Southwest Cauliflower Rice

Southwest Cauliflower Rice is a quick, easy, and flavorful side dish that can also be spruced up and turned into an entire meal!

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Look, I’m not one to say that cauliflower tastes like rice. It doesn’t. Not to me anyway. But there is something to say for cauliflower that has been “riced.” Or cauliflower that is minced to the size of small granules. It’s a fun and useful ingredient in its own right. So today I’m highlighting a really easy recipe using riced cauliflower. This Southwest Cauliflower Rice makes a super flavorful and easy side dish, or you can spruce it up and turn it into an entire meal! Keep on reading to find out how.

Overhead view of a skillet full of Southwest Cauliflower Rice garnished with lime and a bowl of salt on the side

What is Cauliflower Rice?

Cauliflower rice is simply cauliflower that has been minced to rice-sized granules. It takes on flavors really well and is an easy way to add a bunch of vegetable fiber to your meals. You can find this in the freezer section of most major grocery stores, or you can make your own with a food processor or a knife. I’ve got a tutorial for this coming later this week!

Cauliflower rice gained in popularity with the low-carb movement because a lot of people use it as a substitute for rice. I don’t find them to be similar at all, but I think that it’s useful as its own unique way.

Take a Short Cut with Taco Seasoning

I seasoned this dish with my Homemade Taco Seasoning (minus the cayenne and garlic powder), but if you want a short cut or don’t yet have a well stocked spice cabinet, you can use one packet of store-bought taco seasoning in place of the herbs and spices listed in the recipe below.

Overhead view of a bowl full of southwest cauliflower rice with a fork on the side

Is it Spicy?

I would rate this as a “medium” on the spicy scale. All of the heat is going to come from either the diced tomatoes with green chiles or the chili powder. Some brands of both chili powder and diced tomatoes with green chiles do make mild versions (no heat), so if you can’t handle spiciness, make sure you look for non-spicy versions of both of these ingredients. You can also try using fire-roasted diced tomatoes in place of the tomatoes with green chiles.

How to Serve Southwest Cauliflower Rice

This simple recipe makes a great side dish to any southwest-flavored dish, like Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas, Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas, Baked Beef and Black Bean Tacos, or Black Bean and Avocado Enchiladas. But you can also add a few ingredients and just make the cauliflower rice into a whole meal…

Make it a Meal

To make this Southwest Cauliflower Rice into a full meal you can add a can of black beans, ground beef or turkey, top it with some shredded cheese, sliced avocado, and maybe a couple of jalapeños. In fact, let me just put that on my list of recipe to make because now I want some!!

Overhead view of a skillet full of southwest cauliflower rice with a bowl of salt and cilantro on the side
Close up overhead of southwest cauliflower rice in a skillet with a wooden spoon

Southwest Cauliflower Rice

Southwest Cauliflower Rice is a quick, easy, and flavorful side dish that can also be spruced up and turned into an entire meal!
Total Cost $3.00 recipe / $0.75 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 ¾ cup each
Calories 83.05kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 4 cups cauliflower rice $1.66
  • 1 10oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles $0.50
  • 1/2 Tbsp chili powder $0.15
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.20

Instructions

  • Mince the garlic and add it to a skillet with the olive oil. Sauté over medium heat for about one minute, or just until the garlic is slightly softened and fragrant.
  • Add the cauliflower rice and continue to sauté for about five minutes, or until the cauliflower is a little softer.
  • Finally, add the diced tomatoes with green chilies (and all the juices from the can), as well as all the spices: chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Continue to stir and cook for about five minutes more, or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  • Taste the cauliflower rice and adjust the salt or other spices to your liking. Top with sliced green onions and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.75cup | Calories: 83.05kcal | Carbohydrates: 10.13g | Protein: 3.33g | Fat: 4.08g | Sodium: 456.33mg | Fiber: 3.95g
Side view of a fork picking up some southwest cauliflower rice out of a bowl

How to Make Southwest Cauliflower Rice – Step by Step Photos

Cauliflower rice in a skillet with a spatula

Mince two cloves of garlic and add them to a skillet with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Sauté the garlic over medium heat for about one minute, or just until soft and fragrant. Add 4 cups of cauliflower rice and continue to sauté for about five minutes, or until the cauliflower has softened.

Tomatoes being poured into the skillet with cauliflower rice and spices

Add one 10oz. can of diced tomatoes with green chiles (with the juices), ½ Tbsp chili powder, ½ tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp dried oregano, ¼ tsp salt, and ⅛ tsp pepper.

Finished southwest cauliflower rice in the skillet

Continue to sauté the cauliflower, tomatoes, and spices for about five minutes more, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Give the cauliflower rice a taste and adjust the salt or other spices to your preferences. Top with sliced green onions and serve!

Close up overhead of southwest cauliflower rice in a skillet with a wooden spoon

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Tajín Shrimp Tacos

These bright and zesty Tacos feature Tajín seasoned shrimp and a simple slaw dressed with a homemade avocado dressing.

The post Tajín Shrimp Tacos appeared first on Budget Bytes.

As the weather starts to warm up I start craving light, fresh food, like these Tajín Shrimp Tacos. These tacos are so simple, with bright chili-lime flavored Tajín seasoned shrimp and a simple slaw made with homemade avocado dressing. They’re the perfect little bites to enjoy with the first warm rays of sun of the season! As always, I’ll list some substitutions and add-on ideas for you below!

Three Tajín Shrimp Tacos open faced on a wooden board, ingredients on the sides

What is Tajín?

Tajín seasoning is a Mexican spice blend containing chili, lime, and salt. This super simple blend packs huge flavor and is incredibly delicious when sprinkled onto fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, or really just about everything. You can find this seasoning in the produce department of most major grocery stores in the U.S. Scroll down to the step-by-step photos below to see a photo of the bottle, so you know what to look for! :)

Can I Substitute the Shrimp?

