Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding

Bread pudding, also known as French Toast Casserole, is what all your cozy weekend breakfast dreams are made of. It’s basically bread soaked in a sweet and creamy custard, then baked to perfection. The edges of the bread get deliciously crispy while the inside stays moist and custard-like. It’s so much easier than cooking individual […]

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Bread pudding, also known as French Toast Casserole, is what all your cozy weekend breakfast dreams are made of. It’s basically bread soaked in a sweet and creamy custard, then baked to perfection. The edges of the bread get deliciously crispy while the inside stays moist and custard-like. It’s so much easier than cooking individual slices of French toast in a skillet, and it’s a great way to use up leftover stale or day-old bread. Win-win! So let me show you how it’s done.

Originally posted 5-5-2010, updated 9-18-2021.

Close up front view of a casserole dish full of apple cinnamon bread pudding

Is Bread Pudding for Breakfast or Dessert?

There are many, many different versions of bread pudding, some of which are downright decadent. You’ll even see it on the dessert menu in a lot of restaurants across the south (usually drenched with a delicious bourbon sauce). The version I’m presenting here is the kind I grew up eating for breakfast. It has milk instead of heavy cream, fewer eggs, and a lot less sugar. The addition of applesauce to the custard also keeps things a little lighter and more toward the breakfast end of the spectrum. All of that said, I would still consider it a sweet, special occasion type of breakfast.

What Kind of Bread to Use for Bread Pudding

It’s important to use a hearty bread for bread pudding rather than a soft white sandwich bread. Softer bread will disintegrate in the custard and won’t give you the nice toasty edges on top. Bread pudding is the perfect way to use up leftovers from your loaves of Italian bread, baguettes, or any hearty artisan loaf you may have. And if you don’t have enough leftover bread from one loaf, tear that bread into pieces, pop it into a freezer bag, and save it in the freezer for later when you do have more bread!

What Else Can I Add?

The classic apple cinnamon flavor of this bread pudding is a great base to add even more flavor. You could toss in a handful of walnuts or pecans, or maybe even some dried cranberries. If you want more texture in your bread pudding, try chopping up a fresh apple and stirring that into the mix. If you want to go more toward the dessert route, you could top your bread pudding with a cream cheese icing or caramel drizzle! 

Overhead view of a piece of bread pudding on a plate next to the casserole dish

Close up of a fork cutting into a piece of apple cinnamon bread pudding

Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding

Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding (also known as French Toast Casserole) is a rich and sweet breakfast treat or after-dinner dessert!
 
Total Cost $5.54 recipe / $0.92 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6
Calories 377kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 6 cups bread pieces $1.98
  • 2 cups milk $0.80
  • 4 large eggs $0.84
  • 1.5 cups applesauce, divided $0.89
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract $0.28
  • 1/3 cup sugar $0.11
  • 1 tsp cinnamon $0.10
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.18
  • 1/3 cup raisins (optional) $0.36

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325ºF. If your bread is not already in pieces, tear or cut the bread into one-inch pieces.
  • Spread the bread pieces out on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes to slightly dry the bread. After baking, let the bread cool for a few minutes to allow the remaining steam to evaporate.
  • While the bread is drying in the oven, prepare the apple cinnamon custard. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, 1 cup of applesauce, vanilla extract, sugar, and cinnamon.
  • Transfer the par-baked bread to a large bowl, add the raisins, then pour the apple cinnamon custard over top. Stir to combine and allow the bread to soak for at least 15 minutes to absorb all of the custard.
  • Meanwhile, use 1 teaspoon of the butter to grease the inside of a two-quart casserole dish. Transfer the soaked bread to the casserole dish and spread it out evenly. Cut the remaining butter into chunks and sprinkle it over the bread pudding.
  • Bake the bread pudding for 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160ºF.
  • After removing the bread pudding from the oven, add the remaining ½ cup applesauce in dollops on top of the bread pudding. Serve warm.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 377kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 12g | Sodium: 410mg | Fiber: 4g

Close up of a fork cutting into a piece of apple cinnamon bread pudding

How to Make Bread Pudding – Step by Step Photos

Bread being cut into squares

Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Tear your bread into one-inch pieces. You’ll need about 6 cups of torn bread.

