta to a floured baking sheet, swirled into little nests. Repeat with the remaining dough.
How to Make Homemade Pasta

How to Cook Homemade Pasta

When you’re ready to cook the pasta do it in a large pot of well-salted water. Depending on the thickness and shape of your pasta, this might just take a minute or so. Pasta made with a high percentage of semolina flour or whole-grain flours will take a bit longer to cook than pasta made with “00” flour. Reserve a cup or two of the pasta water (in case you want to use it for a sauce), drain the pasta, and use immediately.

How To Take Care of Your Pasta Maker

With a bit of care, your pasta tools should last a lifetime, your pasta maker in particular! I use a pastry brush to dust any flour and dough off my pasta maker ofter each use. It allows me to get into all the creases, seams, and crevices. A slightly damp cloth can help any stubborn spots, but be sure to dry completely before storing. Same goes for any of my wood handled brass stamps and cutters.

How to Freeze Homemade Pasta

Freezing is my preferred method of storing any homemade pasta I’m not using immediately. Arrange freshly made, uncooked pasta across a floured baking sheet. If you’re working with shapes like trofie, garganelli, raviolis, cavatelli, etc. – make sure they’re in a single layer. For longer noodles, fettuccine, pici, spaghetti, etc. – arrange them into nests. Freeze for a couple of hours, and then transfer to double layer plastic bags. You can freeze for up to a couple of months. And you can cook straight from the freezer. No need to thaw, just dump the pasta into boiling salted water, and increase the cooking time a bit.

Cookbooks with Great Information on Making Pasta

I thought I’d list off a few books in my collection that have good chapters or sections about making homemade pasta or inspiration for what you might make with it. I’m sure Im missing a lot (apologies in advance), so if you have a favorite please list in the comments!

Recipes to Make with Fresh Pasta

A few favorite recipes that really sing when you use fresh pasta.

Variations on the Basic Pasta Recipe

Simple Beet Fettuccine: An easy way to make flavor variations is to swap out the water in your pasta recipe with vegetable juice. I love this beet juice-spiked fettuccine, the beets lend a beautiful pink color, and you can play around with how pale or saturated your noodles are by adding more or less beet juice.
Homemade pasta Beet Fettuccine
You can, of course, substitute other liquids, or use yellow (or orange) beets. If you have success with these noodles, use the recipe as a jumping off point for other flavors. The ratio of eggs to flour in this recipe is slightly different – you can use that, or the one I’m highlighting here. The ideas is the same, swap in strong juice for water in the recipe.
“Homemade Pasta Rye Noodles
Rye Pasta: And here’s and example of a rye pasta I did a few years back. It’s a nice option for the colder months, it freezes well (so I can make a lot in one go), and you can drop tangles of the noodles into a range of restorative broths.

Shape: Play around with different shapes! You could make pasta ever day for a year, and never have to repeat.
How to Make Homemade Pasta
I hope this post has been helpful! Making fresh pasta at home is a simple pleasure that everyone can enjoy whether you’re 8 or 88! xx, -h

Continue reading Homemade Pasta on 101 Cookbooks

Spaghetti with No-Cook Sauce

A tangle of spaghetti, olives, nuts, vegetables, and torn mozzarella in a no-cook, lemon-zested tomato sauce. A recipe for a hot night when tomato season is at its peak.

Continue reading Spaghetti with No-Cook Sauce on 101 Cookbooks

You can tell by the streak of tomato recipes here lately, I’m in the thick of it. And today is no exception. I made this for dinner last night, and if you have a box of spaghetti and some good tomatoes you’re half way there. What you see is a tangle of spaghetti, olives, nuts, vegetables, and torn mozzarella in a no-cook, lemon-zested tomato sauce. It’s bright, summery, colorful food, easy to adapt based on what you have on hand. The key? Make it on an extra hot night when tomato season is at its maximum. And don’t even mess around if your tomatoes aren’t on point.

Spaghetti with No-Cook Sauce

So Many Variations!

