Sweet Potato Casserole

Greater than the sum of its parts, this buttery sweet potato casserole is a breeze to put together and will be the star of your dinner table!

The post Sweet Potato Casserole appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If there was ever a dish greater than the sum of its parts, it’s this buttery sweet potato casserole. It’s a total breeze to put together and will be the star of your dinner table! If you’re unfamiliar with sweet potato casserole, it’s traditionally a southern dish served for holidays or special occasions.

Overhead shot of sweet potato casserole in a white casserole dish with a silver serving spoon scooping out a bit of it.

How To Pick Sweet Potatoes

When selecting sweet potatoes, go for small to medium-sized ones, which tend to be less starchy, have tender skin, and have more pronounced flavors. Also, make sure they are firm and have smooth skin without any cracks or soft spots, all signs that they aren’t old. (Ugh. That reads like a sentence you’d find in some sexist 50’s handbook for How To Pick A Wife.)

How To Store Sweet Potatoes

To keep your sweet potatoes from sprouting and keep them fresh longer, store them in a cool, dry, dark cabinet. Don’t store them next to onions, which tend to release moisture into the air. Also, keep them out of cabinets that are close to your stove, which creates a hot environment in surrounding spaces while in use.

Overhead shot of a sweet potato casserole in a white casserole dish with a silver serving spoon above it holding a spoonful of casserole.

What’s The Best Topping For Sweet Potato Casserole?

Beth and I are split on the best topping for sweet potato casserole. She is camp pecan streusel (it has superior flavor and texture). I am camp marshmallow (it’s easier and costs less). This recipe is for a marshmallow topping, but I’m not leaving you stranded if you prefer pecans. You can use the following recipe to create a pecan streusel:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix 1/2 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of flour. 
  2. Cut in 4 tablespoons of diced butter with a pastry cutter or two butter knives until the mixture transforms into crumbles the size of peas. 
  3. Stir in 1/2 cup of chopped pecans.
  4. Sprinkle topping over sweet potato mixture and bake until golden.

Should I Boil Or Roast Potatoes FOR Sweet Potato Casserole?


I peel, dice, and boil sweet potatoes for my sweet potato casserole. For the Thanksgiving holiday, most ovens will be working overtime, so the more you can do on the stovetop, the better. But if you REALLY want to go all out, wrap the sweet potatoes in aluminum and roast them whole at low heat (about 250°F) until they are fork tender, which caramelizes the sugars for ridiculously deep flavors.

Overhead shot of a sweet potato casserole in a white casserole dish with a few scoops taken out of it.

Can I Make Sweet Potato Casserole Ahead Of Time?

You can absolutely make sweet potato casserole ahead of time. Just leave the toppings for when you are ready to bake, as freezing or refrigerating them for extended periods will change their texture. You can refrigerate the casserole with a sheet of plastic directly on the surface of the sweet potato mash for up to five days. The plastic helps prevent a skin from forming and stops condensation from seeping into the dish.

You can freeze a sweet potato casserole for up to 3 months. Line your casserole dish with enough aluminum foil to extend six inches on each side of the dish. Add the sweet potato filling and cover with the aluminum overhang. Freeze the casserole in the dish. Once it has solidified, unfold the aluminum and use it to lift the frozen casserole out of the dish. Wrap it in the aluminum again and then in a second layer of plastic. Then store in a freezer-safe container. Thaw it in your refrigerator overnight before topping it with marshmallows or pecan streusel and baking it.

How To Store Leftover Casserole

First things first- according to the FDA if the casserole has been out at room temperature for more than two hours, you should throw it out. I’m just the messenger, so please direct all complaints to the FDA. Leftovers are best frozen in single servings in freezer-safe containers. Thaw them out in your fridge overnight. You should only thaw them once.

Overhead shot of sweet potato casserole topped with marshmallows in a white casserole dish.
Overhead shot of sweet potato casserole topped with marshmallows in a white casserole dish.
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Sweet Potato Casserole

Greater than the sum of its parts, this buttery sweet potato casserole is a breeze to put together and will be the star of your dinner table!
Course Dessert, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Total Cost ($5.94 recipe / $0.74 serving)
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 372kcal

Equipment

  • 8×8" Casserole Dish

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs sweet potatoes $3.96
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar $0.23
  • 4 Tbsp salted butter $0.38
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream $0.55
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract $0.29
  • 1 pinch nutmeg $0.01
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon $0.01
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows $0.50

Instructions

  • Place a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat it to 350ºF. Grease a three-quart casserole dish with butter. Set a large pot of water over high heat. Peel and dice sweet potatoes. Add them to the water once it begins to boil.
  • When the sweet potatoes are fork-tender, drain them, and add them to a large bowl. Mash them until they are smooth.
  • To a medium-sized heavy bottom pan set over medium heat add brown sugar and salted butter. Whisk until a caramel forms.
  • Add the cream and whisk to incorporate.
  • Add the salt, vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon to the caramel and whisk to incorporate.
  • Add the mash to the greased casserole dish and smooth the top with a spatula.
  • Top the casserole with 2 cups mini marshmallows, more or less to your liking.*
  • Bake the casserole at 350ºF until the marshmallows are golden, about 20 minutes.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*If you are opting for pecan streusel, top it with that instead. If you want to use both, start with the pecans and finish with the marshmallows.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 372kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 332mg | Fiber: 7g
Overhead shot of sweet potato casserole in a white casserole dish with a silver serving spoon scooping out a bit of it.

How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole – Step by Step Photos

Overhead shot of a pot with boiled sweet potatoes in it with a serving spoon holding a few cubes of sweet potato above it.

Place a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat it to 350ºF. Grease a three-quart casserole dish with butter. Set a large pot of water over high heat. Peel and dice four pounds of sweet potatoes. Add them to the water once it begins to boil.

Overhead shot of sweet potatoes being mashed in a white bowl.

When the sweet potatoes are fork-tender, drain them, and add them to a large bowl. Mash them until they are smooth.

Overhead shot of brown sugar and butter in a silver pan.

To a medium-sized heavy bottom pan set over medium heat add 1/2 cup of brown sugar and 4 tablespoons of salted butter. Whisk until a caramel forms.

Overhead shot of cream v=being poured into a silver pan with caramel and a whisk in it.
When the brown sugar has completely dissolved into the butter and a caramel has formed, add the 1/3 cup of heavy cream. Whisk to incorporate.
Overhead shot of a spoonful of cinnamon being added to caramel in a silver pan with a whisk in it.

Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, a pinch of nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon to the caramel and whisk to incorporate.

Overhead shot of caramel being poured out of a pot into sweet potato mash.

Add the caramel to the sweet potato mash and mix thoroughly.

Overhead shot of a rubber spatula smoothing sweet potato casserole in a white casserole dish.

Add the mash to the greased casserole dish and smooth the top with a spatula.

Overhead shot of a silver cup measure pouring a cup of marshmallows into a sweet potato casserole with marshmallows already on top of it.

Top the casserole with 2 cups mini marshmallows, more or less to your liking. If you are opting for pecan streusel, top it with it instead. If you want to use both, start with the pecans and finish with the marshmallows.

Overhead shot of sweet potato casserole in a white casserole dish with a silver serving spoon scooping out a bit of it.

Bake the casserole at 350ºF until the marshmallows are golden, about 20 minutes. Allow the casserole to cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Overhead shot of sweet potato casserole topped with marshmallows in a white casserole dish.

The post Sweet Potato Casserole appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Pumpkin Pie

This pumpkin pie recipe is simple but decadent. With a few of my favorite tricks, you can produce the silkiest pie with the most profound flavors.

The post Pumpkin Pie appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you’re thinking about making your pumpkin pie this year, this recipe is simple but decadent. With a few of my favorite tricks, you can produce a silky pie with the most profound flavors. And it’s so much better than store-bought! PS I even convinced Beth that the extra steps I take are worth it, and you know how no-nonsense she is!

The Trick To Silky Pumpkin Pie 

Yes, you can buy the cheapest pumpkin puree you can find, mix it with a few ingredients, throw it in a pie shell, and call it a day. But with a little extra work and about a dollar more, you can take your pumpkin pie to the next level. I even convinced Beth, who was totally against taking additional steps and spending extra money UNTIL she tasted my pie. If changing the mind of the Queen of Budgets and Practicality isn’t a mic-drop moment, I don’t know what is. What are the tricks for silky pumpkin pie?

  1. Use high-quality pumpkin puree instead of generic (we used Libby’s).
  2. Cook the filling to bloom the spices and intensify the flavor.
  3. Blend the filling to make it extra silky smooth.

The Best Puree For Pumpkin Pie

The type of puree you use matters. Many pumpkin purees are watery because filling a can with watered-down pumpkin is cheaper than filling it with 100% pumpkin. Many purees blend field pumpkins and squashes that are bitter and bland because they also cost less to produce. The best puree for your money’s worth will always be Libby’s. This is not an ad; it’s just the truth. Libby’s has low water content and is made with a pumpkin variety bred for deep flavor. It’s the only thing they put in the can. If you can’t spring for Libby’s, that’s OK. The following two steps will help make even the cheapest pumpkin puree taste amazing.

