Dollar Store Dinners – Bean Quesadillas

These easy bean quesadillas and a side of Spanish rice are made using only ingredients from the dollar store for an easy and affordable meal

The post Dollar Store Dinners – Bean Quesadillas appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’m really excited about this Dollar Store Dinner. When I tell you I GOBBLED this down while taking the photographs, that would be an understatement. 😅 Quesadillas are one of my favorite easy meals, so I was really excited to see the ingredients needed to make these awesome Bean Quesadillas at the dollar store. I added a side of seasoned rice pilaf that I fancied up with a can of Rotel, and dinner was done! Seven ingredients, $8.75 total, four servings. 🙌

Dollar Store Dinners

Welcome to the new Dollar Store Dinners series on Budget Bytes. We’re making quick and simple meals using only ingredients found at the dollar store. While the availability of ingredients will vary from store to store, hopefully, these easy recipes will give you some inspiration for when money is tight and access to groceries is limited!

Overhead view of bean quesadillas on a plate with Spanish RIce.

What’s in This Meal?

This meal consists of really simple bean quesadillas that are filled with a mix of beans, vegetables, cheese, and a little seasoning, then cooked until crispy in a skillet. I added a packet of Spanish rice as a side dish and incorporated a can of Rotel (diced tomatoes with green chiles) to make the rice a little more interesting.

Here’s what we bought at the dollar store:

  • Flour tortillas $1.25
  • Santa Fe Blend frozen vegetables (corn, black beans, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, onions) $1.25
  • Canned pinto beans $1.25
  • Rotel (diced tomatoes with green chiles) $1.25
  • Cheddar cheese $1.25
  • Spanish rice mix $1.25
  • Bayou Blend seasoning $1.25

Total: $8.75

Dollar store ingredients for quesadillas and Spanish rice.

And we still had a couple of leftover tortillas and tons of seasoning blend to use in future meals!

What Kind of Seasoning to Use for Quesadillas

Normally I would have bought a taco seasoning packet for quesadillas, but the seasoning packets are only enough for one recipe and they are the same price as this huge bottle of Bayou Blend seasoning. While the Bayou Blend isn’t southwest flavored, it has a wonderfully smoky-spicy flavor that I think still goes great with the beans, cheese, and vegetables. So it was definitely a better bang for my buck (or buck twenty-five). If you do use taco seasoning instead, you may need to add a little salt to the quesadilla filling if your taco seasoning does not contain salt.

What Else Can I Add?

If you have access to more ingredients I’d definitely add some sour cream and/or salsa for dipping! And maybe some green onions to top the Spanish rice. You could also dice up some cooked chicken and add that into the quesadilla filling.

No Dollar store, No Problem.

This recipe was crafted using the limited ingredients available at a dollar store for those who only have access to groceries this way, but you can make the same or similar recipes using ingredients from regular grocery stores, and oftentimes for a lower price. This meal was actually inspired by two of our other recipes: Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas and Tomato Rice. So you can check those out if you want a more “from scratch” approach.

Close up view of stacked quesadillas held in hands..
Side view of a plate full of bean quesadillas and Spanish rice.
Print

Bean Quesadillas and Spanish Rice

These easy bean quesadillas and a side of Spanish rice are made using only ingredients from the dollar store for an easy and affordable meal
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Southwest
Total Cost $8.75 recipe / $2.19 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 2 quesadillas and 1 cup rice
Calories 599kcal

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. Santa Fe Blend frozen vegetables $1.25
  • 1 15oz. can pinto beans $1.25
  • 4 oz. cheddar cheese $1.25
  • 1.5 tsp Bayou Blend seasoning* $1.25
  • 8 flour tortillas $1.25
  • 1 5.6oz. pkg Spanish rice $1.25
  • 1 10oz. can Rotel (diced tomatoes with chiles) $1.25

