Easy Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I’m all about keeping my side dishes as easy as possible. I want my main dish to be the star of the show, and I don’t want to spend tons of time or energy on something that is just being served on the side, so roasted vegetables are almost always on the menu! They’re easy, […]

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I’m all about keeping my side dishes as easy as possible. I want my main dish to be the star of the show, and I don’t want to spend tons of time or energy on something that is just being served on the side, so roasted vegetables are almost always on the menu! They’re easy, tasty, and mostly hands off. Since we’re moving into “winter vegetable” season, I thought I’d do a quick tutorial on roasted Brussels sprouts, so you can whip up this simple and delicious side dish with any of your fall or winter meals.

Overhead shot of a bowl of roasted Brussels sprouts

What do Brussels Sprouts Taste Like?

I’m sure there are many of you out there who have never had a Brussels sprout before in your life, so I want to describe them to you a bit first. To me they taste like mini cabbages, but perhaps not quite so bland. What makes them fun, to me, is the texture. The delicate, tightly bound leaves just are so enjoyable to eat! But they are more on the bitter end of the vegetable spectrum, so if you are very sensitive to bitter flavors, which some people just are genetically, Brussels sprouts may not be for you.

When are Brussels Sprouts in Season?

Brussels sprouts can be on the pricier side for vegetables, so it’s important to take advantage of them while they’re in season. The season can vary a bit, depending on where they’re grown, but they are a cold weather vegetable so you’ll most likely start to see them pop up on grocery stores in the U.S. from October to February. 

Can I Use Frozen Brussels Sprouts?

Frozen Brussels sprouts can be found for a fairly good price year-round, so you may be tempted to try to roast those instead of fresh Brussels sprouts. While you certainly can roast a frozen Brussels sprout, I find that fresh create a much better texture and flavor. Frozen Brussels sprouts will be softer and a little more wet (even after roasting), and I find that roasted fresh Brussels sprouts have a more vibrant flavor. 

How to Season Roasted Brussels Sprouts

One thing that I love about roasted vegetables, roasted Brussels sprouts included, is how many different ways you can season them. They’re delicious with just a bit of salt and pepper, or you can really go to town. The recipe below uses a simple mix of salt, pepper, and garlic, but you could also do something like steak seasoning, curry powder, Cajun seasoning, seasoning salt (like Lawry’s), a Garlic Herb Seasoning, Everything But the Bagel Seasoning, or Parmesan cheese (Parmesan would go great alone or along with any of the previously listed seasoning blends). 

P.S. These roasted Brussels sprouts would be SO GOOD dipped in Comeback Sauce!

Close up side view of Roasted Brussels Sprouts in a bowl

 
Close up side view of Roasted Brussels Sprouts in a bowl

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels sprouts and an easy, tasty, and versatile side dish to compliment any of your fall or winter meals.
Total Cost $2.21 recipe / $0.55 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 157.55kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts $1.99
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Wash the Brussels sprouts and trim off any dry ends. Cut each Brussels sprout in half.
  • Place the cut Brussels sprouts on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Toss until the Brussels sprouts are well coated oil and seasoning. Turn each Brussels sprout so that it is cut side facing down.
  • Roast the Brussels sprouts in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until they are browned and caramelized on the edges. You can stir the Brussels sprouts at about 20 minutes to gauge the amount of browning on the bottom layer of the sprouts. No need to make sure they're all face down again for the final few minutes.
  • Taste one Brussels sprout and adjust the salt or pepper to your liking, then serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 157.55kcal | Carbohydrates: 20.45g | Protein: 7.65g | Fat: 7.45g | Sodium: 471.65mg | Fiber: 8.6g

Close up of a roasted Brussels sprout on a fork with the bowl in the background

How to Roast Brussels Sprouts – Step by Step Photos

Brussels sprouts being cut in half

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Wash 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, then cut off any dry stems. Cut each Brussels sprout in half. The sprouts I had today were very fresh and the ends were not dried out at all, so I simply cut them in half.

Season Brussels Sprouts

Place the Brussels sprouts on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil, then add ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp garlic powder, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper.

Brussels sprouts ready to roast

Turn all of the Brussels sprouts halves over so the cut side is facing down. Transfer the baking sheet to the preheated oven.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts on a baking sheet

Roast for about 25 minutes, or until they have achieved the level of browning that you like. The total time may change depending on the size of your Brussels sprouts. You can give them a stir after about 20 minutes to see how much they have browned on the cut side. No need to flip them all back over for the final few minutes.

Roasted Brussels sprouts on a plate with pork chops and sweet potatoes

Give the roasted Brussels sprouts a taste and adjust the salt or pepper to your liking. Serve hot!

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Tomato Herb Soup

I’m constantly looking for new ways to use my favorite (not) Sun Dried Tomato Sauce in recipes because it’s just SO good. So, the other day I was thinking, “Hmmm, I wonder if I can just make it into a really tasty soup.” The answer is yes. Yes, that deliciously tangy, herb-infused sauce is the […]

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I’m constantly looking for new ways to use my favorite (not) Sun Dried Tomato Sauce in recipes because it’s just SO good. So, the other day I was thinking, “Hmmm, I wonder if I can just make it into a really tasty soup.” The answer is yes. Yes, that deliciously tangy, herb-infused sauce is the great beginning to a super fast, easy, and delicious homemade Tomato Herb Soup.

Originally published 9-16-2013, updated 10-12-2020.

A mug of tomato herb soup on a plate with a grilled cheese

What Does Tomato Herb Soup Taste Like?

This tomato herb soup is not your everyday canned condensed tomato soup. It’s not sugary sweet, it’s fairly thick, very rich, and has tons of herby flavor. The magic comes from the melange of dried herbs and the quick act of caramelizing the tomato paste to create a rich sweetness. So yum and it gets better as it refrigerates. Oh, did I mention that it just happens to be VEGAN?

