Bacon Ranch Turkey Burgers

These super simple Bacon Ranch Turkey Burgers are the BEST homemade burgers around. Simple ingredients with TONS of flavor!

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Ever since I made my own Homemade Ranch Seasoning the floodgates of recipe ideas have been opened. Ranch seasoning adds so much delicious, tangy, herby flavor to everything, including burgers. These Bacon Ranch Turkey Burgers are so stupid easy and crazy delicious that I might just never go out for burgers again. And as always, I’ve got plenty of ingredient options for you below. 👇

an oval platter with turkey burgers on a tiled surface

It’s All About the Ranch Seasoning

ALL of the flavor in these turkey burgers comes from ranch seasoning mix. I used my own homemade ranch seasoning, but you can just make this quick and easy using a store-bought packet of Hidden Valley (or any other brand) of ranch seasoning. You’ll need one packet, which is about 3 Tbsp.

Can I Use a Different Type of Meat?

Yes, you can make your bacon ranch burgers using ground beef, ground pork, or even ground chicken. I chose turkey because the light flavor doesn’t compete too much with the ranch seasoning, and I like the texture of ground turkey better than ground chicken.

You’ll want to use ground meat with a little fat to keep the burgers moist and tender.

Close up side view of a ranch turkey burger held in hands

Other Burger Topping Ideas

I topped my burgers with cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise, so it was kind of like a BLT on steroids. But you can change up the toppings if you’re not a fan of what I used. Here are some other topping ideas that would work well with these ranch burgers:

  • Avocado or guacamole
  • Red onion
  • Ranch dressing
  • French fried onions
  • Coleslaw
  • Buffalo sauce
  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Comeback sauce

What to Serve with Ranch Burgers

I served my Ranch Burgers with some baked fries, but there are so many delicious sides that would go great with these burgers. A little potato salad would be awesome, or maybe some Broccoli Pasta Salad, Classic Creamy Coleslaw, or a simple side salad.

Side view of a platter full of bacon ranch turkey burgers
Close up side view of a ranch turkey burger held in hands

Bacon Ranch Turkey Burgers

These super simple Bacon Ranch Turkey Burgers are the BEST homemade burgers around. Simple ingredients with TONS of flavor!
Total Cost $12.15 recipe / $3.04 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 burgers
Calories 541kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 8 slices bacon $2.99
  • 1 lb. ground turkey $3.99
  • 3 Tbsp ranch seasoning mix* $0.53
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 4 slices cheese (optional) $1.15
  • 4 hamburger buns $1.25
  • 1 tomato $1.40
  • 4 leaves lettuce $0.55
  • 4 Tbsp mayonnaise $0.25

Instructions

  • Cook the bacon using the directions on the package or the method of your choice (skillet, oven, microwave) until brown and crispy.
  • Add the ground turkey to a bowl along with the ranch seasoning mix. Using your hands, mix the ranch seasoning into the ground turkey.
  • Divide the ground turkey into four equal amounts, then shape into burger patties. The meat will contract quite a bit as it cooks, so make the patties quite wide and flat (about 4.5 inches in diameter).
  • Add a little cooking oil to a skillet and heat over medium. Once the skillet is hot, add the burger patties and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side or until the burgers are browned and cooked through.
  • If using cheese, add a slice of cheese to each burger, place a lid on the skillet and allow the heat to melt the cheese.
  • While the burgers are cooking, slice the tomato. Build the burgers using the buns, tomatoes, lettuce, cooked bacon, and mayonnaise. Enjoy!

Notes

*You can use store-bought or homemade ranch seasoning. If your ranch seasoning is in bulk rather than a single packet, use about 3 Tbsp.

Nutrition

Serving: 1burger | Calories: 541kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 29g | Sodium: 1385mg | Fiber: 1g
a bacon ranch turkey burger in a basket with fries

How to Make Bacon Ranch Turkey Burgers – Step by Step Photos

cooked bacon strips on a paper towel lined plate

Cook 8 strips of bacon until brown and crispy using either the instructions on the package or your favorite method. I like to cook my bacon in the oven. Here is my tutorial on how to cook bacon in the oven.

ground turkey in a bowl with ranch seasoning

Add one pound ground turkey to a bowl with 3 Tbsp (one packet) ranch seasoning or homemade ranch seasoning mix. Mix the seasoning into the meat until evenly combined.

Shaped turkey burger patties

Divide the meat into four equal portions and then shape them into patties. The meat will contract quite a bit as it cooks, so make them much wider and flatter than you want the final burger to be. My patties were about 4.5 inches wide when raw. Ground turkey can be quite soft and wet compared to ground beef, but don’t let that worry you.

Cooked turkey burgers in a skillet, two with cheese on top

Add some cooking oil to a skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, add your burgers (you can do two batches if they’re too big to all fit) and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side or until well browned and cooked through. If using cheese, add a slice of cheese on top, place a lid on the skillet, and allow the heat to melt the cheese.

Burgers being assembled on a platter with ingredients on the sides

Assemble your cooked turkey burgers with buns, lettuce, tomato, bacon, and mayo. Then DIG IN! :)

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BBQ Meatballs with Cheese Grits

BBQ Meatballs with Cheese Grits is the perfect cozy meal for for crisp fall evenings, football games, and afternoons spent raking leaves.

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It’s officially cozy comfort food time! These BBQ Meatballs with Cheese Grits are the perfect mix of tangy BBQ sauce, juicy meatballs, and rich and creamy cheese grits to create all those cozy vibes. And if you’ve never had cheese grits before, definitely go check out my cheese grits blog post because they’re a delicious southern staple that can be topped with all sorts of delicious goodies. And today’s delicious goodies are BBQ meatballs. ;)

Overhead view of a bowl of cheese grits with bbq meatballs and collard greens

What to Serve with BBQ Meatballs and Cheese Grits

This is a pretty rich bowl of deliciousness on its own, so I highly suggest pairing it with something green to balance out the weight of the meal. I paired my BBQ Meatballs and Cheese Grits with Jerk Seasoned Collard Greens. The jerk seasoning pairs perfectly with the tangy BBQ sauce. You could also pair this dish with Roasted Broccoli, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Vegetarian Mustard Greens, or Braised Red Cabbage.

Can I Use a Different Meat?

