Creamy White Bean Chicken Chili (1 Pot!)

So you want the creamy comfort of a soup and the hearty satisfaction of a chili? We got you. This white bean chicken chili is the best of both worlds.
Tender chicken gets simmered in a creamy, subtly spiced, flavorful broth. And mild green chiles, corn…

Creamy White Bean Chicken Chili (1 Pot!)

So you want the creamy comfort of a soup and the hearty satisfaction of a chili? We got you. This white bean chicken chili is the best of both worlds.

Tender chicken gets simmered in a creamy, subtly spiced, flavorful broth. And mild green chiles, corn, and kale add plenty of fiber and gorgeous color.

The best part?

Creamy White Bean Chicken Chili (1 Pot!) from Minimalist Baker →

15-Minute “Fire Cider”

Intrigued by the health benefits of fire cider but not into the 1-month wait for it to be ready? That’d be us, friends, and there’s a solution! Introducing fire cider-inspired wellness shots made in just 15 minutes with easy-to-find ingredients! 

15-Minute “Fire Cider”

Intrigued by the health benefits of fire cider but not into the 1-month wait for it to be ready? That’d be us, friends, and there’s a solution! Introducing fire cider-inspired wellness shots made in just 15 minutes with easy-to-find ingredients

They’re vibrant, spicy, potent (oh yeah), and tasty, too! They’re also great for stimulating digestion and warming you up from the inside out, no matter the season.

15-Minute “Fire Cider” from Minimalist Baker →

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.

15-Minute BBQ Sauce (Vegan + GF)

We wanted to make the Easy Vegan BBQ Sauce from our cookbook even better, but the truth is, friends, it’s already magical. It’s perfectly sweet and tangy, just a little spicy, and FULL of flavor. This slightly modified version has all that flavor, and …

15-Minute BBQ Sauce (Vegan + GF)

We wanted to make the Easy Vegan BBQ Sauce from our cookbook even better, but the truth is, friends, it’s already magical. It’s perfectly sweet and tangy, just a little spicy, and FULL of flavor. This slightly modified version has all that flavor, and we simplified it even more. 

It’s made in 1 pot in just 15 minutes and happens to be gluten-free and vegan — and can be naturally sweetened, too.

15-Minute BBQ Sauce (Vegan + GF) from Minimalist Baker →

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

These easy Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas are a simple hands-off way to get that smoky-sweet flavor of traditional griddle fajitas.

The post Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas appeared first on Budget Bytes.

These Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas have been a Budget Bytes staple recipe since I first posted them eight years ago! I love fajitas, but they require a super hot griddle to get that nice smoky flavor, which also means a lot of smoky smell in my house and standing over a super hot stove. Not my favorite way to spend my evening. So I make baked fajitas instead. Is it exactly the same? No, BUT it’s almost completely hands-off (yay) and you get some nice caramelization on the edges of the peppers and onions, which gives you a similar char effect. I’ll save the real deal fajitas for when I’m at a restaurant and not doing the cooking. 😄 

Originally posted 2-18-13, updated 3-12-21

A sheet pan full of fajita chicken, onions, and peppers

What Kind of Sheet Pan to Use

You definitely want the largest sheet pan (or baking dish) you can find for this recipe. It’s imperative that the chicken and vegetables are not too crowded on the baking sheet otherwise the steam will get trapped as they bake and you won’t get that nice caramelization that only happens in a dry heat environment. I’m using a 13×16 inch baking sheet here and in the original version of this recipe I used a 13×15 inch glass baking dish.

Make it Fit Your Budget

Red, yellow, and orange bell peppers are usually significantly more expensive than green bell peppers, but you can use any mix that fits your budget. Despite using a couple of more expensive colored peppers, I used more vegetables than meat to keep costs low. The meat to veggie ratio ended up being perfect once everything had been cooked down. If you want to make these Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas vegetarian, try this Chipotle Portobello Oven Fajita recipe.

Make Your Own Fajita Seasoning or Buy Pre-Made

The ingredient list below might look long, but most of that is the fajita seasoning mix. So if you’re looking for a short cut or your kitchen spice cabinet is not well-stocked, you can simply use a packet of store-bought fajita seasoning.

