Bratwurst and Sauerkraut

Juicy bratwurst simmering in tangy sauerkraut, sweet apples, onions, and broth is an easy and flavorful way to enjoy this German sausage.

The post Bratwurst and Sauerkraut appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I don’t know if I’ve told you yet, but I’m obsessed with bratwurst. Every time I eat it, it doesn’t matter how often I eat it, I swear it’s the best thing I’ve ever tasted. I also love sauerkraut. So I don’t know why it took me so long to make Bratwurst and Sauerkraut together. It’s a classic! But now that I have, I’m probably going to be making it constantly. It’s really easy, and the leftovers are so good, so it’s an instant winner in my book.

Bratwurst and Sauerkraut on two plates, one with buns and one with mashed potatoes

What is Bratwurst?

Bratwurst is a fresh, German-style sausage made with pork, and sometimes veal or beef. It’s incredibly juicy and flavorful, and tastes great whether cooked over an open grill, roasted in the oven, or cooked in a skillet.

In Germany, you’ll find several different types of bratwurst depending on the region, but in the U.S. you’ll usually either find regular bratwurst or beer bratwurst (or “beer brats” for short). Both types will work fine in this recipe.

You’ll find bratwurst in the fresh meat department of your grocery store, near Italian sausage. Johnsonville brats are pretty common in most major grocery stores, but I also enjoy ALDI’s store brand bratwurst.

What Kind of Sauerkraut Should I Use?

I used a German-style sauerkraut purchased in a jar (ALDI’s Deutsche Küche brand), but you could use fresh refrigerated sauerkraut as well. Flavored sauerkraut, like garlic or jalapeño, would also be really awesome in this dish. The only type of sauerkraut that I would suggest avoiding is red cabbage sauerkraut only because the color would likely bleed throughout and turn everything kind of blue-ish.

How to Serve Bratwurst and Sauerkraut

There are two main ways that I would serve bratwurst in sauerkraut. First, in toasted buns with a delicious grainy mustard, and maybe some German Potato Salad on the side. Second, on a plate with the sauerkraut as a bed and a side of either mashed potatoes or potato salad. And while you’re at it, grab a cold German Beer to go with the meal! :)

Bratwurst and sauerkraut in a skillet with beer, potatoes, and mustard on the sides
Bratwurst and sauerkraut in a skillet with beer, potatoes, and mustard on the sides

Bratwurst and Sauerkraut

Juicy bratwurst simmering in tangy sauerkraut, sweet apples, onions, and broth is an easy and flavorful way to enjoy this German sausage.
Total Cost $6.26 recipe / $1.25 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 440kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.28
  • 1 apple* $0.41
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 19 oz. bratwurst (5 links) $3.49
  • 24 oz. sauerkraut $1.69
  • 1/4 tsp caraway seeds (optional) $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp paprika $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper $0.02
  • 1 cup chicken broth $0.13

Instructions

  • Slice the onion and the apple, and mince the garlic.
  • Add the cooking oil to a large deep skillet or wide pot. Heat over medium. When the pan and oil are hot, add the bratwurst. Cook on each side until well browned (it does not need to be cooked through at this point). Remove the browned bratwurst to a clean plate.
  • Add the sliced onions, apples, and garlic to the pan and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft.
  • Drain the sauerkraut and add it to the skillet, along with the caraway seeds, paprika, pepper, and chicken broth. Stir to combine with the apples and onions. Nestle the browned bratwurst down into the sauerkraut.
  • Place a lid on the pan and allow the broth to come up to a simmer. Lower the heat slightly and continue to simmer the bratwurst in the sauerkraut and broth for 20 minutes, or until the bratwurst is cooked through. Serve hot.

Notes

*Use a sweet variety of apples to compliment the sour sauerkraut. I used a Gala apple.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 440kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 35g | Sodium: 1984mg | Fiber: 5g
Bratwurst and sauerkraut on a plate with mashed potatoes and mustard

How to Make Bratwurst and Sauerkraut – Step by Step Photos

Sliced onion and apple on a cutting board

Slice one yellow onion and one apple, and mince two cloves of garlic. Use a sweet variety apple, like Gala or Fuji.

