Roasted Garlic

Deeply savory and subtly sweet, roasted garlic is a quick and easy way to take the flavor of your food to the next level.

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I talk a lot about how oven-roasting magically makes everything taste better, and garlic is no exception! Fresh garlic has a spicy flavor punch, but roasted garlic has a deep, mellow, and slightly sweet flavor. It tastes great on its own or you can add it to just about anything you cook to give it that extra special flavor. It’s a really easy and inexpensive way to take your food to the next level.

close up overhead view of several heads of roasted garlic.

Why roast Garlic?

Not only is the flavor of roasted garlic phenomenal, but it also tends to be a bit easier on your stomach than fresh garlic. 😅 The flavor of roasted garlic is much more mellow and deep than fresh garlic, and it has a beautiful sweetness from the natural sugars that caramelize during the roasting process. Plus, you can roast several cloves at once while you’ve already got the oven going for something else, then you can store that roasted garlic in the freezer for later use!

How to Use Roasted Garlic

If you’re a garlic lover, like me, you’ll love just smearing this soft, spreadable roasted garlic on a piece of crusty bread. If you want to extend that garlic flavor a little more, you can whip it into some butter, cream cheese, or mayo for a delicious caramelized garlic butter spread. But really, it’s great in anything that would normally call for regular garlic. Try using roasted garlic in these recipes:

Roasted garlic being squeezed out of the skin.

How to Store Roasted Garlic

The easiest and most cost-effective way to make roasted garlic is to make several heads of garlic at once and to do so while you’ve already got the oven going for something else. Just pop them in the oven as you cook your meat, vegetables, or whatever else you might be roasting. But then what do you do with six or seven bulbs of roasted garlic??

Simply squeeze the soft roasted garlic out of the papery skin (that part is kind of fun, if you ask me), then measure out the roasted garlic paste into one teaspoon or one tablespoon portions. Place the potions on a parchment or plastic lined plate or baking sheet, freeze until solid, then transfer to an air-tight freezer bag for longer storage.

Roasted garlic will last about 4-5 days in the fridge and 3 months or more in the freezer.

Several heads of roasted garlic scattered on a surface.
Close up overhead view of bulbs of roasted garlic.
Print

Roasted Garlic

Deeply savory and subtly sweet, roasted garlic is a quick and easy way to take the flavor of your food to the next level.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Total Cost $4.16 per batch / $0.69 per head
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 heads
Calories 83kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 6* heads garlic $3.84
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ÂșF.
  • Remove any loose outer pieces of papery skin from the heads of garlic. Slice off the top ⅓ of each head to expose the cloves inside (save the pieces of garlic cloves that have been cut off to use in other recipes).
  • Place the garlic in a baking dish. Drizzle olive oil over the cut surfaces of the garlic, making sure they're coated in oil.
  • Cover the baking dish tightly with a lid or foil and transfer to the oven. Roast for 30 minutes, then check the garlic. Add more time in the oven, 10-15 minutes at a time, until the garlic is deeply golden brown. Total roasting time will vary with the size and number of garlic heads you're roasting, as well as the type of dish you're roasting in.
  • Let the garlic cool. Once cool enough to handle, squeeze the soft roasted garlic out of the heads. Use immediately, store in the refrigerator, or freezer for later use.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*You can roast one or several heads of garlic at one time. If roasting one head, simply wrap the head tightly in foil rather than using a baking dish.

Nutrition

Serving: 1head | Calories: 83kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 5mg | Fiber: 1g
Roasted garlic being spread on a toasted piece of bread.

How to Make Roasted Garlic – Step by Step Photos

Prepped garlic with outer skins removed.

Preheat the oven to 400ÂșF. Remove any extra loose pieces of the papery skin from the heads of garlic before you begin. It will be much easier to remove the roasted garlic if the loose skins have been removed.

Tops removed from garlic heads.

Slice off about ⅓ of the top of the garlic heads to expose all of the cloves. Make sure to save the garlic bits that are cut off and remove them from the skin. You can use the pieces that you cut off in other recipes later–it’s already partially chopped! :)

Oil being drizzled over garlic cloves in a glass dish.

If you’re only doing one head of garlic at a time, you can wrap the garlic in foil to create an enclosed space. If you’re doing several heads at a time, place them in a baking dish that either has an oven-safe lid or that can be tightly covered with foil. Drizzle the tops of the garlic with oil to help prevent them from drying out as they roast.

Dish covered with foil.

Cover the baking dish tightly (with a lid or foil), then transfer to the preheated 400ÂșF oven.

Roasted garlic in the dish with the foil pulled back.

Roasting time can vary a lot depending on the size of your garlic heads, how many you’re roasting at once, or if you’re roasting in a glass or ceramic dish as opposed to just wrapping with foil. Check the garlic at 30 minutes, then add more time, 10-15 minutes at a time, until they reach this deep golden brown color.

Roasted garlic in the baking dish with foil removed.

These beauties took just over 60 minutes to achieve that delicious golden color. Let the garlic cool until they can be easily handled, then squeeze the garlic out of the skins.

Roasted garlic heads scattered on a surface next to tomatoes.
Spread that delicious roasted garlic onto some toast, stir it into your broth or soup, or spread it right onto some bread to make a sandwich! Whatever you do with it, it will be SO DELICIOUS!

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Blueberry Sauce

Have you heard the good news? You can get this extraordinarily yummy blueberry sauce on your table in about fifteen minutes with very minimal effort.