Toppings for Chicken Fajitas

I like to keep my chicken fajitas really simple with just a squeeze of lime, maybe some fresh cilantro, and a small dollop of sour cream, but there are so many other things you could use to top your chicken fajitas. Try these toppings

What to Serve with Oven Baked Fajitas

Need a side dish to go with your Oven Fajitas? Try one of these awesome sides: Warm Corn and Avocado Salad, (not) Refried Beans, Pico de Gallo, Cilantro Lime Rice.

Prepared chicken fajitas on a plate with sour cream and cilantro

Sheet pan full of chicken fajitas with rice and tortillas on the side

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

These easy Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas are a simple hands-off way to get that smoky-sweet flavor of traditional griddle fajitas.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Southwest
Total Cost $13.90 recipe / $3.48 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 (2 fajitas each)
Calories 576.93kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

FAJITA SEASONING

  • 1 Tbsp chili powder $0.30
  • 1/2 Tbsp paprika $0.15
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp cumin $0.03
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 1 tsp sugar $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02

FAJITAS

  • 2 small yellow onions (or one large) $0.57
  • 3 bell peppers, any color $3.69
  • 1 lb. chicken breast $6.24
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08
  • 1 lime $0.30
  • 8 6-inch tortillas $1.28
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (optional) $0.90
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro (optional) $0.22

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Mix all of the spices for the fajita seasoning in a small bowl and set aside (chili powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, sugar, and salt).
  • Cut the onion and bell peppers into 1/4-inch wide strips. Slice the chicken breast into thin strips. Add the chicken and vegetables to a large baking sheet or casserole dish.
  • Drizzle the cooking oil over the chicken and vegetables, then sprinkle the fajita seasoning mix over top. Use your hands to toss the ingredients until everything is well coated in oil and seasoning. Spread the chicken and vegetables out over the baking sheet evenly.
  • Bake the chicken and vegetables in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Squeeze the juice from half of the lime over top of the meat and vegetables after they come out of the oven.
  • To serve, scoop a small amount of meat and vegetables into the center of each tortilla. Top with a few sprigs of cilantro, a dollop of sour cream, and an extra squeeze of lime if desired.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 576.93kcal | Carbohydrates: 47.98g | Protein: 31.6g | Fat: 28.8g | Sodium: 927.43mg | Fiber: 6.63g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Close up of baked chicken fajita meat and vegetables with wedges of lime.

How to Make Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas – Step By Step Photos:

Spices for fajita seasoning in a bowl

Begin by preheating the oven to 400ºF. In a small bowl, stir together 1 Tbsp chili powder (this is a mild blend, not hot red chiles), 1/2 Tbsp paprika, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/8 tsp cayenne, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp sugar. The sugar helps the vegetables caramelize and gives the dish a very subtle sweetness.

Vegetables for chicken fajitas on a cutting board.

Slice three bell peppers and two small onions (or one large onion) into thin, 1/4-inch wide strips. Red, yellow, and orange bell peppers are usually more expensive than green, so use a mix of peppers that fits your budget. 

Sliced onions, peppers, and chicken on a baking sheet

Slice 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast into thin strips as well. Place the sliced bell peppers, onion, and chicken on a large sheet pan (13×16-inch). You want to avoid piling the ingredients in so deep that they begin to stew in their juices in the oven, instead of browning, so you’ll need the largest dish available. You can also use an extra large casserole dish, if you don’t have a large sheet pan.

fajita spices being sprinkled over the chicken and vegetables

Drizzle 2 Tbsp cooking oil over the meat and vegetables, followed by the fajita spice mix, then toss the ingredients until everything is well coated in oil and spices.

Seasoned chicken and vegetables ready to go into the oven

Now that everything is coated in oil and spices, it’s ready to go into the oven. 

Baked chicken fajitas on the sheet pan.

Roast the chicken and vegetables for 35-40 minutes at 400ºF, stirring once halfway through, or until the fajita veggies have softened slightly and are a bit brown on the edges.

lime juice being squeezed over the chicken and vegetables

Squeeze the fresh lime juice over the chicken and fajita veggies.

Sheet pan full of chicken fajitas with rice and tortillas on the side

Serve hot with tortillas, extra lime wedges, sour cream, cilantro, or whatever other fajita toppings you like! 

Two fajitas on a wooden plate with toppings on the sides

Easy Oven Fajitas practically cook themselves with no need to slave over a hot griddle. BudgetBytes.com

The post Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Easy Vegan Picadillo (Cuban-Inspired)

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

Easy Vegan Picadillo (Cuban-Inspired)

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

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

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

Loaded Potato Soup

Loaded Potato Soup is like your favorite baked potato with all the fixins, like bacon, sour cream, green onion, and cheese, but in a bowl!

