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Spinach Artichoke Dip

This creamy and flavorful Spinach Artichoke Dip is made with three types of cheese and is the perfect appetizer for any party or gathering.

The post Spinach Artichoke Dip appeared first on Budget Bytes.

This Spinach Artichoke Dip recipe is epic. It’s super easy to make and the perfect dish to bring to Friendsgiving, football parties, or any gathering. It has three types of cheese, a creamy homemade sauce, and just a little bitty splash of hotness to tingle your taste buds. This spinach artichoke dip is so good that it’ll make you want to eat your appetizer for dinner. …And I won’t judge you if you do. ;)

Spinach Artichoke Dip in a skillet with a chip dipping into the side.

Ingredients for Spinach Artichoke Dip

This recipe is super easy to make and it doesn’t require too many ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to make this spinach artichoke dip recipe:

  • Spinach: We used frozen chopped spinach because it’s convenient and inexpensive. Just make sure you fully thaw and squeeze the spinach dry before using. You can use fresh spinach, but you’ll need to cook it down first to remove most of the water. You’ll need about 2 cups once cooked and squeezed.
  • Artichoke Hearts: Canned artichoke hearts are convenient, but you can also use frozen artichoke hearts, if available.
  • Cheese: This super-rich dip has a mix of three cheeses: mozzarella, Parmesan, and cream cheese.
  • Mayonnaise, Sour Cream, and Butter: These three ingredients come together to create the super-rich and creamy sauce that drenches the spinach and artichokes.
  • Seasoning: The seasoning for this dip is pretty simple, just some fresh garlic, hot sauce for tang and heat, plus a pinch of red pepper for another kick. It’s simple, but amazing!

What to Serve with Spinach Artichoke Dip

Because spinach artichoke dip is kind of heavy (understatement) you will want to serve it with something strong and crusty for dipping. My favorite is slices of toasted baguette, but strong crackers and tortilla chips are other great options.

You can also use spinach artichoke dip as part of a meal. Try using it to fill a quesadilla, making it into a grilled cheese sandwich or “melt”, or stirring it into some pasta!

Spinach Artichoke Dip Variations

This is a classic spinach artichoke dip recipe, but you can add or substitute ingredients to make it your own. Here are some ideas for different variations of this spinach artichoke dip recipe:

  • Double Spinach: Use twice the amount of spinach for an extra dose of vegetables.
  • Spicy Spinach Artichoke Dip: make it extra spicy by adding a lot more hot sauce, for a flavor that’s half-way between buffalo dip and spinach dip!
  • Make it Lighter: Substitute the sour cream with non-fat yogurt and Neufchatel cheese for the cream cheese to make a slightly lighter spinach artichoke dip.
  • Skip the Artichokes: If you’re not a fan of artichokes, double up on the spinach and skip the artichokes for a creamy spinach dip.
  • Add Chicken: Make the dip more hearty by stirring in diced cooked chicken breast.

How to Store Leftovers

This spinach and artichoke dip will last about four days in your refrigerator. Reheat leftovers in the microwave until hot, or cover and heat in a 350ºF oven until heated through (the total time needed will depend on the amount of dip being reheated).

Close up overhead view of a skillet full of spinach artichoke dip with tortilla chips dipped into it.
Close up overhead view of a skillet full of spinach artichoke dip with tortilla chips dipped into it.
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Spinach Artichoke Dip

This creamy and flavorful Spinach Artichoke Dip recipe is made with three types of cheese and is the perfect appetizer for any party or gathering.
Course Appetizer, Dip
Cuisine American
Total Cost $9.73 recipe / $1.62 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 1/2 cup each
Calories 457kcal

Ingredients

  • 10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed $1.79
  • 1 14oz. can quartered artichoke hearts $2.99
  • 1.5 cups shredded mozzarella, divided $1.87
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan $0.38
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.26
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 8 oz. cream cheese $1.25
  • 1/2 cup sour cream $0.63
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise $0.33
  • 2 dashes hot sauce $0.05

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Make sure the spinach is fully thawed, then squeeze out as much of the excess water as possible. Once squeezed, break the spinach up so there are no large clumps. Place the squeeze dried spinach in a large bowl.
  • Drain and roughly chop the artichoke hearts. Place the artichoke hearts in the bowl with the spinach, 1 cup of the mozzarella, grated Parmesan, and crushed red pepper. Stir these ingredients together to combine, then set them aside.
  • Add the butter and minced garlic to a small sauce pot. Sauté the garlic in the butter over medium-low heat for about two minutes, or just until the garlic becomes very fragrant.
  • Cut the cream cheese into chunks and add it to the sauce pot along with the sour cream and mayonnaise. Heat and whisk these ingredients together for about five minutes, or until they melt together into a smooth sauce. Finally, stir in a couple dashes of hot sauce.
  • Pour the creamy garlic sauce over the spinach artichoke mixture, then stir until everything is evenly combined and coated in sauce. Transfer the mixture to a 2-quart casserole dish, then top with the remaining ½ cup shredded mozzarella.
  • Bake the dip for about 30 minutes, or until it is bubbling around the edges and the cheese on top is turning golden brown. Serve while hot.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 457kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 41g | Sodium: 750mg | Fiber: 3g
Close up side view of a tortilla chip dipping into the pan of spinach artichoke dip.

How to Make Spinach Artichoke Dip

Frozen spinach in the package.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Start with one 10 oz. package of frozen chopped spinach, fully thawed. Squeeze as much of the excess liquid out of the thawed spinach as possible. Make sure to use “chopped” spinach so you don’t get long stringy pieces in the dip.

