Air Fryer Grilled Cheese

The secret to the crunchiest, gooiest, air-fryer grilled cheese is to first use a seasoned butter and parmesan cheese spread on the outside of your bread.

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If you’ve never made an Air Fryer Grilled Cheese, get ready for the crispiest and gooiest results ever! My secret is to mix softened butter with Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese and then spread it on the outside of the sandwich. This one step creates an unforgettable thunderous crunch that gives way to the dreamiest pillow of molten cheese.

Air fryer grilled cheese being pulled apart on a white plate.

Tips for making grilled cheese in an air fryer:

  • Use sliced cheese instead of shredded. The air circulation in an air fryer is very strong, and shredded cheese won’t stay on your bread as well as heavy slices.
  • Butter the outside of your bread slices from crust to crust. Full coverage is the only way!
  • Don’t press down on the sandwich when flipping it, which will destroy the airiness of your bread.
  • Try not to rush the process. Make sure to get five minutes on each side for the most unctuously melted cheese and crispy bread combo.

What type of cheese is best for grilled cheese?

Classically, you make grilled cheese with a few slices of American. But feel free to choose your own adventure. Any good melting cheese will work just fine. For the best results, use room temperature cheese, which melts faster and doesn’t separate into greasy clumps. My top 5 in no particular order:

  • Mild or Sharp Cheddar
  • Swiss
  • Provolone
  • Brie
  • Muenster

Please note that extra-sharp cheddar did not make the cut. Though it’s a delight, extra-sharp cheddar has a low water content because it’s aged, and the older cheese gets, the dryer it becomes.

Is there a type of bread that’s best for a grilled cheese?

Undoubtedly (because cheese can be heavy) you need sturdy slices of bread with a tight crumb. Just make sure they aren’t more than a half-inch thick because the cheese will take forever to melt. Bread with an open crumb (a lacy pattern of irregularly sized holes) can be challenging to work with because the cheese escapes through the craters. Especially great choices include:

  • Brioche
  • Rye
  • Ciabatta
  • Country Bread
  • Sourdough

Can you reheat a grilled cheese in an air fryer?

An air fryer is the PERFECT tool for reheating grilled cheese. It generates warm air that circulates all around your sandwich, crisping up even the doughiest bread and re-melting your cheese with ease. Cook for two minutes per side, and insert a butter knife into the cheese. If the knife blade is hot to the touch when you remove it, you are good to go!

What to serve with grilled cheese?

While Tomato Soup is a classic side, it isn’t the only thing that tastes great with an air fryer grilled cheese. If you’re looking for some fantastic dishes to pair with your sandwich, try an Herby Potato Salad, Simple Sauteed Vegetables, Summer Sweet Corn Salad, or Jerk Seasoned Collard Greens.

Air fryer grilled cheese being pulled apart by two hands.
Air Fryer Grilled Cheese on plate, split down middle.

Air Fryer Grilled Cheese

The secret to the crunchiest, gooiest, air-fryer grilled cheese EVER is first mixing softened butter with Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese and then spreading it on the outside of your bread. You can't get results like these from a pan!
Course Lunch
Cuisine American
Total Cost $2.23 each
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 639kcal
Author Monti – Budget Bytes
Cost $2.23

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp butter, room temperature $0.11
  • 2 tsp grated Parmesan $0.18
  • 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning $0.03
  • 2 slices sourdough bread* $0.67
  • 4 slices cheese $1.25

Instructions

  • First, combine the room temperature butter, grated Parmesan, and Italian seasoning in a bowl. Then, spread the butter mixture over one side of each piece of bread, from edge to edge.
  • Place the sliced cheese between the two pieces of bread, buttered sides facing out.
  • Preheat the air fryer (if yours does not have a preheat setting, let it run for about four minutes at 400ºF).
  • Finally, place the sandwich in the air fryer basket. Cook at 350ºF for five minutes, then flip and cook for 5 minutes on the other side, or until golden brown and crispy and the cheese is melted through. Slice and serve.

Notes

*If you do not have sourdough bread, any hearty bread will do. Softer bread may require less time in the air fryer.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 639kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 45g | Sodium: 1077mg | Fiber: 2g
Air Fryer grilled cheese stacked on white plate.

How to Make Air Fryer Grilled Cheese – Step by Step Photos

Parmesan butter mix in ramekin.

Combine the room temperature butter, grated Parmesan, and Italian seasoning in a bowl.

Knife spreading parmesan butter on bread.

Spread the butter mixture over one side of each piece of bread, from edge to edge.

Cheese slices for air fryer grilled cheese on top of one slice of bread with a second slice of bread next to it, on a cutting board.

Place the sliced cheese between the two pieces of bread, buttered sides facing out.

Grilled cheese sandwich in an air fryer basket.

Preheat the air fryer. If yours does not have a preheat setting, let it run for about four minutes at 400ºF. Once preheated, place the sandwich in the air fryer basket.

Air fryer grilled cheese in air fryer basket.

Cook at 350ºF for five minutes.

Air fryer grilled cheese on a spatula over an air fryer basket.

Once the sandwich has cooked for 5 minutes, flip it on the other side, and cook for five minutes more, or until both sides are golden brown and crispy, and the cheese is melted through. Slice and serve.

