Roasted Garlic

Deeply savory and subtly sweet, roasted garlic is a quick and easy way to take the flavor of your food to the next level.

The post Roasted Garlic appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I talk a lot about how oven-roasting magically makes everything taste better, and garlic is no exception! Fresh garlic has a spicy flavor punch, but roasted garlic has a deep, mellow, and slightly sweet flavor. It tastes great on its own or you can add it to just about anything you cook to give it that extra special flavor. It’s a really easy and inexpensive way to take your food to the next level.

close up overhead view of several heads of roasted garlic.

Why roast Garlic?

Not only is the flavor of roasted garlic phenomenal, but it also tends to be a bit easier on your stomach than fresh garlic. 😅 The flavor of roasted garlic is much more mellow and deep than fresh garlic, and it has a beautiful sweetness from the natural sugars that caramelize during the roasting process. Plus, you can roast several cloves at once while you’ve already got the oven going for something else, then you can store that roasted garlic in the freezer for later use!

How to Use Roasted Garlic

If you’re a garlic lover, like me, you’ll love just smearing this soft, spreadable roasted garlic on a piece of crusty bread. If you want to extend that garlic flavor a little more, you can whip it into some butter, cream cheese, or mayo for a delicious caramelized garlic butter spread. But really, it’s great in anything that would normally call for regular garlic. Try using roasted garlic in these recipes:

Roasted garlic being squeezed out of the skin.

How to Store Roasted Garlic

The easiest and most cost-effective way to make roasted garlic is to make several heads of garlic at once and to do so while you’ve already got the oven going for something else. Just pop them in the oven as you cook your meat, vegetables, or whatever else you might be roasting. But then what do you do with six or seven bulbs of roasted garlic??

Simply squeeze the soft roasted garlic out of the papery skin (that part is kind of fun, if you ask me), then measure out the roasted garlic paste into one teaspoon or one tablespoon portions. Place the potions on a parchment or plastic lined plate or baking sheet, freeze until solid, then transfer to an air-tight freezer bag for longer storage.

Roasted garlic will last about 4-5 days in the fridge and 3 months or more in the freezer.

Several heads of roasted garlic scattered on a surface.
Close up overhead view of bulbs of roasted garlic.
Print

Roasted Garlic

Deeply savory and subtly sweet, roasted garlic is a quick and easy way to take the flavor of your food to the next level.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Total Cost $4.16 per batch / $0.69 per head
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 heads
Calories 83kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 6* heads garlic $3.84
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ÂșF.
  • Remove any loose outer pieces of papery skin from the heads of garlic. Slice off the top ⅓ of each head to expose the cloves inside (save the pieces of garlic cloves that have been cut off to use in other recipes).
  • Place the garlic in a baking dish. Drizzle olive oil over the cut surfaces of the garlic, making sure they're coated in oil.
  • Cover the baking dish tightly with a lid or foil and transfer to the oven. Roast for 30 minutes, then check the garlic. Add more time in the oven, 10-15 minutes at a time, until the garlic is deeply golden brown. Total roasting time will vary with the size and number of garlic heads you're roasting, as well as the type of dish you're roasting in.
  • Let the garlic cool. Once cool enough to handle, squeeze the soft roasted garlic out of the heads. Use immediately, store in the refrigerator, or freezer for later use.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*You can roast one or several heads of garlic at one time. If roasting one head, simply wrap the head tightly in foil rather than using a baking dish.

Nutrition

Serving: 1head | Calories: 83kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 5mg | Fiber: 1g
Roasted garlic being spread on a toasted piece of bread.

How to Make Roasted Garlic – Step by Step Photos

Prepped garlic with outer skins removed.

Preheat the oven to 400ÂșF. Remove any extra loose pieces of the papery skin from the heads of garlic before you begin. It will be much easier to remove the roasted garlic if the loose skins have been removed.

Tops removed from garlic heads.

Slice off about ⅓ of the top of the garlic heads to expose all of the cloves. Make sure to save the garlic bits that are cut off and remove them from the skin. You can use the pieces that you cut off in other recipes later–it’s already partially chopped! :)

Oil being drizzled over garlic cloves in a glass dish.

If you’re only doing one head of garlic at a time, you can wrap the garlic in foil to create an enclosed space. If you’re doing several heads at a time, place them in a baking dish that either has an oven-safe lid or that can be tightly covered with foil. Drizzle the tops of the garlic with oil to help prevent them from drying out as they roast.

Dish covered with foil.

Cover the baking dish tightly (with a lid or foil), then transfer to the preheated 400ÂșF oven.

Roasted garlic in the dish with the foil pulled back.

Roasting time can vary a lot depending on the size of your garlic heads, how many you’re roasting at once, or if you’re roasting in a glass or ceramic dish as opposed to just wrapping with foil. Check the garlic at 30 minutes, then add more time, 10-15 minutes at a time, until they reach this deep golden brown color.

Roasted garlic in the baking dish with foil removed.

These beauties took just over 60 minutes to achieve that delicious golden color. Let the garlic cool until they can be easily handled, then squeeze the garlic out of the skins.

Roasted garlic heads scattered on a surface next to tomatoes.
Spread that delicious roasted garlic onto some toast, stir it into your broth or soup, or spread it right onto some bread to make a sandwich! Whatever you do with it, it will be SO DELICIOUS!

The post Roasted Garlic appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Peanut Tofu

A spicy peanut sauce drenches pan-fried tofu and stir fry vegetables in these simple and delicious peanut tofu bowls.

The post Peanut Tofu appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Um, YUM! I just have to say that this Peanut Tofu is going to become a new staple in my house. It’s pretty easy to throw together, it’s a beautiful mix of colors and textures, and it’s absolutely deeeelicious! It’s definitely one of those meals that will give you that, “I can’t believe I made this myself” moment.

Overhead view of peanut tofu in a skillet on a black tile surface.

Freeze or Press Your Tofu

Lately, I’ve become a huge fan of freezing and then thawing my tofu before using it in a recipe. The freeze-thaw process changes the texture of the tofu, making it less jelly-like and more structured. The best part is that the texture change allows you to simply squeeze the tofu like a sponge to expel the extra liquid in seconds. To freeze the tofu, I just place the whole package (unopened) in the freezer, then the day before cooking I transfer it back to the fridge to thaw.

