Mushroom Galette

This hearty mushroom galette is a tasty savory tart recipe bursting with flavor! This vegetarian dinner idea will wow everyone.…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This hearty mushroom galette is a tasty savory tart recipe bursting with flavor! This vegetarian dinner idea will wow everyone.

Mushroom galette

Looing for a stunning fall or winter vegetarian dinner idea? Try a savory Mushroom Galette! This free-form French tart isn’t just for dessert. Make it with a savory filling and it’s a fun vegetarian main dish, like a quiche. This one stars meaty mushrooms, layered over a fluffy smear of ricotta and Parmesan cheese and scented with garlic and fresh thyme. It’s all packed into a flaky, buttery crust and baked to perfection. The smell alone had us salivating before the first bite. Ready to bake?

Ingredients for this mushroom galette

galette is a rustic French tart: a round pie made without a pie dish using a folded pastry crust. That’s right: no pie plates or precise rolling and cutting! Simply roll out the dough, add filling and fold over the crust. Galettes are most often served as desserts, like a peach galette or blueberry galette. But they work as savory pies too, like a tomato galette or mushroom galette. Here’s what you’ll need for this mushroom galette recipe:

  • Mushrooms: a mix of cremini (baby bella) and shiitakes makes for a nuanced, complex flavor
  • Olive oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, dried thyme
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Garlic
  • Fresh thyme
  • Flour
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Baking powder
  • Egg
Mushroom Galette

Tips for working with galette dough

The main part of this mushroom galette that takes a bit of technique? The pastry dough! Now, this galette dough is easy to work with, but there are a few things to keep in mind when making the pastry. Here are a few tips:

  • Weigh the flour in grams (or spoon and level it). Weighing your flour on a food scale in grams provides the most accurate measurement (and it’s less messy, we find!) Or you can spoon the flour into the measuring cup, then level it with the back of the spoon. This is more accurate than scooping flour right out of the container, which can result in more flour per cup.
  • Add just enough water for the dough to come together. It should take around 5 to 6 tablespoons, but maybe slightly more depending on the exact flour amount.
  • Chill 1 hour. Chilling is important, so that the butter can solidify. Otherwise, the crust can melt in the oven.
  • Roll into a 12-inch circle, then add the filling. Flour your work surface first. Pick up the dough and add more flour to the surface as necessary if it’s sticking. Then add the ricotta filling and mushrooms.
  • Gently fold it up to create a 2-inch crust. Overlap the folds to make a circle around the filling: see the photos.

For the egg wash

Before baking this mushroom galette, it’s important to brush the crust with an egg wash and sprinkle with salt. An egg wash makes a nice golden sheen on the crust. Full disclosure: we were out of eggs and had to brush on heavy cream to the crust for these photos (a substitute for an egg wash). You can tell it doesn’t have quite the sheen as the crusts in our other galette recipes! So an egg wash is the way to go.

Mushroom Galette

Serving this mushroom galette

Once you bake up your mushroom galette, don’t dig into it just yet! The cooling time is important for achieving the best texture. Here’s what to know:

Storage info

Got leftovers of this mushroom galette? Place it in a storage container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. You can also make it 1 day in advance: bake it, then refrigerate over night. Before serving, leave it out on the counter for about 30 minutes to let it come to room temperature. If desired, reheat it in a 350 degree oven until warmed through.

Mushroom Galette

More galette recipes

You can make a galette in every season with many fruits and vegetables! Here are a few more recipes to try:

This mushroom galette recipe is…

Vegetarian.

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Mushroom galette

Mushroom Galette


Description

This hearty mushroom galette is a tasty savory tart recipe bursting with flavor! This vegetarian dinner idea will wow everyone.


Ingredients

For the galette dough 

  • 1 ½ cups [210 grams] all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 egg, for the egg wash
  • Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling

For the filling

  • 16 ounces cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or tamari)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to sprinkle
  • ¾ cup whole milk ricotta
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, for topping

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, kosher salt, and baking powder. Slice the butter into small pieces, then use a pastry blender or fork to cut it into the flour mixture until mostly incorporated and a pebbly texture forms (with pea-sized or smaller pieces).
  2. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of the cool water over the flour, mixing gradually with a fork until the flour is mostly incorporated. Add the additional 1 to 2 tablespoons of water until all the flour is incorporated, kneading with your fingers until the dough comes together. (Resist the urge to add more water; it should come together!) Form the dough into a ball and flatten into a thick disk. Wrap it in plastic or place it in a covered container and chill the dough for 1 hour. (To make in advance, you can refrigerate the dough up to 3 days; allow to sit at room temperature 30 minutes before rolling. Or, wrap in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and freeze up to 3 months, then defrost overnight in the refrigerator before rolling.)
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Clean and slice the mushrooms. Toss them in a bowl with the olive oil, soy sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, thyme, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Place them in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes until tender.
  5. In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, garlic, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and a few grinds black pepper. 
  6. On a floured surface, roll the dough into an even 12” circle, leaving the edges rough (if needed, move the dough around and add a bit more flour underneath to keep it from sticking). Carefully transfer the dough to a sheet of parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet. 
  7. Gently spread the ricotta mixture on the dough, then add the mushrooms, leaving at least 2 inches of dough around the outside edge. Fold in the outside edges of the dough over the filling to form an approximately 2-inch crust, overlapping the folds as shown in the photos. Top with fresh thyme leaves.
  8. Whisk the egg and use a pastry brush to brush it onto the crust. Then top the crust with a small sprinkle of flaky sea salt. 
  9. Bake the galette for 30 to 33 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer the parchment paper to a baking rack to cool. Cool for at least 10 minutes, then slice into pieces and serve. It’s also great at room temperature or cold. Store leftovers for up to 3 days refrigerated; bring to room temperature or warm in the oven before serving.

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Pasta alla Carbonara

This pasta alla carbonara recipe easy to make with 4 classic ingredients and tastes so decadent and delicious. Ok, I couldn’t spend a month in Rome studying and seeking out the best pasta alla carbonara the city had to offer without coming back to this post to share a few things that I learned. ♡ […]

This pasta alla carbonara recipe easy to make with 4 classic ingredients and tastes so decadent and delicious.