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Breakfast Nachos

Breakfast nachos are a fun and easy way to change up your breakfast or brunch routine. Plus, the topping options are endless!

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I love doing a big Sunday breakfast or brunch at home. It’s just such a great way to enjoy my day off without spending the money on going out to eat. …And I can do it in the comfort of my pajamas. 😏 But I don’t always have big energy to do a BIG brunch, so these Breakfast Nachos are a fun compromise. They’re definitely a splurge compared to my regular weekday oats, but still super easy. Plus, I can use up whatever ingredients I have left in my fridge as extra toppings! WIN! 🙌

Overhead view of a sheet pan full of breakfast nachos.

What Makes them Breakfast Nachos?

Okay, so these are pretty much just regular nachos but with scrambled eggs on top, but hey, what better excuse to eat nachos for breakfast?? You can make them even more breakfast-y by adding some browned breakfast sausage or crumbled bacon, but I went with a vegetarian nacho this time around.

What Else Can I Add?

I topped my nachos with eggs, cheese, black beans, tomato, onion, jalapeños, and sour cream, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to possible nacho toppings. Scan your fridge to see if you have any of these other ingredients to add to your nachos:

Tips for Making Nachos

Nachos seem like a no-brainer, but I’ve got a couple of quick tips to really help take your nachos to the next level.

  1. Use sturdy chips. Avoid “thin & crispy” tortilla chips and go for the kind that are thick and sturdy because they need to be strong enough to lift all those delicious toppings!
  2. Layer the ingredients! There’s nothing worse than getting a chip with no toppings or a chip so loaded that it breaks under the pressure, so layer your toppings for the best chip-to-topping ratio.
Close up overhead shot of breakfast nachos.
Overhead view of breakfast nachos on the sheet pan.

Breakfast Nachos

Breakfast nachos are fun and easy way to change up your breakfast or brunch routine. Plus, the topping options are endless!
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine American, Southwest
Total Cost $8.04 recipe / $2.01 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 933kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 Roma tomato $0.36
  • 1/4 red onion $0.09
  • 1 jalapeño $0.18
  • 1 15oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained $0.79
  • 4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded $1.25
  • 6 large eggs $1.20
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp pepper $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.22
  • 1 15oz. bag tortilla chips $3.49
  • 1/2 cup sour cream $0.42

Instructions

  • Dice the tomato and red onion. Slice the jalapeño. Rinse and drain the black beans. Shred the cheddar cheese.
  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Whisk together the eggs, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
  • Melt the butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the whisked eggs and gently stir and fold until the eggs are mostly set, but still slightly wet (they'll finish cooking in the oven).
  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Spread half of the tortilla chips over the surface of the baking sheet, then top with half of the eggs, half of the black beans, and half of the shredded cheese.
  • Repeat with a second layer of chips, eggs, beans, and cheese.
  • Bake the nachos in the preheated oven for 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
  • Remove the nachos from the oven and top with the remaining fresh ingredients: tomato, onion, jalapeño, and sour cream. Serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25batch | Calories: 933kcal | Carbohydrates: 93g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 50g | Sodium: 1249mg | Fiber: 13g
Close up of a chip with toppings.

Love nachos? Check out my Spicy Baked Black Bean Nachos!

How to Make Breakfast Nachos – Step by Step Photos

Tomato onion and jalapeño chopped.

Prep the toppings first, so they’re ready to go when you need them. Dice one Roma tomato, slice one jalapeño, and dice ¼ of a red onion. Rinse and drain well one 15oz. can of black beans. Shred 4oz. of cheddar cheese.

Whisked eggs in a bowl.

Begin preheating the oven to 350ºF. Whisk six large eggs in a bowl with ¼ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper.

Lightly scrambled eggs.

Heat 2 Tbsp butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium. Once the skillet is hot and the butter is melted, swirl to coat the surface. Add the whisked eggs to a skillet and let them cook, gently folding and stirring, until they are mostly set, but still slightly wet. Do not cook the eggs fully here because they will cook more when the nachos are in the oven.

tortilla chips on a lined baking sheet.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Add ½ of a 15oz. bag of tortilla chips to the baking sheet. The chips do not need to completely cover the surface of the baking sheet.

Eggs, beans, and cheese layered on top of chips.

Add half of the scrambled eggs, half of the drained black beans, and half of the shredded cheddar.

Second layer of chips, eggs, beans, and cheese.

Add a second layer of chips, eggs, beans, and cheese.

Baked nachos on the sheet pan.

Bake the nachos in the fully pre-heated 350ºF oven for 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Finished breakfast nachos with fresh toppings added.

Quickly add your fresh and cold toppings like the tomato, onion, jalapeño, and sour cream (about 1/2 cup total). Serve hot!

Overhead view of breakfast nachos on the sheet pan.

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Cheesy Pinto Beans

Cheesy Pinto Beans are a quick and satisfying meal made with simple pantry staple ingredients, like canned beans.

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We’re getting back to the basics with this one! I love exploring really simple ways to transform pantry staples, like canned beans, into a filling and satisfying meal. For these Cheesy Pinto Beans, I simply seasoned up some canned beans, puréed half to make the beans nice and creamy, then stirred in a little cheese to make it extra flavorful and satisfying. Serve them over rice and you’ve got an easy and satisfying meal for pennies.

