Tomato Rice

Tomato rice is an easy yet flavorful side dish that uses only a few simple ingredients, and it’s sure to liven up any dinner plate!

The post Tomato Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I love a big ol’ bowl of hot rice. Rice is filling, cozy, and CHEAP. 🙌 Plus, it’s super easy to add different flavors to rice, so it never gets boring. This easy and flavorful tomato rice uses really simple ingredients that I often have on hand, and it has the most delicious bright yet savory flavor. Plus you can use it as a base for bowl meals, or you can serve it as a side to liven up your dinner plate.

Tomato rice in a bowl with limes and green onion.

What’s in Tomato Rice?

This tomato rice is similar to what a lot of people call Spanish rice or Mexican rice, although I can’t say that my technique is authentic to either culture. It’s simply rice that has been cooked with onion, garlic, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, a couple of spices (cumin and chili powder), and a flavorful broth. So simple, yet SO good! I couldn’t stop taking forkfuls right out of the pot. 😅

What Else Can I Add?

There are a lot of ways you can modify this rice to make it your own. You can swap the vegetable broth for chicken broth for a slightly different flavor, or replace the diced tomatoes with salsa or Rotel. You can also experiment with adding some extra spices, like cayenne or smoked paprika, or even squeeze a little lime juice in with the broth before cooking. Want more vegetables? Try stirring in some frozen peas or diced bell pepper.

I like to garnish the tomato rice with some sliced green onions and lime wedges, but they are not required to make the rice taste great.

Can I Use Brown Rice?

Brown rice requires more liquid and a longer simmer time (2-3 times longer) than white rice. So while I’d need to test this with brown rice before offering exact recommendations, it is definitely possible to make this tomato rice with long grain brown rice.

How to Store the Leftovers

If you plan to use your rice for meal prep or if you want to freeze the leftovers, make sure to divide the rice into single portions before refrigerating to make sure it cools down quickly once in the refrigerator. Once completely cooled, it can be transferred to the freezer for longer storage (make sure it’s in an air-tight container).

The tomato rice can be reheated quickly in the microwave. Add a sprinkle of water or an ice cube before reheating to prevent the rice from drying out.

Close up side view of a bowl of tomato rice.

Tomato Rice

Tomato rice is an easy yet flavorful side dish that uses only a few simple ingredients, and it's sure to liven up any dinner plate!
Course Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine Southwest
Total Cost $2.40 recipe / $0.30 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 1 cup each
Calories 186kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 yellow onion $0.37
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08
  • 1.5 cups long grain white rice $0.56
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin $0.02
  • 1 15oz. can petite diced tomatoes $0.79
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste $0.08
  • 2 cups vegetable broth $0.26
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.03

Instructions

  • Mince the garlic and finely dice the onion. Add the onion, garlic, and cooking oil to a saucepot and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent.
  • Add the rice, chili powder, and cumin to the pot. Continue to stir and cook for a couple of minutes more to toast the rice and spices.
  • Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), tomato paste, and broth to the pot. Stir to combine and dissolve and spices that are stuck to the bottom.
  • Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to high, and let the broth come up to a full boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low (or just above low) to bring the broth down to a gentle simmer.
  • Let the rice gently simmer for 20 minutes without lifting the lid or stirring. After 20 minutes, remove the pot from the heat, and let the rice rest for five minutes without lifting the lid.
  • After resting, fluff the rice with a fork to redistribute the tomatoes throughout. Serve hot!

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 186kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Sodium: 471mg | Fiber: 2g
Overhead view of a pot full of tomato rice with limes and green onion.

How to Make Tomato Rice – Step by Step Photos

Chopped onion and garlic on a cutting board.

Start by mincing two cloves of garlic and finely dicing one onion.

sautéed onion and garlic in the pot.

Add the onion and garlic to a sauce pot with 2 Tbsp cooking oil. Sauté over medium until the onions are soft and translucent.

Rice and spices added to the pot.

Add 1.5 cups long grain white rice, ½ tsp chili powder, and ¼ tsp cumin to the pot.

Rice and spices cooked in the pot.

Cook and stir the rice and spices for a couple of minutes more to slightly toast the rice and spices.

Tomatoes and broth added to the pot.

Add one 15oz. can of petite diced tomatoes (with juices), 1 Tbsp tomato paste, 2 cups vegetable broth, and ½ tsp salt to the pot. Stir to combine and dissolve any spices stuck to the bottom of the pot. I like to keep frozen tomato paste on hand in one tablespoon portions, just for recipes like this!

Tomato rice before simmering.

Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to high, and allow the broth to come up to a full boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low (or lightly above low) to bring the broth down to a gentle simmer.

Simmered rice in the pot with tomatoes on top.

Let the rice gently simmer for 20 minutes without stirring or lifting the lid. After 20 minutes, remove the pot from the heat (lid still on) and let the rice rest for 5 minutes. This is what it looks like after simmering.

Fluffed tomato rice in the pot.

Fluff the rice with a fork to redistribute the diced tomatoes, which float to the top as the rice simmers.

Lime being squeezed over the rice in a bowl.

Serve hot! I like to garnish with a little lime and green onion, but it’s not necessary! The rice tastes great on its own, too. :)

Try These Other Flavored Rice Recipes:

The post Tomato Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

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!

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

Beef Taco Pasta

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

The post Beef Taco Pasta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

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

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

beef taco pasta in a bowl from above

What Kind of Pasta to Use

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

What Else Can I Add to Taco Pasta?