Browned bratwurst in a skillet

Add a tablespoon of cooking oil to a deep skillet or wide pot and heat over medium. Once hot, add five links of bratwurst (about 19oz.) and cook on both sides until well browned. The bratwurst does not need to be cooked through at this point. Remove the sausage to a clean plate.

onions and apples added to the skillet

Add the onions, apples, and garlic to the skillet.

sautéed onion, apple, and garlic in the skillet

Sauté the onions, apples, and garlic over medium for about five minutes, or until the onions are soft.

sauerkraut, spices, and broth added to the skillet

Drain the sauerkraut and add it to the skillet along with ¼ tsp caraway seeds, ¼ tsp paprika, ¼ tsp pepper, and 1 cup chicken broth. Stir to combine and dissolve any browned bits off the bottom of the skillet.

bratwurst added back to the skillet

Add the Bratwurst back to the skillet and nestle it down into the sauerkraut. Place a lid on the skillet and allow the broth to come to a simmer. Once simmering, lower the heat slightly and continue to simmer the bratwurst for about 20 minutes, or until it is cooked through.

bratwurst and sauerkraut on plates with beer on the sides

Serve hot with a bun or without, with some grainy mustard and a cold beer!

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Easy Pumpkin Chili

Pumpkin chili is hearty but light and packed with fiber and other nutrients. It’s the perfect warm and cozy bowl of fall flavors.

The post Easy Pumpkin Chili appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I love all things pumpkin, and I’m not sorry about it. I also love just about every iteration of chili that is out there (see my Homemade Chili recipe and the long list of variations you can make). So it’s only fitting that I combined my two fall loves. Adding pumpkin is a super easy way to add a dose of nutrients to your pot of chili without changing that classic chili feel. The flavor and texture blend seamlessly into a pot of classic chili and even kind of makes it feel a tad lighter, so I’m totally into it!

A bowl of pumpkin chili with cheese and tortilla chips

What Does Pumpkin Chili Taste Like?

Okay, if you’re looking at me with a side-eye over the idea of putting pumpkin into your chili, just hear me out. The flavor difference is subtle. It makes the chili a little more saucy and rich, without being overly heavy. The pumpkin adds a little earthiness and a super subtle sweetness, which is nice because I usually add a little bit of brown sugar to my chili, but I was able to skip that with the pumpkin. And since I like to load up my chili with a lot of spices (see my homemade chili seasoning), the flavor of the pumpkin is not super noticeable.

And I think this is a good time to mention that you don’t want to taste your chili until it has simmered on the stove a while. You might be tempted to give it a taste right after you add everything to the pot, but at that point, it does not taste good. The chili needs time to do its thing. The spices need to bloom, the flavors need to cook down and combine. Give it time, and then taste. Be patient!

Make it Vegetarian or Vegan

It’s super easy to make your pumpkin chili vegetarian or vegan. Just swap out the ground beef for an extra can of beans, cooked lentils, some crumbled tempeh, or your favorite ground beef substitute. Most of the flavor in this chili comes from the chili seasoning, tomatoes, and other vegetables, so you can safely substitute the beef without too much of an effect.

Use a Different Meat

You can also swap the ground beef out for a different kind of ground meat. Ground turkey is very popular for pumpkin turkey because it has a lighter flavor to match the lighter flavor of the pumpkin, but I also think that some Mexican chorizo would be awesome. Those smoky spices would pair perfectly with the flavor of the pumpkin.

Is Pumpkin Chili Spicy?

The recipe, as written below, is only as spicy as the chili powder you use. Many grocery store chili powders tend to be quite mild, but some brands can be spicy. So, if you’re sensitive to heat, make sure you use a chili powder that is mild. I find that McCormick brand chili powder is pretty mild.

If you want to add more heat to your pumpkin chili, feel free to dice up a jalapeño and sautéing that with the onion and garlic in the beginning. You can also add some chipotle powder to the chili seasoning, or dice up a chipotle pepper in adobo sauce and stir that into the chili. There are a lot of options!

