Quick Veggie Pasta

Use up your leftover odds and ends in the kitchen because “anything goes” with this Quick Veggie Pasta! Make it vegetarian or vegan!

The post Quick Veggie Pasta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

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!

Overhead view of quick veggie pasta in a skillet with tongs

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. :)

Pasta Options

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.

Side view of quick veggie pasta in a bowl twirled around a fork

Vegatble Options

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:

  • kale
  • peas
  • corn
  • avocado (will give the pasta a nice creamy effect)
  • edamame
  • broccoli
  • carrots
  • zucchini
  • bell pepper
  • green beans
  • 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.

Want to see some other ways to use nutritional yeast? Check out our nutritional yeast archives.

Overhead view of a bowl full of quick veggie pasta

Love fast pasta dishes? Check out the rest of our Quick Pasta Recipes!

Side view of quick veggie pasta in a bowl twirled around a fork

Quick Veggie Pasta

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 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 301kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. linguine $0.50
  • 4 oz. mushrooms $0.75
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes $1.25
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 4 oz. fresh spinach $0.50
  • 1 Tbsp butter* $0.09
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast $0.42
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

*Swap with a vegan butter to make this recipe vegan.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 301kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 200mg | Fiber: 4g
Side view of pasta in the skillet being picked up by tongs

How to Make Quick Veggie Pasta – Step by Step Photos

Uncooked linguine in a pot

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.

Sliced mushrooms and tomatoes on a cutting board

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.

Sautéed mushrooms in a skillet

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).

Tomatoes added to the skillet with mushrooms

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.

spinach added to the skillet with tomatoes and mushrooms

Finally, add the fresh spinach and sauté for a minute or so more, or just until it wilts.

pasta and butter added to the skillet

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.

nutritional yeast and seasoning added to the noodles

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.

finished quick veggie pasta in the skillet

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.

Overhead view of a plate full of quick veggie pasta

The post Quick Veggie Pasta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Mediterranean Tuna Salad

This simple, fresh, and filling Mediterranean Tuna Salad makes an easy protein-packed make-ahead lunch for your workweek. Tons of ideas for add-ins and substitutions included!

The post Mediterranean Tuna Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I had a request for more tuna recipes lately but instead of heavy casseroles, I was in the mood for something lighter and more fresh (I’m soooo ready for Spring). So I made this Mediterranean Tuna Salad, which is sort of a hybrid of two of my other favorite recipes. And guess what? It holds up great in the fridge, so it’s another meal prep ready salad! 🙌

Overhead view of a bowl full of Mediterranean Tuna Salad with a fork in the side

What’s in Mediterranean Tuna Salad?

As I mentioned in the intro, this salad is a hybrid of two of my other favorite recipes: Super Fresh Cucumber Salad and Tuna and White Bean Salad. The salad starts with a base of fresh vegetables, like cucumber, tomato, red onion, and parsley, then gets a dose of protein from tuna and white beans, and is finished off with a tangy homemade vinaigrette and just the right amount of crumbled feta. The combo is absolutely perfect!

What Else Can I Add?

What I love about “refrigerator salads” (besides the fact that they hold up for days in the fridge) is that they are always quite flexible. You can add, substitute, or skip ingredients based on your needs. Here are some other ingredients that you can add into this Mediterranean Tuna Salad:

  • Sun dried tomatoes
  • Olives
  • Bell peppers
  • Chickpeas
  • Avocado
  • Cooked orzo, penne, or bowtie pasta
  • Spinach or Romaine (keep separate if meal prepping)
  • Roasted red peppers

How to Serve Mediterranean Tuna Salad

This well rounded salad could be served on its own in a larger portion as a stand alone meal, but you could also round it out by adding some pita and hummus on the side, stuffing the salad itself into a pita or wrap, or adding some cooked pasta to make it into a pasta salad. However you eat it, it’s going to be filling, fresh, and flavorful!

What Kind of Tuna Should I Use?

I definitely suggest chunk light tuna for this recipe because I think it’s the happy medium between good texture (large pieces instead of tiny flakes) and price. You can use tuna packed in either water or oil, whichever you prefer. The nutritional stats below are calculated using tuna packed in water.

How Long Does it Last?

My salad stayed fresh for about 3-4 days. The ingredients hold up extremely well in the refrigerator. You do want to give it a good stir before serving, though, to redistribute the dressing and make sure everything is as flavorful as possible.

Close up side view of Mediterranean Tuna Salad in a bowl
Close up side view of Mediterranean Tuna Salad in a bowl

Mediterranean Tuna Salad

This simple, fresh, and filling Mediterranean Tuna Salad makes an easy protein-packed make-ahead lunch for your workweek.
Total Cost $7.89 recipe / $1.32 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 about 1 cup each
Calories 283.55kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup olive oil $0.52
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar $0.20
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice $0.06
  • 1 tsp dried oregano $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Salad

  • 1 English cucumber* $1.29
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes* $1.49
  • 1/2 red onion $0.16
  • 1/4 bunch fresh parsley, chopped (about ½ cup) $0.35
  • 1 15oz. can cannellini beans $0.69
  • 1 12oz. can chunk light tuna $1.89
  • 2 oz. feta $1.10

Instructions

  • Make the vinaigrette first, so the flavors have a little time to blend. In a bowl or jar, combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, oregano, salt, and pepper. Whisk the ingredients together, or close the jar and shake until combined. Set the vinaigrette aside.
  • If you want to soften the flavor of the red onion a bit, slice it then soak the slices in ice water for about five minutes before dicing. Otherwise, finely dice the red onion, cut the cucumber into quarter rounds, slice the tomatoes in half, and roughly chop the parsley.
  • Combine the cucumber, tomato, onion, and parsley in a bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over top, then stir until the vegetables are coated.
  • Rinse and drain the beans, and drain the tuna. Add the beans, tuna, and feta to the salad, then gently stir to combine. These three are added last and only gently stirred to make sure the tuna remains in larger flakes instead of falling apart into tiny pieces.
  • Serve immediately, or refrigerate up to four days. Give it a quick stir after refrigerating and before serving to redistribute the dressing.

Notes

*You can use a conventional cucumber and diced Roma tomatoes in place of English cucumber and grape tomatoes if needed. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 283.55kcal | Carbohydrates: 23.75g | Protein: 22.48g | Fat: 11.98g | Sodium: 691.93mg | Fiber: 5.18g

How to Make Mediterranean Tuna Salad – Step by Step Photos

Homemade vinaigrette in a bowl with a fork

Start with the vinaigrette, so the flavors have a little time to blend. Combine ¼ cup olive oil, 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper. Set the dressing aside.

red onion slices soaking in a bowl of water

If you want to soften the flavor of the red onions, soaking them for five minutes or so in ice water really helps! I slice them first to give more surface area to water contact, then finely dice them after soaking. For this recipe I used about ½ of a red onion.