The post Blueberry Sauce appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Want to kick your weekend breakfast table up 1,000 notches? You can make this extraordinarily yummy blueberry sauce in about fifteen minutes with very minimal effort. And you probably have all the ingredients you need in your pantry and your freezer. Yes, freezer. We’re using budget-friendly frozen blueberries to create the most indulgent topping for All. Of. The. Things.

Overhead shot of blueberry sauce in a serving bowl with lemon zest.

What You Need

This blueberry sauce recipe uses just four ingredients: blueberries, a little sugar, some cornstarch, and a lemon. That’s it!! And the results are BEYOND. (That’s my favorite place, BEYOND. It’s where all the good stuff happens!)

Is this the same thing as blueberry syrup?

Sauces and syrups are two different things. Syrup is a sugar solution that’s usually free of solids. A sauce is any liquid you put on your food. It can often contain solids. You can use this recipe to make a delicious blueberry syrup by straining the blueberries out of the sauce. I don’t know why you’d do that, but you’re allowed to make erratic decisions. I get it. One time I married a dude in front of an Elvis impersonator. (It didn’t turn out well. #obvi)

What pairs well with blueberry sauce?

I mean, I hate to get all Shakespearean here, but how do I count the ways?? This sauce can go on EVERYTHING. I can list a baker’s dozen just off the top of my head: pancakes, waffles, French toast, buttered toast, biscuits, cornbread, banana bread, ice cream, cheesecake, pound cake, oatmeal, yogurt, cottage cheese; you name it!

Overhead shot of blueberry sauce in a serving bowl with spoon in it.

Can I Use This Recipe With Other Berries?

You can absolutely sub blueberries with your favorite berry. Try strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, and even pitted cherries. Choose your own adventure! (Please leave a comment if you remember that book series. I want to celebrate how old we are on a public forum.)

How To Store Blueberry Sauce

Store this sauce in your fridge in a squeaky clean airtight container. It will keep for up to 2 weeks. You can also freeze blueberry sauce. Store it in an airtight container with plastic or beeswax wrap directly on the surface of the sauce. It will keep for up to 3 months. Then, thaw it out in your refrigerator overnight. I recommend freezing it in 1 cup portions, so you’re only thawing as much as you need.

Overhead shot of blueberry sauce in a serving bowl with lemon zest.
Side shot of blueberry sauce in a serving bowl with spoon in it.

Blueberry Sauce

This extraordinarily yummy blueberry sauce is so easy to make you can get it on your table in fifteen minutes with just a few ingredients. Use it on All. Of. The. Things.
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Total Cost ($4.54 recipe / $0.28 serving)
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 16 2 Tbsp each
Calories 37kcal
Author Monti – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups frozen blueberries $3.99
  • 1/2 cup sugar $0.22
  • 1 lemon $0.30
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch $0.03
  • 3/4 cup water, divided $0.00

Instructions

  • Place a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add the blueberries, the sugar, and 1/2 cup of the water. Stir to incorporate.
  • Use a vegetable peeler to zest the lemon in long strips. Then juice the lemon. Add the zest and just 1/2 tablespoon of the juice to the pot.
  • When the mixture comes to a boil, use a separate bowl to mix the cornstarch into 1/4 cup of water, until it is completely dissolved. Add the cornstarch slurry to the blueberries and stir until incorporated.
  • Continue to stir until the syrup in the blueberry sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Take the syrup off the heat, allow to cool, and remove the strips of lemon zest. It will thicken as it cools. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 2Tbsp | Calories: 37kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 1mg | Fiber: 0.5g
Side shot of blueberry sauce in a serving bowl with spoon in it.

How to Make Blueberry Sauce – Step by Step Photos

Overhead shot of sugar and water being added to blueberries.

Place a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add 2 cups of frozen blueberries, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup of the water. Stir to incorporate.

Overhead shot of a hand holding a lemon while a second hand zests it.

While the blueberries come to a sputtering boil, use a vegetable peeler to zest the lemon in strips. Then juice the lemon. You will use 1/2 tablespoon of juice for this recipe. Reserve the rest for a different recipe.

Overhead shot of hand holding a spoon and mashing blueberries in a pot.

It will take about 7 to 10 minutes for the blueberry mixture to come to a sputtering boil. Once that happens, use a fork to mash the blueberries against the walls of the pan.

Overhead shot of lemon and cornstarch being added to blueberry sauce.

Add the 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice and the lemon zest to the pan. Stir to incorporate. In a separate bowl, mix the tablespoon of cornstarch into the remaining 1/4 cup of water, until it is completely dissolved. Add the cornstarch slurry to the pan and stir until it is fully mixed in.

Overhead shot of blueberry sauce in a pan with finger checking sauce thickness on the back of a spoon.

Continue to stir the blueberry sauce until the syrup coats the back of a spoon. This will take about 3 to 5 minutes. When you drag your finger over the back of the spoon, it should leave a mark that the syrup does not seep back into. Take the sauce off the heat, allow it to cool. The sauce will thicken as it cools. Enjoy!

Overhead shot of blueberry sauce in a serving bowl.

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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is an easy way to cook the most tender and juicy pork ever. It’s great on tacos, sandwiches, burritos and more.

The post Slow Cooker Pulled Pork appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Something truly magical happens when you cook pork low and slow. It turns into the most mouth-watering tender and juicy meat you’ve ever had. And meat this tender is good with everything, so if you make this Slow Cooker Pulled Pork on Sunday, you’ll have meat to last you all week. Pile that slow cooker pork onto sandwiches, tacos, bowl meals, nachos, salads, and more for quick dinners the rest of the week!

