Lentil Bolognese

Lentil bolognese is a rich and hearty pasta sauce that is budget-friendly and full of bold flavors. Plus, it makes tasty leftovers!

The post Lentil Bolognese appeared first on Budget Bytes.

It feels like meat is getting more and more expensive every day, y’all. But you know what is still cheap? LENTILS. 🙌 I know we’ve sung their praises a thousand times, but lentils are cheap, versatile, and will keep you full all. day. long. So they’re a great substitute for meat in bolognese, whether you’re vegan or not. This lentil bolognese is rich, hearty, full of big savory flavor, and budget-friendly!

close up side view of lentil bolognese on a plate of rigatoni being pierced with a fork.

What is Bolognese

Bolognese is a super rich Italian meat sauce reigning from the city of Bologna, Italy. Typically, this sauce starts with finely diced vegetables (onion, celery, carrot) that are cooked down with fatty beef and pork. Tomatoes or tomato sauce are added to give the ragú a tomato base, and white wine and milk are added to give the sauce extra richness. This extra lush sauce is typically served over pasta.

Because meat is getting so darn expensive these days, we decided to make a bolognese-like sauce using lentils instead of meat. The lentils make the bolognese sauce extra hearty for pennies on the dollar, and also add a great dose of fiber. We made sure to add tons of delicious herbs and spices, as well as some rich coconut milk, to make this lentil bolognese just as rich and flavorful as its meaty counterpart.

What kind of lentils to use

You’ll want to use red lentils for this recipe because they break down quickly, helping the sauce thicken up and get extra rich. They’ll retain just enough texture to feel “meaty,” without looking like lentils. The red/orange color of the cooked lentils also helps the bolognese sauce retain a nice deep red/brown color.

How to Serve Lentil Bolognese

Serve this hearty sauce over a pile of your favorite pasta, with some garlic bread and a light salad on the side. Because this sauce is so rich and thick, it pairs really well with larger pasta shapes, like rigatoni or tagliatelle because it clings well to pasta even without lots of ridges or crevices.

Overhead view of a Dutch Oven full of Lentil Bolognese.
Side view of a plate full of pasta and lentil bolognese with a fork in the side.
Print

Lentil Bolognese

Lentil bolognese is a rich and hearty pasta sauce that is budget-friendly and full of bold flavors. Plus, it makes tasty leftovers!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Total Cost $5.58 recipe / $1.40 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 1 cup sauce
Calories 478kcal
Author Dalya Rubin

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.37
  • 1 carrot $0.15
  • 1 stalk celery $0.10
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.32
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper $0.02
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts $1.07
  • 1 cup uncooked red lentils $0.67
  • 1 15oz. can crushed tomatoes $1.00
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste $0.27
  • 1 tsp dried oregano $0.10
  • 1 tsp dried basil $0.10
  • 1 tsp garlic powder $0.10
  • 1 Tbsp sugar $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper $0.02
  • 3 cups vegetable broth $0.36
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk $0.81

Instructions

  • Finely dice the onion, carrot, and celery. Mince the garlic.
  • Add the olive oil, onion, celery and carrot to a large pot. Sauté the vegetables for about 5 minutes over a medium until the onions are translucent and the vegetables have softened.
  • Once vegetables have softened, add the minced garlic, crushed red pepper and walnuts to the pot. Saute for 2 minutes over medium-low heat, or until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Add the lentils, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, dried oregano, dried basil, garlic powder, salt, sugar, pepper, and vegetable broth to the pot. Mix everything together and bring the sauce to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer, semi covered with a lid, stirring occasionally for 20-25 minutes. After about 25 minutes the lentils should be soft and the sauce thickened. If the sauce is still too thin for your liking, continue simmering until it has reached your desired consistency.
  • Once the bolognese has reached your desired consistency and texture, stir in the coconut milk and simmer for another 5 minutes. Taste the bolognese and add salt to taste. Turn off the heat. The bolognese will continue to thicken as it cools.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 478kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 25g | Sodium: 1261mg | Fiber: 19g
Overhead view of a plate of pasta with lentil bolognese on top.

