Cajun Sausage and Vegetables

This simple Cajun Sausage and Vegetables meal prep is a fast, easy, flavorful, and delicious way to get your daily dose of vegetables!

The post Cajun Sausage and Vegetables appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Here’s another super easy meal prep for you! This super simple Cajun Sausage and Vegetables meal prep follows the basic protein + veg formula and is super fast to make. I’ve got some additional suggestions for you below, if you’d like to bulk up the meal a bit or just make it a little fancier!

four glass containers full of Cajun sausage and vegetables

Vegetable Options

This recipe is super flexible, so if you don’t like the vegetables I chose, you can swap them out with other vegetables. Here are some options:

  • Mushrooms
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Asparagus
  • Cabbage
  • Green Beans
  • Brussels sprouts

For heartier vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts, you may want to pre-steam them for a few minutes just to make sure they get tender.

Protein Options

The Andouille sausage in this recipe is packed with herbs, spices, and a delicious smoky flavor, which ends up adding flavor to the entire dish. You can swap the sausage out with something like shrimp or chicken thighs, but if you do so, I suggest coating the chicken or shrimp well with plenty of Cajun seasoning since they don’t have seasonings built-in, like the sausage.

Bulk it Up!

If you need some carb action to keep you full and satisfied, you can serve these Cajun Sausage and Vegetables over a bed of rice. You can cook your rice in broth or add some herbs and spices for even more flavor.

Another option is to serve the sausage and vegetables over a bed of pasta. I think penne would be a great choice. If serving over penne, you can add a vinaigrette to help coat everything in flavor. I think the Smoky Vinaigrette that I used in my Smoky Roasted Sausage and Vegetables recipe would go nicely.

How Long Does it Last?

I generally keep meal preps like this for about four days, but the lifespan will vary depending on the conditions in your refrigerator, the freshness of the vegetables, and how long you cook the vegetables. Since I cooked this with the intention of reheating later, I purposely cooked the vegetables very lightly to prevent them from getting super soggy as they wait in the refrigerator. By nature, they will wilt a bit as the days go by, but undercooking them slightly can definitely help.

Close up of Cajun Sausage and Vegetables in the skillet
rectangular glass containers with Cajun Sausage and Vegetables lined up

Cajun Sausage and Vegetables

This simple Cajun Sausage and Vegetables meal prep is a fast, easy, flavorful, and delicious way to get your daily dose of vegetables!
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $6.94 recipe / $1.74 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 440kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 zucchini (½ lb.) $0.72
  • 1 yellow squash (½ lb.) $0.70
  • 1 red bell pepper $1.50
  • 1 red onion $0.28
  • 14 oz. Andouille sausage* $3.33
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil, divided $0.08
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley $0.20

Instructions

  • Slice the zucchini and yellow squash into half-rounds. Slice the red bell pepper and red onion into strips. Add all of the vegetables to a large bowl.
  • Slice the sausage into rounds. Add the sausage and 1 Tbsp cooking oil to a large skillet. Cook the sausage over medium heat until well browned. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the sausage to a clean bowl.
  • Drizzle the vegetables with the remaining 1 Tbsp cooking oil, then sprinkle the smoked paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper over top. Toss the vegetables to coat them in oil and spices.
  • Place the same skillet back over the heat and turn the heat under the skillet up to medium-high. Once very hot, add the vegetables and sauté just until they are slightly tender. The vegetables will pick up the flavor left in the skillet from the sausage, so do not clean the skillet first. Be careful to not overcook the vegetables, as they will cook more when you reheat your meal preps.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and add the cooked sausage and chopped parsley to the vegetables. Toss to combine with the vegetables. Give the sausage and vegetables a taste and adjust the salt or other seasonings to your liking.
  • Serve immediately or divide into four portions and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Notes

*If you can not find Andouille sausage in your area, you can substitute it with any smoked sausage, like kielbasa.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25recipe | Calories: 440kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 36g | Sodium: 1043mg | Fiber: 3g
Close up of a forkful of Cajun sausage and Vegetables

How to Make Cajun Sausage and Vegetables – Step by Step Photos

Chopped vegetables in a bowl

Prep the vegetables first, so they’re ready to go. Slice one zucchini and one yellow squash into half-rounds. Slice one red bell pepper and one red onion into strips. Place the vegetables in a bowl.

sliced sausage on a cutting board

Slice 14oz. Andouille sausage into rounds.

