Sheet Pan Portobello Fajitas

Sheet Pan Portobello Fajitas are an easy and flavorful vegetarian dinner idea that all cooks on one pan for easy cleanup!

The post Sheet Pan Portobello Fajitas appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I got that craving for fajitas the other day and just had to have ’em. I decided to switch things up a bit from my usual sheet pan fajitas and use portobello caps in place of the chicken. I also added a little smoky chipotle powder to the spice mix to keep things interesting. These Sheet Pan Portobello Fajitas are a new and welcome twist on the classic. A little squeeze of lime on top and a slice or two of creamy avocado, and you have a really tasty veggie-filled dinner.

Originally posted 6/11/2016, updated 8/8/2022.

Three Portobello Fajitas on a plate.

Portobello Mushrooms on a Budget

Portobello mushrooms aren’t the cheapest item in the produce aisle, so it’s important to use some of our budget byting principles here. First, make sure you compare prices both between available grocery stores and even within the store. If your grocery store sells them both packaged together and loose, be careful to compare the per-pound price because it might be cheaper to buy them loose! 

Second, we’re going to combine the portobello mushrooms with other ingredients that are much less expensive, like onions, bell peppers, and tortillas to balance out the total price and keep the price per serving on the low side. 

Make it Spicy or Mild

The recipe, as written below, is a little smoky and spicy thanks to the chipotle powder in the fajita spice mix. If you prefer a mild fajita, skip the chipotle powder and make sure to use a chili powder blend that is mild. If you want your fajitas to be smoky but not spicy, replace the chipotle powder with smoked paprika. 

Meal Prep It!

The filling for the fajitas works great as a meal prep. Just pack up the roasted mushroom, pepper, and onion mix in a lunch container with a slice of lime and a couple of tortillas. When it’s time for lunch, remove the tortillas and lime, reheat, then fill the tortillas, squeeze your lime, and enjoy!

For the avocado, I suggest slicing a few slices off the whole avocado each day. Only the exposed surface will darken, and it only darkens slightly (it doesn’t turn completely black like mashed avocado). The darkening of the avocado does not mean it is spoiled, it just means that it has been exposed to oxygen (like a brown apple), and is still perfectly safe to eat.

What to Serve with Portobello Fajitas

Sweet Corn Salsa or Summer Sweet Corn Salad would be a wonderfully light and fresh contrast to these portobello fajitas. And if you want to dress them up a little bit more you could whip up a quick batch of Guacamole or Pico de Gallo

Roasted portobello and vegetables on a sheet pan.

Three portobello fajitas on a plate.

Sheet Pan Portobello Fajitas

Sheet Pan Portobello Fajitas are an easy and flavorful vegetarian dinner idea that all cooks on one pan for easy cleanup!
Course Dinner
Cuisine Southwest
Total Cost $10.81 recipe / $2.70 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 (two fajitas each)
Calories 423kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

FAJITA SPICE MIX

  • 1 Tbsp chili powder* $0.30
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.05
  • 1 tsp cumin $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1 tsp sugar** $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.03

FAJITAS

  • 2 portobello mushroom caps $3.99
  • 2 bell peppers (any color) $2.29
  • 2 yellow onions $0.64
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil $0.38
  • 8 small flour tortillas (6-inch) $1.00
  • 1 avocado $1.09
  • handful cilantro (optional) $0.25
  • 1 fresh lime $0.59

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a small bowl, stir together all the ingredients for the fajita spice mix
  • Slice the portobellos, bell peppers, and onions into 1/4 inch wide strips. Place the sliced vegetables on a large sheet pan. Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables then sprinkle the fajita spice mix over top. Use your hands to toss the vegetables until everything is well coated in oil and spices.
  • Roast the vegetables in the fully preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until the vegetables are slightly wilted and the edges have a nice brown color. Stir the vegetables half way through the roasting time to make sure everything gets even exposure to the hot air.
  • After removing the vegetables from the oven, squeeze fresh lime juice over top. Sprinkle chopped cilantro over the vegetables. To serve the fajitas, scoop a small amount of the roasted vegetables into each tortilla and add a slice of avocado.

Notes

*The chili powder I use is a mild blend made by McCormick. It is not spicy at all and contains barely any salt. If using a different brand, make sure to adjust the salt and/or chipotle accordingly.
**The small amount of sugar in this recipe helps caramelize the vegetables and give everything that grilled or charred flavor that is characteristic of fajitas.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 423kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 23g | Sodium: 782mg | Fiber: 9g

side view of three portobello fajitas on a plate.

How to Make Sheet Pan Portobello Fajitas – Step by Step Photos

Fajita spices in a wooden bowl.

Begin by preheating the oven to 400ºF. In a small bowl, stir together 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp chipotle powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt. 

Whole vegetables on a cutting board.

I used 8 oz. portobello caps (2-3 depending on their size), two bell peppers (any color), and two yellow onions for my fajitas.

Sliced vegetables on a baking sheet.

Slice the vegetables into strips about ¼-inch wide. I also cut the portobello strips in half, so the pieces aren’t quite so large. Place the sliced vegetables on a large sheet pan.

Spices being sprinkled over the sliced vegetables.

Drizzle 3 Tbsp olive oil over the vegetables, then sprinkle the prepared fajita seasoning over top.

Seasoned vegetables ready to roast.

Use your hands to toss the vegetables in the oil and spices until everything is evenly coated, then make sure the vegetables are spread out over the baking sheet in an even layer.

Roasted vegetables on the sheet pan.

Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until they are slightly wilted and have browned on the edges. Stir the vegetables halfway through the roasting time to make sure everything gets even exposure to the hot air. 

Finished fajita vegetables on the baking sheet with lime and cilantro.

After roasting, squeeze lime juice over the vegetables and top with chopped cilantro.

Three portobello fajitas on a plate.

To serve, scoop a small amount of the fajita vegetables into each small tortilla and add a slice of fresh avocado.

Overhead view of the fajita vegetables on a sheet pan.

Seriously, these Chipotle Portobello Oven Fajitas are probably one of my favorite vegan recipes!

Chipotle Portobello Oven Fajitas are an easy and flavor packed dinner perfect for summer. BudgetBytes.com

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Panzanella

This panzanella salad is a quick and delicious way to use up day-old bread, ripe tomatoes, and other summer produce. For the ultimate convenience, you can even prep the ingredients ahead of time.

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My friends, don’t sleep on this simple Panzanella salad! It’s a quick and delicious way to use up day-old bread, ripe tomatoes, and other summer produce. For the ultimate convenience, you can even prep the ingredients ahead of time. What’s not to love?!?!

Overhead shot of panzanella salad in a white bowl.

What Is Panzanella?

Panzanella is a hearty Tuscan salad and an OG food waste recipe. It was created by Italian peasants to keep stale bread out of the trash and to use up garden produce before it spoiled. It can be made with almost any combination of fruits and veggies, but traditionally, the stars of the show are juicy summer tomatoes and crusty bread that’s had time to absorb the salad’s tangy dressing.

Ingredients You’ll Need

You’ll need some day-old bread, ripe tomatoes, some fresh greens, and any other summer fruit and veg you want to take advantage of. You can dress it with your favorite bottled dressing, or you can use our easy homemade balsamic vinaigrette. Beth and I added mozzarella pearls because, YES. Then we just drizzled it with a little olive oil and vinegar that we emulsified in a mason jar. (That’s just chef-speak for shaking the ever-living life out of it until the oil and vinegar transform into a creamy dressing.)

How Long Does Panzanella Last?