A bowl of cheesy pinto beans over rice.

What Are Pinto Beans?

Pinto beans have been a staple ingredient in many parts of the world, including Mexico and the Southwest U.S., for generations, so if you live in those areas you’re probably very familiar with this delicious bean. But if pinto beans aren’t already part of your regular diet, this recipe will be a great introduction. Pinto beans are a small, tan-colored bean that has a speckled appearance when dried. They have a deliciously creamy texture once cooked, which makes them great for refried beans, soup, burritos, or just enjoying over rice, like I did here.

Can I Use Dry Beans?

Dry beans will always be more budget-friendly, usually lower sodium, and oftentimes have better flavor, but they can definitely a little more time and work to prepare. This Cheesy Pinto Bean recipe is designed for convenience, so we’re using canned beans this time around. If you want to use pinto beans that you’ve cooked from dry, you’ll need about three cups of cooked beans. You’ll likely need to add a little more salt to your recipe at the end, as well.

How to Serve Cheesy Pinto Beans

This deliciously simple recipe can be eaten a few different ways. I served mine over a bowl of rice, but you could also purée more of the beans and serve it as a beany chip dip! I think it would also be good served in a bowl then scooped up with some fluffy naan or pita. Or, simply serve them alone as a side dish with your favorite meal.

What Else Can I Add?

Beans are such a flexible ingredient, so there are several other ingredients you can add to these cheesy pinto beans. Here are some other ingredients that you can stir into your beans:

  • Diced Hatch green chiles
  • Salsa
  • Diced red onion
  • Diced ham or bacon
  • Sour cream (makes the beans EXTRA creamy)
  • Cilantro
  • Green onions
Cheesy Pinto Beans on a serving spoon in the pot.
Overhead view of a bowl of cheesy pinto beans over rice.

Cheesy Pinto Beans

Cheesy Pinto Beans are a quick and satisfying meal made with simple pantry staple ingredients, like canned beans.
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican, Southwest
Total Cost $2.96 recipe / $0.74 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 ⅔ cup each
Calories 268kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 jalapeño (optional) $0.08
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 2 15oz. cans pinto beans $2.00
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin $0.03
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 2 dashes hot sauce $0.10
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese $0.50

Instructions

  • Mince the garlic and finely dice the jalapeño (remove the stem and seeds).
  • Add the onion, jalapeño, and cooking oil to a pot. Sauté the garlic and jalapeño over medium heat for about one minute, or just until the garlic is very fragrant.
  • Add one can of pinto beans to a blender, with the liquid in the can, and purée until smooth.
  • Add the puréed beans and the second can of beans (drained) to the saucepot with the garlic and jalapeño. Stir to combine.
  • Season the beans with the smoked paprika, cumin, pepper, and hot sauce. Stir to combine, then heat through over medium, stirring occasionally.
  • Finally, add the shredded cheddar and stir until it has melted smoothly into the beans. Taste the beans and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Serve over rice or with your favorite meal.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.66cup | Calories: 268kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 10g | Sodium: 664mg | Fiber: 10g

How to Make Cheesy Pinto Beans – Step by Step Photos

Garlic and jalapeño in a pot.

Mince two cloves of garlic and finely dice one jalapeño (seeds and stem removed). Add them to a pot along with one tablespoon of cooking oil. Sauté over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or just until the garlic becomes really fragrant.

Puréed pinto beans in a blender.

Add one 15oz. can of pinto beans to a blender (with the liquid in the can) and purée until smooth. Alternately, you can use an immersion blender in the pot with the beans.

Pinto beans in the pot, puréed beans being poured into the pot.

Add the puréed beans to the pot along with a second 15oz. can of pinto beans (drained). Stir to combine.

Seasonings added to the pot.

Season the beans with ¼ tsp smoked paprika, ¼ tsp ground cumin, ⅛ tsp freshly cracked black pepper, and a couple of dashes of hot sauce. Stir to combine and then allow the beans to heat through, stirring occasionally.

Shredded cheese added to the beans.

Once the beans are hot, add ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese.

Cheesy pinto beans being stirred.

Stir the beans until the cheese has melted smoothly into the beans.

Finished cheesy pinto beans in the pot.

Taste the beans and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Because canned beans and cheese contain a fair amount of salt, I did not find that I needed to add any to the beans. Serve the beans over rice, with chips, or as a side to your favorite meal!

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Mini Broccoli Cheddar Quiches

Impress your guests with the perfect little mini broccoli cheddar quiches. Great for Easter, Mother’s Day, or any brunch gathering.

The post Mini Broccoli Cheddar Quiches appeared first on Budget Bytes.

A couple of years ago I made these adorable little mini pecan pies, and then last year I did a pumpkin pie version, and now I’m doing it with a savory pie! Or a quiche, rather. These cute little two-bite Mini Broccoli Cheddar Quiches make a fun grab-n-go meal prep breakfast, or a great finger food for brunch or Easter gatherings. They’re so cute that they’re sure to impress any guest!

Mini broccoli cheddar quiches in a muffin tin.

Can I Make Them Ahead?