Cooked sausage in a skillet

Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Add the sausage and cook until the sausage is well browned. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the sausage to a clean bowl.

seasoning being added to the vegetables

Drizzle 1 Tbsp cooking oil over the vegetables, then sprinkle with ½ tsp smoked paprika, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper. Toss the vegetables until they’re coated in oil and spices.

Sautéed vegetables in the skillet

Turn the heat under the skillet up to medium-high. Once very hot, add the vegetables and sauté just until they begin to soften. The vegetables will pick up the flavor and browned bits left behind by the sausage. Be careful not to overcook the vegetables. Remove the skillet from the heat.

Finished Cajun sausage and vegetables in the skillet

Return the cooked sausage back to the skillet along with a couple of tablespoons of chopped parsley. Toss to combine. Give it a taste and adjust the salt or other seasonings to your liking.

rectangular glass containers with Cajun Sausage and Vegetables lined up

Serve immediately or divide into four portions and refrigerate until ready to eat.

The post Cajun Sausage and Vegetables appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges

Sweet potatoes are one of my very favorite vegetables. I love using them to make soup, tacos, salads, rolls, and of course sweet potato fries. I also REALLY love Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges. You only need a few ingredients to make them and they are SO …

Sweet potatoes are one of my very favorite vegetables. I love using them to make soup, tacos, salads, rolls, and of course sweet potato fries. I also REALLY love Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges. You only need a few ingredients to make them and they are SO delicious. They are crispy on the outside, tender on…

The post Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

If you are looking for an easy soup recipe that everyone will love, make Chicken Tortilla Soup. It is a forever favorite, a classic, a soup that always gets rave reviews! It only takes 30 minutes to make! You can’t go wrong with this one! Chicken…

If you are looking for an easy soup recipe that everyone will love, make Chicken Tortilla Soup. It is a forever favorite, a classic, a soup that always gets rave reviews! It only takes 30 minutes to make! You can’t go wrong with this one! Chicken tortilla soup is a Mexican-inspired soup that has a…

The post Chicken Tortilla Soup appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Cabbage Soup

Forget the cabbage soup diet, you’ll want to eat this super healthy vegetable-filled cabbage soup just because it tastes incredible!

The post Cabbage Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Do you remember the cabbage soup diet? It was one of those crazy fad diets where you were supposed to eat as much as you want of just one thing (in this case cabbage soup) and you’d supposedly lose weight without trying. While I’m not a fan of that type of diet, I am a big fan of the cabbage soup that the diet was centered around. Why? For one simple reason—it’s absolutely DELICIOUSYeah, I was surprised too. The first time I had the famed diet cabbage soup I expected it to be boring and bland, but I was pleasantly surprised by how extremely flavorful and comforting the soup was. I actually ended up eating it over and over again just because I wanted to. And it became a winter comfort food staple for me ever since. 😅

Originally published 1/15/2018, updated 1/8/2022.

Overhead view of a pot of cabbage soup with a ladle

Is Cabbage Soup Healthy?

I’m not going to tell you this cabbage soup will “detox” you or make you lose weight, but this soup is chock-full of a lot of the one thing that almost all of us are guilty of not getting enough of—vegetables.

I’m nicknamed this soup All You Can Eat Cabbage Soup as a tongue-in-cheek reference to the old fad diet, but seriously, eat as much as you want. The more the better, really. You’ll just be getting more of the good stuff. And guess what? This cabbage soup is insanely inexpensive, too! So even more reason to feel free to eat as much as you want!

What’s in Cabbage Soup?

The classic “cabbage soup diet” cabbage soup has taken many forms over the years, but they all have one thing in common—they’re stuffed full of non-starchy vegetables swimming in a flavorful herb-filled broth. I like my broth a bit more tomatoey, so I added some tomato sauce to thicken it up. Some people use V8 instead, but tomato sauce is much less expensive, especially when only a small amount is needed. I also added a bit of smoked paprika (because that’s my fav), and a splash of lemon juice at the end to brighten it up.

How to Store Leftovers

This recipe does make a really large batch, so it’s a good idea to freeze about half of it, just in case you can’t eat all of it within about five days. To freeze this soup, divide it into single-serving portions, chill it completely in the refrigerator first, then transfer to the freezer for longer storage. Keep in the freezer for up to three months.

