Honey Mustard Pork Chops

Simple homemade sauces (or glazes) are your secret weapon in the kitchen. They’re the easiest way to turn a boring piece of meat into something really mouthwatering and amazing. Case in point: Honey Mustard Pork Chops. This particularly awesome sauce is a mix of honey, Dijon mustard, a little mayo for creaminess, and a few […]

The post Honey Mustard Pork Chops appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Simple homemade sauces (or glazes) are your secret weapon in the kitchen. They’re the easiest way to turn a boring piece of meat into something really mouthwatering and amazing. Case in point: Honey Mustard Pork Chops. This particularly awesome sauce is a mix of honey, Dijon mustard, a little mayo for creaminess, and a few spices. Smear that awesome sauce on a some pan seared pork chops, pop them in the oven to heat through, and then finish them off with a few minutes under the broiler. The end result is creamy, caramelized, honey mustard madness. Madness in a good way, of course.

Originally posted 1-10-2015, updated 10-23-2020.

Overhead view of honey mustard pork chops in a round casserole dish

Baking Time May Vary

Pork chops are delicate flowers. If you over bake them, they get tough and dry, so you really have to pay them some attention. This is where cooking intuition comes in handy. I’ve provided a general estimated bake time in the recipe below, but the total time needed to get the internal temperature of the pork chops up to 145ºF will vary depending on several factors. The thickness of your pork chops will greatly determine how long they need to bake, as will the amount of time they spent in the skillet while searing. The longer they’re in the skillet, the less time they’ll need in the oven. So keep these things in mind as you cook your chops and I wish you all the most juicy and tender pork chop success!

Can I Use Boneless Pork Chops?

Yes, you can achieve something similar with boneless pork chops and a slightly altered technique. The recipe below is written for bone-in pork chops, which take longer to cook than boneless chops. If using boneless chops you can shorten the bake time considerably. Keep your meat thermometer handy so you can test their temperature and prevent overcooking. If you’re using thin boneless pork chops, you may not even need to bake them after searing. Simply slather the seared chops with the sauce right in the skillet and let the sauce reduce a little bit to more of a glaze consistency. Either way, make sure they reach an internal temperature of 145ºF. 

What to Serve with Honey Mustard Pork Chops

I served my Honey Mustard Pork Chops with some Roasted Brussels Sprouts and roasted sweet potatoes. Because they cooked at different temperatures from the pork chops, I cooked the vegetables first, then lowered the oven’s temperature before adding the pork chops. Make sure the oven is all the way down to the correct temperature before baking the pork chops, so you don’t accidentally over cook them! :)

Honey mustard pork chop on a plate with brussels sprouts and sweet potato

baked honey mustard pork chops in a casserole dish from the side

Honey Mustard Pork Chops

Honey Mustard Pork Chops are anything but boring with a sweet, tangy, and savory homemade honey mustard glaze.
Total Cost $6.11 recipe / $1.53 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 475.63kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise $0.53
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard $0.18
  • 2 Tbsp honey $0.24
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly cracked pepper $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.02
  • 4 bone-in pork chops, one-inch thick (about 2.5 lbs.) $5.02

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Prepare the honey mustard sauce by stirring together the mayonnaise, Dijon, honey, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and freshly cracked black pepper.
  • Use a paper towel to dry off the surface of the pork chops, then season each side with a pinch of salt and freshly cracked pepper. Heat one tablespoon of cooking oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is very hot add two pork chops at a time and cook until golden brown on each side (3 minutes each side). Place the browned pork chops in a casserole dish (it's okay if they overlap slihtly).
  • Smear the honey mustard sauce over both sides of the pork chops in the casserole dish. Bake for about 30 minutes for 1-inch thick chops, about 20 minutes for ¾-inch thick chops, or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF. To achieve more browning, switch the oven to broil and broil the chops for 3-5 minutes or until the surface is golden brown and bubbly. Serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 475.63kcal | Carbohydrates: 8.9g | Protein: 49.85g | Fat: 25.65g | Sodium: 613.25mg | Fiber: 0.08g

baked honey mustard pork chops in a casserole dish from the side

How to Make Baked Honey Mustard Pork Chops – Step by Step Photos

honey mustard ingredients in a bowl

Start by mixing up the honey mustard sauce. Stir together 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 2 Tbsp honey, 1/8 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper (about 15 cranks of a pepper mill).

Mixed honey mustard sauce

Then you have a really delicious honey mustard sauce that you will have to restrain yourself from licking off the spoon. Set it aside and try to forget about it for a minute.

Bone-in Pork chops on a cutting board

You’ll want four thick-cut bone-in pork chops for this recipe. Try to get pork chops that are 3/4 to 1-inch thick. The pork chops I used today are about ¾-inch thick. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Use a paper towel to dry off the surface of the chops (this helps them sear better), then season each side with a pinch of salt and some freshly cracked pepper.

Seared pork chops in a skillet

Heat one Tbsp cooking oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Make sure the skillet and oil are very hot, then add two chops at a time and cook until golden brown on each side (about 3 minutes per side). If it’s taking longer than about 3 minutes to get a nice brown color, make sure you reduce the baking time to compensate because the pork chops will already be more cooked when they go into the oven.

Pork chops coated with honey mustard glaze

After browning the chops, place them into a casserole dish (it’s okay if they overlap just a little). Smear the honey mustard sauce over both sides of the pork chops. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 145ºF (about 20 min for ¾-inch thick, or closer to 30 for 1-inch thick chops).

baked honey mustard pork chops in a casserole dish

Finish them off with just a few minutes under the broiler for maximum browning action (I did not move the oven rack, I simply switched the setting from bake to broil and kept an eye on them). 

Finished honey mustard pork chops garnished with parsley

So yummy! I garnished with a little parsley for color, but it’s not needed to flavor the honey mustard pork chops. 

The post Honey Mustard Pork Chops appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Perfect Spinach Salad

This classy spinach salad is a salad to impress! Smoky pecans and a creamy balsamic vinaigrette make the best counterpoint to this leafy green. Here’s a salad to impress. It’s everything a classy spinach salad should be, full of texture and flavor contrasts. You’ll barely notice you’re eating this healthy leafy green when it’s covered tangy balsamic vinaigrette. There’s crunchy smoky pecans, almost bacon-like glazed with maple syrup and soy sauce. Add hard boiled eggs or a crisp-tart apple, and you’ve got a stunning side salad that will make everyone ooo and ahhh. (It happens every time we serve it…really.) It’s almost like the little black dress of salads: it’s brilliant for any occasion. Ingredients in the best spinach salad You may notice this salad has a vague retro vibe. In fact, it’s a spin on my Grandma’s 1970’s spinach salad…with a few tweaks! For the dressing we went with a classic balsamic vinaigrette, which complements the flavors perfectly. Instead of bacon, smoky glazed pecans create the illusion of meat but make the salad vegetarian. (For a fully plant based salad, we’ve got options too!) Here’s what you’ll need for this classic spinach salad: Hard boiled eggs or apple: Hard […]

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

This classy spinach salad is a salad to impress! Smoky pecans and a creamy balsamic vinaigrette make the best counterpoint to this leafy green.

Spinach salad

Here’s a salad to impress. It’s everything a classy spinach salad should be, full of texture and flavor contrasts. You’ll barely notice you’re eating this healthy leafy green when it’s covered tangy balsamic vinaigrette. There’s crunchy smoky pecans, almost bacon-like glazed with maple syrup and soy sauce. Add hard boiled eggs or a crisp-tart apple, and you’ve got a stunning side salad that will make everyone ooo and ahhh. (It happens every time we serve it…really.) It’s almost like the little black dress of salads: it’s brilliant for any occasion.