Chopped artichoke hearts on a cutting board.

Drain and chop one 14oz. can of artichoke hearts.

Spinach, artichoke hearts, mozzarella and red pepper in a bowl.

Add the spinach, artichoke hearts, 1 cup of shredded mozzarella, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, and a pinch of red pepper flakes to a large bowl. Stir them together until they are combined.

Melted butter and garlic in a saucepot.

Add 2 Tbsp butter and 2 cloves of garlic (minced) to a small sauce pot. Sauté the garlic in the butter over medium-low heat for about two minutes, or just until the garlic becomes very fragrant.

Cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise added to the sauce pot.

Cut an 8 oz. block of cream cheese into chunks and add it to the sauce pot along with 1/2 cup sour cream and 1/4 cup mayonnaise. Heat and whisk these ingredients together until they melt into a smooth sauce (about 5 minutes).

Hot sauce being added to the saucepot.

Add a couple of dashes of hot sauce to the creamy garlic sauce. This isn’t enough to actually make it spicy, it just adds a little tang.

Creamy sauce added to bowl with spinach.

Add the creamy sauce to the spinach and artichoke mixture and stir until everything is very well combined.

Spinach artichoke dip added to a skillet, mozzarella being sprinkled over top.

Spread the Spinach Artichoke Dip into a 2-quart skillet or casserole dish. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup shredded mozzarella over top.

Baked spinach artichoke dip in the skillet.

Bake in the preheated 375ºF oven for about 35 minutes or until it’s bubbly around the edges and turning golden brown on top.

Close up of spinach artichoke dip on a tortilla chip.

Take a closer look at that creamy, cheesy, spinach-y goodness! 🤤

Close up side view of a skillet full of spinach artichoke dip with a tortilla chip.

This photo shoot took ALL of my willpower. ALL OF IT.

The post Spinach Artichoke Dip appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Homemade Tartar Sauce

Homemade tartar sauce is incredibly easy to make and pairs perfectly with any baked or fried fish or seafood.

The post Homemade Tartar Sauce appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’m always on a quest to reduce the number of half-used bottles of sauce in my fridge (the struggle is real…) Instead of buying every single sauce under the sun, I keep a few basic condiments on hand so I can make any other homemade sauce whenever I want and in whatever quantity I need. This Homemade Tartar Sauce is the perfect example. I don’t eat tartar sauce often, but when enjoying homemade fish sticks it’s an absolute must! It takes just a few minutes to whip up, uses only six (or less!) pantry and fridge staples, and I can make any amount that I need with NO leftovers. #win

Overhead view of a bowl of tartar sauce on a plate of fish sticks, being stirred with a spoon.

What is Tartar Sauce?

Tartar sauce is a rich and tangy mayonnaise-based sauce that is perfect for serving with any type of fish or seafood. It’s incredibly simple to make, and you might just have all of the ingredients on hand!

Ingredients for Tartar Sauce

Here are the ingredients for our super easy homemade tartar sauce recipe:

  • Mayonnaise: This is the rich and creamy base for tartar sauce. You can use your favorite brand, but I usually lean towards Hellmann’s or Dukes.
  • Plain Yogurt (optional): I like to do a half-and-half mix of mayonnaise and yogurt because the yogurt lightens up the sauce just a bit and makes the flavor slightly brighter. You can use all mayo if you prefer a richer sauce. You can use regular-style yogurt for a thinner tartar sauce, or Greek-style yogurt for a thicker tartar sauce.
  • Dijon Mustard: Dijon adds a nice tanginess to the tartar sauce, plus a little complexity to the flavor.
  • Lemon Juice: Lemon and fish are BFF’s, so a little lemon juice in the mix helps the tartar sauce pair perfectly with the seafood and it helps cut the heaviness of the mayo.
  • Dill Relish: Relish gives the sauce some much-needed texture and the dill flavor goes perfectly with lemon.
  • Dried Dill: We’re doubling down on the dill flavor with a little more dried dill. It amps up the flavor and adds a little more color to the sauce.

What Else Can I add?

This easy tartar sauce recipe is a great base that can then be modified to fit your taste buds or other ingredients you may have on hand. Try adding these ingredients to customize your tartar sauce:

  • Try adding a dash or two of hot sauce or a small spoonful of horseradish for some kick!
  • Got leftover capers? Stir them in for some extra briney flavor.
  • Finely diced red onion would add even more crunch and savory flavor.
  • Add a dash of Worcestershire sauce for some more umami.
  • Add a tablespoon of freshly chopped parsley for more freshness.

How to Serve Tartar Sauce

Tartar sauce is obviously great with Homemade Fish Sticks, but it’s also delicious with Chicken Nuggets, Steak Fries, Garlic Butter Shrimp, or Tuna Patties. And since it’s simply a lemon-dill flavored mayonnaise, it could also be used as a spread on sandwiches and wraps!

Overhead view of a bowl full of tartar sauce with lemons on the side.
Overhead view of a bowl of tartar sauce with a spoon, on a plate of fish sticks.
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Tartar Sauce

Homemade tartar sauce is incredibly easy to make and pairs perfectly with any baked or fried fish or seafood.
Course Dip, Sauce, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Total Cost $1.65 recipe / $0.33 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 5 (about ¼ cup each)
Calories 174kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise $0.67
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt* $0.53
  • 1/4 cup dill relish $0.32
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice $0.06
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill $0.05

Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and stir to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to five days.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*You can use regular style yogurt for a thinner sauce, or Greek style yogurt for a thicker sauce. Or, substitute with more mayonnaise for an ultra rich and thick tartar sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 174kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 17g | Sodium: 314mg | Fiber: 0.3g
A bowl of homemade tartar sauce on a plate of fish sticks with lemons on the side.