Add More Protien

Soup recipes in general are very flexible, so you could always add a little extra protein to this soup to make it more filling. Here are some other great ingredients you can add:

  • Beans (cannellini, chickpeas, kidney beans)
  • Ground beef (or check out my Beef and Cabbage Soup)
  • Italian sausage
  • Cubed tofu (extra firm)
  • Shredded chicken

a bowl of cabbage soup with a spoon and garlic bread on the side

Shown with Homemade Garlic Bread.

close up of the pot of cabbage soup

Cabbage Soup

Forget the cabbage soup diet, you'll want to eat this super healthy vegetable-filled cabbage soup just because it tastes incredible! 
Course Dinner, Soup
Cuisine American
Total Cost $7.13 recipe / $1.19 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 2 cups each
Calories 133kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.32
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 4 carrots $0.57
  • 4 ribs celery $0.50
  • 1 green bell pepper $0.69
  • 1 28oz. can diced tomatoes $1.00
  • 1 8oz. can tomato sauce $0.34
  • 1/2 lb. frozen green beans $0.67
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley $0.23
  • 1/2 Tbsp smoked paprika $0.15
  • 1 tsp dried oregano $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 6 cups chopped cabbage (½ head) $1.14
  • 6 cups vegetable broth $0.78
  • 1 tsp salt $0.05
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice $0.04

Instructions

  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the onion, garlic, and olive oil to a large soup pot and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft.
  • While the onion and garlic are sautéing, peel and slice the carrots, chop the celery, and dice the bell pepper. Add the carrot, celery, and bell pepper to the pot. Continue to sauté as you measure the rest of the ingredients.
  • Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), tomato sauce, frozen green beans, chopped parsley, smoked paprika, oregano, thyme, and pepper. Continue to stir and cook while you chop the cabbage.
  • Chop the cabbage into 1-inch pieces. Add the cabbage to the pot along with the vegetable broth and stir to combine.
  • Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the soup to come to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and allow continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 40 minutes or until the cabbage is to your desired tenderness.
  • Once the cabbage is tender, season the soup with salt, starting with ½ tsp and adding more to your liking. Finish the soup by adding the lemon juice and stirring to combine. Serve hot with crusty bread for dipping.

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 1783mg | Fiber: 7g

A ladle full of cabbage soup held over the pot

How to Make Cabbage Soup – Step by Step Photos

Onion and garlic in a soup pot

Start by mincing four cloves of garlic and dicing one large onion. Add them both to a large soup pot with one tablespoon olive oil. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent.

Celery, carrot, and bell pepper added to the pot

While the onion and garlic are sautéing, peel and slice 4 carrots, slice 4 stalks of celery, and dice one green bell pepper. Add the carrots, celery, and bell pepper to the pot. Continue to sauté over medium.

Tomatoes, spices, parsley, and green beans added to the pot

Add one 28oz. can diced tomatoes (I used petite diced), one 8oz. can tomato sauce, ½ lb. frozen green beans, ¼ cup chopped parsley, ½ Tbsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp oregano, ½ tsp thyme, and ¼ tsp pepper. Stir to combine.

cabbage in soup pot, broth being poured in

Chop 1/2 head of cabbage into one-inch pieces (about 5-6 cups once chopped). Add the chopped cabbage to the pot along with 6 cups of vegetable broth.

Cabbage soup before simmering

Stir everything together, place a lid on the pot, and turn the heat up to medium-high. Allow the soup to come to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Let the soup simmer over medium-low, stirring occasionally, for about 40 minutes, or until the cabbage is to your desired tenderness.

Salt being added to the soup

Once the cabbage is tender, season the soup with salt, starting with 1/2 teaspoon, then adding more to taste (I used 1 tsp total). Next, add one tablespoon of lemon juice, which really helps brighten the flavors. 

close up of the pot of cabbage soup

And then slurp down all that vegetable-y goodness! I garnished with a little more fresh parsley, but it’s not needed for extra flavor.

close up of a bowl of cabbage soup

This soup goes great with some crusty bread (garlic or not) to soak up that delicious broth!

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Easy Chicken and Vegetable Meal Prep

This simple chicken and vegetable meal prep is an easy way to prepare meals ahead to save time and money, plus it’s customizable!

The post Easy Chicken and Vegetable Meal Prep appeared first on Budget Bytes.

It’s January again and this time of year there are a LOT of people experimenting with meal prep, whether it be for budget reasons, health reasons, or maybe you’re just trying to work on organization and time management. Well, this blog post is simply to remind you that meal prep doesn’t have to be complicated. This Easy Chicken and Vegetable Meal Prep is what I make when I don’t want to think too hard. It’s easy, always satisfying, and there is plenty of room for customization.

