Swedish Meatballs

Swedish meatballs are a delicious and cozy meal that is easy enough to prepare for a weeknight dinner but fancy enough for a special occasion.

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I don’t know about you, but I can’t go to Ikea without getting some of their iconic Swedish meatballs. But I can’t go to Ikea every time that craving hits, so we decided to make a budget-friendly homemade version that is easy enough for a cozy weeknight dinner, yet indulgent enough for an impressive, dinner-party main. Both hearty and comforting, these Swedish meatballs are like a hug in a dish!

Overhead view of a bowl of mashed potatoes topped with Swedish meatballs.

What are Swedish Meatballs?

Köttbullar, known in English as “Swedish meatballs” is a traditional Scandinavian dish of meatballs and gravy. Unlike Italian meatballs, the meat mixture for Swedish meatballs is flavored with allspice (and sometimes nutmeg), and after searing, they are nestled into a creamy gravy fortified with beef broth rather than a spicy, garlicky tomato sauce. 

What to serve with Swedish meatballs

Swedish meatballs are typically served with mashed potatoes. (We like ours with a little minced parsley and fresh cracked pepper on top, too!) But they’re also great served over egg noodles, or anything that will serve as a vehicle for that delicious gravy! 

Traditional interpretations of this dish frequently include a slightly-sweetened Lingonberry jam (a wild, lowbush berry native to Sweden), which has a similar flavor to cranberries or red currants. If you have leftover cranberry sauce from the holidays, that makes a great addition to this meal.

Can you Make Them Ahead?

Yes, you can make the meatballs a day ahead. If making a larger quantity, sear in batches, taking care that each meatball is cooked thoroughly to an internal temperature of at least 145℉. Allow them to cool completely before refrigerating. To reheat, spread them out on a parchment-lined sheet pan at 375℉ while you make the gravy, and then continue with the recipe as written. Once they have simmered in the sauce, each meatball should reach an internal temperature of 165℉ before serving.

Close up side view of Swedish Meatballs in the skillet.
Overhead view of a bowl full of mashed potatoes and Swedish Meatballs.
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Swedish Meatballs

Swedish meatballs are a delicious and cozy meal that is easy enough to prepare for a weeknight dinner but fancy enough for a special occasion.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Scandavian
Total Cost $5.83 recipe / $1.46 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 4 meatballs
Calories 545kcal

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs $0.20
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp allspice $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/2 lb. ground pork $0.99
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef $2.65
  • 1 large egg, lightly whisked $0.32

Gravy

  • 4 Tbsp butter, divided $0.60
  • 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.03
  • 2 cups beef broth* $0.24
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg $0.01
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream $0.55
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional garnish) $0.10

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, nutmeg, allspice, garlic powder, and salt. (Note: Mixing the dry ingredients first will ensure the seasoning is evenly distributed throughout the meatballs and prevent you from overworking the meat mixture.)
  • Meanwhile, add the pork and beef to a large bowl. Lightly whisk the egg, then add it to the bowl with the meat. Lastly, add the breadcrumb mixture.
  • Use your hands to mix the meat and seasonings together until evenly combined, but avoid overmixing.
  • Divide and shape the meat mixture into 16 meatballs, about 1.5 Tbsp each.
  • Add 1 Tbsp of the butter to a large skillet and heat over medium. When the butter is melted and foaming, add the meatballs. Cook for a minute or two on each side, or until well browned. The meatballs do not need to be cooked through at this point.
  • Remove the browned meatballs from the skillet. Add the remaining 3 Tbsp butter and the flour. Whisk the butter and flour together as the butter melts. Cook the butter and flour mixture for about two minutes.
  • Slowly whisk in the beef broth, making sure to release all of the browned bits off the bottom of the skillet. Allow the broth to come up to a simmer, at which point it will thicken.
  • Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, pepper, nutmeg, and heavy cream. Taste the gravy and adjust the salt or seasonings to your liking.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*We use Better Than Bouillon to make our broth. If using a low-sodium broth you may need to add more salt to the gravy for taste.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 545kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 44g | Sodium: 844mg | Fiber: 1g
Overhead view of Swedish Meatballs in the skillet.

How to Make Swedish Meatballs – Step by Step Photos

Breadcrumbs and spices in a bowl.

Add ¼ cup plain breadcrumbs to a bowl along with ¼ tsp nutmeg, ¼ tsp allspice, ¼ tsp garlic powder, and ¼ tsp salt and stir until evenly combined.

Meatballs ingredients in a bowl.

Add ½ lb. ground pork, ½ lb. ground beef, the breadcrumb mixture, and one lightly whisked large egg to a bowl. Use your hands to mix the ingredients together until evenly combined. Avoid over-mixing because that will make the meatballs tough.

Shaped meatballs on a red cutting board.

Divide the mixture into 16 meatballs, about 1.5 Tbsp each, and shape them into balls.

Browned meatballs in the skillet.

Add 1 Tbsp butter to a large skillet and heat over medium. When the butter is melted and foaming, add the meatballs. Cook the meatballs, turning occasionally until they are well browned. The meatballs do not need to be cooked through at this point.

Butter and flour added to the skillet, meatballs removed.

Remove the browned meatballs from the skillet and add 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour and the remaining 3 Tbsp butter to the skillet.

Roux being whisked in the skillet.

Continue to cook the butter and flour over medium heat for about 2 minutes, whisking constantly.

Beef broth being poured into the skillet.

Slowly pour in 2 cups beef broth while whisking, making sure to dissolve any browned bits off the bottom of the skillet. Cook and stir the mixture over medium heat until it comes up to a simmer, at which point it will thicken into a gravy.

Cream and spices added to the gravy in the skillet.

Add 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, ⅛ tsp nutmeg, ¼ tsp pepper, and ⅓ cup heavy cream to the gravy, and stir to combine. Taste the gravy and adjust the salt or other seasonings to your liking.

Meatballs being added back to the skillet.

Add the meatballs back to the skillet and stir to coat in the gravy.

Finished Swedish meatballs in the skillet with gravy.

Let the meatballs simmer in the sauce until cooked through (about 5 minutes).

Overhead view of a bowl full of mashed potatoes and Swedish Meatballs.

Serve the meatballs and gravy over a bed of mashed potatoes or egg noodles. Top with chopped parsley and more pepper if desired.

