Puerto Rican Rice And Beans

Boricuas eat Puerto Rican Rice and Beans almost every day because the dish has bold flavors, it’s easy to prepare, and it’s budget-friendly!

The post Puerto Rican Rice And Beans appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Boricuas (i.e., people from Puerto Rico) eat Puerto Rican Rice and Beans almost every day because the dish has bold flavors, is easy to prepare, and is budget-friendly! Arroz Con Habichuelas, as it’s called on the island, can be a meal on its own with a side of ripe yellow plantain slices, or you can serve it as a sidekick to any protein. Welcome to your new favorite weeknight staple!

Overhead shot of a white bowl of red beans and rice.

A Note On Authenticity

This is not a historically authentic recipe. We strive to create recipes that are accessible to everyone, which means ingredients need to be available at a mainstream budget grocery store. We test recipes using the least amount of steps, tools, and ingredients while still honoring the spirit of the recipe. I was born and raised in Puerto Rico and look forward to a time when our ingredients are available in mainstream markets. Until then, buen provecho!

Can I Substitute The Canned Kidney Beans?

I love how versatile this recipe is. If kidney beans are not your favorite, you can substitute them with almost any other canned bean. Try chickpeas, white, pink, or black beans to keep it truly island-inspired. If you’re working with dry beans, prepare about 3/4 cup of the dried to substitute for a 15-ounce can of beans.

Can I Substitute The WhIte Rice?

Since the medium grain white rice cooks in its own pot, making substitutions is easy. Don’t skip rinsing the rice, as it removes excess starches so the rice won’t clump together. Also, make sure to toast the rice in the oil, which develops nutty flavors and allows the rice to come to a boil faster since it is already warm. The only thing you really have to change is the amount of water you use to make the rice, as different grains require different amounts of liquid to cook fully. Follow these easy guidelines:

  • Brown Rice: 1 cup rice – 1 3/4 cups water
  • Basmati Rice: 1 cup rice – 1 3/4 cups water
  • Jasmine Rice: 1 cup rice to 1 1/2 cups water
  • Long Grain White Rice: 1 cup rice to 2 cups water
  • Medium grain White Rice 1 cup rice to 1 1/2 cups water
  • Short Grain White Rice: 1 cup rice to 1 1/4 cups water

How To Make Vegan Red Beans And Rice

You can make this recipe vegan by omitting the salt pork and substituting the chicken bouillon with vegetable stock. You should also make your own sazón, the all-purpose spice blend that gives Puerto Rican food its deep earthy flavors and orange hues. Many brands of sazón are made with a mineral salt that is animal based. Once you make your sazón, your first step will be to bloom it in the oil. Blooming is chef speak for warming the spices in oil until fragrant, a great trick to keep up your sleeve when you want to add deeper flavors to any recipe. Then just follow the rest of the recipe for Puerto Rican Rice and Beans. Here is a recipe to make your own sazón:

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground annatto
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground oregano
Overhead shot of a white bowl of red beans and rice with a side of ripe plantain slices. and a black spoon in it

Storing Red Beans and Rice

This is the best recipe for meal prep because it’s easy to store and holds up for five days in the fridge. Just place the rice in an airtight container, and do the same with the beans. Then, refrigerate until you’re ready to reheat them. You can also freeze individual portions. They will keep for up to six months.

Reheating Beans and Rice

You have a few options when it comes to reheating. I prefer to use a non-stick pan for the rice because I like the added crunch it gives to the grains on the bottom of the pan. I also sprinkle a little bit of water over the rice (about 1/8th of a teaspoon per cup) to rehydrate the grains. Finally, I reheat the beans in a microwave-safe container until they steam. Of course, you can reheat the rice in the microwave as well. Just remember that sprinkle of water.

WHAT TO DO WITH LeftoverS

If you want to go all out, reheat equal parts of rice and beans and make “Arroz Mamposteao.” Most Puerto Ricans do it with day-old rice and beans, and it is a DELIGHT. You’ll use 1 part beans to 2 parts rice. First, dice some salt pork, about 1/4 cup, and render the fat in a large pot. When the pork is crispy and golden, add a few more tablespoons of sofrito and cook until fragrant. Then add the beans and heat until they are steaming and the sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes. Finally, add the rice, mix, and cook until the rice absorbs the sauce. Boom! You’re welcome!

Side shot of a white bowl of red beans and rice with a side of ripe plantains and a spoon in it.
Overhead shot of a white bowl of red beans and rice.
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Puerto Rican Style Red Beans and Rice

Puerto Rican Rice and Beans is a dish with bold flavors, it's easy to prepare, and it's budget-friendly! Make it a meal with a side of ripe yellow plantain slices, or serve it as a sidekick to any protein.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Latin
Total Cost ($8.24 recipe / $0.69 serving)
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12 1/2 cup beans + 1/2 cup rice
Calories 314kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp cooking oil, divided $0.16
  • 1 packet sazón $0.17
  • 1/2 cup salt pork, small dice $1.83
  • 1 onion, diced $0.42
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced (about 3 cloves) $0.14
  • 8 oz tomato sauce $0.59
  • 4 Tbsp sofrito $0.72
  • 1 tsp Better Than Bouillon, Roasted Chicken Base* $0.12
  • 2 Tbsp distilled white vinegar $0.07
  • 1 large sweet potato, large dice $0.74
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced $0.79
  • 2 15 oz. cans kidney beans, drained $1.68
  • 2 cups white medium grain rice, rinsed $0.76
  • 3 cups boiling water $0.00
  • 2 tsp salt, plus more to taste $0.05