Four rectangular glass meal prep containers with chicken, brussels sprouts and sweet potato

The Meal Prep Formula

The easiest way to meal prep is to use a simple formula and just plug ingredients into the formula. So for this meal prep, I used the protein + veg + veg formula. Sometimes I do a protein + veg + grain. Either way, I keep the cooking method and seasonings simple to reduce effort.

A third formula that I use sometimes is refrigerator salad + protein. This formula is a little more involved, in my opinion, because salads tend to take a little more prep work than a simple roasted vegetable.

Other Vegetable Options

As mentioned above, one of the reasons I love this simple meal prep is that it’s super customizable. If you’re not a fan of the vegetables I used, you can swap them out with just about anything. Here are some options:

Keep the Seasonings Simple

One of the keys to keeping this meal prep fast and easy is to not overthink the seasonings. This is one time when I usually lean heavily on pre-made seasoning blends. I don’t want to pull out ten bottles of herbs and spices, I just want to add a sprinkle-sprinkle of one thing and that and be done with it. Some great seasoning options are steak seasoning, cajun seasoning, taco seasoning, chili seasoning, za’atar, curry powder, garlic herb seasoning, lemon pepper, or Greek seasoning.

I usually season the protein heavily, and then keep the seasonings for the vegetables quite simple (salt, pepper, maybe garlic powder) so they aren’t competing too much.

Bulk it Up

A great way to bulk this meal up a bit without adding too much to the cost is to add a grain. Try rice, quinoa, bulgur, farro, or barley are all great options. Try cooking your grain in broth instead of water for an easy extra dose of flavor.

lineup of meal prep containers with chicken, brussels sprouts, and sweet potatoes
lineup of meal prep containers with chicken, brussels sprouts, and sweet potatoes

Chicken and Vegetable Meal Prep

This simple chicken and vegetable meal prep is an easy way to prepare meals ahead to save time and money, plus it's customizable!
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Total Cost $10.59 recipe / $2.65 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 461kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts $1.99
  • 1.25 lbs. sweet potato* $1.25
  • 3 Tbsp cooking oil, divided $0.12
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp pepper $0.02
  • 1.3 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast $6.79
  • 2 tsp steak seasoning $0.20
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika $0.05
  • 1 Tbsp butter $0.10

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Rinse the Brussels sprouts and slice them in half. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, drizzle with 1 Tbsp oil, and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
  • Wash the sweet potato then slice it in half lengthwise. Prick the outside surface with a fork. Rub 1 Tbsp oil over all surfaces of the sweet potato. Place the sweet potato, cut sides down, on the baking sheet with the Brussels sprouts.
  • Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and roast for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, stir the Brussels sprouts, then return the baking sheet to the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the Brussels sprouts have reached your desired level of browning. If the sweet potato is not softened all the way through at this point, just remove the sprouts and return the sweet potato to the oven.
  • While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the chicken breast. Combine the steak seasoning, smoked paprika, and sweet paprika in a bowl. Coat the chicken breasts in the seasoning mixture.
  • Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Once hot, add the chicken breasts.
  • Cook the chicken breasts, without flipping, for about 8 minutes, or until well browned on the bottom. Flip the breasts and cook on the second side until well browned and cooked through (internal temperature 165ºF). Cooking time will vary with the thickness of the chicken.
  • Transfer the cooked chicken breast to a clean cutting board to rest for five minutes before slicing.
  • Cut the sweet potato halves in half once again to create four portions. Divide the sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and sliced chicken between four containers. Add a pat of butter to each piece of sweet potato. Refrigerate up to four days.

Notes

*I had one very large sweet potato and used ¼ of the potato per portion. You could also use two smaller sweet potatoes and use ½ of each per meal prep.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 461kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 18g | Sodium: 448mg | Fiber: 9g

How to Make Chicken and Vegetable Meal Prep – Step by Step Photos

Prepped Brussels sprouts on a baking sheet

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Rinse one pound of Brussels sprouts and slice them in half. Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet, drizzle with 1 Tbsp cooking oil, and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to coat the Brussels sprouts.