Ok, I couldn’t spend a month in Rome studying and seeking out the best pasta alla carbonara the city had to offer without coming back to this post to share a few things that I learned. ♡

First of all, can I just say how much I appreciate this city’s passion for talking about good pasta?! One of the first souvenirs I purchased during our month in Rome was this tote bag, and the number of nods and conversations it prompted with everyone from market vendors to our AirBnB neighbors to restaurant servers to local playground parents were downright delightful. “That’s right.” “All you need.” “Correct, no cream!” You also can’t help but love a city where everyone, when asked who makes the best carbonara, quickly replies with the obvious —“mia nonna” (my grandmother). Certainly true, I’m sure. But I have to say that the bowls of pasta alla carbonara that I had the pleasure of sampling in restaurants were also exceptional.

My favorite, no surprise, ended up being the pasta alla carbonara developed by the “King of Carbonara” himself, Chef Luciano Monosilio. Served with a supremely decadent and silky egg sauce, a few crispy and surprisingly large cubes of guanciale, and a perfectly al dente twirl of thick spaghetti, Chef Luciano’s carbonara tasted just as legendary as one would hope. And I was also intrigued to learn that he has a brilliant modern method for making it, which I’ve now wholeheartedly adopted.

Instead of tossing the egg sauce in a very hot pan with very hot pasta, a classic method that is notorious for sometimes accidentally scrambling the eggs, Chef Luciano first tempers the eggs in a metal mixing bowl with the guanciale grease and hot starchy pasta water. Then he transfers the pasta directly to the mixing bowl, places the bowl over the pot used to cook the pasta water (essentially creating a double boiler), and tosses the pasta with the sauce over the heat until it has cooked and thickened. It’s a simple method that I’ve found to be much more reliable when it comes to creating a perfectly glossy egg sauce and I have a hunch that all of you fellow carbonara lovers out there are going to love it too.

So today, I’ve updated my favorite pasta alla carbonara recipe below to include the double-boiler trick, along with a few additional tips that will hopefully be helpful. This recipe is definitely full-on rich, full-flavored, classic comfort food. So when you’re ready to indulge, grab a fork and let’s dive in!

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Baked Spaghetti

Baked spaghetti is a warm and comforting pasta casserole. As the pasta bakes, flavor infuses into the spaghetti, making it even more flavorful.

The post Baked Spaghetti appeared first on Budget Bytes.

You might be asking yourself, “Why on earth would I bake spaghetti??” Well, the same reason you’d want to bake ziti or any other pasta casserole. Baking spaghetti in the oven lets the spaghetti soak up flavor from the sauce and when you add in a layer of gooey melted cheese, you get an absolutely delicious and comforting casserole. It’s worth the extra 30 minutes. Promise.

Overhead view of baked spaghetti in the casserole dish, sliced.

What’s in Baked Spaghetti

This super simple baked spaghetti casserole has three main components: spaghetti (of course), meat sauce, and cheese. What more do you really need?

I made a really easy homemade meat sauce for this casserole, but if you’re short on time you can absolutely substitute a jar of store-bought pasta sauce. And if you want more meat in your meat sauce and have room in your budget, you can double up on the sausage and use a whole pound.

Can You Sub Ground Beef?

If you prefer ground beef in your meat sauce as opposed to Italian sausage, just make sure to double up on the herbs and spices that you add to the sauce. Italian sausage is packed with a lot of spices that bring tons of flavor to the sauce, so you’ll be missing that if you substitute it with plain ground beef.

Side view of baked spaghetti being lifted out of the casserole dish.

What Else Can I Add?

There is so much room for customization with this recipe. You could add sautéed mushrooms, chopped spinach, olives, or maybe even some sautéed zucchini to add extra vegetables.

If you want to make it extra cheesy, try adding in some crumbled feta or maybe extra mozzarella to the cheese layer. I wanted to keep mine budget-friendly, so I went kind of light on the cheese and sausage this time around.

How to Store Baked Spaghetti

After baking, slice the baked spaghetti into six servings and refrigerate. The spaghetti will stay good in the fridge for about 4-5 days, or, once fully chilled, you can package up individual slices and freeze them for longer storage. This dish is so perfect for meal prepping. It’s such a lifesaver to be able to pull a serving of this out of the back of the freezer on a busy night!

What to Serve with Baked Spaghetti

Homemade Garlic Bread is awesome with baked spaghetti, but if you want some vegetables on the side I would go with something like Oven Roasted Frozen Broccoli or a simple side salad.

Overhead view of the casserole dish and spatula with one slice removed.
Overhead view of a slice of baked spaghetti being lifted out of the casserole dish.
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Baked Spaghetti with Sausage

Baked spaghetti is a warm and comforting pasta casserole. As the pasta bakes, flavor infuses into the spaghetti, making it even more flavorful.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $8.95 recipe / $1.49 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 534kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.42
  • 3 cloves garlic $0.24
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1/2 lb. Italian Sausage $3.00
  • 3 oz. tomato paste $0.45
  • 1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes $0.85
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/2 cup water $0.00
  • 12 oz. spaghetti $1.00
  • 1 cup small curd cottage cheese $0.93
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan $0.50
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella $1.25
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley (optional garnish) $0.05

Instructions

  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic.
  • Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Add the Italian sausage and cook until browned.
  • Add the chopped onion and minced garlic to the skillet and continue to stir and cook until the onions are soft and translucent.
  • Add the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt, and water. Stir to combine, then allow the sauce to come up to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the sauce simmer while you cook the pasta.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Add ½ Tbsp salt to a large pot of water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Add the spaghetti and continue to boil until the pasta is tender, but not fully cooked. Drain the pasta in a colander.
  • Add the drained pasta to the sauce and stir to combine.
  • Combine the cottage cheese, Parmesan, and pepper in a bowl.
  • Lightly grease an 8×11" casserole dish. Layer in half of the spaghetti and sauce, then top with the cottage cheese mixture. Add the second half of the spaghetti and sauce, then top with the shredded mozzarella.
  • Cover the dish with foil then bake the spaghetti for 30 minutes. Top the spaghetti with chopped parsley, if desired. Slice into six pieces, then serve!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 534kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 22g | Sodium: 1063mg | Fiber: 5g
Overhead view of a slice of baked spaghetti being lifted out of the casserole dish.

How to Make Baked Spaghetti – Step By Step Photos

Diced onion and minced garlic on a cutting board.

Dice one yellow onion and mince four cloves of garlic.

Browned Italian Sausage in the skillet.

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add ½ lb. Italian sausage and cook until browned.

Onion and garlic added to sausage.

