Orzo Pasta Salad

This light & fresh Orzo Pasta Salad is full of colorful veggies and a delicious homemade dressing. Perfect for BBQs or meal prep it for the week!

The post Orzo Pasta Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Every now and then I come across a recipe at a restaurant that I absolutely love, then I spend the next few moments trying to guess what’s in it so I can recreate it at home…for a lot less! Well today, I’m sharing one of those recipes! This Orzo Pasta Salad is inspired by a dish at one of my favorite restaurants, J. Alexander’s, and it’s now going into my pasta salads rotation!🙌 It includes fresh veggies like bell peppers, tomatoes and onion, along with tart & slightly sweet dried cranberries, and the best homemade vinaigrette dressing to bring it all together. This pasta salad recipe will definitely become a new favorite!

Overhead view of Orzo Pasta Salad in a white serving bowl with wood serving spoons on the side.

Ingredients For Orzo Pasta Salad

The restaurant version of this recipe includes wild rice, but I decided to leave the rice out because for one…wild rice can be expensive, and two…wild rice takes quite a bit of time to cook. But I absolutely love this version instead! So here’s everything you need to make this simple orzo pasta salad recipe:

  • Orzo: Orzo is a small shaped pasta that looks similar to rice. It cooks quickly and is popular in soups and salads just like this one. If you don’t have access to orzo pasta, you can certainly substitute it for a different small-shaped pasta instead.
  • Vegetables: A combination of veggies like bell peppers, roma tomatoes, red onion and sweet corn, adds lots of color, flavor, and texture. I made sure to dice the vegetables small so they match the proportion size of the rest of the ingredients.
  • Dried Cranberries: One of the things I love most about this pasta salad is the addition of the dried cranberries. It adds a tart & slightly sweet flavor and compliments the sweet corn and dressing perfectly!
  • Vinaigrette Dressing: To keep things light and fresh, I opted for a homemade vinaigrette dressing made with simple pantry ingredients and sweetened with a bit of honey. It’s so good!!

Variations & Recipe Tips!

  1. Switch it up! If you’re looking to change up the flavor profile, then try adding some Kalamata olives, crumbled feta cheese, and greek salad dressing, for a Mediterranean-inspired orzo pasta salad!
  2. Wanna make it more filling? Add some grilled chicken, grilled shrimp, or a can of chickpeas (drained & rinsed). 
  3. Cool down the pasta. Don’t forget to give the cooked pasta and corn a quick rinse under cool water to stop the cooking process and cool off the pasta before adding the veggies, herbs and cheese.

Serving Suggestions

This light and summery orzo pasta salad is perfect for BBQs and cookouts! Add it to your summer menu and enjoy it with some turkey burgers or grilled salmon. It’s also great with leaner proteins like Baked Cod, Pan-Seared Chicken Breasts, or even some Garlic Butter Shrimp on the side.

Side view of orzo pasta salad in a white serving bowl.
Overhead view of Orzo Pasta Salad in a white serving bowl with wood serving spoons on the side.
Print

Orzo Pasta Salad

This light & fresh Orzo Pasta Salad is full of colorful veggies and a delicious homemade dressing. Perfect for BBQs or meal prep it for the week!
Course Lunch, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Total Cost $9.99 recipe / $1.24 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8 (1 cup each)
Calories 265kcal

Ingredients

Vinaigrette Dressing

  • 1/3 cup olive oil $0.96
  • 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar $0.39
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard $0.04
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp honey $0.18

Pasta Salad

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked orzo pasta $1.49
  • 1 cup frozen corn $0.41
  • 1 red bell pepper $1.59
  • 1 yellow bell pepper $1.59
  • 2 roma tomatoes $0.78
  • 1/2 red onion $0.40
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries $1.70
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley $0.29
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02

Instructions

  • Start by making the vinaigrette dressing. In a medium bowl whisk together the olive oil, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, basil, salt and honey until smooth. Set the vinaigrette aside.
  • Cook the orzo pasta according to the package directions. Add the frozen corn to the boiling water during the last 3 minutes of the pasta cook time.  Drain the pasta and corn in a colander and rinse briefly with cool water to cool off the pasta.
  • While the pasta is cooking, prepare the veggies. Dice the bell peppers and tomatoes, finely dice the red onion, measure out the dried cranberries, and chop the parsley.
  • Transfer the pasta and corn to a large bowl. Add the chopped vegetables, chopped parsley and dried cranberries.
  • Give the vinaigrette dressing another stir. Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and season with 1/4 tsp salt. Toss the salad ingredients together until everything is evenly coated in the dressing. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to enjoy.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 265kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 10g | Sodium: 163mg | Fiber: 3g
Overhead view of two white bowls of orzo pasta salad.

How to Make Orzo Pasta Salad – Step by Step Photos

Vinaigrette dressing for orzo pasta salad.

Start by making the vinaigrette dressing. In a medium bowl whisk together 1/3 cup olive oil, 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar, 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/2 tsp basil, 1/4 tsp salt and 1 Tbsp honey until smooth. Set the vinaigrette aside.

Cooked orzo and corn drained in a colander.

Cook 1 1/2 cups of orzo pasta according to the package directions. Add 1 cup frozen corn to the boiling water during the last 3 minutes of the pasta cook time.  Drain the pasta and corn in a colander and rinse briefly with cool water to cool off the pasta.

Chopped vegetables on a cutting board.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the veggies. Dice 1 red bell pepper, 1 yellow bell pepper, 2 roma tomatoes, finely dice 1/2 red onion, measure out 3/4 cups dried cranberries, and chop 1/4 cup fresh parsley. (Frozen corn is pictured on the cutting board, but is added in the previous step with the boiling pasta).

Cooked orzo, corn, and chopped vegetables in a large bowl with vinaigrette dressing being poured on top.

Transfer the cooked pasta and corn to a large bowl. Add the chopped vegetables, chopped parsley and dried cranberries. Give the vinaigrette dressing another stir. Pour the dressing over the pasta salad.

Orzo pasta salad ingredients mixed together in a large bowl.

Toss the salad ingredients together until everything is evenly coated in the dressing. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to enjoy!

Overhead view of orzo pasta salad in a large white serving bowl with wooden serving spoons on the side.

