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Chicken Pot Pie Soup

This Chicken Pot Pie Soup is hearty, comforting and perfect for a busy weeknight meal. It’s simply cozy comfort food in a bowl!

The post Chicken Pot Pie Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If chicken soup is good for the soul and chicken pot pie is the ultimate comfort food, then nothing can be more satisfying than a big bowl of this Chicken Pot Pie Soup! It’s cozy, comforting, and it includes all the flavors that I love from a traditional chicken pot pie including tender chicken, creamy potatoes, lots of veggies, and a rich and creamy broth. Seriously, there’s something about this soup that just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. But the best part is there’s no extra hassle of having to make a pie crust, and if you’re using a rotisserie chicken then this soup can be made in half the time that it takes to make a traditional chicken pot pie, making it perfect for a weeknight dinner meal!

Overhead view of a bowl of chicken pot pie soup with crusty bread on the side and a spoon inside the bowl.

What is Chicken Pot Pie Soup?

I think the best way to describe Chicken Pot Pie Soup is simply cozy comfort food in a bowl. It’s the same hearty filling that you would normally get in a chicken pot pie, but served as a soup without the hassle of making a pie crust. Genius!! It’s an easy and more approachable way to enjoy the flavors of a traditional chicken pot pie!

Ingredients For Chicken Pot Pie Soup

Here’s a list of ingredients you’ll need to make this Chicken Pot Pie Soup recipe:

  • Cooked Chicken:  I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts but you can certainly use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead. This is also a great recipe to use up any leftover rotisserie chicken or leftover turkey from Thanksgiving!
  • Vegetables: Aromatics like onion and garlic sautéed in butter sets the foundation and helps flavor the soup. Creamy Yukon gold potatoes and frozen vegetables are added later to add more color, flavor, and texture to the soup.
  • Butter and Flour: A simple roux is made with butter and flour for extra richness and to help thicken the soup.
  • Chicken Broth: Use a good quality chicken broth to give the soup extra flavor. We use Better than Bouillon to make our broth.
  • Seasoning: A simple mix of Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper is all you’ll need!
  • Heavy Cream: Heavy cream is added towards the end to give the soup extra richness and that classic creamy texture.

What Kind Of Chicken To Use

This recipe uses pre-cooked chicken and is a great way to use a rotisserie chicken or leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. If you don’t have any pre-cooked chicken on hand, here are two different ways to cook the chicken before adding it to the soup:

  • Boiled Chicken: I chose to boil my chicken on a medium-low heat for roughly 1 hour. To do this simply add your chicken breasts to a medium pot, cover them with water, add a few pinches of salt, then bring the pot to a boil. Once the pot starts boiling, immediately turn the heat down to medium-low, cover with a lid, and simmer for 1 hour. I personally like this method because you end up with tender, juicy chicken breasts that’s easy to shred and perfect for soups and casseroles.
  • Pan-Seared Chicken Breasts: For a quicker option you can pan-sear your chicken breasts in about 15 minutes, then just chop the cooked chicken into chunks and it’s ready to add to the soup.

Storing Leftovers

To store any leftovers, first divide the soup into single serving containers, then transfer it to the refrigerator to chill. Store in the fridge for 3-4 days. If the soup thickens a bit in the fridge, don’t worry it will loosen as it’s reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop. Feel free to add a splash of water or milk to the soup before you reheat it.

Overhead view of a pot full of chicken pot pie soup with a ladle scooping some out.
Overhead view of a serving bowl of chicken pot pie soup with one hand holding the bowl and the other hand holding a spoon .
Print

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

This Chicken Pot Pie Soup is hearty, comforting and perfect for a busy weeknight meal. It’s simply cozy comfort food in a bowl!
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Total Cost $10.19 recipe / $1.69 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 (1 1/3 cup each)
Calories 353kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 6 Tbsp salted butter $0.80
  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 3 garlic cloves $0.24
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour $0.08
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning $0.10
  • 1 tsp salt $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp Freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1 lb. Yukon gold potatoes $1.10
  • 5 cups chicken broth $0.85
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded or diced $4.70
  • 12 oz. bag frozen mixed vegetables $1.25
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream $0.68

Instructions

  • Dice the onion, peel & chop the potatoes into 1 inch chunks, and mince the garlic cloves. Add the potatoes to a bowl of cool water to prevent them from oxidizing and turning brown.
  • In a Dutch oven or large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Sauté the onion until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté for an additional 30 seconds.
  • Sprinkle the flour into the pot over the onions and garlic. Stir and allow the flour to cook for about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, chopped potatoes, and chicken broth to the pot. Stir well to dissolve the flour and any browned bits off the bottom of the pot.
  • Place a lid on the pot and bring it up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium and let the potatoes cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-12 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
  • Remove the lid and add the cooked chicken, frozen mixed vegetables, and heavy cream to the pot. Stir well, place the lid back on, and continue to simmer for 5 more minutes.
  • Taste to see if any additional seasoning is needed. Garnish with fresh parsley (optional) and enjoy!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*You can also use cooked rotisserie chicken or leftover turkey from Thanksgiving in place of the cooked chicken breasts.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 353kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 20g | Sodium: 1286mg | Fiber: 5g

If that flaky, buttery, pie crust is just calling your name…then feel free to make our traditional Chicken Pot Pie recipe!

Side view of chicken pot pie soup in a large pot with a ladle scooping some out.

How to Make Chicken Pot Pie Soup – Step by Step Photos

Overhead view of shredded chicken on a plate

Shred or dice two cooked chicken breasts and set the chicken to the side.

Overhead view of diced onion, potatoes and garlic on a cutting board.

Dice 1 yellow onion, peel & chop 1 lb. gold potatoes into 1-inch chunks, and mince 3 garlic cloves. Add the potatoes to a bowl of cool water to prevent them from oxidizing and turning brown.

Overhead view of sauteed onions and garlic in a large dutch oven pot with flour being sprinkled over the top.

In a Dutch oven or large soup pot, melt 6 Tbsp of salted butter over medium heat. Sauté the onion until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté for an additional 30 seconds. Next sprinkle 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour into the pot over the onions and garlic. Stir and allow the flour to cook for 1-2 minutes.

Overhead view of potatoes, spices, and chicken broth being added to the pot.