Overhead view of a pot of pumpkin chili
Overhead view of a bowl of pumpkin chili with cheese and tortilla chips

Easy Pumpkin Chili

Pumpkin chili is hearty but light and packed with fiber and other nutrients. It's the perfect warm and cozy bowl of fall flavors.
Total Cost $9.73 recipe / $1.62 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 1.25 cups each
Calories 431kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Chili

  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 yellow onion $0.28
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 1 lb. ground beef $5.35
  • 1 15oz. can kidney beans, drained $0.59
  • 1 15oz. can black beans, drained $0.55
  • 1 15oz. can petite diced tomatoes $0.69
  • 1 15oz. can pumpkin purée $1.05
  • 1/2 6oz. can tomato paste (5 Tbsp) $0.25
  • 2 cups water $0.00

Chili Seasoning*

  • 1 Tbsp chili powder $0.30
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika $0.05
  • 1 tsp ground cumin $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1 tsp salt $0.02

Instructions

  • Mince the garlic and dice the onion. Add the garlic, onion, and olive oil to a large pot. Sauté the onion and garlic over medium heat until the onions are tender (about 5 minutes).
  • Add the ground beef and continue to cook until the beef is browned and cooked through.
  • Add the kidney beans (drained), black beans (drained), diced tomatoes (with juices), puréed pumpkin, tomato paste, water, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, and salt to the pot. Stir to combine.
  • Place a lid on top of the pot and allow the chili to come up to a simmer, stirring occastionally. Allow the chili to simmer for 30 minutes.
  • After simmering for 30 minutes, give the chili a taste and add salt if needed. Serve hot with your favorite toppings (sour cream, cheese, green onion, corn chips, etc.)

Notes

*You can use your own store-bought chili seasoning or your favorite mix of chili herbs and spices.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.25cup | Calories: 431kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 21g | Sodium: 1131mg | Fiber: 14g
A spoon lifting a bite of pumpkin chili with melted cheese stretching from the bowl

How to Make Pumpkin Chili – Step by Step Photos

diced onion and minced garlic in a pot with olive oil

Dice one yellow onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Add the onion and garlic to a large pot with 2 Tbsp olive oil and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft (about 5 minutes).

browned ground beef in the pot with onion and garlic

Add one pound ground beef and continue to sauté until the beef is cooked through.

remaining chili ingredients added to the pot, unstirred.

Add the remaining ingredients to the pot: 1 15oz. can black beans (drained), 1 15oz. can kidney beans (drained), 1 15oz. can petite diced tomatoes (with juices), 1 15oz. can pumpkin purée, ½ of a 6oz. can tomato paste, 2 cups water, ½ tsp smoked paprika, 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp onion powder, 1 tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Stir until everything is well combined.

simmered chili in a pot with a spoon

Place a lid on the pot and allow the chili to come up to a simmer. Let the chili simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. After simmering 30 minutes, give the chili a taste and add salt if needed (I did not add any extra).

Overhead view of a bowl of pumpkin chili with cheese and tortilla chips

Serve hot with your favorite toppings! I especially like something creamy on my bowl, whether that is cheese, avocado, or sour cream. :)

Overhead view of a pot of pumpkin chili with toppings on the sides

The post Easy Pumpkin Chili appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken is tender, juicy, tangy, and rich all at the same time! Perfect for sandwiches, nachos, salads, pizza, and more.

The post Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken appeared first on Budget Bytes.

This Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken recipe was one of the top things I was looking forward to making once I figured out the formula for my Homemade Ranch Seasoning. The slow-cooked chicken is tender, spicy, tangy, and rich all at the same time and there are a hundred different ways you can use it! Sandwiches, dips, salads, pizza, and more. I’ve got a full list of how to use this insanely easy and delish shredded buffalo chicken below, so don’t miss it! I’m sure this is something you’ll want to make over and over again throughout football season and the holidays.

Shredded buffalo chicken in a slow cooker with tongs

What is Buffalo Sauce?

If you’re unfamiliar with this American classic, Buffalo Sauce is basically a combination of hot sauce (traditionally Frank’s Red Hot Sauce) and butter, which creates a super tangy, spicy, and slightly rich sauce that is used to coat fried chicken, among other things. For this slow cooker buffalo chicken, we’ve gone one step further and added ranch seasoning mix, which is a super tasty combination of buttermilk powder, herbs, and spices. The ranch seasoning adds a huge burst of flavor to the sauce and makes it even a little bit more creamy. It’s just to die for!

What Kind of Hot Sauce to Use

As mentioned above, buffalo sauce is usually made with Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, but you can use any similar vinegar-based cayenne flavored hot sauce for this recipe. I used the ALDI version of Frank’s and it was great!

Can I Substitute the Ranch Mix?