Enjoy this light, fresh and summery orzo pasta salad at your next BBQ, cookout or family gathering! Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

The post Orzo Pasta Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sorbet

Made with simple and budget-friendly ingredients, this sorbet recipe is endlessly customizable and ridiculously delicious.

The post Sorbet appeared first on Budget Bytes.

There’s nothing I crave more on a hot summer day than a refreshing scoop of sorbet. It’s lighter and more refreshing than ice cream, so I never feel too full after eating it, and it’s so fast and easy to whip up! Made with simple and budget-friendly ingredients– frozen fruit, maple syrup, and lemon juice– this sorbet recipe is endlessly customizable and ridiculously delicious.

a serving of swirled yellow and purple sorbet in a glass coupe.

As someone who has a major interest in vegan and gluten-free options, let me tell you, this sorbet checks all the boxes and does not disappoint! It’s naturally gluten-free, vegan, and brings the summertime vibes year round. It will keep in your freezer in an air-tight container for up to one month without losing any quality. (But, trust me, all restraint goes out the window once you try this sorbet. I don’t see any leftovers in your future!)

What is Sorbet?

Sorbet is a frozen dessert made from blended fruit, juice or water, and sugar (though in this case, I’m using maple syrup to achieve a “chewier” and less icy texture.) It is typically fat-free (but if you choose to make an avocado sorbet, please invite me over), and it’s considered a great palate cleanser in multi-course meals. This sorbet recipe is smooth and has a great mouthfeel, a bit creamier and less icy due to the frozen banana addition!

Sherbet Vs. Sorbet

The main difference between sherbet and sorbet is that sherbet contains dairy, whereas sorbet does not. Sherbet has a creamier and slightly less icy texture, but the fruit flavors may be less pronounced. A great bonus is that sorbet is vegan!

Ingredients for Sorbet

Here’s what you’ll need to make sorbet:

  • Frozen Mango: I used frozen mango chunks which come in a pretty big package, so plan to use the rest to make meal prep smoothie packs!
  • Real Maple Syrup: Traditional sorbet has sugar and ice added, but this sorbet is special because the maple syrup (agave syrup also works—and it’s cheaper!) gives it a creamier, smoother texture. The lack of added ice/water makes it easy to re-freeze and enjoy another day without the risk of it turning icy and losing its smooth mouthfeel.
  • Lemon Juice: Adds tartness to enhance the natural flavor of the fruit and counteract the sweetness.
  • Frozen Ripe Bananas: Help achieve a creamy texture without adding any dairy! Make sure to use very ripe bananas for the creamiest texture. Grab a big bunch on sale, cut them up, and freeze for meal prep.

Flavor Variations

The great thing about this sorbet recipe is how adaptable it is. Swap out the mango for any of these frozen fruits:

  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Açai berry
  • Pitted cherries
  • Pineapple chunks
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Dragon fruit
  • Peaches

Tips for Making Sorbet

Sorbet can be a bit finicky, so follow these tips for a perfect scoop every time!

  • Use frozen fruit. This allows us to skip adding ice, creating a richer texture and a more concentrated flavor. This is a nutrient-dense treat!
  • To achieve the swirl look, just make batches of different flavors separately and then pour each flavor into a larger freezer-safe dish.
  • Make sure you cover your sorbet when you pop it in the freezer to set! Fruit gets a gummy unpleasant texture if it becomes freezer-burnt.
overhead view of different flavors of sorbet in glass coupes.
a serving of swirled yellow and purple sorbet in a glass coupe.
Print

Sorbet

Made with simple and budget-friendly ingredients, this sorbet recipe is endlessly customizable and ridiculously delicious.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Total Cost $4.43 recipe / $0.88 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 5 (3-ounce) scoops
Calories 108kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 cups frozen mango chunks $2.98
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup $1.07
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice $0.05
  • 1-2 very ripe frozen bananas (about 1 cup diced) $0.33

Instructions

  • Gather frozen mango chunks, maple syrup, lemon juice, and frozen banana.
  • Blend the mango, maple, lemon juice, and banana in a blender on high.
  • Stop periodically to scrape the sides of your blender down, pushing the fruit towards the blade, then blend again until completely smooth and creamy. Do not add water! Just keep stopping and scraping to achieve the creamy, dense texture of this sorbet.
  • Pour the sorbet batter into a freezer-safe bowl or dish (preferably one that has an air-tight lid).
  • Cover and freeze sorbet for approximately 1 hour, until it is not quite rock hard just soft enough to scoop with an ice cream scoop or spoon. Enjoy!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(3-ounce) scoop | Calories: 108kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.3g | Sodium: 2mg | Fiber: 2g
3 scoops of mango sorbet in a glass coupe.

how to make Sorbet – step by step photos

ingredients for sorbet on a cutting board.

Gather 2 cups frozen mango chunks, 1/4 cup real maple syrup, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1 cup of frozen banana.

mango and banana chunks in a blender.

Blend 2 cups frozen mango chunks, 1/4 cup real maple syrup, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1 cup of frozen banana in a blender on high.

side view of partially blended mango sorbet in a blender with a rubber spatula.

Stop periodically to scrape the sides of your blender down, pushing the fruit towards the blade, then blend again until completely smooth and creamy.

blended mango sorbet in a blender.

Do not add water! Just keep stopping and scraping to achieve the creamy, dense texture of this sorbet.

mango sorbet in a white rectangular dish.

Pour the sorbet batter into a freezer-safe bowl or dish (preferably one that has an air-tight lid).

frozen mango sorbet in a white rectangular dish.

Cover and freeze sorbet for approximately 1 hour, until it is not quite rock hard just soft enough to scoop with an ice cream scoop or spoon. Enjoy!

Make the sorbet of your dreams come true with this simple recipe!

The post Sorbet appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Pasta Salad

This easy Pasta Salad is full of fresh flavors and tossed in a zesty Italian dressing. It will be the star at your next BBQ or summer cookout!

The post Pasta Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Friends, this is the pasta salad recipe that I grew up on! A simple mix of cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, and pasta, all tossed together in a zesty and tangy Italian dressing. It’s a classic! And it was always everyone’s favorite side dish at summer BBQs and cookouts! It’s fresh, vibrant, and it definitely feeds a crowd. There are also lots of ways you can customize this easy pasta salad to fit within your budget and make it your own. I’m sharing a basic version in today’s post, but I’ll also share lots of fun ways to switch things up!

