Carrot Soup

Roasted carrots and brown butter take a humble carrot soup to a new level of yum. PS this recipe got props from Chef Gordon Ramsay. Try it!

The post Carrot Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

When times were tight, I’d go to the dollar store for groceries. On one occasion, I picked up a bag of carrots in the hopes that my two-year-old would want to have them as a healthy snack. By the end of the week, defeated by a toddler, I found myself staring blankly at a wilting bag of carrots I could not afford to waste. And so this roasted carrot soup was born. I use brown butter for nuttiness, cream to add body, and ginger and thyme to elevate the flavors. It’s so good, it got props from Chef Gordon Ramsay when I made it on MasterChef.

Overhead shot of carrot soup in a white Dutch oven with sour cream swirled in it.

Is Roasting Necessary?

Roasting is what makes this soup special. It’s the greatest gift you can give a root veggie with very minimal effort. All you have to do is chop carrots and put them in an oven! As the carrots roast, they develop deeper flavors through caramelization. Don’t worry if a few of them charr, as that browning will add a nice smokiness to the finished product. Roasting also reduces the time you’ll need to keep your carrots simmering on a stove. Make sure to slice carrots evenly, so they cook at the same pace.

Boiling Instead of Simmering

Do your best to keep your soup at a simmer, not a boil. You’re looking for gentle bubbles and steam. Otherwise, you’re evaporating most of your liquid before the carrots are through cooking. Boiling soup also causes nutrient loss and destroys aromas. A gentle simmer > a raging boil. ( If you’re single, you can also apply that equation to your love life. You’re welcome.)

Overhead shot of carrot soup in three white bowls with sour cream swirled in it

Can I freeze carrot soup?

Yes, you can freeze carrot soup. Make sure to freeze it in individual portions, as you should only thaw it once. It should keep for up to three months. After that, you can thaw it in the fridge overnight and reheat it in a pot over low heat, or pop the individual portion into a microwave straight from the freezer—cover to avoid splatter, and cook until it’s steaming.

What can I serve with carrot soup?

This soup is very filling, but it also pairs well with these fantastic recipes:

Overhead shot of carrot soup in a white Dutch Oven with sour cream swirled in it.

Side shot of white bowl with carrot soup in it.

Carrot Soup

This roasted carrot soup transforms the humble carrot into a vibrant meal. It scores major points for being as economical as it is hearty. Keep it vegetarian or add chicken breast for a protein punch.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Total Cost $4.71 recipe / $1.03 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4 2 cups each
Calories 504kcal
Author Monti – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs carrots $1.49
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.12
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.03
  • 4 Tbsp salted butter $0.50
  • 1 yellow onion $0.65
  • 1 tsp thyme $0.10
  • 3 cups water $0.00
  • 3 cups chicken broth $0.36
  • 1 cup heavy cream $1.12
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger $0.21
  • 2 sprigs Italian parsley (optional) $0.05
  • 4 Tbsp sour cream (optional) $0.08

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Clean the carrots and cut them into 1/4 inch rounds. Drizzle with olive oil and salt. Roast the carrots at 400°F for about 35 minutes until they have softened and begun to caramelize.
  • Dice the onions. Add the butter to a large Dutch oven and cook over medium heat until it foams and the milk solids start to brown. Turn off the heat, add the thyme and cook for one minute, to infuse the butter.
  • Turn the heat to medium and cook the onions in the browned butter until the onions are translucent, about two minutes.
  • Add the chicken broth and water and cover. Simmer until carrots are done.
  • When the carrots have begun to caramelize, take them out of the oven.
  • Add the carrots to the chicken broth. Cook uncovered until carrots easily fall apart when pressed by a fork.
  • Add soup to a blender, Take the center cap off of your blender lid and cover with a towel. Blend in two batches and puree.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a few leaves of Italian parsley

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 504kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 43g | Sodium: 1221mg | Fiber: 7g
Overhead shot of three bowls of carrot soup with sour cream swirled in them.

How to Make Carrot Soup – Step by Step Photos

Overhead shot of sliced raw carrots in a sheet pan.

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Peel the 2 pounds of carrots and cut them into 1/4 inch rounds. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Roast the carrots at 400°F for about 35 minutes until they have softened and caramelized.

Overhead shot of butter browning.

While the carrots roast, dice the onion. Add 4 tablespoons of salted butter to a Dutch oven and cook over medium heat until it foams and the milk solids start to brown. Add 1 teaspoon of thyme and let it cook for a minute.

Overhead shot of butter browning.

