Santa Fe Salad

This Santa Fe salad is the ultimate Southwestern salad. It’s loaded with tender, juicy chicken, fresh veggies, and creamy black beans.

The post Santa Fe Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I have a major weakness for Southwestern flavors, and this Santa Fe salad is the ultimate combination. It’s loaded with tender, juicy chicken, fresh veggies, and creamy black beans. I love it tossed in our creamy avocado dressing. It’s a great hearty entrée-sized salad that’ll keep you full for hours. If you are plant-baseed, this flavor bomb of a salad still packs the same punch without the chicken. This salad is a true crowd pleaser.

creamy avocado dressing drizzled over santa fe salad in a large white bowl.

What Is A Santa Fe Salad?

This tasty Santa Fe salad recipe starts with a bed of romaine lettuce topped with Southwestern favorites, like corn, black beans, bell pepper, cheese, and tortilla chips. Top it off with our favorite creamy avocado dressing, some fresh pico de gallo, and a dollop of homemade guacamole for a filling salad that’s bursting with flavor!

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make a Santa Fe salad:

  • Chicken Breasts: Tender, juicy chicken breasts are a great source of protein on this hearty salad. For a budget-saving option, chicken thighs work well. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, substitute the chicken with extra-firm tofu (seasonings and all) or go heavier on the black beans. Mmm!
  • Olive Oil: Helps the spices stick to the chicken and helps the chicken sear in the pan.
  • Seasonings: Chili powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper add Southwestern flair to the chicken.
  • Romaine Lettuce: The perfect crunchy base for this salad. Buy whole heads rather than the pre-chopped bagged stuff to save money.
  • Bell Pepper: I like to use a green bell pepper, but any color works well to add some crunch!
  • Frozen Corn: You can also use fresh or canned corn– just be sure to drain and rinse first if you use canned.
  • Canned Black Beans: Add creaminess and extra protein to this salad.
  • Cheddar Cheese: Adds a hint of saltiness. Mexican blend also works well.
  • Tortilla Chips: I like to crumble some on top for extra crunch.
  • Creamy Avocado Dressing: Pulls the whole salad together. If you’re short on time, use a store-bought chipotle or Southwest ranch dressing.
  • Pico de Gallo: Adds a hit of freshness and acidity.
  • Guacamole: This is totally optional but ups the creaminess of this salad!

What Else Can I Add?

This Southwestern salad is a great fridge clean-out recipe. Here are some other things I love to add when I have them on hand:

How To Store Leftovers

As with most salads, I recommend storing the veggie components separately from the chicken and dressing and tossing everything together just before serving. This helps protect the lettuce from wilting. Stored correctly, this salad should keep well in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, making it great for meal prep!

tossing santa fe salad in a large white bowl with wooden spoons.
creamy avocado dressing drizzled over santa fe salad in a large white bowl.
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Santa Fe Salad

This Santa Fe salad is the ultimate Southwestern salad. It's loaded with tender, juicy chicken, fresh veggies, and creamy black beans.
Course Salad
Cuisine American, texmex
Total Cost ($17.21 recipe / $2.95 serving)
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 516kcal

Ingredients

For the Dressing

  • 1 avocado $0.89
  • 1/2 cup sour cream $0.24
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 2 tbsp lime juice $0.50
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro $0.20
  • 1/4 cup water $0.00

For the Salad

  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped into bite-size pieces $2.98
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced $0.89
  • 5 radishes, sliced thin $0.49
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed and rinsed $0.47
  • 1 15oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained $0.89
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese $0.83
  • 1/2 cup pico de gallo $0.44
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips $0.50

For the Chicken

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts $5.69
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided $0.08
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder $0.30
  • 2 tsp paprika $0.20
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper $0.06
  • 1 tsp ground cumin $0.10
  • 1 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1 tsp onion powder $0.05
  • 1 tsp salt $0.05
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper $0.05

Instructions

  • Add the avocado, sour cream, minced garlic, salt, lime juice, and cilantro to a food processor or blender. Puré until smooth. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator.
  • Chop romaine lettuce into bite-sized pieces and transfer to a large salad bowl.
  • Dice bell peppers, slice radishes, thaw frozen corn, and rinse and strain canned black beans. Add this and 1/2 cup of pico de gallo to the large salad bowl on top of chopped romaine lettuce. Cover and keep in the refrigerator while you prepare the chicken.
  • Place the chicken breasts inside a heavy duty food storage bag and flatten with a rolling pin or a tenderizing mallet until the breasts are consistently about 3/4 inch thick. Start in the middle at the thickest part of each breast for more even cooking. This step helps the chicken cook more evenly.
  • Prepare the Santa Fe Chicken seasoning blend by combining chili, paprika, cayenne, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper.
  • Rub chicken breasts with 1 Tbsp olive oil and divide the seasoning blend between the them, making sure to thoroughly coat the entire surface of each chicken breast with seasoning.
  • In a large skillet, add 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is glistening and hot, add the chicken breasts. Cook your chicken for a total of 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway. While the chicken cooks, do not wiggle or disturb it except for flipping. Remove the chicken from the heat when it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F. Allow chicken to rest on a cutting board for 5-10 minutes before slicing into strips. After resting, the chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165°F. 
  • Fan out the sliced chicken on top of the salad and drizzle creamy avocado dressing over the top. Toss and serve!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

Nutritional information does not include the guacamole. Click the recipe link to view nutritional information.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 516kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 21g | Sodium: 1791mg | Fiber: 14g
overhead view of a santa fe salad in a white bowl.

how to make a Santa Fe Salad – step by step photos

ingredients for avocado dressing in food processor

Add 1 avocado, ½ cup sour cream, 1 clove of garlic (minced), ¼ tsp salt, 2 Tbsp lime juice, and ¼ bunch cilantro to a food processor or blender.

creamy avocado dressing in food processor

Puré until smooth. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator.

chopping lettuce

Chop 2 heads of romaine lettuce into bite-sized pieces and transfer to a large salad bowl.

ingredients for santa fe salad in a white bowl

Dice 1 bell pepper, slice 5 radishes, thaw 1 cup frozen corn, and rinse and strain 1 can of black beans. Add this and 1/2 cup of pico de gallo to the large salad bowl on top of chopped romaine lettuce. Cover and keep in the refrigerator while you prepare the chicken.

pounding chicken

Place the chicken breasts inside a heavy duty food storage bag and flatten with a rolling pin or a tenderizing mallet until the breasts are consistently about 3/4 inch thick. Start in the middle at the thickest part of each breast for more even cooking. This step helps the chicken cook more evenly.

spice rub for chicken

Prepare the Santa Fe Chicken seasoning blend by combining 1 Tbsp chili, 2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp cayenne, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp black pepper together.

chicken coated with spice rub

Rub chicken breasts with 1 Tbsp olive oil and divide the seasoning blend between the them, making sure to thoroughly coat the entire surface of each chicken breast with seasoning.

chicken in skillet

In a large skillet, add 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is glistening and hot, add the chicken breasts. Cook your chicken for a total of 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway. While the chicken cooks, do not wiggle or disturb it except for flipping. Remove the chicken from the heat when it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F. Allow chicken to rest on a cutting board for 5-10 minutes before slicing into strips. After resting, the chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165°F. 

completed santa fe salad

Fan out the sliced chicken on top of the salad and drizzle Creamy Avocado Dressing over the top. Toss and serve!

The post Santa Fe Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken parmesan is the ultimate comfort food– crispy, saucy chicken topped with melty cheese! So easy to make and guaranteed to be a hit.

The post Chicken Parmesan appeared first on Budget Bytes.

When I think of comfort food, I always think of chicken parmesan. It’s everything I want in a cozy meal– crispy, saucy chicken topped with melty cheese! This one-pan chicken parmesan recipe is so easy to make and guaranteed to be a hit. Served over spaghetti and topped with a healthy dose of parmesan cheese, it’s a recipe I come back to time and time again.

overhead view of 4 fried chicken breasts topped with marinara sauce, melted cheese, and parsley in a stainless skillet.

What Is Chicken Parmesan?

You’ll probably recognize Chicken Parmesan as a dish from every American-Italian restaurant menu. It is a dish that consists of breaded chicken breast covered in tomato sauce and mozzarella, parmesan, or even provolone cheese.

Ingredients Needed

Here’s what you’ll need to make chicken parmesan:

  • Chicken Breasts: You’ll need 2 large chicken breasts for this recipe because each chicken breast will be sliced into 2 cutlets for 4 servings.
  • Breadcrumbs: We’re using plain breadcrumbs so we can season them to our liking and create a crispy breading on the chicken.
  • Grated Parmesan: You can use pre-grated or grate your own parmesan.
  • Seasonings: Garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and freshly cracked black pepper season the chicken as well as the bread crumbs.
  • Egg: Egg helps adhere the breading to the chicken.
  • All-Purpose Flour: A bit of flour helps to thicken the sauce.
  • Cooking Oil: Any neutral oil that you like to cook with is fine.
  • Marinara Sauce: We like using our Homemade Marinara Sauce! But your favorite jarred sauce would work just fine.
  • Mozzarella Cheese: We used pre-shredded, but you’re welcome to shred your own! Low moisture, whole-milk mozzarella will work best here, as fresh mozzarella has a bit too much moisture. You can even use provolone cheese if you like.
  • Fresh Parsley: Totally optional, but it does add a lovely freshness at the end!