If you don’t pre-freeze your tofu, you’ll want to press it well before using it in this recipe. Either use a special tofu press or create one in your kitchen using items you already have on hand. I like to place the tofu on a rimmed baking sheet, then top with a cutting board and something heavy like a cast iron pan or a pot full of water. Let the tofu press for at least a half hour to get rid of the excess liquid.

Is This Peanut Tofu Spicy?

Yes, I used a lot of sriracha in the peanut sauce, so this dish has a decently spicy kick! While you can experiment with reducing the sriracha by half, I wouldn’t eliminate it entirely because the sriracha also provides extra acidity and garlic to the flavor profile, and the other ingredients would need to be adjusted to compensate.

How to Serve Peanut Tofu

I served my peanut tofu and vegetables over a bed of rice, but you could also serve them over rice noodles or even some cooked ramen.

Overhead view of a bowl full of peanut tofu and rice with a black fork.
Overhead view of a skillet full of peanut tofu with limes and cilantro.

Peanut Tofu

A spicy peanut sauce drenches pan-fried tofu and stir fry vegetables in these simple and delicious peanut tofu bowls.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Thai
Total Cost $6.74 recipe / $1.69 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Press Tofu 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 608kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Peanut Sauce

  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter $0.58
  • 2 Tbsp sriracha $0.22
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar $0.08
  • 1 lime (2 Tbsp juice) $0.50
  • 2 tsp soy sauce $0.04
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth $0.07

Tofu Stir Fry

  • 14 oz. extra firm tofu* $1.79
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce $0.06
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil $0.06
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch $0.03
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil, divided $0.08
  • 16 oz. frozen stir fry vegetables $2.25

For Serving (optional)

  • 3 cups cooked rice $0.62
  • 1 handful cilantro $0.20

Instructions

  • Make the peanut sauce first so the flavors have time to blend. Whisk together the peanut butter, sriracha, brown sugar, 2 Tbsp lime juice, soy sauce, minced garlic, and vegetable broth.
  • Press the tofu for 30 minutes to expel the excess water or use previously frozen tofu and squeeze the water out with your hands. Cut the tofu block into 24 triangles (12 squares, then cut diagonally into triangles).
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and cornstarch. Add the tofu pieces and gently toss until they are coated in the mixture.
  • Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to a large non-stick skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, add the tofu and cook until browned on all sides (about 10 minutes total). Remove the tofu from the skillet.
  • Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to the skillet then add the frozen stir fry vegetables. Cook over medium heat until heated through.
  • Add the cooked tofu back to the skillet with the vegetables, then pour the prepared peanut sauce over top. Stir to combine and heat through.
  • Slice any remaining lime into wedges. Top the peanut tofu with the lime wedges and fresh cilantro (if desired) before serving over cooked rice or noodles.

Notes

*Either press your tofu for 30 minutes before beginning the recipe, or freeze and thaw the tofu a day or two prior, then squeeze out the excess water with your hands. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 608kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 30g | Sodium: 833mg | Fiber: 7g

How to Make Peanut Tofu – Step by Step Photos

Peanut sauce in a bowl with a whisk.

Make the peanut sauce first so the flavors have a little time to blend. Whisk together ½ cup natural peanut butter, 2 Tbsp sriracha, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 2 Tbsp lime juice, 2 tsp soy sauce, 2 cloves minced garlic, and ½ cup vegetable broth. Set the sauce aside.

A block of tofu being sliced into triangles

Press one 14oz. block of extra firm tofu for about 30 minutes to expel the excess water (or freeze then thaw the tofu in the days prior and squeeze out the water by hand). Cut the thickness of the tofu block in half, then cut it into 12 triangles (when stacked) to make 24 pieces.

Seasoned cornstarch slurry in a bowl with a whisk.

Next, whisk together 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil, and 1 Tbsp cornstarch in a bowl. This will coat the tofu with flavor and help it crisp up a bit more in the skillet.

Tofu coated in seasoned cornstarch and oil.

Add the tofu pieces to the cornstarch and oil mixture then gently fold until the tofu is coated in the mixture.

Cooked tofu in the skillet.

Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the tofu and cook until browned on each side (about 10 minutes total). Remove the tofu from the skillet.

Stir fry vegetables in the skillet.

Add another 1 Tbsp cooking oil to the skillet, then once hot add one 16oz. bag of frozen stir fry vegetables. Continue to cook over medium heat just until the vegetables are heated through.

Tofu and peanut sauce being added to the skillet with vegetables.

Add the cooked tofu back to the skillet with the vegetables, then pour the prepared peanut sauce over top. Stir everything to combine and heat through.

Finished peanut tofu in the skillet with limes and cilantro.

Cut any remaining limes into wedges. Top the peanut tofu with cilantro (if desired) and the lime wedges before serving.

A bowl of peanut tofu with rice, lime wedges, and cilantro.

Love Tofu? Try these other Tofu Recipes

The post Peanut Tofu appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is an easy way to cook the most tender and juicy pork ever. It’s great on tacos, sandwiches, burritos and more.

The post Slow Cooker Pulled Pork appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Something truly magical happens when you cook pork low and slow. It turns into the most mouth-watering tender and juicy meat you’ve ever had. And meat this tender is good with everything, so if you make this Slow Cooker Pulled Pork on Sunday, you’ll have meat to last you all week. Pile that slow cooker pork onto sandwiches, tacos, bowl meals, nachos, salads, and more for quick dinners the rest of the week!

Slow cooker pulled pork on a plate with tongs and sandwich fixings on the sides.

What Kind of Pork to Use for Pulled Pork

To get the juiciest and most tender pulled pork make sure to buy a pork butt or pork shoulder. These cuts are marbled with fat and connective tissue that slowly melt and gelatinize when cooked with slow, gentle heat, creating ultra moist and tender meat.

You can buy bone-in or boneless pork butt or pork shoulder. I prefer to use boneless and then cut the pork into large pieces so they cook a little faster, but you can leave the bone in and remove it when shredding the pork if preferred. Just keep in mind that cooking time may be longer if you leave the bone in during cooking.

How to Season Pulled Pork

I used a versatile yet flavorful spice rub on the pork before slow cooking, along with a little extra fresh garlic. This mix of paprika, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, and brown sugar enhances the pork’s flavor, but keeps it neutral enough to be paired with BBQ sauce or any other flavor profile you plan to pair with your pulled pork.

Three slow cooker pulled pork sandwiches on a wooden cutting board.

