Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

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

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

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

What Kind of Pork to Use for Pulled Pork

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

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

How to Season Pulled Pork

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

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

How to Serve Pulled Pork

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

Storage Instructions

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

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

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

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

Equipment

Ingredients

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

Spice Rub

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

Instructions

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

Nutrition

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

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

Spices for pulled pork in a small wooden bowl.

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

Chunks of pork butt on a cutting board.

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

Meat coated with spices in a bowl.

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

Diced onion in the slow cooker.

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

Pork in slow cooker with chopped garlic,

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

Cooked pork in the slow cooker.

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

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

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

Broiled pulled pork on a baking sheet.

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

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

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

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Carrot Soup

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

The post Carrot Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

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

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

Is Roasting Necessary?

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

Boiling Instead of Simmering

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

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

Can I freeze carrot soup?

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

What can I serve with carrot soup?

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

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

Side shot of white bowl with carrot soup in it.

Carrot Soup

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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

Nutrition

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

How to Make Carrot Soup – Step by Step Photos

Overhead shot of sliced raw carrots in a sheet pan.

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

Overhead shot of butter browning.

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

Overhead shot of butter browning.

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

Overhead shot of chicken stock being poured into soup base.

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

Overhead shot of sheet pan with roasted carrots.

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

Overhead shot of carrots cooking in cream mixture.

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

Overhead shot of blended carrot soup.

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

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

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

Try These Other Great Creamy Soups

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Honey Chipotle Chicken

The marinade for this sweet, smoky, and spicy Honey Chipotle Chicken is simple and delicious! It’s an easy and flavorful dinner main dish!

The post Honey Chipotle Chicken appeared first on Budget Bytes.

A few weeks ago I made some delicious Chipotle Peach Salsa, but I never seem to use a whole can of chipotle peppers for one recipe, so I make a habit of freezing the rest to save for other recipes. And today I used up some of those leftover chipotle peppers in this super easy and delish Honey Chipotle Chicken. ;) I love quick pan-seared chicken as a simple dinner main, so I whipped up a quick honey-chipotle marinade and then seared the marinated chicken until the marinade turned into a light glaze. The result was a sweet-smoky-spicy chicken with the most deliciously caramelized finish. So, if you find yourself with some extra canned chipotle peppers, you’ve got to try this chicken!

Honey Chipotle Chicken thighs in a skillet from above.

What’s in the Honey Chipotle Marinade

I like to keep things simple, so I whipped up this super simple yet flavorful marinade using canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, honey, lime juice, salt, garlic, and oil. It’s got all the elements: salt, fat, acid, and heat! …and a little sweetness to round it out. ;)

How Long to Marinade the Chicken

I suggest marinating this chicken for a minimum of 30 minutes, but if you prep this in the morning or even the night before, even better! Just make sure to flip the chicken a couple of times as it marinades to maximize contact with all the flavorful ingredients, and refrigerate as you marinade if marinating longer than one hour.

Can I Use Chicken Breasts

You can use this honey chipotle marinade on chicken breasts, just keep in mind that you’ll want to prepare the breasts a little differently than the thighs to make sure they don’t dry out too much. I recommend either filleting the breasts into two thinner pieces or pounding them until they are an even thickness, about ¾-inch thick. This will ensure that the chicken cooks through before the sugars in the marinade begin to burn.

That being said, chicken thighs are WAY more forgiving. The high-fat content of the thighs keeps them juicy and tender, even if they need to be in the skillet a little bit longer. I’m definitely team #chickenthighs for this recipe!

What to Serve with Honey Chipotle Chicken

I served my honey chipotle chicken with my favorite bean salad, Cowboy Caviar, and some rice, but you’ve got lots of options here! You could whip up a simple Avocado and Tomato Salad, Sweet Corn Salsa, or maybe some Cucumber and Black Bean Salad. I also think this sweet and spicy chicken would be a great topper for something like my Loaded Mashed Potato Bowls!

A piece of honey chipotle chicken on a bed of rice with bean salad on the side.
Overhead view of honey chipotle chicken in the skillet.

