Cheesy Sausage Pasta

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

The post Cheesy Sausage Pasta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

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

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

Overhead view of a skillet full of cheesy sausage pasta.

What’s in Cheesy Sausage Pasta?

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

What Else Can I Add?

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

What Type of Pasta to Use

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

Can I Use a Different Cheese?

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

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

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

Cheesy Sausage Pasta

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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

Notes

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

Nutrition

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

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

How to Make Cheesy Sausage Pasta – Step By Step Photos

Diced onion and sliced sausage on a cutting board.

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

Browned sausage in a skilet.

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

Sautéed onions in the skillet with sausage.

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

Pasta, tomatoes, and broth added to the skillet.

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

Lid being placed on the skillet.

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

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

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

Wilted spinach stirred into the pasta.

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

Cheese being added on top of the pasta.

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

Finished pasta topped with sliced green onions.

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

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

Soooo cheeessyyyy. 🤤

Try These Other One Pot Pasta Recipes:

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

The post Cheesy Sausage Pasta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

One Pot Lemon Pepper Chicken with Orzo

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

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

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

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

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

What’s in Lemon Pepper Chicken with Orzo

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

Can I Use Boneless Chicken?

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

Tips for Cooking One Pot Pasta

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

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

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

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

One Pot Lemon Pepper Chicken with Orzo

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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

Notes

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

Nutrition

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

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

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

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

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

Browned chicken thighs in the skillet.

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

Garlic added to the skillet.

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

Broth being poured into the skillet.

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

Broth being whisked in the skillet to dissolve chicken drippings.

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

Parsley and orzo added to the skillet.

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

Chicken thighs added back to the pot.

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

Cooked orzo and chicken in the pot.

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

Finished lemon pepper chicken and orzo in the pan.

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

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

Try These Other One Pot Chicken Recipes:

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

Tuna Pasta with Olive Tapenade & Fresh Tomatoes

Tuna Pasta with Olive Tapenade & Fresh Tomatoes is a super fast, fresh pasta dish that is full of bright clean flavors.  An easy dinner ready in 30 minutes!  Healthy, quick and delicious! And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world ar…

Tuna Pasta with Olive Tapenade & Fresh Tomatoes is a super fast, fresh pasta dish that is full of bright clean and savory flavors.  An easy meal ready in 30 minutes!  Healthy, quick and delicious!
Tuna Pasta with Olive Tapenade & Fresh Tomatoes is a super fast, fresh pasta dish that is full of bright clean flavors.  An easy dinner ready in 30 minutes!  Healthy, quick and delicious! And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most...

Arroz Con Pollo (Puerto Rican Chicken and Rice)

Arroz con Pollo is a mouth-watering, budget-friendly, one-pot chicken and rice dish that’s perfect for a weeknight meal.

The post Arroz Con Pollo (Puerto Rican Chicken and Rice) appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Arroz con Pollo (Spanish for chicken and rice) is a mouth-watering, budget-friendly, one-pot dish, that only has about ten minutes of hands-on cooking time, and is ready to go in a little over a half hour. Win, win, win, win, win!! It’s a staple on many Latin American tables, though the ingredients and techniques used to make the dish vary depending on what country you’re in. This arroz con pollo recipe is the Puerto Rican version, and the one I grew up eating at my Abuela’s (grandmother’s) table.

Arroz con pollo on a white dish with a black fork in it.

What is arroz con pollo?

At its most basic, arroz con pollo is a one-pot chicken and rice dish. In the Puerto Rican version, the rice is rendered a bright yellow by annatto, the same spice that gives cheddar cheese its signature golden hue. It gets earthy herbal notes from the recaito (aka sofrito), a fragrant puree of cilantro, yellow onions, green bell peppers, and garlic. And there are delightful pops of acidity from the Spanish olives. Traditionally, pigeon peas are used, but they can be hard to find on the mainland, so frozen peas make for an easy substitute.

What cuts of chicken should I use?