Add the diced onion and minced garlic, and continue to cook and stir for a few more minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent.

Crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, herbs, and water added to the skillet.

Add one 28oz. can of crushed tomatoes, 3oz. tomato paste, ½ tsp Italian seasoning, ½ tsp salt, and ½ cup water to the skillet.

Stirred sauce in the skillet.

Stir the sauce until everything is well combined and then let the sauce simmer while you make the pasta. Also, begin to preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Boiled spaghetti in a pot with a pasta spoon.

Add 1/2 Tbsp salt to a large pot of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add 12 ounces of spaghetti and continue to boil until it is just barely undercooked (it will cook more as it bakes). Drain the spaghetti in a colander.

Cheese mixture in a bowl before stirring.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the cheese layer. Stir together 1 cup small curd cottage cheese, ¼ cup grated Parmesan, and ¼ tsp pepper.

Spaghetti stirred into the meat sauce in the skillet.

Stir the drained spaghetti into the simmered meat sauce.

First two layers of baked spaghetti in the casserole dish.

Lightly grease one 8×11-inch (or 2 liter) casserole dish. Layer in half of the spaghetti and meat sauce, then top with the cheese mixture.

Second layer of pasta and shredded mozzarella in the casserole dish.

Add the second half of the spaghetti and meat sauce, then top with 1 cup of shredded mozzarella.

Baked spaghetti with foil being removed.

Cover the casserole dish with foil then bake in the preheated 350ºF oven for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly around the edges.

Overhead view of baked spaghetti being scooped out of the casserole dish.

Let the pasta cool for about 5 minutes, then slice into six pieces and serve. You can top with chopped parsley garnish for visual effect, but it’s not needed for flavor.

The post Baked Spaghetti appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sausage Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

If you’re looking for a knock-out recipe that takes minutes to put together, this mouthwatering Sausage Stuffed Spaghetti Squash is it!

The post Sausage Stuffed Spaghetti Squash appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sausage Stuffed Spaghetti Squash is one of those recipes you make when you have time for absolutely nothing but still want to indulge in a savory ooey-gooey delight that’ll make every person at your table say “Wow.” Plus, it’s a sheet pan meal that takes minutes to put together. What’s not to love?

Overhead shot of a hand touching sausage stuffed spaghetti squash with a black fork in it.

What Is Spaghetti Squash?

Spaghetti Squash is the coolest cousin in the gourd family. It has a canary yellow exterior and is shaped like a smoother version of one of those giant dragon eggs someone’s always cradling on House Of The Dragon. (Or a football. Take your pick.) When cooked, its flesh separates into strands the thickness of angel hair.

DOES IT REALLY TASTE LIKE SPaghetti?

No. It does not. It has a neutral flavor and a mildly crunchy texture that smooths out the longer you cook it. But it does look like spaghetti, with strands that vary in length depending on how you slice it. If you go with rounds, you’ll get beautiful long pieces that you can twirl around a fork. I always cut it lengthwise because it’s faster. Even though it gives me shorter strands, I get more ways to work with it because you can stuff it with almost anything.

Side shot of Sausage Stuffed Spaghetti Squash with a fork in it.

How To Cut SPaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash can be a beast to work with unless you soften it a little first with a spin on your microwave turntable. Pierce its skin a few times with a fork and nuke it for five minutes before you try to slice it. It will make it so much easier. It’s always a good idea to stabilize it by resting it on a dish towel before you make that first cut. Leave the steak knife in the drawer and bust out your sharpest chef’s knife. Check out our full tutorial on How To Roast Spaghetti Squash.

Do I Have To Use Italian Sausage?

The beauty of spaghetti squash is its mild flavor, which makes it a blank canvas that pairs perfectly with almost anything. Beth and I are kind of obsessed with Italian sausage and melted mozzarella, but feel free to try your favorite combinations.

For example, you can make this a vegan meal with vegan cheese and sausage. Or lean Latin with it, and try chorizo with manchego or a smoky cheddar. The magic is that you don’t need to use any spices. Not even salt. The sausage is already chock full of spices and will flavor the squash as its fat renders in the cavity. The cheeses provide all the salt you need. Beth and I couldn’t score our favorite spicy Italian sausage, so we opted for sweet and added a sprinkle of red pepper flakes to the mix. That’s, of course, completely optional.

Side shot of Sausage Stuffed Spaghetti Squash with a fork in it.
Overhead shot of stuffed spaghetti squash with a black fork next to it.
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Sausage Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

If you're looking for a knock-out recipe that takes minutes to put together, this mouthwatering Sausage Stuffed Spaghetti Squash is it!
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Total Cost ($5.38 recipe / $1.35 serving)
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 quarters
Calories 355kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash (1.5 lbs.) $1.19
  • 1/2 lb. Italian ground sausage (sweet or spicy) $3.00
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella $0.63
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese $0.50
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil $0.06

Instructions

  • Set a rack in the center of your oven and preheat it to 400°F. Slice the spaghetti squash in half, from tip to end. Scoop out the seeds in its central cavity. Brush each half with the cooking oil.
  • Divide the pound of sausage equally between the two spaghetti squash halves.
  • Roast for 30 minutes or until the sausage reaches an internal temperature of 160°. Remove from the oven, but keep your oven on.*
  • Use two forks to separate the sausage into small chunks and to separate the squash into strands. Mix it all together.
  • Combine the cheeses.
  • Divide the cheese mixture equally between the halves and roast for another 10 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and begins to caramelize. Enjoy!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*As long as sausage reaches 160°F,  it’s perfectly safe to eat. However, only the surface of the sausage will brown.  I know some people are squeamish about pale sausage. So, if you prefer super well-done, very browned sausage, put it in a pan for a few minutes until it starts to develop color, then stuff the squash with it. Don’t waste the rendered fat. Add that to the squash as well.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25squash | Calories: 355kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 26g | Sodium: 653mg | Fiber: 4g
Overhead shot of stuffed spaghetti squash with a black fork in it.

How to Make Sausage Stuffed Spaghetti Squash – Step by Step Photos

Overhead shot of a hand holding a spaghetti squash half and brushing oil on it.

Set a rack in the center of your oven and preheat it to 400°F. Slice the spaghetti squash in half, from tip to end. Scoop out the seeds in its central cavity. Reserve the seeds if you wish, and roast them later. Brush each squash half with the half tablespoon of olive oil.