Cook Your Pumpkin Pie Filling

Pumpkins are watery beasts. Cooking down their puree eliminates excess liquid and deepens the pumpkin flavor. When you add spices to the pot, the spices bloom. To understand the importance of blooming, think of the moment you add garlic to a hot pan, and the smell goes from sharp to amazing. It’s the same thing with spices. If you add the spices to the puree, you might as well add the sugar. Heat develops deep caramel notes and dissolves the granules, so you don’t end up with a grainy, one-note filling. As you heat it, the puree will start to bubble and burp, and then it will transform into a glossy, fragrant mixture.

Blend Your Pumpkin Pie Filling

To get incredibly velvety pumpkin pie filling, you need to blend it. I know. I know. Nowhere on the back of the can does it mention cooking puree, much less blending it. Just trust me. Pumpkin puree isn’t silky; all you have to do is look at it. Even after cooking it down, it looks coarse. Let it cool for a few minutes, then blend until it lightens. Add the rest of your ingredients, and blend again. One taste, and I promise you’ll never go back to the traditional mix-and-dump method.

Keep The Pie Crust From Getting Soggy

Loads of folks will tell you that you must blind-bake or pre-bake your pie crust so it stays crispy when filling it with pumpkin puree. Feel free to do that if you wish, but I never do, and as you can see from the picture of the crispy, golden, flaky bottom crust above, I get great results.

My trick is to place a rack on the lowest part of the oven. Then I put a sheet pan on the rack and place a cast iron pan in it, bottom side up. (If your cast iron pan does not lay flat, just bake the pie in the pan.) I preheat for an hour. The bottom heating element supercharges the cast iron pan, which holds on to heat like you did your first hundred-dollar bill. Then I bake the pie on top of the over-turned cast iron. That heat focuses on the bottom of the pie, creating the crispiest of crusts. In addition, the sheet pan will collect any run-off juices so the oven doesn’t start to smoke.

Keep A Pumpkin Pie From Burning

The most important step you can take is to use an oven thermometer. Most ovens (I don’t care how fancy they are) aren’t calibrated. A cheap $5 oven thermometer will tell you exactly what temperature it is. If you notice that the crust or the top of the pie is browning early on, tent it with aluminum to prevent it from burning. Tenting is when you loosely place a sheet of aluminum that’s folded in half over the pie like a tent.

Overhead shot of a pumpkin pie.

Keep Pumpkin Pie From Cracking

You need to eliminate sudden temperature changes to prevent your pie from cracking. Leave the oven door closed as much as possible. Opening an oven door even for 15 seconds can change the temperature in your oven by up to 50°.

You also want to pull your pie out of the oven before it looks done. The magic of carry-over cooking will take it to the finish line. Just because the pie isn’t in direct heat doesn’t mean it stops cooking. That heat takes time to dissipate; while it dissipates, it keeps cooking your pie.

Pull the pie when the crust looks golden, and the outer ring of the pie has dulled and looks solid. The middle should still be jiggly. Not wet, but it should move like jello. Allow the pie to cool in a warm place so there’s no sudden temperature change. If your kitchen runs cold, turn the oven off and crack your oven door about 6 inches. Let the pie cool in the oven.

What To Do If Your Pumpkin Pie Cracks

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, the pie gods deliver a cracked pumpkin pie. You have three choices at this point. First, you can use leftover pie dough and bake a few ornamental leaves to top the pie with. You can also top it with a few dollops of whipped cream. Or you can leave it as is. like we did. If someone dares to complain about a crack in homemade pumpkin pie, they don’t get a slice. 😉

Here’s an easy recipe for pie crust cookies: 

  • Preheat your oven to 350° and line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  • Dust your work surface lightly with flour and roll out the leftover pie dough (or the store-bought pie dough) to about 1/4-inch thickness. 
  • Use a cookie cutter or a knife to cut out pieces shaped like leaves. Place the cookie on the sheet pan. 
  • Whisk an egg with a tablespoon of milk and brush the cookies lightly with the egg wash. Sprinkle the cookies lightly with sugar.
  • Bake until they are light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Allow them to cool before topping your pie with them.
Side shot of a slice of pumpkin pie with a dollop of whipped cream on top of it.
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Pumpkin Pie

This pumpkin pie recipe is simple but decadent. With a few of my favorite tricks, you can produce the silkiest pie with the most profound flavors.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Total Cost ($7.49 recipe / $0.62 serving)
Prep Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Resting Time 2 hours
Total Time 4 hours
Servings 12 slices
Calories 152kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 recipe 3-Ingredient Pie Crust* $1.17
  • 1 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (15 oz can) $2.79
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar $0.22
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon $0.12
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg $0.04
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger $0.03
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.04
  • 1 cup sour cream $1.25
  • 1/2 cup whole milk $0.25
  • 1 tsp vanilla $0.58
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature $0.87
  • 1/4 tsp butter, for greasing $0.04
  • 1/4 tsp flour for dusting $0.06
  • 1 tsp heavy cream $0.03

Instructions

  • Place a rack on the lowest part of your oven. Top it with a sheet pan. Place a cast iron pan, bottom side up, in the sheet pan. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Grease a pie dish with butter, dust it with flour, and place it in your freezer. Dust your work surface and roll your pie dough into a 9 x 3-inch rectangle about 1 1/2 inches thick. 
  • Place the long side of the rectangle vertically on your work surface. Fold the top short side towards the center of the rectangle so that the short edge touches the center point. Fold the bottom short side over the center so that it touches the outer edge of the top short side. Roll the dough into a 9×3 rectangle and repeat the folding process a second and a third time. Then chill your pie dough.
  • Set a medium heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, and salt to the pot. 
  • Stir the puree constantly until it begins to thicken and sputter and becomes glossy. Remove from the heat and cool for about 10 minutes.
  • Once the filling has cooled, add it to a blender with the sour cream and milk. Process until it has lightened.
  • Add the vanilla and the eggs to the blender. Mix until the puree is velvety.
  • Dust your work surface with flour and roll out the pie dough into a circle that is 16 inches in diameter. Press the crust into the pie plate. Fold the overhanging edges of the dough under to create a thick lip. Dock the pie crust with a fork by puncturing it about 9 to 10 times. Chill the dough for 10 minutes in the freezer.
  • Crimp the edges of the pie. Add the pumpkin pie filling. Lightly brush the edges of the crust with cream.
  • Place the pie in the preheated 400° oven on top of the overturned cast iron pan—lower the temperature to 350°F. Bake until the outer edges have solidified, but the middle of the pie still has some jiggle, about 50 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool in a warm spot for at least two hours before serving, so it has time to set.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*Make your pie crust the day before you plan on making your pie. You can also use a store-bought pie crust.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 152kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 164mg | Fiber: 1g

How to Make Pumpkin Pie – Step by Step Photos

Place a rack on the lowest part of your oven. Top it with a sheet pan. Place a cast iron pan, bottom side up, in the sheet pan. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Grease a pie dish with 1/4 tsp butter, dust it with 1/4 tsp flour, and place it in your freezer. Dust your work surface and roll your 1/2 portion of 3-Ingredient Pie Crust into a 9 x 3-inch rectangle about 1 1/2 inches thick. If you are using a store-bought crust, use a single crust, and mash it into a 9×3-inch rectangle.

Place the long side of the rectangle vertically on your work surface. Fold the top short side towards the center of the rectangle so that the short edge touches the center point. Fold the bottom short side over the center so that it touches the outer edge of the top short side. Roll the dough into a 9×3 rectangle and repeat the folding process a second and a third time. Then chill your pie dough.

Set a medium heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add 1 3/4 cups of pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger, and 1/2 tsp salt to the pot. 

Stir the puree constantly until it begins to thicken and sputter and becomes glossy. Remove from the heat and cool for about 10 minutes.

Once the filling has cooled, add it to a blender with the 1 cup sour cream and 1/2 cup milk. Process until it has lightened.

Add the 1 tsp vanilla and the 3 large eggs to the blender. Mix until the puree is velvety.

Dust your work surface with flour and roll out the pie dough into a circle that is 16 inches in diameter. Roll the dough circle onto your rolling pin and unfurl it into the greased and floured pie plate. Press the dough into the pie plate. Fold the overhanging edges of the dough under to create a thick lip. Dock the pie crust with a fork by puncturing it about 9 to 10 times. Chill the dough for 10 minutes in the freezer.

Pour the filling into the pie crust. To ensure there are no bubbles in the puree, allow it to settle for a minute, and then gently pick the pie plate about an inch off the counter and drop it. Continue picking it up and dropping it gently until no more air bubbles come to the surface of the puree.
Crimp the edges of the pie. Add the pumpkin pie filling. Lightly brush the edges of the crust with 1 tsp cream.

Place the pie in the preheated 400° oven on top of the overturned cast iron pan—lower the temperature to 350°F. Bake until the outer edges have solidified, but the middle of the pie still has some jiggle, about 50 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool in a warm spot for at least two hours before serving, so it has time to set. Slice it up, and enjoy!

