I don’t know if you’ve experienced the warm fuzzy hug that is a bowl of cheese grits, but if not, allow me to introduce you to one of the most comforting, simple, and indulgent foods on the planet: cheese grits.
What are Cheese Grits?
Grits are a simple porridge made with ground corn that can be prepared either sweet or savory and is often served for breakfast in the southern U.S. In addition to breakfast, grits also make a great starchy bed for saucy stewed meats, or a side dish for any meal. And Cheese grits are just grits that have been taken to the next level by stirring in a heap of rich, delicious cheese. They’re simple but so incredibly delightful.
There are a few different types of grits you can buy at the store and you can make cheese grits with all of them. You can use either white or yellow grits without issue, although using yellow grits will give you a more vibrant cheesy color. I used white quick-cooking grits in the recipe below, but if you have regular grits you’ll just need to simmer them slightly longer (just follow the directions on the package).
Can I Use a Different Cheese?
Yes! There are so many delicious cheese options for cheese grits. You can do something like Parmesan, gruyere, chevre, Boursin, or even something like pepper jack. Basically, cheese and grits were made for each other.
How to Serve Cheese Grits
Cheese grits are awesome at breakfast (pictured here with eggs and sausage), but sometimes I’ll top them with a fried egg and some salsa. You can also top them with other savory delights, like saucy shrimp, beef brisket, BBQ beans, or just about any savory saucy dish.
These cheese grits are extra rich, creamy, and flavorful. They make a hearty and comforting breakfast or a delicious side dish with dinner.
Total Cost $3.39 recipe / $0.85 serving
Prep Time 5minutes
Cook Time 10minutes
Total Time 15minutes
Servings 41 cup each
Author Beth – Budget Bytes
1cupquick cooking grits$0.49
1/4tspfreshly cracked black pepper$0.02
Combine the chicken broth, milk, and garlic powder in a medium sauce pot. Place a lid on top and bring it up to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to prevent the milk from scorching.
Once boiling, stir in the quick cooking grits and salt. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let the grits simmer for about 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
Remove the grits from the heat and stir in the butter and pepper.
Finally, stir in the shredded cheddar, one handful at a time, until fully melted into the grits. Serve warm.
Combine 2 cups chicken broth, 2 cups milk, and ¼ tsp garlic powder in a medium sauce pot. Place a lid on top, and bring it up to a boil over medium-high heat (stir occasionally to prevent the milk from scorching).
Once boiling, stir in 1 cup quick cooking grits and ¼ tsp salt. Lower the heat to medium-low, and let the grits simmer for about five minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
It should be nice and thick like in the photo above. Once thickened, remove it from the heat.
Stir in 2 Tbsp butter and about ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper.
Stir in 4oz. of shredded cheddar cheese, one handful at a time, until it’s all melted into the grits.
I love making simple homemade vinaigrettes, and this classic Italian dressing has been a favorite lately. This dressing is similar to the bottled “Italian dressing” that you’d find in the grocer store, except made with simple ingredients that you’ll find in your fridge and pantry. It’s the perfect mix of bright lemon and vinegar, flavorful herbs, and savory Parmesan to take your homemade salads up to the next level.
What’s in Italian Dressing?
This all-purpose homemade dressing is a simple vinaigrette base packed with dried herbs and Parmesan. The base is olive oil and red wine vinegar, plus a little lemon juice to freshen things up and Dijon mustard to help emulsify the vinegar into the oil. I added a hefty dose of herbs, in the way of an Italian seasoning blend for convenience, plus a little garlic, and a touch of sugar to soften the acid every so slightly. Lastly, grated Parmesan adds so much umami and depth of flavor that it will make you want to eat the dressing by the spoonful!
Can I Skip the Sugar?
Technically you can skip the sugar if you really have to, but even that small dose of sugar goes a long way toward creating a really smooth dressing and reducing any bitterness, so I don’t suggest skipping it if at all possible. It’s only ½ tsp for the entire batch, so the dose per serving is extremely small.
Can I Skip the Parmesan?
Yes. This still makes a really stellar vinaigrette even without the Parmesan. I will say that the Parmesan totally takes the dressing to the next level, but I find plain vinaigrettes quite enjoyable on their own as well. So if you want to make a vegan dressing or just don’t have Parmesan on hand, don’t let it hold you back from making this homemade dressing.
