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!

The post Creamy Avocado Dressing appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Honey Mustard Wings

I used to hate chicken wings. But, OMG, I think I’m officially a convert. These crispy, oven-baked honey mustard wings are so seriously delicious that I’ve craved them every day since I first made them. The simple oven baking technique delivers a surprisingly crispy skin without having to brave hot deep fryer grease, and my basic Honey Mustard Sauce makes an incredible glaze.

The post Honey Mustard Wings appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I used to hate chicken wings. But, OMG, I think I’m officially a convert. These crispy, oven-baked honey mustard wings are so seriously delicious that I’ve craved them every day since I first made them. The simple oven baking technique delivers a surprisingly crispy skin without having to brave hot deep fryer grease, and my basic Honey Mustard Sauce makes an incredible glaze. You just have to try them.

Two trays with honey mustard wings, broccoli, and cups of sauce

Yes, Baked Wings CAN be Crispy

If you fear deep frying, like me, then you’re going to love these baked wings. The trick to getting a nice crispy skin on chicken wings in the oven is the light coating of cornstarch. The cornstarch absorbs some of the fat from the skin as it melts and bakes to an incredibly crispy crunch. It’s just SO EASY and there’s no chance of accidentally burning your face off with splashing grease. ;)

Serve Immediately for Best Results

Kind of like their fried counterpart, these baked honey mustard chicken wings are best when they’re served right after they come out of the oven. If you do need to wait a bit before serving, don’t toss them in the honey mustard sauce until just before serving. The longer the sauce sits on the chicken, the softer the skin will become. For that reason, this recipe is not a great candidate for leftovers.

What to Serve with Honey Mustard Wings

My Honey Mustard Sauce is great for dipping vegetables as well as chicken wings, so I made a little extra so I could serve some broccoli florets along with the wings. You could also do some celery and carrot sticks for more variety. A little bit of classic Creamy Coleslaw would also be a nice side.

Close up of a honey mustard wing being dipped into a cup of honey mustard sauce
Overhead view of honey mustard wings on a tray with broccoli and a cup of sauce

Honey Mustard Wings

These simple oven-baked honey mustard chicken wings are deliciously crispy and are coated in sweet and tangy homemade sauce.
Total Cost $8.04 recipe / $4.02 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 2 5-6 pieces each
Calories 1154.65kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Baked Chicken Wings

  • 2 lbs. chicken wings or drumettes $6.97
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch $0.09

Honey Mustard Sauce*

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise $0.40
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard $0.05
  • 1/2 Tbsp yellow mustard $0.04
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Honey $0.18
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar $0.01
  • 1/16 tsp garlic powder $0.01
  • 1/16 tsp paprika $0.01
  • 1/16 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1/8 tsp pepper $0.01

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil, then place two wire cooling racks over top to elevate the chicken wings.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Pat the chicken wings dry, then add them to a bowl with the cornstarch mixture, and stir until the chicken wings are coated.
  • Place the cornstarch coated wings on the prepared baking sheet (on the wire racks). Bake in the oven for 50 minutes, give or take 5 minutes depending on the size of the wings, or until they are light golden brown and the skin is crispy.
  • While the wings are baking, make the honey mustard sauce. Stir together the mayonnaise, Dijon, yellow mustard, honey, vinegar, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
  • When the chicken wings are finished baking, place them in a clean bowl and pour the honey mustard sauce over top. Stir until the wings are coated. Serve immediately.

Notes

*This recipe makes enough honey mustard to coat the chicken wings. If you’d like enough honey mustard sauce to have extra for dipping, like in the photos, I suggest doubling the sauce ingredients.

Nutrition

Serving: 6wings | Calories: 1154.65kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 79.8g | Fat: 78.8g | Sodium: 1225.75mg | Fiber: 0.45g
Overhead view of honey mustard wings on a tray with broccoli and a cup of sauce

How to Make Honey Mustard Wings – Step by Step Photos

Cornstarch, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a bowl

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil, then place two wire cooling racks on top (this holds the chicken above the surface of the baking sheet). In a small bowl, stir together 3 Tbsp cornstarch, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper, and ¼ tsp garlic powder.

Raw chicken wings on a cutting board

Pat dry 2 lbs. chicken wings or drumettes, or both, with paper towel.

Cornstarch mixture being poured over the wings in a bowl

Place the chicken wings in a large bowl, then pour the cornstarch mixture over top. Stir the wings until they are lightly and evenly coated in cornstarch.

Chicken wings on the baking sheet ready to bake

Place the chicken wings on the prepared baking sheet, spaced out so they are not touching.

Baked chicken wings on the baking sheet

Bake the chicken wings in the preheated 400ºF oven for 50 minutes, or until they are golden brown and crispy (they will not get deeply browned). Total baking time will vary depending on the size of your wings.

Honey mustard sauce ingredients in a bowl

While the wings are baking, prepare the honey mustard sauce. In a bowl combine ¼ cup mayonnaise, ½ Tbsp Dijon mustard, ½ Tbsp yellow mustard, 1.5 Tbsp honey, ½ tsp apple cider vinegar, 1/16 tsp garlic powder, 1/16 tsp paprika, 1/16 salt, and ⅛ tsp pepper. This is enough honey mustard to coat the wings. If you want extra for dipping, double the sauce.

honey mustard being poured over baked wings in a bowl

Place the baked wings in a clean bowl and pour the honey mustard sauce over top.

