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Air Fryer French Fries

These 5-ingredient Air Fryer French Fries are simply seasoned and the perfect side dish for any meal!

The post Air Fryer French Fries appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I really love french fries, but deep frying can be such a hassle. On busy weeknights when I’m craving a crispy side, I make these Air Fryer French Fries, and all my troubles just melt away! Seasoned simply with olive oil, garlic and onion powder, and salt, these fries pack a punch and are mess-free! This air fryer french fry recipe is the kind of easy side dish I’m serving up every week because it’s just so simple.

Overhead view of 2 french fries dipped into ketchup on a platter of fries.

Why Make French Fries in the Air Fryer

I don’t know about you, but I love my air fryer. It’s the perfect little hero appliance for all types of fried foods. If you hate a mess in the kitchen as much as I do, you need this air fryer french fries recipe in your life! These fries are just as crispy as if they came fresh from the fryer but without the hassle and burning eyes! This is the perfect recipe to use up those last few potatoes from that 5-pound bag in the pantry before they start sprouting.

Ingredients for Air Fryer French Fries

You’re just 5 simple ingredients away from crispy, crunchy french fries! Here’s what you’ll need to make air fryer french fries:

  • Russet Potatoes: Just one pound of potatoes, or approximately 2 medium Russet potatoes, is all you need to make air fryer french fries. Russet are creamy on the inside and a classic fry potato, but Yukon Gold are a great choice if you like firmer fries.
  • Olive Oil: A little bit of olive oil (or cooking oil of your choice– vegetable or canola can help cut costs) to help the seasoning stick to the potatoes and help the potatoes to brown evenly while cooking.
  • Seasoning: A combination of onion powder, garlic powder, and salt is simple but oh-so flavorful!

What Else Can I Add to Air Fryer French Fries?

This simple seasoning blend is quick, easy, and delicious, but you can also get creative with seasonings. Try:

Tips for Making Air Fryer French Fries

To get the crispiest french fries in the air fryer, follow these tips:

  • Soak the cut potatoes to remove excess starch.
  • Pat the potatoes dry to remove excess moisture. Moisture is the enemy of crispy.
  • Work in batches to ensure every fry is crisp. Overcrowding can lead to soggy fries, so cook in a single layer with space in between.
  • Test each batch of fries to ensure they are properly cooked.
  • When in doubt, keep cooking! Every air fryer is a little different, so your fries may need more time.
  • Recrisp all of the fries together for 1-2 minutes in the air fryer at the end so everything is hot and ready for serving.

How to Store Leftovers

Once cooked and cooled, these air fryer french fries can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for longer storage. Reheat in a single layer in a 350°F air fryer for 3-5 minutes, or until warmed through and crispy. They’ll stay fresh in the freezer for up to 3 months and can be thawed overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Overhead view of 2 french fries dipped into ketchup on a platter of fries.
Overhead view of air fryer french fries on a white plate with ketchup.
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Air Fryer French Fries

These 5-ingredient Air Fryer French Fries are simply seasoned and the perfect side dish for any meal!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Total Cost $1.75 recipe / $0.87 serving
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 307kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Wash and dry the potatoes, then slice them into 1/4-inch matchsticks.
  • Soak the cut potatoes in a large bowl of cool water for 15 minutes. While the potatoes soak, preheat the air fryer to 380°F.
  • Once the potatoes have finished soaking, pat them dry with paper towels. Place the potatoes in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. Toss to coat evenly.
  • Working in batches, arrange the fries in an even layer in the preheated air fryer and cook until golden brown and crispy, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Repeat with the remaining fries until they have all been cooked. Serve immediately.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

Cook time reflects making the fries in two batches.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 307kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 14g | Sodium: 594mg | Fiber: 3g
Overhead view of air fryer french fries on a white plate with ketchup.

how to make Air Fryer French Fries – step by step photos

Wash and dry 1 lb. of Russet potatoes, then slice them into 1/4-inch matchsticks.

Soak the cut potatoes in a large bowl of cool water for 15 minutes. While the potatoes soak, preheat the air fryer to 380°F.

raw french fries in the basket of an air fryer.

Once the potatoes have finished soaking, pat them dry with paper towels. Place the potatoes in a large bowl, drizzle with 3 Tbsp of olive oil, and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, and 1/2 tsp salt. Toss to coat evenly.

Working in batches, arrange the fries in an even layer in the preheated air fryer and cook until golden brown and crispy, about 10-15 minutes. Repeat with the remaining fries until they have all been cooked. Serve immediately.

These fries are the ultimate weeknight hero. Simple, mess-free, and so flavorful!

The post Air Fryer French Fries appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu is one of those recipes that feels super fancy but is ready in under an hour! It’s so saucy, cheesy, and delicious!

The post Chicken Cordon Bleu appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Chicken Cordon Bleu is one of those recipes that feels super fancy but doesn’t actually take a ton of effort. It can be pricey if ordering at a restaurant, but we have developed a budget conscious recipe that can be made at home. With some simple technique and a little bit of patience, you can make this savory, cheesy, saucy dinner recipe in under an hour!

close-up view of a sliced chicken cordon bleu breast.

What is Chicken Cordon Bleu?

Chicken cordon bleu is made by butterflying a chicken breast and stuffing it with slices of creamy, melty Swiss cheese and salty deli ham. The whole thing gets rolled up, dipped in breadcrumbs, and doused in a creamy sauce for the ultimate decadent dinner. While it can be expensive when ordering out, our version is more cost effective but equally as delicious.

Ingredients For Chicken Cordon Bleu

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts: You’ll need 4 large chicken breasts for this recipe so there’s plenty of room to stuff them. Look for ones that are about 7-8 ounces each.
  • Ham: Any flavor of deli ham works well.
  • Swiss Cheese: You can also use provolone or cheddar.
  • Panko Breadcrumbs: Create a crunchy coating on the chicken. Regular or Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs are also a good choice.
  • Seasonings: Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and freshly cracked black pepper season the chicken. Salt also enhances the flavor of the sauce.
  • Butter: Unsalted butter helps the seasonings and breadcrumbs stick to the chicken, and it also forms the base of the sauce.
  • All-Purpose Flour: A bit of flour helps to thicken the sauce.
  • Milk: Milk adds richness and moisture to the sauce. Any kind works, including non-dairy.
  • Dijon Mustard: A touch of mustard adds just a bit of warmth to the sauce.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: This umami sauce adds incredible depth of flavor.

How to Butterfly a Chicken Breast

  1. Place the chicken breast flat on a cutting board and hold your knife horizontally to the cutting board.
  2. Place one hand on the chicken breast to keep it steady, then insert your knife into the center of the chicken breast and begin to cut horizontally until you have almost reached the other side.
  3. Open the chicken breast like a book.

What To Serve With Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken cordon bleu is rich and saucy, so it pairs beautifully with simple veggies, like Steamed Green Beans or Oven Roasted Broccoli. Soak up that beautiful sauce with Mashed Potatoes, Rice, or Garlic Herb Mashed Cauliflower.