This is a quintessential pantry meal. I added olives, pine nuts, and a bit of cheese to the base ingredients of spaghetti and tomatoes, but you can experiment with endless other directions. I love the pine nut component here, but toasted almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, or cashew would all be great. You could do a spicy version by adding a dollop of harissa to the sauce, or some chile flakes, or a tablespoon of toasted sesame chile oil. On the vegetable front, you see string beans pictured (because that’s whats coming out of my garden right now), but load up on anything from broccoli and cauliflower florets, or asparagus – basically, any quick cooking veg that you can throw in the pasta water at the last minute.

Tomatoes from the Garden

The Spaghetti

Use your favorite spaghetti noodle here. I love a traditional spaghetti noodle, don’t get me wrong, but one of the big surprises to me over the past few years is how good some of the whole grain and pulse-based pastas are. There is a wide range of brands around, so you’ll need to experiment. My advice on this front is to “date around” until you find a few brands and shapes you like. For day to day pasta eating when you compare nutritional labels, the noodles made with more whole ingredients can deliver significantly more vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein and the like. So it’s worth it to play around.
Spaghetti with No-Cook Sauce
If you’re looking for more tomato-centric recipes — I posted this tomato tart recently. Try a fresh version of this tomato sauce. Make this favorite salsa. Or add them into a summery coleslaw. If you’re just looking for summery favorites, try this Grilled Zucchini & Bread Salad, this Pasta with Smashed Zucchini Cream, or this Zucchini Bread. Enjoy!

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Summer Sweet Corn Salad

Fresh sweet corn is one of my favorite things about summer. It’s so sweet and juicy when it’s fresh, and the smell of the husks as you peel them back from the cob brings back so many memories of summers past. So when I saw fresh sweet corn on sale at the grocery store this […]

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Fresh sweet corn is one of my favorite things about summer. It’s so sweet and juicy when it’s fresh, and the smell of the husks as you peel them back from the cob brings back so many memories of summers past. So when I saw fresh sweet corn on sale at the grocery store this week I grabbed a couple and whipped up this super simple Summer Sweet Corn Salad. It has a medley of colorful vegetables, a little pasta to bulk it out, and a super fresh lemon vinaigrette keeps everything light and flavorful. This is a very flexible recipe and I’ve got a couple modification ideas for you below!

Overhead view of a serving bowl full of Summer Sweet Corn Salad

Make it Pasta-Free

I added pasta to my salad for bulk, but you can totally make this salad without pasta, too! Just double up your vegetables, drizzle that lemon vinaigrette over top, and you’re good to go! You can eat the vegetable salad as-is, or scoop it over a bed of greens.

Add a Protein and Make it a Meal

If you want to eat this salad as a main dish instead of serving it as a side, try adding some grilled chicken, rotisserie chicken, boiled shrimp, or cooked salmon on top. It’s such a light and fresh dish that it pairs really well with “lighter” meat and seafood.

Can You Eat Raw Corn??

Yes, yes, and YES! Raw sweet corn is soooo sweet, crisp, and juicy. It’s an absolute delight! It adds nice little pops of sweetness throughout this salad that contrast so well with the creamy avocado and tangy vinaigrette. 

If you don’t have fresh corn for this salad, I would suggest frozen corn as the next best substitute, BUT just know that it’s 100x better with fresh sweet corn.

Doesn’t the Avocado Turn Black?

Nope! I kept this salad in my fridge for four days and it was still great. On day two there was no noticeable difference in the appearance of the avocado chunks. By day four, they were slightly grey on the edges, but overall still looked great. The lemon vinaigrette goes a long way toward preventing the oxidization that usually causes the color change. 

What to Serve with Sweet Corn Salad

This salad makes a great side dish to Quick BBQ Chicken, Cilantro Lime Chicken, Garlic Butter Baked Cod, Baked Spicy Chicken Sandwiches, or Marinated Portobello Burgers.