Slow cooker pulled pork on a plate with tongs and sandwich fixings on the sides.

What Kind of Pork to Use for Pulled Pork

To get the juiciest and most tender pulled pork make sure to buy a pork butt or pork shoulder. These cuts are marbled with fat and connective tissue that slowly melt and gelatinize when cooked with slow, gentle heat, creating ultra moist and tender meat.

You can buy bone-in or boneless pork butt or pork shoulder. I prefer to use boneless and then cut the pork into large pieces so they cook a little faster, but you can leave the bone in and remove it when shredding the pork if preferred. Just keep in mind that cooking time may be longer if you leave the bone in during cooking.

How to Season Pulled Pork

I used a versatile yet flavorful spice rub on the pork before slow cooking, along with a little extra fresh garlic. This mix of paprika, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, and brown sugar enhances the pork’s flavor, but keeps it neutral enough to be paired with BBQ sauce or any other flavor profile you plan to pair with your pulled pork.

Three slow cooker pulled pork sandwiches on a wooden cutting board.

How to Serve Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork sandwiches are always a hit (brioche buns, BBQ sauce, pickles, and/or coleslaw), but this pulled pork is also great for tacos, burritos, quesadillas, or nachos. I also love piling pulled pork onto bowl meals, salads, or even adding it to soup or ramen. You can seriously add it to anything!

Storage Instructions

Keep the pork in the juices when refrigerating to keep the meat as moist as possible upon reheating. After cooking, transfer the shredded pork and juices to an air-tight food storage container and refrigerate for up to 4-5 days. After completely chilling in the refrigerator, you can transfer the pork to the freezer for longer storage (about three months). To reheat the pork, simply heat in a sauce pot over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until hot.

Close up side view of a plate full of slow cooker pulled pork.
Three pulled pork sandwiches with pickles on a wooden cutting board.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is an easy way to cook the most tender and juicy pork ever. It's great on tacos, sandwiches, burritos and more.
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $9.48 recipe / $1.19 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8 ½ cup each
Calories 247kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. pork butt $8.07
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into chunks $0.37
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped $0.32

Spice Rub

  • 2 tsp paprika $0.20
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika $0.10
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar $0.08
  • 1 tsp garlic powder $0.10
  • 1 tsp onion powder $0.10
  • 2 tsp salt $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.04

Instructions

  • Combine the spices for the spice rub in a bowl.
  • Cut the pork butt into large chunks. If the pork butt has a bone you can either remove it before cooking or wait until you are shredding the cooked meat to remove it. Keep in mind the pork will require extra cooking time if cooking with the bone in.
  • Add the pork pieces to a large bowl and sprinkle the spice rub over top. Toss until the pork is evenly coated in spices.
  • Dice the yellow onion and add it to the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the seasoned pork on top of the onion, then add the roughly chopped garlic on top.
  • Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours. Test the pork with a fork to make sure the meat is tender. It should shred easily with a fork. If not, cook for one hour longer. The total cooking time will depend on the size of your pork butt.
  • Once the pork is tender, use two forks to shred the meat.
  • If you prefer crispy edges on your pork, place some of the pork on a sheet pan and broil for a few minutes, or just until the edges are browned and crispy. Keep a close eye on the pork as it broils!
  • Serve the pulled pork on sandwiches, tacos, bowl meals, and more!

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 247kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 10g | Sodium: 694mg | Fiber: 0.5g
BBQ sauce being poured onto pulled pork sandwiches.

How to Make Slow Cooker Pulled Pork – Step by Step Photos

Spices for pulled pork in a small wooden bowl.

To make the spice rub for the pulled pork, combine 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 2 tsp salt, and ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper.

Chunks of pork butt on a cutting board.

Cut a 3 lb. pork butt into large chunks. If your pork butt is bone-in, you can either remove the bone or cook with the bone in and remove it when shredding your meat. Keep in mind that if you leave the bone in, the pork will take slightly longer to cook.

Meat coated with spices in a bowl.

Place the pork in a bowl, sprinkle the spice rub over top, then toss until the pork is evenly coated in the rub.

Diced onion in the slow cooker.

Dice one yellow onion and place it on the bottom of the slow cooker.

Pork in slow cooker with chopped garlic,

Place the seasoned pork in the slow cooker and top with four roughly chopped cloves of garlic.

Cooked pork in the slow cooker.

Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours. If your pork butt is larger than 3 lbs. you may need to cook slightly longer. Check the tenderness of the meat after 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. It should pull apart easily. If it’s still tough, let it cook another hour then check again.

Shredded pork in the slow cooker, some being lifted with tongs.

Once the pork is tender, use two forks to shred the meat.

Broiled pulled pork on a baking sheet.

If you want crispy edges on your pulled pork (who doesn’t?!). Place some of the pulled pork on a baking sheet and place it under your oven’s broiler for a few minutes. The melted fat on the pork will fry the edges and make it beautifully crispy! Keep a close eye on the meat as it broils since broilers cook very quickly!

Three pulled pork sandwiches with pickles on a wooden cutting board.

Enjoy your pulled pork on sandwiches, tacos, bowl meals, quesadillas and more!

The post Slow Cooker Pulled Pork appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Carrot Soup

Roasted carrots and brown butter take a humble carrot soup to a new level of yum. PS this recipe got props from Chef Gordon Ramsay. Try it!