The post Loaded Potato Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Loaded baked potatoes are amazing, but you can’t cozy up and warm your hands on it like you can with a big bowl of soup! So let’s turn that baked potato into a thick and creamy, warm and cozy, delicious and filling bowl of Loaded Potato Soup to get us through the last couple months of winter. This soup has all the usual fixins like bacon, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and green onion all piled into a thick and velvety potato soup base. Soooo cozy!

a bowl of loaded potato soup topped with bacon, cheese, and green onion.

What Kind of Potatoes are Best for Potato Soup?

I chose to use russet potatoes for my potato soup for a few reasons. They mash easily and are a bit starchier than other potato varieties, which helps make a nice thick soup. Youkon Gold, which are slightly starchy and slightly waxy and hold their shape better, so they are a good option if you like your soup to be more on the chunky-soupy side rather than thick and velvety.

Looking for a Sweet Potato Soup? Check out my Creamy Sweet Potato Soup.

It’s All About the Bacon

Using a little bit of bacon in this recipe goes a long way toward adding richness and smoky flavor to every bowl. I used only a ¼ pound of bacon to add flavor while keeping the recipe budget-friendly, but you can certainly use ½ pound or even a whole pound if you’re a bacon lover!

What Else Can I Add to Potato Soup?

I love recipes that allow for fun add-ins or toppings, and this loaded potato soup is definitely one of them! Here are a few other ingredients that you can add, if you have them on hand:

A ladle of potato soup being lifted from the pot.
overhead view of a bowl of loaded potato soup with toppings.

Loaded Potato Soup

Loaded Potato Soup is like your favorite baked potato with all the fixins, like bacon, sour cream, green onion, and cheese, but in a bowl!
Course Dinner, Lunch, Soup
Cuisine American
Total Cost $6.16 recipe / $1.02 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6 1.5 cups each
Calories 538kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. bacon $1.37
  • 1 yellow onion, diced $0.32
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced $0.32
  • 3 Tbsp butter $0.33
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour $0.03
  • 2 cups chicken broth $0.26
  • 2 cups whole milk $0.40
  • 2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled & diced $1.20
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste) $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1/2 cup sour cream $0.37
  • 4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded $1.15
  • 3 green onions, sliced $0.30

Instructions

  • Add the bacon to a large soup pot and cook over medium heat until brown and crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a clean bowl or plate, leaving the bacon grease in the pot.
  • While the bacon is cooking, dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the onion and garlic to the pot after the bacon has been removed and cook over medium heat in the bacon grease until the onions are soft and translucent.
  • Add the butter and flour to the pot and continue to stir and cook over medium heat for about two minutes to form a roux.
  • Add the chicken broth and milk to the pot and whisk to dissolve all of the flour and butter.
  • Add the diced potatoes to the pot, cover, and turn the heat up to medium-high to bring the broth up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the potatoes simmer for 15 minutes, or until they are very tender (easily pierced with a fork).
  • Use a potato masher or immersion blender to mash the potatoes until the soup is to your desired thickness.
  • Season the soup with smoked paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Once seasoned, stir in the sour cream.
  • Serve the soup hot and top each bowl with the crumbled bacon, sliced green onions, and cheddar cheese.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 538kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 38g | Sodium: 736mg | Fiber: 3g
A spoon stirring a bowl of loaded potato soup.

How to Make Potato Soup – Step by Step Photos

browned bacon in the bottom of a soup pot

This recipe starts with BACON! Cook ¼ lb. of bacon in a soup pot over medium heat until brown and crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a clean bowl or plate and leave the bacon grease in the pot.

Diced onion and minced garlic added to the pot with bacon grease.

While the bacon is cooking, dice one yellow onion and mince four cloves of garlic. Add them to the pot after removing the bacon and continue to sauté over medium heat in the bacon grease until the onions are soft and translucent.

Flour and butter added to the soup pot.

Next, add 3 Tbsp butter and 3 Tbsp flour to the onions and garlic. Continue to cook and stir over medium heat for about two minutes. The butter and flour will form a roux that helps thicken the soup.

Diced Potatoes on a cutting board

While the onions are sautéing, peel and dice 2 lbs. russet potatoes into ½-inch cubes. The smaller the cubes, the faster they’ll cook.

broth in the soup pot, milk being poured in.