Ingredients in the best spinach salad

You may notice this salad has a vague retro vibe. In fact, it’s a spin on my Grandma’s 1970’s spinach salad…with a few tweaks! For the dressing we went with a classic balsamic vinaigrette, which complements the flavors perfectly. Instead of bacon, smoky glazed pecans create the illusion of meat but make the salad vegetarian. (For a fully plant based salad, we’ve got options too!) Here’s what you’ll need for this classic spinach salad:

  • Hard boiled eggs or apple: Hard boiled eggs require forethought, so to whip this up in a flash substitute a crisp-tart apple. It’s just as good!
  • Smoky pecans: The secret to bacon flavor without meat! Glaze whole pecans in a mixture of soy sauce, maple syrup and smoked paprika.
  • Spinach: Baby spinach is more tender with a sweeter flavor; or, use chopped standard spinach.
  • Shallot: Thinly sliced shallot is the best trick for green salads. Its delicate oniony flavor is gentler than red onion.
  • Feta (optional): A sprinkle of feta cheese looks like confetti and brings a salty pop.
  • Balsamic vinaigrette: Tie it all together with this incredible homemade dressing.
Spinach salad

How to make smoky pecans (or use plain!)

One of the best parts of this salad is the pecans masquerading as bacon. Of course, if you’re running short on time: you can skip this step and just use plain pecans! But to make a truly magnificent spinach salad, it’s worth the time. Here are a few notes about the process:

  • You’ll need a skillet and 6 to 8 minutes. This is the time it takes to heat the glaze to cover the nuts.
  • They may come out soft or crunchy: either works! Making glazed nuts requires hitting the perfect sugar caramelization step to get them to dry into a crunchy glaze. If they come out soft: that’s ok! In fact, they taste more like bacon that way.

The best spinach salad dressing

What’s the best dressing for a spinach salad? Balsamic vinaigrette. Why? Spinach can have a bitter flavor undertone, so the tangy and subtly sweet notes of the dressing are the perfect pairing. Our favorite balsamic vinaigrette is very easy to whip up at home. All you need is 4 ingredients:

  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Dijon mustard
  • Maple syrup
  • Olive oil

The only other thing to note is to add the olive oil 1 tablespoon at a time and whisk vigorously. This is the key to getting a perfectly creamy emulsion. The Djion mustard also helps to make a fantastically creamy texture.

Balsamic vinaigrette recipe

Using hard boiled eggs in salad

This spinach salad is absolutely classic with hard boiled eggs, as it harkens back to that 1970’s bacon and egg salad. And, they add a great amount of protein! One egg has 7 grams of protein. This is specifically helpful when you are looking for a side dish with protein to round out a vegetarian dinner.

If you can, make up a batch of hard boiled eggs in advance. This makes the salad quicker to put together. Store the hard boiled eggs refrigerated with the shell on (this keeps them fresher).

Apple makes this spinach salad quick and easy (and vegan)

Often we don’t think ahead enough to have time for hard boiled eggs. So if we’re serving this for an easy weeknight meal side dish, we like to use an apple instead! Using a crisp-tart apple makes a great flavor and texture contrast and fills out the salad. Of course, it doesn’t have the protein that a hard boiled egg does. But it’s a great stand-in! Of course, you can also add apple to salad with the eggs: even better!

You can also use this as a vegan variation. Use a crisp tart apple and omit the feta cheese crumbles: or use a dairy free cheese crumble of your choice.

Best spinach salad

Other adders to this salad!

Here are a few more ingredients you could add to this salad that make it incredible tasty:

  • Mushrooms: Thinly sliced raw mushrooms are common in a classic spinach salad. Add these if you like!
  • Bacon: Can’t live without actual bacon? Swap the smoky pecans for bacon.
  • Prosciutto: Cured ham like prosciutto or jamón serrano would also work well.
  • Croutons: Try these Homemade Garlic Croutons.

Ways to serve this spinach salad

There are so many ways to pair this spinach salad! In fact, it’s one of the most versatile green salad recipes we have. Use it to round out a vegetarian dinner, or it pairs well with seafood and chicken. Here are our top ways to serve it:

Spinach salad

A few more spinach salads

Love spinach salad? Us too. Here are a few more variations on this easy side dish for all the seasons:

This spinach salad recipe is…

Vegetarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free. For vegan and plant-based, use the variations listed above.

Print
Spinach salad

Perfect Spinach Salad (No, Really)


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This classy spinach salad is a salad to impress! Smoky pecans and a creamy balsamic vinaigrette make the best counterpoint to this green.


Ingredients

  • 2 hard boiled eggs or 1 large crisp tart apple
  • 1/2 cup whole pecans*
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or tamari or coconut aminos)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup or sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 pinches kosher salt or flaky sea salt
  • 1 recipe Best Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • 6 cups baby spinach leaves or chopped standard spinach
  • 1 shallot
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles (optional)

Instructions

  1. Make the hard boiled eggs: Make the hard boiled eggs, if using (or make them in advance). Chop them into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Make the smoky pecans: Add the pecans, soy sauce, maple syrup and smoked paprika to a small non-stick skillet over medium heat. When it just starts to bubble, reduce the heat to low but still slowly bubbling. Simmer 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. In the last minute when the liquid is mostly evaporated, stir continuously until it is totally cooked out and the nuts start clumping together. Immediately remove from the heat and transfer the pecans to a sheet of parchment paper in a single layer. Sprinkle with 2 pinches kosher salt and allow to cool to room temperature, about 5 minutes. 
  3. Make the dressing: Make the Balsamic Vinaigrette
  4. Prep the fresh ingredients: Thinly slice the shallot. If using apple instead of hard boiled egg, thinly slice the apple. 
  5. Serve: Place the spinach on plates or in bowls. Top with hard boiled eggs or apple slices, smoky pecans, sliced shallot, and feta cheese crumbles.

Notes

*You can also use plain pecans and skip the soy sauce, maple syrup, and smoked paprika. Or, you can make maple glazed pecans.

  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Spinach salad

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

Easy Broccoli Cheddar Soup

If ever there was a meal-worthy soup, it would be Broccoli Cheddar! This bowl full of colorful, chunky vegetables and a super thick cheesy “broth” are sure to leave you warm, happy, and satisfied. Unlike some broccoli cheddar soups, my Broccoli Cheddar Soup doesn’t use heavy cream and is ever so slightly lighter on the […]

The post Easy Broccoli Cheddar Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If ever there was a meal-worthy soup, it would be Broccoli Cheddar! This bowl full of colorful, chunky vegetables and a super thick cheesy “broth” are sure to leave you warm, happy, and satisfied. Unlike some broccoli cheddar soups, my Broccoli Cheddar Soup doesn’t use heavy cream and is ever so slightly lighter on the cheese, so you still get all that creamy, cheesy goodness without feeling totally weighed down. But, you can always add more cheese if you’d like. #norules This soup is so dang easy I’m sure it’s going to go into my regular rotation!

Three bowls of Broccoli Cheddar Soup with saltine crackers on the side

Smaller Batch for No Leftovers

Most of my soup recipes are big batch so you can freeze the leftovers and stock your freezer with all that goodness, but this Broccoli Cheddar Soup is the exception. Cheese sauces (and in this case broths) thickened with butter and flour roux don’t tend to hold up to freezing and thawing, so I made this a small batch soup so you don’t have to worry about having too many leftovers. This recipe makes four generous servings.

How Long Does Broccoli Cheddar Soup Keep?

As mentioned above, you don’t want to freeze this soup, but it will stay good in your fridge for 4-5 days. And boy are the leftovers ever DELICIOUS. They reheat beautifully in the microwave, or can be reheated on the stove top over medium-low heat, stirring often.

What to Serve with Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This super thick, cheesy “broth” is just begging for some crackers or thick crusty bread for scooping up every last drop. I love saltine crackers with mine, but oyster crackers would be awesome, as would my focaccia rolls

Can I Use Frozen Broccoli?