These little quiches are definitely best right after baking, although I still enjoyed the leftovers quite a bit. If I were making them for guests, I would definitely make them on the same day as serving. If I were making them for myself, I’d happily eat the leftovers over the span of a few days. The biggest change is that the crust softens as it is stored in the refrigerator. They’ll probably be good for about 3-4 days in the refrigerator.

Can You Freeze Mini Quiches?

I did test a couple of the quiches to see if they held up to freezing (mostly for meal prep purposes). I microwaved one straight from the freezer without thawing for one minute and it came out piping hot and delicious, but with a very soft crust. I allowed the second quiche to thaw in the refrigerator over night and then microwaved until warm. That method turned out about the same as the one microwaved straight from the freezer.

Try Different Flavors

You can try swapping out the broccoli and cheddar with different flavor combinations. Here are some other ingredients you can try:

  • Sausage (browned)
  • Ham
  • Onion (sautéed)
  • Bell pepper (sautéed)
  • Bacon
  • Spinach (sautéed)
  • Sun dried tomatoes
  • Swiss cheese
  • Gruyere
  • Smoked mozzarella
  • Parmesan
Side view of a mini broccoli cheddar quiche cut in half.
mini broccoli cheddar quiches in a muffin tin.

Mini Broccoli Cheddar Quiches

Impress your guests with the perfect little mini broccoli cheddar quiches. Great for Easter, Mother's Day, or any brunch gathering.
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine American
Total Cost $4.74 recipe / $0.40 each
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 12 quiches
Calories 213kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Crust

  • 8 Tbsp butter, room temperature $0.80
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature $0.58
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.07

Filling

  • 2 large eggs $0.46
  • 1/2 cup milk $0.10
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan $0.44
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/2 lb. frozen broccoli florets, thawed $1.08
  • 4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded $0.58

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Add the room temperature butter and room temperature cream cheese to a bowl. Use a mixer to whip them together until evenly combined.
  • Begin stirring in the flour, about ¼ cup at a time, until a dough forms. The dough should be soft, but not sticky.
  • Divide the dough into 12 equal portions (begin by dividing into four pieces, then divide each quarter into three equal-sized pieces). Roll each piece of dough into a ball, then drop each one into the well of a muffin tin. Use your fingers to press the dough down into the center and up the sides of the wells (see step by step photos below for more help).
  • Finely chop the thawed broccoli florets (about 1.5 cups once chopped). Shred the cheddar cheese (about 1 cup shredded). Add the broccoli and cheddar to the egg mixture and stir to combine.
  • Divide the broccoli cheddar mixture between the twelve mini pie crusts. The liquid egg mixture will not fully submerge the broccoli and cheddar in the crusts, but it will puff up and fill the crust once baked.
  • Bake the mini quiches in the preheated oven for 35 minutes or until puffed in the center and golden brown around the edges.
  • Carefully transfer the baked quiches to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm, or at room temperature within two hours of baking.

Nutrition

Serving: 1mini quiche | Calories: 213kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 16g | Sodium: 259mg | Fiber: 1g
Mini broccoli cheddar quiches on a wire cooling rack.

How to Make Mini Broccoli Cheddar Quiches – Step by Step Photos

Butter and cream cheese in a bowl.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Add 8 Tbsp room temperature butter and 4oz. room temperature cream cheese to a bowl.

whipped butter and cream cheese in a bowl.

Use a mixer to whip the butter and cream cheese together until well combined.

Finished quiche dough after flour is added.

Begin stirring in all-purpose flour, about ¼ cup at a time, until it forms a dough (it should be similar in texture to playdough). You’ll need to add about 1 cup + 2 Tbsp flour total.

Dough being pressed into the muffin tin

Divide the dough into 12 equal-sized pieces. To do this, divide the dough into four equal-sized pieces first. From there, divide each quarater into three equal-sized pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place them into the wells of a muffin tin. Use your fingers to press the dough down and up the sides of the muffin tin wells. Make sure to get down into the corners of the well where a lot of the dough can accumulate and get too thick.

eggs, cheese, and milk in a bowl with a whisk.

Whisk together 2 large eggs, ½ cup milk, ¼ cup grated Parmesan, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp pepper, and ¼ tsp salt in a bowl.

Chopped broccoli on a cutting board.

Finely chop ½ lb. thawed frozen broccoli florets. You’ll want about 1.5 cups once chopped.

Broccoli and cheddar added to egg mixture.

Add the chopped broccoli and 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese to the egg mixture and stir to combine.

broccoli cheddar mixture being portioned into muffin tin.

Divide the mixture among the twelve mini pie crusts.

broccoli cheddar quiches in the muffin tin ready to bake.

Don’t worry if the liquid egg and milk mixture does not come all the way to the top of the broccoli and cheddar. The egg will puff up and surround the broccoli as they bake. Just try to get a fairly even amount in each one.

Baked broccoli cheddar quiches in the muffin tin.

Bake the broccoli cheddar quiches in the preheated 350ºF oven for about 35 minutes, or until puffed up and golden brown around the edges.

Mini broccoli cheddar quiches on a wire cooling rack.