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

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

Swap Out the Meat

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

Close up of beef taco pasta in the skillet

Close up of beef taco pasta in the skillet

One Pot Beef Taco Pasta

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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

Notes

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

Nutrition

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

beef taco pasta in the skillet with a spoon

How to Make Beef Taco Pasta – Step by Step Photos

Diced onion and minced garlic in a skillet

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

ground beef and taco seasoning added to the skillet

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

Diced tomatoes and green chiles added to the skillet

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

pasta and beef broth being added to the skillet

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

Lid being placed on the skillet in preparation for simmering

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

Cooked pasta in the skillet

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

shredded cheddar added to the skillet

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

taco pasta topped with green onion

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

Overhead view of a bowl of taco pasta

Try These Other Ground Beef Pasta Recipes:

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Cabbage Soup

Forget the cabbage soup diet, you’ll want to eat this super healthy vegetable-filled cabbage soup just because it tastes incredible!

The post Cabbage Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Do you remember the cabbage soup diet? It was one of those crazy fad diets where you were supposed to eat as much as you want of just one thing (in this case cabbage soup) and you’d supposedly lose weight without trying. While I’m not a fan of that type of diet, I am a big fan of the cabbage soup that the diet was centered around. Why? For one simple reason—it’s absolutely DELICIOUSYeah, I was surprised too. The first time I had the famed diet cabbage soup I expected it to be boring and bland, but I was pleasantly surprised by how extremely flavorful and comforting the soup was. I actually ended up eating it over and over again just because I wanted to. And it became a winter comfort food staple for me ever since. 😅

Originally published 1/15/2018, updated 1/8/2022.

Overhead view of a pot of cabbage soup with a ladle

Is Cabbage Soup Healthy?

I’m not going to tell you this cabbage soup will “detox” you or make you lose weight, but this soup is chock-full of a lot of the one thing that almost all of us are guilty of not getting enough of—vegetables.

I’m nicknamed this soup All You Can Eat Cabbage Soup as a tongue-in-cheek reference to the old fad diet, but seriously, eat as much as you want. The more the better, really. You’ll just be getting more of the good stuff. And guess what? This cabbage soup is insanely inexpensive, too! So even more reason to feel free to eat as much as you want!

What’s in Cabbage Soup?

The classic “cabbage soup diet” cabbage soup has taken many forms over the years, but they all have one thing in common—they’re stuffed full of non-starchy vegetables swimming in a flavorful herb-filled broth. I like my broth a bit more tomatoey, so I added some tomato sauce to thicken it up. Some people use V8 instead, but tomato sauce is much less expensive, especially when only a small amount is needed. I also added a bit of smoked paprika (because that’s my fav), and a splash of lemon juice at the end to brighten it up.

How to Store Leftovers

This recipe does make a really large batch, so it’s a good idea to freeze about half of it, just in case you can’t eat all of it within about five days. To freeze this soup, divide it into single-serving portions, chill it completely in the refrigerator first, then transfer to the freezer for longer storage. Keep in the freezer for up to three months.

Add More Protien

Soup recipes in general are very flexible, so you could always add a little extra protein to this soup to make it more filling. Here are some other great ingredients you can add:

  • Beans (cannellini, chickpeas, kidney beans)
  • Ground beef (or check out my Beef and Cabbage Soup)
  • Italian sausage
  • Cubed tofu (extra firm)
  • Shredded chicken

a bowl of cabbage soup with a spoon and garlic bread on the side

Shown with Homemade Garlic Bread.

close up of the pot of cabbage soup

Cabbage Soup

Forget the cabbage soup diet, you'll want to eat this super healthy vegetable-filled cabbage soup just because it tastes incredible! 
Course Dinner, Soup
Cuisine American
Total Cost $7.13 recipe / $1.19 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 2 cups each
Calories 133kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.32
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 4 carrots $0.57
  • 4 ribs celery $0.50
  • 1 green bell pepper $0.69
  • 1 28oz. can diced tomatoes $1.00
  • 1 8oz. can tomato sauce $0.34
  • 1/2 lb. frozen green beans $0.67
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley $0.23
  • 1/2 Tbsp smoked paprika $0.15
  • 1 tsp dried oregano $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 6 cups chopped cabbage (½ head) $1.14
  • 6 cups vegetable broth $0.78
  • 1 tsp salt $0.05
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice $0.04

Instructions

  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the onion, garlic, and olive oil to a large soup pot and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft.
  • While the onion and garlic are sautéing, peel and slice the carrots, chop the celery, and dice the bell pepper. Add the carrot, celery, and bell pepper to the pot. Continue to sauté as you measure the rest of the ingredients.
  • Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), tomato sauce, frozen green beans, chopped parsley, smoked paprika, oregano, thyme, and pepper. Continue to stir and cook while you chop the cabbage.
  • Chop the cabbage into 1-inch pieces. Add the cabbage to the pot along with the vegetable broth and stir to combine.
  • Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the soup to come to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and allow continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 40 minutes or until the cabbage is to your desired tenderness.
  • Once the cabbage is tender, season the soup with salt, starting with ½ tsp and adding more to your liking. Finish the soup by adding the lemon juice and stirring to combine. Serve hot with crusty bread for dipping.

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 1783mg | Fiber: 7g

A ladle full of cabbage soup held over the pot

How to Make Cabbage Soup – Step by Step Photos

Onion and garlic in a soup pot

Start by mincing four cloves of garlic and dicing one large onion. Add them both to a large soup pot with one tablespoon olive oil. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent.

Celery, carrot, and bell pepper added to the pot

While the onion and garlic are sautéing, peel and slice 4 carrots, slice 4 stalks of celery, and dice one green bell pepper. Add the carrots, celery, and bell pepper to the pot. Continue to sauté over medium.

