Pasta e Fagioli

This rustic Italian pasta-and-bean soup is oh-so-satisfying on a cold day (but just as enjoyable on a warm one). Pasta e fagioli is an Italian pasta and bean stew with a tomato-based broth, small pasta, and white beans such as cannellini. It’s one of our favorite quick and easy dinner recipes, made with mostly pantry […]

The post Pasta e Fagioli first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

This rustic Italian pasta-and-bean soup is oh-so-satisfying on a cold day (but just as enjoyable on a warm one).

Pasta e fagioli is an Italian pasta and bean stew with a tomato-based broth, small pasta, and white beans such as cannellini. It’s one of our favorite quick and easy dinner recipes, made with mostly pantry ingredients you already have on hand.

White bowl with Pasta e Fagioli, topped with parmesan shavings and fresh parsley

When the stars make you drool, just like pasta fazool, that’s amore.

And in truth, this soup is most definitely a thing of true love.

Pasta e fagioli, or pasta and beans, is an Italian peasant soup made with (you guessed it) pasta and white beans. In the United States it is often called pasta fazool, like the song, fazool derived from the Neapolitan word for beans, fasule.

Whatever you call it, there’s no denying it is incredibly hearty and delicious.

Blue Dutch Oven with Pasta e Fagioli soup and silver ladle

The variations of such a dish are myriad, some more soupy, some more saucy, some with nary a tomato in sight.

I imagine Italian grannies everywhere each have their own signature version, with the only common thread between them being the presence of pasta and beans in some form or another.

Our version is most definitely a tomato-centric soup, hearty and flavorful with the addition of Italian sausage and fresh fennel. We also like to mash some of the beans, which add a lovely thickness and silky texture to the broth.

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Steak Street Tacos with Chipotle Lime Coleslaw

Here’s a satisfying street taco recipe that comes together in a flash. It’s topped with a tangy chipotle-lime coleslaw that provides flavor, spice and crunch to these satisfyingly savory street tacos. When Aristotle said the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, he was talking about tacos, right? Because these tacos are made […]

Here’s a satisfying street taco recipe that comes together in a flash. It’s topped with a tangy chipotle-lime coleslaw that provides flavor, spice and crunch to these satisfyingly savory street tacos.

When Aristotle said the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, he was talking about tacos, right? Because these tacos are made up of some seriously good parts: thin slices of savory seared steak, toasted flour tortillas, a tangy chipotle-lime slaw, and a sprinkle of pickled jalapeños and fresh cilantro.

Four steak street tacos on a black rectangular plate, with limes, pickled jalapenos and chipotle slaw

The perfect taco hits all the right notes, combining spicy and sweet, soft and crunchy, salty and tangy.

And these steak street tacos do just that, with thin slices of steak browned to perfection, and topped with a bright and crunchy slaw made with a mix of Duke’s Mayonnaise, smoky chipotle, and fresh squeezed lime juice.

Closeup of the filling of a steak street taco, topped with micro cilantro leaves and pickled jalapenos

What makes it a street taco and not just a regular taco? The size, essentially.

Street tacos are generally smaller, about 4-5″ in diameter versus a more typical 6″ corn tortilla or 8″ flour tortilla. The handheld size makes them easy to eat standing in the street. We’ve found both corn and flour tortillas labeled ‘street taco size’ recently, and although we opted to use flour here, you could really use either.

Even better… warm the tortillas in the same skillet with all the flavorful fat and brown bits leftover from cooking the steak. Inspired in part by a drool-worthy binge-watch of the Taco Chronicles series (which I highly recommend checking out), specifically the episode on Suadero tacos. This particular kind of taco is made with seasoned beef cooked long and slow in a bath of its own fat (beef confit, essentially); the tortillas are also drenched in fat and toasted prior to being loaded up with the juicy, flavorful meat and simple toppings.

While our steak tacos are not even close to authentic Suadero tacos (the thin slices of steak cook in mere minutes, rather than slow cooking for hours as is traditional), we were certainly inspired by the preparation and especially the brilliant step of fat-soaking the tortillas.