How to Serve Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork sandwiches are always a hit (brioche buns, BBQ sauce, pickles, and/or coleslaw), but this pulled pork is also great for tacos, burritos, quesadillas, or nachos. I also love piling pulled pork onto bowl meals, salads, or even adding it to soup or ramen. You can seriously add it to anything!

Storage Instructions

Keep the pork in the juices when refrigerating to keep the meat as moist as possible upon reheating. After cooking, transfer the shredded pork and juices to an air-tight food storage container and refrigerate for up to 4-5 days. After completely chilling in the refrigerator, you can transfer the pork to the freezer for longer storage (about three months). To reheat the pork, simply heat in a sauce pot over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until hot.

Close up side view of a plate full of slow cooker pulled pork.
Three pulled pork sandwiches with pickles on a wooden cutting board.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is an easy way to cook the most tender and juicy pork ever. It's great on tacos, sandwiches, burritos and more.
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $9.48 recipe / $1.19 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8 ½ cup each
Calories 247kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. pork butt $8.07
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into chunks $0.37
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped $0.32

Spice Rub

  • 2 tsp paprika $0.20
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika $0.10
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar $0.08
  • 1 tsp garlic powder $0.10
  • 1 tsp onion powder $0.10
  • 2 tsp salt $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.04

Instructions

  • Combine the spices for the spice rub in a bowl.
  • Cut the pork butt into large chunks. If the pork butt has a bone you can either remove it before cooking or wait until you are shredding the cooked meat to remove it. Keep in mind the pork will require extra cooking time if cooking with the bone in.
  • Add the pork pieces to a large bowl and sprinkle the spice rub over top. Toss until the pork is evenly coated in spices.
  • Dice the yellow onion and add it to the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the seasoned pork on top of the onion, then add the roughly chopped garlic on top.
  • Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours. Test the pork with a fork to make sure the meat is tender. It should shred easily with a fork. If not, cook for one hour longer. The total cooking time will depend on the size of your pork butt.
  • Once the pork is tender, use two forks to shred the meat.
  • If you prefer crispy edges on your pork, place some of the pork on a sheet pan and broil for a few minutes, or just until the edges are browned and crispy. Keep a close eye on the pork as it broils!
  • Serve the pulled pork on sandwiches, tacos, bowl meals, and more!

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 247kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 10g | Sodium: 694mg | Fiber: 0.5g
BBQ sauce being poured onto pulled pork sandwiches.

How to Make Slow Cooker Pulled Pork – Step by Step Photos

Spices for pulled pork in a small wooden bowl.

To make the spice rub for the pulled pork, combine 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 2 tsp salt, and ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper.

Chunks of pork butt on a cutting board.

Cut a 3 lb. pork butt into large chunks. If your pork butt is bone-in, you can either remove the bone or cook with the bone in and remove it when shredding your meat. Keep in mind that if you leave the bone in, the pork will take slightly longer to cook.

Meat coated with spices in a bowl.

Place the pork in a bowl, sprinkle the spice rub over top, then toss until the pork is evenly coated in the rub.

Diced onion in the slow cooker.

Dice one yellow onion and place it on the bottom of the slow cooker.

Pork in slow cooker with chopped garlic,

Place the seasoned pork in the slow cooker and top with four roughly chopped cloves of garlic.

Cooked pork in the slow cooker.

Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours. If your pork butt is larger than 3 lbs. you may need to cook slightly longer. Check the tenderness of the meat after 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. It should pull apart easily. If it’s still tough, let it cook another hour then check again.

Shredded pork in the slow cooker, some being lifted with tongs.

Once the pork is tender, use two forks to shred the meat.

Broiled pulled pork on a baking sheet.

If you want crispy edges on your pulled pork (who doesn’t?!). Place some of the pulled pork on a baking sheet and place it under your oven’s broiler for a few minutes. The melted fat on the pork will fry the edges and make it beautifully crispy! Keep a close eye on the meat as it broils since broilers cook very quickly!

Three pulled pork sandwiches with pickles on a wooden cutting board.

Enjoy your pulled pork on sandwiches, tacos, bowl meals, quesadillas and more!

The post Slow Cooker Pulled Pork 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!

The post Baked Beans appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Lemon Bars

Lemon bars are the best lemon dessert, featuring a simple shortbread crust and a rich and custardy lemon filling.

The post Lemon Bars appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I probably make too many lemon-flavored desserts, but can’t stop won’t stop! Lemon is my favorite flavor when it comes to dessert because I love the contrast between the sweet and tart flavors. And this easy recipe for Lemon Bars is the perfect way to get that sweet-tart fix. I tested this recipe several times to get it just the way I like it—a rich and buttery shortbread crust topped with a thick and custardy, sweet and tart, lemon-licious filling. Hello gorgeous!

A stack of three lemon bars on a blue background.

What’s in a Lemon Bar?

If you’ve never had lemon bars, you are in for a TREAT! This simple yet amazing dessert starts with a simple shortbread crust (butter + flour + sugar + salt). Next we whip up a simple lemon custard, which is made with lemons, eggs, flour, and sugar. Pour the custard onto the crust, bake until it’s set, and BOOM. It’s really that simple! The custard starts as a liquid and then thickens as it bakes so they’re soft but sliceable once cooled.

Can I use Bottled Lemon Juice?

I chose to use fresh lemons for this recipe because I wanted the FULL lemon experience. Fresh lemons will give you the most intense lemon flavor because not only will the juice be fresh but you’ll be able to use the lemon zest, which really boosts the lemon flavor without making it extra sour. Using juice and zest is like a one-two flavor punch! You won’t get flavor as intense with bottled juice, but I can’t say that I’d turn down a lemon bar made with bottled juice. 😏

Can you Freeze Lemon Bars?

YES! That’s one of the best features of this recipe. If you don’t plan to eat your lemon bars within a few days, make sure to freeze some! To freeze your lemon bars, let them chill completely in the refrigerator, then transfer them to a parchment-lined baking sheet (each square separated) and freeze until solid. Once frozen, wrap the bars individually and place them in an air-tight freezer-safe container. They’ll stay good for about three months.

To thaw the frozen lemon bars, either let them thaw in the refrigerator over night or let them thaw at room temperature for about a half hour.

Close up side view of a lemon bar being held in a hand.
A stack of three lemon bars on a blue background.