What to Serve with Tomato Herb Soup

A classic grilled cheese sandwich is never a bad idea, but you could also do something like Homemade Garlic Bread, or drop a few Homemade Croutons on top, and make a super simple salad to go on the side.

Is it Freezer Friendly?

Yes, this soup holds up really well to freezing, so feel free to stash a couple servings in there for later! I try to use up my frozen foods within three months for best quality, but you may get a longer life out of it. In the refrigerator, the soup should stay good for about 4-5 days.

Overhead view of a mug full of tomato soup with a black spoon in the center
 
Tomato herb soup in a mug on a plate with grilled cheese

Tomato Herb Soup

Use basic pantry staples to create this quick and easy Tomato Herb Soup. It's thick, rich, flavorful, and perfect for grilled cheese dipping!
Total Cost $2.62 recipe / $0.52 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 5 1.5 cups each
Calories 168.16kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1/4 cup olive oil $0.64
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary $0.03
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.03
  • 1 6oz. can tomato paste $0.39
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar $0.02
  • 1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes $0.79
  • 3 cups vegetable broth $0.39

Instructions

  • Mince the garlic and add it to a sauce pot along with the olive oil, oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, red pepper flakes, and freshly cracked pepper. Turn the heat on to medium-low and sauté for about 2 minutes, or until the garlic has softened.
  • Add the tomato paste and brown sugar. Stir until everything is mixed (the oil may stay partially separated). Cook the mixture while stirring continuously for 3-5 minutes, or until the tomato paste takes on a darker, almost burgundy hue.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes and vegetable broth. Whisk the mixture together until smooth. Turn the heat up to medium and heat through, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5Cups | Calories: 168.16kcal | Carbohydrates: 17.6g | Protein: 2.86g | Fat: 11.44g | Sodium: 731.8mg | Fiber: 4.68g

How to Make Tomato Herb Soup – Step by Step Photos

Oil garlic and herbs in a soup pot

Start by adding ¼ cup olive oil, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp dried basil, 1/2 tsp dried thyme, 1/4 tsp dried rosemary, 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes, and some freshly cracked black pepper to a sauce pot. Turn the heat on to medium-low and sauté the herbs in the oil for about two minutes, or until the garlic has softened.

Tomato paste and brown sugar added to the pot

Add 6 oz. tomato paste and 1 Tbsp brown sugar to the pot. Stir until everything is pretty well combined (the oil may never fully mix in). Continue to stir and cook for about 5 minutes more, or until the tomato paste takes on a darker burgundy hue (see photo below).

crushed tomatoes being poured into the pot

Add one 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes. Crushed tomatoes are smaller bits than diced tomatoes, but not quite as smooth as tomato sauce. It’s somewhere in between, and doesn’t have any seasoning added.

Vegetable broth being poured into the pot

Also add 3 cups of vegetable broth, which will thin the soup out, add depth of flavor, and just the right amount of salt. I use this Better Than Bouillon to quickly mix up the exact amount of broth that I need.

finished tomato herb soup being lifted with a ladle

Then just whisk everything together and heat through! The end! The flavors are even better the next day.

Tomato herb soup in a mug on a plate with grilled cheese

OMG – grilled cheese + tomato soup FTW!

Now give yourself a high-five for making such a delicious soup in under 30 minutes.

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Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats

Have you ever had a recipe call for just a partial can of pumpkin purée? And then you’re like, “well, what am I going to do with the rest of this??” Instead of searching for a recipe that calls for the exact amount of pumpkin purée that you have leftover, I like to add a […]

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Have you ever had a recipe call for just a partial can of pumpkin purée? And then you’re like, “well, what am I going to do with the rest of this??” Instead of searching for a recipe that calls for the exact amount of pumpkin purée that you have leftover, I like to add a little to my morning oats. You can add a spoonful or two to a bowl of hot oats (with cinnamon and brown sugar) or you can make up some of these Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats. These overnight oats are also a great way to get that fall flavor if you live in a region where it’s still quite warm this time of year. 🤪

Overhead view of a bowl of overnight pumpkin pie oats with pumpkins, oats, and pecans on the side

Make One or More!

The recipe listed below is for a single serving of overnight oats, but you can make up to four at a time. The overnight oats will stay good in your fridge for 4-5 days, so make as many or as few as you want or need. To adjust the ingredients below to make more servings at once, simply change the number in the “servings” box and the rest of the ingredients will auto adjust.

Do You Eat Overnight Oats Hot or Cold?

You can eat these pumpkin pie overnight oats either hot or cold. As the oats soak they absorb liquid and soften just like they do when cooked. So the overnight oats are ready to eat after soaking for about eight hours, or you can pop them in the microwave for about a minute or so to warm through. They’re great both ways!

Adjust the Sweetness

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that I don’t like things that are too sweet, so the amount of brown sugar listed in the recipe below sweetens the oats just slightly. If you want a more dessert-like sweetness, I suggest adding more brown sugar to your liking. The sugar does not need to be added in the beginning, so you can start with the ½ Tbsp listed below and add more just before eating to make it the sweetness that you desire.

Other Add-ins

You can have some fun with these overnight oats and add in some more fun ingredients if you have them on hand. I think a few raisins would be pretty awesome, as would some pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds). A splash of vanilla extract can also make these overnight oats taste a little more creamy.

Make Them Vegan or Dairy Free

The best thing about overnight oats is that they work just as well with non-dairy milk as they do with dairy milk, so use your favorite almond, soy, coconut, cashew, or other non-dairy milk in place of the milk listed in the recipe below.

Can I Use Quick Oats or Steel Cut Oats?

You can make this with quick oats, but I find old-fashioned rolled oats to give the best results because they have a thicker, chewier texture. Quick oats will have a softer, mushier texture after soaking. Steel cut oats require a lot more liquid and a much longer soaking time to soften, so I don’t recommend them for this recipe.