Yes, frozen broccoli works quite well for this recipe. I do suggest letting them thaw completely before adding them to the soup, and you probably will still want to chop them into much smaller pieces (think bite-sized, fits-on-a-spoon small).

Make it Vegetarian

I used chicken broth as the base for my soup because it tends to be a little more on the mild side and the light color doesn’t overshadow the orange color of the cheese, but you can use vegetable broth instead to make this soup vegetarian. Just be aware that it tends to have a stronger flavor and the darker color may darken your soup. 

CLose up of a ladle full of broccoli cheddar soup

 
Overhead view of a bowl of broccoli cheddar soup with saltine crackers

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This super easy Broccoli Cheddar Soup is chock full of colorful, chunky vegetables in a rich and cheesy broth for a totally meal-worthy soup.
Total Cost $4.97 recipe / $1.24 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 2 cups each
Calories 426.2kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.52
  • 1 lb. broccoli $1.49
  • 2 carrots $0.23
  • 4 Tbsp butter $0.52
  • 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.04
  • 2 cups chicken broth $0.24
  • 2 cups whole milk $0.75
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 6 oz. sharp cheddar, shredded $1.27

Instructions

  • Dice the onion. Chop the broccoli into very small pieces. Peel and slice the carrots.
  • Add the butter and onion to a large soup pot and sauté over medium until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the flour and continue to sauté for about 2 minutes more, or until the flour is coating the bottom of the pot and is a light golden brown color.
  • Add the chicken broth and whisk to dissolve all the flour off the bottom of the pot. Turn the heat up to medium-high and, while stirring often, allow the broth to come up to a simmer. When it reaches a simmer it will thicken to a gravy consistency.
  • Turn the heat back down to medium and whisk in the milk, smoked paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Allow the broth to come back up to a simmer.
  • Add the chopped broccoli and carrots, allow the broth to come back up to a simmer, and continue to simmer the vegetables, stirring often, for 15 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.
  • Finally, turn the heat down to medium-low and stir the shredded cheese into the soup, one handful at a time, until it is fully melted. Taste the soup and add salt if needed (this will depend on the salt content of your broth—I did not add any).

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 426.2kcal | Carbohydrates: 22.43g | Protein: 16.65g | Fat: 30g | Sodium: 949.73mg | Fiber: 2.55g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Overhead view of a bowl of broccoli cheddar soup with saltine crackers

How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Soup – Step by Step Photos

Chopped broccoli

Dice one yellow onion, finely chop one pound of broccoli, and peel and slice two carrots. I’m showing a photo of the broccoli so you can see how fine you want the pieces. I might even go a smidge smaller on the broccoli next time. You want the pieces small enough to easily fit on a spoon!

Sautéed onion and butter, flour being added to the pot

Add the onion and 4 Tbsp butter to a large soup pot and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent. Add 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour and continue to sauté for about 2 minutes more, or until the flour is coating the bottom of the pot and has turned a light golden brown color.

Chicken broth being whisked into the pot

Whisk 2 cups chicken broth into the pot, making sure to dissolve all the flour off the bottom of the pot. Turn the heat up to medium-high and while stirring often, allow the broth to come up to a simmer, at which point it will thicken into a gravy consistency.

Whisk in milk and spices

Turn the heat back down to medium. Whisk 2 cups milk, ½ tsp smoked paprika, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp black pepper, and ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper into the thickened broth. Allow the broth to come back up to a simmer.

Chopped vegetables added to the pot

Add the chopped broccoli and sliced carrots to the pot. Allow it to come back up to a simmer, then continue to simmer the vegetables, stirring often, for 15 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.

Simmered vegetables in the soup

You can test a piece of carrot or broccoli to make sure it’s to your desired tenderness. If not, simmer a bit longer. The soup doesn’t even have any cheese in it yet, but it already looks so good!

Shredded Cheese added to the soup

Finally, add 6 oz. of shredded sharp cheddar, one handful at a time, until it is fully melted into the soup. I stopped at 6oz. (¾ of an 8oz. block), but you could always add the remaining 2oz. if you prefer.

Finished broccoli cheddar soup being stirred

And that’s a wrap! Taste your soup and see if you want to add any additional salt. This will mostly depend on the salt content of your chicken broth. I did not add any, but if your soup is tasting a little bland, a little salt can go a long way toward making the flavors pop!

Side view of broccoli cheddar soup in the pot with the ladle

Soooo thick and cheesy!! 😍

Three bowls of broccoli cheddar soup with saltines on the side

The post Easy Broccoli Cheddar Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet

Hello, new favorite! I think of this Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet kind of like “jambalaya light”. It has similar flavors and ingredients as jambalaya, but it’s a slightly scaled back, simplified version, perfect for quick weeknight dinner. And the best part? The leftovers are SO GOOD. So feel free to add this tasty skillet […]

The post Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Hello, new favorite! I think of this Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet kind of like “jambalaya light”. It has similar flavors and ingredients as jambalaya, but it’s a slightly scaled back, simplified version, perfect for quick weeknight dinner. And the best part? The leftovers are SO GOOD. So feel free to add this tasty skillet to your meal prep rotation!

Cajun Sausage and Rice in the skillet with a wooden spoon and lid half on

What Kind of Sausage Do I Use?

To make this skillet meal taste the best, try to find Andouille sausage, which is a smoked pork sausage commonly used in Louisiana cooking. If you can’t find any in your area (I’m not sure how readily available this is outside the southern U.S.), you can use any smoked sausage in its place. If you want to go so far as to special order some to get the full experience, check out the selection from Cajungrocer.com

Is Cajun Sausage and Rice Spicy?

It can be, depending on the ingredients you use. I used a “medium” heat Andouille sausage, which had a good amount of spicy heat, as well as a little cayenne pepper in my Cajun seasoning blend. If you want to make this dish mild, make sure to get a non-spicy smoked sausage, and you can skip the cayenne pepper in the spices listed in the recipe. 

Can I Use Store Bought Cajun Seasoning?

The recipe below includes a half batch of my homemade Cajun seasoning, minus the salt because the other ingredients in the skillet contained enough salt that I didn’t need to add more. The total amount of spices used is about 1 tablespoon. If you’d like to use a store bought Cajun seasoning blend, first check to see how much salt it contains. Many store bought Cajun seasoning blends contain a lot of salt and are used more like a seasoning salt, or table seasoning, and probably will not work well for this recipe. If the blend you have is mostly just herbs and spices, I would use about 1 Tbsp for this recipe.

Can I Use Brown Rice?

Brown rice requires more liquid and a much longer cook time than white rice, so you will need to take these into account if you attempt to substitute brown rice for the white rice in this recipe. While I haven’t tested a brown rice version, I would probably add at least another cup of chicken broth and increase the simmer time to closer to 40 minutes.

Side view of a skillet full of Cajun Sausage and Rice

 
Side view of a skillet full of Cajun Sausage and Rice

Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet

This easy Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet is the perfect easy and filling weeknight dinner, packed with plenty of smoky-spicy flavor!
Total Cost $7.21 recipe / $1.80 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Calories 547.75kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 14 oz. Andouille sausage* $3.99
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1 bell pepper $0.89
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.01
  • 1 15oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes $1.00
  • 1 cup long grain white rice $0.62
  • 1.5 cups chicken broth $0.20
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.20

Instructions

  • Slice the sausage into ¼-½ inch thick slices. Add the sausage and cooking oil to a deep skillet or Dutch oven and sauté over medium heat until the sausage is well browned. Don't worry if the sausage begins to brown on the bottom of the skillet. That's extra flavor that will cook into the rice later.
  • While the sausage is cooking, dice the bell pepper. Once the sausage is browned, add the bell pepper to the skillet and continue to sauté for about one more minute.
  • Add the spices (smoked paprika, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, and black pepper) to the skillet with the sausage and bell pepper and continue to sauté for one minute more to toast the spices.
  • Add the fire roasted diced tomatoes (with juices), rice, and chicken broth to the skillet. Stir to combine and dissolve any browned bits off the bottom of the skillet.
  • Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the broth to come to a full boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let the skillet simmer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the skillet from the heat and let it rest, with the lid on, for an additional 5 minutes.
  • After the skillet has rested, remove the lid, and fold the sausage and rice to redistribute the rice and sausage throughout. Top with sliced green onions and serve!