How to Make Lentil Bolognese – Step by Step Photos

Chopped vegetables on a cutting board.

Finely dice one yellow onion, one carrot, and one stalk celery, and mince four cloves of garlic.

Chopped vegetables in the pot.

Add 2 Tbsp cooking oil to a large pot and heat over medium. Add the onion, celery, and carrot and sauté until the vegetables are soft and the onions are translucent.

Garlic, walnuts, and red pepper added to the pot.

Add the minced garlic, ¼ tsp crushed red pepper, and ½ cup finely chopped walnuts. Sauté over medium-low heat for about two minutes more.

Lentils, tomatoes, and spices in the pot, broth being poured in the side.

Add 1 cup uncooked red lentils, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp dried basil, ½ tsp salt, 1 Tbsp sugar, 1 tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp black pepper, one 14.5 oz. can crushed tomatoes, and 3 Tbsp tomato paste to the pot. Add 3 cups vegetable broth and stir to combine.

Simmered bolognese sauce being stirred in the pot.

Allow the sauce to come up to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Coconut milk being poured into the sauce in the pot.

After about 25 minutes, the lentils should be soft and the sauce should be thick. If the sauce is still too thin for your liking, allow the sauce to simmer a bit longer. If the lentils are not yet soft, continue to simmer, adding a small amount of water as needed to prevent it from drying out.

Parsley being sprinkled on the pot of finished lentil bolognese.

Once the sauce is thickened, stir in ½ cup full fat coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes longer.

Overhead view of the pot full of lentil bolognese garnished with parsley.

Taste the sauce and add salt if needed.

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Super Chunky Chai-Spiced Granola

Who doesn’t love (and dream about) granola?! We’d been dreaming about a chai-spiced version, and today it’s here — and even better than our dreams. It’s perfectly sweet, undeniably chunky, and BURSTING with warming chai spices (we’re ready for you, fal…

Super Chunky Chai-Spiced Granola

Who doesn’t love (and dream about) granola?! We’d been dreaming about a chai-spiced version, and today it’s here — and even better than our dreams. It’s perfectly sweet, undeniably chunky, and BURSTING with warming chai spices (we’re ready for you, fall)! 

Whether you enjoy your granola with milk, yogurt, or by the fistful (who says granola isn’t finger food!?), we hope you love this one!

Super Chunky Chai-Spiced Granola from Minimalist Baker →

1-Bowl Cowgirl Cookies (Vegan + Gluten-Free)

We call them cowgirl cookies. But Google says they’re cowboy cookies. Who says a cowgirl can’t have cookies, too!? We shared these cowperson cookies with many non-gluten-free friends, and they all kept going back for more…that’s when you kn…

1-Bowl Cowgirl Cookies (Vegan + Gluten-Free)

We call them cowgirl cookies. But Google says they’re cowboy cookies. Who says a cowgirl can’t have cookies, too!? We shared these cowperson cookies with many non-gluten-free friends, and they all kept going back for more…that’s when you know they’re good!

Chewy, nutty, and perfectly sweet, these cookies are LOADED with goodies (oats, coconut, chocolate, and walnuts or pecans).

1-Bowl Cowgirl Cookies (Vegan + Gluten-Free) from Minimalist Baker →

Crunchy Vegan Coleslaw (with walnuts and pumpkin seeds!)

Side dishes got a whole lot tastier with this crunchy vegan coleslaw! This coleslaw recipe is vegan friendly and made with red and white cabbage, carrots, non-dairy yogurt, white wine vinegar and topped with crunchy walnuts and pumpkin seeds.  Wit…

Side dishes got a whole lot tastier with this crunchy vegan coleslaw! This coleslaw recipe is vegan friendly and made with red and white cabbage, carrots, non-dairy yogurt, white wine vinegar and topped with crunchy walnuts and pumpkin seeds.  With this easy non-dairy coleslaw you can dress up any dinner you have planned. Also, try...