Overhead view of pasta salad in a large white serving bowl with wood serving utensils on the side.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Here’s everything you need to make this traditional pasta salad recipe:

  • Pasta: I opted for rotini pasta because it’s easy to grab with a fork and it’s little crevices are perfect for holding the salad dressing. With that being said, my mom always made this recipe with spaghetti pasta…and it was always a hit! So use your favorite pasta or whatever you have on hand. Bowtie pasta also works well!
  • Vegetables: A variety of fresh vegetables like bell peppers, cucumber, onion and tomatoes adds lots of color, flavor, and texture! I chose red and orange bell peppers for lots of color, but feel free to use whichever color you prefer.
  • Salad Dressing: Tangy Italian dressing is a classic with this recipe and brings the entire salad together. I’ll list a couple more options below.
  • Cheese: Just a little bit of feta cheese adds a nice creamy-salty flavor to the salad.
  • Fresh Herbs: Fresh chopped parsley tops off this veggie-packed pasta salad!

Pasta Salad Dressing

Since I usually make this recipe for potlucks & BBQs, along with a few other dishes, I find it a lot easier to buy bottled Italian dressing simply for convenience. But if you have a well stocked pantry, you can totally make your own vinaigrette dressing to add to this pasta salad. You can also try our homemade Italian dressing, a greek vinaigrette, or a balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

What Else Can I Add?

Salad Seasoning: McCormick salad seasoning is another popular ingredient in pasta salads and something that I often use when making this recipe. I was tempted to add it this time until I saw the current price at my local store. It’s definitely a splurge! I also find myself not using the entire bottle before it expires. But I’m happy to report this version tastes just as good without the added seasoning mix. But if you do have the extra coins, add 2 Tbsp of salad seasoning to your pasta salad for even more flavor!!

Other Ingredients: What I love most about pasta salads is that they’re super easy to customize. Try swapping out some of the veggies or adding any of these options: 

  • Broccoli florets, roughly chopped
  • Kalamata olives
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Zucchini
  • Salami
  • Mozzarella cubes or pearls
  • Parmesan cheese

Storing Leftovers

This pasta salad recipe stores very well in the refrigerator. It often tastes better the next day after the salad has had plenty of time to marinate in the dressing. You can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Side view of pasta salad in a white serving bowl.
Overhead view of pasta salad in a large white serving bowl with wood serving utensils on the side.
Print

Pasta Salad

This easy Pasta Salad is full of fresh flavors and tossed in a zesty Italian dressing. It will be the star at your next BBQ or summer cookout!
Course Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Total Cost $13.44 recipe / $1.34 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Servings 10 (1.5 cups each)
Calories 307kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. rotini pasta $1.25
  • 1 english cucumber $1.49
  • 1 red bell pepper $1.59
  • 1 orange bell pepper $1.59
  • 10 oz. grape tomatoes $2.49
  • 1/2 red onion $0.37
  • 2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley $0.29
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese $1.83
  • 16 oz. bottled zesty Italian dressing $2.50
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta in a colander and rinse briefly with cool water to cool off the pasta. Drain well.
  • While the pasta is cooking, prepare the veggies. Slice the cucumber into half moons, chop the bell peppers, slice the tomatoes in half, thinly slice the red onion, and chop the parsley. Set the vegetables and chopped parsley aside.
  • Once the pasta has drained, transfer it to a large bowl. Add the chopped vegetables, chopped parsley and feta cheese.
  • Pour the dressing over the pasta salad. Toss the salad ingredients together until everything is evenly coated in the dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste, I added about ¼ tsp of salt and ¼ tsp ground black pepper. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.*

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*I prefer to let the pasta salad refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours prior to serving so all the flavors can marry together. If you are making this ahead of time, wait to add the feta cheese until right before serving.
**I portioned this into generous servings, but this recipe can definitely feed a lot more people if you’re serving this with other side dishes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 307kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 11g | Sodium: 558mg | Fiber: 3g
Overhead view of a serving of pasta salad on a plate with a fork on the side.

How to Make Pasta Salad – Step by Step Photos

Cooked and drained rotini pasta in a colander.

Cook 1 lb. of rotini pasta according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta in a colander and rinse briefly with cool water to cool off the pasta. Drain well.

Chopped pasta salad vegetable ingredients on a cutting board.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the veggies. Slice 1 cucumber into half moons, chop 1 red bell pepper and 1 orange bell pepper, slice 10 oz. of grape tomatoes in half, thinly slice 1/2 red onion, and chop 2 Tbsp of fresh parsley. Set the vegetables and herbs aside.

Pasta salad ingredients added to a large white serving bowl.

Once the pasta has drained, transfer it to a large bowl. Add the chopped vegetables, chopped parsley and 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese.

Italian dressing being poured over pasta salad.

Pour 16 oz. of zesty Italian dressing over the pasta salad. Sometimes I like to reserve 1/4 cup of the dressing to add right before I serve it.

Pasta salad being tossed and mixed together with serving utensils.

Toss the salad ingredients together until everything is evenly coated in the dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste, I added about ¼ tsp of salt and ¼ tsp ground black pepper. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat. I prefer to let it refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours prior to serving so all the flavors can marry together. If you are making this ahead of time, wait to add the feta cheese until right before serving.

Overhead view of pasta salad in a large white serving bowl with wood serving utensils on the side.

Enjoy this tasty pasta salad recipe at your next summer BBQ, potluck, or family gathering!

Close up view of pasta salad in a white serving bowl.

The post Pasta Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Red White and Blue Fruit Salad

This red white and blue fruit salad is packed with fresh fruits, crunchy walnuts, and chewy marshmallows– perfect for Fourth of July!

The post Red White and Blue Fruit Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

My Red White and Blue Salad is Summer in a bowl. Christmas and Thanksgiving are great holidays, but I’m a summer gal through and through. There’s just something magical about the smell of sunscreen and fresh cut grass mingling with drool-worthy scents wafting from the grill. Are you with me? Now, all you need is an ice cold beverage, some sunshine, and this Red White and Blue Fruit Salad! You’re going to want to save this recipe, because it’s perfect for Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.

overhead view of a bowl of red white and blue fruit salad.