Tomatoes, spices, parsley, and green beans added to the pot

Add one 28oz. can diced tomatoes (I used petite diced), one 8oz. can tomato sauce, ½ lb. frozen green beans, ¼ cup chopped parsley, ½ Tbsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp oregano, ½ tsp thyme, and ¼ tsp pepper. Stir to combine.

cabbage in soup pot, broth being poured in

Chop 1/2 head of cabbage into one-inch pieces (about 5-6 cups once chopped). Add the chopped cabbage to the pot along with 6 cups of vegetable broth.

Cabbage soup before simmering

Stir everything together, place a lid on the pot, and turn the heat up to medium-high. Allow the soup to come to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Let the soup simmer over medium-low, stirring occasionally, for about 40 minutes, or until the cabbage is to your desired tenderness.

Salt being added to the soup

Once the cabbage is tender, season the soup with salt, starting with 1/2 teaspoon, then adding more to taste (I used 1 tsp total). Next, add one tablespoon of lemon juice, which really helps brighten the flavors. 

close up of the pot of cabbage soup

And then slurp down all that vegetable-y goodness! I garnished with a little more fresh parsley, but it’s not needed for extra flavor.

close up of a bowl of cabbage soup

This soup goes great with some crusty bread (garlic or not) to soak up that delicious broth!

The post Cabbage Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Easy Pumpkin Chili

Pumpkin chili is hearty but light and packed with fiber and other nutrients. It’s the perfect warm and cozy bowl of fall flavors.

The post Easy Pumpkin Chili appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I love all things pumpkin, and I’m not sorry about it. I also love just about every iteration of chili that is out there (see my Homemade Chili recipe and the long list of variations you can make). So it’s only fitting that I combined my two fall loves. Adding pumpkin is a super easy way to add a dose of nutrients to your pot of chili without changing that classic chili feel. The flavor and texture blend seamlessly into a pot of classic chili and even kind of makes it feel a tad lighter, so I’m totally into it!

A bowl of pumpkin chili with cheese and tortilla chips

What Does Pumpkin Chili Taste Like?

Okay, if you’re looking at me with a side-eye over the idea of putting pumpkin into your chili, just hear me out. The flavor difference is subtle. It makes the chili a little more saucy and rich, without being overly heavy. The pumpkin adds a little earthiness and a super subtle sweetness, which is nice because I usually add a little bit of brown sugar to my chili, but I was able to skip that with the pumpkin. And since I like to load up my chili with a lot of spices (see my homemade chili seasoning), the flavor of the pumpkin is not super noticeable.

And I think this is a good time to mention that you don’t want to taste your chili until it has simmered on the stove a while. You might be tempted to give it a taste right after you add everything to the pot, but at that point, it does not taste good. The chili needs time to do its thing. The spices need to bloom, the flavors need to cook down and combine. Give it time, and then taste. Be patient!

Make it Vegetarian or Vegan

It’s super easy to make your pumpkin chili vegetarian or vegan. Just swap out the ground beef for an extra can of beans, cooked lentils, some crumbled tempeh, or your favorite ground beef substitute. Most of the flavor in this chili comes from the chili seasoning, tomatoes, and other vegetables, so you can safely substitute the beef without too much of an effect.

Use a Different Meat

You can also swap the ground beef out for a different kind of ground meat. Ground turkey is very popular for pumpkin turkey because it has a lighter flavor to match the lighter flavor of the pumpkin, but I also think that some Mexican chorizo would be awesome. Those smoky spices would pair perfectly with the flavor of the pumpkin.

Is Pumpkin Chili Spicy?

The recipe, as written below, is only as spicy as the chili powder you use. Many grocery store chili powders tend to be quite mild, but some brands can be spicy. So, if you’re sensitive to heat, make sure you use a chili powder that is mild. I find that McCormick brand chili powder is pretty mild.

If you want to add more heat to your pumpkin chili, feel free to dice up a jalapeño and sautéing that with the onion and garlic in the beginning. You can also add some chipotle powder to the chili seasoning, or dice up a chipotle pepper in adobo sauce and stir that into the chili. There are a lot of options!

Overhead view of a pot of pumpkin chili
Overhead view of a bowl of pumpkin chili with cheese and tortilla chips

Easy Pumpkin Chili

Pumpkin chili is hearty but light and packed with fiber and other nutrients. It's the perfect warm and cozy bowl of fall flavors.
Total Cost $9.73 recipe / $1.62 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 1.25 cups each
Calories 431kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Chili

  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 yellow onion $0.28
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 1 lb. ground beef $5.35
  • 1 15oz. can kidney beans, drained $0.59
  • 1 15oz. can black beans, drained $0.55
  • 1 15oz. can petite diced tomatoes $0.69
  • 1 15oz. can pumpkin purée $1.05
  • 1/2 6oz. can tomato paste (5 Tbsp) $0.25
  • 2 cups water $0.00

Chili Seasoning*

  • 1 Tbsp chili powder $0.30
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika $0.05
  • 1 tsp ground cumin $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1 tsp salt $0.02

Instructions

  • Mince the garlic and dice the onion. Add the garlic, onion, and olive oil to a large pot. Sauté the onion and garlic over medium heat until the onions are tender (about 5 minutes).
  • Add the ground beef and continue to cook until the beef is browned and cooked through.
  • Add the kidney beans (drained), black beans (drained), diced tomatoes (with juices), puréed pumpkin, tomato paste, water, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, and salt to the pot. Stir to combine.
  • Place a lid on top of the pot and allow the chili to come up to a simmer, stirring occastionally. Allow the chili to simmer for 30 minutes.
  • After simmering for 30 minutes, give the chili a taste and add salt if needed. Serve hot with your favorite toppings (sour cream, cheese, green onion, corn chips, etc.)