Since we can’t exactly travel to Mexico right now to enjoy the real thing, this will have to do.

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skillet turkey chili

Right around the time quarantine cookies and tacos became a habit this spring, I also realized that that none of my existing chili recipes exactly fit the bill of what I wanted for dinner — namely, to focus on ground turkey, have a minim…

Right around the time quarantine cookies and tacos became a habit this spring, I also realized that that none of my existing chili recipes exactly fit the bill of what I wanted for dinner — namely, to focus on ground turkey, have a minimized ingredient list, and not take terribly long because it turns out that even with all day, every day at home, I just don’t have enough time to plan ahead for dinner and please don’t try to use reason or psychology to suggest there are other forces at play, okay?

what you'll need (cornbread optional, but not for us)

Read more »

Orecchiette with Bacon and Wilted Frisée

This easy weeknight pasta recipe will satisfy all your senses: with chunky bits of bacon and delicate wilted frisée and a mountain of freshly shredded Pecorino cheese. Quick and easy is the name of the game with this orecchiette pasta dish. It’s satisfying and flavorful, and even manages to get some greens in there in […]

This easy weeknight pasta recipe will satisfy all your senses: with chunky bits of bacon and delicate wilted frisée and a mountain of freshly shredded Pecorino cheese.

Quick and easy is the name of the game with this orecchiette pasta dish. It’s satisfying and flavorful, and even manages to get some greens in there in a surprisingly delicious way.

Bowl of orecchiette on a vintage wood board with a silver fork

Much like escarole, frisée is a unique, sturdy green that’s a bit too bitter to really enjoy as part of a salad. For me at least!

And other than soup, pastas are our favorite way to handle these slightly-bitter greens; in this case, slightly wilted and coated in bacon-y goodness which really does wonders to allay the bitterness.

Overhead, bowl of pasta with bacon and wilted frisee on a wooden board with pepper flakes and pecorino cheese

We first made this pasta months ago; I even shot it and wrote up a draft, but never published it because something just wasn’t quite right. Turns out, it was the pasta shape that was the problem. We originally used bucatini, which is one of our all-time favorite pasta shapes, but when used in this recipe it makes it really hard to get a nice ‘bite’ that includes all the goods in a single forkful. All the bits and toppings tend to settle in the bottom of your bowl.

That’s where orecchiette is so perfect: the little pasta ‘ears’ basically serve as scoops for the good stuff.

Anyone else reminded of those little rubber poppers you’d get from the quarter machines? You know, the ones you’d flip inside out, set on the table then hold your breath until they went flying? Just me?

Also: I will never spell orecchiette right on the first try. Heck, I can barely spell it right on the second, I usually end up having to google it and copy the spelling from there. It’s even worse than mozzarella or prosciutto!

Orecchiette: impossible to spell, effortless to eat.

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Egg Salad Sandwiches with Roasted Beet

Say hello to your new favorite sandwich: creamy egg salad seasoned with paprika, thin slices of roasted beet, and a generous handful of spicy microgreens to perfectly offset the richness of the egg. Taylor’s classic egg salad is simple and satisfying, with only 4 ingredients (eggs included), plus salt and pepper. It’s not overly mayo-heavy […]

Say hello to your new favorite sandwich: creamy egg salad seasoned with paprika, thin slices of roasted beet, and a generous handful of spicy microgreens to perfectly offset the richness of the egg.

Taylor’s classic egg salad is simple and satisfying, with only 4 ingredients (eggs included), plus salt and pepper. It’s not overly mayo-heavy or mustard-forward, with a very simple flavor profile that let you actually taste the egg (not overwhelmed by dill or relish or other add-ins). A pinch of sweet paprika gives the egg salad a well-rounded flavor and ever so slightly pink hue (something that pairs perfectly with the rich ruby red of the beets).

Egg salad sandwich cut in half, showing the layers of beet and egg

Lunch is often a struggle around these parts.

We try to plan our dinners to include leftovers (let’s just say we’re masters at cooking for 4 for this reason), but sometimes we find ourselves floundering in the kitchen at noon, hangry and without a solid plan for lunch.