Overhead shot of spaghetti squash stuffed with sausage.

Divide the pound of sausage equally between the two spaghetti squash halves.

Overhead shot of baked stuffed spaghetti squash.

Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the sausage reaches an internal temperature of 160°. Remove from the oven, but keep your oven on.

Overhead shot of stuffed spaghetti squash with sausage mixed with the squash.

Use two forks to separate the sausage into small chunks and to separate the squash into strands. Mix it all together.

Overhead shot of cheese mix in a bowl.

Combine the cup of mozzarella with the quarter cup of Parmesan. We added 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes because all we could find was sweet Italian sausage, and we love a little kick. This is completely optional and has not been calculated into the recipe cost.

Overhead shot of stuffed spaghetti squash on a sheet pan.

Top the squash with the cheese. Divide the cheese mixture equally between both squash halves.

Overhead shot of stuffed spaghetti squash on a sheet pan.

Roast for another 5 to 10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and has started to caramelize. Buen provecho! (That’s Spanish for: have the best time eating. And trust me, you will!)

Overhead shot of stuffed spaghetti squash with a black fork next to it

What To Serve With Sausage Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Pair your spaghetti squash with these delicious sides:

The post Sausage Stuffed Spaghetti Squash appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Stromboli

Stromboli is a fun way to change up pizza night. Fill, roll, bake, then slice your pizza for the perfect finger food or appetizer!

The post Stromboli appeared first on Budget Bytes.

What’s better than pizza? Pizza in a different shape! 😆 Okay, so stromboli isn’t exactly like pizza, but it’s definitely in the pizza family. It’s like a sauce-less pizza rolled up into a delicious sliceable roll… and I have to admit, the roll makes it really fun to eat. You can eat it plain (like I do) or dip each slice into sauce. It’s a great party appetizer or something to snack on for movie night!

Overhead view of slices of stromboli next to a bowl of pizza sauce.

What’s In Stromboli

Traditionally, stromboli would be filled with a variety of cheese, cured meat like salami, and maybe some vegetables, but really it’s up to you! I say go for whatever toppings you like to add to your pizza. Just try to avoid anything super watery, like fresh tomatoes.

I used pepperoni, sautéed mushrooms, provolone, and mozzarella in my stromboli, but here are some other great ingredients to add to stromboli:

  • Olives
  • Banana peppers
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Crumbled bacon
  • Onions

Keep it in Budget

To keep the cost of your stromboli in check, try making your own pizza dough and homemade pizza sauce for dipping! If you don’t have time to make your own dough, a store-bought pizza dough will also work.

Keep a close eye on the price of your filling ingredients, making sure to use a light hand with higher-priced items like meat and cheese. A little bit often goes a long way with those higher-priced items!

What to Serve with Stromboli

Stromboli is a bit heavy with all that meat and cheese, so make sure to lighten up your plate with a simple side salad, or if you’re feeling ambitious, go all out with an Antipasto Salad. You can even use some of the ingredients in the Antipasto inside of your stromboli!

A hand taking one slice of stromboli from the roll.
Overhead view of slices of stromboli around a bowl of pizza sauce.
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Stromboli

Stromboli is a fun way to change up pizza night. Fill, roll, bake, then slice your pizza for the perfect finger food or appetizer!
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine American
Total Cost $6.62 recipe / $0.66 serving
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 10 slices
Calories 237kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced $1.69
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 1 Tbsp butter $0.11
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper $0.05
  • 1 large pizza dough* $0.62
  • 6 slices provolone $1.50
  • 2 oz. pepperoni slices $1.00
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella $1.00

Seasoned Oil Topping (optional)

  • 1.5 Tbsp olive oil $0.24
  • 1.5 Tbsp grated Parmesan $0.17
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.03

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Slice the mushrooms and mince the garlic.
  • Add the mushrooms, butter, and a pinch of salt and pepper to a skillet. Sauté the mushrooms over medium heat until they begin to release their water. Add the minced garlic and continue to sauté until all of the liquid in the skillet has evaporated. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  • Roll the pizza dough out to a 10×14 inch rectangle. Top the pizza dough with the sliced provolone, sautéed mushrooms, pepperoni, and mozzarella, leaving about an inch of space around three of the edges and 2-3 inches on one long side.
  • Roll the dough up starting on one long side rolling toward the opposite long side. After rolling, keep the seam side down and tuck the ends under to keep the sides closed. Transfer the rolled stromboli to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, Parmesan, Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Pour the mixture over the stromboli, then spread it to cover the surface. Use a sharp knife to cut slits in the top of the stromboli about an inch apart.
  • Bake the stromboli for about 25 minutes, or until well browned and the cheese is bubbling through the slits.
  • Let the stromboli cool slightly before slicing and serving!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*You can use homemade pizza dough or store bought.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 237kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 13g | Sodium: 553mg | Fiber: 1g
Side view of stromboli slices on a cutting board.

How to Make Stromboli – Step By Step Photos

Sliced mushrooms in a skillet with butter.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Slice 8 oz. mushrooms, then add them to a skillet with 1 Tbsp butter and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Sautéed mushrooms in the skillet.

Sauté the mushrooms over medium heat until they begin to release their water. Add the minced garlic and continue to sauté until all of the liquid in the skillet has evaporated from the skillet.

Pizza dough rolled out into a rectangle.

Roll one large pizza dough out into a rectangle about 10×14 inches.

Provolone and mushrooms on pizza dough.

Top the dough with sliced provolone (I used six slices) and the sautéed mushrooms. You’ll want to leave about one inch around three of the sides, and slightly more room on one of the long sides. That will be the last side to roll so you’ll need some extra empty space to keep it closed.

Pepperoni and mozzarella on pizza dough.

Add any remaining toppings. I added about 2oz. pepperoni and one cup shredded mozzarella, again, staying about one inch away from the edges.

Stromboli being rolled up.

Begin to roll the stromboli, starting on one of the long edges and rolling toward the edge that had extra empty space. Make sure the seam is facing down when you finish rolling. Tuck both ends of the roll under to keep the ends closed.

Seasoned oil mixture in a bowl.

Make the seasoned oil for topping the stromboli by stirring together 1.5 Tbsp olive oil, 1.5 Tbsp grated Parmesan, ½ tsp Italian seasoning, and ¼ tsp garlic powder.

Stromboli on a baking sheet seasoned and sliced.

