Charred Corn & Avocado Quinoa Salad

I know, I kind of have a quinoa salad obsession, but I am not going to apologize for sharing another quinoa salad recipe because I know you are going to LOVE this one. This Charred Corn & Avocado Quinoa Salad is incredible! It is loaded with flavor…

I know, I kind of have a quinoa salad obsession, but I am not going to apologize for sharing another quinoa salad recipe because I know you are going to LOVE this one. This Charred Corn & Avocado Quinoa Salad is incredible! It is loaded with flavor and the perfect side dish for summertime. The…

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Who knew that a single loaf of bread could combine the richness of chocolate, the wholesome goodness of zucchini, and have no refined sugar? Chocolate Zucchini Bread is moist, delicious, and even healthy! It’s incredibly easy to make and perfect for breakfast, a snack, or dessert. This recipe is sure to become a family favorite…

The post Chocolate Zucchini Bread appeared first on Weelicious.

Who knew that a single loaf of bread could combine the richness of chocolate, the wholesome goodness of zucchini, and have no refined sugar? Chocolate Zucchini Bread is moist, delicious, and even healthy! It’s incredibly easy to make and perfect for breakfast, a snack, or dessert. This recipe is sure to become a family favorite in no time.

Chocolate zucchini bread on wire rack.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It’s Super Moist and Delicious: Just like my zucchini cheddar bread and zucchini muffins recipes, this bread stays incredibly moist and tender. Even better, every bite is packed with rich, chocolatey goodness that melts in your mouth.
  • A Nutritious Twist: You’ll feel great about indulging in this chocolatey goodness. The whole wheat flour and zucchini add a nutritional boost, while the honey and banana naturally sweeten it, making this bread a treat you can enjoy any time of day.
  • Easy and Fun to Make: This recipe is straightforward and perfect for bakers of all levels. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to get the kids involved in the kitchen – older kids will love grating the zucchini and littler ones can help mix the batter.
  • Versatile and Convenient: Whether you’re having it for breakfast, a snack, or dessert, this bread fits the bill. It also freezes beautifully, so you can always have some on hand.

The Ingredients

Chocolate Zucchini Bread Ingredients.
  • Flour: A mixture of all purpose and whole wheat flour provides a light and airy texture with a little added fiber and whole wheat nutty flavor.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: Gives the zucchini bread a rich chocolate flavor without added sweetness.
  • Baking Soda and Baking Powder: These ingredients help the bread rise and achieve the perfect texture.
  • Vanilla Extract: Adds a subtle sweetness and enhances the chocolate flavor.
  • Vegetable or Canola Oil: The oil keeps the bread moist and tender.
  • Large Eggs: Help hold everything together and provides structure to the bread.
  • Banana: Adds natural sweetness and moisture, complementing the zucchini.
  • Honey: A natural sweetener that adds a rich flavor and also keeps the bread moist.
  • Grated Zucchini: The star ingredient that adds moisture and a nutritional boost without being detectable in taste. Grate your zucchini using the largest holes on a box grater.

*For a full list of ingredients and instructions, see the recipe card below*

Variations and Substitutions

  • Flour: Substitute your favorite cup-for-cup gluten-free flour for a gluten-free version. You can also combine flours by using gluten-free flour in place of the all-purpose flour and almond flour instead of whole wheat flour.
  • Eggs: If you need to substitute the eggs in this recipe, I would suggest using a banana or applesauce. You could also use a flax egg which is 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons water per egg.
  • Oil: Feel free to use melted coconut oil or olive oil instead of vegetable or canola oil.
  • Sweeteners: Use maple syrup or agave nectar in place of the honey.
  • Add-Ins: Want to double down on perfection? You can also add a big handful of chocolate chips or walnuts for a little added crunch.

How to Make Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Chocolate zucchini bread dry ingredients in a bowl.

Step 1: In a bowl, combine the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Chocolate zucchini bread wet ingredients in a bowl.

Step 2: In a separate large bowl, beat the vanilla, oil, eggs, banana and honey until combined.

Chocolate zucchini bread batter in a mixing bowl.

Step 3: Slowly combine the dry ingredients into the wet then stir in the grated zucchini.

Chocolate zucchini bread batter in a 9x5 inch loaf pan.

Step 4: Pour the batter into a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan.

Baked loaf of chocolate zucchini bread.

Step 5: Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Chocolate zucchini bread sliced on cooling rack.

Step 6: Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove bread from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Slice and serve.

Tips and Tricks

  • Grating Zucchini: No need to peel the zucchini before grating. You also don’t need to strain the water out of the grated zucchini before adding it to the batter.
  • Don’t Overmix: Stir the batter until just combined to avoid a dense loaf.
  • Cooling: Let the bread cool completely before slicing. This helps the bread hold together better.
  • Make Muffins: This quick bread batter can easily be used to make muffins. Bake at the same temperature for 18-20 minutes.

FAQs

How do I store and freeze chocolate zucchini bread?

Store your Chocolate Zucchini Bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week. It also freezes well; wrap it tightly in foil, placed in freezer bags labeled with the date and freeze for up to 3 months.

What is the best way to shred zucchini for zucchini bread?

A box grater is the easiest way to shred zucchini. Hold the zucchini firmly and grate it on the medium or large holes of the box grater. Be careful with your fingers as you near the end of the zucchini.