Instructions

  • Thaw the frozen vegetables and drain them well. Rinse and drain the pinto beans. Shred the cheddar cheese.
  • Add the thawed vegetables, pinto beans, shredded cheese, and 1.5 tsp seasoning blend to a large bowl and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning or salt to your liking. Set the quesadilla filling aside.
  • Drain the liquid from the can of Rotel into a liquid measuring cup, then add water until you have 2 cups liquid total (or the recommended amount on the package of rice).
  • Add the rice packet, drained tomatoes, and measured liquid to a saucepot. Stir to combine. Place a lid on top and bring it up to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 7 minutes (or follow the instructions on the packet). After 7 minutes, turn the heat off and set the rice aside.
  • While the rice is cooking, divide the quesadilla filling between 8 tortillas (a scant ½ cup each), spreading it over one half of the tortilla, then folding it closed.
  • Cook the filled quesadillas in a skillet over medium heat until the cheese is melted on the inside and the tortillas are crispy on the outside (I do not use oil, but you can if you prefer).
  • Slice the quesadillas in half or into thirds. Fluff the Spanish rice. Serve the quesadillas and rice together and enjoy!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*You can use taco seasoning instead, but you may need to add salt if your taco seasoning does not contain any.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 599kcal | Carbohydrates: 92g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 16g | Sodium: 1347mg | Fiber: 13g
Side view of a plate full of bean quesadillas and Spanish rice.

How to Make Bean Quesadillas – Step by Step Photos

Dollar store ingredients for quesadillas and Spanish rice.

Here are the items we bought at the dollar store to make this meal: flour tortillas, Santa Fe blend frozen vegetables, pinto beans, Rotel, cheddar cheese, Bayou Blend seasoning, and a Spanish rice packet.

Thawed Santa Fe vegetables in a bowl.

Thaw the 12 oz. bag of frozen vegetables first so you can drain off the excess water. You don’t want soggy quesadillas! I just microwaved mine for a minute or two, stirring occasionally, until they were fully thawed, then drained them really well.

Beans, cheese, and seasoning added to the vegetables.

Rinse and drain one 15oz. can of pinto beans. Shred 4oz. cheddar cheese. Add the beans, cheese, and 1.5 tsp Bayou seasoning (or taco seasoning – you may need salt if your taco seasoning doesn’t contain any).

quesadilla filling in the bowl.

Stir everything together, then taste the filling and adjust the seasoning or salt to your liking. Set the quesadilla filling aside.

Rotel tomatoes being drained into a measuring cup.

It’s time to start cooking the Spanish rice. The directions on the packet said to add 2 cups of water, but I wanted to add Rotel tomatoes to the mix. So I drained the juices from the can into a measuring cup, then added enough water until it reached the 2 cups of liquid suggested on the packet.

Spanish rice mix and Rotel in a pot, water being poured in the side.

Add the contents of the Spanish rice packet into a saucepot. Add the drained tomatoes and 2 cups of liquid (juices from the Rotel + water). Stir everything to combine, place a lid on top, then bring it up to a boil. When it reaches a boil, turn it down to medium-low and simmer for about 7 minutes. After 7 minutes, turn the heat off and set it aside.

Tortillas being filled with quesadilla mix.

While the rice is cooking, fill the quesadillas. I had just under 4 cups of the filling, so I filled 8 tortillas with a scant ½ cup of the filling. Spread the filling over one side, then fold them closed.

Cooked quesadillas in the skillet.

Cook the quesadillas in a skillet over medium heat until the cheese is melted on the inside and the tortilla is brown and crispy on the outside. I did not use oil in the skillet, but you can if you prefer a more fried effect.

Quesadillas being sliced.

Slice the quesadillas into two or three pieces each. I like to use a pizza cutter for this, but a large knife works well, too!

Fluffed Spanish rice in the pot.

Fluff the Spanish rice with a fork.

Plated quesadillas and Spanish rice.

Serve your cheesy bean quesadillas and Spanish rice and enjoy!

