Pesto Cheese Toast

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

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

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

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

What Kind of Pesto to Use

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

What Kind of Bread to Use

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

What to Serve with Pesto Cheese Toast

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

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

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

Pesto Cheese Toast

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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

Nutrition

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

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

How to Make Pesto Cheese Toast – Step By Step Photos

A loaf of bread being sliced

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

pesto being spread onto the bread

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

sliced tomatoes on pesto bread

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

shredded cheese being added to toast

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

baked pesto cheese toast on the baking sheet

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

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

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

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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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Super Orange Citrus Rice

This incredible citrus rice is flooded with orange juice, flecked with celery and carrots, and boosted with a packet of French onion dip mix. It’s beautiful, delicious, and if you’re in a rice or grain rut, it’s just the thing to get you out of it. This Super Orange Citrus Rice is also the perfect […]

Continue reading Super Orange Citrus Rice on 101 Cookbooks

This incredible citrus rice is flooded with orange juice, flecked with celery and carrots, and boosted with a packet of French onion dip mix. It’s beautiful, delicious, and if you’re in a rice or grain rut, it’s just the thing to get you out of it. This Super Orange Citrus Rice is also the perfect base for a rice bowl, and I love using leftovers the next day for a citrusy-y take on fried rice.

Super Orange Citrus Rice in a Serving Bowl
I cook rice a couple times a week. Half the time I’ll make it straight and simple – water, rice, and a bit of salt. The other times I like to mix it up with different broths, infusions, and favorite flavors, ingredients and textures. A lot of you know how much I love a good rice situation – I included a whole section of ideas in the back of Super Natural Simple. I also constantly revisit Bryant Terry’s Amazing Green Rice, this Congee with Brown Rice and Turmeric, and this herby rice situation. Recently, this super orange citrus rice has been in high-rotation. Here are the details!Super Orange Citrus Rice in a Kitchen on a Counter

Citrus Rice Inspiration

One of the things I love about flea markets, estate and yard sales is finding and browsing old cookbooks. I come across a lot of community cookbooks, and always have my eyes peeled for books that are special, unusually, and/or regionally specific. Today’s recipe was inspired by a cookbook I picked up a few years ago, published by Sunkist in 1968. It is cover-to-cover recipes that are citrus inspired – note the sub-title: lemons, tangerines – citrus treasures of the west – oranges, grapefruits. 

A few of the recipes caught my attention. In particular, there is an orange rice recipe that calls for “instant minced onions.” I imagined that would add a nice seasoning element to a citrus rice. I tend to keep French onion soup mix on hand to make the French Onion Strata in Super Natural Simple, and have dehydrated onions in my pantry as well.  Today’s recipe evolved from there. I love the way the onion helps counter the sweetness of the orange juice, keeping the whole dish squarely in the savory camp.
Super Orange Citrus Rice Surrounded by Plates and Ready to Eat
Super Orange Citrus Rice Surrounded by Plates and Ready to Eat

What Kind of Rice to Use?

I’ve been using brown basmati rice for this recipe. Short grain brown rice should also work, you might need to adjust the cooking time a bit though. I’ve tested a blend of half brown basmati with half white basmati and it wasn’t great. Unsurprisingly, the white grains really blew out and over cooked while the brown rice grains finished cooking.

The general rule of thumb here is yes, you can likely use your favorite rice, whatever it is. You should simply adjust the amount of liquid and cooking time according to whatever you typically use for 2 cups of rice. So, for example, if you’re using 2 cups of white rice, scale back the orange juice and water called for in the recipe from 4 cups to 3 cups (or 3 1/4 cups total liquid). Hope that makes sense. It’s a long way of saying you can likely make this with success with whatever rice you have on hand.

Super Orange Citrus Rice Surrounded by Plates and Ready to Eat

Make Citrus Rice into a Meal

You can easily add another hearty element to this rice and make a one bowl meal. You see the citrus rice pictured here topped with a bit of simply marinated, baked tofu. It’s just slabs of thinly sliced extra-firm tofu tossed in 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon wasabi paste, and 2 teaspoons soy sauce and baked until golden in a 375F oven. Wasabi paste can be tricky to come by, and when I’m out of it I’ll substitute a favorite curry paste or tobanjan paste. Throw some broccoli or cauliflower florets into the oven with the tofu for some added veg.

