Ground Beef Tacos

Tacos are always a favorite weeknight dinner. We love making fun tacos like cauliflower chickpea tacos, steak tacos, turkey tacos, sweet potato tacos, and more BUT you can’t go wrong with traditional Ground Beef Tacos. They are a classic and this…

Tacos are always a favorite weeknight dinner. We love making fun tacos like cauliflower chickpea tacos, steak tacos, turkey tacos, sweet potato tacos, and more BUT you can’t go wrong with traditional Ground Beef Tacos. They are a classic and this is the BEST ground beef taco recipe. The taco meat is spiced with homemade…

Swedish Meatballs

Swedish meatballs are a delicious and cozy meal that is easy enough to prepare for a weeknight dinner but fancy enough for a special occasion.

The post Swedish Meatballs appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t go to Ikea without getting some of their iconic Swedish meatballs. But I can’t go to Ikea every time that craving hits, so we decided to make a budget-friendly homemade version that is easy enough for a cozy weeknight dinner, yet indulgent enough for an impressive, dinner-party main. Both hearty and comforting, these Swedish meatballs are like a hug in a dish!

Overhead view of a bowl of mashed potatoes topped with Swedish meatballs.

What are Swedish Meatballs?

Köttbullar, known in English as “Swedish meatballs” is a traditional Scandinavian dish of meatballs and gravy. Unlike Italian meatballs, the meat mixture for Swedish meatballs is flavored with allspice (and sometimes nutmeg), and after searing, they are nestled into a creamy gravy fortified with beef broth rather than a spicy, garlicky tomato sauce. 

What to serve with Swedish meatballs

Swedish meatballs are typically served with mashed potatoes. (We like ours with a little minced parsley and fresh cracked pepper on top, too!) But they’re also great served over egg noodles, or anything that will serve as a vehicle for that delicious gravy! 

Traditional interpretations of this dish frequently include a slightly-sweetened Lingonberry jam (a wild, lowbush berry native to Sweden), which has a similar flavor to cranberries or red currants. If you have leftover cranberry sauce from the holidays, that makes a great addition to this meal.

Can you Make Them Ahead?

Yes, you can make the meatballs a day ahead. If making a larger quantity, sear in batches, taking care that each meatball is cooked thoroughly to an internal temperature of at least 145℉. Allow them to cool completely before refrigerating. To reheat, spread them out on a parchment-lined sheet pan at 375℉ while you make the gravy, and then continue with the recipe as written. Once they have simmered in the sauce, each meatball should reach an internal temperature of 165℉ before serving.

Close up side view of Swedish Meatballs in the skillet.
Overhead view of a bowl full of mashed potatoes and Swedish Meatballs.
Print

Swedish Meatballs

Swedish meatballs are a delicious and cozy meal that is easy enough to prepare for a weeknight dinner but fancy enough for a special occasion.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Scandavian
Total Cost $5.83 recipe / $1.46 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 4 meatballs
Calories 545kcal

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs $0.20
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp allspice $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/2 lb. ground pork $0.99
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef $2.65
  • 1 large egg, lightly whisked $0.32

Gravy

  • 4 Tbsp butter, divided $0.60
  • 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.03
  • 2 cups beef broth* $0.24
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg $0.01
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream $0.55
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional garnish) $0.10

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, nutmeg, allspice, garlic powder, and salt. (Note: Mixing the dry ingredients first will ensure the seasoning is evenly distributed throughout the meatballs and prevent you from overworking the meat mixture.)
  • Meanwhile, add the pork and beef to a large bowl. Lightly whisk the egg, then add it to the bowl with the meat. Lastly, add the breadcrumb mixture.
  • Use your hands to mix the meat and seasonings together until evenly combined, but avoid overmixing.
  • Divide and shape the meat mixture into 16 meatballs, about 1.5 Tbsp each.
  • Add 1 Tbsp of the butter to a large skillet and heat over medium. When the butter is melted and foaming, add the meatballs. Cook for a minute or two on each side, or until well browned. The meatballs do not need to be cooked through at this point.
  • Remove the browned meatballs from the skillet. Add the remaining 3 Tbsp butter and the flour. Whisk the butter and flour together as the butter melts. Cook the butter and flour mixture for about two minutes.
  • Slowly whisk in the beef broth, making sure to release all of the browned bits off the bottom of the skillet. Allow the broth to come up to a simmer, at which point it will thicken.
  • Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, pepper, nutmeg, and heavy cream. Taste the gravy and adjust the salt or seasonings to your liking.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*We use Better Than Bouillon to make our broth. If using a low-sodium broth you may need to add more salt to the gravy for taste.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 545kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 44g | Sodium: 844mg | Fiber: 1g
Overhead view of Swedish Meatballs in the skillet.