How to Store Leftovers

Once cooked and cooled, store chicken cordon bleu in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you plan to freeze this dish, I recommend doing so before baking it for the crispiest results. It will keep well for up to 3 months. Simply thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake as directed.

overhead view of chicken cordon bleu covered with sauce on a plate with green beans.
overhead view of chicken cordon bleu covered with sauce on a plate with green beans.
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Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu is one of those recipes that feels super fancy but is ready in under an hour! It's so saucy, cheesy, and delicious!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine French
Total Cost $17.22 recipe / $4.30 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 889kcal

Ingredients

Chicken:

Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup butter $0.53
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.05
  • 3/4 cup milk $0.40
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard $0.04
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Butterfly each chicken breast by slicing horizontally through the middle of the breast, taking care to not cut all the way through. Open the chicken breast up like a book.
  • Lay the breast flat between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound the chicken breasts into a thin, even layer.
  • Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Place a slice of ham and slice of Swiss cheese on each chicken breast.
  • Gently roll up the chicken breast.
  • In a shallow bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic, powder, salt, and pepper. Set up a breading station with 2 shallow bowls; one of melted butter and one for the breading.
  • Dip the chicken rolls in the melted butter, and roll in the breadcrumbs until completely coated. Transfer to a parchment linked baking sheet.
  • Bake the chicken for 35-40 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • To make the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour. Then, slowly pour in the milk while whisking to incorporate.
  • Add in the Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt. Spoon the sauce over the chicken.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 889kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 69g | Fat: 57g | Sodium: 2027mg | Fiber: 1g
overhead view of slices of chicken cordon bleu on a plate.

how to make Chicken Cordon Bleu – step by step photos

a hand opening a butterflied chicken breast next to a knife.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butterfly each of 4 chicken breasts by slicing horizontally through the middle of the breast, taking care to not cut all the way through. Open the chicken breast up like a book.

a butterflied chicken breast under plastic wrap with a rolling pin.

Lay the breast flat between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound the chicken breasts into a thin, even layer.

a butterflied chicken breast with a slice of ham and swiss cheese on top.

Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Place a slice of ham and 1 ounce of Swiss cheese on each chicken breast.

a rolled-up stuffed chicken breast.

Gently roll up the chicken breast.

a rolled-up chicken breast dipped in breadcrumbs.

In a shallow bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs, 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Set up a breading station with a shallow bowl of 1/2 cup melted butter and the breading. Dip the chicken rolls in the melted butter, and roll in the breadcrumbs until completely coated. Transfer to a greased casserole dish.

4 breaded and baked rolled-up chicken breasts on a baking sheet.

Bake the chicken for 35-40 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

milk added to a thick roux in a saucepan with a whisk.

To make the sauce, melt 1/4 cup butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the 2 Tbsp flour. Then, slowly pour in 3/4 cup milk while whisking to incorporate.

thick and creamy white sauce in a saucepan with a spoon.

Add in 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard and 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce. Season with 1/2 tsp salt. Spoon the sauce over the chicken.

overhead view of chicken cordon bleu covered with sauce on a plate with green beans.

This crispy, cheesy, salty, and creamy chicken cordon bleu is the ultimate comfort food!

The post Chicken Cordon Bleu appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Buffalo Wings

This buffalo wing recipe has all the great flavor of classic fried wings with none of the mess of deep frying.

The post Buffalo Wings appeared first on Budget Bytes.

When it’s game day, there’s no food I crave more than spicy, saucy Buffalo Wings! I always thought they’d be such a pain to make, but baking them in the oven makes the process so easy. This buffalo wing recipe has all the great flavor of classic fried wings with none of the mess of deep frying.

overhead view of buffalo wings on a white platter with celery and white sauce.

Why Make Buffalo Wings?

Even on Wing Wednesday, buffalo wings can still be pricey. The price per wing really adds up, and I knew there must be a better and cheaper way. It turns out that making them at home was the solution to my wing woes! Seasoned with classic spices like paprika, garlic, and onion, these wings already have so much flavor. Once tossed in that creamy, buttery Buffalo Sauce, you’ll be wondering why you never made them at home before!

Ingredients for Buffalo Wings

  • Cornstarch: A bit of cornstarch helps keep the wings crispy.
  • Spices: Paprika, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt add so much flavor to the wings. Keep the garlic powder handy for the sauce, too!
  • Cooking Oil: You’ll need just enough to drizzle over the wings so they crisp up in the oven. Canola or vegetable oil both work well here.
  • Chicken Wings: Wings or drumettes both work for this recipe, so choose one type or both for variety.
  • Butter: Unsalted butter makes the sauce thick and creamy.
  • Franks RedHot Sauce: Hot sauce is the one ingredient you’ll want to splurge a bit on. It gives these wings their signature flavor and spice! Use the leftovers to make Spinach Artichoke Dip.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: This umami sauce adds depth to the buffalo sauce.

How to Serve Buffalo Wings

These classic baked buffalo wings are delicious served as an appetizer with Ranch Dressing or blue cheese for dipping and a side of carrot sticks and celery. You can also make them into a meal by adding a side of Garlic Parmesan Oven Fries, Easy Creamy Coleslaw, or Oven Roasted Broccoli.

Tips for Making Buffalo Wings

  • Pat the wings dry before seasoning them to remove excess moisture.
  • Don’t skip the cornstarch. Tossing the wings in cornstarch helps bring moisture to the surface, leading to ultra-crispy wings.
  • Bake the wings on a wire rack to allow the hot air to circulate evenly around them. This will crisp the wings on all sides!
  • If making ahead, wait to toss the wings in the sauce until just before serving.

How To Store Leftovers

Once baked and cooled, store leftover buffalo wings in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Freeze them in a single layer on a lined baking sheet until solid, about 1-2 hours, before transferring to an air-tight container to store for up to 3 months. Reheat on a wire rack set in a baking sheet in a 350°F oven for 7-10 minutes if refrigerated or 15-20 minutes if frozen.

close up view of a buffalo wing dipped in white sauce.
overhead view of buffalo wings on a white platter with celery and white sauce.
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Buffalo Wings

This buffalo wing recipe has all the great flavor of classic fried wings with none of the mess of deep frying.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Total Cost $12.24 recipe / $3.06 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 774kcal

Ingredients

Chicken Wings

Buffalo Sauce

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, paprika, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, pepper, and salt.
  • Pat the wings dry, then place them in a bowl. Drizzle the cooking oil over top, then toss until the wings are coated in oil. Add the cornstarch-seasoning mixture, then toss to coat again.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup, then place wire cooling racks on top. Place the seasoned chicken wings on the wire racks with space between each wing.
  • Bake the wings for 30 minutes, then flip and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the wings have achieved the amount of browning desired (this will depend on the size of your wings).
  • While the wings are in the oven, melt the butter in a small saucepot over medium heat, then add the remaining ingredients (hot sauce, Worcestershire, garlic powder).
  • Transfer the wings to a large bowl. Pour the sauce over the wings and toss until fully coated.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 774kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 52g | Fat: 60g | Sodium: 1528mg | Fiber: 0.3g
overhead view of buffalo wings on a white platter with celery and white sauce.

how to make Buffalo Wings – step by step photos

spices in a white bowl.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a small bowl, combine 1 Tbsp cornstarch, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/8 tsp cayenne, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 1/2 tsp salt.

seasoned raw chicken wings in a glass bowl.

Pat 2.5 lbs. of chicken wings dry, then place them in a bowl. Drizzle 1 Tbsp cooking oil over top, then toss until the wings are coated in oil. Add the cornstarch-seasoning mixture, then toss to coat again.

raw chicken wings on a wire rack set in a baking sheet.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup, then place wire cooling racks on top. Place the seasoned chicken wings on the wire racks with space between each wing.

baked chicken wings on a wire rack set in a baking sheet.

Bake the wings for 30 minutes, then flip and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the wings have achieved the amount of browning desired (this will depend on the size of your wings).

buffalo sauce in a saucepan with a spoon.

While the wings are in the oven, melt 4 Tbsp butter in a small saucepot over medium heat, then add the remaining ingredients (1/2 cup hot sauce, 1 tsp Worcestershire, 1/2 tsp garlic powder).

buffalo wings in a metal bowl.

Transfer the wings to a large bowl. Pour the sauce over the wings and toss until fully coated.

close up view of buffalo wings on a white platter with celery and white sauce.

