Cabbage Soup

Forget the cabbage soup diet, you’ll want to eat this super healthy vegetable-filled cabbage soup just because it tastes incredible!

The post Cabbage Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Do you remember the cabbage soup diet? It was one of those crazy fad diets where you were supposed to eat as much as you want of just one thing (in this case cabbage soup) and you’d supposedly lose weight without trying. While I’m not a fan of that type of diet, I am a big fan of the cabbage soup that the diet was centered around. Why? For one simple reason—it’s absolutely DELICIOUSYeah, I was surprised too. The first time I had the famed diet cabbage soup I expected it to be boring and bland, but I was pleasantly surprised by how extremely flavorful and comforting the soup was. I actually ended up eating it over and over again just because I wanted to. And it became a winter comfort food staple for me ever since. 😅

Originally published 1/15/2018, updated 1/8/2022.

Overhead view of a pot of cabbage soup with a ladle

Is Cabbage Soup Healthy?

I’m not going to tell you this cabbage soup will “detox” you or make you lose weight, but this soup is chock-full of a lot of the one thing that almost all of us are guilty of not getting enough of—vegetables.

I’m nicknamed this soup All You Can Eat Cabbage Soup as a tongue-in-cheek reference to the old fad diet, but seriously, eat as much as you want. The more the better, really. You’ll just be getting more of the good stuff. And guess what? This cabbage soup is insanely inexpensive, too! So even more reason to feel free to eat as much as you want!

What’s in Cabbage Soup?

The classic “cabbage soup diet” cabbage soup has taken many forms over the years, but they all have one thing in common—they’re stuffed full of non-starchy vegetables swimming in a flavorful herb-filled broth. I like my broth a bit more tomatoey, so I added some tomato sauce to thicken it up. Some people use V8 instead, but tomato sauce is much less expensive, especially when only a small amount is needed. I also added a bit of smoked paprika (because that’s my fav), and a splash of lemon juice at the end to brighten it up.

How to Store Leftovers

This recipe does make a really large batch, so it’s a good idea to freeze about half of it, just in case you can’t eat all of it within about five days. To freeze this soup, divide it into single-serving portions, chill it completely in the refrigerator first, then transfer to the freezer for longer storage. Keep in the freezer for up to three months.

Add More Protien

Soup recipes in general are very flexible, so you could always add a little extra protein to this soup to make it more filling. Here are some other great ingredients you can add:

  • Beans (cannellini, chickpeas, kidney beans)
  • Ground beef (or check out my Beef and Cabbage Soup)
  • Italian sausage
  • Cubed tofu (extra firm)
  • Shredded chicken

a bowl of cabbage soup with a spoon and garlic bread on the side

Shown with Homemade Garlic Bread.

close up of the pot of cabbage soup

Cabbage Soup

Forget the cabbage soup diet, you'll want to eat this super healthy vegetable-filled cabbage soup just because it tastes incredible! 
Course Dinner, Soup
Cuisine American
Total Cost $7.13 recipe / $1.19 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 2 cups each
Calories 133kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.32
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 4 carrots $0.57
  • 4 ribs celery $0.50
  • 1 green bell pepper $0.69
  • 1 28oz. can diced tomatoes $1.00
  • 1 8oz. can tomato sauce $0.34
  • 1/2 lb. frozen green beans $0.67
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley $0.23
  • 1/2 Tbsp smoked paprika $0.15
  • 1 tsp dried oregano $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 6 cups chopped cabbage (½ head) $1.14
  • 6 cups vegetable broth $0.78
  • 1 tsp salt $0.05
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice $0.04

Instructions

  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the onion, garlic, and olive oil to a large soup pot and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft.
  • While the onion and garlic are sautéing, peel and slice the carrots, chop the celery, and dice the bell pepper. Add the carrot, celery, and bell pepper to the pot. Continue to sauté as you measure the rest of the ingredients.
  • Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), tomato sauce, frozen green beans, chopped parsley, smoked paprika, oregano, thyme, and pepper. Continue to stir and cook while you chop the cabbage.
  • Chop the cabbage into 1-inch pieces. Add the cabbage to the pot along with the vegetable broth and stir to combine.
  • Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the soup to come to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and allow continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 40 minutes or until the cabbage is to your desired tenderness.
  • Once the cabbage is tender, season the soup with salt, starting with ½ tsp and adding more to your liking. Finish the soup by adding the lemon juice and stirring to combine. Serve hot with crusty bread for dipping.