Yes, if you do not eat pork you can definitely substitute with a different type of ground meat. Ground beef or turkey will both work great for this recipe. I highly suggest using ground meat that has a slightly higher percent fat to keep the meatballs moist and tender.

What Kind of BBQ Sauce Do you Suggest?

I’m an equal opportunity BBQ sauce lover, so I don’t really have a favorite. For this particular dish, I’d probably go for something smoky or honey flavored, both of which will pair well with the cheddar cheese in the grits. I would probably avoid anything pineapple or teriyaki flavored.

If you want to try making your own BBQ sauce, check out my Homemade BBQ Sauce recipe.

A fork cutting into a bbq meatball on a bed of cheese grits
Overhead view of a bowl of cheese grits with bbq meatballs and collard greens

BBQ Meatballs with Cheese Grits

BBQ Meatballs with Cheese Grits is the perfect cozy meal for crisp fall evenings, football games, and afternoons spent raking leaves.
Total Cost $7.74 recipe . /$1.94 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 841kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

BBQ Meatballs

  • 1 lb. ground pork $3.49
  • 1 large egg $0.21
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs $0.07
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce, divided $0.54
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02

Cheese Grits

  • 2 cups chicken broth $0.26
  • 2 cups milk $1.25
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1 cup quick cooking grits $0.49
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.18
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar $1.15

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Add the ground pork, egg, breadcrumbs, 2 Tbsp BBQ sauce, salt, smoked paprika, and garlic powder to a bowl. Use your hands to mix the seasoning into the pork until everything is well combined.
  • Divide and shape the pork mixture into 16 meatballs about the size of ping pong balls. Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Transfer the meatballs to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until browned and cooked through.
  • While the meatballs are baking, prepare the cheese grits. Combine the chicken broth, milk, and garlic powder in a medium saucepot. Place a lid on top and bring it up to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to prevent the milk from scorching.
  • Once boiling, stir in the quick cooking grits and salt. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let the grits simmer for about 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the grits from the heat and stir in the butter and pepper. Next, stir in the shredded cheddar, one handful at a time, until fully melted into the grits.
  • Once the meatballs have finished baking, add them to a clean bowl and pour the remaining BBQ sauce over top. Stir to combine. The heat from the meatballs will warm the BBQ sauce. If your BBQ sauce is cold from refrigeration, you may want to heat the meatballs and sauce in a saucepot over low for a few minutes.
  • To serve, place about one cup of the cheese grits in the bottom of a bowl. Top with four meatballs and some of the BBQ sauce. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 841kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 46g | Sodium: 2010mg | Fiber: 3g
side view of bbq meatballs and cheese grits in a bowl with collard greens

How to Make BBQ Meatballs with Cheese Grits – Step by Step Photos

meatball ingredients in a bowl

Preheat the oven to 375ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add 1 lb. ground pork, 1 large egg, ¼ cup breadcrumbs, 2 Tbsp BBQ sauce, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp smoked paprika, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper to a large bowl. Mix the ingredients together until well combined.

raw, shaped meatballs on the baking sheet

Divide and shape the pork mixture into 16 meatballs roughly the size of ping pong balls. Transfer the meatballs to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until browned and cooked through.

Milk being poured into a pot with chicken broth

While the meatballs are baking, prepare the cheese grits. Add 2 cups chicken broth, 2 cups milk, and ¼ tsp garlic powder to a medium sauce pot. Bring the liquid up to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.

grits being poured into the pot with the milk and broth

As soon as the liquid reaches a boil, stir in 1 cup quick cooking grits and ¼ tsp salt. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let the grits simmer for about five minutes, or until thickened.

butter and pepper added to the grits

Remove the grits from the heat and stir in 2 Tbsp butter and ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper.

Shredded cheddar being added to grits

Finally, stir in a handful of the shredded cheddar at a time until fully melted, repeating until all of the cheese has been added (1 cup total).

Baked meatballs on the baking sheet

Remove the baked meatballs from the oven and transfer them to a large bowl.

BBQ sauce coated meatballs in a bowl with a spatula

Pour the remaining BBQ sauce (about 1 cup) over the meatballs and stir to combine. The heat from the meatballs will warm the BBQ sauce. If your BBQ sauce was cold from refrigeration, you may want to do this in a sauce pot over low heat to help heat the sauce.

close up side view of bbq meatballs on cheese grits

To serve, place about 1 cup cheese grits in a bowl and top with 4 meatballs plus some of the sauce. Enjoy!

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Curried Ground Beef with Peas and Potatoes

We used to eat these really delicious meat pies when we were growing up. I’m not sure exactly what was in them, but I do know that the mix had ground beef seasoned with curry powder, tender cubed potatoes, and sweet peas. It was so simple, hearty, filling, and one of my absolute favorite things […]

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We used to eat these really delicious meat pies when we were growing up. I’m not sure exactly what was in them, but I do know that the mix had ground beef seasoned with curry powder, tender cubed potatoes, and sweet peas. It was so simple, hearty, filling, and one of my absolute favorite things to eat. But these days I’m a busy person, so when I got the craving for those tasty meat pies I just whipped up the curried ground beef filling and ate it in a bowl instead of fiddling with dough and stuffing it into hand pies. It was still totally satisfying and way easier. There are a few different ways you can serve this curried ground beef, so keep reading to see some options!

Originally posted 10-10-2012, updated 9-4-2021.

curried ground beef with peas and potatoes in a skillet with a serving spoon

What Kind of Beef to Use

Since the spices and aromatics are going in the skillet before the beef, you won’t want to have to drain off any fat after browning the ground beef, or else you’ll lose some of the flavor. For that reason, you’ll want to use a lower fat ground beef, maybe 10-15% max. Having some fat is good for flavor, but you don’t want it pooling in the bottom of the skillet.

What Kind of Curry Powder to Use

Curry powder blends can vary a LOT from brand to brand, so it’s important to choose one that you’re familiar with and that you know you like. The kind I happen to be using today is 365 brand curry powder, but I’ve also enjoyed Sharwood’s brand in the past. You can use a mild curry powder, or spicy if you prefer. If you’d like to try making your own homemade curry powder, here is a great recipe for homemade curry powder from Spice it Up.