Lemon Bars

Lemon bars are the best lemon dessert, featuring a simple shortbread crust and a rich and custardy lemon filling.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Total Cost $3.81 recipe / $0.42 each
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Chill time 3 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings 9
Calories 349kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Shortbread Crust

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour $0.12
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar $0.13
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 6 Tbsp salted butter $0.75

Lemon Filling

  • 1.5 cups granulated sugar $0.36
  • 4 large eggs $0.78
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice (about 4 lemons) + 1 Tbsp zest $1.55
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour $0.08

Topping (optional)

  • 1 Tbsp powdered sugar $0.02

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325ºF. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, powdered sugar, and salt for the shortbread crust until well combined.
  • Melt the butter, then pour it into the bowl of dry ingredients for the crust, and stir until everything is moistened and the mixture looks slightly crumbly.
  • Line an 8×8-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Press the shortbread mixture into the bottom of the dish in an even layer.
  • Transfer the baking dish to the oven and bake the crust for 25 minutes*, or just until the edges are lightly golden.
  • While the crust is baking, juice and zest your lemons. You'll need ¾ cup lemon juice and 1 Tbsp zest.
  • Begin to make the filling. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, eggs, and zest until smooth. Add the lemon juice and whisk until smooth again.
  • When the crust is finished baking, pour the lemon filling into the baking dish on top of the crust, then transfer it back to the oven and continue to bake for another 30 minutes, or until the center no longer jiggles.
  • Let the lemon bars cool for about 10 minutes before transferring to the refrigerator to chill completely.
  • Once the lemon bars are completely chilled, remove them from the baking dish, slice into 9 pieces, and then dust with about 1 Tbsp powdered sugar. Enjoy!

Notes

*If you’re using a metal baking dish, the baking time may be slightly shorter.

Nutrition

Serving: 1square | Calories: 349kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 10g | Sodium: 157mg | Fiber: 1g
Overhead view of lemon bars sliced and placed in a grid.

How to Make Lemon Bars – Step by Step Photos

Dry ingredients for the shortbread crust in a bowl.

Preheat the oven to 325ºF. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup all-purpose flour, ½ cup powdered sugar, and ¼ tsp salt. Stir them together until very well combined.

Melted butter being poured into the bowl of dry ingredients.

Melt 6 tablespoons of salted butter. Pour the butter into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir until combined.

Shortbread crust mixture in a bowl.

The shortbread crust mixture should look like this. Kind of crumbly, but it should hold together if you squeeze some in your fist.

Shortbread crust pressed into a baking dish.

Line an 8×8-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Press the shortbread mixture into the bottom of the dish in an even layer. Transfer it to the preheated 325ºF oven and bake for 25 minutes or until it is just barely golden on the edges (if using a metal pan, baking time may be slightly shorter).

Juices and zested lemons on a cutting board.

While the crust is baking, zest and juice the lemons. You’ll need about 1 Tbsp lemon zest and ¾ cup of lemon juice. Don’t forget to strain the seeds out of your juice! ;)

Custard ingredients, minus juice, in a bowl.

Add 1.5 cups granulated sugar, ¾ cup all-purpose flour, 4 large eggs, and 1 Tbsp lemon zest to a bowl, then whisk together until smooth. I like to whisk these ingredients together before adding the juice because it helps prevent lumps of flour. The mixture will be thick at this stage.

Juice being poured into the bowl with the custard ingredients.

Next, add the ¾ cup of lemon juice and whisk together until smooth.

Custard being poured into the baking dish on top of the crust.

Once the crust has finished baking, pour the custard mixture into the baking dish on top of the crust.

Baked lemon bars in the baking dish.

Transfer the baking dish back into the oven and bake for another 30 minutes, or until it’s golden around the edges and the center no longer jiggles. Let the bars cool for about ten minutes before transferring to the refrigerator to fully chill.

Powdered sugar being dusted onto sliced lemon bars.

Once the lemon bars have chilled completely, lift them out of the baking dish using the parchment paper, then slice into nine pieces. Lightly dust the top of the squares with a tablespoon of powdered sugar. Enjoy!

Overhead view of sliced lemon bars on a blue background.

Love Lemons? Try Thes Other Lemon Desserts

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Honey Chipotle Chicken

The marinade for this sweet, smoky, and spicy Honey Chipotle Chicken is simple and delicious! It’s an easy and flavorful dinner main dish!

The post Honey Chipotle Chicken appeared first on Budget Bytes.

A few weeks ago I made some delicious Chipotle Peach Salsa, but I never seem to use a whole can of chipotle peppers for one recipe, so I make a habit of freezing the rest to save for other recipes. And today I used up some of those leftover chipotle peppers in this super easy and delish Honey Chipotle Chicken. ;) I love quick pan-seared chicken as a simple dinner main, so I whipped up a quick honey-chipotle marinade and then seared the marinated chicken until the marinade turned into a light glaze. The result was a sweet-smoky-spicy chicken with the most deliciously caramelized finish. So, if you find yourself with some extra canned chipotle peppers, you’ve got to try this chicken!

Honey Chipotle Chicken thighs in a skillet from above.

What’s in the Honey Chipotle Marinade

I like to keep things simple, so I whipped up this super simple yet flavorful marinade using canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, honey, lime juice, salt, garlic, and oil. It’s got all the elements: salt, fat, acid, and heat! …and a little sweetness to round it out. ;)

How Long to Marinade the Chicken

I suggest marinating this chicken for a minimum of 30 minutes, but if you prep this in the morning or even the night before, even better! Just make sure to flip the chicken a couple of times as it marinades to maximize contact with all the flavorful ingredients, and refrigerate as you marinade if marinating longer than one hour.

Can I Use Chicken Breasts

You can use this honey chipotle marinade on chicken breasts, just keep in mind that you’ll want to prepare the breasts a little differently than the thighs to make sure they don’t dry out too much. I recommend either filleting the breasts into two thinner pieces or pounding them until they are an even thickness, about ¾-inch thick. This will ensure that the chicken cooks through before the sugars in the marinade begin to burn.

That being said, chicken thighs are WAY more forgiving. The high-fat content of the thighs keeps them juicy and tender, even if they need to be in the skillet a little bit longer. I’m definitely team #chickenthighs for this recipe!

What to Serve with Honey Chipotle Chicken

I served my honey chipotle chicken with my favorite bean salad, Cowboy Caviar, and some rice, but you’ve got lots of options here! You could whip up a simple Avocado and Tomato Salad, Sweet Corn Salsa, or maybe some Cucumber and Black Bean Salad. I also think this sweet and spicy chicken would be a great topper for something like my Loaded Mashed Potato Bowls!