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This article was written and published by Oh My Veggies. It may not be reproduce or republished without permission of the author. The original article can be found here: Crunchy Vegan Coleslaw (with walnuts and pumpkin seeds!).

Muesli

Rolled oats, dried fruit, and nuts soaked in cold milk or yogurt make Muesli a quick and refreshing meal prep breakfast for summer!

The post Muesli appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I was rummaging through my pantry the other day and noticed that I had way too many half-used bags of dried fruit and nuts, and I knew exactly what I needed to make to use up all those odds and ends. Muesli! What is Muesli? The short answer: muesli is the old-school version of overnight oats. Keep reading below for a more detailed explanation!

Originally posted 3/1/2011, Updated 5/18/2022.

A batch of muesli in a bowl with ingredients on the sides.

What is Muesli?

Muesli is a mixture of rolled oats, nuts, seeds, and fresh or dried fruit that have been soaked in milk, yogurt, or juice. This dish is attributed to a Swiss doctor, Maximilian Bircher-Benner, who fed this refreshing and filling breakfast to the patients in his hospital. For that reason, muesli often goes by the name “Bircher Muesli.”

Muesli vs. Granola

You might be asking yourself, “How is that different from granola??” While they are similar, there are distinct differences between muesli and granola. Muesli is almost like raw granola. You can turn muesli into granola by adding some sweeteners and binders, like honey or brown sugar and oil, then baking it until it becomes deliciously crunchy.

How Do You Eat Muesli?

There are a few different ways you can enjoy muesli. You can add cold milk or yogurt, stir it on up, and let it soak for just a few minutes so the oats are just barely chewy. Or, if you prefer a softer oat, you can let them soak overnight or for up to about four days. And just like the “overnight oats” that have taken the internet by storm over the past decade, muesli is a great way to meal prep your breakfast for the week.

You can also treat your muesli like little homemade instant oatmeal packets. Divide the muesli into ⅓ or ½ cup servings, place in resealable containers, then every morning add about a cup of milk and microwave for a minute or two and you have a hot bowl of oatmeal.

What Kind of Oats are Best for Muesli?

The best type of oat for muesli is, in my opinion, old-fashioned rolled oats. These oats are hearty and have a lot of texture, but still soften fairly quickly when soaked. Quick oats are very thin and delicate and will create a much mushier texture in your muesli. Steel-cut oats are very tough and will need to be soaked for several hours before they soften.

What Else Can You Put in Muesli?

Just like overnight oats, you can add so many different things to your muesli. You can add any type of dried fruit, nut, or seed to the dry mix (stored at room temperature), or once you begin soaking your muesli you can add wet or perishable ingredients, like fresh fruit or maple syrup.

Side view of a bowl of muesli with milk and a spoon.
Overhead view of a bowl full of muesli with ingredients on the sides.

Muesli

Rolled oats, dried fruit, and nuts soaked in cold milk or yogurt make Muesli a quick and refreshing meal prep breakfast for summer!
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Swiss
Total Cost $2.54 recipe / $0.32 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 8 ½ cup each
Calories 222kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups dry old-fashioned oats $0.68
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts* $0.60
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries* $0.88
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds* $0.25
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar (optional) $0.08
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon $0.05

Instructions

  • Combine the oats, cranberries, walnuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl. Stir until evenly mixed. Store mixture in an air-tight container in a cool dry place until ready to eat.
  • To prepare the muesli, combine 1/2 cup muesli with 1/2 cup of cold milk. Let soak for 5 minutes, or up to four days in the refrigerator.

Notes

*You can use any type of dried fruit, nuts, and seeds.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 222kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 4mg | Fiber: 4g

How to Make Muesli – Step By Step Photos

Muesli ingredients in a bowl, not stirred.

Add your oats, fruit, nuts, spices, and sweetener (optional) to a bowl. I used 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats, ½ cup chopped walnuts, ½ cup dried cranberries, ¼ cup sunflower seeds, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, and ½ tsp cinnamon.