The post Dollar Store Dinners – Bean Quesadillas appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Pesto Mozzarella Roll Ups

Pesto mozzarella roll ups combine melty mozzarella cheese and flavorful basil pesto rolled up in a flour tortilla then baked to perfection!

The post Pesto Mozzarella Roll Ups appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’ve wanted to make this fun snack for a couple of years now and I had a little leftover pesto the other day so I finally made it happen! These Pesto Mozzarella Roll Ups are a riff off of my Pizza Roll Ups recipe. It’s a tasty combo of pesto and mozzarella rolled up in flour tortilla then baked until crispy on the outside and melty on the inside. So fun! I also paired these roll ups with a creamy and tangy dip that perfectly balances the basil pesto.

side view of a plate full of pesto mozzarella roll ups.

What Kind of Pesto to Use

Pesto is undoubtedly the most expensive ingredient in this dish, so you’ll want to choose wisely. Aldi has a pretty good basil pesto for a great price but if that one isn’t your favorite or you don’t have an Aldi near you, I also like Barilla, Classico, and Felippo Berio brands.

And don’t let the rest of the jar of pesto go to waste! Check out our pesto archives for other delicious ways to use up your pesto.

To Dip or Not to Dip

I paired these pesto mozzarella roll ups with a super simple creamy and tangy tomato flavored dip, but it’s completely optional. The roll ups are great on their own and it does get pretty rich with the dip, so it’s totally up to you! Or, if you already have a fridge full of half-used bottles of sauces and dressing, try experimenting with a different flavor dip. ;)

How Are the Leftovers?

Pesto mozzarella roll ups are definitely best right when they come out of the oven so the tortilla is crispy and the mozzarella is soft and melty, so I suggest scaling the recipe up or down as needed. Luckily, they’re just as easy to make whether you want to make two or twenty!

a pesto mozzarella roll up being torn in half, the cheese pulling between.
Side view of pesto mozzarella roll ups stacked on a plate.

Pesto Mozzarella Roll Ups

Pesto mozzarella roll ups combine melty mozzarella cheese and flavorful basil pesto rolled up in a flour tortilla then baked to perfection!
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Total Cost $4.71 recipe / $0.59 each
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 roll ups
Calories 226kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Pesto Mozzarella Roll Ups

  • 8 8-inch flour tortillas $2.23
  • 4 Tbsp basil pesto $1.00
  • 4 pieces mozzarella string cheese $1.00
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04

Creamy Tomato Dip (optional)

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise $0.29
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste $0.07
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Stack the tortillas on a plate and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave for 30 seconds to soften the tortillas.
  • Slice the string cheese in half length-wise. Spread ½ Tbsp pesto over the lower half of each tortilla, staying away from the edges. Place one piece of mozzarella on top of each.
  • Fold the sides of the tortilla in on top of the cheese, then begin rolling up from the bottom until the cheese is completely rolled up in the tortilla.
  • Place the roll ups on a parchment-lined baking sheet, seam side down. Brush the roll ups with a light coating of cooking oil.
  • Bake the roll ups in the preheated oven for about 13 minutes, or until they're lightly golden brown on the edges and the cheese is melted.
  • While the roll ups are in the oven, prepare the creamy tomato dip. Stir together the mayonnaise, tomato paste, and minced garlic.
  • Let the roll ups cool just enough to handle, then serve with the creamy tomato dip.

Nutrition

Serving: 1roll up | Calories: 226kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 15g | Sodium: 461mg | Fiber: 1g
pesto mozzarella roll ups stacked on a plate, one being dipped into the sauce on the side.

How to Make Pesto Mozzarella Roll Ups – Step by Step Photos

Tortillas stacked on a plate with a damp paper towel covering.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Stack eight 8-inch flour tortillas on a plate and cover them with a damp paper towel. Microwave for about 30 seconds to steam the tortillas. This makes them soft and pliable so they won’t rip when you try to roll them.