While it lives forever in my dreams, in real life, Panzanella doesn’t last longer than a day. You’ll need to make it an hour or so before serving to give the bread time to soak up the dressing.

Can I Meal-Prep Panzanella?

I’ve had lots of success prepping Panzanella components ahead of time. Chop and toast the bread, cool it, then store it in an air-tight container with a folded paper towel in it to absorb humidity. Slice and salt the tomatoes and store them in an airtight container as well. The salt forces them to release their juices, which you can then incorporate into your dressing. Chop the rest of your ingredients and also store them in your fridge in an airtight container. Then it’s as easy as mixing everything together with greens and dressing. Toasted bread will stay fresh at room temperature for a few days. Chopped produce will also stay fresh for a few days in the fridge.

Side view of panzanella salad in a white bowl.
Overhead shot of panzanella salad in a white bowl with wood serving spoons next to it.

Panzanella

This scrumptious Panzanella salad is a quick and delicious way to use up day-old bread, ripe tomatoes, and other summer produce. For the ultimate convenience, you can even prep the ingredients ahead of time.
Course Salad
Cuisine Italian
Total Cost $13.54 recipe / $2.26 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 6 2 cups each
Calories 254kcal
Author Monti – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups bread, cubed $2.00
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided $0.64
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes $3.49
  • 1 nectarine $0.90
  • 1 cucumber $0.69
  • 1/2 red onion $0.40
  • 10 oz. baby spring mix $3.49
  • 4 oz. mozzarella pearls $1.75
  • 1 tsp salt $0.08
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar $0.10

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Slice the bread into 2 x 2-inch cubes and place in the sheet pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toss to combine. Bake until toasted, about 20 minutes.
  • While the bread toasts, wash all of the produce. Slice cherry tomatoes in half. Cut the cucumber in 1/2 inch thick quarter rounds. Slice the nectarine in 1/2 inch thick slices. Slice the red onion in 1/4 inch thick half moons.
  • Once the bread has toasted, pull it from the oven, and allow it to cool.
  • Add the toasted bread to a very large bowl and top with salad greens. Top the greens with tomatoes, nectarines, cucumbers, red onions, and mozzarella pearls.
  • Add remaining olive oil, vinegar, and salt to a small mason jar or other container with a tight-fitting lid. Close the lid tightly and shake the oil and vinegar until combined. Dress the salad. Toss to coat.
  • Let the salad sit for at least an hour to allow the bread to soak up the dressing. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 15g | Sodium: 664mg | Fiber: 3g
Overhead shot of panzanella salad in a white bowl with wood serving spoons next to it.

How to Make Panzanella- Step by Step Photos

Overhead shot of cubed bread in a sheet pan being dressed with olive oil .

Slice three cups of day-old (or fresh) bread into 2 x 2-inch cubes and place in the sheet pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toss to combine. Bake until toasted, about 20 minutes.

Overhead shot of chopped onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, and nectarines on a wood cutting board.

While the bread toasts, wash all of the produce. Slice the pint of cherry tomatoes in half. Cut the cucumber in 1/2 inch thick quarter rounds. Slice the nectarine into 1/2 inch thick slices. Slice half of a red onion in 1/4 inch thick half moons.

Overhead shot of panzanella salad croutons in a sheet pan.

Once the bread has toasted, pull it from the oven, and allow it to cool.

Overhead shot of panzanella salad components.in a white bowl.

Add the toasted bread to a very large bowl and top with 10 oz. of salad greens. Top the greens with tomatoes, nectarines, cucumbers, and red onions. Finish with mozzarella pearls (not pictured here.)

Overhead shot of panzanella salad being dressed in a white bowl with wood serving spoons next to it.

Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the tablespoon of vinegar, and the teaspoon of salt to a small mason jar or another container with a tight-fitting lid. Close the lid tightly and shake the oil and vinegar until combined. Dress the salad. Toss to coat.

Overhead shot of panzanella salad in a white bowl.

Let the salad sit for at least an hour to allow the bread to soak up the dressing. Serve and enjoy!

Side shot of panzanella salad in a white bowl.

Check out these other great summer salads

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Vegetarian French Dip Sandwiches

Last week I saw an amazing photo of an incredible slow cooker French dip sandwich recipe and I couldn’t stop thinking about them. I wanted those sandwiches and I wanted them bad. But then I thought, “What if I tried to make vegetarian French dip sandwiches?” and then I was on a mission. This portobello mushroom-based […]

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Last week I saw an amazing photo of an incredible slow cooker French dip sandwich recipe and I couldn’t stop thinking about them. I wanted those sandwiches and I wanted them bad. But then I thought, “What if I tried to make vegetarian French dip sandwiches?” and then I was on a mission. This portobello mushroom-based French dip recipe turned out really amazing on the first try. So amazing, in fact, that this is the most enthusiastic that I’ve seen my boyfriend about any recipe that I’ve made for him so far. And I feed him a lot. ;)

Originally posted 12-15-2016, updated 5-0-2022.

Overhead view of vegetarian French dip sandwiches in a tray.

What is a French Dip Sandwich?

French dip sandwiches are made with tender shaved beef piled onto a French roll, topped with melted cheese (sometimes) and served with a rich broth, or au jus, for dipping. It’s absolutely delightful. BUT, because beef is so expensive these days, these vegetarian French dip sandwiches made with portobello mushrooms are a really tasty alternative. You won’t belive how delicious this broth is!

And what recipe had me drooling at my computer screen and ultimately inspired the vegetarian version? These Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches from Carlsbad Cravings.

How to Make a French Dip Sandwich Vegetarian

I replaced the tender beef in classic French Dip sandwiches with meaty strips of portobello mushrooms and sautéed onions to bulk them up while keeping the price low.

I’d normally add a little Worcestershire to the broth of a beef French dip, but that has anchovies in it. So, to mimic the salty-sweetness of Worcestershire, I added a little soy sauce and just a smidge of brown sugar. That hint of sweetness from the brown sugar really helped balance the flavors and made the broth complex, so don’t be tempted to skip it.

Also, I highly suggest using Better Than Bouillon to make your broth. It has a deep flavor and just the right amount of salt.

How to Store Leftovers

If you’re not eating these sandwiches all at once, store the mushroom and onions in the broth and reheat them together before piling the filling into the sandwiches and dipping them into the remaining broth. You can heat these sandwiches in a matter of minutes under the broiler, so it’s a nice quick meal for leftovers!

What Kind of Bread Should I Use?

One last note. Due to pricing and product availability, I did not use a French loaf for my sandwiches (I know, I know). Instead, I bought a pack of hoagie rolls that worked quite well. The key to choosing your bread for these sandwiches is to make sure you have something very sturdy and crusty so that it holds up to dipping in the delicious broth.

Side view of vegetarian French dip sandwiches.

Close up overhead shot of Vegetarian French Dip Sandwiches in a tray.