Notes

*If you can not find Andouille in your area, use any smoked pork sausage.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 547.75kcal | Carbohydrates: 50.8g | Protein: 22.23g | Fat: 28.8g | Sodium: 1328.93mg | Fiber: 4.15g

Overhead view of a bowl full of Cajun Sausage and Rice with a black fork in the side

How to Make Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet – Step by Step Photos

Andouille sausage package

This is the Andouille sausage that I used. Andouille may not be readily available in all areas, so if you can’t find any, just try to get a smoked pork sausage of some sort instead. You really want that smoky flavor!

Sautéed Andouille in the skillet

Slice the Andouille into medallions and add to a skillet with a tablespoon of cooking oil. Sauté over medium heat until the sausage is well browned. Don’t worry if the bottom of the skillet turns brown. That’s just extra flavor that will soak into the rice later!

Bell pepper and spices added to the skillet

While the sausage is browning, dice one bell pepper. Add it to the skillet and continue to sauté for about a minute. Then add the Cajun seasoning: 1 tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp dried thyme, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp onion powder, ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper, and ⅛ tsp freshly cracked black pepper. Continue to sauté the spices for another minute.

Tomatoes, rice, and broth added to the skillet

Next, add one 15oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes (with juices), 1 cup long grain white rice, and 1.5 cups chicken broth to the skillet. Stir to combine and dissolve those browned bits off the bottom of the skillet.

Skillet ready to simmer

Once everything is combined, place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the broth to come up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let the skillet simmer for 20 minutes. (Pictured: before simmering)

Simmered sausage and rice skillet

After simmering for 20 minutes, remove it from the heat and let it rest for an additional five minutes (with the lid on). After resting, it will look like the photo above.

Stirred Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet

Fold everything together to redistribute the sausage, rice, and bell peppers. OMG it looks so good at this point I just want to dive in!

Finished Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet with green onions

Top the skillet with sliced green onions and serve! It’s rich, spicy, smoky, and all around DELICIOUS.

The post Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Beef Taco Skillet

Sometimes I just throw random leftovers into a pot or skillet and just see how it turns out. 😜 But you can’t really go wrong with the ingredients that I used this time around. This Beef Taco Skillet isn’t that novel of a concept, but it was quite tasty and has a lot of room […]

The post Beef Taco Skillet appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sometimes I just throw random leftovers into a pot or skillet and just see how it turns out. 😜 But you can’t really go wrong with the ingredients that I used this time around. This Beef Taco Skillet isn’t that novel of a concept, but it was quite tasty and has a lot of room for customization, so I thought it would be the perfect “easy fix” meal to share. So tuck this Beef Taco Skillet Recipe into your bookmarks, because I think you’ll get great use out of it!

Beef Taco Skillet viewed from above, bowl of green onions on the side

I had a half pound of ground beef in my freezer, a pint of grape tomatoes that I bought for something else and never got around to using, the ever present half bunch of green onions in my fridge, and a bag of tortilla chips. They all went into the skillet with my homemade taco seasoning, a little cheese on top (I always seem to have random partial blocks of cheese in my fridge, too), and I had an incredibly easy and tasty dinner. 

Don’t the Chips Get Soft?

The tortilla chips soak up all the flavor in the skillet and get kind of soft, kind of like they do in chilaquiles, migas, or tortilla soup. It’s not a bad thing, IMHO. But if you’re not a fan of soft tortilla chips, you can always crush them over top of your skillet just before serving to make this more like a taco salad (minus the salad part). 

Other Topping Ideas

As I mentioned in the intro, this recipe is ripe for customization and you can throw just about any leftover ingredients that you might have on hand into the skillet. Anything that you might like on a taco, taco salad, or in a burrito would be good in this skillet. So check your fridge, freezer, and pantry for any of these items and toss them into the mix:

Can I Use Store Bought Taco Seasoning?

Yes, if you don’t have all the herbs and spices needed for the homemade taco seasoning in the recipe below, simply substitute one packet of store bought taco seasoning.

Can I Substitute the Ground Beef?

Yep, that’s easy, too! You can use any other ground meat (turkey, chicken, pork), or even just do an extra can of beans of you want to keep it vegetarian (extra black beans or pinto beans).

Close up of Beef Taco Skillet with a spatula scooping some out of the side

 
Close up overhead shot of beef taco skillet

Beef Taco Skillet

This Beef Taco Skillet can repurpose your leftover ingredients into a fast, easy, and hearty weeknight dinner.
Total Cost $6.30 recipe / $1.58 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 487.05kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Homemade Taco Seasoning

  • 1 Tbsp chili powder* $0.30
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika $0.10
  • 1 tsp ground cumin $0.10
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Skillet Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. ground beef $2.85
  • 1 15oz. can black beans $0.89
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes (or one large tomato) $1.49
  • 4 oz. tortilla chips $0.50
  • 2 oz. shredded cheddar cheese $0.42
  • 1 green onion $0.11

Instructions

  • Combine the ingredients for the homemade taco seasoning in a small bowl (chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne, oregano, salt, and pepper).
  • Slice the green onion and cut the grape tomatoes in half (if using one large tomato, cut it into a small dice).
  • Add the ground beef to a skillet and cook over medium until it is fully browned. If you're using a higher fat content beef (20% or higher), drain the excess fat before moving to the next step. If you're using a very lean ground beef (<10% fat) you may need to add a touch of oil to the skillet to keep the beef from sticking.
  • While the beef is cooking, rinse and drain the can of black beans. Add the black beans to the skillet with the prepared taco seasoning. Continue to stir and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes more, or until heated through.
  • Add the tomatoes to the skillet and continue to cook over medium, stirring often, until the tomatoes begin to break down a bit (about three more minutes).
  • Finally, add the tortilla chips and stir to combine with the other ingredients in the skillet.
  • Top the skillet with the shredded cheese, place a lid on top, and let it heat for 1-2 minutes, or just until the cheese is melted. Sprinkle the sliced green onions over top just before serving.

Notes

*chili powder is a blend of spices used to season chili and may be mild or hot depending on the brand. It is not pure ground red chile peppers.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 487.05kcal | Carbohydrates: 51.88g | Protein: 26.4g | Fat: 20.5g | Sodium: 863.3mg | Fiber: 15.1g

Close up overhead shot of beef taco skillet

How to Make Beef Taco Skillet – Step by Step Photos

taco seasoning spices in a small bowl

Combine the spices for the homemade taco seasoning: 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, ½ tsp dried oregano, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper. You can use a packet of store bought taco seasoning in place of the homemade taco seasoning, if needed.

Sliced green onion and grape tomatoes

Slice a green onion and a pint of grape tomatoes in half. You can use one large tomato in place of the grape tomatoes (I just happened to have those on hand and they needed to be used). If using a large tomato, cut it into a small dice.

browned ground beef in a skillet

Add 1/2 lb. ground beef to a skillet and cook over medium heat until it is fully browned. If you’re using a high fat ground beef you’ll want to drain the excess fat off before moving to the next step. If you’re using a really low fat ground beef, you may need to add a little oil to the skillet to keep it from sticking. I used 15% fat beef, which didn’t need any extra oil and didn’t need to be drained.

black beans and taco seasoning added to the skillet

While the beef is cooking, rinse and drain the black beans. Add them to the skillet along with the taco seasoning. Continue to cook and stir over medium heat for a couple more minutes.

tomatoes added to the skillet

Add the tomatoes to the skillet and continue to stir and cook just until the tomatoes begin to break down (about 3 more minutes).