Add 1 tsp of Italian seasoning, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper, the chopped potatoes (drained), and 5 cups of chicken broth to the pot. Stir well to dissolve the flour and any browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Place a lid on the pot and bring it up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium and let the potatoes cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender.

Overhead view of shredded chicken, frozen vegetables, and heavy cream being added to the pot.

Remove the lid and add the shredded chicken, 12 oz. of frozen mixed vegetables, and 1/2 cup heavy cream to the pot. Stir well, place the lid back on, and continue to simmer for 5 more minutes.

Overhead view of finished chicken pot pie soup in the dutch oven pot with ladle scooping some out.

Now taste to see if any additional seasoning is needed. Feel free to garnish with fresh parsley (optional).

Overhead view of a serving bowl of chicken pot pie soup with one hand holding the bowl and the other hand holding a spoon .

Now all that’s left to do is to grab some crusty bread or biscuits and enjoy a big bowl of this warm and cozy Chicken Pot Pie Soup!

Overhead view of a bowl of chicken pot pie soup with crusty bread on the side and a spoon inside the bowl.

The post Chicken Pot Pie Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Dollar Store Dinners – Spam Stir Fry Noodles

This quick Spam stir fry is a dollar store dinner that only requires a few simple ingredients: ramen noodles, frozen vegetables, and luncheon meat.

The post Dollar Store Dinners – Spam Stir Fry Noodles appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I know Spam is a polarizing ingredient, but the whole idea behind this Dollar Store Dinners series is making the most of what’s available, and there isn’t a whole lot to work with, food-wise, in a dollar store. So today I’m taking advantage of one of the few meat products at the dollar store: canned luncheon meat, or a generic version of Spam. This Spam Stir Fry may not be for everyone, but it’s a quick and easy meal that you can make with just a handful of ingredients, and sometimes that’s enough to be thankful for!

Dollar Store Dinners

Welcome to the 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 a plate full of spam stir fry with a fork.

What’s in This Meal?

This is a super quick and easy stir fry with noodles that is made simply with a can of luncheon meat, a bag of frozen stir fry vegetables, and a pack of ramen noodles. It’s simple, filling, and inexpensive!

Here’s what I bought at the dollar store for this recipe:

  • Luncheon meat $1.25
  • Frozen stir fry vegetables $1.25
  • Instant ramen noodles (pack of 6) $1.25
  • Cooking oil $1.25

Total: $5.00

And there’s plenty of leftover ramen noodles and cooking oil to use in other recipes!

Dollar store stir fry ingredients.
(Ignore the fact that the luncheon meat is open. I almost forgot to take this photo and accidentally opened it first)

What is Luncheon Meat?

Luncheon meat is a term used for processed, cooked, ready to eat meat that is available fresh, like deli meat, or canned, like Spam. Luncheon meat is usually either sliced or chopped and can be served cold or cooked and added to other recipes. Luncheon meat does tend to be high in fat, sodium, and nitrates, which are added to keep costs low and to increase the shelf life of the meat.

Luncheon Meat Vs. Spam

The type of luncheon meat used in this recipe is canned luncheon meat, similar to Spam, but a generic version. After comparing the ingredient list on the luncheon meat I purchased at the dollar store to the ingredient list on a can of Spam, I would definitely recommend the brand name Spam for this recipe if you have it available. But again, this series is all about using what you’ve got! And in this case, it’s generic canned luncheon meat.

Alternate Options

So look, if Spam isn’t your jam (I swear I didn’t plan that rhyme), you’ve got other options! Try using plain ground pork, chicken, or beef instead. Or, cube up some tofu and fry it up in the skillet first. The beauty of a stir fry is that you can put just about anything in them and they still taste great.

Not into ramen noodles? No problem! This stir fry would be great over a bed of rice, too. If you’re not using the ramen you’ll need a little something to season up the dish, in lieu of the seasoning packet from the ramen. You can make a really quick and easy sauce by combining ¼ cup soy sauce, ¼ cup chili garlic sauce (or sriracha), and ¼ cup brown sugar.

Spam stir fry noodles in a skillet, being lifted by tongs.
Overhead view of a bowl of spam stir fry noodles with a fork.
Print

Spam Stir Fry Noodles

This quick Spam stir fry is a dollar store dinner that only requires a few simple ingredients: ramen noodles, frozen vegetables, and luncheon meat.
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $5.00 recipe / $2.50 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 669kcal

Ingredients

  • 7 oz. luncheon meat $1.25
  • 12 oz. frozen stir fry vegetables $1.25
  • 3 oz. package instant ramen $1.25
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $1.25

Instructions

  • Slice the luncheon meat into strips.
  • Add about a tablespoon of oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Add the sliced luncheon meat and fry until brown and crispy.
  • Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a boil for the ramen noodles. Add the noodles (without the seasoning packet) and boil for about 3 minutes, or just until tender. Drain the noodles and set them aside.
  • Once the luncheon meat is crispy, turn the heat under the skillet up to medium-high and add the frozen vegetables. Continue to stir and cook until the vegetables are heated through.
  • Add the drained noodles and about half of the ramen seasoning packet to the skillet. Toss until everything is combined and coated in seasoning. Taste and add more seasoning if desired. Serve hot.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

The price calculation for Dollar Store Dinners includes the total package cost of the ingredients, rather than the cost for the portion used. The prices listed above reflect a six-pack of instant ramen and an entire bottle of cooking oil.
The nutrition facts below reflect the entire seasoning packet for the ramen, while we only used about half.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 669kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 41g | Sodium: 2345mg | Fiber: 8g
Side view of a bowl of spam stir fry noodles being lifted by a fork.

How to Make Spam Stir Fry Noodles – Step by Step Photos

Dollar store stir fry ingredients.

You only need a few ingredients for this meal: canned luncheon meat (like Spam), a packet of instant ramen, a bag of frozen vegetables, and a little cooking oil to help the Spam crisp up (you might not even need this if your luncheon meat is high enough fat and you’re using a non-stick skillet).

Spam being cut into pieces.

Slice one 7 oz. can of luncheon meat into pieces.

Fried luncheon meat in a skillet.

Add a little oil to a skillet and heat over medium. Add the sliced luncheon meat to the skillet and fry until browned and crispy (3-5 minutes).

