Menemen (Turkish Scrambled Eggs with Tomatoes)

Menemen, or Turkish scrambled eggs, is an easy, healthy, and customizable dish that can be ready in less than 30 minutes! BudgetBytes.com

The post Menemen (Turkish Scrambled Eggs with Tomatoes) appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Ready to up your breakfast game? Try this traditional Turkish scrambled eggs recipe, also known as Menemen. This one-pan vegetarian egg dish is healthy, filling, easily customizable, and ready in less than 30 minutes from start to finish.

Overhead view of a skillet full of menemen with a wooden spoon.

What Is Menemen?

Menemen is a traditional Turkish breakfast recipe made by cooking eggs with onions, peppers, and tomatoes with a subtle hint of spice. It gets its name from a Turkish town called Menemen, located in Izmir. 

What to Serve with Menemen?

Menemen is traditionally served in the skillet that it is cooked in while it is still hot and bubbly. It is usually served with crusty bread on the side, which is then dipped into the soft scrambled eggs and vegetables for a satisfying bite.

With that being said, if you want to serve it as Turks do then I would recommend a few must-haves on the side:

  • Cheese & olives: You can’t talk about Turkish breakfast and not include cheese and olives. In terms of cheese, you can use feta cheese, fresh mozzarella cheese, or even cheddar cheese. And for olives, serve it with Kalamata olives, green olives, or a mixture of the two with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of dried oregano.
  • Simit: A breakfast staple in Turkey, simit is a sesame-crusted circular bread similar to an American bagel but crustier on the outside and softer on the inside. It pairs wonderfully with menemen and can also be enjoyed with cheese and olives. 
  • Turkish Borek: Borek is made by layering phyllo dough with a filling usually made with cheese and sauteed vegetables. One of the most popular fillings is spinach and feta, which would pair perfectly with this hearty scrambled egg dish.

Ingredient Variations & Substitutions:

The best part of this Turkish soft scramble recipe is that you can easily change it up with whatever you have on hand. Here are a few ideas:

  • Make it without onions: There is an ongoing debate amongst the diehard menemen fans about making it with or without onions. The good news is that it can be made with or without it. Simply omit using onions and sautee peppers and spices by themselves instead. 
  • Peppers: The traditional menemen recipe uses fresh green Turkish peppers, aka sivribiber, which could be hard to find. In my version here I used bell peppers, but feel free to use whatever pepper you have on hand. Seeded and chopped jalapeno, Anaheim peppers, and even Hungarian wax peppers would all work.
  • Tomatoes: I used a canned tomato to make it easy and convenient. However, during the summer months, when they are in season, I prefer using two or three medium-size fresh tomatoes instead.
  • Cheese: Crumbled feta cheese is a very popular topping but you can also add shredded mozzarella cheese on top at the last minute and let it melt on top before serving.

What else can I add?

You can follow the recipe as written or take it up a notch with a few additions to it.

  • Lamb or Italian Sausage: If you are a meat-eater, you can sautee ½ lbs of sausage at the same time as you sautee onions and peppers.
  • Spices: Sprinkle it with Aleppo pepper, Urfa chili pepper, or red pepper flakes if you don’t mind a little bit of heat.
A hand dipping bread into a pan of menemen.
A skillet full of menemen with dishes and bread on the side.

Menemen

Menemen, or Turkish scrambled eggs, is an easy, healthy, and customizable dish that can be ready in less than 30 minutes!
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine Turkish
Total Cost $5.36 recipe / $1.34 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 255kcal
Author Aysegul Sanford

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.25
  • 1 yellow onion $0.37
  • 1 bell pepper (any color) $0.98
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (or Aleppo pepper) $0.03
  • 1 15oz. can diced tomatoes $0.79
  • 1 tsp salt $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten $0.78
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley $0.40
  • 1 cup crumbled feta (optional) $1.64

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add in onion, pepper, dried oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring frequently until vegetables are softened for about 7-8 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Sautee for 2-3 minutes or until tomatoes are heated through.
  • Gently pour the lightly beaten eggs into the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until eggs are just barely set yet still soft, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Immediately sprinkle it with chopped parsley and crumbled feta cheese, if using. Serve with crusty bread on the side.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 255kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 20g | Sodium: 1086mg | Fiber: 1g
A skillet full of menemen with dishes and bread on the side.

How to Make Menemen – Step by Step Photos

Diced onion and bell pepper on a cutting board.

Begin by dicing one bell pepper (any color) and one small onion.

Onion, bell pepper, and spices in a skillet.

Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the diced onion and bell pepper, along with ½ tsp dried oregano and ¼ tsp red pepper flakes or Aleppo pepper. Sauté until the vegetables have softened.

Diced tomatoes being added to the skillet from a bowl.

Add one 15oz. can of diced tomatoes (with the juices), 1 tsp salt, and ¼ tsp black pepper. Stir to combine.

Sautéed vegetables in the skillet.

Continue to sauté for about 2-3 minutes more, or until everything is heated through well.

Beated eggs being poured into the skillet.

Lightly beat four large eggs, then pour them into the skillet.

Eggs and vegetables being scrambled in the skillet.

Cook the eggs, stirring frequently, until they are just barely set yet still soft (about 2-3 minutes).

Parsley being sprinkled onto scrambled eggs.

Sprinkle chopped fresh parsley over the eggs.

Feta being sprinkled over the eggs.

Top with crumbled feta and more black pepper, if desired.

bread being dipped into a pan of menemen.

Serve with crusty bread for dipping!

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Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Lemon Ricotta Pasta is light, fresh, and quick to prepare, making it the perfect pasta for weeknight dinners in the summer.

The post Lemon Ricotta Pasta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Here’s a quickie recipe for those nights when you just need something fast and delicious. This Lemon Ricotta Pasta is super fast, light, and fresh, which makes it perfect for an easy weeknight dinner during the summer. The bright lemon flavor perfectly compliments the light and creamy ricotta, and the little pops of sweetness from the peas make every bite a little more interesting. Simple, fresh, and easy.

Originally posted 3-4-2011, updated 6-8-2022.

Overhead view of a bowl of lemon ricotta pasta with a fork and lemon wedges.

Do I Have to Use Fresh Lemon?

