Easy Vegan Sausage Links

Friends, these vegan sausages are little miracles. Not a crumble in sight! These bean, oat, and nut-based sausages are packed with flavor thanks to spices like fennel and smoked paprika, have the texture of REAL sausage, and are incredibly versatile!

Easy Vegan Sausage Links

Friends, these vegan sausages are little miracles. Not a crumble in sight! These bean, oat, and nut-based sausages are packed with flavor thanks to spices like fennel and smoked paprika, have the texture of REAL sausage, and are incredibly versatile!

They can be made into large sausages for grilling (Hello, vegan sausage in a bun with mustard and sauerkraut), or made into small breakfast sausages perfect for brunch, scrambles, hashes, and more!

Easy Vegan Sausage Links from Minimalist Baker →

Easy Tempeh Bacon

Of all the vegan bacons, tempeh bacon may be king. Why? It’s hard to compete with the health perks of tempeh, mainly the protein, which makes it a true bacon substitute.
To ensure smoky, salty, sweet flavor, we infused the tempeh with lots of tamari, …

Easy Tempeh Bacon

Of all the vegan bacons, tempeh bacon may be king. Why? It’s hard to compete with the health perks of tempeh, mainly the protein, which makes it a true bacon substitute.

To ensure smoky, salty, sweet flavor, we infused the tempeh with lots of tamari, liquid smoke, black pepper, maple syrup, and a dash of cayenne for a bit of heat. Once baked, you have tender bacon strips with crisp edges and major flavor ready for brunch, scrambles, sandwiches, and beyond!

Easy Tempeh Bacon from Minimalist Baker →

Easy Vegan Chorizo

We recently tried a store-bought vegan chorizo sausage and couldn’t believe how much it tasted like the real thing (or dare we say, even better)! But since we weren’t fans of some of the ingredients used in the store-bought version, we got to work crea…

Easy Vegan Chorizo

We recently tried a store-bought vegan chorizo sausage and couldn’t believe how much it tasted like the real thing (or dare we say, even better)! But since we weren’t fans of some of the ingredients used in the store-bought version, we got to work creating an equally delicious homemade version. Spoiler alert? Major success!

It’s gluten-free, plant-based, and SO quick & easy to prepare!

Easy Vegan Chorizo from Minimalist Baker →

Curry Roasted Vegetable Bowls

These curry roasted vegetable bowls are colorful, full of vibrant flavors, and the leftovers pack up well for your weekly meal prep!

The post Curry Roasted Vegetable Bowls appeared first on Budget Bytes.

My absolute favorite meal “formula” is roasted vegetables (with or without meat) over a bowl of grains, with a delicious drizzle of sauce. I come back to this type of meal over and over again because the formula is easy to prepare, meal preps well, and there are endless flavor possibilities. This week’s version was Curry Roasted Vegetable Bowls with a Lemon Tahini Dressing drizzle. It’s simple, colorful, flavorful, filling, and will leave you looking forward to the leftovers. :)

Overhead view of curry roasted vegetable bowls with a dish of dressing on the side

What is Curry Powder?

Since curry powder is responsible for all of the seasoning in the bowls, let’s take a minute to chat about it. If you’ve never had curry powder, it’s a warm blend of spices that are pre-ground and blended to mimic the fresh spices used in Indian cuisine. This blend usually includes cumin, turmeric, coriander, and other spices. Every curry powder blend is unique, so you may need to experiment with different brands or recipes to find one that suits your palate. If you’d like to try making your own curry powder, try this recipe for homemade curry powder from Spice it Upp.

Add More to Your Curry Roasted Vegetable Bowls

I kept my curry roasted vegetable bowls simple because I like simplicity, but you can add more to make them a little more fancy, if you’d like. I think a light sprinkle of raisins would add an incredible pop of sweetness to contrast the savory curry powder and tahini dressing.

Slivered almonds would offer an amazing crunch to these bowls without competing with the already strong flavors.

If you want to add some meat, rotisserie chicken would be great, as would some Yogurt Marinated Chicken.

Swap Out the Vegetables or Grains

This recipe is super flexible. You can swap out the vegetables for anything you like. Try broccoli, sweet potatoes, asparagus, sweet bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, or whatever vegetable you like.

The same goes for the “bed” for these bowls. If you don’t like brown rice you can swap it out with white rice, couscous, quinoa, your favorite grain, or even salad greens.

How Long Do The Leftovers Last?