How to Store Levtover Italian Dressing
Store your leftover dressing in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for about a week. The olive oil may solidify when the dressing gets very cold but will liquify again if set out at room temperature for 5-10 minutes.
How to Serve Italian Dressing
The flavors in this simple dressing are so universal that it will taste good on just about any salad. But it’s also great on pasta salad, on a simple sliced tomato and mozzarella salad, or even as a marinade for chicken! I think this dressing would also be amazing soaked into a crusty piece of bread as part of a pressed deli sandwich. YES!
Homemade Italian Dressing
This simple homemade Italian Dressing is a zesty mix of flavorful herbs, savory Parmesan, and bright lemon to complement any salad.
Add all of the ingredients to a jar or bowl. If using a jar, screw the lid on tightly and shake until the ingredients are incorporated. If using a bowl, whisk until the ingredients are incorporated. Give the dressing a quick shake or whisk just before serving.
*You can use one minced clove of fresh garlic in place of the garlic powder if you prefer a stronger garlic flavor.**Bottled grated Parmesan with cellulose (an anti-caking agent) may clump slightly, but will still taste great.
How to Make Italian Dressing – Step by Step Photos
Combine ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 tsp Dijon, ¼ tsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning blend, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper, ½ tsp sugar, and 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan in a bowl or jar.
If using a jar, close the lid on the jar tightly then shake until the ingredients are incorporated. If using a bowl, whisk the ingredients together until incorporated.
Serve your homemade Italian dressing over your favorite salad, sliced vegetables, or even as a marinade for chicken! (yes, that salad recipe is coming soon!)
I’m all about cooking as much flavor into rice as possible and this Chipotle Lime Chicken and Rice is FLA-VOR-FUL! You’ve got a hefty dose of spices, tangy lime juice, and a bunch of flavor from the chicken that cooks right in the same pot. It turns out smoky, spicy, tangy, and oh so delicious! And don’t worry, I’ve got some suggested sides to round out your meal listed below.
What is Chipotle Powder?
Chipotle peppers are smoked jalapeño peppers. They give a beautifully spicy, smoky flavor to everything. You can buy chipotle peppers dried, canned with adobo sauce, or ground into a powder. This recipe uses the powdered form, which can be found along with other herbs and spices in the spice aisle.
Can I Use Bone-In Chicken?
The quick cooking method used in this recipe is not suitable for bone-in chicken breasts, as they require a much longer cooking time. It may work with smaller bone-in chicken thighs, but you’ll want to use a meat thermometer to make sure they reach 165ºF on the inside. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs work just as well as the boneless, skinless chicken breast for this recipe.
You have a few options for the diced tomatoes in this recipe. I used a can of plain diced tomatoes because that is what was available the day I made this, but I also tried it with fire-roasted diced tomatoes while in the recipe testing phase and they were fantastic. You could also do a petite diced tomatoes if you don’t like such large tomato pieces, or even a diced tomato with green chiles if you want it extra-EXTRA spicy.
What to Serve with Chipotle Lime Chicken and Rice
Because this dish is so spicy you’ll probably want to pair it with something that has a cooling effect, so something that is creamy or can be served cold to balance the heat. A little dollop of sour cream on top would be good, or maybe a slice or two of avocado, if you have it. And I highly suggest something green to round out the colors on your plate. Here are some great side dish options:
Combine the chipotle powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt in a bowl. Squeeze 2 Tbsp juice from the lime into a separate bowl (this should be about half a lime, save the other half to cut into wedges for garnish).
Use a rolling pin or a mallet to gently pound the chicken breast to an even thickness (about ¾-inch thick). Use half of the prepared spice mix to coat both sides of the chicken pieces (reserve the other half of the spices for later).
Heat the cooking oil in a large deep skillet over medium. Once hot, add the chicken and cook for a few minutes on each side, or until browned. The chicken does not need to be fully cooked, just browned on both sides. It will continue to cook with the rice.
While the chicken is cooking, dice the onion. Remove the browned chicken from the skillet to a clean plate. Add the diced onion to the skillet and sauté until softened. Add the remaining spices and sauté for one minute more.
Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), rice, chicken broth, and lime juice to the skillet with the onions. Stir to combine and dissolve any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.
Add the browned chicken back to the skillet. Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium high, and allow the liquid to come up to a boil.
Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low, and allow the chicken and rice to simmer on low for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the skillet rest, without lifting the lid, for an additional 5 minutes.
Finally, remove the lid, transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Fluff the rice to stir the tomato and onion back in. Slice the chicken then place it on top of the rice. Sprinkle with slice green onion and Cotija cheese. Add any remaining lime wedges, and serve!
*You can use plain diced tomatoes, petite diced tomatoes, fire roasted diced tomatoes, or diced tomatoes with chiles.
How to Make Chipotle Lime Chicken and Rice – Step by Step Photos
Combine 1.5 tsp chipotle powder, 1 tsp ground cumin, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp onion powder, and ½ tsp salt in a bowl. Squeeze about 2 Tbsp juice from a lime into a separate bowl (that should be about ½ the lime, so you can save the other half to make wedges for garnish).
Use a rolling pin or a mallet to gently pound 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts out to an even thickness (about ¾-inch thick). Use half of the spice blend to season both sides of the chicken. Save the other half of the spices for later.
Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a large deep skillet. Once hot, add the seasoned chicken and cook for a few minutes on both sides, or just until browned. It doesn’t have to be cooked through here because it will cook more with the rice.
While the chicken is cooking, dice one yellow onion. Remove the browned chicken to a clean plate, then add the diced onion in its place. Sauté the onion for a few minutes, or until softened, then add the remaining spices and sauté for one minute more.
Add one 15oz. can diced tomatoes, 1 cup long grain white rice, 1 cup chicken broth, and 2 Tbps lime juice to the skillet. Stir briefly to combine and dissolve any browned bits off the bottom of the skillet.
Add the browned chicken back to the skillet. Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the liquid to come up to a boil.
Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let the pot simmer on low for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest, with the lid in place, for another 5 minutes.
Finally, remove the lid. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Fluff the rice with a fork to stir the tomatoes and onion back into the rice. Slice the chicken, then place it back on top of the rice.
Sprinkle sliced green onions on top, a little Cotija cheese, and add any remaining lime wedges.
Serve and enjoy! A little sour cream on top wouldn’t be so bad, either. ;)
Here’s your weekly reminder that not all meals need to be a huge production. Sometimes when you just toss what you have on hand into a pot or a skillet, you get really great results. I usually follow a rough template for these types of meals, but I love to experiment with what ingredients get plugged into the template. This Quick Veggie Pasta is my recent favorite “whatever goes” recipe, and you can easily add meat or make it vegan with one ingredient swap, so it’s very flexible!
Why I Love This Vegetable Pasta
This is my favorite type of fast, easy, satisfying meal. It’s so flexible that you really don’t even need to measure. You can use any type of pasta, any type of vegetable, and you can even play around with the seasonings. It’s simple, it’s good, and it doesn’t take a lot of mental energy to make. :)
You can literally use any type of pasta for this recipe and in any amount. Long pasta, short pasta, even tiny pasta like couscous or orzo. This is great because I rarely use a full box of pasta at once, so I always have small amounts of random pasta hanging out in my pantry that needs to be used.
And while this next tip will make purists clutch their pearls, I suggest breaking long pasta in half before cooking. This makes it easier to stir chunky objects (like vegetables) into the pasta. You’ll actually be able to mix them together in instead of the vegetables getting all pushed to the outside of the skillet with a clump of pasta in the center.
Just as with the type of pasta, you can use virtually any vegetable here! I’ve even made this with frozen mixed vegetables and enjoyed it quite a bit. And not only is the type of vegetable flexible, but the amount is as well. Use more, less, or however much you want. The vegetables I used today are grape tomatoes, mushrooms, and spinach, but here are some other great options:
avocado (will give the pasta a nice creamy effect)
onion (red, yellow, green)
The trick to swapping out the vegetables is to add them to the skillet in order of hardest to softest. A hard vegetable, like carrot, that will take longer to soften should go in the skillet first so it has time to cook, whereas a soft vegetable, like spinach, should be added last so it doesn’t overcook.
What is Nutritional Yeast?
Nutritional yeast is a deactivated form of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and is commonly used as a nutrient-dense seasoning for food. It has a yellow color has a light, flakey texture that mixes well into sauces, and a savory almost cheesy flavor. The nutritional yeast is the star of the show for this pasta dish because it really adds depth to the flavor and tons of umami.