Honey Chipotle Chicken

The marinade for this sweet, smoky, and spicy Honey Chipotle Chicken is simple and delicious! It's an easy and flavorful dinner main dish!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Southwest
Total Cost $8.61 recipe / $1.44 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marinate Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 thighs
Calories 205kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce $0.30
  • 2 Tbsp honey $0.54
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice (about one lime) $0.59
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil, divided $0.08
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs $6.78
  • 2 sliced green onions (optional) $0.22

Instructions

  • Mince the chipotle peppers. Combine the minced peppers in a bowl with the honey, lime juice, minced garlic, salt, and 1 Tbsp cooking oil.
  • Place the chicken thighs in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over top. Toss the chicken in the marinade until evenly coated.
  • Marinate the chicken for a minimum of 30 minutes, up to one day. If marinating longer than one hour, refrigerate the chicken as it marinates.
  • When ready to cook the chicken, heat a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add the remaining 1 Tbsp cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface of the skillet.
  • Add the marinated chicken to the skillet and cook on one side until the water released by the chicken evaporates, the marinade has reduced to a glaze, and the chicken has browned. Flip the chicken over and cook on the second side until browned and cooked through.
  • Top with sliced green onions and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1thigh | Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 390mg | Fiber: 1g
Close up side view of honey chipotle chicken in a skillet.

How to Make Honey Chipotle Chicken – Step by Step Photos

Can of chipotle peppers open so you can see the peppers in the sauce.

Canned chipotle peppers in adobo are the base for this marinade. You can find these at most major grocery stores in the U.S., usually near the other Hispanic ingredients.

Chopped chipotle peppers

Mince about three chipotle peppers, or about ¼ cup once minced.

honey chipotle marinade in a bowl with a spoon.

Combine the minced chipotle peppers with 2 Tbsp honey, 2 Tbsp lime juice, 1 minced clove of garlic, 1 Tbsp cooking oil, and ½ tsp salt.

honey chipotle marinade being poured over chicken thighs in a dish.

Place six boneless, skinless chicken thighs in a shallow dish, then pour the honey chipotle marinade over top.

Marinating chicken thighs in a shallow dish.

Toss the chicken in the marinade until they’re evenly coated. Marinate the chicken for a minimum of 30 minutes, up to one day. If marinating longer than one hour, make sure to cover and transfer the chicken to the refrigerator.

Chicken thighs cooking in a skillet.

When you’re ready to cook the chicken, heat a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add the remaining 1 Tbsp cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the chicken thighs and cook over medium until all of the water they release evaporates, the marinade has reduced to a glaze, and the chicken has browned on the bottom.

Finished honey chipotle chicken thighs in the skillet.

Flip the chicken thighs and cook until browned on the other side and cooked through. Flip the chicken back and forth as needed to achieve an even level of browning on both sides. Top with sliced green onions, then serve.

A honey chipotle chicken thigh on a bed of rice on a plate next to bean salad.

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Cheesy Sausage Pasta

Cheesy Sausage Pasta is a quick and easy meal for quick weeknight dinners. Everything cooks in one pot for fast prep and minimum clean-up!

The post Cheesy Sausage Pasta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

This Cheesy Sausage Pasta is the dish that made me fall in love with one-pot pastas all those years ago. It’s fast, easy, SUPER flavorful, and because everything cooks in one pot, there’s barely anything to clean up after dinner. WIN. The flavorful combination of smoky sausage, spicy diced tomatoes with green chiles, and creamy Monterey Jack is simple but irresistible, and it cooks in about 30 minutes. That’s a winner in my book!

Originally posted 1-23-2010, updated 9-10-2022.

Overhead view of a skillet full of cheesy sausage pasta.

What’s in Cheesy Sausage Pasta?

This recipe was inspired by an absolutely mouth-watering photo I saw on Pinterest, which was this Spicy Sausage Pasta from KevinandAmanda.com. But, of course, I made some changes to fit the ingredients I had on hand. I nixed the heavy cream in the original recipe because I figured that between the cheese and sausage, there’d be plenty of fatty goodness going on. My version ended up being rich, but not so much so that you’ll feel super weighed down. I also added fresh spinach because I have a HUGE bag in my fridge just waiting to be used up. Plus, I felt that the recipe needed a little green.

What Else Can I Add?

Some other vegetable options for this recipe are bell peppers or broccoli, both of which go great with smoked sausage. If you want to add bell peppers, dice them up and saute them with the onions in the beginning. If you want to add broccoli, cut it into very small florets and add it with the pasta so that the broccoli can simmer a little bit and soften. There are so many different ways you can take this recipe… I’m excited to hear what you come up with!