This is one of those recipes where you really do want to use a fresh lemon instead of bottled juice. The zest from the lemon adds a ton of bright, summery lemon flavor to the pasta without making the sauce too sour. We add just a little of the juice to balance the creaminess of the ricotta, but the zest is where you’re getting all that gorgeous sunny lemon flavor!

Not All Ricotta is Created Equal

I find there is quite a bit of variation in the quality of ricotta from brand to brand. Some are smooth, mild, and sweet like fresh milk, while others are bland and grainy. My preferred brand is Galbani, but they didn’t have any at the store when I went, so I got the generic Kroger brand. It was definitely a bit grainy, but the pasta was still quite delicious despite that!

Also, make sure to get whole milk ricotta. Low-fat ricotta just doesn’t hit the same in this recipe.

What Else Can I Add?

This simple pasta is a great jumping-off point for making a more elaborate pasta, if that’s what you’re in the mood for. Try adding some sliced chicken breast, fresh basil, or fresh spinach. Garlic butter shrimp would also go great with this pasta!

What to Serve with Lemon Ricotta Pasta

This pasta is so light and fresh that I suggest keeping any side dishes really simple, light, and fresh as well. I would go with a super simple side salad, or maybe some roasted asparagus and tomatoes.

Overhead view of lemon ricotta pasta in a skillet.

Overhead view of a bowl of lemon ricotta pasta.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Lemon Ricotta Pasta is light, fresh, and quick to prepare, making it the perfect pasta for weeknight dinners in the summer.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Total Cost $4.27 recipe / $1.07 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 400kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 lemon $0.89
  • 8 oz. pasta* $0.67
  • 1 cup frozen peas $0.50
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 1 Tbsp butter $0.11
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta $1.60
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan $0.36
  • 1/4 tsp salt (or to taste) $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper (or to taste) $0.02
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper (or to taste) $0.02

Instructions

  • Zest and juice the lemon. You'll need about ½ tsp zest and 1 Tbsp lemon juice.
  • Cook the pasta according to the package directions (boil for 7-10 minutes, or until tender). Before draining, reserve about 1 cup of the starchy water from the pot.
  • Place the frozen peas in the colander before draining the pasta so the pasta will thaw the peas as it drains.
  • Add the butter and minced garlic to a large skillet and sauté over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or just until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Add the drained pasta and peas, and about ½ cup of the starchy pasta cooking water to the skillet with the butter and garlic. Stir to combine, then turn off the heat.
  • Add the ricotta, Parmesan, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and ½ teaspoon lemon zest to the skillet. Stir until everything is well combined, the residual heat from the skillet and pasta have warmed the ricotta, and the ricotta has formed a creamy sauce. Add more of the warm reserved pasta water if needed.
  • Season the pasta with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste. Serve warm.

Notes

*Use any short shape pasta.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 400kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 14g | Sodium: 335mg | Fiber: 4g

close up side view of lemon ricotta pasta in a bowl.

How to Make Lemon Ricotta Pasta – Step By Step Photos

A zested and juiced lemon on a cutting board.

Zest and juice one lemon. You’ll need about ½ tsp of zest and 1 Tbsp juice.

Boiled pasta in a pot, water being scooped out with a measuring cup.

Cook 8oz. pasta according to the package directions (boil for 7-10 minutes, or until tender). Reserve about 1 cup of the starchy pasta water before draining.

Peas and cooked pasta in a colander.

Add 1 cup of frozen peas to a colander, then pour the boiled pasta over top to thaw the peas as you drain the pasta.

Sautéed garlic in butter in a skillet.

Add 1 Tbsp butter and 1 clove garlic to a large skillet. Sauté over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or just until the garlic becomes very fragrant.

Pasta, peas, and pasta water added to the skillet.

Add the still-hot pasta and peas to the skillet along with about ½ cup of the hot reserved pasta water. Stir to combine, then turn off the heat.

Cheese and lemon added to pasta.

Add 1 cup whole milk ricotta, ¼ cup grated Parmesan, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, and ½ tsp lemon zest to the pasta. Stir until the ingredients are combined, the residual heat from the pasta and skillet have warmed the ricotta, and the ricotta has turned into a creamy sauce.

Salt, pepper, and red pepper added to the pasta.

Add more of the reserved pasta water if the mixture is too thick or too dry. Season the pasta with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste.

Finished lemon ricotta pasta in the skillet.

Enjoy the lemon ricotta pasta while still warm!

Overhead view of a bowl of lemon ricotta pasta.

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Spinach Mushroom French Bread Pizzas

These super easy Spinach Mushroom French Bread Pizzas combine homemade garlic bread with a cheesy spinach mushroom topping.

The post Spinach Mushroom French Bread Pizzas appeared first on Budget Bytes.

French bread pizzas are a total weeknight win. They’re fast and easy, you can top them with whatever you have in your fridge, and they’re always delicious. This week, I had some leftover frozen spinach that was begging to be used up, so I whipped up these quick Spinach Mushroom French Bread Pizzas. They have a garlic bread base for extra flavor and then are topped with a simple mix of spinach, sautéed mushrooms, and cheese. Simple but perfect!

Originally posted 7-5-2015, updated 4-20-2022.

Close up overhead view of spinach mushroom french bread pizzas.

Cheese Options

I used a combination of mozzarella and Swiss cheese for my pizzas, but there is a lot of flexibility here. You could do any of the following cheeses, or any combination of two or more:

  • Mozzarella
  • Provolone
  • Swiss
  • Goat cheese
  • Feta
  • Monterey jack
  • Smoked gouda

And, admittedly, these pizzas are not very cheese heavy, so if you like lots of cheese you may want to double the amount listed in the recipe below!

What About Pizza Sauce?

I made my pizzas kind of like a white pizza or loaded garlic bread, sans red sauce. But if you happen to have leftover pizza sauce (because sometimes that happens) you can spread a layer onto the bread before the spinach and mushrooms, or use your sauce on the side for dunking!

What Else Can I Add?

Diced-up cooked chicken would go really nicely with these pizzas, as would some artichoke hearts, olives, tomatoes (fresh or sun-dried), or Parmesan. That’s what’s great about pizza, you can put just about anything on there and it will be great!

Close up of a piece of a spinach mushroom french bread pizza held in a hand.

Close up of a piece of a spinach mushroom french bread pizza held in a hand.