Chopped vegetables in a bowl

You also want to cut one cucumber into quarter rounds, slice a pint of grape tomatoes in half, and roughly chop about ¼ bunch of parsley (about ½ cup chopped). Add them all to a bowl with the finely diced red onion.

Vinaigrette being poured over vegetables in the bowl

Pour the vinaigrette over top, then stir until everything is coated. We’ll add the tuna and feta last so they don’t break apart too much when stirring.

beans, tuna, and feta added to the salad

Rinse and drain one 15oz. can of cannellini beans, and drain one 12oz. can of chunk light tuna. Add the beans, tuna, and 2oz. feta to the salad, then fold to combine.

Finished Mediterranean Tuna Salad in the bowl with a spatula

And that’s a wrap! Your Mediterranean Tuna Salad is ready to go. You can either serve it immediately or refrigerate for up to four days. Enjoy!

Mediterranean Tuna Salad in a white serving dish from above

The post Mediterranean Tuna Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Turkey Taco Salad

This Turkey Taco Salad is an easy, light, and fresh dinner that’s flexible enough to feed all your family members. Mix and match your favorite taco salad toppings, or just use up what you have in your fridge!

The post Turkey Taco Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Winter is full of lots of heavy, slow cooked, or stewed comfort foods and right around this time every year I start craving something lighter and more fresh. Enter this super simple Turkey Taco Salad. It comes together quickly, it gives me all the flavors I need, and it’s still super filling. Oh, and did I mention how flexible it is? Read on for tons of ideas for substitutions and add-ins!

Creamy avocado dressing being poured over a turkey taco salad from a mason jar

Dressing Options

I used my homemade Creamy Avocado Dressing for this taco salad, but you can definitely swap that out with your favorite creamy salad dressing. A taco or chipotle flavored ranch, green goddess dressing, or even a tangy Catalina dressing would all be great.

Can I Substitute the Ground Turkey?

Yes, this recipe works great with ground beef or pork, or you can even make it vegetarian using tempeh. To use tempeh, simply crumble the tempeh into a skillet, add a cup of water, and let the tempeh simmer until the water mostly evaporates, then add the taco seasoning and continue to sauté for a couple minutes more.

Other Add-ins and Substitutions

Taco salads are so flexible! Here are some other ingredient ideas that you can use in place of or in addition to anything listed in the recipe below:

Close up side view of turkey taco salad in a serving bowl
overhead view of turkey taco salad drizzled with creamy avocado dressing

Turkey Taco Salad

This Turkey Taco Salad is an easy, light, and fresh dinner that's flexible enough to feed all your family members, no matter how picky!
Total Cost $11.29 recipe / $2.82 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 476.45kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Creamy Avocado Salad Dressing

  • 1 avocado $0.89
  • 1/2 cup sour cream $0.24
  • 1 clove garlic $0.08
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice $0.50
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro $0.20
  • 1/4 cup water $0.00

Taco Seasoned Turkey

  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil $0.08
  • 1 lb. ground turkey $3.49
  • 2 Tbsp taco seasoning* $0.67

Salad

  • 1 head romaine lettuce $0.86
  • 1 cup frozen corn $0.35
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes $1.99
  • 1 jalapeño (optional) $0.18
  • 2 oz. shredded cheddar $0.85

Instructions

  • Make the salad dressing first so the flavors have time to blend. Peel the avocado and remove the pit. Add the avocado to a food processor or blender along with the sour cream, garlic (minced), salt, lime juice, cilantro, and water. Purée until smooth. Refrigerate the dressing until ready to use.
  • Next, cook the taco seasoned turkey. Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, add the ground turkey and cook, breaking it into pieces as you stir. When it's about half-way cooked, add the taco seasoning and continue to stir and cook until the turkey is cooked through.
  • Thaw the frozen corn (I use the microwave). Wash and chop the romaine lettuce, rinse and drain the black beans, slice the grape tomatoes in half, slice the jalapeño, and shred the cheddar cheese.
  • To build the salad, lay a bed of the chopped lettuce in each bowl, top with beans, corn, tomatoes, cheese, seasoned turkey, and a few slices of jalapeño. Drizzle the creamy avocado dressing over top and enjoy!

Notes

*I used my own homemade taco seasoning, but you can use a store-bought taco seasoning packet, if you prefer.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25recipe | Calories: 476.45kcal | Carbohydrates: 37.55g | Protein: 32.93g | Fat: 23.2g | Sodium: 1044.28mg | Fiber: 11.95g
Half-tossed turkey taco salad in a serving bowl with salad tongs

How to Make Turkey Taco Salad – Step by Step Photos

finished avocado dressing in the food processor

Make the creamy avocado dressing first, so the flavors have a few minutes to blend. In a food processor or blender, combine 1 avocado (peeled and pit removed), ½ cup sour cream, 1 clove of garlic (minced), ¼ tsp salt, 2 Tbsp lime juice, ¼ bunch cilantro, and ¼ cup water. Process until smooth. Refrigerate the dressing until ready to use.

ground turkey cooking in a skillet with taco seasoning being sprinkled over top

Add ½ Tbsp olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Add 1 lb. ground turkey and break it into pieces as it cooks. When it’s about half-cooked, add 2 Tbsp taco seasoning (or one store-bought taco seasoning packet) and continue to cook and stir until the turkey is cooked through.

seasoned ground turkey in the skillet

Set the cooked, seasoned taco meat aside.

turkey taco salad toppings in bowls: beans, corn, cheese, tomatoes, jalapeño

While the turkey is cooking, you can begin to prepare the rest of the toppings. Rinse and drain one 15oz. can of black beans, thaw 1 cup frozen corn (I use the microwave), slice 1 pint of grape tomatoes in half, shred about 2 oz. of cheddar, and slice one jalapeño.

Chopped Romaine lettuce in a serving bowl

Also, wash and chop one head of Romaine lettuce. To begin building your salad, place the chopped lettuce in the bottom of a large serving bowl (or you can create four smaller single-serving salads).

Beans being poured onto the salad with corn, tomatoes, and cheese

Start adding the toppings: corn, tomatoes, shredded cheddar, and black beans.

turkey taco meat and jalapeños added to the salad

Top with the turkey taco meat and sliced jalapeños…

Creamy avocado dressing being poured over the salad

And finally, drizzle your creamy avocado dressing over top and enjoy!

Side view of turkey taco salad in a serving bowl with the jar of dressing in the back

The post Turkey Taco Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Tortilla Baked Eggs

You guys know how I love using leftover odds and ends in my fridge to make delicious meals on the fly, right? Well these tasty little eggs baked in a tortilla shell are my newest obsession. You can toss just about any meat, vegetable, or cheese into these Tortilla Baked Eggs to come up with your own tasty creation.