Vegetarian French Dip Sandwiches

These Vegetarian French Dip Sandwiches are fast, easy, and feature a salty-sweet herb infused vegetarian au jus for dipping. 
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Total Cost $6.58 recipe / $1.65 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 329kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 3 portobello mushroom caps (about ½ lb.) $3.99
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.20
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.01
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano $0.02
  • 2 cups vegetable broth* $0.26
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce $0.06
  • 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder $0.01
  • 4 6-inch French or Hoagie rolls $1.66
  • 4 slices provolone $1.00

Instructions

  • Slice the onion into thin strips. Rinse the portobello caps to remove any dirt or debris. Slice each cap in half, then crosswise into 1/4-inch thick strips.
  • Add the butter to a deep skillet along with the sliced onions. Sauté the onions over medium heat for a few minutes, or just until they begin to soften.
  • Add the sliced mushrooms to the skillet along with the salt, pepper, thyme, and oregano. Sauté the mushrooms until they release all their moisture and the liquid in the bottom of the skillet has evaporated (about 10 minutes). You should see some browned bits coating the bottom of the skillet.
  • Add the vegetable broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, and garlic powder and stir to dissolve the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Allow the liquid to come up to a simmer, then turn down to low and simmer for about 5 minutes while you toast the bread.
  • Open the rolls and place them on a baking sheet, open sides up. Turn the oven on to broil and place the rolls in the oven on the middle rack. Watch the rolls closely and broil just until you see a slightly browning on the edges (about 5 minutes).
  • Use a slotted spoon or tongs to take the mushrooms and onions out of the au jus. Divide the mushrooms and onions among the four rolls. Top each sandwich with a slice of provolone.
  • Return the sandwiches to the oven and broil for a few minutes more, or just until the cheese is melted. Close the sandwiches up and serve with the au jus from the skillet for dipping.

Notes

*The type of broth you use will greatly affect the end flavor of the au jus. I used vegetable flavored Better Than Bouillon concentrate to make my vegetable broth.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 329kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 13g | Sodium: 1276mg | Fiber: 2g

A vegetarian French dip sandwich being dipped into a bowl of au jus.

How to Make Vegetarian French Dip Sandwiches – Step by Step Photos

Sliced mushrooms and onion.

Slice one yellow onion into thin strips. Wash and slice three portobello caps. I used three caps, which weighed ½ lb. total. I like to slice them in half, then crosswise into strips so that the strips aren’t super long.

Sautéed onions in a skillet.

Add the onions and 2 Tbsp butter to a deep skillet. Sauté the onions over medium heat just until they begin to soften (about 3 minutes).

Sautéed mushrooms in the skillet.

Then add the sliced mushrooms, a pinch of salt and pepper, 1/4 tsp dried oregano, and 1/4 tsp dried thyme. Sauté the mushrooms and onions until the mushrooms release all their moisture and the liquid in the bottom of the skillet evaporates. There should be some caramelized browned bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet. 

Broth being poured into the skillet.

Add 2 cups of vegetable broth to the skillet and stir to dissolve the browned bits off the bottom. Then add 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar, and 1/8 tsp garlic powder.

Finished mushrooms in au jus.

Let the au jus come up to a simmer, then turn it down to low and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes while you toast the bread.

Hoagie rolls sliced open on a baking sheet.

Place four opened French or hoagie rolls on a baking sheet, open side up. Turn the oven on to broil and toast the bread under the broiler just until you start to see a little browning on the edges. I kept my oven rack in the middle so that the bread was far enough away from the broiler that it wouldn’t toast super fast. That gives you a little more room for error. 

Mushrooms and onions being placed on toasted rolls.

Use tongs or a slotted spoon to pick the mushrooms and onions up out of the au jus, then pile them onto the toasted rolls.

Sliced provolone added to the rolls.

Add a slice of provolone to each…

Melted cheese on the sandwiches on the baking sheet.

Then return the sandwiches to the broiler to melt the cheese. The open bread will continue to brown here, so if your bread was a little more on the brown side after the first broil, flip the pieces over so they’ll brown on top instead.

front view of finished sandwiches on the baking sheet.

Finally, close up the sandwiches and serve while hot! But don’t forget to ladle that yummy au jus into little bowls for dipping.

A vegetarian French Dip Sandwich being dipped into a bowl of au jus.

These Vegetarian French Dip Sandwiches are seriously good stuff. nomnomnom

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Easy Vegetable Beef Soup

This super easy vegetable beef soup is a filling and flavorful option for lunch, dinner, or your weekly meal prep!

The post Easy Vegetable Beef Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

One of the first things I learned when I embarked on my budget-food journey is just how easy, filling, and inexpensive soup is. Homemade soups are a breeze to throw together and they’re always so much tastier than store-bought canned soup. This vegetable beef soup is a great example. It’s chock-full of colorful veggies, filling ground beef, and the most delicious broth ever. Serve it up with a nice crusty bread for dipping and lunch is served!

Overhead view of a bowl of vegetable beef soup.

What’s in Vegetable Beef Soup?

This classic soup combines ground beef, potatoes, tomatoes, peas, corn, carrots, and green beans in a flavorful broth. To make this soup a bit easier, I’ve used a frozen vegetable mix to cut down on the amount of peeling and chopping needed to prepare the soup. That makes this Vegetable Beef Soup extra fast and easy. :)

To give this vegetable beef soup more flavor, we’ve added a healthy dose of Italian seasoning and some Worcestershire sauce to the broth for extra depth. Make sure you’re using a full-flavored beef broth for maximum deliciousness. I like to use Better Than Bouillon to make flavorful broth for my soups.

Beef Options

I used ground beef in my vegetable beef soup because it was the least expensive and the easiest to use. If you use a higher fat ground beef, you have the option to drain the fat off after browning, or leave it in for extra flavor and richness.

If you have room in your budget and would rather have chunks of beef in your soup, choose a chuck roast or bottom round roast, cut into 1-inch pieces. Simply brown the beef in the pot before adding the rest of the ingredients. No need to cook through during the browning stage, as it will cook through while the soup is simmered.

What Else Can I Add?

This is my favorite part of any recipe. What else can you add to vegetable beef soup to make it your own? Try adding some of these ingredients:

  • Barley
  • Chopped cabbage
  • Celery
  • Cauliflower florets
  • Parsnips
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Finely chopped kale
Overhead view of the pot of vegetable beef soup.
Overhead view of a bowl of vegetable beef soup.

Vegetable Beef Soup

This super easy vegetable beef soup is a filling and flavorful option for lunch, dinner, or your weekly meal prep!
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Total Cost $10.63 recipe / $1.77 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 1.5 cups each
Calories 363kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 1 lb. ground beef $6.49
  • 1 russet potato (about ¾ lb.) $0.79
  • 1 28oz. can diced tomatoes $1.19
  • 1.5 tsp Italian seasoning $0.15
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 4 cups beef broth $0.52
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce $0.12
  • 12 oz. frozen vegetables (corn, carrots, green beans) $1.00
  • salt to taste $0.05

Instructions

  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the onion and garlic to a soup pot along with the olive oil. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent.
  • Add the ground beef to the pot and continue to sauté until the ground beef is cooked through. If using a higher fat content ground beef, you can drain the excess fat, if you prefer.
  • While the beef is cooking, peel and dice the russet potato into ½-inch cubes.
  • Add the cubed potatoes, diced tomatoes (with juices), Italian seasoning, pepper, beef broth, and Worcestershire sauce to the pot. Stir to combine.
  • Turn the heat up to medium-high and allow the soup to come up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
  • Add the frozen vegetables to the pot and allow the soup to come back up to a simmer. Simmer the vegetables in the soup for about five minutes.
  • Finally, taste the soup and add salt to help the flavors pop. Start with ½ tsp, if desired, and add more until it reaches your desired level.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 363kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 21g | Sodium: 939mg | Fiber: 5g
Side view of a the pot of Vegetable Beef Soup with a spoon.

How to Make Vegetable Beef Soup – Step by Step Photos

Onion Garlic and olive oil in a soup pot.

Dice one yellow onion and mince 2 cloves of garlic. Add the onion and garlic to a soup pot along with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent.

Browned ground beef in the soup pot.