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When times were tight, I’d go to the dollar store for groceries. On one occasion, I picked up a bag of carrots in the hopes that my two-year-old would want to have them as a healthy snack. By the end of the week, defeated by a toddler, I found myself staring blankly at a wilting bag of carrots I could not afford to waste. And so this roasted carrot soup was born. I use brown butter for nuttiness, cream to add body, and ginger and thyme to elevate the flavors. It’s so good, it got props from Chef Gordon Ramsay when I made it on MasterChef.

Overhead shot of carrot soup in a white Dutch oven with sour cream swirled in it.

Is Roasting Necessary?

Roasting is what makes this soup special. It’s the greatest gift you can give a root veggie with very minimal effort. All you have to do is chop carrots and put them in an oven! As the carrots roast, they develop deeper flavors through caramelization. Don’t worry if a few of them charr, as that browning will add a nice smokiness to the finished product. Roasting also reduces the time you’ll need to keep your carrots simmering on a stove. Make sure to slice carrots evenly, so they cook at the same pace.

Boiling Instead of Simmering

Do your best to keep your soup at a simmer, not a boil. You’re looking for gentle bubbles and steam. Otherwise, you’re evaporating most of your liquid before the carrots are through cooking. Boiling soup also causes nutrient loss and destroys aromas. A gentle simmer > a raging boil. ( If you’re single, you can also apply that equation to your love life. You’re welcome.)

Overhead shot of carrot soup in three white bowls with sour cream swirled in it

Can I freeze carrot soup?

Yes, you can freeze carrot soup. Make sure to freeze it in individual portions, as you should only thaw it once. It should keep for up to three months. After that, you can thaw it in the fridge overnight and reheat it in a pot over low heat, or pop the individual portion into a microwave straight from the freezer—cover to avoid splatter, and cook until it’s steaming.

What can I serve with carrot soup?

This soup is very filling, but it also pairs well with these fantastic recipes:

Overhead shot of carrot soup in a white Dutch Oven with sour cream swirled in it.

Side shot of white bowl with carrot soup in it.

Carrot Soup

This roasted carrot soup transforms the humble carrot into a vibrant meal. It scores major points for being as economical as it is hearty. Keep it vegetarian or add chicken breast for a protein punch.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Total Cost $4.71 recipe / $1.03 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4 2 cups each
Calories 504kcal
Author Monti – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs carrots $1.49
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.12
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.03
  • 4 Tbsp salted butter $0.50
  • 1 yellow onion $0.65
  • 1 tsp thyme $0.10
  • 3 cups water $0.00
  • 3 cups chicken broth $0.36
  • 1 cup heavy cream $1.12
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger $0.21
  • 2 sprigs Italian parsley (optional) $0.05
  • 4 Tbsp sour cream (optional) $0.08

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Clean the carrots and cut them into 1/4 inch rounds. Drizzle with olive oil and salt. Roast the carrots at 400°F for about 35 minutes until they have softened and begun to caramelize.
  • Dice the onions. Add the butter to a large Dutch oven and cook over medium heat until it foams and the milk solids start to brown. Turn off the heat, add the thyme and cook for one minute, to infuse the butter.
  • Turn the heat to medium and cook the onions in the browned butter until the onions are translucent, about two minutes.
  • Add the chicken broth and water and cover. Simmer until carrots are done.
  • When the carrots have begun to caramelize, take them out of the oven.
  • Add the carrots to the chicken broth. Cook uncovered until carrots easily fall apart when pressed by a fork.
  • Add soup to a blender, Take the center cap off of your blender lid and cover with a towel. Blend in two batches and puree.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a few leaves of Italian parsley

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 504kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 43g | Sodium: 1221mg | Fiber: 7g
Overhead shot of three bowls of carrot soup with sour cream swirled in them.

How to Make Carrot Soup – Step by Step Photos

Overhead shot of sliced raw carrots in a sheet pan.

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Peel the 2 pounds of carrots and cut them into 1/4 inch rounds. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Roast the carrots at 400°F for about 35 minutes until they have softened and caramelized.

Overhead shot of butter browning.

While the carrots roast, dice the onion. Add 4 tablespoons of salted butter to a Dutch oven and cook over medium heat until it foams and the milk solids start to brown. Add 1 teaspoon of thyme and let it cook for a minute.

Overhead shot of butter browning.

Add the diced onion to the browned butter and thyme. Cook the onion until they it is translucent, about two minutes.

Overhead shot of chicken stock being poured into soup base.

Add the 3 cups of chicken broth and the 3 cups of water. Scrape up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Cover and simmer with the lid on until the carrots are ready.

Overhead shot of sheet pan with roasted carrots.

Once the carrots have started to caramelize, take them out of the oven.

Overhead shot of carrots cooking in cream mixture.

Add the roasted carrots to the chicken broth mixture. Simmer until they soften so much they fall apart easily when pressed by a fork.

Overhead shot of blended carrot soup.

Before blending the soup, remove the center cap off of your lid and cover the hole with a kitchen towel. Add half of the soup to the blender and puree. Repeat.

Overhead shot of carrot soup in a white bowl with sour cream swirled in it.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. If you’d like to garnish your soup, try it with a dollop of sour cream, some Italian parsley, and black pepper.

Try These Other Great Creamy Soups

The post Carrot Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

How To Make Sour Cream

If you’ve run out of sour cream and don’t want to run to the store for more- you can make it at home with just two ingredients and a little upper body strength!