Finished honey mustard wings in a bowl

Toss the wings until they are coated in the honey mustard sauce and then serve immediately!

Two trays of honey mustard wings with broccoli and sauce

The post Honey Mustard Wings appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Perfect Oven Roasted Broccoli

If you’re not a fan of broccoli, it might just be because you haven’t tried it roasted yet. Roasted broccoli is my go-to side dish for any dinner because it’s A) easy and B) insanely delicious.

The post Perfect Oven Roasted Broccoli appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you’re not a fan of broccoli, it might just be because you haven’t tried it roasted yet. Roasted broccoli is my go-to side dish for any dinner because it’s A) easy and B) insanely delicious. Like, so delicious that I could eat an entire pound by myself. And while I’ve had a tutorial about how to roast frozen broccoli for years, I realized, after getting a million questions about how I made the broccoli in my Comeback Sauce recipe photos, that I did not have a tutorial about how to roast fresh broccoli. The techniques are similar, but the results are very different. So let’s go!

roasted broccoli with comeback sauce in a red plastic basket with paper liner

Pictured with Comeback Sauce.

Can I Use Frozen Broccoli?

Yes, you can roast frozen broccoli, although it does turn out differently. For full instructions, please see my recipe for Oven Roasted Frozen Broccoli.

How to Get Crispy Roasted Broccoli

One of my favorite parts about oven roasted broccoli are the crispy edges. Here are some tips for getting the best crispy browned edges on your broccoli:

  • Make sure the broccoli is well coated in oil.
  • Space the broccoli out on the baking sheet. It should not be crowded, which can trap steam and prevent browning and crisping.
  • Avoid very large florets. The larger the florets the longer they will take to roast, and the less surface area is available for browning.
  • Roast directly on your sheet pan (no parchment lining) for even more browning.

How to Season Roasted Broccoli

The second thing I love about roasted broccoli are all the different ways you can season it. The sky is the limit here, which means I can eat it every day without ever feeling like I’m eating the same thing! Here are some of my favorite seasonings to add to roasted broccoli:

  • Steak seasoning
  • Curry powder
  • Seasoning salt (like Lawry’s)
  • Everything bagel seasoning
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Lemon juice and zest (sprinkle on after roasting)
  • Simple salt & pepper! (especially when planning to dip the broccoli in a flavorful sauce)
a piece of oven roasted broccoli being dipped into a cup of comeback sauce
Overhead view of a basket full of oven roasted broccoli with dipping sauce

Perfect Oven Roasted Broccoli

Make perfectly crispy and delicious oven roasted broccoli in just a few easy steps. This is the perfect easy side dish for any dinner.
Total Cost $3.34 recipe / $0.84 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 138.5kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. broccoli $2.98
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 1/4 tsp salt* $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp pepper* $0.02

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Wash and chop the broccoli into bite-sized florets.
  • Spread the florets out over a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper (you can skip the parchment if you want extra browning). Drizzle the olive oil over top, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss the broccoli until it is fully and evenly coated in oil.
  • Roast the broccoli for 20-25 minutes, or until it has achieved the level of browning you desire, stirring once after about 15 mintues of roasting. Total roasting time may vary depending on the size of your florets and the type of baking sheet used (darker surfaces brown faster).

Notes

*This is a basic roasted broccoli recipe seasoned simply with salt and pepper. For other seasoning ideas, check the list above the recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 138.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 14.95g | Protein: 6.35g | Fat: 7.83g | Sodium: 281.9mg | Fiber: 5.85g
Oven roasted broccoli close up on the baking sheet

How to Make Oven Roasted Broccoli – Step by Step Photos

Chopped broccoli on a cutting board

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Wash and chop 2 lbs. broccoli into bite-sized florets.

Seasoned broccoli florets on a parchment lined baking sheet

Spread the florets out onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment (or no parchment for extra browning). Drizzle 2 Tbsp olive oil over the broccoli, then add ¼ tsp each of salt and pepper. Toss the broccoli until it is evenly coated in oil.

roasted broccoli on the sheet pan

Roast the broccoli in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until it has achieved your desired level of browning, stirring once after about 15 minutes. Roasting time will vary based on the size of the broccoli florets and the type of sheet pan used.

Overhead view of a basket full of oven roasted broccoli with dipping sauce

Enjoy your perfect oven roasted broccoli as a side with dinner or just as a snack with some good sauce for dipping! I suggest Comeback Sauce, Honey Mustard Sauce, or Ranch Dressing.

The post Perfect Oven Roasted Broccoli appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Tortilla Baked Eggs

You guys know how I love using leftover odds and ends in my fridge to make delicious meals on the fly, right? Well these tasty little eggs baked in a tortilla shell are my newest obsession. You can toss just about any meat, vegetable, or cheese into these Tortilla Baked Eggs to come up with your own tasty creation.