A piece of honey chipotle chicken on a bed of rice with bean salad on the side.
Overhead view of honey chipotle chicken in the skillet.

Honey Chipotle Chicken

The marinade for this sweet, smoky, and spicy Honey Chipotle Chicken is simple and delicious! It's an easy and flavorful dinner main dish!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Southwest
Total Cost $8.61 recipe / $1.44 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marinate Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 thighs
Calories 205kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce $0.30
  • 2 Tbsp honey $0.54
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice (about one lime) $0.59
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil, divided $0.08
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs $6.78
  • 2 sliced green onions (optional) $0.22

Instructions

  • Mince the chipotle peppers. Combine the minced peppers in a bowl with the honey, lime juice, minced garlic, salt, and 1 Tbsp cooking oil.
  • Place the chicken thighs in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over top. Toss the chicken in the marinade until evenly coated.
  • Marinate the chicken for a minimum of 30 minutes, up to one day. If marinating longer than one hour, refrigerate the chicken as it marinates.
  • When ready to cook the chicken, heat a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add the remaining 1 Tbsp cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface of the skillet.
  • Add the marinated chicken to the skillet and cook on one side until the water released by the chicken evaporates, the marinade has reduced to a glaze, and the chicken has browned. Flip the chicken over and cook on the second side until browned and cooked through.
  • Top with sliced green onions and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1thigh | Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 390mg | Fiber: 1g
Close up side view of honey chipotle chicken in a skillet.

How to Make Honey Chipotle Chicken – Step by Step Photos

Can of chipotle peppers open so you can see the peppers in the sauce.

Canned chipotle peppers in adobo are the base for this marinade. You can find these at most major grocery stores in the U.S., usually near the other Hispanic ingredients.

Chopped chipotle peppers

Mince about three chipotle peppers, or about ¼ cup once minced.

honey chipotle marinade in a bowl with a spoon.

Combine the minced chipotle peppers with 2 Tbsp honey, 2 Tbsp lime juice, 1 minced clove of garlic, 1 Tbsp cooking oil, and ½ tsp salt.

honey chipotle marinade being poured over chicken thighs in a dish.

Place six boneless, skinless chicken thighs in a shallow dish, then pour the honey chipotle marinade over top.

Marinating chicken thighs in a shallow dish.

Toss the chicken in the marinade until they’re evenly coated. Marinate the chicken for a minimum of 30 minutes, up to one day. If marinating longer than one hour, make sure to cover and transfer the chicken to the refrigerator.

Chicken thighs cooking in a skillet.

When you’re ready to cook the chicken, heat a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add the remaining 1 Tbsp cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the chicken thighs and cook over medium until all of the water they release evaporates, the marinade has reduced to a glaze, and the chicken has browned on the bottom.

Finished honey chipotle chicken thighs in the skillet.

Flip the chicken thighs and cook until browned on the other side and cooked through. Flip the chicken back and forth as needed to achieve an even level of browning on both sides. Top with sliced green onions, then serve.

A honey chipotle chicken thigh on a bed of rice on a plate next to bean salad.

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Cheesy Sausage Pasta

Cheesy Sausage Pasta is a quick and easy meal for quick weeknight dinners. Everything cooks in one pot for fast prep and minimum clean-up!

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This Cheesy Sausage Pasta is the dish that made me fall in love with one-pot pastas all those years ago. It’s fast, easy, SUPER flavorful, and because everything cooks in one pot, there’s barely anything to clean up after dinner. WIN. The flavorful combination of smoky sausage, spicy diced tomatoes with green chiles, and creamy Monterey Jack is simple but irresistible, and it cooks in about 30 minutes. That’s a winner in my book!

Originally posted 1-23-2010, updated 9-10-2022.

Overhead view of a skillet full of cheesy sausage pasta.

What’s in Cheesy Sausage Pasta?

This recipe was inspired by an absolutely mouth-watering photo I saw on Pinterest, which was this Spicy Sausage Pasta from KevinandAmanda.com. But, of course, I made some changes to fit the ingredients I had on hand. I nixed the heavy cream in the original recipe because I figured that between the cheese and sausage, there’d be plenty of fatty goodness going on. My version ended up being rich, but not so much so that you’ll feel super weighed down. I also added fresh spinach because I have a HUGE bag in my fridge just waiting to be used up. Plus, I felt that the recipe needed a little green.

What Else Can I Add?

Some other vegetable options for this recipe are bell peppers or broccoli, both of which go great with smoked sausage. If you want to add bell peppers, dice them up and saute them with the onions in the beginning. If you want to add broccoli, cut it into very small florets and add it with the pasta so that the broccoli can simmer a little bit and soften. There are so many different ways you can take this recipe… I’m excited to hear what you come up with!

What Type of Pasta to Use

This recipe works great with any short pasta shape (bowties, penne, rotini, etc.). I originally used campanelle (my favorite frilly flower shaped pasta), but I couldn’t find any this time around so I decided to go with wide egg noodles. One note: If you are using regular pasta (not egg noodles, which are a little more delicate), you may need slightly more broth.

Can I Use a Different Cheese?

I particularly love Monterey Jack cheese for this recipe because it melts into a super creamy texture that kind of mixes into the sauce for a super creamy finish…without adding any cream. Other cheeses will also taste great, but they probably won’t have the same creamy finish. You can try cheddar, mozzarella (aim for whole milk mozzarella instead of part-skim), or even a sprinkle of crumbled feta. And remember, pre-shredded cheese won’t melt nearly as well as cheese you shred yourself! ;)

Close up side view of cheesy sausage pasta in the skillet.

Cheesy sausage pasta on a plate with a black fork, on a bamboo mat.

Cheesy Sausage Pasta

Cheesy Sausage Pasta is a quick and easy meal for quick weeknight dinners. Everything cooks in one pot for fast prep and minimum clean-up!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $7.07 recipe / $1.77 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 538kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.38
  • 7 oz. smoked sausage $1.75
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1 10oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles (Rotel) $1.00
  • 8 oz. wide egg noodles* $1.40
  • 1.5 cups chicken broth $0.20
  • 3 cups fresh spinach $0.85
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack $1.25
  • 1 green onion, sliced $0.20

Instructions

  • Dice the onion and slice the sausage into rounds.
  • Add the cooking oil and sausage to a large skillet and cook over medium heat until the sausage is well browned. If there is excess fat in the skillet, drain it off before moving to the next step.
  • Add the diced tomatoes with green chiles (with juices), uncooked pasta, and chicken broth. Stir until everything is evenly combined. It's okay if the broth does not fully cover the pasta.
  • Place a lid on the skillet and allow the broth to come up to a boil. When it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the pasta simmer for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Stir the pasta occasionally, replacing the lid each time.
  • Once the pasta is cooked and only a small amount of saucy liquid remains, it's time to add the spinach to the skillet. Gently stir the fresh spinach into the pasta, allowing the residual heat to wilt the spinach.
  • Once the spinach has wilted, top the pasta with Monterey Jack cheese. Place the lid back on the skillet and let the pasta heat over low until the cheese is melted and creamy.
  • Sprinkle the sliced green onions over top just before serving.