These buffalo wings are crispy, spicy, and so delicious– everything you want in a wing recipe!

The post Buffalo Wings appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts

These Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts are perfectly brown on the outside and tender on the inside. An easy recipe to whip up any day of the week!

The post Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts appeared first on Budget Bytes.

You know those foods you grew up thinking you didn’t like even though you never actually tried them? Yeah, well Brussels sprouts was one of those vegetables that I just assumed I didn’t like until I was in my 30’s. But once I finally tried Roasted Brussels Sprouts, there was no turning back. Now I absolutely love Brussels sprouts, especially these easy Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts! This no-fuss Brussels sprouts recipe creates a brown and slightly crispy outside white still remaining tender on the inside. The air fryer makes it super easy to whip up this vegetable side dish any day of the week! And since they are in season right now, they were also on sale at my local grocery store. #Winning!

Close up macro view of Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts.

Ingredients For Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts

I’m all for simple recipes and with simple ingredients! Here are the 6 items you need to make this easy Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts recipe:

  • Brussels Sprouts: This cruciferous vegetable can often be found year-round in your local grocery store. However, sometimes they are on the pricier side, so take advantage of them while they are in season and usually on sale. They are usually in season during the late fall and winter months from October to February.
  • Olive Oil: Olive oil helps keep the Brussels sprouts from getting too dry and too charred on the outside. It also helps the seasoning coat the Brussels sprouts perfectly.
  • Seasoning: A mix of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder adds just the right amount of flavor and keeps things simple, but still delicious!

Recipe Variations

Although we went with a simple mix of olive oil + seasoning for this Brussels sprouts recipe, you can easily try some of these other combinations:

  • Switch up the seasoning: Try some steak seasoning, curry powder, Cajun seasoning or a seasoning salt like Lawry’s, or a Creole seasoning like Tony Chachere’s.
  • Parmesan cheese: We also tested these air fryer Brussels sprouts tossed in a little parmesan cheese and they were absolutely delicious!
  • Dipping Sauces: My favorite way to enjoy these Brussels sprouts is with a simple mix of Dijon mustard and pure maple syrup. They would also taste really good dipped in our Comeback Sauce!
  • Homemade balsamic glaze: And if you’re a balsamic vinegar lover, once the Brussels sprouts are out of the air fryer, try drizzling a little bit of homemade balsamic glaze on top!

Tips For Making Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts

  1. Don’t skip the oil – It may be tempting to use less oil since you’re cooking in an “air fryer” but I wouldn’t recommend it. We tested this recipe using a little less oil and it resulted in the Brussels sprouts being too dry and very charred.
  2. Preheat the air fryer – It’s always good to preheat the air fryer before you add the Brussels sprouts to the basket. If your air fryer does not have a pre-heat function, simply let it run with an empty basket for about 3-4 minutes at 360ºF.
  3. Shake halfway through – Give the Brussels sprouts a good shake and flip some of them over halfway through the cook time so they can brown evenly on both sides.
Overhead view of air fryer brussels sprouts in a white serving dish.
Overhead view of air fryer brussels sprouts in a white serving dish.
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Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts

These Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts are perfectly brown on the outside and tender on the inside. An easy recipe to whip up any day of the week!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Total Cost $3.03 recipe / $0.75 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 9 minutes
Total Time 19 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 113kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Wash and dry the Brussels sprouts, then trim off the dry ends. Cut each Brussels sprout in half lengthwise.
  • Add the Brussels sprouts to a large bowl along with the olive oil, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Mix all the ingredients together until the Brussels sprouts are well coated in the oil and seasoning.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 360°F. Once preheated, add the Brussels sprouts and spread them evenly inside the air fryer basket. Air fry for 9 minutes, flipping and shaking the Brussels sprouts halfway through to help them brown evenly on both sides. Add an additional 1-2 minutes of cook time depending on the level of browning that you like.
  • Remove the Brussels sprouts from the air fryer and enjoy as is or with your favorite dipping sauce.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 113kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Sodium: 320mg | Fiber: 4g
Side front view of air fryer Brussels sprouts in a white serving dish.

How to Make Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts – Step by Step Photos

Brussel sprouts sliced in half on a white cutting board.

Wash and dry 1 lb. of Brussels sprouts, then trim off the dry ends. Cut each Brussels sprout in half lengthwise.

Halved Brussels sprouts in a bowl with olive oil and spices.

Add the Brussels sprouts to a large bowl along with 2 Tbsp of olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, and 1/2 tsp onion powder. Mix all the ingredients together until the Brussels sprouts are well coated in the oil and seasoning.

Seasoned and pre-cooked Brussels sprouts in the air fryer.

Preheat the air fryer to 360°F. Once preheated, add the Brussels sprouts and spread them evenly inside the air fryer basket.

Cooked Brussels sprouts in the air fryer.

Air fry for 9 minutes, flipping and shaking the Brussels sprouts halfway through to help them brown evenly on both sides. Add an additional 1-2 minutes of cook time depending on the level of browning that you like.

Overhead view of air fryer brussels sprouts in a white serving dish.

Enjoy these super delicious Brussels sprouts with a little parmesan cheese or your favorite dipping sauce. And try not to eat them all before they make it to the dinner table ;)

Side view of Air Fryer Brussels sprouts in a white serving dish.

The post Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Crock Pot Salsa Chicken

This delicious Crock Pot Salsa Chicken is an easy and versatile option for busy weeknight dinners, plus it’s perfect for meal prep!

The post Crock Pot Salsa Chicken appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Meal prepping is probably the only way I make it through the holidays (or any month of the year, TBH) without losing it. 😅 So here’s a really easy bulk meal prep protein that you can use for multiple meals throughout the week. This Crock Pot Salsa Chicken recipe is such a classic, it’s incredibly easy (no chopping!), and only takes a handful of ingredients to prepare. Plus, there are several ways you can customize salsa chicken if you want to change it up a bit! Bookmark this one, folks, because you’re going to want to make it again and again!

Close up overhead view of salsa chicken in the crock pot with tongs.

Crock pot salsa chicken has been around for ages. In fact, a fancier version of it has been a reader favorite on Budget Bytes since 2011, but you need to know that in its most basic form, it’s still amazing. It’s just too good and too easy to not share. Just wait until you see all the ways you can use this saucy, spicy, super-flavorful shredded chicken!

Ingredients for Salsa Chicken

When I say this salsa chicken recipe is simple, I mean it! Here are the only ingredients you’ll need to make Crock Pot Salsa Chicken:

  • Chicken Breast: I love the way white meat chicken breast shreds, but if you’re more of a thigh person you can definitely do this with thighs, too. Thighs are a bit more forgiving with the cooking time and the sauce will be extra rich!
  • Salsa: This is the main flavor component for this recipe, so make sure you use a really good salsa. I love to use a smoky salsa to add even more depth of flavor. I used Kroger’s Private Selection brand Taqueria Style Salsa, but you can use different salsa flavors to switch it up!
  • Chili Powder: A one-stop shop for flavor, basic chili powder brings a lot of bang for your buck and really deepens the flavor in the sauce.
  • Onion Powder & Garlic Powder: To add even more depth to the flavor, I added a little dose of onion and garlic powder for good measure. Using these two ingredients helps round out the flavor without having to chop a single vegetable!
A plate full of three salsa chicken tacos.

How to Use Crock Pot Salsa Chicken

One of the reasons I love this salsa chicken so much is that you can make one batch and then use it for multiple meals throughout the week. I love to use this shredded salsa chicken for tacos, bowl meals (with rice, cheese, beans, etc.), nachos, burritos, salads, in casseroles, to top a baked potato, or even as a base for a soup!