Simple bowl meals like this hold up in the refrigerator for about four days, with the dressing kept on the side. Your mileage may vary depending on the freshness of your ingredients and the conditions within your fridge. I’ll link my favorite meal prep containers for meals like this in the recipe below.

Side view of a fork lifting a bite out of the curry roasted vegetable bowls
Overview of curry roasted vegetable bowls with lemon tahini dressing on the side

Curry Roasted Vegetable Bowls

These curry roasted vegetable bowls are colorful, full of vibrant flavors, and the leftovers pack up well for your weekly meal prep!
Total Cost $6.10 recipe / $1.53 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 480.38kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup long grain brown rice (uncooked) $0.40
  • 1 head cauliflower $2.29
  • 3 carrots $0.24
  • 1 red onion $0.37
  • 1 cup frozen peas $0.60
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder $0.30
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02

Lemon Tahini Dressing

  • 1/3 cup tahini $1.13
  • 1/3 cup water $0.00
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice $0.18
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02

Instructions

  • Begin the rice first because it takes the longest to cook. Combine the uncooked rice in a pot with 2 cups water. Place a lid on top, turn the heat onto high, and allow the water to come up to a full boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer for 45 minutes (no stirring). After 45 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest with the lid in place for an additional five minutes.
  • Once the rice is started, move on to the curry roasted vegetables. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Chop the cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Peel and slice the carrots. Slice the red onion into ¼-inch wide slices.
  • Place the cauliflower, carrots, and red onion on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over top, then add the curry powder and salt. Toss the vegetables until everything is evenly coated in oil and spices. Spread the vegetables out over the baking sheet in a single layer.
  • Transfer the seasoned vegetables to the oven and roast for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes give them a good stir, then roast for another 15 minutes. Next, add the frozen peas and toss together with the roasted vegetables, then return the baking sheet to the oven for the an additional 5 minutes. Taste the vegetables and add additional salt, if needed.
  • While the rice is simmering and the vegetables are roasting, make the lemon tahini dressing. Place the tahini, water, lemon juice, minced garlic, cumin, cayenne, and salt in a blender then blend until smooth. Set the dressing aside.
  • When the rice has finished cooking, fluff with a fork. Place about ¾ cup rice into each bowl or meal prep container. Top with ¼ of the roasted vegetables. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of dressing just before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 480.38kcal | Carbohydrates: 66.68g | Protein: 14.18g | Fat: 20.38g | Sodium: 579.93mg | Fiber: 12.85g

How to Make Curry Roasted Vegetable Bowls – Step by Step Photos

Cooked rice being fluffed with a fork in a saucepot

Start the brown rice first, since it takes the longest to cook. Add 1 cup brown rice to a sauce pot with 2 cups water. Place a lid on top and turn the heat onto high. Bring the water up to a full boil, then reduce the heat to low and let the rice simmer for 45 minutes (no stirring). After 45 minutes, turn the heat off and let the rice rest with the lid on for five more minutes.

Chopped vegetables on a baking sheet

While the rice is cooking, start on the roasted vegetables. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Chop one head of cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Peel and slice three carrots. Slice one red onion into ¼-inch wide slices. Place all of the vegetables onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

Olive oil and curry powder added to the chopped vegetables

Add 2 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp curry powder, and ½ tsp salt to the prepared vegetables. Toss the vegetables until they are evenly coated in oil and spices.

Seasoned unroasted vegetables

Transfer the prepared vegetables to the preheated 400ºF oven. Roast for 20 minutes then give them a good stir. Return the stirred vegetables to the oven and roast for another 15 minutes.

Frozen peas added to the roasted vegetables

After roasting for 35 minutes total, add 1 cup frozen peas (no need to thaw). Toss them together with the roasted vegetables and return them to the oven for an additional 5 minutes.

lemon juice being poured into a blender containing the rest of the dressing ingredients

While the vegetables are in the oven, prepare the lemon tahini dressing. Combine ⅓ cup tahini, ⅓ cup water, ¼ cup lemon juice, 2 cloves of minced garlic, ½ tsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp cayenne, and ¼ tsp salt in a blender.

Blended lemon tahini dressing in the blender

Blend the ingredients until smooth, then set the dressing aside.

Finished roasted vegetables on the baking sheet

Give the final roasted vegetables a taste and adjust the salt, if needed.

Overview of curry roasted vegetable bowls with lemon tahini dressing on the side

To build your curry roasted vegetable bowls, add about ¾ cup brown rice to each bowl or container then top with ¼ of the roasted vegetable mix. Drizzle with the lemon tahini dressing just before serving!