Spinach Mushroom French Bread Pizzas

These super easy Spinach Mushroom French Bread Pizzas combine homemade garlic bread with a cheesy spinach mushroom topping.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Total Cost $7.62 recipe / $1.91 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 533kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Spinach and Mushrooms

  • 8 oz. mushrooms $2.79
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.01
  • 8 oz. frozen spinach $1.00

Garlic Butter

  • 2 Tbsp butter, room temperature $0.20
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.10
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.01

Pizzas

  • 1 loaf French bread $1.50
  • 1 cup shredded cheese* $1.25
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.01

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Slice the mushrooms, then add them to a skillet with 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 clove minced garlic, tsp salt, and tsp pepper. Sauté the mushrooms over medium heat until they have softened and all of the water has evaporated out of the skillet.
  • Add the frozen spinach to the skillet with the mushrooms and continue to sauté until the spinach is heated through and most of the moisture has evaporated (there should be no water pooling in the skillet). Transfer the mushrooms and spinach to a bowl to cool.
  • To make the garlic butter, combine the butter, olive oil, minced garlic, garlic powder, and salt in a small bowl. Stir well to create a soft garlic butter mixture.
  • Cut a loaf of French bread in half length-wise, then slice each half-open. Place the pieces of bread on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cut sides up. Spread the garlic butter mixture over the surface of each piece of bread.
  • Add half of the shredded cheese, the remaining tsp cracked black pepper, and crushed red pepper to the bowl with the slightly cooled spinach and mushrooms. Stir to combine.
  • Divide the spinach mushroom mixture between the four pieces of bread and spread it over the surface of the bread. Top with the remaining cheese.
  • Bake the pizzas in the preheated 350ºF oven for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and slightly browned on top. Enjoy hot.

Notes

* You can use any combination of cheeses for this recipe. I suggest mozzarella, provolone, swiss, feta, goat cheese, or a combination of any of those cheeses.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pizza | Calories: 533kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 25g | Sodium: 1015mg | Fiber: 5g

Love French Bread Pizza? Check out my classic French Bread Pizza recipe for more topping ideas!

a spinach mushroom french bread pizza broken in half on a plate.

How to Make Spinach Mushroom French Bread Pizza – Step by Step Photos

Sliced mushrooms on a cutting board.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Slice 8oz. mushrooms. I used baby bella mushrooms, but white button mushrooms work fine as well.

Sautéed mushrooms in the skillet.

Add the sliced mushrooms to a skillet with 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 clove of minced garlic, ⅛ tsp salt, and ⅛ tsp pepper. Sauté over medium heat until the mushrooms have softened and all of the water in the skillet has evaporated.

sautéed spinach in the skillet with the mushrooms

Add ½ lb. frozen spinach to the skillet and continue to stir and cook until the spinach is heated through and most of the moisture has evaporated from the skillet. There should be no water pooling in the skillet. Transfer the spinach and mushrooms to a bowl to cool slightly.

Garlic butter ingredients in a bowl.

Add 2 Tbsp butter (room temperature), 2 Tbsp olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic (minced), ½ tsp garlic powder, and ⅛ tsp salt to a bowl and stir until it is all well combined.

Garlic butter bread on a baking sheet.

Line a baking sheet with parchment for easy cleanup. Cut a loaf of French bread in half length-wise then cut each half-open. Place the pieces of bread on the baking sheet, cut sides up. Spread the garlic butter mixture over the surface of the bread. (I accidentally melted my garlic butter, so I brushed it over the surface.)

Cheese mixed into spinach and mushrooms.

Add ½ cup shredded cheese, ⅛ tsp freshly cracked pepper, and ⅛ tsp crushed red pepper into the partially-cooled spinach and mushroom mixture.

Topped french bread pizzas.

Divide the cheesy spinach mushroom mixture between the four pieces of bread, then top with the remaining cheese.

baked spinach mushroom french bread pizzas.

Bake the spinach mushroom French bread pizzas in the preheated 350ºF oven for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and slightly browned on top.

Side view of baked spinach mushroom French bread pizzas on the baking sheet.

Easy and delish!

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Pasta with Bacon and Peas

Pasta with Bacon and Peas is a quick, satisfying, and inexpensive meal that you can make with ingredients that you can keep on hand.

The post Pasta with Bacon and Peas appeared first on Budget Bytes.

It’s always a good idea to rummage through your pantry and freezer every week to see what ingredients you might need to use up. This week for me it was a half box of pasta, some frozen bacon, and frozen peas that were almost too frosty. So I took my favorite quick meal template (pasta + Parmesan + greens) and added in bacon for a simple and delicious meal. This Pasta with Bacon and Peas is definitely going on my regular rotation list!!

Overhead view of a bowl of pasta with bacon and peas

What Kind of Pasta to Use

You can literally use any type of pasta you have on hand for this recipe, which makes it a great option for using up leftovers in your pantry. Spaghetti, bowtie, fusilli, penne, or even ramen would work! I happened to have these little pasta shells, which turned out so cute because the peas would get caught in the shells and that made them look like peas in a pod. :)

What Else Can I Add?

As with most of my recipes, I love creating a nice simple “base” that you can enjoy as is, or add to if you have other ingredients on hand. Here are some other things you can add to this Pasta with Bacon and Peas that would be super delish:

  • Top with a fried egg or chopped hard boiled egg
  • Toss in a handful of fresh spinach
  • Top with crispy fried onions
  • Sprinkle on a dash of malt vinegar
  • Add heavy cream to make it saucy
Pasta with bacon and peas in the skillet.
Close up overhead view of a bowl of pasta with bacon and peas.

Pasta with Bacon and Peas

Pasta with Bacon and Peas is a quick, satisfying, and inexpensive meal that you can make with ingredients that you can keep on hand.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Total Cost $4.00 recipe / $1.33 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 3
Calories 601kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. pasta* $0.63
  • 6 oz. bacon $2.06
  • 1 small onion $0.32
  • 1 cup frozen peas $0.50
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan $0.44
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper (optional) $0.01

Instructions

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add the pasta and continue to boil until the pasta is tender (7-10 minutes). Reserve about a half cup of the starchy pasta water before draining the pasta in a colander.
  • While the pasta is boiling, cook the bacon. Add the bacon to a large skillet and cook over medium heat until brown and crispy. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate with a slotted spoon. Drain most of the bacon grease from the pan, leaving about 2 Tbsp.
  • While the bacon is cooking, finely dice the onion. Add the diced onion to the remaining bacon grease and sauté until tender (about 5 minutes).
  • Add the frozen peas and about ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water to the skillet. Continue to cook and stir until the peas have heated through.
  • Add the drained pasta to the skillet, stir to combine, and remove from the heat.
  • Top the pasta with Parmesan, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, and crumbled bacon. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper to your liking.