Torn bread pieces on a baking sheet

Place the torn bread pieces on a large baking sheet and bake in the preheated 325ºF oven for about 10 minutes to dry it out. Let the bread pieces cool for a few minutes after baking. This will allow the rest of the steam to evaporate and dry the bread further. 

Custard ingredients in a bowl with a whisk

While the bread is drying, prepare the custard. In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups milk, 4 large eggs, 1 cup applesauce, ⅓ cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1 tsp vanilla extract.

Custard being poured over bread and raisins in a bowl

Place the dried bread cubes in a large bowl along with ⅓ cup raisins. Pour the custard mixture over top and then give everything a stir until all of the custard has been absorbed by the bread.

Bread soaked in custard in a bowl with a spatula

Set the mixture aside and allow the bread to soak in the custard for at least 15 minutes.

Bread pudding in the casserole dish topped with butter

Use one teaspoon (out of the 2 Tbsp total) to grease the inside of a two-quart casserole dish. Transfer the bread pudding mixture to the casserole dish and spread it out evenly. Cut the remaining butter into small pieces and sprinkle them over the bread pudding.

Baked bread pudding in the dish, applesauce being added on top

Bake the bread pudding in the 325ºF oven for about 45 minutes, or until it’s brown and crispy on top and the internal temperature reaches 160ºF. After baking, spoon the remaining ½ cup applesauce over the top. 

close up side view of french toast casserole

Cut into six pieces and serve warm with a drizzle of maple syrup or a sprinkle of powdered sugar on top!

maple syrup being poured over a slice of apple cinnamon bread pudding

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BBQ Meatballs with Cheese Grits

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

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

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

What to Serve with BBQ Meatballs and Cheese Grits

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

Can I Use a Different Meat?

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

What Kind of BBQ Sauce Do you Suggest?

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

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

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

BBQ Meatballs with Cheese Grits

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

Ingredients

BBQ Meatballs

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

Cheese Grits

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

Instructions

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

Nutrition

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

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

meatball ingredients in a bowl

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

raw, shaped meatballs on the baking sheet

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

Milk being poured into a pot with chicken broth

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

grits being poured into the pot with the milk and broth

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

butter and pepper added to the grits

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

Shredded cheddar being added to grits

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

Baked meatballs on the baking sheet

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

BBQ sauce coated meatballs in a bowl with a spatula

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

close up side view of bbq meatballs on cheese grits

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

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Mediterranean Coleslaw

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

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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

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Curried Ground Beef with Peas and Potatoes

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

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

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

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

What Kind of Beef to Use

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

What Kind of Curry Powder to Use

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

How to Serve Curried Ground Beef with Peas and Potatoes

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

Can I Add More Vegetables?

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

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

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

Curried Ground Beef with Peas and Potatoes

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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

Nutrition

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

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

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

Minced garlic and grated ginger in a skillet with oil

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

Spices added to the skillet with garlic and ginger

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

Browned ground beef in the skillet

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

Cubed potato on a cutting board

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

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

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

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

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

Frozen peas being poured into the skillet

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

Finished curried beef with peas in the skillet with a spatula

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

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

Top with sliced green onions and enjoy!

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

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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 […]

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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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Black Bean and Roasted Salsa Soup

Colorful oven-roasted vegetables, black beans, fresh cilantro, and lime come together to make a vibrant soup that’s great any time of year.

The post Black Bean and Roasted Salsa Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’ll just admit it. I love salsa so much that sometimes I wish I could eat it with a spoon as if it were soup. So that’s basically what I did. I made a homemade salsa with roasted vegetables, combined it with black beans to make the soup more filling, and added some fresh cilantro and lime to freshen things up. This soup is colorful, flavorful, and is giving me all the salsa vibes. I wouldn’t even say no to crushing some tortilla chips on top of the bowl!

Originally posted 12-13-2010, updated 8-11-2021.

