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Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuits

Our classic Chicken Pot Pie recipe with a traditional pie crust is the BEST and one of our most popular recipes. If you haven’t tried it, add it to your dinner plans ASAP. We also like to make this Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuits because it is SO e…

Our classic Chicken Pot Pie recipe with a traditional pie crust is the BEST and one of our most popular recipes. If you haven’t tried it, add it to your dinner plans ASAP. We also like to make this Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuits because it is SO easy. The filling is loaded with chicken,…

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Lemony Chickpea Soup

This Lemony Chickpea Soup recipe is simple, budget-friendly, and delicious. It’s the perfect comforting low-effort meal for busy nights.

The post Lemony Chickpea Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Quick and easy soups made with canned beans have become my favorite go-to easy meal when I’m too tired to cook and too broke to eat out. I’ve made several variations of this soup over the years, including the viral Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup, but this week I made a Mediterranean-inspired Lemony Chickpea Soup. It’s fast, easy, has bright flavors, and pairs perfectly with some crusty bread for a simple no-fuss meal.

Overhead view of three bowls of lemony chickpea soup garnished with a lemon slice.

This incredibly simple Lemony Chickpea soup combines puréed chickpeas, broth, and some seasoning to create a perfectly comforting and flavorful bowl of soup. And since most of these ingredients are shelf-stable, this is a pantry meal you can make any time with no planning head.

Ingredients for Lemony Chickpea Soup

Here’s all you’ll need to make this deliciously easy chickpea soup:

  • Garlic: A hefty dose of garlic gives this soup a deep savory flavor and perfectly balances the bright lemon.
  • Olive Oil: Olive oil is used to sauté the garlic and give the soup a little bit of richness in the mouthfeel.
  • Chickpeas: This recipe uses canned chickpeas to make the entire preparation fast and easy. If you prefer to use chickpeas cooked from dry, you’ll need about 4-5 cups of cooked chickpeas.
  • Chicken Broth: Broth adds a lot of savory depth to the soup as well as the salt needed to make each flavor pop.
  • Lemon: A splash of lemon juice brightens up the flavors in the soup, provides a nice contrast to the savory garlic flavor, and gives the soup a fresh Mediterranean flavor.
  • Seasoning: The seasoning profile for the soup is fairly simple with just a little bit of thyme, oregano, red pepper, and black pepper. Keeping the seasoning light gives the soup a bright and fresh flavor.

What to Serve with Lemony Chickpea Soup

This chickpea soup is just begging for some crusty bread for dipping, so I highly suggest making a loaf of our easy no-knead bread or focaccia rolls. Or, if you need something a little faster, homemade garlic bread would also be amazing with this soup. And, if you want some veggies on the side, a simple side salad would be awesome, or you could go with something a little heftier, like tortellini salad.

Tips for Smooth Chickpea Soup

Canned chickpeas can often be a bit on the firm side, so to make sure your chickpea soup is extra smooth you may need to pre-boil the chickpeas, but it depends largely on the brand of chickpeas. Some canned chickpeas are quite soft, while others are very firm or borderline undercooked.

If your chickpeas are very firm, simply empty the can and liquid into a small saucepot and simmer them for about 10 minutes. Let the chickpeas cool before transferring to the blender to purée.

Overhead view of a pot full of lemony chickpea soup with garlic bread on the side.
Overhead view of a bowl of lemony chickpea soup with a spoon in the middle.
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Lemony Chickpea Soup

This Lemony Chickpea Soup recipe is simple, budget-friendly, and delicious. It's the perfect comforting low-effort meal for busy nights.
Course Dinner, Lunch, Soup
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Total Cost $4.52 recipe $1.13 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
Servings 4 (1.25 cups each)
Calories 375kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 15oz. cans chickpeas, divided $2.67
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.32
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 2 cups chicken broth $0.26
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper $0.02
  • 1 lemon $0.79
  • 1/4 tsp salt (or to taste) $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Instructions

  • Add 2 of the cans of chickpeas to a blender with the liquid in the can and purée until smooth.* Drain the third can of chickpeas and set aside.
  • Mince the garlic and add it to a saucepot with the olive oil. Sauté the garlic over medium heat for about one minute, or just until the garlic becomes very fragrant.
  • Add the puréed chickpeas, drained chickpeas, chicken broth, thyme, oregano, red pepper, salt, and pepper to the soup pot with the garlic. Stir to combine.
  • Allow the soup to come up to a simmer, then simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • While the soup simmers, zest and juice half of the lemon (you'll need about 2 Tbsp juice and ½ tsp zest). Slice the remaining lemon for garnish.
  • After the soup has simmered, add 2 Tbsp juice and a pinch of lemon zest, then stir to combine.
  • Taste the soup and adjust the salt, lemon juice, pepper, or other herbs to your liking. The amount of salt needed to properly flavor the soup will depend on the salt content of your broth, so make sure to salt to taste at the end.
  • Garnish the soup with the remaining lemon slices and zest, a drizzle of olive oil, and more pepper if desired, then serve with crusty bread and enjoy!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*Some brands of canned chickpeas are quite firm. To make the soup really smooth you may need to pre-simmer the beans for about 10 minutes to make them softer before blending. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1.25cup | Calories: 375kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 14g | Sodium: 1527mg | Fiber: 15g
Overhead view of three bowls of lemony chickpea soup garnished with slices of lemon.

How to Make Lemony Chickpea Soup – Step by Step Photos

Blended chickpeas in a blender with a spoon.

