All the goodness of a classic chicken pot pie, but without a finicky crust or long bake time? We’re into it. This chicken pot pie soup is creamy, oh-so-savory, and undeniably comforting. It’s the perfect meal for cooler months when you’re craving somet…
All the goodness of a classic chicken pot pie, but without a finicky crust or long bake time? We’re into it. This chicken pot pie soup is creamy, oh-so-savory, and undeniably comforting. It’s the perfect meal for cooler months when you’re craving something hearty but decadent.
Did we mention it’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and requires just 10 ingredients?
This lightened-up tuna casserole recipe is tossed with a creamy garlic-herb sauce, lots of veggies, tender egg noodles and a crispy Panko topping. Raise your hand if you grew up eating tuna casserole! ♡ This was one of our family’s favorite weeknight dinners growing up, and still continues to be one of those recipes I […]
This lightened-up tuna casserole recipe is tossed with a creamy garlic-herb sauce, lots of veggies, tender egg noodles and a crispy Panko topping.
Raise your hand if you grew up eating tuna casserole! ♡
This was one of our family’s favorite weeknight dinners growing up, and still continues to be one of those recipes I love turning to this time of year when we’re craving some warm and cozy casserole comfort food. (Forever and always a Midwesterner at heart, right?)
Three decades ago, we always used to make tuna noodle casserole from a box or with the help of some canned cream of mushroom soup. But it’s actually incredibly simple to make homemade tuna casserole completely from scratch, which gives us the chance to also toss in lots of fresh veggies and lighten up the creamy sauce a bit. If needed, you can also easily adapt this recipe to be gluten-free too.
I will say that prefer to just serve this pasta “casserole” straight out of the pan nowadays, topped with a generous sprinkling of toasted Panko breadcrumbs, rather than baked the traditional extra 20 minutes in the oven. (Why overcook the pasta when it can be served perfectly al dente with with a melty cheddar cream sauce?) And while I made this batch with the traditional mushrooms, carrots and peas, this recipe would welcome just about any leftover veggies that you happen to have sitting in your crisper drawer.
This super simple and cozy pea soup with seasoned flatbread is a simple meal that you can make with minimal ingredients when your budget is tight. We used canned peas to keep the recipe quick and an all-purpose steak seasoning blend to add lots of flavor without needing to buy several herbs and spices. And, as always, I’ve got some variations and ideas for extra add-ins below if you have more ingredients and want to take it to the next level!
Dollar Store Dinners
Welcome to the new Dollar Store Dinners series on Budget Bytes. We’re making quick and simple meals using only ingredients found at the dollar store. While the availability of ingredients will vary from store to store, hopefully, these easy recipes will give you some inspiration for when money is tight and access to groceries is limited!
What’s In This Meal?
I based this pea soup on our favorite Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup which is made by combining blended canned beans with broth and herbs to make an incredibly simple yet delicious soup. This time around, we started off by browning some bacon for extra flavor, then puréed peas and chicken broth, and seasoned it up with a bold steak seasoning (garlic, onion, pepper, parika, and other spices).
We then used the extra bacon fat to brush our flatbread (aka pizza crust), then topped it with a little more steak seasoning and baked it until crispy. The delicious “flatbread” was perfect for dipping into the cozy soup!
Here’s what we bought:
3 cans of peas ($1.25 each) $3.75
1 quart chicken broth $1.25
3 oz. bacon $1.25
1 ultra-thin pizza crust $1.25
1 container steakhouse seasoning $1.25
Can I use Frozen Peas?
If you have access to frozen peas, definitely use those in place of canned peas. You’ll need about 4-5 cups of thawed peas to replace the three cans. Frozen peas will have a fresher, sweeter flavor and a brighter color than canned peas.
No Dollar Store, No problem
If you don’t have a dollar store in your area, don’t fret. This will still be an incredibly budget-friendly recipe, even when the ingredients are purchased at a traditional grocery store. In fact, in some cases, the prices will be even better at a traditional grocery store than at a dollar store. Canned peas, for instance, are usually around $0.80-$0.90 at our local grocery, but are $1.25 at the dollar store. Why is this? Dollar stores do not specialize in food, so their prices can sometimes be a bit higher.
What Else Can I Add?
If you have access to more ingredients, here are a few things that can take this pea soup to the next level:
Onion, garlic, carrot, and celery: dice each and sauté in the bacon fat after removing the cooked bacon from the pot.
Ham: make it extra hearty by adding some diced ham to your soup.
Extra herbs: if you have a stocked spice cabinet, try adding some oregano and thyme to your soup, or extra black pepper.
Potato: add a diced potato and simmer until the potatoes are soft to make this soup extra filling.