What To Serve With Chicken Parmesan

We recommend serving Chicken Parmesan with spaghetti marinara and a simple mixed greens salad. You can use store bought or our Homemade Marinara! You could also serve with Lemon Parsley Pasta and Homemade Garlic Bread.

Recipe Tips and Notes

  • Most chicken parmesan recipes will have you crisp up the chicken in a pan and then transfer it to the oven to finish cooking and melt the cheese. In this recipe, everything is done in the skillet to save time and clean up!
  • Make sure your pan is big enough to accommodate all of the chicken pieces (we used a 12-inch skillet) and you’ll need a lid that will fit the pan in order to melt the cheese and warm the marinara.
  • If you don’t have a lid or something to tent the pan with (tin foil should work as well!) You can transfer to a baking sheet lined with a rack and bake at 375°F for 10 minutes until the cheese is melted.
  • You’re welcome to warm up your marinara sauce before adding it to the chicken, but I find that it warms up enough while the cheese is melting.
overhead view of a serving of chicken parmesan over spaghetti with a side salad on a white plate.
overhead view of 4 fried chicken breasts topped with marinara sauce, melted cheese, and parsley in a stainless skillet.
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Chicken Parmesan

Chicken parmesan is the ultimate comfort food– crispy, saucy chicken topped with melty cheese! So easy to make and guaranteed to be a hit.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Total Cost $10.61 recipe / $2.65 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 570kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 1.5 lbs) $6.75
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs $0.60
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese $0.67
  • 1 tsp garlic powder $0.10
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning $0.10
  • 1 tsp salt $0.05
  • Freshly cracked pepper $0.02
  • 1 egg $0.17
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour $0.10
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil $0.15
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce $0.35
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella $1.25
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, optional $0.30

Instructions

  • Use a sharp knife to carefully filet the chicken breasts lengthwise into two cutlets, making 4 cutlets total. You can also use pre-cut chicken cutlets.
  • Lightly season both sides of the chicken with a pinch of salt and pepper, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder.
  • In a wide shallow bowl or container, combine the bread crumbs, parmesan, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper.
  • In a separate wide shallow bowl or container, whisk the egg until smooth.
  • In a third shallow bowl, add the flour.
  • Dredge each piece of chicken into the flour, dusting off any excess. Then, dip in the egg mixture, making sure to fully coat the chicken and dripping off any excess. Finally, dip the chicken in the seasoned bread crumbs, again coating well on both sides.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet and oil are very hot, add the chicken and cook on the first side until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Flip the chicken and turn the heat down to medium. Top each cutlet with 2 tbsp of marinara sauce and ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese. Place a lid on the skillet to allow the cheese to fully melt, the marinara sauce to warm up, and the chicken to cook all the way through, about 5-7 more minutes.
  • Top the chicken with fresh chopped parsley (optional) and serve with spaghetti and additional marinara.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 570kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 29g | Sodium: 1402mg | Fiber: 2g
close up overhead view of a serving of chicken parmesan over spaghetti with a side salad on a white plate.

how to make Chicken Parmesan – step by step photos

4 seasoned chicken breasts on an orange cutting board.

Use a sharp knife to carefully filet 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts lengthwise into two cutlets, making 4 cutlets total. You can also use pre-cut chicken cutlets. Lightly season both sides of the chicken with a pinch of salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder.

an egg, flour, and seasoned breadcrumbs in separate white bowls.

In a wide shallow bowl or container, combine 1 cup breadcrumbs, 1/3 cup grated parmesan, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp Italian seasoning, 1 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper. In a separate wide shallow bowl or container, whisk 1 egg until smooth. In a third shallow bowl, add 1/2 cup all-purpose flour.

dredging a chicken breast through egg, flour, and breadcrumbs in separate bowls.

Dredge each piece of chicken into the flour, dusting off any excess. Then, dip in the egg mixture, making sure to fully coat the chicken and dripping off any excess. Finally, dip the chicken in the seasoned bread crumbs, again coating well on both sides.

4 fried chicken breasts in a stainless skillet.

Heat 1/4 cup cooking oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet and oil are very hot, add the chicken and cook on the first side until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

4 fried chicken breasts topped with marinara sauce and shredded cheese in a stainless skillet.

Flip the chicken and turn the heat down to medium. Top each cutlet with 2 tbsp of marinara sauce and 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese. Place a lid on the skillet to allow the cheese to fully melt, the marinara sauce to warm up, and the chicken to cook all the way through, about 5-7 more minutes.

parsley topped fried chicken breasts with marinara sauce and melted cheese in a stainless skillet.

Top the chicken with 1 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley (optional) and serve with spaghetti and additional marinara.

side view of a sliced serving of chicken parmesan on a bed of spaghetti with a side salad.

This chicken parmesan is the ultimate comfort meal!

The post Chicken Parmesan appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Buffalo Chicken Pasta

This Buffalo Chicken Pasta recipe is the perfect combination of creamy, tangy, and spicy flavors. It’s a must-try for spicy food lovers.

The post Buffalo Chicken Pasta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that most dips can also double as an amazing pasta sauce, and this Buffalo Chicken Pasta is a great example. I took all of the creamy, tangy, spicy goodness of buffalo chicken dip and made it into a deliciously cheesy one-pot pasta. So gather around all of my spicy food friends, you’re going to want to make this easy, creamy, and addictive Buffalo Chicken Pasta ASAP!

Close up overhead view of a bowl full of buffalo chicken pasta with a fork.

Ingredients for Buffalo Chicken Pasta

This cheesy buffalo chicken pasta starts with all of the same ingredients as buffalo chicken dip, then we add a few more to make it a little saucier and give the dish just a touch more flavor and texture. Here’s what you’ll need to make buffalo chicken pasta:

  • Chicken Breast: We use one boneless, skinless chicken breast for this recipe and stretch it across four servings to keep things budget-friendly. You can use diced boneless, skinless chicken thighs for an even less expensive option. Or, you can add leftover chopped or shredded cooked rotisserie chicken to the pasta at the end. If using pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, just add the remaining spices to the sauce.
  • Seasoning: We seasoned the chicken breast with garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and salt for extra flavor.
  • Butter: Butter balances the heat and acidity of the hot sauce and helps give this dish that classic buffalo sauce flavor.
  • Chicken Broth: In true one-pot pasta style, the pasta is cooked in chicken broth for maximum flavor.
  • Pasta: We used a classic penne pasta for this dish, but you could also use bowtie, rotini, or any short pasta shape.
  • Cheese: A combination of cream cheese and Monterey jack cheese keeps the sauce extra creamy and smooth without the need for a flour and butter roux.
  • Hot Sauce: Franks Red Hot Sauce is the classic sauce used for any “Buffalo” flavored dish, but any vinegar-based cayenne hot sauce will also be delicious.
  • Worcestershire sauce: Worcestershire adds just the right of umami and sweetness to the buffalo sauce, preventing it from having a flat flavor.
  • Petite Diced Tomatoes: To give this pasta more texture and flavor, we added a can of petite diced tomatoes.
  • Green Onion: We topped this pasta with sliced green onion for a little dose of savory freshness at the end.

What Else Can I Add?

If you have a little extra wiggle room in your budget, you can add even more goodies to this buffalo chicken pasta to make it ✨extra✨. Try topping the pasta with crumbled blue cheese, or stirring in some bacon crumbles. If you love a crunchy topping, try crushing some butter crackers or tortilla chips and sprinkling them on top of the pasta just before serving. And while it is totally unconventional, I think some small broccoli florets would be awesome in this, kind of like broccoli mac and cheese!

What to Serve with Buffalo Chicken Pasta

This buffalo chicken pasta is pretty rich, so you’re going to want something light and refreshing to serve on the side. You can opt for a super Simple Side Salad, a classic Caesar Salad, or maybe a simple Cucumber Tomato Salad. Or just go with the theme and serve up some carrot and celery sticks with blue cheese dressing for dipping!