Notes

*If using regular pasta (not egg noodles), increase the broth to 2 cups.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 538kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 28g | Sodium: 956mg | Fiber: 4g

Cheesy sausage pasta on a plate with a black fork, on a bamboo mat.

How to Make Cheesy Sausage Pasta – Step By Step Photos

Diced onion and sliced sausage on a cutting board.

Dice one yellow onion and slice about 7oz. smoked sausage (half of a 14oz. link—you can freeze the rest!) into medallions.

Browned sausage in a skilet.

Add the sausage and 1 Tbsp cooking oil to a large skillet and cook over medium heat until the sausage is well browned. If there’s a lot of excess fat in the skillet, drain it off before proceeding to the next step.

Sautéed onions in the skillet with sausage.

Add the onions to the skillet with the sausage and continue to sauté until the onions have softened. Allow the moisture from the onions to dissolve any browned bits off the bottom of the skillet.

Pasta, tomatoes, and broth added to the skillet.

Add one 10oz. can of diced tomatoes with green chiles (like Rotel), 8 oz. pasta, and 1.5 cups chicken broth. If you’re using regular pasta (not egg noodles), increase to 2 cups broth.

Lid being placed on the skillet.

Stir everything together until well combined. Place a lid on the skillet and allow the broth to come up to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and let the pasta simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally (replacing the lid each time). Make sure the broth maintains a simmer.

Cooked pasta pushed to the side of the skillet with the spatula.

While the pasta is cooking, shred about 1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese and slice one green onion. When the pasta is tender and only a small amount of saucy liquid remains in the skillet, it’s time to add the spinach.

Wilted spinach stirred into the pasta.

Add about three packed cups of fresh spinach to the skillet and carefully stir until the hot pasta wilts the spinach.

Cheese being added on top of the pasta.

Add one cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese on top of the pasta. Place the lid on the skillet and let it heat over low for a few minutes, or just until the cheese is melted and creamy.

Finished pasta topped with sliced green onions.

Top the finished pasta with the sliced green onions and serve hot!

Close up overhead view of Cheesy Sausage Pasta in the skillet.

Soooo cheeessyyyy. 🤤

Try These Other One Pot Pasta Recipes:

Creamy Spinach and Sausage Pasta is an easy one pot meal for quick weeknight dinners. BudgetBytes.com

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Succotash

Succotash is a simple and colorful side dish made with corn and lima beans that is savory, subtly sweet, and full of delicious flavor.

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If you’re looking for a simple, hearty, and inexpensive side dish that you pair with just about any meal, you’ve got to try succotash. This colorful mix of corn, lima beans, and tomatoes has a natural subtle sweetness balanced with savory broth, herbs, and a creamy butter finish. It’s one of those combinations that is so simple, but you won’t be able to stop shoveling it into your mouth, forkful after forkful.

Succotash in a skillet with a wooden spoon, garnished with parsley.

What is Succotash?

Succotash is a simple dish of stewed corn and beans that originated with the Narragansett people in what is now the New England region of the U.S. The Narragansett called the dish sahquttahhash, or “broken corn kernels”, and introduced it to colonists in the 17th century when it likely took on its current name. Over the centuries the dish has taken many forms and has become part of classic southern cuisine in the U.S. The version you’ll find below is simple, delicious, and most importantly budget-friendly!

What’s in Succotash?

Succotash can take many forms, but the common thread between most versions is a combination of corn and lima beans stewed together with other vegetables, herbs, and sometimes a fatty meat. My version is very simple with corn, lima beans, tomatoes, and onions, all stewed together in a little bit of chicken broth and finished with a little creamy butter.

Some people love to add a little bacon or salt pork to their succotash to give it an extra flavor punch. Other vegetables that can be commonly found in succotash include red bell pepper, okra, squash, and garlic.

What to Serve with Succotash

Succotash is a very versatile side dish and can be served alongside any grilled meat, baked fish, or pork chops. Succotash would also be great to add to a bowl meal, or just it as a bed on your plate for some Garlic Butter Shrimp. YUM!

Overhead view of a bowl of succotash with a black spoon.
Overhead view of a skillet full of soccotash.

Succotash

Succotash is a simple and colorful side dish made with corn and lima beans that is savory, subtly sweet, and full of delicious flavor.
Course Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Total Cost $5.46 recipe / $0.55 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 10 ½ cup each
Calories 128kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.38
  • 4 Tbsp butter, divided $0.50
  • 1 12oz. bag frozen lima beans $1.69
  • 1 12oz. bag frozen sweet corn $1.25
  • 1 cup chicken broth* $0.13
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper $0.02
  • 1 tsp salt, divided $0.05
  • 1 large tomato $1.29
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley $0.10

Instructions

  • Dice the yellow onion and add it to a skillet with 2 Tbsp butter. Sauté the onion in the butter over medium heat until the onion has softened.
  • Add the lima beans, corn, broth, thyme, pepper, and ½ tsp salt to the skillet. Stir to combine and allow the broth to come up to a simmer. Let the corn and beans simmer in the broth, without a lid, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  • While the corn and lima beans are simmering, dice the tomato. Add the diced tomato to the skillet and simmer for an additional five minutes.
  • Give the mixture a taste and add more salt to your liking (I added an extra ½ tsp salt). Add the remaining 2 Tbsp butter and stir until they are melted in.
  • Top the succotash with chopped fresh parsley and another pinch of black pepper. Enjoy hot!

Notes

*Make this recipe vegetarian by substituting vegetable broth.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 377mg | Fiber: 3g
A spoonful of succotash held close to the camera.

How to Make Succotash – Step by Step Photos

Sautéed onions in a skillet.

Begin by dicing one yellow onion. Add the onion and 2 Tbsp butter to a large skillet and sauté over medium heat until the onions are softened.