Do I need to strain the water out of the shredded zucchini for zucchini bread?

No, you don’t need to strain out the water from the shredded zucchini. The moisture from the zucchini helps keep the bread moist and delicious.

Chocolate zucchini bread sliced on wire rack.

More Quick Bread Recipes

This chocolate zucchini bread will be one you make all summer long! It’s delicious yet healthy and a perfect recipe for the surplus of zucchini you might have. Let me know what you think of this recipe by leaving a rating and comment below!

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Chocolate zucchini bread sliced on wire rack.
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Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Chocolate Zucchini Bread is moist, delicious, and even healthy! It's incredibly easy to make and perfect for breakfast, a snack, or dessert.
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8
Calories 338kcal

Equipment

  • 9×5 inch loaf pan (or 3 mini loaf pans)

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • In a bowl, combine the first 6 dry ingredients.
  • In a separate large bowl, beat the vanilla, oil, eggs, banana and honey until combined.
  • Slowly combine the dry ingredients into the wet then stir in the grated zucchini.
  • Pour the batter into a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove bread from the pan and cool completely.
  • Serve.

Notes

Storage/Freezing: Store your Chocolate Zucchini Bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week. It also freezes well; wrap it tightly in foil, placed in freezer bags labeled with the date and freeze for up to 3 months.
Grating Zucchini: No need to peel the zucchini before grating. You also don’t need to strain the water out of the grated zucchini before adding it to the batter.
Don’t Overmix: Stir the batter until just combined to avoid a dense loaf.
Cooling: Let the bread cool completely before slicing. This helps the bread hold together better.
Make Muffins: This quick bread batter can easily be used to make muffins. Bake at the same temperature for 18-20 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 338kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 358mg | Potassium: 289mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 140IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 2mg

The post Chocolate Zucchini Bread appeared first on Weelicious.

Granola Bars

Homemade Granola Bars are wholesome and healthy! Loaded with oats, dates, peanut butter, walnuts, and chocolate chips.

The post Granola Bars appeared first on Budget Bytes.

When I’m looking for a snack, I want it to be wholesome. These Homemade Granola Bars are delicious and free of all the junk and preservatives you can’t pronounce on most boxes of affordable store-bought granola bars. Instead, I loaded mine with quick rolled oats, Medjool dates, peanut butter, walnuts, and chocolate chips. They still taste amazing and are much healthier with whole food ingredients.

3 stacked granola bars on a white plate.

I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a bit crunchy… the kind of “crunchy” who left the city for the county, lives on a farm, grows their own vegetables, and makes their own Granola Bars. Guilty as charged! I love a hearty, chewy granola bar with a variety of textures, and this recipe is all of that and more! Marsha and I break these out of the freezer at the Budget Bytes studio on a regular basis; they make one heck of a snack.

Bonus: Because there’s no heat involved, these homemade granola bars are also fun to make with kids! They can mold the dough into fun shapes and help you in the kitchen!

Are Granola Bars Healthy?

That depends on a lot of factors. In general, granola bars are a good source of fiber (and sometimes protein, too!). However, many times, they also contain as much sugar and calories as candy bars. As a general rule, if I check the ingredient label on something and I can’t recognize or pronounce the majority of the ingredients, I usually put it back.

My homemade bars are made with Medjool dates and honey as the primary sweeteners, which are both lower on the glycemic index, making these bars more nutrient-dense and healthier than ones made with straight up sugar or corn syrup. The peanut butter and walnuts add a good bit of protein, and the oats up the fiber content. Overall, these homemade granola bars are much healthier than store-bought, but taste even better!

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make granola bars:

  • Medjool Dates: Sweeten the bars and help bind them together.
  • Chunky Peanut Butter: Adds creaminess and crunch, and also helps bind everything together.
  • Walnuts: Add extra crunch and protein.
  • Cinnamon: Adds a touch of warmth to the bars that enhances their overall flavor.
  • Sea Salt: Enhances the flavors of these bars.
  • Quick Rolled Oats: These are cut into smaller pieces than traditional rolled oats, making for a more cohesive bar.
  • Honey: Adds a little extra sweetness and helps the bars harden.
  • Chocolate Chips: Add a pop of rich chocolate flavor!

Is it cheaper to make your own granola bars?

Sometimes! I like to buy peanut butter and oats in bulk whenever they’re on sale since they keep well for a long time unopened. This really helps me cut down on costs. Some value-sized packs of store-bought granola bars are cheaper than my homemade recipe, but I can guarantee the ingredients aren’t nearly as wholesome. At just $0.72 per bar, these healthy homemade granola bars are good for your wallet and better for your body!

What Else Can I Add?