Tips for Making One Pot Pasta

One-pot pasta can be tricky for some because the pasta is cooked in a much smaller amount of liquid than traditional pasta cooking methods. Here are a few tips to make sure your one-pot pasta cooks evenly and to the right texture:

  • Use heavy, thick-bottomed cookware to help the ingredients heat evenly.
  • Use a burner that is close in diameter to the bottom of your pot to ensure even heating.
  • The broth does not need to fully cover the pasta for it to cook, so resist the urge to add more water or broth in the beginning. Steam will help the pasta above the water line to cook, and the pasta will be stirred to ensure it all has contact with the liquid.
  • Make sure the liquid is simmering the whole time the pasta is cooking. If the heat is too low, or the liquid is only simmering in the center of the pot, the pasta will cook unevenly and get gummy.
  • Stir the pot occasionally to prevent sticking and help everything cook evenly.
  • Use your judgment. If the pasta looks close to being cooked through, but there is too much liquid left in the skillet, let it finish simmering with the lid off. If the liquid is gone but your pasta is still not tender, add a splash of more water or broth and continue to simmer until tender.
Overhead view of a pan full of buffalo chicken pasta with a striped napkin on the side.
Overhead view of a bowl full of buffalo chicken pasta.
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Buffalo Chicken Pasta

This Buffalo Chicken Pasta recipe is the perfect combination of creamy, tangy, and spicy flavors. It's a must-try for spicy food lovers.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Total Cost $8.13 recipe / $2.03 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 545kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (about ⅔ lb.) $3.33
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.26
  • 8 oz. penne pasta $0.67
  • 1 15oz. can petite diced tomatoes $1.00
  • 1.5 cups chicken broth $0.28
  • 4 oz. cream cheese $1.10
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce $0.52
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce $0.02
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese $0.58
  • 2 green onions, sliced (optional) $0.16

Instructions

  • Cut the chicken into ½-¾ inch pieces. Combine the garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and salt, then sprinkle it over the chicken pieces. Toss the chicken in the spices until everything is well coated.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Once hot, add the chicken and allow tge chicken to brown on all sides. The chicken does not need to be cooked through at this point.
  • Add the uncooked pasta, canned diced tomatoes (with the liquid), and the chicken broth to the skillet with the chicken. Stir to dissolve all of the browned bits off the bottom of the skillet.
  • Place a lid on the pot and allow the broth to come up to a strong simmer. The broth will not fully cover the pasta, but that is okay. Once the broth is simmering, briefly stir the pasta, replace the lid, then turn the heat down to medium-low.
  • Allow the pasta to simmer in the broth for 10-12 minutes or until the pasta is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, stirring once or twice throughout, and always replacing the lid after stirring.
  • Once the pasta is tender and only a small amount of thickened liquid remains in the skillet, cut the cream cheese into chunks and add it to the past along with the butter, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir and cook over medium-low heat until the cream cheese has fully melted into the pasta.
  • Add the shredded Monterey jack cheese and stir until melted into the sauce. Top with sliced green onions, then serve hot.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 545kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 26g | Sodium: 1193mg | Fiber: 2g

How to Make Buffalo Chicken Pasta – Step by Step Photos

diced chicken breast with seasoning being sprinkled on top.

Dice one boneless, skinless chicken breast (about ⅔ lb.) into small ½-¾ inch pieces. Combine ½ tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, ½ tsp cayenne pepper, and ¼ tsp salt, then sprinkle it over the chicken. Toss the chicken until it is evenly coated in spices.

Browned chicken pieces in a skillet.

Heat 1 Tbsp of cooking oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high until very hot. Once hot, add the chicken and allow it to brown on all sides. The chicken does not need to cook through here, just let it brown on the outside.

Tomatoes, pasta, and broth added to the skillet.

Add 8 oz of uncooked pasta, one 15oz. can of petite diced tomatoes (with the liquid), and 1.5 cups of chicken broth to the skillet with the chicken.

Uncooked pasta in the skillet with the chicken and tomatoes.

Stir everything well, making sure to dissolve all the browned bits off the bottom of the skillet. The broth will not fully cover the pasta, but that’s okay. Do not add extra liquid at this point.

Cooked pasta in the skillet, a spatula pulling the pasta to the side to show the thickened sauce.

Place a lid on the pot and allow the broth to come up to a strong simmer. Once simmering, give the pasta a quick stir to loosen it from the bottom, replace the lid, then turn the heat down to medium-low. Let the pasta simmer over medium-low for 10-12 minutes, or until the pasta is tender and only a small amount of saucy liquid remains.

Cream cheese, hot sauce, butter, and Worcestershire added to the skillet.

Once the pasta is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, it’s time to make the buffalo sauce. Add 4oz. of cream cheese (cut into chunks), 2 Tbsp butter, ¼ cup hot sauce, and ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce. Continue to stir and cook over medium-low until the cream cheese is fully melted into the sauce.

Shredded cheese added to the skillet.

Add ½ cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese to the skillet and stir until it has melted into the sauce.

buffalo chicken pasta topped with sliced green onions.

Top the buffalo chicken pasta with sliced green onions and serve hot!

Overhead view of a bowl full of buffalo chicken pasta.

The post Buffalo Chicken Pasta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Chicken Fried Rice

Make delicious, ultra-flavorful chicken fried rice that tastes even better than takeout– and costs less too.

The post Chicken Fried Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

We’re all guilty of ordering Chinese takeout on a desperate night. But with this Chicken Fried Rice recipe, you won’t have to resort to that any longer! Make delicious, ultra-flavorful chicken fried rice that tastes even better than takeout– and costs less too. Easily stretch leftover rice and a single chicken breast into a budget-friendly and satisfying meal the whole family will love!

overhead view of chicken fried rice in a frying pan.

What is Chicken Fried Rice?

Chicken fried rice is a Chinese dish made with cooked rice that is stir-fried in a wok with chicken, vegetables, and eggs, and seasoned with a savory sauce. It’s extremely flexible and budget-friendly, which is why we love this dish! The recipe below is an American adaptation, using a skillet instead of a wok and ingredients that are easily sourced in most American grocery stores. If you are vegetarian, you can make this without the chicken, or try our Vegetable Fried Rice recipe!

Do I Need a Wok?

This recipe is designed to be made easily in a regular pan; however, we highly recommend using a nonstick pan over stainless steel. We found in testing that some of the eggs stuck to the bottom of the stainless steel pan and burned, adding an unpleasant flavor to the whole dish.

Ingredients for Chicken Fried Rice

Here’s what you’ll need to make chicken fried rice:

  • Chicken Breast: You’ll need 1 large boneless skinless chicken breast (about 2/3 lb.) for this recipe.
  • Oil: Toasted sesame oil adds a warm and nutty flavor, while cooking oil (we like canola or vegetable) helps everything cook without burning.
  • Soy Sauce: Adds rich, salty, umami flavor. If you’re gluten-free, you can use tamari or coconut aminos instead.
  • Garlic: Creates a savory and earthy base of flavor.
  • Ginger: Fresh ginger will create the best flavor, but paste or powder will also work.
  • Vegetables: We used green onions, carrot, red bell pepper, and frozen peas.
  • Eggs: Scrambled eggs help stretch this recipe, adding extra protein and healthy fats.
  • Cooked and Cooled Rice: To avoid clumpy or gummy fried rice, use rice that has been previously cooked and completely cooled.

What Else Can I Put In Chicken Fried Rice?

If you have any leftover veggies from previous dinners, you can chop them up and toss them in this tasty chicken fried rice. It’s also easy to grab a bag of frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, corn, and green beans) to save on prep time!

How To Store Leftovers

Store leftover chicken fried rice in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a pot set over medium-low heat with a little bit of water added to rehydrate the rice. You can also sprinkle some water over individual portions and microwave in 30-second increments until warmed through.

chopsticks grabbing chicken fried rice from a black plate.
chopsticks grabbing a bite of chicken fried rice from a black plate.
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Chicken Fried Rice

Make delicious, ultra-flavorful chicken fried rice that tastes even better than takeout– and costs less too.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Total Cost ($4.74 recipe / $1.19 serving)
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 500kcal
Author Jess Rice

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger $0.10
  • 3 green onions, sliced $0.30
  • 1 carrot, diced small $0.16
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced $1.50
  • 1 cup frozen peas $0.50
  • 1 large boneless skinless chicken breast $2.62
  • 2 large eggs $0.46
  • 3 Tbsp cooking oil, divided $0.13
  • 3 Tbsp toasted sesame oil $0.96
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce $0.15
  • 3 cups cooked and cooled rice $0.62

Instructions

  • Prepare the vegetables beforehand so they’re ready to go when needed. Mince the garlic, grate the ginger, dice the carrot and bell pepper, slice the green onions (separate the green ends from the white ends), and measure the frozen peas.
  • On a separate, clean cutting board, cut your chicken into ½ inch pieces so you get a little in every bite. Set aside (and wash your hands!)
  • Lightly whisk the eggs in a small bowl. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 2 Tbsp of cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the eggs and gently scramble until cooked through. Transfer the cooked eggs to a clean bowl or plate off to the side.
  • Turn the heat up to medium-high. Add the diced carrots, stir, and cook for about two minutes. Next, add the bell pepper and the white firm ends of the green onions. Cook and stir for one minute more. Finally, add the frozen peas and stir and cook until heated through. Transfer the vegetables to a clean bowl or plate.
  • Add the remaining 1 Tbsp cooking oil to the skillet and swirl to coat the surface. Add the ½ inch pieces of chicken and completely cook through, about 4 minutes. Once the chicken is about ½ of the way cooked through (2-3 minutes), add the garlic and ginger and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  • Then, add the cooked and cooled rice to the skillet. Stir and cook the chicken and rice together for about 2 minutes, or until the rice is heated through. Pour the soy sauce and toasted sesame oil over the rice. Stir the rice and sauce together until evenly combined. Turn the heat off.
  • Add the eggs and vegetables back to the skillet with the chicken and rice and stir to combine. Allow the residual heat to heat everything through. Top with the remaining green ends of the sliced green onions. Taste and adjust the soy sauce or sesame oil to your liking.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 500kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 26g | Sodium: 875mg | Fiber: 4g
close-up overhead view of chicken fried rice in a frying pan.

how to make Chicken Fried Rice – step by step photos

chopped vegetables for chicken fried rice on a cutting board.