More Easy Dessert Pies

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Puerto Rican Rice And Beans

Boricuas eat Puerto Rican Rice and Beans almost every day because the dish has bold flavors, it’s easy to prepare, and it’s budget-friendly!

The post Puerto Rican Rice And Beans appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Boricuas (i.e., people from Puerto Rico) eat Puerto Rican Rice and Beans almost every day because the dish has bold flavors, is easy to prepare, and is budget-friendly! Arroz Con Habichuelas, as it’s called on the island, can be a meal on its own with a side of ripe yellow plantain slices, or you can serve it as a sidekick to any protein. Welcome to your new favorite weeknight staple!

Overhead shot of a white bowl of red beans and rice.

A Note On Authenticity

This is not a historically authentic recipe. We strive to create recipes that are accessible to everyone, which means ingredients need to be available at a mainstream budget grocery store. We test recipes using the least amount of steps, tools, and ingredients while still honoring the spirit of the recipe. I was born and raised in Puerto Rico and look forward to a time when our ingredients are available in mainstream markets. Until then, buen provecho!

Can I Substitute The Canned Kidney Beans?

I love how versatile this recipe is. If kidney beans are not your favorite, you can substitute them with almost any other canned bean. Try chickpeas, white, pink, or black beans to keep it truly island-inspired. If you’re working with dry beans, prepare about 3/4 cup of the dried to substitute for a 15-ounce can of beans.

Can I Substitute The WhIte Rice?

Since the medium grain white rice cooks in its own pot, making substitutions is easy. Don’t skip rinsing the rice, as it removes excess starches so the rice won’t clump together. Also, make sure to toast the rice in the oil, which develops nutty flavors and allows the rice to come to a boil faster since it is already warm. The only thing you really have to change is the amount of water you use to make the rice, as different grains require different amounts of liquid to cook fully. Follow these easy guidelines:

  • Brown Rice: 1 cup rice – 1 3/4 cups water
  • Basmati Rice: 1 cup rice – 1 3/4 cups water
  • Jasmine Rice: 1 cup rice to 1 1/2 cups water
  • Long Grain White Rice: 1 cup rice to 2 cups water
  • Medium grain White Rice 1 cup rice to 1 1/2 cups water
  • Short Grain White Rice: 1 cup rice to 1 1/4 cups water

How To Make Vegan Red Beans And Rice

You can make this recipe vegan by omitting the salt pork and substituting the chicken bouillon with vegetable stock. You should also make your own sazón, the all-purpose spice blend that gives Puerto Rican food its deep earthy flavors and orange hues. Many brands of sazón are made with a mineral salt that is animal based. Once you make your sazón, your first step will be to bloom it in the oil. Blooming is chef speak for warming the spices in oil until fragrant, a great trick to keep up your sleeve when you want to add deeper flavors to any recipe. Then just follow the rest of the recipe for Puerto Rican Rice and Beans. Here is a recipe to make your own sazón:

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground annatto
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground oregano
Overhead shot of a white bowl of red beans and rice with a side of ripe plantain slices. and a black spoon in it

Storing Red Beans and Rice

This is the best recipe for meal prep because it’s easy to store and holds up for five days in the fridge. Just place the rice in an airtight container, and do the same with the beans. Then, refrigerate until you’re ready to reheat them. You can also freeze individual portions. They will keep for up to six months.

Reheating Beans and Rice

You have a few options when it comes to reheating. I prefer to use a non-stick pan for the rice because I like the added crunch it gives to the grains on the bottom of the pan. I also sprinkle a little bit of water over the rice (about 1/8th of a teaspoon per cup) to rehydrate the grains. Finally, I reheat the beans in a microwave-safe container until they steam. Of course, you can reheat the rice in the microwave as well. Just remember that sprinkle of water.

WHAT TO DO WITH LeftoverS

If you want to go all out, reheat equal parts of rice and beans and make “Arroz Mamposteao.” Most Puerto Ricans do it with day-old rice and beans, and it is a DELIGHT. You’ll use 1 part beans to 2 parts rice. First, dice some salt pork, about 1/4 cup, and render the fat in a large pot. When the pork is crispy and golden, add a few more tablespoons of sofrito and cook until fragrant. Then add the beans and heat until they are steaming and the sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes. Finally, add the rice, mix, and cook until the rice absorbs the sauce. Boom! You’re welcome!

Side shot of a white bowl of red beans and rice with a side of ripe plantains and a spoon in it.
Overhead shot of a white bowl of red beans and rice.
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Puerto Rican Style Red Beans and Rice

Puerto Rican Rice and Beans is a dish with bold flavors, it's easy to prepare, and it's budget-friendly! Make it a meal with a side of ripe yellow plantain slices, or serve it as a sidekick to any protein.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Latin
Total Cost ($8.24 recipe / $0.69 serving)
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12 1/2 cup beans + 1/2 cup rice
Calories 314kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp cooking oil, divided $0.16
  • 1 packet sazón $0.17
  • 1/2 cup salt pork, small dice $1.83
  • 1 onion, diced $0.42
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced (about 3 cloves) $0.14
  • 8 oz tomato sauce $0.59
  • 4 Tbsp sofrito $0.72
  • 1 tsp Better Than Bouillon, Roasted Chicken Base* $0.12
  • 2 Tbsp distilled white vinegar $0.07
  • 1 large sweet potato, large dice $0.74
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced $0.79
  • 2 15 oz. cans kidney beans, drained $1.68
  • 2 cups white medium grain rice, rinsed $0.76
  • 3 cups boiling water $0.00
  • 2 tsp salt, plus more to taste $0.05

Instructions

  • Add 2 tablespoons of cooking oil to a medium-sized heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Once it has warmed, add the salt pork and sazón. Fry until the fat has rendered and the salt pork is golden, about 4 minutes.
  • Lower the heat to medium and add the onion. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the garlic. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Add the tomato sauce, sofrito, chicken bouillon, and vinegar. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, reducing the sauce and developing the flavors.
  • Add the green bell pepper and the sweet potato. Cook for five minutes.
  • Add the beans and enough water to cover them. Stir and taste the broth. Add salt to taste.
  • Cook uncovered over medium heat for 20 minutes until the sweet potato has softened. If halfway through the cook, the liquid in the beans reduces too much, add 1/4 cup of water.
  • For the rice, set a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil has warmed, add the rice, mix it into the oil and let it toast for a minute. Next, add the boiling water and 2 teaspoons of salt to the rice and stir.
  • Cook uncovered until the water begins to evaporate and you see little steam holes form over the surface of the rice, about 5 minutes. Stir the rice once, reduce the heat to low, and cover the pot tightly with a heavy lid, so steam does not escape.
  • Cook the rice without stirring until the grains are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. After you portion out the rice, scrape up the crispy bits on the bottom of the pot to serve on top of your rice.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*A packet of sazón contains about 1.5 teaspoons of sazón.
*If you cannot source Better Than Bouillon, Roasted Chicken Base, use 1 cup of chicken stock.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 314kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17g | Sodium: 885mg | Fiber: 2g

How to Make Puerto Rican Red Beans And Rice – Step by Step Photos

Overhead shot of salt pork frying in a silver pot.

Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a medium-sized heavy-bottomed pot over mid-high heat. Once it has warmed, add 1/2 cup of diced salt pork and a packet of sazón. Fry until the fat has rendered and the salt pork is golden, about 4 minutes.

Overhead shot of salt pork, onions, and garlic, frying in a silver pot.

Lower the heat to medium and add the diced onion. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the tablespoon of minced garlic. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant.

Overhead shot of gray rubber spoon with wood handle scraping the bottom of a silver pot to part sofrito.

Once the garlic releases its aroma, add the 8 ounces of tomato sauce, the 4 tablespoons of sofrito, the teaspoon of Better Than Bouillon, and the 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, reducing the sauce and developing the flavors.

Overhead shot of diced green bell peppers and diced sweet potatoes in a silver pot with sofrito.

Add the diced green bell pepper and the diced large sweet potato. Cook for five minutes.

Overhead shot of water being added to a silver pot full of red beans.

Add the 2 cans of beans and enough water to cover them. Stir and taste the broth. Add salt to taste, but don’t over salt. As water evaporates, the salt will become more pronounced.

Overhead shot of finished red beans in a silver pot with a spoon scooping a cup full.

Cook uncovered over medium heat for 20 minutes until the sweet potato has softened. If halfway through the cook, the liquid in the beans reduces too much, add 1/4 cup of water.

Overhead shot of water being poured into toasted rice in a silver pot.

For the rice, set a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil has warmed, add the 2 cups of rinsed rice, mix it into the oil and let it toast for a minute. Next, add the 3 cups of boiling water to the rice. Finally, add the 2 teaspoons of salt and stir.

Overhead shot of a silver pot of rice with steam vents on the surface of the rice

Cook uncovered until the water begins to evaporate and you see little steam holes form over the surface of the rice, about 5 minutes. Stir the rice once, reduce the heat to low, and cover the pot tightly with a heavy lid, so steam does not escape. Cook the rice without stirring until the grains are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Overhead shot of cooked rice in a silver pot.