Salsa Chicken Add-Ins

The simplicity of Salsa Chicken makes it perfect for customizing with add-ins. Here are some other ingredients you can add to make it different every time:

  • Beans: Try adding a drained can of beans, like black beans, pinto beans, or even kidney beans.
  • Vegetables: Add more color and texture to the mix with diced onion, jalapeño, bell peppers, or corn.
  • Cream Cheese or Sour Cream: Give your salsa chicken a creamy finish by stirring in some cream cheese or sour cream after cooking.
  • Lime & Cilantro: Stir fresh lime juice and cilantro into the salsa chicken after cooking for a fresh finish.
  • Spices: Switch up the spices and add something smoky like chipotle chile powder, or your favorite taco seasoning mix.

And don’t forget, you can change the flavor of salsa chicken by using different kinds of salsa! Try a spicy mango salsa, salsa verde, or even a smoky peach salsa for fun!

How to Store Leftovers

This salsa chicken recipe is perfect for meal prep. It stays good in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, but it can also be frozen! To freeze, chill it completely in the refrigerator first, then transfer to the freezer and store for up to three months. I like to divide it into single portions before freezing so I can thaw only the amount I need each time. Thaw the salsa chicken overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat either in a sauce pan over medium, stirring frequently, or in the microwave.

Close up side view of salsa chicken in the crock pot with tongs.
Close up side view of salsa chicken in the crock pot with tongs.
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Crock Pot Salsa Chicken

This delicious Crock Pot Salsa Chicken is an easy and versatile option for busy weeknight dinners, plus it's perfect for meal prep!
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Total Cost $9.60 recipe / $1.60 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings 6 (¾ cup each)
Calories 90kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker. Sprinkle the chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder over the chicken, then pour the salsa on top.
  • Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 2.5 hrs or low for 5 hours.
  • Test the chicken to make sure it's tender enough to pull apart with a fork. If not, replace the lid and cook for an additional 30 minutes on high or one hour on low.
  • Shred the chicken with two forks and stir to combine with the salsa and liquid in the pot. Serve hot or refrigerate until ready to use. Add the salsa chicken to your favorite tacos, burritos, nachos, salads, and more!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*If using frozen chicken breast, be sure to thaw it completely before adding to the slow cooker.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.75cup | Calories: 90kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 573mg | Fiber: 2g
A plate full of nachos made with salsa chicken.

How to Make Crock Pot Salsa Chicken

Chicken breasts in a crock pot with spices sprinkled over top.

Place three boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a crock pot and sprinkle 2 tsp chili powder, ½ tsp garlic powder, and ½ tsp onion powder over top.

A jar of salsa being poured over top of chicken in the slow cooker.

Pour 16oz. of your favorite salsa over the chicken in the crock pot. (I used Kroger’s Private Selection brand Taqueria Style Salsa).

Cooked salsa chicken in the slow cooker before shredding.

Place the lid on the crock pot and cook on high for 2.5 hours, or low for 5 hours. Test the chicken to make sure it’s tender enough to pull apart with a fork. If not, replace the lid and cook for an additional 30 minutes on high or one hour on low. After cooking it will look a little watery, but don’t worry! Once the chicken is shredded it turns into a nice sauce that coats everything.

Chicken being shredded in the slow cooker with two forks.

Use two forks to shred the chicken and stir it into the sauce in the slow cooker.

Finished shredded salsa chicken in the crock pot.

Once the chicken is shredded, give it a taste and adjust the seasonings if needed. And that’s it! The crock pot salsa chicken recipe is complete and you’re ready to eat!

A burrito bowl made with salsa chicken.

A bowl meal with rice, cheese, and any other fun toppings you have on hand is such a great budget-friendly meal!

The post Crock Pot Salsa Chicken appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Turkey Chili

This flavorful turkey chili features ground turkey, colorful beans and vegetables, and plenty of herbs and spices to keep you full and happy!

The post Turkey Chili appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I make chili at least every other week during the fall and winter months, so naturally I’ve come up with quite a few variations of our classic chili recipe over the years. This Turkey Chili is a little bit lighter and is chock full of colorful vegetables. It’s the perfect chili recipe for the transition season when the leaves are just starting to fall but the air is still a little on the warm side. ;)

Overhead view of a pot full of turkey chili with ingredients on the sides.

What’s in Turkey Chili?

Turkey chili starts with a similar base as a classic chili recipe: ground meat cooked in a rich and flavorful tomato-based sauce, and seasoned with tons of warm spices. Because ground turkey has a lighter flavor, we went with a lighter, zestier flavor profile and added a ton of colorful vegetables and beans.

Ingredients for Turkey Chili

Here’s what you’ll need to make turkey chili:

  • Ground Turkey: Opt for dark meat turkey or ground turkey with at least a little fat. Extra-lean ground turkey breast can get a little dry and tough when simmered in chili.
  • Onion and Garlic: Every good chili starts with onion and garlic to create a deeply savory flavor base! I went with four cloves of garlic for this recipe, but feel free to measure with your heart. ;)
  • Poblano Pepper & Corn: A diced poblano pepper and some frozen corn kernels add a lot of flavor and color to this chili, making it extra festive. Poblanos can be spicy, though, so if you need a mild heat, skip the pepper or substitute with a green bell pepper.
  • Beans: A combination of kidney beans, black beans, and pinto beans adds even more color, texture, and flavor to this chili. The beans are very flexible, so if you only want black beans or kidney beans, you can certainly substitute them to fit your needs.
  • Tomatoes: Diced tomatoes add texture to our chili while tomato paste helps thicken the sauce and adds a really rich tomatoey flavor.
  • Herbs & Spices: The secret to the sauce! We use our homemade chili seasoning, which is a mix of chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper, to season our turkey chili.

Make it Vegetarian

This turkey chili is super easy to make vegetarian. Simply swap the ground turkey with an extra can of beans (kidney, black beans, or even pinto beans), or your favorite meat substitute, like soy crumbles.

Slow Cooker Instructions

Chili is a great slow cooker recipe. To make this turkey chili in your slow cooker, first brown the ground turkey in a skillet, then add it to the slow cooker with all of the other ingredients (reduce the water to 1 cup). Cook the chili on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours.

How to Store Leftovers

After cooking the turkey chili, divide it into single-serving containers and store in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Once chilled in the refrigerator, you can transfer some to the freezer for longer storage (about 3 months).

To reheat the chili, either microwave on high, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Or add to a sauce pot and cook over medium-low, stirring often, until heated through.

What to Serve with Turkey Chili

Chili and cornbread were made for each other, so try pairing this turkey chili with our Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread or Sweet Potato Cornbread. And don’t forget the toppings for your chili! Try adding a sprinkle of cheddar cheese, sliced green onions, or cilantro. Or maybe a dollop of sour cream, some corn chips, or pickled jalapeños.

Overhead view of a bowl full of chili with toppings and a spoon dipping into the center.
Overhead view of a bowl full of chili with toppings.
Print

Turkey Chili

This flavorful turkey chili features ground turkey, colorful beans and vegetables, and plenty of herbs and spices to keep you full and happy!
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $11.55 recipe / $1.93 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 (1.3 cups each)
Calories 331kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Add the olive oil and ground turkey to a large pot and cook over medium heat until the turkey is cooked through. Break the ground turkey up into pieces as it cooks.
  • While the turkey is cooking, dice the onion and poblano pepper, and mince the garlic. Add the onion, poblano, and garlic to the pot and continue to sauté for a few minutes more, or until the onions are soft and translucent.
  • Add the canned beans (drained), frozen corn (no need to thaw), diced tomatoes (with juices), tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and water. Stir to combine.
  • Place a lid on the pot and allow the chili to come up to a simmer. Once simmering, reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer for 30 minutes (or longer, if preferred), stirring occasionally. After 30 minutes, taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking, then serve.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.3cups | Calories: 331kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 7g | Sodium: 1138mg | Fiber: 13g
Overhead view of a pot of turkey chili.