These bars are a great base for all kinds of mix-ins. Try:

  • White chocolate chips
  • Dried or freeze-dried fruits
  • Nuts or seeds
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Crushed pretzels

Do you have a peanut allergy? Try swapping peanut butter and peanuts for almond butter. If you’re allergic to all tree nuts, try tahini and pumpkin seeds instead!

overhead view of 10 granola bars.
3 stacked granola bars on a white plate.
Print

Granola Bars

Homemade Granola Bars are wholesome and healthy! Loaded with oats, dates, peanut butter, walnuts, and chocolate chips.
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Total Cost ($7.42 recipe / $0.72 serving)
Prep Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 10 (1 bar each)
Calories 222kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted $2.99
  • 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter $0.29
  • 1/4 cup walnuts $0.87
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt $0.01
  • 1 1/2 cups quick rolled oats $2.23
  • 1/4 cup honey $0.78
  • 2 Tbsp dark chocolate chips $0.20

Instructions

  • Gather ingredients. In a food processor, process dates (make sure all of them are pitted!) until they form a big ball of “dough”
  • In a mixing bowl, combine Medjool date "dough", chunky peanut butter, walnuts, ground cinnamon, sea salt, cups quick rolled oats, honey, and dark chocolate chips and mix together by hand (it’s going to be sticky!)
  • Spread granola bar batter into a lined baking dish and freeze for 1-2 hours until firm but not completely solid.
  • Remove from freezer. Cut bars into the size and shape you want. These will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to one month!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar | Calories: 222kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 10g | Sodium: 122mg | Fiber: 3g
overhead view of 2 granola bars on a white plate next to granola bars on parchment.

how to make Granola Bars – step by step photos

medjool date paste in a food processor.

Gather ingredients. In a food processor, process 1 cup pitted Medjool dates (make sure all of them are pitted!) until they form a big ball of “dough”

pouring honey into a bowl with granola bar ingredients.

In a mixing bowl, combine combine Medjool date “dough”, 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter, 1/4 cup walnuts, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1 1/2 cups quick rolled oats, 1/4 cup honey, and 2 Tbsp dark chocolate chips and mix together by hand (it’s going to be sticky!)

spreading granola bar mix into a baking pan with a rubber spatula.

Spread the granola bar batter into a lined baking dish and freeze for 1-2 hours until firm but not completely solid.

cutting granola bars on a cutting board.

Remove from freezer. Cut bars into the size and shape you want. These will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to one month!

3 stacked granola bars on a white plate.

You’ll never buy store-bought granola bars again!

The post Granola Bars appeared first on Budget Bytes.

No Bake Monster Cookie Bars

I LOVE Monster Cookies. They are are one of my all-time favorite cookies! They have all of my favorite things: peanut butter, oats, chocolate chips, and M&M’s. They are such a fun cookie. I have turned my favorite cookie into Monster Cookie B…

I LOVE Monster Cookies. They are are one of my all-time favorite cookies! They have all of my favorite things: peanut butter, oats, chocolate chips, and M&M’s. They are such a fun cookie. I have turned my favorite cookie into Monster Cookie Bars, Monster Cookie Energy Balls, Chocolate Monster Cookies, and these easy No Bake…

Cilantro Lime Dressing

Make this cilantro lime dressing recipe the next time you prepare a Mexican meal. It’s bright, sunny and fresh! This dressing is boldly flavored with fresh lime,…

The post Cilantro Lime Dressing appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

cilantro lime dressing

Make this cilantro lime dressing recipe the next time you prepare a Mexican meal. It’s bright, sunny and fresh! This dressing is boldly flavored with fresh lime, olive oil, cilantro, garlic, honey, cumin and Dijon mustard. You can make it creamy or spicy if you wish.

Drizzle this dressing over crisp greens with sliced avocado and toasted pepitas for a perfectly simple side salad. You’ll find a longer list of salad toppings to choose from below.

cilantro lime dressing ingredients

I improvised this dressing to make a green salad with leftovers from my Fajita Veggie & Halloumi Bowls, and I loved it so much that I wanted to share it with you. It’s almost as versatile as my favorite Lemon Vinaigrette and suits some flavors even better.

This dressing comes together quickly in the food processor and keeps in the refrigerator for up to one week. Sometimes having a vibrant sauce on hand makes all the difference!

Continue to the recipe...

The post Cilantro Lime Dressing appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Air Fryer Tofu

If you’re looking to fire up a Meatless Monday tradition, this Air Fryer Tofu is super easy and tastes great.

The post Air Fryer Tofu appeared first on Budget Bytes.

This budget-friendly protein-packed tofu is begging to be the center of attention at your dinner table. If you’re looking to fire up a Meatless Monday tradition, or you’ve been on the tofu train for a long time, this Air Fryer Tofu is super easy and tastes great. I toss extra firm tofu in a simple soy sauce marinade and then drizzle with honey, sesame seeds, and green onions after it’s crisped up in the air fryer. The texture comes out perfect and the flavor profile is an easy hit with tofu experts and novices alike!

air fryer tofu on a white plate with a bowl of sweet chili dipping sauce.

I remember when my relationship with tofu first started about 20 years ago. Tofu could be found in a big bucket of water in the bottom of a cooler at the health food store, and I had to fish it out with tongs. I remember thinking, “What IS this stuff?!” The various options for firm, extra firm, soft, or silken were hard to come by back then, but now tofu is experiencing a much-deserved Renaissance!

You can find tofu everywhere– and the variety! (Swoon.) Already marinated, soft, extra firm, cut into chicken-like shapes, you name it. Even your local Walmart or Aldi probably has it. We don’t have to break the bank at luxury grocery stores to find it any longer and thank goodness that container full of tofu and water is a thing of the past.

What is Air Fryer Tofu?

Delightfully crispy on the outside with a delightfully chewy center, this Air Fryer Tofu is good enough to convert anyone into a tofu lover. The freezing step of the tofu is one you won’t want to skip! It gives it a dense texture that holds up great with all kinds of sauces. I attempted many different recipes for Air Fryer Tofu, trying to keep things as easy and inexpensive as possible. This recipe yielded the best result every time!