Instructions

  • Add 2 tablespoons of cooking oil to a medium-sized heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Once it has warmed, add the salt pork and sazón. Fry until the fat has rendered and the salt pork is golden, about 4 minutes.
  • Lower the heat to medium and add the onion. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the garlic. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Add the tomato sauce, sofrito, chicken bouillon, and vinegar. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, reducing the sauce and developing the flavors.
  • Add the green bell pepper and the sweet potato. Cook for five minutes.
  • Add the beans and enough water to cover them. Stir and taste the broth. Add salt to taste.
  • Cook uncovered over medium heat for 20 minutes until the sweet potato has softened. If halfway through the cook, the liquid in the beans reduces too much, add 1/4 cup of water.
  • For the rice, set a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil has warmed, add the rice, mix it into the oil and let it toast for a minute. Next, add the boiling water and 2 teaspoons of salt to the rice and stir.
  • Cook uncovered until the water begins to evaporate and you see little steam holes form over the surface of the rice, about 5 minutes. Stir the rice once, reduce the heat to low, and cover the pot tightly with a heavy lid, so steam does not escape.
  • Cook the rice without stirring until the grains are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. After you portion out the rice, scrape up the crispy bits on the bottom of the pot to serve on top of your rice.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*A packet of sazón contains about 1.5 teaspoons of sazón.
*If you cannot source Better Than Bouillon, Roasted Chicken Base, use 1 cup of chicken stock.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 314kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17g | Sodium: 885mg | Fiber: 2g

How to Make Puerto Rican Red Beans And Rice – Step by Step Photos

Overhead shot of salt pork frying in a silver pot.

Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a medium-sized heavy-bottomed pot over mid-high heat. Once it has warmed, add 1/2 cup of diced salt pork and a packet of sazón. Fry until the fat has rendered and the salt pork is golden, about 4 minutes.

Overhead shot of salt pork, onions, and garlic, frying in a silver pot.

Lower the heat to medium and add the diced onion. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the tablespoon of minced garlic. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant.

Overhead shot of gray rubber spoon with wood handle scraping the bottom of a silver pot to part sofrito.

Once the garlic releases its aroma, add the 8 ounces of tomato sauce, the 4 tablespoons of sofrito, the teaspoon of Better Than Bouillon, and the 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, reducing the sauce and developing the flavors.

Overhead shot of diced green bell peppers and diced sweet potatoes in a silver pot with sofrito.

Add the diced green bell pepper and the diced large sweet potato. Cook for five minutes.

Overhead shot of water being added to a silver pot full of red beans.

Add the 2 cans of beans and enough water to cover them. Stir and taste the broth. Add salt to taste, but don’t over salt. As water evaporates, the salt will become more pronounced.

Overhead shot of finished red beans in a silver pot with a spoon scooping a cup full.

Cook uncovered over medium heat for 20 minutes until the sweet potato has softened. If halfway through the cook, the liquid in the beans reduces too much, add 1/4 cup of water.

Overhead shot of water being poured into toasted rice in a silver pot.

For the rice, set a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil has warmed, add the 2 cups of rinsed rice, mix it into the oil and let it toast for a minute. Next, add the 3 cups of boiling water to the rice. Finally, add the 2 teaspoons of salt and stir.

Overhead shot of a silver pot of rice with steam vents on the surface of the rice

Cook uncovered until the water begins to evaporate and you see little steam holes form over the surface of the rice, about 5 minutes. Stir the rice once, reduce the heat to low, and cover the pot tightly with a heavy lid, so steam does not escape. Cook the rice without stirring until the grains are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Overhead shot of cooked rice in a silver pot.

After you portion out the rice, scrape up the crispy bits on the bottom of the pot to serve on top of your rice. No, you did not burn your rice. The crispy bits are called “pegao,” and in Puerto Rico, it’s the part of the meal that everyone wants a piece of.

Side shot of a white bowl with red beans and rice and slice ripe plantain with a black spoon in it.

To serve, scoop a 1/2 cup of rice into a bowl and top it with a 1/2 cup of beans. If you want to take it one step further, garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and add a few slices of ripe plantain on the side as we did. It’s a knockout!! As we say in Puerto Rico, “Buen provecho!”

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Pollo Guisado (Puerto Rican Chicken Stew)

Pollo Guisado is a hearty Puerto Rican chicken stew that’s packed with flavor, easy to make, and ready to devour in a little under an hour.

The post Pollo Guisado (Puerto Rican Chicken Stew) appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Warm your bones and fill your belly with Pollo Guisado, a hearty Puerto Rican chicken stew that’s packed with flavor, easy to make, and ready to devour in about an hour. Granted, we eat this year-round on my little island, where it rarely dips below 70 degrees. But it’s especially delightful when the weather turns chilly and you’re looking for a hearty meal to make you feel all sorts of toasty.

Overhead shot of Guisado de Pollo in a yellow bowl with a spoon in it.

What Is Pollo Guisado?

Pollo Guisado (pronounced puh-yuh gee-sah-duh) is a Puerto Rican stew made up of braised chicken, potatoes, carrots, and olives in a tomato-based broth. Like most savory dishes from the island, its deep flavor comes from sofrito, a blend of peppers, onions, garlic, and cilantro. The unctious chicken, briny olives, and subtle sweetness of the carrots make a truly perfect bite.