Add the diced onion to the browned butter and thyme. Cook the onion until they it is translucent, about two minutes.

Overhead shot of chicken stock being poured into soup base.

Add the 3 cups of chicken broth and the 3 cups of water. Scrape up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Cover and simmer with the lid on until the carrots are ready.

Overhead shot of sheet pan with roasted carrots.

Once the carrots have started to caramelize, take them out of the oven.

Overhead shot of carrots cooking in cream mixture.

Add the roasted carrots to the chicken broth mixture. Simmer until they soften so much they fall apart easily when pressed by a fork.

Overhead shot of blended carrot soup.

Before blending the soup, remove the center cap off of your lid and cover the hole with a kitchen towel. Add half of the soup to the blender and puree. Repeat.

Overhead shot of carrot soup in a white bowl with sour cream swirled in it.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. If you’d like to garnish your soup, try it with a dollop of sour cream, some Italian parsley, and black pepper.

Try These Other Great Creamy Soups

The post Carrot Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

You should know by now that I love coffee cakes (I mean, any excuse to eat cake for breakfast, right?) and this blueberry cream cheese variation may just be my favorite one yet! With a moist and tender crumb, fresh summer blueberries, and a ribbon of sweetened cream cheese running through the middle, this bold […]

The post Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

You should know by now that I love coffee cakes (I mean, any excuse to eat cake for breakfast, right?) and this blueberry cream cheese variation may just be my favorite one yet!

With a moist and tender crumb, fresh summer blueberries, and a ribbon of sweetened cream cheese running through the middle, this bold breakfast cake is bound to make your morning better (or your afternoon, for that matter, as it can be enjoyed any time of day!)

Lifting a cut slice of Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake on a wire rack, showing the swirl of cream cheese layered inside.

This pesky recipe. Considering it’s nearly identical to my other coffee cake recipes (which are all based on my grandma’s recipe for sour cream coffee cake), I didn’t anticipate it needing quite so many tests. But that cream cheese swirl just didn’t want to cooperate. First the cream cheese was too liquidy, making it nearly impossible to spread the final layer of thick cake batter on top. Then my blueberry distribution was off, resulting in a base of blue and barely anything in the top half. A few proportion and process changes improved the process greatly.

The cream cheese layer sunk a little bit in the final version, but I’ve decided I’m ok with that because this coffee cake is amazing and I didn’t want you to have to wait any longer for the recipe.

Seriously.

I brought in one of my early tests to ceramics class, and heard from more than one of my classmates that this cake was one of the best things I’ve made. Which is saying a lot, considering they’ve also gotten to taste test my chocolate chai cheesecake bars, black sesame-stuffed matcha cookies, and blackberry lemon bars.

(more…)

Breakfast Nachos

Breakfast nachos are a fun and easy way to change up your breakfast or brunch routine. Plus, the topping options are endless!

The post Breakfast Nachos appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I love doing a big Sunday breakfast or brunch at home. It’s just such a great way to enjoy my day off without spending the money on going out to eat. …And I can do it in the comfort of my pajamas. 😏 But I don’t always have big energy to do a BIG brunch, so these Breakfast Nachos are a fun compromise. They’re definitely a splurge compared to my regular weekday oats, but still super easy. Plus, I can use up whatever ingredients I have left in my fridge as extra toppings! WIN! 🙌

Overhead view of a sheet pan full of breakfast nachos.

What Makes them Breakfast Nachos?

Okay, so these are pretty much just regular nachos but with scrambled eggs on top, but hey, what better excuse to eat nachos for breakfast?? You can make them even more breakfast-y by adding some browned breakfast sausage or crumbled bacon, but I went with a vegetarian nacho this time around.

What Else Can I Add?

I topped my nachos with eggs, cheese, black beans, tomato, onion, jalapeños, and sour cream, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to possible nacho toppings. Scan your fridge to see if you have any of these other ingredients to add to your nachos:

Tips for Making Nachos

Nachos seem like a no-brainer, but I’ve got a couple of quick tips to really help take your nachos to the next level.

  1. Use sturdy chips. Avoid “thin & crispy” tortilla chips and go for the kind that are thick and sturdy because they need to be strong enough to lift all those delicious toppings!
  2. Layer the ingredients! There’s nothing worse than getting a chip with no toppings or a chip so loaded that it breaks under the pressure, so layer your toppings for the best chip-to-topping ratio.
Close up overhead shot of breakfast nachos.
Overhead view of breakfast nachos on the sheet pan.