The post How To Make Sour Cream appeared first on Budget Bytes.

There’s nothing worse than being in the middle of a recipe that calls for sour cream and opening up the tub only to find it’s almost empty or worse- there’s mold all over it. Luckily, if you’re out of sour cream, you can make your own! All you need is two ingredients and a lot of upper body strength. (I’m exaggerating about the need for muscle tone. I can do it, and I haven’t worked out since the 90s.)

What is sour cream?

First things first- there are two types of sour cream: cultured and acidified. Without getting too sciency, cultured sour cream is made with bacteria, while acidified sour cream is made with an acid. Fun fact: many store-bought sour creams aren’t made from cream at all. They’re made with milk that’s thickened with artificial ingredients. Homemade sour cream doesn’t have artificial thickeners so it will be a little runnier than what you’re used to, but the flavor will be spectacular!

Making Sour Cream From Scratch

Since you probably don’t have a vial of lactic bacteria in your pantry, you’ll need heavy cream and an acid. I like using vinegar, but you can also use lemon juice or buttermilk. You’ll also need a mason jar or another air-tight container. To make sure the container is squeaky clean, boil it for a few minutes, let it cool, and then add your cream and acid. Then cover and shake it (or blend it) until it thickens. That’s it. You’ve made sour cream.

To Ferment Or Not To Ferment

I’m a pretty impatient person, so if I’m using the sour cream for a batter or a dip, I add it a few minutes after I’ve made it because its primary purpose is to add creaminess and flavor. It’s not the star of the show; it’s a background singer. (Like the one chick in Destiny’s Child whose name no one ever remembers.) Now, if it’s the Beyonce of your dish, you’ll want to let it sit for a day on your counter to let the cream ferment and thicken and then refrigerate. To keep it 100, I usually skip fermenting it and just put it in the fridge to thicken overnight. It still tastes great.

How long does it last?

That depends on you. It’s best to store the sour cream in the back of your fridge, not the fridge door, where temperatures fluctuate. If you clean your container well and keep the sour cream at 40 degrees, it should last about two weeks. To keep it fresher longer, store it upside down so it isn’t affected by air. When the cream falls to the lid of the jar, it creates a vacuum, which slows down mold and bacteria growth. You can use this nifty trick on all dairy products that come in a container or a jar. I’m looking at you, cottage cheese.

Some of the things you can make with sour cream

Don’t limit your sour cream to just a topping for baked potatoes or a heap of nachos. It works magic in all sorts of dishes. You can use it in sweet and savory preparations to add tang, moisture, and tenderize. It’s the little cream that could.

Overhead shot of a wooden bowl with sour cream in it that's topped with chives and is surrounded by potato chips.

How To Make Sour Cream

If you've run out of sour cream and don't want to run to the store for more—you can make it at home with just two ingredients: heavy cream and vinegar!
Course condiment
Total Cost $1.42 recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Resting Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 5 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Calories 812kcal
Author Monti – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy cream $1.40
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar $0.02

Instructions

  • Add the cream to a mason jar or other airtight container.
  • Add the vinegar to the cream.
  • Close the container and shake it for a minute or two, until the cream thickens.
  • Use the cream right away or leave the jar on your counter overnight to ferment and thicken.*

Notes

*Leave it out on your counter overnight if you want tangier, thicker sour cream. I usually shake it and pop it in the fridge, where it will thicken in a few hours.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 812kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 86g | Sodium: 65mg

How to Make Sour Cream – Step by Step Photos

Add the cream to a mason jar or other airtight container.

Add the vinegar (or lemon juice) to the cream.

Close the container and shake it for a minute or two until the cream thickens.

Use the cream right away or leave the jar (with the mouth covered in cheesecloth or other lightweight cloth and secured with a rubberband) on your counter overnight to ferment and thicken.

Overhead shot of a wooden bowl with sour cream in it that's topped with chives and is surrounded by potato chips.

Now your deliciously fresh homemade sour cream is ready to use in your favorite recipe!

Here are some great recipes to use up your sour cream:

Looking for more easy how-to’s? Check these out:

The post How To Make Sour Cream appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Succotash

Succotash is a simple and colorful side dish made with corn and lima beans that is savory, subtly sweet, and full of delicious flavor.

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If you’re looking for a simple, hearty, and inexpensive side dish that you pair with just about any meal, you’ve got to try succotash. This colorful mix of corn, lima beans, and tomatoes has a natural subtle sweetness balanced with savory broth, herbs, and a creamy butter finish. It’s one of those combinations that is so simple, but you won’t be able to stop shoveling it into your mouth, forkful after forkful.

Succotash in a skillet with a wooden spoon, garnished with parsley.

What is Succotash?

Succotash is a simple dish of stewed corn and beans that originated with the Narragansett people in what is now the New England region of the U.S. The Narragansett called the dish sahquttahhash, or “broken corn kernels”, and introduced it to colonists in the 17th century when it likely took on its current name. Over the centuries the dish has taken many forms and has become part of classic southern cuisine in the U.S. The version you’ll find below is simple, delicious, and most importantly budget-friendly!

What’s in Succotash?

Succotash can take many forms, but the common thread between most versions is a combination of corn and lima beans stewed together with other vegetables, herbs, and sometimes a fatty meat. My version is very simple with corn, lima beans, tomatoes, and onions, all stewed together in a little bit of chicken broth and finished with a little creamy butter.