Add two 15oz. cans of chickpeas to a blender, with the liquid in the can, and purée until smooth. If the brand of chickpeas you’re using are extra firm, you may want to simmer the chickpeas in the liquid for about 10 minutes before blending to soften them more. Let the simmered chickpeas cool slightly before blending, as blending hot liquids can be dangerous.

Minced garlic in a soup pot with olive oil.

Mince four cloves of garlic (or more, if you’d like!) and add them to a saucepot with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Sauté the minced garlic over medium heat for about one minute, or just until the garlic becomes very fragrant.

Beans, broth, and herbs in the soup pot.

Add the puréed beans, one can of drained chickpeas, 2 cups of chicken broth, ½ tsp dried thyme, ½ tsp dried oregano, 1 pinch of crushed red pepper, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper to the pot. Stir to combine and bring the soup up to a simmer over medium heat.

Zested and juiced lemon.

Let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, zest and juice half of a lemon (you’ll need 2 Tbsp juice and about ½ tsp zest). Slice the other half of the lemon to use as a garnish.

Lemon juice being added to the soup.

After the soup has simmered for about 10 minutes, add 2 Tbsp lemon juice to the soup along with a pinch of lemon zest.

Finished soup being stirred in the pot.

Taste the soup and adjust the salt, lemon juice, zest, or other herbs to your liking. The amount of salt needed will depend on the salt content of the broth used and it can really help the flavors pop, so make sure to salt to taste at the end.

A ladle full of lemony chickpea soup held close to the camera over the pot of soup.

Garnish the soup with the remaining slices of lemon and lemon zest, extra pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. We also had some parsley in the fridge, so we added some of that for color.

Overhead view of a bowl of lemony chickpea soup with a spoon in the middle.

The post Lemony Chickpea Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Creamy Polenta

This creamy polenta has a rich flavor, creamy texture, and deep corn flavor. It’s the perfect base for stews, saucy beans, and braised meats.

The post Creamy Polenta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’ve lived in the south most of my life and we eat grits all the time, so I thought I knew what polenta was all about. But let me just tell you, this Creamy Polenta is on a whole other level. from the instant grits I was used to. While both grits and polenta are made with cornmeal, this Creamy Polenta has a rich texture, deep corn flavor, and super creamy consistency. I think Marsha’s exact words when we tested it in the studio were, “I think I’m in love…” Same, girl, same. I’m going to be making this polenta to serve with every stew, saucy bean dish, or braised meat from here on out.

Overhead view of a bowl of polenta with a pat of butter on top.

What is Polenta?

Polenta is a cornmeal mush made by boiling cornmeal until it’s tender. It can be served like a porridge or chilled until firm, sliced, and pan-fried for a crispier texture. While similar to grits, another type of cornmeal mush, polenta and grits are made with different varieties of corn. Polenta is made with flint corn, which has a more dense and chewy texture that holds up better to boiling than dent corn, which is used for grits. Grits are generally more finely milled, except stone ground grits, which are closer in texture to polenta. I find that polenta has a much better mouthfeel (less gloopy) and a stronger corn flavor. It’s absolutely delicious!

Ingredients for Creamy Polenta

To make this polenta recipe extra creamy and delicious, we go a little further than simply boiling the cornmeal in water. Here’s what you’ll need to make the dreamiest, creamiest homemade polenta:

  • Polenta: You’ll need uncooked polenta for this recipe, which comes in a bag and looks like coarse ground or stone ground cornmeal. Depending on the store, you may either find this with dry grains, with Italian ingredients like pasta, or in the specialty or health food ingredients. One popular brand that you’re likely to find in most major U.S. grocery chains is Bob’s Redmill. If you have a store with bulk bins or have an Italian grocery nearby, you can probably find it priced for much less than chain grocery stores!
  • Chicken Broth: Instead of boiling the polenta in plain water, we cooked the polenta in chicken broth which gives it tons of savory flavor. Make sure you use a full-flavor broth to give the polenta the best flavor. We use Better Than Bouillon to make our broth.
  • Butter: A healthy dose of butter makes the polenta super creamy and delicious.
  • Parmesan: Parmesan is stirred into the cooked polenta and gives it a slightly cheesy flavor and tons of savory umami.

How to Serve Polenta

Polenta is often served as the starchy base for a meal, similar to how rice is served as the bed for saucy dishes and stir-fries. Polenta pairs extremely well with stews, braised meats, saucy bean dishes, and roasted vegetables. It’s the perfect cozy companion to all of your warm winter meals. Try it with our Chicken Cacciatore, or Slow Cooker Beef Stew!

How to Store Leftovers

Leftover cooked polenta can be stored in the refrigerator for about four days. But, as with most starches, polenta will firm up when chilled. The best way to make use of chilled cooked polenta is to slice it and then pan-fry it into crispy cakes. These crispy polenta pieces are perfect for dipping in your favorite sauce, or serving as a side with dinner. If you prefer to serve the chilled polenta as a porridge, you’ll need to add more liquid (broth, water, or milk) and heat gently while stirring until it loosens up.