Breakfast Nachos

Breakfast nachos are fun and easy way to change up your breakfast or brunch routine. Plus, the topping options are endless!
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine American, Southwest
Total Cost $8.04 recipe / $2.01 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 933kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 Roma tomato $0.36
  • 1/4 red onion $0.09
  • 1 jalapeño $0.18
  • 1 15oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained $0.79
  • 4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded $1.25
  • 6 large eggs $1.20
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp pepper $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.22
  • 1 15oz. bag tortilla chips $3.49
  • 1/2 cup sour cream $0.42

Instructions

  • Dice the tomato and red onion. Slice the jalapeño. Rinse and drain the black beans. Shred the cheddar cheese.
  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Whisk together the eggs, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
  • Melt the butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the whisked eggs and gently stir and fold until the eggs are mostly set, but still slightly wet (they'll finish cooking in the oven).
  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Spread half of the tortilla chips over the surface of the baking sheet, then top with half of the eggs, half of the black beans, and half of the shredded cheese.
  • Repeat with a second layer of chips, eggs, beans, and cheese.
  • Bake the nachos in the preheated oven for 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
  • Remove the nachos from the oven and top with the remaining fresh ingredients: tomato, onion, jalapeño, and sour cream. Serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25batch | Calories: 933kcal | Carbohydrates: 93g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 50g | Sodium: 1249mg | Fiber: 13g
Close up of a chip with toppings.

Love nachos? Check out my Spicy Baked Black Bean Nachos!

How to Make Breakfast Nachos – Step by Step Photos

Tomato onion and jalapeño chopped.

Prep the toppings first, so they’re ready to go when you need them. Dice one Roma tomato, slice one jalapeño, and dice ¼ of a red onion. Rinse and drain well one 15oz. can of black beans. Shred 4oz. of cheddar cheese.

Whisked eggs in a bowl.

Begin preheating the oven to 350ºF. Whisk six large eggs in a bowl with ¼ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper.

Lightly scrambled eggs.

Heat 2 Tbsp butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium. Once the skillet is hot and the butter is melted, swirl to coat the surface. Add the whisked eggs to a skillet and let them cook, gently folding and stirring, until they are mostly set, but still slightly wet. Do not cook the eggs fully here because they will cook more when the nachos are in the oven.

tortilla chips on a lined baking sheet.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Add ½ of a 15oz. bag of tortilla chips to the baking sheet. The chips do not need to completely cover the surface of the baking sheet.

Eggs, beans, and cheese layered on top of chips.

Add half of the scrambled eggs, half of the drained black beans, and half of the shredded cheddar.

Second layer of chips, eggs, beans, and cheese.

Add a second layer of chips, eggs, beans, and cheese.

Baked nachos on the sheet pan.

Bake the nachos in the fully pre-heated 350ºF oven for 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Finished breakfast nachos with fresh toppings added.

Quickly add your fresh and cold toppings like the tomato, onion, jalapeño, and sour cream (about 1/2 cup total). Serve hot!

Overhead view of breakfast nachos on the sheet pan.

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Creamy Cucumber Salad

This simple Creamy Cucumber Salad is the quintessential side dish of summer. It’s light, fresh, and so quick to prepare!

The post Creamy Cucumber Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I don’t know if there’s any salad that says “Summer” more than a simple creamy cucumber salad. This salad is so light and fresh, and it only takes minutes to make, so it’s the perfect side dish for all of your summer meals.

Close up front view of a shallow bowl full of creamy cucumber salad.

What’s in Creamy Cucumber Salad?

This classic summer salad is made with cucumbers, onions, and a simple creamy dressing. The dressing can vary from recipe to recipe, but it’s usually either a sour cream or yogurt base with some sort of acid (lemon juice or vinegar), a little sugar, and dill. It’s simple, fresh, and delicious!

Can I Use Fresh Dill?

Creamy Cucumber Salad is often made with fresh dill, but since fresh dill can sometimes be hard to find or more expensive, I made the version below with dried dill. You can certainly use fresh dill if you have access to it. I’d use about 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill in place of the dried dill listed below.

To Peel or Not to Peel the Cucumbers

It’s totally up to you whether or not you want to peel the cucumbers. I love the contrast of color the peel provides, but some people experience digestive upset with cucumber peels, so peel them if you prefer. You can also scrape out the seeds if those bother you as well.

How Are the Leftovers?