Overhead view of a bowl of black bean and roasted salsa soup, cornbread and limes on the side

This soup is based off of my Fire Roasted Salsa recipe, which is one of my absolute favorite salsa recipes. It’s made with fresh vegetables that are oven roasted until they’re all sweet and caramelized on the edges. The flavor is absolutely amazing!

Add More to Your Soup

You know I love flexible recipes, and this black bean and roasted salsa soup is no exception. You can have tons of fun by adding ingredients or toppings to make it your own. Here are some ideas:

  • For a creamier soup, stir in some cream, sour cream, plain yogurt or cream cheese
  • Add a few chipotle peppers in adobe sauce for a smokier, spicier soup
  • If you’re in a meaty mood, chorizo would be a perfect addition
  • Top the soup with a variety of garnishes:
    • Avocados
    • Sour cream
    • Shredded cheese
    • Crushed tortilla chips
    • Green Onion
    • Cilantro
    • Pico de gallo
    • Lime wedges

What to Serve with Roasted Salsa Soup

I served my soup as a main with some Cheddar Jalapeño Cornbread on the side, but this soup would also be great served as a side with Chipotle Lime Chicken and Rice, Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas, or Black Bean and Avocado Enchiladas.

Side view of black bean and roasted salsa soup in a bowl with a spoon in the center
Side view of black bean and roasted salsa soup in a bowl with a spoon in the center

Black Bean and Roasted Salsa Soup

Colorful oven-roasted vegetables, black beans, fresh cilantro, and lime come together to make a  vibrant soup that's great any time of year.
Total Cost $8.07 recipe / $1.35 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6 1.33 cups each
Calories 195kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 6 Roma tomatoes $1.43
  • 1 yellow onion $0.28
  • 1 red bell pepper $1.50
  • 1 jalapeño $0.07
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.32
  • 2 poblano peppers $1.44
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro $0.20
  • 2 15oz. cans black beans $1.60
  • 3 cups vegetable broth, divided $0.39
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin $0.05
  • 3/4 tsp salt $0.04
  • 1 lime $0.67

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Slice the Roma tomatoes in half. Cut the yellow onion into chunks. Remove the stem and seeds from the red bell pepper and jalapeño, then cut them in half. Peel the garlic. Leave the poblano peppers whole. Place the tomatoes, onion, red bell pepper, jalapeño, and poblano on a large baking sheet. Drizzle cooking oil over top, then toss until everything is coated.
  • Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes, or until they are well browned on the edges, stirring once half-way through.
  • Remove the poblano peppers from the baking sheet and allow them to cool slightly. The skin should be blistered and easily peeled from the pepper. Remove the skin, then open the peppers and scrape out the seeds.
  • Add the roasted vegetables and fresh cilantro to a food processor or blender and pulse until the vegetables are about half-puréed. Pour the vegetable mixture into a large soup pot.
  • Drain the canned beans and add them to the food processor with 1 cup of vegetable broth. Pulse until the beans are puréed. Pour the puréed beans into the soup pot along with the remaining 2 cups vegetable broth and cumin.
  • Stir the contents of the soup pot until everything is evenly combined. Turn the heat on to medium, and bring the soup up to a simmer. Allow the soup to simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Taste the soup and add salt to taste (about ¾ tsp). Squeeze about 1 Tbsp juice from the lime and add stir that into the soup as well. Taste and adjust the lime or salt to your liking.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.33cup | Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 769mg | Fiber: 10g
black bean and roasted salsa soup in a Dutch oven garnished with cilantro

How to Make Black Bean and Roasted Salsa Soup – Step By Step Photos

prepped vegetables on a baking sheet with oil being drizzled over top

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Slice 6 Roma tomatoes in half. Cut one yellow onion into chunks. Cut one red bell pepper and one jalapeño in half, then scrape the seeds out. Peel four cloves of garlic. Leave 2 poblano peppers whole. Add all the vegetables to a large baking sheet, then drizzle 2 Tbsp of your favorite cooking oil over top. Toss until the vegetables are well coated in oil.