Boiled ramen noodles in a pot, drained.

Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the ramen noodles, without the seasoning packet, and boil until tender (about 3 minutes). Drain the noodles.

Frozen vegetables added to the skillet.

Turn the heat in the skillet up to medium-high and add one 12oz. bag of frozen stir fry vegetables. Stir and cook until the vegetables are heated through.

Noodles and seasoning added to the skillet.

Add the cooked and drained noodles to the skillet along with about half of the seasoning packet from the ramen noodles.

Finished Spam stir fry noodles in the skillet.

Toss the noodles together with the meat, vegetables, and seasoning. Taste and add more seasoning to your liking. Since the luncheon meat is pretty salty, I only used about half of the seasoning packet total.

Overhead view of a bowl of spam stir fry noodles with a fork.

Serve the easy Spam stir fry and enjoy!

The post Dollar Store Dinners – Spam Stir Fry Noodles appeared first on Budget Bytes.

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.

Peanut Tofu

A spicy peanut sauce drenches pan-fried tofu and stir fry vegetables in these simple and delicious peanut tofu bowls.

The post Peanut Tofu appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Um, YUM! I just have to say that this Peanut Tofu is going to become a new staple in my house. It’s pretty easy to throw together, it’s a beautiful mix of colors and textures, and it’s absolutely deeeelicious! It’s definitely one of those meals that will give you that, “I can’t believe I made this myself” moment.

Overhead view of peanut tofu in a skillet on a black tile surface.

Freeze or Press Your Tofu

Lately, I’ve become a huge fan of freezing and then thawing my tofu before using it in a recipe. The freeze-thaw process changes the texture of the tofu, making it less jelly-like and more structured. The best part is that the texture change allows you to simply squeeze the tofu like a sponge to expel the extra liquid in seconds. To freeze the tofu, I just place the whole package (unopened) in the freezer, then the day before cooking I transfer it back to the fridge to thaw.

If you don’t pre-freeze your tofu, you’ll want to press it well before using it in this recipe. Either use a special tofu press or create one in your kitchen using items you already have on hand. I like to place the tofu on a rimmed baking sheet, then top with a cutting board and something heavy like a cast iron pan or a pot full of water. Let the tofu press for at least a half hour to get rid of the excess liquid.

Is This Peanut Tofu Spicy?

Yes, I used a lot of sriracha in the peanut sauce, so this dish has a decently spicy kick! While you can experiment with reducing the sriracha by half, I wouldn’t eliminate it entirely because the sriracha also provides extra acidity and garlic to the flavor profile, and the other ingredients would need to be adjusted to compensate.

How to Serve Peanut Tofu

I served my peanut tofu and vegetables over a bed of rice, but you could also serve them over rice noodles or even some cooked ramen.

Overhead view of a bowl full of peanut tofu and rice with a black fork.
Overhead view of a skillet full of peanut tofu with limes and cilantro.

Peanut Tofu

A spicy peanut sauce drenches pan-fried tofu and stir fry vegetables in these simple and delicious peanut tofu bowls.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Thai
Total Cost $6.74 recipe / $1.69 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Press Tofu 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 608kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Peanut Sauce

  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter $0.58
  • 2 Tbsp sriracha $0.22
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar $0.08
  • 1 lime (2 Tbsp juice) $0.50
  • 2 tsp soy sauce $0.04
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth $0.07

Tofu Stir Fry

  • 14 oz. extra firm tofu* $1.79
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce $0.06
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil $0.06
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch $0.03
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil, divided $0.08
  • 16 oz. frozen stir fry vegetables $2.25

For Serving (optional)

  • 3 cups cooked rice $0.62
  • 1 handful cilantro $0.20

Instructions

  • Make the peanut sauce first so the flavors have time to blend. Whisk together the peanut butter, sriracha, brown sugar, 2 Tbsp lime juice, soy sauce, minced garlic, and vegetable broth.
  • Press the tofu for 30 minutes to expel the excess water or use previously frozen tofu and squeeze the water out with your hands. Cut the tofu block into 24 triangles (12 squares, then cut diagonally into triangles).
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and cornstarch. Add the tofu pieces and gently toss until they are coated in the mixture.
  • Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to a large non-stick skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, add the tofu and cook until browned on all sides (about 10 minutes total). Remove the tofu from the skillet.
  • Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to the skillet then add the frozen stir fry vegetables. Cook over medium heat until heated through.
  • Add the cooked tofu back to the skillet with the vegetables, then pour the prepared peanut sauce over top. Stir to combine and heat through.
  • Slice any remaining lime into wedges. Top the peanut tofu with the lime wedges and fresh cilantro (if desired) before serving over cooked rice or noodles.

Notes

*Either press your tofu for 30 minutes before beginning the recipe, or freeze and thaw the tofu a day or two prior, then squeeze out the excess water with your hands. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 608kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 30g | Sodium: 833mg | Fiber: 7g

How to Make Peanut Tofu – Step by Step Photos

Peanut sauce in a bowl with a whisk.

Make the peanut sauce first so the flavors have a little time to blend. Whisk together ½ cup natural peanut butter, 2 Tbsp sriracha, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 2 Tbsp lime juice, 2 tsp soy sauce, 2 cloves minced garlic, and ½ cup vegetable broth. Set the sauce aside.

A block of tofu being sliced into triangles

Press one 14oz. block of extra firm tofu for about 30 minutes to expel the excess water (or freeze then thaw the tofu in the days prior and squeeze out the water by hand). Cut the thickness of the tofu block in half, then cut it into 12 triangles (when stacked) to make 24 pieces.

Seasoned cornstarch slurry in a bowl with a whisk.

Next, whisk together 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil, and 1 Tbsp cornstarch in a bowl. This will coat the tofu with flavor and help it crisp up a bit more in the skillet.

Tofu coated in seasoned cornstarch and oil.

Add the tofu pieces to the cornstarch and oil mixture then gently fold until the tofu is coated in the mixture.

Cooked tofu in the skillet.

Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the tofu and cook until browned on each side (about 10 minutes total). Remove the tofu from the skillet.

Stir fry vegetables in the skillet.

Add another 1 Tbsp cooking oil to the skillet, then once hot add one 16oz. bag of frozen stir fry vegetables. Continue to cook over medium heat just until the vegetables are heated through.