This salad is best when freshly made because the salt in the dressing will draw the moisture out of the cucumbers and cause the salad to get watery if refrigerated for a day or more. Luckily, this salad is really easy to scale down, or, if you know you plan to eat the leftovers for a few days, you can salt the cucumbers ahead of time to draw out the excess water. But salting the cucumbers will make them softer, which is why it’s not my personally preferred method.

To pre-salt the cucumbers, place the sliced cucumbers in a large colander and toss with ½ tsp salt. Let the cucumbers drain for about ½ hour, then pat dry with a paper towel. Since the cucumbers will already have some salt on them, skip adding salt to the sour cream dressing and just add salt to taste once the salad is assembled.

Close up overhead view of a plate full of creamy cucumber salad.
Close up overhead view of a plate full of creamy cucumber salad.

Creamy Cucumber Salad

This simple Creamy Cucumber Salad is the quintessential side dish of summer. It's light, fresh, and so quick to prepare!
Course Dinner, Lunch, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Total Cost $2.31 recipe / $0.58 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 1 cup each
Calories 74kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sour cream $0.55
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice $0.08
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill $0.05
  • 1 tsp sugar $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1 large cucumber $1.49
  • 1/4 red onion $0.10

Instructions

  • To make the dressing, combine the sour cream, lemon juice, sugar, dill, and salt in a bowl. Set the dressing aside.
  • Peel the cucumbers, if desired. Slice the cucumbers and thinly slice the red onions.
  • Combine the cucumber, red onion, and dressing in a large bowl and stir to combine.
  • Let the salad sit for 5-10 minutes, give it another stir, then serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 74kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Sodium: 302mg | Fiber: 1g
Close up side view of creamy cucumber salad in a bowl.

How to Make Creamy Cucumber Salad – Step by Step Photos

Sour cream and dill dressing in a bowl with a red spatula.

Make the dressing first. Stir together ½ cup sour cream, ½ tsp dried dill, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp sugar, and ½ tsp salt.

Sliced cucumber and red onion on a cutting board.

Peel the cucumbers, if desired. Slice one large cucumber and thinly slice ¼ of a red onion.

Combine cucumber, onion, and dressing.

Add the cucumber, onion, and dressing to a large bowl.

Finished cucumber salad in a bowl with a spatula.

Stir to combine. I like to let the salad sit for about 5-10 minutes before serving just to let the flavors combine a bit. Give it a good stir again before serving.

side view of a plate of creamy cucumber salad.

Enjoy this super fresh summer salad immediately!

Try These Other Cucumber Salads:

The post Creamy Cucumber Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Cheese Enchiladas

Cheese enchiladas are a simple and delicious comfort food that never disappoints. These enchiladas are extra creamy and full of flavor!

The post Cheese Enchiladas appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Cheese enchiladas are such a simple comfort food. They’re warm, creamy, cheesy, and just all-around amazing. Plus, the combination of tortillas and cheese is just something I never get tired of. 😏 To ramp up the flavor in these simple cheese enchiladas I added some mild green chiles, a few spices, and a little sour cream for extra creaminess, then I drenched them in my homemade enchilada sauce. The result was seriously delicious for something so simple.

overhead view of a casserole dish full of cheese enchiladas with a spatula.

What Kind of Cheese to Use

This recipe is super flexible, so it’s a great way to use up any odds and ends of cheese that you may have in your fridge. You’ll need about 12oz. (one and half 8oz. blocks) of cheese for this recipe and you can mix and match cheese types. So today, I used a whole block of cheddar and a leftover half-block of pepper jack that I had in my fridge. Here are some other types of cheese you could use:

  • Queso Blanco
  • Monterey Jack
  • Queso Asadero
  • Queso Fresca (use in smaller amounts in combination with a creamy-melty cheese)
  • Chihuahua Cheese
  • Colby Jack

Enchilada Sauce Options

I used my homemade red enchilada sauce recipe because it’s fast and easy, and it has a really great flavor, but you could certainly used canned if you need something extra convenient. Or, if you want to try something more authentic, try this recipe for Authentic Enchilada Sauce from Isabel Eats.

Are Cheese Enchiladas Spicy?

These cheese enchiladas can be spicy, depending on the ingredients used. If you need to make sure your enchiladas are mild, pay attention to the canned green chiles and enchilada sauce. Canned green chiles can be either spicy or mild (usually indicated on the label) and the same is true for enchilada sauce. Check the label on the can or the ingredients used in the recipe, if you’re making homemade (cayenne pepper is spicy and chili powder can be either spicy or mild).

What Else Can I Add?