Roasted vegetables on the baking sheet

Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes, or until they’re well browned on the edges, stirring once halfway through.

Peeled poblanos on a cutting board one with the seeds scraped out

Remove the poblano peppers from the baking sheet and allow them to cool slightly. The skin should be blistered and easily peeled from the flesh. Peel the poblanos, then open them up and scrape out the seeds.

Roasted vegetables in a food processor

Add the roasted vegetables and about ½ cup fresh cilantro to a food processor or blender.

puréed vegetables in the food processor

Pulse the vegetables until they’re about half puréed (I like to leave it just slightly chunky so you can see all the separate colors). Pour the vegetables into a large soup pot.

puréed beans in a food processor

Drain two cans of black beans and add them to the food processor with one cup of vegetable broth. Puré until mostly smooth.

Vegetable broth being poured into the soup pot with vegetables and beans

Pour the beans into the soup pot with the vegetables and add the remaining 2 cups vegetable broth and ½ tsp cumin. Stir until everything is combined.

Finished soup in the pot with salt and lime on the side

Bring the soup up to a simmer over medium heat. Allow the soup to simmer for about 10 minutes, then season with salt and lime juice. I added ¾ tsp salt and 1 Tbsp lime juice, but start small and add according to your taste buds.

Overhead view of a bowl full of black bean and roasted salsa soup with a spoon in the center

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Chicken Salad with Apples

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

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

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

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

What Kind of Cooked Chicken to Use

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

What Else Can I Add to My Chicken Salad?

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

How Long Does This Chicken Salad Last?

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

How to Serve Chicken Salad with Apples

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

Overhead view of chicken salad sandwiches with croissants

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

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

Chicken Salad with Apples

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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

Nutrition

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

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

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

Cooked chicken breast in a skillet

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

Chopped chicken on a cutting board

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

Chopped apple on a cutting board

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

Chicken salad ingredients in a bowl

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

chicken salad dressing ingredients in a bowl

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

Dressing being poured over the chicken salad ingredients

Pour the prepared dressing over top of the salad ingredients.

Finished chicken salad with apples in a bowl

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

Chicken salad sandwiches made with croissants on a wooden cutting board

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Chipotle Lime Chicken and Rice

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

The post Chipotle Lime Chicken and Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

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

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

What is Chipotle Powder?

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

Can I Use Bone-In Chicken?

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

Tomato Options

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

What to Serve with Chipotle Lime Chicken and Rice

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

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

Chipotle Lime Chicken and Rice

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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

Notes

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

Nutrition

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

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

Spices in a wooden bowl

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

Seasoned chicken breast on an orange cutting board

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

Cooked chicken in a skillet

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

Cooked onion in the skillet with spices

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

diced tomatoes, rice, and broth added to the skillet

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

Chicken added back to the skillet

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

Cooked chicken and rice in the skillet

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

Sliced chicken on top of stirred rice in the skillet

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

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

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

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

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

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Fish Tacos with Cumin Lime Slaw

Earlier this week I made a big batch of sunny and fresh Cumin Lime Coleslaw, but I didn’t intend to just eat coleslaw all week. So, I used the coleslaw as a topping for these super simple fish tacos. I love making tacos for dinner because they’re so easy, fresh, and not too heavy, which […]

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Earlier this week I made a big batch of sunny and fresh Cumin Lime Coleslaw, but I didn’t intend to just eat coleslaw all week. So, I used the coleslaw as a topping for these super simple fish tacos. I love making tacos for dinner because they’re so easy, fresh, and not too heavy, which is great when it’s 100 degrees outside. I like to keep my tacos pretty simple (in this case just fish, slaw, jalapeño, and avocado), but I’ve got some suggestions for extra toppings below if you want them! ;)

Originally posted 3-27-2015, updated 7-15-2021.

Overhead view of fish tacos on a platter, toppings on the sides

What’s in a Fish Taco?

For these fish tacos, I seasoned some white fish filets with a simple mix of chili powder, cumin, garlic, and salt, then cooked them up quickly in a skillet. I topped them with tangy Cumin Lime Coleslaw, a slice of creamy avocado, and a couple super thin slices of jalapeño. It’s the perfect mix of earthy, spicy, creamy, and tangy. 