Super close up image of Swedish meatballs in gravy.

Ooooh, look at that gravy! So lush!

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

This chocolate chip cookie recipe is so good you’ll fall in love at first bite. The chocolate chip cookies are chewy with crispy edges.

The post Chocolate Chip Cookies appeared first on Budget Bytes.

This chocolate chip cookie recipe is so good you’ll fall in love at first bite. The cookies have a hint of salt, so they don’t come off too sweet. They’re chewy with slightly crispy edges. They have deeply developed flavors with nutty notes of brown butter. They truly are exceptional. The best part? You don’t need fancy ingredients, just a few tricks.

Overhead shot of chocolate chip cookies on a sheet pan with one of the cookies torn in half.

How To Make A Better Chocolate Chip Cookie

Here are my Top 5 Tips to slay the chocolate chip cookie game:

  1. Brown your butter. This one step adds a deep, nutty flavor that takes the humble chocolate chip cookie to a whole new level.
  2. Sift your flour. Humidity and packaging affect the volume of flour. If you don’t use a scale, get a correct measurement by sifting it first.
  3. Use granulated sugar and brown sugar. Granulated sugar adds color and crispness, while brown sugar makes the dough moist and chewy.
  4. Rest your dough. Chilling the dough uncovered helps create a dough with concentrated flavors, a firm texture with less spread, and deeper browns.
  5. Use an oven thermometer. Most ovens can be off by up to 50°. A cheap thermometer can be the difference between a cookie win and a big, fat fail.
Overhead shot of a chocolate chip cookie on a black rubber spatula in the foreground with a sheet pan of chocolate chip cookies in the background.

How To Cool Chocolate Chip Cookies

Never remove cookies from a sheet pan right out of the oven. They are still very soft and are likely to break. Instead, leave them on the sheet pan for five or so minutes and then use a spatula to place them on a cooling rack.

How To Store Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookies should be cold to the touch before storing. Placing a warm cookie in an air-tight container will make it mushy, and you worked too hard for that. Once cooled, place them in an air-tight container lined with a paper towel. Separate layers with wax paper to prevent them from sticking together. Top the final layer of cookies with plastic wrap to reduce exposure to air. They will last at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. Refrigerating baked cookies will dry them out. Instead, for longer storage, freeze them for up to 3 months.

Can You Freeze THIS Cookie Dough?

Absolutely! Portion the dough with a small cookie scoop or in 2 tablespoon-sized cookie dough balls. Freeze them on a sheet pan with a bit of separation so they don’t stick together. Once they are frozen solid, add the dough balls to a freezer-safe bag and remove as much air as possible. If using a container, top each layer of dough balls with plastic wrap to prevent exposure to air.

Overhead shot of chocolate chip cookies on a plate with a glass of milk next to it.
Overhead shot of chocolate chip cookies on a sheet pan with one of the cookies torn in half.
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Chocolate Chip Cookies

This chocolate chip cookie recipe is so good you'll fall in love at first bite. The cookies are chewy with slightly crispy edges. They have deeply developed flavors with nutty notes of salted brown butter.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Total Cost ($4.58 recipe / $0.25 serving)
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings 18 cookies
Calories 204kcal

Ingredients

  • 12 Tbsp salted butter* $1.50
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar* $0.22
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar* $0.08
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract $0.57
  • 2 eggs $0.42
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour $0.18
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda $0.03
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips $1.58

Instructions

  • In a light-colored, heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter over medium heat until the solids separate and turn golden brown.
  • Place the brown butter in a large bowl to cool for a few minutes. When it is no longer steaming hot, set the bowl in the fridge or freezer until it hardens.
  • Once the butter has hardened,break it apart and add the brown and white sugar to the bowl.
  • Use a hand mixer (or elbow grease) to cream the butter and the sugars on low speed until incorporated.
  • Add the vanilla extract and one egg to the bowl. Mix on low speed until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the second egg. Mix on low speed until combined, and scrape down the bowl again.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and baking soda.
  • Pour half of the flour mixture into the creamed butter mixture and mix on low speed until it barely comes together. Next, scrape down the sides of the bowl, add in the remaining flour, and mix on low speed until a dough forms.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the chocolate chips. Mix until the chocolate chips are interspersed evenly throughout the dough.
  • Roll 2-tablespoon portions of dough into balls and place them 2 inches apart on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Chill the dough in your refrigerator, uncovered, for at least an hour, but preferably overnight.
  • When ready to bake, place a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat it to 350°F. Press the chilled cookie dough balls down with two fingers.
  • Bake the cookies for 4 minutes. Rotate the sheet pan, front to back. Bake for an additional 4 minutes, until the edges are a light golden brown. Let the cookies cool on the sheet pan for at least 5 minutes before taking them off and cooling them on a rack.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*If using unsalted butter, add 1/2 teaspoon of finely ground salt (like fine sea salt) or 1 teaspoon of coarsely ground salt (like kosher salt) to the butter.
*Use either light brown or dark brown sugars. Dark brown will give your cookies a touch more spread and chew.
* If you prefer a crispy cookie, omit the brown sugar and use 3/4 cups total of granulated white. The cookies will rise more and spread less.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 204kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Sodium: 100mg | Fiber: 1g
Overhead shot of chocolate chip cookies on a sheet pan with one of the cookies torn in half.

How to Make Chocolate Chip Cookies – Step by Step Photos

Overhead shot of butter browning in a silver pan.

In a light-colored, heavy-bottomed pan, melt the 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) of butter over medium heat. When it starts to foam, the milk solids will separate from the water in little specks. Continue to cook the solids until they have turned golden brown. The air will smell of hazelnuts.

Overhead shot of chilled brown butter in a silver bowl.

Once the butter has been browned, immediately remove it from the heat and place it in a bowl to cool for a few minutes. Once it is no longer steaming hot, set the bowl in the fridge or freezer until the brown butter cools to a softened butter consistency.

Overhead shot of brown and granulated sugar with chilled brown butter in a silver bowl.

Once the butter has cooled and solidified into a mousse-like consistency, add the 1/2 cup of brown sugar and the 1/4 cup of granulated white sugar to the bowl.

Overhead shot of creamed sugar in a silver bowl with hand beaters settled on the rim..