Cheese enchiladas are such a simple vegetarian meal, but they can also be a blank template for other ingredients to be added (vegetarian or not). Here are some other ingredients that you can toss into the filling, if you want to try something new:

  • Beans
  • Chopped spinach
  • Chopped cooked chicken
  • Chorizo
  • Ground beef
  • Sautéed zucchini
  • Bell pepper
  • Sweet corn
  • Avocado
  • Scrambled eggs

What to Serve with Cheese Enchiladas

I topped my enchiladas with a little more sour cream, guacamole, and green onion for extra color on the plate, but those are totally optional. Since an all-cheese enchilada can be a little on the heavy side, I would definitely add some fiber-filled side dishes, like Quick Seasoned Black Beans, Cucumber and Black Bean Salad, or Cowboy Caviar. A little zesty Cilantro Lime Rice on the side would also lighten up the flavors a bit!

Close up view of a casserole dish full of cheese enchiladas.
Close up of enchiladas being scooped out of the casserole dish

Cheese Enchiladas

Cheese enchiladas are a simple and delicious comfort food that never disappoints. These enchiladas are extra creamy and full of flavor! 
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican, Southwest, texmex
Total Cost $5.97 recipe / $1.49 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 3 enchiladas each
Calories 589kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 12 small corn tortillas $0.80
  • 12 oz. cheese, shredded $3.44
  • 1 4oz. can diced green chiles (drained) $0.89
  • 1/4 cup sour cream $0.19
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1.5 cups enchilada sauce $0.60

Instructions

  • Toast the tortillas in a hot skillet, one at a time for a few seconds on each side, or just until lightly browned.
  • Add ¾ of the shredded cheese to a bowl (saving the remainder to top the enchiladas). Also add the drained green chiles, sour cream, garlic powder, cumin, and salt. Stir the ingredients to combine.
  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Add about ½ cup of enchilada sauce to the bottom of a large casserole dish and spread it around until it covers the surface.
  • Fill each tortilla with about 3 Tbsp of the cheese filling, then roll to close, and place them in the casserole dish. Continue until all of the tortillas have been filled, rolled, and placed in the dish.
  • Pour the remaining 1 cup of enchilada sauce over the enchiladas, then top with the remaining shredded cheese.
  • Bake the enchiladas for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or just until they are heated through and melty. Do not overbake the enchiladas, as this can cause the filling to separate and curdle. Serve hot with your favorite toppings* and sides!

Notes

*Optional toppings: green onion, sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo.

Nutrition

Serving: 3enchiladas | Calories: 589kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 34g | Sodium: 1562mg | Fiber: 7g
Side view of cheese enchiladas in the dish with a spatula scooping.

How to Make Cheese Enchiladas – Step by Step Photos

Corn tortillas being toasted in a skillet.

I highly suggest toasting your corn tortillas before you begin. This takes the flavor of the corn tortilla from bland and raw to deliciously toasty with a more pronounced corn flavor. I just do this in a hot, dry skillet. Once the skillet is nice and hot, it only takes about 15-30 seconds per side to get just a little color on the tortilla.

Cheese filling ingredients in a bowl.

Shred 12oz. cheese and then set aside about ¼ of it to use as a topping for the enchiladas. Combine the rest of the cheese in a bowl with ¼ cup sour cream, one 4oz. can of diced green chiles (drained), ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp cumin, and ⅛ tsp salt.

Cheese filling stirred together in the bowl.

Stir the filling ingredients together until well combined.

Enchilada sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Add ½ cup enchilada sauce to the bottom of a casserole dish and spread it around to cover the surface.

tortillas being rolled and filled.

Add about 3 Tbsp of the cheese filling to the center of each tortilla, then roll it closed and place it in the casserole dish. Continue until all of the tortillas are filled, rolled, and in the casserole dish.

Enchilada sauce being poured over enchiladas in the casserole dish.

Pour another one cup of enchilada sauce over the enchiladas. I like to leave some of the tortillas exposed to get extra toasty, but you can cover them completely, if you prefer.

Enchiladas topped with the remaining shredded cheese.

Add the remaining shredded cheese on top of the enchiladas.

Baked enchiladas in the casserole dish.

Bake the enchiladas for 20 minutes, or just until heated through. Make sure not to overbake the enchiladas, as this can cause the filling to curdle.

finished cheese enchiladas in the casserole dish, topped with sour cream and guacamole.

Serve hot with your favorite toppings and side dishes (I topped them with green onion, sour cream, and guacamole)!