Some people love to add a little bacon or salt pork to their succotash to give it an extra flavor punch. Other vegetables that can be commonly found in succotash include red bell pepper, okra, squash, and garlic.

What to Serve with Succotash

Succotash is a very versatile side dish and can be served alongside any grilled meat, baked fish, or pork chops. Succotash would also be great to add to a bowl meal, or just it as a bed on your plate for some Garlic Butter Shrimp. YUM!

Overhead view of a bowl of succotash with a black spoon.
Overhead view of a skillet full of soccotash.

Succotash

Succotash is a simple and colorful side dish made with corn and lima beans that is savory, subtly sweet, and full of delicious flavor.
Course Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Total Cost $5.46 recipe / $0.55 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 10 ½ cup each
Calories 128kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.38
  • 4 Tbsp butter, divided $0.50
  • 1 12oz. bag frozen lima beans $1.69
  • 1 12oz. bag frozen sweet corn $1.25
  • 1 cup chicken broth* $0.13
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper $0.02
  • 1 tsp salt, divided $0.05
  • 1 large tomato $1.29
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley $0.10

Instructions

  • Dice the yellow onion and add it to a skillet with 2 Tbsp butter. Sauté the onion in the butter over medium heat until the onion has softened.
  • Add the lima beans, corn, broth, thyme, pepper, and ½ tsp salt to the skillet. Stir to combine and allow the broth to come up to a simmer. Let the corn and beans simmer in the broth, without a lid, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  • While the corn and lima beans are simmering, dice the tomato. Add the diced tomato to the skillet and simmer for an additional five minutes.
  • Give the mixture a taste and add more salt to your liking (I added an extra ½ tsp salt). Add the remaining 2 Tbsp butter and stir until they are melted in.
  • Top the succotash with chopped fresh parsley and another pinch of black pepper. Enjoy hot!

Notes

*Make this recipe vegetarian by substituting vegetable broth.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 377mg | Fiber: 3g
A spoonful of succotash held close to the camera.

How to Make Succotash – Step by Step Photos

Sautéed onions in a skillet.

Begin by dicing one yellow onion. Add the onion and 2 Tbsp butter to a large skillet and sauté over medium heat until the onions are softened.

Corn, lima beans, spices, and broth being poured into the skillet.

Add one 12oz. bag of frozen lima beans, one 12oz. bag of frozen sweet corn, ½ tsp dried thyme, ¼ tsp black pepper, ½ tsp salt, and 1 cup chicken broth. Stir to combine. Allow the broth to come up to a simmer, then simmer the corn and beans in the broth, without a lid, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Diced tomatoes being stirred into the skillet.

While the corn and beans are simmering, dice one large tomato (or 2 small tomatoes). Stir the diced tomatoes into the skillet then continue to simmer, without a lid and stirring occasionally, for an additional 5 minutes.

More butter added to the skillet.

Taste the mixture and add more salt to taste (I added another ½ tsp). Finally, add two more tablespoons of butter and stir them in until melted.

Finished succotash topped with parsley and pepper.

Garnish the finished succotash with fresh chopped parsley and a little more freshly cracked pepper.

Side view of a bowl of succotash with a spoon.

Enjoy hot!

Try These Other Easy Veggie Side Dishes

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Avocado and Tomato Salad

This simple avocado and tomato salad is a chunky mix of all of summer’s fresh flavors, like tomato, avocado, lime, and cilantro.

The post Avocado and Tomato Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Guacamole is one of my most favorite foods ever, but avocados can get really pricey. So when I’ve got that guac craving I mix up a batch of this simple avocado and tomato salad. It has all the same amazing flavors as guacamole, but with a slightly different ratio of ingredients to make it a bit more budget-friendly. This salad is so good that I love to spoon it over everything–eggs, chicken, fish, green salads, tortilla chips, and sometimes I just scoop it up right out of the bowl with a spoon. 😅

Originally posted 3/31/2010, updated 8/31/2022.

A chip dipping into a bowl of avocado and tomato salad on a yellow background.

Keeping it Budget-Friendly

Avocados are definitely one of the higher-priced items in the produce aisle, so we’re using Budget Bytes principle #2, Use Ingredients Wisely, to help keep the price of this recipe in check. Whenever you use a higher-priced ingredient make sure to bulk up the recipe with plenty of lower-priced ingredients to help stretch the cost over more servings. For this recipe, I’ve bulked it up with plenty of Roma tomatoes to make those avocados go twice as far.

What Else Can I Add?

I love this salad because it’s not only great as-is, but you can take it in so many other directions. If you want to bulk it up even more by adding some more inexpensive ingredients, try adding some rinsed and drained black beans or thawed frozen corn kernels. You can also make it similar to ceviche by adding some boiled shrimp (whole or chopped).

How to Serve Avocado and Tomato Salad

Whenever I make this salad, I literally put it on everything. It’s good on chicken and fish, I pile it onto scrambled or fried eggs, I scoop it up with tortilla chips, and I also use it as a topper for a big bowl of salad. And sometimes I just serve it on my plate with dinner as its own stand-alone side dish!

How Long Does it Last?

To be honest, I’ve always eaten this entire batch within about 2-3 days, so I’m not sure how it holds up past that point. The lime juice in the salad helps keep the avocados from turning too brown, although their color does become less vibrant as it sits in the refrigerator and everything does soften a bit. That being said, the flavors in the salad begin to blend as it refrigerates and I think it’s absolutely wonderful the next day! So, if I were making this for company I’d definitely assemble it just before serving. If I was making it for myself I’d happily gobble up the leftovers over the next couple of days.

close up side view of a bowl full of avocado and tomato salad.