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 1783mg | Fiber: 7g

A ladle full of cabbage soup held over the pot

How to Make Cabbage Soup – Step by Step Photos

Onion and garlic in a soup pot

Start by mincing four cloves of garlic and dicing one large onion. Add them both to a large soup pot with one tablespoon olive oil. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent.

Celery, carrot, and bell pepper added to the pot

While the onion and garlic are sautéing, peel and slice 4 carrots, slice 4 stalks of celery, and dice one green bell pepper. Add the carrots, celery, and bell pepper to the pot. Continue to sauté over medium.

Tomatoes, spices, parsley, and green beans added to the pot

Add one 28oz. can diced tomatoes (I used petite diced), one 8oz. can tomato sauce, ½ lb. frozen green beans, ¼ cup chopped parsley, ½ Tbsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp oregano, ½ tsp thyme, and ¼ tsp pepper. Stir to combine.

cabbage in soup pot, broth being poured in

Chop 1/2 head of cabbage into one-inch pieces (about 5-6 cups once chopped). Add the chopped cabbage to the pot along with 6 cups of vegetable broth.

Cabbage soup before simmering

Stir everything together, place a lid on the pot, and turn the heat up to medium-high. Allow the soup to come to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Let the soup simmer over medium-low, stirring occasionally, for about 40 minutes, or until the cabbage is to your desired tenderness.

Salt being added to the soup

Once the cabbage is tender, season the soup with salt, starting with 1/2 teaspoon, then adding more to taste (I used 1 tsp total). Next, add one tablespoon of lemon juice, which really helps brighten the flavors. 

close up of the pot of cabbage soup

And then slurp down all that vegetable-y goodness! I garnished with a little more fresh parsley, but it’s not needed for extra flavor.

close up of a bowl of cabbage soup

This soup goes great with some crusty bread (garlic or not) to soak up that delicious broth!

The post Cabbage Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Cabbage Soup

It’s soup season and I am HERE for it! I love cozying up to a big bowl of piping hot soup! Today, I am sharing my Cabbage Soup recipe and I think you are going to LOVE it! I know, I know, cabbage soup doesn’t sound that exciting, BUT this i…

It’s soup season and I am HERE for it! I love cozying up to a big bowl of piping hot soup! Today, I am sharing my Cabbage Soup recipe and I think you are going to LOVE it! I know, I know, cabbage soup doesn’t sound that exciting, BUT this is one of my favorite…

The post Cabbage Soup appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

1-Pot Vegan White Bean Soup

In cool weather, there’s basically only one thing we want: soup. And somehow, it always tastes extra delicious when it’s quick and easy to prepare! This vegan white bean soup comes together in 1 pot and is all the things you want in a soup: wholesome, …

1-Pot Vegan White Bean Soup

In cool weather, there’s basically only one thing we want: soup. And somehow, it always tastes extra delicious when it’s quick and easy to prepare! This vegan white bean soup comes together in 1 pot and is all the things you want in a soup: wholesome, a little creamy, a little brothy, full of nourishing veggies, and perfect for chilly days. 

It’s a filling plant-based and gluten-free entrée on its own but would also be lovely served with a sandwich or salad.

1-Pot Vegan White Bean Soup from Minimalist Baker →

Creamy Vegan Potato Leek Soup

Prepare to be comforted! Nothing hits the spot or soothes the soul quite like a warm bowl of creamy potato leek soup. It took some tinkering, but we finally created a plant-based version that’s the perfect balance of easy to prepare (just 9 ingredients…

Creamy Vegan Potato Leek Soup

Prepare to be comforted! Nothing hits the spot or soothes the soul quite like a warm bowl of creamy potato leek soup. It took some tinkering, but we finally created a plant-based version that’s the perfect balance of easy to prepare (just 9 ingredients and 1 pot required) and super flavorful!

Enjoy it on chilly days or any time you’re craving a warm, satisfying meal.