Prepped sweet potatoes on the baking sheet with Brussels sprouts

Wash a sweet potato (or two) and slice it in half length-wise. Use a fork to prick the outer skin. Rub a tablespoon of cooking oil over all surfaces of the sweet potato. Place the sweet potato, cut sides down, on the baking sheet with the Brussels sprouts.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato

Roast the vegetables for 20 minutes, then stir the Brussels sprouts and return everything to the oven for another 10-15 minutes, or until the Brussels have browned to your liking. If the sweet potatoes are not softened all the way through, simply remove the Brussels and return the sweet potato to the oven until tender.

Seasoned chicken breasts on a cutting board

While the vegetables are in the oven, prepare the chicken. Coat the outside of two boneless, skinless chicken breasts with a mix of 2 tsp steak seasoning, ½ tsp smoked paprika, and ½ tsp sweet paprika.

oil being added to the skillet

Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-low.

Cooked Chicken breasts in the skillet

Once the skillet and oil are hot, add the seasoned chicken breasts. Cook on one side, without flipping, for about 8 minutes or until well browned on the bottom. Flip the chicken breasts and cook on the second side until well browned and cooked through (internal temperature of 165º).

Sliced chicken breasts

Transfer the chicken breast to a clean cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

meal prep containers full of chicken, Brussels sprouts, and sweet potato scattered on the surface

Divide the Brussels sprouts, sweet potato, and chicken between four meal prep containers. Add a pat of butter to each sweet potato. Refrigerate up to four days.

The post Easy Chicken and Vegetable Meal Prep appeared first on Budget Bytes.

How to Cook Chicken Breast in a Pan

Learn how to cook tender, juicy, and flavorful boneless chicken breasts in a pan. Perfect for quick dinners and meal prep!

The post How to Cook Chicken Breast in a Pan appeared first on Budget Bytes.

The last two times I bought chicken breast at the grocery store, the cashiers asked me how to cook them (I had to wonder if they secretly knew what I did for a living 😅). While it can seem like a simple process, it can definitely go wrong if not done properly. And I’m not about to let you big $$$ dry, tasteless chicken breasts. So here is my full tutorial on how to cook chicken breast in a pan so that it stays juicy, flavorful, and tender.

Two chicken breasts in a skillet garnished with parsley

Why I Love Pan Seared Chicken Breasts

This has become my go-to method for cooking chicken breasts. Not only is it super fast and easy, but you get a lot of delicious browning on the outside of the meat, which is something that doesn’t happen in the gentle heat of an oven. Plus, you can change the seasoning and make it taste like something new every time!

I’ve begun cooking a couple of chicken breasts at the beginning of each week, slicing them up, then storing them in the refrigerator to add to salads, pasta, sandwiches, and bowls over the next few days. It’s only a few minutes of prep and then I’ve got an easy protein ready to add to any meal. Here is a roundup of flexible recipes that are perfect for adding any protein, like pan-seared chicken breasts.

Cooking Boneless vs. Bone-in Chicken Breasts

The cooking technique below is for boneless chicken breasts (with or without skin). Bone-in chicken breasts take much longer to cook through, so you’ll want to utilize the oven to make sure the breast heats through completely without burning on the outside. For bone-in chicken breasts, I suggest using the method outlined in my Herb Roasted Chicken Breast recipe.

How Long to Cook Chicken Breasts in a Skillet

The amount of time needed to cook a chicken breast in a pan will vary depending on the thickness of the chicken breast, the amount of heat used, and the type of cookware used. To take the guesswork out of how long to cook the chicken breasts, I suggest using an instant-read meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature of the chicken breast has reached 165ºF.

Thick Chicken Breasts

Thick chicken breasts take longer to cook through than thin chicken breasts, so I like to use lower heat (medium-low) and a longer cook time, which allows time for the meat to heat through without the outside burning. For a boneless chicken breast that is about one inch thick, I cook for about 8 minutes per side over medium-low heat.

Thin Chicken Breasts

If you buy thin cut breasts, fillet the chicken breasts yourself, or use a mallet to pound the chicken breasts to ½-inch thick, they will cook much faster. You’ll want to increase the heat to medium so you can still achieve some browning on the outside with a shorter cook time. For thinner breasts, I cook for about 4-5 minutes per side.