Love Enchiladas? Try These Other Recipes:

The post Cheese Enchiladas appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Twice Baked Potatoes

Potatoes are always a home run at our house. Potato soup, potato wedges, mashed potatoes, the list goes on! Anytime potatoes are on the menu, in any form, I can guarantee the boys will be excited. Twice Baked Potatoes are probably their favorite potato…

Potatoes are always a home run at our house. Potato soup, potato wedges, mashed potatoes, the list goes on! Anytime potatoes are on the menu, in any form, I can guarantee the boys will be excited. Twice Baked Potatoes are probably their favorite potatoes and I am not surprised because they are basically the ultimate…

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

These easy Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas are a simple hands-off way to get that smoky-sweet flavor of traditional griddle fajitas.

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

These Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas have been a Budget Bytes staple recipe since I first posted them eight years ago! I love fajitas, but they require a super hot griddle to get that nice smoky flavor, which also means a lot of smoky smell in my house and standing over a super hot stove. Not my favorite way to spend my evening. So I make baked fajitas instead. Is it exactly the same? No, BUT it’s almost completely hands-off (yay) and you get some nice caramelization on the edges of the peppers and onions, which gives you a similar char effect. I’ll save the real deal fajitas for when I’m at a restaurant and not doing the cooking. 😄 

Originally posted 2-18-13, updated 3-12-21

A sheet pan full of fajita chicken, onions, and peppers

What Kind of Sheet Pan to Use

You definitely want the largest sheet pan (or baking dish) you can find for this recipe. It’s imperative that the chicken and vegetables are not too crowded on the baking sheet otherwise the steam will get trapped as they bake and you won’t get that nice caramelization that only happens in a dry heat environment. I’m using a 13×16 inch baking sheet here and in the original version of this recipe I used a 13×15 inch glass baking dish.

Make it Fit Your Budget

Red, yellow, and orange bell peppers are usually significantly more expensive than green bell peppers, but you can use any mix that fits your budget. Despite using a couple of more expensive colored peppers, I used more vegetables than meat to keep costs low. The meat to veggie ratio ended up being perfect once everything had been cooked down. If you want to make these Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas vegetarian, try this Chipotle Portobello Oven Fajita recipe.

Make Your Own Fajita Seasoning or Buy Pre-Made

The ingredient list below might look long, but most of that is the fajita seasoning mix. So if you’re looking for a short cut or your kitchen spice cabinet is not well-stocked, you can simply use a packet of store-bought fajita seasoning.

Toppings for Chicken Fajitas

I like to keep my chicken fajitas really simple with just a squeeze of lime, maybe some fresh cilantro, and a small dollop of sour cream, but there are so many other things you could use to top your chicken fajitas. Try these toppings

What to Serve with Oven Baked Fajitas

Need a side dish to go with your Oven Fajitas? Try one of these awesome sides: Warm Corn and Avocado Salad, (not) Refried Beans, Pico de Gallo, Cilantro Lime Rice.

Prepared chicken fajitas on a plate with sour cream and cilantro

Sheet pan full of chicken fajitas with rice and tortillas on the side

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

These easy Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas are a simple hands-off way to get that smoky-sweet flavor of traditional griddle fajitas.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Southwest
Total Cost $13.90 recipe / $3.48 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 (2 fajitas each)
Calories 576.93kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

FAJITA SEASONING

  • 1 Tbsp chili powder $0.30
  • 1/2 Tbsp paprika $0.15
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp cumin $0.03
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 1 tsp sugar $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02

FAJITAS

  • 2 small yellow onions (or one large) $0.57
  • 3 bell peppers, any color $3.69
  • 1 lb. chicken breast $6.24
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08
  • 1 lime $0.30
  • 8 6-inch tortillas $1.28
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (optional) $0.90
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro (optional) $0.22

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Mix all of the spices for the fajita seasoning in a small bowl and set aside (chili powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, sugar, and salt).
  • Cut the onion and bell peppers into 1/4-inch wide strips. Slice the chicken breast into thin strips. Add the chicken and vegetables to a large baking sheet or casserole dish.
  • Drizzle the cooking oil over the chicken and vegetables, then sprinkle the fajita seasoning mix over top. Use your hands to toss the ingredients until everything is well coated in oil and seasoning. Spread the chicken and vegetables out over the baking sheet evenly.
  • Bake the chicken and vegetables in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Squeeze the juice from half of the lime over top of the meat and vegetables after they come out of the oven.
  • To serve, scoop a small amount of meat and vegetables into the center of each tortilla. Top with a few sprigs of cilantro, a dollop of sour cream, and an extra squeeze of lime if desired.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 576.93kcal | Carbohydrates: 47.98g | Protein: 31.6g | Fat: 28.8g | Sodium: 927.43mg | Fiber: 6.63g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Close up of baked chicken fajita meat and vegetables with wedges of lime.