Pesto mozzarella roll up being built.

Slice four pieces of mozzarella string cheese in half length-wise. You’ll use one half per roll up. Smear about ½ Tbsp basil pesto over the bottom half of a tortilla, staying away from the edges. Place one halved string cheese on the pesto.

A pesto mozzarella roll up half-way rolled.

Fold the sides of the tortilla in to close off the ends, then start rolling from the bottom up until the cheese is fully rolled up in the tortilla.

pesto mozzarella roll ups being brushed with oil.

Place the roll ups seam side down on a lined baking sheet. Brush them lightly with cooking oil. This helps the tortillas get extra crispy. You could also spritz them with cooking spray. Bake the roll ups for about 13 minutes, or until lightly golden brown on the edges.

creamy tomato sauce in a bowl with a spoon.

While the pesto mozzarella roll ups are baking, make the creamy tomato sauce. In a small bowl, stir together ¼ cup mayonnaise, 1 Tbsp tomato paste, and 1 clove of minced garlic.

baked pesto mozzarella roll ups.

Once the roll ups are lightly golden brown on the edges and you start to see a little cheese oozing, they’re ready! This should take about 13 minutes of baking, give or take a minute or two. Let them cool just enough to handle.

Side view of pesto mozzarella roll ups stacked on a plate.

The pesto kind of soaks into the tortillas making them soooooo good!

Pesto mozzarella roll up dipped into the bowl of creamy tomato sauce.

You don’t want to know how many of these I ate while taking the photographs!

The post Pesto Mozzarella Roll Ups appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Southwest Tortilla Baked Eggs

These southwest inspired tortilla baked eggs make an easy and delicious weekend breakfast with plenty of room for customization!

The post Southwest Tortilla Baked Eggs appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you missed my first post about this, I’m officially obsessed with baking my eggs in a tortilla shell. Not only do I already always have eggs and tortillas in my fridge, but you can toss in any kind of leftover vegetable, meat, or cheese that you happen to have, so it’s a great way to use up the leftovers from the week. Hello, easy and delicious weekend breakfast!

Two plates with southwest tortilla baked eggs and sour cream, a jar of salsa on the side

The first time I made tortilla baked eggs, I used a really simple mix of fresh spinach, grape tomatoes, and cheddar cheese. And after my first bite, my head spun with all the fun flavor combos that could be used for this dish. So today I’m sharing this southwest inspired version, with green chiles, red bell pepper, cheese, green onion, and salsa. It’s soooo delicious!

What Kind of Dish to Use

You can bake your eggs in any circular oven-safe dish that has a rim. The key is to use a tortilla that is 1-2 inches larger in diameter than your baking dish so that some of the tortilla folds up the sides and holds in the filling.

I am using an 8-inch tortilla and a 7-inch dish to bake four eggs. If you use a larger tortilla and dish, you may want to add more eggs and increase the baking time.

What Else Can You Add?

This recipe is very flexible, so it’s a great way to use up odds and ends in your kitchen at the end of the week. If you want to stay with the southwest flavor theme, you can add ingredients like: black beans, chorizo, bacon, cilantro, corn, chicken, chili powder, pepper jack cheese, cotija cheese, red onion, pico de gallo, or jalapeño. The key is going to be to only add a small amount of each ingredient so the tortilla doesn’t get too full or contain too much moisture.

What to Serve with Tortilla Baked Eggs

I like to add a little sour cream after baking, but a few slices of fresh avocado would also be amazing. Add a side of fruit and breakfast is done!

