Cinnamon Swirl Oven Pancake

Cook all of your pancakes at once as one large oven pancake to make sure everyone gets a hot and fresh slice at the same time.

The post Cinnamon Swirl Oven Pancake appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I love pancakes, but I find the process of cooking them a little tedious and frustrating. I can only cook a few at a time in a skillet which leaves me stuck between serving everyone at different times, or serving all at once with some pancakes being a little less than fresh. So I just started cooking them as one big sliceable pancake! It’s so much easier and a lot more hands-off. With this method, the entire batch of pancake batter is cooked at one time in the oven and then it’s sliced and served like a cake. I guess you could say that it’s a literal pan-cake!

Looking for a puffy oven pancake, German pancake, or Dutch Baby Pancake? Check out my recipe for an Almond Dutch Baby with Ricotta and Jam.

A sliced cinnamon swirl oven pancake with brown sugar and maple syrup on the side

Other Pancake Topping Ideas

You don’t have to make your oven pancake “cinnamon swirl” flavor, you can add any of your usual favorite pancake add-ins. Here are some other pancake topping ideas:

  • Bananas
  • Walnuts or Pecans
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Coconut
  • Peanut Butter
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Bacon
  • Lemon zest

Use Your Favorite Pancake Batter

The recipe below uses a very basic pancake batter, but you can use this oven method with just about any pancake batter. So feel free to try it out with your favorite recipe or even your favorite pancake mix!

Use an Oven Safe Skillet

The most important part of this recipe is that you use an oven-safe skillet. This means no plastic handles and no Teflon coating. Stainless steel or cast iron will both work. You can also do a similar oven-baking method using a sheet pan (see sheet pan pancakes).

Two slices of cinnamon swirl oven pancake on a plate with a fork and maple syrup
cinnamon swirl oven pancake with one slice on a spatula on the skillet

Cinnamon Swirl Oven Pancake

Cook all of your pancakes at once as one large oven pancake to make sure everyone gets a hot and fresh slice at the same time.
Total Cost $1.72 recipe / $0.43 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Servings 4 2 slices each
Calories 305kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour $0.10
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder $0.04
  • 2 Tbsp sugar $0.02
  • 1 cup milk $0.40
  • 1 large egg $0.24
  • 4 Tbsp butter*, divided $0.44
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract $0.28
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1 tsp cinnamon $0.10
  • 2 tsp brown sugar $0.08

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, vanilla, and 2 Tbsp melted butter.
  • Pour the bowl of wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir just until everything is combined (avoid over stirring). Let the batter sit for five minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the cinnamon swirl mixture.
  • Combine 1 tablespoon of melted butter with the cinnamon and brown sugar. Set the cinnamon mixture aside. This will be the cinnamon swirl in the pancake batter.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of butter to a 10" oven-safe skillet. Preheat the skillet on the stove top over medium theat until he butter starts to sizzle and foam. Use a brush to spread the melted butter all over the surface and up the sides of the skillet.
  • Pour the pancake batter into the preheated skillet. Drizzle the cinnamon mixture over the pancake batter and then drag a spoon through the surface to sort of swirl the cinnamon into the pancake batter.
  • Transfer the skillet to the fully preheated 425ºF oven and bake for about 18 minutes, or until puffed in the center and slightly golden brown on the outer edges. If you prefer a more browned top to the pancake, you can switch the oven to the broil setting and broil until the desired color has been achieved (watch closely!).
  • Slice the pancake into eight pieces and serve.

Notes

*If using unsalted butter, you may want to increase the salt in the recipe to ½ tsp.

Nutrition

Serving: 2pieces | Calories: 305kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 15g | Sodium: 450mg | Fiber: 1g
close up of one slice of oven pancake on a spatula

How to Make an Oven Pancake – Step by Step Photos

pancake dry ingredients in a bowl

Begin by preheating the oven to 425ºF. In a large bowl, stir together 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1.5 tsp baking powder, 2 Tbsp sugar, and 1/4 tsp salt.

whisked wet ingredients in a bowl with a whisk

In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 cup milk, 1 large egg, 2 Tbsp melted butter, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Let the batter sit while you prepare the cinnamon swirl.

metled butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl with a spoon

Combine 1 Tbsp melted butter, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 2 tsp brown sugar in a bowl. This will be the cinnamon swirl.

melted butter being brushed over the inside of a skillet

Add 1 Tbsp butter to a 10-inch oven-safe skillet. Heat on the stove top over medium until the butter is sizzling and foaming, then spread the butter all over the surface and up the sides of the skillet.

Pour the pancake batter into the skillet, then drizzle the cinnamon swirl over top. Gently drag a spoon through the surface to swirl the cinnamon into the batter. Transfer the skillet to the preheated 425ºF oven.

Baked cinnamon swirl oven pancake with a spatula and maple syrup on the side

Bake the pancake for about 18 minutes, or until it’s puffed in the center and slightly golden brown around the edges. If you prefer the top more browned, you can switch the oven to the broil setting for a couple of minutes (watch it closely!).

cinnamon swirl oven pancake with one slice on a spatula on the skillet

Slice the pancake into eight pieces and serve immediately.

front view of two slices of oven pancake on a plate with maple syrup and a fork

The post Cinnamon Swirl Oven Pancake appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

These lemon ricotta pancakes are tender, lemon-flecked, golden-edged beauties. The ricotta batter is bolstered with a bit of almond flour and enriched with olive oil.