Alternately, I like to make a thin omelette with an egg or two, slice it thinly, and use that in place of the tofu. And before I forget, if your celery is extra leafy, be sure to make your own celery salt! It’s really wonderful on this rice, but also on all sorts of soups and salads.

Leftover Ideas

This recipe makes a good amount of citrus rice, and we often have leftovers. It’s SO good the next day, perfect for a quick fried rice for lunch, or easy dinner. The citrus element is really fantastic and unexpected if you aren’t in the know. 

If you’re looking for more rice recipes I have so many ideas. Laugh/cry. Be sure to try this green rice, my favorite mushroom casserole,  and this vegetarian take on paellaI also love cooking with quinoa, cooking with lentils, and on the citrus recipe front, don’t miss this citrus salt – it’s so much fun to play around with a range of limes, lemons, grapefruits, and tangerines! Enjoy! -h

Continue reading Super Orange Citrus Rice on 101 Cookbooks

Loaded Smashed Potatoes

These loaded smashed potatoes are boiled until tender and fluffy, baked until golden and crispy, and piled high with toppings!

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Um, if you’ve never had smashed potatoes before, let this be a sign from the universe that you need to make them immediately. These tasty little taters are boiled until fluffy and tender on the inside, then smashed and baked until crispy on the outside. Then I went one step further (because of course I did) and loaded them up with my favorite baked potato fixins’. These Loaded Smashed Potatoes are everything I’ve ever wanted.

Close up of loaded smashed potatoes on the baking sheet

What Kind of Potatoes Work Best for Smashed Potatoes

I highly suggest splurging a little on small baby potatoes, the kind that are about the size of a golf ball. They cook quickly and have the perfect skin to flesh ratio to make these smashed potatoes just right. Plus, they are always so smooth and creamy on the inside.

Loaded Potato Topping Ideas

I kept my smashed potato toppings fairly simple because I like to work with what I have on hand. I seasoned with some Everything Bagel Seasoning, then topped with cheddar, sour cream, and green onion. Here are some other toppings you can try:

  • Bacon
  • BBQ Sauce
  • French Fried Onions
  • Pepperoni
  • Chili
  • Salsa
  • Jalapeños
  • Chopped Sweet Onion
  • Pesto
  • Blue Cheese
  • Salsa
  • Spinach Dip

Seasoning Substitutions

If you can’t find everything bagel seasoning at a store, here is a recipe for homemade everything bagel seasoning. Or, if you want to use something else, you could use Montreal Steak Seasoning (a similarly chunky seasoning mix), or maybe a little ranch seasoning (mix with the oil before brushing onto potatoes). Another option is to do a simple classic mix of garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.

What to Serve with Smashed Potatoes

The classic flavors in these smashed potatoes go with so many different meals and they can add a fun twist to your usual “meat and potatoes” dinner. Try them with my Baked Chicken Drumsticks, Honey Mustard Chicken Wings, Brown Sugar Roasted Pork Loin, Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, or Homemade Chicken Nuggets. Or just serve them on their own as a snacky-snack for movie night or something. ;)

Side view of loaded smashed potatoes on a baking sheet
overhead view of loaded smashed potatoes on the baking sheet

Loaded Smashed Potatoes

These loaded smashed potatoes are boiled until tender and fluffy, baked until golden and crispy, and piled high with toppings!
Total Cost $4.97 recipe / $0.99 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 5 4 potatoes each
Calories 276kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs. baby potatoes $2.99
  • 2 tsp salt (for the boiling water) $0.05
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 1/2 Tbsp everything bagel seasoning $0.15
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar $0.85
  • 1/3 cup sour cream $0.39
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.22

Instructions

  • Place the baby potatoes in a large pot and add enough water to cover the potatoes by one inch. Add 2 tsp salt to the water.
  • Place a lid on the pot and bring the water up to a boil over high heat. Boil the potatoes for about 10 minutes, or until they are very tender. You can test the tenderness by piercing the potatoes with a fork. They need to be very tender so they smash easily.
  • While the potatoes are boiling, preheat the oven to 425ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the olive oil and everything bagel seasoning in a small bowl.
  • Drain the potatoes and let them cool for about few minutes, then transfer them to the baking sheet. Use a heavy-bottomed glass or a potato masher to smash each potato until it's relatively flat.
  • Brush the olive oil and seasoning over the surface of the smashed potatoes
  • Bake the smashed potatoes in the preheated 425ºF oven for about 30 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and crispy.
  • Remove the potatoes from the oven, then top with the shredded cheese. Return them to the oven for a few more minutes, or just until the cheese is melted.
  • Finally, top each potato with a tiny dollop of sour cream and sliced green onions, then serve!