What Type of Pasta to Use

This recipe works great with any short pasta shape (bowties, penne, rotini, etc.). I originally used campanelle (my favorite frilly flower shaped pasta), but I couldn’t find any this time around so I decided to go with wide egg noodles. One note: If you are using regular pasta (not egg noodles, which are a little more delicate), you may need slightly more broth.

Can I Use a Different Cheese?

I particularly love Monterey Jack cheese for this recipe because it melts into a super creamy texture that kind of mixes into the sauce for a super creamy finish…without adding any cream. Other cheeses will also taste great, but they probably won’t have the same creamy finish. You can try cheddar, mozzarella (aim for whole milk mozzarella instead of part-skim), or even a sprinkle of crumbled feta. And remember, pre-shredded cheese won’t melt nearly as well as cheese you shred yourself! ;)

Close up side view of cheesy sausage pasta in the skillet.

Cheesy sausage pasta on a plate with a black fork, on a bamboo mat.

Cheesy Sausage Pasta

Cheesy Sausage Pasta is a quick and easy meal for quick weeknight dinners. Everything cooks in one pot for fast prep and minimum clean-up!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $7.07 recipe / $1.77 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 538kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.38
  • 7 oz. smoked sausage $1.75
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1 10oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles (Rotel) $1.00
  • 8 oz. wide egg noodles* $1.40
  • 1.5 cups chicken broth $0.20
  • 3 cups fresh spinach $0.85
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack $1.25
  • 1 green onion, sliced $0.20

Instructions

  • Dice the onion and slice the sausage into rounds.
  • Add the cooking oil and sausage to a large skillet and cook over medium heat until the sausage is well browned. If there is excess fat in the skillet, drain it off before moving to the next step.
  • Add the diced tomatoes with green chiles (with juices), uncooked pasta, and chicken broth. Stir until everything is evenly combined. It's okay if the broth does not fully cover the pasta.
  • Place a lid on the skillet and allow the broth to come up to a boil. When it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the pasta simmer for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Stir the pasta occasionally, replacing the lid each time.
  • Once the pasta is cooked and only a small amount of saucy liquid remains, it's time to add the spinach to the skillet. Gently stir the fresh spinach into the pasta, allowing the residual heat to wilt the spinach.
  • Once the spinach has wilted, top the pasta with Monterey Jack cheese. Place the lid back on the skillet and let the pasta heat over low until the cheese is melted and creamy.
  • Sprinkle the sliced green onions over top just before serving.

Notes

*If using regular pasta (not egg noodles), increase the broth to 2 cups.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 538kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 28g | Sodium: 956mg | Fiber: 4g

Cheesy sausage pasta on a plate with a black fork, on a bamboo mat.

How to Make Cheesy Sausage Pasta – Step By Step Photos

Diced onion and sliced sausage on a cutting board.

Dice one yellow onion and slice about 7oz. smoked sausage (half of a 14oz. link—you can freeze the rest!) into medallions.

Browned sausage in a skilet.

Add the sausage and 1 Tbsp cooking oil to a large skillet and cook over medium heat until the sausage is well browned. If there’s a lot of excess fat in the skillet, drain it off before proceeding to the next step.

Sautéed onions in the skillet with sausage.

Add the onions to the skillet with the sausage and continue to sauté until the onions have softened. Allow the moisture from the onions to dissolve any browned bits off the bottom of the skillet.

Pasta, tomatoes, and broth added to the skillet.

Add one 10oz. can of diced tomatoes with green chiles (like Rotel), 8 oz. pasta, and 1.5 cups chicken broth. If you’re using regular pasta (not egg noodles), increase to 2 cups broth.

Lid being placed on the skillet.

Stir everything together until well combined. Place a lid on the skillet and allow the broth to come up to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and let the pasta simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally (replacing the lid each time). Make sure the broth maintains a simmer.

Cooked pasta pushed to the side of the skillet with the spatula.

While the pasta is cooking, shred about 1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese and slice one green onion. When the pasta is tender and only a small amount of saucy liquid remains in the skillet, it’s time to add the spinach.

Wilted spinach stirred into the pasta.