Notes

*You can use your own store-bought chili seasoning or your favorite mix of chili herbs and spices.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.25cup | Calories: 431kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 21g | Sodium: 1131mg | Fiber: 14g
A spoon lifting a bite of pumpkin chili with melted cheese stretching from the bowl

How to Make Pumpkin Chili – Step by Step Photos

diced onion and minced garlic in a pot with olive oil

Dice one yellow onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Add the onion and garlic to a large pot with 2 Tbsp olive oil and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft (about 5 minutes).

browned ground beef in the pot with onion and garlic

Add one pound ground beef and continue to sauté until the beef is cooked through.

remaining chili ingredients added to the pot, unstirred.

Add the remaining ingredients to the pot: 1 15oz. can black beans (drained), 1 15oz. can kidney beans (drained), 1 15oz. can petite diced tomatoes (with juices), 1 15oz. can pumpkin purée, ½ of a 6oz. can tomato paste, 2 cups water, ½ tsp smoked paprika, 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp onion powder, 1 tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Stir until everything is well combined.

simmered chili in a pot with a spoon

Place a lid on the pot and allow the chili to come up to a simmer. Let the chili simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. After simmering 30 minutes, give the chili a taste and add salt if needed (I did not add any extra).

Overhead view of a bowl of pumpkin chili with cheese and tortilla chips

Serve hot with your favorite toppings! I especially like something creamy on my bowl, whether that is cheese, avocado, or sour cream. :)

Overhead view of a pot of pumpkin chili with toppings on the sides

The post Easy Pumpkin Chili appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Chipotle Lime Chicken and Rice

This easy one-pot chipotle lime chicken and rice is tangy, smoky, spicy, and incredibly delicious. Makes a great main dish or meal prep!

The post Chipotle Lime Chicken and Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’m all about cooking as much flavor into rice as possible and this Chipotle Lime Chicken and Rice is FLA-VOR-FUL! You’ve got a hefty dose of spices, tangy lime juice, and a bunch of flavor from the chicken that cooks right in the same pot. It turns out smoky, spicy, tangy, and oh so delicious! And don’t worry, I’ve got some suggested sides to round out your meal listed below.

chipotle lime chicken and rice in the skillet, garnished with lime wedges

What is Chipotle Powder?

Chipotle peppers are smoked jalapeño peppers. They give a beautifully spicy, smoky flavor to everything. You can buy chipotle peppers dried, canned with adobo sauce, or ground into a powder. This recipe uses the powdered form, which can be found along with other herbs and spices in the spice aisle.

Can I Use Bone-In Chicken?

The quick cooking method used in this recipe is not suitable for bone-in chicken breasts, as they require a much longer cooking time. It may work with smaller bone-in chicken thighs, but you’ll want to use a meat thermometer to make sure they reach 165ºF on the inside. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs work just as well as the boneless, skinless chicken breast for this recipe.

Tomato Options

You have a few options for the diced tomatoes in this recipe. I used a can of plain diced tomatoes because that is what was available the day I made this, but I also tried it with fire-roasted diced tomatoes while in the recipe testing phase and they were fantastic. You could also do a petite diced tomatoes if you don’t like such large tomato pieces, or even a diced tomato with green chiles if you want it extra-EXTRA spicy.

What to Serve with Chipotle Lime Chicken and Rice

Because this dish is so spicy you’ll probably want to pair it with something that has a cooling effect, so something that is creamy or can be served cold to balance the heat. A little dollop of sour cream on top would be good, or maybe a slice or two of avocado, if you have it. And I highly suggest something green to round out the colors on your plate. Here are some great side dish options:

Side view of chipotle lime chicken and rice in a bowl
Chipotle lime chicken and rice in the skillet garnished with limes

Chipotle Lime Chicken and Rice

This easy one-pot chipotle lime chicken and rice is tangy, smoky, spicy, and incredibly delicious. Makes a great main dish or meal prep!
Total Cost $9.16 recipe / $2.29 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 393kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1.5 tsp chipotle powder $0.15
  • 1 tsp ground cumin $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.05
  • 1 lime $0.50
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast $5.79
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 1 15oz. can diced tomatoes* $0.59
  • 1 cup chicken broth $0.13
  • 1 cup long grain white rice $0.62
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.22
  • 1 oz. Cotija cheese (optional) $0.55

Instructions

  • Combine the chipotle powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt in a bowl. Squeeze 2 Tbsp juice from the lime into a separate bowl (this should be about half a lime, save the other half to cut into wedges for garnish).
  • Use a rolling pin or a mallet to gently pound the chicken breast to an even thickness (about ¾-inch thick). Use half of the prepared spice mix to coat both sides of the chicken pieces (reserve the other half of the spices for later).
  • Heat the cooking oil in a large deep skillet over medium. Once hot, add the chicken and cook for a few minutes on each side, or until browned. The chicken does not need to be fully cooked, just browned on both sides. It will continue to cook with the rice.
  • While the chicken is cooking, dice the onion. Remove the browned chicken from the skillet to a clean plate. Add the diced onion to the skillet and sauté until softened. Add the remaining spices and sauté for one minute more.
  • Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), rice, chicken broth, and lime juice to the skillet with the onions. Stir to combine and dissolve any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.
  • Add the browned chicken back to the skillet. Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium high, and allow the liquid to come up to a boil.
  • Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low, and allow the chicken and rice to simmer on low for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the skillet rest, without lifting the lid, for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Finally, remove the lid, transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Fluff the rice to stir the tomato and onion back in. Slice the chicken then place it on top of the rice. Sprinkle with slice green onion and Cotija cheese. Add any remaining lime wedges, and serve!