The post Tortilla Baked Eggs appeared first on Budget Bytes.

You guys know how I love using leftover odds and ends in my fridge to make delicious meals on the fly, right? Well these tasty little eggs baked in a tortilla shell are my newest obsession. You can toss just about any meat, vegetable, or cheese into these Tortilla Baked Eggs to come up with your own tasty creation. Sounds like a fun Saturday morning project to me!

Overhead view of tortilla baked eggs on a white plate with a napkin on the side

What Kind of Baking Dish To Use

You can use any type of round, oven-safe dish that is about 1 to 2-inches deep. It should also have straight, vertical sides. Round cake pans or pie plates are a great option. As far as what size to use, you’ll want to use a dish that is one to two inches smaller in diameter than your tortilla, so the tortilla can be folded up on the sides to hold in the eggs and fillings.

What Size Tortilla Should I Use?

My tortillas were 8-inches in diameter, which was perfect for my 7-inch diameter dish. If you are using an eight or nine-inch diameter cake pan, you’ll probably want a 10-inch diameter tortilla. If you have a larger tortilla, you may want to add 1-2 more eggs than I used below.

Topping Ideas

These tortilla baked eggs are SO flexible and you can toss just about anything that you have leftover in your fridge into them, kind of like an omelette or frittata! Here are some combination ideas:

  • Roasted red peppers, feta, red onion
  • Chopped broccoli, cheddar
  • Ham, cheddar, bell pepper
  • Sun dried tomato, feta, spinach
  • Mushrooms, spinach, goat cheese
Two slices of tortilla baked eggs on a plate with a fork
Whole tortilla baked eggs on a plate with fork on the side

Tortilla Baked Eggs

Tortilla Baked Eggs are a fun and flexible way to use leftover ingredients from the week in a delicious homemade breakfast.
Total Cost $1.22 recipe / $0.61 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 320.55kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil $0.18
  • 1 8" flour tortilla $0.14
  • 1 cup fresh spinach $0.16
  • 4 large eggs $0.23
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.01
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes $0.37
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar $0.21
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper (optional) $0.01

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Brush the inside of a round, 7-inch diameter oven safe dish* with olive oil. Press the tortilla down into the dish so that the edges of the tortilla are folded up the sides of the dish (see step by step photos below).
  • Roughly chop the spinach then add it to the bottom of the tortilla. Crack the four eggs into the tortilla on top of the spinach. Add a pinch of salt and pepper on top of the eggs.
  • Slice the grap tomatoes in half, then sprinkle them over the eggs. Finally, top with shredded cheese.
  • Bake the egg filled tortilla in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the whites are set and the yolks are still jammy. You can shake the dish to see if the whites still jiggle or if they are set. Baking time may vary depending on the size of your tortilla and number of eggs used.
  • Remove the tortilla baked eggs from the oven and slide them out of the dish. Slice into four pieces, then serve!

Notes

*You can use any size oven-safe round dish, but make sure you use a tortilla of a slightly larger size than the dish. For instance, you can use an 8-inch pie tin, but you’ll want to use a tortilla that is approximately 9-inches in diameter. Cooking time may vary depending on the size of your dish and tortilla. See step 4 above for a tip on how to tell it’s finished baking.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5recipe | Calories: 320.55kcal | Carbohydrates: 15.55g | Protein: 18.6g | Fat: 20.35g | Sodium: 618.95mg | Fiber: 2.45g

Love baked eggs? Try my Creamed Spinach Baked Eggs, Eggs Florentine Breakfast Pizza, or Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Frittata.

Side view of a slice of tortilla baked eggs with a bite taken out

How to Make Tortilla Baked Eggs – Step by Step Photos

Oil being brushed inside a round dish

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Brush about 1/2 Tbsp olive oil on the inside of a round, 7-inch diameter oven safe dish.

Tortilla pressed into the round dish

Press an 8-inch flour tortilla down into the dish so that the edges of the tortilla are folded up the sides of the dish.

chopped spinach placed inside the tortilla

Roughly chop one cup fresh spinach and place it inside the tortilla.

Eggs added on top of the spinach in the tortilla

Crack four large eggs onto the spinach and season with a small pinch of salt and pepper.

Eggs topped with tomatoes and cheese

Top with a handful of grape tomatoes (sliced in half) and a little shredded cheddar (about ¼ cup).

Finished Tortilla Baked Eggs in the dish

Bake the egg-filled tortilla in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the whites are set and the yolks are still jammy. You can shake the dish to see if the whites still jiggle or if they are set. Baking time may vary depending on the size of your tortilla and the number of eggs used. I also finished off my eggs with a pinch of crushed red pepper, but that’s optional!

Whole tortilla baked eggs on a plate with fork on the side

Slide the tortilla out of the dish and onto a plate or cutting board. Slice into four pieces, then serve!

The post Tortilla Baked Eggs appeared first on Budget Bytes.

The Bagel Lunch Box

Here’s another quick lunch box idea (or meal prep breakfast idea) for you! While this one isn’t completely no-cook because it contains a hard boiled egg, it is still a super easy no-reheat lunch box that you can take to work, school, or on the road. This Bagel Lunch Box includes a mini bagel, some […]

The post The Bagel Lunch Box appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Here’s another quick lunch box idea (or meal prep breakfast idea) for you! While this one isn’t completely no-cook because it contains a hard boiled egg, it is still a super easy no-reheat lunch box that you can take to work, school, or on the road. This Bagel Lunch Box includes a mini bagel, some of my favorite Scallion Herb Cream Cheese, a handful of vegetables that go oh so well with the flavored cream cheese, and a simple hard boiled egg. It’s super simple to put together, but it makes life so much easier when your mornings are busy. Just grab a lunch box and go!

Three glass meal prep containers in a diagonal line filled with the bagel lunch box items

About that Cream Cheese…

I included my Scallion Herb Cream Cheese in this bagel lunch box because it has so much flavor and really adds a nice element of interest to the meal. If you don’t want to make this cream cheese you can use plain cream cheese or use a store-bought flavored cream cheese. Another nice option is to use plain cream cheese, but then bring some Everything Bagel Seasoning with you to add some extra flavor.

Other Lunch Box Add-In Ideas

If you want to substitute any of the ingredients or add to this lunch box, here are some good ideas of things that would also match well:

  • Smoked salmon
  • Carrot sticks
  • An orange, tangerine, or cutie
  • Grapes
  • Deli ham
  • Alfalfa sprouts

Where Did You Get Those Containers?

The divided glass meal prep containers and the small metal cups were both purchased on Amazon (links in the bottom of the recipe card below). 