You can add whatever herbs or seasonings you like to this recipe, but the soy sauce and sesame oil are keepers; they add umami and savory notes to otherwise bland tofu. Tofu is so versatile and easy to add flavor to with whatever marinade ingredients you like best.

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make crispy air fryer tofu:

  • Extra Firm Tofu: This type of tofu holds up best to air frying. It holds its shape well, and it has a chewier texture than firm or regular tofu.
  • Soy Sauce: Adds tons of umami flavor to the tofu.
  • Sesame Oil: Adds a hint of nuttiness to the tofu and helps it brown in the air fryer.
  • Cornstarch: Absorbs excess moisture to create a super crispy coating. My recipe calls for much less than other recipes I have seen and this helps the texture big time!
  • Honey: Adds a touch of sweetness!
  • Sesame Seeds: Add a great crunch to the tofu.
  • Green Onion: Adds a pop of fresh onion flavor.

Serving Suggestions

My favorite way to serve this crispy air fryer tofu is over this delicious coconut rice! The slightly sweet and nutty flavor pairs so well with the savory, crispy tofu! For dipping, I love this sweet chili sauce (pictured) or homemade sweet and sour sauce.

Tips and Notes

  • Extra firm or super firm tofu works best. Firm tofu will also work, but the texture won’t be quite as dense. I do not recommend regular or silken tofu for this recipe, as neither holds up well.
  • Don’t skip freezing the tofu! It creates a denser, spongier texture that has a meatier chew.
  • If you like your tofu crunchier (and less chewy), you can press it between clean kitchen towels using a tofu press, a stack of books, or a heavy pan for 30-60 minutes to remove excess moisture.
overhead view of air fryer tofu in an air fryer basket.
air fryer tofu on a white plate with a bowl of sweet chili dipping sauce.
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Air Fryer Tofu

If you’re looking to fire up a Meatless Monday tradition, this Air Fryer Tofu is super easy and tastes great.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Total Cost ($3.02 recipe / $1.51 serving)
Prep Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 2 (1/2 block or 8 oz. of tofu per serving)
Calories 234kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. extra firm tofu $1.69
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce $0.59
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil $0.33
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch $0.06
  • 1 tsp honey $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp sesame seeds $0.14
  • 1 green onion, sliced $0.16

Instructions

  • Pat dry and freeze 1 block of extra firm tofu for 1 hour, minimum.* Remove the tofu from the freezer and allow it to thaw to the point where it can be cut with a knife.
  • Dice the tofu into 1/2-inch cubes. Gather soy sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch.
  • Toss the cubed tofu with soy sauce and sesame oil. Then, lightly dust the dressed tofu with cornstarch, tossing or stirring until each piece is lightly covered.
  • Transfer to an air fryer basket and fry at 400°F for 10 minutes, shaking halfway through.
  • Garnish with a drizzle of honey, sesame seeds, and sliced green onions. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or over a bed of white rice.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*I did not press my tofu for this recipe, but you can if you would like it to be more crunchy and less chewy.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5block | Calories: 234kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 11g | Sodium: 1765mg | Fiber: 1g
overhead view of air fryer tofu with sweet chili dipping sauce on a white plate.

how to make Air Fryer Tofu – step by step photos

comparing frozen and thawed tofu (left) to refrigerated tofu (right).

Pat dry and freeze 1 (16-oz.) block of extra firm tofu for 1 hour, minimum.* Remove the tofu from the freezer and allow it to thaw to the point where it can be cut with a knife. (Notice the difference in texture with the frozen tofu on the left and the unfrozen on the right.)

diced tofu next to bowls of sesame oil, soy sauce, and cornstarch on a cutting board.

Dice the tofu into 1/2-inch cubes. Gather 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 Tbsp sesame oil, and 1 Tbsp cornstarch.

pouring cornstarch over diced tofu in a white bowl.

Toss the cubed tofu with soy sauce and sesame oil. Then, lightly dust the dressed tofu with cornstarch, tossing or stirring until each piece is lightly covered.

tofu cubes in an air fryer basket.

Transfer to an air fryer basket and fry at 400°F for 10 minutes, shaking halfway through.

cooked crispy tofu cubes in an air fryer basket.

Garnish with 1 tsp honey, 1/4 tsp sesame seeds, and 1 sliced green onion. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or over a bed of white rice.

dipping a cube of air fryer tofu in sweet chili dipping sauce with chopsticks.

Wonderfully chewy and crisp, this air fryer tofu is sure to be a hit!

The post Air Fryer Tofu appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Orzo Pasta Salad

This light & fresh Orzo Pasta Salad is full of colorful veggies and a delicious homemade dressing. Perfect for BBQs or meal prep it for the week!

The post Orzo Pasta Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Every now and then I come across a recipe at a restaurant that I absolutely love, then I spend the next few moments trying to guess what’s in it so I can recreate it at home…for a lot less! Well today, I’m sharing one of those recipes! This Orzo Pasta Salad is inspired by a dish at one of my favorite restaurants, J. Alexander’s, and it’s now going into my pasta salads rotation!🙌 It includes fresh veggies like bell peppers, tomatoes and onion, along with tart & slightly sweet dried cranberries, and the best homemade vinaigrette dressing to bring it all together. This pasta salad recipe will definitely become a new favorite!