It’s days like these that egg salad sandwiches have become our go-to. Don’t ask me where the idea for the beet came from, I just know I came downstairs one day to find Taylor had thrown this together and I fell in love all over again. Something about the sweet, earthiness of the beet goes so well with the creamy egg salad.

Assuming we have some roasted beets in the fridge (I fully admit we’ve been buying packaged pre-roasted beets and I’m not ashamed about it), these sandwiches come together in about 20 minutes, including the time it takes to boil, cool, and peel the eggs. Hard-boil a few eggs ahead of time and it’d be even quicker.

Egg salad sandwich with roasted beets and microgreens

While this small-batch egg salad recipe could be used in a variety of ways, our favorite assemblage includes thin slices of roasted red beet, a thick layer of creamy egg salad, and a pile of spicy microgreens (arugula or watercress would also be great here too!)

The creaminess of the egg, the earthiness of the beet, and the spiciness of the greens all come together on slices of thick brioche sandwich bread to make what I consider the perfect sandwich.

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Skillet Mexican Zucchini

Skillet Mexican Zucchini is incredibly delicious with a little bit of a kick from the jalapeño topped with melted queso blanco. So easy and quick, a must try! Mexican Zucchini I can’t get enough of zucchini in the summer, in fact I have an entire section of Zucchini Recipes in my index if you need […]

The post Skillet Mexican Zucchini appeared first on Skinnytaste.

Skillet Mexican Zucchini is incredibly delicious with a little bit of a kick from the jalapeño topped with melted queso blanco. So easy and quick, a must try!

This zucchini is incredibly delicious with a little bit of a Mexican kick from the jalapeno then topped with melted queso blanco. It's also easy and quick, a must try!
Mexican Zucchini

I can’t get enough of zucchini in the summer, in fact I have an entire section of Zucchini Recipes in my index if you need more ideas.

(more…)

The post Skillet Mexican Zucchini appeared first on Skinnytaste.

Pesto Spaghetti

Here’s the trick to getting the creamiest pesto spaghetti evenly covered in silky sauce! Make it with homemade or purchased basil pesto for a fast dinner. It’s late summer and our basil plant is massive. We’ve got pesto coming out of our ears over here. The best way to make this tasty sauce into a fast and easy dinner? Pesto spaghetti! It’s herby, Parmesan-y, garlicky and always a crowd pleaser. We’ll show you the trick to getting a silky sauce covering all your noodles: no more gummy, dry pesto here! Serve them as is, or top with veggies or shrimp for a fast and easy dinner. Here’s what you need to know to make the best spaghetti pesto around! Another idea? Try our Easy Pesto Cream Sauce. How to get the best pesto coverage: pasta water! Here’s the thing. You can make spaghetti pesto by simply mixing pesto with spaghetti. Ever done this and ended up with dry, gummy pasta? It’s a problem. The nuts and the cheese in the thick pesto sauce cling to the noodles if you don’t give them a little help. Here’s what to do to make the pesto perfectly coat the noodles: Add pasta water! […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Here’s the trick to getting the creamiest pesto spaghetti evenly covered in silky sauce! Make it with homemade or purchased basil pesto for a fast dinner.

Spaghetti pesto

It’s late summer and our basil plant is massive. We’ve got pesto coming out of our ears over here. The best way to make this tasty sauce into a fast and easy dinner? Pesto spaghetti! It’s herby, Parmesan-y, garlicky and always a crowd pleaser. We’ll show you the trick to getting a silky sauce covering all your noodles: no more gummy, dry pesto here! Serve them as is, or top with veggies or shrimp for a fast and easy dinner. Here’s what you need to know to make the best spaghetti pesto around!

Another idea? Try our Easy Pesto Cream Sauce.

How to get the best pesto coverage: pasta water!