Three bagel lunch boxes lined up in a row

 
Three bagel lunch boxes lined up in a row

The Bagel Lunch Box

This Bagel Lunch Box is an easy and affordable grab and go breakfast or lunch idea, perfect for work or school.
Total Cost $5.32 recipe / $1.33 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 307.18kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Scallion Herb Cream Cheese

  • 4 oz. cream cheese $0.60
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley $0.06
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro $0.04
  • 1 green onion, sliced $0.11
  • 1/16 tsp garlic powder $0.01
  • 1/16 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice $0.02

Lunch Box Ingredients

  • 4 mini bagels $1.52
  • 4 large eggs $0.92
  • 1 cucumber, sliced $1.29
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes $0.75

Instructions

  • To hard boil the eggs, place the eggs in a sauce pot and add water until the eggs are covered by one inch. Place the pot over high heat and allow the water to come up to a full boil. When it reaches a full boil, turn off the heat, place a lid on the pot, and let the eggs sit in the hot water for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water to cool.
  • To make the scallion herb cream cheese, combine the cream cheese, parsley, cilantro, green onion, garlic powder, salt, and lemon juice in a bowl. Stir together until evenly combined.
  • Place one bagel in each lunch box along with ¼ of the cucumber slices, ¼ of the grape tomatoes, ¼ of the cream cheese (1 oz.), and one hard boiled egg. Refrigerate up to five days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1lunch box | Calories: 307.18kcal | Carbohydrates: 30.6g | Protein: 12.98g | Fat: 15.1g | Sodium: 420.95mg | Fiber: 420.95g

How to Make the Bagel Lunch Box – Step by Step Photos

Place Eggs in Ice Bath

To hard boil the eggs, add the eggs to a sauce pot and add enough water to cover them by one inch. Place the pot over high heat and allow the water to come up to a full boil. Once boiling, turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let the eggs sit in the hot water for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, transfer the eggs to an ice water bath to cool.

Scallion Herb Cream Cheese Spread mixed

To make the scallion herb cream cheese, combine 4 oz. cream cheese, 1 Tbsp chopped parsley, 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro, one sliced green onion, 1/16 tsp (or one pinch) garlic powder, 1/16 tsp (one pinch) salt, and ½ Tbsp lemon juice in a bowl. Stir until everything is evenly combined.

One bagel lunch box in a glass meal prep container

Place one bagel, one hard boiled egg, ¼ of the sliced cucumbers, ¼ of the tomatoes, and ¼ of the cream cheese (1 oz.) in each lunch box. Refrigerate up to five days.

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Pesto Shrimp Pasta

I’ve been experimenting with shrimp a lot lately. Yes, it can be a little on the expensive side, but if you pair it whith an inexpensive ingredient like pasta, you can really stretch that dollar and work it into an affordable meal. This Pesto Shrimp Pasta is an incredibly easy (and FAST) recipe that will […]

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I’ve been experimenting with shrimp a lot lately. Yes, it can be a little on the expensive side, but if you pair it whith an inexpensive ingredient like pasta, you can really stretch that dollar and work it into an affordable meal. This Pesto Shrimp Pasta is an incredibly easy (and FAST) recipe that will make you feel like you’re eating a restaurant quality meal at home. So even if shrimp is just a once in a while special occasion splurge, you’ll still be saving a TON by making this splurge at home instead of having it at a restaurant!

Originally posted 12-28-2010, updated 8-27-2020.

Overhead view of a bowl full of pesto shrimp pasta with a black fork in the middle

This recipe was originally posted in 2010. When updating this recipe I made only minor changes to the recipe yield, ingredient quantities, and preparation method. If you prefer the old recipe, you can reach out to us at support@budgetbytes.com and we can send you a pdf of the old version.

What Kind of Shrimp is Best for Pesto Shrimp Pasta

A smaller sized shrimp works best for this recipe so you get more shrimp pieces throughout the pasta. If you check your package of shrimp you’ll see a number range specifying the number of shrimp per pound. The higher the number, the smaller the shrimp (more shrimp per pound). The shrimp I used were 41-60 size, or 41-60 shrimp per pound.

You can purchase your shrimp with or without the shell and tail, but you’ll want to remove the shell and tail before cooking. You can leave the tail on, but I find that tail-on shrimp is more difficult to eat in a dish like pasta because you have to stop and remove the tail with every bite.

This recipe is written for raw (frozen or fresh) shrimp, but you can use pre-cooked shrimp if that’s what you have available. To use pre-cooked shrimp, simply add them into the pasta at the end.

How to Thaw Frozen Shrimp

If you know you’ll be making this recipe a head of time, you can transfer your shrimp from the freezer to the refrigerator to thaw overnight. If you didn’t plan ahead, don’t worry! Shrimp thaws very quickly under running water. I just place my shrimp in a colander and run cool water over the shrimp for a few minutes until it has thawed. Once thawed and peeled, make sure to dab the shrimp dry with paper towel.

Can I Substitute the Shrimp?

If you’re not into shrimp, this recipe would also be good using diced chicken, sea scallops, or even chopped artichoke hearts! 

Tips for Cooking Shrimp

Shrimp can be intimidating for people who have never cooked it before, but I promise it’s very easy! The trick is that shrimp cooks very quickly and if you continue to cook it longer than necessary, the proteins will continue to contract leaving you with tough, rubbery shrimp. So watch your shrimp closely and remove them from the skillet just as soon as they turn pink and opaque. It only takes a few minutes (depending on the shrimp’s size and the heat level under the skillet)!

What Kind of Pesto to Use

Pesto is another ingredient that can be pricy if you don’t shop around. I used pesto from ALDI, which is very affordable, but if you don’t have an ALDI store near you check to see if your grocery store has their own store brand, or look for Classico or Barilla brand pesto, which usually tends to be a bit more affordable. I used basil pesto for this pasta, but I bet it would also be great with other flavors!

Overhead view of the skillet full of pesto shrimp pasta

 
Overhead view of a bowl full of pesto shrimp pasta with a black fork in the center

Pesto Shrimp Pasta

This Pesto Shrimp Pasta is a restaurant quality meal that you can make in under 30 minutes! The perfect quick weeknight meal.
Total Cost $8.07 recipe / $2.02 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 446.23kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. shrimp, peeled and deveined $4.99
  • 8 oz. angel hair pasta $0.53
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided $0.24
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes $1.49
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto $0.55
  • 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan $0.11

Instructions

  • If using frozen shrimp, place them in a colander and run cool water over top to thaw (this should only take a few minutes). Peel the shrimp and remove the tails. Pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel.
  • 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 seven minutes). Reserve about ½ cup of the starchy pasta water before draining the pasta in a colander.
  • While the pasta is cooking, prepare the rest of the dish. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet. Once hot, add the prepared shrimp and sauté just until the shrimp turns pink and opaque (2-3 minutes). Remove the cooked shrimp to a clean bowl.
  • Add another tablespoon olive oil to the skillet and add the grape tomatoes and minced garlic. Continue to sauté over medium until the tomatoes begin to burst and release their juices. If the garlic begins to brown before the tomatoes have burst, add a couple tablespoons of water to the skillet to slow the browning.
  • Once the tomatoes have broken down in the skillet, add the cooked and drained pasta, ¼ cup pesto, and about half of the reserved pasta water. Stir to coat everything in the pesto, adding more of the pasta water if needed to loosen the pasta and spread the pesto over everything.
  • Finally, return the cooked shrimp to the skillet and stir to combine with the pasta. Top with grated Parmesan, then serve!