Prepare the vegetables beforehand so they’re ready to go when needed. Mince the garlic, grate the ginger, dice the carrot and bell pepper, slice the green onions (separate the green ends from the white ends), and measure the frozen peas.

cubed chicken on an orange cutting board.

On a separate, clean cutting board, cut your chicken into ½ inch pieces so you get a little in every bite. Set aside (and wash your hands!)

cooked scrambled eggs in a frying pan.

Lightly whisk the eggs in a small bowl. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 2 Tbsp of cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the eggs and gently scramble until cooked through. Transfer the cooked eggs to a clean bowl or plate off to the side.

diced vegetables in a frying pan.

Turn the heat up to medium-high. Add the diced carrots, stir, and cook for about two minutes. Next, add the bell pepper and the white firm ends of the green onions. Cook and stir for one minute more. Finally, add the frozen peas and stir and cook until heated through. Transfer the vegetables to a clean bowl or plate.

cooked cubed chicken in a frying pan.

Add the remaining 1 Tbsp cooking oil to the skillet and swirl to coat the surface. Add the ½ inch pieces of chicken and completely cook through, about 4 minutes. Once the chicken is about ½ of the way cooked through (2-3 minutes), add the 2 cloves of garlic and 1 tsp ginger and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

pouring soy sauce over cooked rice in a frying pan.

Then, add the cooked and cooled rice to the skillet. Stir and cook the chicken and rice together for about 2 minutes, or until the rice is heated through. Pour the 3 Tbsp soy sauce and 3 Tbsp toasted sesame oil over the rice. Stir the rice and sauce together until evenly combined. Turn the heat off.

sprinkling salt over chicken fried rice in a frying pan.

Add the eggs and vegetables back to the skillet with the chicken and rice and stir to combine. Allow the residual heat to heat everything through. Top with the remaining green ends of the sliced green onions. Taste and adjust the soy sauce or sesame oil to your liking.

chopsticks grabbing a bite of chicken fried rice from a black plate.

This flavorful chicken fried rice is so much better than takeout!

The post Chicken Fried Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Chicken Marsala

This budget-friendly chicken Marsala recipe is so rich and flavorful, you won’t believe it didn’t come from your favorite Italian restaurant!

The post Chicken Marsala appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I love taking classic recipes and adapting them to be budget-friendly, and chicken Marsala is my latest endeavor. This Chicken Marsala recipe is so rich and flavorful, you won’t believe it didn’t come from your favorite Italian restaurant. Your family will be begging for this easy dinner recipe on repeat because it’s just that good!

partial overhead view of chicken marsala in a pan.

What is Chicken Marsala?

Chicken Marsala is a classic Italian dish, made from thinly sliced and pounded chicken breasts coated in a wine-based sauce enriched with butter and mushrooms. The mushrooms add what’s known as umami taste, a meaty, savory flavor that makes this dish so craveable.

Chicken Marsala Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make chicken marsala:

  • Vegetable Oil: Helps to cook the chicken and vegetables without burning them. Canola or olive oil also works well here.
  • Chicken: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are the classic choice for this recipe. Slice them in half and pound them to create what’s known as escalopes.
  • Seasonings: Salt, pepper, and Italian herb seasoning add classic Italian flavor to the chicken.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour creates wonderful browning on the chicken breasts and helps to thicken up the sauce.
  • Mushrooms: We highly suggest using baby bella mushrooms because they have a rich flavor and add earthiness to the dish.
  • White Onion: Cooked white onion adds a touch of sweetness. Yellow or sweet onion will also work, so use whatever you have on hand.
  • Chicken Broth: Forms the savory base of the sauce. We used bouillon because it’s super budget-friendly. Vegetable bouillon or broth is also fine.
  • Marsala Cooking Wine: This has unique sweet, rich, and smoky notes and gives this chicken its signature flavor. Cooking wine is much more budget-friendly than straight Marsala wine since it is shelf-stable so none will go to waste!
  • Butter: Salted butter enriches the sauce, making it glossy and rich.
  • Italian Parsley: Adds a pop of color and freshness to this dish.

What can you use instead of Marsala wine for chicken Marsala?

Can’t find Marsala cooking wine? Try using ¼ cup balsamic vinegar and ¼ cup white grape juice instead. There are red and white marsala varieties out there, but the red kind (sweeter) is what’s typically used in Chicken Marsala. You can also use straight Marsala wine instead of cooking wine.

Does the alcohol cook off in Chicken Marsala?

The process of reducing the sauce will evaporate the alcohol in Marsala wine, but if you’re serving this to kids, you may want to use the balsamic/grape juice alternative. Studies from the FDA show that wine simmered for 15 minutes may still contain up to 40% of its alcohol content. Designated “cooking wines” are not meant to be drunk but they are not alcohol-free. They contain salt and other preservatives which extend their shelf life.

What to Serve with Chicken Marsala

We served our chicken Marsala with cooked bowtie pasta, also known as Farfalle. Any kind of noodle will work, or try olive oil mashed potatoes for a different take. Add a side of lemon butter green beans or lemon garlic roasted asparagus for a well-rounded meal.

overhead view of chicken marsala in a white dish with bowtie pasta.
overhead view of chicken marsala in a pan.
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Chicken Marsala

This budget-friendly chicken Marsala recipe is so rich and flavorful, you won't believe it didn't come from your favorite Italian restaurant!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Total Cost $12.52 recipe / $3.13 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 407kcal
Author Jess Rice

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided $0.12
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts $5.69
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, divided $0.05
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.05
  • 1 Tbsp dried Italian herb seasoning blend $0.30
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour $0.16
  • 8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced (roughly 2 cups) $2.08
  • ½ white onion, julienned $0.39
  • 1 cup chicken broth $0.09
  • ½ cup Marsala cooking wine $3.20
  • 2 Tbsp salted butter $0.27
  • 2 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley, minced $0.12

Instructions

  • Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise. Place one chicken breast at a time in a heavy-duty freezer bag (unsealed) and use a tenderizing mallet (or a rolling pin… whatever is safe and sturdy that you have on hand) to hammer each one 1/4" thin, starting in the thicker middle part of the breasts and working your way to the ends. Repeat this process until all breast pieces are 1/4" thick and equally flat.
  • Combine ½ tsp salt, black pepper, dried Italian herb seasoning, and all-purpose flour in a shallow bowl, reserving 1 Tbsp of flour. Lightly coat the chicken breasts in the seasoning mixture and shake off excess flour. Transfer to a clean plate.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken breasts and cook on each side for 3-4 minutes. Try to not crowd your pan! You can do this in 2 batches if you need to. Once the chicken is cooked, transfer to a clean plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
  • Turn the heat down to medium. Add 1 tsp sea salt, sliced mushrooms and onions. Spread them out on the pan, flipping as needed so each mushroom piece browns, about 3 minutes. Scrape the bottom of your pan with a wooden spoon as you go; the browned bits on the bottom become a tasty part of your sauce!
  • Add the Marsala wine and broth to the pan, scraping the browned bits off the bottom again. Simmer until the liquid reduces by 1/3, about 4 minutes on medium-high heat.
  • Now, make a slurry with your reserved 1 Tbsp of flour; whisk the flour with a small amount of water or liquid from your cooking pan until there are no lumps. Then, whisk in the flour “slurry”, minced parsley, and butter until it has completely melted. Finally, add the chicken cutlets back, flipping them halfway, cooking for another 4 minutes total. Let the sauce thicken while the chicken finishes cooking in the sauce.
  • Garnish with additional minced parsley and adjust salt and pepper to your liking. Enjoy over any pasta you have on hand!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 407kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 19g | Sodium: 1280mg | Fiber: 2g
overhead view of chicken marsala in a pan.

how to make Chicken Marsala – step by step photos

A rolling pin pounding chicken breasts to even thickness on an orange cutting board.

Cut 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts in half lengthwise. Place one chicken breast at a time in a heavy-duty freezer bag (unsealed) and use a tenderizing mallet (or a rolling pin… whatever is safe and sturdy that you have on hand) to hammer each one 1/4″ thin, starting in the thicker middle part of the breasts and working your way to the ends. Repeat this process until all breast pieces are 1/4″ thick and equally flat.

dredging chicken breasts in seasoned flour.