Here’s the thing. You can make spaghetti pesto by simply mixing pesto with spaghetti. Ever done this and ended up with dry, gummy pasta? It’s a problem. The nuts and the cheese in the thick pesto sauce cling to the noodles if you don’t give them a little help. Here’s what to do to make the pesto perfectly coat the noodles:

  • Add pasta water! This is a common Italian technique for cooking pasta. You’ll add cheese and then toss it with the pasta water to create a quick sauce. The starchy pasta water makes the perfect thick and creamy sauce. Same goes for pesto! Start with 1/2 cup pasta water, then add more as necessary until the noodles are slick.
  • Toss the noodles and pesto in a bowl: not the pasta pot. The pasta pot is still hot from cooking the pasta. So it can turn the basil brown and stick to the bottom of the pot. So toss the noodles and pesto together in a bowl: it works much better (we picked up that method here).
How to make spaghetti pesto

Spaghetti pesto is best with homemade pesto

It goes without saying that spaghetti pesto tastes the best with homemade pesto. The flavor here is beautifully fresh: and our pesto recipe has lemon for just the right zing! But we get it: basil isn’t always available. If you’re going storebought, go to the next section. But if you do have basil on hand, here are some things to know:

  • Make pesto with any nut you like. Pine nuts, the traditional nut in pesto, can be expensive and hard to find. So you can easily use cashews or walnuts! Here are our best pesto recipes using all three: Basil Pesto, Cashew Pesto, or Walnut Pesto.
  • You can make vegan pesto, too. Nix the Parmesan and you’ve got a dairy-free pesto! Try this Vegan Pesto that uses a secret ingredient.
  • There’s also a nut free option. This Basil Sauce has no nuts or cheese!It’s so oily on its own you don’t need to add pasta water, skip that step if using this one.
Basil pesto

Or, use best quality purchased pesto!

To make this spaghetti pesto an easy weeknight meal, just use storebought pesto! It’s easy to find, but there are a few things to know about purchased pesto:

  • The quality of brands varies greatly: so experiment! All brands vary quite a bit in flavor: some are light and fresh, others can taste stale or dull. Make sure to experiment to find one you like.
  • The salt quantity also varies, so adjust the added salt as needed. After tossing the pesto and spaghetti, add additional salt to taste. With homemade pesto we added 1/4 teaspoon salt, but we change it when we’re using a purchased pesto brand.
Spaghetti pesto

Variations on spaghetti pesto

Once you’ve made your pesto spaghetti, there are lots of tasty adders to make it an even tastier meal. Add other vegetables or proteins to customize your pasta: or different pasta shapes!. Here are a few ideas for how to switch it up:

  • Use different pasta — like bucatini or penne. Bucataini is like hollow spaghetti, and it’s our favorite type of pasta. Or use a short-cut shape like penne, cavatappi or bowties.
  • Sliced cherry tomatoes. Slice them up and they add a beautiful color.
  • Tomatoes & fresh mozzarella chunks. Makes anything better.
  • Raw thin sliced zucchini. It adds a nice crunch!
  • Roasted red peppers. Another easy addition.
  • Shrimp. Try it with Pesto Shrimp to make a full meal.
  • Scallops. Make a fancy meal by adding Pan Seared Scallops.
Spaghetti pesto

Make it a meal: what to serve with pesto pasta

What to serve with spaghetti pesto? This is an especially good question if you’re making this as a vegan or vegetarian dinner idea. It’s important to integrate a source of plant-based protein so that the meal is filling. Here are some options for what to serve as a side dish with pesto pasta:

This spaghetti pesto recipe is…

Vegetarian. For vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, use Vegan Pesto. For gluten-free, try gluten free or legume-based pasta.

Print
Spaghetti pesto

Spaghetti Pesto


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Here’s the trick to getting the creamiest pesto spaghetti evenly covered in silky sauce! Make it with homemade or purchased basil pesto for a fast dinner.