You can use any cut of chicken, though you should be mindful that darker meat, like thighs and drumsticks, are more forgiving of a longer cooking time because of their higher fat content. Chicken breasts can dry out fairly quickly, so keep an eye on them. You can also keep the chicken pieces whole or on the bone. For pickier eaters, feel free to slice the chicken into bite-size pieces before cooking. If you use cuts with skin on, try removing the skin after cooking and placing it on a cookie sheet or sheet pan. Bake the skin in a 350ºF oven until crispy and then use as a garnish.

Can I substitute the rice?

If you want to substitute the white rice for brown, you’ll need to add more chicken stock. For 2 cups of brown rice use 4 cups of chicken stock. You will also need to increase the cooking time by ten to fifteen minutes. You can also use cauliflower rice, but you won’t need to cook it as long, as it will turn to mush. Decrease the amount of chicken stock to 1 cup and cook the chicken in the liquid until it has reached 160 to 165ºFs. Remove the chicken from the pan and then stir in the cauliflower rice and the peas. Cook for just a few minutes until tender, add the chicken back to the pot, and garnish.

Over head view of arroz con pollo in a red Dutch oven.

Do I have to use chicken stock?

While chicken stock is traditional, you can substitute it with veggie stock or even salted water if you prefer. If you’re trying to waste less food, you can also use bean water. For creamier results with heavy tropical vibes, use a mixture of half chicken stock and half coconut milk.

What can I serve it with?

Arroz con Pollo is a full meal, but it is traditionally served with a few slices of ripe avocado. You can make a vibrant and simple side salad as well. I also love it with a few hearty slices of garlic bread.

Does arroz con pollo freeze well??

Arroz con Pollo is perfect for meal prep and freezer meals. It will last up to three days in your refrigerator. Sprinkle it with a little water before reheating to loosen it up. If freezing, make sure that everything has cooled before portioning into a freezer-safe container. You can prevent frost from forming on your rice by filling the container to the tippy top or by placing a piece of wax paper on top of the rice, so it isn’t exposed to air.

close up side view of Arroz con Pollo in the pot.
Over head view of arroz con pollo in a red Dutch oven.

Arroz Con Pollo (Puerto Rican Chicken and Rice)

This scrumptious Puerto Rican chicken and rice dish is a weekly staple at my house. Arroz con Pollo is an easy one-pot meal, that's ready in no time and is perfect for meal prep and freezer meals.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Latin
Total Cost $12.30 recipe / $2.46 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 591kcal
Author Monti – Budget Bytes

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp adobo seasoning $0.20
  • 1.5 lbs boneless chicken thighs $6.49
  • 2 2/3 Tbsp cooking oil, divided $0.11
  • 1/4 cup sofrito $0.36
  • 1 red bell pepper, small dice, divided $0.98
  • 1/2 yellow onion, small dice $0.19
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced $0.24
  • 2 Tbsp tomato sauce $0.06
  • 1/2 cup pimiento stuffed Spanish olives $1.16
  • 2 cups rice $0.74
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock $1.12
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1 1/2 tsp sazón seasoning $0.19
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas $0.33
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (optional garnish) $0.11

Instructions

  • Place chicken thighs in a shallow bowl and rub down with 2 teaspoons of cooking oil and adobo seasoning. Place uncovered in your refrigerator and allow to marinate for thirty minutes.
  • Set a Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed large pot over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of cooking oil to the pot. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chicken thighs to the pot, arranged in an even layer. Sear each side of the thighs until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the thighs from the pot and set them aside.
  • Add the sofrito, diced onion, and half of the diced red pepper to the chicken fat in the pot. Sauté until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato sauce, and olives. Sauté the mixture until it's fragrant and most of the liquid has cooked out. A spoon run down the middle of the pan should leave a dry trail.
  • Add the rice and sazón and gently mix them into all of the ingredients, so that every grain is covered in the sauce. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Allow mixture to boil undisturbed until the stock has evaporated and the rice is visible on the surface of the pot. There should be multiple round steam vents on the surface of the rice.
  • Place the reserved chicken thighs on top of the rice. Lower the heat to medium-low and cover the pot with a tight-fitting heavy lid. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until all of the stock has evaporated and rice has cooked through.
  • Remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside. Stir in frozen peas and fluff the rice. Add the chicken thighs back to the pot. Garnish with the remainder of the diced red pepper and cilantro leaves.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 591kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 17g | Sodium: 763mg | Fiber: 3g

How to Make Arroz con Pollo – Step by Step Photos

Raw chicken marinating in a white dish.