Muesli ingredients stirred together in the bowl.

Simply stir the ingredients together and now it’s ready to use!

Muesli in a food storage container.

You can store this mix in an air-tight container at room temperature. It will last just as long as the individual dry ingredients themselves.

Milk being poured onto a single serving bowl of muesli.

To enjoy your muesli, measure ½ cup of the dry muesli mix into a bowl. Pour ½ cup of milk (or more) over top and let sit for about five minutes (or refrigerate overnight for a softer oat).

A bowl of muesli ready to enjoy with milk.

Enjoy the muesli as is or top with your favorite fresh fruit, maple syrup, or nut butter.

Close up side view of a bowl of muesli.

The post Muesli appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Apple Pie Overnight Oats

These Apple Pie Overnight Oats are an easy and delicious make-ahead breakfast with no added sugar that you can enjoy either hot or cold.

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The weather is starting to warm up outside, so that means it’s officially overnight oats season in my house! When the weather gets hot, I switch from big bowls of warm oatmeal to chilled jars of overnight oats in the morning. Overnight oats are fast and easy to make and the flavor possibilities are endless. This week I made these Apple Pie Overnight Oats that have no added sugar, yet somehow, magically taste just like an apple pie. Yes, please!

Originally posted 6-8-2016, updated 4-13-2022.

A jar of apple pie overnight oats with apples and nuts in the background.

What are Overnight Oats?

If you’re looking for a super simple breakfast meal prep to make mornings fast and easy, overnight oats are it. They’re basically just oats that have been softened by soaking in a liquid for hours, rather than being briefly boiled in the liquid. And when you add all sorts of fun extra ingredients, they will absorb all those flavors as they soak, too! Great, right? Well, it’s even better when they’re apple pie flavored and don’t need any extra sugar to be scrumptious. #winning

Do You Eat Overnight Oats Hot or Cold?

You can eat overnight oats hot or cold. In the summer I love overnight oats cold, but if you prefer a hot breakfast, simply microwave the oats for 60-90 seconds until heated through. They’re great either way!

What Kind of Oats Should I Use?

Old-fashioned rolled oats are my favorite for overnight oats because they soften overnight, but maintain a good deal of texture. Quick or instant oats will soften quickly as well, but they have a lot less texture and will give a more mushy result. While you can do a variation of overnight oats with steel-cut oats, they require a more liquid and a longer soaking time, so they can not simply be swapped into the recipe below.

What Kind of Containers Should I Use?

You can use any type of resealable container for overnight oats. the blue-top Ziploc containers are great if you’re on a tight budget, but mason jars or glass meal prep containers also work great. For the recipe below you’ll want a container that holds 1-1.5 cups. I used 8oz. jars.

What Kind of Dried Fruit to Add

You have a few options here, which will allow you to use the ingredient that is most affordable or accessible to you. I used dried cranberries today because that’s what I had on hand, but you can also use raisins, dried currants, or chopped dried dates.

Overhead view of a bowl of apple pie overnight oats.

Shown garnished with fresh apples and walnuts.

Overhead view of a bowl of apple pie overnight oats.

Apple Pie Overnight Oats

These Apple Pie Overnight Oats are an easy and delicious make-ahead breakfast with no added sugar that you can enjoy either hot or cold.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Prep Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours
Servings 4
Calories 306kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats $0.24
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves $0.02
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts $0.60
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries $0.44
  • 1 1/3 cups unsweetened applesauce $0.62
  • 1 1/3 cups milk $0.27

Instructions

  • Add ⅓ cup oats each to four resealable containers. Also add ⅛ tsp cinnamon, a pinch of ginger, and a pinch of cloves to each container.
  • Add 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts and 1 Tbsp dried cranberries to each container.
  • Finally, add ⅓ cup applesauce and ⅓ cup milk to each container.
  • Close the containers and refrigerate overnight or up to four days. Stir the contents of the container before eating.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 306kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 14g | Sodium: 35mg | Fiber: 5g

Four jars of apple pie overnight oats from above.