Notes

*You can use any type of pasta available.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.3cups | Calories: 601kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 26g | Sodium: 724mg | Fiber: 6g
close up side view of pasta with bacon and peas in the skillet.

How to Make Pasta with Bacon and Peas – Step by Step Photos

Pasta shells in a pot of water

Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add the pasta and continue to boil until tender (7-10 minutes). Reserve ½ cup of the starchy pasta water before draining in a colander.

Cooking bacon in a skillet.

While the pasta is cooking, begin the bacon. Add 6oz. bacon (or however much you have on hand) to a skillet and cook over medium heat until brown and crispy. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate with a slotted spoon. Drain all but 2 Tbsp of the bacon grease from the pan.

Sauteed onion in the skillet.

While the bacon is cooking, finely dice a small yellow onion (or half of a large onion). After removing the bacon from the skillet, add the diced onion to the remaining bacon fat and sauté over medium heat until tender (about 5 minutes). The moisture from the onion will help dissolve some of the browned bits of bacon from the bottom of the pan.

Peas and pasta water added to skillet.

Once the onions are softened, add 1 cup frozen peas and about ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water. Continue to cook and stir over medium heat until the peas have heated through.

Drained pasta added back to the skillet.

Add the drained pasta back to the skillet and stir to combine. Turn off the heat.

Parmesan and bacon added to the skillet.

Add ¼ cup grated Parmesan, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper, and a pinch of crushed red pepper to the pasta, then crumble the cooked bacon over top.

Finished bacon with pasta and peas.

Stir until everything is well combined and coated in Parmesan. Taste the pasta and adjust the salt and pepper to your liking.

Try These Other Quick Pasta Recipes

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Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas

These Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas are filled with melty, creamy cheese, sautéed mushrooms, and a healthy dose of spinach.

The post Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’m of the opinion that pretty much everything tastes better in a toasted tortilla. I often take leftover ingredients from my fridge and turn them into a tasty quesadilla. So that’s exactly what I made with the leftover frozen spinach in my freezer. Easy, cheesy, creamy Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas!

A stack of spinach and mushroom quesadillas on a wooden cutting board

To craft these Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas, I used my Creamy Chicken and Spinach Quesadillas as a template. The filling is a combination of your main ingredient (in this case mushrooms and spinach), cheese, and a little bit of sour cream to make everything extra creamy and delicious. That little bit of sour cream really takes the quesadillas to the next level!

Can I Use Fresh Spinach?

I also tested this recipe using fresh spinach, just to see which would be better. I added the fresh, roughly chopped spinach to the quesadilla filling without sautéing. The quesadillas were good, but they did get a bit watery if they sat in the hot skillet too long or sat on the plate too long before eating.

Another option for fresh spinach would be to sauté the fresh spinach down until almost all of the water is cooked out, but you’d likely need a very large quantity of spinach yield enough to fill the quesadillas once sautéed.

Cheese Options

I kept my spinach and mushroom quesadillas very simple with classic mozzarella cheese, but you could have fun here and add more flavor by swapping out the cheese or adding a second type of cheese. Adding a few crumbles of feta or a couple of tablespoons of grated Parmesan to the mozzarella would add an extra punch of flavor. Mixing in some smoked gouda would also be amazing! If you want things a little more spicy, you could use pepper jack in place of the mozzarella.

A cheesy spinach quesadilla being torn in half, cheese stretching between pieces
A stack of spinach and mushroom quesadillas on a wooden cutting board

Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas

These Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas are filled with melty, creamy cheese, sautéed mushrooms, and a healthy dose of spinach.
Course Lunch, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine American
Total Cost $5.73 recipe / $1.15 each
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 5 quesadillas
Calories 297kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. mushrooms $1.69
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp salt, divided $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper, divided $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper $0.02
  • 1/2 lb. frozen chopped spinach $0.84
  • 8 oz. mozzarella*, shredded $1.85
  • 1/4 cup sour cream $0.29
  • 5 7-inch flour tortillas $0.94

Instructions

  • Slice the mushrooms and add them to a skillet with the cooking oil, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, and half of the salt and pepper. Sauté over medium until the mushrooms have release all of their water and it has evaporated out of the skillet. Set the mushrooms aside.
  • While the mushrooms are cooking, thaw the frozen spinach then squeeze out as much of the water as possible. You should have about one cup of spinach (loosely packed) once squeezed.
  • Add the mushrooms, spinach, shredded mozzarella, sour cream, and another tsp each of salt and pepper to a bowl, then stir to combine.
  • Add about ½ cup of the cheesy spinach mushroom mixture to each tortilla, spread it out to cover one side of the tortilla, then fold to close.
  • Cook the quesadillas in a skillet over medium heat until brown and crispy on the outside and melty on the inside (I do not use butter or oil in the skillet, but can if you want a more fried texture).
  • Slice the quesadillas and serve!

Notes

*You can swap out or mix in your favorite type of cheese.

Nutrition

Serving: 1quesadilla | Calories: 297kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 18g | Sodium: 652mg | Fiber: 3g
Two hands holding a stack of quesadillas

How to Make Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas – Step by Step Photos

Sliced mushrooms on a cutting board

Slice 8oz. mushrooms. I used baby bella, but you can use whatever type you like.

Sautéed mushrooms in a skillet

Add the mushrooms to a skillet along with 1 Tbsp cooking oil, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ⅛ tsp salt, ⅛ tsp pepper, and ⅛ tsp crushed red pepper. Sauté over medium until the mushrooms have released all of their moisture and it has evaporated out of the skillet. Set the mushrooms aside.