Tofu and peanut sauce being added to the skillet with vegetables.

Add the cooked tofu back to the skillet with the vegetables, then pour the prepared peanut sauce over top. Stir everything to combine and heat through.

Finished peanut tofu in the skillet with limes and cilantro.

Cut any remaining limes into wedges. Top the peanut tofu with cilantro (if desired) and the lime wedges before serving.

A bowl of peanut tofu with rice, lime wedges, and cilantro.

Love Tofu? Try these other Tofu Recipes

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Easy Vegetable Beef Soup

This super easy vegetable beef soup is a filling and flavorful option for lunch, dinner, or your weekly meal prep!

The post Easy Vegetable Beef Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

One of the first things I learned when I embarked on my budget-food journey is just how easy, filling, and inexpensive soup is. Homemade soups are a breeze to throw together and they’re always so much tastier than store-bought canned soup. This vegetable beef soup is a great example. It’s chock-full of colorful veggies, filling ground beef, and the most delicious broth ever. Serve it up with a nice crusty bread for dipping and lunch is served!

Overhead view of a bowl of vegetable beef soup.

What’s in Vegetable Beef Soup?

This classic soup combines ground beef, potatoes, tomatoes, peas, corn, carrots, and green beans in a flavorful broth. To make this soup a bit easier, I’ve used a frozen vegetable mix to cut down on the amount of peeling and chopping needed to prepare the soup. That makes this Vegetable Beef Soup extra fast and easy. :)

To give this vegetable beef soup more flavor, we’ve added a healthy dose of Italian seasoning and some Worcestershire sauce to the broth for extra depth. Make sure you’re using a full-flavored beef broth for maximum deliciousness. I like to use Better Than Bouillon to make flavorful broth for my soups.

Beef Options

I used ground beef in my vegetable beef soup because it was the least expensive and the easiest to use. If you use a higher fat ground beef, you have the option to drain the fat off after browning, or leave it in for extra flavor and richness.

If you have room in your budget and would rather have chunks of beef in your soup, choose a chuck roast or bottom round roast, cut into 1-inch pieces. Simply brown the beef in the pot before adding the rest of the ingredients. No need to cook through during the browning stage, as it will cook through while the soup is simmered.

What Else Can I Add?

This is my favorite part of any recipe. What else can you add to vegetable beef soup to make it your own? Try adding some of these ingredients:

  • Barley
  • Chopped cabbage
  • Celery
  • Cauliflower florets
  • Parsnips
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Finely chopped kale
Overhead view of the pot of vegetable beef soup.
Overhead view of a bowl of vegetable beef soup.

Vegetable Beef Soup

This super easy vegetable beef soup is a filling and flavorful option for lunch, dinner, or your weekly meal prep!
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Total Cost $10.63 recipe / $1.77 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 1.5 cups each
Calories 363kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 1 lb. ground beef $6.49
  • 1 russet potato (about ¾ lb.) $0.79
  • 1 28oz. can diced tomatoes $1.19
  • 1.5 tsp Italian seasoning $0.15
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 4 cups beef broth $0.52
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce $0.12
  • 12 oz. frozen vegetables (corn, carrots, green beans) $1.00
  • salt to taste $0.05

Instructions

  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the onion and garlic to a soup pot along with the olive oil. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent.
  • Add the ground beef to the pot and continue to sauté until the ground beef is cooked through. If using a higher fat content ground beef, you can drain the excess fat, if you prefer.
  • While the beef is cooking, peel and dice the russet potato into ½-inch cubes.
  • Add the cubed potatoes, diced tomatoes (with juices), Italian seasoning, pepper, beef broth, and Worcestershire sauce to the pot. Stir to combine.
  • Turn the heat up to medium-high and allow the soup to come up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
  • Add the frozen vegetables to the pot and allow the soup to come back up to a simmer. Simmer the vegetables in the soup for about five minutes.
  • Finally, taste the soup and add salt to help the flavors pop. Start with ½ tsp, if desired, and add more until it reaches your desired level.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 363kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 21g | Sodium: 939mg | Fiber: 5g
Side view of a the pot of Vegetable Beef Soup with a spoon.

How to Make Vegetable Beef Soup – Step by Step Photos

Onion Garlic and olive oil in a soup pot.

Dice one yellow onion and mince 2 cloves of garlic. Add the onion and garlic to a soup pot along with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent.

Browned ground beef in the soup pot.

Add 1 lb. ground beef and continue to sauté until the beef is cooked through. If you’re using a higher fat content ground beef you can drain off the excess fat, if preferred.

Tomatoes, potatoes, herbs, and broth added to the pot.

While the beef is browning, peel and dice one russet potato (about ¾ lb.) into ½-inch pieces. Add the diced potatoes to the pot with one 28oz. can diced tomatoes (with juices), 1.5 tsp Italian seasoning, ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper, 4 cups beef broth, and 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce. Stir to combine.

Simmered soup without vegetables.

Turn the heat up to medium-high and allow the soup to come up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let it continue to simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender.

Frozen vegetables being poured into the pot of soup.

Add a 12oz. bag of frozen vegetables (corn, carrots, green beans), stir to combine and allow it to come back up to a simmer. Simmer the vegetables in the soup for about five more minutes.

Finished vegetable beef soup in the pot with a spoon.

Finally, taste the soup and add salt to your liking. The amount of salt needed will depend on the salt content of the broth you used, but you’ll likely need at least a little to help the flavors pop.

Side view of the pot of vegetable beef soup.

I garnished with a little chopped parsley for color, but it’s not needed for flavor. I do tend to put a little freshly cracked pepper or each bowl for a little extra pop, though!

Try These Other Easy Ground Beef Recipes:

The post Easy Vegetable Beef Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sausage and Vegetable Skillet

This super fast and easy Sausage and Vegetable Skillet is the ultimate busy-day meal and is perfect for meal prep!

The post Sausage and Vegetable Skillet appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’ve been obsessed with this super simple Sausage and Vegetable Skillet lately, making it at least once per week. There’s no chopping, it only takes a few ingredients, it’s super filling, packed with color and flavor, and it makes the perfect meal prep! Plus, it’s quite flexible and can take a lot of different random substitutions and add-ins!

skillet full of sausage and vegetables from above

What’s in the Sausage and Vegetable Skillet?