Continue reading Lemon Ricotta Pancakes on 101 Cookbooks

If we go camping together, you’re going to get pancakes. The bigger question is what type? I’ve been on a ricotta pancake kick lately, and decided to pack everything needed to make these Lemon Ricotta Pancakes on our road trip down the California coast last week. I tend to go through different pancake, waffle, crepe phases, but for the moment I’m all in here. These pancakes are tender, lemon-flecked, golden-edged beauties. The ricotta batter is bolstered with a bit of almond flour and enriched with olive oil. They are pancakes so delicious and pillowy tender it’s easy for two people to crush the whole stack.Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
There are a couple things that can make these pancakes even better – toppings and setting. If you can enjoy them outside, perhaps at a picnic table – go for it. I love an outdoor breakfast and was happy to enjoy a string of them last week. We beach-camped in Pismo, then Santa Barbara (finally visited Lotusland!), and then a couple nights in Malibu – outdoor meals everyday. I’ll post a few pics below 🙂
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Lemon Ricotta Pancake Toppings

I have a few suggested toppings here. I often like to make a break with maple syrup for these pancakes. Don’t get me wrong, maple syrup is good here, I just really like a ricotta-honey combo. These pancakes are incredibly good generously drizzled with saffron honey. I infuse a few threads of saffron in 1 teaspoon of almond extract, and then stir that into 1/3 cup of honey. I also brought a strong pink cinnamon honey along on the trip made by whisking ground Vietnamese cinnamon, cayenne powder, pitaya powder, vanilla extract and a few other ingredients to taste in some local honey.
Items on a Picnic Table with Green Plaid Tablecloth

Level-up Your Butter

Alternately, you can play around with compound butters. Whenever we go on a road-trip or camping I tend to bring stacks of frozen things. Thin stacks. Sauces, pestos, curry pastes and the like, frozen flat in baggies. I always bring a compound butter or two. Usually one sweet, for pancakes, biscuits, oatmeal, etc. And one savory – to toss with noodles, and veggies, quick pasta dishes, and that sort of thing. I like a salted butter mashed up with lots of lemon zest and brown sugar with the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. Or butter mashed up with a splash of honey and some crushed freeze-dried berries.
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

What if I don’t have Ricotta?

That’s okay! Do you have cottage cheese? You can swap that in for the ricotta. I suspect you could even swap in full-fat Greek yogurt, but I haven’t tested that version yet.
Lotusland
A few shots of Lotusland here, and the Mailbu Hindu Temple as well. Both highlights of our trip.
Malibu Hindu Temple

Ricotta Pancake Variations

There are a lot of ways to switch up this recipe with whatever citrus, spices, and seeds you have.

  • Lemon Poppyseed Ricotta Pancakes: Sprinkle a tablespoon of poppy seeds across the batter before folding in the whipped egg whites.
  • Lemon Olive Oil: Replace the olive oil with lemon olive oil for an added lemon boost.
  • Orange Ricotta Pancakes: Substitute the zest of one orange for the lemon zest.
  • Market Lime Ricotta Pancakes: I have a market lime tree on my patio and these pancakes are amazing with the zest of two makrut limes in place of the lemon zest.

Lotusland
I hope you love these ricotta pancakes as much as I do! There are more pancake recipes around in the the archives as well. Here’s where to go if you’re looking for more of a classic pancake recipe, if you’re looking for a good vegan pancake recipe, these blueberry beet pancakes sound wild, but are beautiful and delicious. And all things pancake are better with this blackberry saffron honey, a berry version of the saffron honey  I mentioned up above.

Continue reading Lemon Ricotta Pancakes on 101 Cookbooks

Savory Oatmeal

It’s funny how oats have been pigeonholed for use in mostly sweet dishes in the U.S. We tend to eat oats sweetened at breakfast, or as part of delicious crumbly desserts, but oats do just as well with savory flavors as do any other grain. This savory oatmeal is a delicious and hearty meal any […]

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It’s funny how oats have been pigeonholed for use in mostly sweet dishes in the U.S. We tend to eat oats sweetened at breakfast, or as part of delicious crumbly desserts, but oats do just as well with savory flavors as do any other grain. This savory oatmeal is a delicious and hearty meal any time of day, and there are so many options for toppings and add-ins, so you can make it work with whatever ingredients you have on hand. This might just end up being your new favorite easy budget meal!

close up side view of a bowl of savory oatmeal

What Kind of Oats are Best for This Recipe?

You can technically make savory oats with any kind of oats, but the recipe below is written for old-fashioned rolled oats, which cook fairly quickly (about 5 minutes). I find that old-fashioned rolled oats are a nice balance between texture and convenience. Steel-cut oats take much longer to cook and you’ll need more liquid. Quick oats cook faster but don’t provide very much texture.

How to Flavor Savory Oatmeal

Oats on their own have a very bland flavor, and I think that’s why they often get a bad rap. Here are some tips for making sure your savory oatmeal is full of flavor:

  • Cook them in a really flavorful broth. I like to use Better Than Bouillon because it tends to have a nice vibrant flavor. Plus it comes in several flavors and options.
  • Use aromatics. A little bit of fresh garlic or ginger goes a long way! Green onion or shallots are also great.
  • Add your favorite seasoning blend. You could experiment with your favorite bottled seasonings like Everything Bagel Seasoning, jerk seasoning, steak seasoning, furikake, onion salt.
  • Top with your favorite sauce. Try adding a little chili garlic paste, sriracha, or gochujang!