Place the rolled stromboli on a parchment-lined baking sheet with the seam sides down. Pour the seasoned oil over top then spread it over the surface of the stromboli. Use a sharp knife to slice some slits in the top of the stromboli, about an inch apart. This is where you’ll cut it into slices after baking.

Baked stromboli on the baking sheet.

Bake the stromboli in the preheated 400ºF oven for about 25 minutes or until it’s well browned on the surface and cheese is bubbling through the slits.

Sliced stromboli on a wooden cutting board, viewed from above.

Let the stromboli cool until it can be easily handled, then slice and serve!

A slice of stromboli being dipped into a bowl of pizza sauce.

The post Stromboli appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Creamy Shrimp Risotto

This shrimp risotto recipe makes a crowd-pleasing dinner, pairing the bold flavors of Parmesan and lemon with creamy rice and…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This shrimp risotto recipe makes a crowd-pleasing dinner, pairing the bold flavors of Parmesan and lemon with creamy rice and juicy shrimp.

Shrimp Risotto

Looking for a fun dinner idea? Try this Shrimp Risotto recipe! This Italian-style dish is full of bold flavor: juicy, succulent shrimp sit over a bed of creamy, Parmesan and lemon-scented rice. It’s great for impressing guests as a main dish, but it’s simple enough to work as a weeknight meal, too. Our entire family gobbled it up!

Ingredients for this shrimp risotto recipe

Risotto is an Italian rice dish where short grain Arborio rice is cooked in broth until it becomes creamy. It’s generally served as a first course in Italy, where meals are structured as antipasti, first plate, and second plate. But when we’re looking to conjure up the flavors of Italy at home, we eat it as a dinner with a green salad. Most risotto methods use butter, onion, and garlic, white wine to deglaze the pan, and Parmesan cheese to finish. Here’s what you’ll need for this shrimp risotto recipe:

  • Medium shrimp
  • Smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper
  • Butter
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Seafood stock
  • Olive oil
  • Arborio rice
  • Dry white wine (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Lemon
Shrimp Risotto

Tips for buying shrimp

It can be overwhelming shopping for shrimp at the store, because there are so many variations! Here’s what to look for when shopping for this shrimp risotto recipe:

  • Medium shrimp: We like medium shrimp here, but you can also use large or jumbo which looks elegant on the plate. Medium is labeled as 41 to 50 count (the number of shrimp per pound). Large is 31 to 35 count, and jumbo is 21 to 25 shrimp.
  • Wild caught: Fish that is wild caught in your country is usually a sustainable choice. There are also quality options in well-regulated farms; see Seafood Watch Consumer Guide.
  • Tail on or peeled: Tail on looks the best for shrimp risotto. But it can be messy when you’re eating it! Make sure to serve it with a bowl for the tails. Or, buy peeled shrimp for easier eating.
  • Fresh or frozen: Both are similar in quality. Frozen shrimp can be as high quality as fresh if it’s frozen as soon as it’s caught. Make sure to fully thaw the shrimp before you make the recipe.

Making shrimp risotto: 6 steps

Making a risotto is simple, but it requires a bit of patience. Once you’ve made it once, the process becomes familiar. Here are the basic steps for a shrimp risotto recipe:

  • Heat the broth first. You can’t add cold broth to a risotto! Arborio rice immediately absorbs the broth if it’s hot. but if it’s cold it changes the temperature of the dish and affects the cooking process.
  • Sauté the shrimp: To get good flavor and a nice sear on the shrimp, cook them first in a hot pan and then set aside while you make the rice.
  • Saute the onion and garlic, then deglaze the pan. Using wine to deglaze the pan adds a tangy, sophisticated flavor. But you can skip this step if you prefer not cooking with alcohol!
  • Stir in broth gradually: be patient! Add a few ladles, then keep stirring to incorporate the broth. As soon as it’s absorbed, add more. Continue in this way for about 12 minutes. Grab a glass of wine and enjoy the process!
  • Adjust the heat as necessary to keep a steady simmer. If the heat is too high, it can burn or not cook through. If the heat too low, the rice grains can get waterlogged.
  • It’s ready when it’s tender but slightly al dente. The grains of rice should be slightly al dente (to have a bite of chew in the center) and stay separate from each other as they float in the thickened broth. Add the shrimp and serve!
Shrimp Risotto

Variation for serving size

This shrimp risotto tastes best the day of serving, so you may want to adjust the serving size accordingly. Using 2 cups rice makes quite a bit of risotto rice. If you want a smaller serving size with more protein, make half of the risotto and use the same quantity of shrimp. Or of course, you can make half of the entire recipe!

Storage and leftover info

The flavor and texture of this shrimp risotto best the day of making. You can store leftovers refrigerated for up to 3 days, but keep in mind: the texture becomes less creamy when chilled. Reheat the risotto on the stovetop and add a little extra broth and Parmesan cheese, and a few pinches salt to taste.

Shrimp Risotto

Ways to serve shrimp risotto

What to pair with this shrimp risotto recipe? We love adding a green salad. Roasted broccoli, broccolini or asparagus also makes a lovely addition to the plate. Here are some ideas:

This shrimp risotto recipe is…

Gluten-free and pescatarian.

Print
Shrimp Risotto

Creamy Shrimp Risotto


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6

Description

This shrimp risotto recipe makes a crowd-pleasing dinner, pairing the bold flavors of Parmesan and lemon with creamy rice and juicy shrimp.


Ingredients

For the shrimp*:

  • 1 pound medium shrimp, deveined (tail on or peeled)
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika (or substitute standard paprika)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter

For the risotto:

  • ½ cup minced white onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 quart seafood stock
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups dry white arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay**
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Prep the vegetables: Prepare the onion and garlic and noted above.
  2. Heat the broth: Combine the broth with 4 cups water and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a saucepan and bring it to a low simmer. Reduce heat to low.
  3. Sauté the shrimp: Pat the shrimp dry. In a medium bowl, mix the shrimp with ½ teaspoon kosher salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. In a large skillet, heat the butter on medium high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side until just opaque and cooked through, turning them with tongs. Remove the shrimp to a bowl.
  4. Sauté the vegetables: In the same skillet, add the olive oil and set the heat to medium. Add the minced onion and cook for about 2 minutes until tender. Add the garlic and dry rice and cook, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes until the rice starts to turn light brown.
  5. Add the wine: Stir in the wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is fully absorbed, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add the broth: Add two ladles of the hot broth to the risotto. Cook, stirring occasionally until the liquid is fully absorbed, then add two more ladles of both. Cook in this same manner for about 12 minutes, adding two ladles and stirring frequently. Continue to adjust the heat to make sure the risotto is at a steady simmer. After 12 minutes, taste a grain of rice. If it’s creamy but still al dente in the center, you’re ready for the final step! If not, continue to cook and add broth for a few minutes more. (You’ll have some broth left over: save it for reheating leftovers.) 
  7. Finish the risotto: When the rice is al dente, reduce the heat to low. Add two more ladles of broth, the Parmesan cheese and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes until you’ve got a thick and creamy risotto. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and black pepper. Taste and add more salt as desired (we add another heaping ¼ teaspoon kosher salt).
  8. Serve with shrimp, additional Parmesan cheese, lemon wedges and parsley. Drizzle with the shrimp juices if desired. Storage info: Flavor and texture are best the day of making. You can store leftovers refrigerated for up to 3 days, but the texture will become less creamy when chilled. Reheat on the stovetop and add a little extra broth and Parmesan cheese, and a few pinches salt to taste.

Notes

*If you want a smaller serving size with more protein, make half of the risotto and use the same quantity of shrimp. 

**If you prefer avoiding wine, you can skip Step 4 and move straight to adding the broth.

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian inspired
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: Shrimp risotto, shrimp risotto recipe, shrimp with risotto recipe, risotto with shrimp

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Cacio e Pepe

This Cacio e Pepe recipe makes the perfect creamy, cozy dish of that classic Roman “cheese and pepper” pasta! There’s…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This Cacio e Pepe recipe makes the perfect creamy, cozy dish of that classic Roman “cheese and pepper” pasta!

Cacio e pepe

There’s something intoxicating about this shallow bowl of steaming pasta covered in salty, creamy sauce, black pepper and fluffy bits of Pecorino Cheese. Yes, it’s cacio e pepe, that famous Roman pasta that’s blown up in world-wide popularity. Years ago, we tasted a bowl on a trip to Rome, Italy that was so divine we never wanted it to end. Anthony Bourdain once said that cacio e pepe “could be the greatest thing in the history of the world”: and we’re inclined to agree with him. Turns out, this pasta is beyond simple to whip up at home: it’s got a short ingredient list and takes just minutes to whip up. Here’s our spin on this Italian classic!

What is cacio e pepe?

Cacio e pepe is a Roman pasta dish that translates to “cheese and pepper,” referring the simple sauce made of Pecorino Romano cheese and pepper. The sauce is made simply with hot pasta water and freshly grated cheese, which combine to form a luscious, creamy coating to the pasta noodles. According to legend, the dish was invented by shepherds who needed a simple meal with easy to carry staple ingredients. The modern Cacio e pepe was likely invented in the 1800’s, when eating pasta became popular in Rome.

Cacio e pepe

Ingredients in cacio e pepe

Restaurants in Rome each have their own version of cacio e pepe, and we’ve been lucky enough to sample quite a few (we prefer the version at Roscioli if you’re planning a trip!). Here’s what you’ll need for this spin on the classic:

  • Spaghetti or bucatini pasta: Spaghetti is most traditional. We also like bucatini (pictured), which is like hollow spaghetti
  • Pecorino Romano cheese: This sharp, salty aged cheese is what carries the flavor of cacio e pepe. There’s absolutely no substitute for it! Try to buy it in a block if you can (see below).
  • Parmesan cheese: Using this secondary, ore popular cheese helps to round out the flavors. Don’t want to buy two cheeses? Substitute more Pecorino (it’s just as authentic).
  • Butter: This extra ingredient helps the sauce to come together.
  • Black pepper: A generous helping of pepper rounds out the dish.

Tips for cooking pasta to al dente

With cacio e pepe and any Italian pasta recipe, it’s important to cook the pasta to the perfect al dente. Al dente means “to the bite” in Italian: pasta that’s tender with a firm center. Overcooked pasta turns out rubbery and unappetizing. Interestingly, it also has less nutrients and makes you less full. Here’s how to cook pasta to al dente:

  • Set your timer a few minutes before the package instructions indicate. Often, the timing on the pasta package makes overcooked pasta. Start taste testing a few minutes before the package says to.
  • Look for small white fleck at the core. You want to catch it right when there’s a small white fleck at the core, or just as it disappears. Move quickly: there’s no remedy for overcooked pasta!
Cacio e pepe recipe

How to make cacio e pepe (with a smooth sauce)

The biggest issue you’ll find with a homemade cacio e pepe recipe? The sauce comes out clumpy and globby. The sauce is made with hot pasta water, and often when you add the cheese and stir it will glob to the spoon and the pasta instead of integrating into a smooth sauce. Here are a few ways to ensure a creamy sauce:

  • Freshly grate the cheese from a block instead of buying grated. Buy blocks of Pecorino Romano and Parmesan cheese and grate them yourself. Pre-grated cheese can contain anti-caking agents and additives that can make the cheese stick together instead of incorporating into a creamy sauce.
  • Don’t drain the pasta: transfer it to the sauce using tongs. Add any pasta water that clings to the noodles right into the sauce.
  • Add additional pasta water and keep stirring. If it starts to clump, add additional pasta water and keep stirring until the cheese incorporates.
Cacio e pepe

What to serve alongside

With such a simple pasta dish, you can go either pared back or elegant: either work! Here are a few Italian-style side dishes to serve with cacio e pepe:

What do you plan to serve it with? Let us know in the comments below.

More Italian pasta recipes

Love a great Italian-style pasta? Us too! Here are a few more great pasta recipes:

This cacio e pepe recipe is…

Vegetarian.

Print
Cacio e pepe

Cacio e Pepe


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Description

This Cacio e Pepe recipe makes the perfect creamy, cozy dish of that classic Roman “cheese and pepper” pasta!


Ingredients

  • 12 ounces spaghetti or bucatini pasta
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese*
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese*

Instructions

  1. Bring a salted pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente (taste testing a minute or two before the package instructions indicate). Don’t drain the pasta and reserve 1 cup pasta water.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat until it melts, then turn the heat to low. Add the black pepper, Pecorino Romano cheese and Parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons of the hot pasta water. Stir until a thick paste forms, then remove from the heat and wait until the pasta is done.
  3. Right when pasta is al dente, transfer the pasta without draining it: use tongs to transfer it into the saucepan along with any pasta water clinging to the noodles. Add an additional ½ cup of pasta water and return the heat to low. Toss the pasta with the cheesy paste until a thick sauce forms, about 2 minutes. If the cheese starts to glob up, add more pasta water and continue to stir. Top with additional grated Pecorino cheese and serve hot.