The only thing I love more than celebrating ‘Merica and honoring our veterans is berries being in season! I pretty much refuse to buy berries when they aren’t in season because the quality is never as good and they are never quite as budget-friendly. I’m also a sucker for nostalgia and I feel like there was always a whipped cream fruit salad variation at all of my family gatherings growing up, probably because fruit salads require almost zero prep and they are always a crowd pleaser! This one is extra special because it brings the patriotic vibes, too.

What is Red, White, and Blue Fruit Salad?

This patriotic fruit salad utilizes red, white, and blue fruits to create a colorful display fit for Independence Day or Memorial Day (or anytime I’m craving a refreshing and fun fruit salad). Strawberries represent the red, bananas and apples represent the white, and blueberries represent the blue. I added a little bit of crunch with some walnuts for texture. Topped off with some classic Cool Whip, this is one refreshing salad that’s a great BBQ side dish or dessert.

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this red white and blue fruit salad:

  • Fruit: I used a combination of bananas, strawberries, apples, and blueberries to create this patriotic salad.
  • Sugar: A little bit of granulated sugar makes the berries glisten and helps prevents the apples from browning.
  • Walnuts: Crushed walnut pieces add a bit of savory nuttiness and crunch.
  • Marshmallows: Add pops of sweetness. Mini marshmallows are the perfect size, but you can also quarter full-sized marshmallows.
  • Cool Whip: The perfect garnish for this fresh and fruity salad. You can also make your own whipped cream if you prefer!

What Else Can I Add?

  • Fruits: If you’re not needing this to be particularly red, white, and blue, you can add any fruits your heart desires. Blackberries, raspberries, pitted cherries, concord grapes, pomegranate arils, or chopped pineapple would all keep the red white and blue theme going! Just be careful to avoid smushing the fruit when tossing the ingredients so you can see the distinct red, white, and blue colors throughout.
  • Crunch: Pecans, cashews, sunflower seeds, or homemade granola are all great sources of crunch.

How To Store Leftovers

This fruit salad can be prepared up to 24 hours before you plan to serve it, although the tender berries may shed some juices as they sit and the bananas and apples may brown a bit. To achieve true fireworks, prepare just before your company arrives! It will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

overhead view of servings of red white and blue fruit salad in stemless wine glasses.
overhead view of a bowl of red white and blue fruit salad.
Print

Red White and Blue Fruit Salad

This red white and blue fruit salad is packed with fresh fruits, crunchy walnuts, and chewy marshmallows– perfect for Fourth of July!
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Total Cost ($11.74 recipe / $1.46 serving)
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 people (about 1 cups each)
Calories

Ingredients

  • 2 bananas $0.46
  • 2 cups quartered strawberries $2.50
  • 1 diced apple $1.00
  • 2 cups blueberries (1 pint) $2.99
  • 2 tsp. sugar $0.01
  • ½ cup walnut pieces $2.64
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows $1.00
  • 1 cup Cool Whip $1.14

Instructions

  • Dice bananas into ¼ inch pieces, quarter strawberries, core and dice the apple, gather walnut pieces, blueberries and mini marshmellows.
  • Toss bananas, strawberries, apple, and blueberries in a big mixing bowl with sugar.*
  • Fold in walnut pieces and mini marshmallows to sugared fruits and toss to combine.
  • Top each serving with a generous dollop of Cool Whip or homemade whipped cream and extra walnut pieces.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*The sugar will make your berries glisten and will slow down the apples from browning!

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup
scooping a bite from a serving of red white and blue fruit salad in a stemless wine glass.

how to make Red, White, and Blue Fruit Salad – step by step photos

ingredients for red white and blue fruit salad on a cutting board.

Dice 2 bananas into ¼ inch pieces; quarter 2 cups of strawberries; core and dice 1 apple; and gather ½ cup walnut pieces, 2 cups of blueberries and 1 cup of mini marshmallows.

cut fruits tossed with sugar in a white bowl.

Toss the 2 diced bananas, 2 cups of quartered strawberries, 1 diced apple, and 2 cups of blueberries in a big mixing bowl with 2 tsp sugar.

red white and blue fruit salad mixed up in a white bowl with a side of cool whip.

Fold in ½ cup walnut pieces and 1 cup mini marshmallows to sugared fruits and toss to combine.

overhead view of servings of red white and blue fruit salad in stemless wine glasses with cool whip.

Top each serving with about 1 Tbsp of Cool Whip and extra walnut pieces.

close-up side view of a serving of red white and blue fruit salad in a stemless wine glass with cool whip.

This easy-to-make red white and blue fruit salad will be the star of your July 4th BBQ!

I would like to express my endless gratitude for the veterans who have sacrificed their lives while defending our country and their families.

The post Red White and Blue Fruit Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Avocado Smoothie

This avocado smoothie is my latest obsession. Avocado is packed with healthy fats and the secret to an ultra-rich, dessert-like smoothie!

The post Avocado Smoothie appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Did you know you can freeze avocados? This information was life-changing when I opened my former restaurant, AVO, in Nashville back in 2015; we used frozen avocado in our signature drink, the Avocado Margarita and let me tell you, freezing ripe avocados saved us a bunch of dough! Now, I buy ripe avocados any time they’re on sale, slice them up, and toss them in the freezer for later. This avocado smoothie is the perfect way to use up frozen avocado. I know avocado in a drink might sound crazy, but trust me, it’s the secret to an ultra-rich, dessert-like smoothie. It’s packed with healthy fats and imparts that same creamy texture that avocados (and guacamole) are known for! This is your new favorite green smoothie.

close up of an avocado smoothie in a green glass.

What Is An Avocado Smoothie?

Citrus and avocado are a classic combination. In this smoothie, I add a creamy, ripe banana and a little extra sweetness from agave nectar, making it an instant winner! Super creamy, bright, and fun, this avocado smoothie is the perfect treat with lots of healthy ingredients involved.

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make an avocado smoothie:

  • Frozen Avocado: Makes this smoothie lusciously creamy and adds heart-healthy fats, fiber, and omega-3s.
  • Agave: This syrup adds a touch of sweetness to this smoothie to balance out the acidic flavors. Agave is a neutral flavored sweetener unlike maple and honey (which are delicious!) but can sometimes take over flavor-wise.
  • Frozen Banana: Adds flavor, subtle sweetness and creaminess.
  • OJ: Balances the fattiness of the avocado, adding a bright flavor.
  • Lime Juice: Adds a touch of extra acidity to balance out the sweet and creamy flavors.