How to Season Chicken Breasts

I used a very classic smoky seasoning for the chicken breasts in the recipe below, but there are so many other delicious options. Here are some other ways you can season your pan-seared chicken breasts:

side view of chicken breasts in a skillet
close up of cooked chicken breasts in the skillet

Pan Seared Chicken Breasts

Learn how to cook tender, juicy, and flavorful boneless chicken breasts in a pan. Perfect for quick dinners and meal prep! 
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $7.27 recipe / $0.91 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 229kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp steak seasoning $0.20
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika $0.05
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1.3 lbs. total) $6.79
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08
  • 1 Tbsp butter (optional) $0.10

Instructions

  • Combine the steak seasoning, smoked paprika, and sweet paprika in a bowl. Coat the chicken breasts liberally with the seasoning on all sides.
  • Add the cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-low (or medium for thin-cut breasts). Once hot, swirl the oil to coat the skillet.
  • Add the chicken breasts to the skillet and cook for about 8 minutes without flipping (5 minutes for thin-cut breasts). Flip the chicken and then cook on the second side until well browned and cooked through (internal temperature of 165ºF).
  • For extra luscious chicken, add a tablespoon of butter to the skillet, allow it to melt, then flip the chicken a couple of times to coat in the melted butter.
  • Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board and allow it to rest for five minutes before slicing and serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 229kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 10g | Sodium: 197mg | Fiber: 1g
close up side view of sliced chicken breasts

How to Make Cook Chicken Breasts in a Pan – Step by Step Photos

Seasoned chicken breasts on a cutting board

Begin by seasoning the chicken breast liberally on each side. I used a mix of 2 tsp steak seasoning, ½ tsp smoked paprika, and ½ tsp sweet paprika. The steak seasoning contains salt, so no extra salt was needed in my mix.

oil being added to the skillet

Add a tablespoon or so of your favorite cooking oil to a large skillet. Heat the skillet over medium-low (or medium heat for thin cut breasts).

Cooked Chicken breasts in the skillet

Once hot, swirl the oil in the skillet to coat the surface, then add the chicken breasts. Let the chicken breasts cook for 8 minutes without flipping (or 5 minutes for thin cut breasts). Flip once and cook until well browned on the second side and cooked through.

Butter added to the skillet

To make the chicken breasts extra luscious, add a tablespoon of butter to the skillet, allow it to melt, then flip the chicken a couple of times to coat. The butter will help dissolve some of the flavor off the bottom of the skillet to further coat the chicken.

Sliced chicken breasts

Transfer the cooked chicken to a clean cutting board and allow it to rest for five minutes before slicing and serving.

close up of cooked chicken breasts in the skillet

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Baked Chicken Wings

These delicious and crispy baked chicken wings are easy enough for even inexperienced cooks, and are the perfect snack for game day.

The post Baked Chicken Wings appeared first on Budget Bytes.

We’re smack dab in the middle of what I like to call “food season.” First, Thanksgiving, then Christmas, and now New Year’s Eve and FOOTBALL! You’ll no doubt need some tasty appetizers to nibble on while you anxiously watch your team play on game day, so I want to offer you some homemade snacks so you’re not tempted to order in. These Baked Chicken Wings are incredibly simple, delightfully crispy, and they can be enjoyed plain or drenched in your favorite sauce.

Close up of a platter of chicken wings with celery and sauces

How to Make Baked Chicken Wings Crispy

Coating chicken wings with cornstarch helps make them extra crispy when baked. The fat from the chicken wing combines with the cornstarch to create extra-crispy skin. But lately, instead of just doing a dry dusting of cornstarch on the chicken wing, I’ve started adding both cornstarch and a small amount of oil. Adding a little bit of oil helps the chicken wings brown and crips up a lot more evenly, which is perfect if you plan to serve the chicken wings plain, without a coating of sauce. …And it’s still way less oil and a lot easier than deep frying. ;)

How to Season Chicken Wings

For the recipe below, I created a very basic seasoning that isn’t too heavy so that it is flexible enough to match with whatever sauce or dip you decided to serve with the wings. If you plan to serve the wings without a sauce or dip and want to punch up the seasoning a bit, you can double the spices listed in the recipe below. If you’d like to try a different seasoning all together, try using 1-2 Tbsp of any of the following seasonings:

Sauces for Chicken Wings

I don’t know about you, but flavorful sauces are probably my favorite part about eating chicken wings. Whether you plan to coat the wings in the sauce or just serve it on the side for dipping, there are so many great options for wing sauce. Here are some sauces you can use for chicken wings:

What to Serve with Chicken Wings

It’s always nice to have some fresh vegetables alongside your chicken wings because their cold, crunchy, fresh texture is such a nice contrast to the crispy wings. Traditionally that would be fresh celery and carrots, but I think fresh broccoli, cauliflower, or grape tomatoes would also be nice. Plus, vegetables usually taste great dipped in the same sauces as your wings (ranch, honey mustard, etc.).