CAN I SUBSTITUTE THE CHicken?

While this is a chicken stew, feel free to use any protein that benefits from a long braise. You can substitute chicken with chuck roast, top round, or even steak. Using these cuts will lengthen your cooking time by thirty or so minutes. If you are vegetarian or vegan, use a vegetable-based broth and substitute the chicken with mushrooms. Brown them, just as you would the chicken, which helps them release moisture and develop big flavors.

Overhead shot of Guisado de Pollo in a white Dutch oven with a ladle above it.

What To Do If Your Broth Won’t Thicken

If you find your broth to be entirely too watery at the end of the cook, here are a few tips to help you thicken it.

  • Uncover the pot and turn the heat up to medium-high. Allowing the steam to escape will reduce the broth and thicken it.
  • Break up some of the potatoes. The starches will naturally thicken the broth.
  • If all else fails, use a cornstarch slurry. Mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with two tablespoons of cold water. Add it to the stew, then bring the stew to a boil for 1 minute while continuously stirring.

What To Serve With POllO GuiSAdo

On the island, this stew is traditionally served over white rice. But feel free to break with tradition and serve it with:

Overhead shot of Guisado de Pollo in a white Dutch oven with a spoon in it.
Side shot of Guisado de Pollo in a yellow bowl with a spoon in it.
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Pollo Guisado (Puerto Rican Chicken Stew)

Warm your bones and fill your belly with Pollo Guisado, a hearty Puerto Rican chicken stew packed with flavor that's easy to make and ready to devour in under an hour.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American, Puerto Rican
Total Cost ($9.37 recipe / $2.34 serving)
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4 2 cup servings
Calories 470kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Dry the chicken thighs thoroughly with paper towels. Cut into 2-inch cubes. Season with Adobo.
  • Set a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the oil. Once it has warmed, add the chicken in one layer and brown.
  • Once the chicken has browned, remove it from the pot and set it aside. Add the onion to the pot, and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add the sofrito and tomato sauce. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until it is thick and bubbly.
  • Add the sazón, bay leaves, oregano, olives, potatoes, carrots, and chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Add the chicken back into the pot. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 40-50 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Take the stew off the heat, sample it, and add salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaves before serving.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*A packet of sazón contains about 1.5 teaspoons of sazón. If you cannot source sazón use:
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground annatto
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground oregano

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 470kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 18g | Sodium: 843mg | Fiber: 6g
Overhead shot of Guisado de Pollo in a white Dutch oven with a spoon in it.

How to Make Pollo Guisado – Step by Step Photos

Dry the 1.5 pounds of chicken thighs thoroughly with paper towels. Then dice them into 2-inch cubes. Finally, season the chicken with 2 teaspoons of adobo. (Helpful hint: freeze the chicken thighs for about 15 minutes to make them easier to dice.)

Set a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the 2 tablespoons of oil to the pre-heated Dutch oven. Once it has warmed, add the diced chicken in one layer. Do not crowd the pot. Brown in batches if necessary. Remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside. 

Next, add the diced yellow onion to the pot and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Then add the 3 cloves of finely chopped garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the 1/2 cup of sofrito and 8 ounces of tomato sauce to the pot.

Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until it is thick and bubbly. If you run a spoon through it, the sauce should remain divided.

Add the packet of sazón, 2 teaspoons of oregano, 2 bay leaves, 1 cup of diced potatoes, 1 cup of sliced carrots, 1/4 cup of manzanilla olives, and 3 cups of chicken stock into the pot.

Bring the mixture to a boil, then add the chicken back into the pot. Lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer for 40-50 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. If the stew hasn’t thickened, break a few of the potatoes apart with a fork, and keep the stew simmering with the lid off until it thickens.

Overhead shot of Guisado de Pollo in a white Dutch oven with a spoon in it.

When it is off the heat, sample the soup and add salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaves before serving. Garnish with cilantro (optional) and serve with white rice (optional). As we say in Puerto Rico, buen provecho!

Overhead shot of Guisado de Pollo in a white Dutch oven with a spoon in it.

The post Pollo Guisado (Puerto Rican Chicken Stew) appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Baked Beans

These baked beans combine the simplicity of canned beans with bacon and a sweet, smoky, and tangy homemade BBQ sauce.

The post Baked Beans appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you’ve only had canned baked beans in the past then you’ve GOT to try these homemade baked beans. They’re seriously delicious and make really incredible leftovers. I used canned beans to keep these baked beans super easy, but then combined them with bacon (bacon makes everything better!) and a super simple homemade BBQ sauce to take the beans to the next level. The beans are then slowly baked to rich, sweet, smoky perfection. You’re going to LOVE them!

Close up overhead view of baked beans in a cast iron skillet with a wooden spoon.

What Kind of Beans to Use for Baked Beans

Navy beans or Great Northern beans are my top picks for baked beans. The small shape, creamy texture, and neutral flavor of both navy and Great Northern beans make them the perfect complement to the rich and tangy sauce. Great Northern beans will hold their shape better, whereas navy beans may break down a bit if stirred too much.

What’s in the Sauce?