Add 2 cups chicken broth and 2 cups whole milk to the pot. Whisk to dissolve all the flour and butter, then add the diced potatoes.

Simmered potato soup in the pot.

Simmer the potatoes in the soup for about 15 minutes, or until they are VERY soft. The total time needed will depend on the size of your potato cubes, but you need to let them simmer until they’re easily pierced with a fork so that they’ll be easily washable.

Potato masher in the pot of soup.

Use a potato masher or immersion blender to partially mash the potatoes or until the soup is to your desired thickness (some like it chunky, some like it smooth!).

Seasonings added to the soup.

Then it’s time to add some more seasoning. I added ½ tsp smoked paprika, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper.

sour cream added to the soup.

And lastly, to make the soup extra creamy and extra baked-potato-like, stir in ½ cup sour cream.

A pot of potato soup with toppings added.

Slice three green onions and shred about 4oz. of cheddar cheese. Add the green onion, cheese, and crispy bacon to each bowl (or to the pot if you want to make a nice presentation for the dinner table).

close up of a ladle full of loaded potato soup.

Delish!

The post Loaded Potato Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Creamy Sweet Potato Soup

This luxurious and creamy sweet potato soup features warm spices and oven roasted sweet potatoes for maximum flavor and natural sweetness.

The post Creamy Sweet Potato Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

There’s nothing I love more than a cozy soup. …Except maybe a cozy soup that is also inexpensive. ;) For this Creamy Sweet Potato Soup I amped up the natural flavor and sweetness of sweet potatoes through roasting, added a few warm spices, then finished it off with a dose of luxurious heavy cream. The combo is just perfection. And don’t worry, if you can’t do heavy cream there are definitely options!

three bowls of sweet potato soup

Roasted Sweet Potatoes for Extra Flavor

There are a lot of ways you can cook sweet potatoes before turning them into soup (steaming, boiling, sautéing, etc.) but I chose to roast the sweet potatoes for this soup because roasting significantly enhances their flavor. The natural sugars in the sweet potatoes begin to caramelize and the flavors in the potatoes intensify as they roast in the dry oven. It might take a little longer than simply boiling them, but the flavor payoff is worth it!

Heavy Cream Alternatives

I finished off my soup with a dose of heavy cream because I had it on hand, but have two no-cream options. You can either substitute with full-fat coconut milk (the kind in the can, not the kind meant as a dairy milk substitute) or just leave out the cream altogether. Truth be told, this soup was extremely delicious even before I added the cream!

Garnish Options

I garnished my soup with a little extra heavy cream and freshly cracked pepper, but those are totally optional. You could also add something green like chopped cilantro or chives. Or you could even drizzle a little flavored olive oil on there! I wouldn’t say no to adding a few croutons on top, either.

What to Serve with Sweet Potato Soup

This sweet potato soup makes the perfect “soup and salad” or “soup and sandwich” lunch. You could serve it with a salad like Autumn Kale and Apple Salad, or my Roasted Vegetable Salad. As for sandwiches, this would go great with a classic Veggie Sandwich or a Curry Chicken Salad sandwich.

One bowl of creamy sweet potato soup garnished with cream and pepper
One bowl of creamy sweet potato soup garnished with cream and pepper

Creamy Sweet Potato Soup

This luxurious and creamy sweet potato soup features warm spices and oven roasted sweet potatoes for maximum flavor and natural sweetness.
Course Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine American
Total Cost $4.11 recipe / $1.03 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Calories 389kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. sweet potatoes $1.98
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided $0.32
  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.32
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 4 cups chicken broth $0.52
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream $0.50
  • 1/4 tsp salt (or to taste) $0.02