Combine ½ tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 Tbsp dried Italian herb seasoning, and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour in a shallow bowl, reserving 1 Tbsp of flour. Lightly coat the chicken breasts in the seasoning mixture and shake off excess flour. Transfer to a clean plate.

2 chicken breasts cooking in a pan.

Heat 3 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken breasts and cook on each side for 3-4 minutes. Try to not crowd your pan! You can do this in 2 batches if you need to.

sliced onions and mushrooms in a pan.

Turn the heat down to medium. Add 1 tsp sea salt, 8 oz. sliced mushrooms, and ½ julienned onion. Spread them out on the pan, flipping as needed so each side browns, about 3 minutes. Scrape the bottom of your pan with a wooden spoon as you go; the browned bits on the bottom become a tasty part of your sauce!

marsala wine poured over mushrooms and onions in a pan.

Add ½ cup Marsala wine and 1 cup broth to a cup. Pour it into the pan, scraping the browned bits off the bottom again. (I combined the broth and Marsala wine and added them at the same time.) Simmer until the liquid reduces by 1/3, about 4 minutes on medium-high heat.

butter added to marsala sauce in a pan.

Now, make a slurry with your reserved 1 Tbsp of flour; whisk the flour with a small amount of hot water or liquid from your cooking pan until there are no lumps. Then, whisk in the flour “slurry”, 2 Tbsp minced parsley, and 2 Tbsp salted butter until it has completely melted. Finally, add the chicken cutlets back, flipping them halfway, cooking for another 4 minutes total. Let the sauce thicken while the chicken finishes cooking in the sauce.

chicken marsala in a pan.

Garnish with additional minced parsley and adjust salt and pepper to your liking. Pour over your favorite pasta and enjoy!

a fork holding a piece of chicken marsala above a shallow dish.

This chicken Marsala recipe is even better than your favorite Italian restaurant!

The post Chicken Marsala appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Creamy Garlic Chicken

This Creamy Garlic Chicken will leave you speechless! It’s made with a luscious, garlic-infused sauce and it’s perfect for an easy weeknight meal.

The post Creamy Garlic Chicken appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Every now and then you come across one of those recipes that just leaves you speechless. Well, today I’m introducing you to one of those recipes. This Creamy Garlic Chicken is so delicious, so flavorful, and so easy to make for a quick weeknight meal! It starts with tender, pan-seared chicken breasts that are then covered with a creamy, garlic-infused sauce. The moment my family tried this recipe, they instantly loved it! It honestly took everyone’s breath away. If you love simple recipes that are packed with flavor and made with a luscious cream sauce, then make sure to add this one to your weekly rotation!

Overhead view of Creamy Garlic Chicken in a skillet with parsley garnished on top.

Ingredients For Creamy Garlic Chicken

Here’s everything you need to make this creamy garlic chicken recipe:

  • Chicken: If you’ve seen a couple of my recipes, then by now you probably know I love using chicken breasts. So I opted for two boneless, skinless chicken breasts that I cut in half. But you can certainly use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead.
  • All-purpose flour: A little bit of flour adds a light breading to the chicken breasts and the perfect compliment to the creamy garlic sauce.
  • Garlic: Garlic is the star of the show for this dish, so we’re using lots of it. One whole head of garlic to be exact. The garlic cooks down and infuses the sauce without overpowering the dish. 
  • Olive Oil and Butter: Both are used to cook the chicken breasts and a little more butter is used to sauté the garlic cloves. 
  • Chicken Broth and Heavy Cream: The rich garlic sauce is made with a combination of chicken broth and heavy cream. Both of them simmer together, along with the garlic cloves, until a creamy, flavorful sauce is formed.
  • Seasoning: The chicken breasts are seasoned with a little salt, pepper and Italian seasoning; and the sauce is seasoned with garlic powder plus a little salt & pepper to taste.

Can you eat the garlic cloves?

You may be curious if you can eat the whole garlic cloves with your chicken. The answer is YES! Sautéing the garlic cloves in the butter, then simmering them in the sauce, removes any overpowering, strong garlic taste and leaves a very subtle, delicious flavor. I love to spoon the garlic over the chicken along with the creamy sauce right before serving.

Recipe Tips!

  1. After all the garlic cloves are peeled, I like to carefully smash them with the side of a large chef’s knife by pressing down on the side of the knife with the heel of my hand. Smashing the cloves releases more of their flavorful oils and gives the sauce a stronger garlic flavor.
  2. Make sure you stir the garlic cloves frequently when sautéing them in the skillet with the butter. You don’t want the garlic to burn. As soon as it starts to turn a light brown color, add in the liquids and stir.

What To Serve With Creamy Garlic Chicken?

Creamy sauce recipes like this creamy garlic chicken are perfect to serve with Mashed Potatoes, so the potatoes can soak up all of that extra sauce. You can also serve the chicken and sauce over a bed of pasta or rice, or serve it with a simple side salad or in our case a Caesar salad. You really can’t go wrong with any side that you choose!

Side close up view of Creamy Garlic Chicken with sauce being spooned over the top of one of the chicken breasts.
Overhead view of Creamy Garlic Chicken in a skillet with parsley garnished on top.
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Creamy Garlic Chicken

This Creamy Garlic Chicken will leave you speechless! It’s made with a luscious, garlic-infused sauce and it's perfect for an easy weeknight meal.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Total Cost $9.21 recipe / $2.30 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 518kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Using a sharp knife, carefully fillet each chicken breast into two thinner cutlets (or use thin-cut chicken breasts).
  • Season each breast with Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper. Then sprinkle the flour over both sides of the chicken breasts and rub it in until the chicken is evenly coated.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil and 1 Tbsp of butter. Once the skillet is hot, add the chicken and cook on each side until golden brown and cooked through (about 4 minutes per side). Remove the cooked chicken to a clean plate and cover to keep warm.
  • While the chicken is cooking, peel the garlic cloves and then carefully smash them with the side of a large chef's knife by pressing down on the side of the knife with the heel of your hand.
  • Once the chicken is removed, to the same skillet add the remaining 1 Tbsp of butter, then add the garlic cloves. Turn the heat down to medium-low and sauté the garlic for 3 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Make sure to stir the garlic frequently to prevent it from burning.
  • Next pour the chicken broth and heavy cream into the skillet, then add the garlic powder. Stir and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Allow the sauce to simmer in the skillet for 8-10 minutes, or until it has reduced and thickened by about 50%. Taste the sauce at this point and add salt and pepper if needed (I added about ⅛ tsp of salt and ⅛ tsp of black pepper).
  • Finally, return the cooked chicken breasts to the skillet and spoon the creamy sauce over top. Allow the chicken to heat through. Serve with fresh chopped parsley (optional), and enjoy!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 518kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 38g | Sodium: 741mg | Fiber: 0.4g

How to Make Creamy Garlic Chicken – Step by Step Photos

Four chicken breast cutlets, seasoned, and floured on a cutting board.

Using a sharp knife, carefully fillet 2 chicken breast into two thinner cutlets (or use thin-cut chicken breasts). Season each breast with 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper. Then sprinkle 1/4 cup all-purpose flour over both sides of the chicken breasts and rub it in until the chicken is evenly coated.

Chicken breasts seared in a skillet.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 2 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp of butter. Once the skillet is hot, add the chicken and cook on each side until golden brown and cooked through (about 4 minutes per side). Remove the cooked chicken to a clean plate and cover to keep warm.

Garlic cloves sautéed in skillet with butter.

While the chicken is cooking, peel the garlic cloves from 1 whole head of garlic. Then carefully smash them with the side of a large chef’s knife by pressing down on the side of the knife with the heel of your hand.

Once the chicken is removed, to the same skillet add the remaining 1 Tbsp of butter, then add the garlic cloves. Turn the heat down to medium-low and sauté the garlic for 3 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Make sure to stir the garlic frequently to prevent it from burning.

Chicken broth and heavy cream added to skillet.

Next pour 1 cup chicken broth and 3/4 cup heavy cream into the skillet, then add 1/2 tsp garlic powder. Stir and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Allow the sauce to simmer in the skillet for 8-10 minutes, or until it has reduced and thickened by about 50%.

Chicken breasts added back to skillet and covered with creamy garlic sauce.

Taste the sauce at this point and add salt and pepper if needed (I added about ⅛ tsp of salt and ⅛ tsp of black pepper). Return the cooked chicken breasts to the skillet and spoon the creamy sauce over top. Allow the chicken to heat through.

Overhead view of Creamy Garlic Chicken in a skillet with parsley garnished on top.

Serve with fresh chopped parsley (optional) and enjoy this creamy, flavorful sauce with mashed potatoes, pasta, or any of your favorite sides.

Overhead view of Creamy Garlic Chicken on a white plate served with Caesar Salad.

The post Creamy Garlic Chicken appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu is one of those recipes that feels super fancy but is ready in under an hour! It’s so saucy, cheesy, and delicious!