How to Make Turkey Chili

Browned turkey in a large pot.

Add 2 Tbsp olive oil and one pound of ground turkey to a large pot. Cook over medium heat until the ground turkey is cooked through.

Onion, poblano pepper, and garlic added to the pot.

While the turkey is browning, mince four cloves of garlic, dice one yellow onion, and dice one poblano pepper. Add the garlic, onion, and pepper to the pot and continue to cook and stir over medium heat until the onions have softened.

Beans, tomatoes, and spices added to the pot, water being poured in the side.

Next, add one 15oz. can of kidney beans (drained), one 15oz. can of black beans (drained), one 15oz. can of pinto beans (drained), one 15oz. can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes (with juices), one 6oz. can of tomato paste, 1 cup frozen corn kernels, 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, ½ tsp dried oregano, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp onion powder, ¾ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper, and 2 cups water to the pot.

Stirred chili before simmering.

Stir everything to combine, then place a lid on the pot and allow it to come up to a simmer.

Simmered chili in the pot being stirred.

Once simmering, reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Give it a taste, adjust the seasoning to your liking, and serve!

Overhead view of a bowl full of chili with toppings.

And don’t forget to pile it high with your favorite chili toppings!

The post Turkey Chili appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Turkey Meatballs

Homemade Turkey Meatballs are made with eight simple ingredients and are perfect for meal prep or a quick weeknight dinner.

The post Turkey Meatballs appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I love my classic homemade meatballs recipe, but ground beef is getting expensive lately! So when ground beef is out of budget or I’m craving a lightly lighter flavor, I’ll make these super easy Turkey Meatballs. These meatballs freeze well, so consider making a double batch and freezing half for a rainy day. Spaghetti and meatballs is the ultimate quick weeknight dinner, especially when you’ve got homemade turkey meatballs in the freezer ready to go. 😏

Overhead view of a plate full of spaghetti with turkey meatballs on top.

Ingredients for Turkey Meatballs

These turkey meatballs are incredibly easy to make and only require eight simple ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to make them:

  • Ground Turkey: I used 93% lean ground turkey, which keeps the flavor light but still has enough fat to keep the meatballs from drying out. I don’t suggest using 99% lean ground turkey as it may result in tough meatballs.
  • Breadcrumbs: Breadcrumbs combine with the egg to help bind the turkey together to keep the turkey meatballs from falling apart. They also hold moisture, which helps keep the meatballs tender.
  • Egg: The egg combines with the breadcrumbs to bind the meatballs together and prevent them from falling apart.
  • Italian Seasoning: A simple store-bought Italian seasoning blend provides tons of herbal flavor to the meatballs.
  • Other Seasoning: I’ve also added some garlic and onion powder for a little depth and of course the classics, salt and pepper!
  • Parmesan Cheese: Parmesan gives an extra boost of rich umami flavor to the meatballs, making them extra satisfying and drool-worthy!

Cooking Options

Baking is my favorite method for making meatballs because it’s hands-off, but you can also make these turkey meatballs in an air fryer or a skillet. Here is how to cook turkey meatballs with each of the three methods:

Oven Baked Meatballs: Bake the meatballs at 400ºF for 20 minutes. Or, bake for 15 minutes and transfer the meatballs to a hot skillet with butter to cook for the remaining five minutes, which gives them a nice golden brown exterior.

Air Fryer Meatballs: Preheat the air fryer to 400ºF. Cook the meatballs for 8 minutes, shaking once half-way through, or until cooked through and golden brown on the outside. Cook in batches to avoid overcrowding the basket and preventing airflow.

Skillet: Cook the meatballs in a skillet with olive oil over medium heat until browned on each side and cooked through (about 2-3 minutes on each side). Cook in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.

How to Freeze Meatballs

These turkey meatballs freeze really well and make for delicious weeknight dinners later. To freeze the meatballs, pack them in an air-tight container after cooking and chill completely before transferring to the freezer where they can be stored for about three months. To reheat the meatballs, simply add them to a pot of red sauce and simmer until heated through. Or, allow them to thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then heat through in a skillet with butter or oil.

What to Serve with Turkey Meatballs

I love serving these meatballs with a simple tomato sauce over a bed of pasta, but they’d pair equally as well with an Alfredo sauce. You could also drop them into a pot of soup, like Minestrone. And don’t forget the garlic bread and a simple salad on the side!

Overhead view of a bowl full of turkey meatballs with no sauce.
Overhead view of a bowl full of spaghetti with turkey meatballs on top.
Print

Turkey Meatballs

Homemade Turkey Meatballs are made with simple ingredients and are perfect for meal prep or a quick weeknight dinner.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Total Cost $5.97 recipe / $1.49 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 (4 meatballs each)
Calories 213kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Add the ground turkey to a separate large bowl, then add the egg and breadcrumb mixture. Use your hands to mix everything together until evenly combined. Try not to overmix as this can make the meatballs tough.
  • Divide and shape the meat mixture into 16 meatballs, about two tablespoons each. To easily divide the meat evenly, first divide it into quarters, then divide each quarter into four pieces.

Baking Instructions:

  • Place the shaped meatballs on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Transfer the meatballs to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until cooked through. If you prefer more browning, bake the meatballs for 15 minutes, then transfer the meatballs to a hot skillet with butter and sauté until brown, about five minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Air Fryer Instructions:

  • Preheat the air fryer to 400ºF. Air fry the meatballs for about 8 minutes, or until well browned and cooked through. Shake the meatballs half-way through cooking to turn the meatballs and achieve even browning. Cook in batches to avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket.

Stove Top Instructions:

  • Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, add the meatballs (work in batches of about 8). Cook the meatballs in the hot skillet until browned on all sides and cooked through (about 2-3 minutes each side).

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 4meatballs | Calories: 213kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 509mg | Fiber: 1g
Close up of a turkey meatball on a fork with a bowl of pasta in the background.

How to Make Turkey Meatballs

Dry ingredients for turkey meatballs in a bowl, unmixed.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a bowl, combine ½ cup plain breadcrumbs, 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan, 2 tsp Italian seasoning, ½ tsp onion powder, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper.

Ground turkey, egg, and breadcrumbs in a bowl, unmixed.

Add one pound of ground turkey to a bowl along with one large egg and the breadcrumb mixture. Use your hands to mix the ingredients together until evenly combined, taking care not to overmix.

Meatballs being shaped and placed on a sheet pan.

Divide and shape the meat mixture into 16 meatballs, placing them on a parchment-baking sheet as you go. To divide them evenly, first divide the mixture in half, then in half again until you have four equal portions. Then take each portion and divide it into four, rolling them into meatballs as you go.

Shaped meatballs ready to bake.

Once the turkey meatballs are all shaped, they’re ready to bake.

Baked turkey meatballs on a sheet pan.

Bake the meatballs in the preheated 400ºF oven for 20 minutes, OR bake for 15 minutes and finish in a skillet to achieve more browning (shown baked for 15 minutes above).

Turkey meatballs browned in a skillet.

I like to finish cooking the meatballs in a skillet with a little butter or oil to get a nice brown finish.

Overhead close up view of turkey meatballs in a bowl, no sauce.

Enjoy the turkey meatballs as-is, or with your favorite sauce!

The post Turkey Meatballs appeared first on Budget Bytes.

BBQ Wings

These BBQ Wings are super easy to make and are so delicious and tangy, everyone at the table will lick their fingers squeaky-clean.

The post BBQ Wings appeared first on Budget Bytes.