Side view of a spoon lifting some pumpkin pie overnight oats out of the bowl

 
Side view of a spoon lifting some pumpkin pie overnight oats out of the bowl

Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats

Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats are a great way to use up leftover pumpkin purée and are a delicious make-ahead breakfast for busy mornings.
Total Cost $0.95 each
Prep Time 5 minutes
Soak Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 5 minutes
Servings 1 bowl
Calories 293.86kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats $0.44
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice $0.05
  • 1 Tbsp chopped pecans $0.13
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin purée $0.12
  • 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar $0.02
  • 1/2 cup milk* $0.18

Instructions

  • Add the rolled oats (uncooked), pumpkin pie spice, salt, and chopped pecans to a jar or other resealable container. Top with the pumpkin purée, brown sugar, and milk. Close the container and refrigerate overnight or up to five days.
  • Before eating, stir the contents of the jar until evenly combined. Enjoy cold or microwave until warmed through.

Notes

*Use your milk of choice (dairy or non-dairy). The nutrition stats for this recipe are calculated using whole milk.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 293.86kcal | Carbohydrates: 42.24g | Protein: 9.85g | Fat: 11.88g | Sodium: 350.34mg | Fiber: 6.38g

See how to make your own Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice here!

How to Make Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats – Step by Step Photos

Pumpkin pie overnight oats dry ingredients in jar

Add 1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats to a jar or another resealable container, along with 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 1/8 tsp salt, and 1 Tbsp chopped pecans.

pumpkin puree and brown sugar added to the jar

Add 1/4 cup pumpkin purée and 1/2 Tbsp of brown sugar to the jar.

milk being poured into the jar

Add 1/2 cup of milk of your choice to the jar (I used whole milk).

Soaked and stirred overnight oats in the jar

Close the container and refrigerate at least 8 hours, or up to five days. When you’re ready to eat, stir up the contents of the container until everything is well mixed.

Overhead view of pumpkin pie overnight oats in the bowl

Enjoy the pumpkin pie overnight oats cold straight out of the jar, or microwave until warmed through!

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Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

It’s not even Halloween yet, but it’s never too early to start planning for Thanksgiving, so I’m going to throw you this little tip to save for later. There are so many moving parts that go into making sure a Thanksgiving meal is hot and ready all at the same time, and it’s even more […]

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It’s not even Halloween yet, but it’s never too early to start planning for Thanksgiving, so I’m going to throw you this little tip to save for later. There are so many moving parts that go into making sure a Thanksgiving meal is hot and ready all at the same time, and it’s even more challenging when you’re working with just one stove. Recipes like these Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes that can be prepared on the side will free up space on your stove top and, because it requires no babysitting, will leave your hands and eyes free to focus on other recipes. Thanksgiving Day boil-over averted. 😅

Originally posted 12-29-2015, updated 10-8-2020.

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes in the slow cooker with melted butter and a wooden spoon

Why Make Mashed Potatoes in a Slow Cooker?

Using the slow cooker cuts out the “babysitting the boiling pot” step in the process of making mashed potatoes, which can really free you up to concentrate on the rest of your meal. It also eliminates boil overs, draining the potatoes, constantly checking them with a fork to see if they’re tender, using multiple pots and dishes, and gives you another free burner on your stove top. With slow cooker mashed potatoes, you just add everything to the pot and press a button and go. And if you can’t get to them right when the timer goes off, they’ll be okay!

How Do You Flavor Mashed Potatoes?

I flavored my mashed potatoes with garlic, pepper, butter, milk, and cream cheese, but you can use your tried and true favorite mashed potato add-ins with this recipe. The cooking process will stay the same: 3 lbs. potatoes and about 1.5 cups of broth. Then after they’re cooked, add in whatever you’d like! My All-Purpose Garlic Herb Seasoning is a favorite, but other fun seasoning blends include Everything But The Bagel Seasoning, or even ranch seasoning.

What Kind of Potatoes are Best for Mashed Potatoes?

Russet potatoes are my top choice for mashed potatoes because they have a light, fluffy flesh. You can use red potatoes, but they tend to create a more dense mashed potato.

Can I Make Them Vegetarian?

Absolutely! You can swap the chicken broth listed in the recipe below for vegetable broth. Just be aware that vegetable broth is usually a much darker color, so your finished mashed potatoes may look a little more brown.

What Size Slow Cooker Do I Need?

I’m using a 5 quart slow cooker, but it was only about half full, so you could probably get away with using a 3 quart slow cooker for this recipe.

Slow cooker mashed potatoes in a bowl with a spoon lifting a bite

 
Close up of mashed potatoes in the slow cooker with melted butter and a wooden spoon

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

Slow cooker mashed potatoes are the perfect hands-off method for making rich and creamy mashed potatoes for the Holidays!
Total Cost $2.99 recipe / $0.50 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 1 cup each
Calories 259.77kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. russet potatoes $1.80
  • 1.5 cups chicken broth $0.20
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly cracked black pepper $0.05
  • 4 oz. cream cheese $0.40
  • 1/2 cup milk $0.25
  • 1 Tbsp butter $0.13

Instructions

  • Wash and peel the potatoes, then dice them into one-inch cubes. Rinse the diced potatoes with cool water in a colander to remove the excess starch.
  • Add the cubed potatoes, minced garlic, chicken broth, and some freshly cracked pepper to the slow cooker. Stir briefly to distribute the garlic and pepper.
  • Place a lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for three hours, or until the potatoes are fork tender. You can test the tenderness by lifting the lid just long enough to pierce the potatoes with a fork.
  • Take the lid off the slow cooker and add the cream cheese, milk, and butter. Stir to combine the ingredients and mash the potatoes. For an extra smooth mashed potato, use a hand mixer to briefly whip the potatoes until smooth.
  • Taste the potatoes and add salt or pepper if needed. Serve immediately, or switch the slow cooker to the "warm" setting until ready to serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 259.77kcal | Carbohydrates: 42.75g | Protein: 6.93g | Fat: 5.58g | Sodium: 441.73mg | Fiber: 3.18g

Try These Other Mashed Potato Recipes:

How to Make Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes – Step by Step Photos

Diced potatoes on a cutting board

Start by washing and peeling 3 lbs. of russet potatoes. Dice the peeled potatoes into one-inch cubes.