Savory Oatmeal Topping Ideas

In addition to ingredients that can be added into your oatmeal, you can add all sorts of delicious toppings, too! Here are some oatmeal topping ideas:

Can I Make it Ahead?

Yes, savory oatmeal is great for making ahead! You can change the number of servings in the recipe card below and the ingredients will auto adjust for you. After cooking, divide your savory oatmeal into single-serving portions and refrigerate. To reheat, simply microwave on high for about 2 minutes, stirring half-way through. If the oatmeal is too thick, just add a splash of water.

Make it Vegan

You can make the savory oatmeal recipe below vegan by swapping out the butter for your favorite cooking oil. Coconut oil would be very nice here because it has a rich mouthfeel, similar to butter.

overhead view of a bowl full of savory oatmeal with ingredients on the sides
overhead view of a bowl full of savory oatmeal with ingredients on the sides

Savory Oatmeal

Savory oatmeal is a delicious, hearty, and inexpensive meal that can be customized to use ingredients you have on hand.
Total Cost $1.25 recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 245kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger $0.05
  • 4 mushrooms $0.62
  • 1 tsp butter $0.04
  • 1 cup vegetable broth $0.13
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats $0.09
  • 1/2 cup spinach $0.19
  • 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil $0.05

Instructions

  • Mince the garlic, grate the ginger, and slice the mushrooms.
  • Add the butter, garlic, and ginger to a small saucepot. Sauté over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms and continue to sauté for a few minutes more, or until the mushrooms have wilted a bit.
  • Add the vegetable broth to the saucepot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the broth up to a boil.
  • When the broth reaches a boil, add the rolled oats and stir to combine. Allow it to return to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low. Let the oats simmer for about 5 minutes, or until thickened.
  • While the oats are simmering, roughly chop the spinach. Stir the spinach into the thickened oats, along with the toasted sesame oil.
  • Taste and add salt to your liking, if needed, then top it off with your favorite toppings. Serve hot!

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 245kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 995mg | Fiber: 5g
Close up of a spoonful of savory oats, the bowl in the background

How to Make Savory Oatmeal – Step by Step Photos

Butter, garlic, and ginger in a pot

Mince one clove of garlic, grate about ½ tsp of fresh ginger, and slice 3-4 mushrooms. Add the garlic, ginger, and 1 teaspoon butter to a small saucepot. Sauté the garlic and ginger in the butter over medium heat for about one minute.

sautéed mushrooms in the pot

Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes more, or just until the mushrooms have softened.

Vegetable broth being poured into the pot

Add one cup vegetable broth to the pot. Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring the broth up to a boil.

Oats being poured into the saucepot

When the broth reaches a boil, add ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats.

Cooked savory oatmeal in the saucepot

Allow the broth to come back up to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and let the oats simmer for about 5 minutes, or until thickened.

Chopped spinach stirred into the oats

While the oats are simmering, roughly chop a handful of spinach. Stir the chopped spinach and ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil into the oats.

Overhead view of a bowl full of savory oatmeal with ingredients on the sides

Give it a taste and add salt, if needed. Serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

A bowl of Savory Oatmeal with an egg on top

It’s also really good with an egg on top!

The post Savory Oatmeal appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Pesto Cheese Toast

Pesto has been a champion ingredient in my kitchen for a while. Although it is a slightly more expensive item, a little bit goes a long way toward adding flavor to a meal. This Pesto Cheese Toast is a super simple treat that can be served as a party appetizer, a side with dinner, or […]

The post Pesto Cheese Toast appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Pesto has been a champion ingredient in my kitchen for a while. Although it is a slightly more expensive item, a little bit goes a long way toward adding flavor to a meal. This Pesto Cheese Toast is a super simple treat that can be served as a party appetizer, a side with dinner, or even just a little snack. It’s kind of like garlic bread‘s fancier cousin. ;) 

Originally posted 3-1-2010, updated 9-8-2021.

Pesto cheese toast on a baking sheet with bread, tomatoes and cheese on the sides

What Kind of Pesto to Use

That’s the great thing about this tasty toast, you can use any kind of pesto you have or whatever you like best. You can use a basil pesto, a sun dried tomato pesto, a kale pesto, any kind! Today I’m using a Genovese pesto, which is a creamy basil style pesto. Other good affordable pesto brands that I like are Felipo Berio, Classico, and Alessi.

What Kind of Bread to Use

This recipe works great on any French or Italian loaf bread. You can slice the bread into traditional slices, like in the photos here, or slice the loaf in half length-wise, then slice the halved bread into slices like in my Homemade Garlic Bread recipe. It just depends on the bread to topping ratio that you prefer. If you want to get a little creative, you could also basically turn this into a pesto pizza by using small pieces of naan or English muffins instead.