The post Chicken Cordon Bleu appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Chicken Cordon Bleu is one of those recipes that feels super fancy but doesn’t actually take a ton of effort. It can be pricey if ordering at a restaurant, but we have developed a budget conscious recipe that can be made at home. With some simple technique and a little bit of patience, you can make this savory, cheesy, saucy dinner recipe in under an hour!

close-up view of a sliced chicken cordon bleu breast.

What is Chicken Cordon Bleu?

Chicken cordon bleu is made by butterflying a chicken breast and stuffing it with slices of creamy, melty Swiss cheese and salty deli ham. The whole thing gets rolled up, dipped in breadcrumbs, and doused in a creamy sauce for the ultimate decadent dinner. While it can be expensive when ordering out, our version is more cost effective but equally as delicious.

Ingredients For Chicken Cordon Bleu

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts: You’ll need 4 large chicken breasts for this recipe so there’s plenty of room to stuff them. Look for ones that are about 7-8 ounces each.
  • Ham: Any flavor of deli ham works well.
  • Swiss Cheese: You can also use provolone or cheddar.
  • Panko Breadcrumbs: Create a crunchy coating on the chicken. Regular or Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs are also a good choice.
  • Seasonings: Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and freshly cracked black pepper season the chicken. Salt also enhances the flavor of the sauce.
  • Butter: Unsalted butter helps the seasonings and breadcrumbs stick to the chicken, and it also forms the base of the sauce.
  • All-Purpose Flour: A bit of flour helps to thicken the sauce.
  • Milk: Milk adds richness and moisture to the sauce. Any kind works, including non-dairy.
  • Dijon Mustard: A touch of mustard adds just a bit of warmth to the sauce.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: This umami sauce adds incredible depth of flavor.

How to Butterfly a Chicken Breast

  1. Place the chicken breast flat on a cutting board and hold your knife horizontally to the cutting board.
  2. Place one hand on the chicken breast to keep it steady, then insert your knife into the center of the chicken breast and begin to cut horizontally until you have almost reached the other side.
  3. Open the chicken breast like a book.

What To Serve With Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken cordon bleu is rich and saucy, so it pairs beautifully with simple veggies, like Steamed Green Beans or Oven Roasted Broccoli. Soak up that beautiful sauce with Mashed Potatoes, Rice, or Garlic Herb Mashed Cauliflower.

How to Store Leftovers

Once cooked and cooled, store chicken cordon bleu in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you plan to freeze this dish, I recommend doing so before baking it for the crispiest results. It will keep well for up to 3 months. Simply thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake as directed.

overhead view of chicken cordon bleu covered with sauce on a plate with green beans.
overhead view of chicken cordon bleu covered with sauce on a plate with green beans.
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Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu is one of those recipes that feels super fancy but is ready in under an hour! It's so saucy, cheesy, and delicious!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine French
Total Cost $17.22 recipe / $4.30 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 889kcal

Ingredients

Chicken:

Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup butter $0.53
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.05
  • 3/4 cup milk $0.40
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard $0.04
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Butterfly each chicken breast by slicing horizontally through the middle of the breast, taking care to not cut all the way through. Open the chicken breast up like a book.
  • Lay the breast flat between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound the chicken breasts into a thin, even layer.
  • Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Place a slice of ham and slice of Swiss cheese on each chicken breast.
  • Gently roll up the chicken breast.
  • In a shallow bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic, powder, salt, and pepper. Set up a breading station with 2 shallow bowls; one of melted butter and one for the breading.
  • Dip the chicken rolls in the melted butter, and roll in the breadcrumbs until completely coated. Transfer to a parchment linked baking sheet.
  • Bake the chicken for 35-40 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • To make the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour. Then, slowly pour in the milk while whisking to incorporate.
  • Add in the Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt. Spoon the sauce over the chicken.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 889kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 69g | Fat: 57g | Sodium: 2027mg | Fiber: 1g
overhead view of slices of chicken cordon bleu on a plate.

how to make Chicken Cordon Bleu – step by step photos

a hand opening a butterflied chicken breast next to a knife.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butterfly each of 4 chicken breasts by slicing horizontally through the middle of the breast, taking care to not cut all the way through. Open the chicken breast up like a book.

a butterflied chicken breast under plastic wrap with a rolling pin.

Lay the breast flat between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound the chicken breasts into a thin, even layer.

a butterflied chicken breast with a slice of ham and swiss cheese on top.

Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Place a slice of ham and 1 ounce of Swiss cheese on each chicken breast.

a rolled-up stuffed chicken breast.

Gently roll up the chicken breast.

a rolled-up chicken breast dipped in breadcrumbs.

In a shallow bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs, 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Set up a breading station with a shallow bowl of 1/2 cup melted butter and the breading. Dip the chicken rolls in the melted butter, and roll in the breadcrumbs until completely coated. Transfer to a greased casserole dish.

4 breaded and baked rolled-up chicken breasts on a baking sheet.

Bake the chicken for 35-40 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

milk added to a thick roux in a saucepan with a whisk.

To make the sauce, melt 1/4 cup butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the 2 Tbsp flour. Then, slowly pour in 3/4 cup milk while whisking to incorporate.

thick and creamy white sauce in a saucepan with a spoon.

Add in 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard and 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce. Season with 1/2 tsp salt. Spoon the sauce over the chicken.

overhead view of chicken cordon bleu covered with sauce on a plate with green beans.

This crispy, cheesy, salty, and creamy chicken cordon bleu is the ultimate comfort food!

The post Chicken Cordon Bleu appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Chicken Stir Fry

This Chicken Stir Fry recipe is perfect for a quick & easy dinner meal. It has lots of chicken and veggies and a super delicious stir-fry sauce!

The post Chicken Stir Fry appeared first on Budget Bytes.

We’re taking the stress out of worrying about “what’s for dinner” this week and making this quick and easy Chicken Stir Fry recipe. It includes lots of chicken, tons of veggies, and THEE best sweet and savory stir fry sauce! It’s also perfect for using up vegetables that you already have on hand in your fridge or freezer. Not only is it great to add to your weekly dinner rotation, but it also makes a lot, so it’s perfect for meal prep! #winning

Overhead view of chicken stir fry in a large skillet with sliced green onions on the side.

Why I Love Stir Fry Recipes

I make stir fry recipes quite often because it helps take away the mental stress of worrying about what to cook for dinner. They’re quick, easy to make, and super versatile so you can always switch things up. Just pick your favorite protein, a mix of vegetables, make a yummy stir fry sauce, and dinner is ready in about 30 minutes!

Ingredients For Chicken Stir Fry

Here’s what we used to make this easy chicken stir fry recipe:

  • Chicken Breasts: I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe, but if your budget is tight, you can also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead.
  • Vegetables: This is where you can really be flexible. I used a combination of broccoli, carrots, red bell pepper, and onion for this stir fry. But feel free to choose different vegetables based on your budget, what’s in season, or what’s in your fridge. Sometimes I’ll use just one or two vegetables because that’s what I currently have on hand. Some other great veggie options are green beans, zucchini, mushrooms, snap peas, or different color bell peppers. 
  • Stir Fry Sauce: A good stir fry sauce will definitely bring the entire dish together. I used our same stir fry sauce from our Vegetable Stir Fry recipe as a base, because it’s sooo good, increased the measurements slightly to make it extra saucy, and added a touch of sriracha sauce for just a little kick!

Stir-Fry Recipe Tips

  1. Make the stir fry sauce first. Stir fry recipes cook fast, so you want the sauce to be ready when it’s time to add it to the skillet.
  2. Use a big wok or very large skillet. In order for all of the chicken and vegetables to fit in the skillet with enough space to cook fairly evenly, you’ll want to use a big wok or large skillet. We used a 12-inch skillet for this recipe. 
  3. Don’t overcook the vegetables. You want the vegetables to just be tender-crisp and vibrantly colored. You can always cook them a little longer once the sauce is added at the end, but if you cook them too long in the first steps you’ll end up with limp vegetables that are a drab color.

What To Serve With Chicken Stir Fry

You can easily serve this chicken stir fry with a side of brown or white rice or give our Coconut Rice a try! And if you really want the full take-out experience, whip up some of our Vegetable Fried Rice to serve on the side.

Storing Leftovers

This chicken stir fry recipe stores very well in the fridge and works great for meal prep! You can make it on Sunday, divide it into equal portions, then store in meal prep containers along with your rice. This dish will stay good in the refrigerator for about four days.