Place chicken thighs in a shallow bowl and rub down with 2 teaspoons of cooking oil and 2 teaspoons of adobo seasoning. Place uncovered in your refrigerator and allow to marinate for thirty minutes.

Raw chicken browning in a Dutch oven.

Set a Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed large pot over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of cooking oil to the pot. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chicken thighs to the pot, arranged in an even layer. Sear each side of the thighs until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the thighs from the pot and set them aside.

Sofrito, onions, and red peppers browning in a red Dutch oven.

Add the sofrito, diced onion, and half of the diced red pepper to the chicken fat in the pot. Sauté until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.

Olives, tomato sauce, and other ingredients browning in a Dutch oven.

Add the garlic, tomato sauce, and olives.

Spatula cutting through ingredients in a red Dutch oven.

Sauté the mixture until it’s fragrant and most of the liquid has cooked out. A spoon run down the middle of the pan should leave a dry trail.

Adding sazon to ingredients in a Dutch oven.

Add the rice and sazón and gently mix it into all of the ingredients, so that every grain is covered in the sauce.

Adding chicken stock to ingredients in a red Dutch oven.

Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Rice in a red Dutch oven that has had chicken stock cooked out of it.

Allow mixture to boil without a lid, undisturbed, until the stock has evaporated and the rice is visible on the surface of the pot. There should be multiple round steam vents on the surface of the rice.

Rice topped with chicken in a red Dutch oven.

Place the reserved chicken thighs on top of the rice. Lower the heat to medium-low and cover the pot with a tight-fitting heavy lid. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until all of the stock has evaporated and rice has cooked through.

Green peas being stirred into rice in a red Dutch oven.

Remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside. Stir in frozen peas and fluff the rice.

Finished arroz con pollo in a red Dutch oven.

Add the chicken thighs back to the pot. Garnish with the remainder of the diced red pepper and cilantro leaves.

Arroz con Pollo on a plate with a fork.

Try These Other One Pot Chicken Recipes:

The post Arroz Con Pollo (Puerto Rican Chicken and Rice) appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Thai Basil Chicken

Fragrant and savory this Thai Basil Chicken recipe is simple, fast and flavorful!  Perfect for weeknight dinners or an easy delicious lunch ready to serve in under 30 minutes. Re-examine all that you have been told… dismiss that which insults you…

Thai Basil Chicken is simple, fast and flavorful!  Made with ground chicken (or ground turkey) it's ready to serve in under 30 minutes.
Fragrant and savory this Thai Basil Chicken recipe is simple, fast and flavorful!  Perfect for weeknight dinners or an easy delicious lunch ready to serve in under 30 minutes. Re-examine all that you have been told… dismiss that which insults your soul.~ Walt Whitman Thai Basil Chicken is a simple stir fry that couldn’t be...

One Pot Chicken and Rice

This hearty and delicious chicken and rice combines rich and flavorful rice with well seasoned chicken or an easy one pot meal.

The post One Pot Chicken and Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

You guys know how much I love my one pot meals. They’re easy, cozy, and always satisfying. This Chicken and Rice one pot meal is kind of a mash-up of two of my other favorite recipes, Cajun Sausage and Rice and Mushroom Rice, and it’s definitely moving to the top of my list of favorites. The rice is rich and flavorful, the chicken is super tender, and the whole dish comes together almost effortlessly.

chicken and rice being scooped out of the skillet.

What’s in Chicken and Rice?

This super simple dish includes juicy chicken thighs coated in herbs and spices (not spicy!), sautéed onions, and long grain white rice cooked in vegetable broth. Because you cook everything in one pot from start to finish, no flavors are lost. Every bite is packed with rich and delicious flavor.

Can I Use Chicken Breasts?