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 446.23kcal | Carbohydrates: 49.3g | Protein: 26.4g | Fat: 15.58g | Sodium: 602.68mg | Fiber: 3.78g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Try These Other Budget-Friendly Shrimp Recipes:

Front view of a bowl full of pesto shrimp pasta with a fork twirling the pasta in the center

How to Make Pesto Shrimp Pasta – Step by Step Photos

Shrimp Package

This is the shrimp I used. 41-60 size (that means 41-60 shrimp per pound) and this is a 12oz. bag. To thaw the shrimp I placed them in a colander and ran cool water over them for a few minutes, or until they were thawed enough to peel and remove the tails. Once thawed, pat them dry with a paper towel to remove the excess water.

A measuring cup scooping out starchy pasta water from the pot

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add ½ lb. angel hair pasta to the pot and continue to boil until the pasta is tender (about 7 minutes). Reserve ½ cup of the starchy pasta water before draining in a colander. You can begin cooking the shrimp while the pasta boils.

Cooked shrimp in a skillet

Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once the skillet and oil are hot, add the shrimp and sauté just until they are pink and opaque (2-3 minutes), then remove them from the skillet to a clean bowl. Make sure not to over cook them!

Grape tomatoes and garlic in the skillet

Add the second tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet along with the pint of grape tomatoes and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Sauté the garlic and tomatoes over medium heat until the tomatoes begin to burst and break down.

Cooked grape tomatoes

If the tomatoes are not very ripe they may take a while to burst, so if your garlic begins to brown before the tomatoes start releasing their juices, you can add a couple tablespoons of water to the skillet to prevent the garlic from browning. The juices from the tomatoes will create a sweet jam-like sauce on the bottom of the skillet.

Cooked pasta and pesto added to the skillet with tomatoes and garlic

Once the tomatoes are at least half way broken down, add the cooked and drained pasta, ¼ cup pesto, and about half of the reserved pasta water to the skillet. Stir to coat everything in the pesto, adding more of the starchy pasta water if needed to loosen things up and help the pesto spread.

Cooked shrimp added to the pasta

Finally, return the cooked shrimp back to the skillet and stir to combine with the pasta and pesto.

finished pesto shrimp pasta in the skillet

I like to add just a little (about 1 Tbsp) grated Parmesan on top, and you can add some chopped parsley for color if you’d like (it’s not necessary for the flavor).

Overhead view of a finished bowl of pesto shrimp pasta with a fork on the side

Enjoy! (A little extra freshly cracked pepper on top doesn’t hurt, and if you’re into spicy try adding a pinch of crushed red pepper!)

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Mediterranean White Bean Salad

You can never have enough easy side dish recipes, am I right?? I like to keep my side dishes simple so they don’t steal the show from my main dish, and they don’t add a lot of extra work to the overall preparation of the meal. Simple salads like this Mediterranean White Bean Salad only […]

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You can never have enough easy side dish recipes, am I right?? I like to keep my side dishes simple so they don’t steal the show from my main dish, and they don’t add a lot of extra work to the overall preparation of the meal. Simple salads like this Mediterranean White Bean Salad only take minutes to prepare, they bring flavor, color, and texture to your plate, and they hold up really well as leftovers (hello, tomorrow’s lunch). Bookmark this one, because I know you’ll use this recipe a lot!

Originally posted 2-19-2010, updated 8-22-2020.

A big bowl full of Mediterranean White Bean Salad with tomatoes and parsley on the side

This Mediterranean style bean salad was inspired by one of my all-time favorite salads, tabbouleh, but it uses white beans instead of bulgar. It has all that tangy lemon-garlic flavor that I love about tabbouleh, but without needing to spend time cooking and cooling bulgur.

What Kind of Beans Can I Use?

I used large butter beans for this recipe, but if you don’t have butter beans available try cannellini beans or chickpeas. I would avoid softer beans that tend to mash easily, like navy beans or great northern beans. Cannellini beans and chickpeas are large enough and firm enough to hold up to the stirring of this salad.

What to Serve with Mediterranean White Bean Salad

The flavors in this white bean salad (lemon and garlic) are so versatile that it makes a great side dish for a wide variety of mains. Try it with Garlic Butter Baked Cod, Baked Pizza Chicken, Greek Turkey Burgers, Creamy Spinach Artichoke Chicken, Oven Baked Fish with Tomatoes, or Chicken Piccata. Or, this could be one part of a vegetarian spread with some homemade hummus, pita, and falafel

How Long Does This Salad Stay Good?

This is another great example of a “refrigerator salad” or a salad that holds up really well in the refrigerator. This salad will stay enjoyable when stored in the refrigerator for a good four days or so. The flavors will blend and the beans will marinate in the dressing as it refrigerates, making it even better the next day! Make sure to give it a stir just before serving to redistribute the flavors.

Front view of a bow full of mediterranean white bean salad

 
Overhead view of a bowl full of Mediterranean White Bean Salad with parsley, tomatoes, and garlic on the side

Mediterranean White Bean Salad

This Mediterranean White Bean Salad is a fast, easy, and fresh side dish that pairs nicely with any grilled or roasted meat.
Total Cost $4.87 recipe / $1.22 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 1 cup each
Calories 843.2kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.24
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice $0.06
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 2 15oz. cans butter beans* $1.38
  • ½ bunch fresh parsley $0.40
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes $1.49
  • 2 oz. feta cheese $1.10

Instructions

  • Prepare the dressing first. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Set the dressing aside.
  • Rinse and drain the canned beans. Allow them to drain while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Finely chop about 1 cup of fresh parsley (about ½ bunch). Cut the grape tomatoes in half.
  • Add the drained beans, chopped parsley, tomatoes, and 2 oz. feta cheese to a bowl. Pour the prepared dressing over top, then stir to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to four days.

Notes

*You can use cannellini beans or chickpeas in place of butter beans.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 843.2kcal | Carbohydrates: 90.3g | Protein: 33.9g | Fat: 36.3g | Sodium: 2209.6mg | Fiber: 29.1g

How to Make Mediterranean White Bean Salad – Step by Step Photos

lemon garlic dressing in a small bowl

Make the dressing first. Combine 2 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 cloves garlic (minced), ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper in a small bowl. Set the dressing aside.

Rinsed white beans in a colander

Rinse and drain two 15oz. cans of butter beans (or cannellini or chickpeas). Let them drain well.