If you’re not a fan of shrimp, you can also use Tajín to season white fish, like cod, tilapia, or Mahi Mahi instead. You could also use the Tajín to season some cubed or shredded chicken.

Can I Substitute the Avocado Dressing?

Yes, you have a few different options for dressing the slaw for these tacos. When I first made this recipe, I actually used a store-bought guacamole salsa mixed with a little bit of mayonnaise to make the slaw. You could also use something like an avocado ranch dressing, or make my Cilantro Lime Coleslaw.

Take a Short Cut with Coleslaw Mix

I had half a head of purple cabbage in my fridge that I used for this recipe, but you could also use fresh green cabbage, or even take a short cut by using bagged coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots). Green cabbage may even work a little better here because the natural pigment of the purple cabbage turns kind of brown when mixed with the green avocado dressing.

What Else Can I Add to the Shrimp Tacos?

Tacos are great because they’re so flexible. There are so many things you could add to these tacos to make them your own. Here are a few ideas:

What to Serve with Tajín Shrimp Tacos

I suggest keeping your side dish light, with something like Charred Corn and Zucchini Salad, Cucumber and Black Bean Salad, or Warm Corn and Avocado Salad. Or you can go with some simple sides like Quick Seasoned Black Beans and Cilantro Lime Rice.

A hand picking up one Tajín Shrimp Taco off a plate of three
Three Tajín Shrimp Tacos open faced on a wooden board

Tajín Shrimp Tacos

These bright and zesty tacos feature Tajín seasoned shrimp and a simple slaw dressed with a homemade avocado dressing. 
Total Cost $9.62 recipe / $2.41 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 three tacos each
Calories 420.35kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Avocado Dressing

  • 1 avocado $0.89
  • 1/4 cup sour cream $0.12
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise $0.40
  • 1 clove garlic $0.08
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro $0.20
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice $0.50
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02

Tajín Shrimp

Other Ingredients

  • 1/2 head red cabbage (about 4 cups shredded) $0.93
  • 12 small corn tortillas $1.20
  • 1 jalapeño (optional) $0.10

Instructions

  • Make the avocado dressing first. Add the avocado, sour cream, mayonnaise, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and salt to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Set the dressing aside.
  • Finely shred the cabbage, so the slaw is ready to be mixed just before serving. Thinly slice the jalapeño (if using).
  • Toast the corn tortillas. You can do this over the open flame of a gas stove, or in a very hot dry skillet. When the skillet is very hot, the tortillas only need to touch the skillet for about 10 seconds on each side to give it that toasty corn flavor. This also helps strengthen the tortillas a bit.
  • If you shrimp are frozen, place them in a colander and run cool water over top until thawed. Remove the peel and tail, if attached. Allow the shrimp to drain well, then place them in a bowl and add the Tajín. Stir to coat the shrimp in Tajín.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a large skillet over medium. When the skillet and oil are very hot, add the seasoned shrimp and sauté until the shrimp are opaque (this should only take about three minutes). If there is a lot of liquid in the bottom of the skillet, remove the shrimp and then allow the liquid to simmer until thickened. Turn off the heat and then toss the shrimp in the thickened sauce.
  • Just before serving, combine the shredded cabbage with about ½ cup of the avocado dressing and stir until the cabbage is evenly coated. The rest of the avocado dressing will be drizzled over the tacos.
  • To build the shrimp tacos, add a handful of slaw to the bottom of each tortilla then top with a few shrimp and a couple slices of jalapeño. Drizzle a little of the remaining avocado dressing over top, then enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 3tacos | Calories: 420.35kcal | Carbohydrates: 33.33g | Protein: 19.63g | Fat: 23.88g | Sodium: 752.5mg | Fiber: 7.83g
Close up of three Tajín Shrimp Tacos on a plate

How to Make Tajín Shrimp Tacos – Step by Step Photos

Avocado dressing in a blender

Make the avocado dressing first. Add one avocado, ¼ cup sour cream, ¼ cup mayonnaise, 1 clove of garlic, ¼ cup cilantro, 2 Tbsp lime juice, and ¼ tsp salt to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Shred ½ head cabbage (about 4 cups) and slice one jalapeño.

Toasted tortillas in a skillet

Toast 12 small corn tortillas. You can do this over the open flame of a gas stove or in a very hot dry skillet. They only take about 10 seconds per side to toast. This gives them a deliciously toasty corn flavor and helps strengthen them a bit.

Shrimp seasoned with Tajín in a bowl

If your shrimp are frozen, place them in a colander and run cool water over them until thawed (it’s pretty fast). Remove the peels and tails, if still attached. Place 12oz. raw medium peeled shrimp in a bowl and add ½ Tbsp Tajín seasoning. Stir to coat the shrimp in seasoning.

Cooked shrimp in a skillet

Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a skillet over medium. When the skillet and oil are hot, add the seasoned shrimp. Sauté the shrimp until they are opaque (this should only take a few minutes). If there is a lot of liquid in the bottom of the skillet, remove the shrimp and let the liquid simmer a few more minutes to thicken. Turn off the heat and toss the shrimp in the thickened sauce.

Finished avocado slaw in a bowl with a spatula

Just before serving, prepare the slaw. Add about ½ cup of the avocado dressing to the shredded cabbage and stir to coat. The rest of the dressing will be used to top the tacos.

Avocado dressing being drizzled over a shrimp taco on a plate

To build the tacos, add some of the prepared slaw to each tortilla, top with a few shrimp and a couple slices of jalapeño. Drizzle some of the remaining avocado dressing over top, then enjoy!

Three Tajín Shrimp Tacos open faced on a wooden board

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Cumin Lime Coleslaw

I used to really hate coleslaw until I made my own homemade coleslaw. It’s so fresh, crunchy, and creamy, and not at all gloppy or heavy like the storebought stuff. AND you can make it different flavors to suit your meal! This Cumin Lime Coleslaw has a bright and sunny dressing made with fresh lime juice, earthy […]

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I used to really hate coleslaw until I made my own homemade coleslaw. It’s so fresh, crunchy, and creamy, and not at all gloppy or heavy like the storebought stuff. AND you can make it different flavors to suit your meal! This Cumin Lime Coleslaw has a bright and sunny dressing made with fresh lime juice, earthy cumin (which has always smelled kind of lemony to me), and a small pinch of cayenne. Green onions and shredded carrots add color and flavor to the crunchy cabbage and round out this easy, breezy coleslaw.