I highly suggest sticking to chicken thighs for this recipe because chicken breasts can tend to dry out a bit with the double cook (sear first, steam with rice second), and the fattier chicken thighs make the dish nice and rich. It can be done, but it definitely won’t be as juicy or tender as chicken thighs. And whichever you use, make sure it’s boneless because bone-in chicken needs more time to cook and may not cook through by the time the rice is finished.

What Else Can I Add to Chicken and Rice?

If you want to add some vegetables to the pot, I would try adding a ½ cup frozen peas when you add the broth, or sautéing some mushrooms after the chicken and before the onions.

What to Serve with Chicken and Rice?

Since I didn’t add any vegetables in the pot with my chicken and rice, I added some roasted broccoli on the side. I think roasted broccoli is the perfect side because the roasted flavor matches the coziness of the chicken and rice, plus the simple flavor doesn’t compete, leaving the chicken and rice to shine. You could also do some steamed green beans, sautéed zucchini, or a simple side salad.

Chicken and rice on a plate with roasted broccoli.
Close up of chicken being scooped out of the skillet.

One Pot Chicken and Rice

This hearty and delicious chicken and rice combines rich and flavorful rice with well seasoned chicken or an easy one pot meal.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $5.82 recipe / $1.46 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 421kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp paprika $0.20
  • 1 tsp dried oregano $0.10
  • 1 tsp dried thyme $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp pepper $0.02
  • 1.25 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (4-5 thighs) $4.23
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil, divided $0.08
  • 1 yellow onion, diced $0.32
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice (uncooked) $0.32
  • 1.75 cups vegetable broth $0.23
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley (optional garnish) $0.10

Instructions

  • Combine the paprika, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Coat both sides of the chicken thighs in the seasoning mix.
  • Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to a deep skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, swirl to coat the surface of the skillet, then add the chicken thighs. Cook the thighs for a few minutes on each side, or until well browned. The chicken does not need to be cooked through at this point.
  • Remove the browned chicken to a clean plate. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add an additional 1 Tbsp cooking oil to the skillet, then add the diced onion. Sauté the onion for about 5 minutes, or until softened. Allow the moisture from the onion to dissolve the browned bits from the skillet as you stir.
  • Add the uncooked rice to the skillet and continue to sauté for 1-2 minutes more to toast the rice.
  • Add the vegetable broth to the skillet and briefly stir to dissolve any remaining brown bits from the bottom of the skillet.
  • Return the chicken to the skillet, setting it on top of the rice. Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the broth to come up to a full boil.
  • Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let the chicken and rice continue to simmer over low, without lifting the lid or stirring, for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn off the heat and let it rest, without lifting the lid, for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Finally, remove the lid and fluff the rice around the chicken. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired, then serve and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 421kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 13g | Sodium: 688mg | Fiber: 2g
Side view of chicken being scooped out of the skillet.

How to Make Chicken and Rice – Step by Step Photos

seasoned chicken thighs on a cutting board.

Combine 2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp dried thyme, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp onion powder, ¼ tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper in a bowl. Coat both sides of four or five boneless, skinless chicken thighs with the seasoning mix.

Browned chicken thighs in the skillet.

Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a deep skillet over medium. Once hot, swirl to coat the surface, then add the seasoned chicken thighs. Cook for about five minutes on each side, or until well browned. The chicken does not need to be fully cooked at this point, just well browned on the surface. While the chicken cooks, dice a yellow onion.

Sautéed onions in the skillet.

Remove the browned chicken to a clean plate. Reduce the heat to medium-low, then add another 1 Tbsp cooking oil and the diced onion to the skillet. Sauté the onion until soft, allowing the moisture from the onion to dissolve the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.

Rice added to the skillet with the onion.

Add one cup of uncooked long-grain white rice to the skillet. Continue to sauté with the onion for 1-2 minutes to slightly toast the rice. You should hear it crackling and popping.

Broth being poured into the skillet.

Add 1.75 cups vegetable broth to the skillet with the rice and onions. Briefly stir to dissolve any browned bits that might remain stuck to the bottom of the skillet.

Chicken thighs back in the skillet, the lid being placed on top.