You can usually find nutritional yeast in the grocery store near other non-refrigerated health foods. Some common brands that you’re likely to find in major grocery stores are Bragg’s and Bob’s Red Mill, but I’ve seen several stores selling it under their own name brand as well, like Trader Joes’ and Kroger.
Use up your leftover odds and ends in the kitchen because "anything goes" with this Quick Veggie Pasta! Make it vegetarian or vegan!
Total Cost $3.61 rcipe / $0.90 serving
Prep Time 10minutes
Cook Time 15minutes
Total Time 25minutes
Author Beth – Budget Bytes
1/4tspfreshly cracked black pepper$0.02
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add the pasta and continue to boil until the pasta is tender (about 7 minutes). Reserve a 1/2 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta in a colander.
While waiting for the water to boil, slice the mushrooms and cut the tomatoes in half.
Heat the cooking oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt to the skillet and sauté until they have released all of their moisture and water is no longer pooling on the bottom of the skillet (about 5-7 minutes).
Add the tomatoes and sauté for about two minutes more, or just until they're heated through (they'll continue to cook more after other ingredients are added). Add the spinach and sauté just until wilted.
Finally, add the cooked and drained pasta to the skillet along with the butter. Toss until everything is coated in melted butter. Turn the heat off.
Season with garlic powder, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper, then toss to coat. Give the pasta a taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. If the pasta gets too dry as you're tossing with the seasoning, just add a splash of the reserved pasta water. Serve immediately and enjoy.
*Swap with a vegan butter to make this recipe vegan.
How to Make Quick Veggie Pasta – Step by Step Photos
Start with your pasta first because the rest of the dish will probably be done cooking by the time the pasta boils and drains. I used a ½ lb. linguine for this recipe, but you can use whatever type you’d like. Bring a pot of water to a boil, then add the pasta, and continue to boil until tender (about 7 minutes). Reserve about a 1/2 cup of the pasta water, then drain in a colander.
While waiting for the pasta water to boil, slice or dice up any vegetables you may be using. I’m using up my leftover mushrooms and tomatoes, so I had 4oz. mushrooms to slice and about one cup of grape tomatoes to slice in half.
Heat a tablespoon of cooking oil in a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Sauté until the mushrooms have released all their moisture and water is no longer pooling on the bottom of the skillet (5-7 minutes).
Add the tomatoes and sauté just for a couple of minutes more. They’ll continue cooking as you add more ingredients, so they don’t need to be cooked down too far here.
Finally, add the fresh spinach and sauté for a minute or so more, or just until it wilts.
Add the cooked and drained pasta to the skillet along with 1 Tbsp butter. Toss until the butter melts and everything is coated in butter.
Turn the heat off, then season the veggie pasta with 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast, ¼ tsp garlic powder, about ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper. Toss until the seasoning is evenly coating everything. If the pasta gets dry, just add a splash of the reserved pasta water.
Make sure to give the veggie pasta one final taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. You can even try adding other herbs and spices! Crushed red pepper is another favorite add-in of mine.
Earlier this week I made a big batch of sunny and fresh Cumin Lime Coleslaw, but I didn’t intend to just eat coleslaw all week. So, I used the coleslaw as a topping for these super simple fish tacos. I love making tacos for dinner because they’re so easy, fresh, and not too heavy, which […]
Earlier this week I made a big batch of sunny and fresh Cumin Lime Coleslaw, but I didn’t intend to just eat coleslaw all week. So, I used the coleslaw as a topping for these super simple fish tacos. I love making tacos for dinner because they’re so easy, fresh, and not too heavy, which is great when it’s 100 degrees outside. I like to keep my tacos pretty simple (in this case just fish, slaw, jalapeño, and avocado), but I’ve got some suggestions for extra toppings below if you want them! ;)
Originally posted 3-27-2015, updated 7-15-2021.
What’s in a Fish Taco?
For these fish tacos, I seasoned some white fish filets with a simple mix of chili powder, cumin, garlic, and salt, then cooked them up quickly in a skillet. I topped them with tangy Cumin Lime Coleslaw, a slice of creamy avocado, and a couple super thin slices of jalapeño. It’s the perfect mix of earthy, spicy, creamy, and tangy.
What Kind of Fish is Best for Tacos?
I used cod fillets for my fish tacos because they have a mild flavor that can be easily paired with any seasoning or toppings. You could also use something like tilapia, halibut, mahi mahi, snapper, or grouper. I usually get the best prices on frozen fillets, and they usually come individually wrapped, so you can thaw as many as you need and keep the rest in the freezer for later.