What Kind of Fish is Best for Tacos?

I used cod fillets for my fish tacos because they have a mild flavor that can be easily paired with any seasoning or toppings. You could also use something like tilapia, halibut, mahi mahi, snapper, or grouper. I usually get the best prices on frozen fillets, and they usually come individually wrapped, so you can thaw as many as you need and keep the rest in the freezer for later. 

What Else Can I Add?

Tacos are fun because you can get creative with the toppings. If you want to swap out some of the toppings I used for something else, or just want to add to what is listed in the recipe below, here are some ideas:

What Kind of Tortillas?

Corn tortillas are the traditional option for tacos, but go ahead and use whatever you like best. Cooking is about doing what works for you. So if you like flour tortillas or crunchy taco shells better or happen to have those on hand, use them. :) If you’re using corn tortillas, make sure to toast them before making your tacos so they get that deliciously toasty corn flavor (otherwise they kind of taste like nothing). And keep in mind that if you use larger tortillas you’ll get fewer tacos out of the ingredients listed below.

What to Serve with Fish Tacos

Two tacos does not a meal make, so here are some ideas for sides:

Side view of fish tacos on a platter

Fish tacos on a platter with toppings on the sides

Fish Tacos with Cumin Lime Slaw

These super easy Fish Tacos with Cumin Lime Slaw are light, fresh, and the perfect quick dinner for hot summer nights, or any night!
Total Cost $9.17 recipe / $2.29 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 (2 Tacos each)
Calories 437kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Cumin Lime Coleslaw

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise $0.40
  • 1 lime (1 Tbsp juice) $0.50
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin $0.05
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne $0.01
  • 1/2 tsp sugar $0.01
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1/2 16oz. bag coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots) $0.75
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.22

Tacos

  • 8 small corn tortillas $0.80
  • 2 tsp chili powder $0.20
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1 lb. cod fillets* $4.96
  • 1 avocado, sliced $0.99
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced $0.15

Instructions

  • Toast the tortillas in a dry skillet over medium heat until browned on each side. Stack the tortillas and cover with foil to keep warm.
  • Make the cumin lime coleslaw next. For the dressing, stir together the mayonnaise, 1 Tbsp lime juice, cumin, cayenne, salt, and sugar.
  • Place the coleslaw mix and sliced green onions in a bowl, pour the coleslaw dressing over top and stir to combine. Refrigerate until you're ready to build your tacos.
  • Next, season the fish fillets. Combine the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt. Cut each fish fillet into smaller taco-sized pieces. Season both sides of the fish with the spice mix.
  • Add half of the cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, add half of the fish and cook for a few minutes on each side or until the fish is cooked through (it will feel firm, look opaque, and be easily flaked). Repeat with more oil and the second batch of fish.
  • Top each toasted tortilla with a piece of fish, a slice of avocado, a small scoop of the cumin lime slaw, and a couple slices of jalapeño. Enjoy warm.

Notes

*You can use just about any type of white fish for this, like tilapia, mahi mahi, or halibut.

Nutrition

Serving: 2Tacos | Calories: 437kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 24g | Sodium: 424mg | Fiber: 9g

How to Make Fish Tacos – Step by Step Photos

corn tortillas being toasted in a skillet

If you’re using corn tortillas you’ll want to toast them before making your tacos. This gives them more flavor and helps make them a bit more sturdy. I do this in a dry skillet over fairly high heat, but if you have a gas range you can do it right over an open flame (just a second or two on each side). You can keep them warm on a plate covered with foil.

Cumin lime slaw ingredients in a bowl, dressing being poured

Next, prepare the cumin lime coleslaw so it’s ready to go when the fish finishes cooking. To make the dressing, stir together 1 Tbsp lime juice, ¼ cup mayonnaise, ½ tsp cumin, ¼ tsp slat, ⅛ tsp cayenne, and ½ tsp sugar. Place ½ of a bag of coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots) in a bowl with 2 sliced green onions. Pour the dressing over top. You can also wait to pour the dressing over until just before serving, if preferred.

finished cumin lime coleslaw in bowl

Stir to coat the vegetables in dressing, then refrigerate until ready to build your tacos. 