Creamy Vegan Potato Leek Soup from Minimalist Baker →

Wild Rice Pilaf

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

The post Wild Rice Pilaf appeared first on Budget Bytes.

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

Overhead view of wild rice pilaf in a bowl

What’s in Wild Rice Pilaf

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

What is “Wild Rice Blend”?

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

What to Serve with Wild Rice Pilaf

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

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

Wild Rice Pilaf

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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

Notes

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

Nutrition

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

How to Make Wild Rice Pilaf – Step by Step Photos

two packages of wild rice blend

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

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

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

Chopped apple and celery on a cutting board

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

onion and butter in a skillet

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

apples, celery, and seasoning added to the skillet

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

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

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

finished wild rice pilaf in the skillet

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

side view of a serving bowl full of wild rice pilaf

The post Wild Rice Pilaf appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Chicken Stew

This chicken stew is a rich and hearty mix of tender chicken thighs, vegetables, and a light but flavorful herb-infused gravy.

The post Chicken Stew appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Okay guys, this chicken stew is definitely at the top of my list for my favorite recipe of 2021! It’s thicker and heartier than chicken soup, but lighter than a beef stew. The flavor is absolutely on point and it’s just one of those things that I could happily eat for three meals per day and still love it. In other words, you have to try this chicken stew!

Close up overhead view of a bowl of chicken stew

What is Chicken Stew?

Chicken stew is like chicken soup‘s older cousin that is a little rough around the edges. It’s a little more rustic with a rich, thickened broth that has an almost gravy-like consistency. It’s packed full of vegetables and is a true meal in a bowl. Oh, and you’ll definitely want some crusty bread for sopping up all that delicious gravy!

For Best Results, Use Chicken Thighs

Look, I know some people really don’t like dark meat, but that those tender chicken thighs really take this dish to the next level. I strongly advise against using chicken breast, but if you must, opt for a bone-in chicken breast for a little more flavor, then just shred and remove the bones after the stew simmers.

Broth Matters

You really want to use a good quality, flavorful broth for this chicken stew. I used Better Than Bouillon because it’s my favorite and it tends to be very flavorful. I also used a combination of two types of broth, chicken and vegetable, which I really think adds to the complexity of the flavor and helps deepen the color of the broth.

Potato Options

I used small baby potatoes for my chicken stew, but if those aren’t available you can substitute red potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes in their place. Just cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes so they cook in about the same amount of time as my baby potatoes.

Close up of a pot full of chicken stew
Close up of a pot full of chicken stew

Chicken Stew

This chicken stew is a rich and hearty mix of tender chicken thighs, vegetables, and a light but flavorful herb-infused gravy.
Total Cost $12.22 recipe / $2.04 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 1.5 cups each
Calories 512kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.28
  • 3 ribs celery $0.64
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.32
  • 1/2 lb. carrots $0.32
  • 3.75 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs $6.52
  • 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour, divided $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.18
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1.5 lbs. baby potatoes $2.89
  • 1 tsp dried parsley $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 2 cups chicken broth $0.26
  • 2 cups vegetable broth $0.26
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional) $0.10

Instructions

  • Dice the onion and celery, mince the garlic, slice the carrots, and cut the baby potatoes in half before you begin.
  • Cut the chicken thighs into 1-inch pieces. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp of the flour over the chicken and toss until the chicken is evenly coated.
  • Add the butter and olive oil to a large pot. Heat the butter and oil over medium until they are hot and sizzling.
  • Add the flour-coated chicken to the pot with the butter and oil and allow the chicken to brown on all sides (avoid stirring until browned on the bottom). When the chicken is browned and there is a nice brown layer of flour on the bottom of the pot, remove the chicken to a clean bowl with a slotted spoon. The chicken does not need to be cooked through at this point, just browned on the outside.
  • Add the onion, celery, garlic, and carrots to the pot and continue to sauté until the onions are soft. Use the moisture released by the vegetables to dissolve and scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pot.
  • Once the vegetables are slightly softened, add the remaining 2 Tbsp flour to the pot and continue to sauté over medium for about two minutes more. The flour will begin to coat the bottom of the pot again.
  • Return the browned chicken to the pot. Also add the potatoes, parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage, pepper, chicken broth, and vegetable broth. Stir to combine and dissolve any flour off the bottom of the pot.
  • Place a lid on the pot and allow it to come up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, remove the lid and turn the heat down to medium-low. Allow the stew to simmer over medium-low, without a lid and stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the broth has thickened.
  • Taste the stew and add salt if needed (I did not add any, but it will depend on the salt content of the broth you used). Add a tablespoon of fresh chopped parsley if desired, and serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 512kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 17g | Sodium: 919mg | Fiber: 4g
A ladle full of chicken stew held over the pot