What Else Can I Add?
Tacos are fun because you can get creative with the toppings. If you want to swap out some of the toppings I used for something else, or just want to add to what is listed in the recipe below, here are some ideas:
Corn tortillas are the traditional option for tacos, but go ahead and use whatever you like best. Cooking is about doing what works for you. So if you like flour tortillas or crunchy taco shells better or happen to have those on hand, use them. :) If you’re using corn tortillas, make sure to toast them before making your tacos so they get that deliciously toasty corn flavor (otherwise they kind of taste like nothing). And keep in mind that if you use larger tortillas you’ll get fewer tacos out of the ingredients listed below.
What to Serve with Fish Tacos
Two tacos does not a meal make, so here are some ideas for sides:
Toast the tortillas in a dry skillet over medium heat until browned on each side. Stack the tortillas and cover with foil to keep warm.
Make the cumin lime coleslaw next. For the dressing, stir together the mayonnaise, 1 Tbsp lime juice, cumin, cayenne, salt, and sugar.
Place the coleslaw mix and sliced green onions in a bowl, pour the coleslaw dressing over top and stir to combine. Refrigerate until you're ready to build your tacos.
Next, season the fish fillets. Combine the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt. Cut each fish fillet into smaller taco-sized pieces. Season both sides of the fish with the spice mix.
Add half of the cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, add half of the fish and cook for a few minutes on each side or until the fish is cooked through (it will feel firm, look opaque, and be easily flaked). Repeat with more oil and the second batch of fish.
Top each toasted tortilla with a piece of fish, a slice of avocado, a small scoop of the cumin lime slaw, and a couple slices of jalapeño. Enjoy warm.
*You can use just about any type of white fish for this, like tilapia, mahi mahi, or halibut.
If you’re using corn tortillas you’ll want to toast them before making your tacos. This gives them more flavor and helps make them a bit more sturdy. I do this in a dry skillet over fairly high heat, but if you have a gas range you can do it right over an open flame (just a second or two on each side). You can keep them warm on a plate covered with foil.
Next, prepare the cumin lime coleslaw so it’s ready to go when the fish finishes cooking. To make the dressing, stir together 1 Tbsp lime juice, ¼ cup mayonnaise, ½ tsp cumin, ¼ tsp slat, ⅛ tsp cayenne, and ½ tsp sugar. Place ½ of a bag of coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots) in a bowl with 2 sliced green onions. Pour the dressing over top. You can also wait to pour the dressing over until just before serving, if preferred.
Stir to coat the vegetables in dressing, then refrigerate until ready to build your tacos.
Next, make the seasoning mix for the fish. Combine 2 tsp chili powder (this is a mild blend of chiles and other spices), ½ tsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp garlic powder, and ⅛ tsp salt. Cut 1 lb. fish into taco-sized pieces (in this case I had four fillets, so I cut each in half for one piece per taco). Season the fish on both sides with the prepared spice mix.
Heat ½ Tbsp cooking oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add half of the fish and cook for a few minutes on each side, or until cooked through (the fish will be opaque and easily flake when cooked). Repeat with a little more oil and the second batch of fish.
To build the tacos, place one piece of fish in each tortilla, add one slice of avocado, a small scoop of cumin lime coleslaw, and a couple slices of jalapeño.
If you have leftover lime from making the slaw, slice it into wedges to serve with the tacos.
I used to think chicken breasts were bland and boring, but then I changed how I approached them. Instead of seeing chicken breast as the main feature of a recipe, now I see them simply as the vehicle for the flavor in a recipe. In this BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken, the chicken breast is a filling base that carries the tangy BBQ sauce, creamy cheddar, zesty red onion, and fresh cilantro straight to your taste buds. When chicken breast is used like this, I’m ALL ABOUT IT.
Tips for Baking Chicken Breast
Successfully baking chicken breast can take a little know-how. If you want to avoid overcooked or dry chicken breast, here are a few tips:
Adjust baking time for the size of your chicken breast. Larger or thicker chicken breasts will take longer to cook (20-25 minutes), while thinner or smaller chicken breasts will take less time (15-18 minutes).
Use a mallet or rolling pin to gently pound the thick end of your chicken breasts to make the breast a more even thickness. This helps them cook quickly and evenly.