If you want to fill out your appetizer spread, try adding: Spicy Chex Mix, Hot Corn Dip, Chorizo Cheese Dip, Cowboy Caviar, and Spinach Artichoke Dip.

Side view of a platter of baked chicken wings
A platter full of baked chicken wings, celery, and two dipping sauces

Baked Chicken Wings

These delicious and crispy baked chicken wings are easy enough for even inexperienced cooks, and are the perfect snack for game day.
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Total Cost $10.35 recipe / $3.45 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 3 about 4 pieces each
Calories 895kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch $0.03
  • 1/2 tsp paprika $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder $0.03
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.03
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08
  • 2.5 lbs. chicken wings or drumettes $9.98

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, paprika, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, pepper, and salt.
  • Pat the wings dry, then place them in a bowl. Drizzle the cooking oil over top, then toss until the wings are coated in oil. Add the cornstarch-seasoning mixture, then toss to coat again.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup, then place wire cooling racks on top. Place the seasoned chicken wings on the wire racks with space between each wing.
  • Bake the wings for 30 minutes, then flip and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the wings have achieved the amount of browning desired (this will depend on the size of your wings).
  • Serve hot with your favorite sauce!

Nutrition

Serving: 4wings | Calories: 895kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 70g | Fat: 65g | Sodium: 665mg | Fiber: 1g

How to Make Baked Chicken Wings – Step by Step Photos

Cornstarch and spices in a bowl

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a small bowl, combine 1 Tbsp cornstarch, ½ tsp paprika, ½ tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp onion powder, ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper, ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper, and ½ tsp salt.

Seasoning being sprinkled over the chicken wings

Pat dry 2.5 lbs. chicken wings or drumettes. Place the dried chicken in a bowl, drizzle with 1 Tbsp cooking oil, and toss to coat. Add the cornstarch-seasoning mixture and toss to coat again. Add the cornstarch-seasoning mixture and toss to coat again.

Seasoned chicken wings in a bowl

The wings are now coated in a light mixture of oil, cornstarch, and seasoning which will create a flavorful and crispy exterior once baked.

Wings on the prepared baking sheet

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Place two wire cooling racks on top. Add the seasoned chicken on top of the wire racks with some space between each wing (if they’re too close they won’t get as crispy).

Baked chicken wings on the baking sheet

Bake the chicken wings in the preheated 400ºF oven for 30 minutes, then flip each wing over. Bake for another 20-25 minutes, or until they achieve the amount of browning you like.

A hand dipping a chicken wing into a bowl of ranch on a platter

Serve hot with some fresh vegetables and your favorite sauces for dipping!

Try These Other Chicken Wing Recipes:

The post Baked Chicken Wings appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sweet Potato Refried Bean Tostadas

When we need an easy meal that the entire family loves, we make tostadas! Our Easy Tostadas are our go to, but sometimes we mix it up and make Sweet Potato Refried Bean Tostadas. These are my personal favorite because all of the flavors are SO good! Th…

When we need an easy meal that the entire family loves, we make tostadas! Our Easy Tostadas are our go to, but sometimes we mix it up and make Sweet Potato Refried Bean Tostadas. These are my personal favorite because all of the flavors are SO good! This is a vegetarian meal that is so…

The post Sweet Potato Refried Bean Tostadas appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Vegan Split Pea Soup

This vegan split pea soup is fast, easy, and comforting. It’s the perfect cozy meal for chilly fall and winter days.

The post Vegan Split Pea Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

You know how I love my legumes (beans, peas, and lentils). They’re shelf-stable, versatile, filling, and always inexpensive. And split peas are definitely an underrated legume, IMHO. They cook super fast, they make deliciously rich and comforting soups, and they’re just packed with both fiber and protein. While I’ve made multiple versions of split pea soup in the past, this vegan split pea soup is probably the easiest one yet. It’s a simple, basic recipe that is easy enough to make even on those days when you feel overloaded, mentally or physically. Just the smell of it simmering away on your stove top is in itself restorative. :)

Overhead view of a bowl of split pea soup with saltine crackers

What are Split Peas?

Split peas are just what they sound like, green peas that have been dried and split in half. You’ll find them in the dry bean aisle, right next to bags of other types of dry beans. You may find both green split peas and yellow split peas, either of which will work fine for this recipe.