This meal is a result of me scavenging my fridge and freezer for whatever I had left and tossing it all into a skillet. And wouldn’t you know, it tasted great! The skillet basically includes some sort of seasoned meat (in this case sausage), frozen cauliflower, frozen peppers and onions, frozen kale, and your favorite seasoning.

What Kind of Meat to Use

It’s important to use some sort of pre-seasoned meat for this skillet for maximum flavor. In the photos here, I’ve used Italian sausage, but you could also use chorizo, or I’ve even used some leftover Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork. If you do plan to try this with a plain ground meat (turkey, chicken, pork, beef) you’ll want to add seasoning to the meat as it cooks as well as seasoning the skillet at the end.

What Else Can I Add?

You can experiment with adding other frozen vegetables, like broccoli, corn, peas, green beans, etc. Or try adding in some beans or roasted potatoes to bulk it up a bit. Another way to bulk this up is to increase the vegetables (you might want to increase the seasoning if you do so).

Extra toppings are always fun, like a fried egg, avocado, sour cream, cheese, salsa, or any other sauce or dressing that you like. But me? I keep it simple and just eat it as-is!

How to Serve Sausage and Vegetables

I’ve been eating this dish just the way it is straight out of the skillet, but if you want to bulk it up even more you can serve it over rice or mashed potatoes. A little Garlic Bread would also be awesome with this meal!

Sausage and Vegetables in glass meal prep containers.
Sausage and Vegetables in glass meal prep containers.

Sausage and Vegetable Skillet

This super fast and easy Sausage and Vegetable Skillet is the ultimate busy-day meal and is perfect for meal prep!
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Meal Prep
Cuisine American
Total Cost $8.91 recipe / $2.23 serving
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 about 1.25 cups each
Calories 484kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage $5.99
  • 1/2 lb. frozen cauliflower florets $1.00
  • 1/2 lb. frozen peppers and onions $1.00
  • 1/4 lb. frozen kale $0.83
  • ½ tsp seasoning salt or seasoning blend (or to taste) $0.05

Instructions

  • Add the cooking oil and sausage to a skillet. Cook the sausage over medium heat until brown and crispy.
  • Add the cauliflower, peppers and onions, and kale to the skillet with the sausage. Continue to stir and cook until the vegetables are heated through.
  • Add a liberal amount (or to taste) of your favorite seasoning salt or seasoning blend and stir to combine. Serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.25cups | Calories: 484kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 40g | Sodium: 1178mg | Fiber: 5g
Side view of sausage and vegetables in the skillet, close up.

How to Make Sausage and Vegetable Skillet – Step by Step Photos

Browned sausage in a skillet.

Add a tablespoon of cooking oil to a skillet and add the Italian sausage (or whatever seasoned meat you prefer). Cook the sausage until it is brown and crispy.

Frozen vegetables added to the skillet.

Add ½ lb. frozen cauliflower florets, ½ lb. frozen bell peppers and onions, and ¼ lb. frozen kale to the skillet. You don’t have to measure these exactly, just estimate based on the weight of the bag (if it’s a 12 oz. bag, estimate ⅔ of the bag to get ½ lb.).

Cooked vegetables and sausage in the skillet.

Continue to stir and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are heated through. Don’t overcook the vegetables.

Seasoning being sprinkled over the skillet.

Then just add a liberal amount of your favorite seasoning blend. I’m using Tony Chachere’s here, but you can use just about any seasoning blend. I tend to use seasoning blends that already contain salt, but if yours doesn’t, just keep in mind that you’ll want to add some salt to help make the flavors in the skillet pot.

Finished sausage and vegetable skillet.

And that’s it! The skillet is done! The fat and seasoning from the sausage adds a ton of flavor and richness to the entire skillet, and then the added seasoning at the end adds a final layer of flavor. It’s simple, but SO GOOD.

Sausage and vegetable skillet in glass meal prep containers.

And now my lunches for the next few days are done! :)

The post Sausage and Vegetable Skillet appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Vegetables and Gravy

Vegetables and Gravy is a simple, no frills recipe that is warm and comforting and can be made with simple, inexpensive ingredients.

The post Vegetables and Gravy appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’ve been having a lot of fun lately looking at old recipes from The Great Depression and I’m always surprised at how simple they are. They’re always just a few ingredients, barely seasoned, but always filling. The simplicity of those recipes inspired this Vegetables and Gravy recipe, although I did make sure it was well seasoned to fit today’s pallet. 😅

This recipe is great for those times when you just need to throw together something simple, warm, and filling using inexpensive ingredients that you might already have on hand. It’s kind of like a cross between potato soup and the filling of a chicken pot pie (minus the chicken). Is it the best thing I’ve ever eaten in my life? No. But when money is tight, this dish hits just right.

side view of a bowl of vegetables and gravy with a piece of bread and a spoon.

What is Vegetables and Gravy?

This dish starts with cubed potatoes that are boiled in vegetable broth until tender. The liquid is then seasoned with herbs and spices and thickened to a gravy with a milk and flour slurry. Next, we add a bag of mixed frozen vegetables to add color, texture, and flavor. And we finish the dish off with some butter for added creaminess, and salt and pepper to taste. Simple, filling, and satisfying!

What Else Can I Add?

If you happen to have some extra ingredients on hand and want to take this dish up a notch, here are some ideas:

  • Top with shredded cheese
  • Brown some bacon in the pot first and top the finished dish with the crumbled bacon
  • Add your favorite seasoning blend(you could do anything from a Cajun seasoning to something simple like Lawry’s)
  • Add chopped cooked chicken to make it more like a chicken pot pie (a great use for leftover rotisserie chicken!)
  • Add dumplings

How to Serve Vegetables and Gravy

I would consider this a simple all-in-one bowl meal and would not plan to make anything on the side. I might serve with some crusty bread for sopping up all that delicious gravy, but otherwise, everything I need is in that bowl. If you definitely need something on the side, I’d do a simple roasted vegetable. Maybe broccoli or Brussels sprouts.

About Those Leftovers…

Because this gravy is thickened with flour, it does gel up and get quite thick when refrigerated. But don’t worry, it will loosen a bit upon reheating and you can always add a splash of water or milk to thin it out even more, if needed.