Add about three packed cups of fresh spinach to the skillet and carefully stir until the hot pasta wilts the spinach.

Cheese being added on top of the pasta.

Add one cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese on top of the pasta. Place the lid on the skillet and let it heat over low for a few minutes, or just until the cheese is melted and creamy.

Finished pasta topped with sliced green onions.

Top the finished pasta with the sliced green onions and serve hot!

Close up overhead view of Cheesy Sausage Pasta in the skillet.

Soooo cheeessyyyy. 🤤

Try These Other One Pot Pasta Recipes:

Creamy Spinach and Sausage Pasta is an easy one pot meal for quick weeknight dinners. BudgetBytes.com

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Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken pot pie is a cozy and classic comfort food made with a flakey crust and a rich sauce full of tender chicken and vegetables.

The post Chicken Pot Pie appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I could eat this chicken pot pie every day for the rest of my life. Okay, maybe I’m being a little hyperbolic, but it’s definitely one of those recipes that I can eat for days in a row and I’ll still be sad once the leftovers are gone. Because when a food makes you feel this cozy and good, how can you not want it in your life every day? Either way, I guarantee this scrumptious homemade chicken pot pie is going to be made on REPEAT in my house all through the fall and winter.

Chicken Pot Pie with a slice removed.

What’s in a Chicken Pot Pie?

Chicken pot pie starts with a deliciously flakey pie crust and is filled with a rich and saucy chicken gravy, chunks of tender chicken, and a medley of colorful vegetables. It’s everything you want in a meal on one plate!

This recipe is pretty flexible, allowing you to take some shortcuts if you need to make the prep easier, or you can do everything from scratch to make this pie an ✨EVENT✨!

Pie Crust Options

It’s no secret that the crust is one of the best parts of a chicken pot pie, so we chose not to skimp on the crust. We used our simple 3-ingredient pie crust recipe, which is super buttery and deliciously flakey. If you want to use a store-bought crust, just make sure to buy a double crust (top and bottom crusts) and follow the baking instructions on the box.

You could also bake this “pie” in skillet without a bottom crust and then top it with your favorite biscuits. The filling is fully cooked before it goes into the pie, so simply top with biscuits and then bake until the biscuits are browned and cooked through.

Can I Use Pre-Cooked Chicken for Chicken Pot Pie?

Yes! Chicken pot pie is a great way to use up leftover rotisserie chicken, or even leftover turkey from Thanksgiving! Just skip the first step in the recipe below (cooking the raw chicken) and add your pre-cooked chicken to the filling when the cooked chicken is added back to the gravy with the herbs and spices.

Use Fresh or Frozen Vegetables

To make this chicken pot pie super simple, we used a frozen vegetable medley. Using a frozen veggie mix means less chopping and you won’t have any leftover vegetables to try to use up later. If you do want to slice and chop your own vegetables, use 1-2 carrots, about ½ cup corn kernels, ½ cup chopped green beans, and ½ cup peas. You could also other vegetables, like mushrooms or celery.

Do I Need to Blind Bake the Crust?

When using our 3-ingredient pie crust recipe and a glass pie plate, our chicken pot pie baked to perfection with a golden brown flakey bottom crust without having to pre-bake the bottom crust. That being said, using different crust recipes or store-bought crusts with different types of pie plates may yield different results.

A slice of chicken pot pie being lifted out of the pie pan from the side.
A slice of chicken pot pie taken out of the pie dish.

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken pot pie is a cozy classic comfort food made with a flakey crust and a rich sauce full of tender chicken and vegetables.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $8.44 recipe / $1.06 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 361kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (about ⅔ lb.) $3.33
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1 yellow onion $0.38
  • 4 Tbsp butter $0.50
  • 4 Tbsp flour $0.04
  • 1 cup chicken broth $0.13
  • 1/2 cup whole milk $0.10
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp rubbed sage $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper $0.02
  • 3/4 tsp salt $0.05
  • 12 oz. frozen mixed vegetables $1.25
  • 1 double pie crust $2.34
  • l egg (optional) $0.20