Overhead view of a plate of chicken stir fry with white rice and a fork serving some out.
Overhead view of chicken stir fry in a large skillet with sliced green onions on the side.
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Chicken Stir Fry

This Chicken Stir Fry recipe is perfect for a quick & easy dinner meal. It has lots of chicken and veggies and a super delicious stir-fry sauce!
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American, Asian
Total Cost $10.55 recipe / $1.76 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 (about 1 cup each)
Calories 198kcal

Ingredients

Stir Fry Sauce

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce $0.44
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar $0.12
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil $0.20
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger $0.20
  • 1.5 Tbsp cornstarch $0.08
  • 1/3 cup water $0.00
  • 1 tsp sriracha $0.05

Stir Fry

  • 3/4 lb. broccoli 1.75
  • 2 carrots $0.31
  • 1 red bell pepper $1.33
  • 1 small onion $0.32
  • 2 green onions $0.22
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1.5 lb. total) $5.25
  • 3 Tbsp cooking oil, divided $0.12

Instructions

  • Start by making the stir fry sauce. Combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, toasted sesame oil, garlic, ginger, sriracha, cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Set the sauce aside.
  • Chop the broccoli into small florets. Slice the red bell pepper, onion, and carrots into similar sized pieces. Slice the green onions. Set all the vegetables aside.
  • Next, cut the chicken breasts into small 1/2 inch sized pieces.
  • Heat a very large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Once hot add 2 Tbsp of cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface of the skillet. Add the chicken and cook until browned on all sides. Be careful not to overcook the chicken. Once the chicken is browned, remove it from the skillet onto a separate plate and set aside.
  • In the same skillet, add the remaining 1 Tbsp of cooking oil along with the carrots and broccoli. Cook and stir for one minute, or just until the broccoli begins to turn bright green.
  • Next, add the red bell pepper and onion to the skillet. Continue to cook and stir for 1-2 more minutes.
  • Give the stir fry sauce another brief stir. Now add the cooked chicken back to the skillet, then pour the stir fry sauce over the chicken and vegetables. Give everything a stir and allow the sauce to come up to a simmer, at which point it will start to thicken and turn glossy. Continue to cook for 1-2 more minutes or until it has reached your desired doneness.
  • Remove the chicken stir fry from the heat, top with green onions and sesame seeds (optional) and serve!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 198kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 10g | Sodium: 819mg | Fiber: 3g
Side close up view of chicken stir fry in a skillet.

How to Make Chicken Stir Fry – Step by Step Photos

Chicken Stir Fry Sauce in a small bowl.

Start by making the stir fry sauce. Combine the 1/3 cup soy sauce, 3 Tbsp brown sugar, 2 tsp toasted sesame oil, 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 tsp grated fresh ginger, 1 tsp sriracha, 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch and 1/3 cup water in a small bowl. Set the sauce aside.

Chicken Stir Fry vegetables chopped on a cutting board.

Chop 3/4 lb. of broccoli into small florets. Slice 1 red bell pepper, 1 small yellow onion, and 2 carrots into similar sized pieces. Slice 2 green onions. Set the vegetables aside.

Chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces on a cutting board.

Cut 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts into small 1/2 inch sized pieces.

Cooked chicken breast pieces in a skillet.

Heat a very large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Once hot add 2 Tbsp of cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface of the skillet. Add the chicken and cook until browned on all sides. Be careful not to overcook the chicken. Once chicken is browned, remove it from the skillet onto a separate plate and set aside.

Broccoli and carrots being sautéed in a skillet.

In the same skillet, add the remaining 1 Tbsp of cooking oil along with the carrots and broccoli. Cook and stir for one minute, or just until the broccoli begins to turn bright green.

Peppers and onions added to a skillet with broccoli and carrots.

Next, add the red bell pepper and onion to the skillet. Continue to cook and stir for 1-2 more minutes.

Cooked chicken and stir fry sauce being added to vegetables in a skillet.

Give the stir fry sauce another brief stir. Now add the cooked chicken back to the skillet, then pour the stir fry sauce over the chicken and vegetables. Give everything a stir and allow the sauce to come up to a simmer, at which point it will start to thicken and turn glossy. Continue to cook for 1-2 more minutes or until it has reached your desired doneness.

Finished chicken stir fry in a skillet.

Remove the chicken stir fry from the heat, top with green onions and sesame seeds (optional) and dinner is served!

Chicken stir fry on a plate with white rice and a fork serving some out.

The post Chicken Stir Fry appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Chicken Enchilada Soup

This super flavorful Chicken Enchilada Soup is made with tender chicken breast, lots of spices, and a simple homemade enchilada sauce.

The post Chicken Enchilada Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

We are still in the middle of soup season and if you’re looking for a new soup recipe to make this month, then friend you’re in luck! Today we’re making Chicken Enchilada Soup! It’s made with tender chicken breast and lots of bold flavors. Dare I say, it might just be your new favorite soup this year! And the secret ingredient…our homemade enchilada sauce. Keep on reading to find out just how easy it is to make this hearty and satisfying, chicken enchilada soup!

Overhead view of Chicken Enchilada Soup in a white bowl with a black spoon on the side.

What Is Chicken Enchilada Soup?

Chicken Enchilada Soup is everything you love about regular chicken enchiladas, but it’s conveniently made in one pot! It reminds me of chicken tortilla soup, with tender chicken meat and bold flavors, except it’s made with an easy homemade enchilada sauce. The enchilada sauce is cooked directly in the soup pot with the rest of the ingredients and gives this soup TONS of flavor!

Ingredients For Chicken Enchilada Soup

Here is everything you need to make this chicken enchilada soup recipe:

  • Chicken Breasts: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are used for this recipe, but you could also substitute with boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead. The cook time may vary slightly when using chicken thighs.
  • Onion, Garlic, and Jalapeño: Sautéed onion, garlic, and jalapeño sets the base foundation and adds great flavor to the soup.
  • Enchilada Sauce: You can certainly use store-bought enchilada sauce, but we used a batch of our Easy Enchilada Sauce recipe for this soup. Instead of making the sauce separately in a different pot, it’s made directly in the same pot that the soup cooks in. The homemade enchilada sauce makes it easy to control the spices and the heat level of this soup and it tastes SO much better than store-bought sauce!
  • Beans & Corn: Beans and corn add more color, flavor, and texture to the soup!
  • Tomatoes: A combination of fire-roasted tomatoes, diced tomatoes with green chiles, and tomato paste adds even more flavor and texture to the soup. The tomato paste is used to make the enchilada sauce and it helps thicken the soup, so I wouldn’t skip it.
  • Chicken Broth: Using a good quality chicken broth will give the soup extra flavor. We use Better than Bouillon to make our broth.

How Spicy Is This SOup?

This chicken enchilada soup definitely has a kick to it. It has jalapeño, chili powder, and cayenne pepper added to it. The brand of chili powder we use is completely mild, but other brands can sometimes carry some heat. If you are using a spicy chili powder, simply reduce or eliminate the cayenne powder from this recipe to compensate. I would say the heat level of this soup is medium spicy, like a medium salsa.

What To Serve WIth Chicken Enchilada Soup

The same day we made this soup at the studio, Beth just happened to also be making some Homestyle Cornbread. So we drizzled a little bit of honey on top of the cornbread to eat with the soup, and OMG…a match made in heaven! The combination of the sweetness from the honey with the spicy and smoky flavors of the enchilada soup were perfect and absolutely delicious. In addition to cornbread, you can also pair this soup with Cilantro Lime Rice or even our Sweet Corn Salsa. And don’t forget the toppings! Some cheddar cheese, a little bit of cilantro, sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, or a few more sliced jalapeños (if you like the extra heat) would all be great!

Storing Leftovers

This soup stores very well in the fridge and the freezer. We always suggest dividing the soup into single portions just after cooking so it cools down more quickly in the refrigerator, which will give you more longevity with the leftovers. You can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 4-5 days, or you can freeze it for longer storage (about 3 months).

Overhead view of chicken enchilada soup in a dutch oven with a ladle scooping some soup out.
Overhead view of Chicken Enchilada Soup in a white bowl with a black spoon on the side.
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Chicken Enchilada Soup

This super flavorful Chicken Enchilada Soup is made with tender chicken breast, lots of spices, and a simple homemade enchilada sauce.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American, Southwest
Total Cost $11.52 recipe / $1.92 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 (about 1.5 cups each)
Calories 181kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp cooking oil, divided $0.12
  • 1 yellow onion, diced $0.32
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded & diced $0.25
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.04
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder $0.60
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 3/4 tsp salt $0.05
  • 3 oz. tomato paste $0.50
  • 1 15oz. can black beans, drained $0.89
  • 1 15oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes $1.33
  • 1 10oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles $1.00
  • 1 cup frozen corn $0.47
  • 4 cups chicken broth $0.42
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1.5 lb. total) $5.25

Instructions

  • Add 1 Tbsp of cooking oil along with the diced onion, finely diced jalapeño and minced garlic cloves to a large dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until onions are soft and translucent.
  • Next add the all-purpose flour, chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and the remaining 2 Tbsp of cooking oil to the pot. Stir well and cook the flour and spices with the vegetables for 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste, drained black beans, fire roasted tomatoes, diced tomatoes with green chiles, frozen corn, and chicken broth to the pot. Stir all the ingredients together making sure to dissolve the tomato paste and scrape up any spices that may be stuck at the bottom of the pot.
  • Now add the chicken breasts directly inside the pot on top of the rest of the ingredients. Place a lid on the pot and bring the soup up to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and allow the soup to simmer for 45 minutes. Make sure the soup is just at a steady simmer at this point, as this will help to create tender chicken breast meat.
  • After the soup has simmered for 45 minutes, remove the chicken breasts and place them on a clean cutting board. Once cool enough to touch, shred the chicken breasts with a fork.
  • Add the shredded chicken meat back to the soup pot and stir until the chicken is evenly distributed throughout the soup.
  • Serve this soup with your favorite toppings like shredded cheese, cilantro, sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, or even some more sliced jalapeño. Enjoy!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 181kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 1075mg | Fiber: 3g
Side view of two bowls of chicken enchilada soup with a black spoon inside the soup.