Overhead view of polenta in a pot with butter being stirred.
Close up of polenta in a bowl with a spoon dug into the side.
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Creamy Polenta

This creamy polenta has a rich flavor, creamy texture, and deep corn flavor. It's the perfect base for stews, saucy beans, and braised meats.
Course Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Total Cost $2.32 recipe / $0.58 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 (1.25 cups each)
Calories 288kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chicken broth $0.42
  • 1 cup uncooked polenta $1.06
  • 4 Tbsp salted butter $0.44
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan $0.40

Instructions

  • Add the chicken broth to a pot and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Once the broth is boiling, whisk in the polenta. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let the polenta simmer, stirring often, for about five minutes or until it has thickened.
  • Turn the heat off and add the butter and Parmesan. Stir the butter and Parmesan into the polenta until fully melted. Taste the polenta and adjust the salt or butter as desired. Serve immediately.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 288kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 14g | Sodium: 1072mg | Fiber: 1g
Close up of polenta in a bowl with a spoon dug into the side.

How to Make Polenta – Step by Step Photos

A measuring cup full of uncooked polenta.

You’ll need one cup of uncooked polenta for this recipe. It should look like this, coarsely ground cornmeal.

Chicken broth being poured into a saucepot.

Add four cups of good chicken broth to a sauce pot and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat.

Polenta being whisked into the broth.

Once the broth is boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and whisk in the polenta. Let the polenta simmer over medium-low, whisking often, for about five minutes or until it has thickened.

Butter and Parmesan added to the polenta.

Remove the polenta from the heat, add 4 tablespoons of salted butter and ¼ cup of grated Parmesan, and stir until they have fully melted in.

Finished creamy polenta being stirred with a whisk.

The polenta should now be super thick and creamy. Give the polenta a taste and adjust the salt if needed. Our chicken broth had plenty of salt, so no more was needed, but it will definitely depend on the type of broth used.

Finished creamy polenta in a bowl ready to be served.

Serve the creamy polenta immediately while it is still warm and soft. You can add some freshly cracked pepper on top and a little extra butter or Parmesan, if desired.

The post Creamy Polenta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Ham and Bean Soup

Whenever we have leftover baked ham from a holiday or a special family dinner, we like to make Split Pea Soup, Cheesy Ham and Potato Soup, or this Ham and Bean Soup. This Ham and Bean Soup is a classic and SO easy! It’s made with juicy, tender ha…

Whenever we have leftover baked ham from a holiday or a special family dinner, we like to make Split Pea Soup, Cheesy Ham and Potato Soup, or this Ham and Bean Soup. This Ham and Bean Soup is a classic and SO easy! It’s made with juicy, tender ham, vegetables, herbs, chicken broth, and Great…

Zuppa Toscana

The Olive Garden restaurant made Zuppa Toscana (Tuscan soup) extremely popular. It is a creamy soup made with Italian sausage, bacon, tender potatoes, garlic, and kale. It is rich, hearty, and flavorful. No wonder it is so popular. Well, good news, you…

The Olive Garden restaurant made Zuppa Toscana (Tuscan soup) extremely popular. It is a creamy soup made with Italian sausage, bacon, tender potatoes, garlic, and kale. It is rich, hearty, and flavorful. No wonder it is so popular. Well, good news, you don’t have to go to the Olive Garden to enjoy this soup. You…

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.

Cilantro Lime Rice

This Cilantro Lime Rice recipe is bright, flavorful, easy to make with just a few ingredients, and will make any meal more delicious!

The post Cilantro Lime Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you’ve ever been to Chipotle, you know how good cilantro lime rice is and just how much flavor it can add to a meal. Luckily, it’s super easy and budget-friendly to make at home, too, so you take any meal to the next level just by switching out your plain white rice for this Cilantro Lime Rice recipe. It’s bright, flavorful, savory, and absolutely delicious. This Cilantro Lime Rice recipe is so good, in fact, that sometimes I make it a meal simply by adding some black beans and cheese. Done and done!

Overhead view of cilantro lime rice in a bowl garnished with lime wedges.

What Is Cilantro Lime Rice?

Cilantro lime rice is simply white rice flavored with lime and cilantro, but we throw in a couple more tricks to make it even more delicious and crave-worthy. It’s often served as a side dish with Latin or Tex-Mex meals, adding tons of flavor and color to the plate. But, since cilantro IS the main flavor in this rice, you definitely need to be a cilantro lover to like this recipe. If cilantro isn’t your thing, try our tomato rice instead!

Ingredients for Cilantro Lime Rice

The best part about cilantro lime rice is that you only need a few ingredients and it doesn’t take much longer than cooking plain rice, making it a total win. Here’s what you’ll need to make cilantro lime rice:

  • Long Grain White Rice: You can use any long grain white rice for this recipe, conventional, jasmine, or basmati. Conventional is the most budget-friendly, but you’ll get even more flavor with jasmine or basmati. Avoid medium and short grain rices as they tend to be sticky instead of fluffy.
  • Chicken Broth: Cooking the rice in chicken broth instead of plain water adds a LOT of flavor to the rice, including a deliciously savory base. If you want to make this vegetarian, look for a vegetarian version of chicken broth rather than a regular vegetable broth, which will turn the rice a brownish color, obscuring the cilantro’s pretty green color.
  • Cilantro: This recipe is all about the cilantro! Cilantro gives the rice a really bright and fresh flavor and a beautifully vibrant green color. Fresh cilantro is a must for this recipe, not dried.
  • Lime: Fresh lime also adds a bright flavor, and the tanginess of the juice is a nice contrast to the savory chicken broth. We use both the juice and the zest for maximum lime flavor.
  • Olive Oil: A little olive oil helps coat the cooked rice to give it richness and prevent it from getting to gummy as you fold in the fresh ingredients.

