Healthy Zucchini Bread

It’s no secret that I love zucchini bread. I have made a million loaves and several different varieties: classic, chocolate, lemon, chocolate chip, etc. Well, I am back at it and this time I have a delicious Healthy Zucchini Bread recipe for you….

It’s no secret that I love zucchini bread. I have made a million loaves and several different varieties: classic, chocolate, lemon, chocolate chip, etc. Well, I am back at it and this time I have a delicious Healthy Zucchini Bread recipe for you. Don’t let the word healthy scare you. I promise you will get…

The post Healthy Zucchini Bread appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Grilled Goat Cheese Stuffed Zucchini.

These grilled zucchini boats are stuffed with a lemon and fresh basil goat cheese mixture, then topped with brown butter breadcrumbs! They are such a delicious side dish or pair perfectly with a big summer salad! Oh summer food, you’re just so amazing! I can’t get enough of our favorite summer eats right now. We […]

The post Grilled Goat Cheese Stuffed Zucchini. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

These grilled zucchini boats are stuffed with a lemon and fresh basil goat cheese mixture, then topped with brown butter breadcrumbs! They are such a delicious side dish or pair perfectly with a big summer salad!

Oh summer food, you’re just so amazing!

grilled goat cheese stuffed zucchini

I can’t get enough of our favorite summer eats right now. We are in full blown summer relaxation mode at the moment. And because I’m technically taking some time off right now with the baby, I have more time to make delicious summer dishes and we’re really enjoying them. 

Like these grilled zucchini boats!

sliced zucchini with salt and pepper

Late last summer I made bruschetta quinoa stuffed zucchini boats and they are one of our most-made dishes. I just love them – they are so satisfying and full of flavor. 

goat cheese, basil, lemon, garlic

I knew I wanted to make a grilled version because we are obsessed with grilled zucchini. It may share the number one spot with crispy fried zucchini. And I wanted this one to be cheesy and simple, and that’s exactly what we’ve got.

Making vegetables taste this flavorful is my number one secret to getting veggie haters to eat them. I mean, I should know. I was a former veggie hater myself.

grilled goat cheese stuffed zucchini ready for the grill

Oh boy, let’s talk about this filling.

It is SO delicious.

It’s simple too.

All you have to do is mix goat cheese, lemon, basil and some crushed red pepper flakes. Oh and a pinch of salt and pepper! It’s easy breezy and also tastes amazing – like you may want to eat it right off the spoon.

grilled goat cheese stuffed zucchini

The combination is so summery. The goat cheesy has a slight tang to it, the lemon is bright and tart, the basil is refreshing and the red pepper adds the perfect bite. In fact, these flavors would make an incredible dip. (more…)

The post Grilled Goat Cheese Stuffed Zucchini. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Oven Roasted Ratatouille

What happens when you take thinly sliced vegetables, layer them in a dish, add a rich red sauce, plenty of herbs, and a cheesy topping? You get this insanely delicious Oven Roasted Ratatouille, aka “the vegetable dish that vegetable haters won’t be able to get enough of.” While this interpretation of ratatouille isn’t exactly traditional, […]

The post Oven Roasted Ratatouille appeared first on Budget Bytes.

What happens when you take thinly sliced vegetables, layer them in a dish, add a rich red sauce, plenty of herbs, and a cheesy topping? You get this insanely delicious Oven Roasted Ratatouille, aka “the vegetable dish that vegetable haters won’t be able to get enough of.” While this interpretation of ratatouille isn’t exactly traditional, I think you’re going to love it. It kind of reminds me of pizza, but like, made out of really pretty vegetables (and it certainly made my house smell like pizza).

Originally posted 5-19-2014, updated 7-8-2021.

Overhead view of oven roasted ratatouille in the casserole dish with a serving spoon

What is Ratatouille?

Ratatouille is a classic French dish made of stewed vegetables, like tomato, zucchini, eggplant, onion, and bell pepper. It’s rich, comforting, and perfect for sopping up with a piece of crusty artisan bread or ladling over a bowl of polenta. As with most recipes that have been around for generations, there are many interpretations of ratatouille, and I definitely took mine in a different direction.