Overhead view of a bowl full of avocado and tomato salad.

Avocado and Tomato Salad

This simple avocado and tomato salad is a chunky mix of all of summer's fresh flavors, like tomato, avocado, lime, and cilantro.
Course Appetizer, Dip, Side Dish
Cuisine Southwest
Total Cost $6.13 recipe / $1.02 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 ½ cup each
Calories 194kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 3 avocados $3.75
  • 3 small tomatoes $1.08
  • 1/4 red onion $0.11
  • 1 clove garlic $0.08
  • 1 jalapeño $0.18
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro $0.23
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.08
  • 1 lime $0.59
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.03

Instructions

  • Dice the avocados and tomatoes. Finely dice the red onion and jalapeño (seeds removed). Mince the garlic, and roughly chop the cilantro.
  • Add the avocados, tomatoes, jalapeño, red onion, garlic, and cilantro to a large bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over top. Juice the lime and add about 1 Tbsp to the salad to start, along with ¼ tsp salt.
  • Give the salad a brief stir, then taste and add more lime juice and salt to your liking. I ended up using 2 Tbsp lime juice total and ½ tsp salt. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 194kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 17g | Sodium: 204mg | Fiber: 7g

How to Make Avocado and Tomato Salad – Step by Step Photos

Avocado and tomato salad ingredients on a cutting board.

For this recipe, you’ll need 3 avocados, 3 small tomatoes, ¼ of a red onion, 1 clove of garlic, ¼ bunch of cilantro, 1 lime, and one jalapeño (oops, forgot to add that one to the pic!). 

Prepped salad ingredients in the bowl, oil being drizzled over top.

Dice the avocado and tomatoes. Finely dice the red onion and jalapeño (seeds removed). Mince the garlic, and roughly chop the cilantro. Add the avocado, tomato, jalapeño, onion, and garlic to a large bowl. Juice the lime and add 1 Tbsp of the juice to the bowl along with 1 Tbsp olive oil, and ¼ tsp salt.

Stirred avocado tomato salad in the bowl.

Give everything a brief stir to combine, then taste and add more salt or lime if desired. I ended up using ½ tsp salt and 2 Tbsp lime juice total.

A chip dipping into a bowl of avocado and tomato salad.

Serve the salad with your favorite meal or just enjoy it straight out of the bowl (with or without chips)!

 

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How to Make A Frittata

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

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

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

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

What is a Frittata?

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

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

The Frittata Formula

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

Frittatas in Five Simple Steps

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

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

Avoid Overcooking Your Frittata

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

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

How to Serve Frittatas

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

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

Other Frittata Flavor Ideas

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

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

How to Make a Frittata

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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

Nutrition

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

How to Make Frittatas – Step by Step Photos

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

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

Sautéed onions in a skillet.

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

Chopped spinach on a cutting board.

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

Spinach and tomatoes combined with onions in the skillet.

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

Eggs being poured into the skillet.

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

Frittata topped with cheese and edges set.

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

Baked frittata in the skillet.

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

Sliced frittata in the skillet, one slice being lifted.

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

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

Check out these other great egg dishes:

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Vanilla Pudding

The hardest thing about making vanilla pudding from scratch is not eating it all at once. Drop the instant pudding mix and try this recipe!

The post Vanilla Pudding appeared first on Budget Bytes.

The hardest thing about making this dreamy vanilla pudding from scratch is not eating it all in one sitting. Drop the instant pudding mix and try this easy homemade pudding STAT! All you need is a few minutes and a handful of ingredients to make this ultra-creamy, luscious dessert.

Overhead shot of vanilla pudding in a white bowl with whipped cream on top and cut strawberries on the counter.

I’m just blown away by the price point on this ultra-easy to make, luscious dessert. I can make almost 4 cups of pudding for a little below $3. Which means I can make a double batch and stash half of it to gobble down by myself while I’m watching the ladies on The Bachelorette make bad decisions. Perfection.

What Is Vanilla Pudding Made Of?

Traditionally you make vanilla pudding with whole milk, a little sugar, and, of course, vanilla. But if that’s all you used, you’d be left with a bowl of vanilla milk. Pudding needs to have body! While you can use flour to thicken a pudding, I prefer corn starch which also adds a glossy finish. Egg yolks give the pudding its buttery hue while adding richness and helping it set. 

Do I have to use whole milk for pudding?

You need the fat content of whole milk to create the creamy mouth feel of a proper pudding. You can use 2% if that’s all you have, but I would add an extra tablespoon of butter to the party to compensate for the fat loss. I know many of you can’t do dairy, so feel free to substitute whole milk with coconut milk, which has higher fat content than other milk alternatives. You can also replace the butter with vegan butter.

Help! My Pudding Is Lumpy!

Life happens, and so does lumpy pudding. To prevent lumps, use a pot with rounded sides so your whisk can tuck into the edges. If you use a pot with straight sides, the whisk can’t get into the corners, and you’ll get thick pasty bits that can also scorch. It’s also important to temper your eggs, which is just chef-speak for bringing the temperature of the egg yolks up little by little, so they don’t scramble. Keep away from high heat, period.

Side view of white bowl of vanilla pudding with a spoon coming out of it with strawberries and two other bowls of pudding in the background.

Vanilla Pudding Toppers

While this creamy dessert is fantastic as is, you can embellish it with all sorts of ingredients to transform it into something even more impressive. 