How to Serve Curried Ground Beef with Peas and Potatoes

This dish is quite filling on its own since it contains meat, potatoes, and vegetables, but I like to add a little bread on the side. I love serving naan with this curried ground beef so I can scoop up some of the beef mixture with the piece of naan and get everything in one bite (just like those meat pies I used to eat, but open-faced!). You could also serve the curried beef over a bed of rice for a little extra inexpensive filler. 

Can I Add More Vegetables?

Yes! This mixture is so flexible. If you want to incorporate a few extra vegetables, consider adding a diced onion, sliced carrots, and maybe even broccoli. If you want to swap out the potatoes for a lower carb option, you can use small cauliflower florets.

curried ground beef with peas and potatoes in a bowl with naan in the side

curried ground beef with peas and potatoes in a skillet with a serving spoon

Curried Ground Beef with Peas and Potatoes

Meat and potatoes come together with savory curry powder in this super simple weeknight curried ground beef skillet.
Total Cost $7.91 recipe / $1.32 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 1 cup each
Calories 293kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced $0.32
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger $0.10
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder $0.30
  • 1 tsp turmeric $0.10
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional) $0.02
  • 1 lb. ground beef (15% fat or less) $5.49
  • 1 russet potato (¾ lb.) $0.63
  • 1 cup beef broth $0.13
  • 1 cup frozen peas $0.50
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 2 green onions, sliced (optional) $0.22

Instructions

  • Add the minced garlic, grated ginger, and cooking oil to a large deep skillet. Sauté the garlic and ginger over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the curry powder, turmeric, and crushed red pepper and sauté for one minute more.
  • Add the ground beef to the skillet with the spices and sauté until the beef is cooked through.
  • While the beef is cooking, peel and cube the potato into ½-inch pieces.
  • Add the cubed potato and beef broth to the skillet. Stir to combine with the ground beef. Place a lid on the skillet and turn the heat up to medium-high. Allow the broth to come up to a boil.
  • Once the broth reaches a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and allow it to continue to simmer for 10 minutes with the lid in place (stir occasionally). After ten minutes, the potatoes should be tender. Remove the lid and simmer for a few more minutes, or until most of the broth is evaporated.
  • Finally, stir the frozen peas into the beef and potato mixture and heat through. Give the curry beef a taste and add salt to taste (about ½ tsp). Top with sliced green onions and serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 20g | Sodium: 399mg | Fiber: 2g

close up of a scoop of curried ground beef with peas and potatoes in front of the skillet

How to Make Curried Ground Beef with Peas and Potatoes – Step By Step Photos

Minced garlic and grated ginger in a skillet with oil

Start by mincing four cloves of garlic and grating about 1 teaspoon fresh ginger. Add the garlic and ginger to a skillet with 2 tablespoons of cooking oil. Sauté the garlic and ginger over medium heat for one to two minutes.

Spices added to the skillet with garlic and ginger

Next, add 1 tablespoon curry powder, 1 teaspoon turmeric, and ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional) to the skillet. Continue to sauté over medium heat for about one more minute to toast the spices.

Browned ground beef in the skillet

Add one pound of ground beef to the skillet and continue sautéing until it is cooked through.

Cubed potato on a cutting board

While the beef is browning, peel and cube one russet potato into ½-inch pieces. My potato was about ¾ lb. total, but it’s flexible so you can add a little more or less if you have it.

cubed potato in the skillet with beef, broth being poured in the side

Once the beef is browned, add the cubed potato and one cup beef broth. Stir to combine.

Spatula pulling beef and potatoes to the side to show no liquid in the skillet

Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the broth up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the skillet simmer for about 10 minutes, with the lid in place, stirring occasionally. After ten minutes the potatoes should be nice and tender. Remove the lid and let it simmer a few more minutes, or until most of the broth is evaporated.

Frozen peas being poured into the skillet

Add one cup of frozen peas to the skillet and stir to combine, then allow the peas to heat through.

Finished curried beef with peas in the skillet with a spatula

Give the curried beef with peas and potatoes a taste and add salt to your liking (I added about ½ teaspoon). 

curried ground beef with peas and potatoes in a skillet with a serving spoon

Top with sliced green onions and enjoy!

Side view of a bowl of curried beef with peas, naan in the side of the bowl

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Baked Chicken Drumsticks

Oven baked chicken drumsticks are the perfect easy dinner idea that can be flavored with any of your favorite seasonings.

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You guys know how I love easy dinner staples, right? Baked chicken drumsticks are exactly that—an easy, no-brainer main dish recipe that you make with barely any planning or effort. Just coat the chicken with your favorite seasoning, toss them in the oven, and then focus on your side dishes or whatever else you have going on in your life while the drumsticks cook themselves. They’re easy, tasty, and the perfect “emergency” meal for when you just don’t want to have to think about, “what’s for dinner?”

Close up side view of oven baked chicken drumsticks on a baking sheet

Use Bone-In, Skin-On Drumsticks (or Thighs)

Dark meat chicken, like drumsticks and thighs, is very forgiving, especially when cooked with the bone-in and skin on. The skin helps hold in the moisture and the higher fat content of the meat helps it stay tender and juicy. You can swap in bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs using the same method in the recipe below.

Chicken breast needs a slightly different technique because it is a leaner cut of meat. For a bone-in, skin-on chicken breast I suggest using the method in my Herb Roasted Chicken Breast recipe. Boneless skinless chicken breast should be cooked using the method in my Garlic Herb Baked Chicken Breast recipe.

Other Seasoning Ideas for Baked Chicken Drumsticks

I used a very classic mix of smoked paprika, garlic, onion, and oregano for my baked chicken drumsticks, but you can literally use any seasoning blend you like for this. There is so much flexibility! Here are a few ideas for seasoning your oven-baked chicken drumsticks:

Want some sauce for dipping? Try these delicious sauces with your baked chicken:

What to Serve with Chicken Drumsticks

I made some Easy Cheesy Broccoli Rice to serve on the side of my chicken drumsticks, but it would also go great with classics like: mashed potatoes, Three Bean Salad, Oven Roasted Broccoli, Simple Sautéed Vegetables, Roasted Potatoes, or Classic Coleslaw.