What Else Can I Add?

This smoothie is a great base to add extra greens or fruit to!

  • I love to add spinach or kale.
  • Frozen blueberries or pineapple make great fruity additions!
  • For a protein boost, add a scoop of peanut butter or vanilla protein powder!
two hands clinking avocado smoothies together.
an avocado smoothie in a clear glass.
Print

Avocado Smoothie

This avocado smoothie is my latest obsession. Avocado is packed with healthy fats and is the secret to an ultra-rich, dessert-like smoothie!
Course Breakfast, Drinks
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 drink (about 1.5 cups)
Calories 297kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup frozen avocado $1.61
  • 1 Tbsp agave $0.14
  • 1/2 frozen ripe banana $0.41
  • 1/2 cup OJ $0.60
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice $0.04

Instructions

  • Blend ingredients together until smooth. Serve ice cold!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1smoothie | Calories: 297kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Sodium: 8mg | Fiber: 7g
a hand holding an avocado smoothie in a clear glass with a straw.

how to make An Avocado Smoothie – step by step photos

pouring orange juice over ingredients for avocado smoothie in a blender.

Blend 1/2 cup frozen avocado, 1 Tbsp agave syrup, 1/2 of a frozen ripe banana, 1/2 cup OJ, and 1 Tbsp lime juice together until smooth. Serve ice cold!

blending an avocado smoothie.

This creamy and refreshing avocado smoothie is the best way to start your morning or rescue you mid-day!

The post Avocado Smoothie appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Homemade Blackberry Syrup

This chile-infused blackberry syrup is slow-burning, sweet and spicy, and homemade. Inspired by a recipe in the September 2007 issue of Gourmet Magazine, it’s great in spritzers, over pancakes, in oatmeal, and on and on.

Continue reading Homemade Blackberry Syrup on 101 Cookbooks

The next time you have blackberries on hand, please make this recipe. It doesn’t lake long, and you are left with enough sweet & spicy, chile-infused blackberry syrup to keep your taste buds tingling for a good stretch. I clipped the recipe out of an issue of Gourmet Magazine years ago, September 2007, and enjoy it  every year when berries are in season.

jars of homemade blackberry syrup

Blackberry Syrup: The Recipe

Over the years I’ve made this syrup experimenting with a range of chiles. Play around! Broadly speaking, it’s easy to adjust the spiciness to your liking. My advice is to make notes so you know your preference for future batches.

A Special Syrup: How To Use It

The ways to enjoy this syrup are endless.

  • Use it to spritz up sparkling water.
  • Swirl it into yogurt, oatmeal, or crème fraîche.
  • Slather on buttered toast or skillet cornbread.
  • Drizzle over goat cheese.
  • Use as a topping for pancakes, crepes, or waffles.
  • Jazz up tapioca pudding.

Use it in Cocktails

Gourmet highlighted their original version of this blackberry syrup alongside a bourbon-based cocktail (it was a Briar Patch), and a version of a Desert Sunrise. If you think of it as a homemade spicy grenadine, you can imagine all sorts of cocktail applications (and non-alcoholic cocktails as well). 
blackberries on a paper towel
blackberry juice stains on a piece of parchment paper

Even More Ideas

I keep thinking about working this syrup into a cheesecake. You know how Humboldt Fog goat cheese has a thin layer of vegetable ash running through it? What if, using that as inspiration, you had a thin vein of the chile blackberry syrup run through the cream cheese filling. You’d only see it after slicing into the cake? Or you could use it in a simple vinaigrette, or as part of a fruit salad. There are a lot of other ideas down in the comments, and I’ll put a few highlights in the next section.
blackberry seeds in a strainer with a wooden spoon

Blackberry Syrup: How *You’re* Using It

You’ve shared so many great ideas over the years in the comments. A few favorites:

  • Payel says, “it is great on top of strawberry ice cream, with french toast or with chilled white wine to make kirs.”
  • Kate dovetails with this sentiment saying this syrup was amazing over vanilla bean ice cream topped with roasted pecans.
  • On the savory front FCnoted, “I used this smoky syrup in a marinate to prepare tempeh peach kebabs.”
  • Sharon suggested a bruschetta with a slice of chevre blanc, grilled with a drizzle of this and maybe a sprig of rocket.

Lastly, you’ll have enough to gift some syrup to friends. You can print up little tags with recipe suggestions for a thank-you or housewarming treat. Enjoy!
jars of homemade blackberry syrup

More Berry Recipes

Continue reading Homemade Blackberry Syrup on 101 Cookbooks

Taco Dip

This 4-ingredient Taco Dip is creamy, super easy to make, and has the perfect amount of spice. It’s great for parties or to treat yourself!

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I’m that person who always chooses queso or spinach dip when I go out to my favorite restaurants. Dips are my absolute favorite appetizer and they’re perfect for sharing at parties and family gatherings. This 4-ingredient Taco Dip is creamy, super easy to make, and has the perfect amount of spice. Toppings are optional but I loved adding some tomatoes, jalapeños and sliced green onions on top of mine. And you don’t have to wait until the next big event to make this taco dip recipe…treat yourself this weekend to some chips & dip, you deserve it!😉

Overhead view of a serving bowl full of taco dip, topped with cherry tomatoes and jalapenos and chips served on the side.

What’s In Taco Dip?

When I say this dip recipe is super easy, I really mean it. It’s one of those recipes you can memorize after making it one time and it’s easy to keep all the ingredients on hand for whenever you want to whip up a quick batch. For this taco dip we simply used cream cheese, sour cream, taco seasoning, and a little bit of salsa. That’s it! You can customize it by adding your favorite toppings or keep it simple and enjoy with lots of tortilla chips!

Can I Add Meat?

Oftentimes you may see taco dip made similar to our 7 layer dip recipe with ground beef added and layered with lots of veggies. I opted for a simpler version that can be made quickly with fewer ingredients, but still packs in lots of those Mexican-inspired flavors that I love. With that being said, you can definitely add some seasoned taco meat if you want to make this dip more filling. I suggest adding ½ lb. of seasoned ground beef on top of the cream cheese layer, then finish with your favorite toppings.