Overhead view of Orzo Pasta Salad in a white serving bowl with wood serving spoons on the side.

Ingredients For Orzo Pasta Salad

The restaurant version of this recipe includes wild rice, but I decided to leave the rice out because for one…wild rice can be expensive, and two…wild rice takes quite a bit of time to cook. But I absolutely love this version instead! So here’s everything you need to make this simple orzo pasta salad recipe:

  • Orzo: Orzo is a small shaped pasta that looks similar to rice. It cooks quickly and is popular in soups and salads just like this one. If you don’t have access to orzo pasta, you can certainly substitute it for a different small-shaped pasta instead.
  • Vegetables: A combination of veggies like bell peppers, roma tomatoes, red onion and sweet corn, adds lots of color, flavor, and texture. I made sure to dice the vegetables small so they match the proportion size of the rest of the ingredients.
  • Dried Cranberries: One of the things I love most about this pasta salad is the addition of the dried cranberries. It adds a tart & slightly sweet flavor and compliments the sweet corn and dressing perfectly!
  • Vinaigrette Dressing: To keep things light and fresh, I opted for a homemade vinaigrette dressing made with simple pantry ingredients and sweetened with a bit of honey. It’s so good!!

Variations & Recipe Tips!

  1. Switch it up! If you’re looking to change up the flavor profile, then try adding some Kalamata olives, crumbled feta cheese, and greek salad dressing, for a Mediterranean-inspired orzo pasta salad!
  2. Wanna make it more filling? Add some grilled chicken, grilled shrimp, or a can of chickpeas (drained & rinsed). 
  3. Cool down the pasta. Don’t forget to give the cooked pasta and corn a quick rinse under cool water to stop the cooking process and cool off the pasta before adding the veggies, herbs and cheese.

Serving Suggestions

This light and summery orzo pasta salad is perfect for BBQs and cookouts! Add it to your summer menu and enjoy it with some turkey burgers or grilled salmon. It’s also great with leaner proteins like Baked Cod, Pan-Seared Chicken Breasts, or even some Garlic Butter Shrimp on the side.

Side view of orzo pasta salad in a white serving bowl.
Overhead view of Orzo Pasta Salad in a white serving bowl with wood serving spoons on the side.
Print

Orzo Pasta Salad

This light & fresh Orzo Pasta Salad is full of colorful veggies and a delicious homemade dressing. Perfect for BBQs or meal prep it for the week!
Course Lunch, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Total Cost $9.99 recipe / $1.24 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8 (1 cup each)
Calories 265kcal

Ingredients

Vinaigrette Dressing

  • 1/3 cup olive oil $0.96
  • 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar $0.39
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard $0.04
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp honey $0.18

Pasta Salad

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked orzo pasta $1.49
  • 1 cup frozen corn $0.41
  • 1 red bell pepper $1.59
  • 1 yellow bell pepper $1.59
  • 2 roma tomatoes $0.78
  • 1/2 red onion $0.40
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries $1.70
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley $0.29
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02

Instructions

  • Start by making the vinaigrette dressing. In a medium bowl whisk together the olive oil, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, basil, salt and honey until smooth. Set the vinaigrette aside.
  • Cook the orzo pasta according to the package directions. Add the frozen corn to the boiling water during the last 3 minutes of the pasta cook time.  Drain the pasta and corn in a colander and rinse briefly with cool water to cool off the pasta.
  • While the pasta is cooking, prepare the veggies. Dice the bell peppers and tomatoes, finely dice the red onion, measure out the dried cranberries, and chop the parsley.
  • Transfer the pasta and corn to a large bowl. Add the chopped vegetables, chopped parsley and dried cranberries.
  • Give the vinaigrette dressing another stir. Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and season with 1/4 tsp salt. Toss the salad ingredients together until everything is evenly coated in the dressing. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to enjoy.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 265kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 10g | Sodium: 163mg | Fiber: 3g
Overhead view of two white bowls of orzo pasta salad.

How to Make Orzo Pasta Salad – Step by Step Photos

Vinaigrette dressing for orzo pasta salad.

Start by making the vinaigrette dressing. In a medium bowl whisk together 1/3 cup olive oil, 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar, 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/2 tsp basil, 1/4 tsp salt and 1 Tbsp honey until smooth. Set the vinaigrette aside.

Cooked orzo and corn drained in a colander.

Cook 1 1/2 cups of orzo pasta according to the package directions. Add 1 cup frozen corn to the boiling water during the last 3 minutes of the pasta cook time.  Drain the pasta and corn in a colander and rinse briefly with cool water to cool off the pasta.

Chopped vegetables on a cutting board.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the veggies. Dice 1 red bell pepper, 1 yellow bell pepper, 2 roma tomatoes, finely dice 1/2 red onion, measure out 3/4 cups dried cranberries, and chop 1/4 cup fresh parsley. (Frozen corn is pictured on the cutting board, but is added in the previous step with the boiling pasta).

Cooked orzo, corn, and chopped vegetables in a large bowl with vinaigrette dressing being poured on top.

Transfer the cooked pasta and corn to a large bowl. Add the chopped vegetables, chopped parsley and dried cranberries. Give the vinaigrette dressing another stir. Pour the dressing over the pasta salad.