How to Make Tartar Sauce – Step By Step Photos

Tartar sauce ingredients in a bowl not stirred together.

All you have to do to make tartar sauce is stir together ½ cup mayonnaise, ½ cup plain yogurt (or just do 1 cup total mayonnaise), ¼ cup dill relish, 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, and ½ tsp dried dill.

Finished tartar sauce in a bowl with a spoon.

Stir it all together and you’re good to go! You can store this sauce in the fridge for up to five days. If you prefer a thicker tartar sauce, use Greek-style yogurt, or skip the yogurt and use all mayonnaise.

A fish stick being dipped into a bowl of tartar sauce.

Serve with your favorite seafood, roasted vegetables, or even as a sandwich spread!

The post Homemade Tartar Sauce appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Apple Slaw

This crisp and refreshing apple slaw is the perfect easy side dish for weeknight meals or potlucks during the fall season.

The post Apple Slaw appeared first on Budget Bytes.

This light, crunchy, and refreshing Apple Slaw recipe takes just a few minutes to put together and makes a huge amount of slaw for well under a dollar a serving. It’s one of my favorite slaw recipes because it’s incredibly versatile and can be served as a main dish (I love it topped with Roasted Chicken) or as a side dish for a quick weeknight meal. It also travels really well, so it’s an excellent option for your next potluck. The best part? It holds up beautifully throughout the week. 

Overhead view of a bowl full of apple slaw with ingredients on the sides.

What Is Apple Slaw?

Apple Slaw is a cold chopped salad. Crunchy sliced apples, carrots, green onions, and shredded cabbage are tossed in a creamy dressing, creating the perfect addition to any weeknight meal or backyard BBQ.

Ingredients For Apple Slaw

  • Green Cabbage: Is the foundation of this slaw. Cabbage is hearty but loaded with water, so always taste your slaw before serving it and adjust the seasoning accordingly. You can substitute green cabbage with red cabbage or even kale.
  • Apples: I use Granny Smith, but if you really want to have fun with it, use a mixture of apples. My favorites to throw in are Fuji, Gala, and Honeycrisp (they’re affordable when they’re in season). Keep apples from turning brown by submerging them in water that has an acid added to it. For every cup of water, use 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or 1 teaspoon of distilled or apple cider vinegar.
  • Carrots: Bring sweetness and crunch to the salad and a pop of color. If you don’t have carrots, substitute with raw butternut squash, parsnips, or add an extra cup of cabbage to the mix.
  • Green Onions: Lends a mild onion flavor to the salad. You can substitute them with chives or sweet onions. If you only have white or red onions, soak them in water for a minute or two to help decrease their pungency. 
  • Mayonnaise: Is the backbone of the dressing and adds a tangy creaminess. Substitute it with Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream.
  • Dijon Mustard: Adds a peppery kick and a touch of color to the dressing. If you don’t have Dijon mustard, use brown or yellow mustard.
  • Honey: Creates a touch of sweetness in the dressing. If you don’t have honey, substitute it with one teaspoon of brown sugar. Just dissolve it well before adding the dressing to the salad.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Adds a tangy note to the dressing and keeps the apples from browning. 

What To Serve With Apple Slaw

Serve this tangy slaw topped with roasted chicken for a light lunch. Or use it as topping on a Pulled Pork or Pulled Chicken sandwich. I also love it served as a side for BBQ Ribs paired with Corn On The Cobb.

How To Store Leftovers

Store Apple Slaw in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 5 days. Do not freeze, as it will change the texture of the cabbage. Always mix the slaw a few times and taste for salt before serving.

Close up side view of a bowl of apple slaw.
Overhead view of a bowl full of apple slaw with the ingredients on the sides.
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Apple Slaw

This crisp and refreshing apple slaw is the perfect easy side dish for weeknight meals or potlucks during the fall season.
Course Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Total Cost $6.46 recipe / $0.65 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 10 (1 cup each)
Calories 109kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise $0.63
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard $0.05
  • 2 tsp honey $0.11
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar $0.09
  • 1/4 tsp salt (plus more to taste) $0.01
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper $0.01
  • 1 small cabbage, thinly sliced (about 5 cups) $2.23
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, julienned (about 2 cups)* $2.55
  • 2 carrots, julienned (about 2 cups)* $0.42
  • 3 green onions, sliced (about 1 cup)* $0.36

Instructions

  • Mix the mayonnaise, Dijon, honey, vinegar, salt, and pepper to make a dressing.
  • Shred or thinly slice the cabbage into 2-inch by ¼-inch strips. Shred or slice the carrots into 2-inch by ⅛-inch strips. Peel and core the apples. Shred or slice them into 2-inch by ⅛-inch strips and keep them in water with lemon juice or vinegar added, so they don't brown.** Cut the green onions on the diagonal into 1/8-inch thick slices.
  • Mix the apples and vegetables with the dressing in a large bowl. If necessary, add more salt to taste.
  • Keep the salad refrigerated until ready to serve. Mix before serving, and add more salt to taste.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*If finely slicing vegetables is difficult for you, use the slicing or shredding attachment on a food processor, a mandoline, or a large-holed cheese grater.
**For every one cup of water add 2 tsp lemon juice or 1 tsp distilled or apple cider vinegar.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 109kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Sodium: 139mg | Fiber: 4g

How to Make Apple Slaw – Step by Step Photos

Ingredients for dressing in a bowl, not mixed.

Mix 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 2 tsp Dijon mustard, 2 tsp honey, 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper to make a dressing.