Ingredients

  • 12 ounces spaghetti or bucatini pasta
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup basil pesto*
  • 1/2 cup pasta water, plus more as needed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large handful fresh basil leaves, to garnish (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese, to garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Start a pot of well salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta until it is just al dente (start tasting a few minutes before the package recommends: you want it to be tender but still a little firm on the inside; usually around 7 to 8 minutes). Just before draining, reserve 1 cup pasta water! Then drain the pasta.
  2. Place the pasta in a bowl (not the pasta pot). Stir together the pasta, pesto, and 1/2 cup pasta water, tossing with tongs until the pesto is well distributed and the pasta water forms a creamy sauce. Add more pasta water if desired. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and taste. If the flavor doesn’t pop, add a few more pinches until it does (the salt content in purchased pesto brands varies, as well as the amount of salt you used in the pasta water). Serve immediately.
  3. Store any leftovers refrigerated: note that pesto can get gummy when reheated, so it’s best to eat leftovers cold or room temp.

Notes

*This spaghetti pesto tastes best with homemade pesto! If fresh basil is not available, use your best quality store brand. Brands vary widely especially in salt content, so adjust salt to taste.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Boiled
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Pesto spaghetti, spaghetti pesto pasta

More recipes with pesto

There are so many great ways to use pesto! Try these pesto recipes:

  • Pesto Pizza Full of big flavor! Top with mozzarella and thin sliced tomatoes and dinner is serve.
  • Pesto Mac and Cheese A swirl of basil pesto brings so much flavor to this classic comfort food! This one features Havarti cheese for ultra creaminess.
  • Pesto Aioli This pesto aioli is full of incredible basil and Parmesan flavor! Use it for dipping French fries or to slather on a burger or sandwich.

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese

This Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese is totally indulgent. It’s like your favorite restaurant appetizer turned into a meal (because you were going to eat that spinach artichoke dip as your meal anyway, right?). I’ve taken a basic spinach artichoke dip recipe, tweaked the ingredients to be a little more like a melty grilled cheese than […]

The post Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese appeared first on Budget Bytes.

This Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese is totally indulgent. It’s like your favorite restaurant appetizer turned into a meal (because you were going to eat that spinach artichoke dip as your meal anyway, right?). I’ve taken a basic spinach artichoke dip recipe, tweaked the ingredients to be a little more like a melty grilled cheese than a gooey dip, then stuffed it between two pieces of my favorite homemade focaccia. It’s a golden brown, crispy, melty, gooey delight.

Originally published 7-30-2016, updated 6-14-2020.

A hand picking up half of a spinach artichoke grilled cheese with cheese stretching between the pieces

Is This a Melt or a Grilled Cheese?

Okay, so technically this type of sandwich is called a “melt.” A melt is a grilled cheese that has other ingredients added, like vegetables or meat, whereas a grilled cheese is a cheese-only grilled sandwich. While the difference between a melt and a grilled cheese often sparks heated debates, I want people to be able to find this recipe on the internet, and the data shows that people are searching for “spinach artichoke grilled cheese,” not “spinach artichoke melt” (literally zero Google searches for that term per month). The English language is fluid, and the use of the term “melt” is declining. So here we are! 

Do I Have to Use Focaccia?

I made this sandwich with my homemade focaccia, but you can use any bread that you’d like. I love the focaccia because it’s really sturdy, which you want in order to hold up to the hefty filling, and it crisps up so well because of it’s olive oil soaked exterior. 

If you’d like to use a different kind of bread, you’ll probably want to smear a little butter on each slice to get that nice golden brown crispy exterior. You can also stuff this filling into a tortilla and cook it up like a quesadilla!

Can I Use Fresh Spinach?

Yes, if you prefer to work with fresh spinach, simply chop it up and sauté it briefly in a skillet to cook out some of the moisture, then continue with the recipe as stated.

How Much Does This Recipe Make?

This recipe makes about 2 cups worth of sandwich filling, which will get you either two large grilled cheese sandwiches, or four smaller sandwiches. 

Can I Make the Spinach Artichoke Filling Ahead?

Live alone? Don’t feel pressured to eat all the Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese filling in one sitting (No, that’s not a dare). You can keep the sandwich filling in the refrigerator for about 4-5 days and make sandwiches or quesadillas as you see fit. 

Two spinach artichoke grilled cheese sandwiches on a serving tray with a cup of tomato soup.

Pictured with Tomato Herb Soup on a small enamelware tray (affiliate link).