What to Serve with Pesto Cheese Toast

Pesto cheese toast makes a great alternative to garlic bread with any pasta dish, but it’s also great served alongside a bowl of tomato soup. These cheesy little toasts also make a great party appetizer! You can even serve it with a bowl of warm marinara for dipping. But perhaps my favorite way to serve this is with a fried or scrambled egg for breakfast. You just can’t beat that egg-pesto-tomato combo!!

close up side view of pesto cheese toast on the baking sheet

close up side view of pesto cheese toast on the baking sheet

Pesto Cheese Toast

Pesto cheese toast is an easy and delicious alternative to garlic bread. It's great for a party appetizer, snack, or side with dinner!
Total Cost $1.81 recipe / $0.45 per slice
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 pieces
Calories 149kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bread $0.66
  • 2 Tbsp pesto $0.45
  • 1 Roma tomato $0.28
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella $0.42

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice a loaf of French or Italian bread into ½-inch thick slices.
  • Place the slices of bread on the prepared baking sheet and spread ½ Tbps over each piece.
  • Slice the Roma tomato into 8 slices, then top each piece of bread with two slices of tomato.
  • Finally, add a large pinch of shredded mozzarella to each piece of bread.
  • Bake the toast in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the toast is brown and crispy on the edges. Baking time may vary depending on your oven and the type of bread chosen, so keep an eye on them. Serve warm!

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 149kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 7g | Sodium: 304mg | Fiber: 1g

Close up of one piece of pesto cheese toast being held in a hand

How to Make Pesto Cheese Toast – Step By Step Photos

A loaf of bread being sliced

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice a loaf of French or Italian bread into ½-inch thick slices. 

pesto being spread onto the bread

Spread about a ½ tablespoon of pesto onto each slice of bread.

sliced tomatoes on pesto bread

Slice a Roma tomato into 8 slices. Top each piece of toast with two slices of tomato.

shredded cheese being added to toast

Top each piece of toast with about 2 tablespoons of shredded mozzarella (or more if you like!). 

baked pesto cheese toast on the baking sheet

Bake the toast for about 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the outer edges of the bread is toasty!

Finished pesto cheese toast next to the ingredients and a yellow zig zag napkin

Serve and enjoy! I ended up topping mine with a little bit of freshly cracked pepper, but there’s so much flavor in the pesto that you don’t necessarily need that!

The post Pesto Cheese Toast appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Mediterranean Coleslaw

This bright and fresh Mediterranean Coleslaw has a light lemony dressing (no mayo!) and a medley of crunchy and colorful vegetables.

The post Mediterranean Coleslaw appeared first on Budget Bytes.

HELLO, NEW FAVORITE! Sorry about the caps, but I’m really excited about this Mediterranean Coleslaw. It’s so freaking delicious. This coleslaw is actually very similar to my Marinated Cauliflower Salad, but with a coleslaw (shredded cabbage and carrot) base instead of cauliflower, and a more lemon-y dressing. It’s fresh, crisp, colorful, and the perfect side dish for dinners or potlucks!

Overhead view of an oval serving dish with mediterranean coleslaw and tongs

What is Colesaw Mix?

This recipe uses bagged “coleslaw mix” that you can purchase in most grocery stores in the U.S. It’s simply a mix of shredded green cabbage and carrots. While I don’t use convenience products like this often, I find that coleslaw mix is extremely convenient, usually very inexpensive, and doesn’t leave me with ½ head of leftover cabbage.

If you do want to use fresh cabbage, you’ll need about six cups of shredded cabbage (loosely packed) and one shredded carrot.

What to Serve with Mediterranean Coleslaw

I think this slaw would make a great side dish to burgers (particularly my Mediterranean Turkey Burgers), Sheet Pan Greek Chicken and Vegetables, or even Beef Kofta Meatballs.

You could also pile this coleslaw into a wrap with some Garlic Marinated Chicken to make a wrap sandwich. Or top the Mediterranean Coleslaw with some Garlic Butter Shrimp and make it a meal salad.

How Are The Leftovers?

As with any coleslaw, the cabbage will begin to wilt as it is refrigerated. I enjoyed the leftovers of this coleslaw for about two days before it got a little too limp for my tastes. You’ll definitely want to give it a stir every time before serving to make sure the dressing and all the flavors get redistributed.

Close up of mediterranean coleslaw in tongs with the serving dish in the background
Side view of mediterranean coleslaw in a serving dish

Mediterranean Coleslaw

This bright and fresh Mediterranean Coleslaw has a light lemony dressing (no mayo!) and a medley of crunchy and colorful vegetables.
Total Cost $7.21 recipe / $1.20 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 5 1 cup each
Calories 176kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup olive oil $0.42
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice $0.18
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1 tsp dried oregano $0.10
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Salad

  • 16 oz. coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots) $1.69
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced $0.75
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley $0.23
  • 1 2.25oz. can sliced black olives $1.50
  • 1/2 12oz. jar banana pepper rings $1.00
  • 2 oz. feta, crumbled $1.25

Instructions

  • Prepare the lemon garlic vinaigrette first. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper in a bowl or jar. Whisk until combined, or close the jar and shake until combined. Set the dressing aside.
  • Dice the bell pepper and chop the parsley. Add the coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots), bell pepper, black olives (drained), banana peppers, feta, and parsley in a large bowl.
  • Pour the vinaigrette over the salad ingredients then toss until everything is combined and coated in dressing. Let the slaw sit for 15 minutes before serving. Stir one last time just before serving to redistribute the vinaigrette.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 176kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Sodium: 482mg | Fiber: 3g
Side view of mediterranean coleslaw in a serving dish

How to Make Mediterranean Coleslaw – Step by Step Photos

Lemon Vinaigrette in a bowl with a fork

Prepare the lemon garlic vinaigrette first. Combine ¼ cup olive oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl or jar. Whisk until combined, or close the jar and shake until combined. Set the dressing aside.

prepped vegetables for mediterranean slaw in a bowl

Dice ½ a red bell pepper and chop about ¼ cup fresh parsley. Drain the black olives. Add one 16oz. bag coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots) to a large bowl along with the bell pepper, parsley, black olives, about ½ jar of banana peppers, and 2 oz. crumbled feta.