Add shredded cheese to your flatbread before baking for an extra delicious cheesy flatbread.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF Drain the canned peas and add them to a blender with 2 cups of chicken broth. Purée until smooth. Add more chicken broth until the peas reach a thick soup consistency, or your desired consistency. We used 3 cups of broth total.
Cut the bacon into smaller pieces, then add them to a soup pot. Cook over medium heat until the bacon is brown and crispy. Remove the bacon from the pot.
Brush some of the bacon fat from the pot over the surface of the pizza crust. Season the pizza crust with an additional ¼ tsp steak seasoning.
Pour the puréed peas into the soup pot. Heat and stir over medium, using a wooden spoon or whisk to help dissolve the browned bits off the bottom of the pot.
Season the soup with steak seasoning, starting with 1 tsp and adding more to your liking. Make sure to taste as you go because steak seasoning often contains salt and you want to avoid over-salting the soup.
While the soup is heating, bake the pizza crust for about 5 minutes or until browned and crispy. Tear or cut the bread into pieces for serving.
Serve the soup in a bowl, topped with the browned bacon, and a couple pieces of the flatbread for dipping.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Drain three 15oz. cans of peas, then add them to a blender along with 2 cups of chicken broth. Purée until smooth. Add more broth until the peas reach a thick soup consistency. We used 3 cups of chicken broth in total.
Cut 3 oz. bacon into smaller pieces, then add to a soup pot. Cook over medium heat until the bacon is brown and crispy. Remove the bacon from the pot.
Brush the extra bacon fat from the pot over the surface of one thin pizza crust. Sprinkle about ¼ tsp steak seasoning over the flatbread.
Pour the puréed peas and chicken broth into the pot. Stir and heat over medium, using a wooden spoon or whisk to help dissolve the browned bits of bacon off the bottom of the pot.
Add a teaspoon of steak seasoning to the soup. Stir to combine and heat through. Taste the soup and add more seasoning if desired. We used 1.5 teaspoons in total. Make sure to taste as you add the seasoning, as it does contain salt and you don’t want to over-salt the soup.
While the soup is heating, transfer the seasoned flatbread to the oven and bake for about 5 minutes or until golden and crispy. Tear or cut the flatbread into pieces for serving.
Once the soup is hot and seasoned to your liking, it’s ready to serve!
Serve the soup in a bowl, top with the crumbled bacon, and the seasoned flatbread on the side.
Chicken Pot Pie is the ultimate comfort food, and this is the VERY best chicken pot pie recipe out there. Trust me. It gets rave reviews every single time. Your friends and family will LOVE it. The homemade crust is buttery, flaky, and tender and easy …
Chicken Pot Pie is the ultimate comfort food, and this is the VERY best chicken pot pie recipe out there. Trust me. It gets rave reviews every single time. Your friends and family will LOVE it. The homemade crust is buttery, flaky, and tender and easy to make. It will be your new favorite crust…
This easy vegan pineapple fried rice lets you turn leftover rice into a delicious meal by adding scrambled tofu, sweet pineapples, tomatoes, and green peas seasoned with a mild green curry. If you have 30 minutes, skip ordering take-out and make this p…
This easy vegan pineapple fried rice lets you turn leftover rice into a delicious meal by adding scrambled tofu, sweet pineapples, tomatoes, and green peas seasoned with a mild green curry. If you have 30 minutes, skip ordering take-out and make this protein-packed meal. Do you also love Thai recipes? Check out Tom Yum fried...
Here’s a quickie recipe for those nights when you just need something fast and delicious. This Lemon Ricotta Pasta is super fast, light, and fresh, which makes it perfect for an easy weeknight dinner during the summer. The bright lemon flavor perfectly compliments the light and creamy ricotta, and the little pops of sweetness from the peas make every bite a little more interesting. Simple, fresh, and easy.
Originally posted 3-4-2011, updated 6-8-2022.
Do I Have to Use Fresh Lemon?
This is one of those recipes where you really do want to use a fresh lemon instead of bottled juice. The zest from the lemon adds a ton of bright, summery lemon flavor to the pasta without making the sauce too sour. We add just a little of the juice to balance the creaminess of the ricotta, but the zest is where you’re getting all that gorgeous sunny lemon flavor!
Not All Ricotta is Created Equal
I find there is quite a bit of variation in the quality of ricotta from brand to brand. Some are smooth, mild, and sweet like fresh milk, while others are bland and grainy. My preferred brand is Galbani, but they didn’t have any at the store when I went, so I got the generic Kroger brand. It was definitely a bit grainy, but the pasta was still quite delicious despite that!