  • Vanilla pudding pairs perfectly with fresh fruit, especially berries.
  • Layer it with vanilla wafers, sliced bananas, and whipped cream for a southern-style banana pudding. 
  • Add diced granny smith apples, chopped Snickers bars, and whipped cream to create a Snickers salad for a midwestern twist. 
  • Swirl in a bit of dulce de leche and chopped shortbread cookies, like I do, because my sweet tooth is so large it rides shotgun.

Storing Leftovers

When storing vanilla pudding, the most crucial step is to cover the surface with plastic film, so the pudding isn’t exposed to air, which will cause it to develop a thick skin. Great for work meetings, not so much for pudding.

You can store the pudding in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. It keeps in the freezer for up to three months. If you want to go all out, pour it into popsicle molds and enjoy it as a frozen treat.

Overhead shot of vanilla pudding in a white bowl topped with a dollop of whipped cream and surrounded by strawberries.
Side shot of white bowl of vanilla pudding with two other bowls and cut strawberries in the background.

Vanilla Pudding

The hardest thing about making vanilla pudding from scratch is not eating it all at once. Drop the instant pudding mix and try this recipe!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Total Cost $2.79 recipe / $0.70 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 3/4 cup each
Calories 350kcal
Author Monti – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar $0.12
  • 3 Tbsp corn starch $0.09
  • 3 cups whole milk $0.73
  • 3 large egg yolks $0.60
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract $0.87
  • 3 Tbsp salted butter $0.38

Instructions

  • Add the sugar and cornstarch to a medium-sized pot. Mix them together and set the pot over medium heat.
  • Add the milk and stir constantly until it comes to a boil. Continue stirring for 1 minute longer.
  • The milk should be thick enough to coat the back of wooden spoon. Take the mixture off the heat.
  • Beat the egg yolks. Whisk one tablespoon of the hot milk into the beaten egg yolks.
  • Continue to whisk in the milk, tablespoon by tablespoon, until the egg mixture is very warm.
  • Set the remaining pot of milk over medium heat and whisk in the warmed egg mixture. Bring the pudding to a boil while stirring constantly. Continue stirring for 1 minute longer.
  • Take the pudding off the heat. Add the vanilla and the butter. Stir until the butter has melted.
  • Strain the pudding through a fine mesh sieve.
  • Add the strained pudding to a large bowl. Serve warm or cover with plastic film touching the pudding's surface and store in the refrigerator until the pudding has cooled.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.75cup | Calories: 350kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 18g | Sodium: 144mg | Fiber: 0.1g
Side shot of white bowl of vanilla pudding with two other bowls and cut strawberries in the background.

How to Make Vanilla Pudding – Step by Step Photos

Overhead shot of sugar and cornstarch in a pot.

Add the sugar and cornstarch to a medium-sized pot with rounded edges. Mix them together and set the pot over medium heat.

Overhead shot of milk being poured into dry ingredients in a pot.

Add the milk and stir constantly until it comes to a boil. Continue stirring for 1 minute longer.

Overhead of a wooden spoon comin out of a pot with milk that has thickened on it.

The milk should be thick enough to coat the back of wooden spoon. Take the mixture off the heat.

Overhead shot of egg yolks being tempered in a white ramekin with a spoon stirring it.

Beat the egg yolks. Whisk one tablespoon of the hot milk into the beaten egg yolks. Continue to whisk in the milk, tablespoon by tablespoon, until the egg mixture is very warm.

Overhead shot of tempered egg yolks being stirred into pudding in a pot.

Set the remaining pot of milk over medium heat and whisk in the warmed egg mixture. Bring the pudding to a boil while stirring constantly. Continue stirring for 1 minute longer.

Overhead shot of vanilla and butter being stirred into pudding in a pot.

Take the pudding off the heat. Add the vanilla and the butter. Stir until the butter has melted.

Overhead shot of vanilla pudding being strained through a fine mesh sieve into a white bowl.

Strain the warm pudding through a fine mesh sieve.

Overhead shot of vanilla pudding in a white bowl with plastic film on top.

Add the pudding to a large bowl and cover it with plastic film touching the pudding’s surface.

A bowl of refrigerated vanilla pudding.

Store in the refrigerator until the pudding has cooled.

Overhead shot of vanilla pudding in a white bowl with whipped cream on top and cut strawberries on the counter.

Portion the pudding into four serving bowls and enjoy as is, or top with homemade whipped cream.

Other Desserts You Can Make For Under $1 A Serving:

Try these wide-open bags of deliciousness without breaking the bank!

The post Vanilla Pudding appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Tomato Rice

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

The post Tomato Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

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

Tomato rice in a bowl with limes and green onion.

What’s in Tomato Rice?

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

What Else Can I Add?

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

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

Can I Use Brown Rice?

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

How to Store the Leftovers

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

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

Close up side view of a bowl of tomato rice.

Tomato Rice

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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

Nutrition

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

How to Make Tomato Rice – Step by Step Photos

Chopped onion and garlic on a cutting board.

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

sautéed onion and garlic in the pot.

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

Rice and spices added to the pot.

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

Rice and spices cooked in the pot.

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

Tomatoes and broth added to the pot.

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

Tomato rice before simmering.

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

Simmered rice in the pot with tomatoes on top.

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

Fluffed tomato rice in the pot.

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

Lime being squeezed over the rice in a bowl.

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

Try These Other Flavored Rice Recipes:

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