Notes

*If you can, buy blocks of Pecorino Romano and Parmesan cheese and grate them yourself. Pre-grated cheese can contain anti-caking agents and additives that can make the cheese stick together instead of incorporating into a creamy sauce.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Cacio e pepe, cacio e pepe recipe

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Slow Cooker Meatball Subs

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

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

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

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

Do I Have to Use a Slow Cooker?

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

What Kind of Sauce to Use

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

Freeze Half for Later!

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

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

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

Slow Cooker Meatball Subs

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

Equipment

Ingredients

Meatballs

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

Subs

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

Instructions

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

Nutrition

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

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

egg and breadcrumb mixture

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

Meatball ingredients in a bowl

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

Shaped meatballs one held in a hand.

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

Sauce being poured over the meatballs in the slow cooker.

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

Lid being placed on the slow cooker.

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

Slow cooked meatballs in the slow cooker.

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

Finished slow cooker meatballs in the slow cooker.

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

Meatballs in subs in a baking dish.

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

Shredded mozzarella on the meatball subs.

Top each sub with a little shredded mozzarella.

Baked meatball subs in the baking dish.

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

Overhead view of baked meatball subs garnished with parsley.

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

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

TRY THESE OTHER MEATBALL RECIPES:

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

Baked Zucchini Fries

Baked Zucchini Fries make a delicious snack or side dish and are the perfect way to use up that extra bumper crop of summer zucchini.

The post Baked Zucchini Fries appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Zucchini is one of my favorite summer vegetables. It’s cheap (especially if you have a friend or neighbor who is growing it), versatile, and totally delicious. So if you’re looking for extra ways to use up your summer zucchini, you’ve got to give these Baked Zucchini Fries a try. They’re crispy on the outside but creamy and delicious on the inside! Eat them plain or dip them into your favorite pizza sauce or marinara sauce.

Originally posted 7-28-2012, updated 8-12-2022.

Close up of a baked zucchini fry being dipped into a cup of pizza sauce.

Are Zucchini Fries Crispy?

Zucchini is a high water content vegetable, so it tends to get very soft when cooked. To counteract that, we’ve cut the zucchini into smaller pieces to allow for more evaporation and coated the fries in a crispy combination of panko breadcrumbs and Parmesan. The result is a zucchini fry that is crispy and tasty on the outside, but soft and creamy on the inside.

Do I Have to Use Panko?

I highly suggest sticking with panko breadcrumbs here instead of regular breadcrumbs because their light texture and larger pieces help make the zucchini fries extra crispy. Regular breadcrumbs tend to be smaller pieces and a bit more dense, which will produce a harder shell rather than a light, crispy coating.

Make Them Gluten-Free

To make these zucchini fries gluten-free you’ll need to make two swaps. Use a 1:1 gluten-free flour, potato flour, or arrowroot flour to dredge the zucchini before the eggwash, then use gluten-free panko crumbs for the final coating. I do not suggest using almond flour or coconut flour in place of the all-purpose flour because they will not absorb moisture as well as the all-purpose flour.

How Are the Leftovers?

The one caveat with these Baked Zucchini Fries is that they’re definitely best right when they come out of the oven. After they’re stored in the refrigerator the breading will absorb moisture and become soft. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t still totally gobble them up after reheating, but you definitely won’t get the same texture experience.

Baked Zucchini Fries on a piece of parchment with a dish of pizza sauce.

One Zucchini Fry dipped into a dish of pizza sauce.

Baked Zucchini Fries

Baked Zucchini Fries make a delicious snack or side dish and are the perfect way to use up that extra bumper crop of summer zucchini.
Course Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Total Cost $3.81 recipe / $0.76 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 165kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. zucchini $1.69
  • 2 large eggs $0.39
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs $0.50
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan $0.36
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning $0.30
  • 1/2 tsp salt, divided $0.03
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.04
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce (for serving) $0.50

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Slice the zucchini into matchsticks that are ½-inch wide and 3-inches long. Set the zucchini aside.
  • Whisk the eggs in a bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together the panko, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, and ¼ tsp salt.
  • Add the sliced zucchini to a large bowl. Sprinkle the all-purpose flour and remaining ¼ tsp salt over the zucchini. Toss the zucchini until they are evenly coated in flour.
  • Place wire cooling racks over a large baking sheet to lift the zucchini pieces and allow airflow underneath. Bread the zucchini slices by briefly dipping them in the whisked egg, letting the excess run off, then coating them in the panko-Parmesan mixture.
  • Place the breaded zucchini on the wire racks with a small amount of space between each piece to allow for airflow.
  • Bake the breaded zucchini fries for 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown and crispy.
  • Serve immediately with pizza sauce for dipping.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 700mg | Fiber: 3g

Close up of a zucchini fry dipped in pizza sauce.

How to Make Zucchini Fries – Step By Step Photos

Zucchini being sliced into matchsticks.

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Slice about one pound of zucchini into ½-inch thick matchsticks (about 3-inches long).

Eggwash and Panko mix in bowls.

Whisk two eggs in a bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together 1 cup panko breadcrumbs, ¼ cup grated Parmesan, 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning, and ¼ tsp salt.

Zucchini dusted with flour.

Place the sliced zucchini in a large bowl and sprinkle with ¼ tsp salt and 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour. Toss the zucchini until they are evenly coated in flour.

Zucchini being breaded and placed on a baking sheet.

Place two wire cooling racks over a large baking sheet. Begin to bread the zucchini fries by first briefly dipping them in whisked egg, allowing the excess to drip off, then coating them in the panko-Parmesan mixture. To make this process faster, I usually dip 2-3 at a time into the eggwash. 

Zucchini fries on the baking sheet ready to bake.

Place the breaded zucchini on the wire racks with a little space between each piece.

Baked Zucchini Fries on the baking sheet.

Bake the zucchini fries for about 20 minutes in the fully preheated 425ºF oven or until they are golden brown and crispy. Allow the fries to cool for a couple of minutes before wiggling them loose from the rack. If any of the fries are stuck, use a fork to scoop under the fry and lift it up off the rack.