Use a hand mixer (or elbow grease) to cream the butter and the sugars on low speed until incorporated.

Overhead shot of eggs and vanilla in silver bowl with hand beaters settled on the rim..

Add the teaspoon of vanilla extract and one egg to the bowl. Mix on low speed until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the second egg. Mix on low speed until combined, and scrape down the bowl again.

Overhead shot of dry ingredients in a white bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine the 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.

Pour half of the flour mixture into the creamed butter mixture and mix on low speed until it barely comes together. Next, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in the remaining flour. Continue to mix on low speed until the dough barely comes together. Do not over-mix, as this will give you a tough cookie.

Overhead shot of chocolate chips being mixed into cookie dough with a red and white rubber spatula in a silver bowl.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add 1 cup of chocolate chips. Mix until the chocolate chips are interspersed evenly throughout the dough.

Overhead shot of cookie dough balls on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

Roll 2-tablespoon portions of dough into balls and place them 2 inches apart on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Chill the dough in your refrigerator, uncovered, for at least an hour, but preferably overnight.

Overhead shot of two fingers pressing down on refrigerated balls of cookie dough on a lined sheet pan.

When ready to bake, place a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat it to 350°F. Press the chilled cookie dough balls down with two fingers.

Overhead shot of of baked chocolate chip cookies.

Bake the cookies for 4 minutes. Rotate the sheet pan, front to back. Bake for an additional 4 minutes, until the edges are a light golden brown. Let the cookies cool on the sheet pan for at least 5 minutes before taking them off and cooling them on a rack.

Overhead shot of chocolate chip cookies on a sheet pan.

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Pumpkin Bread

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

The post Pumpkin Bread appeared first on Budget Bytes.

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

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

How To Make Tender Pumpkin Bread

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

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

What Else Can I Add?

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

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

How Can I Tell When My Pumpkin Bread Is Done?

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

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

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

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

What If I Don’t Have A Loaf Pan?

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

How To Store Pumpkin Bread

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

What To Serve With Pumpkin Bread

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

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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

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

Nutrition

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

How to Make PumPkin Bread – Step by Step Photos

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

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

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

Add the dry ingredients on top of the wet ingredients.

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

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

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

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

Overhead shot of two loaves of finished pumpkin bread.

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

Other Easy Quick Breads

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Apple Pie

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

The post Apple Pie appeared first on Budget Bytes.

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

How Many Apples Will I Need?

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

How Thick Should I Slice My Apples?

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

The Best Apples For Apple Pie

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

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

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

  • McIntosh
  • Fuji
  • Gala
  • Red Delicious

What’s The Best Crust For Apple Pie?

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

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

How To Avoid A Soggy Bottom

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

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

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

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

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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

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

Nutrition

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

How to Make Apple Pie – Step by Step Photos

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

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

Overhead shot of apple in a colander.

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

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

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

Overhead shot of apple caramel.

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

Overhead shot of apples cooking with caramel.

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

Overhead shot of sliced apples in pie shell.

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

Overhead shot of brushing egg wash on a pie.

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

Overhead of raw pie with steam vents on it.

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

Overhead shot of a finished apple pie.

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

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

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Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal is a great make-ahead breakfast option that has all the great flavors of pumpkin pie packed into whole grain oats.

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If you’re the type to love anything and everything pumpkin pie flavored, you’re going to LOVE this Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal. It’s got all the goodies of pumpkin pie baked right into your breakfast oats. …But with a lot less sugar so you won’t get a sugar crash at 10am. ;)

Overhead view of baked pumpkin pie oatmeal in the baking dish being scooped with a wooden spoon.

What is Baked Oatmeal?

Baked oatmeal is just oats that have been baked into a custard-like mixture. So think of bread pudding but made with oats instead of chunks of bread. They’re soft (not crunchy like the photos sometimes appear), warm, and very moist. Baked oats are more firm than traditionally cooked oats because they contain eggs and less liquid, but they still remain soft.

WhAT KIND OF OATS TO USE

I find that old-fashioned rolled oats work best for baked oatmeal recipes. Quick oats are a bit too small and delicate, and will create a pretty mushy end texture. Steel-cut oats require more moisture and a longer cooking time, so they will not work in this recipe. Old-fashioned rolled oats are the perfect mix between good texture and quick cooking!

How to Serve Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

I absolutely love eating this pumpkin pie oatmeal cold every morning, but you can also reheat it in the microwave and eat it warm. Try drizzling a little maple syrup over top, sprinkling on a few chopped nuts, or even adding a dollop of whipped cream for an extra dessert-like finish.

How to Store Baked Oatmeal

This is a bake once, eat all week type of meal. After baking I divide the pumpkin pie baked oatmeal into single portions, then store them in the refrigerator for 4-5 days or freeze them for up to a few months. If you plan to freeze some of your baked oatmeal, chill it completely in the refrigerator first, then transfer it to the freezer.

Milk being poured into a bowl of pumpkin pie oatmeal with nuts.
Milk being poured into a bowl of pumpkin pie oatmeal with nuts.
Print

Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal is a great make-ahead breakfast option that has all the great flavors of pumpkin pie packed into whole grain oats.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Total Cost $3.84 recipe / $0.64 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 285kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 15oz. can pumpkin purée $1.99
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar $0.32
  • 2 large eggs $0.36
  • 1/2 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice $0.15
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract $0.29
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder $0.03
  • 1 1/2 cups milk $0.36
  • 2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats $0.32

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375ºF. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin purée, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking powder until smooth.
  • Add the milk and whisk until smooth again.
  • Stir the dry oats into the pumpkin mixture.
  • Pour the oats into an 8×8-inch baking dish.
  • Bake the oats in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until the center no longer looks wet and the edges are lightly golden brown.
  • Serve hot right out of the oven or refrigerate until ready to serve. The baked oats can be eaten cold or reheated. Top with milk, maple syrup, whipped cream, or nuts if desired.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 285kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 6g | Sodium: 208mg | Fiber: 6g
close up of pumpkin pie oatmeal being scooped out of the baking dish.

How to Make Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal – Step By Step Photos

Custard ingredients without milk, in a bowl.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. In a bowl, whisk together one 15oz. can of pumpkin purée, ½ cup brown sugar, 2 large eggs, ½ tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice, ¾ tsp baking powder, ½ tsp vanilla extract, and ¼ tsp salt.