The post Curry Roasted Vegetable Bowls appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Lemon Tahini Dressing

This super fast and easy dressing has bold flavors of garlic, lemon, and nutty tahini. Drizzle over salads, roasted vegetables, and more!

The post Lemon Tahini Dressing appeared first on Budget Bytes.

It’s about time this delicious, magical elixir got its own blog post. I first used this dressing on a cauliflower salad years ago, and have been adding it to salads, side dishes, meal preps, and more ever since. So here is the famous Lemon Tahini Dressing recipe on its own, so you can bookmark it and easily refer back or share it whenever you want. And if you haven’t tried this lemon tahini dressing yet, get on it! You’re missing out!

Lemon tahini dressing in a wooden bowl dripping over the side, a cut lemon in the back

What is Tahini?

Tahini is a paste made out of ground sesame seeds. Think peanut butter, but made with sesame seeds instead of peanuts. It has a very distinct flavor that is slightly nutty and mildly bitter. You can find tahini in the grocery store either near the peanut butter or near middle eastern ingredients.

Tahini stays good in the refrigerator for months, just like peanut butter, so don’t worry about not being able to use the leftovers. Not only will you want to make this dressing over and over, but it’s the key ingredient for making really good homemade hummus. You can check out the rest of our recipes that use tahini in our tahini archives.

Can I Substitute the Tahini?

I don’t suggest substituting the tahini in this recipe because the tahini is what makes this dressing what it is. Not only is the nutty-bitter flavor perfect for balancing the lemon and garlic, but the thick texture emulsifies with the lemon juice and water to create a thick and creamy dressing (without using dairy).

How Long Does This Dressing Last?

For any homemade dressing, I suggest refrigerating it for a maximum of about five days. Fresh ingredients, like garlic, and even dry spices can contain yeast and mold that can eventually begin to ferment the dressing.

How to Use Lemon Tahini Dressing

The original recipe where I used this incredible dressing is my Roasted Cauliflower Salad, but I’ve also used it on other salads, like this Mediterranean Farro Salad. This dressing is also great drizzled over roasted vegetables or used as a dressing for wrap sandwiches.

Do I Have to Use Fresh Lemon?

Nope! While I do have some pretty fresh lemons in the photos, I most often make this recipe with bottled lemon juice for convenience (and price). If you do have fresh lemons that will definitely make the dressing even more flavorful, but I wouldn’t consider it a deal breaker, by any means.

A spoon stirring the thick lemon tahini dressing in a wooden bowl, ingredients on the sides
Side view of a wooden bowl with lemon tahini dressing, some dripping down the side

Lemon Tahini Dressing

This super fast and easy dressing has bold flavors of garlic, lemon, and nutty tahini. Drizzle over salads, roasted vegetables, and more!
Total Cost $1.56 recipe / $0.39 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 8 2 Tbsp each
Calories 62.31kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup tahini $1.13
  • 1/3 cup water $0.00
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice $0.18
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02

Instructions

  • Place all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth, thick, and creamy. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Nutrition

Serving: 2Tbsp | Calories: 62.31kcal | Carbohydrates: 2.95g | Protein: 1.79g | Fat: 5.39g | Sodium: 74.73mg | Fiber: 0.99g

How to Make Lemon Tahini Dressing – Step by Step Photos

lemon juice being poured into a blender containing the rest of the dressing ingredients

Add ⅓ cup tahini, ⅓ cup water, ¼ cup lemon juice, 2 cloves of garlic (minced), ½ tsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, and ¼ tsp salt to a blender.

Blended lemon tahini dressing in the blender

Blend the ingredients until the dressing is thick, smooth, and creamy.

Lemon tahini dressing dripping off a spoon into a wooden bowl. Lemons in the background

Serve immediately or refrigerate for later!

The post Lemon Tahini Dressing appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Cumin Lime Coleslaw

I used to really hate coleslaw until I made my own homemade coleslaw. It’s so fresh, crunchy, and creamy, and not at all gloppy or heavy like the storebought stuff. AND you can make it different flavors to suit your meal! This Cumin Lime Coleslaw has a bright and sunny dressing made with fresh lime juice, earthy […]

The post Cumin Lime Coleslaw appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I used to really hate coleslaw until I made my own homemade coleslaw. It’s so fresh, crunchy, and creamy, and not at all gloppy or heavy like the storebought stuff. AND you can make it different flavors to suit your meal! This Cumin Lime Coleslaw has a bright and sunny dressing made with fresh lime juice, earthy cumin (which has always smelled kind of lemony to me), and a small pinch of cayenne. Green onions and shredded carrots add color and flavor to the crunchy cabbage and round out this easy, breezy coleslaw.