After you portion out the rice, scrape up the crispy bits on the bottom of the pot to serve on top of your rice. No, you did not burn your rice. The crispy bits are called “pegao,” and in Puerto Rico, it’s the part of the meal that everyone wants a piece of.

Side shot of a white bowl with red beans and rice and slice ripe plantain with a black spoon in it.

To serve, scoop a 1/2 cup of rice into a bowl and top it with a 1/2 cup of beans. If you want to take it one step further, garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and add a few slices of ripe plantain on the side as we did. It’s a knockout!! As we say in Puerto Rico, “Buen provecho!”

The post Puerto Rican Rice And Beans appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Monkey Bread

If you’re looking for an easy, absolute knockout dessert, try making the buttery, caramelized, pull-apart cinnamon loaf known as Monkey Bread.

The post Monkey Bread appeared first on Budget Bytes.

When it comes to desserts, the easier, the better. Am I right? Well, if you’re looking for an effortless, absolute knockout sweet treat, you’ve found it in Monkey Bread. This buttery, caramelized, pull-apart cinnamon loaf can be made with a handful of ingredients and just a few minutes of work. Bonus: you’re supposed to eat it with your hands, so don’t worry about putting out any plates! It’s time to bring a new favorite to your table!

Side shot of hand pulling a piece of monkey bread out of a loaf.

What Is Monkey Bread Made Of

In its simplest form, Monkey Bread is chopped biscuit dough baked in butter and cinnamon sugar. Think of it like a pillowy, pull-apart, caramelized cinnamon toast. But, you know, without the crunch. In other words: pure, unadulterated heaven.

Why Is It Called Monkey Bread?

Some say Monkey Bread got its name because its texture resembles the rind of an African fruit often eaten by monkeys. Others say it gets its name from how you eat it- by picking off a piece at a time- which looks like the grooming rituals of primates. I prefer the fruit story. I don’t want to think about monkeys picking fleas off each other. But you do you.

Overhead shot of monkey bread on white plate with a few pieces picked out of it .

What Pans Can You Use For Monkey Bread

You can bake Monkey Bread in almost any oven-safe pan, but your choice of pan will definitely affect your results. The best option is a bundt pan because it allows hot air to circulate through the middle of the loaf and cooks the dense biscuit dough evenly. But a pie pan will also work, especially if you place a small, oven-safe ramekin in the middle to help the center of the loaf rise evenly.

What Do You Serve With Monkey Bread

Pair Monkey Bread with savory brunch dishes. Or serve it as a dessert with a strong cup of coffee, a floral tea, or a cold glass of milk. If you want something to break up the sweetness, serve it with salty fresh farmer’s cheese.

How To Store Leftovers

Keep any leftovers out of the fridge, as cool temperatures tend to harden and dry out the dough. Instead, store Monkey Bread at room temperature in an air-tight container. It will keep for a day or two. For more extended storage, freezing is your best bet. Portion it before freezing, as you only want to thaw it once. Wrap it in plastic, then aluminum, and then place it in a freezer-safe container. It should keep for about a month. Then warm it in a 250°F oven for about 20 minutes.

Overhead shot of monkey bread on white plate.
Side shot of hand pulling a piece of monkey bread out of a loaf.
Print

Monkey Bread

If you're looking for an easy, absolute knockout dessert, try making the buttery, caramelized, pull-apart cinnamon loaf known as Monkey Bread.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Total Cost ($7.53 recipe / $0.63 serving)
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12 cups
Calories 509kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup salted butter $2.40
  • 1 cup brown sugar $0.45
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream $0.55
  • 2 tsp cinnamon $0.04
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla $0.36
  • 2 cans biscuit dough, 16 oz each $3.38

Instructions

  • Set a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat it to 375°F. Set a light-colored saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter and reserve the wrappers. The butter will melt, foam, and then the milk solids will caramelize into light golden-brown specks, creating brown butter. Using a light-colored pan will help you see the color change as the butter browns.
  • Add the brown sugar to the pan.
  • Whisk until the brown sugar has completely incorporated with the brown butter and is no longer crystallized. It will form a caramel.
  • Take the pan off the heat and add the cream. Whisk until it has completely incorporated into the caramel.
  • Whisk in the vanilla and the cinnamon.
  • Grease a Bundt pan with the butter wrappers. Add more butter if necessary. While the caramel cools, quarter each of the sixteen biscuits.
  • Dip each biscuit piece into the cooled caramel, then layer it in the Bundt pan.*
  • Top the Monkey Bread with any remaining caramel.
  • Bake at 375°F for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top of the Monkey Bread springs back when touched.
  • Allow the loaf to cool before inverting it onto a serving dish.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*Please allow the caramel to cool so that you don’t burn yourself when dipping the biscuits into it. Don’t let it get cold, but don’t get your skin anywhere near hot caramel. 

Nutrition

Calories: 509kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 30g | Sodium: 854mg | Fiber: 1g
Overhead shot of monkey bread on white plate.

How to Make Monkey Bread – Step By Step Photos

Overhead shot of butter browning in a pot.

Set a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat it to 375°F. Set a light-colored pan over medium heat and add the butter. Reserve the butter wrappers. The butter will melt, foam, and then the milk solids will caramelize into light golden-brown specks, creating brown butter.

Overhead shot of brown sugar being cooked in a pot with butter.

Add the brown sugar to the pan.

Overhead shot of hand mixing caramel in a pot with a whisk.

Whisk until the brown sugar has completely incorporated with the brown butter and is no longer crystallized. It will have formed a caramel.

Overhead shot of hand mixing caramel and cream in a pot with a whisk.

Take the pan off the heat and add the cream. Whisk until it has completely incorporated into the caramel.

Overhead shot of hand stirring caramel with a whisk in a pot and a second hand adding vanilla to the pot with a measuring spoon.

Whisk in the vanilla and cinnamon.

Overhead shot of knife cutting canned biscuit rounds.

Grease a Bundt pan with the butter wrappers. Add more butter if necessary. While the caramel cools, quarter each of the sixteen biscuits.

Overhead shot of hand dipping a biscuit piece into a bowl of caramel with pieces of biscuits and a Bundt pant next to it.

Dip each biscuit piece into the cooled caramel, then layer it in the Bundt pan. Please make sure the caramel has cooled so you do not burn yourself.

Overhead shot of raw Monkey Bread in a Bundt pan.

Top the Monkey Bread with any remaining caramel.

Overhead shot of baked Monkey Bread in a Bundt pan.

Bake at 375°F for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top of the Monkey Bread springs back when touched.

Overhead shot of monkey bread on white plate.

Allow the loaf to cool before inverting it onto a serving dish. Serve as a whole loaf, and let your loved ones go to town!

The post Monkey Bread appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Roasted Chicken

This roasted chicken recipe gives you crispy skin bathed in butter and meat that’s softly scented with lemon, garlic, and rosemary. There are also unctuous potatoes and carrots that cook in chicken jus. It’s a must try!

The post Roasted Chicken appeared first on Budget Bytes.

There’s nothing quite like this roasted chicken recipe. It gives you crispy skin bathed in butter and meat softly scented with lemon, garlic, and rosemary. There are unctuous potatoes and carrots that cook in chicken jus. It perfumes your entire household. And you can transform a single bird into meals that last for days on end. It truly is perfection.

How To Perfectly Roast Chicken

For the uninitiated, roasting a whole chicken can be intimidating. But it’s easier than you think. You just need to know a few tricks, and luckily you’ve got a friend that has them all up her sleeve. Ahem. It all comes down to is drying your chicken, using salt correctly, introducing fat to keep the breast meat moist, and using the cavity as a vehicle for flavor.

To make the best roasted chicken, use these four tricks:

  • Dry your chicken well for extra crispy skin
  • Use a dry brine to keep meat tender and infuse flavor
  • Coat with herb butter for a deliciously golden brown crispy skin
  • Stuff the cavity with aromatics to make every bite flavorful

Why Should I Dry Chicken?

The first trick to perfectly roasting a chicken is thoroughly drying your bird. I know it sounds counterintuitive. Why would you take juices off a chicken you want to be juicy? Because it gives you the crispiest skin ever. It’s so crucial that some chefs go as far as drying their chicken with a hair dryer. You don’t have to go that far, but don’t skip this step. It sets you up beautifully for a dry brine.

What Is A Dry Brine?

Dry brining is the act of salting chicken (or any other meat) and letting it sit uncovered while the salt draws out the juices. The chicken then reabsorbs the now salted juices, which tenderize the meat and add deep flavors all the way to the bone. This is far superior to just salting the skin on the outside, which leaves you with a bland bird. You can dry brine for as little as an hour, but if you want real magic, dry brine your chicken overnight. Leave it uncovered in your fridge, on the bottom shelf, for at least 8 hours. Then it’s ready for a butter bath.

Why Do People Put Butter On Their Chicken?