Diced potatoes in a colander

Rinse the cubed potatoes well in a colander. This removes the excess starch which can make your mashed potatoes gluey instead of fluffy.

Chicken broth being poured into the slow cooker with potatotes

Add the cubed potatoes to a slow cooker along with 2 cloves of garlic (minced), 1.5 cups of chicken broth, and some freshly cracked pepper. Stir briefly just to distribute the garlic and pepper. 

testing the potatoes tenderness with a fork

Cover the slow cooker, then cook on high for three hours, or until the potatoes are tender. You can test their tenderness by removing the lid just brief enough to see if a fork can be easily inserted into the potatoes.

Cream cheese and milk added to the potatoes in the slow cooker

Add 4oz. cream cheese, 1 Tbsp butter, and 1/2 cup milk to the hot potatoes. Stir with a spoon to combine the add-ins with the hot potatoes. The potatoes should be so tender that they begin to mash as you stir. You can continue to stir with a spoon for a chunkier mashed potato, or…

Creamy mashed potatoes in the slow cooker with a spoon, close up

Use a hand mixer to briefly whip the potatoes until smooth. 

Side view of mashed potatoes in the slow cooker with melted butter

Finally, taste the mashed potatoes and season with salt or pepper if needed. Depending on what kind of broth you use, you may want to add salt.

Close up of mashed potatoes in the slow cooker with melted butter and a wooden spoon

And that’s it! Soft, silky, flavorful slow cooker mashed potatoes without any “heavy lifting”. You can serve the potatoes right away or switch the slow cooker to the “warm” setting to keep them warm until you’re ready to serve dinner.

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Oven Roasted Autumn Medley

Years ago I made Nature’s Candy, which was a deliciously sweet and savory oven roasted side dish that was so good I’d almost call it a dessert. Well, I decided to take that amazing flavor combination and turn it into a sheet pan dinner. I added some sweet Italian sausage, a red onion for a […]

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Years ago I made Nature’s Candy, which was a deliciously sweet and savory oven roasted side dish that was so good I’d almost call it a dessert. Well, I decided to take that amazing flavor combination and turn it into a sheet pan dinner. I added some sweet Italian sausage, a red onion for a slightly more savory twist, and a few more fall-inspired herbs. This Oven Roasted Autumn Medley has all the best flavors of the season in one sheet pan!

Originally posted 9-26-2013, updated 10-5-2020.

Oven Roasted Autumn Medley on a plate with mashed potatoes and a black fork on the side

How to Serve Oven Roasted Autumn Medley

I served this sheet pan mix with a side of mashed potatoes, but you could also serve the roasted sausage and vegetables over a bed of greens for a fall-inspired salad. Or just serve it on its own with a nice piece of crusty bread and some butter on the side. :)

Can I Use a Different Sausage?

Yes, if you don’t like or can’t get sweet Italian sausage, you can use a maple or apple flavored turkey sausage in its place. Any type of sausage with those fall vibes will work great!

Other Vegetable Options

This dish is also pretty flexible when it comes to the vegetables. You can swap out the sweet potato or just add some butternut squash, acorn squash, or pumpkin. All of those hard, slightly sweet winter squashes work great. Carrots, with their subtle sweetness, are another great option!

Tips for Roasting Vegetables

One of the goals when roasting vegetables in the oven is to get that nice caramelization on the edges. The caramelized edges are sweeter and have a deep, intense flavor. To get this nice browning action, make sure your vegetables are not too crowded on the baking sheet. They should be in a single layer. If the vegetables are piled too high on top of each other the steam will get trapped and the vegetables will essentially steam in their juices instead of getting that nice caramelization. 

So, if you decide to double this recipe, make sure to use two sheet pans!

side view of a fork picking up some oven roasted autumn medley from the plate

 
Oven roasted autumn medley on a plate with mashed potatoes and a black fork

Oven Roasted Autumn Medley

This Oven Roasted Autumn Medley is an herb-infused, sweet and savory sheet pan dinner with sausage, apples, sweet potatoes and more.
Total Cost $4.38 recipe / $2.19 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 671.2kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 red onion $0.44
  • 1 lb. sweet potato $1.07
  • 2 apples $0.76
  • 8 oz. sweet Italian sausage $1.40
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 1 tsp dried basil $0.10
  • 1 tsp dried sage $0.10
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional) $0.11

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Core and dice the apples into 1-inch pieces. Peel and dice the sweet potato and red onion into 1-inch pieces.
  • Place the chopped apples, onions, sweet potatoes, and Italian sausage links on a large 9x13-inch baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over top, then add the basil, sage, rosemary, salt, and freshly cracked pepper. Toss until everything is well coated in oil and herbs.
  • Transfer the baking sheet to the preheated oven and roast for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the baking sheet and use tongs to transfer the sausage to a cutting board. Slice the sausage into medallions, then add them back to the baking sheet. Return the baking sheet to the oven.
  • Roast the autumn medley for another 20 minutes, or until it reaches your desired level of browning. Top with chopped parsley for garnish after roasting, then serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 671.2kcal | Carbohydrates: 77.65g | Protein: 23.05g | Fat: 32.4g | Sodium: 1746.95mg | Fiber: 13g

A forkful of Oven Roasted Autumn Medley held close to the camera

 

How to Make Oven Roasted Autumn Medley – Step by Step Photos

Oven roasted autumn medley ingredients on the sheet pan, whole

For this recipe I used two sweet Italian sausage links, one sweet potato (about 1 lb.), two apples, one red onion, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp dried basil, 1 tsp dried sage, 1 tsp dried rosemary, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Diced apples, sweet potatoes, and sausage being seasoned with herbs

Core and dice the apples, peel and dice the sweet potato, and peel and dice the red onion (all 1-inch pieces). Place the apple, sweet potato, onion, and sausage links on a large sheet pan. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp olive oil, then sprinkle the herbs and spices over top (basil, sage, rosemary, salt, and pepper). 

autumn medley ready to roast on the sheet pan

Toss to coat everything really well in oil and herbs. Make sure everything is spread out on the sheet pan as evenly as possible.