Corn, lima beans, spices, and broth being poured into the skillet.

Add one 12oz. bag of frozen lima beans, one 12oz. bag of frozen sweet corn, ½ tsp dried thyme, ¼ tsp black pepper, ½ tsp salt, and 1 cup chicken broth. Stir to combine. Allow the broth to come up to a simmer, then simmer the corn and beans in the broth, without a lid, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Diced tomatoes being stirred into the skillet.

While the corn and beans are simmering, dice one large tomato (or 2 small tomatoes). Stir the diced tomatoes into the skillet then continue to simmer, without a lid and stirring occasionally, for an additional 5 minutes.

More butter added to the skillet.

Taste the mixture and add more salt to taste (I added another ½ tsp). Finally, add two more tablespoons of butter and stir them in until melted.

Finished succotash topped with parsley and pepper.

Garnish the finished succotash with fresh chopped parsley and a little more freshly cracked pepper.

Side view of a bowl of succotash with a spoon.

Enjoy hot!

Try These Other Easy Veggie Side Dishes

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Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken pot pie is a cozy and classic comfort food made with a flakey crust and a rich sauce full of tender chicken and vegetables.

The post Chicken Pot Pie appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I could eat this chicken pot pie every day for the rest of my life. Okay, maybe I’m being a little hyperbolic, but it’s definitely one of those recipes that I can eat for days in a row and I’ll still be sad once the leftovers are gone. Because when a food makes you feel this cozy and good, how can you not want it in your life every day? Either way, I guarantee this scrumptious homemade chicken pot pie is going to be made on REPEAT in my house all through the fall and winter.

Chicken Pot Pie with a slice removed.

What’s in a Chicken Pot Pie?

Chicken pot pie starts with a deliciously flakey pie crust and is filled with a rich and saucy chicken gravy, chunks of tender chicken, and a medley of colorful vegetables. It’s everything you want in a meal on one plate!

This recipe is pretty flexible, allowing you to take some shortcuts if you need to make the prep easier, or you can do everything from scratch to make this pie an ✨EVENT✨!

Pie Crust Options

It’s no secret that the crust is one of the best parts of a chicken pot pie, so we chose not to skimp on the crust. We used our simple 3-ingredient pie crust recipe, which is super buttery and deliciously flakey. If you want to use a store-bought crust, just make sure to buy a double crust (top and bottom crusts) and follow the baking instructions on the box.

You could also bake this “pie” in skillet without a bottom crust and then top it with your favorite biscuits. The filling is fully cooked before it goes into the pie, so simply top with biscuits and then bake until the biscuits are browned and cooked through.

Can I Use Pre-Cooked Chicken for Chicken Pot Pie?

Yes! Chicken pot pie is a great way to use up leftover rotisserie chicken, or even leftover turkey from Thanksgiving! Just skip the first step in the recipe below (cooking the raw chicken) and add your pre-cooked chicken to the filling when the cooked chicken is added back to the gravy with the herbs and spices.

Use Fresh or Frozen Vegetables

To make this chicken pot pie super simple, we used a frozen vegetable medley. Using a frozen veggie mix means less chopping and you won’t have any leftover vegetables to try to use up later. If you do want to slice and chop your own vegetables, use 1-2 carrots, about ½ cup corn kernels, ½ cup chopped green beans, and ½ cup peas. You could also other vegetables, like mushrooms or celery.

Do I Need to Blind Bake the Crust?

When using our 3-ingredient pie crust recipe and a glass pie plate, our chicken pot pie baked to perfection with a golden brown flakey bottom crust without having to pre-bake the bottom crust. That being said, using different crust recipes or store-bought crusts with different types of pie plates may yield different results.

A slice of chicken pot pie being lifted out of the pie pan from the side.
A slice of chicken pot pie taken out of the pie dish.

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken pot pie is a cozy classic comfort food made with a flakey crust and a rich sauce full of tender chicken and vegetables.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $8.44 recipe / $1.06 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 361kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (about ⅔ lb.) $3.33
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1 yellow onion $0.38
  • 4 Tbsp butter $0.50
  • 4 Tbsp flour $0.04
  • 1 cup chicken broth $0.13
  • 1/2 cup whole milk $0.10
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp rubbed sage $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper $0.02
  • 3/4 tsp salt $0.05
  • 12 oz. frozen mixed vegetables $1.25
  • 1 double pie crust $2.34
  • l egg (optional) $0.20

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cut the chicken breast into ½-inch pieces.
  • Heat a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add the cooking oil and diced chicken. Cook just until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken from the skillet.
  • While the chicken is cooking, dice the onion. After removing the chicken from the skillet, add the diced onion and butter. Sauté the onions in the butter until softened.
  • Sprinkle the flour over the onions in the skillet and continue to cook and stir for two minutes more. It's okay if the flour begins to coat the surface of the skillet, but don't let it burn.
  • Add the chicken broth and milk to the skillet. Whisk to combine and dissolve any flour off the bottom of the skillet. Let the liquid come up to a simmer, at which point it will thicken into a gravy.
  • Add the cooked chicken back to the skillet along with the thyme, sage, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Finally, add the frozen mixed vegetables and allow them to heat through in the gravy, stirring occasionally, just until the gravy begins to simmer again. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  • Place your bottom crust in a 9-inch pie plate. Prick the bottom several times with a fork. Transfer the chicken, vegetable, and gravy mixture into the pie crust.
  • Add the top crust and crimp the edges closed. Brush a light layer of whisked egg over the surface of the pie crust (optional). Use a knife to cut large vents in the top of the crust.
  • Bake the chicken pot pie for 45-50 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and flakey. The baking time may vary depending on the type of crust and pie plate used.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 20g | Sodium: 616mg | Fiber: 3g
Close up overhead view of a chicken pot pie with a slice cut into it.

How to Make Chicken Pot Pie – Step by Step Photos

Cooked diced chicken in a skillet.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Dice one boneless skinless chicken breast into ½-inch pieces and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Heat a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp cooking oil and the diced chicken breast. Cook the chicken pieces just until cooked through (do not over cook).

Diced onion and butter in a deep skillet.

While the chicken is cooking, dice one yellow onion. Remove the cooked chicken from the skillet and add the diced onion and 4 Tbsp butter. Sauté the onions in the butter over medium heat until softened.

Flour being added to the skillet.