Originally posted 3-25-2015, updated 2-17-2021.

side view of a bowl of cumin lime coleslaw with green onion and limes on the side

How to Serve Cumin Lime Coleslaw

As with any coleslaw, this one makes a great side dish for things like Cilantro Lime Chicken, Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas, or Turkey Taco Skillet. But you can also pile it onto a sandwich, use it to top tacos, or even use it as a base for a bowl meal! And last week, I served it as a side to some tacos made with my Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork and Pickled Red Onions. That combo was to die for!

Take a Short Cut

If you’re short on time, you can skip shredding your own cabbage and carrots and use a bag of coleslaw mix (pre-shredded cabbage and carrots). You’ll want one bag (14-16oz.) for this recipe.

How Long Does it Stay Fresh?

This cumin lime coleslaw stays good in the fridge for about 2-3 days. It does soften a bit as it refrigerates, but it’s still quite tasty. You’ll want to give it a good stir before serving each time to redistribute the dressing.

overhead view of a bowl full of cumin lime coleslaw with green onion and limes on the side

overhead view of a bowl full of cumin lime coleslaw with green onion and limes on the side

Cumin Lime Coleslaw

Fresh lime juice and earthy cumin give this Cumin Lime Coleslaw a light, fresh, and summery flavor. Perfect for summer BBQ or any southwest inspired meal.
Total Cost $2.51 recipe / $0.42 serving
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 3/4 cup each
Calories 170.48kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise $0.80
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime) $0.50
  • 1 tsp ground cumin $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper $0.01
  • 1 tsp sugar $0.02
  • 1/2 head green cabbage (about 6 cups shredded) $0.68
  • 2 carrots $0.16
  • 4 green onions $0.22

Instructions

  • Prepare the coleslaw dressing by stirring together the mayonnaise, lime juice, cumin, salt, sugar, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Refrigerate the dressing until ready to use.
  • Remove the core from the cabbage and then finely shred. Peel the carrots, then use a large holed cheese grater to shred the carrots. Thinly slice the green onions.
  • Combine the shredded cabbage, carrots, and green onions in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over top, then stir until everything is well coated in dressing. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. After refrigerating, make sure to stir the slaw well before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 170.48kcal | Carbohydrates: 10.65g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13.97g | Sodium: 349.73mg | Fiber: 3.72g

Closeup of a forkful of cumin lime coleslaw with the bowl in the background

How to Make Cumin Lime Coleslaw – Step by Step Photos

Overhead view of the cumin lime coleslaw dressing in a bowl with a spoon, cut limes on the side

Begin by making the dressing so the flavors have a little time to blend. Combine 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Shredded cabbage, carrots, and sliced green onion in a bowl

Finely shred 1/2 of a head of cabbage (about 6 cups), shred one carrot using a cheese grater, and slice four green onions. Add the cabbage, carrot, and onions to a large bowl.

coleslaw dressing being poured over the vegetables in the bowl

Pour the dressing over the vegetables and then stir until everything is well coated. Serve the Cumin Lime Coleslaw immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. As will all slaws, the salt in the dressing will cause the cabbage to slowly soften and let off a little water, so be sure to stir the slaw before serving to redistribute the dressing.

Finished cumin lime coleslaw from above

But if you need to prepare it ahead of time, go ahead and make the dressing and prep the vegetables, but combine the two just before serving for the crunchiest coleslaw possible.

Side view of a bowl full of cumin lime coleslaw

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Quickie Red Beans and Rice

When you don’t have time to soak and boil dry beans, these Quickie Red Beans and Rice get you all the flavor in a fraction of the time.

The post Quickie Red Beans and Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Mardi Gras is definitely looking a little (okay, a lot) different this year, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t celebrating! I no longer live in New Orleans, but I still like to celebrate every year with a big pot of red beans and rice. I usually make a traditional pot of my Louisiana Style Red beans using dry beans, but I get so many questions about how to do it with canned beans that I decided to make this Quickie Red Beans and Rice recipe for those who just don’t have time to soak and cook dry beans. It’s not a traditional pot of red beans, but it’s faster, satisfying, and will make you wish you were watching parades and catching beads!