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cut the chicken breast into ½-inch pieces.
  • Heat a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add the cooking oil and diced chicken. Cook just until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken from the skillet.
  • While the chicken is cooking, dice the onion. After removing the chicken from the skillet, add the diced onion and butter. Sauté the onions in the butter until softened.
  • Sprinkle the flour over the onions in the skillet and continue to cook and stir for two minutes more. It's okay if the flour begins to coat the surface of the skillet, but don't let it burn.
  • Add the chicken broth and milk to the skillet. Whisk to combine and dissolve any flour off the bottom of the skillet. Let the liquid come up to a simmer, at which point it will thicken into a gravy.
  • Add the cooked chicken back to the skillet along with the thyme, sage, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Finally, add the frozen mixed vegetables and allow them to heat through in the gravy, stirring occasionally, just until the gravy begins to simmer again. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  • Place your bottom crust in a 9-inch pie plate. Prick the bottom several times with a fork. Transfer the chicken, vegetable, and gravy mixture into the pie crust.
  • Add the top crust and crimp the edges closed. Brush a light layer of whisked egg over the surface of the pie crust (optional). Use a knife to cut large vents in the top of the crust.
  • Bake the chicken pot pie for 45-50 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and flakey. The baking time may vary depending on the type of crust and pie plate used.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 20g | Sodium: 616mg | Fiber: 3g
Close up overhead view of a chicken pot pie with a slice cut into it.

How to Make Chicken Pot Pie – Step by Step Photos

Cooked diced chicken in a skillet.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Dice one boneless skinless chicken breast into ½-inch pieces and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Heat a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp cooking oil and the diced chicken breast. Cook the chicken pieces just until cooked through (do not over cook).

Diced onion and butter in a deep skillet.

While the chicken is cooking, dice one yellow onion. Remove the cooked chicken from the skillet and add the diced onion and 4 Tbsp butter. Sauté the onions in the butter over medium heat until softened.

Flour being added to the skillet.

Once the onions are soft, sprinkle in 4 Tbsp of all-purpose flour. Continue to cook and stir for about two minutes more. It’s okay for the flour to begin to coat the bottom of the skillet, just make sure it doesn’t begin to burn.

Milk and broth being added to the skillet.

Add one cup of chicken broth and one cup of whole milk to the skillet. Whisk to combine and dissolve any flour off the bottom of the skillet.

Thickened gravy being whisked.

Allow the liquid to come up to a simmer, at which point it will thicken into a nice gravy.

Chicken and seasoning added back to the gravy.

Add the cooked chicken back to the skillet along with ¼ tsp dried thyme, ¼ tsp rubbed sage, ¼ tsp black pepper, and ¾ tsp salt. Stir to combine.

frozen vegetables stirred into the gravy.

Stir in one 12oz. bag of frozen mixed vegetables. Allow the gravy mixture to heat through and come back up to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Once fully heated through and simmering, remove it from the heat.

Pie filling being added to a pie crust.

Place the bottom crust into a pie plate and prick it several times over the bottom with a fork. Fill the pie crust with the chicken pot pie filling.

Vents being cut into the top pie crust.

Add the top crust and crimp the edges closed. Brush the top of the pie with a thin layer of whisked egg. Use a knife to cut large vents into the top of the pie crust.

Baked Chicken Pot Pie.

Bake the chicken pot pie for 45-50 minutes, or until the pie crust is golden brown and flakey and the filling is bubbling up slightly through the vents. Total cooking time may vary depending on the type of crust and pie dish used. The filling is fully cooked before going into the pie, so adjust the baking time based on the crust.

Chicken pot pie on a blue background with plates and parsley on the sides.

Let the pie cool for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

A slice of chicken pot pie taken out of the pie dish.

Try these other savory pie recipes:

The post Chicken Pot Pie appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Slow Cooker Meatball Subs

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

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

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

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

Do I Have to Use a Slow Cooker?

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

What Kind of Sauce to Use

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

Freeze Half for Later!

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

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

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

Slow Cooker Meatball Subs

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

Equipment

Ingredients

Meatballs

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

Subs

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

Instructions

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

Nutrition

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

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

egg and breadcrumb mixture

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

Meatball ingredients in a bowl

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

Shaped meatballs one held in a hand.

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

Sauce being poured over the meatballs in the slow cooker.

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

Lid being placed on the slow cooker.

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

Slow cooked meatballs in the slow cooker.

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

Finished slow cooker meatballs in the slow cooker.

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

Meatballs in subs in a baking dish.

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

Shredded mozzarella on the meatball subs.