Topping Ideas

I love adding my favorite nacho-style toppings to this creamy dip. You can keep things simple like we did with a few tomatoes, sliced jalapeños, and sliced green onions or have fun adding any of these toppings listed below:

Making It Ahead & Storing Leftovers

You can easily make this taco dip ahead of time and just wait to add on any extra toppings. Follow the recipe listed below then cover the dip tightly with plastic wrap or in an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. Store any leftovers covered tightly in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Side view of a hand scooping some taco dip with a tortilla chip.
Overhead view of Taco Dip in a serving bowl with a chip scooping some out.
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Taco Dip

This 4-ingredient Taco Dip is creamy, super easy to make, and has the perfect amount of spice. It’s great for parties or to treat yourself!
Course Appetizer, Dip
Cuisine American
Total Cost $3.98 recipe / $0.40 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 10 (about 1/4 cup each)
Calories 128kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened* $1.85
  • 1 cup sour cream $1.12
  • 2 Tbsp taco seasoning** $0.59
  • 1/4 cup salsa $0.42

Instructions

  • In a large bowl combine the softened cream cheese, sour cream, taco seasoning, and salsa.
  • Using a hand mixer blend all the ingredients together until completely smooth and the cream cheese is fully incorporated.
  • Add the taco dip to a serving dish and top with your favorite toppings. I topped mine with some grape tomatoes, sliced jalapeño, and sliced green onions. Enjoy!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*Make sure your cream cheese is softened so the ingredients can blend easily and smoothly.
**You can use our homemade taco seasoning recipe or a store-bought taco seasoning packet. The store-bought packets are about 3 Tbsp of seasoning mix. You can use the entire packet for a more intense flavor or measure out 2 Tbsps and save the rest for later. I tested this recipe with 2 Tbsp of seasoning mix vs. the entire seasoning packet, and 2 Tbsp was definitely the way to go!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Sodium: 161mg | Fiber: 0.2g

How to Make Taco Dip – Step by Step Photos

Taco Dip ingredients in a white bowl.

In a large bowl combine 8 oz. softened cream cheese, 1 cup sour cream, 2 Tbsp taco seasoning, and 1/4 cup salsa. I like using chunky mild salsa.

Taco Dip mixed together in a white bowl.

Using a hand mixer blend all the ingredients together until completely smooth and the cream cheese is fully incorporated.

Taco Dip spread out in a serving bowl.

Transfer the taco dip to a serving dish or bowl and top with your favorite toppings. I topped mine with some grape tomatoes, sliced jalapeño, and sliced green onions.

Overhead view of Taco Dip in a serving bowl with a chip scooping some out.

Now just grab a bag or tortilla chips and enjoy by yourself or with your family and friends!

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Air Fryer Potatoes

Air fryer potatoes are soft on the inside, crispy on the outside, and made for dipping. They’re the perfect side for any meal!

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Potatoes, or “spuds” as my Irish brother-in-law affectionately calls them, are truly a favorite for just about everyone. Potatoes can be cooked 1,000 ways and they always steal the show! These air fryer potatoes are proof of that. Soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, they’re like mini baked potatoes. They are seriously delicious dipped in ketchup, mayo, or Comeback Sauce. This air fryer potato recipe is great to use with whatever potatoes you have on hand, making it the perfect recipe for fridge clean out day.

air fryer potatoes in a bowl with ketchup.

Why Make Potatoes in the Air Fryer?

Listen, we love roasted potatoes. They’re simple and delicious. But sometimes you need potatoes right now, and roasting just isn’t quick enough. Using an air fryer, these potatoes are roasted to perfection in less than half the time. So, the next time you have a potato emergency, this air fryer potato recipe is here for you. You can thank us later!

Ingredients for Air Fryer Potatoes

Here’s what you’ll need to make air fryer potatoes:

  • Potatoes: You can use any variety of mini potatoes. We found some tri-color potatoes on sale, so we used those!
  • Oil: Helps keep the potatoes moist as they cook and helps them get nice and crispy on the outside. We used olive oil, but you could also use vegetable or canola oil.
  • Spices: A combination of garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper creates a smoky and savory flavor and the paprika adds a pop of color.
  • Fresh Parsley: Adds a little bit of greenery and freshness.

Should I Soak the Potatoes?

We did not do this, but cutting and soaking potatoes in cold water releases some of the starches and can make the potatoes crispier! Our potatoes were more like tiny bites of the perfect baked potato!

What Else Can I Put On Air Fryer Potatoes?

We love the seasoning mix listed in the recipe below, but the sky is the limit! Here are some other ways you can season your air fryer potatoes:

What To Serve With Air Fryer Potatoes

These air fryer potatoes are a great side dish for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They go great with dishes like Breakfast FrittatasAir Fryer Bacon, Homemade Meatloaf, or Baked Chicken Drumsticks.

Or, if you want to just add some dip and serve them as a snack, try dipping them in Comeback SauceLemon Dill Tahini DressingChimichurri Sauce, or Homemade Ranch Dressing.

seasoned potatoes in an air fryer basket with herbs.
fork dipping an air fryer potato into ketchup.
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Air Fryer Potatoes

Air fryer potatoes are soft on the inside, crispy on the outside, and made for dipping. They're the perfect side for any meal!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Total Cost $3.60 recipe / $0.90 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 106kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat air fryer to 400°F for 4 minutes. Wash and quarter the baby potatoes.
  • Add the potatoes to a large bowl. Toss the potatoes with olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.
  • Cook for 15 minutes in the air fryer, until golden brown with crispy edges, stopping halfway through to shake.
  • Garnish with minced parsley and additional salt and pepper, if needed.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 106kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 17mg | Fiber: 3g
seasoned potatoes in a bowl with herbs.

how to make Air Fryer Potatoes – step by step photos

cutting tricolored potatoes on a bamboo cutting board.

Preheat the air fryer to 400°F for 4 minutes. Quarter 1 lb. of baby potatoes.

seasoned potato wedges in a white bowl.

Add the potatoes to a large bowl. Toss the quartered baby potatoes with 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp onion powder, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

seasoned potatoes in an air fryer basket.

Cook for 15 minutes in the air fryer, until golden brown with crispy edges, stopping halfway through to shake. Garnish with 1 tsp minced fresh parsley and additional salt and pepper, if needed.

fork dipping an air fryer potato into ketchup.

These air fryer potatoes are the ultimate crispy side dish!

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Chicken Parmesan

Chicken parmesan is the ultimate comfort food– crispy, saucy chicken topped with melty cheese! So easy to make and guaranteed to be a hit.