How to Serve Cilantro Lime Rice

Cilantro lime rice is a great side dish to go with any Latin or Tex-Mex meal, but it’s also great as a base to bowl meals, as a flavorful filling in burritos, or you could even use it as a base for a casserole. Try serving cilantro lime rice with shrimp tacos, cheese enchiladas, burrito bowls, chicken fajitas, or some saucy black beans.

Tip: Don’t Waste the Stems!

When using fresh cilantro, don’t toss the stems! Cilantro stems are very tender and have just as much flavor as the leaves, so as long as they’re thoroughly washed and finely chopped, they can be used right alongside the leaves in recipes like this. So you don’t have to spend time meticulously pulling the leaves from the stems and you’ll have less waste, too!

Cilantro lime rice in the pot with lime wedges.
Cilantro lime rice in the pot with lime wedges.
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Cilantro Lime Rice

This Cilantro Lime Rice recipe is bright, flavorful, easy to make with just a few ingredients, and will make any meal more delicious!
Course Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine Southwest
Total Cost $2.50 recipe / $0.42 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 (about 1 cup each)
Calories 275kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups long grain white rice (uncooked) $0.52
  • 3 cups chicken broth $0.32
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro $0.75
  • 1 lime $0.59
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32

Instructions

  • Rinse the rice in cool water then let it drain well. Add the rice and chicken broth to a sauce pot, place a lid on top, and bring it to a full boil over high heat without removing the lid or stirring.
  • Once it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low, or just above low, and let the rice simmer for 15 minutes (no stirring or removing the lid). After 15 minutes, turn off the heat and let the pot rest for an additional five minutes.
  • While the rice is cooking, zest and juice the lime, and finely chop the cilantro. Add 3 tablespoons of the lime juice, ½ teaspoon of the lime zest, and 1 cup of finely chopped cilantro to a bowl with the olive oil and stir to combine.
  • Once the rice has rested off of the heat for five minutes, remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Drizzle the cilantro lime mixture over the rice, then gently fold to combine. Make sure not to stir the rice vigorously, or that can cause it to become mushy and sticky.
  • Taste the rice and adjust the lime or salt to your liking, then serve with your favorite meal.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Cup | Calories: 275kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 440mg | Fiber: 1g

How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice – Step By Step Photos

Chicken broth being added to a pot with rinsed rice.

Start by rinsing 2 cups of uncooked long grain white rice. Let it drain well, then add it to a medium pot with 3 cups of chicken broth. Place a lid on the pot and bring the broth to a full boil over high heat. Once it reaches a full boil, immediately turn the heat down to low, or just slightly above low, to keep the broth at a gentle simmer.

Cooked and fluffed rice in the pot.

Let the rice simmer for 15 minutes without stirring or removing the lid, then turn the heat off and allow the pot to rest, without removing the lid, for an additional five minutes. Finally, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.

Chopped cilantro and zested and juiced lime on a cutting board.

While the rice is cooking, zest and juice one lime. Rinse and finely chop about ½ bunch of fresh cilantro, or about one cup once chopped. Add the chopped cilantro, 3 tablespoons of the juice, and ½ teaspoon of zest to a bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and stir to combine.

Cilantro lime mixture being poured into the rice.

Pour the cilantro lime mixture over the cooked rice, then gently fold it to combine. Be careful not to stir vigorously or fold too much as the more the rice is stirred the more it will become sticky. Just fold the ingredients together in a gentle motion.

Finished cilantro lime rice in a pot.

Serve the cilantro lime rice with your favorite meal and enjoy!

Close up overhead view of cilantro lime rice in the pot with lime garnishes.

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Black-Eyed Peas

Black Eyed Peas are a flavorful, budget-friendly, and nutrient packed meal for New Year’s Day or any day of the year!

The post Black-Eyed Peas appeared first on Budget Bytes.

It may be tradition to eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day, but I’m here to say that you need to be making these delicious and budget-friendly beans year-round! This big ol’ pot of peas is hearty, delicious, freezer-friendly, and about as budget-friendly as it gets. So try them out this New Year’s Day and then add them to your regular rotation for the coming year. Your wallet and taste buds will thank you. ;)

Overhead view of a pot of black-eyed peas being stirred with a wooden spoon.

What Are Black-Eyed Peas?

Black-eyed peas are a small white legume with a black dot, or “eye”, in the center. They’re traditionally served on New Year’s Day in the United States alongside collard greens (or mustard or turnip greens) to bring wealth in the new year. The black-eyed peas represent coins, while the greens signify paper dollars. Some even believe you must consume 365 black-eyed peas to bring the wealth, so make sure to dish yourself up an extra large bowl!

Ingredients for Black-Eyed Peas

Here’s what you’ll need to make this incredibly delicious pot of black-eyed peas:

  • Black-Eyed Peas: You’ll need one pound of dry black-eyed peas. You can find these near the other dry beans in the grocery store, or on a special display if you’re buying near the New Year!
  • Bacon: Bacon gives the black-eyed peas a deliciously smoky flavor and the fat gives the peas body and a wonderful mouthfeel. You can substitute by adding a ham hock or smoked turkey wing to the peas before simmering and using a bit of oil to sauté the vegetables in the beginning.
  • Vegetables: The black-eyed peas are flavored with a medley of vegetables like onion, garlic, bell pepper, and celery. The vegetables add flavor, color, and texture to the dish.
  • Spices: The pot of peas is seasoned with a savory mix of smoked paprika, oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper, and black pepper.
  • Chicken Broth: The black-eyed peas cook in chicken broth for maximum flavor. Make sure to use a good broth to ensure the peas are very flavorful. We like to use Better Than Bouillon because it’s cost-effective and has great flavor
  • Salt: As with any bean, it’s very important to add salt to taste at the end of cooking. Salt doesn’t just make food “salty” but it amplifies all of the flavors so you can taste each and every ingredient.