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise, then prick the skins a few times with a fork. Rub 1 tablespoon olive oil over all surfaces of the sweet potatoes, then place them face down on the baking sheet.
  • Transfer the baking sheet to the preheated oven and roast for 30 minutes. After roasting for 30 minutes, check to see if they are tender all the way through (pierce with a fork). If not tender, return them to the oven for about 10 minutes and check again. Total roasting time will depend on the size of your potatoes. Allow the sweet potatoes to cool slightly after roasting.
  • While the sweet potatoes are cooling, dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the onion and garlic to a skillet along with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sauté the onion and garlic over medium heat until the onions are soft.
  • Add the cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne, cinnamon, and pepper to the skillet with the onions and garlic, and continue to sauté for about a minute more.
  • Scoop the slightly cooled sweet potato flesh out of their skins and into a blender (6 cup capacity or larger). Also add the onion mixture and 2 cups chicken broth (swirl a little bit of the broth in the skillet first to pick up all the spices). Purée the mixture until smooth.
  • Transfer the puréed sweet potato mixture to a soup pot and add an additional 1 to 2 cups chicken broth (less for a really thick soup, more for a more liquid soup). Heat the soup through over medium heat.
  • Stir the heavy cream into the soup, then taste and adjust the salt or pepper if needed. Serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 389kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 19g | Sodium: 1144mg | Fiber: 7g

How to Make Sweet Potato Soup – Step by Step Photos

Prepped sweet potatoes on a baking sheet

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise, then prick the skins a few times with a fork. Drizzle one tablespoon olive oil over the sweet potatoes and then rub them to coat all surfaces. Place the sweet potatoes cut sides down on the baking sheet.

roasted sweet potatoes on a baking sheet

Roast the sweet potatoes in the oven for 30 minutes. Check to make sure the potatoes are tender all the way through (pierce with a fork). If not cooked through, return the potatoes to the oven for another 10 minutes and check again. Total roasting time will depend on the size of the potatoes. (I flipped the potatoes in the photo above so you can see how caramelized they get on the bottom.) Let the sweet potatoes cool slightly.

Sautéed onion and garlic in a skillet

While the sweet potatoes are cooling, dice one yellow onion and mince four cloves of garlic. Add the onion and garlic to a skillet along with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Sauté over medium heat until the onions have softened.

Spices added to the sautéed onion and garlic

Add ½ tsp cumin, ¼ tsp smoked paprika, ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper, ⅛ tsp cayenne, ⅛ tsp cinnamon to the onions and garlic. Continue to sauté for one minute more, then remove the skillet from the heat.

Sweet potato scooped into a blender

Scoop the roasted sweet potatoes out of their skins and into a blender (6-cup capacity).

onions and broth added to the blender

Add the sautéed onion, garlic, and spices to the blender, along with 2 cups chicken broth. Swirl a little of the broth in the skillet first to pick up all those spices.

Puréed sweet potatoes in the blender

Blend the sweet potatoes, onion, garlic, and broth until smooth.

puréed sweet potatoes in a pot, broth being added

Transfer the puréed sweet potato mixture to a soup pot and add an additional 2 cups chicken broth (if you want your soup extra thick, just add one cup of broth).

Cream being stirred into the soup

Heat the soup through over medium heat, then stir in ½ cup heavy cream. Give the soup a taste and add salt or extra pepper as needed (I added ¼ tsp salt). Enjoy hot!

Three bowls of creamy sweet potato soup on a blue background

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Cajun Sausage and Vegetables

This simple Cajun Sausage and Vegetables meal prep is a fast, easy, flavorful, and delicious way to get your daily dose of vegetables!

The post Cajun Sausage and Vegetables appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Here’s another super easy meal prep for you! This super simple Cajun Sausage and Vegetables meal prep follows the basic protein + veg formula and is super fast to make. I’ve got some additional suggestions for you below, if you’d like to bulk up the meal a bit or just make it a little fancier!

four glass containers full of Cajun sausage and vegetables

Vegetable Options

This recipe is super flexible, so if you don’t like the vegetables I chose, you can swap them out with other vegetables. Here are some options:

  • Mushrooms
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Asparagus
  • Cabbage
  • Green Beans
  • Brussels sprouts

For heartier vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts, you may want to pre-steam them for a few minutes just to make sure they get tender.

Protein Options

The Andouille sausage in this recipe is packed with herbs, spices, and a delicious smoky flavor, which ends up adding flavor to the entire dish. You can swap the sausage out with something like shrimp or chicken thighs, but if you do so, I suggest coating the chicken or shrimp well with plenty of Cajun seasoning since they don’t have seasonings built-in, like the sausage.

Bulk it Up!

If you need some carb action to keep you full and satisfied, you can serve these Cajun Sausage and Vegetables over a bed of rice. You can cook your rice in broth or add some herbs and spices for even more flavor.

Another option is to serve the sausage and vegetables over a bed of pasta. I think penne would be a great choice. If serving over penne, you can add a vinaigrette to help coat everything in flavor. I think the Smoky Vinaigrette that I used in my Smoky Roasted Sausage and Vegetables recipe would go nicely.