The ranch seasoning mix really brings a lot of flavor to this sauce, so I would avoid skipping it if possible. If you don’t have the ingredients to make your own ranch seasoning mix you can definitely use one packet of store-bought ranch seasoning in place of the ingredients listed below. Or, if you want to use your own herbs and spices but just don’t have the buttermilk powder, that will still taste really good, just slightly less rich.

How to Use Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

Okay, here’s the fun part. How do you use this delicious shredded buffalo chicken? SO MANY WAYS. Here are some ideas:

  • As a buffalo chicken sandwich or wrap: bun or tortilla, coleslaw, pickles, ranch dressing
  • On nachos: on tortilla chips with lettuce, shredded carrot, and a drizzle of ranch dressing
  • Make a buffalo chicken dip: stir cream cheese into the shredded chicken until melted for a super creamy dip
  • In a quesadilla: fill a tortilla with the chicken and shredded Monterey jack cheese, then toast in a skillet
  • On a salad: pile the chicken onto crisp iceberg, top with chopped celery, shredded carrots, and blue cheese dressing
  • Pizza: add it to a pizza with a white sauce and top with a little mozzarella and maybe a drizzle of ranch after baking

My mouth is totally watering just typing all of that out! This stuff is seriously so good.

Close up side view of shredded buffalo chicken in the slow cooker with tongs
Close up side view of shredded buffalo chicken in the slow cooker with tongs

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken is tender, juicy, tangy, and rich all at the same time! Perfect for sandwiches, nachos, salads, pizza, and more.
Total Cost $12.65 recipe / $1.58 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings 8 ½ cup each
Calories 191kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

Ranch Seasoning*

  • 2 Tbsp buttermilk powder $0.15
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp dried dill $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp lemon pepper $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp sugar $0.01
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.01

Buffalo Chicken

  • 12 oz. hot sauce $2.19
  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts $9.53
  • 4 Tbsp butter $0.40

Instructions

  • Combine the ranch seasoning (buttermilk powder, parsley, dill, onion powder, garlic powder, lemon pepper, sugar, salt, and pepper) and hot sauce in a bowl.
  • Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of a 3 quart or larger slow cooker. Cut the butter into chunks and place the butter on top of the chicken. Pour the hot sauce mixture over the chicken and butter.
  • Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low heat for four hours. After four hours, use two forks to shred the chicken (if it's not tender enough to shred yet, let it cook a little longer).
  • Serve the shredded chicken and sauce on sandwiches, in quesadillas, on top of nachos or salads, or as a dip for crackers and chips.

Notes

*You can use a store-bought packet of ranch seasoning instead of the homemade mix, if needed.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 191kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 1350mg | Fiber: 1g
tongs holding a scoop of buffalo chicken over the slow cooker

How to Make Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken – Step by Step Photos

ranch seasoning being poured into a bowl of hot sauce

Combine the ingredients for the ranch seasoning (2 Tbsp buttermilk powder, ½ tsp dried parsley, ¼ tsp dried dill, ¼ tsp onion powder, ⅛ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp lemon pepper, ⅛ tsp sugar, ⅛ tsp salt, ⅛ tsp pepper) with one 12 oz. bottle of vinegar-based hot sauce.

Chicken and butter in the slow cooker

Place about 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast in the bottom of a slow cooker. Cut 4 Tbsp butter into chunks and place them on top of the chicken.

Hot sauce mixture being poured over the chicken in the slow cooker

Pour the hot sauce mixture over the chicken and butter in the slow cooker.

Cooked buffalo chicken in the slow cooker

Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook the chicken on low heat for four hours.

two forks shredding the chicken in the slow cooker

After four hours the chicken should be tender and easily shreddable using two forks (if it’s not, let it cook another 30 minutes).

shredded chicken in buffalo sauce in the slow cooker

Fully shred the chicken, then enjoy!

A buffalo chicken sandwich with coleslaw
Shown on a bun with Creamy Coleslaw.

The post Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Classic Homemade Meatloaf

This classic meatloaf recipe is just like the traditional meatloaf grandma used to make. Tender and juicy with the perfect tomato glaze!

The post Classic Homemade Meatloaf appeared first on Budget Bytes.

The concept of meatloaf kind of makes me raise an eyebrow because, well, it’s a loaf of meat. But when it’s executed well it’s just so good. So filling, so cozy, and so delicious that I look forward to eating the leftovers over the next few days (hello meatloaf sandwich, I’m looking at you). This Classic Homemade Meatloaf recipe is the traditional meatloaf that we all know and love—tender, juicy, full of flavor, and with the perfectly tangy tomato glaze on top. It’s so perfect when paired with mashed potatoes and green beans. Like a plate of pure comfort!