Transfer the mini quiches to a wire rack to cool, then serve. The quiches should just pop right out of the muffin tin if you insert a butter knife between the tin and the side of the quiche. Just be gentle, as they will be slightly soft when hot.

broccoli cheddar quiches on a wire cooling rack, some stacked

Enjoy warm, or at room temperature within two hours of baking. Or, store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

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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!

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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.

Beef Taco Pasta

This Beef Taco Pasta is like a homemade version of hamburger helper with a southwest flavor spin. Hearty, delicious, and comforting!

The post Beef Taco Pasta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Raise your hand if you grew up on Hamburger Helper. 🖐 Yeah, me too. :) This Beef Taco Pasta is like a homemade version of your favorite childhood dinner in a box with a southwest spin. It has ground beef, a cheesy tomato sauce, green chiles, pasta, a healthy dose of taco seasoning, and tons of delicious comfort all in one bowl. Plus, it all cooks in one pot, which makes dinner time so fast and easy. #WIN

Originally posted 8/25/2013, updated 2/19/2022.

beef taco pasta in a bowl from above

What Kind of Pasta to Use

I used small pasta shells this time around because that’s what I had on hand, but I originally made this recipe with egg noodles. You can use other short pasta shapes as well, keeping in mind that you may need to simmer slightly longer or for less time depending on the type of pasta used. Rotini and penne are also good options.

What Else Can I Add to Taco Pasta?

This is my favorite part of any recipe. I love rummaging through my fridge or pantry looking for leftovers that can be added to whatever I’m cooking to make sure nothing I buy goes to waste. Here are some other ingredients that you can add to your Beef Taco Pasta that would also taste great with this flavor profile:

  • Jalapeños (fresh or pickled)
  • Sour cream
  • Avocado
  • Black olives
  • Black beans
  • Pickled red onions

Swap Out the Meat

This recipe is super flexible, so if you want to use a different type of ground meat, like ground turkey or ground chicken, that would work just as well. Likewise, you could use a vegetarian ground beef alternative, or just skip the ground beef altogether and replace it with a can of black beans. So many options!

Close up of beef taco pasta in the skillet

Close up of beef taco pasta in the skillet

One Pot Beef Taco Pasta

This Beef Taco Pasta is like a homemade version of hamburger helper with a southwest flavor spin. Hearty, delicious, and comforting!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Southwest
Total Cost $7.88 recipe / $1.31 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 1.3 cups each
Calories 360kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef $3.00
  • 1 packet taco seasoning* $0.67
  • 1 15oz. can diced tomatoes $0.79
  • 1 4oz. can diced green chiles $0.67
  • 1/2 lb. small pasta shells $0.50
  • 2 cups beef broth $0.26
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese $1.15
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.20

Instructions

  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the onion, garlic, and olive oil to a deep skillet or wide-bottomed pot. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft.
  • Add the ground beef and taco seasoning and continue to cook and stir until the ground beef is cooked through.
  • Add the diced tomatoes (with juices) and diced green chiles (with juices) to the beef and stir to combine.
  • Finally, add the pasta and beef broth and stir to combine once again. It's okay if the pasta is not fully submerged under the broth.
  • Place a lid on the pot and turn the heat up to medium-high. Allow the broth to come up to a full boil. Once boiling, give the pasta a stir, place the lid back on top, and turn the heat down to medium-low.
  • Let the pasta continue to simmer, stirring every few minutes and always replacing the lid, for about 10 minutes or until the pasta is tender. There should be some thick saucy liquid left in the pot once the pasta is cooked.
  • Add the shredded cheddar cheese and stir until it has melted into the sauce. Top with sliced green onions and serve!

Notes

*You can use one store-bought taco seasoning packet (about 1 oz.) or use this homemade taco seasoning recipe

Nutrition

Serving: 1.3cups | Calories: 360kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 17g | Sodium: 915mg | Fiber: 3g

beef taco pasta in the skillet with a spoon

How to Make Beef Taco Pasta – Step by Step Photos

Diced onion and minced garlic in a skillet

Dice one yellow onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Add them to a deep skillet or wide-bottomed pot with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft.

ground beef and taco seasoning added to the skillet

Next, add ½ lb. ground beef and one packet of taco seasoning (or homemade taco seasoning). Continue to cook over medium until the ground beef is cooked through.

Diced tomatoes and green chiles added to the skillet

Add one 15oz. can diced tomatoes (with juices) and one 4oz. can diced green chiles (with juices). 

pasta and beef broth being added to the skillet

Add ½ lb. pasta shells (uncooked) and 2 cups of beef broth. Stir everything to combine. It’s okay if the pasta is not fully submerged in the broth.

Lid being placed on the skillet in preparation for simmering

Place a lid on the skillet or pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the broth to come up to a boil. Once it reaches a full boil, give the pasta a stir (put the lid back in place), turn the heat down to medium-low. Let the pasta continue to simmer, stirring once every few minutes and always replacing the lid, for about 10 minutes or until the pasta is tender.

Cooked pasta in the skillet

Once the pasta is tender there should still be some thick saucy liquid left in the skillet. 

shredded cheddar added to the skillet

Add 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese to the pasta and stir until it has melted into the thick tomato sauce.

taco pasta topped with green onion

Top the cheesy taco pasta with sliced green onions and serve!