How to Make Chicken Stew – Step by Step Photos

Chopped vegetables on a cutting board

Dice one yellow onion, slice ½ lb. carrots (3-4 carrots) and 3 ribs celery, and mince 4 cloves garlic.

cut baby potatoes on a cutting board

Chop about 1.5 lbs. potatoes into 1-inch pieces. I used baby potatoes, so they only needed to be cut in half.

Flour coated chicken thigh pieces on a cutting board

Chop about 3.75 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs into 1-inch pieces. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour over the chicken pieces and toss until they’re coated.

Browned chicken thighs in the pot

Add 2 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil to a large pot. Heat the butter and oil over medium until they are hot and sizzling. Add the chicken thigh pieces and let them cook until browned on all sides (the chicken does not need to be cooked through, just browned on the outside). Avoid stirring too often, as that will prevent browning. You want the flour to brown a bit on the bottom of the pot. Remove the browned chicken to a clean plate or bowl.

Vegetables added to the pot

Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to the pot after removing the chicken. Continue to sauté over medium for about 5 minutes, allowing the moisture released by the vegetables to dissolve some of the browned bits from the bottom of the pot.

More flour being added to the pot

Once the vegetables are slightly softened, add 2 more tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Continue to sauté for about 2 minutes more. The flour will again begin to coat the bottom of the pot.

Chicken, potatoes, herbs, broth added to the pot

Return the browned chicken to the pot along with the potatoes, 1 tsp dried parsley, ½ tsp dried thyme, ½ tsp dried rosemary, ½ tsp dried sage, about ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper, 2 cups chicken broth, and 2 cups vegetable broth.

Chicken stew before simmering

Stir everything to combine and dissolve any flour off the bottom of the pot.

Simmered chicken stew in the pot

Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow it to come up to a boil. Once boiling, remove the lid and turn the heat down to medium-low. Allow the stew to simmer over medium-low, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the broth has thickened.

Close up side view of chicken stew in the pot

Give the stew a taste and add salt, if needed (I did not add any, but this will largely depend on the salt content of the broth you used). Add some freshly chopped parsley, if desired.

Overhead view of a bowl of chicken stew

Don’t forget to make some crusty homemade bread to dip in that amazing stew!

Overhead view of finished chicken stew in the pot

The post Chicken Stew appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Potato Soup

Comfort food is the best kind of food. I am talking about chicken pot pie, baked mac and cheese, chili, baked ziti, and this Potato Soup. There is nothing better than cozying up to a hearty meal that tastes delicious and makes you feel better. Bring on…

Comfort food is the best kind of food. I am talking about chicken pot pie, baked mac and cheese, chili, baked ziti, and this Potato Soup. There is nothing better than cozying up to a hearty meal that tastes delicious and makes you feel better. Bring on the cozy! This classic Potato Soup recipe is…

The post Potato Soup appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Favorite Chickpea Salad

Have you met my all-time favorite chickpea salad recipe? Sure, I have many beloved chickpea salads on the blog already, but this is my tried-and-true favorite from…

The post Favorite Chickpea Salad appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

best chickpea salad recipe

Have you met my all-time favorite chickpea salad recipe? Sure, I have many beloved chickpea salads on the blog already, but this is my tried-and-true favorite from my cookbook, Love Real Food. In the book, I called it the “Outrageous Herbaceous Chickpea Salad,” which is exactly right!

“Here’s a simple chickpea salad that I could eat every single day. It’s bursting with fresh Mediterranean flavors, thanks to chopped bell pepper, parsley, red onion, and celery. Lemon and garlic take it from tasty to transcendent. This salad packs well, so it’s perfect for potlucks and picnics. It’s also a great lunch option, so long as your serving is large enough…”

chickpea salad ingredients

I love this recipe as much today as I did when I created the recipe several years ago. In fact, I stand behind all of the cookbook recipes, and it makes me so happy to hear that you’re cooking from the book!