Half-roasted autumn medley with sliced sausage.

Roast the autumn medley for 20 minutes, then remove it from the oven. The sausage will be about half-cooked at this point, but firm enough to slice into medallions. Carefully remove the sausage with tongs to a cutting board, slice, then return the slices to the sheet pan. Return the sheet pan to the oven.

Finished oven roasted autumn medley on the sheet pan

Roast the autumn medley for another 20 minutes, or until it achieves the level of browning that you like. Top with a tablespoon of chopped parsley, if desired (just for garnish). 

Oven roasted autumn medley on a plate with mashed potatoes and a black fork

Serve immediately and enjoy! This mix also works great for meal prep!

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How to Steam Fresh Green Beans

One of my go-to side dishes is steamed green beans. Why? Because they’re so fast, they’re uncomplicated, delicious, and you can make them several different flavors to match your main dish. They’re just the perfect no-brainer side dish. If you’ve only ever had canned green beans, please promise me that you’ll try steaming fresh green beans […]

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One of my go-to side dishes is steamed green beans. Why? Because they’re so fast, they’re uncomplicated, delicious, and you can make them several different flavors to match your main dish. They’re just the perfect no-brainer side dish. If you’ve only ever had canned green beans, please promise me that you’ll try steaming fresh green beans at least once. They’re a whole different beast. A deliciously fresh beast. So, without further ado, let me show you how to steam fresh green beans, so you can have another simple, delicious side dish under your belt!

Overhead view of a bowl full of steamed green beans with butter, salt, and pepper

The One Secret to Good Green Beans

There is only one thing you need to know about making good green beans: DON’T OVER COOK THEM. Most people I come across who say they don’t like green beans have only ever had overcooked, drab, olive green, too-soft green beans (like the kind you get in a can). The trick is to cook them until they are bright green, tender, but still with a good bite. They’ll still taste fresh, vibrant, and green. Deeeelish. 

What Equipment Do I Need?

Steaming green beans is so incredibly easy. All you need is a colander, pot or a deep skillet with a lid, and a steam basket. The steam basket holds the green beans just above the boiling water so they cook evenly and makes it really easy to lift the green beans out of the pot once cooked.

Do I Really Need the Steam Basket?

While the steam basket does help produce the best results, I’m not going to tell you that you can’t steam green beans without one. For years, before I had the few dollars to spend on a steam basket, I simply steamed my green beans directly in the one-inch of water. The bottom layer of green beans cooked slightly more than the rest, but guess what? It was barely noticeable. If you’re short on cash, follow the directions below minus the steam basket and you’ll do just fine.

Why Steam Instead of Boil Green Beans?

Because it’s faster. One inch of water takes a fraction of the time to come up to a boil compared to a full pot of water. Also, less nutrients are leached out of the green beans when they steam compared to when they’re fully submerged in boiling water. That’s two good reasons, if you ask me!

How to Flavor Green Beans

I’m a happy camper with the simple combo of melted butter, salt, and freshly cracked pepper on my steamed green beans, but there are so many different things you can add. Try these flavors:

  • Sautéed garlic
  • Lemon zest and juice
  • Sesame oil and sesame seeds
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Crumbled feta
  • Bacon
  • Grated Parmesan
  • Or any combination of the above!

Can I Use Frozen Green Beans?

Frozen green beans are blanched, or partially cooked, before freezing. So, while you can steam them using this method, they may need a different amount of time to cook. Check the package for recommended cooking times.

 
Overhead of a bowl of steamed green beans with butter, salt, and pepper.

How to Steam Green Beans

Learn how to steam fresh green beans for an easy, delicious, fresh, and versatile side dish that will go with just about any dinner.
Total Cost $1.86 recipe / $0.47 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 60.38kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. fresh green beans $1.69
  • 1 Tbsp butter $0.13
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Instructions

  • Rinse the green beans in a colander. Snap the end off of any beans that still have an attached stem (see photos below). Snap each bean in half, or leave the beans whole for a more dramatic presentation.
  • Place one inch of water in a pot or deep skillet. Place the steam basket inside the pot. The water should not be so deep that it comes up through the holes in the steam basket. Fill the steam basket with the washed green beans. Place a lid on the pot or skillet, turn the heat onto high, and allow the water to come to a boil (about 3 minutes).
  • Allow the green beans to steam for about 5 minutes from the time the water begins to boil, or until they have reached your desired level of tenderness. Aim for green beans that are vibrant in color and tender but not mushy. You can test the tenderness of the green beans with a fork.
  • Once cooked to your liking, remove the pot from the heat. Remove the steam basket with the green beans and discard the water from the bottom of the pot. Place the beans back in the pot without the steam basket and add some butter. Stir the butter into the green beans, allowing the residual heat to melt the butter. Season the beans with salt and pepper, then serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25lb. | Calories: 60.38kcal | Carbohydrates: 7.85g | Protein: 2.08g | Fat: 3.13g | Sodium: 237.08mg | Fiber: 3.05g

How to Steam Green Beans – Step by Step Photos

Close up of a green bean with stem, more green beans in a colander in the background

Rinse your green beans in a colander. Snap off any ends that still have a stem attached. You can see what the stem looks like in the photo above. The other end of the green bean will be pointy, but those are fine to eat. In fact, that’s my favorite part. You can snap your green beans in half or leave them long and whole for a more dramatic presentation.

metal steam basket

This is the metal steam basket that I use. It has a loop in the center for lifting the basket out of the pot and the outer edges can close in or expand to fit the diameter of your pot. You can also buy bamboo or silicone steam baskets, but I find these old-school metal baskets to be inexpensive and pretty indestructible.