Rather than stewing the vegetables together in a pot, I chose to make an oven roasted ratatouille, which is a common alternative to the stewed version. Not only is oven roasting the sliced vegetables super pretty, but it’s a little more hands-off than stewing vegetables in a pot, which I appreciate. I also added marinara sauce to the bottom of my casserole dish which ends up mixing with the juices from the vegetables and creating the most delicious sauce (get some bread ready for dipping). Lastly, I topped with cheese, which definitely isn’t the norm for ratatouille, but it sure was delicious! And it really created that pizza-like effect. 

What Size Vegetables to Use

This recipe is extremely flexible. I’ve given some approximate weight values for the vegetables below, but you can really use whatever size you have available and whatever you can squeeze into your baking dish. But a word of advice–once sliced the volume of the vegetables always ends up being more than you estimated, so err on the side of smaller vegetables.

And you don’t have to make the vegetables line up or alternate perfectly in the dish. Just squeeze the slices in there and you’ll be good! I promise it will still taste great even if it doesn’t look perfect. ;) 

What Kind of Baking Dish to Use 

The size of the dish you’ll need will probably vary a bit with the size of your vegetables, but I would suggest using something in the neighborhood of a 9″x11″ rectangular casserole dish, or a 3 quart round dish. You can use a dish made with glass, ceramic, or metal. 

How to Serve Oven Roasted Ratatouille

Oven roasted ratatouille makes a delicious side dish for grilled or roasted meat, like Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Garlic Butter Baked Cod, or Herb Roasted Chicken Breast. You could also serve this as part of a vegetarian meal by pairing it with something like a rich and creamy risotto or serving it on top of a bowl of polenta.

side view of ratatouille in the casserole dish

oven roasted ratatouille with a portion scooped out of the corner

Oven Roasted Ratatouille

Oven roasted ratatouille combines all of summer's delicious vegetables into one rich, flavorful, and beautiful side dish.
Total Cost $5.68 recipe / $0.71 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 8 ¾ cup each
Calories 99kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup marinara sauce $0.50
  • 1 yellow onion $0.25
  • 1 eggplant (about 1 lb.) $1.49
  • 1 zucchini (about ½ lb.) $0.71
  • 1 yellow squash (about ½ lb.) $0.55
  • 3 Roma tomatoes $0.87
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/8 tsp Freshly cracked black pepper $0.01
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella $0.94
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley (optional) $0.09

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Thinly slice the yellow onion. Slice the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, and tomatoes into ⅛-inch thick slices. Cut any pieces with a larger diameter into half-rounds.
  • Pour the marinara in the bottom of a large casserole dish. Sprinkle the sliced onions over top.
  • Begin to line up the sliced eggplant, zucchini, squash, and tomatoes into the dish, standing on their sides, and in an alternating pattern until all of the pieces are used up. Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables, then sprinkle the basil, oregano, salt, and pepper over top.
  • Transfer the dish to the oven and roast the vegetables for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, remove the dish from the oven and sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over top. Return the casserole dish to the oven for five minutes, or until the cheese is melted and creamy.
  • After roasting, sprinkle the chopped parsley over top, then serve.

Notes

Try to purchase vegetables that are a close size in diameter to make layering easier.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 99kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 291mg | Fiber: 3g

How to Make Oven Roasted Ratatouille – Step by Step Photos

Eggplant, onion, squash, and tomatoes whole on a cutting board

For this recipe, I used one small eggplant (about 1 lb.), one yellow onion, one yellow squash (1/2 lb.), one zucchini (½ lb.), and three Roma tomatoes. The eggplant, squash, zucchini, and tomatoes are the vegetables that will get layered pretty in the dish, while the onion will be hiding underneath in a base layer.

Sliced eggplant, squash, zucchini, and tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Thinly slice the eggplant, squash, zucchini, and tomatoes. You want everything to be similar in height when placed in the casserole dish, so for pieces with a larger diameter, you’ll want to slice those in half (I did this for the eggplant and larger ends of the squash and zucchini). Aim for ⅛-inch thick slices. 

onion and marinara in the casserole dish

Thinly slice the onion. Spread 1 cup marinara in the bottom of a large casserole dish. Sprinkle the sliced onion over top.

Layered vegetables in the casserole dish

Layer the vegetables in the dish standing up on their sides, like cards in a card catalog (wait, did I just date myself??). They do NOT need to be perfect. Just start squeezing them in as best you can. It’s nice to try to alternate them in a pattern, but once you get toward the end you might have more left of one type of vegetable, so just start popping them in there anywhere they’ll fit. Drizzle 1 Tbsp olive oil over top. Sprinkle ½ tsp dried basil, ½ tsp dried oregano, ⅛ tsp freshly cracked pepper, and ¼ tsp salt on top of the vegetables.