Originally posted 3-25-2015, updated 2-17-2021.

side view of a bowl of cumin lime coleslaw with green onion and limes on the side

How to Serve Cumin Lime Coleslaw

As with any coleslaw, this one makes a great side dish for things like Cilantro Lime Chicken, Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas, or Turkey Taco Skillet. But you can also pile it onto a sandwich, use it to top tacos, or even use it as a base for a bowl meal! And last week, I served it as a side to some tacos made with my Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork and Pickled Red Onions. That combo was to die for!

Take a Short Cut

If you’re short on time, you can skip shredding your own cabbage and carrots and use a bag of coleslaw mix (pre-shredded cabbage and carrots). You’ll want one bag (14-16oz.) for this recipe.

How Long Does it Stay Fresh?

This cumin lime coleslaw stays good in the fridge for about 2-3 days. It does soften a bit as it refrigerates, but it’s still quite tasty. You’ll want to give it a good stir before serving each time to redistribute the dressing.

overhead view of a bowl full of cumin lime coleslaw with green onion and limes on the side

overhead view of a bowl full of cumin lime coleslaw with green onion and limes on the side

Cumin Lime Coleslaw

Fresh lime juice and earthy cumin give this Cumin Lime Coleslaw a light, fresh, and summery flavor. Perfect for summer BBQ or any southwest inspired meal.
Total Cost $2.51 recipe / $0.42 serving
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 3/4 cup each
Calories 170.48kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise $0.80
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime) $0.50
  • 1 tsp ground cumin $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper $0.01
  • 1 tsp sugar $0.02
  • 1/2 head green cabbage (about 6 cups shredded) $0.68
  • 2 carrots $0.16
  • 4 green onions $0.22

Instructions

  • Prepare the coleslaw dressing by stirring together the mayonnaise, lime juice, cumin, salt, sugar, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Refrigerate the dressing until ready to use.
  • Remove the core from the cabbage and then finely shred. Peel the carrots, then use a large holed cheese grater to shred the carrots. Thinly slice the green onions.
  • Combine the shredded cabbage, carrots, and green onions in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over top, then stir until everything is well coated in dressing. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. After refrigerating, make sure to stir the slaw well before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 170.48kcal | Carbohydrates: 10.65g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13.97g | Sodium: 349.73mg | Fiber: 3.72g

Closeup of a forkful of cumin lime coleslaw with the bowl in the background

How to Make Cumin Lime Coleslaw – Step by Step Photos

Overhead view of the cumin lime coleslaw dressing in a bowl with a spoon, cut limes on the side

Begin by making the dressing so the flavors have a little time to blend. Combine 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Shredded cabbage, carrots, and sliced green onion in a bowl

Finely shred 1/2 of a head of cabbage (about 6 cups), shred one carrot using a cheese grater, and slice four green onions. Add the cabbage, carrot, and onions to a large bowl.

coleslaw dressing being poured over the vegetables in the bowl

Pour the dressing over the vegetables and then stir until everything is well coated. Serve the Cumin Lime Coleslaw immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. As will all slaws, the salt in the dressing will cause the cabbage to slowly soften and let off a little water, so be sure to stir the slaw before serving to redistribute the dressing.

Finished cumin lime coleslaw from above

But if you need to prepare it ahead of time, go ahead and make the dressing and prep the vegetables, but combine the two just before serving for the crunchiest coleslaw possible.

Side view of a bowl full of cumin lime coleslaw

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Slow Cooker Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork

There’s nothing quite like a slow-cooked, tender, juicy shredded pork. It’s versatile and freezes well, so I love making a big batch of this Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork to keep on hand for quick dinners later. This heavily spiced pulled pork has become one of my favorites over the years and is probably one of […]

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There’s nothing quite like a slow-cooked, tender, juicy shredded pork. It’s versatile and freezes well, so I love making a big batch of this Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork to keep on hand for quick dinners later. This heavily spiced pulled pork has become one of my favorites over the years and is probably one of my most cooked recipes. It’s just too easy, with the slow cooker doing all the work, and the results are soooo delicious! 

Originally posted 9-12-2015, updated 2-13-2021.

Overhead view of a bowl full of chili rubbed pulled pork with taco fixings on the sides

Use a Slow Cooker for Tender, Moist Meat

Pulled pork is super easy to make, especially if you have a slow cooker. Slow cooking holds in all the moisture during cooking and slowly breaks down connective tissue, so the meat is so tender that it just falls apart and shreds with the touch of a fork. Combine those spectacular results with the fact that slow cookers are essentially hands off, and this is, without dispute, my favorite way to make pulled pork.

How To Use Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork

This delicious shredded meat can be used so many different ways. Pile the pork into rice bowls, burritos, quesadillas, tacos, or just enjoy on a bun. I also love using it to top salads for an extra shot of protein.

Freeze the Extras

This makes a BIG batch, so keep some in your fridge for the week and freeze the rest. To freeze the pulled pork, divide the pork into more manageable portions (I usually do 1-2 cup portions), then chill it completely in the refrigerator overnight. Transfer the pork to the freezer once completely cooled and keep frozen for up to 3 months. Any freezer safe container works.