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You guys know how I love using leftover odds and ends in my fridge to make delicious meals on the fly, right? Well these tasty little eggs baked in a tortilla shell are my newest obsession. You can toss just about any meat, vegetable, or cheese into these Tortilla Baked Eggs to come up with your own tasty creation. Sounds like a fun Saturday morning project to me!

Overhead view of tortilla baked eggs on a white plate with a napkin on the side

What Kind of Baking Dish To Use

You can use any type of round, oven-safe dish that is about 1 to 2-inches deep. It should also have straight, vertical sides. Round cake pans or pie plates are a great option. As far as what size to use, you’ll want to use a dish that is one to two inches smaller in diameter than your tortilla, so the tortilla can be folded up on the sides to hold in the eggs and fillings.

What Size Tortilla Should I Use?

My tortillas were 8-inches in diameter, which was perfect for my 7-inch diameter dish. If you are using an eight or nine-inch diameter cake pan, you’ll probably want a 10-inch diameter tortilla. If you have a larger tortilla, you may want to add 1-2 more eggs than I used below.

Topping Ideas

These tortilla baked eggs are SO flexible and you can toss just about anything that you have leftover in your fridge into them, kind of like an omelette or frittata! Here are some combination ideas:

  • Roasted red peppers, feta, red onion
  • Chopped broccoli, cheddar
  • Ham, cheddar, bell pepper
  • Sun dried tomato, feta, spinach
  • Mushrooms, spinach, goat cheese
Two slices of tortilla baked eggs on a plate with a fork
Whole tortilla baked eggs on a plate with fork on the side

Tortilla Baked Eggs

Tortilla Baked Eggs are a fun and flexible way to use leftover ingredients from the week in a delicious homemade breakfast.
Total Cost $1.22 recipe / $0.61 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 320.55kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil $0.18
  • 1 8" flour tortilla $0.14
  • 1 cup fresh spinach $0.16
  • 4 large eggs $0.23
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.01
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes $0.37
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar $0.21
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper (optional) $0.01

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Brush the inside of a round, 7-inch diameter oven safe dish* with olive oil. Press the tortilla down into the dish so that the edges of the tortilla are folded up the sides of the dish (see step by step photos below).
  • Roughly chop the spinach then add it to the bottom of the tortilla. Crack the four eggs into the tortilla on top of the spinach. Add a pinch of salt and pepper on top of the eggs.
  • Slice the grap tomatoes in half, then sprinkle them over the eggs. Finally, top with shredded cheese.
  • Bake the egg filled tortilla in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the whites are set and the yolks are still jammy. You can shake the dish to see if the whites still jiggle or if they are set. Baking time may vary depending on the size of your tortilla and number of eggs used.
  • Remove the tortilla baked eggs from the oven and slide them out of the dish. Slice into four pieces, then serve!

Notes

*You can use any size oven-safe round dish, but make sure you use a tortilla of a slightly larger size than the dish. For instance, you can use an 8-inch pie tin, but you’ll want to use a tortilla that is approximately 9-inches in diameter. Cooking time may vary depending on the size of your dish and tortilla. See step 4 above for a tip on how to tell it’s finished baking.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5recipe | Calories: 320.55kcal | Carbohydrates: 15.55g | Protein: 18.6g | Fat: 20.35g | Sodium: 618.95mg | Fiber: 2.45g

Love baked eggs? Try my Creamed Spinach Baked Eggs, Eggs Florentine Breakfast Pizza, or Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Frittata.

Side view of a slice of tortilla baked eggs with a bite taken out

How to Make Tortilla Baked Eggs – Step by Step Photos

Oil being brushed inside a round dish

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Brush about 1/2 Tbsp olive oil on the inside of a round, 7-inch diameter oven safe dish.

Tortilla pressed into the round dish

Press an 8-inch flour tortilla down into the dish so that the edges of the tortilla are folded up the sides of the dish.

chopped spinach placed inside the tortilla

Roughly chop one cup fresh spinach and place it inside the tortilla.

Eggs added on top of the spinach in the tortilla

Crack four large eggs onto the spinach and season with a small pinch of salt and pepper.

Eggs topped with tomatoes and cheese

Top with a handful of grape tomatoes (sliced in half) and a little shredded cheddar (about ¼ cup).

Finished Tortilla Baked Eggs in the dish

Bake the egg-filled tortilla in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the whites are set and the yolks are still jammy. You can shake the dish to see if the whites still jiggle or if they are set. Baking time may vary depending on the size of your tortilla and the number of eggs used. I also finished off my eggs with a pinch of crushed red pepper, but that’s optional!

Whole tortilla baked eggs on a plate with fork on the side

Slide the tortilla out of the dish and onto a plate or cutting board. Slice into four pieces, then serve!

The post Tortilla Baked Eggs appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Quickie Black Eyed Peas and Greens

It’s said that eating black eyed peas on New Year’s Day brings you good luck. Now, I’m not usually superstitious, but after a year like 2020, I’m willing to try anything (just kidding, but I’m not). So let’s ring in good luck for the new year with this quick pot of black eyed peas and greens. Vegetarian and meat options included!

The post Quickie Black Eyed Peas and Greens appeared first on Budget Bytes.