Roasted ratatouille in the casserole dish

Transfer the dish to the preheated 400ºF oven and roast for 40 minutes.

Cheese being sprinkled on top of the ratatouille

After 40 minutes, remove the dish from the oven and sprinkle 1 cup of shredded mozzarella on top. Return the dish to the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and creamy.

Melted cheese on oven roasted ratatouille

Top with a little chopped parsley, then serve!

oven roasted ratatouille with a portion scooped out of the corner

So delicious… and it’s just begging for a beautiful baguette to bathe in it. Mmmmm. You’ve got to spoon some of that sauce from the bottom of the pan onto your plate!

Close up side view of ratatouille in the casserole dish

Closer look? So pretty. I ❤️ vegetables!

The post Oven Roasted Ratatouille appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Grilled Chicken and Zucchini Kebabs

During the hot summer months, we love dining al fresco. Eating outside is so fun, especially when entertaining. We love using our grill to make dinner because we don’t have heat up the house and we get to spend more time outside. The boys can run…

During the hot summer months, we love dining al fresco. Eating outside is so fun, especially when entertaining. We love using our grill to make dinner because we don’t have heat up the house and we get to spend more time outside. The boys can run around and play while we cook dinner. These Grilled…

The post Grilled Chicken and Zucchini Kebabs appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Creamy Summer Salad (with Crispy BBQ Chickpeas)

What started as a summer panzanella salad magically morphed into the most zingy, fresh, delicious, creamy summer salad on the block. We swapped bread croutons for super flavorful Crispy BBQ Chickpeas (optional but recommended), which add plenty of plan…

Creamy Summer Salad (with Crispy BBQ Chickpeas)

What started as a summer panzanella salad magically morphed into the most zingy, fresh, delicious, creamy summer salad on the block. We swapped bread croutons for super flavorful Crispy BBQ Chickpeas (optional but recommended), which add plenty of plant-based protein and fiber. And we skipped the greens and went straight for a rainbow of fresh chopped veggies and fresh pineapple for maximum flavor.

The dressing is shockingly simple and delicious: Just lime juice, tahini, coconut aminos, salt, and pepper.

Creamy Summer Salad (with Crispy BBQ Chickpeas) from Minimalist Baker →

zucchini butter spaghetti

I am a little bit obsessed with this spaghetti. If we’ve spoken recently, I didn’t let you not asking me about it keep me from going on about its simple summer dinner bliss. I have been fixating on the idea of this spaghetti for tw…

I am a little bit obsessed with this spaghetti. If we’ve spoken recently, I didn’t let you not asking me about it keep me from going on about its simple summer dinner bliss. I have been fixating on the idea of this spaghetti for two delicious summers and I am almost sad that the recipe is done, as it now transfers into the category of Things I Already Know How To Make, which always gets bumped when there are so many Recipes That Aren’t Done Yet for a little manuscript due at the end of this summer.

what you'll need

It started with a zucchini butter recipe I once spied on Food52, but was traced back to Julia Child’s Grated Zucchini Sautéed in Butter and Shallots. Over rounds of tweaking, I eliminated several things, not because they weren’t good, but because they didn’t suit my needs here: the shallots (added too much sweetness), the partial addition of olive oil (I was promised butter, after all), salting, draining, and wringing the zucchini (so much work, all for a shriveled pile of zucchini that dragged in the pan), adding a little more butter (it helps when stretching it across a big bowl spaghetti), and a not insignificant amount of garlic, pepper flakes, basil, and parmesan and I realize that this now relates to Julia Child’s zucchini butter about as much as I relate to being a morning person, but this paragraph is about about what set the idea off, and this next one is about where I hope it goes:

Read more »

Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad

This light and fresh Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad is perfect for summer BBQs and potlucks, or your weekly meal prep.

The post Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

As soon as the warm weather of summer rolls around all I want to eat are crunchy vegetables and cold pasta salad. This Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad is my go-to with a medley of colorful vegetables, a tangy homemade vinaigrette, and plenty of ways to customize it based on what I have on hand, or what I’m craving that day. Plus it holds up great in the fridge, so it’s perfect for meal prep!

Originally posted 6-14-2011, updated 5-22-2021.