How to Make Swedish Meatballs – Step by Step Photos

Breadcrumbs and spices in a bowl.

Add ¼ cup plain breadcrumbs to a bowl along with ¼ tsp nutmeg, ¼ tsp allspice, ¼ tsp garlic powder, and ¼ tsp salt and stir until evenly combined.

Meatballs ingredients in a bowl.

Add ½ lb. ground pork, ½ lb. ground beef, the breadcrumb mixture, and one lightly whisked large egg to a bowl. Use your hands to mix the ingredients together until evenly combined. Avoid over-mixing because that will make the meatballs tough.

Shaped meatballs on a red cutting board.

Divide the mixture into 16 meatballs, about 1.5 Tbsp each, and shape them into balls.

Browned meatballs in the skillet.

Add 1 Tbsp butter to a large skillet and heat over medium. When the butter is melted and foaming, add the meatballs. Cook the meatballs, turning occasionally until they are well browned. The meatballs do not need to be cooked through at this point.

Butter and flour added to the skillet, meatballs removed.

Remove the browned meatballs from the skillet and add 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour and the remaining 3 Tbsp butter to the skillet.

Roux being whisked in the skillet.

Continue to cook the butter and flour over medium heat for about 2 minutes, whisking constantly.

Beef broth being poured into the skillet.

Slowly pour in 2 cups beef broth while whisking, making sure to dissolve any browned bits off the bottom of the skillet. Cook and stir the mixture over medium heat until it comes up to a simmer, at which point it will thicken into a gravy.

Cream and spices added to the gravy in the skillet.

Add 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, ⅛ tsp nutmeg, ¼ tsp pepper, and ⅓ cup heavy cream to the gravy, and stir to combine. Taste the gravy and adjust the salt or other seasonings to your liking.

Meatballs being added back to the skillet.

Add the meatballs back to the skillet and stir to coat in the gravy.

Finished Swedish meatballs in the skillet with gravy.

Let the meatballs simmer in the sauce until cooked through (about 5 minutes).

Overhead view of a bowl full of mashed potatoes and Swedish Meatballs.

Serve the meatballs and gravy over a bed of mashed potatoes or egg noodles. Top with chopped parsley and more pepper if desired.

Super close up image of Swedish meatballs in gravy.

Ooooh, look at that gravy! So lush!

The post Swedish Meatballs appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sloppy Joes

What is a Sloppy Joe? A sloppy joe is a loose meat sandwich consisting of ground beef, onions, garlic, tomato sauce, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings, traditionally served on a hamburger bun. The tomato-based sauce is savory, a …

What is a Sloppy Joe? A sloppy joe is a loose meat sandwich consisting of ground beef, onions, garlic, tomato sauce, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings, traditionally served on a hamburger bun. The tomato-based sauce is savory, a little tangy, and slightly sweet. All of the flavors come together nicely! Homemade Sloppy Joes…

Slow Cooker Meatball Subs

These Slow Cooker Meatball Subs are extra tender and flavorful thanks to a low and slow simmer in marinara sauce.

The post Slow Cooker Meatball Subs appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I think I just fell in love with my slow cooker again. These slow cooker meatball subs are so incredibly tender, flavorful, and just all-around decadent thanks to that low and slow simmer in marinara sauce. It’s magical! And the best part is that this recipe makes a pretty big batch, so you can freeze half for later (use them in subs or on pasta)! Cook once, eat twice. 🙌

Overhead view of slow cooker meatball subs lined up in a row.