Milk being poured into the bowl.

Add 1.5 cups milk and whisk until smooth again.

Dry oats added to the pumpkin custard mixture.

Add 2.5 cups of old-fashioned rolled oats to the bowl, then stir until combined.

Final pumpkin oatmeal mixture mixed together in the bowl.

This is what the mixture should look like, once mixed.

pumpkin pie oatmeal mixture in a baking dish.

Add the pumpkin pie oatmeal mixture to an 8×8-inch baking dish.

Baked pumpkin pie oatmeal in the baking dish.

Bake the oatmeal for 45 minutes, or until the center is slightly puffed and cracked, and the edges look slightly golden brown.

Baked pumpkin pie oatmeal in a bowl with nuts and milk.

Serve the pumpkin pie oatmeal warm or refrigerate for later! Enjoy alone or with milk, nuts, or maple syrup.

side view of a bowl of baked pumpkin pie oatmeal.

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Lemon Bars

Lemon bars are the best lemon dessert, featuring a simple shortbread crust and a rich and custardy lemon filling.

The post Lemon Bars appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I probably make too many lemon-flavored desserts, but can’t stop won’t stop! Lemon is my favorite flavor when it comes to dessert because I love the contrast between the sweet and tart flavors. And this easy recipe for Lemon Bars is the perfect way to get that sweet-tart fix. I tested this recipe several times to get it just the way I like it—a rich and buttery shortbread crust topped with a thick and custardy, sweet and tart, lemon-licious filling. Hello gorgeous!

A stack of three lemon bars on a blue background.

What’s in a Lemon Bar?

If you’ve never had lemon bars, you are in for a TREAT! This simple yet amazing dessert starts with a simple shortbread crust (butter + flour + sugar + salt). Next we whip up a simple lemon custard, which is made with lemons, eggs, flour, and sugar. Pour the custard onto the crust, bake until it’s set, and BOOM. It’s really that simple! The custard starts as a liquid and then thickens as it bakes so they’re soft but sliceable once cooled.

Can I use Bottled Lemon Juice?

I chose to use fresh lemons for this recipe because I wanted the FULL lemon experience. Fresh lemons will give you the most intense lemon flavor because not only will the juice be fresh but you’ll be able to use the lemon zest, which really boosts the lemon flavor without making it extra sour. Using juice and zest is like a one-two flavor punch! You won’t get flavor as intense with bottled juice, but I can’t say that I’d turn down a lemon bar made with bottled juice. 😏

Can you Freeze Lemon Bars?

YES! That’s one of the best features of this recipe. If you don’t plan to eat your lemon bars within a few days, make sure to freeze some! To freeze your lemon bars, let them chill completely in the refrigerator, then transfer them to a parchment-lined baking sheet (each square separated) and freeze until solid. Once frozen, wrap the bars individually and place them in an air-tight freezer-safe container. They’ll stay good for about three months.

To thaw the frozen lemon bars, either let them thaw in the refrigerator over night or let them thaw at room temperature for about a half hour.

Close up side view of a lemon bar being held in a hand.
A stack of three lemon bars on a blue background.

Lemon Bars

Lemon bars are the best lemon dessert, featuring a simple shortbread crust and a rich and custardy lemon filling.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Total Cost $3.81 recipe / $0.42 each
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Chill time 3 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings 9
Calories 349kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Shortbread Crust

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour $0.12
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar $0.13
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 6 Tbsp salted butter $0.75

Lemon Filling

  • 1.5 cups granulated sugar $0.36
  • 4 large eggs $0.78
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice (about 4 lemons) + 1 Tbsp zest $1.55
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour $0.08

Topping (optional)

  • 1 Tbsp powdered sugar $0.02

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325ºF. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, powdered sugar, and salt for the shortbread crust until well combined.
  • Melt the butter, then pour it into the bowl of dry ingredients for the crust, and stir until everything is moistened and the mixture looks slightly crumbly.
  • Line an 8×8-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Press the shortbread mixture into the bottom of the dish in an even layer.
  • Transfer the baking dish to the oven and bake the crust for 25 minutes*, or just until the edges are lightly golden.
  • While the crust is baking, juice and zest your lemons. You'll need ¾ cup lemon juice and 1 Tbsp zest.
  • Begin to make the filling. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, eggs, and zest until smooth. Add the lemon juice and whisk until smooth again.
  • When the crust is finished baking, pour the lemon filling into the baking dish on top of the crust, then transfer it back to the oven and continue to bake for another 30 minutes, or until the center no longer jiggles.
  • Let the lemon bars cool for about 10 minutes before transferring to the refrigerator to chill completely.
  • Once the lemon bars are completely chilled, remove them from the baking dish, slice into 9 pieces, and then dust with about 1 Tbsp powdered sugar. Enjoy!

Notes

*If you’re using a metal baking dish, the baking time may be slightly shorter.

Nutrition

Serving: 1square | Calories: 349kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 10g | Sodium: 157mg | Fiber: 1g
Overhead view of lemon bars sliced and placed in a grid.

How to Make Lemon Bars – Step by Step Photos

Dry ingredients for the shortbread crust in a bowl.

Preheat the oven to 325ºF. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup all-purpose flour, ½ cup powdered sugar, and ¼ tsp salt. Stir them together until very well combined.

Melted butter being poured into the bowl of dry ingredients.

Melt 6 tablespoons of salted butter. Pour the butter into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir until combined.

Shortbread crust mixture in a bowl.

The shortbread crust mixture should look like this. Kind of crumbly, but it should hold together if you squeeze some in your fist.

Shortbread crust pressed into a baking dish.

Line an 8×8-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Press the shortbread mixture into the bottom of the dish in an even layer. Transfer it to the preheated 325ºF oven and bake for 25 minutes or until it is just barely golden on the edges (if using a metal pan, baking time may be slightly shorter).

Juices and zested lemons on a cutting board.

While the crust is baking, zest and juice the lemons. You’ll need about 1 Tbsp lemon zest and ¾ cup of lemon juice. Don’t forget to strain the seeds out of your juice! ;)

Custard ingredients, minus juice, in a bowl.