Baked chicken drumsticks on a plate with easy cheesy broccoli and rice
Oven roasted chicken drumsticks on a baking sheet with tongs

Oven Baked Chicken Drumsticks

Oven baked chicken drumsticks are the perfect easy dinner idea that can be flavored with any of your favorite seasonings.
Total Cost $3.94 recipe / $0.66 per piece
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 pieces
Calories 254kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder $0.03
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano $0.03
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1.75 lbs. chicken drumsticks (6 pieces) $3.42
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil* $0.32

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Combine the smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
  • Place the chicken drumsticks in a bowl and drizzle the cooking oil over top. Sprinkle the prepared seasoning over the drumsticks, then toss until they're evenly coated in oil and spices.
  • Place the seasoned drumsticks on a baking sheet with enough space around each so they're not touching. You can line the baking sheet with foil or parchment for easier cleanup, if desired.
  • Transfer the chicken to the oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 175ºF, flipping the drumsticks once half-way through. Serve hot.

Notes

*You can use your favorite high-heat cooking oil. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1drumstick | Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 17g | Sodium: 332mg | Fiber: 1g
Oven roasted chicken drumsticks on a baking sheet with tongs

How to Make Baked Chicken Drumsticks – Step by Step Photos

herbs and spices in a small bowl

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Decide what herbs and spices you want to use to season your drumsticks (see the text above the recipe for some ideas). I used a simple mix of 1 tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp onion powder, ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper, ¼ tsp oregano, ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper, and ½ tsp salt.

Seasoning being sprinkled over chicken drumsticks

Place about 1.75 lbs. chicken drumsticks in a large bowl and drizzle 2 Tbsp of your preferred cooking oil over top.

Seasoned chicken drumsticks in a bowl.

Toss the drumsticks in the oil and spices until everything is evenly coated.

Raw seasoned chicken on a baking sheet

Arrange the chicken drumsticks on a baking sheet spaced out enough so they are not touching. You can line the baking sheet in parchment for easier cleanup if desired.

baked drumsticks on a baking sheet

Bake the chicken drumsticks for about 40 minutes, turning once halfway through, or until the internal temperature reaches 175ºF.

baked chicken drumsticks on a baking sheet with tongs, garnished with parsley

Serve hot and enjoy! (garnished with parsley for color, not needed for flavor)

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Antipasto Salad

This super hearty antipasto salad is full of cured meats, cheeses, and pickled vegetables for an extra flavorful and filling salad.

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You know how we’re all kind of obsessed with charcuterie boards right now? Who doesn’t love a selection of savory snacky meats, cheeses, and pickled items, ammiright? Well, the Italian version of that is antipasto and it also happens to make for a really delicious and filling salad. So, if you’re like me and don’t want to eat anything but salads for the remainder of summer, I think you’re going to love this Antipasto Salad.

dressing be poured over a serving dish full of antipasto salad

What is Antipasto?

Antipasto is an Italian appetizer course offering a snacky selection of cured meats, pickled vegetables, cheeses, olives, anchovies and more. The word “antipasto” means “before the meal” so it’s basically an appetizer platter. This gorgeous spread is usually served as part of a formal meal, rather than an everyday spread. You can read more about antipasto here.

So to make an antipasto salad I simply piled all those tasty little bits on top of a bed of greens and added a cheesy Italian dressing. And that’s all I really want in a summer meal. Okay, well, maybe some crusty bread to go along with it. ;)

Antipasto is Flexible, So Get Creative!

The best part about this salad is that it’s so flexible, so you can mix and match the toppings depending on your budget or availability of ingredients. You can use just about any type of salad green that you like, any meat (or no meat), any cheese, and any vegetable. Need some inspo? Here are a few other ingredients that you can swap in or add:

Antipasto on a Budget

This salad can get expensive quick if you’re not careful! If you’re lucky to live near an ALDI store, they have a great selection of meats and cheeses for antipasto or charcuterie boards (and I was lucky enough to grab my mozzarella on clearance!). Watch for sales on those shelf-stable jarred items (olives, pickled peppers, artichoke hearts) and save them up for making antipasto later. And get to know your deli because a lot of delis will mark down sliced meats and cheeses when they get near the sell-by date.

A lot of these ingredients also make great pizza toppings, so whenever you have leftovers from pizza night, those items can be used to make antipasto the next night!

Make a Half Antipasto Salad, If Needed

The recipe below is for a pretty large salad with 8 servings because it uses whole containers of each ingredient. But it’s easy enough to scale the recipe down as needed. All of the toppings stay pretty fresh when stored separately, so you can make half batches, ¼ batches, or even one salad at a time instead of making the entire batch at once and risking things getting soggy.

And remember, you can change the number of servings in the “servings” box below and the ingredient amounts will auto-adjust for you.

Salad tongs in a half stirred antipasto salad with bread and dressing on the side
dressing being poured over the antipasto salad

Antipasto Salad

This super hearty antipasto salad is full of cured meats, cheeses, and pickled vegetables for an extra flavorful and filling salad.
Total Cost $16.92 recipe / $2.12 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 535kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Salad

  • 8 oz. salad greens of choice $0.99
  • 1 12oz. jar artichoke hearts $2.45
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes $1.79
  • 8 oz. mozzarella $0.99
  • 8 oz. salami $3.00
  • 1 6oz. jar kalamata olives $1.99
  • 1 8oz. jar banana peppers $1.69
  • 1/2 red onion $0.40
  • 8 oz. provolone $1.79

Italian Dressing

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil $0.84
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar $0.30
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice $0.04
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard $0.12
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning $0.30
  • 1/2 tsp sugar $0.01
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan $0.22

Instructions

  • Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl or jar (olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, sugar, grated Parmesan). Close the jar tightly and shake or whisk in a bowl until the ingredients are incorporated.
  • Cut or slice any meat or cheeses into bite-sized pieces. Drain the olives and any brined vegetables. Thinly slice the red onion and slice the grape tomatoes in half.
  • Lay your greens in the bottom of a bowl, then top with your antipasto items. Give the dressing one last whisk or shake, then drizzle over the salad (start with half the dressing and add more as needed). Toss the salad until everything is coated in dressing, then enjoy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1salad | Calories: 535kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 45g | Sodium: 2130mg | Fiber: 4g
Close up of antipasto salad in a bowl with a fork

How to Make Antipasto Salad – Step by Step Photos

Italian dressing ingredients in a jar

Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl or jar: ½ cup olive oil, 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 tsp Dijon mustard, ¼ tsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning, ½ tsp sugar, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper, and 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan. Shake or whisk the ingredients until they are incorporated.