I’m truly a healthier eater when I have this salad in the fridge. It’s the perfect hearty side salad or mid-afternoon snack. Pile it onto a bed of greens, or cooked whole grains like farro or quinoa, or even onto your scrambled eggs or cheese nachos. You can’t go wrong with this one.

Continue to the recipe...

The post Favorite Chickpea Salad appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Cajun Shrimp Pasta

Everyone will love Cajun shrimp pasta! It’s an impressive dinner idea that’s irresistibly seasoned and easy to make. Here’s a…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Everyone will love Cajun shrimp pasta! It’s an impressive dinner idea that’s irresistibly seasoned and easy to make.

Cajun shrimp pasta

Here’s a dinner to impress that doubles as an easy weeknight meal: try this Cajun Shrimp Pasta! This one scores major points with kids and adults alike at our table. It features irresistibly seasoned Cajun shrimp, colorful veggies, and a rich garlic Parmesan flavoring that lightly seasons the entire batch. Wow! was echoed around the table multiple times as we at it. Of any of the easy dinner ideas we’ve had lately, this recipe stands out as one we couldn’t stop eating!

Ingredients in this Cajun shrimp pasta

This Cajun shrimp pasta is a recipe inspired by the flavors of Cajun cuisine, a style of cooking developed by the Acadians, French colonists living in Canada who were deported to Louisiana in the 1700’s. The cooking style mixes West African, French and Spanish influences and techniques. This recipe shouldn’t be considered traditional Cajun: instead if takes inspiration from the seasoning and ingredients of this style of cooking. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Shrimp: fresh or frozen, deveined and tail on
  • Onion, bell pepper, and celery: called the “Holy Trinity” of Cajun cooking
  • Garlic
  • Cajun seasoning: homemade, or purchased plus garlic powder and onion powder
  • Pasta
  • Butter
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Cream or milk
Cajun shrimp pasta

Cajun seasoning: homemade vs purchased

You can make this Cajun shrimp pasta recipe with either homemade Cajun seasoning or purchased. Here are some notes on either variation:

  • Homemade seasoning: The nice thing about this homemade Cajun seasoning is that you can customize the spice level to taste. We like making it less spicy, which means you can use more of it and get more of the other flavors (not just the heat). It takes just 5 minutes to mix up and you can use it for months.
  • Purchased Cajun seasoning: Purchased Cajun seasoning is great if you’re in a rush! We find store-bought varieties can vary in heat level, so taste it before adding. As you’ll see in the recipe below, we decreased the quantity and added garlic powder and onion powder. If you’re using our homemade blend, you can leave that out.

With the quantities in the recipe below, both worked for our entire family: even a 4 year old! If you want to increase the spice, add more cayenne to your spice mix.

Cajun shrimp pasta

A milder variation!

Don’t love spicy food but still want to make this Cajun shrimp pasta? The homemade Cajun seasoning is a great place to start: make it with the low quantity of cayenne and you’ll have a nicely seasoned pasta that works for all eaters.

Another option? Try this Blackened Seasoning! It’s got similar flavors but is on the low end of the heat spectrum.

Increasing servings for Cajun shrimp pasta

Want to make a double recipe of this Cajun shrimp pasta? The base recipe has only 8 ounces pasta, which should work for 4 servings if you serve with side dishes. But if you want to increase this recipe for more eaters, here’s what we’d recommend:

  • Double the pasta to 1 pound
  • Double the veggies and pasta seasonings
  • Increase the shrimp to 2 pounds (not 3): 2 pounds of shrimp should be enough for 8 servings. You may need to cook it in batches depending on the size of your skillet.

Of course, you can cook 3 pounds shrimp if you like: but 2 pounds should be plenty for a crowd with the doubled pasta size.

Cajun Shrimp Pasta

What to serve with Cajun shrimp pasta

Make sure to serve this Cajun shrimp pasta with some filling side dishes to complete the meal! Here are some complimentary sides we’d recommend:

This Cajun shrimp pasta recipe is…

Pescatarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free or legume-based pasta.