Front view of a bowl full of chili rubbed pulled pork with taco fixings in the back

Overhead view of a bowl full of chili rubbed pulled pork with taco fixings on the sides

Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork

Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork is a tender, juicy, and flavorful meat that can be used for tacos, nachos, burritos, salads, and more!
Total Cost $5.54 recipe / $0.92 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 (1/2 cup each)
Calories 434.52kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. boneless pork butt or shoulder $4.47
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder* $0.60
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika $0.30
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.05
  • 1 tsp salt $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Instructions

  • Combine the chili powder, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper in a bowl.
  • Cut the pork butt into 2-3 inch cubes. Place the pork cubes in a large bowl, sprinkle the prepared spice mix over top, then stir to coat the meat in the spices.
  • Place the seasoned meat in a slow cooker, place the lid on top, and cook on high for 4-5 hours, or low for 8-9 hours.
  • After cooking, stir the meat with a fork to shred the meat. If it's not tender enough to fall apart when stirred, return the lid and cook for an additional 30 minutes adn try again. After shredding the meat, it is ready to serve, or portion and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use. Keep the shredded meat in the juices from the slow cooker until ready to serve for the best flavor.

Notes

*This chili powder is not spicy. It is a mild, earthy blend of chiles and other spices commonly referred to as "chili powder" in the United States.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5Cup | Calories: 434.52kcal | Carbohydrates: 2.37g | Protein: 40.1g | Fat: 28.6g | Sodium: 649.27mg | Fiber: 1.42g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Three pulled pork tacos on a plate with coleslaw

Chili rubbed pulled pork served as tacos in corn tortillas with sliced jalapeños, pickled red onions, and cotija, Cumin Lime Coleslaw on the side.

How to Make Slow Cooker Pulled Pork – Step by Step Photos

Spices for the chili rubbed pulled pork in a small wooden bowl

Prepare the chili spice rub first. In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbsp chili powder, 1 Tbsp smoked paprika, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp onion powder, 1 tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Stir until they’re evenly mixed.

Pork butt cut into large chunks

Cut one 3 lb. boneless pork butt or shoulder into large chunks (about 2-3 inch pieces). 

Seasoned pork butt pieces in a bowl

Place the pieces of pork in a bowl and pour the spices over top. Stir the pork pieces until they’re evenly coated in spices.

Seasoned pork in the slow cooker

Place the seasoned pork in a slow cooker (I’m using a 5 qt slow cooker and it’s only about half full). I do not add any water or liquid to the slow cooker, as the meat will release quite a bit of liquid as it cooks. If your slow cooker specifies that you must add some liquid, you can add a cup of water.

Cooked Pork in the slow cooker

Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8-9 hours. After cooking it should be so tender that it begins to fall apart when stirred. If it doesn’t, simply put the lid back on and continue to cook for 30-60 minutes more. Sometimes that last little bit of time makes a huge difference in the texture.

Shredded pork in the slow cooker

Stir the pork in the slow cooker until it has shredded into smaller pieces. Serve immediately or transfer to a food storage container and refrigerate and/or freeze for later. I like to keep the meat right in the cooking juices during storage for maximum flavor.

Overhead view of a bowl full of chili rubbed pulled pork with taco fixings on the sides

It’s soooo tender and juicy! And those spices!!

Close up of a chili rubbed pulled pork taco

And it makes the absolute BEST tacos!!

Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork - BudgetBytes.com

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Turkey Taco Salad

This Turkey Taco Salad is an easy, light, and fresh dinner that’s flexible enough to feed all your family members. Mix and match your favorite taco salad toppings, or just use up what you have in your fridge!

The post Turkey Taco Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Winter is full of lots of heavy, slow cooked, or stewed comfort foods and right around this time every year I start craving something lighter and more fresh. Enter this super simple Turkey Taco Salad. It comes together quickly, it gives me all the flavors I need, and it’s still super filling. Oh, and did I mention how flexible it is? Read on for tons of ideas for substitutions and add-ins!

Creamy avocado dressing being poured over a turkey taco salad from a mason jar

Dressing Options

I used my homemade Creamy Avocado Dressing for this taco salad, but you can definitely swap that out with your favorite creamy salad dressing. A taco or chipotle flavored ranch, green goddess dressing, or even a tangy Catalina dressing would all be great.

Can I Substitute the Ground Turkey?

Yes, this recipe works great with ground beef or pork, or you can even make it vegetarian using tempeh. To use tempeh, simply crumble the tempeh into a skillet, add a cup of water, and let the tempeh simmer until the water mostly evaporates, then add the taco seasoning and continue to sauté for a couple minutes more.

Other Add-ins and Substitutions

Taco salads are so flexible! Here are some other ingredient ideas that you can use in place of or in addition to anything listed in the recipe below:

Close up side view of turkey taco salad in a serving bowl
overhead view of turkey taco salad drizzled with creamy avocado dressing

Turkey Taco Salad

This Turkey Taco Salad is an easy, light, and fresh dinner that's flexible enough to feed all your family members, no matter how picky!
Total Cost $11.29 recipe / $2.82 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 476.45kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Creamy Avocado Salad Dressing

  • 1 avocado $0.89
  • 1/2 cup sour cream $0.24
  • 1 clove garlic $0.08
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice $0.50
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro $0.20
  • 1/4 cup water $0.00

Taco Seasoned Turkey

  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil $0.08
  • 1 lb. ground turkey $3.49
  • 2 Tbsp taco seasoning* $0.67

Salad

  • 1 head romaine lettuce $0.86
  • 1 cup frozen corn $0.35
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes $1.99
  • 1 jalapeño (optional) $0.18
  • 2 oz. shredded cheddar $0.85

Instructions

  • Make the salad dressing first so the flavors have time to blend. Peel the avocado and remove the pit. Add the avocado to a food processor or blender along with the sour cream, garlic (minced), salt, lime juice, cilantro, and water. Purée until smooth. Refrigerate the dressing until ready to use.
  • Next, cook the taco seasoned turkey. Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, add the ground turkey and cook, breaking it into pieces as you stir. When it's about half-way cooked, add the taco seasoning and continue to stir and cook until the turkey is cooked through.
  • Thaw the frozen corn (I use the microwave). Wash and chop the romaine lettuce, rinse and drain the black beans, slice the grape tomatoes in half, slice the jalapeño, and shred the cheddar cheese.
  • To build the salad, lay a bed of the chopped lettuce in each bowl, top with beans, corn, tomatoes, cheese, seasoned turkey, and a few slices of jalapeño. Drizzle the creamy avocado dressing over top and enjoy!