Chopped spinach in a serving bowl

Add your salad greens to the bottom of a bowl. I’m using spinach and I chopped it slightly first to make bite-sized pieces.

salami, onions, mozzarella, and tomatoes added to the salad bowl

Cut your meats and cheeses into bite-sized pieces. Thinly slice the red onion and slice the grape tomatoes in half.

provolone, olives, peppers, and artichokes added to the salad bowl

Drain all of your jarred items (olives, banana peppers, artichoke hearts) and add them to the salad. Slightly chop anything that has larger pieces.

dressing being poured over the antipasto salad

Give the dressing one last shake or whisk, then drizzle it over the salad. Start with half the dressing, then add more as needed.

Antipasto salad being tossed with metal salad tongs

Toss the salad until everything is coated in dressing, then enjoy!

The post Antipasto Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Chipotle Lime Chicken and Rice

This easy one-pot chipotle lime chicken and rice is tangy, smoky, spicy, and incredibly delicious. Makes a great main dish or meal prep!

The post Chipotle Lime Chicken and Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’m all about cooking as much flavor into rice as possible and this Chipotle Lime Chicken and Rice is FLA-VOR-FUL! You’ve got a hefty dose of spices, tangy lime juice, and a bunch of flavor from the chicken that cooks right in the same pot. It turns out smoky, spicy, tangy, and oh so delicious! And don’t worry, I’ve got some suggested sides to round out your meal listed below.

chipotle lime chicken and rice in the skillet, garnished with lime wedges

What is Chipotle Powder?

Chipotle peppers are smoked jalapeño peppers. They give a beautifully spicy, smoky flavor to everything. You can buy chipotle peppers dried, canned with adobo sauce, or ground into a powder. This recipe uses the powdered form, which can be found along with other herbs and spices in the spice aisle.

Can I Use Bone-In Chicken?

The quick cooking method used in this recipe is not suitable for bone-in chicken breasts, as they require a much longer cooking time. It may work with smaller bone-in chicken thighs, but you’ll want to use a meat thermometer to make sure they reach 165ºF on the inside. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs work just as well as the boneless, skinless chicken breast for this recipe.

Tomato Options

You have a few options for the diced tomatoes in this recipe. I used a can of plain diced tomatoes because that is what was available the day I made this, but I also tried it with fire-roasted diced tomatoes while in the recipe testing phase and they were fantastic. You could also do a petite diced tomatoes if you don’t like such large tomato pieces, or even a diced tomato with green chiles if you want it extra-EXTRA spicy.

What to Serve with Chipotle Lime Chicken and Rice

Because this dish is so spicy you’ll probably want to pair it with something that has a cooling effect, so something that is creamy or can be served cold to balance the heat. A little dollop of sour cream on top would be good, or maybe a slice or two of avocado, if you have it. And I highly suggest something green to round out the colors on your plate. Here are some great side dish options:

Side view of chipotle lime chicken and rice in a bowl
Chipotle lime chicken and rice in the skillet garnished with limes

Chipotle Lime Chicken and Rice

This easy one-pot chipotle lime chicken and rice is tangy, smoky, spicy, and incredibly delicious. Makes a great main dish or meal prep!
Total Cost $9.16 recipe / $2.29 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 393kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1.5 tsp chipotle powder $0.15
  • 1 tsp ground cumin $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.05
  • 1 lime $0.50
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast $5.79
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 1 15oz. can diced tomatoes* $0.59
  • 1 cup chicken broth $0.13
  • 1 cup long grain white rice $0.62
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.22
  • 1 oz. Cotija cheese (optional) $0.55

Instructions

  • Combine the chipotle powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt in a bowl. Squeeze 2 Tbsp juice from the lime into a separate bowl (this should be about half a lime, save the other half to cut into wedges for garnish).
  • Use a rolling pin or a mallet to gently pound the chicken breast to an even thickness (about ¾-inch thick). Use half of the prepared spice mix to coat both sides of the chicken pieces (reserve the other half of the spices for later).
  • Heat the cooking oil in a large deep skillet over medium. Once hot, add the chicken and cook for a few minutes on each side, or until browned. The chicken does not need to be fully cooked, just browned on both sides. It will continue to cook with the rice.
  • While the chicken is cooking, dice the onion. Remove the browned chicken from the skillet to a clean plate. Add the diced onion to the skillet and sauté until softened. Add the remaining spices and sauté for one minute more.
  • Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), rice, chicken broth, and lime juice to the skillet with the onions. Stir to combine and dissolve any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.
  • Add the browned chicken back to the skillet. Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium high, and allow the liquid to come up to a boil.
  • Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low, and allow the chicken and rice to simmer on low for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the skillet rest, without lifting the lid, for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Finally, remove the lid, transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Fluff the rice to stir the tomato and onion back in. Slice the chicken then place it on top of the rice. Sprinkle with slice green onion and Cotija cheese. Add any remaining lime wedges, and serve!

Notes

*You can use plain diced tomatoes, petite diced tomatoes, fire roasted diced tomatoes, or diced tomatoes with chiles.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 393kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 887mg | Fiber: 3g
Side view of chipotle lime chicken and rice in a skillet

How to Make Chipotle Lime Chicken and Rice – Step by Step Photos

Spices in a wooden bowl

Combine 1.5 tsp chipotle powder, 1 tsp ground cumin, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp onion powder, and ½ tsp salt in a bowl. Squeeze about 2 Tbsp juice from a lime into a separate bowl (that should be about ½ the lime, so you can save the other half to make wedges for garnish).

Seasoned chicken breast on an orange cutting board

Use a rolling pin or a mallet to gently pound 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts out to an even thickness (about ¾-inch thick). Use half of the spice blend to season both sides of the chicken. Save the other half of the spices for later.

Cooked chicken in a skillet

Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a large deep skillet. Once hot, add the seasoned chicken and cook for a few minutes on both sides, or just until browned. It doesn’t have to be cooked through here because it will cook more with the rice.

Cooked onion in the skillet with spices

While the chicken is cooking, dice one yellow onion. Remove the browned chicken to a clean plate, then add the diced onion in its place. Sauté the onion for a few minutes, or until softened, then add the remaining spices and sauté for one minute more.

diced tomatoes, rice, and broth added to the skillet

Add one 15oz. can diced tomatoes, 1 cup long grain white rice, 1 cup chicken broth, and 2 Tbps lime juice to the skillet. Stir briefly to combine and dissolve any browned bits off the bottom of the skillet.