Thawed and squeezed mushrooms

Thaw ½ lb. of frozen chopped spinach. Squeeze as much water out of the spinach as possible. You should have about one loosely packed cup of dried spinach.

quesadilla filling ingredients in a bowl

Add the spinach, mushrooms, 8 oz. shredded mozzarella, ¼ cup sour cream, and an additional ⅛ tsp salt and pepper to a bowl.

Mixed quesadilla filling in the bowl

Stir the ingredients together until well combined.

filling added to a tortilla

Add about ½ cup of the spinach mushroom mixture to each tortilla, spreading it out over one side, then folding it closed.

Toasted quesadillas in a skillet

Toast the quesadillas in a skillet over medium heat until they are golden brown and crispy on the outsides and melty on the insides. I don’t use any butter or oil in the skillet, but you can if you prefer a more fried texture to the tortilla.

spinach and mushroom quesadillas cut in half

Slice the quesadillas in half and serve!

A stack of spinach and mushroom quesadillas on a wooden cutting board

Try These Other Quesadilla Flavors

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Spinach and Feta Grilled Cheese

Take your grilled cheese sandwich to the next level with this gourmet Spinach Feta Grilled Cheese! An easy and flavorful lunch idea.

The post Spinach and Feta Grilled Cheese appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Because I add spinach to everything. I keep frozen spinach on hand so I can toss a handful into whatever I’m cooking and spinach felt like such a natural addition to my usual grilled cheese. I also added a little feta cheese for a tangy punch, a few spicy flakes of red pepper, and toasted it up on some good bread. The result was something truly spectacular. This Spinach Feta Grilled Cheese only takes a few minutes more than regular grilled cheese, and it’s SO worth the extra effort. No joke, you’ll pay about $8 for something like this at your local cafe, but not at home!

Originally posted 8/31/13, updated 1/19/2022.

A stack of spinach and feta grilled cheese sandwich halves

Is This a Melt or a Grilled Cheese?

Okay, so technically this type of sandwich is called a “melt.” A melt is a grilled cheese that has other ingredients added, like vegetables or meat, whereas a grilled cheese is a cheese-only grilled sandwich. While the difference between a melt and a grilled cheese often sparks heated debates, I want people to be able to find this recipe on the internet and the data shows that people are searching for “spinach and feta grilled cheese,” not “spinach and feta melt”. The English language is fluid, and the use of the term “melt” is declining. So here we are! 

What Kind of Bread is Best for Grilled Cheese

I originally used ciabatta bread for this recipe, but it wasn’t available this time around so I chose a nice sourdough bread instead. Homemade focaccia would also be nice. Because the ingredients in this recipe are a little more hearty than your everyday grilled cheese sandwich, I would suggest using any sturdy bread that can hold up to the filling ingredients. Skip the soft white bread for this one. ;)

What Kind of Spinach to Use

I used frozen spinach for this recipe because it’s easy to keep on hand without worrying about it spoiling, but you could absolutely use fresh spinach if you have it. Just sauté it down until most of the moisture is gone, just as I did below with the frozen spinach.

As far as frozen spinach goes, you’ll want to buy the kind that comes loose in a bag rather than the type that is frozen into a block. That will allow you to thaw just enough for this recipe while leaving the rest in the freezer for your next cooking adventure.

What to Serve with Spinach and Feta Grilled Cheese

As with any grilled cheese sandwich, this spinach and feta version goes great with a cup of tomato soup. But you could also serve it with a little dish of pasta sauce or pizza sauce for dipping!

What Else Can I Add?

Oh, there are so many delicious possibilities for add-ins here: olives, artichokes, red onion, parmesan cheese… I’d not be against putting an egg on there, too. ;)

Overhead view of spinach and feta grilled cheese on a cutting board with a bowl of sauce


A stack of spinach and feta grilled cheese sandwiches

Spinach and Feta Grilled Cheese

Take your grilled cheese sandwich to the next level with this gourmet Spinach Feta Grilled Cheese! An easy and flavorful lunch idea.
Course Lunch, Sandwich
Cuisine American
Total Cost $3.62 recipe / $1.81 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 1 sandwich each
Calories 507kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil $0.08
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 1/4 lb. frozen chopped spinach $0.42
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper $0.05
  • 4 slices bread $1.00
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.20
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella $1.15
  • 1 oz. feta $0.62
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper $0.02

Instructions

  • Add the olive oil and minced garlic to a skillet. Sauté over medium heat for about one minute, then add the frozen spinach (no need to thaw), and a pinch of salt and pepper. Continue to sauté over medium until most of the moisture has evaporated from the skillet.
  • Spread butter over one side of each of the slices of bread. Flip the bread over so the buttered side is facing down as you build the sandwiches.
  • Divide half of the shredded mozzarella between two slices of bread. Top the mozzarella with the crumbled feta.
  • Divide the cooked spinach between the two sandwiches, then top with the remaining shredded mozzarella and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Top each sandwich with the second slice of bread, buttered side facing out.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-low. Once hot, add the sandwiches and cook on each side until golden brown and crispy on the outside and warm and gooey on the inside.
  • Cut the sandwiches in half and serve!

Nutrition

Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 507kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 33g | Sodium: 962mg | Fiber: 4g
Half of a spinach and feta grilled cheese dipping into pizza sauce

How to Make Spinach and Feta Grilled Cheese – Step by Step Photos

cooked spinach in a skillet

Add a 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and one minced clove of garlic to a small skillet. Cook the garlic for about a minute, then add ¼ lb. froen spinach (you can just estimate ¼ of a one pound bag, or ⅓ of a 12oz. bag). Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and continue to sauté over medium until most of the moisture has evaporated.

four slices of buttered bread

Spread about ½ Tbsp butter over one side of each slice of bread (four slices).

shredded mozzarella added to the bread

Flip the bread over so the unbuttered sides are facing up. Add about ¼ cup shredded mozzarella to two of the slices. Top each with a little crumbled feta.

cooked spinach added to the sandwiches

Add the cooked spinach on top of the mozzarella and feta.

more mozzarella added to the sandwiches

Add another ¼ cup shredded mozzarella to each along with a pinch of crushedred pepper. Top with the second piece of bread, butter side facing out.

Cooked sandwiches in the skillet

Heat a large skillet over medium-low. Once hot, add the sandwiches. Cook for about five minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crispy on the outside and melty and hot on the inside.

sliced sandwiches on a cutting board

Slice the sandwiches in half and serve!