Add 1 lb. ground beef and continue to sauté until the beef is cooked through. If you’re using a higher fat content ground beef you can drain off the excess fat, if preferred.

Tomatoes, potatoes, herbs, and broth added to the pot.

While the beef is browning, peel and dice one russet potato (about ¾ lb.) into ½-inch pieces. Add the diced potatoes to the pot with one 28oz. can diced tomatoes (with juices), 1.5 tsp Italian seasoning, ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper, 4 cups beef broth, and 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce. Stir to combine.

Simmered soup without vegetables.

Turn the heat up to medium-high and allow the soup to come up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let it continue to simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender.

Frozen vegetables being poured into the pot of soup.

Add a 12oz. bag of frozen vegetables (corn, carrots, green beans), stir to combine and allow it to come back up to a simmer. Simmer the vegetables in the soup for about five more minutes.

Finished vegetable beef soup in the pot with a spoon.

Finally, taste the soup and add salt to your liking. The amount of salt needed will depend on the salt content of the broth you used, but you’ll likely need at least a little to help the flavors pop.

Side view of the pot of vegetable beef soup.

I garnished with a little chopped parsley for color, but it’s not needed for flavor. I do tend to put a little freshly cracked pepper or each bowl for a little extra pop, though!

Try These Other Easy Ground Beef Recipes:

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Creamy Pesto Chicken

Creamy pesto chicken is a fast, easy, and impressive main dish for dinner, whether you just want to treat yourself or impress guests!

The post Creamy Pesto Chicken appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I love using pesto in recipes because it adds tons of flavor in one fell swoop, which is super important when it comes to busy weeknights. This Creamy pesto Chicken is absolutely stunning on the plate, yet it’s super fast and easy. This is another one of those great “date night” dinners for when you want to impress someone, but you’re nervous so you also need something easy and fool-proof. 😅

Overhead view of creamy pesto chicken in the skillet.

What Kind of Pesto to Use

The beauty of this dish is that you can use just about any type of pesto. I used a basil pesto this time around, but a red pesto would also be awesome. Pesto can be on the pricey side, but there are several brands that are a bit more affordable. Look for Alessi, Barilla, Classico, or Filippo Berio.

What Else Can I Add?

This deliciously creamy pesto sauce pairs well with several different ingredients, if you want to take this dish up a notch. Try adding spinach, artichokes, or broccoli for some extra veggies. Or if you want to make this dish extra indulgent, add some grated Parmesan on top, too. I probably also wouldn’t be against adding bacon. 😏

What to Serve with Creamy Pesto Chicken

This chicken has a super lush and creamy sauce and you won’t want to waste a single drop, so make sure to serve this chicken with pasta, rice, or garlic bread to soak it all up. You can spoon the chicken and sauce over a bed of pasta or rice, or serve the chicken and sauce in a bowl with some crusty bread for dipping.

Because the sauce is so rich, you’ll definitely want to serve up something light and fresh on the side, so this is the perfect opportunity to make a simple side salad.

side view of sliced creamy pesto chicken on a plate with a salad.
Overhead view of a skillet full of creamy pesto chicken.

Creamy Pesto Chicken

Creamy pesto chicken is a fast, easy, and impressive main dish for dinner, whether you just want to treat yourself or impress guests!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $10.70 recipe / $2.68 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 415kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 1.3 lb. total) $6.59
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1/8 tsp pepper $0.01
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided $0.32
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half $2.00
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream $0.62
  • 1/4 cup pesto $0.99

Instructions

  • Fillet the chicken breasts into two thinner pieces (or pound the chicken to an even thickness then cut each breast in half to create four portions). Season the chicken with a pinch of salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook on each side until golden brown and cooked through (about 7-10 minutes total). Remove the chicken to a clean plate.
  • Turn the heat down to medium-low. Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet along with the minced garlic and halved grape tomatoes. Sauté for about five minutes, or until the tomatoes start to soften and lose their shape.
  • Add the heavy cream and pesto to the skillet with the tomatoes and stir to combine. Allow the sauce to come up to a simmer. Taste the sauce and adjust the salt or pepper to your liking.
  • Add the chicken back to the skillet with the tomatoes and sauce, turning to coat the chicken. Allow the chicken to simmer in the sauce for just a few minutes more to heat through. Serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 415kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 28g | Sodium: 403mg | Fiber: 2g
Overhead view of creamy pesto chicken on a plate with a salad.

How to Make Creamy Pesto Chicken – Step by Step Photos

filleted chicken breasts on a cutting board.

Fillet two boneless, skinless chicken breasts into two thinner pieces (or you can pound the chicken to an even thickness and then cut each piece in half horizontally to make four portions). Season the chicken with a pinch of salt and pepper on both sides.

browned chicken breasts in a skillet.

Heat a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add a tablespoon of olive oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the chicken breast and cook on each side until golden brown and cooked through (7-10 minutes total). Remove the chicken to a clean plate.

Tomatoes and garlic in the skillet.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, then add the remaining 1 Tbsp oil, 1 pint of grape tomatoes (halved) and 2 cloves of garlic (minced). Sauté the tomatoes and garlic in the skillet for a few minutes, or until the tomatoes begin to soften and lose their shape.

Pesto and cream added to the skillet with the tomatoes.

Add ¼ cup pesto and ½ cup heavy cream to the skillet. Stir to combine. Allow the sauce to come up to a simmer. Taste the sauce and add salt or pepper if needed.

Chicken added back to the skillet with the creamy basil sauce.

Add the chicken back to the skillet and coat it in the sauce. Simmer the chicken in the sauce for a few more minutes or until heated through.

Side view of creamy pesto chicken in the skillet.

This sauce is so creamy and delicious, you’ll want to lick your plate!

Creamy pesto chicken on a plate with pasta and a salad.

The post Creamy Pesto Chicken appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Chicken Stew

This chicken stew is a rich and hearty mix of tender chicken thighs, vegetables, and a light but flavorful herb-infused gravy.

The post Chicken Stew appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Okay guys, this chicken stew is definitely at the top of my list for my favorite recipe of 2021! It’s thicker and heartier than chicken soup, but lighter than a beef stew. The flavor is absolutely on point and it’s just one of those things that I could happily eat for three meals per day and still love it. In other words, you have to try this chicken stew!

Close up overhead view of a bowl of chicken stew

What is Chicken Stew?

Chicken stew is like chicken soup‘s older cousin that is a little rough around the edges. It’s a little more rustic with a rich, thickened broth that has an almost gravy-like consistency. It’s packed full of vegetables and is a true meal in a bowl. Oh, and you’ll definitely want some crusty bread for sopping up all that delicious gravy!

For Best Results, Use Chicken Thighs

Look, I know some people really don’t like dark meat, but that those tender chicken thighs really take this dish to the next level. I strongly advise against using chicken breast, but if you must, opt for a bone-in chicken breast for a little more flavor, then just shred and remove the bones after the stew simmers.

Broth Matters

You really want to use a good quality, flavorful broth for this chicken stew. I used Better Than Bouillon because it’s my favorite and it tends to be very flavorful. I also used a combination of two types of broth, chicken and vegetable, which I really think adds to the complexity of the flavor and helps deepen the color of the broth.

Potato Options

I used small baby potatoes for my chicken stew, but if those aren’t available you can substitute red potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes in their place. Just cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes so they cook in about the same amount of time as my baby potatoes.