Seasoned fish fillets

Next, make the seasoning mix for the fish. Combine 2 tsp chili powder (this is a mild blend of chiles and other spices), ½ tsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp garlic powder, and ⅛ tsp salt. Cut 1 lb. fish into taco-sized pieces (in this case I had four fillets, so I cut each in half for one piece per taco). Season the fish on both sides with the prepared spice mix.

Fish cooked in the skillet

Heat ½ Tbsp cooking oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add half of the fish and cook for a few minutes on each side, or until cooked through (the fish will be opaque and easily flake when cooked). Repeat with a little more oil and the second batch of fish.

Tacos being built

To build the tacos, place one piece of fish in each tortilla, add one slice of avocado, a small scoop of cumin lime coleslaw, and a couple slices of jalapeño.

Fish tacos on a platter with toppings on the sides

If you have leftover lime from making the slaw, slice it into wedges to serve with the tacos.

close up of a fish taco in a hand

Enjoy that summery goodness!

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Oven Roasted Ratatouille

What happens when you take thinly sliced vegetables, layer them in a dish, add a rich red sauce, plenty of herbs, and a cheesy topping? You get this insanely delicious Oven Roasted Ratatouille, aka “the vegetable dish that vegetable haters won’t be able to get enough of.” While this interpretation of ratatouille isn’t exactly traditional, […]

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What happens when you take thinly sliced vegetables, layer them in a dish, add a rich red sauce, plenty of herbs, and a cheesy topping? You get this insanely delicious Oven Roasted Ratatouille, aka “the vegetable dish that vegetable haters won’t be able to get enough of.” While this interpretation of ratatouille isn’t exactly traditional, I think you’re going to love it. It kind of reminds me of pizza, but like, made out of really pretty vegetables (and it certainly made my house smell like pizza).

Originally posted 5-19-2014, updated 7-8-2021.

Overhead view of oven roasted ratatouille in the casserole dish with a serving spoon

What is Ratatouille?

Ratatouille is a classic French dish made of stewed vegetables, like tomato, zucchini, eggplant, onion, and bell pepper. It’s rich, comforting, and perfect for sopping up with a piece of crusty artisan bread or ladling over a bowl of polenta. As with most recipes that have been around for generations, there are many interpretations of ratatouille, and I definitely took mine in a different direction.

Rather than stewing the vegetables together in a pot, I chose to make an oven roasted ratatouille, which is a common alternative to the stewed version. Not only is oven roasting the sliced vegetables super pretty, but it’s a little more hands-off than stewing vegetables in a pot, which I appreciate. I also added marinara sauce to the bottom of my casserole dish which ends up mixing with the juices from the vegetables and creating the most delicious sauce (get some bread ready for dipping). Lastly, I topped with cheese, which definitely isn’t the norm for ratatouille, but it sure was delicious! And it really created that pizza-like effect. 

What Size Vegetables to Use

This recipe is extremely flexible. I’ve given some approximate weight values for the vegetables below, but you can really use whatever size you have available and whatever you can squeeze into your baking dish. But a word of advice–once sliced the volume of the vegetables always ends up being more than you estimated, so err on the side of smaller vegetables.

And you don’t have to make the vegetables line up or alternate perfectly in the dish. Just squeeze the slices in there and you’ll be good! I promise it will still taste great even if it doesn’t look perfect. ;) 

What Kind of Baking Dish to Use 

The size of the dish you’ll need will probably vary a bit with the size of your vegetables, but I would suggest using something in the neighborhood of a 9″x11″ rectangular casserole dish, or a 3 quart round dish. You can use a dish made with glass, ceramic, or metal. 