Steam basket in a pot with water

Place about an inch of water in a pot or deep skillet and place the steam basket on top. The water should not be so deep that it comes up through the holes. 

Fresh green beans in the steam basket in the pot, uncooked

Fill the steam basket with the washed green beans and place a lid on the pot. Turn the heat on to high and allow the water to come up to a boil (about 3 minutes).

Steamed green beans in the pot

Once the water begins to boil, allow the beans to steam for about 5 minutes, or until they reach your desired level of tenderness. Aim for green beans that are a vibrant green color and are tender, but still have a bit of bite. They shouldn’t be a drab green or mushy.

Steamed green beans with butter, salt, and pepper in the pot

Remove the pot from the heat, lift the steam basket and beans out of the pot, then discard the water. Place the beans back into the pot without the steam basket, add some butter, and stir to melt the butter (heat is off). Season with a little salt and pepper, then serve!

Overhead of a bowl of steamed green beans with butter, salt, and pepper.

The fresh green bean flavor on its own is so delicious that I usually only add a little butter, salt, and pepper, but you can have fun and get wild with the seasonings! Let me know what your favorite flavors are in the comments below. :)

The post How to Steam Fresh Green Beans appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Scrambled Eggs with Spinach and Feta

Here’s a little quickie for you this weekend! I’m always looking for ways to use up the odds and ends of my fresh spinach, and  Scrambled Eggs with Spinach and Feta is one of my go-to methods for making sure no spinach goes to waste. It’s fast (like, fast enough to make on a weekday), […]

The post Scrambled Eggs with Spinach and Feta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Here’s a little quickie for you this weekend! I’m always looking for ways to use up the odds and ends of my fresh spinach, and  Scrambled Eggs with Spinach and Feta is one of my go-to methods for making sure no spinach goes to waste. It’s fast (like, fast enough to make on a weekday), super delish, and makes me feel pampered. Plus, I’ll share several different ways you can serve or customize these eggs so you’ll have plenty of options!

Two plates with scrambled eggs with spinach and feta, toast, and orange slices

How to Serve Scrambled Eggs with Spinach and Feta

You might be thinking, “who doesn’t know how to serve scrambled eggs??” Well, in addition to serving scrambled eggs on a plate with toast, like in the photos in this post, there are actually some other fun things that you can do with these eggs once they’re made. My favorite? Make them into a quesadilla! Pile the scrambled eggs with spinach and feta onto half of a tortilla, top with a little more shredded mozzarella, fold it closed, then toast it in a skillet. BOOM. So delish.

You can also stuff the scrambled eggs into a breakfast wrap with some bacon, or into a pita for a really easy, handheld, on-the-go breakfast. Or how about a bagelwich? Yes please! And lastly, you can use these scrambled eggs as a topper for a breakfast bowl meal. 

What Else Can I Add?

Spinach and feta is really just a starting point. I like to add whatever vegetables I have laying around in the fridge to my scrambled eggs. Diced bell pepper is awesome, as are tomatoes. Got leftover green onions? Slice ’em up and toss them in there! Have half of a leftover avocado? Use it to top your eggs. The sky really is the limit here.

Green Eggs and Ham

Here’s your chance to fulfill your childhood Dr. Seuss dreams, friends. The juices from the fresh spinach do turn the eggs a little green, especially if they sit on your plate for a little while before you get a chance to eat. But I absolutely love the idea of adding ham to these scrambled eggs to make it a true “green eggs and ham” breakfast. How fun! I would dice the ham and sauté it in the skillet first, then add the spinach and continue on as directed below.

Side view of a plate with scrambled eggs with spinach and feta, toast, and oranges

 
A plate full of scrambled eggs with spinach and feta, toast, and orange slices

Scrambled Eggs with Spinach and Feta

These tasty scrambled eggs with spinach and feta are fast and easy enough to prepare on a weekday, and are perfect for using up spinach!
Total Cost $2.31 recipe / $1.16 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 250.75kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. fresh spinach $0.65
  • 4 large eggs $0.92
  • 1 Tbsp butter $0.13
  • 1 oz. feta $0.55
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper $0.02
  • 1 pinch freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1 pinch salt $0.02

Instructions

  • Roughly chop the spinach into smaller pieces (about 1-inch pieces). This step is optional and can be skipped to make breakfast faster, but I prefer the smaller pieces that don't get stringy like whole spinach leaves can tend to be.
  • Crack the eggs into a large bowl, add a pinch of salt, and whisk (I prefer ribbons of white and yellow, but you can whisk until even if preferred).
  • Add the butter to a large skillet and melt over medium heat. Add the chopped spinach and sauté until the spinach has softened (2-3 minutes)
  • Push the sautéed spinach to the outside edges of the skillet and pour the eggs into the center. Gently fold the eggs as the bottom layer solidifies, until the eggs are about 75% solid. Fold the eggs into the sautéed spinach, then turn off the heat. The residual heat in the pan will finish cooking the eggs without overcooking or drying them out.
  • Top the eggs with the crumbled feta, a little freshly cracked pepper, and a pinch of crushed red pepper, then serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 250.75kcal | Carbohydrates: 3.6g | Protein: 16.2g | Fat: 19g | Sodium: 589.3mg | Fiber: 1.3g

Scrambled eggs with spinach and feta on a plate with toast, half piled onto a slice of toast

How to Make Scrambled Eggs with Spinach and Feta – Step by Step Photos

Chopped spinach on a cutting board

Chop about 4 oz. of spinach into smaller pieces (about 1-inch pieces). The amount of spinach in this recipe is VERY flexible. So use less if you have less, just use up what you’ve got! You can also skip chopping if you’re in a hurry, but I like to chop because whole leaves can be a little stringy sometimes.

Whisked eggs

Crack four large eggs into a bowl, add a pinch of salt, and whisk to your liking. I like to have some ribbons of white and yellow in my scrambled eggs, but you can whisk more if you like a more even color.