It’s said that eating black eyed peas on New Year’s Day brings you good luck. Now, I’m not usually superstitious, but after a year like 2020, I’m willing to try anything (just kidding, but I’m not). I have an awesome recipe for slow simmered black eyed peas and greens that I made years ago, but it’s a long process that starts with dry peas. So I wanted to make a “quickie” version, using canned black eyed peas, that’s a little faster and easier for times when you haven’t planned ahead.

Overhead view of a pot of black eyed peas and greens on a wooden surface

How to Serve Black Eyed Peas and Greens

There are two basic ways that I like to serve a bit pot of beans or peas like this. Either in a bowl with rice, or in a bowl with a big chunk of crusty bread for dipping. Having some sort of starch to kind of balance the meal out makes it super satisfying and filling.

A little dash of hot sauce on top of your bowl or even a dollop of sour cream on top is also pretty awesome. ;)

Can I Use Dry Peas?

This recipe is specifically made for canned peas, which are already cooked. If you’d like to make something similar using dry peas, follow my recipe for Slow Simmered Black Eyed Peas and Greens.

Can I Add Meat?

The recipe below is vegetarian (vegan, actually), but it’s super easy to add meat to this meal. You have three easy options to keep this a “quick” meal: bacon, ham, or smoked sausage. Whichever one you decide to use, just sauté the meat in the pot before beginning with the onion and garlic in step one below.

Can I Freeze Black Eyed Peas?

Yes! This recipe is great for stocking your freezer. Just divide it into single portions, cool it in the fridge first, then once cool transfer it to the freezer for longer storage (about 3 months or so). Any freezer-safe container will do. To reheat, either use a microwave or heat in a sauce pot over medium-low, stirring often, until heated through.

Side view of a bowl of black eyed peas with greens and rice
Side view of a ladle lifting some black eyed peas and greens from the pot

Quickie Black Eyed Peas and Greens

Ring in good luck for the new year with this quick pot of black eyed peas and greens. Vegetarian and meat options included!
Total Cost $4.43 recipe / $1.11 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Calories 330.33kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 3 15oz. cans black eyed peas $2.37
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika $0.05
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.03
  • 2 cups vegetable broth $0.26
  • 4 oz. fresh spinach $0.85

Instructions

  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add both to a large soup pot with the olive oil and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent.
  • Drain the canned black eyed peas, then add them to the pot along with the oregano, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and vegetable broth. Stir to combine.
  • Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium high, and bring the pot up to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low, and allow the peas to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • After the peas have simmered for about 15 minutes, use the back of a spoon to smash some of the peas against the side of the pot to thicken the broth (or use an immersion blender to blend a small portion of the peas).
  • Add the fresh spinach to the pot and stir until it has wilted into the peas. Give the peas a taste and adjust the salt or seasoning to your liking. Serve hot with bread or rice.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 330.33kcal | Carbohydrates: 56.3g | Protein: 19.88g | Fat: 7.18g | Sodium: 1414.65mg | Fiber: 14.68g
Close up of a ladle full of black eyed peas and greens with the pot in the background

How to Make Quickie Black Eyed Peas and Greens – Step by Step Photos

Onions and garlic in soup pot

Dice one yellow onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Add the onion and garlic to a large soup pot with 2 Tbsp olive oil and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent.

Beans, seasoning, and broth added to the soup pot

Drain three 15oz. cans of black eyed peas and add them to the pot along with ½ tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp smoked paprika, ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper, ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper, and 2 cups of vegetable broth.

Black eyed peas before simmering

Stir the peas, broth, and seasoning together. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring it up to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low, and let it simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Simmered black eyed peas in the pot with a spoon

After simmering, the peas will have swelled even a little bit more and they will be even more soft. Use a large spoon to smash some of the peas against the side of the pot, or use an immersion blender to purée a small amount of the peas.

Thickened peas in the pot

Smashing some of the peas makes the broth thick and creamy.

Spinach wilted into the peas in the pot

Add 4 oz. fresh spinach (½ of an 8oz. bag) and stir until it has wilted into the peas. Give the peas a taste and adjust the salt or seasonings to your liking.

Overhead view of a bowl of black eyed peas and greens with rice in the center

Serve with crusty bread or rice and enjoy your good luck in the new year! :)

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Brown Sugar Roasted Pork Loin

Roasted pork loin is probably one of the easiest (and inexpensive) main dishes you can make. Just add a little seasoning, pop it in the oven, and let it do its thing. The only thing you have to be mindful of is overcooking.

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Roasted pork loin is probably one of the easiest (and inexpensive) main dishes you can make. Just add a little seasoning, pop it in the oven, and let it do its thing. The only thing you have to be mindful of is overcooking, but we’ll talk more about that below. As long as you avoid that one pitfall, you’ll have a tender, juicy pork loin that makes a deeelish main dish that can be paired with tons of different sides.

Slices of brown sugar roasted pork loin on a white oval serving dish

Pork Loin vs. Pork Tenderloin

This recipe is written for pork loin, sometimes called a pork loin roast, which is different than pork tenderloin. Pork loin is a large roast, usually sold in 3-4 pound cuts. Pork tenderloin is a different, smaller muscle that tends to be slightly darker and more tender. Here is a more in-depth look (with photos) at the difference between pork loin and pork tenderloin. If you’re looking for a recipe for roasted pork tenderloin, try my Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin.