These oven-baked BBQ Wings are so tangy and delicious, they had everyone in the studio licking their fingers and reaching for seconds! If you’ve never made BBQ Chicken Wings in the oven, it’s ridiculously simple to do and super-economical. This recipe for BBQ Wings is an excellent choice for a casual weeknight meal and because it’s easy to double or triple, it’s even more fabulous for a party! (I mean, is it even a party without chicken wings?)

Overhead shot of finished BBQ Wings on a rack set over a sheet pan.

What Are BBQ Wings?

If you’ve never had BBQ Chicken Wings, get ready for a treat! In this recipe, chicken wings are seasoned in several spices, coated in BBQ Sauce, and cooked in an oven until the sauce caramelizes. By the end of baking, the sauce’s flavors are concentrated and the crispy skin is lightly sticky to the touch, so you have to lick your fingers clean! (Which some people think is rude, but I consider the highest of praise.)

Ingredients For BBQ Chicken Wings

These wings are fairly simple to make and the results will knock your socks off. (You should probably just make a double batch.) Here’s what you’ll need for my recipe for BBQ Wings:

  • Chicken Wings: this recipe works with whole wings, flats, drumsticks, or boneless wings. We’re doing a seasoning and sauce ratio by pound of meat, so it’s easy to scale up or down.
  • Seasonings: I’ve created a blend for 2 pounds of wings that includes garlic powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, and black pepper. If you want to double the recipe, just multiply by two. If you want to use your favorite spice rub instead of making your own, use a heaping teaspoon per pound of chicken.
  • Baking Powder and Salt: Moisture is the enemy of crispy wings, and both of these ingredients draw out moisture. The salt deeply flavors your chicken while the baking powder breaks down the proteins in the skin, which results in the kind of crunch everyone can hear.
  • Cornstarch: absorbs water, the killer of crunch. As you cook the wings and moisture is pushed out, the cornstarch gobbles it up helping to create a super-crispy finish. 
  • BBQ Sauce: We’ve got a great recipe for Homemade BBQ Sauce (Have you tried it? It’s amazeballs!) but feel free to use your favorite store-bought sauces. As the wings cook, the sauce reduces and becomes a shiny glaze that’s packed with deep flavor.
Side shot of BBQ Wings being brushed with BBQ sauce.

What To Serve With BBQ Chicken Wings

BBQ Chicken Wings are a whole vibe! Of course, they pair perfectly with Homemade Mac and Cheese, Easy Creamy Cole Slaw, or Microwave Corn On The Cob. But also try serving them with dishes that aren’t traditional, like Tostones (Fried Green Plantain), Ensalada de Aguacate (Avocado Salad), or Yuca En Escabeche (Pickled Yuca). I prefer serving my wings hot, but you can def serve them cold. Just don’t skip serving them with sauces! My favorites are Ranch Dressing, Comeback Sauce, and Honey Mustard.

How To Store BBQ Chicken Wings

Let the wings cool and then store them in an airtight container. You can keep them in the fridge for up to three days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw frozen wings in the fridge overnight, preheat your oven to 350°F, and bake uncovered on a rack until steaming.

Side shot of BBQ Wing being dipped into bowl of ranch dressing.
Overhead shot of finished BBQ Wings on a rack set over a sheet pan.
Print

BBQ Wings

These BBQ Wings are super easy to make and are so delicious and tangy, everyone at the table will lick their fingers squeaky-clean.
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost ($9.61 recipe / $1.60 serving)
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 6 2-wing servings
Calories 229kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Pat the chicken wings dry with a paper towel and place them in a large mixing bowl. Mix the salt and baking powder. Toss the dried chicken wings in this mixture until evenly coated.
  • Line a sheet pan with parchment paper, then top it with a sheet pan rack. Place the wings on the sheet pan rack and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to 8 hours.
  • Place an oven rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 300°F. Remove the wings from the fridge and pat them dry a second time. Place them in a large mixing bowl. Mix the cornstarch, garlic powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, and black pepper. Toss the wings in this mixture.
  • Clean the sheet pan rack and set it over the sheet pan. Arrange the wings in a single layer, ensuring they aren't on top of each other so they cook evenly. Bake the wings for 12 minutes. Flip the wings over and bake for an additional 12 minutes. Remove the wings from the oven and raise the temperature to 450°F.
  • Remove the wings from the sheet pan rack and clean the sheet pan rack. Add 1/4 cup of the BBQ Sauce to a large mixing bowl and toss half of the wings in it. Place the sauced wings on the clean sheet pan rack. Toss the remaining 1/4 cup sauce with the last of the wings and place on the rack.
  • Place the BBQ Wings in the 450°F oven for 10 to 12 minutes until the sauce has become glossy and dark, with char spots.
  • Once the wings have started to develop some charring and have reached an internal temperature of 165°F, pull them from the oven. Serve with your favorite sauces and don't be shy about licking your fingers clean!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 2wings | Calories: 229kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 13g | Sodium: 1222mg | Fiber: 0.4g

How to Make BBQ Wings – Step by Step Photos

Overhead shot of raw chicken wings in a white bowl being sprinkled with baking powder and salt.

Pat 2 pounds of chicken wings dry with a paper towel and place them in a large mixing bowl. Mix 2 teaspoons of salt with 2 teaspoons of baking powder. Toss the dried chicken wings in this mixture until evenly coated.

Overhead shot of chicken wings with baking powder and salt on a drying rack set over a sheet pan.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and then top it with a sheet pan rack. Place the wings on the sheet pan rack and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to 8 hours.

Overhead shot of raw chicken wings in a white bowl being sprinkled with cornstarch and seasonings.

Place an oven rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 300°F. Remove the wings from the fridge and pat them dry a second time. Place them in a large mixing bowl. Mix 2 teaspoons cornstarch, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Toss the wings in this mixture until thoroughly coated.

Overhead shot of seasoned and sauced chicken wings set on a rack in a sheet pan.

Clean the sheet pan rack and set it over the sheet pan. Arrange the wings in a single layer, ensuring they aren’t on top of each other so they cook evenly. Bake the wings for 12 minutes. Flip the wings over and bake for an additional 12 minutes. Remove the wings from the oven and raise the temperature of the oven to 450°F.

Overhead shot of chicken wings being mixed into BBQ sauce in a white bowl.

Remove the wings from the sheet pan rack and clean the sheet pan rack. Add 1/4 cup BBQ Sauce to a large mixing bowl and toss half the wings in it. Place the sauced wings on the sheet pan rack. Repeat with the remaining BBQ sauce and wings.

Overhead shot of BBQ Wings after the first bake, brushed with a second round of BBQ sauce.

Place the BBQ Wings in the 450°F oven for 10 minutes until the sauce has become glossy and dark, with char spots.

Overhead shot of finished BBQ Wings on a rack set over a sheet pan.

Once the wings have started to develop some charring, use a meat thermometer to make sure they have an internal temperature of 165°F before pulling them from the oven. Serve with your favorite sauces and don’t be shy about licking your fingers clean!

Side shot of BBQ Wing being dipped into bowl of ranch dressing.

The post BBQ Wings appeared first on Budget Bytes.

BBQ Ribs

You don’t need a big fancy grill to get juicy, tender, fall-off-the-bone BBQ ribs. Your oven can produce lip-smackingly delicious ribs too!

The post BBQ Ribs appeared first on Budget Bytes.

For me, nothing says “Summer is here!” like a succulent rack of BBQ Ribs with All. Of. The. Sides. But maybe, like me, you don’t have a grill or a backyard, or any desire to stand out in the hot sun next to fire. First, I see you. Second, you don’t need a big fancy grill to get juicy, tender, fall-off-the-bone BBQ Ribs. All you need is a baking pan, some foil, and some patience to get oven-baked barbecue ribs on the table that’ll have your whole family asking for more! PS This is a great recipe for Father’s Day, the 4th Of July, or a summer barbecue. So make sure to save it!