Notes

*I used my own homemade taco seasoning, but you can use a store-bought taco seasoning packet, if you prefer.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25recipe | Calories: 476.45kcal | Carbohydrates: 37.55g | Protein: 32.93g | Fat: 23.2g | Sodium: 1044.28mg | Fiber: 11.95g
Half-tossed turkey taco salad in a serving bowl with salad tongs

How to Make Turkey Taco Salad – Step by Step Photos

finished avocado dressing in the food processor

Make the creamy avocado dressing first, so the flavors have a few minutes to blend. In a food processor or blender, combine 1 avocado (peeled and pit removed), ½ cup sour cream, 1 clove of garlic (minced), ¼ tsp salt, 2 Tbsp lime juice, ¼ bunch cilantro, and ¼ cup water. Process until smooth. Refrigerate the dressing until ready to use.

ground turkey cooking in a skillet with taco seasoning being sprinkled over top

Add ½ Tbsp olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Add 1 lb. ground turkey and break it into pieces as it cooks. When it’s about half-cooked, add 2 Tbsp taco seasoning (or one store-bought taco seasoning packet) and continue to cook and stir until the turkey is cooked through.

seasoned ground turkey in the skillet

Set the cooked, seasoned taco meat aside.

turkey taco salad toppings in bowls: beans, corn, cheese, tomatoes, jalapeño

While the turkey is cooking, you can begin to prepare the rest of the toppings. Rinse and drain one 15oz. can of black beans, thaw 1 cup frozen corn (I use the microwave), slice 1 pint of grape tomatoes in half, shred about 2 oz. of cheddar, and slice one jalapeño.

Chopped Romaine lettuce in a serving bowl

Also, wash and chop one head of Romaine lettuce. To begin building your salad, place the chopped lettuce in the bottom of a large serving bowl (or you can create four smaller single-serving salads).

Beans being poured onto the salad with corn, tomatoes, and cheese

Start adding the toppings: corn, tomatoes, shredded cheddar, and black beans.

turkey taco meat and jalapeños added to the salad

Top with the turkey taco meat and sliced jalapeños…

Creamy avocado dressing being poured over the salad

And finally, drizzle your creamy avocado dressing over top and enjoy!

Side view of turkey taco salad in a serving bowl with the jar of dressing in the back

The post Turkey Taco Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Creamy Avocado Dressing

This tangy and creamy avocado dressing is great drizzled over salads, sandwiches, wraps, bowl meals, nachos, tacos, fresh vegetables, and more.

The post Creamy Avocado Dressing appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you’re a fan of my Lime Crema, I think you’re going to also love this Creamy Avocado Dressing. It has the same bones as the Lime Crema, but is dressed up with a few more flavors to really make it a flavor bomb. This dressing comes together super fast, so you can make it fresh on the spot whenever needed.

P.S. It’s great on a lot more than just salads!

Creamy avocado dressing in a mason jar with a black spoon in the center

What’s in Creamy Avocado Dressing

This recipe is SO simple. It starts with the same ingredients as my Lime Crema: sour cream, garlic, lime, and salt. Then I added an avocado and fresh cilantro to freshen it up and make it a total flavor bomb. It’s so simple, but SO good.

Do I Need a Food Processor?

I found my food processor to be the easiest tool in my kitchen to make this dressing, but it is definitely soft and fluid enough to use a good blender if you have one. This recipe makes about one cup, so you’ll need something with at least a 1.5 cup capacity to allow for movement.

How to Serve Creamy Avocado Dressing

I used this avocado dressing on a really great taco salad (recipe coming later this week!), but I found myself dipping all sorts of vegetables into the jar throughout the rest of the day. This dressing is so good that I was looking for anything and everything to dip into it!

Try this dressing on your sandwiches, wraps, tacos, salads, nachos, bowl meals, fresh vegetables, and more!

Creamy avocado dressing dripping off a spoon into a bowl
Creamy avocado dressing dripping off a spoon into a bowl

Creamy Avocado Dressing

This tangy and creamy avocado dressing is great for both salads and for dipping your favorite vegetables. Mixes up in minutes!
Total Cost $1.93 recipe / $0.48 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 4 ¼ cup each
Calories 122.88kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado $0.89
  • 1/2 cup sour cream $0.24
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice (1 lime) $0.50
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro $0.20
  • 1/4 cup water (or as needed) $0.00

Instructions

  • Add the avocado, sour cream, minced garlic, salt, lime juice, and cilantro to a food processor or blender. Puré until smooth.
  • Add water, 1-2 Tbsp at a time, and purée again until it reaches your desired consistency (leave thicker for a dip, add more water for a pourable dressing).

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 122.88kcal | Carbohydrates: 5.58g | Protein: 1.6g | Fat: 11.3g | Sodium: 160.63mg | Fiber: 2.6g

How to Make Creamy Avocado Dressing – Step by Step Photos

Avocado dressing ingredients in a food processor

Add 1 avocado, ½ cup sour cream, 1 clove of garlic (minced), ¼ tsp salt, 2 Tbsp lime juice, and ¼ bunch cilantro to a food processor or blender.

finished avocado dressing in the food processor

Purée until smooth. Add water, 1-2 Tbsp at a time, and purée again until the dressing reaches your desired consistency. To use as a dip, leave it thick and don’t add any water. For a more pourable dressing, add about ¼ cup water.

Creamy avocado dressing in a bowl with a black spoon in the center

Serve over your favorite salad, tacos, nachos, wrap sandwiches, chips, or fresh vegetables!