Close up of a slice of southwest tortilla baked eggs
Southwest tortilla baked eggs on a plate with sour cream and a fork

Southwest Tortilla Baked Eggs

These southwest inspired tortilla baked eggs make an easy and delicious weekend breakfast with plenty of room for customization!
Total Cost $2.41 recipe / $0.60 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 371.7kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil $0.09
  • 1 8" flour tortilla $0.14
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese $0.50
  • 1/4 red bell pepper $0.28
  • 2 Tbsp diced green chiles $0.25
  • 4 large eggs $0.92
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp pepper $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp salsa $0.13
  • 1 green onion, sliced $0.06

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Brush the olive oil over the inside surface of a circular baking dish.
  • Press the tortilla down into the baking dish so that the edges fold up the sides of the dish. It may help to microwave the tortilla for a few seconds first to make it more pliable.
  • Sprinkle 1/2 of the shredded cheddar into the bottom of the tortilla. Dice the bell pepper and add it on top of the cheese along with the diced green chiles.
  • Crack four eggs into the dish on top of the vegetables and cheese. Season with a pinch fo salt and pepper.
  • Top with the remaining shredded cheese.
  • Bake the eggs for about 20 minutes, or until the whites are set and the yolks are still a bit liquid. You can shake the dish a bit to easily see how much the eggs are set.
  • After baking, spoon a couple tablespoons of salsa over the tortilla baked eggs and sprinkle the sliced green onion over top.
  • Loosen the tortilla by sliding a knife around the edge between the tortilla and dish, then slide the tortilla baked eggs out of the dish and use a large knife to cut it into quarters. Serve hot and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5recipe | Calories: 371.7kcal | Carbohydrates: 15.55g | Protein: 22.05g | Fat: 24.5g | Sodium: 902.6mg | Fiber: 1.6g
Southwest tortilla baked eggs on a plate with sour cream and a fork

How to Make Southwest Tortilla Baked Eggs – Step by Step Photos

Oil being brushed onto a round bakign dish

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Brush about ½ Tbsp olive oil inside a round baking dish. The baking dish can be ceramic, metal, or glass. Choose a baking dish that is an inch or two smaller in diameter than your tortilla.

Tortilla pressed into baking dish

Press your tortilla down into the baking dish so that the edges fold up the sides of the dish (this holds your eggs and other ingredients in). If your tortillas are stiff, you might try microwaving the tortilla for a few seconds first to make it more pliable.

red bell pepper, green chiles, and cheddar in the tortilla

Dice about ¼ of a red bell pepper. Sprinkle ¼ cup shredded cheddar into the bottom of the tortilla, followed by the diced red bell pepper and 2 Tbsp diced green chiles (I used canned).

Eggs added to the tortilla

Crack four large eggs into the tortilla. It’s okay if the yolk breaks. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

More shredded cheddar added on top of the eggs

Add the remaining ¼ cup shredded cheddar on top of the eggs.

Baked eggs in a tortilla

Baked the egg filled tortilla for about 20 minutes, or until the white are set. You can shake the dish a little to see how firm the eggs are.

Salsa being spooned on top of the tortilla baked eggs

Spoon about 2 Tbsp salsa over your tortilla baked eggs then sprinkle sliced green onion on top.

Sliced tortilla baked eggs on a cutting board

Run a knife around the edge of the tortilla baked eggs (between the tortilla and the baking dish) to loosen the edges, then slide it out of the dish. Use a large knife to cut it into quarters.

Two servings of tortilla baked eggs with a jar of salsa on the side

Serve hot and enjoy!

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The Pizza Roll Up Lunch Box

The heat is getting to me, y’all! So last week I sat down and brainstormed some no-cook lunch boxes, or meal preps that I can keep in the fridge for quick meals over the next couple of months. I’ll be posting these lunch box ideas over the next few weeks, the first being this Pizza […]

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The heat is getting to me, y’all! So last week I sat down and brainstormed some no-cook lunch boxes, or meal preps that I can keep in the fridge for quick meals over the next couple of months. I’ll be posting these lunch box ideas over the next few weeks, the first being this Pizza Roll Up Lunch Box. These easy no-cook lunch boxes make great “brown bag” lunches for the work week, especially for those of you who don’t have access to a refrigerator or microwave during your work day. Just pop one of these in an insulated lunch pack and you’re good to go!