Add 1.5 cups granulated sugar, ¾ cup all-purpose flour, 4 large eggs, and 1 Tbsp lemon zest to a bowl, then whisk together until smooth. I like to whisk these ingredients together before adding the juice because it helps prevent lumps of flour. The mixture will be thick at this stage.

Juice being poured into the bowl with the custard ingredients.

Next, add the ¾ cup of lemon juice and whisk together until smooth.

Custard being poured into the baking dish on top of the crust.

Once the crust has finished baking, pour the custard mixture into the baking dish on top of the crust.

Baked lemon bars in the baking dish.

Transfer the baking dish back into the oven and bake for another 30 minutes, or until it’s golden around the edges and the center no longer jiggles. Let the bars cool for about ten minutes before transferring to the refrigerator to fully chill.

Powdered sugar being dusted onto sliced lemon bars.

Once the lemon bars have chilled completely, lift them out of the baking dish using the parchment paper, then slice into nine pieces. Lightly dust the top of the squares with a tablespoon of powdered sugar. Enjoy!

Overhead view of sliced lemon bars on a blue background.

Love Lemons? Try Thes Other Lemon Desserts

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Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken pot pie is a cozy and classic comfort food made with a flakey crust and a rich sauce full of tender chicken and vegetables.

The post Chicken Pot Pie appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I could eat this chicken pot pie every day for the rest of my life. Okay, maybe I’m being a little hyperbolic, but it’s definitely one of those recipes that I can eat for days in a row and I’ll still be sad once the leftovers are gone. Because when a food makes you feel this cozy and good, how can you not want it in your life every day? Either way, I guarantee this scrumptious homemade chicken pot pie is going to be made on REPEAT in my house all through the fall and winter.

Chicken Pot Pie with a slice removed.

What’s in a Chicken Pot Pie?

Chicken pot pie starts with a deliciously flakey pie crust and is filled with a rich and saucy chicken gravy, chunks of tender chicken, and a medley of colorful vegetables. It’s everything you want in a meal on one plate!

This recipe is pretty flexible, allowing you to take some shortcuts if you need to make the prep easier, or you can do everything from scratch to make this pie an ✨EVENT✨!

Pie Crust Options

It’s no secret that the crust is one of the best parts of a chicken pot pie, so we chose not to skimp on the crust. We used our simple 3-ingredient pie crust recipe, which is super buttery and deliciously flakey. If you want to use a store-bought crust, just make sure to buy a double crust (top and bottom crusts) and follow the baking instructions on the box.

You could also bake this “pie” in skillet without a bottom crust and then top it with your favorite biscuits. The filling is fully cooked before it goes into the pie, so simply top with biscuits and then bake until the biscuits are browned and cooked through.

Can I Use Pre-Cooked Chicken for Chicken Pot Pie?

Yes! Chicken pot pie is a great way to use up leftover rotisserie chicken, or even leftover turkey from Thanksgiving! Just skip the first step in the recipe below (cooking the raw chicken) and add your pre-cooked chicken to the filling when the cooked chicken is added back to the gravy with the herbs and spices.

Use Fresh or Frozen Vegetables

To make this chicken pot pie super simple, we used a frozen vegetable medley. Using a frozen veggie mix means less chopping and you won’t have any leftover vegetables to try to use up later. If you do want to slice and chop your own vegetables, use 1-2 carrots, about ½ cup corn kernels, ½ cup chopped green beans, and ½ cup peas. You could also other vegetables, like mushrooms or celery.

Do I Need to Blind Bake the Crust?

When using our 3-ingredient pie crust recipe and a glass pie plate, our chicken pot pie baked to perfection with a golden brown flakey bottom crust without having to pre-bake the bottom crust. That being said, using different crust recipes or store-bought crusts with different types of pie plates may yield different results.

A slice of chicken pot pie being lifted out of the pie pan from the side.
A slice of chicken pot pie taken out of the pie dish.

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken pot pie is a cozy classic comfort food made with a flakey crust and a rich sauce full of tender chicken and vegetables.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $8.44 recipe / $1.06 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 361kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (about ⅔ lb.) $3.33
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1 yellow onion $0.38
  • 4 Tbsp butter $0.50
  • 4 Tbsp flour $0.04
  • 1 cup chicken broth $0.13
  • 1/2 cup whole milk $0.10
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp rubbed sage $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper $0.02
  • 3/4 tsp salt $0.05
  • 12 oz. frozen mixed vegetables $1.25
  • 1 double pie crust $2.34
  • l egg (optional) $0.20

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cut the chicken breast into ½-inch pieces.
  • Heat a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add the cooking oil and diced chicken. Cook just until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken from the skillet.
  • While the chicken is cooking, dice the onion. After removing the chicken from the skillet, add the diced onion and butter. Sauté the onions in the butter until softened.
  • Sprinkle the flour over the onions in the skillet and continue to cook and stir for two minutes more. It's okay if the flour begins to coat the surface of the skillet, but don't let it burn.
  • Add the chicken broth and milk to the skillet. Whisk to combine and dissolve any flour off the bottom of the skillet. Let the liquid come up to a simmer, at which point it will thicken into a gravy.
  • Add the cooked chicken back to the skillet along with the thyme, sage, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Finally, add the frozen mixed vegetables and allow them to heat through in the gravy, stirring occasionally, just until the gravy begins to simmer again. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  • Place your bottom crust in a 9-inch pie plate. Prick the bottom several times with a fork. Transfer the chicken, vegetable, and gravy mixture into the pie crust.
  • Add the top crust and crimp the edges closed. Brush a light layer of whisked egg over the surface of the pie crust (optional). Use a knife to cut large vents in the top of the crust.
  • Bake the chicken pot pie for 45-50 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and flakey. The baking time may vary depending on the type of crust and pie plate used.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 20g | Sodium: 616mg | Fiber: 3g
Close up overhead view of a chicken pot pie with a slice cut into it.

How to Make Chicken Pot Pie – Step by Step Photos

Cooked diced chicken in a skillet.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Dice one boneless skinless chicken breast into ½-inch pieces and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Heat a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp cooking oil and the diced chicken breast. Cook the chicken pieces just until cooked through (do not over cook).

Diced onion and butter in a deep skillet.

While the chicken is cooking, dice one yellow onion. Remove the cooked chicken from the skillet and add the diced onion and 4 Tbsp butter. Sauté the onions in the butter over medium heat until softened.