How to Serve Oven Roasted Ratatouille

Oven roasted ratatouille makes a delicious side dish for grilled or roasted meat, like Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Garlic Butter Baked Cod, or Herb Roasted Chicken Breast. You could also serve this as part of a vegetarian meal by pairing it with something like a rich and creamy risotto or serving it on top of a bowl of polenta.

side view of ratatouille in the casserole dish

oven roasted ratatouille with a portion scooped out of the corner

Oven Roasted Ratatouille

Oven roasted ratatouille combines all of summer's delicious vegetables into one rich, flavorful, and beautiful side dish.
Total Cost $5.68 recipe / $0.71 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 8 ¾ cup each
Calories 99kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup marinara sauce $0.50
  • 1 yellow onion $0.25
  • 1 eggplant (about 1 lb.) $1.49
  • 1 zucchini (about ½ lb.) $0.71
  • 1 yellow squash (about ½ lb.) $0.55
  • 3 Roma tomatoes $0.87
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/8 tsp Freshly cracked black pepper $0.01
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella $0.94
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley (optional) $0.09

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Thinly slice the yellow onion. Slice the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, and tomatoes into ⅛-inch thick slices. Cut any pieces with a larger diameter into half-rounds.
  • Pour the marinara in the bottom of a large casserole dish. Sprinkle the sliced onions over top.
  • Begin to line up the sliced eggplant, zucchini, squash, and tomatoes into the dish, standing on their sides, and in an alternating pattern until all of the pieces are used up. Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables, then sprinkle the basil, oregano, salt, and pepper over top.
  • Transfer the dish to the oven and roast the vegetables for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, remove the dish from the oven and sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over top. Return the casserole dish to the oven for five minutes, or until the cheese is melted and creamy.
  • After roasting, sprinkle the chopped parsley over top, then serve.

Notes

Try to purchase vegetables that are a close size in diameter to make layering easier.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 99kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 291mg | Fiber: 3g

How to Make Oven Roasted Ratatouille – Step by Step Photos

Eggplant, onion, squash, and tomatoes whole on a cutting board

For this recipe, I used one small eggplant (about 1 lb.), one yellow onion, one yellow squash (1/2 lb.), one zucchini (½ lb.), and three Roma tomatoes. The eggplant, squash, zucchini, and tomatoes are the vegetables that will get layered pretty in the dish, while the onion will be hiding underneath in a base layer.

Sliced eggplant, squash, zucchini, and tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Thinly slice the eggplant, squash, zucchini, and tomatoes. You want everything to be similar in height when placed in the casserole dish, so for pieces with a larger diameter, you’ll want to slice those in half (I did this for the eggplant and larger ends of the squash and zucchini). Aim for ⅛-inch thick slices. 

onion and marinara in the casserole dish

Thinly slice the onion. Spread 1 cup marinara in the bottom of a large casserole dish. Sprinkle the sliced onion over top.

Layered vegetables in the casserole dish

Layer the vegetables in the dish standing up on their sides, like cards in a card catalog (wait, did I just date myself??). They do NOT need to be perfect. Just start squeezing them in as best you can. It’s nice to try to alternate them in a pattern, but once you get toward the end you might have more left of one type of vegetable, so just start popping them in there anywhere they’ll fit. Drizzle 1 Tbsp olive oil over top. Sprinkle ½ tsp dried basil, ½ tsp dried oregano, ⅛ tsp freshly cracked pepper, and ¼ tsp salt on top of the vegetables.

Roasted ratatouille in the casserole dish

Transfer the dish to the preheated 400ºF oven and roast for 40 minutes.

Cheese being sprinkled on top of the ratatouille

After 40 minutes, remove the dish from the oven and sprinkle 1 cup of shredded mozzarella on top. Return the dish to the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and creamy.

Melted cheese on oven roasted ratatouille

Top with a little chopped parsley, then serve!

oven roasted ratatouille with a portion scooped out of the corner

So delicious… and it’s just begging for a beautiful baguette to bathe in it. Mmmmm. You’ve got to spoon some of that sauce from the bottom of the pan onto your plate!

Close up side view of ratatouille in the casserole dish

Closer look? So pretty. I ❤️ vegetables!

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