Notes

*the sodium content listed below includes the salt added to the boiling water, most of which is discarded when the potatoes are drained.

Nutrition

Serving: 4potatoes | Calories: 276kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 16g | Sodium: 1171mg | Fiber: 3g

How to Make Loaded Smashed Potatoes – Step by Step Photos

Baby potatoes in a pot with water

Place 1.5 lbs. baby potatoes in a pot and add enough water to cover them by one inch. Also add 2 tsp salt to the water to season the potatoes as they cook. Place a lid on the pot and bring the water up to a boil over high heat. Boil the potatoes for about 10 minutes, or until they are very tender (test with a fork). Drain the potatoes in a colander.

Olive oil and everything bagel seasoning in a bowl

While the potatoes are boiling, preheat the oven to 425ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine 2 Tbsp olive oil and ½ Tbsp everything bagel seasoning in a small bowl.

boiled potatoes on the baking sheet being smashed with a glass

Transfer the drained potatoes to the baking sheet and use a heavy-bottomed glass to smash them until they’re sort of flattened.

Seasoned oil being brushed over the smashed potatoes

Brush the oil and seasoning over the surface of the smashed potatoes.

Baked smashed potatoes being topped with cheese

Bake the smashed potatoes in the preheated 425ºF oven for about 30 minutes, or until they’re golden brown and crispy on the edges. Then remove them from the oven and top with shredded cheese (about 1 cup total). Return them to the oven for a few more minutes to melt the cheese.

Final smashed potatoes topped with sour cream and green onion

Once the cheese is melted, remove them from the oven again and top each potato with a tiny dollop of sour cream, then sprinkle sliced green onions over top.

loaded smashed potatoes on a plate with a chicken drumstick

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Blistered Green Beans with Walnut Sauce

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

Continue reading Blistered Green Beans with Walnut Sauce on 101 Cookbooks

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

Blistered Green Beans with Walnut Sauce on a Platter

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

Do I need to Trim the Green Beans?

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

Some Variations

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

More Green Bean Recipes

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

The simplest: Vibrant Tasty Green Beans

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

This green chile-spiked Yellow Bean Salad

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

Continue reading Blistered Green Beans with Walnut Sauce on 101 Cookbooks

Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread

This Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread is rich, moist, and a little spicy. It’s perfect for pairing with your favorite soup or chili.

The post Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread appeared first on Budget Bytes.

As if cornbread wasn’t delicious enough on its own, I went ahead and stirred in a pile of shredded cheddar cheese and chopped jalapeño. Because why not? And since this Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread is on the spicy side, I decided to go with a richer cornbread batter that includes sour cream and an extra egg to kind of balance the heat. The result is rich, cheesy, moist, and ✨spicy✨.

Two baskets of jalapeño cornbread pieces with whole jalapeños on the sides

How Spicy Is This Cornbread?

It’s pretty spicy. Despite scraping the seeds out of the jalapeño that is mixed into the batter, the heat still seems to permeate the cornbread pretty well. If you’re not into heat, you can certainly just make this a plain cheddar cornbread or stir in some mild diced green chiles in place of the jalapeño.

What Kind of Baking Dish Should I Usse?

I used a ceramic baking dish, but I’ve also tested the recipe using a glass baking dish, and they both worked great. An 8×8-inch square dish is probably the best size. You could also bake this in a 10-inch cast iron skillet, although you may want to preheat it just a bit before adding the batter.

Can I Make Them Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Muffins?

Yes, just divide the batter equally between about ten wells of a muffin tin and bake at the same temperature. Because the muffins are smaller and have more surface area exposed to the heat, the baking time will be shorter. Just keep an eye on the muffins starting at about 20 minutes, and let them continue to bake until puffed in the center and golden brown around the edges.

How to Store Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread

Allow the cornbread to cool completely to room temperature and then store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. Or, you can wrap it tightly in plastic, place it in a freezer bag, and freeze it for a few months. To thaw, simply let the cornbread sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes, or microwave for 30 seconds or so.