About that Brown Sugar Rub…

If you’ve made my Glazed Pork Chops, you’ll be familiar with this sweet and spicy brown sugar rub. It’s the perfect mix of sweet, savory, and spicy, and it’s just so incredibly simple. When it’s used with the direct contact heat of a skillet it turns into a glaze, but when it’s baked in the dry air of an oven it forms a delicious crust on the surface of the pork. Either way, it’s a winner!

The Key to Good Pork Loin

Don’t overcook it. That’s it! Overcooked pork is dry, tough, and resembles something like a hockey puck. So how do you not overcook it? You really need to get a meat thermometer (my favorite is linked in the recipe card below) since every pork loin is a different size and shape, and every oven cooks a little different.

How Long to Cook Pork Loin

The safe internal temperature for pork (excluding ground pork) is 145ºF. The estimated amount of time you’ll need to cook your pork loin using the method below (starting at 400ºF then reducing to 350ºF), is about 15 minutes per pound after the initial ten minutes at 400ºF. Use your trusty thermometer about ten minutes before the estimated time to see if you’re getting close, then about every 10-15 minutes after that until you reach 145ºF.

And lastly, make sure to let your pork rest for about 10 minutes after it’s removed from the oven before slicing. This gives the steam pressure time to reduce, which means more of the moisture will stay in the meat instead of evaporating out once it’s sliced.

What to Serve with Roasted Pork Loin

I love classic comfort foods with this Brown Sugar Roasted Pork Loin. I have it pictured with mashed potatoes and some roasted broccoli, but I think something like macaroni and cheese, collard greens, coleslaw, or potato salad would also be awesome!

Two slices of roasted pork loin on a plate with broccoli and mashed potatoes
Sliced brown sugar pork loin on a serving dish, viewed from the front

Brown Sugar Roasted Pork Loin

This super simple Brown Sugar Roasted Pork Loin is tender and juicy with a sweet and spicy brown sugar coating!
Total Cost $9.12 recipe / $1.14 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8 ½ lb. each
Calories 475.06kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs. pork loin $7.92
  • ½ cup brown sugar $0.32
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper $0.10*
  • 1 tsp garlic powder $0.10
  • 1 tsp paprika $0.10
  • 1 tsp salt $0.05
  • ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.05
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil $0.48

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, cayenne, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.
  • Place the pork loin on a parchment lined baking sheet or in a large casserole dish with the fat cap facing up. Begin packing the brown sugar and spice mixture all over the surface of the pork loin (no need to get the bottom). The moisture from the pork loin should help the sugar mixture stick to the surface.
  • Transfer the pork loin to the oven. Roast at 400ºF for ten minutes, then reduce the heat to 350ºF and continue to roast for about 15 minutes per pound of roast, or until the internal temperature reaches 145ºF. Always use a meat thermometer just to be sure.
  • After roasting, let the pork loin rest for 10 minutes before slicing into ½-inch thick slices and serving.

Notes

*To reduce the spiciness of this dish, reduce the cayenne to ½ or even ¼ tsp.

Nutrition

Serving: 2slices | Calories: 475.06kcal | Carbohydrates: 7.31g | Protein: 48.15g | Fat: 24.06g | Sodium: 465.2mg | Fiber: 0.2g
Two slices of pork loin on a plate with broccoli and mashed potatoes, viewed from the side

How to Make Brown Sugar Roasted Pork Loin – Step by Step Photos

Brown sugar rub ingredients in a bowl

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Combine ½ cup brown sugar, 1 tsp cayenne, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, and 3 Tbsp olive oil in a bowl.

Mixed brown sugar rub in a bowl

Mix the rub ingredients together until they look like damp sand.

Pork loin in the package

This is the pork loin I used, which was 4 pounds. Your cooking time will vary depending on the size of your pork loin, so make sure to use a meat thermometer so you can prevent over or under-cooking the pork. Pork loin usually has a “fat cap” which is a layer of fat on one side (it’s on the bottom in the photo above so you can’t see it).

Brown sugar rub on the pork loin, on a parchment lined baking sheet

Place the pork loin on a parchment-lined baking sheet or in a casserole dish with the fat cap side facing up. Pack the brown sugar rub all over the surface of the pork loin.

Roasted pork loin with a meat thermometer in it

Roast the pork for 10 minutes at 400ºF, then reduce the heat to 350ºF and roast for an additional 20 minutes per pound of pork, or until the internal temperature reaches 145ºF. The temperature of the roast will continue to rise slightly after it is taken out of the oven, due to carryover cooking. (Don’t worry if the brown sugar burns on the baking sheet, the rub ON the pork will not be burned. The burned sugar can be cleaned off with a quick soak in hot soapy water.)

Sliced brown sugar roasted pork loin on a cutting board

Let the pork loin rest for ten minutes before slicing into ½-inch slices and serving.

Brown sugar roasted pork loin sliced and served on an oval dish

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Marinated Cauliflower Salad

Marinated cauliflower salad is a crunchy and colorful “refrigerator salad” that’s is the perfect winter side dish or meal prep salad.