Overhead view of a bowl full of summer vegetable pasta salad

Perfect for Potlucks

This classic vegetable pasta salad is absolutely perfect for potlucks because it makes a huge batch and it goes with everything. Not to mention it holds up well to travel and is still super delicious after it’s been sitting on that picnic table for a bit. ;)

Vegetable Options

I used fresh broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, red onion, and parsley, plus threw in some roasted red peppers for fun. But you can add so many different vegetables to this mix. Here are a few more options:

  • Cauliflower
  • Fresh bell pepper
  • Black olives
  • Asparagus (steamed or grilled)
  • Chopped spinach
  • Artichokes

Other Add-ins

In addition to swapping out some of the vegetables, you can experiment with adding other ingredients to this salad to either add more flavor or make it into a full meal. Here are a few ideas:

  • Grilled chicken
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Toasted pita bread
  • Feta cheese
  • Salami
  • Mozzarella cubes or pearls

Dressing Options

The recipe below includes a really basic tangy vinaigrette, but if you don’t have a well stocked pantry and want to buy a bottled dressing for this salad, any basic Italian dressing will do well. You could also choose something like a Caesar dressing (not creamy-style) or a Greek vinaigrette.

Close up view of summer vegetable pasta salad
Overhead view of a bowl full of summer vegetable pasta salad

Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad

This light and fresh Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad is perfect for summer BBQs and potlucks, or your weekly meal prep.
Total Cost $8.76 recipe / $1.10 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8 1.5 cups each
Calories 330kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup olive oil $1.28
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar $0.53
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard $0.10
  • 1 tsp dried oregano $0.10
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 3/4 tsp salt $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Salad

  • 12 oz. bowtie pasta $0.79
  • 2 Roma tomatoes $0.63
  • 1 yellow squash $0.75
  • 1 zucchini $0.85
  • 1 broccoli crown $1.07
  • 1/2 red onion $0.19
  • 1 12oz. jar roasted red peppers $1.99
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley $0.35

Instructions

  • Make the vinaigrette first. Whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon, oregano, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Set the dressing aside.
  • Cook the bowtie pasta according to the package directions (boil 7-10 minutes or until tender), then drain in a colander. Rinse briefly to cool the pasta, then let it drain well.
  • While the pasta is cooking and draining, prepare the vegetables. Chop the tomatoes, squash, zucchini, broccoli, and parsley. Slice the roasted red peppers (drained) and the red onion.
  • Place the pasta and chopped vegetables in the largest bowl you have. Give the vinaigrette a brief whisk, then pour it over the salad. Stir the pasta and vegetables until everything is coated in dressing. Give it a taste and add salt or pepper, if needed. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 330kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 15g | Sodium: 856mg | Fiber: 5g | Iron: 2mg
close up side view of a bowl of summer vegetable pasta salad

How to Make Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad – Step By Step Photos

homemade vinaigrette in a glass measuring cup

Make the dressing first. Whisk together ½ cup olive oil, ⅓ cup red wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 clove of minced garlic, ¾ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper. Set the dressing aside.

Cooked bowtie pasta in a metal colander

Cook 12oz. bowtie pasta (or other short shaped pasta) according to the package directions (boil until tender, drain in a colander). Give the pasta a quick rise to cool it off, then let it drain well.

Chopped vegetables on a cutting board

While the pasta is cooking and draining, prepare the rest of the vegetables. Chop two Roma tomatoes, one yellow squash, one zucchini, and drain and slice one jar of roasted red peppers.

Chopped broccoli and red onion on a cutting board

Chop one crown of broccoli into small bite-sized florets and slice ½ of a red onion. Roughly chop ½ cup parsley (not pictured).

pasta and vegetables in a large dish, vinaigrette being poured over top

When the pasta is cool and drained and all the vegetables chopped, it’s time to assemble the salad. Place everything in the largest bowl or container you have, give the vinaigrette a quick whisk, then pour it over the pasta and vegetables.

Finished summer vegetable pasta salad in a large casserole dish

Stir until everything is really well coated in dressing. Give it a taste and add salt or pepper if needed. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat. Make sure to give it a stir after refrigerating and just before serving to redistribute the dressing.

Overhead view of summer vegetable pasta salad in a rectangular casserole dish

The post Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Easy Pesto Chicken and Vegetables

This Easy Pesto Chicken and Vegetables meal prep is super fast and easy, and holds up well in the fridge for tasty lunches all week!