Overhead view of a pot of red beans with sausage, corn muffins on the side

You’ll Still Need a Little Time…

Okay, I’m calling these “quickie” red beans and rice, but they do still need a little time to cook and for all those delicious flavors to blend and develop. But we’re talking more like one hour instead of several hours, like a traditional pot of beans.

What Kind of Red Beans Should I Use?

I used dark red kidney beans for this recipe because that’s the only canned variety that was available when I was shopping. When I make a pot of red beans from dry beans, I prefer small red beans instead of kidney beans because they make a smoother, creamier pot of beans. I usually can’t find small red beans canned, so kidney beans are the next best option. You can use either light or dark kidney beans.

Are Red Beans and Rice Spicy?

You can make these red beans and rice either spicy or mild, according to your preference. If you prefer mild, make sure the sausage you get is not spicy and skip the cayenne pepper in the spices listed below. If you want your red beans to be spicy, use a spicy sausage and increase the cayenne pepper to your liking.

Make Your Red Beans Vegetarian

It’s super easy to make this recipe vegetarian or vegan. Just skip the sausage and use vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth. To make up for the richness of the pork fat that comes from the sausage, use coconut oil in place of the cooking oil listed below, and consider adding a couple extra tablespoons. This will make your red beans super rich and delicious! Here’s a link to my Vegan Red Beans made from dry beans.

Overhead view of a bowl of quickie red beans and rice with corn muffins on the side
Overhead view of a bowl of quickie red beans and rice with corn muffins on the side

Quickie Red Beans and Rice

When you don't have time to soak and boil dry beans, these Quickie Red Beans and Rice get you all the flavor in a fraction of the time.
Total Cost $8.02 recipe / $1.34 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 1.5 cups beans, 1 cup rice
Calories 603.18kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 14 oz. Andouille sausage* $2.99
  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 1 bell pepper $0.69
  • 3 ribs celery $0.25
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.32
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika $0.20
  • 1 tsp dried oregano $0.10
  • 1 tsp dried thyme $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 3 15oz. cans kidney beans $1.50
  • 1 cup chicken broth $0.13
  • 3 green onions, sliced $0.30
  • 1.5 cups long grain white rice $0.93

Instructions

  • Slice the sausage into rounds or half-rounds. Add the sausage and cooking oil to a large pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is browned.
  • While the sausage is cooking, dice the onion, bell pepper, and celery. Mince the garlic.
  • Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic to the pot with the sausage and continue to cook until the onions are soft and translucent.
  • Add the smoked paprika, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, and black pepper to the pot and continue to cook and stir for a minute more.
  • Drain two of the cans of beans. Add the third can to a blender, with the liquid from the can, and purée until smooth. The puréed beans will help thicken the pot and make everything extra creamy. Add the drained beans, puréed beans, and chicken broth to the pot, then stir to combine.
  • Place a lid on the pot and allow the beans to come up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low, and let the pot continue to simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • While the red beans are simmering, begin cooking your rice. Add the uncooked rice to a pot with 3 cups water. Place a lid on the pot and turn the heat up to high. Once the pot reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the rice sit, undisturbed, lid in place, for an extra 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork just before serving.
  • After the beans have simmered for 30 minutes, give them a taste and add salt if needed (between the sausage and canned beans I didn't find I needed to add any, but salt content can vary so be sure to give it a taste). Serve the beans in a bowl, topped with a scoop of rice, and a few sliced green onions.

Notes

*If you can’t find Andouille sausage you can use any other type of smoked sausage. The sausage I bought came in a 14oz. package, but you can use anywhere from 12-16oz.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 603.18kcal | Carbohydrates: 74.85g | Protein: 23.73g | Fat: 23.1g | Sodium: 1396.82mg | Fiber: 11.6g
Close up of a spoonful of quickie red beans and rice with the bowl in the background

How to Make Quickie Red Beans and Rice – Step by Step Photos

browned sausage rounds in a pot

Slice 14oz. Andouille sausage (or any smoked sausage, if you can’t find Andouille) into rounds or half-rounds. Add it to a large pot with 1 Tbsp cooking oil and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it has browned.

Onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic added to the pot

While the sausage is cooking, dice one yellow onion, one bell pepper, and three ribs of celery. Mince four cloves of garlic. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic to the pot with the sausage and continue to stir and cook until the onion is soft and translucent.

Spices being poured into the pot with sausage and vegetables

Next, add 2 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp dried thyme, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp onion powder, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper. Continue to stir and cook for about a minute more.