Flour being added to the skillet.

Once the onions are soft, sprinkle in 4 Tbsp of all-purpose flour. Continue to cook and stir for about two minutes more. It’s okay for the flour to begin to coat the bottom of the skillet, just make sure it doesn’t begin to burn.

Milk and broth being added to the skillet.

Add one cup of chicken broth and one cup of whole milk to the skillet. Whisk to combine and dissolve any flour off the bottom of the skillet.

Thickened gravy being whisked.

Allow the liquid to come up to a simmer, at which point it will thicken into a nice gravy.

Chicken and seasoning added back to the gravy.

Add the cooked chicken back to the skillet along with ¼ tsp dried thyme, ¼ tsp rubbed sage, ¼ tsp black pepper, and ¾ tsp salt. Stir to combine.

frozen vegetables stirred into the gravy.

Stir in one 12oz. bag of frozen mixed vegetables. Allow the gravy mixture to heat through and come back up to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Once fully heated through and simmering, remove it from the heat.

Pie filling being added to a pie crust.

Place the bottom crust into a pie plate and prick it several times over the bottom with a fork. Fill the pie crust with the chicken pot pie filling.

Vents being cut into the top pie crust.

Add the top crust and crimp the edges closed. Brush the top of the pie with a thin layer of whisked egg. Use a knife to cut large vents into the top of the pie crust.

Baked Chicken Pot Pie.

Bake the chicken pot pie for 45-50 minutes, or until the pie crust is golden brown and flakey and the filling is bubbling up slightly through the vents. Total cooking time may vary depending on the type of crust and pie dish used. The filling is fully cooked before going into the pie, so adjust the baking time based on the crust.

Chicken pot pie on a blue background with plates and parsley on the sides.

Let the pie cool for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

A slice of chicken pot pie taken out of the pie dish.

Try these other savory pie recipes:

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Slow Cooker Meatball Subs

These Slow Cooker Meatball Subs are extra tender and flavorful thanks to a low and slow simmer in marinara sauce.

The post Slow Cooker Meatball Subs appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I think I just fell in love with my slow cooker again. These slow cooker meatball subs are so incredibly tender, flavorful, and just all-around decadent thanks to that low and slow simmer in marinara sauce. It’s magical! And the best part is that this recipe makes a pretty big batch, so you can freeze half for later (use them in subs or on pasta)! Cook once, eat twice. 🙌

Overhead view of slow cooker meatball subs lined up in a row.

Do I Have to Use a Slow Cooker?

You don’t have to use a slow cooker to make these amazing homemade meatball subs, but I’m telling you right now that you want to. That low and slow simmer in the sauce makes the most incredibly tender and flavorful meatballs you’ll ever eat. If you don’t have a slow cooker, follow the cooking instructions for my basic homemade meatballs, then pile them into your buns, top with cheese, and bake till the cheese is melted.

What Kind of Sauce to Use

I tested this recipe with the most basic, inexpensive, generic marinara sauce I could find at the grocery store to make sure they were still totally delicious even if you can’t spring for an expensive sauce. But feel free to use your favorite store-bought or homemade marinara sauce for these meatballs. You’ll need 3 cups of sauce, in total.

Freeze Half for Later!

This recipe makes about 24 hefty meatballs so if you use three meatballs per sub you’ll get 8 sandwiches. If that’s a little too much for your household to eat within a few days, go ahead and freeze half of the meatballs and sauce to use on pasta or more subs later! You can reheat the frozen sauce and meatballs in the microwave or in a saucepot over low heat.

P.S. We reheated the assembled meatball subs from the photos in the air fryer the next day and they were BOMB! We air fried at 350°F for about five minutes for the most delicious leftovers ever.

Side view of a meatball sub on a plate with the baking dish in the background.
Side view of a meatball sub on a plate with the baking dish in the background.

Slow Cooker Meatball Subs

These Slow Cooker Meatball Subs are extra tender and flavorful thanks to a low and slow simmer in marinara sauce.
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $19.43 recipe / $2.43 each
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings 8 subs
Calories 506kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Equipment

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs $0.32
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan $0.88
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp pepper $0.02
  • 2 large eggs $0.39
  • 1/4 cup milk $0.05
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage $4.99
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef (90% lean or higher) $6.99

Subs

  • 8 buns or rolls $3.50
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella $0.62

Instructions

  • Lightly whisk two large eggs in a small bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
  • Add the Italian sausage and ground beef to a large bowl with the whisked egg, breadcrumb mixture, and milk Use your hands to mix the ingredients together. Avoid overmixing the meat.
  • Divide and shape the meat into 24 meatballs, about 3 Tbps each. The easiest way to do this is to first divide the meat mixture into four equal portions, then divide each of those in half to make eight equal portions. Finally, divide each of the 8 portions of meat into thirds and shape them into balls to make 24 meatballs.
  • Place half of the meatballs in the bottom of a slow cooker in a single layer and cover with half of the marinara sauce. Add the rest of the meatballs then top with the remaining sauce.
  • Cook the meatballs on high for three hours or low for six hours.
  • After cooking, use a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature of the meatballs has reached 165°F. Give the meatballs and sauce a good stir to remix the sauce (there will be some fat pooling on the surface).
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the buns on a baking sheet or in a baking dish, then pile three meatballs into each bun. Spoon some of the extra sauce over each one. Top each sub with a little shredded cheese.
  • Bake the meatball subs in the preheated oven for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the edges of the buns are toasty. Enjoy hot!

Nutrition

Serving: 1sub | Calories: 506kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 31g | Sodium: 943mg | Fiber: 2g
Close up side view of slow cooker meatball subs lined up and garnished with parsley.

How to Make Slow Cooker Meatball Subs – Step by Step Photos

egg and breadcrumb mixture

Lightly whisk two large eggs in a small bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine ½ cup breadcrumbs, ½ cup grated Parmesan, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp onion powder, ½ tsp Italian seasoning, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Pre-mixing these ingredients helps them incorporate more evenly into the meat without having to overmix the meat.

Meatball ingredients in a bowl

Add the whisked egg, breadcrumb mixture, ¼ cup milk, 1 lb. Italian sausage, and 1 lb. ground beef to a bowl. Use your hands to mix the ingredients together.

Shaped meatballs one held in a hand.