Print
Cajun shrimp pasta

Cajun Shrimp Pasta


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4 servings

Description

Everyone will love Cajun shrimp pasta! It’s an impressive dinner idea that’s irresistibly seasoned and easy to make.


Ingredients

  • 8 ounces* short pasta, like penne, rigatoni, or casarecce (gluten-free if desired)
  • 1/2 medium yellow or white onion
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, deveined and thawed if frozen (tail on or peeled)
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons purchased Cajun seasoning (or 1 ½ tablespoons homemade Cajun seasoning or blackened seasoning**)
  • ½ teaspoon each garlic powder and onion powder 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, divided
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk or cream
  • Lemon wedges, optional
  • Fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Start the pasta: Boil the pasta in salted water until al dente.
  2. Prep the veggies: Finely mince the onion, mince the pepper, and finely chop the celery and place it on a bowl. Mince the garlic and place it in a separate bowl. 
  3. Sauté the shrimp: Meanwhile, pat the shrimp dry. In a medium bowl, mix the shrimp with ½ teaspoon kosher salt, the Cajun seasoning, garlic powder and onion powder. In your largest skillet (cast iron or stainless preferred), heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side until just opaque and cooked through, turning them with tongs. Once cooked, remove to a bowl, cover, and set aside. Leave the browned bits in the skillet.
  4. Sauté the veggies: In the same skillet that you cooked the shrimp, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat and add bell pepper, onion and celery. Cook for about 3 minutes until the veggies start to become tender. Reduce to medium low heat and add the garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes more until fragrant and garlic just starts to turn golden. Remove from heat before garlic browns. Add the butter and let it melt while you get the pasta.
  5. Mix with the pasta and sauce: When the pasta is ready, drain it. To the pan with the veggies, add the pasta, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, the grated Parmesan cheese, and the cream or milk. Toss until fully combined, then add the shrimp. If desired, spritz with squirts from a lemon wedge. Taste and add additional seasoning as necessary. Serve warm, garnished with chopped parsley if desired.

Notes

*To increase this recipe for more servings, we’d recommend making 1 pound pasta, but go up to 2 pounds on the shrimp (not 3). You can double the veggies and sauce ingredients accordingly.

**If using the homemade Cajun seasoning, you can omit the garlic powder and onion powder in this recipe. For a less spicy variation, use less cayenne in your homemade Cajun seasoning or make homemade blackened seasoning.

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Cajun inspired

Keywords: Cajun shrimp pasta

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Crunchy Kale and Chicken Salad

If you think a salad can’t fill you up, think again. This awesomely crunchy and flavorful Kale and Chicken Salad is chock full of juicy chicken breast, almonds, celery, and lots of fiberlicious kale to keep your belly full. And flavor? Oh don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about the flavor. A tangy, sweet, and creamy […]

The post Crunchy Kale and Chicken Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you think a salad can’t fill you up, think again. This awesomely crunchy and flavorful Kale and Chicken Salad is chock full of juicy chicken breast, almonds, celery, and lots of fiberlicious kale to keep your belly full. And flavor? Oh don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about the flavor. A tangy, sweet, and creamy honey Dijon dressing drenches the salad in tons of flavor. Throw a few sweet golden raisins on top for a pop of sweetness and you’ve got salad magic. And the best part? All of these ingredients hold up well to refrigeration, so this salad is perfect for your weekly meal prep. 🙌

Originally posted 7-28-2014, updated 8-16-2021.

Dressing being poured over a kale and chicken salad

If you love regular chicken salad, I think you’ll love this kale and chicken salad as well. It has all the same flavors as traditional chicken salad, but the ingredients are piled onto a bed of greens and the dressing is made slightly thinner so that it’s pourable instead of acting like a thick binder. And just as with regular chicken salad, there is a lot of room for customization here, so keep reading for some ideas.

Can I Use Different Greens?

Sure! If you’re not into kale, you can swap it out with your favorite greens. I think a crunchy green like Romaine or finely shredded cabbage would probably be best, but you could use any green that you like to use for fresh salads.