Pureed red beans in a blender

No, this is not a photo of a strawberry smoothie, but this is where the recipe gets a little interesting. Drain two 15oz. cans of kidney beans. Pour the third can, including the liquid from the can, into a blender and purée until smooth.

red beans added to the pot

Add the two cans of drained beans and the one can of puréed beans to the pot. The puréed beans are going to help thicken the pot and make everything nice and creamy.

Chicken broth added to the pot, beans ready to simmer

Finally, add 1 cup chicken broth to the pot and stir everything to combine. Place a lid on the pot and let it come up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium low, and let it simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes. (Photo above is before simmering)

Cooked rice in sauce pot

While the beans are simmering, begin the rice. Add 1.5 cups long grain white rice to a pot with 3 cups water. Place a lid on top and turn the heat on to high. When it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest, with the lid in place, for an additional 5 minutes. Fluff just before serving.

Simmered pot of red beans

Once the beans have simmered for 30 minutes, give them a taste and add salt if needed. Between the sausage and canned beans, I didn’t find that I needed to add any salt, but if your beans are tasting bland try adding a little. Salt doesn’t just make things salty, it actually helps our tongue distinguish different flavors, so it can really make a dish pop when used correctly!

Overhead view of a pot of red beans with corn muffins on the side

Serve your red beans in a bowl topped with a scoop of rice and a few sliced green onions. Cornbread or corn muffins are also a nice side with red beans. ;)

The post Quickie Red Beans and Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Slow Cooker Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork

There’s nothing quite like a slow-cooked, tender, juicy shredded pork. It’s versatile and freezes well, so I love making a big batch of this Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork to keep on hand for quick dinners later. This heavily spiced pulled pork has become one of my favorites over the years and is probably one of […]

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

There’s nothing quite like a slow-cooked, tender, juicy shredded pork. It’s versatile and freezes well, so I love making a big batch of this Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork to keep on hand for quick dinners later. This heavily spiced pulled pork has become one of my favorites over the years and is probably one of my most cooked recipes. It’s just too easy, with the slow cooker doing all the work, and the results are soooo delicious! 

Originally posted 9-12-2015, updated 2-13-2021.

Overhead view of a bowl full of chili rubbed pulled pork with taco fixings on the sides

Use a Slow Cooker for Tender, Moist Meat

Pulled pork is super easy to make, especially if you have a slow cooker. Slow cooking holds in all the moisture during cooking and slowly breaks down connective tissue, so the meat is so tender that it just falls apart and shreds with the touch of a fork. Combine those spectacular results with the fact that slow cookers are essentially hands off, and this is, without dispute, my favorite way to make pulled pork.

How To Use Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork

This delicious shredded meat can be used so many different ways. Pile the pork into rice bowls, burritos, quesadillas, tacos, or just enjoy on a bun. I also love using it to top salads for an extra shot of protein.

Freeze the Extras

This makes a BIG batch, so keep some in your fridge for the week and freeze the rest. To freeze the pulled pork, divide the pork into more manageable portions (I usually do 1-2 cup portions), then chill it completely in the refrigerator overnight. Transfer the pork to the freezer once completely cooled and keep frozen for up to 3 months. Any freezer safe container works.

Front view of a bowl full of chili rubbed pulled pork with taco fixings in the back

Overhead view of a bowl full of chili rubbed pulled pork with taco fixings on the sides

Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork

Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork is a tender, juicy, and flavorful meat that can be used for tacos, nachos, burritos, salads, and more!
Total Cost $5.54 recipe / $0.92 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 (1/2 cup each)
Calories 434.52kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. boneless pork butt or shoulder $4.47
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder* $0.60
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika $0.30
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.05
  • 1 tsp salt $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Instructions

  • Combine the chili powder, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper in a bowl.
  • Cut the pork butt into 2-3 inch cubes. Place the pork cubes in a large bowl, sprinkle the prepared spice mix over top, then stir to coat the meat in the spices.
  • Place the seasoned meat in a slow cooker, place the lid on top, and cook on high for 4-5 hours, or low for 8-9 hours.
  • After cooking, stir the meat with a fork to shred the meat. If it's not tender enough to fall apart when stirred, return the lid and cook for an additional 30 minutes adn try again. After shredding the meat, it is ready to serve, or portion and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use. Keep the shredded meat in the juices from the slow cooker until ready to serve for the best flavor.