Chopped parsley on a cutting board

Finely chop about one cup of fresh parsley (about ½ bunch). Slice one pint grape tomatoes in half.

Combine salad ingredients in a bowl

Add the beans, tomatoes, chopped parsley, 2 oz. crumbled feta, and the prepared dressing in a bowl.

Stirred salad in a bowl with two forks

Toss the ingredients to combine and serve!

Overhead view of a bowl full of Mediterranean White Bean Salad with parsley, tomatoes, and garlic on the side

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Summer Sweet Corn Salad

Fresh sweet corn is one of my favorite things about summer. It’s so sweet and juicy when it’s fresh, and the smell of the husks as you peel them back from the cob brings back so many memories of summers past. So when I saw fresh sweet corn on sale at the grocery store this […]

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Fresh sweet corn is one of my favorite things about summer. It’s so sweet and juicy when it’s fresh, and the smell of the husks as you peel them back from the cob brings back so many memories of summers past. So when I saw fresh sweet corn on sale at the grocery store this week I grabbed a couple and whipped up this super simple Summer Sweet Corn Salad. It has a medley of colorful vegetables, a little pasta to bulk it out, and a super fresh lemon vinaigrette keeps everything light and flavorful. This is a very flexible recipe and I’ve got a couple modification ideas for you below!

Overhead view of a serving bowl full of Summer Sweet Corn Salad

Make it Pasta-Free

I added pasta to my salad for bulk, but you can totally make this salad without pasta, too! Just double up your vegetables, drizzle that lemon vinaigrette over top, and you’re good to go! You can eat the vegetable salad as-is, or scoop it over a bed of greens.

Add a Protein and Make it a Meal

If you want to eat this salad as a main dish instead of serving it as a side, try adding some grilled chicken, rotisserie chicken, boiled shrimp, or cooked salmon on top. It’s such a light and fresh dish that it pairs really well with “lighter” meat and seafood.

Can You Eat Raw Corn??

Yes, yes, and YES! Raw sweet corn is soooo sweet, crisp, and juicy. It’s an absolute delight! It adds nice little pops of sweetness throughout this salad that contrast so well with the creamy avocado and tangy vinaigrette. 

If you don’t have fresh corn for this salad, I would suggest frozen corn as the next best substitute, BUT just know that it’s 100x better with fresh sweet corn.

Doesn’t the Avocado Turn Black?

Nope! I kept this salad in my fridge for four days and it was still great. On day two there was no noticeable difference in the appearance of the avocado chunks. By day four, they were slightly grey on the edges, but overall still looked great. The lemon vinaigrette goes a long way toward preventing the oxidization that usually causes the color change. 

What to Serve with Sweet Corn Salad

This salad makes a great side dish to Quick BBQ Chicken, Cilantro Lime Chicken, Garlic Butter Baked Cod, Baked Spicy Chicken Sandwiches, or Marinated Portobello Burgers.

Close up of a bowl of Summer Sweet Corn Salad with a wooden spoon in the middle

 
Close up of a bowl of Summer Sweet Corn Salad with a wooden spoon in the middle

Summer Sweet Corn Salad

Colorful summer vegetables, creamy avocado, pasta shells, and a homemade lemon vinaigrette make this light and fresh Summer Sweet Corn Salad.
Total Cost $7.67 recipe / $0.96 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 1 cup each
Calories 255.84kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup olive oil $0.64
  • 1 fresh lemon $0.89
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil $0.03
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard $0.04
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley $0.20

Salad*

  • 8 oz. pasta shells $0.63
  • 2 cobs sweet corn $0.80
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes $2.50
  • 2/3 lb. zucchini $0.89
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion $0.11
  • 1 avocado $0.89

Instructions

  • Zest and juice the lemon. You'll need 2 Tbsp juice and ½ tsp zest. Combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, basil, Dijon, salt, pepper, and chopped parsley in a bowl or jar. Whisk the ingredients in a bowl, or close the jar and shake until combined. Set the vinaigrette aside.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Add a couple large pinches of salt to the pasta water, then add the pasta. Continue to boil until the pasta is tender (about 7 minutes), then drain in a colander. Rinse the pasta briefly with cool water, then allow it to drain well.
  • While the pasta is cooking and draining, prepare the rest of the vegetables. Slice the corn kernels off the cobs, slice the grape tomatoes in half, dice the zucchini, finely dice the onion, and dice the avocado.
  • Once the pasta has drained well and cooled, add it to a large bowl with the prepared vegetables. Pour the dressing over top, then toss until everything is evenly combined and coated in dressing. Season with a pinch of salt to taste, then serve.

Notes

*The vegetable amounts are very flexible. If you have a little more or a little less of each, it's okay.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 255.84kcal | Carbohydrates: 35.68g | Protein: 5.95g | Fat: 11.54g | Sodium: 68.91mg | Fiber: 4.28g

How to Make Summer Sweet Corn Salad – Step by Step Photos

A zested and juiced lemon on a cutting board

Zest and juice a lemon. You’ll need 2 Tbsp juice and ½ tsp zest.

Lemon Dressing in a jar

To make the lemon vinaigrette, combine ¼ cup olive oil, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, ½ tsp lemon zest, 1/4 tsp dried basil, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, ⅛ tsp salt, ⅛ tsp pepper, and about ¼ cup chopped parsley. If you do this in a bowl you can whisk the ingredients together, or combine them in a jar and shake until they’re combined.

draining shell pasta in a metal colander

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add a couple pinches of salt and 8 oz. pasta shells. Continue to boil the pasta for about 7 minutes, or until tender. Drain the pasta in a colander, and give it a brief rinse with cool water. Let the pasta drain well.

Cutting corn off the cob

While the pasta is cooking and draining, prepare the rest of the vegetables. Cut the kernels off two cobs of sweet corn. I like to do this with the end of the cob in a bowl so they kernels fall right off into the bowl instead of flying all over the kitchen. Haha!

Chopped vegetables on the cutting board

Also dice about ⅔ lb. zucchini, slice 1 pint grape tomatoes in half, finely dice about ¼ cup red onion, and dice one avocado.

Dressing being poured over the salad ingredients in the bowl

Add the drained and cooled pasta to a large bowl with the corn, zucchini, tomatoes, red onion, and avocado. Pour the dressing over top, then toss until everything is combined and coated in dressing.

Seasoning the salad with a pinch of salt

Finally, add just a small pinch of salt on top, if desired. I like to have a little bit of crystalized salt on the surface of the pasta and vegetables for a little pop of flavor. 