Overhead view of a bowl of taco pasta

Try These Other Ground Beef Pasta Recipes:

The post Beef Taco Pasta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sausage Breakfast Casserole

This deliciously cheesy sausage breakfast casserole is easy to throw together when you need a filling breakfast to feed a crowd.

The post Sausage Breakfast Casserole appeared first on Budget Bytes.

My favorite thing to do on the weekend is to have a big lavish breakfast. It’s like my way of celebrating the fact that I’m cozy at home instead of at work. 😄 And since I’m all about savory breakfast dishes, this sausage breakfast casserole is perfect. It’s cheesy, flavorful, filling, and is definitely the easiest option when you’ve got several mouths to feed. Plus, it makes great leftovers in case you want round two for lunch!

Overhead view of a breakfast casserole

What’s with the Tortilla Chips?

A lot of breakfast casserole recipes use bread, like an egg strata, but I like to use tortilla chips in my breakfast casserole. I love the toasty corn flavor they give and I think it gives the casserole a little more texture. I suggest using a thicker tortilla chip for this casserole so it can hold up to the moisture in the casserole.

What Kind of Sausage to Use

I used “country sausage” for this recipe, which is a mild pork sausage. This is the same type of sausage that you’d typically use for sausage gravy. You can also use spicy sausage, if you want your breakfast casserole to have a little kick. Here’s an example of one brand of country sausage you might see at the grocery store.

What Else Can I Add to Breakfast Casserole?

You know how I love my add-ins! Half of the fun of cooking is experimenting with adding other ingredients and toppings to your recipes. here are some other things you can add to your breakfast casserole:

  • jalapeños (pickled or fresh)
  • pickled red onions
  • green onion
  • mushrooms
  • sweet corn
  • hashbrowns
  • crumbled bacon
  • salsa (topping)
  • sour cream (topping)
  • avocado (topping)
one slice of breakfast casserole on a plate in front of the casserole dish
close up overhead view of breakfast casserole

Sausage Breakfast Casserole

This deliciously cheesy sausage breakfast casserole is easy to throw together when you need a filling breakfast to feed a crowd.
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine American
Total Cost $10.93 recipe / $3.64 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 to 8
Calories 752kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. country sausage $3.49
  • 12 oz. frozen peppers and onions $1.25
  • 10 large eggs $2.08
  • 1/2 cup milk $0.20
  • 1/4 tsp pepper $0.02
  • 1/2 lb. tortilla chips* $1.50
  • 8 oz. cheddar, shredded $2.29
  • 1 Tbsp butter $0.10

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. If your frozen peppers are in strips, chop them into small pieces.
  • Brown the sausage in a large skillet over medium heat. Once browned, add the frozen peppers and onions and continue to cook over medium heat until heated through. Remove the sausage and peppers from the heat and set aside.
  • Whisk together the eggs, milk, and pepper.
  • Use the butter to grease the inside of a 3-quart casserole dish. Place the tortilla chips in the bottom of the casserole dish and press them down, slightly crushing them until they lay fairly flat.
  • use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage and peppers to the casserole dish on top of the tortilla chips, leaving any liquid behind in the pan.
  • Add ¾ of the shredded cheddar on top of the sausage and peppers. Stir slightly to combine the tortilla chips, sausage and peppers, and cheese.
  • Pour the egg mixture over the ingredients in the casserole dish, then top with the remaining shredded cheddar. The ingredients will not be fully submerged in the egg mixture and that is okay. The eggs will puff slightly as they bake.
  • Bake the breakfast casserole for about 40 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160ºF and the outer edges are lightly browned.
  • Let the casserole cool for about five minutes, then slice into six or eight pieces and serve.

Notes

* You don’t have to weigh the chips. Check the weight listed on the bag and approximate the amount based on the bag size. For instance, if you have a one-pound (16oz.) bag, use about half of the bag of chips.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 752kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 52g | Sodium: 1045mg | Fiber: 4g
A spatula lifting a slice of breakfast casserole

How to Make Sausage Breakfast Casserole – Step by Step Photos

A bag of frozen peppers and onions

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. I used a bag of frozen peppers and onions to make this recipe super easy. Sometimes you can buy these diced, other times they’re in strips. If they’re in strips, just roughly chop them into smaller pieces.

sausage and peppers in a skillet

Brown one pound of country (pork) sausage in a large skillet over medium heat. Once browned, add the peppers and onions and continue to cook until heated through. Set the sausage and pepper mixture aside.

milk being poured into a bowl of eggs with a whisk

Whisk together 10 large eggs, 1/2 cup milk, and ¼ tsp pepper.

casserole dish being buttered

Grease the inside of a 3-quart casserole dish with butter.

tortilla chips added to the casserole dish

Add ½ of a one-pound bag of tortilla chips to the casserole dish. Press down and slightly crush the chips so they lay a little flatter.

sausage and peppers added on top of chips

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage and peppers to the casserole dish, leaving any liquid behind in the skillet.

Cheese added to the casserole dish

Add ¾ of a shredded 8oz. block of cheddar to the casserole dish. Slightly stir to combine the chips, sausage and peppers, and cheese.

Eggs being poured over casserole

Pour the egg mixture over the casserole. The egg will not fully submerge the other ingredients.

Casserole topped with cheese

Top with the remaining ¼ cheddar cheese.