Top each sub with a little shredded mozzarella.

Baked meatball subs in the baking dish.

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

Overhead view of baked meatball subs garnished with parsley.

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

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

TRY THESE OTHER MEATBALL RECIPES:

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Zucchini Slice

Zucchini Slice is an easy and budget-friendly Australian dish featuring fresh zucchini baked into a cheesy egg-based batter.

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If you’re looking for ways to use your summer zucchini, don’t pass up this irresistible zucchini slice. This classic Australian dish is similar to a crustless quiche but with a more dense texture. It’s healthy and perfect for meal prep if you’ve got a busy week ahead. Serve this slice hot or cold for a savory breakfast on-the-go, or a light lunch or dinner.

A stack of slices of zucchini slice on a plate.

What is Zucchini Slice?

Zucchini Slice is a popular Australian dish similar to a crustless quiche but with a more dense texture. It’s universally loved in Australia because it’s very easy to prepare, budget-friendly, and can be enjoyed hot or cold for any meal of the day. You’ll commonly find it in lunchboxes, at kid’s birthday parties, and potlucks.

Tips for Making Zucchini Slice

Don’t skip draining the moisture from the zucchini, or you’ll end up with a soggy slice! Grate the zucchini and either pop it into a colander or a clean kitchen towel to wring out. It’s common in Australia to make zucchini slice without sauteing the bacon and onion first. However, I highly recommend not skipping this step

Two slices of zucchini slice laying against the whole casserole.

Zucchini Slice Variations

Tweak Zucchini Slice with what you have on hand. You can leave out the bacon for a vegetarian version, or you can use ham instead of bacon (no need to sauté first). You can throw in a few veggies too! Corn or finely chopped red bell pepper would be perfect in this slice. You could also add in a blend of cheese instead of just cheddar. Feta or parmesan would be a delicious addition.

What to Serve with Zucchini Slice

Zucchini Slice is perfect for any meal (or snack) of the day. It can be served either hot or cold and is great for on the go. It’s not uncommon to eat a piece or two on its own or to serve it with a side salad for a light lunch or dinner. It’s also a favorite at potlucks and parties.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Zucchini Slice is great for meal prep! Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Eat this slice cold or reheated in the microwave.

Two slices of Zucchini slice on top of the casserole.
Two slices of zucchini slice laying against the whole casserole.

Zucchini Slice

Zucchini Slice is an easy and budget-friendly Australian dish featuring fresh zucchini baked into a cheesy egg-based batter.
Course Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Australian
Total Cost $5.31 recipe / $0.66 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 slices
Calories 267kcal
Author Cassie Heilbron

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp butter $0.11
  • 2 strips bacon $0.52
  • 1 yellow onion $0.37
  • 5 large eggs $0.98
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese $1.25
  • 1 cup self-rising flour* $0.14
  • 1/4 cup olive oil $0.64
  • 3/4 lb. zucchini (2 cups shredded) $1.27
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper $0.03

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a large rectangular baking dish (11×7-inch) with parchment paper. Finely dice the onion and finely chop the bacon.
  • Heat the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and onion and cook, stirring regularly, until the onion softens and the bacon is golden. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  • Grate zucchini into a colander and sprinkle a little salt on top. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the bacon, onion, eggs, cheese, flour, and oil. Stir well to combine.
  • Using your hands, squeeze excess moisture out of the zucchini into the sink, then place into the mixing bowl and stir to combine—season with a little salt and pepper.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until cooked through and firm to touch. Allow to cool, then cut into squares to serve.

Notes

*If you don’t have self-rising flour simply use 1 cup of flour plus 2 teaspoons of baking powder.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 267kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 19g | Sodium: 194mg | Fiber: 1g

How to Make Zucchini Slice – Step by Step Photos

Baking dish lined with parchment paper.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 11×7-inch baking dish with parchment paper.

Sautéed onion and garlic in a frying pan.

Finely dice one yellow onion and finely chop about two strips of bacon. Add 1 Tbsp butter to a frying pan and heat over medium. Add the onion and bacon and sauté until the onion is soft and the bacon is golden. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Grated zucchini in a colander.

Grate about 3/4 lb. of zucchini into a colander and sprinkle a little salt on top. Set aside.

Zucchini slice batter ingredients in a bowl, unmixed.