Do I Have to Use a Slow Cooker?

You don’t have to use a slow cooker to make these amazing homemade meatball subs, but I’m telling you right now that you want to. That low and slow simmer in the sauce makes the most incredibly tender and flavorful meatballs you’ll ever eat. If you don’t have a slow cooker, follow the cooking instructions for my basic homemade meatballs, then pile them into your buns, top with cheese, and bake till the cheese is melted.

What Kind of Sauce to Use

I tested this recipe with the most basic, inexpensive, generic marinara sauce I could find at the grocery store to make sure they were still totally delicious even if you can’t spring for an expensive sauce. But feel free to use your favorite store-bought or homemade marinara sauce for these meatballs. You’ll need 3 cups of sauce, in total.

Freeze Half for Later!

This recipe makes about 24 hefty meatballs so if you use three meatballs per sub you’ll get 8 sandwiches. If that’s a little too much for your household to eat within a few days, go ahead and freeze half of the meatballs and sauce to use on pasta or more subs later! You can reheat the frozen sauce and meatballs in the microwave or in a saucepot over low heat.

P.S. We reheated the assembled meatball subs from the photos in the air fryer the next day and they were BOMB! We air fried at 350°F for about five minutes for the most delicious leftovers ever.

Side view of a meatball sub on a plate with the baking dish in the background.
Side view of a meatball sub on a plate with the baking dish in the background.

Slow Cooker Meatball Subs

These Slow Cooker Meatball Subs are extra tender and flavorful thanks to a low and slow simmer in marinara sauce.
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $19.43 recipe / $2.43 each
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings 8 subs
Calories 506kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Equipment

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs $0.32
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan $0.88
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp pepper $0.02
  • 2 large eggs $0.39
  • 1/4 cup milk $0.05
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage $4.99
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef (90% lean or higher) $6.99

Subs

  • 8 buns or rolls $3.50
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella $0.62

Instructions

  • Lightly whisk two large eggs in a small bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
  • Add the Italian sausage and ground beef to a large bowl with the whisked egg, breadcrumb mixture, and milk Use your hands to mix the ingredients together. Avoid overmixing the meat.
  • Divide and shape the meat into 24 meatballs, about 3 Tbps each. The easiest way to do this is to first divide the meat mixture into four equal portions, then divide each of those in half to make eight equal portions. Finally, divide each of the 8 portions of meat into thirds and shape them into balls to make 24 meatballs.
  • Place half of the meatballs in the bottom of a slow cooker in a single layer and cover with half of the marinara sauce. Add the rest of the meatballs then top with the remaining sauce.
  • Cook the meatballs on high for three hours or low for six hours.
  • After cooking, use a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature of the meatballs has reached 165°F. Give the meatballs and sauce a good stir to remix the sauce (there will be some fat pooling on the surface).
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the buns on a baking sheet or in a baking dish, then pile three meatballs into each bun. Spoon some of the extra sauce over each one. Top each sub with a little shredded cheese.
  • Bake the meatball subs in the preheated oven for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the edges of the buns are toasty. Enjoy hot!

Nutrition

Serving: 1sub | Calories: 506kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 31g | Sodium: 943mg | Fiber: 2g
Close up side view of slow cooker meatball subs lined up and garnished with parsley.

How to Make Slow Cooker Meatball Subs – Step by Step Photos

egg and breadcrumb mixture

Lightly whisk two large eggs in a small bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine ½ cup breadcrumbs, ½ cup grated Parmesan, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp onion powder, ½ tsp Italian seasoning, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Pre-mixing these ingredients helps them incorporate more evenly into the meat without having to overmix the meat.

Meatball ingredients in a bowl

Add the whisked egg, breadcrumb mixture, ¼ cup milk, 1 lb. Italian sausage, and 1 lb. ground beef to a bowl. Use your hands to mix the ingredients together.