A stack of spinach and feta grilled cheese sandwiches

Ooohhhh yesssssss.

Love Cheesy Melts? Try These Other Recipes:

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Spiced Lentils with Carrots

These warm, sweet, and savory spiced lentils hold up well as leftovers and make the perfect cozy vegetarian meal prep.

The post Spiced Lentils with Carrots appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you’ve been hanging out with me for a while, then you know how much I love lentils. They’re cheap, easy to cook, and are a blank slate for flavor. This week I decided to take one of my favorite spice combos and add it to some lentils. Warm cumin, garlic, and ginger pair with the subtle sweetness of ginger, cinnamon, and carrots to create a complex flavor that is simply out of this world. Spoon these saucy spiced lentils over something starchy like polenta, rice, or mashed sweet potatoes and you’ll be in lentil heaven.

Overhead view of spiced lentils with carrots in a skillet

Spiced but not Spicy

These lentils are seasoned with a slew of warm, sweet, and savory spices, but they are not hot or spicy. I did add a ¼ tsp crushed red pepper to the mix which gives the back end just a slight kick, but I still wouldn’t consider it spicy by any means. If you do happen to be sensitive to spicy flavors, you can reduce or eliminate the crushed red pepper.

What Kind of Lentils to Use

This recipe is designed for brown or green lentils (not French green lentils, which take much longer to cook). This type of lentil cooks in about 20-30 minutes of simmering, does not require soaking, and they hold their shape when softened. I do not recommend red, orange, or yellow lentils for this recipe because they break down quickly when cooked and will leave you with something more like a mush or porridge.

How to Serve Spiced Lentils

You can serve these lentils in a bowl on their own with some crusty bread for dipping, or spoon them over just about any type of starch. I served mine over a cornmeal mush (like polenta or grits), but you could also serve them over rice, mashed white potatoes or sweet potatoes, farro, or any other grain that you might like.

Meal Prep It!

I think these spiced lentils would make a fabulous vegetarian or vegan meal prep. They’ll keep well in the fridge for four to five days and should reheat quickly in the microwave. They’ll also freeze well, so you can stock a few extra portions in your freezer!

Overhead view of spiced lentils over a bed of polenta
side view of spiced lentils on a bed of polenta

Spiced Lentils with Carrots

These warm, sweet, and savory spiced lentils hold up well as leftovers and make the perfect cozy vegetarian meal prep.
Total Cost $3.91 recipe / $0.98 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 about 1.25 cups each
Calories 314kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.32
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger $0.10
  • 4 carrots (about 2 cups chopped) $0.56
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 1 tsp ground cumin $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp allspice $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper $0.02
  • 1 cup brown lentils $0.67
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste $0.15
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots or raisins* $0.75
  • 3 cups vegetable broth $0.40
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley (optional) $0.10

Instructions

  • Dice the onion, mince the garlic, grate the ginger, and peel and dice the carrots.
  • Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and olive oil to a deep skillet. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent (about five minutes).
  • Add the diced carrots, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, and crushed red pepper to the skillet. Continue to sauté for about two minutes more.
  • Next, add the uncooked lentils, tomato paste, and broth to the skillet. Stir until the tomato paste has dissolved into the broth. Place a lid on the skillet and turn the heat up to high.
  • Allow the broth to come to a full boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the lentils simmer in the broth with the lid on for 30 minutes, stirring only occasionally.
  • After 30 minutes the lentils and carrots should be very tender. Give the lentils a taste and add salt or pepper if needed (this will depend on the salt content of your broth, I did not add any).
  • Serve the spiced lentils with crusty bread for dipping, or over a bed of polenta or mashed potatoes. Top with chopped fresh parsley if desired.

Notes

*Raisins are the more economical choice here (golden or purple raisins), but I happened to have dried apricots on hand so I used those instead of buying raisins specifically for this recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.25cup | Calories: 314kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 851mg | Fiber: 18g
close up side view of spiced lentils in the skillet

How to Make Spiced Lentils with Carrots – Step by Step Photos

onion, garlic, and ginger in a skillet

Dice one yellow onion, mince four cloves of garlic, grate about one teaspoon fresh ginger, and peel and dice four carrots. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger to a deep skillet along with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent.

Carrots and spices added to the skillet

Add the chopped carrots to the skillet along with 1 tsp cumin, ½ tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp allspice, and ¼ tsp crushed red pepper. Continue to sauté for about two minutes more.

lentils, tomato paste, and broth being added to the skillet

Add one cup uncooked brown lentils, 3 Tbsp tomato paste, and 3 cups vegetable broth to the skillet.

chopped apricots

Also, add ¼ cup chopped dried apricots or raisins to the skillet. If using dried apricots, chop them to about the same size as raisins.

Lid being placed on the skillet

Stir everything together until the tomato paste is mixed into the broth. Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to high, and let the broth come up to a full boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the lentils continue to simmer, with the lid in place, for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Finished spiced lentils in the skillet

After 30 minutes the lentils and carrots should be tender. Give them a taste and add salt if needed. I did not add any, but depending on the salt content of your broth, you may need a bit to make the flavors pop.

Overhead view of spiced lentils over a bed of polenta

Serve the spiced lentils with crusty bread for dipping or over a bed of polenta or mashed potatoes. Top with chopped fresh parsley if desired.

spiced lentils in the skillet with a wooden spoon

Try These Other Delicious Lentil Recipes:

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Honey Sriracha Tofu

This sweet, spicy, and sticky honey sriracha tofu is addictively delicious! Add it to salads, bowl meals, noodles, wraps, and more.

The post Honey Sriracha Tofu appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I haven’t made tofu in a while but I can tell you one thing, I’m going to be making this Honey Sriracha Tofu a lot from here on out. These tasty little tofu cubes are pan-fried until crispy on the outside and then drenched in a sweet and spicy sriracha glaze. It’s simple but so addictive! They’re so good that I sat there eating the tofu right out of the pan, nearly polishing off the entire batch myself. 😬 Realistically, you’ll probably want to stretch this out to about four servings as part of a full meal, and I’ve got some great ideas for that below. 😉

honey sriracha tofu in a bowl with rice and cucumber
Serving suggestion: in a bowl with rice, cucumber, and sesame seeds.