Notes

*This chili powder is not spicy. It is a mild, earthy blend of chiles and other spices commonly referred to as "chili powder" in the United States.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5Cup | Calories: 434.52kcal | Carbohydrates: 2.37g | Protein: 40.1g | Fat: 28.6g | Sodium: 649.27mg | Fiber: 1.42g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Three pulled pork tacos on a plate with coleslaw

Chili rubbed pulled pork served as tacos in corn tortillas with sliced jalapeños, pickled red onions, and cotija, Cumin Lime Coleslaw on the side.

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

Spices for the chili rubbed pulled pork in a small wooden bowl

Prepare the chili spice rub first. In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbsp chili powder, 1 Tbsp smoked paprika, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp onion powder, 1 tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Stir until they’re evenly mixed.

Pork butt cut into large chunks

Cut one 3 lb. boneless pork butt or shoulder into large chunks (about 2-3 inch pieces). 

Seasoned pork butt pieces in a bowl

Place the pieces of pork in a bowl and pour the spices over top. Stir the pork pieces until they’re evenly coated in spices.

Seasoned pork in the slow cooker

Place the seasoned pork in a slow cooker (I’m using a 5 qt slow cooker and it’s only about half full). I do not add any water or liquid to the slow cooker, as the meat will release quite a bit of liquid as it cooks. If your slow cooker specifies that you must add some liquid, you can add a cup of water.

Cooked Pork in the slow cooker

Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8-9 hours. After cooking it should be so tender that it begins to fall apart when stirred. If it doesn’t, simply put the lid back on and continue to cook for 30-60 minutes more. Sometimes that last little bit of time makes a huge difference in the texture.

Shredded pork in the slow cooker

Stir the pork in the slow cooker until it has shredded into smaller pieces. Serve immediately or transfer to a food storage container and refrigerate and/or freeze for later. I like to keep the meat right in the cooking juices during storage for maximum flavor.

Overhead view of a bowl full of chili rubbed pulled pork with taco fixings on the sides

It’s soooo tender and juicy! And those spices!!

Close up of a chili rubbed pulled pork taco

And it makes the absolute BEST tacos!!

Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork - BudgetBytes.com

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Broccoli Cheddar Casserole

Who doesn’t love Broccoli Cheddar Casserole?? This cozy homemade version doesn’t contain any canned “cream of” soup and comes together quickly. This comforting classic is great as a Thanksgiving side, or just a tasty addition to dinner any night of the week. Plus, it’s a great way to use up leftover rice from the night […]

The post Broccoli Cheddar Casserole appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Who doesn’t love Broccoli Cheddar Casserole?? This cozy homemade version doesn’t contain any canned “cream of” soup and comes together quickly. This comforting classic is great as a Thanksgiving side, or just a tasty addition to dinner any night of the week. Plus, it’s a great way to use up leftover rice from the night before!

Originally posted 3-7-2015, updated 1-30-2021

Overhead view of a large spoon scooping some broccoli cheddar casserole from the dish

Don’t Have Pre-Cooked Rice?

This recipe is written using rice that is already cooked. Much like fried rice, this recipe benefits from rice that has already been cooked and cooled so the grains are no longer sticky and are slightly more absorbent. If you don’t have rice on hand that is already cooked, allow time to cook some rice and allow it to cool before making this recipe. To cool your cooked rice faster, spread it out onto a baking sheet and place it in the refrigerator. The large surface area will help it cool quickly.

Can I Use Brown Rice?

Yes! I’ve made this recipe using both brown and white rice and it’s delightful either way. Since you’re measuring the rice after it has been cooked, no adjustments need to be made to the recipe below if you plan to use brown rice. Brown rice gives this broccoli casserole a slightly nutty flavor and a little bit more texture.

Can the Broccoli Cheddar Casserole Be Assembled Ahead of Time?

Yes, you can assemble this broccoli cheddar casserole up to one day ahead of time, keeping it refrigerated until you’re ready to cook. Because the casserole will be chilled when going into the oven, you may need to add an extra 20-30 minutes to the cooking time to make sure the casserole is heated through. 