Shaped meatballs one held in a hand.

Divide and shape the meat mixture into 24 meatballs. The easiest way to divide the mixture evenly is to first divide it into four equal portions. Divide each of those in half to make eight equal-sized pieces. Finally, dive each of the eight sections into three meatballs.

Sauce being poured over the meatballs in the slow cooker.

Add half of the meatballs to the slow cooker in a single layer, then cover with half of the marinara sauce. Add the rest of the meatballs in a second layer and pour the remaining sauce over top, making sure all the meatballs are covered in sauce.

Lid being placed on the slow cooker.

Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for three hours or low for six hours.

Slow cooked meatballs in the slow cooker.

After cooking, use a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature of the meatballs has reached 165°F. You’ll see some fat pooling on the surface, but don’t worry, that deliciousness will be stirred right back into the sauce.

Finished slow cooker meatballs in the slow cooker.

Stir the meatballs in the sauce to make sure everything is evenly combined. These meatballs can now be used in subs or even on a plate of pasta!

Meatballs in subs in a baking dish.

To make the meatball subs, preheat the oven to 350°F. Place your buns on a baking sheet or in a baking dish. Fill each bun with three meatballs and spoon some of the sauce over top.

Shredded mozzarella on the meatball subs.

Top each sub with a little shredded mozzarella.

Baked meatball subs in the baking dish.

Bake the meatball subs in the preheated oven for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the edges of the buns are toasty.

Overhead view of baked meatball subs garnished with parsley.

Enjoy the meatballs hot! I garnished with chopped parsley for some color, but the parsley isn’t needed for flavor. :)

Side view of a meatball sub on a plate with the baking dish in the back.

TRY THESE OTHER MEATBALL RECIPES:

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Sloppy Joes

Ground beef in a tangy sauce piled onto a soft bun, homemade Sloppy Joes are an easy, classic American weeknight dinner.

The post Sloppy Joes appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sloppy Joes were a mainstay weeknight dinner in our house when I was growing up in the 80s, but we always made it with a canned sauce (Manwich, or the generic equivalent). Once I started cooking for myself, I realized how easy it was to quickly whip up sauces like that from ingredients I already had in my pantry, and I never looked back. These Homemade Sloppy Joes are quick, easy, full of flavor, AND freezer friendly. 🙌 Plus, I’ve got some tips for you below to make them even more budget-friendly, since the price of ground beef isn’t getting lower anytime soon.

Side view of a sloppy joe on a plate with potato chips.

What is Sloppy Joe Sauce?

Sloppy Joes are a loose meat sandwich made with ground beef, peppers, and onions in a special red sauce, and the sauce is totally what makes a sloppy joe sandwich. It’s a savory, tangy, and slightly sweet tomato-based sauce. While some recipes simply use heavily seasoned ketchup for the sauce, our recipe is a bit more rich in flavor with tomato sauce, tomato paste, Worcestershire, vinegar, sugar, Dijon, and chili powder.

How to Serve Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes are traditionally served on a hamburger bun, sometimes with cheese, sometimes without. But you can totally get creative. Pile it into a tortilla and turn it into a sloppy joe taco, spoon it over a baked potato, eat it as a bowl meal over rice, or go for the ultimate budget option and just eat it on white bread (if you know, you know).

And don’t forget some chips or steak fries to serve on the side! …Or maybe some roasted broccoli. ;)

Budget Options

Ground beef is pretty expensive these days, so there are a few things you can do to make your sloppy joes a little lighter on the wallet. Here are some ideas:

  • Buy your ground beef in bulk, then divide and freeze the other portions (or make a double-batch of sloppy joes and freeze half).
  • Replace half of the ground beef with lentils or black beans.
  • Shred and sauté any extra vegetables you have before browning the beef to help bulk up and extend the ground beef.
  • Don’t forget to freeze your leftover tomato paste for the next time you make sloppy joes (or any other recipe that uses tomato paste)!
Sloppy joe meat in a skillet.
A sloppy joe on a plate with potato chips.