 
A hand picking up a piece of spinach artichoke grilled cheese with cheese stretching from the slice

Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese

Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese is like your favorite restaurant appetizer turned into a meal. Rich, creamy, cheesy, and totally veggilicious!
Total Cost $3.63 recipe. /$1.82 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 large sandwiches
Calories 571.63kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 lb. frozen chopped spinach $0.50
  • ½ 12oz. jar quartered artichoke hearts in water $1.30
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella $0.85
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan $0.22
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise $0.20
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper (optional) $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.02
  • Freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 2 pieces focaccia* $1.19
  • 2 tsp butter (optional) $0.26

Instructions

  • Thaw the spinach, then squeeze out as much water as possible. You should have about 1 cup chopped spinach before squeezing the water out and about 1/2 cup after squeezing.
  • Drain the artichoke hearts well, then chop them into small bite-sized pieces. Add the chopped artichokes to a large bowl with the spinach, mozzarella, Parmesan, mayonnaise, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper. Stir the ingredients until evenly combined.
  • Spread about 1/2 tsp butter on each slice of bread. Pack about 1 cup of the cheese and vegetable mixture between two slices of bread, buttered sides facing out.
  • Place the sandwiches in a large skillet and cook over medium-low heat until the outsides are golden brown and the filling has melted. Serve immediately.

Notes

*If you're using focaccia, you may not need to butter the slices. See the text above the recipe for other bread options.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 571.63kcal | Carbohydrates: 46.98g | Protein: 22.9g | Fat: 32.84g | Sodium: 1520.98mg | Fiber: 7.87g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Two spinach artichoke grilled cheese sandwiches stacked on a serving tray next to a mug of tomato soup

How to Make Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese – Step by Step Photos

Thawed and squeeze frozen spinach in a bowl

Begin with about 1/4 lb. frozen chopped spinach. Thaw the spinach, then squeeze out as much moisture as possible. You’ll want about 1 cup unsqueezed, or 1/2 cup after squeezing dry.

Chopped artichoke hearts

Drain one 1/2 of a 12oz. jar of quartered artichoke hearts (packed in water), then chop them into small pieces.

Spinach artichoke grilled cheese filling ingredients in a bowl

Add the chopped artichokes to a large bowl with the spinach, 1 cup shredded mozzarella, 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan, 2 Tbsp mayonnaise, 1/8 tsp garlic powder, 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper, ⅛ tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper.

Mixed spinach artichoke grilled cheese filling

Stir the ingredients until they’re evenly mixed. There should be just enough mayo to make the ingredients all stick together. You can refrigerate the filling at this point and use it later, or throughout the week.

Spinach artichoke filling added to pieces of focaccia

If you’re using focaccia, slice the pieces in half so you have a top and bottom piece. If you’re using regular bread, you’ll want to spread a little butter on the outsides of each piece of bread. Fill each sandwich with about 1 cup of the filling.

Spinach artichoke grilled cheese sandwiches being cooked in the skillet

Cook the sandwiches in a large skillet over medium low heat until each side is golden brown and the filling is melted. 

Two spinach artichoke grilled cheese sandwiches on a serving tray with a cup of tomato soup

Buttery, crispy, artichokey goodness!

The post Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Comeback Sauce

Earlier this week I made some amazing steak fries and I needed a dipping sauce for them that was equally as epic. Plain old ketchup was just not going to do, so I made some Comeback Sauce. Comeback Sauce is a creamy, tangy, sweet, and savory sauce that’s great for dipping, dunking, drizzling, and smearing […]

The post Comeback Sauce appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Earlier this week I made some amazing steak fries and I needed a dipping sauce for them that was equally as epic. Plain old ketchup was just not going to do, so I made some Comeback Sauce. Comeback Sauce is a creamy, tangy, sweet, and savory sauce that’s great for dipping, dunking, drizzling, and smearing onto just about any food. It’s not called “comeback sauce” for nothing. It will keep you coming back for more. And more. And MORE. (I “accidentally” ate an entire bunch of broccoli in one sitting, thanks to this delicious sauce.)