Close up of a pot full of chicken stew
Close up of a pot full of chicken stew

Chicken Stew

This chicken stew is a rich and hearty mix of tender chicken thighs, vegetables, and a light but flavorful herb-infused gravy.
Total Cost $12.22 recipe / $2.04 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 1.5 cups each
Calories 512kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.28
  • 3 ribs celery $0.64
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.32
  • 1/2 lb. carrots $0.32
  • 3.75 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs $6.52
  • 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour, divided $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.18
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1.5 lbs. baby potatoes $2.89
  • 1 tsp dried parsley $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 2 cups chicken broth $0.26
  • 2 cups vegetable broth $0.26
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional) $0.10

Instructions

  • Dice the onion and celery, mince the garlic, slice the carrots, and cut the baby potatoes in half before you begin.
  • Cut the chicken thighs into 1-inch pieces. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp of the flour over the chicken and toss until the chicken is evenly coated.
  • Add the butter and olive oil to a large pot. Heat the butter and oil over medium until they are hot and sizzling.
  • Add the flour-coated chicken to the pot with the butter and oil and allow the chicken to brown on all sides (avoid stirring until browned on the bottom). When the chicken is browned and there is a nice brown layer of flour on the bottom of the pot, remove the chicken to a clean bowl with a slotted spoon. The chicken does not need to be cooked through at this point, just browned on the outside.
  • Add the onion, celery, garlic, and carrots to the pot and continue to sauté until the onions are soft. Use the moisture released by the vegetables to dissolve and scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pot.
  • Once the vegetables are slightly softened, add the remaining 2 Tbsp flour to the pot and continue to sauté over medium for about two minutes more. The flour will begin to coat the bottom of the pot again.
  • Return the browned chicken to the pot. Also add the potatoes, parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage, pepper, chicken broth, and vegetable broth. Stir to combine and dissolve any flour off the bottom of the pot.
  • Place a lid on the pot and allow it to come up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, remove the lid and turn the heat down to medium-low. Allow the stew to simmer over medium-low, without a lid and stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the broth has thickened.
  • Taste the stew and add salt if needed (I did not add any, but it will depend on the salt content of the broth you used). Add a tablespoon of fresh chopped parsley if desired, and serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 512kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 17g | Sodium: 919mg | Fiber: 4g
A ladle full of chicken stew held over the pot

How to Make Chicken Stew – Step by Step Photos

Chopped vegetables on a cutting board

Dice one yellow onion, slice ½ lb. carrots (3-4 carrots) and 3 ribs celery, and mince 4 cloves garlic.

cut baby potatoes on a cutting board

Chop about 1.5 lbs. potatoes into 1-inch pieces. I used baby potatoes, so they only needed to be cut in half.

Flour coated chicken thigh pieces on a cutting board

Chop about 3.75 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs into 1-inch pieces. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour over the chicken pieces and toss until they’re coated.

Browned chicken thighs in the pot

Add 2 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil to a large pot. Heat the butter and oil over medium until they are hot and sizzling. Add the chicken thigh pieces and let them cook until browned on all sides (the chicken does not need to be cooked through, just browned on the outside). Avoid stirring too often, as that will prevent browning. You want the flour to brown a bit on the bottom of the pot. Remove the browned chicken to a clean plate or bowl.

Vegetables added to the pot

Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to the pot after removing the chicken. Continue to sauté over medium for about 5 minutes, allowing the moisture released by the vegetables to dissolve some of the browned bits from the bottom of the pot.

More flour being added to the pot

Once the vegetables are slightly softened, add 2 more tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Continue to sauté for about 2 minutes more. The flour will again begin to coat the bottom of the pot.

Chicken, potatoes, herbs, broth added to the pot

Return the browned chicken to the pot along with the potatoes, 1 tsp dried parsley, ½ tsp dried thyme, ½ tsp dried rosemary, ½ tsp dried sage, about ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper, 2 cups chicken broth, and 2 cups vegetable broth.

Chicken stew before simmering

Stir everything to combine and dissolve any flour off the bottom of the pot.

Simmered chicken stew in the pot

Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow it to come up to a boil. Once boiling, remove the lid and turn the heat down to medium-low. Allow the stew to simmer over medium-low, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the broth has thickened.

Close up side view of chicken stew in the pot

Give the stew a taste and add salt, if needed (I did not add any, but this will largely depend on the salt content of the broth you used). Add some freshly chopped parsley, if desired.

Overhead view of a bowl of chicken stew

Don’t forget to make some crusty homemade bread to dip in that amazing stew!

Overhead view of finished chicken stew in the pot

The post Chicken Stew appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Bacon Ranch Turkey Burgers

These super simple Bacon Ranch Turkey Burgers are the BEST homemade burgers around. Simple ingredients with TONS of flavor!

The post Bacon Ranch Turkey Burgers appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Ever since I made my own Homemade Ranch Seasoning the floodgates of recipe ideas have been opened. Ranch seasoning adds so much delicious, tangy, herby flavor to everything, including burgers. These Bacon Ranch Turkey Burgers are so stupid easy and crazy delicious that I might just never go out for burgers again. And as always, I’ve got plenty of ingredient options for you below. 👇

an oval platter with turkey burgers on a tiled surface

It’s All About the Ranch Seasoning

ALL of the flavor in these turkey burgers comes from ranch seasoning mix. I used my own homemade ranch seasoning, but you can just make this quick and easy using a store-bought packet of Hidden Valley (or any other brand) of ranch seasoning. You’ll need one packet, which is about 3 Tbsp.

Can I Use a Different Type of Meat?

Yes, you can make your bacon ranch burgers using ground beef, ground pork, or even ground chicken. I chose turkey because the light flavor doesn’t compete too much with the ranch seasoning, and I like the texture of ground turkey better than ground chicken.

You’ll want to use ground meat with a little fat to keep the burgers moist and tender.

Close up side view of a ranch turkey burger held in hands

Other Burger Topping Ideas

I topped my burgers with cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise, so it was kind of like a BLT on steroids. But you can change up the toppings if you’re not a fan of what I used. Here are some other topping ideas that would work well with these ranch burgers:

  • Avocado or guacamole
  • Red onion
  • Ranch dressing
  • French fried onions
  • Coleslaw
  • Buffalo sauce
  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Comeback sauce

What to Serve with Ranch Burgers

I served my Ranch Burgers with some baked fries, but there are so many delicious sides that would go great with these burgers. A little potato salad would be awesome, or maybe some Broccoli Pasta Salad, Classic Creamy Coleslaw, or a simple side salad.

Side view of a platter full of bacon ranch turkey burgers
Close up side view of a ranch turkey burger held in hands

Bacon Ranch Turkey Burgers

These super simple Bacon Ranch Turkey Burgers are the BEST homemade burgers around. Simple ingredients with TONS of flavor!
Total Cost $12.15 recipe / $3.04 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 burgers
Calories 541kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 8 slices bacon $2.99
  • 1 lb. ground turkey $3.99
  • 3 Tbsp ranch seasoning mix* $0.53
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 4 slices cheese (optional) $1.15
  • 4 hamburger buns $1.25
  • 1 tomato $1.40
  • 4 leaves lettuce $0.55
  • 4 Tbsp mayonnaise $0.25

Instructions

  • Cook the bacon using the directions on the package or the method of your choice (skillet, oven, microwave) until brown and crispy.
  • Add the ground turkey to a bowl along with the ranch seasoning mix. Using your hands, mix the ranch seasoning into the ground turkey.
  • Divide the ground turkey into four equal amounts, then shape into burger patties. The meat will contract quite a bit as it cooks, so make the patties quite wide and flat (about 4.5 inches in diameter).
  • Add a little cooking oil to a skillet and heat over medium. Once the skillet is hot, add the burger patties and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side or until the burgers are browned and cooked through.
  • If using cheese, add a slice of cheese to each burger, place a lid on the skillet and allow the heat to melt the cheese.
  • While the burgers are cooking, slice the tomato. Build the burgers using the buns, tomatoes, lettuce, cooked bacon, and mayonnaise. Enjoy!