How to Make Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas – Step By Step Photos:

Spices for fajita seasoning in a bowl

Begin by preheating the oven to 400ºF. In a small bowl, stir together 1 Tbsp chili powder (this is a mild blend, not hot red chiles), 1/2 Tbsp paprika, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/8 tsp cayenne, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp sugar. The sugar helps the vegetables caramelize and gives the dish a very subtle sweetness.

Vegetables for chicken fajitas on a cutting board.

Slice three bell peppers and two small onions (or one large onion) into thin, 1/4-inch wide strips. Red, yellow, and orange bell peppers are usually more expensive than green, so use a mix of peppers that fits your budget. 

Sliced onions, peppers, and chicken on a baking sheet

Slice 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast into thin strips as well. Place the sliced bell peppers, onion, and chicken on a large sheet pan (13×16-inch). You want to avoid piling the ingredients in so deep that they begin to stew in their juices in the oven, instead of browning, so you’ll need the largest dish available. You can also use an extra large casserole dish, if you don’t have a large sheet pan.

fajita spices being sprinkled over the chicken and vegetables

Drizzle 2 Tbsp cooking oil over the meat and vegetables, followed by the fajita spice mix, then toss the ingredients until everything is well coated in oil and spices.

Seasoned chicken and vegetables ready to go into the oven

Now that everything is coated in oil and spices, it’s ready to go into the oven. 

Baked chicken fajitas on the sheet pan.

Roast the chicken and vegetables for 35-40 minutes at 400ºF, stirring once halfway through, or until the fajita veggies have softened slightly and are a bit brown on the edges.

lime juice being squeezed over the chicken and vegetables

Squeeze the fresh lime juice over the chicken and fajita veggies.

Sheet pan full of chicken fajitas with rice and tortillas on the side

Serve hot with tortillas, extra lime wedges, sour cream, cilantro, or whatever other fajita toppings you like! 

Two fajitas on a wooden plate with toppings on the sides

Easy Oven Fajitas practically cook themselves with no need to slave over a hot griddle. BudgetBytes.com

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

Banana Bundt Cake

What do you do when you have a bunch of brown bananas? I usually make banana bread or my breakfast cookies, but I also love making this simple Banana Bundt Cake. Bundt cakes are my favorite kind of cakes to make because they are easy to make, you don&#…

What do you do when you have a bunch of brown bananas? I usually make banana bread or my breakfast cookies, but I also love making this simple Banana Bundt Cake. Bundt cakes are my favorite kind of cakes to make because they are easy to make, you don’t need any decorating skills, and they…

Loaded Potato Soup

Loaded Potato Soup is like your favorite baked potato with all the fixins, like bacon, sour cream, green onion, and cheese, but in a bowl!

The post Loaded Potato Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Loaded baked potatoes are amazing, but you can’t cozy up and warm your hands on it like you can with a big bowl of soup! So let’s turn that baked potato into a thick and creamy, warm and cozy, delicious and filling bowl of Loaded Potato Soup to get us through the last couple months of winter. This soup has all the usual fixins like bacon, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and green onion all piled into a thick and velvety potato soup base. Soooo cozy!

a bowl of loaded potato soup topped with bacon, cheese, and green onion.

What Kind of Potatoes are Best for Potato Soup?

I chose to use russet potatoes for my potato soup for a few reasons. They mash easily and are a bit starchier than other potato varieties, which helps make a nice thick soup. Youkon Gold, which are slightly starchy and slightly waxy and hold their shape better, so they are a good option if you like your soup to be more on the chunky-soupy side rather than thick and velvety.

Looking for a Sweet Potato Soup? Check out my Creamy Sweet Potato Soup.

It’s All About the Bacon

Using a little bit of bacon in this recipe goes a long way toward adding richness and smoky flavor to every bowl. I used only a ¼ pound of bacon to add flavor while keeping the recipe budget-friendly, but you can certainly use ½ pound or even a whole pound if you’re a bacon lover!

What Else Can I Add to Potato Soup?

I love recipes that allow for fun add-ins or toppings, and this loaded potato soup is definitely one of them! Here are a few other ingredients that you can add, if you have them on hand:

A ladle of potato soup being lifted from the pot.
overhead view of a bowl of loaded potato soup with toppings.