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

oats and spices added to jars, from above.

Add ⅓ cup old-fashioned rolled oats to each container. Also, add ⅛ tsp cinnamon and a pinch of ground ginger and ground cloves to each jar.

Walnuts and dried fruit added to the jars, from the side.

Next, add 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts and 1 Tbsp dried cranberries to each jar.

milk being poured into the jar.

Finally, add ⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce and ⅓ cup milk to each jar.

Overnight oats after soaking, one jar stirred.

You can either stir each jar before soaking, or just add the lid and soak as-is, then stir just before eating. Either way, let your oats soak overnight (8 hours) or up to four days. Give them a good stir just before eating, and enjoy.

Overhead view of a bowl of apple pie overnight oats.

You can add more toppings to your overnight oats, like fresh apples, after soaking, if desired.

Try These Other Overnight Oats Recipes:

No Sugar Added Apple Pie Overnight Oats are the perfect healthy and delicious make-ahead breakfast for summer. BudgetBytes.com

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Wild Rice Pilaf

This wild rice pilaf is full of color, texture, and fall flavors. It’s the perfect side dish for dinner during the cooler months.

The post Wild Rice Pilaf appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Last Thanksgiving I made the most amazing Wild Rice Pilaf that I then stuffed inside roasted acorn squash as a sort of vegetarian main dish recipe idea. It was beautiful and delicious, but I can’t lie, I kind of just wanted to devour that wild rice pilaf by itself! It was so tasty on its own, had so much color, so much texture, that I knew I had to post it as a stand-alone recipe. This pilaf is really delicious and I know I’m going to be making it on repeat every fall and winter from here on out!

Overhead view of wild rice pilaf in a bowl

What’s in Wild Rice Pilaf

This delicious pilaf starts with rice cooked in vegetable broth for extra flavor. While the rice cooks, aromatics like onion, celery, and apples are sautéed in butter until tender. Next comes the cozy mix of seasonings including sage, thyme, salt, and pepper. Once the cooked rice is combined with the aromatics and herbs, it’s finished off with a little extra flavor and texture from walnuts, dried cranberries, and parsley. So much fall flavor in every bite!

What is “Wild Rice Blend”?

I used a bagged “wild rice blend” as the base for this recipe. It’s a colorful blend of different varieties of rice, including wild rice. I used Lundberg brand, which you can find in many major grocery stores, but I was also pleasantly surprised to see ALDI had its own version this year (check the step by step photos below the recipe to see a photo). You can use any brand rice blend for this recipe, just follow the cooking instructions on the package and replace the water with vegetable broth.

What to Serve with Wild Rice Pilaf

This pilaf is the perfect side dish to any roasted meat. I especially like this in the fall and winter months, since it highlights flavors of the season like apples, walnuts, and cranberries. Try serving it alongside Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Cider Roasted Turkey Breast, Apple Spice Pork Chops, or Herb Roasted Chicken Breast. Or, of course, you could serve it as I originally did inside a roasted acorn squash!

Close up side view of wild rice pilaf in the skillet
Overhead view of a bowl of wild rice pilaf

Wild Rice Pilaf

This wild rice pilaf is full of color, texture, and fall flavors. It's the perfect side dish for dinner during the cooler months.
Total Cost $2.73 recipe / $0.68 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 1 cup each
Calories 245kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup wild rice blend* $0.07
  • 1 cup vegetable broth $0.13
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.22
  • 1 yellow onion $0.28
  • 3 ribs celery $0.64
  • 1 apple $0.41
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts $0.30
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries $0.44
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley $0.10

Instructions

  • Add the wild rice blend and vegetable broth to a saucepot. Place a lid on top and turn the heat on to medium-high. Allow the broth to come to a full boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 45 minutes, or for the amount of time directed on the package.*
  • While the rice is cooking, prepare the rest of the pilaf. Dice the onion, celery, and apple.
  • Add the onion to a large skillet with the butter and sauté over medium heat until softened.
  • Add the apples, celery, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper to the skillet with the onions and continue to sauté for about five minutes more, or just until the apples and celery begin to soften (they should still have some bite).
  • When the rice has finished cooking, add it to the skillet with the apples, celery, and onion. Also add the chopped walnuts, cranberries, and chopped parsley. Stir until everything is evenly combined.
  • Taste the pilaf and adjust the salt or seasonings to your liking. Serve hot.