Orzo pasta salad ingredients mixed together in a large bowl.

Toss the salad ingredients together until everything is evenly coated in the dressing. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to enjoy!

Overhead view of orzo pasta salad in a large white serving bowl with wooden serving spoons on the side.

Enjoy this light, fresh and summery orzo pasta salad at your next BBQ, cookout or family gathering! Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

The post Orzo Pasta Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Almond Flour Banana Pancakes

Looking for a stack of fluffy, delicious pancakes that are also gluten-free and totally addictive? Almond Flour Banana Pancakes are going to be your new go-to breakfast. They take minutes to whip up, making them perfect for a busy morning. Since these pancakes are made with both yogurt and almond flour, they’re also a terrific source of protein!…

The post Almond Flour Banana Pancakes appeared first on Weelicious.

Looking for a stack of fluffy, delicious pancakes that are also gluten-free and totally addictive? Almond Flour Banana Pancakes are going to be your new go-to breakfast. They take minutes to whip up, making them perfect for a busy morning. Since these pancakes are made with both yogurt and almond flour, they’re also a terrific source of protein!

Almond flour banana pancakes on plate with maple syrup being poured on top.

Why You’ll Love These Almond Flour Pancakes

  • Gluten-Free: Just because you have to eat a gluten free diet doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor! These pancakes are just as fluffy and delicious as traditional pancakes.
  • Naturally Sweetened: Thanks to the natural sweetness from the honey and ripe bananas, these pancakes are totally delicious and not loaded with refined sugar. Plus, they’re a great recipe for using up ripe bananas sitting on your counter.
  • Good Source of Protein: This pancake recipe is made with almond meal and yogurt, which makes them a great way to start the day with a good source of protein.

The Ingredients

Almond flour banana pancake ingredients.
  • Almond flour meal: Almond flour has about 20 grams of protein per 100 grams, which is nearly twice the amount of protein in the same amount of all purpose flour. It’s a great gluten-free alternative to regular flour.
  • Eggs: Eggs add more protein and help provide structure and moistness to the pancakes.
  • Honey: Honey adds natural sweetness to the pancakes without the need for refined sugar.
  • Vanilla extract: Vanilla enhances the flavor of these pancakes.
  • Ripe banana: Mashed banana adds more natural sweetness and moisture to the pancakes.
  • Plain yogurt: Plain yogurt contributes to the pancakes’ moist texture and adds a slight tanginess, along with probiotics and protein.
  • Baking soda & Baking powder: These two ingredients are leavening agents that make the pancakes super fluffy and light as air. 

Variations and Substitutions

  • Yogurt: Feel free to use Greek yogurt in place of the plain yogurt in this recipe. You could also use sour cream if you don’t have yogurt on hand.
  • Flour Mixture: If you’d like, you can use a mixture of almond flour and all purpose flour for these pancakes. I suggest 1 cup of almond flour and 1/2 cup of all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, or white whole wheat flour.
  • Sweetener: Agave nectar can be used in place of honey in these pancakes.
  • Toppings and Add-ins: Take these almond flour pancakes to the next level by adding chocolate chips, berries, or chopped nuts such as pecans or walnuts.

How to Make Almond Flour Banana Pancakes

Mixing bowl with combined dry ingredients and a separate mixing bowl with combined wet ingredients.

Step 1: Whisk the eggs, honey, vanilla, mashed banana and yogurt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl combine the almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Almond flour banana pancake batter.

Step 2: Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk to combine. Don’t over mix.

Almond flour banana pancakes being cooked on sauté pan.

Step 3: Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-low heat and add oil or butter. You don’t want the pan to be too hot or the pancakes will get too dark. Place several spoonfuls of the mixture in the pan, making several silver dollar sized pancakes, and cook for 3 minutes on each side.

Almond flour banana pancakes on serving platter topped with sliced bananas and maple syrup.

Step 4: Serve with maple syrup, additional sliced bananas or dollop of yogurt on top.

Tips for This Recipe

  • Cook low and slow: Almond flour can burn easily and get too dark, so it’s best to cook your pancakes over medium-low heat. This ensures they cook through evenly without burning on the outside. It’s also helpful to make smaller sized pancakes to prevent them from getting too dark.
  • Use ripe bananas: Use bananas that are very ripe. Ripe bananas are sweeter and easier to mash, which will make the texture and flavor of the pancakes perfect.
  • Don’t over mix the batter: Like with all pancake batter, don’t over mix when combining the wet and dry ingredients. Fold the ingredients together until just combined to prevent dense pancakes.

FAQs

Can I freeze almond flour banana pancakes?

Yes! I love making a big batch of almond flour banana pancakes and freezing leftovers. To freeze, allow the pancakes to cool completely, place them in a freezer safe bag, and label. Freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to enjoy, place a pancake in toaster oven or oven at 300°F and heat for 10 minutes or until heated through.

Can I make almond flour pancake batter ahead of time?

It’s best to make the batter fresh, as almond flour can absorb moisture and change the consistency over time. However, you can mix the dry and wet ingredients separately the night before and combine them just before cooking.

What toppings go well with almond flour pancakes?

These pancakes are versatile and can be topped with fresh berries, sliced bananas, a drizzle of maple syrup, almond butter, or even a sprinkle of chopped nuts. Get creative and use your favorite toppings!