Return the chicken thighs to the skillet, placing them on top of the rice. Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the broth to come up to a boil. When it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and let it continue to simmer on low, without lifting the lid or stirring, for 20 minutes.

Cooked chicken and rice in the skillet.

After simmering on low for 20 minutes, turn off the heat and let it rest for five minutes without lifting the lid. After resting, it should look like the above photo.

fluffed rice in the skillet with chicken thighs, garnished with parsley.

Fluff the rice with a fork and stir the onions back into the rice (it tends to float to the top while simmering). Garnish with chopped parsley and serve!

Close up of chicken being scooped out of the skillet.

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One Skillet Creamy Orzo Chicken

One skillet Creamy Orzo Chicken with Artichoke Hearts- a deliciously cozy dinner, made with simple pantry ingredients, perfect for busy weeknights.  Practice listening to your intuition, your inner voice; ask questions; be curious; see what you see; he…

One Skillet Creamy Orzo Chicken with Artichoke Hearts- a deliciously cozy dinner, made with simple pantry ingredients, perfect for busy weeknights. 
One skillet Creamy Orzo Chicken with Artichoke Hearts- a deliciously cozy dinner, made with simple pantry ingredients, perfect for busy weeknights.  Practice listening to your intuition, your inner voice; ask questions; be curious; see what you see; hear what you hear; and then act upon what you know to be true. These intuitive powers were...

Sausage and Vegetable Skillet

This super fast and easy Sausage and Vegetable Skillet is the ultimate busy-day meal and is perfect for meal prep!

The post Sausage and Vegetable Skillet appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’ve been obsessed with this super simple Sausage and Vegetable Skillet lately, making it at least once per week. There’s no chopping, it only takes a few ingredients, it’s super filling, packed with color and flavor, and it makes the perfect meal prep! Plus, it’s quite flexible and can take a lot of different random substitutions and add-ins!

skillet full of sausage and vegetables from above

What’s in the Sausage and Vegetable Skillet?

This meal is a result of me scavenging my fridge and freezer for whatever I had left and tossing it all into a skillet. And wouldn’t you know, it tasted great! The skillet basically includes some sort of seasoned meat (in this case sausage), frozen cauliflower, frozen peppers and onions, frozen kale, and your favorite seasoning.

What Kind of Meat to Use

It’s important to use some sort of pre-seasoned meat for this skillet for maximum flavor. In the photos here, I’ve used Italian sausage, but you could also use chorizo, or I’ve even used some leftover Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork. If you do plan to try this with a plain ground meat (turkey, chicken, pork, beef) you’ll want to add seasoning to the meat as it cooks as well as seasoning the skillet at the end.

What Else Can I Add?

You can experiment with adding other frozen vegetables, like broccoli, corn, peas, green beans, etc. Or try adding in some beans or roasted potatoes to bulk it up a bit. Another way to bulk this up is to increase the vegetables (you might want to increase the seasoning if you do so).

Extra toppings are always fun, like a fried egg, avocado, sour cream, cheese, salsa, or any other sauce or dressing that you like. But me? I keep it simple and just eat it as-is!

How to Serve Sausage and Vegetables

I’ve been eating this dish just the way it is straight out of the skillet, but if you want to bulk it up even more you can serve it over rice or mashed potatoes. A little Garlic Bread would also be awesome with this meal!

Sausage and Vegetables in glass meal prep containers.
Sausage and Vegetables in glass meal prep containers.

Sausage and Vegetable Skillet

This super fast and easy Sausage and Vegetable Skillet is the ultimate busy-day meal and is perfect for meal prep!
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Meal Prep
Cuisine American
Total Cost $8.91 recipe / $2.23 serving
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 about 1.25 cups each
Calories 484kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage $5.99
  • 1/2 lb. frozen cauliflower florets $1.00
  • 1/2 lb. frozen peppers and onions $1.00
  • 1/4 lb. frozen kale $0.83
  • ½ tsp seasoning salt or seasoning blend (or to taste) $0.05

Instructions

  • Add the cooking oil and sausage to a skillet. Cook the sausage over medium heat until brown and crispy.
  • Add the cauliflower, peppers and onions, and kale to the skillet with the sausage. Continue to stir and cook until the vegetables are heated through.
  • Add a liberal amount (or to taste) of your favorite seasoning salt or seasoning blend and stir to combine. Serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.25cups | Calories: 484kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 40g | Sodium: 1178mg | Fiber: 5g
Side view of sausage and vegetables in the skillet, close up.