Lemon garlic vinaigrette being poured over salad ingredients

Pour the prepared lemon garlic vinaigrette over the salad ingredients in the bowl.

Finished mediterranean coleslaw in a bowl with tongs

Toss the ingredients together until everything is combined and coated in the vinaigrette. Let the salad sit for about 15 minutes for the flavors to combine, then toss once again before serving.

Overhead view of mediterranean coleslaw in an oval serving dish with tongs in the side

The post Mediterranean Coleslaw appeared first on Budget Bytes.

How to Make the Ultimate Veggie Sandwich

Use what you have on hand to build an ultimate veggie sandwich packed with color, flavor, and texture. Eat the rainbow!

The post How to Make the Ultimate Veggie Sandwich appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I love a good veggie sandwich. There are so many colors, textures, and flavors in every bite that it’s just beyond satisfying. And, because they’re super flexible, you can build an ultimate veggie sandwich using odds and ends of things you may already have in your fridge. And that is one of the most valuable characteristics of a recipe or meal when it comes to eating on a budget.

An ultimate veggie sandwich cut in half and stacked, cut sides facing the camera

This is going to be more of a how-to than a recipe because it’s so extremely flexible and it’s unlikely that you’ll end up using the exact same mix of ingredients as I did. For that reason, and because some of these ingredients are nearly impossible to accurately measure let alone calculate the cost of, I didn’t do a cost breakdown this time. But I’m willing to bet that it cost me less than shelling out $8 for a veggie sandwich at a deli!

I will put a recipe card with my exact sandwich ingredients below for anyone who is interested in trying to duplicate the exact sandwich pictured.

Step 1: Choose Your Bread

I suggest a good, hearty bread for veggie sandwiches, like wheat bread, sourdough, focaccia, or ciabatta. You need something that can hold up to the hefty texture of the vegetables without ripping and something that will provide a little weight in your stomach next to all those lightweight veggies. If you want to make your own bread, no-knead bread or focaccia would be awesome.

You could also make your veggie sandwich into a wrap using an extra-large tortilla. A pita pocket might work too, but it might be difficult to squeeze all those veggies in without it ripping.

The sandwich in the photos was made using Dave’s Killer Bread, Good Seed flavor. It was my first time trying this bread and while it was strong enough for the sandwich, it was a little softer than I’d prefer and the flavor was a bit too sweet for my liking.

Step 3: Choose Your Spread

Using some sort of sandwich spread adds moisture, flavor, and a little fat, which gives the sandwich a more satisfying mouthfeel.

I whipped up a quick scallion cream cheese that was basically a scaled-back version of my Scallion Herb Cream Cheese Spread. I just mixed together 2oz. cream cheese with one sliced green onion, ½ tsp lemon juice, ⅛ tsp garlic powder, ⅛ tsp dried dill, and a pinch of salt.

Other good sandwich spread options include:

  • Hummus
  • Guacamole
  • Pesto
  • Mayo (or a pesto-mayo mix)
  • Thick salad dressings, like ranch or green goddess
  • Boursin
  • Marinara
A veggie sandwich being built, ingredients all around.

Step 4: Add Cheese (Optional)

Since my spread was technically a cheese, I didn’t add any extra cheese. A little cheese can go a long way toward making a veggie sandwich very filling. Here are some good cheese options for veggie sandwiches:

  • White cheddar
  • Feta
  • Goat cheese (chevre)
  • Havarti
  • Swiss
  • Fresh mozzarella

Step 5: Pile On the Veggies!

And here’s where you can start to get really creative! I pulled a lonely carrot out of my produce drawer, grabbed a handful of leftover fresh spinach, sliced up a cucumber and tomato, and used the leftover half of a red bell pepper that I had from the day before. Oh, and I added some alfalfa sprouts because I love the texture they bring to the sandwich! Here are some other vegetables you can add:

  • Sliced button mushrooms or grilled portobello
  • Avocado
  • Coleslaw (this would act like a veggie-spread combo ingredient)
  • Pickles
  • Red onion
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Fresh or grilled zucchini
  • Roasted beets (sliced thin)
  • Sauer kraut
  • Jalapeño
  • Fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro
  • Broccoli (chopped fine)

You’ll want to slice most of your vegetables thinly, which helps keep everything packed together tightly. For hard vegetables, like the carrot I used, it’s helpful to chop or shred them into very small pieces. I used a cheese grater to grate my carrot, but something like broccoli I would just chop finely.

Step 6: Top with Extras

With so many veggies piled onto one sandwich, a little extra ✨spice✨ is never a bad idea. I always like to add some salt and freshly cracked pepper to my tomato layer, but you can also add things like Italian herbs, sunflower seeds, everything bagel seasoning, crushed red pepper, furikake, or nutritional yeast.