Chicken added back to the skillet

Add the browned chicken back to the skillet. Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the liquid to come up to a boil.

Cooked chicken and rice in the skillet

Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let the pot simmer on low for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest, with the lid in place, for another 5 minutes.

Sliced chicken on top of stirred rice in the skillet

Finally, remove the lid. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Fluff the rice with a fork to stir the tomatoes and onion back into the rice. Slice the chicken, then place it back on top of the rice.

Chipotle lime chicken and rice garnished with cotija, green onion, and limes

Sprinkle sliced green onions on top, a little Cotija cheese, and add any remaining lime wedges.

overhead view of a bowl with chipotle lime chicken and rice and a fork

Serve and enjoy! A little sour cream on top wouldn’t be so bad, either. ;)

The post Chipotle Lime Chicken and Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

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.

Fish Tacos with Cumin Lime Slaw

Earlier this week I made a big batch of sunny and fresh Cumin Lime Coleslaw, but I didn’t intend to just eat coleslaw all week. So, I used the coleslaw as a topping for these super simple fish tacos. I love making tacos for dinner because they’re so easy, fresh, and not too heavy, which […]

The post Fish Tacos with Cumin Lime Slaw appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Earlier this week I made a big batch of sunny and fresh Cumin Lime Coleslaw, but I didn’t intend to just eat coleslaw all week. So, I used the coleslaw as a topping for these super simple fish tacos. I love making tacos for dinner because they’re so easy, fresh, and not too heavy, which is great when it’s 100 degrees outside. I like to keep my tacos pretty simple (in this case just fish, slaw, jalapeño, and avocado), but I’ve got some suggestions for extra toppings below if you want them! ;)

Originally posted 3-27-2015, updated 7-15-2021.

Overhead view of fish tacos on a platter, toppings on the sides

What’s in a Fish Taco?

For these fish tacos, I seasoned some white fish filets with a simple mix of chili powder, cumin, garlic, and salt, then cooked them up quickly in a skillet. I topped them with tangy Cumin Lime Coleslaw, a slice of creamy avocado, and a couple super thin slices of jalapeño. It’s the perfect mix of earthy, spicy, creamy, and tangy. 

What Kind of Fish is Best for Tacos?

I used cod fillets for my fish tacos because they have a mild flavor that can be easily paired with any seasoning or toppings. You could also use something like tilapia, halibut, mahi mahi, snapper, or grouper. I usually get the best prices on frozen fillets, and they usually come individually wrapped, so you can thaw as many as you need and keep the rest in the freezer for later. 

What Else Can I Add?

Tacos are fun because you can get creative with the toppings. If you want to swap out some of the toppings I used for something else, or just want to add to what is listed in the recipe below, here are some ideas:

What Kind of Tortillas?

Corn tortillas are the traditional option for tacos, but go ahead and use whatever you like best. Cooking is about doing what works for you. So if you like flour tortillas or crunchy taco shells better or happen to have those on hand, use them. :) If you’re using corn tortillas, make sure to toast them before making your tacos so they get that deliciously toasty corn flavor (otherwise they kind of taste like nothing). And keep in mind that if you use larger tortillas you’ll get fewer tacos out of the ingredients listed below.

What to Serve with Fish Tacos

Two tacos does not a meal make, so here are some ideas for sides:

Side view of fish tacos on a platter

Fish tacos on a platter with toppings on the sides

Fish Tacos with Cumin Lime Slaw

These super easy Fish Tacos with Cumin Lime Slaw are light, fresh, and the perfect quick dinner for hot summer nights, or any night!
Total Cost $9.17 recipe / $2.29 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 (2 Tacos each)
Calories 437kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Cumin Lime Coleslaw

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise $0.40
  • 1 lime (1 Tbsp juice) $0.50
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin $0.05
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne $0.01
  • 1/2 tsp sugar $0.01
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1/2 16oz. bag coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots) $0.75
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.22

Tacos

  • 8 small corn tortillas $0.80
  • 2 tsp chili powder $0.20
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1 lb. cod fillets* $4.96
  • 1 avocado, sliced $0.99
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced $0.15

Instructions

  • Toast the tortillas in a dry skillet over medium heat until browned on each side. Stack the tortillas and cover with foil to keep warm.
  • Make the cumin lime coleslaw next. For the dressing, stir together the mayonnaise, 1 Tbsp lime juice, cumin, cayenne, salt, and sugar.
  • Place the coleslaw mix and sliced green onions in a bowl, pour the coleslaw dressing over top and stir to combine. Refrigerate until you're ready to build your tacos.
  • Next, season the fish fillets. Combine the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt. Cut each fish fillet into smaller taco-sized pieces. Season both sides of the fish with the spice mix.
  • Add half of the cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, add half of the fish and cook for a few minutes on each side or until the fish is cooked through (it will feel firm, look opaque, and be easily flaked). Repeat with more oil and the second batch of fish.
  • Top each toasted tortilla with a piece of fish, a slice of avocado, a small scoop of the cumin lime slaw, and a couple slices of jalapeño. Enjoy warm.

Notes

*You can use just about any type of white fish for this, like tilapia, mahi mahi, or halibut.

Nutrition

Serving: 2Tacos | Calories: 437kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 24g | Sodium: 424mg | Fiber: 9g

How to Make Fish Tacos – Step by Step Photos

corn tortillas being toasted in a skillet

If you’re using corn tortillas you’ll want to toast them before making your tacos. This gives them more flavor and helps make them a bit more sturdy. I do this in a dry skillet over fairly high heat, but if you have a gas range you can do it right over an open flame (just a second or two on each side). You can keep them warm on a plate covered with foil.

Cumin lime slaw ingredients in a bowl, dressing being poured

Next, prepare the cumin lime coleslaw so it’s ready to go when the fish finishes cooking. To make the dressing, stir together 1 Tbsp lime juice, ¼ cup mayonnaise, ½ tsp cumin, ¼ tsp slat, ⅛ tsp cayenne, and ½ tsp sugar. Place ½ of a bag of coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots) in a bowl with 2 sliced green onions. Pour the dressing over top. You can also wait to pour the dressing over until just before serving, if preferred.

finished cumin lime coleslaw in bowl

Stir to coat the vegetables in dressing, then refrigerate until ready to build your tacos. 