The post Easy Pesto Chicken and Vegetables appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Are you ready for this? Because I wasn’t quite ready for how easy and delicious this meal was. When I sat down to eat my first bowl of these Pesto Chicken and Vegetables I was like, “Oh yes, I’m going to make this every single week.” It’s the perfect light, flavorful, and fast recipe for meal prep. And it’s just SO SIMPLE.

Pesto chicken and vegetables in a skillet

Vegetable Options

I used a summery mix of yellow squash, zucchini, red bell pepper, green beans, and red onion for this quick sauté, but there are a lot of options when it comes to the vegetables. Here are some other vegetables you could add:

  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Fresh corn
  • Asparagus
  • Spinach

The key thing to keep in mind when using different vegetables is when to add them to the skillet. For this recipe you don’t want to fully cook the vegetables. They should be just tender-crisp. So, keeping that in mind, add sturdy vegetables first and tender vegetables later to make sure they don’t get overcooked.

Can I Substitute the Chicken?

Yes, there are options for that, too! I think shrimp would be absolutely awesome in this recipe, as would tofu. If using tofu, I would do a cornstarch coating and fry it separately (see the technique used in this recipe) before tossing it together with the vegetables and pesto at the end.

How to Serve Pesto Chicken and Vegetables

I ate this dish as-is, just a bowl of flavorful chicken and vegetables. But there are more options! You could eat this over a bowl of rice, stir in some cooked orzo or quinoa, or even add them to a bed of greens. Honestly, I would probably even add them to a flat bread and top with mozzarella as a sort of vegetable pizza!

How Long Does it Stay Good?

I got about four days out of my pesto chicken and vegetables, but this can vary depending on the conditions in your refrigerator, freshness of the ingredients, and how long you cook the vegetables. As I mentioned above, you want to barely cook the vegetables for this recipe. Just make them tender-crisp so they don’t get too wilted. Not only does this give them great texture and a fresh, bright flavor, but they last a little longer in the fridge, too.

side view of a bowl full of pesto chicken and vegetables
Easy pesto chicken and vegetables in a skillet with a spatula

Easy Pesto Chicken and Vegetables

This Easy Pesto Chicken and Vegetables meal prep is super fast and easy, and holds up well in the fridge for tasty lunches all week!
Total Cost $11.07 recipe / $2.72 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Calories 369.33kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 red bell pepper $1.50
  • 1 zucchini $0.60
  • 1 yellow squash $0.50
  • 1/2 red onion $0.19
  • 1.3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast $6.67
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08
  • 1 cup frozen green beans $0.67
  • 1/3 cup pesto* $0.73
  • 1/8 tsp salt* $0.01
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked pepper* $0.01
  • 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan* $0.11

Instructions

  • Chop the bell pepper, yellow squash, and zucchini, and slice the red onion. I like to make different shapes for each vegetable, but aim to make the pieces all around the same size.
  • Cube the chicken breasts into ½-inch pieces.
  • Add the cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high. Once the skillet and oil are very hot, add the chicken and sauté until the chicken pieces are opaque (3-5 minutes – the chicken will continue to cook as you add vegetables).
  • Add the green beans to the skillet and sauté for 1-2 minutes more, or just until thawed.
  • Add the bell pepper and red onion to the skillet. Sauté for 1-2 minutes more. If water is beginning to pool in the skillet, turn the heat up slightly. It should be hot enough that the water released from the vegetables evaporates quickly.
  • Add the yellow squash and zucchini to the skillet and continue to sauté 2-3 minutes more, or just until the squash softens slightly.
  • Turn the heat off, add the pesto to the skillet, and stir until everything is coated. Give the vegetables a taste and add salt, pepper, or more pesto if desired. Top with a light sprinkle of Parmesan just before serving.

Notes

*You may need more or less pesto, salt, pepper, or Parmesan depending on the volume of your vegetables and your personal taste. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 369.33kcal | Carbohydrates: 11.68g | Protein: 36.8g | Fat: 19.2g | Sodium: 423.15mg | Fiber: 3.43g
Pesto chicken and vegetables in glass meal prep containers lined up side by side

How to Make Pesto Chicken and Vegetables – Step by Step Photos

Chopped vegetables on a cutting board

Chop the vegetables first so they’re ready to go. Chop one red bell pepper, one yellow squash, one zucchini, slice ½ of one red onion and measure 1 cup frozen green beans. I like to do different shapes for the vegetables, but aim to keep them roughly the same size.