You add fat to the chicken breast to keep it moist and then you spread it on the skin to crisp it. The best and tastiest way to do that is to rub your chicken down with softened butter. (Unless you save your bacon fat, in which case, you should definitely use that!). As the butter melts, it bastes the notoriously dry breast meat, which keeps it juicy while adding a huge wallop of flavor. It will also give you deeply golden, crispy skin. Now all you have to do is to level up your flavor game by stuffing the chicken cavity with aromatics.

Why Should I Stuff Chicken?

Leaving the chicken’s cavity empty is a missed opportunity to add flavor. Stuff the cavity with aromatics, like garlic and lemon. If you have fresh rosemary, put a sprig in there as well. (If you don’t, that’s OK. You can add dried rosemary to your butter.) As the chicken cooks, the garlic, lemon, and rosemary release their essences and perfume your entire bird, from the inside out. It will take your chicken over the top, which is exactly where you want it.

What Temperature Do I Cook Chicken To?

Your chicken is done cooking when a thermometer inserted into the breast reads 160°F. Make sure not to touch the bone, which skews the results. You also need to insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh (again without touching the bone), where it should read 170°F. This is about 50 to 60 minutes for a five-pound bird at 425°F.

Remember the magic of carry-over cooking. The chicken will continue to rise at least five to ten degrees in temperature when it is out of the oven. Taking it out when the breast reads 160°F and the thigh reads 170°F will get you to the perfect temperature for chicken: 165°F to 170°F for the breast and 175°F to 180°F for the thighs. Leaving it any longer will leave you with a well done bird, which might work for the dark meat, but the white meat will be sawdust.

If you don’t have a thermometer, cut into the joint between the thigh and the body. If the juices run clear, you are good to go. If they run red or pinkish, pop your chicken back in the oven for a few more minutes.

Should I Baste Chicken?

I know, I know. Every time you see someone cooking chicken on a TV show or commercial, there’s always a scene where they have the oven door wide open as they gingerly baste their chicken in its juices. Don’t believe the hype. (Said in my best Flavor Flav.) You don’t have to baste chicken to get juicy results. That’s what the dry brine was for—leaving the oven door open to baste lets all of the heat escape and ruins the roast.

How To Roast A Chicken Without A Roasting Pan

A roasting pan with a rack is ideal because you want enough space between the vegetables and the chicken for air to circulate around the chicken, to crisp it and cook it evenly. If you don’t own a roasting pan, you have loads of other choices. Use a cast iron skillet and nestle the bird on top of the veg. The skin on the back won’t be crispy, but it will still be delicious. In fact, you can roast in almost any low-walled oven-safe dish. For example, use a pie pan or a brownie tin. All that matters is that the sides of the pan don’t block the sides of the chicken. They need to be exposed to develop color and get crispy.

Don’t Waste The Drippings

You’ve now set the foundation for a perfectly roasted bird. But why stop there? As that chicken roasts and that butter melts, all of the drippings fall to the bottom of the pan. This is precisely why you fill the pan with carrots, onions, and potatoes. They soak up all that incredible juice and transform into intensely flavored, unctious bites.

That’s it! With those simple tricks, you will have created intensely flavorful bites with perfectly crispy skin every time. And you can keep enjoying that chicken for days. Pull any leftover meat and use it in casseroles, burritos, or soups. Simmer the bones and create chicken stock. Or eat it cold out of the container as you cry uncontrollably while watching the last episode of From Scratch on Netflix. (Have you seen it?!?!?! We. Must. Discuss.)

Overhead shot of whole roasted chicken and roasted vegetables on a white platter..
Print

Roasted Chicken

This roasted chicken recipe gives you crispy skin bathed in butter and meat that's softly scented with lemon, garlic, and rosemary. There are also unctuous potatoes and carrots that cook in chicken jus. It's a must try!
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Total Cost $11.45 recipe / $1.15 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Resting Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 10 cups
Calories 291kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken, 5 lbs $6.62
  • 5 tsp kosher salt or coarse sea salt $0.20
  • 8 Tbsp salted butter, softened $1.20
  • 1 Tbsp dry rosemary $0.30
  • 2 russet potatoes $0.98
  • 1 onion $0.49
  • 3 carrots $0.75
  • 1 lemon $0.51
  • 1 head of garlic $0.40

Instructions

  • Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat it to 425°F. Remove the chicken from its packaging.
  • Remove the innards.
  • Dry the chicken thoroughly inside and out with paper towels.
  • Dry brine the chicken by rubbing salt on it, inside and out. Use 1 teaspoon of kosher salt or coarse sea salt per pound of meat. Or 1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt or iodized salt per pound of meat. Let it rest uncovered in your fridge for at least an hour but preferably overnight.
  • Chop the vegetables. Quarter an onion, slice the carrots, and quarter the potatoes. Add them to a roasting pan.
  • Add the dried rosemary to the softened butter and mix thoroughly.
  • Place the chicken on a rack over the vegetables and pat it dry again. Cover the chicken inside and out with butter. Work your way under the skin on the breast and add butter there too.
  • Quarter a lemon and slice through the top of a bulb of garlic.
  • Add the garlic and the lemon into the cavity of the chicken.
  • Roast your chicken at 425°F until a meat thermometer inserted into the breast reads 160°F and inserted into the thigh it reads 170°F. Remove the chicken from the pan and place it on a serving platter. Let it rest for at least ten minutes before carving it.
  • Stir the vegetables in the bottom of the pan to cover them with the chicken jus. Serve with slices of roasted chicken.
  • Pull any leftover meat off the bones and store it in an air-tight container. Reserve the bones for chicken stock. Simply add them to a freezer-safe container and freeze them until you are ready to use them. Use the pulled chicken for other recipes.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 291kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 21g | Sodium: 334mg | Fiber: 1g

How to Roast a Chicken – Step by Step Photos

Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat it to 425°F. Remove the chicken from its packaging.

Remove the innards. Reserve them for chicken stock.

Dry the chicken thoroughly inside and out with paper towels.

Dry brine the chicken by rubbing salt on it, inside and out. Use 1 teaspoon of kosher salt or coarse sea salt per pound of meat. Or 1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt or iodized salt per pound of meat. Let it rest uncovered in your fridge for at least an hour but preferably overnight.

When the chicken has brined for an hour, chop the vegetables. Quarter an onion, slice the carrots, and quarter the potatoes. Add them to a roasting pan.
Add the dried rosemary to the softened butter and mix thoroughly.
Overhead shot of chicken being rubbed down in butter.

Place the chicken on a rack over the vegetables and pat it dry again. Cover the chicken inside and out with butter. Work your way under the skin on the breast and add butter there too.

Quarter a lemon and slice through the equator of a bulb of garlic.

Add the garlic and the lemon into the cavity of the chicken.

Roast your chicken at 425°F until a meat thermometer inserted into the breast reads 160°F and inserted into the thigh it reads 170°F. Remove the chicken from the pan and place it on a serving platter. Let it rest for at least ten minutes before carving it.

Stir the vegetables in the bottom of the pan to cover them with the chicken jus.

Pull any leftover meat off the bones and store it in an air-tight container. Reserve the bones for chicken stock. Simply add them to a freezer-safe container and freeze them until you are ready to use them. Use the pulled chicken for other recipes.

The post Roasted Chicken appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Pumpkin Bread

Lightly scented with warming pumpkin spice and moist throughout, this old-fashioned pumpkin bread comes together in minutes with just a handful of ingredients.

The post Pumpkin Bread appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Lightly scented with warming pumpkin spice and moist throughout, this old-fashioned pumpkin bread comes together in minutes with just a handful of ingredients. Bonus: the recipe makes enough for two loaves, so you can have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and a snack. (If you have self-control around baked goods, I’m in desperate need of a tutorial.)

Overhead shot of sliced pumpkin bread with two mini pumpkins next to it on a dark background.

How To Make Tender Pumpkin Bread

For a crumb that’s as tender as a love song, don’t overmix. Mixing develops gluten, the protein strands that help give your bread structure. The more you mix, the more gluten you develop, and the tougher your bread becomes.

How you combine your ingredients is also important. Mix the wet ingredients and dry ingredients in separate bowls, and then add the dry on top of the wet. Finally, fold the dry ingredients into the wet just until a batter forms. Don’t worry about lumps. Just don’t overmix.

What Else Can I Add?

This recipe is jam-packed with flavor, but it is bare bones. Add deeper flavors by substituting the water in the recipe for orange juice or apple juice. If you want to add a little texture, try mixing in a 1/2 cup of the following:

  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Raisins
  • Chopped dehydrated apples
  • Chocolate chips (dark, milk, or white)
  • Chopped walnuts or pecans
  • Orange Zest (not a third cup, just two tablespoons)

How Can I Tell When My Pumpkin Bread Is Done?