Notes

*You can use store-bought or homemade ranch seasoning. If your ranch seasoning is in bulk rather than a single packet, use about 3 Tbsp.

Nutrition

Serving: 1burger | Calories: 541kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 29g | Sodium: 1385mg | Fiber: 1g
a bacon ranch turkey burger in a basket with fries

How to Make Bacon Ranch Turkey Burgers – Step by Step Photos

cooked bacon strips on a paper towel lined plate

Cook 8 strips of bacon until brown and crispy using either the instructions on the package or your favorite method. I like to cook my bacon in the oven. Here is my tutorial on how to cook bacon in the oven.

ground turkey in a bowl with ranch seasoning

Add one pound ground turkey to a bowl with 3 Tbsp (one packet) ranch seasoning or homemade ranch seasoning mix. Mix the seasoning into the meat until evenly combined.

Shaped turkey burger patties

Divide the meat into four equal portions and then shape them into patties. The meat will contract quite a bit as it cooks, so make them much wider and flatter than you want the final burger to be. My patties were about 4.5 inches wide when raw. Ground turkey can be quite soft and wet compared to ground beef, but don’t let that worry you.

Cooked turkey burgers in a skillet, two with cheese on top

Add some cooking oil to a skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, add your burgers (you can do two batches if they’re too big to all fit) and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side or until well browned and cooked through. If using cheese, add a slice of cheese on top, place a lid on the skillet, and allow the heat to melt the cheese.

Burgers being assembled on a platter with ingredients on the sides

Assemble your cooked turkey burgers with buns, lettuce, tomato, bacon, and mayo. Then DIG IN! :)

The post Bacon Ranch Turkey Burgers appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Coconut Chicken Strips with Sweet Chili Sauce

Talk about addictive! Once you try one of these crispy Coconut Chicken strips dipped in tangy sweet chili sauce you’re going to want to make them on a weekly basis. Because the chicken is sliced nice and thin and then cooked quickly in hot oil, the chicken stays juicy and tender on the inside, while developing […]

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Talk about addictive! Once you try one of these crispy Coconut Chicken strips dipped in tangy sweet chili sauce you’re going to want to make them on a weekly basis. Because the chicken is sliced nice and thin and then cooked quickly in hot oil, the chicken stays juicy and tender on the inside, while developing a perfectly golden brown and crispy exterior. Pair that with a bowl of cool, sweet, and tangy Thai sweet chili sauce for dipping and I’m in absolute heaven. So if you love chicken tenders, chicken strips, boneless wings, or anything along those lines, I think you’re going to love these Coconut Chicken Strips.

Originally posted 1-18-2010, updated 5-10-2021.

Overhead view of a plate full of coconut chicken strips with one being dipped into a bowl of sweet chili sauce

What Kind of Chicken to Use

I’ve tried this recipe with both chicken breast (boneless, skinless) and chicken tenders. Chicken tenders ended up being too large when used whole, so while they are an option you’ll probably still want to slice them into thinner pieces before breading and cooking. 

Another option would be to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into chunks, so you’ll have something more along the lines of coconut chicken “bites” than strips. I think that would be awesome! The dark meat of chicken thighs will be extra tender and juicy.

Cooking Options

Frying – I chose to shallow fry my coconut chicken strips in a skillet because I don’t have a deep fryer and I don’t deep fry often enough to warrant using as much oil as deep-frying requires. Shallow frying will still get you that great super crispy exterior without allowing the inside to dry out.

Baking – While you can bake these, the results won’t be as awesome as frying. Baking takes longer and the hot air causes more evaporation, which results in drier chicken. You also won’t get as much browning as you will with frying. To help the browning issue, you can try adding a tablespoon or two of oil into the panko and coconut breading mixture, similar to the technique used in my Homemade Chicken Nuggets. I suggest using the baking temperature and technique used for the chicken nuggets as well, but increasing the bake time by a few minutes.

Air Frying – I do not own an air fryer, so unfortunately I can’t offer suggestions for cooking times and temperature, but I suspect these chicken strips would be a good candidate for air frying. Because this appliance uses hot air, similar to an oven, I would suggest either spritzing the strips with a little spray oil or mixing a tablespoon or two of oil into the panko and coconut mixture to help with browning.

What to Serve with Coconut Chicken Strips

Don’t skip that sweet chili sauce! You can find sweet chili sauce in the international aisle of most major grocery stores, or you can try making your own with my Homemade Sweet Chili Sauce recipe. For side dishes, you can pair this with something like Crunchy Cabbage Salad with Sesame Dressing, Cucumber Mango Salad, or Savory Coconut Rice

What Oil is Good For Frying?

It’s really important to use the right kind of cooking oil for frying. Every type of cooking oil has a different “smoke point,” which is the temperature that the oil begins to smoke and burn. And obviously, we want to avoid that because burned oil does not taste good (and it’s a fire hazard!). So, you’ll want to choose an oil that can withstand the high temperature of frying and an oil that doesn’t have a strong flavor of its own. Some good oils to choose from are canola oil, vegetable oil, safflower oil, refined coconut oil, corn oil, peanut oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, refined olive oil, or refined avocado oil.

Close up of a coconut chicken strip being dipped into sweet chili sauce

A plate of coconut chicken strips with a bowl of sweet chili sauce in the center, a hand dipping one chicken strip into the sauce

Coconut Chicken Strips with Sweet Chili Sauce

These tender and crispy homemade Coconut Chicken Strips are perfect for dipping in a tangy and sweet chili sauce.
Total Cost $10.95 recipe / $2.73 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 4 strips each
Calories 873.13kcal

Ingredients

  • 1.3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts $7.70
  • ¼ tsp salt $0.01
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.02
  • 2 large eggs $0.42
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk $0.25
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs $0.22
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut $0.56
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil, divided* $0.32
  • 1 cup sweet chili sauce $1.43

Instructions

  • Slice the chicken breasts into ½-inch wide strips, slicing diagonally to maintain a more even length among the strips.
  • Sprinkle the salt and flour over top of the sliced chicken. Toss the chicken until they're evenly coated.
  • Whisk together the eggs and coconut milk in a bowl. In a separate wide shallow bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs and flaked coconut.
  • To bread the chicken, dip each chicken strip into the egg wash, allow the excess to drip off, then dip it into the breadcrumb mixture until it's fully coated. Place the breaded chicken strips on a clean plate or tray until they're all breaded.
  • Once they're all breaded, it's time to fry. Heat ¼ cup cooking oil in a skillet over medium heat. To test the heat of the oil, drop a breadcrumb into the oil. It should begin to sizzle immediately. If the oil begins to smoke at anytime, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool down.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the chicken strips, several at a time, leaving a little space between each one. Cook the chicken strips for about three minutes on on each side, or until they're deeply golden brown. Transfer the cooked chicken to a paper towel lined plate to drain, then repeat with another batch of chicken. Remove any burned pieces of coconut before beginning the next batch, and add more oil as needed, making sure to wait until it is hot before adding more chicken.
  • After frying all of the chicken, it's time to serve! Serve hot with a bowl of sweet chili sauce for dipping.