Cubed chicken breast on a cutting board

Cut 1.3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast into ½-inch pieces.

Cooked chicken in the skillet, frozen green beans being poured in

Add 2 Tbsp cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high. Once very hot, add the cubed chicken and sauté just until the chicken is opaque (3-5 minutes – it will continue to cook as you add more vegetables). Next, add the frozen green beans and sauté for a couple of minutes more, or just until thawed.

Red bell pepper and red onion added to the skillet

Next add the bell pepper and red onion. Continue to sauté a couple of minutes more. If you see water pooling in the skillet, turn the heat up higher. The heat should be high enough that any moisture released by the vegetables evaporates quickly.

zucchini and yellow squash added to the skillet

Finally, add the yellow squash and zucchini to the skillet. Sauté just a couple of minutes more, or just until the raw edge is taken off the squash.

Pesto being added to the skillet

Turn the heat off. Add about ⅓ cup pesto to the skillet and stir until everything is coated.

Finished pesto chicken and vegetables

Give the vegetables a taste and add salt, pepper, or more pesto if needed (I added a pinch of each).

pesto chicken and vegetables in a bowl topped with a pinch of parmesan

Top with a light sprinkle of Parmesan just before serving.

Three glass meal prep containers full of pesto chicken and vegetables

Perfect for meal prep!!

The post Easy Pesto Chicken and Vegetables appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Spaghetti with Hidden Vegetable Pasta Sauce

This week I had a killer craving for some classic spaghetti and meat sauce. But, as you may know, I like to add vegetables whenever and wherever I can to recipes. So I shredded a couple of handfuls of vegetables, tossed them into the sauce, and added some extra herbs and spices to make this […]

The post Spaghetti with Hidden Vegetable Pasta Sauce appeared first on Budget Bytes.

This week I had a killer craving for some classic spaghetti and meat sauce. But, as you may know, I like to add vegetables whenever and wherever I can to recipes. So I shredded a couple of handfuls of vegetables, tossed them into the sauce, and added some extra herbs and spices to make this absolutely incredible “hidden vegetable” pasta sauce. It has more flavor, more color, and more texture (read: fiber). It’s a win-win-win!

 Originally posted 11-21-2015, updated 4-17-2021.

Overhead view of a bowl of spaghetti with hidden vegetable pasta sauce and garlic bread on the side

Shown with Homemade Garlic Bread

Balance Your Costs with Vegetables

My favorite trick for stretching ground meat in recipes is to use vegetables or beans to replace half of the ground meat. This time I shredded vegetables, which mimicked the texture of the ground meat, but added a subtle sweetness and a whole lot of extra flavor, texture, and nutrition to the sauce. This sauce is so delicious that I couldn’t stop sneaking spoonfuls while I took photos!

Can I Make This Sauce Vegetarian?

If you want to make a vegetarian version of this hidden vegetable pasta sauce, I suggest mincing an 8oz. container of mushrooms and sautéing them with the onions and garlic. The minced texture will mimic the ground meat and mushrooms have that umami flavor that is similar to ground meat.

Is Hidden Vegetable Pasta Sauce Freezer Friendly?

This sauce freezes great if you want to make a double batch and have it on hand in your freezer for busy nights. Just make sure to cool the sauce completely in the refrigerator first, then transfer to the freezer. The sauce will stay good in the freezer for months. To reheat, empty the freezer container into a sauce pot and heat over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until heated through.

Side view of hidden vegetable pasta sauce in a skillet with a spatula

Overhead view of a bowl of spaghetti with hidden vegetable pasta sauce

Spaghetti with Hidden Vegetable Pasta Sauce

Give your spaghetti an upgrade with this hidden vegetable pasta sauce that contains a medley of vegetables plus extra herbs and spices for maximum flavor.
Total Cost $6.21 recipe / $1.55 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 366.78kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 small zucchini $0.57
  • 2 carrots $0.16
  • 1 yellow onion $0.25
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef $2.50
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly cracked black pepper $0.03
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper (optional) $0.02
  • 1 24oz. jar pasta sauce* $1.49
  • 12 oz. spaghetti $0.75