Once the onions are soft, sprinkle in 4 Tbsp of all-purpose flour. Continue to cook and stir for about two minutes more. It’s okay for the flour to begin to coat the bottom of the skillet, just make sure it doesn’t begin to burn.

Milk and broth being added to the skillet.

Add one cup of chicken broth and one cup of whole milk to the skillet. Whisk to combine and dissolve any flour off the bottom of the skillet.

Thickened gravy being whisked.

Allow the liquid to come up to a simmer, at which point it will thicken into a nice gravy.

Chicken and seasoning added back to the gravy.

Add the cooked chicken back to the skillet along with ¼ tsp dried thyme, ¼ tsp rubbed sage, ¼ tsp black pepper, and ¾ tsp salt. Stir to combine.

frozen vegetables stirred into the gravy.

Stir in one 12oz. bag of frozen mixed vegetables. Allow the gravy mixture to heat through and come back up to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Once fully heated through and simmering, remove it from the heat.

Pie filling being added to a pie crust.

Place the bottom crust into a pie plate and prick it several times over the bottom with a fork. Fill the pie crust with the chicken pot pie filling.

Vents being cut into the top pie crust.

Add the top crust and crimp the edges closed. Brush the top of the pie with a thin layer of whisked egg. Use a knife to cut large vents into the top of the pie crust.

Baked Chicken Pot Pie.

Bake the chicken pot pie for 45-50 minutes, or until the pie crust is golden brown and flakey and the filling is bubbling up slightly through the vents. Total cooking time may vary depending on the type of crust and pie dish used. The filling is fully cooked before going into the pie, so adjust the baking time based on the crust.

Chicken pot pie on a blue background with plates and parsley on the sides.

Let the pie cool for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

A slice of chicken pot pie taken out of the pie dish.

Try these other savory pie recipes:

The post Chicken Pot Pie appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Avocado and Tomato Salad

This simple avocado and tomato salad is a chunky mix of all of summer’s fresh flavors, like tomato, avocado, lime, and cilantro.

The post Avocado and Tomato Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Guacamole is one of my most favorite foods ever, but avocados can get really pricey. So when I’ve got that guac craving I mix up a batch of this simple avocado and tomato salad. It has all the same amazing flavors as guacamole, but with a slightly different ratio of ingredients to make it a bit more budget-friendly. This salad is so good that I love to spoon it over everything–eggs, chicken, fish, green salads, tortilla chips, and sometimes I just scoop it up right out of the bowl with a spoon. 😅

Originally posted 3/31/2010, updated 8/31/2022.

A chip dipping into a bowl of avocado and tomato salad on a yellow background.

Keeping it Budget-Friendly

Avocados are definitely one of the higher-priced items in the produce aisle, so we’re using Budget Bytes principle #2, Use Ingredients Wisely, to help keep the price of this recipe in check. Whenever you use a higher-priced ingredient make sure to bulk up the recipe with plenty of lower-priced ingredients to help stretch the cost over more servings. For this recipe, I’ve bulked it up with plenty of Roma tomatoes to make those avocados go twice as far.

What Else Can I Add?

I love this salad because it’s not only great as-is, but you can take it in so many other directions. If you want to bulk it up even more by adding some more inexpensive ingredients, try adding some rinsed and drained black beans or thawed frozen corn kernels. You can also make it similar to ceviche by adding some boiled shrimp (whole or chopped).

How to Serve Avocado and Tomato Salad

Whenever I make this salad, I literally put it on everything. It’s good on chicken and fish, I pile it onto scrambled or fried eggs, I scoop it up with tortilla chips, and I also use it as a topper for a big bowl of salad. And sometimes I just serve it on my plate with dinner as its own stand-alone side dish!

How Long Does it Last?

To be honest, I’ve always eaten this entire batch within about 2-3 days, so I’m not sure how it holds up past that point. The lime juice in the salad helps keep the avocados from turning too brown, although their color does become less vibrant as it sits in the refrigerator and everything does soften a bit. That being said, the flavors in the salad begin to blend as it refrigerates and I think it’s absolutely wonderful the next day! So, if I were making this for company I’d definitely assemble it just before serving. If I was making it for myself I’d happily gobble up the leftovers over the next couple of days.

close up side view of a bowl full of avocado and tomato salad.

Overhead view of a bowl full of avocado and tomato salad.

Avocado and Tomato Salad

This simple avocado and tomato salad is a chunky mix of all of summer's fresh flavors, like tomato, avocado, lime, and cilantro.
Course Appetizer, Dip, Side Dish
Cuisine Southwest
Total Cost $6.13 recipe / $1.02 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 ½ cup each
Calories 194kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 3 avocados $3.75
  • 3 small tomatoes $1.08
  • 1/4 red onion $0.11
  • 1 clove garlic $0.08
  • 1 jalapeño $0.18
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro $0.23
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.08
  • 1 lime $0.59
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.03

Instructions

  • Dice the avocados and tomatoes. Finely dice the red onion and jalapeño (seeds removed). Mince the garlic, and roughly chop the cilantro.
  • Add the avocados, tomatoes, jalapeño, red onion, garlic, and cilantro to a large bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over top. Juice the lime and add about 1 Tbsp to the salad to start, along with ¼ tsp salt.
  • Give the salad a brief stir, then taste and add more lime juice and salt to your liking. I ended up using 2 Tbsp lime juice total and ½ tsp salt. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 194kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 17g | Sodium: 204mg | Fiber: 7g

How to Make Avocado and Tomato Salad – Step by Step Photos

Avocado and tomato salad ingredients on a cutting board.

For this recipe, you’ll need 3 avocados, 3 small tomatoes, ¼ of a red onion, 1 clove of garlic, ¼ bunch of cilantro, 1 lime, and one jalapeño (oops, forgot to add that one to the pic!). 

Prepped salad ingredients in the bowl, oil being drizzled over top.

Dice the avocado and tomatoes. Finely dice the red onion and jalapeño (seeds removed). Mince the garlic, and roughly chop the cilantro. Add the avocado, tomato, jalapeño, onion, and garlic to a large bowl. Juice the lime and add 1 Tbsp of the juice to the bowl along with 1 Tbsp olive oil, and ¼ tsp salt.

Stirred avocado tomato salad in the bowl.

Give everything a brief stir to combine, then taste and add more salt or lime if desired. I ended up using ½ tsp salt and 2 Tbsp lime juice total.

A chip dipping into a bowl of avocado and tomato salad.

Serve the salad with your favorite meal or just enjoy it straight out of the bowl (with or without chips)!

 

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