Notes

*Use a high heat cooking oil. Good options include: canola oil, vegetable oil, safflower oil, refined coconut oil, corn oil, peanut oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, refined olive oil, or refined avocado oil. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 873.13kcal | Carbohydrates: 82.7g | Protein: 39.45g | Fat: 42.1g | Sodium: 1313.3mg | Fiber: 3.15g

Close up of coconut chicken strips on a plate with a bowl of thai sweet chili sauce

How to Make Coconut Chicken Strips – Step by Step Photos

Sliced chicken breasts

Start with about 1.3 lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken breast. Cut them into ½-inch wide strips. I like to do this sort of on a diagonal to keep them more even in length. If your chicken breasts are very large, you might want to cut the length of the strip in half as well. Cutting the chicken strips thin enough is important because this allows it to cook through quickly. 

Chicken strips coated in flour and salt

Sprinkle ¼ tsp salt and 2 Tbsp flour over the chicken strips, then toss until they’re evenly coated.

Egg and coconut milk mixed in a bowl

Whisk together two large eggs and ¼ cup full-fat coconut milk in a bowl. Make sure to use the type of coconut milk that is in a can, not the type in a carton that is meant to be a dairy milk substitute.

Coconut and panko breadcrumbs mixed together in a bowl

Combine 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes and 1 cup panko breadcrumbs in a wide, shallow bowl.

Breading station with chicken, egg wash, coconut and breadcrumbs

Set up your breading station with the bowl of coconut egg wash, the bowl with coconut and breadcrumbs, and a plate or tray for the breaded chicken. I’m using a parchment lined baking sheet to hold the breaded chicken just for easy cleanup. Dip each chicken strip first into the eggwash (let excess drip off), then into the breadcrumb mixture. Make sure the breadcrumbs and coconut fully coat all sides, then place the chicken strip on your holding tray.

Breaded chicken strips on a baking tray

Once all of the chicken strips are breaded, it’s time to start cooking. Add ¼ cup cooking oil to a skillet and heat over medium. Wait until the oil is very hot, but not smoking. If you drop one of the panko breadcrumbs into the hot oil, it should immediately begin sizzling. If it doesn’t sizzle right away, the oil is not hot enough. If at any point during the cooking process the oil begins to smoke, remove it from the heat immediately and wait for it to cool down. 

Browned chicken strips in the skillet

Once the oil is good and hot, add several of the chicken strips, leaving a little space between each. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side, or until they are deeply golden brown on each side. Transfer the cooked chicken to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Scoop out any loose pieces of coconut, add a little more oil if needed, wait for it to get hot again, and then cook a second batch of chicken strips. You should be able to cook them all in 2-3 batches. 

Finished Coconut Chicken Strips on a paper towel lined plate

Once they’re all cooked, it’s time to serve! 

Overhead view of a plate full of coconut chicken strips with a bowl of sweet chili sauce in the center

Pour about one cup of sweet chili sauce into a bowl and place that in the center of the coconut chicken strips. I sprinkled the chicken strips with a little cilantro for color, but that’s not needed for flavor. Sliced green onions are another optional garnish idea. Enjoy!

The post Coconut Chicken Strips with Sweet Chili Sauce appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Mediterranean Turkey Burgers

Ground turkey can be kind of, well, boring if you don’t dress it up right. That’s why for these Mediterranean Turkey Burgers I added fun add-ins to the burger patty for maximum flavor and color. And instead of the ketchup and mustard treatment, these juicy burgers get a homemade lemon dill yogurt sauce, crunchy slices […]

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Ground turkey can be kind of, well, boring if you don’t dress it up right. That’s why for these Mediterranean Turkey Burgers I added fun add-ins to the burger patty for maximum flavor and color. And instead of the ketchup and mustard treatment, these juicy burgers get a homemade lemon dill yogurt sauce, crunchy slices of cucumber, and a few slivers of red onion. If you’re looking to change up your burger game, these Mediterranean Turkey Burgers are it!

Originally posted 3-26-2011, updated 4-9-2021.

Overhead view of a mediterranean turkey burger, top bun off, on a paper lined plate next to cucumber salad

Can the Turkey Burgers be Grilled?

Yes, you can definitely grill these burgers instead of cooking them in a skillet. An outdoor grill or even an indoor countertop grill, like a George Foreman grill, will work great.

Why 19 oz. of Ground Turkey?

I’ll never understand why, but some brands sell ground turkey in 19 oz. packages instead of one-pound packages (if you work in that industry and know why, please let me know). If you can only find a one-pound package of ground turkey, you can still make this recipe. I wouldn’t adjust any other ingredients, just make four patties instead of five and they’ll be a little extra flavorful. 

What to Serve with Mediterranean Turkey Burgers

Since I had a half cucumber and red onion leftover from the recipe, I used them to make a small batch of my Super Fresh Cucumber Salad. It’s the perfect light side to these burgers. You could also serve them with something like Steak Fries, Mediterranean White Bean Salad, Quinoa Tabbouleh, or a simple green salad (mixed greens, tomatoes, and a vinaigrette). 

Can I Use Fresh Spinach?

Yes, you can use fresh spinach in this recipe instead of frozen, if you prefer. I suggest chopping the spinach until it’s in small pieces so it’s easier to mix into the meat. You may also want to sauté it briefly in a skillet to get some of the water out. You’ll want about ¼ cup once sautéed.

Side view of a closed Mediterranean Turkey Burger on a paper lined plate

 

Overhead view of an open faced Mediterranean Turkey Burger on a paper lined plate with cucumber salad on the side

Mediterranean Turkey Burgers

Spinach, sun dried tomatoes, feta, and a dilly yogurt sauce make these Mediterranean Turkey Burgers full of flavor and color.
Total Cost $10.18 recipe / $2.04 serving
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 396.62kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Lemon Dill Yogurt Sauce

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt $0.50
  • 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice $0.03
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp dried dill $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.02

Turkey Burgers

  • 19 oz. ground turkey* $3.89
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes $0.83
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion $0.08
  • 2 oz. frozen spinach (1 cup when frozen) $0.25
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta $0.57
  • 1 tsp dried oregano $0.10
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04

For Serving

  • 5 hamburger buns $3.04
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced $0.75

Instructions

  • Make the lemon dill yogurt sauce first. Stir together the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic powder, dried dill, and salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Prepare the add-ins for the turkey burgers. Finely chop the sun dried tomatoes, mince or finely dice the red onion, crumble the feta, and then thaw and squeeze all the moisture out of the frozen spinach (2 oz. will be about 1 cup when frozen, ¼ cup when thawed and squeezed dry).
  • Add the ground turkey, sun dried tomatoes, red onion, feta, spinach, dried oregano, garlic powder, and salt to a bowl. Mix the ingredients together until evenly combined.
  • Divide and shape the turkey mixture into five burger patties. Make them flatter and wider than usual because they will shrink up and in as they cook.
  • Heat ½ Tbsp cooking oil in a skillet over medium. Once hot, add three of the turkey burgers and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until browned and cooked through. Repeat with the remaining cooking oil and the rest of the burger patties.
  • To serve, smear some of the lemon dill yogurt sauce on a bun. Add a turkey burger, some sliced cucumber, and sliced red onion, then enjoy.