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Can’t stop, won’t stop with refrigerator salads! If you’re new here, refrigerator salads are salads that hold up really well in the refrigerator, so you can have delicious and colorful meals all week. This Marinated Cauliflower Salad is the perfect example. In fact, this salad gets better as it refrigerates. The flavors mix and mingle, and all those good flavors get soaked right up by the crunchy cauliflower. 👌

Overhead view of marinated cauliflower salad in a serving bowl

Take a Short Cut

I included a homemade Italian dressing in this cauliflower salad recipe, but if you want to make this salad even a little faster you can easily sub your favorite store-bought bottled Italian Dressing. You’ll need about one cup, but you can just add as much or as little as you’d like.

Make it Vegan

The recipe as written below contains Parmesan cheese, which does give the salad a little bit of body, but if you’d like to make this dish vegan you can easily leave the Parmesan out or add a little nutritional yeast in its place.

What to Serve with Marinated Cauliflower Salad

I served this cauliflower salad with my Garlic Marinated Chicken this week, but it would also go great with Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Baked Ziti, Pizza Baked Chicken, or Easy Oven Baked Fish with Tomatoes. This would also be a great dish to bring to potlucks!

How Long Does It Stay Good?

As I mentioned in the introduction, this salad actually gets better with time in the fridge. …Up to a point. Haha. This salad will be good for about 4-5 days of refrigeration, with the peak flavor being on about day 2-3. As always your mileage may vary depending on the freshness of your ingredients and conditions inside your refrigerator.

Side view of marinated cauliflower salad in a serving bowl
Overhead view of marinated cauliflower salad in a white serving bowl

Marinated Cauliflower Salad

Marinated cauliflower salad is full of crunchy and colorful vegetables marinated in a homemade Italian dressing. Perfect for meal prep!
Total Cost $8.40 recipe / $1.05 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Marinate Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 1 cup each
Calories 175.66kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Italian Dressing*

  • ½ cup olive oil $0.84
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar $0.40
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard $0.06
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning $0.30
  • ½ tsp salt $0.02
  • ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan $0.22

Salad

  • 1 head cauliflower $2.39
  • 1 2.25oz. can sliced black olives $1.49
  • ½ 12oz. jar banana pepper rings $0.90
  • 1 red bell pepper $1.50
  • cup diced red onion $0.16
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley $0.08

Instructions

  • Make the dressing first, so the flavors have time to blend. In a jar or bowl, combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and Parmesan. Whisk the ingredients together or close the jar and shake until combined. Set the dressing aside.
  • Remove the leaves and stem from the cauliflower, then chop it into very small florets (about the size of a grape). Place the chopped cauliflower in a large bowl.
  • Drain the black olives and remove the banana peppers from the jar. Add both to the bowl with the cauliflower.
  • Dice the red bell pepper and finely dice the red onion and parsley. Add them to the bowl.
  • Pour the prepared dressing over the salad, then toss to combine. Refrigerate the salad for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to absorb. Stir again just before serving. This salad gets better as it refrigerates and the cauliflower has more time to marinate. Always stir just before serving to redistribute the flavors.

Notes

*Store-bought Italian dressing can be used in place of homemade.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 175.66kcal | Carbohydrates: 8.06g | Protein: 2.69g | Fat: 15.6g | Sodium: 431.44mg | Fiber: 2.7g

How to Make Marinated Cauliflower Salad – Step by Step Photos

Dressing ingredients in a jar

Make the dressing first so it can have a few moments to blend. In a jar or bowl combine ½ cup olive oil, ¼ cup red wine vinegar, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, ¼ tsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper, and 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan.

shaken Italian dressing in a jar

Shake the jar or whisk the ingredients in a bowl until the dressing is combined. You can use a store-bought Italian dressing in place of homemade, if you prefer. You’ll need about 1 cup dressing.

Chopped cauliflower on a cutting board

Remove the leaves and stem from a head of cauliflower, then chop in to very small florets (about the size of a grape). Place the chopped cauliflower in a bowl.

Cauliflower and other vegetables in a bowl

Drain one 2.25oz. can of black olives, and remove ½ of the peppers from a 12oz. jar of banana pepper rings. Dice one red bell pepper, finely dice about ⅓ cup red onion, and chop about 2 Tbsp parsley. Add everything to the bowl with the chopped cauliflower.

Italian dressing being poured over salad ingredients.

Pour the Italian dressing over the salad ingredients in the bowl, then stir to combine.

Finished marinated cauliflower salad in the bowl with a spoon

Cover the salad and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to give the salad time to absorb the flavors from the dressing. Always give it a stir before serving to redistribute the flavors throughout.

Overhead view of marinated cauliflower salad in a white serving bowl

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Garlic Marinated Chicken

This simple all-purpose Garlic Marinated Chicken is great to add to sandwiches, salads, pasta dishes, and more!

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I had this recipe for Garlic Marinated Chicken hidden away within an old meal prep post, but this chicken is just SO good and SO simple that I think it deserved a post on its own. This is my favorite all-purpose quick chicken recipe that I use as an addition to all sorts of meals, so I know this is one you’ll want to save and use over and over again. Keep on reading for all the ways you can use this versatile, finger-lickin’ good chicken.