Side view of broccoli cheddar casserole being lifted out of the dish with a spoon

Broccoli cheddar casserole being scooped out of the dish

Broccoli Cheddar Casserole

A creamy broccoli cheddar casserole from scratch, using no "cream of" soups. Rich, cheesy comfort food at its best!
Total Cost $6.09 recipe / $1.02 serving
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 437.58kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. frozen broccoli florets $1.99
  • 4 cups cooked rice (white or brown) $0.67
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese $1.69
  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 3 Tbsp butter $0.42
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.03
  • 2 cups milk (2% milk fat or higher) $0.75
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper $0.01
  • 1/8 tsp Freshly cracked black pepper $0.01

Instructions

  • Thaw the frozen broccoli, then chop it into smaller pieces. Add the chopped broccoli to a large bowl along with the cooked rice and about 1.5 cups of the shredded cheese (save the last ½ cup for topping the casserole).
  • Begin to preheat the oven to 350ºF. Finely dice the onion and mince the garlic.
  • Add the butter, onion, and garlic to a small saucepot and cook over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent (2-3 minutes). Add the flour and stir until a paste forms. Continue to stir and cook the paste for about two minutes, or just until it turns a light golden brown.
  • Whisk the milk into the butter and flour mixture. Continue to whisk the mixture as it heats, allowing it to reach a simmer, at which point it will thicken to the consistency of heavy cream. Remove the sauce from the heat.
  • Season the sauce with the salt, smoked paprika, cayenne, and pepper. Taste the sauce and add more seasoning if desired. The sauce should be heavily seasoned because it will be spread out over the broccoli and rice, which contain no seasoning of their own.
  • Pour the sauce over the rice, broccoli, and cheese, and stir until everything is evenly coated in sauce. Spread the casserole mixture evenly into a 9x9 inch casserole dish. Top with the remaining shredded cheddar.
  • Bake the casserole for about 35 minutes, or until the cheese on top is melted and is slightly browned around the edges. Divide into six portions and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 437.58kcal | Carbohydrates: 44.1g | Protein: 17.25g | Fat: 21.82g | Sodium: 569.2mg | Fiber: 3.28g

Looking for a low-carb alternative? Check out my Cheesy Loaded Cauliflower Casserole.

How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Casserole – Step by Step Photos

Chopped frozen broccoli florets on a cutting board

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Thaw one pound of frozen broccoli florets, then chop them into smaller pieces.

Chopped broccoli, rice, and shredded cheddar in a bowl

Add the chopped broccoli to a large bowl along with four cups cooked and cooled rice, and 6 oz. (1.5 cups) shredded cheddar cheese. Save the remaining ½ cup cheddar to top the casserole.

Stirred together broccoli, rice, and cheddar in the bowl

Stir the broccoli, rice, and cheese together until evenly combined, then set them aside.

Onion, garlic, and butter in a sauce pot

Next, begin the white sauce. Finely dice one yellow onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Add the onion and garlic to a saucepot with 2 Tbsp butter. Sauté the onion and garlic in the butter over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent.

Flour added to the sauce pot

Add 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour to the cooked onions and garlic. Continue to stir and cook for about a minute more. The flour will form a paste with the butter.

Milk being poured into the onion and flour mixture.

Pour two cups whole milk into the saucepot and whisk until all the flour is dissolved into the milk. Continue to stir and cook until the milk begins to gently simmer, at which point it will thicken to the consistency of heavy cream.

Seasoning added to the white sauce

Season the white sauce with ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp smoked paprika, ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper, and ⅛ tsp black pepper. Give the sauce a taste and adjust the seasoning if you prefer (it should be heavily seasoned).

White sauce mixed in with broccoli, rice, and cheddar

Pour the white sauce into the bowl with the broccoli, rice, and cheddar, then stir to combine.

Broccoli rice mixture in a casserole dish being covered with shredded cheddar

Transfer the broccoli rice mixture to a casserole dish (about 9×9 inches) and then add the remaining shredded cheddar on top.

Baked broccoli cheddar casserole

Bake the casserole for 35 minutes, or until the cheese is melted on top and it’s browned around the edges.

Broccoli cheddar casserole being scooped out of the dish

Serve hot and enjoy that cozy comfort!

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Warming Red Lentil Sweet Potato Soup (Instant Pot!)

Cold temperatures call for warming soups! Inspired by our fan-favorite Creamy Curried Cauliflower Soup, this incredibly delicious sweet potato soup is made in the Instant Pot.
It’s a 1-pot recipe with warming spices, creamy coconut milk, and sne…

Warming Red Lentil Sweet Potato Soup (Instant Pot!)

Cold temperatures call for warming soups! Inspired by our fan-favorite Creamy Curried Cauliflower Soup, this incredibly delicious sweet potato soup is made in the Instant Pot.

It’s a 1-pot recipe with warming spices, creamy coconut milk, and sneaky red lentils for a protein and fiber boost. Let us show you how it’s done!

While experimenting for our guide to beans and lentils in the Instant Pot, we learned a couple things about red lentils.

Warming Red Lentil Sweet Potato Soup (Instant Pot!) from Minimalist Baker →