Side view of sliced meatloaf on a platter, side dishes in the background

The Secret to Good Meatloaf

Milk. The secret to good meatloaf is milk. It sounds weird, but it makes a HUGE difference. Milk hydrates the breadcrumbs that are used as a binder in meatloaf, which keeps the loaf super moist and tender.

During the testing phase for this recipe, I made one without the milk just to see if really made a difference and I’m here to say that the difference was ENORMOUS. The meatloaf without milk was dense, a little tough, and notably drier than the meatloaf made with milk. So don’t skip it! P.S. I’m sure that non-dairy milk would have the same effect.

Loaf Pan or Baking Sheet?

There are two camps when it comes to meatloaf: baking in a loaf pan or on a baking sheet. I’m team baking sheet, but I think ultimately it’s going to boil down to personal preference. I find that loaf pans don’t allow for quite enough evaporation so the bottom can get a little soupy. Baking sheets allow for a little more evaporation, leaving the meatloaf perfectly juicy and flavorful.

But if shaping is difficult for you or you want those perfect square edges, you might prefer a loaf pan.

Two slices of meatloaf on a plate with mashed potatoes and green beans

How to Keep Meatloaf from Falling Apart

There are a couple of tricks to making a meatloaf that holds together in nice slices. Here are a few tips:

  • Use a recipe that has the right amount of binders (egg and breadcrumbs). This is essentially the glue that holds the meat together.
  • Use ground beef with a finer grind, or that has been double ground. Really coarse ground beef won’t mix as thoroughly with the binders and may crumble when sliced.
  • Mince the onion as finely as possible. Large chunks of onion will prevent the loaf from holding together as well.

What to Serve with Meatloaf

My favorite pairing for meatloaf is what I have pictured here, Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Green Beans. It’s so simple, classic, and balanced with the meatloaf and its tangy glaze. But here are some other good side dishes for meatloaf:

Overhead view of sliced meatloaf on a platter
Side view of sliced meatloaf on a platter

Classic Meatloaf

This classic meatloaf recipe is just like the traditional meatloaf grandma used to make. Tender and juicy with the perfect tomato glaze!
Total Cost $9.56 recipe / $0.96 per slice
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 10 slices
Calories 204kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Meatloaf

  • 1 large egg $0.21
  • 1/3 cup milk $0.14
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce $0.02
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs $0.32
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1/2 cup minced onion $0.14
  • 1.5 lbs. ground beef (85/15) $8.03

Glaze

  • 1/2 cup ketchup $0.40
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce $0.06
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard $0.03

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a small bowl whisk together the egg, milk, and Worcestershire sauce. In a separate small bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mince the onion.
  • Add the ground beef, egg mixture, breadcrumb mixture, and minced onion to a large bowl. Use your hands to mix the ingredients together until evenly combined. Avoid over mixing.
  • Place the meatloaf mixture on a rimmed baking dish and shape it into a loaf that is approximately 4-inches wide, 8-inches long, and 2-inches tall.
  • In a separate small bowl, stir together the glaze ingredients (ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard). Spread the glaze evenly over the top and sides of the meatloaf.
  • Bake the meatloaf for 50-55 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF. Allow the meatloaf to rest for 5-10 minutes after baking, then slice and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 204kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 11g | Sodium: 465mg | Fiber: 1g

How to Make Classic Meatloaf – Step by Step Photos

Wet and dry ingredients for meatloaf in separate bowls

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Start by pre-mixing some of the ingredients for the meatloaf so there will be less mixing required for the meat (overmixing the meat can make meatloaf tough). In a small bowl, whisk together ⅓ cup milk, one large egg, and 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce. In a separate bowl, stir together ½ cup breadcrumbs, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt.

minced onion on a cutting board

Mince about a ½ cup onion. Make sure to chop or mince the onion as finely as possible. Chunky onion can make the meatloaf fall apart more easily.

meatloaf mixture in a bowl

Add the milk mixture, breadcrumb mixture, and minced onion to 1.5 lbs. ground beef (85/15). Mix with your hands until everything is evenly combined. Avoid overmixing.

shaped meatloaf in baking dish

Place the meatloaf mixture on a rimmed baking sheet or baking dish and shape it into a loaf that is approximately 8″ long, 4″ wide, and 2″ tall.

meatloaf glaze ingredients in a bowl

Next, combine the ingredients for the glaze. Stir together ½ cup ketchup, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon yellow mustard, and 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce.