What Kind of Tofu to Use

I suggest using either firm or extra-firm tofu for this recipe so that the tofu cubes hold their shape during frying. Even with firm or extra-firm tofu, you’ll want to stir gently to prevent the cubes from crumbling.

To add even more texture in your tofu, you can freeze the tofu (right in the package) and then thaw before pressing. This makes the tofu a little more dense and texturized, rather than soft and smooth.

Can I Substitute the Sriracha?

Sriracha is the main flavor in this recipe and it provides several flavor elements to the sauce like heat, acidity, garlic, and salt. You could potentially substitute it with another chili sauce, like chili garlic sauce, sambal oelek, or maybe even gochujang. But if you’re looking for a non-spicy option, it will take several ingredients to replace all the flavors contained in the sriracha. I suggest using this recipe for Pan Fried Sesame Tofu as a non-spicy alternative.

Close up of honey sriracha tofu in the skillet

Make it Vegan

To make this honey sriracha tofu vegan you only need to swap one ingredient—honey. Substitute the honey with either brown sugar or agave nectar. Brown sugar is my top choice because I love the deep flavors that the molasses in the brown sugar provides.

Use Non-Stick Cookware for Best Results

Cornstarch helps create a nice crispy coating on the tofu, but cornstarch also likes to stick to cookware. For that reason, I suggest using some type of non-stick cookware, whether that be ceramic, cast iron, or Teflon.

How to Serve Honey Sriracha Tofu

Do as I say and don’t do as I do (almost eat the entire batch straight out of the skillet). Use this honey sriracha tofu to top salads, like Crunchy Cabbage Salad or Cold Peanut Noodle Salad. Make it into a bowl meal with rice and cooling cucumbers (as pictured) and maybe some Peanut Lime Dressing. Or add it to some noodles like these Sesame Noodles with Wilted Greens or Garlic Noodles. You could even stuff it into a big tortilla with Crunchy Cabbage Salad and make it a wrap!

Honey sriracha tofu in the skillet with a spatula, ingredients on the sides
Close up of honey sriracha tofu in the skillet

Honey Sriracha Tofu

This sweet, spicy, and sticky honey sriracha tofu is addictively delicious! Add it to salads, bowl meals, wraps, and more.
Total Cost $2.64 recipe / $0.66 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Press Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Calories 161kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 14 oz. extra firm tofu $1.79
  • 2 Tbsp sriracha $0.22
  • 2 Tbsp honey $0.24
  • 2 tsp soy sauce, divided $0.04
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch $0.03
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.22

Instructions

  • Press the tofu for 30 minutes to remove the excess moisture. You can do this by either using a tofu press, or placing the block of tofu on a rimmed plate or tray, then topping with something flat like a cutting board and placing a heavy object on top (cast iron skillet or pot of water). After pressing for 30 minutes, pour off the extra liquid.
  • While the tofu is pressing, make the honey sriracha sauce. In a small bowl, combine the sriracha, honey, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, and the crushed red pepper. Set the sauce aside.
  • Cut the pressed tofu into ½-inch cubes. Use a paper towel to lightly pat dry the tofu cubes.
  • Add the cooking oil and 1 teaspoon soy sauce to a large bowl. Lightly whisk the soy sauce into the oil. Add the cubed tofu and gently stir until the tofu is coated in oil and soy sauce.
  • Sprinkle 1 teaspoon cornstarch over the cubed tofu and gently stir. Repeat two more times, or until 3 teaspoon (1 Tablespoon) cornstarch has been added to the tofu.
  • Heat a non-stick skillet over medium. When the skillet is hot, add the prepared tofu. The tofu will fry in the oil that is coating the cubes. Cook the tofu, stirring only occasionally, until it is brown and crispy on all sides (about 10 minutes).
  • Pour the honey sriracha sauce over the tofu and continue to stir and cook for 1-2 more minutes, or until the glaze is thick and sticky.
  • Top the honey sriracha tofu with sliced green onions and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 161kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 405mg | Fiber: 1g
close up of honey sriracha tofu in a bowl with cucumber

How to Make Honey Sriracha Tofu – Step by Step Photos

Homemade tofu press with cutting boards and cast iron skillet

Drain one 14oz. block of firm or extra-firm tofu. Press the tofu for 30 minutes using either a tofu press, or a homemade press like in the photo above. To make the homemade press, place the block of tofu on a plate or rimmed baking sheet, then top with a cutting board and a heavy object, like a cast-iron skillet or pot of water.

honey sriracha sauce

While the tofu is pressing, prepare the honey sriracha sauce. Stir together 2 Tablespoons sriracha, 2 Tablespoons honey, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, and ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper.

pressed tofu with liquid all around the dish

You can see how much more liquid came out of the block of tofu after pressing for 30 minutes. Pour off the excess liquid.

Cubed tofu on a cutting board

Cut the block of tofu into ½-inch cubes and lightly pat dry with a paper towel.

cooking oil and soy sauce in a large bowl

Add 2 Tablespoons of cooking oil and one teaspoon soy sauce to a large bowl. Whisk until they are somewhat combined, then add the cubed tofu and gently stir until the tofu is coated.

cubed tofu in the bowl with cornstarch

Add one teaspoon cornstarch to the bowl with the tofu and gently stir again. Repeat two more times until you’ve added 3 teaspoons (or one tablespoon) cornstarch and the tofu is coated.

cooked tofu cubes in a skillet

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is very hot, add the tofu. The tofu is coated in oil, so there is no need to add extra oil to the skillet. Cook the tofu, stirring occasionally, until it is golden brown and crispy on all sides.

honey sriracha sauce being poured over the tofu in the skillet

Pour the prepared honey sriracha sauce over the tofu.

finished honey sriracha tofu in the skillet garnished with sliced green onions

Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 1-2 minutes more or until the sauce is thick and sticky. Top with sliced green onions and serve!

honey sriracha tofu in a bowl with rice, cucumber, and sesame seeds

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Curried Ground Beef with Peas and Potatoes

We used to eat these really delicious meat pies when we were growing up. I’m not sure exactly what was in them, but I do know that the mix had ground beef seasoned with curry powder, tender cubed potatoes, and sweet peas. It was so simple, hearty, filling, and one of my absolute favorite things […]

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We used to eat these really delicious meat pies when we were growing up. I’m not sure exactly what was in them, but I do know that the mix had ground beef seasoned with curry powder, tender cubed potatoes, and sweet peas. It was so simple, hearty, filling, and one of my absolute favorite things to eat. But these days I’m a busy person, so when I got the craving for those tasty meat pies I just whipped up the curried ground beef filling and ate it in a bowl instead of fiddling with dough and stuffing it into hand pies. It was still totally satisfying and way easier. There are a few different ways you can serve this curried ground beef, so keep reading to see some options!