Seasoned fish fillets

Next, make the seasoning mix for the fish. Combine 2 tsp chili powder (this is a mild blend of chiles and other spices), ½ tsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp garlic powder, and ⅛ tsp salt. Cut 1 lb. fish into taco-sized pieces (in this case I had four fillets, so I cut each in half for one piece per taco). Season the fish on both sides with the prepared spice mix.

Fish cooked in the skillet

Heat ½ Tbsp cooking oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add half of the fish and cook for a few minutes on each side, or until cooked through (the fish will be opaque and easily flake when cooked). Repeat with a little more oil and the second batch of fish.

Tacos being built

To build the tacos, place one piece of fish in each tortilla, add one slice of avocado, a small scoop of cumin lime coleslaw, and a couple slices of jalapeño.

Fish tacos on a platter with toppings on the sides

If you have leftover lime from making the slaw, slice it into wedges to serve with the tacos.

close up of a fish taco in a hand

Enjoy that summery goodness!

The post Fish Tacos with Cumin Lime Slaw appeared first on Budget Bytes.

One Pot Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Rice

You only need one pot and 8 ingredients to make this easy and flavorful Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Rice. Fast, easy, and delicious!

The post One Pot Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you can cook rice, then you can make this stunning Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Rice. It’s seriously easy, and impressive enough for serving to company (or date night!). This is definitely one of those recipes where I can’t stop asking myself, “how do so few ingredients make so much flavor?” as I shovel forkful after forkful into my mouth. :)

lemon garlic shrimp and rice in a skillet with lemons and parsley on the sides

What Kind of Shrimp to Use

You definitely want to purchase raw shrimp for this recipe rather than pre-cooked, and you can usually get the best price when buying frozen shrimp. You can buy them peeled or unpeeled, tail on or off, it doesn’t matter. Most frozen shrimp already comes deveined, which makes peeling super fast and easy. Here is a great tutorial on how to peel and devein shrimp from Simply Recipes, if needed.

I used a medium size shrimp for this recipe, which I feel is a good size for this type of dish, where you’ll want it to fit on your fork. The shrimp I used were 41-60 size, which means that at that size you’ll get about 41-60 shrimp per pound. Smaller numbers mean larger shrimp (it takes fewer shrimp to equal a pound), and higher numbers mean smaller shrimp (it takes more shrimp to equal a pound).

Tail On or Tail Off?

It’s completely up to you whether you want to remove your shrimp tails or keep them on. Removing them makes the dish easier to eat, but leaving them on makes it prettier. Keeping the tail on can inject more shrimp flavor into the rice as they steam together, but this might be more subtle than most people will notice.

Can I Make This in a Rice Cooker or Instant Pot?

Yes, this should work very well in a rice cooker or Instant Pot! For the rice cooker, just add everything (except the shrimp) to the cooker and cook as you would regular rice. After the rice has cooked, add the shrimp on top, close the lid, and keep it on the “keep warm” setting and allow the shrimp to steam for 5-10 minutes, or until the shrimp is opaque and cooked through. For an Instant Pot, you’ll want to do a quick release after your rice has cooked, add the shrimp, close the lid, and then keep it on the “keep warm” setting, allowing the shrimp to steam for 5-10 minutes or until opaque and cooked through.

For both machines, avoid leaving the lid open for more than a couple minutes when adding the shrimp. You want as much steam trapped in the unit as possible to continue cooking the shrimp.

What to Serve with Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Rice

I like to make sure every meal has a variety of colors and at least a little veggie action, so here are some recipes that I think would make a great side to this dish and create a well rounded meal:

Lemon garlic shrimp and rice on a plate with a fork on the side
overhead view of lemon garlic shrimp and rice in a skillet

One Pot Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Rice

You only need one pot and 8 ingredients to make this easy and flavorful Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Rice. Fast, easy, and delicious!
Total Cost $7.53 recipe / $1.88 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Calories 407kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. shrimp (41-60 size) $4.99
  • 1 fresh lemon $0.60
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.32
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.24
  • 1.5 cups long grain white rice $0.93
  • 2 cups chicken broth $0.26
  • 1/2 cup water $0.00
  • 1 tsp Tony Chachere's seasoning* $0.10
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley $0.09

Instructions

  • If your shrimp is frozen or unpeeled, make sure you thaw and peel the shrimp before beginning. Juice half of the lemon (you'll need about 2 Tbsp juice) and slice the rest of the lemon for garnish.
  • Mince the garlic. Add the garlic to a deep skillet along with the butter and sauté the garlic over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the rice and continue to sauté for 1-2 minutes more. You should hear the rice begin to snap and crackle a little as it sautés in the hot butter.
  • Carefully add the chicken broth, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, water, Tony Chachere's (or seasoning salt), and chopped parsley. Stir to combine.
  • Place a lid on the skillet and turn the heat up to medium-high. Allow the broth to come up to a full boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let it continue to simmer for 10 minutes.
  • After simmering for 10 minutes, most of the broth should be absorbed by the rice. Lift the lid briefly in order to scatter the shrimp over the surface of the rice. Replace the lid and allow the skillet to continue to cook over low for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and allow it to rest, lid in place, for an additional five minutes. After resting, lift the lid. The shrimp should be opaque and pink.
  • Use a fork to carefully fluff the rice and partially stir the cooked shrimp into the rice. Add the leftover lemon slices and sprinkle with extra chopped parsley, if desired. Serve hot.

Notes

*Or your favorite seasoning salt.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 407kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 1729mg | Fiber: 2g
close up side view of lemon garlic shrimp and rice in the skillet

How to Make Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Rice – Step by Step Photos

Raw shrimp in a bowl

Thaw and peel 12oz. shrimp. You can leave the tails on or remove them if you prefer. Juice half of a lemon (you’ll need 2 Tbsp juice) and slice the remaining lemon for garnish.

minced garlic and butter in a deep skillet

Mince four cloves of garlic and add them to a deep skillet along with 2 Tbsp butter. Sauté the garlic in the butter over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add 1.5 cups long grain white rice and continue to sauté for 1-2 minutes more. You should hear the rice kind of making a snap-crackle sound as it cooks in the butter.