How to Make Sausage and Vegetable Skillet – Step by Step Photos

Browned sausage in a skillet.

Add a tablespoon of cooking oil to a skillet and add the Italian sausage (or whatever seasoned meat you prefer). Cook the sausage until it is brown and crispy.

Frozen vegetables added to the skillet.

Add ½ lb. frozen cauliflower florets, ½ lb. frozen bell peppers and onions, and ¼ lb. frozen kale to the skillet. You don’t have to measure these exactly, just estimate based on the weight of the bag (if it’s a 12 oz. bag, estimate ⅔ of the bag to get ½ lb.).

Cooked vegetables and sausage in the skillet.

Continue to stir and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are heated through. Don’t overcook the vegetables.

Seasoning being sprinkled over the skillet.

Then just add a liberal amount of your favorite seasoning blend. I’m using Tony Chachere’s here, but you can use just about any seasoning blend. I tend to use seasoning blends that already contain salt, but if yours doesn’t, just keep in mind that you’ll want to add some salt to help make the flavors in the skillet pot.

Finished sausage and vegetable skillet.

And that’s it! The skillet is done! The fat and seasoning from the sausage adds a ton of flavor and richness to the entire skillet, and then the added seasoning at the end adds a final layer of flavor. It’s simple, but SO GOOD.

Sausage and vegetable skillet in glass meal prep containers.

And now my lunches for the next few days are done! :)

The post Sausage and Vegetable Skillet appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Vegetables and Gravy

Vegetables and Gravy is a simple, no frills recipe that is warm and comforting and can be made with simple, inexpensive ingredients.

The post Vegetables and Gravy appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’ve been having a lot of fun lately looking at old recipes from The Great Depression and I’m always surprised at how simple they are. They’re always just a few ingredients, barely seasoned, but always filling. The simplicity of those recipes inspired this Vegetables and Gravy recipe, although I did make sure it was well seasoned to fit today’s pallet. 😅

This recipe is great for those times when you just need to throw together something simple, warm, and filling using inexpensive ingredients that you might already have on hand. It’s kind of like a cross between potato soup and the filling of a chicken pot pie (minus the chicken). Is it the best thing I’ve ever eaten in my life? No. But when money is tight, this dish hits just right.

side view of a bowl of vegetables and gravy with a piece of bread and a spoon.

What is Vegetables and Gravy?

This dish starts with cubed potatoes that are boiled in vegetable broth until tender. The liquid is then seasoned with herbs and spices and thickened to a gravy with a milk and flour slurry. Next, we add a bag of mixed frozen vegetables to add color, texture, and flavor. And we finish the dish off with some butter for added creaminess, and salt and pepper to taste. Simple, filling, and satisfying!

What Else Can I Add?

If you happen to have some extra ingredients on hand and want to take this dish up a notch, here are some ideas:

  • Top with shredded cheese
  • Brown some bacon in the pot first and top the finished dish with the crumbled bacon
  • Add your favorite seasoning blend(you could do anything from a Cajun seasoning to something simple like Lawry’s)
  • Add chopped cooked chicken to make it more like a chicken pot pie (a great use for leftover rotisserie chicken!)
  • Add dumplings

How to Serve Vegetables and Gravy

I would consider this a simple all-in-one bowl meal and would not plan to make anything on the side. I might serve with some crusty bread for sopping up all that delicious gravy, but otherwise, everything I need is in that bowl. If you definitely need something on the side, I’d do a simple roasted vegetable. Maybe broccoli or Brussels sprouts.

About Those Leftovers…

Because this gravy is thickened with flour, it does gel up and get quite thick when refrigerated. But don’t worry, it will loosen a bit upon reheating and you can always add a splash of water or milk to thin it out even more, if needed.