Sloppy Joes

Ground beef in a tangy sauce piled onto a soft bun, homemade Sloppy Joes are an easy, classic American weeknight dinner.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Total Cost $10.20 recipe / $2.04 each
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 5 ¾ cup meat sauce each
Calories 440kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 1 green bell pepper $0.79
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1 lb. ground beef* $5.49
  • 1 15oz. can tomato sauce $0.79
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste $0.21
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar $0.12
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar $0.08
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard $0.06
  • 1 tsp chili powder $0.10
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce $0.02
  • 3/4 tsp salt $0.03
  • 5 hamburger buns $1.87

Instructions

  • Finely dice the onion and bell pepper, and mince the garlic.
  • Add the olive oil and beef to a skillet and cook over medium heat until the beef is cooked through. Drain off any excess fat.
  • Add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper to the skillet with the beef. Continue to sauté until the onions are soft and translucent.
  • Finally, add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar Dijon, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce,and salt to the skillet. Stir to combine.
  • Allow the meat and sauce to simmer over medium-low for about 5 minutes.
  • Serve over toasted buns.

Notes

*You can use any fat percentage ground beef. If using a higher fat content beef, like 80/20, you’ll want to drain the excess fat after browning. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 440kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 23g | Sodium: 1138mg | Fiber: 3g
An open-faced sloppy joe on a plate with potato chips.

How to Make Sloppy Joes – Step by Step Photos

Chopped vegetables on a cutting board.

Chop the vegetables first, so they’re ready to go. Finely dice one yellow onion and one green bell pepper, and mince 2 cloves of garlic.

Browned ground beef in a skillet.

Add 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1 lb. ground beef to a large skillet. Cook over medium heat until the ground beef has browned. If you’re using a higher fat content ground beef, you’ll want to drain off the excess fat after it has browned.

Vegetables added to ground beef in the skillet.

Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic to the skillet and continue to sauté until the vegetables have softened.

Sauce ingredients added to the ground beef.

Finally, add the ingredients for the sauce: one 15oz. can tomato sauce, 3 Tbsp tomato paste, 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, and ¾ tsp salt.

Finished sloppy joes mix in the skillet.

Stir everything to combine and heat through. Let the meat and sauce simmer over medium-low for 5-10 minutes, or until it has thickened to your liking.

Sloppy joe meat being spooned onto a toasted bun.

Toast your buns in a skillet or in the oven, then pile the saucy meat mixture on top.

Open-faced sloppy joe on a plate with potato chips.

Enjoy your sloppy joes with some chips and plenty of napkins because they’re as messy as they are delicious!

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Beef Enchiladas

This Tex-Mex-inspired beef enchilada recipe is richly seasoned, easy to make, and always such a crowd fave! One of my longtime favorite recipes to whip up for a big dinner party, wrap up in a casserole dish to bring to friends, or bake up on a regular old weeknight here with just the three of […]

This Tex-Mex-inspired beef enchilada recipe is richly seasoned, easy to make, and always such a crowd fave!

Beef Enchiladas

One of my longtime favorite recipes to whip up for a big dinner party, wrap up in a casserole dish to bring to friends, or bake up on a regular old weeknight here with just the three of us — say hello to my favorite beef enchiladas! ♡

These delicious Tex-Mex-inspired enchiladas are loaded up with with tender ground beef (or we often make ours nowadays with plant-based meat), green chiles, onion, garlic, beans, cheese, your choice of tortillas, and my favorite red enchilada sauce. And when baked to warm and melty perfection, then served up with a few slices of avocado and perhaps a sprinkling of fresh cilantro and crumbled cotija, I can tell you — after a decade plus of serving these enchiladas to loved ones — that they are always, always such a hit.

They’re perfect for prepping ahead of time, making this recipe a great option for easy entertaining or popping in the oven after a long day of work. And they can also easily be made gluten-free with corn tortillas and my homemade sauce, if you’d like.

I’ve made this beef enchiladas recipe more times than I can count and know we’ll certainly be enjoying it in our house for many years to come. So if you have yet to give it a try, it’s time!