Comeback Sauce – Creamy, Tangy, Sweet, and Savory

A piece of roasted broccoli being dipped into a bowl of comeback sauce

What is Comeback Sauce?

This unique sauce is said to have originated in a Greek restaurant in Mississippi, but it quickly spread throughout the entire south. The original sauce had a base of mayonnaise and Heinz Chili Sauce (a tomato based sauce not to be confused with Sweet Chili Sauce), plus some other seasonings. There are many interpretations of this addictive sauce, with each person putting their own spin on the original as it spread across the region. Because Heinz Chili Sauce is not something I keep in my pantry, I made a few substitutions to create a similar flavor profile using items that I keep on hand, and in the process put the Budget Bytes stamp on the classic comeback sauce. ;)

What Do You Serve it With?

What can you not serve it with is probably a more appropriate question! It’s a fantastic all-purpose dip for things like roasted vegetables (shown with roasted broccoli), fried foods like french fries, chicken fingers or nuggets, or chips. It’s also great smeared onto burgers, fried chicken sandwiches, or wrap sandwiches. I wouldn’t be opposed to using this as a salad dressing, or using it to make an extra flavorful batch of coleslaw!

Close up of broccoli being dipped into comeback sauce

 
Close up of broccoli being dipped into comeback sauce

Comeback Sauce

This creamy, tangy, sweet, and savory Comeback Sauce is great for dipping, drizzling, smearing, and smothering all of your favorite foods. 
Total Cost $1.03 recipe. /$0.21 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 5 2 Tbsp each
Calories 158.8kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise $0.80
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup $0.10
  • 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce $0.01
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp hot sauce* $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.02

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until evenly mixed. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Notes

*Any vinegar based hot sauce like Tabasco.

Nutrition

Serving: 2Tbsp | Calories: 158.8kcal | Carbohydrates: 2.44g | Protein: 0.34g | Fat: 16.52g | Sodium: 319.92mg | Fiber: 0.06g

Check out these other homemade sauces:

A bowl of comeback sauce surrounded by roasted broccoli

How to Make Comeback Sauce – Step by Step Photos

sauce ingredients in a bowl, not mixed

Combine ½ cup mayonnaise, 2 Tbsp ketchup, 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, ½ tsp Dijon mustard, 1/8 tsp hot sauce, ¼ tsp smoked paprika, ⅛ tsp garlic powder, ⅛ tsp freshly cracked black pepper, and ⅛ tsp salt.

Finished comeback sauce being stirred with a red spatula

Stir the ingredients together until smooth. Serve or refrigerate until ready to eat!

Overhead view of a bowl of comeback sauce surrounded by roasted broccoli

Shown with roasted broccoli – toss broccoli in oil, then roast at 400ºF for about 30 minutes, or until you reach your desired level of brown.

The post Comeback Sauce appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Cottage Cheese Crab Bowl

Every now and then I like to share things with you that aren’t exactly “recipes” but are just the random bowl meals that I make out of things found in my fridge. I’ve discovered so many great flavor combinations by experimenting with these bowl meals and I hope they inspire you as well. This Cottage […]

The post Cottage Cheese Crab Bowl appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Every now and then I like to share things with you that aren’t exactly “recipes” but are just the random bowl meals that I make out of things found in my fridge. I’ve discovered so many great flavor combinations by experimenting with these bowl meals and I hope they inspire you as well. This Cottage Cheese Crab Bowl is my most recent favorite. It’s light and fresh for this early summer heat, but still filling enough to serve as a whole meal (for me, at least).

Sriracha being drizzled onto a cottage cheese crab bowl, from above

What’s In This Bowl

This cottage cheese crab bowl was inspired by the classic sushi roll, the California roll, which contains crab (or often times imitation crab), cucumber, and avocado. I had been seeing imitation crab every time I stopped and Aldi and I eventually started craving it, so I bought a pack, I grabbed a cucumber, and threw them on top of the cottage cheese I had in my fridge. I also went a step further and sprinkled on a little bit of Everything Bagel Seasoning, and a light drizzle of sriracha for fun. It’s not fancy, but it’s soooo good!