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Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas

These super tasty Black Bean Quesadillas have been a runaway Budget Bytes hit since they were first posted in 2012. The spicy mix of cheese, beans, corn, cilantro, and onion makes and incredibly flavorful quesadilla that’s perfect for dipping in some cool sour cream or salsa. Make up an entire batch and freeze some for […]

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These super tasty Black Bean Quesadillas have been a runaway Budget Bytes hit since they were first posted in 2012. The spicy mix of cheese, beans, corn, cilantro, and onion makes and incredibly flavorful quesadilla that’s perfect for dipping in some cool sour cream or salsa. Make up an entire batch and freeze some for later!

Originally posted 2-19-2012, updated 1-12-2021.

A stack of black bean quesadillas on a tray with a dish of sour cream behind them

Why I’m In Love with These Quesadillas ❤️

I love these quesadillas for three reasons:

  • they’re bursting with flavor
  • incredibly EASY to make 
  • perfect for the freezer!

Students and other busy people take note: this recipe is perfect for you!

I called them “hearty” black bean quesadillas because they are surprisingly filling. I hastily ate two and then promptly felt like my belly was not just full, but full-full. This is one of those vegetarian recipes that meat-eaters won’t feel deprived when eating. Promise.

How to Freeze Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas:

Just fill and fold your quesadillas, but before you cook them, stack them with parchment paper in between each quesadilla. Place the stacked quesadillas in a gallon-sized freezer bag (or two) and pop them into the freezer. When you want to eat one, take a quesadilla out of the freezer and reheat it slowly over medium-low heat until the outside is crispy and the inside has melted. Using a lower heat gives the black bean quesadilla time to thaw and heat on the inside before the outside overcooks or burns.

Or, for a faster method, microwave from frozen for 30-60 seconds, or until the inside is thawed, then finish in a skillet to crisp up the outside and melt the cheese on the inside. 

What Kind of Taco Seasoning to Use

To make these black bean quesadillas super fast and easy, you can use a packet of store-bought taco seasoning. Or, if you have a well-stocked spice cabinet, you can use my homemade taco seasoning recipe

black bean quesadillas layered on a serving tray, sprinkled with cilantro

A stack of black bean quesadillas on a serving tray

Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas

These Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas are an easy vegetarian snack or light meal that are filling, flavorful, and freezer-friendly!
Total Cost $4.70 recipe / $0.47 per quesadilla
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 10 quesadillas
Calories 289.24kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 15oz.can black beans $0.49
  • 1 cup frozen corn $0.20
  • 1/2 cup red onion $0.22
  • 1 clove garlic $0.08
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro (about ½ cup chopped) $0.20
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese $1.69
  • 1 batch taco seasoning* $0.67
  • 10 flour tortillas (7-inch diameter) $2.00

Instructions

  • Drain the black beans and add them to a bowl along with the frozen corn (no need to thaw)
  • Finely dice the onion, mince the garlic, and roughly chop the cilantro.
  • Add the onion, garlic, cilantro, shredded cheddar, and taco seasoning to the bowl with the beans and corn. Stir until everything is evenly combined and coated in seasoning.
  • Place a half cup of the filling on one side of each tortilla and fold over. Cook the quesadillas in a skillet over medium heat on each side until brown and crispy and the cheesy filling has melted. Slice into triangles then serve.
  • To freeze the quesadillas, stack the filled and uncooked quesadillas with a piece of parchment paper between each quesadilla. Place in a freezer bag and freeze for up to three months. To reheat either microwave (for a soft quesadilla) or cook in a skillet on low heat (make sure to use low heat so that the filling has time to thaw and melt before the outside burns).

Video

Notes

* I used my homemade taco seasoning here, but you can use a store-bought packet of taco seasoning if needed.

Nutrition

Serving: 1quesadilla | Calories: 289.24kcal | Carbohydrates: 34.29g | Protein: 12.19g | Fat: 11.58g | Sodium: 833.43mg | Fiber: 5.29g

Scroll down for the step by step photos

Overhead view of black bean quesadillas on a serving tray with a dish of sour cream

 

How to Make Black Bean Quesadillas – Step By Step Photos

Corn and black beans in a bowl
Add 1 cup frozen corn (no need to thaw) and one 15oz. can of black beans (drained) to a large bowl.

Onion, garlic, and cilantro added to the bowl
Next, finely dice about ½ cup red onion, mince one clove of garlic, and roughly chop about ¼ bunch fresh cilantro. These ingredients are super flexible, so you don’t need to be exact on the measurements. 

Taco seasoning spices in a small wooden bowl

You can use either one packet of store-bought taco seasoning, or make your own using my Homemade Taco Seasoning recipe. 

Cheddar and taco seasoning added to the bowl
Add the taco seasoning and 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese to the bowl. The cheese is the “glue” that holds the quesadillas together.

stirred quesadilla filling in the bowl with a fork
Stir the ingredients until everything is mixed. 

A tortilla being filled with the bean and cheese mixture
Now it’s time to stuff the quesadillas. You’ll need about 10 7-inch diameter flour tortillas for these quesadillas (the tortillas I had today were slightly larger so my quesadillas ended up being a bit thinner). Place a half cup of filling in each tortilla and fold it over. You can either cook them or freeze them at this point (see instructions for freezing in the post above the recipe).

quesadillas cooking in a skillet
To cook the black bean quesadillas, place the quesadilla in a skillet over medium heat and cook on both sides until golden brown, crispy, and the filling has melted. I don’t use any sort of oil or butter, but you certainly can if you want more of a fried finish to the quesadillas.

cut quesadillas on a cutting board
Slice then serve! You can slice each quesadilla into two or three pieces. I find that if I cut starting on the outside edge going in toward the center fold, I get less of the filling oozing out. A pizza cutter also works great!

Overhead view of cut black bean quesadillas on a baking sheet

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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 […]

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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!