What Kind of Chicken to Use

I used plain chicken breast that I cooked quickly in a skillet and then diced, but you can take a shortcut and use store-bought rotisserie chicken instead. You’ll need about 1.5 cups of chopped cooked chicken for this recipe. 

Raisin Substitutes

I love the mildly sweet golden raisins in this recipe, but you could swap them out with dried cranberries, chopped apples for more crunch, or even fresh grapes (sliced). 

Dressing Options

If you don’t want to make your own homemade dressing for this salad, a store-bought honey mustard or poppyseed dressing would be awesome with the flavors in this salad.

How to Meal Prep Kale and Chicken Salad

The sturdy, crunchy nature of the ingredients in this salad means that it holds up extremely well to refrigeration without much effort. I would store the dressing on the side just to maintain maximum crunch-factor, but other than that, all of the ingredients can be stored together in single-serving containers. The prepped salads will stay good in the fridge for about 3-4 days.

Side view of dressing being poured onto kale and chicken salad

dressing being poured over kale and chicken salad

Crunchy Kale and Chicken Salad

This Crunchy Kale and Chicken Salad is full of flavor, texture, and a tangy-sweet homemade dressing. It's perfect for your weekly meal prep!
Total Cost $8.29 recipe / $2.07 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 446kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Salad

  • 1.5 cups chopped cooked chicken $4.33
  • 6 cups chopped kale $1.25
  • 1 cup chopped celery $0.37
  • 1/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds $0.79
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins $0.47

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise $0.50
  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar $0.18
  • 1.5 Tbsp honey $0.27
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard $0.09
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Instructions

  • Chop the cooked chicken into small, bite-sized pieces. Clean the celery and chop into similar small bite-sized pieces.
  • Remove the kale from the stems, tear it into 1-2 inch pieces, rinse well in a colander, and drain well.
  • To make the dressing, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, Dijon, salt, and pepper.
  • To build the salad, start with a base of kale, top with the chopped chicken and celery, almonds, and raisins. Drizzle the dressing over top, toss until everything is coated, then enjoy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1salad | Calories: 446kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 28g | Sodium: 444mg | Fiber: 2g
Love kale salads? Try these other awesome kale salads:

Tossed kale and chicken salad in a bowl next to the serving platter full of kale salad

How to Make Crunchy Kale and Chicken Salad – Step by Step Photos

Cooked chicken breast in the skillet

You can us any pre-cooked chicken for this recipe and you’ll need about 1.5 cups once chopped. I used one chicken breast (⅔ lb. total) that I filleted into two thinner pieces so that it would cook quickly in a skillet. Once browned on the outside and cooked through, I simply let it cool for 5-10 minutes and then chopped it into small pieces.

Salad dressing ingredients in a bowl

While my chicken was cooling, I made the dressing. This dressing is very similar to a dressing you’d use for chicken salad, but it’s a little bit thinner so it’s pourable and will easily coat all of the kale. In a bowl, whisk together ½ cup mayonnaise, 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1.5 Tbsp honey, ½ Tbsp Dijon mustard, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper. Set the dressing aside.

Washed kale in a colander

Next, prep the kale. I used bagged kale that comes pre-chopped because it’s super convenient and just about the same price as bunched kale. If your kale is still on the stem, simply pull it off the stem and tear it into 1-2 inch pieces. Rinse it in a colander and then let it drain well. Watery salad is never good. I used ½ of a one-pound bag, or about 6 cups of chopped leaves.

Chopped celery on a cutting board

Next, dice two ribs of celery, or about 1 cup once chopped.

chopped chicken on a cutting board

Chop the cooked chicken to similar sized pieces (about 1.5 cups chopped).

Kale salad topped with chicken and celery

Then just build your salad(s)! You can either build one large salad or build it as four smaller single-serving portions. Start with your bed of chopped kale, then add the chopped chicken and celery…

raisins and almonds added to the salad

Then add ⅓ cup almonds (sliced or slivered) and ⅓ cup golden raisins.

dressing being poured over kale and chicken salad

Pour your dressing over top just before serving.

tossed kale salad in a bowl next to the serving platter

Toss to coat everything in dressing and enjoy! (I added a little extra cracked black pepper on top because I love pepper!)

The post Crunchy Kale and Chicken Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.