Use a meat thermometer for best results. Chicken breasts should be cooked until they reach an internal temperature of 165ºF. The more it cooks beyond that point the more it will begin to dry out and become tough.
Let the chicken breast rest after baking. Make sure to let the chicken breast sit for 5-10 minutes after baking to reduce the steam pressure within the meat. This helps the juices stay in the meat once it’s cut, rather than escaping and leaving behind dry, tough meat.
Can I Use Bone-In Chicken?
This recipe is best suited to boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs. Bone-in chicken takes much longer to cook through and you may find that the BBQ sauce begins to burn with those longer cook times.
What Kind of BBQ Sauce is Best?
For an inexpensive yet flavorful BBQ sauce, I usually go with Sweet Baby Ray’s, but I highly suggest using whatever brand BBQ sauce you like the best. And while just about any flavor BBQ sauce would work for this dish, I would lean toward something more on the savory or smoky side rather than a sweeter BBQ sauce.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. If your chicken breasts are very thick or uneven in thickness, use a mallet or rolling pin to first pound them out to a more even thickness. Slice the chicken breasts in half, so you have four pieces.
Combine the smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Pat the chicken dry with paper towel, then sprinkle the seasoning mix over both sides of each piece of chicken.
Place the seasoned chicken pieces in a baking dish, then spoon 1 Tbsp BBQ sauce over top of each piece, spreading it from edge to edge to cover the chicken.
Bake the chicken in the preheated 400ºF oven for about 18 minutes (less for smaller or thinner pieces).
Remove the chicken from the oven and top each piece with shredded cheddar. Return the chicken to the oven and continue baking for five minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF.
After baking the chicken, let the chicken rest for five minutes, then top with diced red onion and chopped cilantro just before serving.
How to Make BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken – Step by Step Photos
You’ll need two boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe, about 1.3 lbs. total. If your chicken breasts are very thick or a very uneven thickness, use a mallet or rolling pin to gently pound them to a more even thickness. This helps them cook more quickly and evenly. (Covering them with plastic helps keep everything clean as you pound.
Pat the chicken breast dry, then cut each one in half so that you have four pieces. Combine 1 tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper. Sprinkle the seasoning over all sides of the chicken pieces.
Place 1 Tbsp BBQ sauce over each piece of chicken and spread it to cover the surface. Transfer the chicken to the preheated 400ºF oven and bake for about 18 minutes (a few minutes less for smaller or thinner chicken pieces).
While the chicken is baking, prepare the toppings. Shred about 1 cup cheddar cheese, finely dice about ¼ cup red onion, and roughly chop ¼ cup cilantro.
After baking for about 18 minutes, remove the chicken from the oven and top the chicken with about 1 cup shredded cheese (about ¼ cup per piece of chicken). Return the chicken to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165ºF.
After baking, let the chicken rest for about 5 minutes, then top with the diced red onion and chopped cilantro.
Our boys could eat tacos for dinner every single night and I honestly don’t blame them. Tacos are the BEST! One of their favorite taco recipes are these Chipotle Chicken Tacos. They are loaded with flavor and only take 20 minutes to make, which m…
Our boys could eat tacos for dinner every single night and I honestly don’t blame them. Tacos are the BEST! One of their favorite taco recipes are these Chipotle Chicken Tacos. They are loaded with flavor and only take 20 minutes to make, which makes them the perfect EASY weeknight dinner! There are two secrets…
If you don’t live in the south, you might have never tried this classic southern breakfast dish, and believe me when I say you’re missing out. Sausage gravy is rich, comforting, inexpensive, and surprisingly easy to make from scratch. So you don’t have to wait 45 minutes in line at your favorite brunch spot to get some good biscuits and gravy. Let me show you how to do it at home for way less time and way less money.
What Kind of Sausage to Use for Sausage Gravy
The sausage is the most important part of sausage gravy because the herbs and spices in the sausage end up flavoring the gravy, and the fat from the pork makes everything extra rich. Look for a fresh pork sausage (not in links or patties) that is labeled either “pork sausage,” “country sausage,” or “breakfast sausage.” You’ll usually find it packaged in a tube or roll.