Fork with bite of almond flour banana pancake on it.

More “Healthier” Pancake Recipes

This almond flour banana pancake recipe is not only gluten-free but also packed with nutrients and natural sweetness. Not to mention, they’re so tasty! If you make this recipe and love it, leave a review and comment below.

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Almond Flour Banana Pancakes

Almond Flour Banana Pancakes are gluten-free, super fluffy and absolutely delicious. They come together in minutes and are a great source of protein thanks to the almond flour and yogurt.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 11 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 364kcal

Equipment

  • Large saute pan or griddle

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Whisk the first 5 ingredients in a bowl.
  • Whisk the remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk to combine.
  • Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-low heat and add oil or butter. You don’t want the pan to be too hot or the pancakes will get too dark.
  • Place several spoonfuls of the mixture in the pan, making several silver dollar sized pancakes, and cook for 3 minutes on each side.
  • Serve with maple syrup additional toppings of choice!

Notes

  • Cook low and slow: Almond flour can burn easily and get too dark, so it’s best to cook your pancakes over medium-low heat. This ensures they cook through evenly without burning on the outside. It’s also helpful to make smaller sized pancakes to prevent them from getting too dark.
  • Use ripe bananas: Use bananas that are very ripe. Ripe bananas are sweeter and easier to mash, which will make the texture and flavor of the pancakes perfect.
  • Don’t over mix the batter: Like with all pancake batter, don’t over mix when combining the wet and dry ingredients. Fold the ingredients together until just combined to prevent dense pancakes.
  • To freeze: Allow the pancakes to cool completely, place them in a freezer safe bag, and label. Freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to enjoy, place a pancake in toaster oven or oven at 300°F and heat for 10 minutes or until heated through.
  • Flour Mixture: If you’d like, you can use a mixture of almond flour and all purpose flour for these pancakes. I suggest 1 cup of almond flour and 1/2 cup of all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, or white whole wheat flour. 
  •  

Nutrition

Calories: 364kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 397mg | Potassium: 206mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 227IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 175mg | Iron: 2mg

The post Almond Flour Banana Pancakes appeared first on Weelicious.

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

These fluffy Cottage Cheese Pancakes are protein packed, quick to make and absolutely delicious. Take your breakfast routine to the next level and start your morning feeling satisfied and energized to take on the day ahead. The best part? Kids love them too! Why I Love These Cottage Cheese Pancakes Ingredients How to Make Cottage…

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These fluffy Cottage Cheese Pancakes are protein packed, quick to make and absolutely delicious. Take your breakfast routine to the next level and start your morning feeling satisfied and energized to take on the day ahead. The best part? Kids love them too!

cottage cheese pancakes

Why I Love These Cottage Cheese Pancakes

  • Healthy: Packed with protein thanks to the cottage cheese, these pancakes are a great breakfast that will satisfy your cravings for pancakes while keeping you sustained for the day ahead!
  • Easy to Make: There’s no extra fuss when it comes to making this Cottage Cheese Pancakes recipe. They’re just as quick and easy to make as classic pancakes. 
  • Kid-Friendly: Even kids who may have an aversion to cottage cheese love these pancakes. You’d never guess they have cottage cheese in them. The taste and texture is masked entirely. It’s always a win when a pancake recipe can be part of a healthy and balanced breakfast for kids.
  • Versatile and Customizable: A cottage cheese pancake is the perfect canvas for adding your favorite toppings or mix-ins. Customize them to suit your tastes.
ingredients for cottage cheese pancakes

Ingredients

  • Large eggs: Eggs keep everything together and add some richness to the pancakes. Plus, they also contribute some protein and essential nutrients.
  • Cottage cheese: The star of the show! Cottage cheese adds creaminess and a subtle tang to the pancakes. It’s also a great source of protein. Feel free to use full fat or low fat cottage cheese. 
  • Vanilla extract: Adding vanilla extract enhances the flavor of the pancakes.
  • Honey or Agave: These natural sweeteners add a touch of sweetness to the pancakes without overpowering their flavor. You can use either one you prefer.
  • All purpose flour: Flour serves as the base of the pancake batter. I haven’t tested other flours, but I’m sure you could substitute whole wheat or a gluten free cup for cup flour if you want.
  • Baking powder: Baking powder helps the pancakes rise and become light and fluffy.
  • Kosher salt: A touch of salt helps balance out the overall flavor of the pancakes. 
  • Oil or Butter: You only need oil or butter to grease the pan.
cottage cheese pancakes recipe

How to Make Cottage Cheese Pancakes

1. Whisk Wet Ingredients:

  • In a bowl, combine the first 4 ingredients—eggs, cottage cheese, vanilla extract, and honey (or agave). Whisk until combined.

2. Prepare Dry Ingredients:

  • In a different bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients—flour, baking powder, and salt—until evenly mixed.

3. Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients:

  • Pour the dry mixture into the bowl of wet mixture. Stir gently until just combined, being careful not to overmix. The batter should be slightly lumpy.

4. Preheat and Grease:

  • Heat a large sauté pan or griddle over medium heat. Lightly coat the surface with oil or butter to prevent sticking.

5. Cook Pancakes:

  • Pour about 2 tablespoons of the batter onto the preheated griddle for each pancake. Cook for approximately 2 minutes on the first side. You should see bubbles on the surface before you flip.