A ladle full of vegetables and gravy being lifted from the pot.
Side view of a bowl of vegetables with gravy with a piece of bread and a spoon.

Vegetables and Gravy

Vegetables and Gravy is a simple, no frills recipe that is warm and comforting and can be made with simple, inexpensive ingredients.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $4.00 recipe / $1.00 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Calories 317kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs. russet potatoes $1.96
  • 2 cups vegetable broth $0.26
  • 1 cup milk $0.20
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour $0.03
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce $0.12
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 12 oz. frozen mixed vegetables $1.00
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.22
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste) $0.02

Instructions

  • Peel and cube the potatoes into ¾-inch pieces.
  • Add the cubed potatoes to a large pot with the vegetable broth. Cover the pot, turn the heat on to medium-high, and allow the broth to come up to a boil. Continue to boil the potatoes until they are fork-tender.
  • While the potatoes are boiling, whisk together the milk and flour.
  • Once the potatoes are tender, turn the heat down to medium and add the flour and milk slurry. Also add the soy sauce, thyme, sage, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper.
  • Allow the liquid in the pot to come back up to a simmer, at which point it will thicken to a gravy.
  • Add the frozen vegetables to the pot, stir to combine, then allow them to heat through.
  • Stir the butter into the gravy until melted and combined. Give the gravy a taste and add salt, pepper, butter or other seasonings to your liking. Serve hot!

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cup | Calories: 317kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 1381mg | Fiber: 6g
Overhead view of a bowl of vegetables and gravy with a piece of bread.

How to Make Vegetables and Gravy

Diced potatoes on a cutting board.

Start by peeling and cubing about 1.5 lbs. russet potatoes. Cut them into ¾-inch cubes.

broth being poured into a pot with cubed potatoes.

Add the cubed potatoes to a large pot and add 2 cups of vegetable broth. Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the broth up to a boil. Continue to boil the potatoes until fork tender (about 7 minutes).

Milk in a measuring cup with a whisk.

While the potatoes are boiling, prepare the milk and flour slurry. Whisk ¼ cup all-purpose flour into 1 cup milk.

Milk being poured into the pot with potatoes and herbs.

Once the potatoes are tender, turn the heat down to medium and add the milk and flour slurry to the pot along with 2 Tbsp soy sauce, ½ tsp dried thyme, ½ tsp dried sage, ½ tsp onion powder, ¼ tsp garlic powder, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper. Stir to combine.

Thickened gravy being stirred in the pot.

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

Frozen vegetables being poured into the pot.

Add one 12oz. bag of frozen mixed vegetables and stir to combine. Allow the vegetables to heat through in the gravy.

Finished vegetables and gravy being stirred in the pot.

Lastly, add 2 tablespoons of butter to the gravy and stir until it has melted in. Give the gravy a taste and add salt, pepper, or more butter to your liking.

Overhead view of a pot full of vegetables and gravy.

Serve it up hot with a little bread for sopping up that delicious gravy! (I garnished with some fresh parsley because I had it on hand, but it’s not necessary to flavor this dish.)

Side view of a bowl of vegetables with gravy with a piece of bread and a spoon.

The post Vegetables and Gravy appeared first on Budget Bytes.

15-Minute Vegetable Curry

Creamy coconut milk, flavorful vegetable broth, and curry powder come together to create a simple yet delicious vegetable curry.

The post 15-Minute Vegetable Curry appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’ve been very into really simple quick-fix meals lately. You know, those meals that you can literally throw together in minutes with just a handful of ingredients and no chopping. The Coconut Curry Ramen that I made a couple of months ago ended up being so incredibly good, that I decided to make something similar, sans ramen, for those who don’t like to eat instant ramen. This super quick, 15-Minute Vegetable Curry is as basic as it gets, but it’s still full of creamy, satisfying flavor!

vegetable curry in a pot

What is Vegetable Curry?

Curry can take on many forms depending on what part of the world you’re in, but it’s important to note that this quick-fix recipe is not in any way a traditional vegetable curry. It’s a simple combination of vegetables, a coconut-based broth, and store-bought curry powder. This is the type of convenience food that you can make in a college dorm, RV, hotel room, or any time or place that your cooking resources are limited. It’s fast, convenient, and satisfying, but nothing more. A true vegetable curry has fresh aromatics, spices that are bloomed in oil, and several other layers of flavor.

If you’re interested in trying an authentic vegetable curry recipe, Tea for Two has an excellent round-up of Indian and Pakistani Curry Recipes, as well as more information on the different types of curries from that region. Or, if you’re looking for a Thai Vegetable Curry, check out this Vegan Red Curry from Hot Thai Kitchen.

What Type of Curry Powder to Use

I used a mild yellow curry powder for this recipe, but you could also use hot curry powder if you like things spicy. Curry powder can vary from brand to brand, so it’s important to experiment and find one that you like. Some brands that I’ve enjoyed in the past are Sharwood’s, Spice Island, and Simply Organic. But if you have an Indian market in your metro area, that’s going to be your best bet. Their spice selection is likely to be the freshest and most affordable. If you want to try making your own curry seasoning, check out this recipe for homemade curry powder from Spice it Upp.

What Else Can I Add?

My aim for this recipe was to make it as simple as possible, but if you have some of these ingredients, they’d also be great thrown into the mix:

  • Chickpeas
  • Cubed tofu
  • Spinach
  • Cashews
  • Green onion
  • Sweet potato (simmer until tender)
  • Cauliflower
  • Shrimp
  • Cilantro

How to Serve Quick Vegetable Curry

This recipe is kind of a soup, so you’ll probably want some sort of bread or starch to soak up all that delicious coconut broth. I like the idea of serving a scoop of rice on top, but you could also do some naan or your favorite flatbread for dipping.