Originally posted 10-10-2012, updated 9-4-2021.

curried ground beef with peas and potatoes in a skillet with a serving spoon

What Kind of Beef to Use

Since the spices and aromatics are going in the skillet before the beef, you won’t want to have to drain off any fat after browning the ground beef, or else you’ll lose some of the flavor. For that reason, you’ll want to use a lower fat ground beef, maybe 10-15% max. Having some fat is good for flavor, but you don’t want it pooling in the bottom of the skillet.

What Kind of Curry Powder to Use

Curry powder blends can vary a LOT from brand to brand, so it’s important to choose one that you’re familiar with and that you know you like. The kind I happen to be using today is 365 brand curry powder, but I’ve also enjoyed Sharwood’s brand in the past. You can use a mild curry powder, or spicy if you prefer. If you’d like to try making your own homemade curry powder, here is a great recipe for homemade curry powder from Spice it Up.

How to Serve Curried Ground Beef with Peas and Potatoes

This dish is quite filling on its own since it contains meat, potatoes, and vegetables, but I like to add a little bread on the side. I love serving naan with this curried ground beef so I can scoop up some of the beef mixture with the piece of naan and get everything in one bite (just like those meat pies I used to eat, but open-faced!). You could also serve the curried beef over a bed of rice for a little extra inexpensive filler. 

Can I Add More Vegetables?

Yes! This mixture is so flexible. If you want to incorporate a few extra vegetables, consider adding a diced onion, sliced carrots, and maybe even broccoli. If you want to swap out the potatoes for a lower carb option, you can use small cauliflower florets.

curried ground beef with peas and potatoes in a bowl with naan in the side

curried ground beef with peas and potatoes in a skillet with a serving spoon

Curried Ground Beef with Peas and Potatoes

Meat and potatoes come together with savory curry powder in this super simple weeknight curried ground beef skillet.
Total Cost $7.91 recipe / $1.32 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 1 cup each
Calories 293kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced $0.32
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger $0.10
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder $0.30
  • 1 tsp turmeric $0.10
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional) $0.02
  • 1 lb. ground beef (15% fat or less) $5.49
  • 1 russet potato (¾ lb.) $0.63
  • 1 cup beef broth $0.13
  • 1 cup frozen peas $0.50
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 2 green onions, sliced (optional) $0.22

Instructions

  • Add the minced garlic, grated ginger, and cooking oil to a large deep skillet. Sauté the garlic and ginger over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the curry powder, turmeric, and crushed red pepper and sauté for one minute more.
  • Add the ground beef to the skillet with the spices and sauté until the beef is cooked through.
  • While the beef is cooking, peel and cube the potato into ½-inch pieces.
  • Add the cubed potato and beef broth to the skillet. Stir to combine with the ground beef. Place a lid on the skillet and turn the heat up to medium-high. Allow the broth to come up to a boil.
  • Once the broth reaches a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and allow it to continue to simmer for 10 minutes with the lid in place (stir occasionally). After ten minutes, the potatoes should be tender. Remove the lid and simmer for a few more minutes, or until most of the broth is evaporated.
  • Finally, stir the frozen peas into the beef and potato mixture and heat through. Give the curry beef a taste and add salt to taste (about ½ tsp). Top with sliced green onions and serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 20g | Sodium: 399mg | Fiber: 2g

close up of a scoop of curried ground beef with peas and potatoes in front of the skillet

How to Make Curried Ground Beef with Peas and Potatoes – Step By Step Photos

Minced garlic and grated ginger in a skillet with oil

Start by mincing four cloves of garlic and grating about 1 teaspoon fresh ginger. Add the garlic and ginger to a skillet with 2 tablespoons of cooking oil. Sauté the garlic and ginger over medium heat for one to two minutes.

Spices added to the skillet with garlic and ginger

Next, add 1 tablespoon curry powder, 1 teaspoon turmeric, and ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional) to the skillet. Continue to sauté over medium heat for about one more minute to toast the spices.

Browned ground beef in the skillet

Add one pound of ground beef to the skillet and continue sautéing until it is cooked through.

Cubed potato on a cutting board

While the beef is browning, peel and cube one russet potato into ½-inch pieces. My potato was about ¾ lb. total, but it’s flexible so you can add a little more or less if you have it.

cubed potato in the skillet with beef, broth being poured in the side

Once the beef is browned, add the cubed potato and one cup beef broth. Stir to combine.

Spatula pulling beef and potatoes to the side to show no liquid in the skillet

Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the broth up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the skillet simmer for about 10 minutes, with the lid in place, stirring occasionally. After ten minutes the potatoes should be nice and tender. Remove the lid and let it simmer a few more minutes, or until most of the broth is evaporated.

Frozen peas being poured into the skillet

Add one cup of frozen peas to the skillet and stir to combine, then allow the peas to heat through.

Finished curried beef with peas in the skillet with a spatula

Give the curried beef with peas and potatoes a taste and add salt to your liking (I added about ½ teaspoon). 

curried ground beef with peas and potatoes in a skillet with a serving spoon

Top with sliced green onions and enjoy!

Side view of a bowl of curried beef with peas, naan in the side of the bowl

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Burst Cherry Tomato Sauce

I love my homemade easy marinara sauce and my slow cooker marinara sauce, but when we have a lot of cherry tomatoes in our garden, this Burst Cherry Tomato Sauce is my GO TO! It is the best way to use up the summer tomatoes. This fresh tomato sauce onl…

I love my homemade easy marinara sauce and my slow cooker marinara sauce, but when we have a lot of cherry tomatoes in our garden, this Burst Cherry Tomato Sauce is my GO TO! It is the best way to use up the summer tomatoes. This fresh tomato sauce only requires a few ingredients but…

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