Spinach being added to a skillet with melted butter

Melt 1 Tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the chopped spinach. Sauté the spinach until it has wilted (2-3 minutes).

Whisked eggs being poured into the skillet with spinach

Push the sautéed spinach out to the outer edges of the skillet, then pour the whisked eggs in the center. Gently fold the eggs as the bottom layer solidifies, until the eggs are about 75% solid.

Eggs folded with spinach in the skillet

Fold the spinach into the eggs, then turn the heat off. The residual heat in the skillet will finish cooking the eggs without overcooking them or drying them out.

Finished eggs with feta and pepper

Finish off the eggs with 1 oz. crumbled feta, some freshly cracked black pepper, and a pinch of crushed red pepper.

A plate full of scrambled eggs with spinach and feta, toast, and orange slices

Enjoy!!

The post Scrambled Eggs with Spinach and Feta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

Remember ten years ago or so when cauliflower suddenly got super popular and everyone was using it in place of every carb imaginable? And then the supply and demand got all out of whack and cauliflower was suddenly more than $5 per head?? Well, I’m glad that the supply has finally caught up with the […]

The post Garlic Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Remember ten years ago or so when cauliflower suddenly got super popular and everyone was using it in place of every carb imaginable? And then the supply and demand got all out of whack and cauliflower was suddenly more than $5 per head??

Well, I’m glad that the supply has finally caught up with the demand and I can buy cauliflower for a reasonable price again. 😅 Because it really is a super versatile vegetable and you can use it in place of so many different things, but I love just roasting it up,  as simple as can be, with a little garlic and Parmesan. This Garlic Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower makes a great side dish to go with dinner, or even a snack with a little Comeback Sauce for dipping. Any way you eat it, it’s gooooood

Originally posted 5-28-2011, updated 9-24-2020.

Overhead of Garlic Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower on a tray with a bowl of dipping sauce

Is The Cauliflower Crispy?

I know texture can sometimes not come across well in photos, so I wanted to make sure no one mistakes this cauliflower for being crispy. Cauliflower gets softer went roasted. You do get nice caramelization on the edges that provide a lot of flavor, but it doesn’t actually get crispy. 

Can I Use Fresh Garlic?

Yes, absolutely! I used garlic powder in this recipe because I find it more evenly coats the cauliflower than little pieces of fresh garlic, but you can absolutely use fresh garlic in place of, or in addition to the garlic powder for an extra garlic punch. Two to four cloves (minced) should do well in this recipe.

What to Serve with Garlic Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

As I mentioned above, this roasted cauliflower makes a great all-purpose side dish. The garlic-Parmesan flavor combo is so universal. This would go great next to some roasted meat like Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin, a classic comfort food like Salisbury Steak, or something like Balsamic Chicken and Mushrooms. But today, when I made a batch to take the photos, I ate damn near the entire batch just dipping it into some Comeback Sauce (a good ranch dressing would also be good). :) 

Side view of a tray full of Garlic Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

 
Overhead of garlic parmesan roasted cauliflower on a tray with a bowl of dip

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

Garlic parmesan roasted cauliflower is an easy, flavorful side dish or snack that will have everyone begging for seconds.
Total Cost $3.21 recipe / $0.80 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 139.55kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower $2.39
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan $0.44
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • ¼ tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.24
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley (optional garnish) $0.05

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Rinse the cauliflower well, then cut into bite-sized florets.
  • In a small bowl, combine the Parmesan, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Place the cauliflower florets in a bowl and drizzle the olive oil over top, followed by the prepared garlic Parmesan seasoning. Toss the florets until they are completely coated in oil and seasoning, and no seasoning remains on the bottom of the bowl.
  • Spread the seasoned cauliflower out over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, making sure the florets are in a single layer with some space around each piece. Transfer the baking sheet to the preheated oven.
  • Roast the cauliflower for about 30 minutes, stirring half-way through, or until the florets reach your desired level of caramelization. Season with extra salt and pepper and sprinkle chopped parsley over top just before serving, if desired.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 139.55kcal | Carbohydrates: 11.63g | Protein: 5.85g | Fat: 9.1g | Sodium: 383.38mg | Fiber: 2.98g

Love Roasted Cauliflower? Check Out These Other Roasted Cauliflower Recipes:

How to Make Garlic Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower – Step by Step Photos

Chopped cauliflower on a cutting board

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Chop the head of cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Honestly, sometimes I just pull the head apart with my hands because the little florets snap off fairly easily at the base! But I use my knife to cut larger florets into smaller pieces.

Garlic Parmesan seasoning

Combine ¼ cup grated Parmesan, ½ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper in a small bowl. 

Seasoning being sprinkled over cauliflower in a bowl

Place the cauliflower florets in a bowl and drizzle 2 Tbsp olive oil over top, then sprinkle the garlic Parmesan seasoning on top. Toss the cauliflower florets until they are well coated in oil and seasoning. Make sure you keep tossing (I use my hands) until all of that flavoring is stuck on and in the crevices of the cauliflower. You don’t want any left in the bowl.

Cauliflower on a lined baking sheet ready to roast

Spread the seasoned cauliflower out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment, in a single layer, with as much room around each piece as possible. Giving the cauliflower space helps the cauliflower roast in a dry environment and produce that nice caramelization, rather than sitting in trapped steam and essentially stewing as it bakes.

Roasted cauliflower topped with chopped parsley

Roast the cauliflower in the fully preheated 400ºF oven for about 30 minutes, stirring half way through, or until the cauliflower has reached your desired level of caramelization. Season with extra salt and pepper, if needed, and top with chopped parsley before serving, if desired.

Overhead of garlic parmesan roasted cauliflower on a tray with a bowl of dip

Delicious!

The post Garlic Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Easy Broccoli Cheddar Soup

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

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

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

Smaller Batch for No Leftovers

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

How Long Does Broccoli Cheddar Soup Keep?

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

What to Serve with Broccoli Cheddar Soup

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

Can I Use Frozen Broccoli?