Sliced garlic marinated chicken on a plate with a fork and cauliflower salad

What Does it Taste Like?

Perhaps I should call this Lemon Garlic Marinated Chicken, because this chicken is slightly tangy, super garlicky, and absolutely delicious. The natural sugars in the lemon juice caramelize beautifully in the skillet, giving it even more depth of flavor. And because lemon and garlic are such versatile flavors, you’ll find that you can pair this garlic chicken with just about anything.

How to Serve Garlic Marinated Chicken

In addition to just serving it as a main dish with a couple of sides, this chicken is great to add to other recipes. You can slice this garlic chicken up and use it for a sandwich, to top a salad, or even to top a big plate of pasta. Here are a few recipes that would benefit from being topped with this garlic marinated chicken:

Great for Meal Prep!

This chicken is absolutely perfect for meal prep! Cook up a couple chicken breasts worth on the weekend, then use the cooked and sliced chicken to add to your meal prep for the next few days. The cooked chicken can be refrigerated for about 3-4 days.

Can I Grill Garlic Marinated Chicken?

Absolutely! This chicken is great on the grill, whether you have a charcoal grill, gas grill, or even an indoor countertop grill, like a George Foreman.

Can I Use Chicken Thighs?

Yes, this recipe also works great with chicken thighs and they even require a little less prep! Because chicken thighs are already on the thin side and they don’t over cook quite as easily, you can skip filleting the thighs into two thinner pieces, like you need to do with a chicken breast. Simply marinate, then cook on each side until browned and the chicken is cooked through.

A fork picking up a slice of garlic marinated chicken from a plate
Garlic Marinated Chicken cooked

Garlic Marinated Chicken

This simple all-purpose Garlic Marinated Chicken is great to add to sandwiches, salads, pasta dishes, and more!
Total Cost $3.37 recipe / $0.84 serving
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Calories 331.5kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil $0.52
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice $0.18
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced $0.24
  • 1/2 Tbsp dried oregano $0.15
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • Freshly cracked pepper $0.05
  • 1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts* $5.37

Instructions

  • Add the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper to a bowl or a large zip top bag. Stir the ingredients in the dish until combined.
  • Filet each chicken breast into two thinner pieces. Place the pieces in the bag or in a shallow dish, then pour the marinade over top, making sure the chicken pieces are completely covered in marinade. Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes, or up to 8 hours (refrigerated), turning occasionally to maximize the chicken's contact with the marinade.
  • When ready to cook, heat a large skillet over medium. Transfer the chicken from the marinade to the hot skillet and cook on each side until well browned and cooked through (about 5-7 minutes each side, depending on the size of the pieces). Cook two pieces at a time to avoid overcrowding the skillet, which can cause juices to pool and prevents browning. Discard the excess marinade.
  • Transfer the cooked chicken from the skillet to a cutting board and let rest for five minutes before slicing and serving.

Notes

*This marinade can also be used for chicken thighs. The amount of marinade listed in the recipe can handle about 4-6 chicken thighs, depending on their size.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 331.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 2.28g | Protein: 38.35g | Fat: 11.3g | Sodium: 432.18mg | Fiber: 0.4g

How to Make Garlic Marinated Chicken – Step by Step Photos

Prepared garlic marinade

In a small bow, combine ¼ cup olive oil, ¼ cup lemon juice, 3 cloves minced garlic, ½ Tbsp dried oregano, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper.

Filleted chicken breasts on a cutting board

Use a sharp knife to filet two chicken breasts into two thinner pieces. If your knife skills are not strong enough to make this cut, you can cover the chicken breast with plastic and use a mallet or rolling pin to pound the chicken until it’s about ½ inch thick. Then cut each breast in half to make two pieces.

Marinade being poured over the chicken in a dish

Place the chicken in a shallow dish or a zip-top bag and pour the marinade over top. Turn the chicken to make sure it all gets coated in marinade. Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes up to 8 hours (refrigerated), turning the chicken occasionally to make sure it is all in contact with the marinade.

Cooked chicken in a skillet

When you’re ready to cook the chicken, heat a skillet over medium. Once the skillet is hot, add two pieces of chicken at a time, and cook until browned on each side and cooked through. The chicken will already be coated in oil from the marinade, so no extra oil is needed to coat the skillet. Discard the excess marinade.

Sliced chicken on a cutting board with tongs

After cooking the chicken, transfer it to a cutting board and let it rest for five minutes before slicing and serving.

Sliced garlic marinated chicken on a plate with a fork

Enjoy that garlicky goodness!

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Garlic Herb Mashed Cauliflower

You can never have too many easy side dish recipes in your back pocket, which is why I’ve been playing around a little with mashed cauliflower. Mashed cauliflower is easy, flexible, you can flavor it with just about anything, and it makes a great side to just about any meal.     

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You can never have too many easy side dish recipes in your back pocket, which is why I’ve been playing around a little with mashed cauliflower. Mashed cauliflower kind of exploded onto the scene as a mashed potato alternative with the rise of keto diets, I think there’s so much more to like about it than its carb count. It’s easy, flexible, you can flavor it with just about anything, and it makes a great side to just about any meal. I like this Garlic Herb Mashed Cauliflower for what it is, not for what it’s pretending to be.