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Pico de Gallo

Pico de gallo is one of my favorite fresh summer condiments because it only takes a few minutes to make and it’s just so fresh and vibrant. The flavor just screams “summer!” I’m always so in awe of recipes that have only a few ingredients, but taste so good and pico de gallo is a […]

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Pico de gallo is one of my favorite fresh summer condiments because it only takes a few minutes to make and it’s just so fresh and vibrant. The flavor just screams “summer!” I’m always so in awe of recipes that have only a few ingredients, but taste so good and pico de gallo is a great example of that. There’s something magic about the combination of fresh lime and salt that totally transforms this bowl of tomatoes, onions, and cilantro. Simple, magic, delicious.

Originally posted 5-22-2011, updated 6-30-2020.

A bowl of pico de gallo surrounded by chips, tomatoes, limes, cilantro, and salt.

What is Pico de Gallo?

Pico de gallo is a fresh salsa made with tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, salt, lime, and cilantro. Unlike most jarred salsa that you find in the store, this mix is not cooked, so the flavor stays very fresh and vibrant, and the texture is less saucy and more chunky. 

How to Use Pico de Gallo

If you’re wondering how you use pico de gallo, the answer is “on everything.” It’s a condiment that can be spooned over just about any savory food for an added boost of freshness. Here are a few things I like to spoon it over:

Where’s the Jalapeño??

Okay, so there is where I diverge from traditional pico de gallo recipes. I, for whatever reason, despite how much I like spicy food, prefer mine without jalapeño, so the recipe below is written sans jalapeño. If you want to make it in the traditional fashion, simply seed and finely dice one jalapeño and add it into the mix.

What Else Can I Add?

Pico de gallo is a great starting point for any number of fresh salsas. Here are some other ingredients you can add to flesh it out and make it into a more complex salsa:

  • pineapple
  • avocado
  • corn
  • mango
  • peaches
  • chipotle peppers

Pico de gallo being spooned over green chile enchiladas

Shown spooned over Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas.

 
Overhead view of a bowl of pico de gallo surrounded by tortilla chips, salt, tomatoes, cilantro, and limes

Pico de Gallo

This fresh and easy pico de gallo only takes a few minutes to make and adds vibrant flavor to your tacos, enchiladas, nachos, and more.
Total Cost $2.59 recipe / $0.22 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 12 ¼ cup each
Calories 14.13kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 tomatoes (2 cups diced) $1.50
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion (1 cup diced) $0.37
  • 1 lime $0.50
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro $0.20
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02

Instructions

  • Finely dice the tomato and onion. Finely chop the cilantro. Add the tomato, onion, and cilantro to a bowl.
  • Squeeze the juice of half the lime over the vegetables in the bowl (about 1 Tbsp). Add a pinch or two of salt, and stir everything to combine. Taste the mixture and add more salt or lime juice to your liking. Allow the salsa to sit for five minutes before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 14cup | Calories: 14.13kcal | Carbohydrates: 3.03g | Protein: 0.5g | Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 56.61mg | Fiber: 0.92g

Close up of a chip topped with pico de gallo, the bowl in the background

How to Make Pico de Gallo – Step By Step Photos

Fresh tomato, onion, lime, cilantro and salt on a cutting board

Since pico de gallo is a FRESH tomato salsa, it starts with all fresh ingredients: tomatoes, onion, lime, cilantro, and salt. I like to do a 2:1 ratio of tomato to onion, so I used two small tomatoes and half of an onion. I also prefer to use a sweeter onion for pico de gallo, so it doesn’t overwhelm the salsa, so I used a Vidalia onion.

Chopped tomato onion and cilantro in a bowl

Finely dice the tomatoes and onion, and finely chop the cilantro (about ¼ cup).

lime being squeezed over the bowl of vegetables

Squeeze fresh lime juice over the diced vegetables. For the amount of pico de gallo I am making here, I used about 1 Tbsp of lime juice, or the juice of half a lime. The great thing about pico de gallo is that you can just make it according to your own tastes, without measuring anything.

stirred pico de gallo in the bowl, salt and limes on the side

Season with a pinch or two of salt, then stir everything together. Taste, and adjust the salt to your liking. I used about ¼ tsp of salt. Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes before serving to allow the juices to extract and flavors to blend. Make sure to give it a good stir just before serving to redistribute the flavor.

Overhead view of a bowl of pico de gallo surrounded by tortilla chips, salt, tomatoes, cilantro, and limes

The post Pico de Gallo appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

Creamy, tangy, and filling, these Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas are an awesome comforting weeknight dinner. Whether you cook a couple of chicken breasts up quickly in a skillet, or use pre-cooked chicken like rotisserie chicken or canned chicken breast, this recipe comes together easily. I smothered these chicken enchiladas with a really quick homemade green […]

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Creamy, tangy, and filling, these Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas are an awesome comforting weeknight dinner. Whether you cook a couple of chicken breasts up quickly in a skillet, or use pre-cooked chicken like rotisserie chicken or canned chicken breast, this recipe comes together easily. I smothered these chicken enchiladas with a really quick homemade green chile sauce that only takes about 10 minutes to make, and has a LOT more flavor than store bought canned enchilada sauce, so try not to skip it if you can!

A casserole dish with green chile chicken enchiladas next to a bowl of pico de gallo

Chicken Options

I cooked up a couple of chicken breasts in a skillet for these enchiladas (instructions included in the recipe below), but you can take a short cut by using rotisserie chicken or canned chicken breast, if you want to make this recipe even easier. You’ll need about 2 cups of chopped cooked and cooled chicken for the enchilada filling. 

Can I Add More Vegetables?

Yes, you can add more vegetables to the enchilada filling, if you’d like. Since you’ll be adding more volume, I suggest either making more enchiladas (maybe 16 enchiladas) or reducing the meat by half to make up for the added vegetables. Vegetables that would go good in these green chile chicken enchiladas include: zucchini (sautéed first to remove moisture), spinach (chopped and sautéed or frozen, thawed), or frozen corn (thawed). 

Or you can just add a bunch of vegetables as you side dish to get your balance. ;)

What to Serve with Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

There are so many great side dishes that would go with these enchiladas. Try one of the following:

Are These Enchiladas Spicy?