I used my homemade BBQ sauce for these baked beans. It’s really simple to prepare, just stir all the ingredients together and let it bake along with the beans and bacon for maximum flavor! The sauce includes tomato sauce, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, molasses, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and spices, like smoked paprika and garlic powder. It’s sweet, savory, tangy, and smoky!

Baked beans on a spoon held close to the camera.

How to Serve Baked Beans

Baked beans are so good that they may become the focal point of your plate, even when served as a side! I love to serve them with southern classics like pulled pork, burgers, coleslaw, potato salad, and mac and cheese. But you could also use them as a bowl meal! Add them to some mashed potatoes, top with cheese and green onion, and you’ve got a cozy and filling bowl of comfort.

What Cookware to Use

I used a well-seasoned cast iron skillet for my baked beans, but any heavy-duty ceramic or cast iron baking dish or Dutch oven will do well. Thinner materials like metal or glass may cause the sauce to overcook or burn around the edges. You’ll want a dish that can hold about two quarts in volume.

What Else Can I Add?

A lot of baked beans recipes will also include bell pepper and onion. When I originally tested this recipe I included finely diced bell pepper and onion that I sautéed until soft in the bacon fat after the bacon had browned, but I wanted to simplify the recipe this time around (less chopping and fewer ingredients!) I found the version without to be every bit as delicious!

Overhead view of baked beans in the skillet with a wooden spoon.
Overhead view of baked beans in the skillet with a wooden spoon.

Baked Beans

These baked beans combine the simplicity of canned beans with bacon and a sweet, smoky, and tangy homemade BBQ sauce.
Course Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Total Cost $7.56 recipe / $0.76 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 10 ½ cup each
Calories 307kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. bacon $2.40
  • 3 15oz. cans Great Northern Beans $2.37
  • 1 15oz. can tomato sauce $0.89
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste $0.32
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar $0.17
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar $0.16
  • 1/4 cup molasses $0.77
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard $0.05
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce $0.03
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika $0.20
  • 1 tsp garlic powder $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cut the bacon into 1-inch pieces and cook in a skillet over medium heat until brown and crispy. Drain off all but 1-2 Tbsp of the bacon fat.
  • Drain the canned beans well, then add them to the skillet and stir to combine with the bacon.
  • Add the remaining ingredients: tomato sauce, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, molasses, Dijon, Worcestershire sauce, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne and black pepper. Stir until everything is very well combined.
  • Bake the beans for 60-75 minutes, stirring once at 30 minutes and again at 60 minutes. If the sauce is thick at 60 minutes, it's done. If it's still a bit runny, bake 10-15 minutes longer.
  • Serve hot with your other favorite comfort foods!

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 307kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 10g | Sodium: 446mg | Fiber: 7g
Close up side view of baked beans in the skillet.

How to Make Baked Beans – Step by Step Photos

Bacon cooking in a cast iron skillet.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cut 8 oz. bacon into 1-inch pieces. Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until it is brown and crispy. Drain off all but 1-2 Tbsp of the bacon grease. If you’ll be baking your beans in a different vessel, go ahead and transfer the cooked bacon and remaining fat to your baking dish.

Beans added to skillet with cooked bacon.

Drain 3 cans of Great Northern or navy beans well. Add them to the skillet and stir to combine with the bacon.

BBQ sauce ingredients added to the skillet.

Add the ingredients for the BBQ sauce to the skillet: 15 oz. tomato sauce, ¼ cup tomato paste, ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, ¼ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup molasses, 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 2 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp onion powder, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper.

Baked beans in a skillet before going into the oven.

Stir the ingredients until everything is evenly combined. Transfer the beans to the preheated 350ºF oven.

Baked beans after baking, a spoon stirring them slightly.

Bake the beans for 60-75 minutes (uncovered), stirring once after 30 minutes of baking, and again at 60 minutes. If the sauce is nice and thick at 60 seconds, they’re done. If it’s still a bit liquidy, bake until the sauce is thick.

Finished baked beans stirred in the cast iron skillet.

Serve your homemade baked beans hot with other classic comfort foods like mashed potatoes, green beans, and mac and cheese!

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Sloppy Joes

What is a Sloppy Joe? A sloppy joe is a loose meat sandwich consisting of ground beef, onions, garlic, tomato sauce, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings, traditionally served on a hamburger bun. The tomato-based sauce is savory, a …

What is a Sloppy Joe? A sloppy joe is a loose meat sandwich consisting of ground beef, onions, garlic, tomato sauce, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings, traditionally served on a hamburger bun. The tomato-based sauce is savory, a little tangy, and slightly sweet. All of the flavors come together nicely! Homemade Sloppy Joes…

Easy Eggplant Parmesan

This baked Eggplant Parmesan recipe is classic Italian comfort food at its finest! This hearty dinner will be come a…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This baked Eggplant Parmesan recipe is classic Italian comfort food at its finest! This hearty dinner will be come a go-to.

Eggplant Parmesan

It’s got bubbly cheese, garlicky tomato sauce, and savory, meaty breaded eggplant: it’s Eggplant Parmesan! This vegetarian Italian classic is hearty, filling, and pleases just about everyone. Most restaurants use fried eggplant, but for a homemade version it’s much simpler to bake. Here’s our best baked Eggplant Parmesan recipe: faster and easier to make at home than most recipes and full of incredible flavor. Even our vegetable-averse 5 year old promptly asked for seconds! We hope it will become a go-to in your family like it is in ours.