Notes

*You can use plain diced tomatoes, petite diced tomatoes, fire roasted diced tomatoes, or diced tomatoes with chiles.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 393kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 887mg | Fiber: 3g
Side view of chipotle lime chicken and rice in a skillet

How to Make Chipotle Lime Chicken and Rice – Step by Step Photos

Spices in a wooden bowl

Combine 1.5 tsp chipotle powder, 1 tsp ground cumin, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp onion powder, and ½ tsp salt in a bowl. Squeeze about 2 Tbsp juice from a lime into a separate bowl (that should be about ½ the lime, so you can save the other half to make wedges for garnish).

Seasoned chicken breast on an orange cutting board

Use a rolling pin or a mallet to gently pound 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts out to an even thickness (about ¾-inch thick). Use half of the spice blend to season both sides of the chicken. Save the other half of the spices for later.

Cooked chicken in a skillet

Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a large deep skillet. Once hot, add the seasoned chicken and cook for a few minutes on both sides, or just until browned. It doesn’t have to be cooked through here because it will cook more with the rice.

Cooked onion in the skillet with spices

While the chicken is cooking, dice one yellow onion. Remove the browned chicken to a clean plate, then add the diced onion in its place. Sauté the onion for a few minutes, or until softened, then add the remaining spices and sauté for one minute more.

diced tomatoes, rice, and broth added to the skillet

Add one 15oz. can diced tomatoes, 1 cup long grain white rice, 1 cup chicken broth, and 2 Tbps lime juice to the skillet. Stir briefly to combine and dissolve any browned bits off the bottom of the skillet.

Chicken added back to the skillet

Add the browned chicken back to the skillet. Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the liquid to come up to a boil.

Cooked chicken and rice in the skillet

Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let the pot simmer on low for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest, with the lid in place, for another 5 minutes.

Sliced chicken on top of stirred rice in the skillet

Finally, remove the lid. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Fluff the rice with a fork to stir the tomatoes and onion back into the rice. Slice the chicken, then place it back on top of the rice.

Chipotle lime chicken and rice garnished with cotija, green onion, and limes

Sprinkle sliced green onions on top, a little Cotija cheese, and add any remaining lime wedges.

overhead view of a bowl with chipotle lime chicken and rice and a fork

Serve and enjoy! A little sour cream on top wouldn’t be so bad, either. ;)

The post Chipotle Lime Chicken and Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Easy Vegetarian Minestrone

This easy Vegetarian Minestrone Soup is hearty, chock full of vegetables, budget friendly, meal prep ready, and super flexible!

The post Easy Vegetarian Minestrone appeared first on Budget Bytes.

As we move from colder weather to warmer days, a good soup like Minestrone is a must. This hearty, vegetable-filled soup is warm and soothing, but light enough to not make you feel weighed down as you’re out enjoying these beautiful days. Plus, this Vegetarian Minestrone ticks all of my Budget Bytes boxes: easy, inexpensive, flexible, and meal prep friendly!

Close up overhead shot of vegetarian minestrone in the pot with a ladle

Isn’t All Minestrone Soup Vegetarian?

There are a LOT of interpretations of Minestrone out there, but they often include a Parmesan rind to infuse more umami flavor into the broth. Parmesan is one of the few cheeses that is not considered vegetarian because it contains animal rennet. And since I didn’t have a Parmesan rind on hand, this particular recipe is a vegetarian minestrone. But by all means, if you have a Parmesan rind on hand and aren’t concerned about keeping the soup vegetarian, add it to the soup before it simmers! You won’t be disappointed.

Some people also add a little bit of meat to their Minestrone. Pancetta or bacon are great options (brown in the pot before adding the vegetables) for adding a touch more flavor.

Where’s the Pasta??

Minestrone soup often has some sort of pasta or grain to make the soup extra hearty. Since pasta can get mushy when it swims around in soup for too long, I decided to avoid that issue and just sub some extra beans (chickpeas) to add that extra heartiness without having to deal with soggy pasta.

If you want to add some pasta to your minestrone, just choose any small shaped pasta like ditalini, small shells, or orzo. Add about 1 cup of the uncooked pasta and an extra 2 cups of water to the soup, then boil until the pasta is tender.

What Other Vegetables Can I Add to Minestrone?

My favorite thing about Minestrone is that it is SUPER flexible. If you don’t like one or more of the vegetables in my recipe below, feel free to use one of these instead:

  • Celery
  • Sweet Potato
  • Russet Potato
  • Fennel
  • Turnips
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Butternut Squash
  • Peas
Overhead view of a bowl of vegetarian minestrone with a spoon in the middle
Overhead view of a bowl of vegetarian minestrone with a spoon in the middle

Vegetarian Minestrone

This easy Vegetarian Minestrone Soup is hearty, chock full of vegetables, budget friendly, meal prep ready, and super flexible! 
Total Cost $5.96 recipe / $0.99 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 about 1.5 cups each
Calories 313.55kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 4 carrots $0.32
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste $0.10
  • 1 28oz. can diced tomatoes $1.00
  • 1 15oz. can kidney beans $0.75
  • 1 15oz. can chickpeas $1.00
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning $0.30
  • 4 cups vegetable broth $0.52
  • 1 zucchini (about 1/2 lb.) $0.71
  • 1 cup frozen green beans $0.30
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice $0.06
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley (optional) $0.10