Notes

*I used 93% lean ground turkey

Nutrition

Serving: 1burger | Calories: 396.62kcal | Carbohydrates: 32.58g | Protein: 30.8g | Fat: 16.16g | Sodium: 602.96mg | Fiber: 2.32g

Close up side view of a mediterranean turkey burger, open-faced

How to Make Mediterranean Turkey Burgers – Step By Step Photos

lemon, garlic powder, and dried dill being stirred into yogurt

Make the lemon dill yogurt sauce first, so the flavors have a little time to blend. Stir together ½ cup Greek yogurt, ½ Tbsp lemon juice, ⅛ tsp garlic powder, ⅛ tsp dried dill, and ⅛ tsp salt. Refrigerate the sauce until ready to use. And yes, you can use plain non-Greek yogurt if needed, it just makes a less thick sauce. :)

Chopped burger add-ins on a cutting board

Prepare the burger add-ins. Chop about ¼ cup sun dried tomatoes (I use the dry pack, not the kind packed in oil), mince or finely dice ¼ cup red onion (save the rest to slice and place on the burgers), crumble 1 oz. feta (about ¼ cup), and thaw then squeeze all the moisture out of 2 oz. frozen spinach. The spinach is about 1 cup when frozen, ¼ cup after it has been thawed and squezed dry.

Ground turkey and burger add-ins in a bowl

Place 19 oz. ground turkey, sun dried tomatoes, red onion, feta, spinach, 1 tsp dried oregano, ¼ tsp garlic powder, and ¼ tsp salt in a bowl (sorry, I forgot the oregano, garlic powder, and salt until after the photo was taken).

Turkey burger mixture in the bowl

Mix the ingredients into the ground turkey until it’s all evenly mixed.

Shaped Turkey Burgers on an orange cutting board

Divide and shape the meat mixture into five burger patties. Make the patties thinner and wider than you’d expect because they do shrink up and inward as you cook them.

Three cooked turkey burgers in a skillet

To cook the burgers in a skillet, add ½ Tbsp cooking oil to a skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, add a few of the burger patties and cook on each side for 5-7 minutes, or until well browned and cooked through. Repeat with the second half of the oil and the remaining burger patties.

Overhead view of an open faced Mediterranean Turkey Burger on a paper lined plate with cucumber salad on the side

To serve, spread some of the lemon dill yogurt sauce on a bun, add a cooked burger patty and a few slices of cucumber and red onion. Enjoy!

Greek Turkey Burgers are a healthy mix of ground turkey and Mediterranean flavors. BudgetBytes.com

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Turkey Taco Salad

This Turkey Taco Salad is an easy, light, and fresh dinner that’s flexible enough to feed all your family members. Mix and match your favorite taco salad toppings, or just use up what you have in your fridge!

The post Turkey Taco Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Winter is full of lots of heavy, slow cooked, or stewed comfort foods and right around this time every year I start craving something lighter and more fresh. Enter this super simple Turkey Taco Salad. It comes together quickly, it gives me all the flavors I need, and it’s still super filling. Oh, and did I mention how flexible it is? Read on for tons of ideas for substitutions and add-ins!

Creamy avocado dressing being poured over a turkey taco salad from a mason jar

Dressing Options

I used my homemade Creamy Avocado Dressing for this taco salad, but you can definitely swap that out with your favorite creamy salad dressing. A taco or chipotle flavored ranch, green goddess dressing, or even a tangy Catalina dressing would all be great.

Can I Substitute the Ground Turkey?

Yes, this recipe works great with ground beef or pork, or you can even make it vegetarian using tempeh. To use tempeh, simply crumble the tempeh into a skillet, add a cup of water, and let the tempeh simmer until the water mostly evaporates, then add the taco seasoning and continue to sauté for a couple minutes more.

Other Add-ins and Substitutions

Taco salads are so flexible! Here are some other ingredient ideas that you can use in place of or in addition to anything listed in the recipe below:

Close up side view of turkey taco salad in a serving bowl
overhead view of turkey taco salad drizzled with creamy avocado dressing

Turkey Taco Salad

This Turkey Taco Salad is an easy, light, and fresh dinner that's flexible enough to feed all your family members, no matter how picky!
Total Cost $11.29 recipe / $2.82 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 476.45kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Creamy Avocado Salad Dressing

  • 1 avocado $0.89
  • 1/2 cup sour cream $0.24
  • 1 clove garlic $0.08
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice $0.50
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro $0.20
  • 1/4 cup water $0.00

Taco Seasoned Turkey

  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil $0.08
  • 1 lb. ground turkey $3.49
  • 2 Tbsp taco seasoning* $0.67

Salad

  • 1 head romaine lettuce $0.86
  • 1 cup frozen corn $0.35
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes $1.99
  • 1 jalapeño (optional) $0.18
  • 2 oz. shredded cheddar $0.85

Instructions

  • Make the salad dressing first so the flavors have time to blend. Peel the avocado and remove the pit. Add the avocado to a food processor or blender along with the sour cream, garlic (minced), salt, lime juice, cilantro, and water. Purée until smooth. Refrigerate the dressing until ready to use.
  • Next, cook the taco seasoned turkey. Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, add the ground turkey and cook, breaking it into pieces as you stir. When it's about half-way cooked, add the taco seasoning and continue to stir and cook until the turkey is cooked through.
  • Thaw the frozen corn (I use the microwave). Wash and chop the romaine lettuce, rinse and drain the black beans, slice the grape tomatoes in half, slice the jalapeño, and shred the cheddar cheese.
  • To build the salad, lay a bed of the chopped lettuce in each bowl, top with beans, corn, tomatoes, cheese, seasoned turkey, and a few slices of jalapeño. Drizzle the creamy avocado dressing over top and enjoy!

Notes

*I used my own homemade taco seasoning, but you can use a store-bought taco seasoning packet, if you prefer.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25recipe | Calories: 476.45kcal | Carbohydrates: 37.55g | Protein: 32.93g | Fat: 23.2g | Sodium: 1044.28mg | Fiber: 11.95g
Half-tossed turkey taco salad in a serving bowl with salad tongs

How to Make Turkey Taco Salad – Step by Step Photos

finished avocado dressing in the food processor

Make the creamy avocado dressing first, so the flavors have a few minutes to blend. In a food processor or blender, combine 1 avocado (peeled and pit removed), ½ cup sour cream, 1 clove of garlic (minced), ¼ tsp salt, 2 Tbsp lime juice, ¼ bunch cilantro, and ¼ cup water. Process until smooth. Refrigerate the dressing until ready to use.

ground turkey cooking in a skillet with taco seasoning being sprinkled over top

Add ½ Tbsp olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Add 1 lb. ground turkey and break it into pieces as it cooks. When it’s about half-cooked, add 2 Tbsp taco seasoning (or one store-bought taco seasoning packet) and continue to cook and stir until the turkey is cooked through.

seasoned ground turkey in the skillet

Set the cooked, seasoned taco meat aside.

turkey taco salad toppings in bowls: beans, corn, cheese, tomatoes, jalapeño

While the turkey is cooking, you can begin to prepare the rest of the toppings. Rinse and drain one 15oz. can of black beans, thaw 1 cup frozen corn (I use the microwave), slice 1 pint of grape tomatoes in half, shred about 2 oz. of cheddar, and slice one jalapeño.

Chopped Romaine lettuce in a serving bowl

Also, wash and chop one head of Romaine lettuce. To begin building your salad, place the chopped lettuce in the bottom of a large serving bowl (or you can create four smaller single-serving salads).

Beans being poured onto the salad with corn, tomatoes, and cheese

Start adding the toppings: corn, tomatoes, shredded cheddar, and black beans.

turkey taco meat and jalapeños added to the salad

Top with the turkey taco meat and sliced jalapeños…

Creamy avocado dressing being poured over the salad

And finally, drizzle your creamy avocado dressing over top and enjoy!

Side view of turkey taco salad in a serving bowl with the jar of dressing in the back

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