Recipe Variations

Vegetarian or Vegan: To make these black-eyed peas vegetarian, simply skip the bacon and use a few tablespoons of coconut oil to sauté the vegetables. The coconut oil has a similar mouthfeel to pork fat, making the peas extra hearty. You’ll also want to increase the smoked paprika slightly to make up for the smokiness of the bacon and swap vegetable broth for chicken broth.

Slow Cooker: To make black-eyed peas in the slow cooker, simply add all of the ingredients (including the pre-soaked peas) to a slow cooker and cook on high for about four hours, or until the peas are tender.

Canned Black-Eyed Peas: If you’re in a rush or forgot to soak your peas, canned black-eyed peas are a great shortcut. Simply follow our recipe for Quickie Black-Eyed Peas with Greens.

The Quick Soak Method

If you don’t have time to soak your beans overnight (or you just forgot), you can use the quick soak method to get the beans ready for cooking in about an hour. Here’s how to quick soak beans:

  1. Rinse the beans with cold water, then add them to a large pot. Add enough fresh water to cover the beans by 2-3 inches.
  2. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat on to high, and bring the beans up to a boil. Allow the beans to boil for two minutes.
  3. Remove the beans from the heat and let them sit in the hot water, with the lid in place, for one hour.
  4. Rinse the soaked beans and continue to use them in place of the beans soaked overnight.

How to Store Leftover Black-Eyed Peas

This recipe is great for meal prep because the leftovers are amazing. Store the cooked black-eyed peas in the refrigerator for up to five days, or, once they’re chilled, transfer single portions to the freezer for longer storage. They can be kept in the freezer for about three months and easily reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop over medium-low heat, stirring often.

Overhead view of a bowl of black-eyed peas with a piece of cornbread on the side.
Overhead view of a pot of black-eyed peas with a wooden spoon.
Print

Black-Eyed Peas

Black Eyed Peas are a flavorful, budget-friendly, and nutrient packed meal for New Year's Day or any day of the year!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $6.36 recipe / $1.06 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Soak Time 8 hours
Total Time 9 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6 (1.3 cups each)
Calories 362kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. dry black-eyed peas $1.99
  • 4 oz. bacon $1.33
  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.32
  • 1 bell pepper $0.99
  • 2 stalks celery $0.45
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika $0.10
  • 1 tsp dried oregano $0.10
  • 1 tsp dried thyme $0.10
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper $0.02
  • 1 bay leaf $0.15
  • 4 cups chicken broth $0.42
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste) $0.05

Instructions

  • The day before, rinse the peas with cool water then place them in a large bowl and cover with 2-3 inches of cold water. Soak the peas in the refrigerator for eight hours or overnight.
  • When you're ready to cook the peas, add the bacon to a large pot and cook over medium heat until the bacon is brown and crispy. Remove the bacon, saving it for later, and leave all of the bacon grease in the pot.
  • Dice the onion, bell pepper, and celery, and mince the garlic. Add the onion to the pot with the bacon grease and cook over medium until the onion is tender.
  • Add the bell pepper, celery, and garlic to the pot and continue to cook for about five minutes more.
  • Drain the peas and give them a brief rinse. Add the peas to the pot along with the smoked paprika, oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper, black pepper, bay leaf, and chicken broth. Stir everything to combine, then place a lid on the pot.
  • Turn the heat up to medium-high and allow the pot to come to a boil. Once it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the peas simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally, or until the peas are tender.
  • Once the peas have softened, crumble the bacon and stir it back into the pot. Season the peas with salt to taste, starting with ½ tsp and adding more until the flavors of the pot pop.
  • Remove the bay leaf from the pot and serve the peas with a side of collard greens and cornbread, or over a bowl of rice.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.3cups | Calories: 362kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 1119mg | Fiber: 9g
Close up overhead view of a pot of black eyed peas with a bay leaf.

How to Make Black-Eyed Peas – Step By Step Photos

Soaked black-eyed peas in a bowl.

The night before, begin soaking the black-eyed peas. Rinse the peas well with cool water, then place them in a large bowl and cover with at least three inches of water. Soak the peas for at least eight hours in the refrigerator.

Browned bacon in a Dutch oven.

When you’re ready to cook the peas, add 4oz. bacon to a large pot and cook over medium heat until the bacon is brown and crispy. Remove the bacon and set it aside for later, leaving all of the bacon grease in the pot.

Diced bell pepper and celery added to the pot with sautéed onion and garlic.

Dice one yellow onion, one green bell pepper, and two stalks of celery. Mince four cloves of garlic. Add the diced onion to the pot with the bacon grease and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft, then add the bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Continue to sauté for about five minutes more.

Beans, spices, and chicken broth added to the pot.

Add the drained black-eyed peas to the pot along with 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ¼ tsp black pepper, one bay leaf, and four cups of chicken broth.

Ingredients being stirred in the pot before cooking.

Stir all of the ingredients together, place a lid on the pot, and turn the heat up to medium-high. Allow the pot to come to a boil. Once it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the peas simmer, stirring occasionally, for one hour or until the peas are tender.

Salt being added to the pot of beans.

Once the peas are soft, crumble the bacon and stir it into the pot. Season the pot of peas with salt, starting with ½ teaspoon, and then add more to taste. The total amount needed will vary depending on how much salt is in the chicken broth used, but we used one teaspoon total.