Instructions

  • Dice the onion, mince the garlic, and slice the carrots. Add the olive oil, onion, garlic, and carrots to a large soup pot. Sauté over medium heat until the onions become soft and translucent (about 5 minutes).
  • Add the tomato paste to the pot and continue to sauté for 2-3 minutes more, or until the tomato paste begins to coat the bottom of the pot (do not let it burn).
  • Rinse and drain the kidney beans and chickpeas, and then add them to the pot along with the diced tomatoes (with juices), Italian Seasoning, and vegetable broth. Give everything a good stir, place a lid on top, and allow it to come up to a simmer. Allow the soup to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • While the soup is simmering, slice the zucchini into quarter-rounds. After the soup has simmered for 20 minutes, add the sliced zucchini and frozen green beans (no need to thaw first). Stir and simmer the soup for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the zucchini just begin to soften.
  • Finish the soup by adding lemon juice and chopped parsley. Give it a taste and add extra salt if needed (my soup did not need any extra salt, but it may depending on the type of broth used). Serve hot with crusty bread for dipping!

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 313.55kcal | Carbohydrates: 48.08g | Protein: 14.1g | Fat: 8.55g | Sodium: 1008.55mg | Fiber: 11.32g
Overhead view of a pot full of vegetarian minestrone

How to Make Vegetarian Minestrone – Step by Step Photos

Chopped onion, carrots, and garlic in a soup pot with olive oil

Dice one yellow onion, mince two cloves of garlic, and slice four carrots. Add the onion, garlic, and carrots to a large soup pot with 2 Tbsp olive oil and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent (about 5 minutes).

Tomato paste in the pot with vegetables

Add 2 Tbsp tomato paste to the pot and continue to sauté for 2-3 minutes more, or just until the tomato paste begins to coat the bottom of the pot.

Beans, herbs, tomatoes, and broth added to the soup pot

Rinse and drain one 15oz. can of kidney beans and one 15oz. can of chickpeas. Add the beans to the pot along with one 28oz. can diced tomatoes (with juices), 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning, and 4 cups vegetable broth. Give everything a stir, place a lid on top, and allow it to come up to a simmer. Simmer the soup for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sliced zucchini on a cutting board

While the soup is simmering, slice one zucchini (about ½ lb.) into quarter-rounds.

Zucchini and green beans added to the soup

Once the soup has simmered for 20 minutes, add the sliced zucchini and 1 cup frozen green beans (no need to thaw first). Stir everything together and let it continue to simmer for 5-10 minutes more, or until the zucchini just begins to soften.

Chopped parsley and lemon juice added to the soup

Finish the soup off with 1 Tbsp lemon juice and about a tablespoon of chopped parsley. Give the soup a taste and add salt if needed. I did not add any extra salt to my soup, but you may need some depending on the salt content of your broth.

Front view of a bowl full of vegetarian minestrone with a spoon lifting a bite

So much vegetable goodness!!

The post Easy Vegetarian Minestrone appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Unstuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed bell peppers are awesome, but I always find them slightly awkward or difficult to eat. Can’t I just throw the ingredients in a bowl and eat it with a fork?! (I feel that way about a lot of food, TBH). So that’s what I ended up doing! These super simple unstuffed bell peppers are […]

The post Unstuffed Bell Peppers appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Stuffed bell peppers are awesome, but I always find them slightly awkward or difficult to eat. Can’t I just throw the ingredients in a bowl and eat it with a fork?! (I feel that way about a lot of food, TBH). So that’s what I ended up doing! These super simple unstuffed bell peppers are cooked in one skillet to make your (my) life super easy and delicious. #yesplease

Originally posted 8-13-2014, updated 2-4-2021.

Overhead view of unstuffed bell peppers in the skillet with a spoon.

Can I Use Cauliflower Rice Instead of White Rice?

Unfortunately, you can not swap out cauliflower rice for the white rice in this recipe. Cauliflower rice releases liquid as it cooks, whereas white rice absorbs it, so you’ll end up with a stuffed bell pepper soup. :) But hey, that actually doesn’t sound so bad! You can also try using cauli rice and skipping the broth, but you’ll be missing a lot of flavor with that option.

Can I Freeze Unstuffed Bell Peppers?

Yes, this recipe freezes great! Make sure to divide the skillet into single serving portions just after cooking, and chill them completely in the refrigerator before transferring to the freezer. Once frozen, they’ll keep in the freezer for about three months and can be reheated in the microwave straight from the freezer (use the defrost setting first, then high until heated through).

Tips for Making One-Pot Rice Dishes

Even cooking plain rice on the stovetop can be a bit challenging for some folks, and when you add in other ingredients it can end up a little more tricky. To make sure your rice cooks thoroughly and evenly, keep these things in mind:

  • Cookware: A really good quality (thick and heavy) skillet is really important for making this recipe work correctly. Heavy cookware conducts heat really evenly so the sides of your skillet will cook at the same rate as the part that is right above the flame. If it’s a thin skillet, it might scorch right in the center and leave the outer edges uncooked. If you don’t have a good skillet, a dutch oven or heavy soup pot would also work well.
  • Heat level: Another key to cooking rice is making sure the water in the pot (or skillet) is simmering the whole time, but the heat is not so high that it burns on the bottom. So once you’ve got everything in the pot and have already brought everything up to a boil, turn the heat down to the lowest setting that still maintains a light simmer. Since this can vary from stove to stove and the type of cookware you’re using, you’ll need to adjust this based on what you’re hearing and seeing in the pot. Once you get the hang of it, though, it will be easy!
  • Use a burner close in size to the bottom of your pot or skillet. If you’re using a wide bottomed pot or skillet over a very small burner, the outside edges of your pot or skillet may not receive enough heat to simmer and cook the rice through. 