Prepared vegetables on a cutting board.

Shred or slice one small cabbage into 2 by ⅛-inch strips. Shred or slice two carrots into 2 by ¼-inch strips. Peel and core two apples, then shred or slice them into 2 by ⅛-inch strips and keep them in water with lemon juice or vinegar added, so they don’t brown. Cut three green onions on the diagonal into 1/8-inch thick slices.

Dressing being poured over the bowl of shredded vegetables.

Mix the apples and vegetables with the dressing in a large bowl. If necessary, add more salt to taste.

Finished apple slaw in a bowl.

Keep the apple slaw refrigerated until ready to serve. Mix before serving, and add more salt to taste.

Close up side view of a bowl of apple slaw.

The post Apple Slaw appeared first on Budget Bytes.


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Meet Compound Mayonnaise, Your New Favorite Condiment

This article is a part of Mayo Week—seven days celebrating all things mayonnaise—presented in partnership by our friends at Primal Kitchen.

Sure, you’ve heard of compound butter, but what about its flavorful friend, compound mayonnaise? Just like bu…

This article is a part of Mayo Week—seven days celebrating all things mayonnaise—presented in partnership by our friends at Primal Kitchen.


Sure, you’ve heard of compound butter, but what about its flavorful friend, compound mayonnaise? Just like butter, mayonnaise—a simple emulsion of whole eggs, neutral oil, salt, and an acid, like vinegar or lemon juice—provides a creamy, blank canvas for a variety of flavors, so you can tailor it to whatever tastes tickle your fancy. You can go bright and herby with lush additions like basil, tarragon, chives, and lemon. Or, choose bigger, bolder mix-ins like Korean soybean paste, spicy peppers, and fragrant saffron (we’ll get into more flavor deets in just a minute). Whatever route you take, you’ll end with a super-charged condiment that’s ready for dipping, spreading, and slathering. Let’s get started...

Read More >>

Mayo Ketchup

Sweet and tangy Mayo Ketchup is a perfect dipping sauce for fried food and is also a fantastic sandwich spread, salad dressing, or marinade.

The post Mayo Ketchup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sweet and tangy Mayo Ketchup may be the perfect dipping sauce you’ve never heard of. This zesty blend of mayonnaise and ketchup is traditionally a dip for Tostones and other Puerto Rican delicacies. (Don’t you dare put fried food on a Puerto Rican table without Mayo Ketchup, homie!) But it’s also fabulous used as a sandwich spread, a salad dressing, or a marinade. Did I mention this mayo Ketchup recipe is ridiculously easy to make?

Overhead shot of Mayo ketchup in a small white bowl surrounded by tostones.

What Is Mayo Ketchup?

A staple of the Puerto Rican table, Mayo Ketchup is also a popular condiment in many different countries, where it can be known as fry sauce, salsa rosada, or pink sauce. The combination of mayonnaise and ketchup creates a rich and creamy dressing with slightly honeyed and tart notes. The two ingredients complement each other perfectly, creating a sauce that is surprisingly flavorful and versatile, like Snoop Dog and Martha Stewart.

Ingredients For Mayo Ketchup

You can now find this delicious concoction at many supermarkets, but making your own is much cheaper. Plus, you can doctor it up with a few extra ingredients to make it your own. Sometimes I add a sprinkle of adobo seasoning for depth and grate a fresh garlic clove to add pungency. Here’s what you’ll need to make a basic Mayo Ketchup:

  • Mayonnaise: adds richness and body to the sauce. Feel free to use vegan mayo here, if you’re plant-based.
  • Ketchup: provides sweetness and acidity. It also gives the sauce its signature salmon pink color.
  • Hot Sauce: adds a spicy kick. Use your favorite brand. Hot pepper brine is also fantastic. In a pinch, add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.

What TO PAIR With It

Mayo Ketchup is a perfect dip for anything fried, and Tostones are an uber-traditional pairing. You can also try it with Air Fryer Fried Chicken, Oven Baked Steak Fries, and Baked Zucchini Fries. PS I love it as a spread on Tomato Sandwiches(stand down, traditionalists!) or a Smash Burger.

Side shot of toston being dipped in Mayo Ketchup in a small white bowl.
Overhead shot of Mayo ketchup in a small white bowl surrounded by tostones.
Print

Mayo Ketchup

Sweet and tangy Mayo Ketchup is a perfect dipping sauce for fried food and is also a fantastic sandwich spread, salad dressing, or marinade.
Course Dip
Cuisine Latin
Total Cost ($0.64 recipe / $0.16 serving)
Prep Time 1 minute
Total Time 1 minute
Servings 4 servings
Calories 103kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise $0.40
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup $0.10
  • 1 tsp hot sauce $0.14

Instructions

  • Add mayonnaise, ketchup, and hot sauce to a small bowl.
  • Mix ingredients until no white streaks remain. Use right away or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 30 days.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 103kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 0.2g | Fat: 10g | Sodium: 183mg | Fiber: 0.02g

How to Make Mayo Ketchup – Step by Step Photos

Overhead shot of Mayo Ketchup ingredients in a small white bowl surrounded by tostones.

To a small bowl add 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons ketchup, and 1 teaspoon hot sauce.

Overhead shot of sauce in a small white bowl.

Mix ingredients until thoroughly combined and no white streaks remain. Use right away or refrigerate in an airtight for up to 30 days. Serve with your favorite crispy fried or oven-baked foods. Tostones are my favorite but the possibilities are endless!

Side shot of toston being dipped in Mayo Ketchup in a small white bowl.

More Easy Dipping Sauces

The post Mayo Ketchup appeared first on Budget Bytes.