A piece of jalapeño Cornbread being lifted out of the baking dish
Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread half in the baking dish and half on a cooling rack

Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread

This Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread is rich, moist, and spicy. It's perfect for pairing with your favorite soup or chili. 
Total Cost $3.19 recipe / $0.35 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 9 pieces
Calories 289kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp butter $0.04
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour $0.15
  • 1 cup cornmeal $0.38
  • 2 Tbsp sugar $0.04
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder $0.06
  • 3/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 4 oz. cheddar, shredded $1.00
  • 2 jalapeños $0.14
  • 1/2 cup sour cream $0.58
  • 1/2 cup milk $0.20
  • 2 large eggs $0.42
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil $0.16

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Use the butter to grease the inside of an 8×8 inch baking dish.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  • Remove the seeds from one of the jalapeños and finely dice it, then slice the second jalapeño into rounds. Add the diced jalapeño to the bowl with the flour, saving the sliced jalapeño to use as a topping.
  • Add about ¾ of the shredded cheddar to the bowl with the flour mixture, saving the remaining to use as a topping. Stir the diced jalapeño and shredded cheddar into the flour mixture until evenly combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, eggs, and oil.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir just until everything is moist (it's okay if there are a few lumps).
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and spread it out evenly. Top with the sliced jalapeños and the remaining shredded cheddar.
  • Bake the cornbread for about 35 minutes, or until the center has puffed up and the edges are golden brown.
  • Slice the cornbread into nine squares and serve warm.

Nutrition

Serving: 1piece | Calories: 289kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 16g | Sodium: 450mg | Fiber: 2g

Love cornbread? Try these other cornbread flavors: Sweet Potato Cornbread, Lemon Blueberry Cornbread Skillet, Easy Homemade Cornbread (classic cornbread), or Hatch Chile Sweet Potato Cornbread.

Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread half in the baking dish and half on a cooling rack

How to Make Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread – Step by Step Photos

cornbread dry ingredients in a bowl

Preheat the oven to 400ºF and use about 1 tsp butter to grease the inside of an 8×8-inch baking dish. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup cornmeal, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 2 Tbsp sugar, 3 tsp baking powder, and ¾ tsp salt.

Diced and sliced jalapeño on a cutting board

Remove the seeds from one jalapeño and then finely dice the pepper. Slice the second jalapeño into rounds. The diced jalapeño will go into the batter and the rounds will be used as a topping.

jalapeño and shredded cheddar added to the dry ingredients

Add the diced jalapeño and most of your 4oz. shredded cheddar cheese to the bowl with the dry ingredients (save about ¼ of the cheese to use as a topping). Stir the jalapeño and cheddar into the flour mixture.

Eggs oil and milk in a bowl with a whisk

In a separate bowl, whisk together ½ cup milk, 2 large eggs, and ¼ cup cooking oil.

Wet ingredients being poured into the bowl of dry ingredients

Pour the bowl of wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients.

stirred cornbread batter

Stir until everything is moist. Avoid over stirring. It’s okay if it’s a little lumpy.

cheddar being sprinkled on top of cornbread batter in the baking dish

Spread the cornbread batter into an 8×8-inch baking dish, then top with the sliced jalapeños. Finish by topping with the remaining shredded cheddar cheese.

baked jalapeño cheddar cornbread in the baking dish

Bake the cornbread in the preheated 400ºF oven for about 35 minutes or until the center is puffed and it’s golden brown around the edges.

Two baskets full of jalapeño Cornbread pieces

Slice the cornbread into nine pieces and serve warm with your favorite soup or chili!!

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Cheese Grits

These cheese grits are extra rich, creamy, and flavorful. They make a hearty and comforting breakfast or a delicious side dish with dinner.

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I don’t know if you’ve experienced the warm fuzzy hug that is a bowl of cheese grits, but if not, allow me to introduce you to one of the most comforting, simple, and indulgent foods on the planet: cheese grits.

A pot full of cheese grits with a pat of butter, other breakfast items on the sides

What are Cheese Grits?

Grits are a simple porridge made with ground corn that can be prepared either sweet or savory and is often served for breakfast in the southern U.S. In addition to breakfast, grits also make a great starchy bed for saucy stewed meats, or a side dish for any meal. And Cheese grits are just grits that have been taken to the next level by stirring in a heap of rich, delicious cheese. They’re simple but so incredibly delightful.

Read more about grits here.

What Kind of Grits to Use

There are a few different types of grits you can buy at the store and you can make cheese grits with all of them. You can use either white or yellow grits without issue, although using yellow grits will give you a more vibrant cheesy color. I used white quick-cooking grits in the recipe below, but if you have regular grits you’ll just need to simmer them slightly longer (just follow the directions on the package).