Close up side view of unstuffed bell peppers in the skillet

Love skillet meals? Check out my Chorizo Sweet Potato Skillet, Creamy Chicken and Rice Skillet, or One Pot Teriyaki Chicken and Rice.

Close up side view of unstuffed bell peppers in the skillet

Unstuffed Bell Peppers

All the ingredients and flavor of stuffed bell peppers cooked in one skillet for an easy, free-form bowl meal. It's UNstuffed Bell Peppers!
Total Cost $8.02 recipe / $1.34 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 1 ⅓ cups each
Calories 320.53kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic $0.08
  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 2 bell peppers $1.53
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef $2.85
  • 1 15oz. can diced tomatoes $1.00
  • 1 cup long grain white rice (uncooked) $0.62
  • 1 tsp dried basil $0.10
  • 1 tsp dried oregano $0.10
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1.5 cups beef broth $0.07
  • 1 8oz. can tomato sauce $0.26
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce $0.01
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella $0.85
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley (optional garnish) $0.05

Instructions

  • Mince the garlic and dice the onion and bell pepper.
  • Add the olive oil and ground beef to a deep skillet. Cook the beef over medium heat until it is fully browned.
  • Add the diced onion, bell pepper, minced garlic, basil, oregano, and pepper to the skillet. Continue to cook and stir until the onions are soft.
  • Next, add the diced tomatoes (with juices), uncooked rice, and beef broth. Give everything a brief stir to combine.
  • Place a lid on the skillet and turn the heat up to medium-high. Allow the broth to come up to a full boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let it continue to simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest, lid still in place, for another five minutes.
  • While the pot is simmering, combine the tomato sauce and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Once the rice has rested for 5 minutes, remove the lid and fluff it with a fork, gently folding the ingredients back together (peppers and tomatoes may float to the top while it simmers).
  • Pour the prepared tomato sauce over top, then sprinkled the shredded mozzarella over the sauce. Place the lid back on top and let the heat from the skillet melt the mozzarella. Once melted, sprinkle a little chopped parsley on top and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.33cups | Calories: 320.53kcal | Carbohydrates: 35.55g | Protein: 15.75g | Fat: 12.78g | Sodium: 646.32mg | Fiber: 3.88g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

A fork lifting some rice and cheese from a bowl of unstuffed bell peppers

How to Make Unstuffed Bell Peppers – Step by Step Photos

browned ground beef with diced onion, bell pepper, and herbs

Mince one clove of garlic and dice a yellow onion and bell pepper. Add ½ lb. ground beef to a deep skillet with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Cook the ground beef over medium heat until it has fully browned. Add the diced bell pepper, onion, garlic, 1 tsp dried basil, 1 tsp dried oregano, and about ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper to the skillet. Continue to cook and stir until the onions are soft.

Tomatoes, rice, and broth added to the skillet.

Next, add one 15oz. can of diced tomatoes (with juices), 1 cup uncooked long grain white rice, and 1.5 cups beef broth to the skillet. 

Combined ingredients in the skillet

Give everything a brief stir to combine. Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high and allow the broth to come up to a full boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let it continue to simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest, lid still in place, for an additional 5 minutes.

Worcestershire sauce being added to tomato sauce

While the rice is simmering, prepare the tomato sauce. Combine one 8oz. can of tomato sauce with 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce. Set the sauce aside.

Rice being fluffed with a fork in the skillet

After the rice has rested for five minutes, remove the lid and fluff it with a fork, gently folding the tomatoes and peppers back into the rice.

Cheese being added to the skillet

Pour the prepared tomato sauce over the rice in the skillet, then top with 1 cup shredded mozzarella. Place the lid back on the skillet and let the residual heat melt the cheese.

finished unstuffed bell peppers in the skillet topped with parsley

Top with chopped parsley, if desired, and serve!

Unstuffed Bell Peppers skillet with lid on the side

The post Unstuffed Bell Peppers appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Chicken Fajita Soup

Warm up with a bowl of Chicken Fajita Soup loaded with your favorite toppings. All of your favorite fajita flavors are combined in an easy and comforting soup that’s perfect for weeknights or easy entertaining. Some chilly days just demand a bowl…

Warm up with a bowl of Chicken Fajita Soup loaded with your favorite toppings. All of your favorite fajita flavors are combined in an easy and comforting soup that’s perfect for weeknights or easy entertaining. Some chilly days just demand a bowl of soup! Luckily, one of my family’s favorite soup recipes is also one…

The post Chicken Fajita Soup appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Turkey Chili Smothered Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes and chili are totally made for each other. The subtle sweetness of the sweet potatoes perfectly contrasts the smoky, spicy flavor of the chili. Add a little creamy cheese on top and you’ve got the perfect trifecta! These Turkey Chili Smothered Sweet Potatoes are an easy, pre-portioned meal that is filling, delicious, and […]

The post Turkey Chili Smothered Sweet Potatoes appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sweet potatoes and chili are totally made for each other. The subtle sweetness of the sweet potatoes perfectly contrasts the smoky, spicy flavor of the chili. Add a little creamy cheese on top and you’ve got the perfect trifecta! These Turkey Chili Smothered Sweet Potatoes are an easy, pre-portioned meal that is filling, delicious, and works great for weekly meal prep!