Baked ribs on a black plater.

What you need to make BBQ Ribs

Are you ready to skip the grill and fire up your oven? Here’s what you need to make delicious oven-baked barbecue ribs that leave you wishing you’d made a double batch!

  • Ribs– your choice: baby back, spare, short, St. Louis style, you name it. Though cook times will vary, you can make any 3-pound rack using this simple recipe.
  • Barbecue Sauce– we have a great recipe for Homemade BBQ Sauce if you want to make your own, but any BBQ sauce will do. Not only does the sauce add deep flavors, but it also helps caramelize the outer layer of ribs for mouth-wateringly sticky perfection.
  • Spices– a rub is a must if you want to add deep flavor to ribs. For this recipe, we will make our own rub with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, brown sugar, cayenne, and mustard powder, but if you have a favorite brand, use 5 tablespoons.
  • Butter – mixing the dry rub with melted butter makes it easy for the seasoning to stick to your ribs as they bake. The butter also adds flavor and keeps your ribs from getting dry.
  • Liquid– placing liquid in the pan will help keep your ribs from drying out. You can use any liquid: water, chicken broth, and if you’re making pork ribs, apple juice works beautifully.

How To Pick Ribs

Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind when picking ribs:

  1. Look for meaty ribs that are the same thickness from end to end. Press your finger down into the rib to get a feel for how much meat there is on the bone.
  2. Look for ribs marbled throughout with fat, which keeps them juicy and adds flavor. Pass on ribs with big clumps of fat, which adds to the weight and cost of the rack but has to be trimmed before baking.
  3. The ribs should be about the same size and thickness from end to end, which ensures even cooking. Of course, you’ll have some natural tapering at one end, but avoid racks with a considerable size difference from end to end.
  4. Plan on at least 3 to 4 ribs per serving and buy accordingly.
Cut ribs on a white plate with mashed potatoes and green beans.

What To Serve With BBQ Ribs

Kick up your BBQ Ribs 100 notches by serving them with delicious, easy-to-make Budget Bytes classics like:

How To Store And Reheat Ribs

Wrap ribs tightly in plastic or foil and place them in an airtight container. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months. To reheat from frozen, thaw the ribs in your fridge overnight. When ready to cook, bring the ribs to room temperature while you preheat your oven to 250°F. Line a sheet pan with a rack and fill the pan with a few cups of water. Wrap the ribs in foil, place them on a sheet pan, and warm for about 20 to 30 minutes or until steaming.

Baked ribs on a rack.
Print

BBQ Ribs

You don't need a big fancy grill to get juicy, tender, fall-off-the-bone BBQ ribs. Your oven can produce lip-smackingly delicious ribs too!
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Total Cost ($11.76 recipe / $2.94 serving)
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings of 3-4 ribs
Calories 987kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs pork ribs $8.82
  • 4 Tbsp butter, melted $0.37
  • 2 tsp salt $0.10
  • 1 tsp black pepper $0.10
  • 2 tsp garlic powder $0.20
  • 2 tsp onion powder $0.20
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika $0.20
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar $0.04
  • 2 tsp cayenne $0.20
  • 2 tsp ground mustard $0.20
  • 3 cups chicken broth $0.39
  • 1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce $0.94

Instructions

  • Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 300°F. Trim the ribs, removing excess fat. Trim the thicker end to even out the thickness. (Cook the trimmed meat with the ribs as a cook's bonus.) Turn the ribs over and remove the silvery membrane from the back of the ribs.
  • Line a sheet pan that's at least 2 inches deep with heavy-duty aluminum foil and place a wire cooling rack in it. If you do not have a cooling rack, crumple a long sheet of aluminum and roll it into a rack-sized donut that is at least 2 inches thick. Place the trimmed ribs on the rack. Pat off any excess moisture with a paper towel.
  • Make a rub by mixing salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, brown sugar, cayenne, ground mustard, and melted butter.
  • Rub the seasoning generously all over the meaty top of the ribs in a thick layer.
  • Pour chicken broth into the sheet pan, being careful not to pour it on the ribs. Place the sheet pan in the oven. Lower the temperature to 250°F. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
  • Cover the ribs in aluminum foil and bake for 60 minutes, rotating the sheet pan midway through.
  • Remove the aluminum foil and brush the ribs with 1 cup of bbq sauce. Bake for an additional 30 minutes or until tender. Every rack is different. The ribs are ready when a fork can easily pull the meat off the bone.
  • Turn the heat in the oven on broil. Brush the ribs with an additional 1/2 cup of bbq sauce and place under the broiler for a few minutes, just until a little char develops. Remove the ribs from the oven and rest for 15 minutes. Cut the ribs to your desired size, serve, and try not to lick your fingers!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 987kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 69g | Sodium: 3208mg | Fiber: 2g
Cut ribs on a plate lines with parchment paper.

How to Make BBQ Ribs – Step by Step Photos

Trimming silver skin off the back of a rib rack.

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 300°F. Trim the ribs, removing any big clumps of excess fat. Trim the thicker end to even out the thickness and cook the trimmed meat along with the ribs. Cook’s bonus! Turn the ribs over and remove the silvery membrane from the back of the ribs. It gets rubbery when cooked. Use a pairing knife or other sharp small knife to cut away at the skin while you pull it.

Trimmed ribs on a rack.

Line a sheet pan that’s at least 2 inches deep with heavy-duty aluminum foil and place a rack in it. Place the trimmed ribs on the rack. If you do not have a cooling rack, crumple a long sheet of aluminum and roll it into a rack-sized donut that is at least 2 inches thick. Place the trimmed ribs on the rack or aluminum donut. Pat off any excess moisture with a paper towel.

Ingredients for dry rub in a white bowl.

Make a rub by mixing 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of pepper, 2 teaspoons of garlic powder, 2 teaspoons of onion powder, 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of cayenne, 2 teaspoons of mustard powder, and 4 tablespoons of melted butter.

Covering ribs with dry rub that are set on a rack.

Rub the seasoning generously all over the meaty top of the ribs.

Adding broth to a sheet pan with ribs on a rack.

Pour the chicken broth into the sheet pan, being careful not to pour it on the ribs. Place the sheet pan in the oven. Lower the temperature to 250°F. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Cover the ribs in aluminum foil and rotate the sheet pan front to back. Bake for another 30 minutes, then rotate the sheet pan again and bake for an additional 30 minutes.

Adding BBQ sauce to baked ribs on a rack.

Remove the aluminum foil and brush the ribs with 1 cup of bbq sauce. Bake for an additional 30 minutes or until tender. Every rack is different. The ribs are ready when a fork can easily pull the meat off the bone.

Finished baked ribs on a rack.

Turn the heat in the oven on broil. Brush the ribs with an additional 1/2 cup of bbq sauce and place under the broiler for a few minutes, just until a little char develops. Remove the ribs from the oven and rest for 15 minutes. Cut the ribs to your desired size, serve, and try not to lick your fingers!

Cut ribs on a white plate with mashed potatoes and green beans.

More Easy BBQ Recipes

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Air Fryer Fried Chicken

Crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, Air Fryer Fried Chicken delivers loads of texture and flavor without the fuss of deep frying.

The post Air Fryer Fried Chicken appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, Air Fryer Fried Chicken is the move if you want loads of texture and flavor without dealing with a pot of used oil and a greasy stovetop. It’s all of the yum with less of the fuss! The hardest thing about frying chicken in an air fryer is not eating the crunchy, golden skin before it hits the table.