Making a quick bread with a dense batter can be a little nerve-wracking. It can rise beautifully and look like it’s ready to serve. Then as soon as you slice into it, you find it’s underbaked. To prevent that kind of crippling letdown (I take pumpkin bread very seriously, ok?), follow these tips:

  • Place a rack in the center of your oven, so air can circulate around your pan, and bake your loaf evenly.
  • Use an oven thermometer to ensure you’re baking at the required 350°.
  • Don’t open your oven door during the bake. Opening it for even twenty seconds can cause temperatures to drop by up to 50 degrees.

To test if your loaf is done, remove it quickly from the oven and place it lightly on a heat-proof surface. Touch the top of the loaf. If the surface has a springiness to it, insert a butter knife through one of the cracks in the crust. When the knife hits the bottom of the pan, remove it and look at the blade. Is there wet batter stuck to it? Put your bread back in the oven. If it comes out clean with just a whisper of moisture, it’s ready to go.

Overhead shot of pumpkin bread in a loaf pan with two mini pumpkins next to it on a dark background.

What If I Don’t Have A Loaf Pan?

No worries! Use what you have, but be mindful that the type of pan you use will affect the baking time. You’ll need to rely on visual cues and the trusty butter knife trick. Whichever pan you use, make sure you don’t overfill it. Your bread needs room to rise. ( I feel like there’s a life lesson in there somewhere.)

How To Store Pumpkin Bread

If you have leftovers, wrap them tightly in foil, plastic, or beeswax and store them in an air-tight container at room temperature. They’ll keep up to 2 days. To store your pumpkin bread for up to 2 weeks, freeze it. First, let it cool completely, wrap it in plastic, then in foil, and place it inside an air-tight freezer-safe container.

What To Serve With Pumpkin Bread

Side shot of sliced pumpkin bread.
Overhead shot of sliced pumpkin bread with two mini pumpkins next to it on a dark background.
Print

Pumpkin Bread

Lightly scented with warming pumpkin spice, this old-fashioned pumpkin bread comes together in minutes with just a few ingredients.
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Dinner, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine American
Total Cost $5.94 recipe / $0.37 serving)
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 16 slices
Calories 321kcal

Ingredients

  • 15 oz pumpkin puree $1.99
  • 2 cups sugar* $0.78
  • 2/3 cup oil $0.53
  • 4 eggs $1.10
  • 1 tsp vanilla $0.72
  • 2/3 cup water $0.00
  • 4 cups sifted flour $0.49
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder $0.08
  • 1 tsp baking soda $0.02
  • 2 tsp salt $0.08
  • 2 tsp pumpkin spice $0.10
  • 1 tsp butter, for greasing $0.05

Instructions

  • Place a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat it to 350°F. Grease 2 loaf pans with butter. In a medium bowl, mix the sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin spice.
  • In a large bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla, and water.
  • Add the dry ingredients on top of the wet ingredients.
  • Mix the dry ingredients lightly into the wet, just until a batter forms. Small lumps are ok.
  • Split the batter between the two greased loaf pans and smooth the top.
  • Bake for about an hour, or until a knife inserted into the crack in the loaf's top crust hits the bottom of the pan and comes out clean.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*While sugar is technically a dry ingredient, in some types of batters (like cake and quick bread batters), it is treated as a wet ingredient.  Dissolving the sugar in the wet ingredients helps to weaken gluten-forming proteins, so you don’t get chewy pumpkin bread. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 321kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 11g | Sodium: 393mg | Fiber: 2g
Side shot of sliced pumpkin bread.

How to Make PumPkin Bread – Step by Step Photos

Overhead shot of dry ingredients in a white bowl.
Place a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat it to 350°F. Grease 2 loaf pans with butter. In a medium bowl, mix the sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin spice.
Overhead shot of wet ingredients in a white bowl.

In a large bowl, mix pumpkin puree, sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla, and water.

Overhead shot of dry ingredients being dumped on top of wet ingredients.

Add the dry ingredients on top of the wet ingredients.

Overhead shot of whisk mixing pumpkin bread batter in a white bowl.

Mix the dry ingredients lightly into the wet, just until a batter forms. 

Overhead shot of two loaf pans of pumpkin bread. batter.

Split the batter between the two greased loaf pans and smooth the top.

Overhead shot of two loaves of finished pumpkin bread.

Bake for about an hour, or until a knife inserted into the crack in the loaf’s top crust hits the bottom of the pan and comes out clean. Allow the loaf to cool before taking it out of the loaf pan. Slice it up and enjoy!

Other Easy Quick Breads

The post Pumpkin Bread appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Pollo Guisado (Puerto Rican Chicken Stew)

Pollo Guisado is a hearty Puerto Rican chicken stew that’s packed with flavor, easy to make, and ready to devour in a little under an hour.

The post Pollo Guisado (Puerto Rican Chicken Stew) appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Warm your bones and fill your belly with Pollo Guisado, a hearty Puerto Rican chicken stew that’s packed with flavor, easy to make, and ready to devour in about an hour. Granted, we eat this year-round on my little island, where it rarely dips below 70 degrees. But it’s especially delightful when the weather turns chilly and you’re looking for a hearty meal to make you feel all sorts of toasty.

Overhead shot of Guisado de Pollo in a yellow bowl with a spoon in it.

What Is Pollo Guisado?

Pollo Guisado (pronounced puh-yuh gee-sah-duh) is a Puerto Rican stew made up of braised chicken, potatoes, carrots, and olives in a tomato-based broth. Like most savory dishes from the island, its deep flavor comes from sofrito, a blend of peppers, onions, garlic, and cilantro. The unctious chicken, briny olives, and subtle sweetness of the carrots make a truly perfect bite.

CAN I SUBSTITUTE THE CHicken?

While this is a chicken stew, feel free to use any protein that benefits from a long braise. You can substitute chicken with chuck roast, top round, or even steak. Using these cuts will lengthen your cooking time by thirty or so minutes. If you are vegetarian or vegan, use a vegetable-based broth and substitute the chicken with mushrooms. Brown them, just as you would the chicken, which helps them release moisture and develop big flavors.

Overhead shot of Guisado de Pollo in a white Dutch oven with a ladle above it.

What To Do If Your Broth Won’t Thicken

If you find your broth to be entirely too watery at the end of the cook, here are a few tips to help you thicken it.

  • Uncover the pot and turn the heat up to medium-high. Allowing the steam to escape will reduce the broth and thicken it.
  • Break up some of the potatoes. The starches will naturally thicken the broth.
  • If all else fails, use a cornstarch slurry. Mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with two tablespoons of cold water. Add it to the stew, then bring the stew to a boil for 1 minute while continuously stirring.

What To Serve With POllO GuiSAdo

On the island, this stew is traditionally served over white rice. But feel free to break with tradition and serve it with:

Overhead shot of Guisado de Pollo in a white Dutch oven with a spoon in it.
Side shot of Guisado de Pollo in a yellow bowl with a spoon in it.
Print

Pollo Guisado (Puerto Rican Chicken Stew)

Warm your bones and fill your belly with Pollo Guisado, a hearty Puerto Rican chicken stew packed with flavor that's easy to make and ready to devour in under an hour.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American, Puerto Rican
Total Cost ($9.37 recipe / $2.34 serving)
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4 2 cup servings
Calories 470kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Dry the chicken thighs thoroughly with paper towels. Cut into 2-inch cubes. Season with Adobo.
  • Set a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the oil. Once it has warmed, add the chicken in one layer and brown.
  • Once the chicken has browned, remove it from the pot and set it aside. Add the onion to the pot, and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add the sofrito and tomato sauce. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until it is thick and bubbly.
  • Add the sazón, bay leaves, oregano, olives, potatoes, carrots, and chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Add the chicken back into the pot. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 40-50 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Take the stew off the heat, sample it, and add salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaves before serving.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*A packet of sazón contains about 1.5 teaspoons of sazón. If you cannot source sazón use:
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground annatto
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground oregano

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 470kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 18g | Sodium: 843mg | Fiber: 6g
Overhead shot of Guisado de Pollo in a white Dutch oven with a spoon in it.

How to Make Pollo Guisado – Step by Step Photos

Dry the 1.5 pounds of chicken thighs thoroughly with paper towels. Then dice them into 2-inch cubes. Finally, season the chicken with 2 teaspoons of adobo. (Helpful hint: freeze the chicken thighs for about 15 minutes to make them easier to dice.)

Set a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the 2 tablespoons of oil to the pre-heated Dutch oven. Once it has warmed, add the diced chicken in one layer. Do not crowd the pot. Brown in batches if necessary. Remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside. 

Next, add the diced yellow onion to the pot and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Then add the 3 cloves of finely chopped garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the 1/2 cup of sofrito and 8 ounces of tomato sauce to the pot.

Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until it is thick and bubbly. If you run a spoon through it, the sauce should remain divided.

Add the packet of sazón, 2 teaspoons of oregano, 2 bay leaves, 1 cup of diced potatoes, 1 cup of sliced carrots, 1/4 cup of manzanilla olives, and 3 cups of chicken stock into the pot.

Bring the mixture to a boil, then add the chicken back into the pot. Lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer for 40-50 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. If the stew hasn’t thickened, break a few of the potatoes apart with a fork, and keep the stew simmering with the lid off until it thickens.