A hand holding both halves of a cut open ultimate veggie sandwich

Veggie Sandwich Ideas

Before we get into exactly what was on the sandwich pictured above, here are a few other fun veggie sandwich combo ideas:

  • The Green Goddess: Green goddess dressing, spinach, sprouts, cucumber, avocado, feta on any bread.
  • The Roasted Veggie: Hummus, roasted red peppers, roasted portobellos, roasted zucchini, feta, everything bagel seasoning, on any bread.
  • The “Pizza”: Marinara, grilled or roasted eggplant or portobello, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, black olives, red onion, fresh mozzarella, on ciabatta bread.
  • Coleslaw Sandwich: Creamy coleslaw, tomato, Swiss or havarti, salt and pepper, on sourdough.
A hand holding both halves of a cut open ultimate veggie sandwich

The Ultimate Veggie Sandwich

Use what you have on hand to build an ultimate veggie sandwich packed with color, flavor, and texture. Eat the rainbow!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 411kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Scallion Cream Cheese

  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp dried dill
  • 1 pinch salt

Sandwich

  • 2 slices hearty bread
  • 6 slices cucumber
  • 2 slices tomato
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1 handful alfalfa sprouts
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch pepper

Instructions

  • Whip the ingredients for the scallion cream cheese together in a small bowl (I used a fork).
  • Lightly toast the bread. Spread the cream cheese over one side of each pieces of bread.
  • Pile the vegetables onto the bread, then close. Slice in half and enjoy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 411kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 22g | Sodium: 560mg | Fiber: 9g
Side view of a closed veggie sandwich, uncut

Got Leftover Ingredients?

If you did happen to buy ingredients specifically for making a veggie sandwich, here are some really flexible recipes that you can make to use up any leftovers:

The post How to Make the Ultimate Veggie Sandwich appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Ranch Broccoli Pasta

This Ranch Broccoli Pasta just takes minutes to make and is full of deliciously creamy, tangy, herby ranch flavor!

The post Ranch Broccoli Pasta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

One of my all-time favorite no-brainer quick-fix meals is pasta + broccoli + butter + Parmesan (aka Bowties and Broccoli). But what I discovered this week is that sprinkling a little ranch seasoning mix over top really takes it to the next level! This Ranch Broccoli Pasta just takes minutes to make and is full of deliciously creamy, tangy, herby ranch flavor!

Overhead view of a pot full of ranch broccoli pasta

What Kind of Ranch Seasoning to Use

I used a half batch of my homemade ranch seasoning, but you can use a store-bought packet of ranch seasoning mix if you prefer. This recipe calls for 1.5 Tbsp of ranch seasoning, which is about ½ of a store-bought packet. Of course, you could always add more seasoning if you prefer!

Use Any Pasta

Another reason that I love this quick-fix meal is that you can do this with whatever shape pasta you have. So it’s a great way to use up odds and ends of boxes of pasta that you may have hanging out in your pantry (if you’re like me and rarely cook an entire pound of pasta at once).

What Else Can I Add?

As usual, this recipe is a great jumping-off point for a number of fun variations. Here are some other ingredients you can add to take this easy meal up a notch:

  • Diced grilled chicken
  • Bacon
  • Grated Parmesan
  • Grape tomatoes (sliced in half)
ranch broccoli pasta in a bowl with a fork
close up of ranch broccoli pasta in a bowl

Ranch Broccoli Pasta

This Ranch Broccoli Pasta just takes minutes to make and is full of deliciously creamy, tangy, herby ranch flavor!
Total Cost $1.71 recipe / $0.43 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 296kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. pasta (any shape) $0.50
  • 1/2 lb. frozen broccoli florets $0.72
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.20
  • 1.5 Tbsp ranch seasoning $0.27
  • 1/8 tsp salt (or to taste) $0.01
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked pepper $0.01

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add the pasta and continue to boil until the pasta is tender (about 7-10 minutes).
  • When the pasta is just tender, add the frozen broccoli florets to the boiling water with the pasta, and let it sit for about one minute. Reserve a ¼ cup of the starchy pasta water, then drain the pasta and broccoli in a colander.
  • Return the drained pasta and broccoli to the pot with the burner turned off. Add the butter and ranch seasoning and stir until the butter is melted and everything is coated in the seasoning. If the pasta becomes dry while stirring, add a splash of the reserved pasta water.
  • Finally, season the pasta with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 296kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 7g | Sodium: 567mg | Fiber: 3g
close up of ranch broccoli pasta in a bowl

How to Make Ranch Broccoli Pasta – Step by Step Photos

Boiled pasta and broccoli florets

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add the pasta and continue to boil until the pasta is tender (7-10 minutes). Add the frozen broccoli florets during the last minute of boiling. Reserve a 1/4 cup of the starchy pasta water, then drain the pasta and broccoli in a colander.

butter and ranch seasoning added to the drained pasta and broccoli

Add the drained pasta and broccoli back to the pot (heat turned off) and add 2 Tbsp butter and about 1.5 Tbsp ranch seasoning mix. Stir until the butter is melted and everything is coated in butter and seasoning. If the pasta become dry while stirring, add a splash of the reserved pasta water.

Finished ranch broccoli pasta in the pot with a spatula

Taste the pasta and add salt and pepper to your liking. Serve warm! So simple, so delish. :)

The post Ranch Broccoli Pasta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Blistered Green Beans with Walnut Sauce

I’ve been cooking green beans a dozen different ways recently. They’re all over the markets right now, and as a bonus, we also had a good crop at our garden this year. These blistered green beans were the stand-out green bean recipe of the season. Blistered in a scorching hot pan, paired them with a […]

Continue reading Blistered Green Beans with Walnut Sauce on 101 Cookbooks

I’ve been cooking green beans a dozen different ways recently. They’re all over the markets right now, and as a bonus, we also had a good crop at our garden this year. These blistered green beans were the stand-out green bean recipe of the season.