6. Flip and Cook:

  • Carefully flip the pancakes using a spatula and cook for an additional 2 minutes on the other side, or until they are golden brown and cooked through.

7. Serve:

  • Once cooked, transfer the pancakes to a serving plate. Serve warm with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
Cottage Cheese Pancakes

The Right Cottage Cheese for Pancakes

Like I mentioned before, cottage cheese is a good source of protein – about 25 grams per cup! When it comes to choosing which kind of cottage cheese for pancakes, there’s no right or wrong answer. You can use full fat or low fat, small curd or large curd. Pick your favorite brand and get to making these pancakes ASAP!

Tips for Making Cottage Cheese Pancakes

  1. Mix Gently: Combine your wet and dry ingredients gently until they’re just mixed. A few lumps are okay! Overmixing the batter can leave you with tough, chewy pancakes. 
  2. Let the Batter Rest: Allow the batter to rest a bit before making the pancakes so that baking powder has a little time to activate. This will ensure you get light, fluffy and delicious pancakes. 
  3. Grease the Pan Between Each: Use any oil you prefer to grease the pan – olive, avocado, or vegetable work great. Just make sure you keep reapplying between each batch of pancakes to prevent sticking, ensure even cooking and get those crispy edges we all love. 
  4. Flip Carefully: Cook your pancakes over medium heat, and don’t flip them until bubbles form on the surface for that perfect golden brown finish.
pancakes with cottage cheese

Toppings

Pancakes, in general, have always been a blank canvas for adding delicious toppings, and these pancakes with cottage cheese are no different. Here are some topping ideas:

  • Maple syrup, a tried and true classic pancake topping
  • Fresh berries
  • Sliced bananas
  • Greek yogurt or a drizzle of nut butter for an extra bump of protein

Additions You Can Add to Your Pancakes

Get creative by adding in additional ingredients to your pancake recipe with cottage cheese. Here are some ideas:

  • Chopped nuts, such as pecans or walnuts
  • Chocolate chips for a little extra sweetness
  • Shredded coconut
  • Your favorite fruit like blueberries or bananas
  • Lemon zest
pancakes cottage cheese oatmeal

Storage and Reheating

To Store: Leftover pancakes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

To Freeze: Allow pancakes to come to room temperature, place in a ziploc bag, label and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To Reheat: To reheat pancakes, warm them in the toaster, oven or microwave until warmed through.

More Tasty Pancake Recipes

Incorporating cottage cheese into your favorite recipes is a really easy way to get some extra protein into your diet! These pancakes are a great recipe to start with as they’re easy to make, tasty and super kid-friendly so the whole family can enjoy them! Let me know in the comments if you have any questions and tag me on social media if you make these healthy cottage cheese pancakes! 

Images by Gerry Speirs

Cottage Cheese Pancakes
Print

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Cottage Cheese Pancakes are fluffy, protein packed delights that are quick and easy to make. Plus, kids love them! 
Course Breakfast
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 10 pancakes
Calories 76kcal

Equipment

  • Large saute pan or griddle

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a bowl, combine the first 4 ingredients—eggs, cottage cheese, vanilla extract, and honey (or agave). Whisk until combined.
  • In a different bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients—flour, baking powder, and salt—until evenly mixed.
  • Pour the dry mixture into the bowl of wet mixture. Stir gently until everything is just combined, being careful not to overmix. The batter should be slightly lumpy.
  • Heat a large sauté pan or griddle over medium heat. Lightly coat the surface with oil or butter to prevent sticking.
  • Pour about 2 tablespoons of the batter onto the preheated griddle for each pancake. Cook for approximately 2 minutes on the first side. You should see bubbles form before you flip.
  • Flip the pancakes and cook for 2 more minutes on the other side, or until they are golden brown and cooked through.
  • Serve warm with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Notes

To Store: Leftover pancakes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 
To Freeze: Allow pancakes to come to room temperature, place in a ziploc bag, label and freeze up to 3 months.
To Reheat: To reheat pancakes, warm them in the toaster, oven or microwave until warmed through. 
Mix Gently: Combine your wet and dry ingredients gently until they’re just mixed. A few lumps are okay! Overmixing the batter can leave you with tough, chewy pancakes. 
Let the Batter Rest: Allow the batter to rest a bit before making the pancakes so that baking powder has a little time to activate. This will ensure you get light, fluffy and delicious pancakes. 
Grease the Pan Between Each: Use any oil you prefer to grease the pan – olive, avocado, or vegetable work great. Just make sure you keep reapplying between each batch of pancakes to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking.  
Flip Carefully: Cook your pancakes over medium heat, and don’t flip them until bubbles form on the surface for that perfect golden brown finish.

Nutrition

Calories: 76kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 186mg | Potassium: 50mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 101IU | Vitamin C: 0.02mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1mg

The post Cottage Cheese Pancakes appeared first on Weelicious.

Homemade Granola Bars

I try to always have homemade granola bars in the fridge for an easy grab and go breakfast or snack. These granola bars are easy to make and made with basic pantry ingredients. They are satisfying, sweet, and taste so much better than store bought gran…

I try to always have homemade granola bars in the fridge for an easy grab and go breakfast or snack. These granola bars are easy to make and made with basic pantry ingredients. They are satisfying, sweet, and taste so much better than store bought granola bars. These are our favorite granola bars because we…