Also, make sure to get whole milk ricotta. Low-fat ricotta just doesn’t hit the same in this recipe.
What Else Can I Add?
This simple pasta is a great jumping-off point for making a more elaborate pasta, if that’s what you’re in the mood for. Try adding some sliced chicken breast, fresh basil, or fresh spinach. Garlic butter shrimp would also go great with this pasta!
Lemon Ricotta Pasta is light, fresh, and quick to prepare, making it the perfect pasta for weeknight dinners in the summer.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Total Cost $4.27 recipe / $1.07 serving
Prep Time 10minutes
Cook Time 20minutes
Total Time 30minutes
Author Beth - Budget Bytes
1cupwhole milk ricotta$1.60
1/4tspsalt (or to taste)$0.02
1/4tspfreshly cracked black pepper (or to taste)$0.02
1pinchcrushed red pepper (or to taste)$0.02
Zest and juice the lemon. You'll need about ½ tsp zest and 1 Tbsp lemon juice.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions (boil for 7-10 minutes, or until tender). Before draining, reserve about 1 cup of the starchy water from the pot.
Place the frozen peas in the colander before draining the pasta so the pasta will thaw the peas as it drains.
Add the butter and minced garlic to a large skillet and sauté over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or just until the garlic is fragrant.
Add the drained pasta and peas, and about ½ cup of the starchy pasta cooking water to the skillet with the butter and garlic. Stir to combine, then turn off the heat.
Add the ricotta, Parmesan, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and ½ teaspoon lemon zest to the skillet. Stir until everything is well combined, the residual heat from the skillet and pasta have warmed the ricotta, and the ricotta has formed a creamy sauce. Add more of the warm reserved pasta water if needed.
Season the pasta with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste. Serve warm.
How to Make Lemon Ricotta Pasta – Step By Step Photos
Zest and juice one lemon. You’ll need about ½ tsp of zest and 1 Tbsp juice.
Cook 8oz. pasta according to the package directions (boil for 7-10 minutes, or until tender). Reserve about 1 cup of the starchy pasta water before draining.
Add 1 cup of frozen peas to a colander, then pour the boiled pasta over top to thaw the peas as you drain the pasta.
Add 1 Tbsp butter and 1 clove garlic to a large skillet. Sauté over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or just until the garlic becomes very fragrant.
Add the still-hot pasta and peas to the skillet along with about ½ cup of the hot reserved pasta water. Stir to combine, then turn off the heat.
Add 1 cup whole milk ricotta, ¼ cup grated Parmesan, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, and ½ tsp lemon zest to the pasta. Stir until the ingredients are combined, the residual heat from the pasta and skillet have warmed the ricotta, and the ricotta has turned into a creamy sauce.
Add more of the reserved pasta water if the mixture is too thick or too dry. Season the pasta with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste.
This pasta primavera recipe is bursting with fresh veggies and a creamy Parmesan sauce! It’s a veggie-packed dinner that pleases everyone.
Looking for a vegetarian pasta to impress? Try Pasta Primavera, the Italian-sounding American dish from the 1970’s that’s here to liven up your mealtimes! There are many ways to make a primavera, so here’s our spin. Tender pasta is mixed with spring vegetables like asparagus, broccolini, peas and carrots, then tossed with a creamy, luxurious Parmesan sauce. You won’t want the bowl to end!
The story behind pasta primavera
Pasta Primavera is an American pasta dish featuring fresh vegetables invented in the 1970’s. The dish was created by a New York chef named Sirio Maccioni at the home of an Italian businessman in Nova Scotia of all places. The dish mixed butter, cream, cheese, pasta and fresh vegetables, and went on to become popular all over the world. While it doesn’t sound like a revolutionary combination to our modern ears, it was the first of its kind.
What’s in this pasta primavera recipe?
Since then, Pasta Primavera has popped up on restaurant menus across the globe, popularly at Italian American chains like Olive Garden. There’s really no “correct” way to make this dish: no specifications on the exact sauce or the type of vegetables. Primavera means spring in Italian, so often you’ll see it with spring vegetables like asparagus and carrot. But just as many spins use summer vegetables like zucchini and tomatoes: so there’s a lot of variation!
In our opinion, a good Pasta Primavera should feature spring vegetables just like the title indicates, so that’s what we’ve used here. The veggies are accessorized with a creamy Parmesan sauce that makes everything taste irresistible. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:
Pasta: any shape! we like tortelli (shown), but any short or long shape works
Baby bella mushrooms
Leek: leek is a uniquely tasty spring vegetable; substitute shallot if you can’t find it
Broccolini: we love the elegant shape of broccolini here! You can substitute broccoli
For the sauce: butter, garlic, flour, milk and Parmesan cheese
The basic idea? Cook the pasta, saute the veggies, make a quick cream sauce and mix it all together. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and serve warm.