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Pesto Veggie Burgers with Balsamic Aioli

We’ve done veggie burgers and pesto separately, but together? Our only regret is not trying it sooner! Herby, savory chickpea burgers join with sliced tomato, arugula, and a creamy, bright balsamic aioli for a major dose of YUM!
Just 30 minutes require…

Pesto Veggie Burgers with Balsamic Aioli

We’ve done veggie burgers and pesto separately, but together? Our only regret is not trying it sooner! Herby, savory chickpea burgers join with sliced tomato, arugula, and a creamy, bright balsamic aioli for a major dose of YUM!

Just 30 minutes required for this satisfying plant-based main perfect for summer BBQs or a quick weeknight meal! Let us show you how it’s done!

These pesto chickpea patties begin with mashing chickpeas until there are only a few large pieces remaining.

Pesto Veggie Burgers with Balsamic Aioli from Minimalist Baker →

Classic Tomato Sandwiches

Tomato sandwiches are a summertime staple. With juicy ripe tomatoes, creamy mayonnaise, and soft bread, they’re a simple summer delight!

The post Classic Tomato Sandwiches appeared first on Budget Bytes.

This blog post is more of a love letter to my favorite summer meal than a “recipe.” Tomato sandwiches are one of the first foods I ever fell in love with, and I continue to look forward to summer every year just because of the tomato sandwiches. So it’s about time I formally celebrate their beautiful simplicity and share them with anyone who hasn’t yet had one. Tomato sandwiches are seriously my favorite thing. EVER.

Tomato Sandwiches being built on a wooden cutting board.

What’s on a Tomato Sandwich

There are so many different versions of tomato sandwiches out there, but I’m partial to the classic tomato sandwich consisting only of juicy, ripe tomatoes, creamy mayonnaise, soft white bread, and salt and pepper. That’s it!

The juice from the tomatoes combines with the creamy mayo, salt, and pepper to form a sort of dressing that kind of soaks into the bread and creates the most delicious combo of flavors and textures. It’s so divine that I literally can not eat just one. As soon as I pop that last bite I always make second one!

It’s all about the Tomatoes

This sandwich is all about enjoying the beautiful and delicious tomatoes of summer. If you can, buy tomatoes grown locally for the best flavor. Heirloom tomatoes are gorgeous and delicious, but they will probably increase the price of your sandwich a bit. If you can, hit up your local farmer’s markets or neighbors who might be growing tomatoes to grab a few of those fresh summer beauties!

What Kind of Bread to Use for Tomato Sandwiches

A lot of tomato sandwich lovers insist on soft white bread, but I’m a bit more flexible when it comes to the bread. I do like a little texture, so if my bread is very soft I’ll pop it in the toaster just to give it a little tan. I also like whole wheat bread for tomato sandwiches quite a bit, but I think I’m in the minority there. Most bread will work for tomato sandwiches, but I would try to avoid super crusty or chewy bread, like a baguette, because it will overpower the soft texture of the tomatoes inside.

Real Mayo Only, Please

Talk to any Southerner and they’re likely to have very strong feelings when it comes to their favorite mayonnaise, especially for tomato sandwiches. Dukes and Blue Plate are both popular choices, but a good ol’ classic Hellmann’s mayo is also good, IMHO! Bottom line, it’s got to be CREAMY.

Tomato Sandwich Variations

A couple of years ago I posted a video about my love for tomato sandwiches on social media and I asked YOU how you like to make your tomato sandwiches. I got some wonderful responses! Here are some other ingredients people love to put on tomato sandwiches:

  • Rub raw garlic on the bread before spreading on the mayo
  • Lettuce and bacon (BLT!)
  • Cucumber
  • Cheese (goat cheese, fresh mozzarella, or cheddar)
  • Fresh basil
  • Sweet onion
  • Cream cheese instead of mayo
  • Pesto
  • Hummus instead of mayo
  • Cavenders Greek seasoning
  • Everything bagel seasoning

What do you like to put on YOUR tomato sandwiches?? Let us know in the comments below!

Side view of a sliced and stacked tomato sandwich.
Side view of a sliced and stacked tomato sandwich.
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Tomato Sandwiches

Tomato sandwiches are a summertime staple. With juicy ripe tomatoes, creamy mayonnaise, and soft bread, they're a simple summer delight!
Course Lunch
Cuisine American
Total Cost $1.67 each
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 sandwich
Calories 437kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 large tomato $0.77
  • 2 slices white bread $0.64
  • 3 Tbsp mayonnaise $0.22
  • 1 pinch salt $0.02
  • 1 pinch pepper $0.02

Instructions

  • If you prefer your bread toasted, begin by toasting the bread. Slice the tomatoes into large rounds (horizontally around the equator of the tomato).
  • Spread a thick layer of mayonnaise over each slice of bread. Top one slice of bread with tomato slices, then sprinkle a generous pinch of salt and pepper over the tomatoes and second slice of bread.
  • Close the sandwich with the second slice of bread, cut the sandwich in half, and serve immediately.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 437kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 33g | Sodium: 549mg | Fiber: 2g

How to Make Tomato Sandwiches – Step by Step Photos

Tomatoes being sliced.

Slice your tomato first. I like to slice horizontally across the tomato to get the biggest slices possible. The thickness of the slices are up to you, but I like to do a medium-width. Not too thin so I don’t have to do too many layers, but not so thick that I can’t overlap them at all.

Mayonnaise being spread onto bread.

If you prefer to have toasted bread, make sure you’ve got that going while you’re slicing the tomatoes. Spread a nice layer of mayonnaise over each piece of bread (about 1.5 Tbsp per slice, depending on the size of your bread).