Overhead shot of Guisado de Pollo in a white Dutch oven with a spoon in it.

When it is off the heat, sample the soup and add salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaves before serving. Garnish with cilantro (optional) and serve with white rice (optional). As we say in Puerto Rico, buen provecho!

Overhead shot of Guisado de Pollo in a white Dutch oven with a spoon in it.

The post Pollo Guisado (Puerto Rican Chicken Stew) appeared first on Budget Bytes.

EASY Caramel Sauce

If you’ve been looking for a buttery, fail-safe, easy caramel sauce that you can drizzle on all of the things, you’ve found it!

The post EASY Caramel Sauce appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you’ve been looking for a buttery, fail-safe, easy caramel sauce that you can drizzle on all of the things, you’ve found it! Most caramel sauces are toddler-level temperamental, which is why I love this recipe. It isn’t fussy AT ALL. You don’t even need a candy thermometer!

Side shot of a spoon drizzling caramel sauce in a mason jar.

Caramel vs. Butterscotch

Technically, this recipe is for a butterscotch sauce. I call it caramel sauce because it tastes like caramel sauce without all of the to-do that comes with making one. And really, the major difference between the two is that a butterscotch sauce is made with brown sugar and a caramel sauce is made with white sugar. No matter what you call it, once your family tastes it, this sauce will become a staple in your home.

How To Store Caramel Sauce

While the sauce is still warm, add it to an air-tight heat-proof container. (Plastic might melt, so use glass.) Keep it uncovered until it has thoroughly cooled, and then refrigerate it for up to three weeks. You can also freeze the sauce for up to 3 months.

Overhead shot of caramel sauce on vanilla ice cream in a white bowl.

Troubleshooting

Even though this truly is an easy sauce, caramel can be fickle. To prevent your sauce from separating or getting grainy:

  • Use a medium-sized heavy-bottomed pot with rounded sides.
  • Keep a steady, medium-low heat so that your butter and sugar don’t separate.
  • Do not stop stirring. It’s arm’s day. This caramel sauce is worth it.
  • If the sauce separates and the butter pools on top of the sugar, or if it gets grainy, take the pot off the heat and continue to stir until the two come together again.
  • If the sauce does not come together or smooth out, add a tablespoon of water and continue stirring.

What Goes With Caramel Sauce

Drizzle this sauce on everything! I love it as a dip for sliced apples, stirred into a latte, or mixed into my oatmeal. It also pairs beautifully with:

Side shot of a spoon drizzling caramel sauce in a mason jar.
Print

Easy Caramel Sauce

If you've been looking for a buttery, fail-safe, easy caramel sauce that you can drizzle on all of the things, you've found it!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Total Cost ($1.68 recipe / $0.11 serving)
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 16 tablespoons
Calories 69kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup salted butter $0.60
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed $0.22
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream $0.50
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract $0.36

Instructions

  • In a heavy-bottomed medium-sized pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Once it is frothy, add the brown sugar.
  • Whisk the brown sugar and butter until the sugar transforms into a caramel sauce.
  • Take the caramel sauce off the heat and add the heavy cream. Continue to whisk to incorporate the cream into the sauce.
  • Whisk in the vanilla.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Tbsp | Calories: 69kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 0.2g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 26mg
Overhead shot of a spoon taking caranel sauce out of a mason jar.

How to Make CARAMEL SAUCE – Step by Step Photos

Browns sugar being put in a pot with melted, frothy butter.

In a heavy-bottomed medium-sized pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Once it is frothy, add the brown sugar.

Whisk stirring caramel sauce in a pot.

Whisk the brown sugar and butter until the sugar transforms into a caramel sauce, about 2 minutes.

Cream being put in caramel sauce in a pot.

Take the caramel sauce off the heat and add the heavy cream. Continue to whisk to incorporate the cream into the sauce, about 1 minute.

Vanilla being put in caramel sauce in a pot.

Whisk in the vanilla. Allow the sauce to cool before drizzling over all of your favorite desserts or fresh fruit!

Overhead shot of caramel sauce on vanilla ice cream in a white bowl.

The post EASY Caramel Sauce appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Apple Pie

If you’re looking for a scrumptious apple pie recipe that will make everyone at your table gasp with delight- this is it!

The post Apple Pie appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you’re looking for an apple pie recipe that will make everyone at your table gasp with delight- this is it! The filling is effortless and ridiculously tasty. Pair it with my buttery 3 Ingredient Pie Crust, and you’ll never go back to store-bought apple pie again. #forserious

How Many Apples Will I Need?

This recipe is for a standard pie pan with a volume of 4 cups. However, since apples lose up to 30% of their volume as they bake, you can’t just fill a pie pan with 4 cups of apples and call it a day. You’ll end up with a pie with a crater in the middle. You’ll need about 6 cups of sliced apples or 6 to 8 apples, depending on the size of your fruit.

How Thick Should I Slice My Apples?

It’s best if you slice apples about 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick. Any thicker, and they won’t cook through by the time your crust does. Any thinner, and they’ll dissolve and leave you with a soggy bottom crust. The most important thing to keep in mind is that your apples should all be about the same thickness so they cook uniformly.

The Best Apples For Apple Pie

I divide the apple display at my grocery into two sections: great for pie and awful for pie. Apples that are great for pie hold their shape during a bake and have complex flavors. Try a combination of these for apple pie supremacy:

  • Honey Crisp
  • Granny Smith
  • Pink Lady
  • Golden Delicious

Apples that are awful for pie taste one-dimensional and fall apart faster than a reality show housewife. While great for apple sauce or apple butter, avoid the following for pie:

  • McIntosh
  • Fuji
  • Gala
  • Red Delicious

What’s The Best Crust For Apple Pie?

Apples are juicy, so you need a bottom crust that can hold up to a whole lot of liquid, i.e., a mealy pie dough. This is what it’s called because the pieces of fat in the flour are tiny and look like coarse cornmeal. They create a tight crumb that repels liquids, so you don’t have to worry about a soggy bottom.

Of course, you also want a flaky top crust, which is created with larger pieces of fat. These bigger pieces of fat take up space, and as they melt during baking, they leave behind crispy layers, perfect for a decadent first bite. Lucky for you, my 3 Ingredient Pie Crust is a hybrid between a mealy and flaky crust, so you only have to make one crust.

How To Avoid A Soggy Bottom

Avoiding a soggy bottom takes more than using the proper crust. Check out these tips for the crispiest bottom crust ever:

  • Draw out your apples’ natural juices by sprinkling them with sugar and spices. Then cook the juices until they transform into a caramel.
  • Cook the apple slices in the caramel for a few minutes, further reducing the liquids and concentrating the flavors.
  • Seal your bottom pie crust by brushing it with a small amount of beaten egg white.
  • Bake your pie on a pizza stone or baking steel. These tools trap heat and help cook your bottom crust faster, sealing it, so the juices don’t have time to soak in.

If you don’t own a baking steel or pizza stone, bake your pie on a double layer of sheet pans or in a large cast iron pan. Baking your pie in a second pan also has the added benefit of trapping any overflow of juices, so your oven doesn’t start to smoke and set off your alarms.

Overhead shot of an apple pie.
Overhead shot of a slice of apple pie on a white plate with two scoops of vanilla ice cream and drizzled with caramel sauce.
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Apple Pie

This is the easiest apple pie recipe ever! The cinnamon-scented filling and buttery crust are scrumptious and ridiculously simple to make!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Total Cost ($6.94 recipe / $0.87 serving)
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings 8 slices
Calories 383kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 double pie crust* $2.34
  • 1/2 cup sugar $0.13
  • 1 tsp cinnamon $0.10
  • 3 Tbsp flour $0.02
  • 1 pinch nutmeg $0.01
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice $0.09
  • 6 cups sliced apples (6-8 apples) $3.90
  • 1 large egg, white and yolk separated $0.26
  • 1 Tbsp heavy cream $0.09

Instructions

  • Place a rack in the center of your oven, and top it with a pizza stone*. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Roll out your bottom and top pie crusts to 1/4 inch thickness. Refrigerate the top crust.
  • Line your pie pan with the rolled out bottom crust. Beat the egg white and brush the bottom crust lightly with it. Use a fork to puncture the bottom crust 9 to 10 times. Refrigerate the crust-lined pie pan.
  • Slice the 6 to 8 apples into 1/4 inch thick slices until you have 6 cups. Then place them in a colander and dress them with the lemon juice.
  • Place the colander in a large sauce pan. Mix the sugar, cinnamon, salt, flour, and nutmeg. Sprinkle the apples with the sugar mixture and incorporate thoroughly.
  • Allow the apples to marinate in the sugar and spices for a half hour. They will release their juices into the sauce pan.
  • After the apples have released their juices, remove the colander and the apples and place the pan with the juices over medium heat. Cook down the apple juices until a caramel forms.
  • Add the sliced apples to the pan and cook with the caramel until slightly softened, about five minutes. Let them cool for about 10 minutes.
  • Once the the apples have cooled, remove the pie pan and the top crust from the refrigerator. Add the apple slices to the crust-lined pie pan.
  • Cover the apples with the top crust. Fold the top crust under the edges of the bottom crust and pinch the crusts together. Flute the crusts. Beat the egg yolk and the cream together and brush the top crust with the egg wash.
  • Slice steam vents into the top crust. Place the pie pan on top of your pizza stone and bake for 45 minutes, or until the top crust is golden brown and the pie's juices are bubbling.
  • Cool the apple pie for at least 30 minutes before slicing, but preferably for an hour to allow the filling to solidify.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*You can purchase a premade double crust or for best results, use our easy 3-Ingredient Pie Crust, divided in two for a top and bottom crust.
*If you do not own a pizza stone, use a large cast iron pan or stack two sheet pans together.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 383kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 18g | Sodium: 210mg | Fiber: 3g
Overhead shot of a slice of apple pie on a white plate with two scoops of vanilla ice cream and drizzled with caramel sauce.