Ingredients in this Eggplant Parmesan recipe

Eggplant Parmesan is a classic Italian dish made with layers of breaded eggplant, cheese, and tomato sauce, then baked until bubbly. Called parmigiana di melanzane in Italian, it comes from the Southern regions of Calabria and Sicily but is now served all over the world. The eggplant is fried in restaurant-style versions, but it’s easiest to make baked eggplant when making it in your home kitchen. Here’s what you’ll need for homemade eggplant Parmesan:

  • Eggplant
  • Flour (or almond flour for gluten-free)
  • Eggs
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Plain panko (or breadcrumbs; use gluten-free panko for gluten-free)
  • Dried oregano
  • Fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • Garlic
  • Fresh basil
  • Olive oil
  • Shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese
Eggplant Parmesan recipe

A few ingredient notes

As with any Italian dish, the success of this Eggplant Parmesan recipe depends on the quality of ingredients! Here’s what to look for when you’re shopping:

  • Look for medium eggplants. Size matters here: massive eggplant rounds don’t look quite as nice in the dish. But sometimes the grocery only has large eggplants, so use what you can find! The key is using 2 pounds: it should equal about 18 to 20 rounds.
  • Use fire roasted tomatoes. Fire roasted tomatoes make the best flavor: they taste sweet and smoky right out of the can. If you can’t find them, substitute best quality tomatoes with 1 teaspoon sugar and ½ teaspoon smoked paprika. Or, use 1 ½ cups best quality marinara sauce.
  • Whole milk mozzarella cheese makes a difference. It melts much better than part skim and has a richer flavor. It also melts better when reheating.
Baked Eggplant Parmesan

How to make Eggplant Parmesan: some tips

This baked Eggplant Parmesan recipe is faster and easier than most recipes, but it still takes about 1 hour to make and bake. Keep this in mind in your meal prepping (and review the notes below on make ahead tips). Here are a few notes about the process:

  • Place salt on the eggplant for just 10 minutes. This seasons them prior to baking. Many recipes require you to salt the eggplant for 1 hour, but this is not necessary. (In the past, people would do this to remove a bitter flavor, but today’s eggplants are bred to be less bitter. It also allows the eggplant to release moisture, but that’s not required with this baked method.)
  • Dredge the eggplant in flour, egg and breadcrumbs. This is the traditional combination in Italian cooking that you’d do prior to frying the eggplant. But it works just as well with baking!
  • Bake the eggplant for 20 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit, flipping once. The hot oven makes them crispy and golden brown: like frying but with no extra oil!
  • Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Mix crushed tomatoes, garlic, fresh basil and olive oil.
  • Layer the eggplant with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese in a baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is bubbly.

Leftover storage and make ahead tips

This Eggplant Parmesan recipe takes about 1 hour to make, which is not always possible for a weeknight dinner. We usually make this one for entertaining or on weekends, but you can also meal prep some of the components. This recipe also freezes well, which makes it great for a quick leftover dinner. Here are a few ideas for make ahead and storage:

  • Bake the eggplant slices in advance. This saves about 40 minutes off the timing of the recipe. Refrigerate the slices, then layer the dish and bake the day of making.
  • Leftovers store refrigerated for up to 3 days. You can make the entire dish in advance and refrigerate, but it’s so good freshly baked that we recommend the above option for make-ahead. Leftovers store well.
  • Freeze leftovers in a sealed container for up to 3 months. Place on the counter or in the refrigerator to thaw, or you can place it right into a 375 degree oven and reheat until warmed through and the cheese is melted. (If it’s room temperature, you can reheat at a higher temperature, like 425.)

What to serve with Eggplant Parmesan

Traditionally, Eggplant Parmesan is served with pasta. But you can also serve with salads, sauteed veggies and more. It makes a hearty, crowd-pleasing vegetarian dinner that’s great for parties and impressing a crowd. Here are a few ideas:

Eggplant Parmesan

More eggplant recipes

Love working with this tasty vegetable? Here are a few more eggplant recipes you’ll love:

This baked Eggplant Parmesan recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use almond flour and gluten-free breadcrumbs or go to Gluten Free Eggplant Parmesan.

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Eggplant Parmesan

Easy Eggplant Parmesan


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 to 8

Description

This baked Eggplant Parmesan recipe is classic Italian comfort food at its finest! This hearty dinner will be come a go-to.


Ingredients

  • 2 pounds eggplant (about 2 medium large)
  • ¾ cup flour*
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 cup plain panko (or purchased or homemade breadcrumbs)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano, divided
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 28 ounces fire roasted crushed tomatoes*
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 handful fresh basil, chopped, plus more to garnish
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese***

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Cut off the ends of the eggplant and cut it into 1/2-inch slices (to make approximately 18 slices). Sprinkle them with ¾ teaspoon salt and allow them to sit for 10 minutes while you prepare the breading ingredients. 
  3. Place the flour on a plate. Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl and set it aside. In another shallow bowl, combine the Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, 2 teaspoons oregano, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt and set it aside. 
  4. Dip both sides of each eggplant slice into the flour, then the eggs, then the Parmesan cheese mixture. Place each slice onto the prepared baking sheets. (Note: This gets messy; you may need to wash or wipe your fingers off after every few slices.)
  5. Place the trays in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, then flip and bake 10 to 15 minutes more, until tender and golden brown. 
  6. Meanwhile, make the sauce: In a medium bowl, mix the fire roasted tomatoes, grated garlic, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, chopped fresh basil, and olive oil. Mix well until all the olive oil is incorporated. 
  7. Remove the eggplant from the oven. Spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13″ pan. Add half the baked eggplant in a layer (about 9 slices), then top with 1 cup tomato sauce and 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese. Add the second layer of eggplant (we like to add them right on top of the first layer to make 9 stacks). Top with another 1 cup tomato sauce and 1 cup shredded mozzarella on each stack. Top with the remaining 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and browned. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then top with additional chopped basil and serve. Store leftovers refrigerated for up to 3 days (or frozen for 3 months); reheat in the oven until warm.