A ladle full of vegetables and gravy being lifted from the pot.
Side view of a bowl of vegetables with gravy with a piece of bread and a spoon.

Vegetables and Gravy

Vegetables and Gravy is a simple, no frills recipe that is warm and comforting and can be made with simple, inexpensive ingredients.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $4.00 recipe / $1.00 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Calories 317kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs. russet potatoes $1.96
  • 2 cups vegetable broth $0.26
  • 1 cup milk $0.20
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour $0.03
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce $0.12
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 12 oz. frozen mixed vegetables $1.00
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.22
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste) $0.02

Instructions

  • Peel and cube the potatoes into ¾-inch pieces.
  • Add the cubed potatoes to a large pot with the vegetable broth. Cover the pot, turn the heat on to medium-high, and allow the broth to come up to a boil. Continue to boil the potatoes until they are fork-tender.
  • While the potatoes are boiling, whisk together the milk and flour.
  • Once the potatoes are tender, turn the heat down to medium and add the flour and milk slurry. Also add the soy sauce, thyme, sage, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper.
  • Allow the liquid in the pot to come back up to a simmer, at which point it will thicken to a gravy.
  • Add the frozen vegetables to the pot, stir to combine, then allow them to heat through.
  • Stir the butter into the gravy until melted and combined. Give the gravy a taste and add salt, pepper, butter or other seasonings to your liking. Serve hot!

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cup | Calories: 317kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 1381mg | Fiber: 6g
Overhead view of a bowl of vegetables and gravy with a piece of bread.

How to Make Vegetables and Gravy

Diced potatoes on a cutting board.

Start by peeling and cubing about 1.5 lbs. russet potatoes. Cut them into ¾-inch cubes.

broth being poured into a pot with cubed potatoes.

Add the cubed potatoes to a large pot and add 2 cups of vegetable broth. Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the broth up to a boil. Continue to boil the potatoes until fork tender (about 7 minutes).

Milk in a measuring cup with a whisk.

While the potatoes are boiling, prepare the milk and flour slurry. Whisk ¼ cup all-purpose flour into 1 cup milk.

Milk being poured into the pot with potatoes and herbs.

Once the potatoes are tender, turn the heat down to medium and add the milk and flour slurry to the pot along with 2 Tbsp soy sauce, ½ tsp dried thyme, ½ tsp dried sage, ½ tsp onion powder, ¼ tsp garlic powder, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper. Stir to combine.

Thickened gravy being stirred in the pot.

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

Frozen vegetables being poured into the pot.

Add one 12oz. bag of frozen mixed vegetables and stir to combine. Allow the vegetables to heat through in the gravy.

Finished vegetables and gravy being stirred in the pot.

Lastly, add 2 tablespoons of butter to the gravy and stir until it has melted in. Give the gravy a taste and add salt, pepper, or more butter to your liking.

Overhead view of a pot full of vegetables and gravy.

Serve it up hot with a little bread for sopping up that delicious gravy! (I garnished with some fresh parsley because I had it on hand, but it’s not necessary to flavor this dish.)

Side view of a bowl of vegetables with gravy with a piece of bread and a spoon.

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Chicken Cacciatore

This recipe for Chicken Cacciatore is very simple to make with huge flavor rewards!  Chicken is cooked until tender in a rich tomato sauce with red wine, mushrooms, olives, capers and rosemary.  So savory and wholesome. The best part?  This Chicken Cac…

Hearty and satisfying, Chicken Cacciatore is a rustic Italian classic. Serve on its own with crusty sourdough, creamy polenta, rice or pasta.  An easy comforting meal the whole family with enjoy! Gluten-Free.
This recipe for Chicken Cacciatore is very simple to make with huge flavor rewards!  Chicken is cooked until tender in a rich tomato sauce with red wine, mushrooms, olives, capers and rosemary.  So savory and wholesome. The best part?  This Chicken Cacciatore recipe comes together in about an hour, with only 30-minutes of hands-on time- a delicious, Italian Comfort food meal, that is easy enough for weeknights.