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Sautéed Beef Cabbage and Rice

Sautéed Beef, Cabbage, and Rice is a simple yet delicious comfort food that will keep you full without draining your wallet.

The post Sautéed Beef Cabbage and Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

You know how sometimes food that is super simple is the most satisfying? Like buttered pasta, rice with soy sauce, or boiled cabbage with butter? There’s nothing to them, but somehow they’re just so comforting and good. I decided to combine a few of these simple comfort foods to create this Sautéed Beef, Cabbage, and Rice. It’s super cheap, cozy, and satisfying without a lot of effort. And that’s exactly what I need to combat these inflation blues!

Overhead view of a skillet full of sautéed beef cabbage and rice with a wooden spoon.

Seasoning Options

I used steak seasoning, one of my favorite go-to seasoning blends, to season this dish, but you could go so many different ways! Steak seasoning is basically a coarse mixture of salt, pepper, onion, garlic, red pepper, and paprika (and sometimes a couple of other things, depending on the brand or recipe). I think this dish would also be really great with other seasonings blends as well, like curry powder, Cajun seasoning, or even just some salsa stirred into the skillet! I encourage you to add your favorite seasoning blends to see how you can make this recipe your own.

Meat Options

I used a half-pound of ground beef for this recipe to keep it budget-friendly, but you could use more meat if it fits your budget. You can also swap out the ground beef for any other ground meat, like pork, turkey, or even ground sausage (even more flavor).

For Best Results, Use Day Old Rice

As with fried rice recipes, day old rice, or rice that has been cooked and fully cooled works best for this recipe. Fully cooked and cooled rice will be less sticky and you’ll be able to incorporate it into the skillet without it becoming mushy. Bonus, when you cool cooked rice the starches transform into resistant starches, which are great for your gut bacteria!

What Else Can I Add?

This recipe is just asking for customization, so make sure to browse your pantry and refrigerator for other ingredients that you might want to toss in there. Shredded carrot would be awesome, as would some diced bell pepper. You can add garlic (when can you *not* add garlic?), bacon, diced tomatoes, or even a sprinkle of cheese on top.

How to Serve Sautéed Beef, Cabbage, and Rice

This recipe is meant to be a super simple all-in-one bowl meal. It’s got meat, grains, and vegetables all in one serving. If I did decide to serve something on the side, I’d probably go for something in the red/orange color spectrum for some balance. Maybe some roasted carrots, roasted squash, or maybe even a cup of tomato soup on the side.

Overhead view of a bowl full of sautéed beef, cabbage, and rice.
Overhead view of the finished sautéed beef, cabbage, and rice in the skillet.

Sautéed Beef, Cabbage, and Rice

Sautéed Beef, Cabbage, and Rice is a simple yet delicious comfort food that will keep you full without draining your wallet.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $5.90 recipe / $1.48 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Calories 372kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 1/2 head green cabbage (5 cups chopped) $1.08
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef $3.50
  • 1 Tbsp steak seasoning $0.30
  • 1/4 cup water $0.00
  • 2 cups cooked rice* $0.41
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.41
  • 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce $0.03

Instructions

  • Dice the onion and chop the cabbage into ½-inch pieces.
  • Add the onion and cooking oil to a large skillet and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft.
  • Add the ground beef and steak seasoning to the skillet and continue to sauté until the beef is fully cooked. If using a higher fat content beef, drain the excess fat from the skillet.
  • Add the chopped cabbage and water to the skillet. Continue to sauté until the cabbage has softened to your desired level of tenderness.
  • Add the cooked rice and butter to the skillet. Fold the rice and butter into the beef and cabbage until the butter has melted, everything is evenly combined, and the rice is heated through.
  • Finally, season the skillet with soy sauce to taste. Start with 1 tsp and add more to your liking (I added ½ Tbsp, or 1.5 tsp). Serve hot and enjoy!

Notes

*This recipe works best with day-old rice or rice that has been cooked and fully cooled.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 372kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 21g | Sodium: 232mg | Fiber: 4g
Side view of sautéed Beef, Cabbage, and Rice in the skillet.