How Long Does it Last?

I generally keep meal preps like this for about four days, but the lifespan will vary depending on the conditions in your refrigerator, the freshness of the vegetables, and how long you cook the vegetables. Since I cooked this with the intention of reheating later, I purposely cooked the vegetables very lightly to prevent them from getting super soggy as they wait in the refrigerator. By nature, they will wilt a bit as the days go by, but undercooking them slightly can definitely help.

Close up of Cajun Sausage and Vegetables in the skillet
rectangular glass containers with Cajun Sausage and Vegetables lined up

Cajun Sausage and Vegetables

This simple Cajun Sausage and Vegetables meal prep is a fast, easy, flavorful, and delicious way to get your daily dose of vegetables!
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $6.94 recipe / $1.74 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 440kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 zucchini (½ lb.) $0.72
  • 1 yellow squash (½ lb.) $0.70
  • 1 red bell pepper $1.50
  • 1 red onion $0.28
  • 14 oz. Andouille sausage* $3.33
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil, divided $0.08
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley $0.20

Instructions

  • Slice the zucchini and yellow squash into half-rounds. Slice the red bell pepper and red onion into strips. Add all of the vegetables to a large bowl.
  • Slice the sausage into rounds. Add the sausage and 1 Tbsp cooking oil to a large skillet. Cook the sausage over medium heat until well browned. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the sausage to a clean bowl.
  • Drizzle the vegetables with the remaining 1 Tbsp cooking oil, then sprinkle the smoked paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper over top. Toss the vegetables to coat them in oil and spices.
  • Place the same skillet back over the heat and turn the heat under the skillet up to medium-high. Once very hot, add the vegetables and sauté just until they are slightly tender. The vegetables will pick up the flavor left in the skillet from the sausage, so do not clean the skillet first. Be careful to not overcook the vegetables, as they will cook more when you reheat your meal preps.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and add the cooked sausage and chopped parsley to the vegetables. Toss to combine with the vegetables. Give the sausage and vegetables a taste and adjust the salt or other seasonings to your liking.
  • Serve immediately or divide into four portions and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Notes

*If you can not find Andouille sausage in your area, you can substitute it with any smoked sausage, like kielbasa.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25recipe | Calories: 440kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 36g | Sodium: 1043mg | Fiber: 3g
Close up of a forkful of Cajun sausage and Vegetables

How to Make Cajun Sausage and Vegetables – Step by Step Photos

Chopped vegetables in a bowl

Prep the vegetables first, so they’re ready to go. Slice one zucchini and one yellow squash into half-rounds. Slice one red bell pepper and one red onion into strips. Place the vegetables in a bowl.

sliced sausage on a cutting board

Slice 14oz. Andouille sausage into rounds.

Cooked sausage in a skillet

Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Add the sausage and cook until the sausage is well browned. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the sausage to a clean bowl.

seasoning being added to the vegetables

Drizzle 1 Tbsp cooking oil over the vegetables, then sprinkle with ½ tsp smoked paprika, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper. Toss the vegetables until they’re coated in oil and spices.

Sautéed vegetables in the skillet

Turn the heat under the skillet up to medium-high. Once very hot, add the vegetables and sauté just until they begin to soften. The vegetables will pick up the flavor and browned bits left behind by the sausage. Be careful not to overcook the vegetables. Remove the skillet from the heat.

Finished Cajun sausage and vegetables in the skillet

Return the cooked sausage back to the skillet along with a couple of tablespoons of chopped parsley. Toss to combine. Give it a taste and adjust the salt or other seasonings to your liking.

rectangular glass containers with Cajun Sausage and Vegetables lined up

Serve immediately or divide into four portions and refrigerate until ready to eat.

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Baked Chicken Wings

These delicious and crispy baked chicken wings are easy enough for even inexperienced cooks, and are the perfect snack for game day.

The post Baked Chicken Wings appeared first on Budget Bytes.

We’re smack dab in the middle of what I like to call “food season.” First, Thanksgiving, then Christmas, and now New Year’s Eve and FOOTBALL! You’ll no doubt need some tasty appetizers to nibble on while you anxiously watch your team play on game day, so I want to offer you some homemade snacks so you’re not tempted to order in. These Baked Chicken Wings are incredibly simple, delightfully crispy, and they can be enjoyed plain or drenched in your favorite sauce.