Overhead view of Air Fryer Fried Chicken resting on parchment paper and a cooling rack with a small bowl of hot sauce in the background.

Why Cook Chicken In An Air Fryer?

An air fryer is just a countertop convection oven with a cute name. It doesn’t actually fry food. Instead, it circulates hot air around whatever’s in the basket, creating a crispy outer layer while keeping the inside moist and tender. There’s no oil splatter all over your stove (or you), no grease-filled pot to scrub, and you only need a small fraction of the oil used in traditional frying. It’s the perfect vehicle for crispy chicken, and the results will absolutely blow your mind.

What You Need To Air Fry Chicken

I butcher a whole chicken because it’s cheaper, but you can fry any kind of chicken you want: wings, breasts, or thighs. Here’s what you’ll need to make crispy Air Fryer Fried Chicken:

  • Chicken – this recipe is for 3 pounds of chicken. Use whatever combination you like. If your air fryer basket is small, it’s best to fry similar-sized pieces in batches.
  • Buttermilk– is the foundation of your brine. It tenderizes your chicken while also adding tanginess.
  • Spices – help build earthy flavor and soft heat. I use smoked paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Feel free to substitute this mix with three tablespoons of your favorite spice blend.
  • Egg – helps the flour mixture stick to your chicken.
  • Flour– Helps to build the iconic crispy outer layer of fried chicken.
  • Corn Starch– helps deepen the color of the batter as it cooks and creates a crispy texture.
  • Baking Powder– Helps create an airy batter with loads of crispy nooks and crannies.
  • Oil Spray – you need oil to fry chicken, even in an air fryer. If you don’t have oil spray, put corn oil or vegetable oil in a spray bottle, and use that.
Overhead view of Air Fryer Fried Chicken plated.

How To Fry Chicken In An Air Fryer

  1. For deep flavor and juicy, tender results, brine your chicken. Even a short thirty-minute dip will make a huge difference, but if you can, brine it for at least 2 hours.
  2. Preheat the air fryer. Your air fryer is a countertop oven; like most ovens, you need to preheat it. You may not need to do so for every recipe, but for crispy chicken that’s cooked throughout, it’s a must.
  3. When you’re ready to fry, shake off the excess brine and thoroughly dredge the chicken in seasoned flour mixed with cornstarch and baking soda. The last two ingredients will help crisp the skin.
  4. Spray the floured chicken with enough oil to cover it completely, once before cooking and once mid-cook.
  5. Use a lower temperature (300°F) to give the chicken time to cook without burning the batter, then increase the heat (400°F) to finish cooking the chicken and create a crispy, golden outer layer.
  6. Cook the chicken to 160°F. The chicken will continue to cook after it’s out of the air fryer and that carry-over cooking will take you to the recommended 165°F.

How Long Do I Air Fry Chicken?

Your cook time depends on the cuts of chicken used. The thicker the cut, the longer it takes to reach the required 165°F. Use a thermometer and pull the chicken once it hits 160°F. It will continue to cook outside of the air-fryer, and the temperature will reach 165°F. If you do not have a thermometer, cook the chicken until the juices run clear.

How To Reheat Air Fryer Fried Chicken

Try not to leave the chicken out at room temperature for longer than two hours. Harmful bacteria start to multiply soon after. Refrigerate fried chicken in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. Freeze it for up to 4 months, though the sooner you eat it, the tastier it will be. To reheat it, bring it up to room temperature. Preheat your air fryer to 350°F and cook the chicken until it’s steaming, about 5 minutes.

Overhead close up view of Air Fryer Fried Chicken on parchment paper and a cooling rack.
Print

Air Fryer Fried Chicken

Crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, Air Fryer Fried Chicken delivers loads of texture and flavor without the fuss of deep frying.
Course Brunch, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Total Cost $10.39 recipe / $1.04 piece)
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Brining Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 10 pieces
Calories 470kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs chicken, about 10 pieces* $7.10

For the brine:

  • 2 tsp smoked paprika $0.20
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper $0.05
  • 2 tsp garlic powder $0.20
  • 2 tsp onion powder $0.20
  • 2 tsp oregano $0.20
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper $0.10
  • 1 Tbsp salt $0.15
  • 1 cup buttermilk* $0.32
  • 1 egg, beaten $0.17

For breading the chicken:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour $0.28
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch $0.12
  • 2 tsp baking powder $0.12
  • 1 tsp salt $0.08
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 2 oz cooking spray $1.00

Instructions

  • Mix the smoked paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, cayenne pepper, salt, buttermilk, and egg in a large bowl.
  • Place chicken in the bowl and mix until all of the chicken is covered. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the chicken. Marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, preferably 2 hours.
  • Preheat your air-fryer to 300°F. Mix flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder in a large bowl. Remove one piece of chicken from the brine, shake off the excess brine, and dredge it in the flour mixture. Set it aside and repeat with the remaining pieces of chicken.
  • Spray cooking oil in your air fryer basket until it is completely covered. Place the chicken in the basket in a single layer, making sure no pieces overlap. Spray the top of the chicken with cooking oil until thoroughly covered. Cook for 20 minutes at 300°F.
  • Carefully flip the chicken pieces so as not to destroy the crust. Spray the top surface of the chicken again with cooking oil until thoroughly covered.
  • Cook for 15 to 20 minutes at 400°F, or until chicken skin is crispy and golden and the internal temperature is 160°F. Insert the thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken without touching the bone. Then try not to eat that crispy skin before serving. Forgive yourself if you fail miserably!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*You can make your own buttermilk by mixing 1 cup of whole milk with 1 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar.
*We butchered a whole 3 pound chicken into 10 pieces, but feel free to use  3 pounds of whatever pre-cut chicken you desire, thighs, breasts, wings etc.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pieces | Calories: 470kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 27g | Sodium: 1147mg | Fiber: 1g
Overhead view of Air Fryer Fried Chicken plated.

How to Make Air Fryer Fried Chicken – Step by Step Photos

Overhead shot of ingredients for brine.

Mix 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 2 teaspoons onion powder, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons oregano, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 cup buttermilk, and 1 beaten egg in a large bowl.

Overhead shot of chicken in a white bowl covered in buttermilk brine.

Place 10 pieces of chicken in the bowl and mix until all of the chicken is covered. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the chicken. Marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, preferably 2 hours.

Overhead shot of brined chicken being placed in a white bowl full of flour.

Preheat your air-fryer to 300°F. Mix 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup cornstarch, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder in a large bowl. Remove one piece of chicken from the brine, shake off the excess brine, and dredge it in flour mixture. For a very thick layer of breading, dunk the chicken in the brine again and dredge it in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess. Set it aside and repeat with the remaining pieces of chicken.

Overhead shot of battered chicken placed in an air fryer.

Spray cooking oil in your air fryer basket until it is completely covered. Place the chicken in the basket in a single layer making sure no pieces are overlapping. Spray the top of the chicken with cooking oil until thoroughly covered. Cook for 20 minutes at 300°F.

Overhead shot of tongs flipping air fryer fried chicken in an air fryer basket.

Carefully flip the chicken pieces so as not to destroy the crust. Spray the top surface of the chicken again with cooking oil until thoroughly covered.

Overhead shot of finished air fryer fried chicken in an air fryer basket.

Cook for 15 to 20 minutes at 400°F, or until chicken skin is crispy and golden and the internal temperature is 160°F. It might take a few minutes longer, depending on the size of your air-fryer basket and the amount of chicken in the basket. Insert the thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken without touching the bone. Then try not to eat that crispy skin before serving. Forgive yourself if you fail miserably!

Side shot of air fryer fried chicken on parchment paper.

More Great Chicken Recipes

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