Tortilla chips added to the skillet

Finally, add about 4 oz. tortilla chips (you don’t have to be exact here. I just looked on the label and it said each serving was 1 oz., or about 12 chips, so I estimated). Stir the chips into the skillet.

Shredded cheese being added to the skillet

Top the skillet with 2 oz. shredded cheddar (about ½ cup). Place a lid on top and let it heat for a couple of minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

green onions added on top of the melted cheese in the skillet

Sprinkle the sliced green onions over the beef taco skillet just before serving.

Close up side view of the finished beef taco skillet

Enjoy this taco-nacho hybrid in a skillet for all its cheesy goodness!

The post Beef Taco Skillet appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

Craving BBQ, but don’t have a pit? These Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwiches only take about 30 minutes to make and cost only a couple of bucks a piece, making them a really fast, inexpensive, and tasty way to kill that BBQ craving. Keep this recipe in your back pocket because you’ll be pulling it out […]

The post Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwiches appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Craving BBQ, but don’t have a pit? These Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwiches only take about 30 minutes to make and cost only a couple of bucks a piece, making them a really fast, inexpensive, and tasty way to kill that BBQ craving. Keep this recipe in your back pocket because you’ll be pulling it out often for quick weeknight dinners!

Two Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, one on a wooden cutting board

This recipe utilizes my Quick BBQ Chicken recipe, which I created as a sort of “à la carte” meat option for households who are trying to feed both meat-eaters and vegetarians. In addition to adding this super simple BBQ chicken to other recipes, it can also be used to make sandwiches and wraps, like this one! 

Coleslaw Options

I really like the combination of BBQ and ranch dressing, so I made a quick “ranch slaw” for this sandwich using bagged coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots) and a thick ranch dressing as the dressing. If you’re not into ranch (many people aren’t), try my classic creamy coleslaw recipe instead. It also goes great with BBQ!

Other BBQ Chicken Sandwich Topping Ideas

I kept my BBQ Chicken Sandwiches simple, because that’s how I roll, but if you like to get fancy, here are some other things you can add on top of your sandwich:

  • Pickles
  • French Fried Onions
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Fresh red onions
  • Sliced avocado
  • Bacon
  • Pineapple slices

What Kind of BBQ Sauce is Best?

You can use pretty much any type of BBQ sauce for this recipe, so I suggest going with whatever brand or flavor that you like the best. I’m not too picky about BBQ sauce, so I used what I had on hand, which was a Kroger brand hickory smoke flavored BBQ sauce. I also tend to like Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauces, so that’s another affordable option. Or, you can even try making your own Homemade BBQ Sauce.

What to Serve with BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

I’m a big fan of sweet potatoes with BBQ, so I love Spicy Sweet Potato Fries as a side for these BBQ Chicken Sandwiches. Thick cut Steak Fries (and maybe some Comeback Sauce) would also be awesome on the side. If you’re looking for something a little more fresh and vibrant to lighten up the plate, try Cowboy Caviar!

Front view of a single Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwich on a wooden cutting board

 

 

Front view of a single Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwich on a wooden cutting board

Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

These Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwiches are a fast, easy, and delicious way to satisfy your BBQ craving. No grill needed! Perfect for busy weeknights.
Total Cost $7.04 recipe / $1.76 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 415.23kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp pepper $0.02
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs $2.99
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce $0.11
  • 7 oz. coleslaw mix* $0.65
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.20
  • 1/4 cup ranch dressing $0.37
  • 4 buns $2.49

Instructions

  • Combine the smoked paprika, garlic, powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Cut any large chicken thighs in half to make them more sandwich-sized (you'll want four pieces total). Season both sides of the chicken thighs with the prepared spice mix.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, swirl to coat the surface of the skillet. Add the seasoned chicken and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until the chicken thighs are well browned and cooked through.
  • Remove the chicken from the heat and brush BBQ sauce over both sides of each piece.
  • Add the coleslaw mix, sliced green onions, and ranch dressing to a bowl. Stir until everything is combined and evenly coated in dressing.
  • To build the sandwiches, place one piece of BBQ chicken on each bun and top with a heaping scoop of the ranch slaw. Serve immediately.

Notes

* This is a bagged mix of pre-shredded cabbage and carrots. I used half of a 14oz. bag.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 415.23kcal | Carbohydrates: 32.28g | Protein: 28.18g | Fat: 18.73g | Sodium: 1552.98mg | Fiber: 2.3g

Looking for a vegetarian option? Try my BBQ Tofu Sliders.

How to Make Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwiches – Step by Step Photos

Seasoned chicken thighs on an orange cutting board

In a small bowl, combine 1 tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Cut any large chicken thighs in half to make them more sandwich-sized. You’ll need about 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Season both sides of the chicken thighs with the prepared spices.

Cooked chicken thighs in a skillet

Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, swirl the oil in the skillet to coat the surface, then add the seasoned thighs. Cook on each side for 5-7 minutes, or until they are well browned and cooked through.

BBQ sauce being brushed onto chicken thighs in the skillet

Turn off the heat and brush BBQ sauce over both sides of the chicken pieces (about ¼ cup in total).

Ranch slaw ingredients in a mixing bowl

To make the ranch slaw, combine 7 oz. (half of a 14 oz. bag) of coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots), 2 sliced green onions, and ¼ cup ranch dressing.

Finished ranch slaw in a mixing bowl

Stir until everything is combined and coated in dressing.

BBQ chicken sandwich being built on a wooden cutting board

To build the BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, place one piece of chicken on a bun and top with a heaping scoop of the ranch slaw.

Two BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, one on a cutting board, the other in the background.

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Spanish Paella Recipe

Here’s how to make a paella recipe…the Spanish way! This stunning one pan dinner features shrimp, vegetables and all the authentic flavors of this traditional dish. Here’s a stunning one pan dinner that’s made for celebrations: paella! This traditional Spanish rice dish has thousands of variations. but it’s always rice with an explosion of colorful toppings. This one is our best classic paella recipe, based on our travels through Spain! We’ve perfected the skills so you can try it at home. It stars saffron-scented rice, mixed colorful vegetables and shrimp, and it’s full of traditional flavor. Here’s everything you need to know to make paella at home! What paella types are there? Paella is a traditional Spanish dish with saffron-flavored rice topped with seafood, meat and/or vegetables and served in a shallow paella pan. There are varying sizes of paella pans: small pans for two people, and massive paella pans for a crowd. (Fun fact: the world’s largest paella was made in a pan big enough for 30,000 people!) What types of paella are there? Spaniards themselves differ on what is the most classic, authentic paella recipe. Alex and I have eaten paella in Valencia, Barcelona, and Madrid, and all […]

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

Here’s how to make a paella recipe…the Spanish way! This stunning one pan dinner features shrimp, vegetables and all the authentic flavors of this traditional dish.

Paella Recipe

Here’s a stunning one pan dinner that’s made for celebrations: paella! This traditional Spanish rice dish has thousands of variations. but it’s always rice with an explosion of colorful toppings. This one is our best classic paella recipe, based on our travels through Spain! We’ve perfected the skills so you can try it at home. It stars saffron-scented rice, mixed colorful vegetables and shrimp, and it’s full of traditional flavor. Here’s everything you need to know to make paella at home!

What paella types are there?

Paella is a traditional Spanish dish with saffron-flavored rice topped with seafood, meat and/or vegetables and served in a shallow paella pan. There are varying sizes of paella pans: small pans for two people, and massive paella pans for a crowd. (Fun fact: the world’s largest paella was made in a pan big enough for 30,000 people!)