Traditionally, sausage gravy is spooned over homemade biscuits (or you can use store-bought biscuits as a shortcut), but this rich gravy is pretty good on just about any starchy vehicle. Here are some fun alternatives to biscuits for your sausage gravy:
And if you want something on the side? Definitely some fried or scrambled eggs!
Can You Make it Ahead?
While this sausage gravy is definitely best when made fresh (and it only takes a few minutes), you can make it ahead if you need to. Sausage gravy will stay good in the refrigerator for a couple of days. To reheat, simply add it back to a skillet and reheat over medium-low, stirring often until heated through, and adding a splash of milk to loosen it up if needed.
P.S. Don’t forget you can double the recipe below by simply changing the number in the “servings” box to 8 and it will automatically double the ingredient amounts for you! :)
Country Sausage Gravy
Make this easy Country Sausage Gravy from scratch in under 20 minutes for a hearty southern style breakfast at home.
Total Cost $2.53 recipe / $0.63 serving
Prep Time 5minutes
Cook Time 15minutes
Total Time 20minutes
Servings 4¾ cup each
Author Beth – Budget Bytes
1/8tspfreshly cracked black pepper$0.02
1/8tspcrushed red pepper (optional)$0.02
Add the pork sausage to a skillet and cook over medium heat, breaking it into chunks as you stir, until it is cooked through. Do not drain the fat from the skillet.
Add the butter and flour to the skillet with the pork. Continue to stir and cook for about 2 minutes more.
Whisk the milk into the skillet, making sure to dissolve all the browned bits off the bottom of the skillet as you whisk. Continue to stir and cook until the milk begins to simmer lightly, at which point it will thicken into a nice gravy (5 minutes).
Season the gravy with red pepper, freshly cracked black pepper, garlic powder, and salt. Serve over biscuits or your favorite starchy breakfast item.
I had a craving for a grilled eggplant sandwich the other day but 1) I don’t have a grill and 2) that sounded like a lot of work, so I made this quick skillet version instead. The resulting Eggplant Mozzarella Sandwiches are a “meaty” combo of sautéed eggplant drenched with marinara sauce, piled high onto a garlic butter toasted bun, then topped off with melty mozzarella cheese. YES PLEASE.
This recipe makes about 3-4 sandwiches, depending on the size of your eggplant and the size of your rolls or buns. I used hoagie buns that were about 6 inches in length and an eggplant that was about 8-inches long and I was able to make three large sandwiches. If you were to use round rolls, you’d probably get four piled-high sandwiches.
How to Store Leftovers
These sandwiches definitely need to be consumed right when they’re assembled, so if you’re in a smaller household that won’t be eating all three or four sandwiches at once, make sure to store the components separately. Keep the sautéed eggplant with red sauce in its own container and reheat either in a skillet or in the microwave. Butter and toast your bread just before assembly, then add the eggplant and cheese, and briefly heat to melt the cheese.
I used fresh mozzarella because it melts so beautifully and I can get it for a decent price. If fresh mozzarella is not available or not available at a reasonable price, you can use shredded mozzarella instead. Full-fat mozzarella will always melt better than part-skim, but part-skim will work in a pinch.
Eggplant Mozzarella Sandwiches
Total Cost $6.41 recipe / $2.14 each
Prep Time 25minutes
Cook Time 15minutes
Total Time 40minutes
Servings 3to 4 sandwiches
Author Beth – Budget Bytes
1eggplant (8" length)$1.49
4Tbspolive oil, divided$0.32
Cube the eggplant into ½-inch cubes. Mince the garlic.
Heat 2 Tbsp of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes, then add the cubed eggplant and Italian seasoning. Continue to sauté until the eggplant is soft (5-7 minutes).
Add the marinara sauce to the skillet with the eggplant, stir to combine, then heat through (3-5 minutes). Taste and season with salt (about ½ tsp).
Preheat the boiler on your oven and make sure the oven rack is positioned in the middle. Combine the second 2 Tbsp olive oil with the butter and garlic powder. Microwave for 15-30 seconds to melt the butter, then stir to combine.
Place the buns on a baking sheet, cut sides up. Brush the butter and olive oil mixture over the cut surfaces of the rolls. Bake under the broiler for about 5 minutes, or until they are just barely golden brown (watch them closely as broilers can vary).
After removing the rolls from the oven, switch the setting from broil to bake (350ºF). Pile the eggplant mixture onto the toasted rolls, then top with mozzarella. Return the sandwiches to the hot oven and bake for about 5 minutes more, or until the mozzarella is melted. Serve hot!