Tomato slices on the bread with salt and pepper.

Layer the tomatoes onto the bread, using as much as you’d like (this part is just personal preference). Top the tomatoes and the other slice of bread with a generous pinch of salt and pepper.

Sliced tomato sandwich held close to the camera.

Place the other slice of bread on top and slice the sandwich in half (horizontal or diagonal, you do you). Enjoy the sandwich immediately. …And then make a second one. ;)

Side view of a sliced and stacked tomato sandwich.

Seriously. My mouth is watering just looking at that. 🤤

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Tuna Pasta Salad

This classic tuna pasta salad is the perfect dish for a summer picnic or potluck. It’s easy to make, cool, creamy, and perfect for a crowd.

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It’s officially H.O.T. outside, so I’m leaning into my cold pasta salads hard these days! This Tuna Pasta Salad is an easy classic that is cool, creamy, inexpensive, and it keeps me full. This one is seriously simple and it’s the perfect salad for summer BBQs, potlucks, to pack for lunches, or to have a quick cold meal when you’re sweating it out in this heat. So bookmark it now because you’ll want to revisit it, again and again, this summer!

Close up overhead view of a bowl full of tuna pasta salad.

What’s In Tuna Pasta Salad

This classic recipe is really simple and most of the ingredients are fairly inexpensive. To make this tuna pasta salad you’ll need:

  • Pasta – We used small shells, but you can use any small shape. Bowtie pasta is another great option.
  • Tuna – Canned tuna is probably the most expensive ingredient in this pasta salad, but a little goes a long way! We used two 5oz. cans to span all six servings. If you want to reduce the price even further, drop down to one can and increase the amount of peas for more protein!
  • Onion – A little onion adds depth of flavor and a lot of great crunch to this salad. We used red onion for color, but a sweet onion also works!
  • Dressing – This tuna salad uses a super simple homemade dressing made with mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and dried dill. Simple but good!

what Kind of Tuna to Use

I prefer chunk light tuna for this pasta salad because it’s a good balance between affordable and having a good texture for the salad. Tuna labeled “solid” will have larger prettier pieces, but usually fetches a higher price. Albicore or white tuna will have a lighter color and a milder flavor. …but I kind of like the stronger taste of tuna for this salad!

Variations on Tuna Pasta Salad

Tuna pasta salad has been a classic for decades and everyone makes it a little different. If you want to branch out from the recipe below, here are some other ingredients you can try:

  • Add diced cheddar for more richness
  • Substitute half of the mayonnaise with plain Greek yogurt for a slightly lighter flavor
  • Substitute the onion with shallots for a milder onion flavor
  • Add diced celery for more crunch
  • Add diced hard-boiled egg for more inexpensive protein
  • Add a couple tablespoons of dill or sweet relish for more flavor
  • Try canned salmon in place of the tuna
  • Add fresh herbs (dill, parsley, tarragon, green onion)

Can You Make Tuna Pasta Salad Ahead?

You can make tuna pasta salad ahead of time, which can be helpful for potlucks and BBQs, but it’s definitely best when eaten on the same day it’s prepared. I would advise against making it more than one day ahead because it will begin to dry out the longer it stays in the refrigerator. Luckily, this pasta salad is a snap to make, so it’s easy to whip up on the day of!

Close up side view of a bowl full of tuna pasta salad.
Close up side view of a bowl full of tuna pasta salad.
Print

Tuna Pasta Salad with Peas

This classic tuna pasta salad is the perfect dish for a summer picnic or potluck. It's easy to make, cool, creamy, and perfect for a crowd.
Course Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Total Cost $4.83 recipe / $0.81 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 about 1 cup each
Calories 478kcal

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise $0.92
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice $0.12
  • 1/4 tsp dried dill $0.03
  • ¾ tsp salt $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion $0.11
  • 1 cup frozen peas $0.47
  • 12 oz. mini shell pasta $1.13
  • 2 5oz. cans chunk light tuna, drained $1.98

Instructions

  • Make the dressing first. Combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, dill, salt, and pepper in a bowl, then set the dressing aside.
  • Finely dice the red onion and measure out the frozen peas.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add the pasta and continue to boil until it's almost fully tender (about 5-6 minutes), then add the frozen peas. Continue to cook the pasta and peas together for the last minute or two, or until the pasta is fully tender. Drain the pasta and peas well in a colander, allowing them to cool.
  • Once the pasta and peas are well drained and mostly cooled, transfer them to a large bowl. Add the diced red onion, drained tuna, and prepared dressing. Fold the ingredients together until everything is evenly combined and coated in dressing. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 478kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 22g | Sodium: 598mg | Fiber: 3g

 

How to Make Tuna Pasta Salad – Step By Step Photos

Ingredients for tuna pasta salad dressing in a bowl, not stirred together.

Make the dressing first. Combine ¾ cup mayonnaise, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, ¾ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper, and ¼ tsp dried dill. Stir everything together, then set the dressing aside.

Diced red onion and a measuring cup full of frozen peas.

Finely dice about ½ cup of red onion. Measure 1 cup of frozen peas.

Boiled pasta and peas in a pot full of water.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add 12 oz. small shell pasta (or any other small shape) and boil just until tender. When the pasta is almost cooked through, add the frozen peas and let them cook with the pasta for the last two minutes. Drain the pasta and peas well in a colander, allowing them to cool.

Ingredients for tuna pasta salad being combined in a bowl.

When the pasta and peas have drained well and cooled down (slightly warm is okay), add them to a large bowl with two drained 5oz. cans of tuna, the diced red onion, and the prepared dressing.