How to Make Sautéed Beef, Cabbage, and Rice – Step by Step Photos

Diced onion on a cutting board.

Dice one yellow onion.

Chopped cabbage on a cutting board.

Chop ½ head of green cabbage into ½-inch pieces. You should have about five cups once chopped, but it’s flexible so it’s okay if you have more or less.

Sautéed Onion in the skillet with a spatula.

Sauté the diced onion in 1 Tbsp cooking oil over medium heat until soft (about five minutes).

Ground beef in the skillet, steak seasoning being sprinkled over top.

Add ½ lb. ground beef and 1 Tbsp steak seasoning (or your favorite seasoning blend) to the skillet. Continue to sauté until the beef is cooked through. If you’re using a higher fat content beef, you can drain the excess fat from the skillet after the beef has cooked through.

Cabbage added to the skillet.

Add the chopped cabbage and ¼ cup water to the skillet. Continue to stir and cook over medium heat until the cabbage has softened.

Softened cabbage mixed with beef and onion in the skillet.

You can continue to cook this until the cabbage reaches your desired level of tenderness. I like mine to still have some texture and a vibrant green color.

Cooked rice and butter added to the skillet.

Add 2 cups cooked rice and 2 Tbsp butter to the skillet. Fold the rice and butter into the beef and cabbage until the butter has melted, everything is evenly combined, and the rice has heated through.

Soy sauce being drizzled over the skillet.

Finally, add about ½ Tbsp soy sauce. It’s best to add this to your own taste buds, so start with 1 tsp and add more until it tastes good.

Overhead view of the finished sautéed beef, cabbage, and rice in the skillet.

Serve and enjoy!

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Easy Vegetable Beef Soup

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

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

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

Overhead view of a bowl of vegetable beef soup.

What’s in Vegetable Beef Soup?

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

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

Beef Options

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

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

What Else Can I Add?

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

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

Vegetable Beef Soup

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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

Nutrition

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

How to Make Vegetable Beef Soup – Step by Step Photos

Onion Garlic and olive oil in a soup pot.

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

Browned ground beef in the soup pot.

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

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

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

Simmered soup without vegetables.

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

Frozen vegetables being poured into the pot of soup.

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

Finished vegetable beef soup in the pot with a spoon.

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

Side view of the pot of vegetable beef soup.

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

Try These Other Easy Ground Beef Recipes:

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

Taco Pasta

Taco nights and pasta nights are the BEST nights, but what about having BOTH? Let me introduce you to Taco Pasta, the best of both worlds! First of all, you only need 25 minutes to make this taco pasta situation. It is the perfect dinner for busy weekn…

Taco nights and pasta nights are the BEST nights, but what about having BOTH? Let me introduce you to Taco Pasta, the best of both worlds! First of all, you only need 25 minutes to make this taco pasta situation. It is the perfect dinner for busy weeknights. It’s always a winner because kids love…

Beef Taco Pasta

This Beef Taco Pasta is like a homemade version of hamburger helper with a southwest flavor spin. Hearty, delicious, and comforting!

The post Beef Taco Pasta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Raise your hand if you grew up on Hamburger Helper. 🖐 Yeah, me too. :) This Beef Taco Pasta is like a homemade version of your favorite childhood dinner in a box with a southwest spin. It has ground beef, a cheesy tomato sauce, green chiles, pasta, a healthy dose of taco seasoning, and tons of delicious comfort all in one bowl. Plus, it all cooks in one pot, which makes dinner time so fast and easy. #WIN

Originally posted 8/25/2013, updated 2/19/2022.

beef taco pasta in a bowl from above

What Kind of Pasta to Use

I used small pasta shells this time around because that’s what I had on hand, but I originally made this recipe with egg noodles. You can use other short pasta shapes as well, keeping in mind that you may need to simmer slightly longer or for less time depending on the type of pasta used. Rotini and penne are also good options.

What Else Can I Add to Taco Pasta?