A bowl of vegetable curry topped with a scoop of rice
Overhead view of a pot full of 15-Minute Vegetable Curry

15-Minute Vegetable Curry

Creamy coconut milk, flavorful vegetable broth, and curry powder come together to create a simple yet delicious vegetable curry.
Course Dinner, Lunch, Soup
Cuisine American, Indian
Total Cost $5.93 recipe / $1.48 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 5 1.5 cups each
Calories 97kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 24 oz. frozen mixed vegetables* $3.18
  • 2 cups vegetable broth $0.26
  • 1 13.5oz. can coconut milk $2.09
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder $0.30
  • 1/2 tsp dried ground ginger $0.05
  • salt and pepper to taste $0.05

Instructions

  • Add the frozen vegetables and broth to a soup pot (it's okay if the broth does not fully cover the vegetables). Place a lid on top and turn the heat on to high. Bring the broth up to a boil.
  • Give the vegetables a good stir, turn the heat down to low, then add the coconut milk, curry powder, and ginger. Stir to combine, then let simmer for just a few more minutes.
  • Taste the broth and add salt and pepper to your liking.
  • Serve hot with bread or rice.

Notes

* You can use any type of frozen mixed vegetables, but I find that stir fry style mixes tend to work best.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 97kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 448mg | Fiber: 6g

How to Make 15-Minute Vegetable Curry – Step by Step Photos

a bag of frozen vegetables

This recipe starts with frozen vegetables, which I love because you don’t have to worry about them going bad, they’re already chopped, and it’s easy to get a variety without having to buy a lot of individual vegetables. You can use any type of frozen vegetable mix you’d like for this recipe, although stir fry-style mixes tend to work best. You’ll need 1.5 lbs., which is two of these 12oz. bags.

broth being poured into a pot with frozen vegetables

Add the frozen vegetables to a soup pot with 2 cups vegetable broth. Don’t worry if the broth does not fully cover the vegetables. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat onto high, and bring the broth up to a boil.

Coconut milk being poured into the pot with broth and vegetables

Once the pot is boiling, turn the heat down to low and add in one 13.5oz. can of coconut milk. Stir to combine.

Curry powder and ginger added to the pot

Also add 1 Tbsp curry powder and ½ teaspoon ground ginger. Let simmer for just a few minutes more.

Finished vegetable curry with salt and pepper added

After a few minutes over low heat the curry powder will have turned the broth a vibrant yellow color and infused the pot with flavor. Give the broth a taste and add salt and pepper to your liking (you may not need salt if your broth contains a lot).

A bowl of curry vegetables with rice on top

Serve hot with bread or rice to soak up all that delicious broth!

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Sausage Breakfast Casserole

This deliciously cheesy sausage breakfast casserole is easy to throw together when you need a filling breakfast to feed a crowd.

The post Sausage Breakfast Casserole appeared first on Budget Bytes.

My favorite thing to do on the weekend is to have a big lavish breakfast. It’s like my way of celebrating the fact that I’m cozy at home instead of at work. 😄 And since I’m all about savory breakfast dishes, this sausage breakfast casserole is perfect. It’s cheesy, flavorful, filling, and is definitely the easiest option when you’ve got several mouths to feed. Plus, it makes great leftovers in case you want round two for lunch!

Overhead view of a breakfast casserole

What’s with the Tortilla Chips?

A lot of breakfast casserole recipes use bread, like an egg strata, but I like to use tortilla chips in my breakfast casserole. I love the toasty corn flavor they give and I think it gives the casserole a little more texture. I suggest using a thicker tortilla chip for this casserole so it can hold up to the moisture in the casserole.

What Kind of Sausage to Use

I used “country sausage” for this recipe, which is a mild pork sausage. This is the same type of sausage that you’d typically use for sausage gravy. You can also use spicy sausage, if you want your breakfast casserole to have a little kick. Here’s an example of one brand of country sausage you might see at the grocery store.

What Else Can I Add to Breakfast Casserole?

You know how I love my add-ins! Half of the fun of cooking is experimenting with adding other ingredients and toppings to your recipes. here are some other things you can add to your breakfast casserole:

  • jalapeños (pickled or fresh)
  • pickled red onions
  • green onion
  • mushrooms
  • sweet corn
  • hashbrowns
  • crumbled bacon
  • salsa (topping)
  • sour cream (topping)
  • avocado (topping)
one slice of breakfast casserole on a plate in front of the casserole dish
close up overhead view of breakfast casserole

Sausage Breakfast Casserole

This deliciously cheesy sausage breakfast casserole is easy to throw together when you need a filling breakfast to feed a crowd.
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine American
Total Cost $10.93 recipe / $3.64 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 to 8
Calories 752kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. country sausage $3.49
  • 12 oz. frozen peppers and onions $1.25
  • 10 large eggs $2.08
  • 1/2 cup milk $0.20
  • 1/4 tsp pepper $0.02
  • 1/2 lb. tortilla chips* $1.50
  • 8 oz. cheddar, shredded $2.29
  • 1 Tbsp butter $0.10

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. If your frozen peppers are in strips, chop them into small pieces.
  • Brown the sausage in a large skillet over medium heat. Once browned, add the frozen peppers and onions and continue to cook over medium heat until heated through. Remove the sausage and peppers from the heat and set aside.
  • Whisk together the eggs, milk, and pepper.
  • Use the butter to grease the inside of a 3-quart casserole dish. Place the tortilla chips in the bottom of the casserole dish and press them down, slightly crushing them until they lay fairly flat.
  • use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage and peppers to the casserole dish on top of the tortilla chips, leaving any liquid behind in the pan.
  • Add ¾ of the shredded cheddar on top of the sausage and peppers. Stir slightly to combine the tortilla chips, sausage and peppers, and cheese.
  • Pour the egg mixture over the ingredients in the casserole dish, then top with the remaining shredded cheddar. The ingredients will not be fully submerged in the egg mixture and that is okay. The eggs will puff slightly as they bake.
  • Bake the breakfast casserole for about 40 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160ºF and the outer edges are lightly browned.
  • Let the casserole cool for about five minutes, then slice into six or eight pieces and serve.