Close up of a bowl of Summer Sweet Corn Salad with a wooden spoon in the middle

 
Close up of a bowl of Summer Sweet Corn Salad with a wooden spoon in the middle

Summer Sweet Corn Salad

Colorful summer vegetables, creamy avocado, pasta shells, and a homemade lemon vinaigrette make this light and fresh Summer Sweet Corn Salad.
Total Cost $7.67 recipe / $0.96 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 1 cup each
Calories 255.84kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup olive oil $0.64
  • 1 fresh lemon $0.89
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil $0.03
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard $0.04
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley $0.20

Salad*

  • 8 oz. pasta shells $0.63
  • 2 cobs sweet corn $0.80
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes $2.50
  • 2/3 lb. zucchini $0.89
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion $0.11
  • 1 avocado $0.89

Instructions

  • Zest and juice the lemon. You'll need 2 Tbsp juice and ½ tsp zest. Combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, basil, Dijon, salt, pepper, and chopped parsley in a bowl or jar. Whisk the ingredients in a bowl, or close the jar and shake until combined. Set the vinaigrette aside.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Add a couple large pinches of salt to the pasta water, then add the pasta. Continue to boil until the pasta is tender (about 7 minutes), then drain in a colander. Rinse the pasta briefly with cool water, then allow it to drain well.
  • While the pasta is cooking and draining, prepare the rest of the vegetables. Slice the corn kernels off the cobs, slice the grape tomatoes in half, dice the zucchini, finely dice the onion, and dice the avocado.
  • Once the pasta has drained well and cooled, add it to a large bowl with the prepared vegetables. Pour the dressing over top, then toss until everything is evenly combined and coated in dressing. Season with a pinch of salt to taste, then serve.

Notes

*The vegetable amounts are very flexible. If you have a little more or a little less of each, it's okay.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 255.84kcal | Carbohydrates: 35.68g | Protein: 5.95g | Fat: 11.54g | Sodium: 68.91mg | Fiber: 4.28g

How to Make Summer Sweet Corn Salad – Step by Step Photos

A zested and juiced lemon on a cutting board

Zest and juice a lemon. You’ll need 2 Tbsp juice and ½ tsp zest.

Lemon Dressing in a jar

To make the lemon vinaigrette, combine ¼ cup olive oil, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, ½ tsp lemon zest, 1/4 tsp dried basil, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, ⅛ tsp salt, ⅛ tsp pepper, and about ¼ cup chopped parsley. If you do this in a bowl you can whisk the ingredients together, or combine them in a jar and shake until they’re combined.

draining shell pasta in a metal colander

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add a couple pinches of salt and 8 oz. pasta shells. Continue to boil the pasta for about 7 minutes, or until tender. Drain the pasta in a colander, and give it a brief rinse with cool water. Let the pasta drain well.

Cutting corn off the cob

While the pasta is cooking and draining, prepare the rest of the vegetables. Cut the kernels off two cobs of sweet corn. I like to do this with the end of the cob in a bowl so they kernels fall right off into the bowl instead of flying all over the kitchen. Haha!

Chopped vegetables on the cutting board

Also dice about ⅔ lb. zucchini, slice 1 pint grape tomatoes in half, finely dice about ¼ cup red onion, and dice one avocado.

Dressing being poured over the salad ingredients in the bowl

Add the drained and cooled pasta to a large bowl with the corn, zucchini, tomatoes, red onion, and avocado. Pour the dressing over top, then toss until everything is combined and coated in dressing.

Seasoning the salad with a pinch of salt

Finally, add just a small pinch of salt on top, if desired. I like to have a little bit of crystalized salt on the surface of the pasta and vegetables for a little pop of flavor. 

Overhead view of a serving bowl of summer sweet corn salad with a wooden spoon on the side

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Gnocchi with Grilled Chicken in Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Gnocchi with Grilled Chicken in a creamy, light roasted red pepper sauce, baby spinach, and Pecorino Romano will make people think you’re a gourmet cook! Gnocchi in Roasted Red Pepper Sauce This gnocchi recipe uses DeLallo’s Gnocchi Kit to make some of the easiest homemade gnocchi – just add water. The results are light and […]

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Gnocchi with Grilled Chicken in a creamy, light roasted red pepper sauce, baby spinach, and Pecorino Romano will make people think you’re a gourmet cook!

Gnocchi with Grilled Chicken in Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Gnocchi in Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

This gnocchi recipe uses DeLallo’s Gnocchi Kit to make some of the easiest homemade gnocchi – just add water. The results are light and airy with that signature savory potato flavor. It’s seriously the best gnocchi next to ordering from your favorite restaurant or making it completely from scratch. For more delicious recipes that use DeLallo pasta, try Instant Pot Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs and Spaghetti Carbonara.

(more…)

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