Notes

* You can use any brand wild rice blend. Cook according to the package directions, substituting vegetable broth for the water recommended in the instructions. Cooking time may vary depending on the brand.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 245kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Sodium: 457mg | Fiber: 5g
Wild rice pilaf in a skillet with a spoon

How to Make Wild Rice Pilaf – Step by Step Photos

two packages of wild rice blend

I used the Lundberg wild rice blend on the left since I actually still had some leftover from last year, but I bought some of the ALDI wild rice blend on the right just to show you another option. Whatever brand you use, make sure to follow the cooking instructions on the back but substitute vegetable broth for the water it recommends. Cooking time can vary depending on the brand.

wild rice in the pot next to a measuring cup with vegetable broth

Add ½ cup of the wild rice blend to a small sauce pot with 1 cup vegetable broth. Place a lid on the pot and heat over medium-high. Allow it to come to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 45 minutes.

Chopped apple and celery on a cutting board

While the rice is cooking, prepare the rest of the pilaf. Dice one yellow onion, 3 ribs of celery, and one apple.

onion and butter in a skillet

Add the diced onion to a large skillet with 2 Tbsp butter. Sauté the onion in the butter over medium heat for about five minutes, or until the onion has softened.

apples, celery, and seasoning added to the skillet

Add the chopped apples and celery to the skillet along with ½ tsp dried sage, ½ tsp dried thyme, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Continue to sauté over medium until the apples and celery just begin to soften.

Cooked rice, walnuts, cranberries, and parsley added to the skillet

When the rice has finished cooking, add it to the skillet along with ¼ cup chopped walnuts, ¼ cup dried cranberries, and a tablespoon of chopped parsley.

finished wild rice pilaf in the skillet

Fold the ingredients together until everything is combined. Give it a taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Serve hot!

side view of a serving bowl full of wild rice pilaf

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Autumn Fruit and Nut Oatmeal

Oatmeal has been one of my favorite budget ingredients since day one. It’s super inexpensive, shelf-stable, and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. Not to mention, a warm bowl of oatmeal is just the epitome of cozy. 🥰 This Autumn Fruit and Nut Oatmeal is one of the first flavored oatmeal I […]

The post Autumn Fruit and Nut Oatmeal appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Oatmeal has been one of my favorite budget ingredients since day one. It’s super inexpensive, shelf-stable, and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. Not to mention, a warm bowl of oatmeal is just the epitome of cozy. 🥰 This Autumn Fruit and Nut Oatmeal is one of the first flavored oatmeal I made back in the day when I was flat broke but knew I still needed to put something good in my belly. You can make one serving at a time, or make a batch of two as listed below and just microwave the second half for your breakfast the next morning (or share with someone you love). Enjoy!

Originally posted 10-29-2010, updated 10-7-2021.

Overhead view of two bowls of autumn fruit and nut oatmeal

What Kind of Oats are Best?

My favorite kind of oats to use for a classic bowl of oatmeal are old-fashioned rolled oats. These oats have plenty of texture so you don’t end up with a bowl of mush, and they still cook relatively quickly (about 5 minutes). You can use quick oats if you have to, but you’ll want to adjust the cooking time according to what is suggested on the package and keep in mind that the texture won’t be as great. You could definitely do something similar with steel-cut oats, although they require a much longer cooking time and more liquid, so adjust as needed. 