Baked zucchini fries on parchment with a dish of pizza sauce in the back.

Serve the zucchini fries with pizza sauce or marinara for dipping!

These baked zucchini fries have a buttery flavor and are a fun way to get your vegetables. BudgetBytes.com

The post Baked Zucchini Fries appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Chicken Alfredo

This Chicken Alfredo features pasta drenched in an ultra-rich and creamy sauce and topped with juicy strips of seared chicken.

The post Chicken Alfredo appeared first on Budget Bytes.

When it comes to indulgent comfort foods, I don’t know if anything beats Chicken Alfredo. I just can’t say no to a big ol’ plate of carby pasta drenched in an ultra-rich and creamy sauce and topped with juicy strips of seared chicken, can you? (That was a rhetorical question.) And now that I know how easy it is to make it at home, I have a feeling this is going to become my new favorite special occasion meal. And yes, sometimes just making it through to the end of the week is a special occasion in this house. ;)

close up overhead view of a bowl full of chicken alfredo pasta.

Can I Substitute the Heavy Cream?

While authentic alfredo doesn’t use any heavy cream, this American alfredo does use heavy cream as the base for the sauce, which helps the Parmesan melt in smoothly instead of clumping or sticking to the bottom of the pan. Most other dairy products or dairy substitutes contain too much water to allow the cheese to melt into the sauce properly, so I do not suggest substituting the heavy cream.

Fresh vs. Grated Parmesan

Freshly shredded Parmesan always trumps grated Parmesan from a can, there’s no argument there, but we’re cooking on a budget here so I made sure this recipe tastes great even when using less expensive Parmesan. If you have room in your budget for a wedge of fresh Parmesan, by all means, use it! But just know that you can still make a tasty alfredo even if you can’t afford the good stuff.

What to Serve with Chicken Alfredo

With any heavy dish like this, I like to pair it with a light and simple side salad. The delicate texture and fresh flavor of a simple side salad perfectly balances the thick and creamy alfredo sauce. Some Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus or Lemon Pepper Zucchini would also pair well. And of course, it wouldn’t be pasta night without some homemade garlic bread!

How Are the Leftovers?

The rich nature of this sauce means that it does start to thicken up quite a bit as it cools, so you definitely want to serve and enjoy this pasta when it’s hot out of the skillet. That being said, I would never turn down the leftovers of something so creamy and delicious. Just know that the texture when reheated will not be as silky smooth.

Close up side view of chicken alfredo in the skillet.
Overhead view of chicken alfredo in the skillet.

Chicken Alfredo

This Chicken Alfredo features pasta drenched in an ultra-rich and creamy sauce, topped with juicy strips of seared chicken.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Total Cost $10.62 recipe / $2.66 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 756kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1.3 lb. total) $6.49
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning $0.20
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.22
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced $0.32
  • 1 cup heavy cream $1.25
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan $1.08
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp pepper $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley (optional garnish) $0.10
  • 8 oz. fettuccine $0.88

Instructions

  • Season both sides of the chicken breast with Italian seasoning and a pinch of salt.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add the cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook for about 7-8 minutes on each side, or until browned on the outside and cooked through.
  • Remove the chicken to a clean plate and turn the heat under the skillet down to medium-low.
  • Add the butter and minced garlic to the skillet. Stir and cook the garlic in the melted butter for about two minutes, dissolving the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet as you stir.
  • Add the heavy cream and whisk to combine, dissolving any remaining browned bits. Allow the cream to come up to a simmer.
  • While waiting for the cream to simmer, bring a pot of water to a boil for the fettuccine. Once boiling, add the pasta and continue to boil until tender (about 7 minutes). Reserve about ½ cup of the starchy cooking water just before draining the pasta.
  • Once the cream is simmering, add the grated Parmesan to the skillet. Continue to whisk and stir until the Parmesan has melted into the sauce and the sauce has begun to simmer. Simmer the sauce for a few minutes, or until it becomes slightly thicker. Add salt and pepper to the sauce to taste.
  • Add the drained pasta to the skillet with the creamy sauce and toss to combine. If the sauce becomes too thick, add a couple of tablespoons of the reserved pasta water and toss to combine with the sauce.
  • Slice the cooked chicken breasts and serve it atop the creamy pasta. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 756kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 42g | Sodium: 719mg | Fiber: 2g

Love alfredo? Check out our Shrimp Alfredo, too!

Overhead view of chicken alfredo in the skillet.

How to Make Chicken Alfredo – Step by Step Photos

Seasoned chicken breast on a cutting board.

Season two boneless, skinless chicken breasts with two teaspoons of Italian Seasoning and a pinch of salt.

Seared chicken in the skillet.

Heat a large skillet over medium. Once fully preheated, add 1 Tablespoon of cooking oil and swirl to coat the skillet. Add the chicken breasts and cook on each side for 7-8 minutes, or until the chicken is well browned and cooked through. Remove the chicken to a clean plate.

Butter and minced garlic in the skillet.

Turn the heat down to medium-low, then add 2 tablespoons of butter and 4 cloves of minced garlic to the skillet.

Deglazed pan with butter and garlic.

Cook and stir the butter and garlic over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes, dissolving the browned bits as you stir.

Heavy cream being poured into the skillet.

Add one cup of heavy cream to the skillet and stir to combine. Turn the heat up to medium and bring the cream up to a simmer.

A box of fettuccine open on one end with pasta coming out

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add 8oz. of pasta and continue to boil until the pasta is tender. Reserve ½ cup of the starchy pasta water before draining the pasta in a colander.

Parmesan being added to the skillet.

While waiting for the pasta to boil, continue with the sauce. Once the cream is simmering, add ¾ cup Parmesan and continue to stir and cook until the sauce comes back up to a simmer.

Finished alfredo sauce in the skillet.

When the sauce comes back up to a simmer the Parmesan will begin to melt. Continue to cook and stir until the sauce thickens slightly (3-5 minutes). Add salt and pepper to the sauce to taste.

Fettuccine being tossed in the cream sauce.

Add the cooked and drained pasta to the alfredo sauce and toss to combine. If the sauce is too thick or too dry, add a few tablespoons of the reserved pasta water and toss to combine.

Sliced chicken added on top of the pasta alfredo.

Slice the chicken breast and add it on top of the pasta, then serve. (You can garnish with chopped parsley if desired).

Overhead view of chicken alfredo in a shallow bowl with a fork.

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