How to Make Eggplant Mozzarella Sandwiches – Step by Step Photos
Cube one eggplant into 1/2-inch cubes. Mince two cloves of garlic.
Add 2 Tbsp olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
Add the cubed eggplant and 1 tsp Italian seasoning. Continue to sauté until the eggplant is soft (5-7 minutes).
Once the eggplant is soft, add 1 cup marinara sauce.
Stir to combine the eggplant and sauce, then heat through. Taste and season with salt (about ½ tsp).
Preheat the broiler on your oven and make sure the oven’s rack is in the middle position. Place your buns or rolls on a baking sheet, cut side up. Combine the remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp butter, and ¼ tsp garlic powder. Microwave for 15-30 seconds, or until melted, then stir to combine. Brush the butter and oil mixture over the cut surface of the rolls.
Toast the rolls under the broiler for about 5 minutes, or until they are barely golden brown. Watch them closely, as broilers can vary quite a bit. Once toasted, switch the oven’s setting from broil to bake (350ºF). Spoon the eggplant mixture onto the rolls.
Top the eggplant mixture with mozzarella (about 1 oz. per sandwich).
Return the sandwiches to the oven and bake for a few minutes more, or until the mozzarella is melted.
Serve the eggplant mozzarella sandwiches while they’re still hot! (I added a little chopped parsley for color, but it’s not needed for flavor)
I always feel kind of embarrassed to say that my favorite food is pizza because it sounds so generic, but like, it’s truly one of the most flexible foods out there. You can get so creative with it! And I absolutely love coming up with new flavor combos for my pizza. This week it was a Broccoli Cheddar Pizza with a super creamy, herb-filled white sauce. SO GOOD.
Pizza Crust Options
You can use any type of pizza dough or pizza crust for this recipe. I used my super quick Thin & Crispy Pizza Crust recipe, but you could also use store-bought dough, store-bought pre-baked pizza crust, or even something like naan or tortillas.
Can You Use Fresh Broccoli?
Yes, absolutely. I used frozen broccoli because it’s par-boiled before freezing, so it’s already tender and ready to go, but if you prefer fresh broccoli you can certainly use that. You can either leave it fresh for extra crunch, or you can steam or par-boil it first to make it more tender. If using broccoli fresh without any pre-cooking, I suggest tossing it in a little bit of oil to prevent it from drying out when in the oven.
What Else Can I Add?
I’m a huge advocate of checking your pantry, fridge, or freezer for leftover ingredients that you can toss into your meal. Pizza is one of the best recipes for using up random ingredients. Here are some ingredients that would go awesome on this pizza, if you have them:
Cooked chicken (rotisserie, grilled breast, etc.)
Broccoli Cheddar Pizza
This broccoli cheddar pizza starts with a super creamy herb-filled white sauce then is topped with tender broccoli florets and cheddar.
Prepare the herby white sauce first. Combine the butter, cream cheese, milk, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper in a small saucepot. Heat and stir over medium until the cream cheese has fully melted and the sauce is thick and creamy.
Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Stretch your pizza dough over a pizza pan. Spread the herby white sauce over the surface of the pizza dough.
Chop the thawed frozen broccoli into smaller pieces. Sprinkle the chopped broccoli over the herby white sauce on the pizza. Top with the shredded cheddar cheese.
Bake the pizza for 10-15 minutes, or until the pizza crust is golden brown and the cheddar on top is melted. Cut into eight pieces and serve!
How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Pizza – Step by Step Photos
Start with the herby white sauce. Add 1 Tbsp butter, 4 oz. cream cheese, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp onion powder, ½ tsp dried basil, ½ tsp dried oregano, ⅛ tsp pepper, ¼ tsp salt, and ½ cup milk to a saucepot (photo is before adding the milk).
Heat and stir the sauce ingredients over medium until the cream cheese is fully melted and the sauce is thick and creamy.
Preheat the oven to 450ºF.Stretch your pizza dough onto a pizza pan, then spread the herby white sauce over the surface.
Chop 12 oz. of thawed frozen broccoli florets into smaller, bite-sized pieces.
Add the chopped broccoli on top of the white sauce.
Finally, top with 6oz. shredded cheddar.
Bake the broccoli cheddar pizza in the preheated 450ºF oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheddar is melted.