In a large mixing bowl add the bacon and onion, along with 2 large eggs, 1 cup shredded cheese, 1 cup self-rising flour, and 1/4 cup olive oil. Stir well to combine.

Zucchini added to the batter.

Using your hands, squeeze excess moisture out of the zucchini into the sink, then place into the mixing bowl and stir to combine. Season with a little salt and pepper.

Unbaked zucchini slice in a glass casserole dish.

Pour mixture into prepared tray.

Baked zucchini slice in a glass casserole dish.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until cooked through and firm to the touch. Allow to cool, then cut into squares to serve.

Three slices of zucchini slice stacked on a plate.

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How to Make A Frittata

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

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

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

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

What is a Frittata?

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

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

The Frittata Formula

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

Frittatas in Five Simple Steps

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

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

Avoid Overcooking Your Frittata

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

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

How to Serve Frittatas

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

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

Other Frittata Flavor Ideas

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

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

How to Make a Frittata

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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

Nutrition

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

How to Make Frittatas – Step by Step Photos

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

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

Sautéed onions in a skillet.

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

Chopped spinach on a cutting board.

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

Spinach and tomatoes combined with onions in the skillet.

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

Eggs being poured into the skillet.

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

Frittata topped with cheese and edges set.

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

Baked frittata in the skillet.

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

Sliced frittata in the skillet, one slice being lifted.

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

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

Check out these other great egg dishes:

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

One Pot Lemon Pepper Chicken with Orzo

Lemon Pepper Chicken with Orzo is a zesty one-pot meal featuring juicy chicken thighs, orzo, feta, and lemon pepper for tons of flavor!

The post One Pot Lemon Pepper Chicken with Orzo appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Welcome to another episode of “How can so few ingredients make such a delicious meal?!” One-pot meals are a miracle, my friends, and this Lemon Pepper Chicken with Orzo is the perfect example. This dish is packed with flavor thanks to a hefty dose of lemon pepper, chicken broth, juicy chicken thighs, and a pop of feta at the end. Plus, it’s fast, easy, and barely anything to clean up afterward. :)

Originally posted 8/5/2015, updated 8/15/2022.

Overhead view of lemon pepper chicken and orzo in the skillet with a napkin and parsley on the sides.

What’s in Lemon Pepper Chicken with Orzo

For this skillet meal, I liberally seasoned some bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs with lemon pepper, then combined it with some orzo, chicken broth, and parsley. Everything gets cooked together in one pot so that orzo soaks up all the flavor from both the chicken thighs and the broth, and not a drop of flavor is lost. It’s so simple, yet so good. Add a quick little side salad with fresh greens and you’ve got a five-star dinner (and very few dishes to clean). Victory!

Can I Use Boneless Chicken?

I used bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs for this recipe, but you can use boneless thighs or breasts if you prefer. The chicken will cook a little faster if you use boneless and you might miss out on a little bit of the flavor that comes with bone-in chicken. Also, be aware that chicken breasts do tend to dry out faster than chicken thighs, so the end product won’t be quite as juicy.

Tips for Cooking One Pot Pasta

Getting one pot pasta meals to cook just right can take a little practice, but here are a few tips to make sure your pasta cooks evenly and all the way through without leaving too much liquid behind:

  • Use a heavy or thick-bottomed piece of cookware. Thin cookware doesn’t cook evenly and can leave some pasta undercooked and some pasta overcooked. A deep skillet or Dutch Oven will work well for this recipe.
  • Use a burner that is close in size to the bottom of your pot or pan. If the burner is a lot smaller than the width of the pan, you may have trouble getting the outside edges to cook evenly.
  • Make sure the broth is simmering the whole time. Heat settings on ranges can vary, so you may need to adjust the heat up or down slightly to maintain a simmer in the broth.

Lemon pepper chicken and orzo in a shallow bowl with a fork.

Overhead view of a pot full of lemon pepper chicken and orzo.