Can I Use a Different Cheese?

Yes! There are so many delicious cheese options for cheese grits. You can do something like Parmesan, gruyere, chevre, Boursin, or even something like pepper jack. Basically, cheese and grits were made for each other.

How to Serve Cheese Grits

Cheese grits are awesome at breakfast (pictured here with eggs and sausage), but sometimes I’ll top them with a fried egg and some salsa. You can also top them with other savory delights, like saucy shrimp, beef brisket, BBQ beans, or just about any savory saucy dish.

cheese grits in a bowl topped with fried eggs and breakfast sausage
Cheese grits dripping off the serving spoon into the pot

Cheese Grits

These cheese grits are extra rich, creamy, and flavorful. They make a hearty and comforting breakfast or a delicious side dish with dinner.
Total Cost $3.39 recipe / $0.85 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 1 cup each
Calories 374kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 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
  • 4 oz. cheddar, shredded $1.15

Instructions

  • Combine the chicken broth, milk, and garlic powder in a medium sauce pot. 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.
  • Finally, stir in the shredded cheddar, one handful at a time, until fully melted into the grits. Serve warm.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 374kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 20g | Sodium: 855mg | Fiber: 2g

Love savory breakfast foods? Check out our Savory Breakfast Recipes category.

Cheese grits dripping off the serving spoon into the pot

How to Make Cheese Grits – Step by Step Photos

Milk being poured into a pot with chicken broth

Combine 2 cups chicken broth, 2 cups milk, and ¼ tsp garlic powder in a medium sauce pot. Place a lid on top, and bring it up to a boil over medium-high heat (stir occasionally to prevent the milk from scorching).

grits being poured into the pot with the milk and broth

Once boiling, stir in 1 cup quick cooking grits and ¼ tsp salt. Lower the heat to medium-low, and let the grits simmer for about five minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.

Thickened grits in the pot being stirred

It should be nice and thick like in the photo above. Once thickened, remove it from the heat.

butter and pepper added to the grits

Stir in 2 Tbsp butter and about ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper.

Shredded cheddar being added to grits

Stir in 4oz. of shredded cheddar cheese, one handful at a time, until it’s all melted into the grits.

finished cheese grits being stirred in the pot

And it’s done! Dreamy creamy cheese grits!

a pot of cheese grits surrounded by other breakfast items

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Antipasto Salad

This super hearty antipasto salad is full of cured meats, cheeses, and pickled vegetables for an extra flavorful and filling salad.

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You know how we’re all kind of obsessed with charcuterie boards right now? Who doesn’t love a selection of savory snacky meats, cheeses, and pickled items, ammiright? Well, the Italian version of that is antipasto and it also happens to make for a really delicious and filling salad. So, if you’re like me and don’t want to eat anything but salads for the remainder of summer, I think you’re going to love this Antipasto Salad.

dressing be poured over a serving dish full of antipasto salad

What is Antipasto?

Antipasto is an Italian appetizer course offering a snacky selection of cured meats, pickled vegetables, cheeses, olives, anchovies and more. The word “antipasto” means “before the meal” so it’s basically an appetizer platter. This gorgeous spread is usually served as part of a formal meal, rather than an everyday spread. You can read more about antipasto here.

So to make an antipasto salad I simply piled all those tasty little bits on top of a bed of greens and added a cheesy Italian dressing. And that’s all I really want in a summer meal. Okay, well, maybe some crusty bread to go along with it. ;)

Antipasto is Flexible, So Get Creative!

The best part about this salad is that it’s so flexible, so you can mix and match the toppings depending on your budget or availability of ingredients. You can use just about any type of salad green that you like, any meat (or no meat), any cheese, and any vegetable. Need some inspo? Here are a few other ingredients that you can swap in or add:

Antipasto on a Budget

This salad can get expensive quick if you’re not careful! If you’re lucky to live near an ALDI store, they have a great selection of meats and cheeses for antipasto or charcuterie boards (and I was lucky enough to grab my mozzarella on clearance!). Watch for sales on those shelf-stable jarred items (olives, pickled peppers, artichoke hearts) and save them up for making antipasto later. And get to know your deli because a lot of delis will mark down sliced meats and cheeses when they get near the sell-by date.