Instructions

  • Use a cheese grater to grate the zucchini and carrots. You'll want about 1.5 cups of each, but the amount is flexible. Dice the onion and mince the garlic.
  • Add the olive oil and ground beef to a large, deep skillet. Cook the ground beef over medium heat until it is fully browned. Add the diced onion and garlic and continue to sauté a few minutes more, or until the onions are soft and translucent.
  • Add the shredded zucchini and carrots to the skillet along with the basil, oregano, salt, freshly cracked pepper, and a pinch of red pepper. Continue to sauté until the vegetables are wilted (about five minutes).
  • Add the pasta sauce to the skillet and stir to combine. Allow the contents of the skillet to come up to a simmer, then turn the heat down to low and simmer the sauce as you prepare the spaghetti. Stir the sauce occasionally as it simmers.
  • Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions, then drain in a colander. Return the drained spaghetti to the pot with the heat turned off. Add one cup of the prepared sauce to the pasta and stir to coat. Divide the pasta into serving bowls and top with additional sauce.

Notes

*Use your favorite brand or flavor of red pasta sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 366.78kcal | Carbohydrates: 46.73g | Protein: 25.98g | Fat: 13.53g | Sodium: 979.83mg | Fiber: 7.78g

Close up of a fork twirling spaghetti with hidden vegetable pasta sauce

How to Make Hidden Vegetable Pasta Sauce – Step by Step Photos

Shredded zucchini and carrot on a cutting board

Start by preparing your vegetables. Use a cheese grater to grate one small zucchini and two carrots. You’ll want about 1.5 cups each, but this is flexible so don’t sweat it if you have a little more or less. Also dice one yellow onion and mince two cloves of garlic.

Browned ground beef with onions and garlic

Add 1/2 lb. ground beef in a large deep skillet with 1 Tbsp olive oil and cook over medium heat until the beef has browned. Once browned, add the diced onion and minced garlic. Sauté for a few minutes more, or until the onions are soft and translucent.

Shredded vegetables added to the skillet with the meat

Add the shredded zucchini and carrots to the skillet along with 1/2 tsp dried basil, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/4 tsp salt, about ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes (optional). Continue to sauté the vegetables until they soften, or about five minutes. 

Pasta sauce being poured into the skillet with the meat and vegetables

Finally, add one 24oz. jar of your favorite pasta sauce and stir to combine. Allow the sauce to come back up to a simmer, then turn the heat down to low and continue to let the contents of the skillet simmer as you begin to prepare your spaghetti.

Simmered hidden vegetable pasta sauce in the skillet

Stir the sauce occasionally as it simmers. The vegetables will continue to soften as the sauce simmers, further “hiding” them in the sauce.

Spaghetti and sauce in the stock pot

Cook 12oz. of spaghetti according to the package directions, then drain in a colander. Return the pasta to the cooking pot with the heat turned off and add about 1 cup of the sauce. Stir to coat the pasta with the sauce.

Overhead view of a bowl of spaghetti with hidden vegetable pasta sauce

Divide the pasta into serving bowls, then top each bowl with additional sauce. This stuff is seriously so good, my mouth is watering just looking at that bowl!

Pasta sauce in a freezer bag

And don’t forget, this sauce is freezer-friendly! Just make sure to cool it completely in the refrigerator first, then place in a freezer-safe container (I used freezer bags), label, date, and freeze for later! It can be thawed in a saucepot over low, stirring occasionally.

The post Spaghetti with Hidden Vegetable Pasta Sauce appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Vegan Zucchini Brownies

This article is from Delicious Everyday.
These vegan zucchini brownies are ultra rich and moist. This is a crave-worthy dessert that the whole family will jump on board with.  This is a healthy chocolate dessert that will curb those sweet craving…

This article is from Delicious Everyday.

These vegan zucchini brownies are ultra rich and moist. This is a crave-worthy dessert that the whole family will jump on board with.  This is a healthy chocolate dessert that will curb those sweet cravings with one single bite.  Vegan Zucchini Brownies are… Vegan  Healthy  Great for chocolate lovers  Nutrient rich Freezer friendly  Made with...

Read On →

This content is copyrighted protected by DeliciousEveryday.com.

©2017 Delicious Everyday.

All content in this feed (including photographs and text) are copyrighted to Delicious Everyday and may not be republished in part or full without written permission and appropriate credit. Please contact me for republication or syndication rights.

If you suspect copyright infringement please contact me.