Notes

*You’ll have about ⅓ cup flour left over and about 1 egg, but it’s easier for the breading. There also may be some panko left over. These items are not included in the nutritional info.

**Fire roasted tomatoes make the best flavor: they taste sweet and smoky right out of the can. If you can’t find them, substitute best quality tomatoes with 1 teaspoon sugar and ½ teaspoon smoked paprika. Or, use 1 ½ cups best quality marinara sauce.

***Whole milk mozzarella cheese melts much better than part skim mozzarella, and has a richer flavor. It also melts better when reheating leftovers. 

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian Inspired
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Eggplant Parmesan, Eggplant Parmesan recipe, Baked Eggplant Parmesan, Recipe for Eggplant Parmesan, Baked Eggplant Parmesan recipe

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Arroz Con Pollo (Puerto Rican Chicken and Rice)

Arroz con Pollo is a mouth-watering, budget-friendly, one-pot chicken and rice dish that’s perfect for a weeknight meal.

The post Arroz Con Pollo (Puerto Rican Chicken and Rice) appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Arroz con Pollo (Spanish for chicken and rice) is a mouth-watering, budget-friendly, one-pot dish, that only has about ten minutes of hands-on cooking time, and is ready to go in a little over a half hour. Win, win, win, win, win!! It’s a staple on many Latin American tables, though the ingredients and techniques used to make the dish vary depending on what country you’re in. This arroz con pollo recipe is the Puerto Rican version, and the one I grew up eating at my Abuela’s (grandmother’s) table.

Arroz con pollo on a white dish with a black fork in it.

What is arroz con pollo?

At its most basic, arroz con pollo is a one-pot chicken and rice dish. In the Puerto Rican version, the rice is rendered a bright yellow by annatto, the same spice that gives cheddar cheese its signature golden hue. It gets earthy herbal notes from the recaito (aka sofrito), a fragrant puree of cilantro, yellow onions, green bell peppers, and garlic. And there are delightful pops of acidity from the Spanish olives. Traditionally, pigeon peas are used, but they can be hard to find on the mainland, so frozen peas make for an easy substitute.

What cuts of chicken should I use?

You can use any cut of chicken, though you should be mindful that darker meat, like thighs and drumsticks, are more forgiving of a longer cooking time because of their higher fat content. Chicken breasts can dry out fairly quickly, so keep an eye on them. You can also keep the chicken pieces whole or on the bone. For pickier eaters, feel free to slice the chicken into bite-size pieces before cooking. If you use cuts with skin on, try removing the skin after cooking and placing it on a cookie sheet or sheet pan. Bake the skin in a 350ºF oven until crispy and then use as a garnish.

Can I substitute the rice?

If you want to substitute the white rice for brown, you’ll need to add more chicken stock. For 2 cups of brown rice use 4 cups of chicken stock. You will also need to increase the cooking time by ten to fifteen minutes. You can also use cauliflower rice, but you won’t need to cook it as long, as it will turn to mush. Decrease the amount of chicken stock to 1 cup and cook the chicken in the liquid until it has reached 160 to 165ºFs. Remove the chicken from the pan and then stir in the cauliflower rice and the peas. Cook for just a few minutes until tender, add the chicken back to the pot, and garnish.

Over head view of arroz con pollo in a red Dutch oven.

Do I have to use chicken stock?

While chicken stock is traditional, you can substitute it with veggie stock or even salted water if you prefer. If you’re trying to waste less food, you can also use bean water. For creamier results with heavy tropical vibes, use a mixture of half chicken stock and half coconut milk.

What can I serve it with?

Arroz con Pollo is a full meal, but it is traditionally served with a few slices of ripe avocado. You can make a vibrant and simple side salad as well. I also love it with a few hearty slices of garlic bread.

Does arroz con pollo freeze well??

Arroz con Pollo is perfect for meal prep and freezer meals. It will last up to three days in your refrigerator. Sprinkle it with a little water before reheating to loosen it up. If freezing, make sure that everything has cooled before portioning into a freezer-safe container. You can prevent frost from forming on your rice by filling the container to the tippy top or by placing a piece of wax paper on top of the rice, so it isn’t exposed to air.

close up side view of Arroz con Pollo in the pot.
Over head view of arroz con pollo in a red Dutch oven.