The post Chicken Parmesan appeared first on Budget Bytes.

When I think of comfort food, I always think of chicken parmesan. It’s everything I want in a cozy meal– crispy, saucy chicken topped with melty cheese! This one-pan chicken parmesan recipe is so easy to make and guaranteed to be a hit. Served over spaghetti and topped with a healthy dose of parmesan cheese, it’s a recipe I come back to time and time again.

overhead view of 4 fried chicken breasts topped with marinara sauce, melted cheese, and parsley in a stainless skillet.

What Is Chicken Parmesan?

You’ll probably recognize Chicken Parmesan as a dish from every American-Italian restaurant menu. It is a dish that consists of breaded chicken breast covered in tomato sauce and mozzarella, parmesan, or even provolone cheese.

Ingredients Needed

Here’s what you’ll need to make chicken parmesan:

  • Chicken Breasts: You’ll need 2 large chicken breasts for this recipe because each chicken breast will be sliced into 2 cutlets for 4 servings.
  • Breadcrumbs: We’re using plain breadcrumbs so we can season them to our liking and create a crispy breading on the chicken.
  • Grated Parmesan: You can use pre-grated or grate your own parmesan.
  • Seasonings: Garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and freshly cracked black pepper season the chicken as well as the bread crumbs.
  • Egg: Egg helps adhere the breading to the chicken.
  • All-Purpose Flour: A bit of flour helps to thicken the sauce.
  • Cooking Oil: Any neutral oil that you like to cook with is fine.
  • Marinara Sauce: We like using our Homemade Marinara Sauce! But your favorite jarred sauce would work just fine.
  • Mozzarella Cheese: We used pre-shredded, but you’re welcome to shred your own! Low moisture, whole-milk mozzarella will work best here, as fresh mozzarella has a bit too much moisture. You can even use provolone cheese if you like.
  • Fresh Parsley: Totally optional, but it does add a lovely freshness at the end!

What To Serve With Chicken Parmesan

We recommend serving Chicken Parmesan with spaghetti marinara and a simple mixed greens salad. You can use store bought or our Homemade Marinara! You could also serve with Lemon Parsley Pasta and Homemade Garlic Bread.

Recipe Tips and Notes

  • Most chicken parmesan recipes will have you crisp up the chicken in a pan and then transfer it to the oven to finish cooking and melt the cheese. In this recipe, everything is done in the skillet to save time and clean up!
  • Make sure your pan is big enough to accommodate all of the chicken pieces (we used a 12-inch skillet) and you’ll need a lid that will fit the pan in order to melt the cheese and warm the marinara.
  • If you don’t have a lid or something to tent the pan with (tin foil should work as well!) You can transfer to a baking sheet lined with a rack and bake at 375°F for 10 minutes until the cheese is melted.
  • You’re welcome to warm up your marinara sauce before adding it to the chicken, but I find that it warms up enough while the cheese is melting.
overhead view of a serving of chicken parmesan over spaghetti with a side salad on a white plate.
overhead view of 4 fried chicken breasts topped with marinara sauce, melted cheese, and parsley in a stainless skillet.
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Chicken Parmesan

Chicken parmesan is the ultimate comfort food– crispy, saucy chicken topped with melty cheese! So easy to make and guaranteed to be a hit.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Total Cost $10.61 recipe / $2.65 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 570kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 1.5 lbs) $6.75
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs $0.60
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese $0.67
  • 1 tsp garlic powder $0.10
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning $0.10
  • 1 tsp salt $0.05
  • Freshly cracked pepper $0.02
  • 1 egg $0.17
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour $0.10
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil $0.15
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce $0.35
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella $1.25
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, optional $0.30

Instructions

  • Use a sharp knife to carefully filet the chicken breasts lengthwise into two cutlets, making 4 cutlets total. You can also use pre-cut chicken cutlets.
  • Lightly season both sides of the chicken with a pinch of salt and pepper, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder.
  • In a wide shallow bowl or container, combine the bread crumbs, parmesan, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper.
  • In a separate wide shallow bowl or container, whisk the egg until smooth.
  • In a third shallow bowl, add the flour.
  • Dredge each piece of chicken into the flour, dusting off any excess. Then, dip in the egg mixture, making sure to fully coat the chicken and dripping off any excess. Finally, dip the chicken in the seasoned bread crumbs, again coating well on both sides.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet and oil are very hot, add the chicken and cook on the first side until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Flip the chicken and turn the heat down to medium. Top each cutlet with 2 tbsp of marinara sauce and ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese. Place a lid on the skillet to allow the cheese to fully melt, the marinara sauce to warm up, and the chicken to cook all the way through, about 5-7 more minutes.
  • Top the chicken with fresh chopped parsley (optional) and serve with spaghetti and additional marinara.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 570kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 29g | Sodium: 1402mg | Fiber: 2g
close up overhead view of a serving of chicken parmesan over spaghetti with a side salad on a white plate.

how to make Chicken Parmesan – step by step photos

4 seasoned chicken breasts on an orange cutting board.

Use a sharp knife to carefully filet 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts lengthwise into two cutlets, making 4 cutlets total. You can also use pre-cut chicken cutlets. Lightly season both sides of the chicken with a pinch of salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder.

an egg, flour, and seasoned breadcrumbs in separate white bowls.

In a wide shallow bowl or container, combine 1 cup breadcrumbs, 1/3 cup grated parmesan, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp Italian seasoning, 1 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper. In a separate wide shallow bowl or container, whisk 1 egg until smooth. In a third shallow bowl, add 1/2 cup all-purpose flour.

dredging a chicken breast through egg, flour, and breadcrumbs in separate bowls.

Dredge each piece of chicken into the flour, dusting off any excess. Then, dip in the egg mixture, making sure to fully coat the chicken and dripping off any excess. Finally, dip the chicken in the seasoned bread crumbs, again coating well on both sides.

4 fried chicken breasts in a stainless skillet.

Heat 1/4 cup cooking oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet and oil are very hot, add the chicken and cook on the first side until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

4 fried chicken breasts topped with marinara sauce and shredded cheese in a stainless skillet.

Flip the chicken and turn the heat down to medium. Top each cutlet with 2 tbsp of marinara sauce and 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese. Place a lid on the skillet to allow the cheese to fully melt, the marinara sauce to warm up, and the chicken to cook all the way through, about 5-7 more minutes.

parsley topped fried chicken breasts with marinara sauce and melted cheese in a stainless skillet.