What types of paella are there? Spaniards themselves differ on what is the most classic, authentic paella recipe. Alex and I have eaten paella in Valencia, Barcelona, and Madrid, and all of them have been vastly different. There are four main types of paella:

  • Paella de mariscos: Seafood paella with shrimp, prawns, scallops or mussels
  • Paella mixta: A mixed paella with seafood, meat and vegetables
  • Valenican-style paella (paella Valenciana): Chicken, rabbit, garrofó (a variety of lima bean), saffron, and rosemary
  • Paella de verduras: vegetarian paella with vegetables only
Spanish paella recipe

Ingredients in this paella recipe

For our best paella recipe, we used the common elements in the paella recipes we’ve had in different regions in Spain. Here’s what’s featured in this paella:

  • Traditional paella pan: you can also use a skillet (see below)
  • Bomba rice: you can also use arborio
  • Tomato, onion and garlic to make a quick “sofrito”
  • Saffron and pimentón aka smoked paprika
  • Mixed vegetables like artichokes, red pepper and peas
  • Seafood: you can also make vegetarian paella (see below)
  • Lemon wedges: garnishing with lemon is the perfect bright finish
Best paella recipe

What is the best paella pan? Do you need to use one?

A paella pan is a large round, shallow pan with handles used for cooking paella. The shallow shape lets rice cook consistently and lets it dry out more than it can in a skillet. If you have a paella pan or want one, now’s the time to use it! This recipe is for a 15-inch paella pan that serves 4 people. If you’re looking for one, here’s a link to purchase a 4-person paella pan.

Don’t have a paella pan? Don’t worry! Make this paella in your largest skillet. The larger the better! You may need to adjust the cook time slightly if you are using a skillet.

Paella pan care instructions: Paella pans are made of carbon steel and can rust. Make sure to dry the pan completely after cleaning it, and rub it with a bit of vegetable oil to prevent rusting.

Paella rice

What’s the best rice to use in paella?

The most authentic paella rice type is called bomba rice. Bomba rice is a white short grain rice. You can also use Arborio rice, which is easier to find but can result in a gummier texture than bomba. Either work! For this recipe we tried bomba and felt like it had more consistent results. You can find bomba rice online. Order it: Bomba rice

The secret spices: saffron and pimentón

This is an authentic style paella recipe, so it uses two special spices to get that traditional flavor. Here’s what to know:

  • Saffron brings an earthy flavor and a beautiful color to the dish. It’s an expensive spice, but it’s worth the splurge. What can you substitute for saffron? If you can’t find it or don’t want to splurge, use 1/2 teaspoon turmeric.
  • Smoked paprika: Called pimentón or Spanish smoked paprika, this bright red spice gives the dish more color and a smoky undertone. It’s easy to find and you’ll find it in many of our recipes here. (Here are our 20 best smoked paprika recipes.)
Easy paella recipe

Do not stir this paella recipe!

Once all the ingredients are added to the pan in paella, here’s what to do…or really, what not to do. Don’t stir it! Please repeat: no stirring allowed. The broth and spices boil through the rice, leaving everything perfectly flavored and cooked.

Traditionally, it’s good to get a brown crust on the bottom of the rice (perfectly brown, without burning it). The Spanish call this socarrat. It’s difficult to achieve the perfect socarrat because so much depends on the exact timing. It’s also a little harder to get it if you’re using a skillet. But never fear! Each time you cook this recipe, you’ll learn new things about perfecting your paella technique.

Paella variations

Variation: vegan and vegetarian paella

Don’t want to make a shrimp paella recipe? No problem. We love making vegan and vegetarian paella as well. (Or go to this Simple Vegetarian Paella.) Here’s what to do to customize this recipe:

  • Omit the shrimp! Obviously.
  • Add 1 15-ounce can chickpeas (1 1/2 cups cooked). Drain and rinse them, then add them when you add the vegetable broth.
  • Increase the salt by 1/4 teaspoon. You’ll need it to flavor the chickpeas.

This paella recipe is…

Gluten-free, pescatarian, and dairy-free. For vegetarian, plant-based, and dairy-free, see the section above.

Print
Paella Recipe

Spanish Paella Recipe


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Here’s how to make a paella recipe…the Spanish way! This stunning one pan dinner features shrimp, vegetables and all the authentic flavors of this traditional dish.


Ingredients

  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 to 3 roma or plum tomatoes (1 1/2 cups finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, peel and deveined*
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 large pinch saffron
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 3 cups seafood stock or vegetable stock 
  • 1 1/2 cups short grain Bomba rice or arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas, thawed under water
  • 1/2 cup artichoke hearts, quartered
  • Lemon wedges from 1/2 lemon
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Prep the vegetables: Mince the onion. Mince the garlic. Finely chop the tomatoes, removing the cores but keeping the seeds with their juices.
  2. Measure out the ingredients: Measure out all the remaining ingredients before you start. The cooking process goes fast!
  3. Cook the shrimp: Dry the shrimp and add it to a bowl with 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. In your largest skillet or a 4-serving paella pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the shrimp and saute until it is just barely opaque, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove the shrimp and set it aside.
  4. Cook the paella: In the same pan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil on medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic until just translucent, about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chopped tomatoes, the remaining 1 teaspoon smoked paprika and red pepper flakes, and cook until the tomatoes have broken down and most of the liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in the stock, saffron and 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Sprinkle the rice evenly across the broth and tap the pan with a spoon to evenly spread the rice. Bring to a medium simmer and cook without stirring until liquid is absorbed, about 18 to 22 minutes (adjust the cook time as necessary if using a skillet).
  5. Adjust the heat as necessary: If your pan is large enough to span multiple burners on your stovetop, adjust the heat on each burner so you achieve a steady medium simmer. Rotate the pan every few minutes for an even cook.
  6. Add the artichokes and peas: When the top of the rice is beginning to show through the liquid (about 10 minutes into the cook time), press the artichokes and peas lightly into the rice.
  7. Assess whether the paella is done: In last few minutes, carefully watch the paella and rotate pan more frequently. As the paella finishes, you’ll see the steam start to slow down as the water cooks out. If desired, peek at the bottom of a pan by using a knife to scrape back the rice — you shouldn’t see any standing water. The sound will start to change from a simmer to a crackle. This indicates the crust is forming. Let the crackling continue for about 2 minutes before removing from the heat. If you smell any burning, remove immediately.
  8. Add the shrimp and serve: When the paella is done, add the shrimp to top of paella and squeeze the lemon wedges onto the top of the pan. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of kosher salt and add the parsley, if using. Serve with additional lemon wedges.

Notes

*Vegetarian and vegan variation: Remove the shrimp. Add 1 15-ounce can chickpeas (or 1 1/2 cups cooked) when you add the veggie broth. Increase the salt by 1/4 teaspoon.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Spanish

Keywords: Paella Recipe, Paella

More paella recipes

Love paella? Here are a few more options to try:

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

Blackened Salmon with Zucchini

Are you ready for a dinner that is seriously easy and is so good that it will make you go weak in the knees? Just wait until you try this Blackened Salmon with Zucchini. The preparation couldn’t be more simple, yet the results are absolutely stunning. It’s the perfect example of how food doesn’t have […]

The post Blackened Salmon with Zucchini appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Are you ready for a dinner that is seriously easy and is so good that it will make you go weak in the knees? Just wait until you try this Blackened Salmon with Zucchini. The preparation couldn’t be more simple, yet the results are absolutely stunning. It’s the perfect example of how food doesn’t have to be complicated to be good. 

Blackened salmon with zucchini on a white plate with a black fork

Blackened Doesn’t Mean Burned

“Blackening” is a cooking technique popularized by Chef Paul Prudhomme in the 1980s. It involves coating the fish in spices and cooking at a high temperature in butter until the paprika in the spice mix and butter solids form a very dark and delicious “blackened” crust. While the exterior of the fish may appear very dark brown or almost black, there shouldn’t be a burnt flavor.