Glaze being spread over the meatloaf

Spread the glaze over the top and sides of the meatloaf.

baked meatloaf with a meat thermometer inside

Bake the meatloaf in the preheated 350ºF oven for 50-55 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF. Let the meatloaf rest for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

front view of a sliced meatloaf on a platter

The post Classic Homemade Meatloaf appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Bacon Ranch Turkey Burgers

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

The post Bacon Ranch Turkey Burgers appeared first on Budget Bytes.

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

an oval platter with turkey burgers on a tiled surface

It’s All About the Ranch Seasoning

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

Can I Use a Different Type of Meat?

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

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

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

Other Burger Topping Ideas

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

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

What to Serve with Ranch Burgers

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

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

Bacon Ranch Turkey Burgers

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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

Notes

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

Nutrition

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

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

cooked bacon strips on a paper towel lined plate

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

ground turkey in a bowl with ranch seasoning

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

Shaped turkey burger patties

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

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

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

Burgers being assembled on a platter with ingredients on the sides

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

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BBQ Meatballs with Cheese Grits

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

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

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

What to Serve with BBQ Meatballs and Cheese Grits

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

Can I Use a Different Meat?

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

What Kind of BBQ Sauce Do you Suggest?

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

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

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

BBQ Meatballs with Cheese Grits

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

Ingredients

BBQ Meatballs

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

Cheese Grits

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

Instructions

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

Nutrition

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

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

meatball ingredients in a bowl

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

raw, shaped meatballs on the baking sheet

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

Milk being poured into a pot with chicken broth

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

grits being poured into the pot with the milk and broth

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

butter and pepper added to the grits

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

Shredded cheddar being added to grits

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

Baked meatballs on the baking sheet

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

BBQ sauce coated meatballs in a bowl with a spatula

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

close up side view of bbq meatballs on cheese grits

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

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Curried Ground Beef with Peas and Potatoes

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

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

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

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

What Kind of Beef to Use

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

What Kind of Curry Powder to Use

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

How to Serve Curried Ground Beef with Peas and Potatoes

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

Can I Add More Vegetables?

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

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

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

Curried Ground Beef with Peas and Potatoes

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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

Nutrition

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

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

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

Minced garlic and grated ginger in a skillet with oil

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

Spices added to the skillet with garlic and ginger

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

Browned ground beef in the skillet

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

Cubed potato on a cutting board

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

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

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

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

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

Frozen peas being poured into the skillet

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

Finished curried beef with peas in the skillet with a spatula

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

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

Top with sliced green onions and enjoy!

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

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Baked Chicken Drumsticks

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other Seasoning Ideas for Baked Chicken Drumsticks

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

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

What to Serve with Chicken Drumsticks

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

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

Oven Baked Chicken Drumsticks

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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

Notes

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

Nutrition

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

How to Make Baked Chicken Drumsticks – Step by Step Photos

herbs and spices in a small bowl

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

Seasoning being sprinkled over chicken drumsticks

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

Seasoned chicken drumsticks in a bowl.

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

Raw seasoned chicken on a baking sheet

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

baked drumsticks on a baking sheet

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

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

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

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Chicken Salad with Apples

I’m kind of obsessed with chicken salad lately. It’s easy to prepare, super filling, and the perfect cold meal during these hot summer months. I especially love this chicken salad with apples because it’s full of sweet and crunchy apples, sweet-tart dried cranberries, and a simple homemade dressing that has a bright fresh flavor thanks […]

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I’m kind of obsessed with chicken salad lately. It’s easy to prepare, super filling, and the perfect cold meal during these hot summer months. I especially love this chicken salad with apples because it’s full of sweet and crunchy apples, sweet-tart dried cranberries, and a simple homemade dressing that has a bright fresh flavor thanks to the addition of yogurt. And as usual, there are plenty of ways you can add to or swap out ingredients in this chicken salad, so keep reading for ideas! 

Originally posted 10-10-2011, updated 8-5-2021.