Close up of a platter of chicken wings with celery and sauces

How to Make Baked Chicken Wings Crispy

Coating chicken wings with cornstarch helps make them extra crispy when baked. The fat from the chicken wing combines with the cornstarch to create extra-crispy skin. But lately, instead of just doing a dry dusting of cornstarch on the chicken wing, I’ve started adding both cornstarch and a small amount of oil. Adding a little bit of oil helps the chicken wings brown and crips up a lot more evenly, which is perfect if you plan to serve the chicken wings plain, without a coating of sauce. …And it’s still way less oil and a lot easier than deep frying. ;)

How to Season Chicken Wings

For the recipe below, I created a very basic seasoning that isn’t too heavy so that it is flexible enough to match with whatever sauce or dip you decided to serve with the wings. If you plan to serve the wings without a sauce or dip and want to punch up the seasoning a bit, you can double the spices listed in the recipe below. If you’d like to try a different seasoning all together, try using 1-2 Tbsp of any of the following seasonings:

Sauces for Chicken Wings

I don’t know about you, but flavorful sauces are probably my favorite part about eating chicken wings. Whether you plan to coat the wings in the sauce or just serve it on the side for dipping, there are so many great options for wing sauce. Here are some sauces you can use for chicken wings:

What to Serve with Chicken Wings

It’s always nice to have some fresh vegetables alongside your chicken wings because their cold, crunchy, fresh texture is such a nice contrast to the crispy wings. Traditionally that would be fresh celery and carrots, but I think fresh broccoli, cauliflower, or grape tomatoes would also be nice. Plus, vegetables usually taste great dipped in the same sauces as your wings (ranch, honey mustard, etc.).

If you want to fill out your appetizer spread, try adding: Spicy Chex Mix, Hot Corn Dip, Chorizo Cheese Dip, Cowboy Caviar, and Spinach Artichoke Dip.

Side view of a platter of baked chicken wings
A platter full of baked chicken wings, celery, and two dipping sauces

Baked Chicken Wings

These delicious and crispy baked chicken wings are easy enough for even inexperienced cooks, and are the perfect snack for game day.
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Total Cost $10.35 recipe / $3.45 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 3 about 4 pieces each
Calories 895kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch $0.03
  • 1/2 tsp paprika $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder $0.03
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.03
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08
  • 2.5 lbs. chicken wings or drumettes $9.98

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, paprika, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, pepper, and salt.
  • Pat the wings dry, then place them in a bowl. Drizzle the cooking oil over top, then toss until the wings are coated in oil. Add the cornstarch-seasoning mixture, then toss to coat again.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup, then place wire cooling racks on top. Place the seasoned chicken wings on the wire racks with space between each wing.
  • Bake the wings for 30 minutes, then flip and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the wings have achieved the amount of browning desired (this will depend on the size of your wings).
  • Serve hot with your favorite sauce!

Nutrition

Serving: 4wings | Calories: 895kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 70g | Fat: 65g | Sodium: 665mg | Fiber: 1g

How to Make Baked Chicken Wings – Step by Step Photos

Cornstarch and spices in a bowl

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a small bowl, combine 1 Tbsp cornstarch, ½ tsp paprika, ½ tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp onion powder, ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper, ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper, and ½ tsp salt.

Seasoning being sprinkled over the chicken wings

Pat dry 2.5 lbs. chicken wings or drumettes. Place the dried chicken in a bowl, drizzle with 1 Tbsp cooking oil, and toss to coat. Add the cornstarch-seasoning mixture and toss to coat again. Add the cornstarch-seasoning mixture and toss to coat again.

Seasoned chicken wings in a bowl

The wings are now coated in a light mixture of oil, cornstarch, and seasoning which will create a flavorful and crispy exterior once baked.

Wings on the prepared baking sheet

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Place two wire cooling racks on top. Add the seasoned chicken on top of the wire racks with some space between each wing (if they’re too close they won’t get as crispy).

Baked chicken wings on the baking sheet

Bake the chicken wings in the preheated 400ºF oven for 30 minutes, then flip each wing over. Bake for another 20-25 minutes, or until they achieve the amount of browning you like.

A hand dipping a chicken wing into a bowl of ranch on a platter

Serve hot with some fresh vegetables and your favorite sauces for dipping!

Try These Other Chicken Wing Recipes:

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