Arroz Con Pollo (Puerto Rican Chicken and Rice)

This scrumptious Puerto Rican chicken and rice dish is a weekly staple at my house. Arroz con Pollo is an easy one-pot meal, that's ready in no time and is perfect for meal prep and freezer meals.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Latin
Total Cost $12.30 recipe / $2.46 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 591kcal
Author Monti – Budget Bytes

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp adobo seasoning $0.20
  • 1.5 lbs boneless chicken thighs $6.49
  • 2 2/3 Tbsp cooking oil, divided $0.11
  • 1/4 cup sofrito $0.36
  • 1 red bell pepper, small dice, divided $0.98
  • 1/2 yellow onion, small dice $0.19
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced $0.24
  • 2 Tbsp tomato sauce $0.06
  • 1/2 cup pimiento stuffed Spanish olives $1.16
  • 2 cups rice $0.74
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock $1.12
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1 1/2 tsp sazón seasoning $0.19
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas $0.33
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (optional garnish) $0.11

Instructions

  • Place chicken thighs in a shallow bowl and rub down with 2 teaspoons of cooking oil and adobo seasoning. Place uncovered in your refrigerator and allow to marinate for thirty minutes.
  • Set a Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed large pot over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of cooking oil to the pot. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chicken thighs to the pot, arranged in an even layer. Sear each side of the thighs until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the thighs from the pot and set them aside.
  • Add the sofrito, diced onion, and half of the diced red pepper to the chicken fat in the pot. Sauté until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato sauce, and olives. Sauté the mixture until it's fragrant and most of the liquid has cooked out. A spoon run down the middle of the pan should leave a dry trail.
  • Add the rice and sazón and gently mix them into all of the ingredients, so that every grain is covered in the sauce. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Allow mixture to boil undisturbed until the stock has evaporated and the rice is visible on the surface of the pot. There should be multiple round steam vents on the surface of the rice.
  • Place the reserved chicken thighs on top of the rice. Lower the heat to medium-low and cover the pot with a tight-fitting heavy lid. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until all of the stock has evaporated and rice has cooked through.
  • Remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside. Stir in frozen peas and fluff the rice. Add the chicken thighs back to the pot. Garnish with the remainder of the diced red pepper and cilantro leaves.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 591kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 17g | Sodium: 763mg | Fiber: 3g

How to Make Arroz con Pollo – Step by Step Photos

Raw chicken marinating in a white dish.

Place chicken thighs in a shallow bowl and rub down with 2 teaspoons of cooking oil and 2 teaspoons of adobo seasoning. Place uncovered in your refrigerator and allow to marinate for thirty minutes.

Raw chicken browning in a Dutch oven.

Set a Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed large pot over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of cooking oil to the pot. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chicken thighs to the pot, arranged in an even layer. Sear each side of the thighs until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the thighs from the pot and set them aside.

Sofrito, onions, and red peppers browning in a red Dutch oven.

Add the sofrito, diced onion, and half of the diced red pepper to the chicken fat in the pot. Sauté until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.

Olives, tomato sauce, and other ingredients browning in a Dutch oven.

Add the garlic, tomato sauce, and olives.

Spatula cutting through ingredients in a red Dutch oven.

Sauté the mixture until it’s fragrant and most of the liquid has cooked out. A spoon run down the middle of the pan should leave a dry trail.

Adding sazon to ingredients in a Dutch oven.

Add the rice and sazón and gently mix it into all of the ingredients, so that every grain is covered in the sauce.

Adding chicken stock to ingredients in a red Dutch oven.

Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Rice in a red Dutch oven that has had chicken stock cooked out of it.

Allow mixture to boil without a lid, undisturbed, until the stock has evaporated and the rice is visible on the surface of the pot. There should be multiple round steam vents on the surface of the rice.

Rice topped with chicken in a red Dutch oven.

Place the reserved chicken thighs on top of the rice. Lower the heat to medium-low and cover the pot with a tight-fitting heavy lid. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until all of the stock has evaporated and rice has cooked through.

Green peas being stirred into rice in a red Dutch oven.

Remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside. Stir in frozen peas and fluff the rice.

Finished arroz con pollo in a red Dutch oven.

Add the chicken thighs back to the pot. Garnish with the remainder of the diced red pepper and cilantro leaves.

Arroz con Pollo on a plate with a fork.

Try These Other One Pot Chicken Recipes:

The post Arroz Con Pollo (Puerto Rican Chicken and Rice) appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sloppy Joes

Ground beef in a tangy sauce piled onto a soft bun, homemade Sloppy Joes are an easy, classic American weeknight dinner.

The post Sloppy Joes appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sloppy Joes were a mainstay weeknight dinner in our house when I was growing up in the 80s, but we always made it with a canned sauce (Manwich, or the generic equivalent). Once I started cooking for myself, I realized how easy it was to quickly whip up sauces like that from ingredients I already had in my pantry, and I never looked back. These Homemade Sloppy Joes are quick, easy, full of flavor, AND freezer friendly. 🙌 Plus, I’ve got some tips for you below to make them even more budget-friendly, since the price of ground beef isn’t getting lower anytime soon.

Side view of a sloppy joe on a plate with potato chips.

What is Sloppy Joe Sauce?

Sloppy Joes are a loose meat sandwich made with ground beef, peppers, and onions in a special red sauce, and the sauce is totally what makes a sloppy joe sandwich. It’s a savory, tangy, and slightly sweet tomato-based sauce. While some recipes simply use heavily seasoned ketchup for the sauce, our recipe is a bit more rich in flavor with tomato sauce, tomato paste, Worcestershire, vinegar, sugar, Dijon, and chili powder.

How to Serve Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes are traditionally served on a hamburger bun, sometimes with cheese, sometimes without. But you can totally get creative. Pile it into a tortilla and turn it into a sloppy joe taco, spoon it over a baked potato, eat it as a bowl meal over rice, or go for the ultimate budget option and just eat it on white bread (if you know, you know).