This one goes out to everyone who grew up eating those pizza lunchables. ;)

Four rectangular glass containers with pizza roll ups, green bell pepper, and a dipping cup of pizza sauce.

There is no “one size fits all” lunch box

We all need different amounts of food, so make sure you flex your lunch box up or down to fit your appetite. Here are some other things you can add to this pizza roll up lunch box to beef it up, if you need more!

  • Add an apple, orange, or yogurt cup on the side for dessert
  • Add an extra layer of turkey, ham, or salami sliced deli meat to the roll up
  • Add a layer of caramelized onions to the wrap
  • Spread ricotta cheese on the tortilla in place of pesto (option drizzle pesto on the ricotta and have both!)
  • Add a few banana pepper rings inside the roll up
  • Pack a simple green salad on the side

There are an endless number of toppings you could add to your roll up, but just be careful with “chunky” ingredients that may make it hard to keep the roll up closed.

How long do the lunch boxes last?

You can keep these lunch boxes in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Longevity may vary depending on the conditions inside your refrigerator and freshness of your ingredients.

What containers do you use?

These are Pyrex glass containers, and small metal dipping cups (both are linked in the bottom of the recipe card below). I have the dipping cups in the glass containers in the photos, but they are actually taller than the container and would need to be packed outside the glass container for it to be closed properly.

Three pizza roll up lunch boxes lined up in a row

 
Three pizza roll up lunch boxes lined up in a row

The Pizza Roll Up Lunch Box

These easy pizza roll up lunch boxes are a great no-cook lunch idea for your work week. No reheating required for this lunch meal prep!
Total Cost $5.64 recipe / $1.41 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 598.05kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 4 large tortillas (burrito size) $0.65
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto $0.55
  • 8 slices provolone cheese $1.19
  • 36 slices pepperoni $0.97
  • 4 cups fresh spinach $0.32
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce $0.43
  • 2 green bell peppers $1.53

Instructions

  • Spread 1 Tbsp pesto over the surface of each tortilla (it does not need to cover the entire surface. Lay two slices of provolone over one half of each tortilla, followed by about 9 pepperoni. Lastly, add one handful of fresh spinach to each tortilla.
  • Roll each tortilla up, trying to keep the roll as tight as possible. With the seams facing down, slice the rolls into one-inch sections. Place the sliced roll-ups in your meal prep container. Pack them closely together to keep them from coming unrolled.
  • Slice the green bell peppers into strips. Divide the bell pepper strips between the four containers.
  • Fill four small containers with 2 Tbsp pizza sauce each. Refrigerate your roll ups, bell peppers, and pizza sauce for up to five days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1box | Calories: 598.05kcal | Carbohydrates: 44.18g | Protein: 26.3g | Fat: 35.15g | Sodium: 1509.63mg | Fiber: 5.08g

Want more cold lunch ideas? Check out our No-Reheat Meal Prep category!

A pizza roll up being dipped into a small cup full of pizza sauce

How to Make Pizza Roll Up Lunch Boxes – Step by Step Photos

pesto, provolone, and pepperoni on a tortilla

Spread 1 Tbsp of pesto over each tortilla. Lay two pieces of provolone and about 9 pepperoni on one half of the tortilla.

spinach added to the tortilla

Sprinkle one handful of spinach over each tortilla.

Rolled up and sliced tortilla on a cutting board with a knife

Roll up the tortilla, making sure to roll as tightly as possible. Slice the roll into one-inch sections. The two end pieces might not stay rolled, but as long as the roll is seam-side down, the rest should stay rolled.

Finished pizza roll up lunch boxes

Place the sliced roll-ups in your containers. Cut two green bell peppers into strips and divide them among the four containers. Place 2 Tbsp pizza sauce into four small containers. Pack up your boxes and refrigerate up to 5 days!

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