Overhead view of a pot of black-eyed peas with a wooden spoon.

Remove the bay leaf then serve with a side of collard greens and cornbread, or over a bed of rice. Enjoy!

The post Black-Eyed Peas appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Italian Wedding Soup

This cozy Italian Wedding Soup recipe features tender and flavorful meatballs, vegetables, and pasta in a delicious chicken broth.

The post Italian Wedding Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Chicken noodle soup is great and all, but have you tried Italian Wedding Soup?? This classic soup shares a lot of the same cozy ingredients as chicken noodle soup, but with one huge advantage: tender and flavorful homemade meatballs! The meatballs are packed with herbs and spices that flavor the soup and make this Italian Wedding Soup recipe extra special. So if you want to change up your winter soup game, give this Italian Wedding Soup a try! I think you’re really going to like it.

Overhead view of a bowl full of Italian Wedding Soup with bread on the side.

What Is Italian Wedding Soup?

This hearty soup is a combination of vegetables, greens, meatballs, and pasta all simmered in chicken broth to make an incredibly flavorful and filling soup. And, contrary to how it may sound, Italian Wedding Soup is not named so because it’s typically served at weddings. The name is actually a mistranslation of its Italian name, minestra maritata, which translates directly to “marriage soup,” referring to the marriage of ingredients in the soup.

There’s also some disagreement over whether this dish originated in Italy or Spain, as it is popular in both regions of the world. As with most dishes that have been around for generations, there are many different variations, and today we’re making my interpretation based on what I have available, but if you’d like to make an authentic Italian Wedding Soup, check out this version from The Kitchen Whisperer.

Ingredients for Italian Wedding Soup

Here’s what you’ll need to make a big cozy pot of Italian Wedding Soup:

  • Vegetables: This soup starts with a classic mix of soup vegetables like onion, garlic, carrots, and celery. Later I add in some fresh spinach, although traditional Italian wedding soup usually uses escarole as the green element.
  • Chicken Broth: Chicken broth makes up the bulk of this soup, so make sure you’re using a good quality broth or stock that has a lot of flavor. We like to use Better Than Bouillon to make broth because it’s inexpensive and has tons of flavor.
  • Pasta: You can use any small-shaped pasta here. We had some leftover pearl couscous in the studio that I wanted to use up, so I used that, but you could also use acini de pepe (very similar to large pearl couscous), orzo, ditalini, pastina, or any other tiny-shaped pasta.
  • Italian Sausage: I use Italian sausage as the base for my meatballs because it’s already pre-seasoned and makes every meatball super flavorful.
  • Breadcrumbs: Breadcrumbs help bind the meatballs and keep them moist and tender.
  • Egg: Egg combines with the breadcrumbs to act as a binder for the meatballs.
  • Parmesan: Parmesan gives extra umami and flavor to the meatballs.
  • Seasoning: To keep things simple, we season both the meatballs and soup with a pre-made Italian seasoning blend, plus a little extra salt and pepper as needed!

What Else Can I Add?

If you want to “soup up” your Italian Wedding Soup and take it to the next level, try adding a few Parmesan rinds to the soup as it simmers for extra umami in the broth, or top each bowl with a heaping dose of freshly grated Parmesan. Use homemade chicken stock for the broth to make this soup extra special, or you can also experiment with thickening the broth with a whisked egg. One final twist that I love doing with a lot of soups is adding a squeeze of fresh lemon at the end to brighten it all up!

How to Cook the Meatballs

You have a few options when it comes to cooking the meatballs for this soup. The easiest method, and the method that I think creates the juiciest meatballs, is to simply add the raw meatballs to the simmering soup and allow them to simmer in the liquid until cooked through (about 10-15 min.).

The only drawback to boiling the meatballs in the soup is that this method does not create any pretty browned color on the surface of the meatballs. If the appearance of the meatballs is important to you, you can sauté the meatballs in a hot skillet with some butter until browned on the outside, then add them to the soup and simmer until cooked through.

Overhead view of a pot of Italian Wedding Soup being stirred.
Overhead view of a bowl full of Italian Wedding Soup.
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Italian Wedding Soup

This cozy Italian Wedding Soup recipe features tender and flavorful meatballs, vegetables, and pasta in a delicious chicken broth. 
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Italian
Total Cost $8.89 Recipe / $1.48 serving
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 (1.5 cups each)
Calories 448kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs $0.30
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan $0.44
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning $0.05
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper $0.01
  • 1 lb. ground Italian sausage (hot, mild, or sweet) $3.99
  • 1 large egg $0.11

Soup

  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 3 carrots $0.47
  • 3 stalks celery $0.67
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning $0.10
  • 6 cups chicken broth $0.63
  • 1/2 cup small pasta* $0.16
  • 4 cups fresh spinach $1.15