A lot of these ingredients also make great pizza toppings, so whenever you have leftovers from pizza night, those items can be used to make antipasto the next night!

Make a Half Antipasto Salad, If Needed

The recipe below is for a pretty large salad with 8 servings because it uses whole containers of each ingredient. But it’s easy enough to scale the recipe down as needed. All of the toppings stay pretty fresh when stored separately, so you can make half batches, ¼ batches, or even one salad at a time instead of making the entire batch at once and risking things getting soggy.

And remember, you can change the number of servings in the “servings” box below and the ingredient amounts will auto-adjust for you.

Salad tongs in a half stirred antipasto salad with bread and dressing on the side
dressing being poured over the antipasto salad

Antipasto Salad

This super hearty antipasto salad is full of cured meats, cheeses, and pickled vegetables for an extra flavorful and filling salad.
Total Cost $16.92 recipe / $2.12 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 535kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Salad

  • 8 oz. salad greens of choice $0.99
  • 1 12oz. jar artichoke hearts $2.45
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes $1.79
  • 8 oz. mozzarella $0.99
  • 8 oz. salami $3.00
  • 1 6oz. jar kalamata olives $1.99
  • 1 8oz. jar banana peppers $1.69
  • 1/2 red onion $0.40
  • 8 oz. provolone $1.79

Italian Dressing

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil $0.84
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar $0.30
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice $0.04
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard $0.12
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning $0.30
  • 1/2 tsp sugar $0.01
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan $0.22

Instructions

  • Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl or jar (olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, sugar, grated Parmesan). Close the jar tightly and shake or whisk in a bowl until the ingredients are incorporated.
  • Cut or slice any meat or cheeses into bite-sized pieces. Drain the olives and any brined vegetables. Thinly slice the red onion and slice the grape tomatoes in half.
  • Lay your greens in the bottom of a bowl, then top with your antipasto items. Give the dressing one last whisk or shake, then drizzle over the salad (start with half the dressing and add more as needed). Toss the salad until everything is coated in dressing, then enjoy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1salad | Calories: 535kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 45g | Sodium: 2130mg | Fiber: 4g
Close up of antipasto salad in a bowl with a fork

How to Make Antipasto Salad – Step by Step Photos

Italian dressing ingredients in a jar

Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl or jar: ½ cup olive oil, 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 tsp Dijon mustard, ¼ tsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning, ½ tsp sugar, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper, and 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan. Shake or whisk the ingredients until they are incorporated.

Chopped spinach in a serving bowl

Add your salad greens to the bottom of a bowl. I’m using spinach and I chopped it slightly first to make bite-sized pieces.

salami, onions, mozzarella, and tomatoes added to the salad bowl

Cut your meats and cheeses into bite-sized pieces. Thinly slice the red onion and slice the grape tomatoes in half.

provolone, olives, peppers, and artichokes added to the salad bowl

Drain all of your jarred items (olives, banana peppers, artichoke hearts) and add them to the salad. Slightly chop anything that has larger pieces.

dressing being poured over the antipasto salad

Give the dressing one last shake or whisk, then drizzle it over the salad. Start with half the dressing, then add more as needed.

Antipasto salad being tossed with metal salad tongs

Toss the salad until everything is coated in dressing, then enjoy!

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Oven Roasted Corn with Honey Chili Butter

Oven roasting is hands down my favorite way to prepare vegetables and that includes fresh summer sweet corn. Roasting the fresh ears while still in their husks keeps them ultra sweet and juicy, plus it’s just so incredibly simple. I added some sweet and spicy honey chili butter to rub onto the roasted corn but, […]

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Oven roasting is hands down my favorite way to prepare vegetables and that includes fresh summer sweet corn. Roasting the fresh ears while still in their husks keeps them ultra sweet and juicy, plus it’s just so incredibly simple. I added some sweet and spicy honey chili butter to rub onto the roasted corn but, truth be told, when corn is prepared this way it’s so good that I’d be just as happy eating it plain!

Originally posted 5-20-2011, updated 7-27-2021.

Oven roasted corn half shucked and smeared with honey chili butter on a white tray with a bowl of butter

Why Roast in the Husk?

Leaving the husk on the corn while it roasts helps hold in the corn’s natural moisture, yielding super juicy kernels that pop with sweetness when you bite into them. It’s truly amazing. Once the corn has roasted, the husks and silk peel away easily so it’s ready to eat in no time.