I would consider these enchiladas “medium” spicy. I used pepper jack cheese, which has spicy peppers, as well as a little cayenne pepper in the filling. If your canned green chiles (used to make the enchilada sauce) are spicy as well, your enchiladas will be more on the spicy side.

If you want to make these enchiladas mild, simply swap out the pepper jack cheese for Monterey Jack, skip the cayenne pepper in the filling, and make sure you use mild canned green chiles.

Close up overhead view of green chile chicken enchiladas in a casserole dish

 
front view of green chile chicken enchiladas in the casserole dish

Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

A creamy, cheesy chicken filling inside toasted corn tortillas, smothered with a homemade sauce makes these green chile chicken enchiladas to die for!
Total Cost $11.32 recipe / $1.89 serving
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 2 enchiladas each
Calories 434.9kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Enchiladas

  • 12 6-inch corn tortillas $0.68
  • 1/2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.02
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast* $6.43
  • 1/2 cup sour cream $0.22
  • 8 oz. pepper jack cheese, shredded and divided $1.69
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.20
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper $0.03
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin $0.05
  • ½ tsp salt $0.02

Green Chile Enchilada Sauce

  • 2 4oz. cans diced green chiles $1.58
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.16
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.02
  • 1 tsp ground cumin $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder $0.02
  • 1 cup water $0.00
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02

Instructions

  • heat a large skillet over medium-high. Once hot, toast the tortillas for 30-60 seconds on each side, or until browned on the edges (no oil needed). Stack the toasted tortillas on a plate and cover with foil or an upside down bowl to keep them from drying out.
  • Turn the heat under the skillet down to medium, add the cooking oil, and swirl to coat the surface. Add the chicken breast and cook for about 5-7 minutes on each side, or until cooked through (165ºF internal temperature). Transfer the chicken breast to a clean cutting board to cool.
  • While the chicken is cooking, begin the green chile enchilada sauce. Add both cans of diced green chiles (with liquid) to a blender and purée until smooth.
  • Add the cooking oil, flour, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder to a small sauce pot. Stir and cook over medium, allowing the mixture to come up to a bubble. Once bubbling, continue to cook and stir for 1 minute.
  • Carefully add the water and puréed green chiles to the sauce pot and whisk to combine. Allow the sauce to come back up to a simmer, stirring often. Once simmering, turn off the heat, and season with salt (about ½ tsp). Set the sauce aside.
  • Begin preheating the oven to 350ºF. Add the sour cream, half of the shredded pepper jack, sliced green onions, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne and salt to a large bowl. Finely dice the chicken, then add it to the bowl with the other ingredients. Stir until everything is well combined.
  • Begin assembling the enchiladas. Add about ¼ cup of the prepared filling to the center of each tortilla and then roll it closed. Place the filled tortillas in a casserole dish, seam side down.
  • Pour the prepared green chile enchilada sauce over the enchiladas, then top with the remaining shredded pepper jack cheese. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling around the edges. Serve hot.

Notes

*You can use pre-cooked chicken, if preferred. This price reflects organic chicken breasts.

Nutrition

Serving: 2enchiladas | Calories: 434.9kcal | Carbohydrates: 23.7g | Protein: 29.27g | Fat: 24.67g | Sodium: 958.02mg | Fiber: 4.08g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

front view of green chile chicken enchiladas in the casserole dish

How to Make Green Chile Enchiladas – Step by Step Photos

two stacks of corn tortillas, one toasted, one untoasted

Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Once hot, add the tortillas and toast on each side for 30-60 seconds or until browned (no oil needed). Place the toasted tortillas on a plate and cover with foil or an upside down bowl to keep them from drying out.

Cooked Chicken in a skillet

Turn the heat under the skillet down to medium. Add ½ Tbsp cooking oil to the hot skillet and swirl to coat. Add two boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cook for about 5-7 minutes on each side or until cooked through (165ºF internal temperature). Transfer the cooked chicken to a clean cutting board to cool.

Pureed green chiles in the blender

While the chicken is cooking, begin the green chile enchilada sauce. Purée two 4oz. cans of diced green chiles (with the liquid from the can) in a blender.

Oil, flour, and spices in a sauce pot

Add 2 Tbsp cooking oil, 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, 1 tsp ground cumin, ½ tsp garlic powder, and ½ tsp onion powder to a sauce pot. Cook and stir over medium until it begins to bubble. Once bubbling, continue to cook and stir for one minute.

A spoon dipping into the thickened enchilada sauce

Add 1 cup water and the puréed green chiles. Whisk to combine, then allow it to come back up to a simmer (stirring frequently). Once simmering it will thicken slightly. Season with salt (about ½ tsp), then set the sauce aside.

Chopped chicken on a cutting board

Finely chop the cooked chicken.

chicken enchilada filling ingredients in a bowl, not mixed.

Begin preheating the oven to 350ºF. Add ½ cup sour cream, 4oz. shredded pepper jack (1 cup), 2 sliced green onions, ½ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp cayenne, ½ tsp cumin, ¼ tsp salt, and the chopped chicken to a bowl. Stir to combine.

chicken filling in one tortilla, the bowl and casserole dish in the background

Begin assembling the chicken enchiladas. Add about ¼ cup filling to each toasted tortilla, then roll closed. Place the filled tortillas in a casserole dish, seam side down.

Green chile enchilada sauce being poured over enchiladas.

Pour the prepared green chile enchilada sauce over the enchiladas.

Top enchiladas with pepper jack cheese

Top with the remaining 4oz. (1 cup) shredded pepper jack cheese. 

Baked green chile chicken enchialdas topped with cilantro

Bake the enchiladas in the preheated 350ºF oven for 30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling around the edges. (I garnished with chopped cilantro, but it’s not really needed for flavor). 

Side view of the casserole dish full of green chile chicken enchiladas

Serve hot! Side dish recommendations in the blog post above the recipe! :)

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