And don’t forget some chips or steak fries to serve on the side! …Or maybe some roasted broccoli. ;)

Budget Options

Ground beef is pretty expensive these days, so there are a few things you can do to make your sloppy joes a little lighter on the wallet. Here are some ideas:

  • Buy your ground beef in bulk, then divide and freeze the other portions (or make a double-batch of sloppy joes and freeze half).
  • Replace half of the ground beef with lentils or black beans.
  • Shred and sauté any extra vegetables you have before browning the beef to help bulk up and extend the ground beef.
  • Don’t forget to freeze your leftover tomato paste for the next time you make sloppy joes (or any other recipe that uses tomato paste)!
Sloppy joe meat in a skillet.
A sloppy joe on a plate with potato chips.

Sloppy Joes

Ground beef in a tangy sauce piled onto a soft bun, homemade Sloppy Joes are an easy, classic American weeknight dinner.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Total Cost $10.20 recipe / $2.04 each
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 5 ¾ cup meat sauce each
Calories 440kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 1 green bell pepper $0.79
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1 lb. ground beef* $5.49
  • 1 15oz. can tomato sauce $0.79
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste $0.21
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar $0.12
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar $0.08
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard $0.06
  • 1 tsp chili powder $0.10
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce $0.02
  • 3/4 tsp salt $0.03
  • 5 hamburger buns $1.87

Instructions

  • Finely dice the onion and bell pepper, and mince the garlic.
  • Add the olive oil and beef to a skillet and cook over medium heat until the beef is cooked through. Drain off any excess fat.
  • Add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper to the skillet with the beef. Continue to sauté until the onions are soft and translucent.
  • Finally, add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar Dijon, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce,and salt to the skillet. Stir to combine.
  • Allow the meat and sauce to simmer over medium-low for about 5 minutes.
  • Serve over toasted buns.

Notes

*You can use any fat percentage ground beef. If using a higher fat content beef, like 80/20, you’ll want to drain the excess fat after browning. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 440kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 23g | Sodium: 1138mg | Fiber: 3g
An open-faced sloppy joe on a plate with potato chips.

How to Make Sloppy Joes – Step by Step Photos

Chopped vegetables on a cutting board.

Chop the vegetables first, so they’re ready to go. Finely dice one yellow onion and one green bell pepper, and mince 2 cloves of garlic.

Browned ground beef in a skillet.

Add 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1 lb. ground beef to a large skillet. Cook over medium heat until the ground beef has browned. If you’re using a higher fat content ground beef, you’ll want to drain off the excess fat after it has browned.

Vegetables added to ground beef in the skillet.

Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic to the skillet and continue to sauté until the vegetables have softened.

Sauce ingredients added to the ground beef.

Finally, add the ingredients for the sauce: one 15oz. can tomato sauce, 3 Tbsp tomato paste, 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, and ¾ tsp salt.

Finished sloppy joes mix in the skillet.

Stir everything to combine and heat through. Let the meat and sauce simmer over medium-low for 5-10 minutes, or until it has thickened to your liking.

Sloppy joe meat being spooned onto a toasted bun.

Toast your buns in a skillet or in the oven, then pile the saucy meat mixture on top.

Open-faced sloppy joe on a plate with potato chips.

Enjoy your sloppy joes with some chips and plenty of napkins because they’re as messy as they are delicious!

The post Sloppy Joes appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Vegan Stuffed Shells

This article is from Delicious Everyday.
Looking for a pasta dinner to whip up? Try out this vegan stuffed shells recipe. A jumbo shell that is stuffed with a creamy tofu and spinach filling and topped with tomato sauce and fresh basil.  This veg…

This article is from Delicious Everyday.

Looking for a pasta dinner to whip up? Try out this vegan stuffed shells recipe. A jumbo shell that is stuffed with a creamy tofu and spinach filling and topped with tomato sauce and fresh basil.  This vegan pasta is great for a weeknight dinner or a party worthy meal. Whip it up and watch...

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Taco Pasta

Taco nights and pasta nights are the BEST nights, but what about having BOTH? Let me introduce you to Taco Pasta, the best of both worlds! First of all, you only need 25 minutes to make this taco pasta situation. It is the perfect dinner for busy weekn…

Taco nights and pasta nights are the BEST nights, but what about having BOTH? Let me introduce you to Taco Pasta, the best of both worlds! First of all, you only need 25 minutes to make this taco pasta situation. It is the perfect dinner for busy weeknights. It’s always a winner because kids love…

Easy Vegan Picadillo (Cuban-Inspired)

When we first tried Cuban picadillo, we were enamored by the complex combination of savory, sweet, and salty flavors and knew we wanted to recreate a plant-based version. After a few tests and tweaks we landed on this inspired, fiber-rich twist and we’…

Easy Vegan Picadillo (Cuban-Inspired)

When we first tried Cuban picadillo, we were enamored by the complex combination of savory, sweet, and salty flavors and knew we wanted to recreate a plant-based version. After a few tests and tweaks we landed on this inspired, fiber-rich twist and we’re so excited to share it with you!

It’s perfectly balanced, quick and easy (1 pot and 30 minutes), and naturally gluten-free.

Easy Vegan Picadillo (Cuban-Inspired) from Minimalist Baker →