How to Pick Good Fresh Corn

Choosing corn that is fresh and in season is key because that’s when the corn is the sweetest and juiciest. Older corn can tend to be dry and more starchy rather than sweet. To make sure your corn is fresh, look for husks that are bright green, tight against the cob, and not dry or brown. If the silk is sticking out the top, it should look fresh, moist, and maybe a bit brown, but never black, shriveled, or dry. 

What to Serve with Oven Roasted Corn

Just give me this sweet, sweet corn by itself and I’ll be happy. But alas, that’s not a very well-rounded meal, so here are some ideas of what you can serve with this amazing corn: Fish Tacos with Cumin Lime Coleslaw, BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken, Beef Taco Skillet, Baked Beef and Black Bean Tacos, or Cilantro Lime Chicken.

About That Honey Chili Butter…

As if the juicy roasted corn wasn’t magic enough, have you tried honey chili butter yet?? It’s perfectly sweet, a little spicy, and creamy like a dream. The heat level of the honey chili butter will depend on how spicy your chili powder is. Some brands, like McCormick, are very mild, while others can carry some substantial heat. Keep your leftover honey chili butter in the fridge, where it should stay good for a few weeks. 

Close up of oven roasted corn with a bowl of honey chili butter

Oven roasted corn on a tray, partially shucked, with a bowl of honey chili butter

Oven Roasted Corn with Honey Chili Butter

Super sweet and juicy oven-roasted corn slathered with sweet and spicy honey chili butter is a true summer treat.
Total Cost $1.75 recipe / $0.44 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 1 ear each
Calories 194kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 4 ears fresh corn $1.20
  • 4 Tbsp butter, room temperature $0.37
  • 1 Tbsp honey $0.12
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder $0.05
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.01

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Prepare the ears of corn by cutting off the very tip of the ear to remove most of the silk, and removing the outer husks (the thicker bright green layers), leaving the inner layers (the thinner lighter green husks).
  • Transfer the prepared ears of corn to the fully preheated oven, placing them directly on the oven rack. Roast for 35 minutes.
  • While the corn is roasting, prepare the honey chili butter. In a small bowl, combine the butter, chili powder, honey, and salt. Whip the mixture with a fork until smooth and evenly combined.
  • After 35 minutes the husks on the corn should be slightly browned and papery in appearance. Carefully remove the corn from the oven using oven mitts or a thick towel. Let them rest for about five minutes, then carefully pull back the husks and remove any remaining silk.
  • Serve hot with the bowl of honey butter for smearing over the kernels just before eating.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 194kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 13g | Sodium: 190mg | Fiber: 2g

 

How to Make Oven Roasted Corn – Step By Step Photos

Four fresh ears of corn, two prepped

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. To prep the ears of corn, cut the very tip off to remove most of the silk, then remove the first couple of layers of husk, leaving a few layers of the thinner husks. Basically, just remove the thicker bright green husks leaving the more tender leaves still attached (prepped ears on the right, unprepped ears on the left). Place the prepped ears of corn in the fully preheated oven, directly on the oven rack. Roast for about 35 minutes.

Butter, chili powder, and honey in a bowl

While the corn is roasting, prepare the honey chili butter. Combine 4 Tbsp room temperature butter with 1 Tbsp honey, ½ tsp chili powder, and ⅛ tsp salt.

Prepared honey chili butter in a bowl with a fork

Use a fork to sort of whip the honey chili butter together until it is evenly mixed. Set the butter aside.

Roasted corn on a tray

After the corn has roasted for 35 minutes, the husks should look slightly browned and more papery. Remove them from the oven (use an oven mitt or thick towel to grab them). I placed them on this tray just to transport them, but they roasted directly on the oven rack with no tray. Let them rest for a few minutes, then carefully peel back the husks. The remaining silk will pull off easily.

Oven roasted corn on a tray, partially shucked, with a bowl of honey chili butter

After removing the husks and silk, smear honey chili butter over the warm ears of corn. Serve immediately!

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Sweet Corn Salsa

Fresh and juicy summer sweet corn makes the best corn salsa for topping tacos, salads, bowl meals, or dipping with your favorite chips.

The post Sweet Corn Salsa appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you’ve never raw fresh sweet corn, let this recipe be a sign that you totally need to try it. Fresh sweet corn is one of the best parts of summer and when it’s raw it is deliciously sweet, crunchy, and *juicy*. And this Fresh Sweet Corn Salsa is the perfect way for you to dip your toes into the waters and experience the awesomeness that is raw sweet corn.