Overhead view of a serving bowl of summer sweet corn salad with a wooden spoon on the side

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Chimichurri Chickpea Salad

We’re still experiencing a lot of grocery shortages in the middle of this pandemic, but when I ventured out to the grocery store this week I noticed something. The produce department was very well stocked, while many of the shelf stable items were sold out. I presume that’s because people are afraid to buy perishables. So, […]

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We’re still experiencing a lot of grocery shortages in the middle of this pandemic, but when I ventured out to the grocery store this week I noticed something. The produce department was very well stocked, while many of the shelf stable items were sold out. I presume that’s because people are afraid to buy perishables. So, that made me rethink my strategy. I’m going to focus on fresh ingredients for about a week after shopping, then transition into the more shelf stable recipes (like my 15 Pantry Staple Recipes) for the second week, or until my next grocery run. Besides, after eating so many pantry recipes over the past month, I’m craving fresh produce hard. So this week I grabbed some fresh parsley, cilantro, and a pint of tomatoes, and whipped up this SUPER easy Chimichurri Chickpea Salad.

…Because chimichurri is good on anything and everything. ;)

Chickpea Salad with Chimichurri and Feta

Overhead view of Chimichurri Chickpea Salad with triangles of pita bread stuck in the side.

How to Serve Chimichurri Chickpea Salad

This salad is the perfect side dish as the weather starts to warm up. I think this would go great with just about any type of grilled meat, or if you’re cooking inside I can see this matching well with dishes like Garlic Butter Baked Chicken Thighs, Herb Roasted Pork Loin, or Balsamic Chicken and Mushrooms

If you want to turn this into a vegetarian meal, consider chopping up some pita or a crusty bread and stirring it right into the salad to make it like a Panzanella, or adding a few greens and a chopped hard boiled egg.

How to Use Leftover Parsley and Cilantro

Don’t let the rest of the parsley and cilantro go to waste after you make this salad! Parsley and cilantro are great in and on so many other dishes. This chickpea salad recipe uses a half batch of my basic Chimichurri recipe, but you could always make the full size batch and use half on this salad, then use the other half for dipping some crusty bread. That will use up more of your parsley and cilantro.

Here are some other great recipes for using parsley and cilantro:

Make sure to scroll down to the step by step photos to see how I store my leftover feta so it doesn’t go to waste!

Close up side view of the bowl of Chimichurri Chickpea Salad with pita triangles in the side of the bowl

 
Overhead view of a bowl of Chimichurri Chickpea Salad with pita in the side of the bowl
Print

Chimichurri Chickpea Salad

This super simple chickpea salad is bright and flavorful thanks to homemade chimichurri and feta. Goes great with all your summer grilling!
Total Cost $4.36 recipe / $0.73 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 about 1 cup each
Calories 328.57kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Chimichurri

  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley $0.18
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro $0.10
  • ¼ cup olive oil $0.42
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar $0.20
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • ½ tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02

Salad

  • 2 15oz. cans chickpeas $0.49
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes $1.69
  • 2 oz. feta $1.09

Instructions

  • Make the chimichurri first. Rinse the fresh parsley and cilantro, then drain well. Roughly chop the parsley and cilantro, then add it to a bowl along with the olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, oregano, cumin, crushed red pepper, and salt. Stir to combine, then set the dressing aside.
  • Rinse and drain both cans of chickpeas. Slice the grape tomatoes in half. Add the chickpeas and tomatoes to a large bowl. Crumble the feta, add it to the bowl, then drizzle the chimichurri over top. Stir to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat (up to four days).

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 328.57kcal | Carbohydrates: 35.67g | Protein: 13.58g | Fat: 15.98g | Sodium: 675.75mg | Fiber: 11.7g

How to Make Chimichurri Chickpea Salad – Step by Step Photos

Chimichurri ingredients in a bowl, not stirred

Make the chimichurri first. Rinse and drain the fresh parsley and cilantro. Roughly chop the parsley and cilantro, you’ll need ½ cup parsley (about ¼ bunch) and about ¼ cup cilantro (a big handful). Add them to the bowl along with 1 minced clove of garlic, ¼ cup olive oil, 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar, ½ tsp dried oregano, ¼ tsp ground cumin, ⅛ tsp crushed red pepper, and ¼ tsp salt.

Mixed chimichurri in a bowl with a spoon

Stir the ingredients together and now you have chimichurri! Set the chimichurri aside.

Chickpeas, tomatoes, and feta in a bowl, chimichurri being poured over top

Rinse and drain 2 15oz. cans of chickpeas. Slice 1 pint of grape tomatoes in half. Crumble 2oz. feta. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, and feta to a bowl, then pour the chimichurri over top.

Finished chimichurri chickpea salad in a bowl with a spoon

Stir to combine and it’s ready to eat! Or refrigerate for up to 4 days.

block of feta in a freezer bag, inside a plastic container, ready to freeze.

I like to buy my feta in a block, as opposed to pre-crumbled, because it’s easier to save for later. I cut the block into quarters first (right through the plastic) because I usually use about 2oz. per recipe. I then place the rest of the block, still in the original plastic, inside a freezer bag, then inside a re-usable freezer container. I can take out one 2oz. block at a time to use whenever needed!

Overhead view of a bowl of Chimichurri Chickpea Salad with pita in the side of the bowl

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Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls

Taco bowls, burrito bowls, whatever you want to call them! I went with taco bowls this time because of the homemade taco seasoning used on the roasted cauliflower, plus the fresh toppings like tomatoes and cilantro. But whatever you call it, it’s a lot of yummy stuff in one bowl! These cauliflower bowls make a […]

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Taco bowls, burrito bowls, whatever you want to call them! I went with taco bowls this time because of the homemade taco seasoning used on the roasted cauliflower, plus the fresh toppings like tomatoes and cilantro. But whatever you call it, it’s a lot of yummy stuff in one bowl! These cauliflower bowls make a super colorful, vibrant, flavorful dinner, but they also meal prep well, so consider making them for your weekday lunches!

Taco Roasted Cauliflower Bowls with Cilantro Lime Ranch

Overhead view of a roasted cauliflower taco bowl next to a lime and bowl of cilantro lime ranch

Are There Any Shortcuts I can Take?

This recipe does look like a lot of “parts” but I promise it really is easy to throw together. That being said, there are a couple of shortcuts you can take if you want to make it even easier. If you have access to a Trader Joe’s, they sell a frozen corn that is already “fire roasted” and it’s SO good. You can use that in place of blistering the regular frozen corn in the skillet. You can definitely use a store-bought cilantro lime ranch instead of making your own, or any southwest-inspired ranch dressing you can find (chipotle, avocado, etc.). And lastly, if you don’t have a well stocked spice cabinet, you can use a packet of taco seasoning in place of the taco spices listed below.

What Else Can I Put in My Taco Bowl?