What Spices Do You Use for Blackening?

I used my Homemade Cajun Seasoning for this blackened salmon, but you can take a short cut and use a store-bought blackened seasoning blend, if you prefer. Just keep in mind that store-bought seasoning mixes may contain a different amount of salt, so you may need to add more or less to compensate.

What Kind of Skillet is Best?

The blackening technique is traditionally done with a cast iron skillet, which is great at providing the high even heat needed to form that butter-infused spice crust. I used a non-stick skillet, which I know will make some people clutch their pearls, but I was still able to get a really nice crust on my blackened salmon so I was okay with it. I’m going to just go ahead and tell you to use whatever type of cookware is easiest for you and gives you the least amount of anxiety about the fish sticking because there is nothing more devastating than losing an expensive piece of salmon stuck to a piece of cookware (although there should be plenty of oil and butter to keep that from happening here). ;) 

What to Serve with Blackened Salmon and Zucchini

I ate this as a meal on its own, but if you want to round out your plate with some carb action, I think this would be great on a bed of seasoned rice. A side of Vinaigrette Slaw with Feta would also be a nice compliment.

A fork flaking a piece of blackened salmon on the plate with zucchini

 

 

Blackened salmon with zucchini on a plate with a black fork on the side

Blackened Salmon with Zucchini

Blackened salmon coated in Cajun spices, cooked to perfection in butter, and paired with simple sautéed zucchini makes a simple but delicious dinner!
Total Cost $13.30 recipe / $3.33 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 323.63kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Cajun Seasoning

  • 2 tsp smoked paprika $0.20
  • 1 tsp dried thyme $0.10
  • 1 tsp dried oregano $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02

Salmon and Zucchini

  • 1.3 lbs. salmon $10.65
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.26
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1.3 lbs. zucchini $1.79

Instructions

  • Combine the spices for the Cajun seasoning in a bowl (smoked paprika, thyme, oregano, cumin, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper).
  • Remove the skin from the salmon, then cut it into four equal-sized portions (if not already cut). Generously coat all sides of the fish in the prepared Cajun seasoning.
  • Slice the zucchini into half-rounds and set aside.
  • Add the butter and cooking oil to a skillet and heat over medium-high. When the skillet is hot and the butter is melted and foaming, add the salmon pieces. Cook the salmon for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until a dark brown crust forms and the salmon is cooked through*.
  • Remove the cooked fish to a clean plate. Add the sliced zucchini to the skillet in its place. Quickly sauté the zucchini in the residual butter and spices until it is tender. Serve the salmon and zucchini immediately.

Notes

*The FDA recommends an internal temperature of 145ºF for fish.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 323.63kcal | Carbohydrates: 6.35g | Protein: 31.48g | Fat: 19.3g | Sodium: 405.18mg | Fiber: 2.3g

How to Make Blackened Salmon with Zucchini – Step by Step Photos

Cajun spice mix in a wooden bowl

Make the Cajun spice mix first. Combine 2 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp dried thyme, 1 tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp onion powder, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Stir the spices together.

Season salmon filets

Remove the skin from one salmon filet (1.3 lbs.), then cut it into four equal-sized pieces, keeping in mind that one end is usually thicker than the other. Generously coat all sides of the salmon filets with the Cajun seasoning. 

Butter and oil in the skillet

Add 2 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp cooking oil to a skillet. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat.

Blackened salmon being turned with tongs in the skillet

When the skillet is hot, the butter melted and foaming, add the seasoned salmon pieces. Let them cook for about 5-7 minutes on the first side, or until a dark brown crust has formed, then flip and cook for another 5-7 minutes on the other side, or until cooked through. The total cooking time may vary with the thickness of your salmon pieces.

Sliced zucchini on a cutting board

While the salmon is cooking, slice the zucchini into half-rounds.

finished blackened salmon in the skillet

Once the blackened salmon is finished cooking, remove it from a skillet to a clean plate. There should be a ton of spice-infused butter still in the skillet, so we’re going to take advantage of that for the zucchini!

Cooked zucchini in the skillet

Add the zucchini to the skillet (still over medium-high) and sauté the zucchini for just a few minutes or until it softens just a bit. The zucchini will pick up all the leftover herbs and spices in the skillet.

Blackened salmon with zucchini on a plate with a black fork on the side

Serve immediately or pack it up into meal prep containers and enjoy for the next few days (I did!).

The post Blackened Salmon with Zucchini appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Quick BBQ Chicken

We get a lot of feedback from readers who are trying to cook for families who all have different dietary needs and preferences, especially families with both vegetarians and meat eaters. So I wanted to make a series of a la carte proteins that can be cooked quickly and separately from a meal and added […]

The post Quick BBQ Chicken appeared first on Budget Bytes.

We get a lot of feedback from readers who are trying to cook for families who all have different dietary needs and preferences, especially families with both vegetarians and meat eaters. So I wanted to make a series of a la carte proteins that can be cooked quickly and separately from a meal and added for those who want it. This Quick BBQ Chicken is an easy and tasty main dish that cooks up in under 30 minutes and is great for either serving as a main dish or topping several other dishes.

Overhead view of a plate with Quick BBQ Chicken, mac and cheese, and collard greens

What to Serve with Quick BBQ Chicken

BBQ Chicken is so versatile. I have it pictured above with mac and cheese and collard greens (recipe coming soon), but it also goes great with Cowboy Caviar, Potato Salad, Spicy Sweet Potato Fries, Creamy Coleslaw, or Roasted Broccoli. You can also slice it up and use it to make a BBQ chicken pizza, BBQ chicken quesadilla, use it to top a loaded mashed potato bowl, or a salad.

What Kind of Chicken Can I Use?

This recipe is designed for boneless, skinless chicken breasts OR thighs. It works great with both, but thighs are definitely my favorite, since they are just so tender and crisp up nicely on the edges because of their extra fat. Since this recipe uses a quick skillet cooking method, it isn’t appropriate for bone-in chicken. Bone-in chicken takes much longer to cook, so it’s better for baking, braising, and slow cooking.

How Much Does This Recipe Make?

This recipe is good for about 1 lb. of chicken pieces, give or take a little. If you’d like to double the recipe, just make sure to cook the chicken in batches to prevent overcrowding the skillet, which will prevent the nice browning action that you want.

What Kind of BBQ Sauce Should I Use?

You can use whatever kind of BBQ sauce you prefer. I am not picky when it comes to BBQ sauce, so I just used a Kroger brand hickory smoke BBQ sauce that I happened to have on hand. Sweet Baby Ray’s tends to have pretty good BBQ sauces that are very affordable, too.

A Quick BBQ Chicken Breast on a cutting board with tongs, half sliced.

 
BBQ sauce being brushed onto chicken in a skillet

Quick BBQ Chicken

This Quick BBQ Chicken is an easy and tasty main dish that cooks up in under 30 minutes and can be paired with any number of sides. Perfect for weeknights!
Total Cost $4.98 recipe / $1.25 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 ¼ lb. each
Calories 255kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.03
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken* $4.63
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce $0.11

Instructions

  • If using chicken breasts, pound them to an even thickness to ensure quick and even cooking. To pound the breast, place them on a cutting board and cover with a piece of plastic wrap. Use a mallet or rolling pin to pound the thicker areas to an even ½ to ¾-inch thickness. There is no need to pound chicken thighs.
  • Combine the smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Season both sides of the chicken pieces with the spice blend.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface of the skillet. Add the seasoned chicken and cook on each side until well browned and cooked through (an internal temperature of 165ºF), about 5-7 minutes on each side.
  • Turn the heat off and brush both sides of the chicken with BBQ sauce. Let the chicken rest five minutes before slicing and/or serving.