Tips for cooking pasta to al dente
When it comes to any pasta dish, here’s the key: cook the pasta to the perfect al dente. Al dente means “to the bite” in Italian: pasta that’s tender with a firm center. Overcooked pasta turns out rubbery and unappetizing. Interestingly, it also has less nutrients and makes you less full. Here are some tips on how to cook pasta to al dente:
Set your timer a few minutes before the package instructions indicate. The timing on many pasta packages makes for overcooked pasta. Start taste testing the pasta a few minutes before the package says to.
Taste test and look for small white fleck at the core. You want to catch it right when there’s a small white fleck at the core, or just when it disappears.
Making the pasta primavera sauce
A few tips on the pasta primavera sauce: the sauce is a quick Parmesan sauce made with a roux. A “roux” is flour and butter cooked together (usually equal parts) that’s sed to thicken sauces. The cooking does go quickly, so you’ll want to understand the basic idea before you start.
Measure out the ingredients first, and don’t leave the stove. The cooking process goes so fast, you’ll want to have everything measured in advance.
Melt butter and saute the grated garlic 30 seconds. Be careful not to overcook: you don’t want it to brown!
Add flour and whisk constantly. Whisk constantly and cook just until it’s a golden color; be careful not to overcook.
Whisk in the milk gradually. Add a splash of milk and whisk constantly, then keep adding a few splashes at a time until the sauce is smooth. Simmer for several minutes, and the roux will thicken the sauce! It may feel like it won’t thicken, but just wait: it will come together in about 5 minutes.
Serving pasta primavera
This pasta primavera recipe takes a little over 30 minutes to make, but it’s pretty hands on: you don’t have a lot of waiting time to prep other items. So to make it into a meal, you’ll want some quick and simple sides. You can also add cooked protein to make the dish more filling. Here are a few ideas:
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to garnish
Bring a salted pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente (taste testing a minute or two before the package instructions indicate). Drain and toss the pasta with a bit of olive oil.
Meanwhile, prep the vegetables as noted above. In a dutch oven or large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Cook mushrooms for 4 minutes, until starting to brown. Add asparagus, leeks, broccolini, carrots and ½ teaspoon kosher salt and cook additional 4 to 5 minutes until asparagus is tender and bright green. Add peas and continue cooking until peas are bright green, about 1 minute.
In a small or medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the grated garlic and cook 30 seconds until fragrant but not browned. Add the flour and whisk constantly for 1 minute to 90 seconds, until bubbly and golden. Add a splash of milk and whisk it in: the sauce will instantly turn chunky. Constantly whisking, continue to add splashes of milk and whisk them in until the entire quantity is incorporated and the sauce is smooth. Reduce the heat and whisk until the sauce thickens and no longer tastes like raw flour, about 5 minutes. Add ½ teaspoon kosher salt and the Parmesan cheese.
Drain the pasta, then add it to the skillet with the veggies and stir in the sauce. Taste and add the additional ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Serve warm, garnished with additional Parmesan cheese. Leftovers store well refrigerated.
We always love the chance to highlight our favorite veggies, and the star of the show today is the (crunchy & sweet) snap pea! Our obsession with snap peas started earlier this year when we discovered the magic that is sautéed snap peas, and now we…
We always love the chance to highlight our favorite veggies, and the star of the show today is the (crunchy & sweet) snap pea! Our obsession with snap peas started earlier this year when we discovered the magic that is sautéed snap peas, and now we’re bringing you a simple and fresh snap pea salad!
This salad is the perfect balance of bright, tangy, and savory.
My classic lentil salad is one of my favorite salads. I make it all of the time. Have you tried it? I sure hope so, it always hits the spot. I also have a sweet potato lentil salad that is super satisfying and delicious. I love using lentils in salads …
My classic lentil salad is one of my favorite salads. I make it all of the time. Have you tried it? I sure hope so, it always hits the spot. I also have a sweet potato lentil salad that is super satisfying and delicious. I love using lentils in salads because they are hearty, a…
Delicious Coconut Rice Bowl is healthy and adaptable! Curried jasmine rice cooked in coconut milk and topped with tofu or your choice of protein and seasonal vegetables. All tossed with a simple, flavorful sauce, fresh cilantro, mint and toasted coco…
Delicious Coconut Rice Bowl is healthy and adaptable! Curried jasmine rice cooked in coconut milk and topped with tofu or your choice of protein and seasonal vegetables. All tossed with a simple, flavorful sauce, fresh cilantro, mint and toasted coconut flakes. Vegan.