How to Make Apple Pie – Step by Step Photos

Place a rack in the center of your oven, and top it with a pizza stone*. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Roll out your bottom and top pie crusts to 1/4 inch thickness. Refrigerate the top crust.
Overhead shot of hand using a fork to dock pie dough.

Line your pie pan with the rolled out bottom crust. Beat the egg white and brush the bottom crust with a very thin layer. Use a fork to puncture the bottom crust 9 to 10 times. Refrigerate the crust-lined pie pan.

Overhead shot of apple in a colander.

Slice the 6 to 8 apples into 1/4 inch thick slices, until you have 6 cups. Then place them in a colander and dress the apple slices with the 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.

Overhead shot of apples macerating in a colander placed inside a pan.

Place the colander in a large sauce pan. Mix the 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon of salt, 3 tablespoons of flour, and a pinch of nutmeg. Sprinkle the apples with the sugar mixture and incorporate thoroughly. Allow the apples to marinate in the sugar and spices for a half hour. They will release their juices into the sauce pan.

Overhead shot of apple caramel.

After the apples have released their juices, remove the colander and the apples and place the pan with the juices over medium heat. Cook down the apple juices until a caramel forms.

Overhead shot of apples cooking with caramel.

Add the sliced apples to the pan and cook with the caramel until slightly softened, about five minutes. Let them cool for about 10 minutes.

Overhead shot of sliced apples in pie shell.

Once the apples have cooled, remove the pie pan and the top crust from the refrigerator. Add the apple slices to the crust-lined pie pan.

Overhead shot of brushing egg wash on a pie.

Cover the apples with the top crust. Fold the top crust under the edges of the bottom crust and pinch the crusts together. Flute the crusts. Beat the egg yolk and the cream together and brush the top crust lightly with the egg wash.

Overhead of raw pie with steam vents on it.

Slice steam vents into the top crust. Place the pie pan on top of your pizza stone and bake for 45 minutes, or until the top crust is golden brown and the apple juices are bubbling.

Overhead shot of a finished apple pie.

Cool the apple pie for at least thirty minutes before slicing, but preferably an hour to allow the filling to solidify.

Overhead shot of a slice of apple pie on a white plate with two scoops of vanilla ice cream and drizzled with caramel sauce.

The post Apple Pie appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sausage Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

If you’re looking for a knock-out recipe that takes minutes to put together, this mouthwatering Sausage Stuffed Spaghetti Squash is it!

The post Sausage Stuffed Spaghetti Squash appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sausage Stuffed Spaghetti Squash is one of those recipes you make when you have time for absolutely nothing but still want to indulge in a savory ooey-gooey delight that’ll make every person at your table say “Wow.” Plus, it’s a sheet pan meal that takes minutes to put together. What’s not to love?

Overhead shot of a hand touching sausage stuffed spaghetti squash with a black fork in it.

What Is Spaghetti Squash?

Spaghetti Squash is the coolest cousin in the gourd family. It has a canary yellow exterior and is shaped like a smoother version of one of those giant dragon eggs someone’s always cradling on House Of The Dragon. (Or a football. Take your pick.) When cooked, its flesh separates into strands the thickness of angel hair.

DOES IT REALLY TASTE LIKE SPaghetti?

No. It does not. It has a neutral flavor and a mildly crunchy texture that smooths out the longer you cook it. But it does look like spaghetti, with strands that vary in length depending on how you slice it. If you go with rounds, you’ll get beautiful long pieces that you can twirl around a fork. I always cut it lengthwise because it’s faster. Even though it gives me shorter strands, I get more ways to work with it because you can stuff it with almost anything.

Side shot of Sausage Stuffed Spaghetti Squash with a fork in it.

How To Cut SPaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash can be a beast to work with unless you soften it a little first with a spin on your microwave turntable. Pierce its skin a few times with a fork and nuke it for five minutes before you try to slice it. It will make it so much easier. It’s always a good idea to stabilize it by resting it on a dish towel before you make that first cut. Leave the steak knife in the drawer and bust out your sharpest chef’s knife. Check out our full tutorial on How To Roast Spaghetti Squash.

Do I Have To Use Italian Sausage?

The beauty of spaghetti squash is its mild flavor, which makes it a blank canvas that pairs perfectly with almost anything. Beth and I are kind of obsessed with Italian sausage and melted mozzarella, but feel free to try your favorite combinations.

For example, you can make this a vegan meal with vegan cheese and sausage. Or lean Latin with it, and try chorizo with manchego or a smoky cheddar. The magic is that you don’t need to use any spices. Not even salt. The sausage is already chock full of spices and will flavor the squash as its fat renders in the cavity. The cheeses provide all the salt you need. Beth and I couldn’t score our favorite spicy Italian sausage, so we opted for sweet and added a sprinkle of red pepper flakes to the mix. That’s, of course, completely optional.

Side shot of Sausage Stuffed Spaghetti Squash with a fork in it.
Overhead shot of stuffed spaghetti squash with a black fork next to it.
Print

Sausage Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

If you're looking for a knock-out recipe that takes minutes to put together, this mouthwatering Sausage Stuffed Spaghetti Squash is it!
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Total Cost ($5.38 recipe / $1.35 serving)
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 quarters
Calories 355kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash (1.5 lbs.) $1.19
  • 1/2 lb. Italian ground sausage (sweet or spicy) $3.00
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella $0.63
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese $0.50
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil $0.06

Instructions

  • Set a rack in the center of your oven and preheat it to 400°F. Slice the spaghetti squash in half, from tip to end. Scoop out the seeds in its central cavity. Brush each half with the cooking oil.
  • Divide the pound of sausage equally between the two spaghetti squash halves.
  • Roast for 30 minutes or until the sausage reaches an internal temperature of 160°. Remove from the oven, but keep your oven on.*
  • Use two forks to separate the sausage into small chunks and to separate the squash into strands. Mix it all together.
  • Combine the cheeses.
  • Divide the cheese mixture equally between the halves and roast for another 10 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and begins to caramelize. Enjoy!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*As long as sausage reaches 160°F,  it’s perfectly safe to eat. However, only the surface of the sausage will brown.  I know some people are squeamish about pale sausage. So, if you prefer super well-done, very browned sausage, put it in a pan for a few minutes until it starts to develop color, then stuff the squash with it. Don’t waste the rendered fat. Add that to the squash as well.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25squash | Calories: 355kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 26g | Sodium: 653mg | Fiber: 4g
Overhead shot of stuffed spaghetti squash with a black fork in it.

How to Make Sausage Stuffed Spaghetti Squash – Step by Step Photos

Overhead shot of a hand holding a spaghetti squash half and brushing oil on it.

Set a rack in the center of your oven and preheat it to 400°F. Slice the spaghetti squash in half, from tip to end. Scoop out the seeds in its central cavity. Reserve the seeds if you wish, and roast them later. Brush each squash half with the half tablespoon of olive oil.

Overhead shot of spaghetti squash stuffed with sausage.

Divide the pound of sausage equally between the two spaghetti squash halves.

Overhead shot of baked stuffed spaghetti squash.

Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the sausage reaches an internal temperature of 160°. Remove from the oven, but keep your oven on.

Overhead shot of stuffed spaghetti squash with sausage mixed with the squash.

Use two forks to separate the sausage into small chunks and to separate the squash into strands. Mix it all together.

Overhead shot of cheese mix in a bowl.

Combine the cup of mozzarella with the quarter cup of Parmesan. We added 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes because all we could find was sweet Italian sausage, and we love a little kick. This is completely optional and has not been calculated into the recipe cost.

Overhead shot of stuffed spaghetti squash on a sheet pan.

Top the squash with the cheese. Divide the cheese mixture equally between both squash halves.

Overhead shot of stuffed spaghetti squash on a sheet pan.

Roast for another 5 to 10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and has started to caramelize. Buen provecho! (That’s Spanish for: have the best time eating. And trust me, you will!)

Overhead shot of stuffed spaghetti squash with a black fork next to it

What To Serve With Sausage Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Pair your spaghetti squash with these delicious sides:

The post Sausage Stuffed Spaghetti Squash appeared first on Budget Bytes.