Divide and shape the meat mixture into 24 meatballs. The easiest way to divide the mixture evenly is to first divide it into four equal portions. Divide each of those in half to make eight equal-sized pieces. Finally, dive each of the eight sections into three meatballs.

Sauce being poured over the meatballs in the slow cooker.

Add half of the meatballs to the slow cooker in a single layer, then cover with half of the marinara sauce. Add the rest of the meatballs in a second layer and pour the remaining sauce over top, making sure all the meatballs are covered in sauce.

Lid being placed on the slow cooker.

Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for three hours or low for six hours.

Slow cooked meatballs in the slow cooker.

After cooking, use a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature of the meatballs has reached 165°F. You’ll see some fat pooling on the surface, but don’t worry, that deliciousness will be stirred right back into the sauce.

Finished slow cooker meatballs in the slow cooker.

Stir the meatballs in the sauce to make sure everything is evenly combined. These meatballs can now be used in subs or even on a plate of pasta!

Meatballs in subs in a baking dish.

To make the meatball subs, preheat the oven to 350°F. Place your buns on a baking sheet or in a baking dish. Fill each bun with three meatballs and spoon some of the sauce over top.

Shredded mozzarella on the meatball subs.

Top each sub with a little shredded mozzarella.

Baked meatball subs in the baking dish.

Bake the meatball subs in the preheated oven for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the edges of the buns are toasty.

Overhead view of baked meatball subs garnished with parsley.

Enjoy the meatballs hot! I garnished with chopped parsley for some color, but the parsley isn’t needed for flavor. :)

Side view of a meatball sub on a plate with the baking dish in the back.

TRY THESE OTHER MEATBALL RECIPES:

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Zucchini Slice

Zucchini Slice is an easy and budget-friendly Australian dish featuring fresh zucchini baked into a cheesy egg-based batter.

The post Zucchini Slice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you’re looking for ways to use your summer zucchini, don’t pass up this irresistible zucchini slice. This classic Australian dish is similar to a crustless quiche but with a more dense texture. It’s healthy and perfect for meal prep if you’ve got a busy week ahead. Serve this slice hot or cold for a savory breakfast on-the-go, or a light lunch or dinner.

A stack of slices of zucchini slice on a plate.

What is Zucchini Slice?

Zucchini Slice is a popular Australian dish similar to a crustless quiche but with a more dense texture. It’s universally loved in Australia because it’s very easy to prepare, budget-friendly, and can be enjoyed hot or cold for any meal of the day. You’ll commonly find it in lunchboxes, at kid’s birthday parties, and potlucks.

Tips for Making Zucchini Slice

Don’t skip draining the moisture from the zucchini, or you’ll end up with a soggy slice! Grate the zucchini and either pop it into a colander or a clean kitchen towel to wring out. It’s common in Australia to make zucchini slice without sauteing the bacon and onion first. However, I highly recommend not skipping this step

Two slices of zucchini slice laying against the whole casserole.

Zucchini Slice Variations

Tweak Zucchini Slice with what you have on hand. You can leave out the bacon for a vegetarian version, or you can use ham instead of bacon (no need to sauté first). You can throw in a few veggies too! Corn or finely chopped red bell pepper would be perfect in this slice. You could also add in a blend of cheese instead of just cheddar. Feta or parmesan would be a delicious addition.

What to Serve with Zucchini Slice

Zucchini Slice is perfect for any meal (or snack) of the day. It can be served either hot or cold and is great for on the go. It’s not uncommon to eat a piece or two on its own or to serve it with a side salad for a light lunch or dinner. It’s also a favorite at potlucks and parties.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Zucchini Slice is great for meal prep! Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Eat this slice cold or reheated in the microwave.

Two slices of Zucchini slice on top of the casserole.
Two slices of zucchini slice laying against the whole casserole.

Zucchini Slice

Zucchini Slice is an easy and budget-friendly Australian dish featuring fresh zucchini baked into a cheesy egg-based batter.
Course Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Australian
Total Cost $5.31 recipe / $0.66 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 slices
Calories 267kcal
Author Cassie Heilbron

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp butter $0.11
  • 2 strips bacon $0.52
  • 1 yellow onion $0.37
  • 5 large eggs $0.98
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese $1.25
  • 1 cup self-rising flour* $0.14
  • 1/4 cup olive oil $0.64
  • 3/4 lb. zucchini (2 cups shredded) $1.27
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper $0.03

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a large rectangular baking dish (11×7-inch) with parchment paper. Finely dice the onion and finely chop the bacon.
  • Heat the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and onion and cook, stirring regularly, until the onion softens and the bacon is golden. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  • Grate zucchini into a colander and sprinkle a little salt on top. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the bacon, onion, eggs, cheese, flour, and oil. Stir well to combine.
  • Using your hands, squeeze excess moisture out of the zucchini into the sink, then place into the mixing bowl and stir to combine—season with a little salt and pepper.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until cooked through and firm to touch. Allow to cool, then cut into squares to serve.

Notes

*If you don’t have self-rising flour simply use 1 cup of flour plus 2 teaspoons of baking powder.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 267kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 19g | Sodium: 194mg | Fiber: 1g

How to Make Zucchini Slice – Step by Step Photos

Baking dish lined with parchment paper.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 11×7-inch baking dish with parchment paper.

Sautéed onion and garlic in a frying pan.

Finely dice one yellow onion and finely chop about two strips of bacon. Add 1 Tbsp butter to a frying pan and heat over medium. Add the onion and bacon and sauté until the onion is soft and the bacon is golden. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Grated zucchini in a colander.

Grate about 3/4 lb. of zucchini into a colander and sprinkle a little salt on top. Set aside.

Zucchini slice batter ingredients in a bowl, unmixed.

In a large mixing bowl add the bacon and onion, along with 2 large eggs, 1 cup shredded cheese, 1 cup self-rising flour, and 1/4 cup olive oil. Stir well to combine.

Zucchini added to the batter.

Using your hands, squeeze excess moisture out of the zucchini into the sink, then place into the mixing bowl and stir to combine. Season with a little salt and pepper.

Unbaked zucchini slice in a glass casserole dish.

Pour mixture into prepared tray.

Baked zucchini slice in a glass casserole dish.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until cooked through and firm to the touch. Allow to cool, then cut into squares to serve.