P.S. If you have avocado on hand, it would go marvelously with these flavors, just like it does in the California roll. 

What is Everything Bagel Seasoning?

Everything bagel seasoning has been taking the food market by storm lately. It’s basically the mix of ingredients that you’d find on top of an “everything” bagel, or sesame seeds, poppy seeds, flakey salt, dehydrated garlic, and dehydrated onion. I’m not sure who marketed this seasoning blend first, but the first time I saw it was at Trader Joes. It’s gotten so popular lately that several other grocery stores are now making their own version, including Kroger and Aldi. 

What is Imitation Crab?

Imitation crab might throw some people off, and I totally get it. Imitation crab is basically fish that has been processed to taste and look more like crab. It’s probably not the most wholesome choice of proteins, but it’s so much less expensive than real crab and since I only eat it maybe once a year, I’m not going to sweat it. I’m all about everything in moderation, and I encourage everyone to make the food choices that they are comfortable with. Here is a great article from Healthline breaking down exactly what imitation crab is and how it compares to real crab, so you can decide for yourself: What is Imitation Crab and Should I Eat It?

Can I Substitute…

The whole idea of a “bowl meal” is that you allow yourself to be a little experimental, throw in whatever you have, and just go with it. So, can you substitute the imitation crab? Sure, go with what you have. Maybe a soft boiled egg, some canned tuna, real crab, cooked salmon, or smoked salmon. Can you substitute the Everything Bagel Seasoning? Sure, maybe try some plain sesame seeds, or just some freshly cracked pepper and flakey sea salt. Can you substitute the cottage cheese? Sure, try a bed of rice, or maybe some fresh greens. I can’t guarantee you’ll like any of these substitutes, but the point is that you try it and see for yourself. :)

Close up of a bite of Cottage Cheese Crab Bowl on a fork

 
Overhead view of a Cottage Cheese Crab Bowl with a black fork in the side

Cottage Cheese Crab Bowl

This Cottage Cheese Crab Bowl is the perfect light, fresh, and filling lunch for summer. It also meal preps well, so pack a few to take to work for lunch! 
Total Cost $1.21 each
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Calories 149.2kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese $0.27
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber $0.32
  • 1/3 cup imitation crab $0.58
  • 1/4 tsp everything bagel seasoning $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp sriracha $0.02

Instructions

  • Add the cottage cheese, chopped cucumber, and crab meat to a bowl. Top with everything bagel seasoning and a light drizzle of sriracha.
  • Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat, up to four days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 149.2kcal | Carbohydrates: 15.4g | Protein: 15.7g | Fat: 2.8g | Sodium: 710.4mg | Fiber: 0.8g

Want more bowl meals? Check out our bowl meal category

How to Make Cottage Cheese Crab Bowls – Step by Step Photos

Sliced cucumber on a cutting board with a knife

Chop about a ½ cup cucumber. Depending on the girth of your cucumber, you may want to either halve or quarter the slices to make them bite-sized.

Imitation crab meat package

This is the imitation crab meat that I got at Aldi. You can usually find it in the seafood department in grocery stores, but at Aldi it’s with the seasonal refrigerated items. So I’m not sure if they’ll continue to carry this item forever.

Everything bagel seasoning bottle

And here is the everything bagel seasoning I used. I’ve used different brands and each seems to have a different salt content, so you may just want to add your seasoning to the bowl according to your tastes. I find that this one from Aldi has a lot more salt than the one from Kroger (I prefer the less salt version). 

Adding everything bagel seasoning to the crab bowl

To make the cottage cheese crab bowl, start with ½ cup cottage cheese, add ½ cup chopped cucumber, about ⅓ cup of the imitation crab, and then sprinkle on some of the everything bagel seasoning (I used ¼ tsp, but would have used more if it had less salt).

cottage cheese crab bowl being drizzled with sriracha

Finally, drizzle a little sriracha on top.

Finished Cottage Cheese Crab Bowl with a black fork in the side

Then enjoy! This bowl meal preps really well, so feel free to make a few for easy grab and go lunches later in the week!

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