Finished tuna pasta salad in a bowl.

Gently fold the ingredients together until everything is evenly mixed and coated in dressing.

Close up side view of a bowl full of tuna pasta salad.

Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat!

The post Tuna Pasta Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

BLT Pasta Salad

This BLT pasta salad recipe is the perfect summer meal! It’s easy to make, full of flavor, and perfect for a potluck or picnic.

The post BLT Pasta Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

One of my favorite things about summer is a big ol’ juicy BLT sandwich. But until those gorgeous summer tomatoes come in, I’ll be enjoying that BLT flavor in salad form. This BLT Pasta Salad gives me all that creamy, tomatoey, balcony flavor I love but in a cold and refreshing pasta salad form. Plus, it’s great for all your summer BBQs, picnics, and potlucks. So if you haven’t tried this classic summer pasta salad, put it on your list!

Overhead view of a bowl full of BLT pasta salad.

What’s In BLT Pasta Salad?

Okay, just in case you’ve never experienced the beautiful simplicity of a BLT sandwich, let’s start there. “BLT” stands for “bacon lettuce tomato”. A BLT sandwich is just crispy bacon, fresh lettuce, and sliced tomatoes between two slices of bread, slathered with mayonnaise. It’s simple and perfect.

For BLT Pasta Salad we keep the core flavors the same, but we flesh it out just a bit. I think lettuce is a bit too delicate for pasta salad, so I used fresh spinach instead (I think it holds up better and has better color and texture for a pasta salad). To give the dressing a little more flavor than just plain mayo, we add a little ranch dressing, lemon juice for zing, and some salt and pepper. And then finally, I added a little diced red onion to round out the flavor and texture of the salad. It’s still super simple and totally delish!

What Kind of Pasta to Use

You can use any short pasta shape for this recipe, like rotini, small shells, macaroni, orecchiette, cavatappi, or farfalle (bowtie). I went for bowtie because I thought the shape was super cute in this salad!

How Long Does it Last?

This BLT Pasta Salad benefits from a little time in the fridge (you’ll want it to sit for 10-15 minutes for the best flavor), but it will eventually dry out, so you’ll want to make it the same day if you’re serving it to guests. I ate the leftovers for two days after I originally made the salad and while it was still amazing the next day, it did get a little dry by day two. So for best results, make this salad the same day you plan to serve it and try to eat up those leftovers within a day or so!

Close up side view of a bowl of BLT pasta.
Close up side view of a bowl of BLT pasta.
Print

BLT Pasta Salad

This BLT pasta salad recipe is the perfect summer meal! It's easy to make, full of flavor, and perfect for a potluck or picnic.
Course Lunch, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Total Cost $7.39 recipe / $0.92 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8 1 cup each
Calories 466kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. bacon $2.30
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise $0.92
  • 1/4 cup ranch dressing $0.30
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice $0.12
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper $0.02
  • 12 oz. bowtie pasta* $1.25
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes $1.89
  • 1/4 red onion $0.11
  • 2 cups fresh spinach (packed) $0.46

Instructions

  • Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until brown and crispy. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and cool. Once cooled, chop or crumble the bacon into smaller pieces.
  • While the bacon is cooking, prepare the dressing. Stir together the mayonnaise, ranch dressing, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Set the dressing aside.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook until tender (7-8 minutes). Drain the pasta in a colander, rinse it briefly with cool water to cool it down, then let it drain very well.
  • While the pasta is cooking and draining, prepare the vegetables. Slice the grape tomatoes in half, finely dice the red onion, and roughly chop the spinach.
  • Once the pasta is cooled and drained, add it to a large bowl along with the spinach, tomatoes, onions, and dressing. Stir everything together until evenly combined and coated in dressing. Let the pasta sit for 10-15 minutes for the flavors to blend, then stir once more and serve.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 466kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 31g | Sodium: 546mg | Fiber: 2g

How to Make BLT Pasta Salad – Step by Step Photos

Cooked bacon in a skillet.

Begin by cooking 8oz. of bacon in a skillet over medium heat until it is brown and crispy. Remove the bacon from the skillet and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Once cooled, chop or crumble the bacon into smaller pieces.

Dressing ingredients in a bowl, not stirred together.

While the bacon is cooking, make the salad dressing. Combine ¾ cup mayonnaise, ¼ cup ranch dressing, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper. Set the dressing aside.

Cooked bowtie pasta in the pot being lifted by a pasta fork.

Add a tablespoon of salt to a large pot of water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add 12oz. bowtie pasta and continue to boil until the pasta is tender (7-8 minutes). drain the pasta in a colander. Give it a quick rinse with cool water to cool it off, then let it drain very well.

Sliced grape tomatoes and diced red onion on a cutting board.

While the pasta is cooking and draining, slice one pint of grape tomatoes in half and finely dice ¼ of a red onion (about ⅓ cup diced).

Chopped spinach on a cutting board.

Roughly chop 2 packed cups of fresh spinach into bite-sized pieces.

Ingredients for BLT pasta salad being combined in a bowl.

Once the pasta is cooled and well drained, transfer it to a large bowl and add the spinach, tomatoes, onions, and dressing.

BLT pasta salad after the ingredients are stirred together.

Stir until everything is evenly combined and coated in dressing. Let the salad sit for about 10 minutes for the flavors to blend a little more, then give it one more stir before serving.

Close up overhead view of BLT pasta salad in a bowl.

So summery!

The post BLT Pasta Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.


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Best Potato Salad

Here’s how to make the best potato salad recipe! This American-style version is creamy and classic: just like Grandma’s. There…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Here’s how to make the best potato salad recipe! This American-style version is creamy and classic: just like Grandma’s.