One Pot Lemon Pepper Chicken with Orzo

Lemon Pepper Chicken with Orzo is a zesty one-pot meal featuring juicy chicken thighs, orzo, feta, and lemon pepper for tons of flavor!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $7.54 recipe / $1.89 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 612kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken thighs* $3.74
  • 2 Tbsp lemon pepper seasoning $0.60
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 2 cups chicken broth $0.26
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley $0.20
  • 1.5 cups orzo $1.29
  • 2 oz. feta, crumbled $1.25

Instructions

  • Blot the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel, then season both sides liberally with lemon pepper seasoning (about 2 Tbsp lemon pepper total).
  • Heat a large deep skillet over medium. Once hot, add the cooking oil. Add the seasoned chicken thighs, skin side down, and let them cook undisturbed until browned (about 6-8 minutes for bone-in skin-on thighs). Flip the chicken thighs and cook until browned on the second side. The chicken will be cooked most of the way through at this point but will finish cooking when simmered with the orzo. Remove the chicken to a clean plate.
  • While the chicken is browning, roughly chop about 1/4 bunch of parsley and mince two cloves of garlic. After removing the chicken from the skillet, turn the heat down to low, add the minced garlic, and sauté the garlic in the residual fat for about a minute.
  • Add 2 cups of chicken broth to the skillet and stir to dissolve the crispy browned bits from the bottom of the pan. 
  • Add the orzo and half of the chopped parsley. Stir to combine. Finally, return the chicken to the skillet, skin side up.
  • Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to high, and let the broth come to a full boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low. Let the skillet simmer on low for about 15 minutes, or until most of the broth has been absorbed. Make sure it’s simmering the whole time. If it stops simmering, increase the heat slightly until it just starts to simmer again.
  • After about 15 minutes the orzo should be tender and most of the broth absorbed but there will still be a little sauce in the skillet.
  • Fluff the orzo around the chicken a bit with a fork, then top with the remaining parsley and the crumbled feta. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

*I used bone-in chicken thighs with skin, but you could use boneless and skinless, if preferred.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 612kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 32g | Sodium: 715mg | Fiber: 3g

Close up side view of lemon pepper chicken and orzo in the pan.

How to Make One Pot Chicken and Orzo – Step by Step Photos

Bone-in chicken thighs seasoned with lemon pepper on a cutting board.

Start by blotting four chicken thighs dry with a paper towel. Drying them helps the seasoning stick and helps them brown better in the skillet. I used bone-in thighs with skin, but you could use boneless, skinless if desired. Just keep in mind that boneless and skinless thighs are usually a bit more expensive and will cook faster. Season both sides of each thigh liberally with lemon pepper seasoning (about 2 Tbsp total). 

Browned chicken thighs in the skillet.

Heat a large deep skillet over medium. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp cooking oil. Add the seasoned chicken thighs, skin side down, and let them cook undisturbed until browned (about 6-8 minutes for bone-in skin-on thighs). Flip the chicken thighs and cook until browned on the second side. The chicken will be cooked most of the way through at this point but will finish cooking when simmered with the orzo. Remove the chicken to a clean plate.

Garlic added to the skillet.

While the chicken is browning, roughly chop about 1/4 bunch of parsley and mince two cloves of garlic. Turn the heat down to low, add the minced garlic, and sauté the garlic in the residual fat for about a minute.

Broth being poured into the skillet.

Add 2 cups of chicken broth to the skillet and stir to dissolve the crispy browned bits from the bottom of the pan. 

Broth being whisked in the skillet to dissolve chicken drippings.

The broth will turn a deep brown color as the drippings are dissolved into the mixture.

Parsley and orzo added to the skillet.

Add about half of the chopped parsley and 1.5 cups of orzo. Stir to combine.

Chicken thighs added back to the pot.

Finally, return the chicken to the skillet, skin side up. Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to high, and let the broth come to a full boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low. Let the skillet simmer on low for about 15 minutes, or until most of the broth has been absorbed. Make sure it’s simmering the whole time. If it stops simmering, increase the heat slightly until it just starts to simmer again.

Cooked orzo and chicken in the pot.

After about 15 minutes the orzo should be tender and most of the broth absorbed but there will still be a little sauce in the skillet.

Finished lemon pepper chicken and orzo in the pan.

Fluff the orzo around the chicken a bit with a fork, then top with the remaining parsley and the crumbled feta. And that’s all it takes to make this simple Lemon Pepper Chicken with Orzo. I could seriously eat this orzo all day long. ALL. DAY. LONG.

Overhead view of lemon pepper chicken and orzo in a bowl.

Try These Other One Pot Chicken Recipes:

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