Instructions

  • Begin by making the meatballs. Combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
  • Add the Italian sausage, breadcrumb mixture, and egg to a large bowl and use your hands to mix them together until evenly combined. Divide and shape the mixture into 32 small meatballs, about 1 Tbsp each. Set the meatballs aside.
  • Finely dice the onion, carrots, and celery, and mince the garlic. Add the olive oil to a large soup pot and heat over medium. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is soft. Add the carrot and celery and continue to sauté for a few minutes more, or until the celery begins to soften.
  • Add the Italian seasoning and chicken broth to the soup, stir to combine, then place a lid on top and bring it up to a boil.
  • Once the soup is boiling, add the meatballs to the soup and continue to boil until the meatballs are cooked through (about 10 minutes). Or, if you prefer browned meatballs, you can cook them in a skillet with butter first over medium heat until browned on the outside, then transfer to the boiling soup to finish cooking.
  • Add the pasta to the soup and continue to boil until the pasta is tender (about 7 minutes).
  • Finally, stir in the fresh spinach until wilted. Give the soup a taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Serve hot and enjoy!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*Use any very small-shaped pasta like acini de pepe, pearl couscous, orzo, ditalini, pastina, or any other tiny-shaped pasta. If using a slightly larger pasta, you may want to increase the quantity to one cup. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 448kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 31g | Sodium: 1646mg | Fiber: 3g
Side view of Italian Wedding Soup in a bowl.

How to Make Italian Wedding Soup – Step by Step Photos

Meatball dry ingredients in a bowl.

Prepare the meatballs first. In a bowl, combine ¼ cup plain breadcrumbs, ¼ grated Parmesan cheese, ½ tsp Italian seasoning, ⅛ tsp salt, and ⅛ tsp pepper.

Bowl with meat, breadcrumbs, and egg.

Add one pound of ground Italian sausage (hot, sweet, or mild) to a large bowl along with the breadcrumb mixture, and one large egg. Use your hands to mix these ingredients until evenly combined.

Shaped meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Divide and shape the mixture into 32 small meatballs, about 1 Tbsp each. Set the meatballs aside.

Chopped Vegetables for Italian Wedding Soup on a cutting board.

Chop one yellow onion, finely dice three stalks of celery and three carrots, and mince two cloves of garlic

Cooked vegetables in the soup pot with Italian seasoning and chicken broth being poured in.

Add the onion and garlic to a large soup pot with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft. Add the carrot and celery and continue to sauté for a few minutes more, or just until the celery begins to soften. Add one tsp of Italian seasoning and six cups of chicken broth, then stir to combine. Place a lid on top and allow the soup to come up to a boil.

Browned meatballs in a skillet.

Add the meatballs to the boiling soup and boil for about 10 minutes, or until cooked through. Or, if you want browned meatballs, melt a tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the meatballs and brown them on each side. It’s okay if they’re not cooked through, you can add them to the simmering soup to finish cooking.

Pasta being added to the soup.

Make sure the soup is still boiling, then add ½ cup of a tiny-shaped pasta like acini de pepe, pearled couscous, ditalini, pastina, or orzo. Simmer the pasta in the soup until tender (about 7 minutes).

Spinach added to the soup pot.

Finally, add about 4 cups of fresh spinach to the soup and stir it in until wilted (this should only take about a minute).

Finished Italian Wedding Soup in the pot being stirred.

Give the soup a final taste and adjust the salt or other seasonings to your liking.

Overhead view of Italian Wedding Soup in the pot with a ladle.

Serve hot and enjoy every cozy and hearty spoonful!

The post Italian Wedding Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Chicken Spaghetti

This creamy Chicken Spaghetti recipe is made with a cheesy, luscious, cream sauce and baked to perfection. A pasta lover’s dream!

The post Chicken Spaghetti appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Let me start by saying my husband requested that I make this recipe over my usual chicken pasta recipe that I’ve been making for 10 years!! I was appalled. But honestly I can’t even blame him. This creamy Chicken Spaghetti recipe is a pasta lover’s dream. Tender chicken breast and spaghetti pasta are coated with a luscious cream sauce, then baked to perfection with extra cheese on top! And this casserole is made with simple pantry and refrigerated ingredients. I don’t know about you but I always seem to have a box of spaghetti noodles hanging out in my cabinet. If you do need to make a quick store run, make sure you grab two of whatever item you need, because trust me you’ll want to add this one to your weekly dinner rotation!

Side close up view of chicken spaghetti in a casserole dish with a wooden spoon lifting some out.

What Is Chicken Spaghetti?

When you read the words “Chicken Spaghetti” I’m sure you were thinking how on earth do those two foods go together? Well friend, let me ease your mind. This is not the traditional spaghetti sauce recipe that you’re probably familiar with. Chicken spaghetti is made with a creamy, cheesy, super flavorful cream sauce that coats tender chicken and spaghetti noodles. Tangy Rotel tomatoes are also added to give it an extra pop of flavor and to balance the creaminess of the dish. The mixture is then placed in a casserole dish and baked until it’s gooey and bubbly around the sides. Great, now I’m sitting here drooling just thinking about it again!

Ingredients For Chicken Spaghetti

Whenever it’s possible I like to keep things pretty simple, so you may already have everything you need to make this chicken spaghetti recipe. Here’s a list of ingredients you’ll need:

  • Chicken: I opted for two boneless skinless chicken breasts. But if your budget is tight, you can certainly use boneless skinless chicken thighs instead.
  • Aromatics: Onion and garlic are sautéed in butter to give the casserole a wonderful base layer of flavor.
  • Butter & Flour: Butter is used to sauté the onion and garlic. All-purpose flour then mixes with the butter to create a simple roux, which thickens the creamy sauce.
  • Chicken Broth: Chicken broth combines with the roux to create a rich and thick sauce. And we always recommend using a good quality chicken broth because it adds a lot of flavor to your dish. We use Better than Bouillon to make our broth.
  • Seasoning: A simple mix of Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper is all you’ll need!
  • Cheddar & Mozzarella Cheese: A combination of cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese adds depth of flavor to the casserole and makes it extra rich and cheesy! And yes I do recommend using both types of cheeses. We first tested this recipe using just cheddar cheese, but adding some mozzarella cheese with it really boosted the level of flavor!
  • Heavy Cream: Heavy cream adds even more richness to the dish and gives the sauce a wonderful creamy texture.
  • Rotel: A can of Rotel tomatoes with green chiles adds a LOT of flavor to the cream sauce and makes this chicken casserole absolutely delish! So don’t skip it!