This is my favorite part of any recipe. I love rummaging through my fridge or pantry looking for leftovers that can be added to whatever I’m cooking to make sure nothing I buy goes to waste. Here are some other ingredients that you can add to your Beef Taco Pasta that would also taste great with this flavor profile:

  • Jalapeños (fresh or pickled)
  • Sour cream
  • Avocado
  • Black olives
  • Black beans
  • Pickled red onions

Swap Out the Meat

This recipe is super flexible, so if you want to use a different type of ground meat, like ground turkey or ground chicken, that would work just as well. Likewise, you could use a vegetarian ground beef alternative, or just skip the ground beef altogether and replace it with a can of black beans. So many options!

Close up of beef taco pasta in the skillet

Close up of beef taco pasta in the skillet

One Pot Beef Taco Pasta

This Beef Taco Pasta is like a homemade version of hamburger helper with a southwest flavor spin. Hearty, delicious, and comforting!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Southwest
Total Cost $7.88 recipe / $1.31 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 1.3 cups each
Calories 360kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef $3.00
  • 1 packet taco seasoning* $0.67
  • 1 15oz. can diced tomatoes $0.79
  • 1 4oz. can diced green chiles $0.67
  • 1/2 lb. small pasta shells $0.50
  • 2 cups beef broth $0.26
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese $1.15
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.20

Instructions

  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the onion, garlic, and olive oil to a deep skillet or wide-bottomed pot. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft.
  • Add the ground beef and taco seasoning and continue to cook and stir until the ground beef is cooked through.
  • Add the diced tomatoes (with juices) and diced green chiles (with juices) to the beef and stir to combine.
  • Finally, add the pasta and beef broth and stir to combine once again. It's okay if the pasta is not fully submerged under the broth.
  • Place a lid on the pot and turn the heat up to medium-high. Allow the broth to come up to a full boil. Once boiling, give the pasta a stir, place the lid back on top, and turn the heat down to medium-low.
  • Let the pasta continue to simmer, stirring every few minutes and always replacing the lid, for about 10 minutes or until the pasta is tender. There should be some thick saucy liquid left in the pot once the pasta is cooked.
  • Add the shredded cheddar cheese and stir until it has melted into the sauce. Top with sliced green onions and serve!

Notes

*You can use one store-bought taco seasoning packet (about 1 oz.) or use this homemade taco seasoning recipe

Nutrition

Serving: 1.3cups | Calories: 360kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 17g | Sodium: 915mg | Fiber: 3g

beef taco pasta in the skillet with a spoon

How to Make Beef Taco Pasta – Step by Step Photos

Diced onion and minced garlic in a skillet

Dice one yellow onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Add them to a deep skillet or wide-bottomed pot with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft.

ground beef and taco seasoning added to the skillet

Next, add ½ lb. ground beef and one packet of taco seasoning (or homemade taco seasoning). Continue to cook over medium until the ground beef is cooked through.

Diced tomatoes and green chiles added to the skillet

Add one 15oz. can diced tomatoes (with juices) and one 4oz. can diced green chiles (with juices). 

pasta and beef broth being added to the skillet

Add ½ lb. pasta shells (uncooked) and 2 cups of beef broth. Stir everything to combine. It’s okay if the pasta is not fully submerged in the broth.

Lid being placed on the skillet in preparation for simmering

Place a lid on the skillet or pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the broth to come up to a boil. Once it reaches a full boil, give the pasta a stir (put the lid back in place), turn the heat down to medium-low. Let the pasta continue to simmer, stirring once every few minutes and always replacing the lid, for about 10 minutes or until the pasta is tender.

Cooked pasta in the skillet

Once the pasta is tender there should still be some thick saucy liquid left in the skillet. 

shredded cheddar added to the skillet

Add 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese to the pasta and stir until it has melted into the thick tomato sauce.

taco pasta topped with green onion

Top the cheesy taco pasta with sliced green onions and serve!

Overhead view of a bowl of taco pasta

Try These Other Ground Beef Pasta Recipes:

The post Beef Taco Pasta appeared first on Budget Bytes.