Broth being poured into the skillet with the rice, seasoning, and parsley

Add 2 cups chicken broth, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, ½ cup water, 1 tsp Tony Chachere’s seasoning (or your favorite seasoning salt), and 2 Tbsp chopped parsley to the skillet. Stir to combine.

Cooked rice in the skillet with the lid on

Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the broth to come to a full boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer on low for 10 minutes. After ten minutes most of the broth should be absorbed.

raw shrimp added to the rice in the skillet

Lift the lid just briefly enough to scatter the shrimp over the surface of the rice. Replace the lid and continue to simmer over low for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove the skillet from the heat and let it rest, lid in place, for 5 more minutes.

Cooked shrimp on the rice

After resting, the shrimp should be pink, opaque, and cooked through.

finished lemon garlic shrimp and rice in the skillet

Use a fork to gently fluff the rice and partially stir the shrimp into the rice. Add the remaining lemon slices and an extra pinch of chopped parsley.

close up side view of lemon garlic shrimp and rice in a bowl

Serve hot and enjoy!

The post One Pot Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken

Forget boring or bland baked chicken breasts, this BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken is going to be the star of your dinner plate.

The post BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I used to think chicken breasts were bland and boring, but then I changed how I approached them. Instead of seeing chicken breast as the main feature of a recipe, now I see them simply as the vehicle for the flavor in a recipe. In this BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken, the chicken breast is a filling base that carries the tangy BBQ sauce, creamy cheddar, zesty red onion, and fresh cilantro straight to your taste buds. When chicken breast is used like this, I’m ALL ABOUT IT.

Overhead view of BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken in a baking dish

Tips for Baking Chicken Breast

Successfully baking chicken breast can take a little know-how. If you want to avoid overcooked or dry chicken breast, here are a few tips:

  • Adjust baking time for the size of your chicken breast. Larger or thicker chicken breasts will take longer to cook (20-25 minutes), while thinner or smaller chicken breasts will take less time (15-18 minutes).
  • Use a mallet or rolling pin to gently pound the thick end of your chicken breasts to make the breast a more even thickness. This helps them cook quickly and evenly.
  • Use a meat thermometer for best results. Chicken breasts should be cooked until they reach an internal temperature of 165ºF. The more it cooks beyond that point the more it will begin to dry out and become tough.
  • Let the chicken breast rest after baking. Make sure to let the chicken breast sit for 5-10 minutes after baking to reduce the steam pressure within the meat. This helps the juices stay in the meat once it’s cut, rather than escaping and leaving behind dry, tough meat.

Can I Use Bone-In Chicken?

This recipe is best suited to boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs. Bone-in chicken takes much longer to cook through and you may find that the BBQ sauce begins to burn with those longer cook times.

What Kind of BBQ Sauce is Best?

For an inexpensive yet flavorful BBQ sauce, I usually go with Sweet Baby Ray’s, but I highly suggest using whatever brand BBQ sauce you like the best. And while just about any flavor BBQ sauce would work for this dish, I would lean toward something more on the savory or smoky side rather than a sweeter BBQ sauce.

What to Serve with BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken

I served my BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken with some potato salad and a colorful bean salad (recipes coming next week), but I think it would also go great with Cowboy Caviar, Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potato Cornbread, Summer Sweet Corn Salad, Spicy Sweet Potato Fries, or Green Chile Mac and Cheese.

BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken on a plate with potato salad and bean salad, a fork grabbing a slice of chicken
close up of a fork taking a piece of bbq cheddar baked chicken off a plate

BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken

Forget boring or bland baked chicken breasts, this BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken is going to be the star of your dinner plate.
Total Cost $8.89 recipe / $2.22 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Total Time 33 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 320kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1.3 pounds total) $7.58
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce $0.13
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar $0.85
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion $0.05
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro $0.09

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. If your chicken breasts are very thick or uneven in thickness, use a mallet or rolling pin to first pound them out to a more even thickness. Slice the chicken breasts in half, so you have four pieces.
  • Combine the smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Pat the chicken dry with paper towel, then sprinkle the seasoning mix over both sides of each piece of chicken.
  • Place the seasoned chicken pieces in a baking dish, then spoon 1 Tbsp BBQ sauce over top of each piece, spreading it from edge to edge to cover the chicken.
  • Bake the chicken in the preheated 400ºF oven for about 18 minutes (less for smaller or thinner pieces).
  • Remove the chicken from the oven and top each piece with shredded cheddar. Return the chicken to the oven and continue baking for five minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF.
  • After baking the chicken, let the chicken rest for five minutes, then top with diced red onion and chopped cilantro just before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 320kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 13g | Sodium: 677mg | Fiber: 1g
bbq cheddar baked chicken being lifted out of the baking dish, viewed from the side

How to Make BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken – Step by Step Photos

Pounded Chicken Breast

You’ll need two boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe, about 1.3 lbs. total. If your chicken breasts are very thick or a very uneven thickness, use a mallet or rolling pin to gently pound them to a more even thickness. This helps them cook more quickly and evenly. (Covering them with plastic helps keep everything clean as you pound.

Seasoned chicken breast

Pat the chicken breast dry, then cut each one in half so that you have four pieces. Combine 1 tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper. Sprinkle the seasoning over all sides of the chicken pieces.

BBQ sauce being spread over chicken in a baking dish

Place 1 Tbsp BBQ sauce over each piece of chicken and spread it to cover the surface. Transfer the chicken to the preheated 400ºF oven and bake for about 18 minutes (a few minutes less for smaller or thinner chicken pieces).

Prepared toppings: red onion, cilantro, and cheddar

While the chicken is baking, prepare the toppings. Shred about 1 cup cheddar cheese, finely dice about ¼ cup red onion, and roughly chop ¼ cup cilantro.

Shredded cheese being added to the baked chicken

After baking for about 18 minutes, remove the chicken from the oven and top the chicken with about 1 cup shredded cheese (about ¼ cup per piece of chicken). Return the chicken to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165ºF.

Baked bbq chicken topped with red onion and cilantro

After baking, let the chicken rest for about 5 minutes, then top with the diced red onion and chopped cilantro.

close up of a fork taking a piece of bbq cheddar baked chicken off a plate

Serve and enjoy!!

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