Sweeten to Your Liking

I used a couple of tablespoons of maple syrup to sweeten my Autumn Fruit and Nut Oatmeal because that maple flavor adds to the whole autumn vibe. But real maple syrup can be expensive, so if you want to cut the costs on this bowl a bit, try using brown sugar instead. Brown sugar still goes great with all the flavors in this bowl and is much less expensive. Feel free to swap out with any sweetener of your choice, keeping in mind the flavor differences from maple syrup. 

How to Store Leftovers of Autumn Fruit and Nut Oatmeal

The batch below makes two servings, so if you want to save the second serving for the next day, I would refrigerate it before adding the second half of the apples and the walnuts. Add those after reheating the next day. To reheat, simply microwave for 1-2 minutes, adding a splash of water to help loosen the oatmeal as you stir. Once reheated, top with the apples and walnuts, then enjoy.

Can I Use a Microwave?

Yes, you can definitely make this in a microwave. I suggest making one serving at a time (half of the recipe below). Simply add the butter, apples, cinnamon, cloves, oats, salt, water, and cranberries to a bowl. Microwave on high for one minute, stir, then microwave again in 30-second intervals until thickened. Sweeten with maple syrup, then top with the walnuts and remaining apples.

side view of a bowl of autumn fruit and nut oatmeal

Two bowls of autumn fruit and nut oatmeal surrounded by apples, leaves, and pinecones

Autumn Fruit and Nut Oatmeal

Get all of the delicious flavors of fall in one bowl with this Autumn Fruit and Nut Oatmeal. Sweet, crunchy, warm, and cozy!
Total Cost $1.83 recipe / $0.92 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 1.5 cups each
Calories 417kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 apple $0.41
  • 1 tsp butter $0.04
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon $0.05
  • 1 pinch cloves (optional) $0.01
  • 2 cups water $0.00
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats $0.18
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.01
  • 2 Tbsp dried cranberries $0.22
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts $0.30
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup $0.60

Instructions

  • Chop the apple into ½-inch pieces. Add about ¾ of the apple pieces to a small saucepot with the butter, cinnamon, and cloves. Sauté over medium heat for a few minutes, or just until the apples begin to soften.
  • Add the water to the pot. Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the water to come up to a boil.
  • Once the water reaches a boil, stir in the oats, dried cranberries, and salt. Turn the heat down to medium-low and continue to simmer the oats for about 5 minutes, or until thickened.
  • When the oats have thickened, stir in the chopped walnuts and maple syrup. Taste and adjust the sweetness to your liking. Top with the remaining chopped apples. Serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cup | Calories: 417kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 15g | Sodium: 182mg | Fiber: 9g

 

A spoonful of autumn fruit and nut oatmeal held above the bowl

How to Make Autumn Fruit and Nut Oatmeal – Step by Step Photos

Chopped apple on a cutting board

Chop one apple into ½-inch sized pieces. 

apple in the pot with butter

Add about ¾ of the apple pieces to a sauce pot with 1 tsp butter, ½ tsp cinnamon, and a tiny pinch of cloves (optional). Sauté over medium just until they begin to soften (just a few minutes). 

water being poured into the saucepot

Next, add 2 cups of water to the pot. Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the water to a boil.

oats being poured into the pot

Once the water is boiling, add 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, 2 Tbsp dried cranberries, and 1/4 tsp salt. Turn the heat down to medium-low and continue to simmer the oats for about five minutes, or until thickened.

maple syrup being drizzled over the thickened oats in the pot

Once the oats have thickened, add ¼ cup chopped walnuts and 2 Tbsp maple syrup (or sweeten to your liking with your favorite sweetener).

Two bowls of autumn fruit and nut oatmeal surrounded by apples, leaves, and pinecones

Divide into two bowls and top with the remaining chopped apples. Enjoy!

Side view of two bowls of autumn fruit and nut oatmeal

The post Autumn Fruit and Nut Oatmeal appeared first on Budget Bytes.

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Vegan Chorizo Sausage Links (10 Ingredients!) from Minimalist Baker →

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