Split peas are great to cook with because they cook quickly with no soaking, and because they’re already split open, they break down and thicken soups really quickly. They’re probably the easiest way to get your daily dose of legumes!

No Ham??

As mentioned above, this isn’t my first go at split pea soup. There are a lot of different ways you can make a delicious split pea soup and most contain some sort of pork for flavor. To keep a lot of flavor in this vegan split pea soup, I made sure to use a good dose of herbs and spices, including smoked paprika, which gives a similar smoky flavor to bacon or ham. If you want your soup to be extra rich, you can also add a dollop of coconut oil.

This soup creates its own flavorful broth with a medley of vegetables and a handful of herbs and spices, but if you want to ramp it up even more you can replace the water in the recipe below with vegetable broth. Just keep in mind that broth usually contains salt, so you’ll want to add less salt at the end. Vegetable broth is often pretty dark as well, so your soup will likely not be as vibrant in color.

What to Serve with Split Pea Soup

This thick and flavorful soup is so cozy, you’ll definitely want some crackers or crusty bread to scoop up all that goodness! Saltines or oyster crackers are great, but so are homemade croutons or some homemade bread for dunking, like Homemade Focaccia.

Other Split Pea Soup Variations

Here are some other variations on delicious split pea soup:

Thick split pea soup on a spoon in the soup bowl
Thick split pea soup on a spoon in the soup bowl

Vegan Split Pea Soup

This vegan split pea soup is easy and comforting. It's the perfect cozy meal for chilly fall and winter days.
Total Cost $3.16 recipe / $0.63 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 5 1.5 cups each
Calories 390kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 yellow onion $0.28
  • 3 ribs celery $0.36
  • 3 carrots $0.24
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 1 lb. split peas (dry) $1.49
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika $0.05
  • 1 tsp dried parsley $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper $0.02
  • 6 cups water $0.00
  • 1.5 tsp salt (or to taste) $0.07

Instructions

  • Mince two cloves of garlic. Dice the onion, celery, and carrots. Add the garlic, onion, celery, and carrots to a large pot with olive oil and sauté over medium heat for about five minutes, or until the onions are soft.
  • Add the dry split peas, smoked paprika, parsley, oregano, thyme, pepper, and water to the pot. Stir to combine.
  • Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the water up to a boil. When it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and continue to let the soup simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes, or until the peas have completely broken down and the soup is thick.
  • Add salt to the soup by taste, starting with ½ teaspoon. I added about 1.5 tsp. Serve hot with crackers or crusty bread for dipping!

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 390kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 7g | Sodium: 771mg | Fiber: 25g
Close up of a ladle full of split pea soup held over the pot

How to Make Vegan Split Pea Soup – Step by Step Photos

chopped vegetables in the soup pot

Start by dicing one yellow onion, three ribs of celery, and three carrots, and mincing two cloves of garlic. Add them to a large soup pot along with 2 Tbsp olive oil.

sautéed vegetables in the pot

Sauté the vegetables over medium heat until the onions are soft.

peas, herbs, and water added to the pot

Add one pound of split peas to the pot along with ¼ tsp dried thyme, ½ tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp dried parsley, ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper, and six cups of water.

stirred soup ingredients in the pot

Stir everything to combine, place a lid on top, then turn the heat up to medium-high to bring the soup up to a boil.

Thickened split pea soup being stirred

Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the soup simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes or until the peas have completely broken down and the soup has thickened.

Finished split pea soup in the pot with a ladle

Finish the soup by salting to taste. Start with ½ tsp salt and continue to taste and add more until the soup taste bright and vibrant. I added 1.5 tsp and then it was just right! You can garnish with fresh parsley, if desired, but it’s not needed for flavor.

A bowl full of split pea soup with saltine crackers, a spoon in the side

Serve hot with crackers, croutons, or crusty bread for dipping!

The post Vegan Split Pea Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Easy Taco Pizza

If you are looking to shake up your regular taco night or pizza night, make Taco Pizza! You get the best of both worlds in one EASY recipe! Top flatbread with refried beans, salsa, taco meat, and lots of cheese! Add on your favorite taco toppings and e…

If you are looking to shake up your regular taco night or pizza night, make Taco Pizza! You get the best of both worlds in one EASY recipe! Top flatbread with refried beans, salsa, taco meat, and lots of cheese! Add on your favorite taco toppings and eat it up! This is a great recipe…

The post Easy Taco Pizza appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.