One of the reasons I love bowl meals the most is that they are extremely flexible and they allow you to use leftover ingredients that are lingering in your fridge, pantry, or freezer. Here are some other things that you can throw into your taco bowl, if you have them:

  • tortilla chips
  • avocado or guacamole
  • cheese (cheddar, pepper jack, Monterey jack, even feta)
  • radishes (sliced thin)
  • fresh red onion
  • pickled red onion
  • bell peppers (diced, sliced, or roasted)
  • salsa
  • lettuce

How to Meal Prep Your Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls

If you want to prepare this meal for grab and go lunches (meal prep), divide the roasted cauliflower, cooked rice, and blistered corn between four containers as soon as they are done cooking. You can skip heating the black beans, because you’ll just be placing the containers straight into the refrigerator, to be reheated later. Pack the bowls with the remaining fresh ingredients (tomatoes, cilantro, green onion, lime wedges), but leave the dressing separate. When you’re ready to eat your bowl, reheat the bowl in the microwave until hot, then top with the dressing and enjoy.

Can I Use Frozen Cauliflower?

Frozen cauliflower roasts really well in the oven, but you may have a hard time getting the taco seasoning to stick to the frozen cauliflower. You would probably need to let it thaw completely before seasoning and roasting. The thawed frozen cauliflower will likely roast a bit faster than the fresh cauliflower. I would use about 1 pound frozen cauliflower for this recipe.

Close up side view of a roasted cauliflower taco bowl topped with cilantro lime ranch

 

Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls with Cilantro Lime Ranch

These light and flavorful Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls have tons of color, flavor, and texture to keep you coming back for more! Great for meal prep!

Cilantro Lime Ranch

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise ($0.13)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream ($0.11)
  • 1 lime ($0.50)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder ($0.01)
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro ($0.05)
  • 1 green onion, chopped ($0.11)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)

Taco Roasted Cauliflower

  • 1 head cauliflower ($2.39)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 1/2 Tbsp chili powder* ($0.15)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin ($0.05)
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • freshly cracked pepper ($0.03)

Bowl Ingredients

  • 1 cup long grain white rice ($0.62)
  • 1.5 cups water ($0.00)
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans ($0.89)
  • 1 cup frozen corn ($0.20)
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.08)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes ($2.29)
  • Fresh cilantro and sliced green onion for garnish ($0.20)
  1. Prepare the cilantro lime ranch first, so the flavors have time to blend. Zest the lime, then squeeze the juice from half, and cut the other half into wedges for serving. You'll need about 1 Tbsp lime juice. Finely chop about 1 Tbsp cilantro and one green onion.

  2. Combine the ingredients for the cilantro lime ranch in a bowl (mayonnaise, sour cream, 1 Tbsp lime juice, 1/2 tsp lime zest, garlic powder, onion powder, chopped cilantro, chopped green onion, salt). Refrigerate the cilantro lime ranch until you're ready to eat.

  3. Next, preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the head of cauliflower into florets, then place them in a bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine the ingredients for the taco seasoning (chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne, oregano, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper). Drizzle the olive oil over the cauliflower, followed by the taco seasoning, then toss until the cauliflower is evenly coated in oil and spices.

  4. Spread the seasoned cauliflower out over the prepared baking sheet. Roast the cauliflower in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until it's brown and crispy on the edges.

  5. While the cauliflower is roasting, begin cooking the rice. Add the rice and 1.5 cups water to a sauce pot. Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to high, and bring the water up to a boil. Once it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer for 15 minutes without lifting the lid. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the rice rest for 5 minutes without lifting the lid. Finally, fluff the rice with a fork and divide it between four bowls or containers.

  6. Add the undrained can of black beans to a small sauce pot and heat over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until heated through (if making the bowls for meal prep, skip heating the beans).

  7. Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add the frozen corn. Cook the corn, stirring only occasionally, until it is browned and blistered (about 7-8 minutes). Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

  8. Slice the grape tomatoes, roughly chop the cilantro, and slice a green onions for garnish.

  9. To build the bowls, divide the roasted cauliflower, cooked rice, beans, corn, and tomatoes between four bowls or containers. Top with a pinch of cilantro, sliced green onion, and a wedge of lime. Drizzle the cilantro lime ranch over top just before eating.

*The chili powder listed is a blend of spices, usually fairly mild, that is generally used to season a pot of chili. It is not straight ground red chiles. 

Close up overhead view of a roasted cauliflower taco bowl topped with cilantro lime ranch and a black fork in the middle

How to Make Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls – Step by Step Photos

Cilantro lime ranch in a bowl

Make the cilantro lime ranch first. Zest the lime and squeeze the juice from half of it (you’ll need 1 Tbsp juice). Slice the other half into wedges for serving. Combine 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1 Tbsp lime juice, 1/2 tsp lime zest, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/8 tsp onion powder, 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro, 1 chopped green onion, and 1/4 tsp salt in a bowl. Refrigerate the cilantro lime ranch until ready to eat.

Season cauliflower florets with taco seasoning

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Cut a head of cauliflower into florets, then place them in a bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine the ingredients for the taco seasoning: 1/2 Tbsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp oregano, 1/4 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper. Drizzle 2 Tbsp olive oil over the cauliflower, followed by the taco seasoning, then toss until the cauliflower is evenly coated in oil and spices.

Seasoned cauliflower on baking sheet covered with parchment paper

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the seasoned cauliflower out over the baking sheet. 

Roasted cauliflower on the baking sheet

Roast the cauliflower in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until it is browned and crispy on the edges.

Cooked rice in sauce pot

While the cauliflower is roasting, begin the rice. Add 1 cup long grain white rice to a small sauce pot with 1.5 cups water. Place a lid on top, turn the heat on to high, and bring it up to a boil. Once it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the rice rest for 5 more minutes with the lid in place. Finally, fluff the rice with a fork and divide it between four bowls or containers.

Warmed black beans in a sauce pot, a spoon lifting some toward the camera

Add one 15oz. can of black beans (undrained) to a small sauce pot and heat over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until heated through. If making your cauliflower bowls for meal prep, you can skip heating the beans, since the bowls will be going straight into the refrigerator.

Blistered corn in a skillet

Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a large skillet over medium. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add 1 cup frozen corn. Cook the corn, stirring only occasionally, until it is a little browned and blistered (7-8 minutes).

Chopped fresh toppings for cauliflower bowls

Finally, prepare the rest of the fresh ingredients. Slice the grape tomatoes in half, cut the remaining half lime into wedges (if you haven’t already), slice a green onion or two, and chop a little cilantro.

Build the cauliflower taco bowls

Once all the components are prepared, it’s time to build the bowls! Divide the roasted cauliflower, cooked rice, beans, corn, and tomatoes between four bowls or containers. Top with a little cilantro and sliced green onion.

Cilantro lime ranch being drizzled over a cauliflower bowl

When you’re ready to eat, reheat the bowl if it is refrigerated, then top with a drizzle of cilantro lime ranch and enjoy!

A finished roasted cauliflower taco bowl with cilantro lime ranch, with a black fork on the side.

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