Overhead view of a bowl of chicken salad with ingredients on the sides

What Kind of Cooked Chicken to Use

I cooked up some fresh chicken breasts just before making my chicken salad (see the step by step photos below the recipe), but rotisserie chicken is a really convenient option. If using rotisserie chicken, simply pull the meat from the bone, remove the skin, and give the meat a rough chop. You’ll need about 3 cups of chopped chicken for this recipe. You can also use canned chicken breast, if needed, although that option will have the least desirable texture and flavor of the three options.

What Else Can I Add to My Chicken Salad?

Chicken salad is so flexible. Nuts pair really well with the flavors of this salad, so you can try adding some almonds or chopped pecans. Finely diced celery is also nice for some extra crunch. And if you don’t have dried cranberries, golden raisins or fresh grapes also work really well in this recipe.

How Long Does This Chicken Salad Last?

Chicken salad is usually good in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, but it can vary depending on the freshness of your chicken and the conditions inside your refrigerator. This salad should not be frozen.

How to Serve Chicken Salad with Apples

You can eat chicken salad several different ways. The most common is as a chicken salad sandwich and you can do this on your favorite bread, on a croissant (like in the photos), or in a wrap. Chicken salad is also a great topper for a green salad, or you can serve it with crackers and a delicious dip (you might want to chop the chicken and apples a little smaller in that case).

Overhead view of chicken salad sandwiches with croissants

Love chicken salad? You might also like Curry Chicken Salad or Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad.

Side view of a bowl of chicken salad with apples, croissants in the background

Chicken Salad with Apples

This chicken salad is packed with sweet and crunchy apples, tart dried cranberries, and a light and creamy homemade dressing.
Total Cost $10.35 recipe / $2.59 serving
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 1 cup each
Calories 367kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken $7.97
  • 1 apple (1.5 cups chopped) $0.76
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion $0.20
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries $0.22
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise $0.53
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt $0.35
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard $0.18
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar $0.10
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Instructions

  • Chop the cooked chicken and the apple into small pieces. Finely dice the red onion.
  • Place the chicken, apple, onion, and dried cranberries in a large bowl.
  • Combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, Dijon, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Stir until smooth.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients in the bowl and stir until everything is coated. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 367kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 19g | Sodium: 395mg | Fiber: 2g

Side view of a bowl of chicken salad with apples, croissants in the background

How to Make Chicken Salad with Apples – Step By Step Photos

Cooked chicken breast in a skillet

You’ll need about 3 cups chopped cooked chicken for this recipe, so if you’re not using rotisserie chicken, you’ll want to cook some chicken first. I used two chicken breasts (about 1.3 lbs. total). I filleted each breast in half to make two thinner pieces, which helps them cook more quickly and evenly. Then I just cooked them in a skillet with a little oil over medium heat until they were golden brown on each side and cooked to an internal temperature of 165ºF.

Chopped chicken on a cutting board

Allow the chicken to cool for 5-10 minutes before chopping it into small pieces.

Chopped apple on a cutting board

Chop one apple into small pieces (about 1.5 cups). You’ll probably want to use a variety of apple that is sweet or sweet-tart, like a Fuji or Gala. Also finely dice about ¼ cup red onion.

Chicken salad ingredients in a bowl

Add the chopped chicken, diced apple, diced red onion, and ¼ cup dried cranberries to a bowl.

chicken salad dressing ingredients in a bowl

To make the salad dressing, combine ⅓ cup mayonnaise, ⅓ cup plain yogurt, 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper. Stir until evenly combined and smooth.

Dressing being poured over the chicken salad ingredients

Pour the prepared dressing over top of the salad ingredients.

Finished chicken salad with apples in a bowl

Stir until the salad ingredients are combined and coated with dressing. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Chicken salad sandwiches made with croissants on a wooden cutting board

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Chipotle Lime Chicken and Rice

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

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

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

What is Chipotle Powder?

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

Can I Use Bone-In Chicken?

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

Tomato Options

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

What to Serve with Chipotle Lime Chicken and Rice

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

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

Chipotle Lime Chicken and Rice

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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

Notes

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

Nutrition

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

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

Spices in a wooden bowl

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

Seasoned chicken breast on an orange cutting board

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

Cooked chicken in a skillet

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

Cooked onion in the skillet with spices

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

diced tomatoes, rice, and broth added to the skillet

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

Chicken added back to the skillet

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

Cooked chicken and rice in the skillet

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

Sliced chicken on top of stirred rice in the skillet

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

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

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

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

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

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