Baked sausage breakfast casserole

Bake the breakfast casserole for about 40 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160ºF and the outer edges are browned.

sliced breakfast casserole

Let the casserole cool for about five minutes before slicing into six or eight pieces, then serve!

A slice of breakfast casserole on a plate in front of the casserole dish

The post Sausage Breakfast Casserole appeared first on Budget Bytes.

“World’s Best” Mac & Cheese

I don’t know about you, but there are a few things I need to get off my chest. One is that I can’t think of any time when I don’t want Mac & Cheese. And two, long before the advent of the internet recipe (and food blogs), words like “world’s best” weren’t considered clickbait. They were a declaration by magazines, newspapers, and cookbooks that whatever…

I don’t know about you, but there are a few things I need to get off my chest. One is that I can’t think of any time when I don’t want Mac & Cheese. And two, long before the advent of the internet recipe (and food blogs), words like “world’s best” weren’t considered clickbait. They were a declaration by magazines, newspapers, and cookbooks that whatever dish that was being presented really was the best version they came up with.

Back in the day, when you said it, you meant it. (Even if, as everybody knows, there isn’t just one “best” way to cook or bake anything. Whatever exists, there’s always something that comes along that’s better, cheaper, faster, slower, etc.) But nowadays recipe headlines scream “Life-Changing Cauliflower,” or “Help! I can’t stop eating these Oreo-stuffed Red Velvet cupcakes,” or my least-favorite, “Top Ten Brownie Recipes…According to Amazon Reviews.” I’ve eaten a few life-changing foods in my life, and I’m not stuffing anything into something else and deep-frying it (unless it’s fried chicken stuffed with more fried chicken), nor do I have a lot of faith in a curated selection of anonymous online reviews.

Continue Reading “World’s Best” Mac & Cheese...

Extra Cheesy Homemade Mac and Cheese

This incredibly creamy and cheesy homemade mac and cheese is great on its own or a jumping off point for your own customization.

The post Extra Cheesy Homemade Mac and Cheese appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I have several flavored macaroni and cheese recipes on Budget Bytes already, but I realized I didn’t have one single plain, classic homemade mac and cheese recipe. Like, nothing fancy or unique, just straight up creamy, comforting, cheesy goodness! So that’s what I have for you today. It’s a classic stovetop macaroni and cheese recipe made with a classic roux-based cheese sauce that will satisfy all of your cheesy pasta cravings. It’s amazingly delicious on its own, but I’ve also included a list of fun add-ins and other ways you can customize your mac and cheese and make it unique.

Overhead view of a bowl of mac and cheese with a fork

What Makes it Extra Cheesy?

For this extra cheesy homemade mac and cheese, I did use slightly more roux and added about 30% more cheese than I generally do to my simple stovetop mac and cheese recipes. And I’m not even sorry about it. The thicker sauce and extra cheese made this mac and cheese so lusciously creamy and cheesy that I couldn’t stop sneaking forkfuls between photographs. AND the best part is that it even stays smooth and creamy when reheated in the microwave. Mac and cheese heaven! 🙌

What is a Roux?

This classic stovetop mac and cheese recipe starts with a roux, which is a cooked mixture of flour and fat (in this case, butter). The roux thickens the sauce and helps the cheese melt smoothly into the sauce instead of clumping up as it melts. While there are ways to make a cheese sauce without a roux, taking this extra step definitely creates the creamiest, dreamiest cheese sauce for your mac and cheese.

What Kind of Cheese is Best for Mac and Cheese?

Cheddar is probably the most popular cheese for macaroni and cheese and sharp cheddar provides the most pronounced flavor. But if you want to experiment outside of the confines of cheddar, there are a ton of other cheeses that are great in macaroni and cheese! You can use one or a combination of cheeses to make your mac and cheese your own.

Here are some other cheeses that work great with macaroni and cheese:

  • Parmesan
  • Gruyere
  • Smoked Gouda
  • Parmesan
  • Chevre
  • Cream Cheese
  • Brie
  • Monterey jack or pepper jack

Avoid Pre-Shredded Cheese

I know it’s convenient, but the anti-caking agents used in pre-shredded cheese will, without a doubt, affect the creaminess of your homemade mac and cheese. Or in a worst-case scenario, it will leave your sauce super grainy and chalky in flavor. Buy cheese in block form and take a few moments to grate it yourself. The cheese will not be as dried out and it will create a truly smooth and creamy sauce.

Side view of mac and cheese in a pot

What Else Can I Add to Mac and Cheese?

Here’s where mac and cheese can get really fun. In addition to changing the cheeses, you can switch up the herbs and spices, add in some veggies, or your favorite protein to make your own homemade mac and cheese creation. Here are some other fun ingredients to add to your mac and cheese:

  • Cooked chicken
  • Broccoli
  • Bacon
  • Spinach
  • Kimchi
  • Pesto
  • Sausage
  • Taco meat or taco seasoning
  • Smoked paprika
  • Sriracha
  • Peas
  • Tuna
  • Salsa
  • Rotel
  • Jalapeños
  • Sour cream
  • Cauliflower
  • Ham

Need Some Inspiration?