Originally posted 12-21-2015, updated 2-25-2020.

Turkey Chili Smothered Sweet Potatoes

Four turkey chili smothered sweet potatoes in a small white baking dish.

Can I Use Beef Instead?

Absolutely! The chili included in this recipe is basically a half batch of my basic Homemade Chili recipe, which is extremely customizable. You can swap out the protein, make it spicy or mild (reduce or eliminate the cayenne), or add other fun ingredients, like cocoa powder!

Can I Make them Vegetarian?

Yes, simply swap the 1/2 lb. of ground turkey for an extra can of black beans, or kidney beans, and you have a super delish vegetarian chili to top your sweet potatoes. :)

How do I Meal Prep These Sweet Potatoes?

After stuffing your sweet potatoes with chili and cheese, simply pack each one into an individual, microwave safe container. To reheat, simply microwave on high for about 2 minutes, or until heated through.

A fork digging into a turkey chili smothered sweet potato, on a white plate

 

Turkey Chili Smothered Sweet Potatoes

Tender baked sweet potatoes smothered with turkey and bean chili, then topped with melty cheddar. Turkey Chili Smothered Sweet Potatoes are an easy dinner!

CHILI

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.16)
  • 1/2 lb. ground turkey ($2.00)
  • 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 1 15oz. can diced tomatoes ($0.59)
  • 3 oz. tomato paste (1/2 of a 6oz. can) ($0.25)
  • 1 15oz. can black beans ($0.79)
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder ($0.30)
  • 1/2 tsp oregano ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin ($0.05)
  • 1 cup water ($0.00)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt ($0.02)

POTATOES AND TOPPINGS

  • 4 small sweet potatoes (3/4 lb. each) ($3.94)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese ($0.43)
  • Cilantro or green onions for garnish ($0.25)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Wash the sweet potatoes well, then prick the skins several times with a fork. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet or in a baking dish and bake for 60 minutes, or until soft and oozing from the fork holes.

  2. While the sweet potatoes are baking, prepare the small batch of chili. Add the ground turkey and olive oil to a large pot. Sauté the turkey over medium heat. While the turkey is cooking, dice the yellow onion and mince the garlic. Add the onions and garlic to the pot and continue to sauté until the onions are soft and translucent.

  3. Drain the beans and add them to the pot along with the diced tomatoes (with juices), tomato paste, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and water. Stir to combine. Allow the chili to come up to a simmer, then reduce the heat and let simmer until the sweet potatoes have finished baking, stirring occasionally. Taste and add salt to taste (about 1/2 tsp).

  4. Once the sweet potatoes are finished baking, carefully slice each one open lengthwise and slightly mash the insides. Spoon about 3/4 cup chili over each potato, then top with 2 Tbsp shredded cheddar. Return the potatoes to the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese. Top with cilantro or sliced green onions just before serving.

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Front view of four turkey chili stuffed sweet potatoes in a small white baking dish

 

How to Make Chili Stuffed Sweet Potatoes – Step by Step Photos

Sweet potatoes in a baking dish rubbed in oil and pricked with a fork

Begin by preheating the oven to 400ºF. Wash four small sweet potatoes (about 3/4 lb. each). Prick the skins of each potato several times with a fork. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet or in a baking dish, then bake the sweet potatoes in the preheated oven for about 60 minutes, or until they’re soft all the way through and are oozing sugary juice from the fork holes.

Cooked ground turkey, onion, and garlic in a pot

While the sweet potatoes are baking, prepare the small batch of chili. Add 1/2 lb. ground turkey and 1 Tbsp olive oil to a large pot. Sauté the turkey over medium heat. While the turkey is cooking, dice the yellow onion and mince 2 cloves garlic. Add the onions and garlic to the pot and continue to sauté until the onions are soft and translucent.

Tomatoes, beans, spices, and water added to the pot.

Drain one 15oz. can black beans and add them to the pot along with one 15oz. can diced tomatoes (with juices), 3oz. tomato paste, 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp cumin, and 1 cup water. Stir to combine. 

Finished turkey chili in the pot

Allow the chili to come up to a simmer, then reduce the heat and let simmer until the sweet potatoes have finished baking, stirring occasionally. Taste and add salt to taste (about 1/2 tsp).

Baked sweet potatoes in the baking dish with some juices bubbling out of the fork holes

Test the sweet potatoes to make sure they are baked all the way through by piercing with a fork or a small knife. The potatoes should be soft all the way through, and juices should be bubbling out of the fork holes that were made before baking.

Opened and mashed sweet potatoes in the baking dish

Once the sweet potatoes are baked and soft all the way through , slice them open lengthwise and slightly mash the inside of the sweet potatoes.

Turkey chili being spooned into the open sweet potatoes

Scoop about 3/4 cup turkey chili onto each sweet potato.

Sweet potatoes topped with cheddar

Add a couple tablespoons of shredded cheddar to each potato, then return the baking sheet to the oven for just a few minutes to melt the cheese.

Turkey chili smothered sweet potatoes with melted cheese and topped with cilantro

Finally, top with a little chopped cilantro or sliced green onions (or hey, sour cream?) just before serving.

Side view of turkey chili smothered sweet potatoes in a baking dish, topped with green onion and cilantro

And then you have four incredibly delicious, single portion sized Turkey Chili Smothered Sweet Potatoes! Bonus, I had some chili left over that will serve as an extra meal for me. :)

Turkey Chili Smothered Sweet Potatoes - BudgetBytes.com

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