Potato Salad recipe

There are lots of ways to make potato salad: German or French, loaded with dill, or tossed in a tangy vinaigrette. But the type that holds our hearts is that classic American potato salad recipe! You know, the kind that’s creamy and tangy sweet, loaded with crunchy onions and pickles? It’s that pale yellow color that betrays that it’s swirled with mayo and mustard, and it’s destined for stardom at your next cookout or picnic. Here’s our best potato salad recipe!

Ingredients for this potato salad recipe

Here’s how to make potato salad the American way! Gather up your bottles of mayonnaise, mustard, and pickle relish for this one. This festival of condiments really does make for the best pop of flavor! This is our spin on Grandma’s standard, with a few tweaks like fresh dill for an herbaceous pop. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Yukon gold potatoes: the variety here is important! They have a lightly sweet flavor and keep their shape when boiled. Do not substitute red skinned or russet potatoes!
  • White wine vinegar
  • Celery stalks
  • Green onions
  • Red onion
  • Fresh dill
  • Sweet pickle relish (or dill pickles)
  • Mayonnaise
  • Sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
  • Yellow mustard and Dijon mustard
  • Celery seed
Best Potato salad

How to make potato salad

The trickiest part of how to make potato salad? Boiling the potatoes! Other than that, it’s a simple matter of chopping and stirring. Critics argue over whether to peel and chop before or after boiling. Here’s what we recommend:

  • Quarter the potatoes, then place them in a pot of cold water. Leave the skins on: they’ll come off easily later.
  • Boil for 8 to 15 minutes, until fork tender. Drain and rinse them under cold water.
  • Pop off the skins with your fingers, then dice. When they’re cool enough to touch, the skins come off easily after boiling.
  • Sprinkle the potatoes with vinegar and salt. This trick from Julia Child is also part of our French Potato Salad recipe. It infuses the potatoes with tangy flavor mixing them into the salad.
  • Mix all salad ingredients together, then chill 2 hours. This salad tastes great right away, but it’s best when it’s cold. See the recipe below for the ingredient list. If possible, refrigerate it for a few hours before serving.

Tips and ingredient notes

The method is simple, but it does take a bit of time to prepare this potato salad recipe. But don’t worry: it’s absolutely worth the effort in the end! Here are a few notes about the process:

  • Use sweet pickle relish for a classic flavor, or substitute dill pickles. Sweet pickle relish adds just the right sweetness to the overall mixture. But chopped dill pickles work too: they intensify the savory notes.
  • Sour cream pairs perfectly with mayo, or swap in Greek yogurt. Many salads use only mayo in the dressing. Adding Greek yogurt or sour cream in combination with it lightens the flavor. Greek yogurt also makes less calories and adds a slight tang.
  • Dijon mustard adds complexity. Yellow mustard is key to this classic recipe, but we love it with a little Dijon mustard in combination. We regularly stock both in our fridge. If you don’t, using 100% yellow mustard works too.
How to make potato salad

Storage info

This potato salad recipe just gets better over time! You can make a batch and store it in the refrigerator for days. Here are best practices when it comes to storage:

  • How long does potato salad last refrigerated? Up to 5 days. The flavor gets even better over time.
  • How long does potato salad last outside? Up to 1 hour. If serving outdoors, you can leave it unrefrigerated up to 1 hour, then return it to an ice-packed cooler.
  • How long does potato salad last at room temperature? Up to 2 hours. But try to minimize the time sitting at room temperature if possible.
  • Can you freeze potato salad? Freezing is not recommended because of the mayonnaise. Mayo doesn’t freeze well and can separate after freezing, and the potatoes can become discolored. Celery also doesn’t freeze well. The best way to extend the life is keeping it in the refrigerator.

Potato salad variations

Want to try another spin on this classic recipe? Here are a few variations that can compete with this tasty recipe:

This potato salad recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

Print
Potato Salad

Best Potato Salad


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8

Description

Here’s how to make the best potato salad recipe! This American-style version is creamy and classic: just like Grandma’s.


Ingredients

  • 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes*
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, divided
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3 large celery stalks
  • 5 green onions, thinly sliced (both white and green portions)
  • ¼ cup red onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • ½ cup sweet pickle relish (or chopped dill pickles)
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
  • 3 tablespoons yellow mustard (or 2 yellow and 1 tablespoon Dijon)
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed

Instructions

  1. Boil the potatoes: Quarter the potatoes, keeping the skins on. Place them in a large saucepan filled with cold water. Bring it to a boil and cook for 8 to 12 minutes until tender when pricked with a fork. Drain and rinse the potatoes under cold water. Allow to cool slightly, then peel the skins off with your fingers and cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Place the potatoes into a bowl and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the white wine vinegar and ½ teaspoon of the kosher salt. Mix and let stand 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prep the salad: Slice the celery stalks in half lengthwise, then thinly slice them. Thinly slice the green onions. Mince the red onion. Chop the dill.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the mayonnaise, Greek yogurt or sour cream, yellow mustard, Dijon mustard, celery seed, 1 tablespoon of the white wine vinegar, ¾ of the teaspoon kosher salt, and plenty of fresh ground pepper. Add the potatoes, celery, green onion, red onion, and sweet pickle relish and stir until fully combined. For best results, chill 2 hours before serving. Stores 5 days refrigerated.

Notes

*The variety here is important: use Yukon gold or gold potatoes for best results.

  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Boiled
  • Cuisine: Salad
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Potato salad, potato salad recipe, best potato salad recipe, how to make potato salad

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.