Mashed cauliflower in a bowl with a spoon and a pat of melted butter in the middle

What Does Mashed Cauliflower Taste Like?

Well, it doesn’t taste like mashed potatoes, if you ask me. Ha! Cauliflower does have a fairly neutral flavor that allows a lot of different herbs and seasonings to be added without clashing, but it still tastes like cauliflower. The flavor is light, but it still has that cruciferous aroma. …If you know what I mean.

The texture is also different than mashed potatoes. I find mashed cauliflower to be lighter and thinner, if you will. For that reason, I think it’s really important to add a decent amount of fat to your mashed cauliflower to give it body and weight, something to kind of coat your taste buds and make it feel substantial.

What Can You Add to Mashed Cauliflower?

I used a very flavorful garlic herb seasoning blend to flavor my mashed cauliflower, but you could also play around with things like Cajun seasoning, Everything Bagel Seasoning, ranch seasoning, BBQ seasoning, Montreal steak seasoning… or just about anything else.

As I mentioned above, its really important to add a good amount of fat to your mashed cauliflower so they don’t taste too thin or watery. I used cream cheese because it’s extra thick and helps thicken up the consistency even more. You can also try sour cream, Parmesan cheese, or cheddar cheese.

Can I Use Frozen Cauliflower?

Yes, this works really great with frozen cauliflower. Using frozen cauliflower has an extra advantage because it’s already chopped and partially cooked for you, so making mashed cauliflower will be even faster. And even better yet, you can keep that frozen cauliflower on hand and make mashed cauliflower whenever you want, without the risk of it going bad in the back of your fridge. ;)

To use frozen cauliflower, just boil the florets according to the package directions, or until they are very tender, then proceed with the recipe as written below after the boiling step.

Do I Have to Use a Food Processor?

Nope! I do find that the food processor gives the creamiest, fluffiest results, but an immersion blender also works well. You can use a manual potato masher if that’s all that you have available, but the results might not be quite as smooth because cauliflower is a little more fibrous.

A spoonful of mashed cauliflower held close to the camera, the bowl in the back.
Garlic Herb Mashed Cauliflower in a bowl with a spoon and melted butter

Garlic Herb mashed Cauliflower

Garlic Herb Mashed Cauliflower is an easy, creamy, flavorful side dish to pair with any of your favorite main dish recipes.
Total Cost $3.01 recipe / $0.75 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 ¾ cup each
Calories 155.65kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower $2.39
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.14
  • 2 oz. cream cheese $0.20

Garlic Herb Seasoning

  • 1 tsp dried parsley $0.10
  • ½ tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • ½ tsp dried basil $0.05
  • ¼ tsp onion powder $0.02
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • ½ tsp salt $0.02
  • tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Instructions

  • Remove the stem and leaves from the cauliflower and cut it into florets (the smaller the florets, the faster they'll cook).
  • Add the cauliflower florets to a large pot and cover with water. Place a lid on the pot and turn the heat on to high. Bring the pot up to a boil, then continue to boil the cauliflower florets until they are VERY tender (about 10 minutes, test by piercing with a fork). Drain the cooked cauliflower in a colander.
  • While the cauliflower is boiling, prepare the garlic herb seasoning. Combine the dried parsley, dried oregano, dried basil, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
  • Add the cooked and drained cauliflower to a food processor. Pulse the cauliflower until the florets are broken up into tiny pieces. Then add the butter, cream cheese, and garlic herb seasoning. Purée until the mixture smooth. Taste and adjust the salt or other seasonings to your liking.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.75cup | Calories: 155.65kcal | Carbohydrates: 11.78g | Protein: 5.1g | Fat: 11.23g | Sodium: 479.13mg | Fiber: 4.45g
A bowl full of garlic herb mashed cauliflower with a pat of butter in the center

How to Make Garlic Herb Mashed Cauliflower – Step by Step Photos

Cauliflower florets in a pot of water

Remove the leaves and stem from the cauliflower and then cut it into florets. Add the florets to a large pot and cover with water. Place a lid on top, then bring it to a boil. Boil the cauliflower florets until they are VERY tender (about 10 minutes, test by piercing with a fork). Drain the cauliflower in a colander.

Garlic herb seasoning in a bowl

While the cauliflower is boiling, prepare the garlic herb seasoning. Combine 1 tsp dried parsley, ½ tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp dried basil, ¼ tsp onion powder, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp salt, and ⅛ tsp pepper.

Cooked cauliflower in a food processor

After the cauliflower has cooked and drained, add it to a food processor. Give it a few pulses to break the florets up into tiny pieces.

Seasoning added to food processor with the cauliflower

Next add 2 Tbsp butter, 2 oz. cream cheese, and the garlic herb seasoning.

Finished garlic herb mashed cauliflower in the food processor

Process until the cauliflower is smooth. Give it a taste and adjust the salt or other seasonings to your liking.

Garlic Herb Mashed Cauliflower in a bowl with a spoon and melted butter

Easy peasy!

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