Notes

*You can use either chicken breast or thighs for this recipe. I used both in the step by step photos below, so you can see each type of chicken through the process.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25lb. chicken | Calories: 255kcal | Carbohydrates: 1.08g | Protein: 27.25g | Fat: 15.65g | Sodium: 1165mg | Fiber: 0.23g

How to Make Quick BBQ Chicken – Step by Step Photos

Chicken breast on a cutting board covered with plastic, pounded with a rolling pin

This recipe can be made with one pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast, boneless, skinless chicken thighs, or a mix of both. If you are using chicken breasts, you’ll want to pound them to an even thickness of about 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick to make sure they cook quickly and evenly. To do this, place the chicken on a cutting board, cover with plastic to prevent splatter, then gently pound with a rolling pin or mallet until the thick end is even with the thinner end.

seasoning for bbq chicken in a small wooden bowl

Prepare the seasoning for the chicken by stirring together 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper.

seasoned chicken pieces on a cutting board

Season both sides of the chicken with the prepared seasoning blend. 

Chicken cooked in the skillet

Heat a large skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp cooking oil, swirl the oil to coat the surface of the skillet, then add the seasoned chicken pieces. Cook the chicken on each side until well browned and cooked through (internal temperature of 165ºF), about 5-7 minutes each side.

BBQ sauce being brushed onto chicken in a skillet

Turn the heat off and brush each side of the chicken with BBQ sauce.

BBQ chicken thigh on a plate with mac and cheese and collard greens

Let the chicken rest for about 5 minutes before serving, or slicing. Enjoy!

The post Quick BBQ Chicken appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Broccoli Salad

A new and improved take on the classic broccoli salad! Crunchy and savory sweet, it stars broccoli, raisins, and a flavor-popping dressing. Love broccoli salad? Us too. There’s something about that classic American broccoli salad: you know, the one with raisins and a mayo-based dressing? It’s a retro summer salad, where the florets are marinaded in the sauce until they’re soft and savory sweet. It’s oddly satisfying and gives us all those nostalgic vibes. Here’s a new and improved version of to make it fresh and healthy: but it keeps all the character and deliciousness of the original. In fact: we think it’s even better. Broccoli salad: new and improved! Mayo dressing and raisins reeks of the 1950’s and 60’s, right? While we couldn’t find a definitive history of broccoli salad, it’s got all the markers of those decades. Usually this salad is topped with bacon and sometimes cheese: taking it from a fresh and healthy salad to a decadent treat. So here at A Couple Cooks, we set about to modernize this classic (just like we did with this green bean casserole). Here’s why you should make this broccoli salad recipe: Dressing with just enough mayo. Mayo brings big […]

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

A new and improved take on the classic broccoli salad! Crunchy and savory sweet, it stars broccoli, raisins, and a flavor-popping dressing.

Broccoli Salad

Love broccoli salad? Us too. There’s something about that classic American broccoli salad: you know, the one with raisins and a mayo-based dressing? It’s a retro summer salad, where the florets are marinaded in the sauce until they’re soft and savory sweet. It’s oddly satisfying and gives us all those nostalgic vibes. Here’s a new and improved version of to make it fresh and healthy: but it keeps all the character and deliciousness of the original. In fact: we think it’s even better.

Broccoli salad: new and improved!

Mayo dressing and raisins reeks of the 1950’s and 60’s, right? While we couldn’t find a definitive history of broccoli salad, it’s got all the markers of those decades. Usually this salad is topped with bacon and sometimes cheese: taking it from a fresh and healthy salad to a decadent treat. So here at A Couple Cooks, we set about to modernize this classic (just like we did with this green bean casserole). Here’s why you should make this broccoli salad recipe:

  • Dressing with just enough mayo. Mayo brings big flavor and texture, but it doesn’t need to be swimming in the stuff. This dressing is just the right blend of creamy and savory sweet. Vegan mayo is becoming easy to find: use that for a plant-based broccoli salad.
  • Skip the cheese and bacon. Salad doesn’t need cheese and bacon to taste good! Removing those, it’s fresh and plant based.
  • Same great flavor…or better! This salad is just as satisfying as the standard…in fact, we think it’s even tastier!
Broccoli salad

Ingredients for broccoli salad

Are you convinced? Here are the ingredients you’ll need for the base of this broccoli salad:

  • Fresh broccoli: make sure it’s at its peak freshness. The fresher the broccoli, the better the salad!
  • Red onion
  • Carrot
  • Raisins: You also can use dried cranberries or cherries
  • Mayo: Use vegan mayo as desired
  • Cider vinegar
  • Dijon mustard
  • Maple syrup or sugar: Either works! use pure maple syrup for a naturally sweet salad!
Broccoli salad

Add the smoky sunflower seed topping!

Remember we told you we removed the bacon from the classic broccoli salad? You don’t need anything in place of it. But if you really want to take this salad over the top: make this smoky sunflower seed topping! It mimics the flavor of bacon using sunflower seeds that are flavored with soy sauce, maple syrup and smoked paprika. They bring just the right smoky and savory flavor to the salad.

What’s smoked paprika? It’s a smoky Spanish version of sweet paprika. You should be able to find it at most grocery stores: it’s sometimes labeled pimentón. Smoked paprika is our secret weapon in plant-based cooking and we use it in so many recipes! Go to Best Smoked Paprika Recipes to use up a jar.

How to make broccoli salad

Do you really have to refrigerate 1 hour?

Great question: and we like that you love shortcuts (we do too). In this case though: the wait time makes a difference. Yes, you do have to refrigerate broccoli salad for 1 hour! Here’s why:

  • It makes just the right tender broccoli texture. Technically, you can eat it right away. But if you do, the broccoli is crisp. Honestly, it just doesn’t taste right! Refrigerate 1 hour, and it softens just enough.
  • The flavors permeate even more! The flavor also tastes better after that 1 hour soak. The broccoli salad tastes even more tangy and savory sweet.
Broccoli salad

More broccoli recipes

Guess what? We have so many more classic broccoli recipes to enjoy this healthy veggie! Here are some favorites that you should try:

  • Broccoli Slaw This creamy broccoli slaw is irresistibly tasty! It’s easy to make using fresh broccoli or the packaged mix you can find in most grocery stores.
  • Epic Roasted Broccoli Makes this green veggie taste SO GOOD you can’t stop sneaking bites! It’s charred until tender, then spritzed with lemon juice.
  • Creamy Broccoli Potato Soup Intensely creamy, satisfying, and 100% plant based! It’s an easy healthy soup that everyone loves.

This broccoli salad recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, use vegan mayo.

Print
Broccoli Salad

Broccoli Salad (New & Improved!)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 75 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

A new and improved take on the classic broccoli salad! Crunchy and savory sweet, it stars broccoli, raisins, and a flavor-popping dressing.


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds broccoli on the stalk, enough for 8 cups florets
  • 1 cup sliced red onion
  • 1 carrot, julienned or grated
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (vegan mayo as needed)
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the topping

  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Instructions

  1. Chop the broccoli into very small florets. Slice the red onion. Stir together with the raisins.
  2. Whisk together the mayo, apple cider vinegar, sugar, Dijon mustard and salt. Add to the vegetables and mix to combine. Refrigerate for 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld and the broccoli to become soft (you can eat right away but the broccoli is crisp and has less of the traditional texture).
  3. Meanwhile, place the sunflower seeds, soy sauce, sugar, smoked paprika, and 2 pinches kosher salt in a skillet. Heat over medium low heat and sauté for about 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until they are sticky and most of the liquid is evaporated, taking care that they do not burn and scraping any sticky bits from the bottom of the pan. When they are sticky and darkened in color (and may have clumped together), remove from the heat and spread them onto parchment paper in a single layer and allow them to dry until serving, about 10 minutes.
  4. When ready to serve, top the salad with the sunflower seeds.

  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Broccoli Salad, Best Broccoli Salad

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