Blistered Green Beans with Walnut Sauce on a Platter

Blistered in a scorching hot pan, paired them with a favorite garlic-spiked walnut sauce and topped with extra toasted walnuts and a bit of grated cheese. Simple and incredibly good. You can make the sauce ahead of time, and then, when you’re ready, you’re literally under ten minutes from green bean perfection.
Walnuts in a Mortar and Pestle

Do I need to Trim the Green Beans?

This is basically up to you. I often don’t bother with topping and tailing each bean, particularly if the beans are still fresh and tender. You’re cooking these quite intensively, so keep that in mind. That said, trimming any stems, or tough spots is recommended.
Green Beans in Copper Skillet

Some Variations

There are a number of alternate directions you can take this! For a spicy version, you can finish the green beans with a drizzle of chile oil, or toasted sesame chile oil. If you love herbs shower the green beans with chopped basil, mint, chives, and/or marjoram after you’ve finished cooking. Or, make a meal of it. I enjoyed these over a bowl of pasta noodles with extra walnut sauce. So good! The blistered green beans and walnut sauce are also A+ over simple brown rice.
Blistered Green Beans with Walnut Sauce on a Platter

More Green Bean Recipes

If you’re looking for other ways to cook green beans there are some really special ones in the archives.

The simplest: Vibrant Tasty Green Beans

Wildcard favorite green bean recipe: Anna Getty’s Feisty Green Beans

This green chile-spiked Yellow Bean Salad

This nut-studded, slaw-like Green Bean Slaw
Grating Parmesan Cheese over Bowl of Blistered Green Beans
You can see the blistered green beans here over pasta tossed with the walnut sauce. Enjoy!

Continue reading Blistered Green Beans with Walnut Sauce on 101 Cookbooks

Homemade Ranch Seasoning Mix

This super simple homemade ranch seasoning makes great ranch dressing and can also be used to season, meat, vegetables, pasta, and more.

The post Homemade Ranch Seasoning Mix appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Those little packets of ranch seasoning mix that you can get at the store are pretty versatile. You can do so much more with them than just mixing up a quick batch of ranch dressing. That flavorful mix of buttermilk and herbs can be used to coat just anything in a tangy, herby, creamy goodness. But I wanted to make my own homemade ranch seasoning so I could whip up any amount needed and so I’d know every last ingredient in the mix.

Ranch seasoning mix ingredients in a small wooden bowl with lemon, garlic, and parsley on the sides

Buttermilk Powder is a Must

Most of the ingredients in this homemade ranch seasoning mix are pantry staples, but there is one special ingredient that can not be substituted, buttermilk powder, which is basically dehydrated buttermilk. Buttermilk powder provides tangy and creamy flavors without having to add a liquid to the mix. This allows you to get that classic ranch flavor in dry form, which is perfect for things like seasoning popcorn or making a dry rub for meat.

It usually comes in a small round container and can be found in the baking aisle, usually near canned evaporated milk or dry milk. I used Saco brand Buttermilk blend (the brand that I see most often in grocery stores here in the U.S.). It looks like this:

A container of buttermilk powder

How to Use Homemade Ranch Seasoning

I’m super excited to have finally made my own ranch seasoning because there are just so many ways to use it. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Season roasted potatoes
  • Stir into mashed potatoes
  • Sprinkle over popcorn
  • Season roasted chicken
  • Mix with butter to brush onto biscuits
  • Make chip dip
  • Season homemade croutons
  • Sprinkle over buttered pasta
  • Season roasted vegetables, like broccoli and cauliflower

How to Store Homemade Ranch Seasoning Mix

The recipe below is a small batch about the same as one ranch seasoning packet you’d buy in the store. If you want to scale the recipe up and save some pre-made mix you can do that. Store the ranch seasoning mix in an air-tight container away from heat and sunlight, just as you would with any dry herbs or spices. It should stay good for several months, but as with any dried herb, the flavor will slowly diminish over time.

mixed homemade ranch seasoning surrounded by other ingredients
ranch seasoning mix ingredients in a wooden bowl with ingredients on the sides

Homemade Ranch Seasoning Mix

This super simple homemade ranch seasoning makes great ranch dressing and can also be used to season, meat, vegetables, pasta, and more.
Total Cost $0.53 per batch
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 batch (about 3 Tbsp)
Calories 54kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Use immediately or store in an air-tight container until ready to use.

To Make Ranch Dressing

  • Combine the ranch seasoning mix with ¼ cup mayonnaise, ¼ cup sour cream, and ¼ cup milk. Whisk until smooth.

To Make Chip Dip

  • Combine the ranch seasoning mix with 1 cup sour cream and stir until smooth. Let the dip sit for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

Nutrition

Serving: 1batch | Calories: 54kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 354mg | Fiber: 1g
close up of mixed ranch seasoning in the bowl with a measuring spoon

Use your homemade ranch seasoning mix as a dry powder to season meat, vegetables, pasta, and more. Or, use it to whip up a batch of ranch dressing or chip dip…

Ranch dressing in a bowl surrounded by carrots and celery

The post Homemade Ranch Seasoning Mix appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Crunchy Kale and Chicken Salad

If you think a salad can’t fill you up, think again. This awesomely crunchy and flavorful Kale and Chicken Salad is chock full of juicy chicken breast, almonds, celery, and lots of fiberlicious kale to keep your belly full. And flavor? Oh don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about the flavor. A tangy, sweet, and creamy […]

The post Crunchy Kale and Chicken Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you think a salad can’t fill you up, think again. This awesomely crunchy and flavorful Kale and Chicken Salad is chock full of juicy chicken breast, almonds, celery, and lots of fiberlicious kale to keep your belly full. And flavor? Oh don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about the flavor. A tangy, sweet, and creamy honey Dijon dressing drenches the salad in tons of flavor. Throw a few sweet golden raisins on top for a pop of sweetness and you’ve got salad magic. And the best part? All of these ingredients hold up well to refrigeration, so this salad is perfect for your weekly meal prep. 🙌

Originally posted 7-28-2014, updated 8-16-2021.