Notes

* You don’t have to weigh the chips. Check the weight listed on the bag and approximate the amount based on the bag size. For instance, if you have a one-pound (16oz.) bag, use about half of the bag of chips.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 752kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 52g | Sodium: 1045mg | Fiber: 4g
A spatula lifting a slice of breakfast casserole

How to Make Sausage Breakfast Casserole – Step by Step Photos

A bag of frozen peppers and onions

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. I used a bag of frozen peppers and onions to make this recipe super easy. Sometimes you can buy these diced, other times they’re in strips. If they’re in strips, just roughly chop them into smaller pieces.

sausage and peppers in a skillet

Brown one pound of country (pork) sausage in a large skillet over medium heat. Once browned, add the peppers and onions and continue to cook until heated through. Set the sausage and pepper mixture aside.

milk being poured into a bowl of eggs with a whisk

Whisk together 10 large eggs, 1/2 cup milk, and ¼ tsp pepper.

casserole dish being buttered

Grease the inside of a 3-quart casserole dish with butter.

tortilla chips added to the casserole dish

Add ½ of a one-pound bag of tortilla chips to the casserole dish. Press down and slightly crush the chips so they lay a little flatter.

sausage and peppers added on top of chips

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage and peppers to the casserole dish, leaving any liquid behind in the skillet.

Cheese added to the casserole dish

Add ¾ of a shredded 8oz. block of cheddar to the casserole dish. Slightly stir to combine the chips, sausage and peppers, and cheese.

Eggs being poured over casserole

Pour the egg mixture over the casserole. The egg will not fully submerge the other ingredients.

Casserole topped with cheese

Top with the remaining ¼ cheddar cheese.

Baked sausage breakfast casserole

Bake the breakfast casserole for about 40 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160ºF and the outer edges are browned.

sliced breakfast casserole

Let the casserole cool for about five minutes before slicing into six or eight pieces, then serve!

A slice of breakfast casserole on a plate in front of the casserole dish

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Coconut Curry Ramen

You only need 5 simple ingredients and about 10 minutes to make this Coconut Curry Ramen, a vibrant bowl full of bold colors and flavors.

The post Coconut Curry Ramen appeared first on Budget Bytes.

You know how I love my instant ramen upgrades and this coconut curry ramen might just be one of my most favorite yet! You only need five simple ingredients and about ten minutes to make this bowl of delicious noodles. Plus, there’s no chopping required, so this coconut curry ramen is a really great choice for anyone cooking in small spaces or with limited cooking equipment (dorm room, hotel room, RV, etc.). But what I love the most is just how vibrant the colors and flavors are in this bowl.

Overhead view of a bowl of coconut curry ramen on a yellow background

What Kind of Vegetables to Use

I suggest keeping a bag of frozen mixed vegetables on hand for this ramen. Frozen vegetables are already chopped, which makes this recipe a breeze to put together. There are so many different vegetable mix combos available to choose from (see photos below for examples) and you can use just a cup at a time without worrying about the rest going bad. That being said, you can use any fresh vegetables you might have on hand, as well.

I’ve made this coconut curry ramen with a few different mixes of frozen vegetables already, and they’ve all been great. Scroll down to the step by step photos below the recipes to see the three types that I’ve tried so far.

What Flavor Ramen to Use

Another great thing about this recipe is that it’s flexible. You can use several different flavors of ramen. I used chicken, but shrimp would also be good. If you don’t want to use the seasoning packet that comes with the ramen, you can replace the water in the recipe below with any type of broth that you like (vegetable, chicken, mushroom, etc.).

What Kind of Curry Powder to Use

I used a yellow curry powder for this recipe, but it’s quite flexible and I think it would work well with just about any type of curry powder. The flavor of curry powder can vary quite a bit from brand to brand, so you may need to do some experimenting to find one that you like. You can use either a mild or spicy curry powder, whichever you prefer.

What Else Can I Add?

The recipe below is very simple but very delicious, but you can always add more ingredients if you have them on hand! I don’t like to see things go to waste and this recipe is perfect for add-ins! If you have shrimp or cooked chicken, you can toss that in there. You can top it with green onions or a drizzle of sriracha. This would also be a great way to use up an extra handful or two of any leftover greens that you may have (spinach, kale, etc.).

a fork lifting ramen noodles from the bowl
Close up overhead view of a bowl of coconut curry ramen

Coconut Curry Ramen

You only need 5 simple ingredients and about 10 minutes to make this Coconut Curry Ramen, a vibrant bowl full of bold colors and flavors. 
Course Dinner, Lunch, Soup
Cuisine American, Asian, Indian
Total Cost $1.34 recipe / $1.34 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 or 2
Calories 770kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables $0.47
  • 1.5 cups water $0.00
  • 1 3oz. package instant ramen $0.25
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk* $0.52
  • 1 tsp curry powder $0.10

Instructions

  • Add the frozen vegetables and water to a small saucepot. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat on to high, and bring the water up to a boil.
  • Once boiling, add the ramen noodles (without seasoning). Continue to boil for 2-3 minutes, or until the noodles are soft.
  • Shake the coconut can well to combine the solid fat and liquid before measuring. Add the coconut milk to the saucepot and stir to combine.
  • Finally, add the seasoning packet from the instant ramen and the curry powder. Stir to combine. Serve hot.

Notes

*Use canned coconut milk, not the type in a carton meant to be used as a dairy milk substitute.

Nutrition

Serving: 1recipe | Calories: 770kcal | Carbohydrates: 86g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 43g | Sodium: 1853mg | Fiber: 13g
close up side view of a bowl of coconut curry ramen

How to Make Coconut Curry Ramen – Step by Step Photos

Three bags of frozen vegetable mixes

You can use just about any type of mixed frozen vegetables for this recipe. Here are three examples of vegetable mixes that I’ve used and enjoyed. The vegetables used in the ramen bowl pictured in this post were the “stir-fry starters” mix on the top right.

water pouring into a saucepot with frozen vegetables

Add one cup of frozen vegetables to a saucepot with 1.5 cups water. Place a lid on top, turn the heat on to high, and bring the water up to a boil.

Ramen noodles added to the pot

Once boiling, add the ramen noodles to the pot (without the seasoning). Continue to boil for 2-3 minutes, or just until the noodles soften.

Coconut milk being poured into the pot

Add ½ cup full-fat coconut milk to the pot and stir to combine. Make sure your coconut milk is very well mixed before measuring, so you get an even mix of the solid fat and liquid.

seasonings added to the pot of noodles

Finally, add the seasoning packet from the instant ramen and one teaspoon curry powder. Stir to combine.

Finished coconut curry ramen in the saucepot

And that’s it! Your deliciously creamy pot of coconut curry ramen is done and ready to devour!

Close up of coconut curry ramen in the bowl with a fork

Try These Other Instant Ramen Recipes:

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