Overhead view of a bowl of sweet corn salsa with lime and salt on the side

What’s in Corn Salsa?

I like to keep things simple in life, so I made my corn salsa super simple, kind of like a pico de gallo with corn. It has fresh sweet corn, tomatoes, red onion, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. That’s it! It hits all my favorite flavor elements: sweet, salty, acidic, and spicy!

Do You Have to Use Fresh Corn?

You don’t have to use fresh corn for this salsa, but it’s definitely going to make the salsa top-notch. If you want to make this salsa in the off-season or just don’t have good fresh corn available, the next best choice would be frozen corn. I don’t suggest canned corn for this recipe because it will definitely throw the flavor off since it is canned in liquid that usually contains both sugar and salt.

If you want to use fresh corn but just don’t want to use raw corn, grilling the corn first will give this salsa a nice smokey flavor. You can also just do your usual boil, steam, or oven roasting.

If you need help knowing how to pick the best fresh corn, check out this short tutorial from Taste of Home about How to Pick the Best Corn.

What Else Can You Add?

If you do want to fancy it up some, here are some other great flavors that would be awesome in corn salsa:

  • Avocado (the fat will balance the heat nicely)
  • Cotija cheese
  • Green onion (a great sub for red onion, if needed)
  • Black beans
  • Red bell pepper

How to Serve Corn Salsa

Corn salsa is that great all-purpose summer condiment or side. You can serve it on things or just as a sort of side salad to your meal. I served mine this week on top of my Fish Tacos, but it would also be great with Beef Taco Skillet, Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas, Easy Cilantro Chicken, Creamy White Bean and Spinach Quesadillas, or Black Bean and Avocado Enchiladas.

Close up shot of fresh corn salsa from the side
overhead view of a bowl full of corn salsa

Sweet Corn Salsa

Fresh and juicy summer sweet corn makes the best corn salsa for topping tacos, salads, bowl meals, or dipping with your favorite chips.
Total Cost $2.65 recipe / $0.44 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 ½ cup each
Calories 83kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 3 ears sweet corn $0.90
  • 2 Roma tomatoes $0.93
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion $0.07
  • 1 jalapeño $0.07
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro $0.17
  • 1 fresh lime (2 Tbsp juice) $0.50
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02

Instructions

  • Remove the husks and silk from the fresh corn. Cut the stem off the bottom to create a flat, stable surface on which to stand the ear of corn. Stand the ear of corn upright, stem side down, and slice downward with a sharp knife to remove the kernels. Place the sliced kernels in a large bowl.
  • Dice the tomatoes. Remove the seeds from the jalapeño, then finely dice. Finely dice the red onion, and roughly chop the cilantro. Add the tomatoes, jalapeño, onion, and cilantro to the bowl with the corn.
  • Juice the lime then drizzle about 2 Tbsp of the juice on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle the salt over top, give everything a good stir, taste, then adjust the lime or salt to your liking. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 83kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 196mg | Fiber: 2g
side view of a bowl full of fresh sweet corn salsa

How to Make Sweet Corn Salsa – Step by Step Photos

corn kernels sliced off an ear of corn in a baking tray

Remove the husk and silk from three ears of fresh sweet corn. Slice the stem off the bottom to create a flat surface on which to stand the ear of corn. Stand the ear up on its end, then use a sharp knife to slice downward to remove the kernels. I like to do this on a rimmed baking sheet to catch the kernels as they fall.

Diced roma tomatoes on a cutting board

Dice three Roma tomatoes. Try to make it a small dice, similar in size to the corn kernels.

Diced jalapeño, red onion, and chopped cilantro

Remove the seeds from one jalapeño, then finely dice. Finely dice about ¼ cup red onion and roughly chop about ¼ cup fresh cilantro.

lime juice being drizzled over the bowl of salsa ingredients

Add the corn, tomatoes, jalapeño, red onion, and cilantro to a bowl. Squeeze the juice from one lime, then add about 2 Tbsp of the juice to the bowl. Sprinkle ½ tsp salt over top.

Stirred fresh corn salsa in the bowl

Stir until everything is combined and coated in juice and salt.

overhead view of a bowl full of corn salsa

Serve immediately or refrigerate for later. If refrigerating, make sure to give it a good stir before serving to redistribute the juices.

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