Dressing being poured over a kale and chicken salad

If you love regular chicken salad, I think you’ll love this kale and chicken salad as well. It has all the same flavors as traditional chicken salad, but the ingredients are piled onto a bed of greens and the dressing is made slightly thinner so that it’s pourable instead of acting like a thick binder. And just as with regular chicken salad, there is a lot of room for customization here, so keep reading for some ideas.

Can I Use Different Greens?

Sure! If you’re not into kale, you can swap it out with your favorite greens. I think a crunchy green like Romaine or finely shredded cabbage would probably be best, but you could use any green that you like to use for fresh salads.

What Kind of Chicken to Use

I used plain chicken breast that I cooked quickly in a skillet and then diced, but you can take a shortcut and use store-bought rotisserie chicken instead. You’ll need about 1.5 cups of chopped cooked chicken for this recipe. 

Raisin Substitutes

I love the mildly sweet golden raisins in this recipe, but you could swap them out with dried cranberries, chopped apples for more crunch, or even fresh grapes (sliced). 

Dressing Options

If you don’t want to make your own homemade dressing for this salad, a store-bought honey mustard or poppyseed dressing would be awesome with the flavors in this salad.

How to Meal Prep Kale and Chicken Salad

The sturdy, crunchy nature of the ingredients in this salad means that it holds up extremely well to refrigeration without much effort. I would store the dressing on the side just to maintain maximum crunch-factor, but other than that, all of the ingredients can be stored together in single-serving containers. The prepped salads will stay good in the fridge for about 3-4 days.

Side view of dressing being poured onto kale and chicken salad

dressing being poured over kale and chicken salad

Crunchy Kale and Chicken Salad

This Crunchy Kale and Chicken Salad is full of flavor, texture, and a tangy-sweet homemade dressing. It's perfect for your weekly meal prep!
Total Cost $8.29 recipe / $2.07 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 446kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Salad

  • 1.5 cups chopped cooked chicken $4.33
  • 6 cups chopped kale $1.25
  • 1 cup chopped celery $0.37
  • 1/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds $0.79
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins $0.47

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise $0.50
  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar $0.18
  • 1.5 Tbsp honey $0.27
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard $0.09
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Instructions

  • Chop the cooked chicken into small, bite-sized pieces. Clean the celery and chop into similar small bite-sized pieces.
  • Remove the kale from the stems, tear it into 1-2 inch pieces, rinse well in a colander, and drain well.
  • To make the dressing, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, Dijon, salt, and pepper.
  • To build the salad, start with a base of kale, top with the chopped chicken and celery, almonds, and raisins. Drizzle the dressing over top, toss until everything is coated, then enjoy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1salad | Calories: 446kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 28g | Sodium: 444mg | Fiber: 2g
Love kale salads? Try these other awesome kale salads:

Tossed kale and chicken salad in a bowl next to the serving platter full of kale salad

How to Make Crunchy Kale and Chicken Salad – Step by Step Photos

Cooked chicken breast in the skillet

You can us any pre-cooked chicken for this recipe and you’ll need about 1.5 cups once chopped. I used one chicken breast (⅔ lb. total) that I filleted into two thinner pieces so that it would cook quickly in a skillet. Once browned on the outside and cooked through, I simply let it cool for 5-10 minutes and then chopped it into small pieces.

Salad dressing ingredients in a bowl

While my chicken was cooling, I made the dressing. This dressing is very similar to a dressing you’d use for chicken salad, but it’s a little bit thinner so it’s pourable and will easily coat all of the kale. In a bowl, whisk together ½ cup mayonnaise, 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1.5 Tbsp honey, ½ Tbsp Dijon mustard, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper. Set the dressing aside.

Washed kale in a colander

Next, prep the kale. I used bagged kale that comes pre-chopped because it’s super convenient and just about the same price as bunched kale. If your kale is still on the stem, simply pull it off the stem and tear it into 1-2 inch pieces. Rinse it in a colander and then let it drain well. Watery salad is never good. I used ½ of a one-pound bag, or about 6 cups of chopped leaves.

Chopped celery on a cutting board

Next, dice two ribs of celery, or about 1 cup once chopped.

chopped chicken on a cutting board

Chop the cooked chicken to similar sized pieces (about 1.5 cups chopped).

Kale salad topped with chicken and celery

Then just build your salad(s)! You can either build one large salad or build it as four smaller single-serving portions. Start with your bed of chopped kale, then add the chopped chicken and celery…

raisins and almonds added to the salad

Then add ⅓ cup almonds (sliced or slivered) and ⅓ cup golden raisins.

dressing being poured over kale and chicken salad

Pour your dressing over top just before serving.

tossed kale salad in a bowl next to the serving platter

Toss to coat everything in dressing and enjoy! (I added a little extra cracked black pepper on top because I love pepper!)

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