If the list of add-ins was a little too much to choose from, here are some other Macaroni and Cheese Recipes that I’ve already created that might help get you started:

Overhead view of homemade mac and cheese in the pot
Overhead view of homemade mac and cheese in the pot

Homemade Mac and Cheese

This incredibly creamy and cheesy homemade mac and cheese is great on its own or as a jumping off point for your own creation.
Total Cost $4.19 recipe / $1.05 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 about 1.25 cups each
Calories 610kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. macaroni $0.67
  • 3 Tbsp butter $0.30
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.03
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.05
  • 2 cups whole milk $0.84
  • 1/2 tsp hot sauce* $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.03
  • 8 oz. block sharp cheddar, shredded $2.25

Instructions

  • Cook the macaroni according to the package directions (boil for 7-8 minutes, or until tender). Drain the macaroni in a colander.
  • Place the butter, flour, and onion powder in a medium pot. Whisk and heat over medium until the butter is melted and the mixture begins to bubble. Once bubbling, continue to whisk and cook for one minute.
  • After cooking the butter and flour roux, whisk in the milk. Continue to cook and whisk over medium heat until the milk begins to gently simmer, at which point it will thicken to the consistency of heavy cream or gravy.
  • Turn the burner off. Season the white sauce with the salt and hot sauce.
  • Begin to add the shredded cheddar, one handful at a time, whisking it in until completely melted before adding more. Continue until all of the cheese has been melted into the sauce. If the sauce becomes too cold to melt the cheese, place it back over low heat only briefly to continue melting the cheese. Overheating the sauce can cause it to break and become grainy.
  • Add the cooked and drained pasta to the pot with the cheese sauce and stir to combine. Serve the mac and cheese hot and enjoy!

Notes

*This amount of hot sauce does not make the macaroni and cheese spicy. It just  brightens the flavor a bit. You can also accomplish this with Dijon mustard (same amount).

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 610kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 32g | Sodium: 787mg | Fiber: 2g
side view of macaroni and cheese in a bowl with a fork

How to Make Homemade Mac and Cheese – Step by Step Photos

Shredded cheddar in a bowl

Start by shredding an 8oz. block of sharp cheddar. It’s very important to shred the cheese yourself instead of using pre-shredded cheese. For more information on that, see the section above the recipe titled “Avoid Pre-Shredded Cheese.”

boiled macaroni held above the pot with a pasta spoon

Next, boil 8oz. of macaroni according to the box directions (boil for 7-8 minutes, or just until tender). Drain the macaroni in a colander. (This is the Barilla elbow macaroni, which has a slightly unconventional elbow shape and texture.)

Butter flour and onion powder in the pot

You can start the cheese sauce either while the macaroni is boiling, or wait until it’s draining and just make it in the same pot to save on dishes. Add 3 Tbsp butter, 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour, and ½ tsp onion powder to the pot.

Roux being whisked in the pot

Place the pot over medium heat and allow the butter to melt. Whisk the butter, flour, and onion powder together as the mixture begins to get bubbly and frothy. Cook and whisk for about one minute after it becomes bubbly.

Milk being poured into the pot

Whisk 2 cups of milk into the butter and flour roux. Continue whisking as the milk begins to heat (keep the pot over medium heat).

Thickened white sauce on the back of a spoon

Allow the milk to come up to a gentle simmer, at which point it will thicken to the consistency of heavy cream or gravy. Turn the burner off at this point.

salt and hot sauce added to the white sauce

Season the sauce with ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp hot sauce, or the seasonings of your choice (other great options are dry mustard, pepper, smoked paprika, pesto, etc.).

shredded cheddar added to the pot

Begin adding 8oz. shredded cheddar to the pot, one handful at a time, whisking until it is completely melted before adding more. If the sauce cools down too much to continue melting the cheese, you can put it over low heat briefly, but avoid allowing the sauce to simmer again. Overheating cheese sauces will cause them to break and become grainy and oily.

Finished cheese sauce dripping off the whisk

When all of the cheese is melted into the sauce, the cheese sauce is complete. You can give it a taste at this point and adjust the seasonings if you’d like. Remember, you want the sauce to be seasoned well because the flavor intensity will be diluted a bit once the macaroni is added.

Cooked macaroni being stirred into the cheese sauce

Add the cooked and drained macaroni back to the pot and stir to combine with the cheese sauce.

Finished mac and cheese in the pot

And that’s it! Your homemade mac and cheese is done. Don’t tell me you don’t want to dive right into that pot of mac and cheese and swim around a bit. 😂

The post Extra Cheesy Homemade Mac and Cheese appeared first on Budget Bytes.

The Best Mac and Cheese Recipe

This baked mac and cheese recipe is easy to make and has the creamiest texture! It uses three different cheeses (cheddar, gruyere & parmesan) in the sauce for a delicious flavour and a breadcrumb topping for that crispy crust. Ingredients for mac &…

This baked mac and cheese recipe is easy to make and has the creamiest texture! It uses three different cheeses (cheddar, gruyere & parmesan) in the sauce for a delicious flavour and a breadcrumb topping for that crispy crust. Ingredients for mac & cheese Dry pasta – see below for more info but TLDR is …

The Best Mac and Cheese Recipe Read More »

The post The Best Mac and Cheese Recipe appeared first on Izy Hossack - Top With Cinnamon.