How to Make Chicken Enchilada Soup – Step by Step Photos

Diced onion, jalapeno, and garlic in a dutch oven.

Add 1 Tbsp of cooking oil, one diced onion, one finely diced jalapeño and two minced garlic cloves to a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until onions are soft and translucent.

Spices added to sautéed vegetables in a dutch oven.

Next add 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, 2 Tbsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 3/4 tsp salt, and the remaining 2 Tbsp of cooking oil to the pot.

Spices mixed and sautéed in dutch oven.

Stir well and cook the flour and spices with the vegetables for 2 minutes.

Tomatoes, black beans, corn, tomato paste, and chicken broth added to the dutch oven.

Add 3oz. of tomato paste, one 15oz. can of black beans (drained), one 15oz. can of fire roasted tomatoes (with juices), one 10oz. can of diced tomatoes with green chiles (with juices), one cup of frozen corn, and 4 cups of chicken broth to the pot. Stir all the ingredients together making sure to dissolve the tomato paste and scrape up any spices that may be stuck at the bottom of the pot.

Two chicken breasts being placed in the dutch oven on top of the soup ingredients.

Now add two chicken breasts directly inside the pot on top of the rest of the ingredients. Place a lid on the pot and bring the soup up to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and allow the soup to simmer for 45 minutes. Make sure the soup is just at a steady simmer at this point, as this will help to create tender chicken breast meat.

Cooked chicken breasts being shredded on a clean cutting board.

After the soup has simmered for 45 minutes, remove the chicken breasts and place them on a clean cutting board. Once cool enough to touch, shred the chicken breasts with a fork.

Overhead view of finished Chicken Enchilada Soup with a large silicone spoon inside the soup pot.

Add the shredded chicken meat back to the soup pot and stir until the chicken is evenly distributed throughout the soup.

Overhead view of chicken enchilada soup in a dutch oven with a ladle scooping some soup out.

Serve this soup with your favorite toppings like shredded cheese, cilantro, sliced avocado, sour cream, or even some more sliced jalapeño and enjoy!

Overhead view of two bowls of chicken enchilada soup with jalapeno and shredded cheese on top.

The post Chicken Enchilada Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Air Fryer Chicken Breast

This juicy, tender, Air Fryer Chicken Breast is super flavorful and ready in less than 20 minutes. Perfect for meal prepping!

The post Air Fryer Chicken Breast appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’m sure by now we all know that the air fryer makes life just a little bit easier, so if you’re looking for a simple way to cook chicken breasts, then you can’t miss with this easy Air Fryer Chicken Breast recipe. I happen to love chicken breasts and I cook them quite often, so being able to cook juicy, tender, and super flavorful chicken breasts in less than 20 minutes is a huge win for me! These air fryer chicken breasts are also great for meal prep. You can cook them at the beginning of the week, slice them up, then store them in meal prep containers along with your favorite sides. Because chicken breasts are so versatile, this is simply a great recipe to keep in your back pocket!

Cooked overhead view of Air Fryer Chicken Breasts in an air fryer basket.

Ingredients For Air Fryer Chicken Breast

Here are the ingredients we used to make these flavorful air fryer chicken breasts:

  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast: We were able to fit two boneless, skinless chicken breasts that were roughly 2/3 lb. each into our 5-quart air fryer with plenty of room on the sides for air to circulate. If chicken thighs are more your style, then you’ll love our Air Fryer Chicken Thighs recipe!
  • Olive Oil: Olive oil helps the seasoning adhere to the chicken breasts and gives the chicken breasts a nice golden brown color.
  • Seasoning: We went with a simple spice blend using steak seasoning, paprika, and freshly cracked black pepper. Steak seasoning usually includes a good amount of salt, so no extra salt was needed for this recipe. You can also mix things up and try different seasoning mixes. I’ll list a few different options below.

More Seasoning Ideas

If you want to switch things up, here are some other ways you can season your air fryer chicken breasts:

Tips For Making Air Fryer Chicken Breasts

  1. Thick chicken breasts take longer to cook in the air fryer. In order to make sure the chicken breasts cook evenly, use a rolling pin or the flat side of a meat tenderizer to gently pound the thicker side of the chicken breast until the breast is an even thickness from one end to the other (about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick).
  2. Once the chicken breasts are cooked, remove them promptly from the air fryer to stop the cooking process. This will help prevent the chicken breast from overcooking and drying out.  
  3. Allow the chicken breasts to rest for 5 minutes on a cutting board before slicing and serving. This helps the chicken breast retain all of those yummy juices.

Serving Suggestions

There are so many options to choose from when picking a side to serve with your air fryer chicken breasts. You could make a simple side salad, mashed potatoes, homemade mac and cheese, or a side of steamed green beans. And if you have a few extra minutes you can always add a side of roasted vegetables like our roasted broccoli or our oven baked steak fries!

Meal Prep Ideas

Meal prepping is a great way to save time, money, and reduce waste in the kitchen. And these Air Fryer Chicken Breasts are absolutely perfect for meal prep! You can easily slice them into equal portions for your meal prep containers, then just add in your favorite sides and vegetables.

Chicken breasts are also great to meal prep with salads, sandwiches, wraps, and even chicken burrito bowls! And if you love meal prepping as much as we do, then make sure to check out our full list of budget-friendly meal prep ideas.

Air Fryer Chicken Breast sliced in meal prep containers with green beans and mashed potatoes on the side.
Overhead view of Air Fryer Chicken Breast on a plate with a side of mashed potatoes and green beans.
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Air Fryer Chicken Breast

This juicy, tender, Air Fryer Chicken Breast is super flavorful and ready in less than 20 minutes. Perfect for meal prepping!
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Total Cost $5.74 recipe / $1.43 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 204kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a small bowl mix the steak seasoning, sweet paprika, smoked paprika, and black pepper together.
  • Place both chicken breasts on a cutting board, cover them with plastic wrap or parchment paper, then use a rolling pin or the flat side of a meat tenderizer to gently pound the thicker side of the chicken breast until the entire breast is an even thickness from one end to the other (about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick).
  • Preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Brush the olive oil over both sides of each chicken breast.
  • Generously coat both sides of each chicken breast with the seasoning blend. Rub the seasoning into the breasts with your hands making sure the entire chicken breast is evenly coated with spices.
  • Place both chicken breasts inside the air fryer basket and cook for 7 minutes. Then flip the chicken breasts and cook for 6 more minutes. After a total of 13 minutes, use a meat thermometer to check the chicken breasts and make sure the internal temperature has reached 165°F, and if not, cook for 1-2 minutes longer.
  • Promptly remove the chicken breasts from the air fryer basket and rest on a clean cutting board for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve the chicken breasts with your favorite sides and enjoy.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 204kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 7g | Sodium: 172mg | Fiber: 0.4g
Overhead view of Air Fryer Chicken Breast on a plate with a side of mashed potatoes and green beans.

How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Breasts – Step by Step Photos

Spices for air fryer chicken breast in a small bowl.

In a small bowl mix together 2 tsp steak seasoning, 1 tsp sweet paprika, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, and 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper together. Set the seasoning mix to the side.

chicken breasts on a cutting board being pounded with a rolling pin.

Place 2 chicken breasts on a cutting board, cover them with plastic wrap or parchment paper, then use a rolling pin or the flat side of a meat tenderizer to gently pound the thicker side of the chicken breast until the entire breast is an even thickness from one end to the other (about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick).

Seasoned chicken breasts on a cutting board.

Preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Brush 1 Tbsp of olive oil over both sides of each chicken breast. Then generously coat both sides of each chicken breast with the seasoning mix. Rub the seasoning into the breasts with your hands making sure the entire chicken breast is evenly coated with spices.

Uncooked chicken breasts added to an air fryer basket.

Place both chicken breasts inside the air fryer basket and cook for 7 minutes. Then flip the chicken breasts and cook for 6 more minutes. After a total of 13 minutes, use a meat thermometer to check the chicken breasts and make sure the internal temperature has reached 165°F, and if not, cook for 1-2 minutes longer.

Cooked chicken breasts inside an air fryer basket.

Promptly remove the chicken breasts from the air fryer basket and rest on a clean cutting board for 5 minutes before slicing. Enjoy these juicy, flavorful air fryer chicken breasts with your favorite sides for dinner, in a salad or sandwich for lunch, or for an easy meal prep protein!

Sliced Air Fryer Chicken Breasts on a wood cutting board.

The post Air Fryer Chicken Breast appeared first on Budget Bytes.