Top the chicken with 1 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley (optional) and serve with spaghetti and additional marinara.

side view of a sliced serving of chicken parmesan on a bed of spaghetti with a side salad.

This chicken parmesan is the ultimate comfort meal!

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Avocado Toast

A classic avocado toast recipe with 3 easy variations. Perfect for a quick breakfast, lunch or midday snack!

The post Avocado Toast appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Avocado toast was all the rage just a few years ago, but I have good news…this easy 5-10 minute meal never goes out of style. It only requires a few simple ingredients, but you can always spice things up with extra toppings to make it a super filling meal. Today I’m sharing my favorite basic avocado toast recipe along with helpful tips and 3 easy recipe variations. It’s quick and easy which makes it perfect to whip up for breakfast, lunch or a midday snack. And for those of you who are avocado toast experts, like my colleague Jess, then I’m sure you have a few favorite combinations as well. Wanna share? Let’s meet in the comments!😉

Overhead view of avocado toast made 4 different ways.

Ingredients For Avocado Toast

You only need a few simple ingredients to make a classic avocado toast. Here’s what I used:

  • Avocado: Avocado is one of the main ingredients, so you’ll want to choose it wisely. Look for avocados that have a slight give when squeezed, but are not mushy.
  • Bread: You’ll want to choose a good quality, sturdy bread. I like using sourdough or whole grain bread.
  • Garlic: Rubbing a little bit of fresh garlic over toasted bread while it’s still warm adds incredible flavor.
  • Lemon: A small squeeze of fresh lemon juice adds a pop of brightness and keeps the avocado from browning.
  • Salt & Pepper: Don’t skip the salt! Just a pinch of salt and pepper enhances the flavor of the avocado toast.
  • Red pepper flakes (optional): This is optional but it adds a kick and a little bit of extra heat to the avocado toast.

Tips For Making The Best Avocado Toast

  1. Choose your bread wisely: Use a good quality, sturdy bread for the base of your avocado toast like sourdough, multigrain or whole grain bread. Toasted, sturdy bread holds the mashed avocado and any extra toppings a lot better than white sandwich bread.
  2. Picking the perfect avocado: When picking your avocado, look for blackish, dark-green skin, which indicates the avocado has ripened. Also give the avocado a gentle press with your finger, the flesh should give slightly under pressure. If it’s mushy, its time has passed.
  3. Don’t skip the extras! Yes, rubbing your toast with a fresh garlic clove may seem like an unnecessary step, but it adds SO much flavor and compliments this simple meal perfectly. Also the small squeeze of lemon juice gives just the right about of brightness and the pinch of salt makes all the flavors pop!

Topping Ideas

There are lots of fun ways to enjoy your avocado toast! In addition to the recipe variations listed in the step-by-step photos below, here are a few more ingredients and topping ideas for you to try:

Overhead view of avocado toast made 4 different ways with parsley, avocado, and a napkin on the side.
Overhead view of avocado toast made 4 different ways with parsley, avocado, and a napkin on the side.
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Avocado Toast

A classic avocado toast recipe with 3 easy variations. Perfect for a quick breakfast, lunch or midday snack!
Course Breakfast, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine American
Total Cost $2.61 recipe / $1.30 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 slices
Calories 338kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 slices sturdy bread $1.00
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled $0.08
  • 1 medium avocado $1.33
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice $0.14
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • pinch of red pepper flakes $0.02

Instructions

  • Cut 2 slices of sturdy bread. Toast the bread in a toaster or in a skillet on the stovetop until golden brown.
  • Rub the peeled garlic clove over the top of the warm toasted bread, making sure to fully cover the entire surface area.
  • Next, halve the avocado and remove the pit. Scoop out the avocado flesh from both halves and place it in a bowl. Add a small squeeze of fresh lemon juice (about 1 tsp), salt and pepper to the bowl and mash the avocado with a fork. I recommend leaving it just a little chunky.
  • Divide the avocado mixture and spread it on top of each slice of toast. Top with a pinch of red pepper flakes and a pinch of sea salt (optional).

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 338kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 16g | Sodium: 539mg | Fiber: 8g
Overhead view of 2 pieces of plain avocado toast on a white plate.

How to Make Avocado Toast – Step by Step Photos

Overhead view of sourdough bread sliced on a cutting board.

Cut 2 slices of sturdy bread. Toast the bread in a toaster or on the stovetop until golden brown.

Toasted sourdough bread with a garlic clove being rubbed over the top.

Rub 1 peeled garlic clove over the top of the warm toasted bread, making sure to fully cover the entire surface area.

A hand holding a fork and mashing avocado in a white bowl.

Next, halve 1 avocado and remove the pit. Scoop out the avocado flesh from both halves and place it in a medium bowl. Add a small squeeze of lemon juice (about 1 tsp), 1/8 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper to the bowl and mash the avocado with a fork. I recommend leaving it just a little chunky, but you can certainly mash until it’s completely smooth. It’s up to you!

Overhead view of 2 pieces of plain avocado toast on a white plate.

Divide the avocado mixture and spread on top of each slice of toast. Top with a pinch of red pepper flakes and a pinch of sea salt (optional). Enjoy as is or try out one of the recipe variations listed below.😉

Avocado toast with sliced tomatoes and balsamic glaze drizzled on top.

Recipe Variation 1: If you love juicy, ripe tomatoes then this variation is just for you! Top your avocado toast with two slices of tomatoes, a drizzle of balsamic glaze, and freshly cracked black pepper. This combo is perfect for the summer when tomatoes are in their peak season. So delicious!

Two slices of avocado toast with a hard boiled egg and soft scrambled egg on top.

Recipe Variation 2: My absolute favorite way to enjoy avocado toast is by adding some scrambled eggs, a fried egg, or hard boiled egg on top. You can even take it a step further and add a little chili crisp on top too!

Avocado toast with cottage cheese on top.

Recipe Variation 3: And for all of my cottage cheese lovers out there, try topping your thick crusty bread with a spoonful or two of small curd cottage cheese, 1/2 avocado sliced, salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Enjoy!

Overhead view of avocado toast made 4 different ways with parsley, avocado, and a napkin on the side.

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