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

Make it Vegetarian

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

CLose up of a ladle full of broccoli cheddar soup

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

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

Nutrition

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

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

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

How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Soup – Step by Step Photos

Chopped broccoli

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

Sautéed onion and butter, flour being added to the pot

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

Chicken broth being whisked into the pot

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

Whisk in milk and spices

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

Chopped vegetables added to the pot

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

Simmered vegetables in the soup

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

Shredded Cheese added to the soup

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

Finished broccoli cheddar soup being stirred

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

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

Soooo thick and cheesy!! 😍

Three bowls of broccoli cheddar soup with saltines on the side

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

Chocolate Banana Muffins

What to do with browning bananas? It’s the question that never stops needing to be answered. The other day I was about to make a batch of my Yogurt Banana Bread with some over ripe bananas, but I decided to change it up last minute. I added little cocoa powder and a handful of chocolate […]

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What to do with browning bananas? It’s the question that never stops needing to be answered. The other day I was about to make a batch of my Yogurt Banana Bread with some over ripe bananas, but I decided to change it up last minute. I added little cocoa powder and a handful of chocolate chips to the batter, then scooped it into a muffin tin instead of a bread pan for easy portioning, and I got these tasty little Chocolate Banana Muffins. They’re the perfect not-too-sweet treat that I can keep in my freezer for days that I want a little something special to go with my morning coffee.

Chocolate banana muffins in the muffin tin, on a cooling rack, and a wooden cutting board

Use Ripe Bananas for the Best Flavor

I know chocolate banana muffins sound delicious, but have patience and wait until you have some brown, over ripe bananas to make this recipe. Over ripe bananas are sweeter and their banana flavor is more intense, which is what you want for the banana flavor to really come through in the muffins. Plus, they’re easier to mash when they’re soft and super ripe. ;)

How to Freeze Chocolate Banana Muffins

I love the fact that these banana muffins are already in single-serving portions, which makes them really great for freezing and thawing as-needed (or “as-wanted”?). To freeze the muffins, make sure they cool completely to room temperature, then place them in a gallon-sized zip top freezer bag and transfer to the freezer. To thaw, you can either let them sit for 15-30 minutes at room temperature, or microwave for about 30 seconds until they’re warm and the chocolate chips are melted. They’re sooooo good with a cup of coffee!

Other Muffin Add-in Ideas

Muffins like this are kind of fun because you can really play around with the add-ins (in addition to, or in place of the chocolate chips). Peanut butter chips would be really good in these muffins, as would something like shredded coconut. Walnuts are a classic with banana bread, but almonds would probably taste really nice with this banana-chocolate combo, too.

Chocolate Banana Muffins in a muffin tin, some turned on their side

 
Chocolate Banana Muffins in a muffin tin, some turned on their side

Chocolate Banana Muffins

Chocolate Banana Muffins are a delicious freezer-friendly sweet treat, and a great way to use up brown bananas so they don't go to waste!
Total Cost $3.97 recipe / $0.33 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 232.86kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mashed bananas (about 2-3 bananas) $0.42
  • 1 cup plain yogurt $0.67
  • 2 large eggs $0.46
  • 1/2 cup sugar $0.40
  • 4 Tbsp metled butter $0.52
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract $0.30
  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour $0.23
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder $0.21
  • 1 tsp baking powder $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips $0.70

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
  • Mash the bananas well. You'll need one cup mashed bananas. If you have slightly less than one cup, you can use slightly more yogurt to make up for the banana. If you have slightly more than one cup, you can reduce the yogurt slightly to compensate for the extra banana.
  • Add the mashed banana to a large mixing bowl along with the yogurt, eggs, sugar, melted butter, and vanilla. Whisk the ingredients together well.
  • In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients and stir just until they are combined. It's okay if the mixture is a little lumpy. Do not over stir. Finally, fold the chocolate chips into the batter.
  • Divide the batter between the 12 wells of the muffin tin (it will fill each well up to the top). Transfer the muffin tin to the preheated oven and bake for 35 minutes.
  • After baking, remove the muffins from the tin and allow them to cool on a wire rack before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1muffin | Calories: 232.86kcal | Carbohydrates: 38.8g | Protein: 4.37g | Fat: 8.02g | Sodium: 233.58mg | Fiber: 2.22g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Close up front view of the chocolate banana muffins in the tin

How to Make Chocolate Banana Muffins – Step by Step Photos

Mashed banana in a measuring cup with a fork

Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a muffin tin with paper liners. Mash 2-3 bananas well with a fork. You’ll need 1 cup mashed bananas. If you have slightly less banana, you can add a little extra yogurt to make up for it. If you have a little more than 1 cup banana, you can reduce the yogurt a little to compensate for the extra banana.

Wet ingredients for the banana muffins in a bowl

Add the mashed banana to a large mixing bowl along with 1 cup plain yogurt, 2 large eggs, ½ cup sugar, 4 Tbsp melted butter, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Whisk these ingredients together well.

Dry ingredients for muffins in a bowl

In a separate bowl, stir together 1.5 cups all-purpose flour, ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda, and ½ tsp salt. Stir until the dry ingredients are very well combined.

wet and dry ingredients being stirred together with a spatula

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir just until everything is moistened. The mixture will be lumpy, but try not to over stir (the photo shows the mixture half stirred, check the next photo for the appearance of the fully stirred batter).

Chocolate chips being added to the batter

Finally, fold a ½ cup chocolate chips into the batter, again taking care not to over stir.

Muffin batter in the muffin tin, unbaked.

Divide the batter between 12 wells of a muffin tin. The batter will fill each well all the way up to the top. Transfer the muffin tin to the preheated 350ºF oven.

Baked chocolate banana muffins in the muffin tin

Bake the muffins in the preheated oven for 35 minutes. Remove the baked muffins from the tin to cool before serving.

Chocolate banana muffins in the muffin tin, on a cooling rack, and on a cutting board

Enjoy!

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