Serving Suggestions

Serve this chicken casserole with some crusty bread or try our Homemade Garlic Bread. It would also pair well with a simple side salad to keep dinner simple and easy. With that being said, me and my family totally enjoyed this dish by itself…no extra sides needed for us!😉

Side view of Chicken Spaghetti plated with a forklifting some out
Overhead view of chicken spaghetti in a white casserole dish with a wooden spoon placed inside.
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Chicken Spaghetti

This creamy Chicken Spaghetti recipe is made with a cheesy, luscious, cream sauce and baked to perfection. A pasta lover’s dream!
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Total Cost $11.81 recipe / $1.96 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6
Calories 572kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1.5 lb total) $4.70
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.12
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt (for the pasta water) $0.04
  • 8 oz spaghetti $0.62
  • 1/4 cup salted butter $0.52
  • 1 onion, diced $0.32
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour $0.06
  • 2 cups chicken broth $0.34
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning $0.05
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided $1.24
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided $1.24
  • 1 cup heavy cream $1.36
  • 1 10oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained (Rotel) $1.00

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Using a sharp knife, carefully fillet each chicken breast into two thinner cutlets. Heat a large deep skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the four chicken cutlets to the skillet and cook on each side until golden brown and cooked through (about 7-10 minutes total). Remove the chicken to a clean cutting board, and allow it to rest.
  • While the chicken is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add 1/2 Tbsp of salt to the water then add the spaghetti pasta and boil until the pasta is tender (or al dente). Drain the pasta in a colander.
  • While the pasta is cooking, start making the sauce. In the same skillet that the chicken was cooked in, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and minced garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes or until onion is translucent.
  • Sprinkle the flour into the skillet and stir with the onion and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until flour starts to turn golden brown.
  • Slowly pour the chicken broth into the skillet and stir to fully dissolve the flour from the bottom of the skillet. The flour will start to thicken the sauce when it returns to a simmer. Add 1/2 tsp of salt, black pepper, Italian seasoning, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, and the heavy cream to the skillet. Stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.
  • After the chicken breasts have rested, chop them into smaller ½ inch pieces.
  • Turn the heat off the skillet and add the drained diced tomatoes with green chiles, the chopped chicken, and the cooked spaghetti to the pan. Mix until combined.
  • Add the chicken spaghetti mixture to a 9×13” casserole dish. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake the casserole in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until bubbly around the edges and cheese is melted.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 572kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 37g | Sodium: 843mg | Fiber: 2g
Overhead view of chicken spaghetti in a white casserole dish with a wooden spoon placed inside.

How to Make Chicken Spaghetti – Step by Step Photos

Seared chicken breasts in a skillet.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Using a sharp knife, carefully fillet each chicken breast into two thinner cutlets. Here is a great tutorial on How to Cut Chicken Breasts Into Cutlets by Serious Eats. Heat a large deep skillet over medium heat and add 1 Tbsp olive oil. Add the four chicken cutlets to the skillet and cook on each side until golden brown and cooked through (about 7-10 minutes total). Remove the chicken to a clean cutting board, and allow it to rest.

Cooked spaghetti noodles in a pot.

While the chicken is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add 1/2 Tbsp of salt to the water, then add 8 oz. of spaghetti pasta, and boil until the pasta is tender (or al dente). Drain the pasta in a colander.

Onion and garlic sauteed in butter

While the pasta is cooking, start making the sauce. In the same skillet that the chicken was cooked in, heat 1/4 cup salted butter over medium-high heat. Add 1 diced onion and 2 minced garlic cloves. Sauté for 3-4 minutes or until onion is translucent.

Chicken broth being added to sauteed onions, garlic and cooked flour.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup of flour into the skillet and stir with the onion and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until flour starts to turn golden brown. Slowly pour 2 cups of chicken broth into the skillet and stir to fully dissolve the flour from the bottom of the skillet. The flour will start to thicken the sauce when it returns to a simmer.

Heavy cream, cheese, salt and pepper added to skillet.

Add 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, and 1 cup of heavy cream to the skillet. Stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.

Chicken breasts chopped on a cutting board.

Now chop the cooked chicken breasts into smaller ½ inch pieces.

Cooked spaghetti, chopped chicken breasts, and rotel being added to skillet.

Turn the heat off the skillet and add 1 can of drained diced tomatoes with green chiles, the chopped chicken, and the cooked spaghetti to the pan. Mix until combined.

Chicken spaghetti mixture added to a white baking dish with the remainder of the cheese sprinkled on top.

Add the chicken spaghetti mixture to a 9×13” casserole dish. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese.

Overhead view of cooked chicken spaghetti in a casserole dish.

Bake the casserole in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until bubbly around the edges and the cheese is melted on top.

Overhead view of chicken spaghetti in a white casserole dish with a wooden spoon placed inside.

This Chicken Spaghetti casserole is so creamy and delicious, it’ll soon become one of your favorite recipes! Enjoy!

Side view of Chicken Spaghetti plated with a forklifting some out.

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