Three slices of zucchini slice stacked on a plate.

The post Zucchini Slice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

How to Make A Frittata

Frittatas are an easy and inexpensive way to use up leftovers in your fridge, and they’re great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

The post How to Make A Frittata appeared first on Budget Bytes.

We love flexible recipes around here and Frittatas definitely fit that bill. You can add whatever meat, vegetables, or cheese that you happen to have in your fridge, which not only makes them flexible, but the perfect vehicle for reducing food waste and keeping that grocery bill in check! So here’s a quick tutorial on how to make a simple frittata, so you can whip one up whenever you need a quick, inexpensive, and delicious meal.

A slice of frittata being lifted out of a cast iron skillet.

What is a Frittata?

Frittatas are an Italian dish consisting of cooked eggs with other ingredients added in like meat, vegetables, or cheese. Unlike omelets and scrambled eggs, frittatas are not moved or folded over as they’re cooked. The frittata is cooked whole, without disturbing, in one large piece.

There are different methods for cooking frittatas, some being cooked entirely on the stovetop over low heat and others being finished in the oven. The method we use here starts on the stovetop to cook the add-ins, then finishes in the oven with gentle even heat.

The Frittata Formula

Frittatas are incredibly simple. For every six large eggs, you’ll want to mix in ¼ cup of milk or cream, ¼ cup of cheese, and about 3 cups of meat or vegetables. The small amount of milk and cheese keeps the eggs soft and creamy and the meat and vegetables give you endless options. You’ll also want to add a little salt and pepper just to make sure everything is well seasoned!

Frittatas in Five Simple Steps

This frittata method is so simple that it’s one of those recipes you’ll memorize in no time. Here are the five simple steps to making a frittata:

  1. Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper.
  2. Sauté meat and vegetables in a skillet.
  3. Top with cheese then pour in the egg mixture.
  4. Cook on the stovetop until the edges are set.
  5. Transfer to the oven to finish cooking. Slice and serve!
A slice of frittata on a plate with a side salad.

Avoid Overcooking Your Frittata

One of the biggest mistakes people make when making frittatas is overcooking the eggs. Eggs are delicate souls and when overcooked they become rubbery and they weep with sadness. And no, that wasn’t figurative, they literally excrete water.

To avoid overcooking the frittata, make sure you don’t bake it too long. Keep an eye on your frittata and only leave it in the oven until the center is just barely set. It’s okay if it jiggles just a bit in the center, carryover cooking will finish the job in the first few minutes after the frittata is removed from the oven.

How to Serve Frittatas

Frittatas aren’t just for breakfast or brunch. Because they’re so easy to prepare, frittatas are one of my favorite quick lunch or dinner items. Just check your fridge for whatever needs to be used up, toss them into the frittata, then whip up a simple side salad as it bakes! Dinner is DONE!

Frittatas can be served either warm or cold, which makes them even more flexible. Bake one up on Sunday, then pack up the leftover slices for tomorrow’s lunch!

Other Frittata Flavor Ideas

We kept our frittata simple below with just some onion, spinach, tomatoes, and feta, but the flavor possibilities are endless! Here are some other flavor combination ideas:

Side view of a slice of frittata
Overhead view of a spinach and tomato frittata

How to Make a Frittata

Frittatas are an easy and inexpensive way to use up leftovers in your fridge, and they're great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! 
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Italian
Total Cost $5.11 recipe / $0.85 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 slices
Calories 159kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs $1.16
  • 1/4 cup milk $0.06
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp pepper $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08
  • 1 yellow onion $0.36
  • 2 cups fresh spinach (about 4 oz.) $0.99
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes $2.00
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta $0.41

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Set the eggs aside.
  • Dice on yellow onion. Heat a 10-inch oven-safe skillet over medium, then add the cooking oil and onion and sauté until the onions are soft and translucent.
  • Meanwhile, roughly chop the spinach and slice the tomatoes in half.
  • Add the spinach and tomatoes to the skillet and stir to combine with the onions.
  • Before the spinach has a chance to cook or wilt, pour in the egg mixture (it's okay if the eggs don't fully cover the vegetables). Top with the crumbled feta.
  • Let the frittata continue to cook over medium just until the eggs are set around the edges (about 3 minutes).
  • Transfer the frittata to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, or just until the eggs are set in the center (total bake time will vary). Remove the frittata from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 159kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 11g | Sodium: 352mg | Fiber: 2g

How to Make Frittatas – Step by Step Photos

Eggs milk salt and pepper in a bowl with a whisk.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a large bowl, whisk together six large eggs, ¼ cup milk, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Set the eggs aside.

Sautéed onions in a skillet.

Sauté your meat or vegetables in a 10-inch oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Because the frittata cooks quickly, you can leave some vegetables fresh instead of sautéing, if desired. For this frittata, we sautéed one yellow onion in 2 Tbsp cooking oil and added the rest of the vegetables fresh.

Chopped spinach on a cutting board.

When using fresh spinach, it’s best to roughly chop it into smaller, bite-sized pieces to avoid large, stringy pieces of spinach in your frittata. We used 2 cups of packed spinach (about 4 oz.) for this frittata and one pint of grape tomatoes (sliced in half).

Spinach and tomatoes combined with onions in the skillet.

Add the chopped spinach and tomatoes to the skillet with the onions and stir briefly to combine.

Eggs being poured into the skillet.

Before the spinach has a chance to cook or wilt, pour in the egg mixture. It’s okay if the eggs don’t fully cover the vegetables. Top with the crumbled feta or cheese of choice.

Frittata topped with cheese and edges set.

Continue to cook the frittata over medium heat just until the eggs begin setting around the edges (this only takes a few minutes).

Baked frittata in the skillet.

Transfer the frittata to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, or just until the center is set. The total cooking time will vary slightly depending on the type of skillet used and how much the eggs had set while on the stovetop. It’s okay if the eggs still jiggle a little in the center; they will continue to cook through residual heat for a few minutes after it is removed from the oven. Avoid overcooking the frittata.

Sliced frittata in the skillet, one slice being lifted.

Remove the frittata from the oven and let rest for five minutes before slicing into six pieces and serving!

A slice of frittata on a plate with a simple side salad.

Check out these other great egg dishes:

The post How to Make A Frittata appeared first on Budget Bytes.