Loaded Potato Soup

Loaded Potato Soup is like your favorite baked potato with all the fixins, like bacon, sour cream, green onion, and cheese, but in a bowl!
Course Dinner, Lunch, Soup
Cuisine American
Total Cost $6.16 recipe / $1.02 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6 1.5 cups each
Calories 538kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. bacon $1.37
  • 1 yellow onion, diced $0.32
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced $0.32
  • 3 Tbsp butter $0.33
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour $0.03
  • 2 cups chicken broth $0.26
  • 2 cups whole milk $0.40
  • 2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled & diced $1.20
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste) $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1/2 cup sour cream $0.37
  • 4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded $1.15
  • 3 green onions, sliced $0.30

Instructions

  • Add the bacon to a large soup pot and cook over medium heat until brown and crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a clean bowl or plate, leaving the bacon grease in the pot.
  • While the bacon is cooking, dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the onion and garlic to the pot after the bacon has been removed and cook over medium heat in the bacon grease until the onions are soft and translucent.
  • Add the butter and flour to the pot and continue to stir and cook over medium heat for about two minutes to form a roux.
  • Add the chicken broth and milk to the pot and whisk to dissolve all of the flour and butter.
  • Add the diced potatoes to the pot, cover, and turn the heat up to medium-high to bring the broth up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the potatoes simmer for 15 minutes, or until they are very tender (easily pierced with a fork).
  • Use a potato masher or immersion blender to mash the potatoes until the soup is to your desired thickness.
  • Season the soup with smoked paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Once seasoned, stir in the sour cream.
  • Serve the soup hot and top each bowl with the crumbled bacon, sliced green onions, and cheddar cheese.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 538kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 38g | Sodium: 736mg | Fiber: 3g
A spoon stirring a bowl of loaded potato soup.

How to Make Potato Soup – Step by Step Photos

browned bacon in the bottom of a soup pot

This recipe starts with BACON! Cook ¼ lb. of bacon in a soup pot over medium heat until brown and crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a clean bowl or plate and leave the bacon grease in the pot.

Diced onion and minced garlic added to the pot with bacon grease.

While the bacon is cooking, dice one yellow onion and mince four cloves of garlic. Add them to the pot after removing the bacon and continue to sauté over medium heat in the bacon grease until the onions are soft and translucent.

Flour and butter added to the soup pot.

Next, add 3 Tbsp butter and 3 Tbsp flour to the onions and garlic. Continue to cook and stir over medium heat for about two minutes. The butter and flour will form a roux that helps thicken the soup.

Diced Potatoes on a cutting board

While the onions are sautéing, peel and dice 2 lbs. russet potatoes into ½-inch cubes. The smaller the cubes, the faster they’ll cook.

broth in the soup pot, milk being poured in.

Add 2 cups chicken broth and 2 cups whole milk to the pot. Whisk to dissolve all the flour and butter, then add the diced potatoes.

Simmered potato soup in the pot.

Simmer the potatoes in the soup for about 15 minutes, or until they are VERY soft. The total time needed will depend on the size of your potato cubes, but you need to let them simmer until they’re easily pierced with a fork so that they’ll be easily washable.

Potato masher in the pot of soup.

Use a potato masher or immersion blender to partially mash the potatoes or until the soup is to your desired thickness (some like it chunky, some like it smooth!).

Seasonings added to the soup.

Then it’s time to add some more seasoning. I added ½ tsp smoked paprika, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper.

sour cream added to the soup.

And lastly, to make the soup extra creamy and extra baked-potato-like, stir in ½ cup sour cream.

A pot of potato soup with toppings added.

Slice three green onions and shred about 4oz. of cheddar cheese. Add the green onion, cheese, and crispy bacon to each bowl (or to the pot if you want to make a nice presentation for the dinner table).

close up of a ladle full of loaded potato soup.

Delish!

The post Loaded Potato Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Hungarian Stuffed Kohlrabi (Töltött Karalábé)

The perfect way to use tender spring kohlrabi, this traditional Hungarian dish features bulbs of kohlrabi stuffed with a flavorful pork and rice filling, and served alongside a kohlrabi soup made with the leftover scraps and greens. Kohlrabi may look like an alien creature, but if you’ve never had it before, you’re in for a […]

The post Hungarian Stuffed Kohlrabi (Töltött Karalábé) first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

The perfect way to use tender spring kohlrabi, this traditional Hungarian dish features bulbs of kohlrabi stuffed with a flavorful pork and rice filling, and served alongside a kohlrabi soup made with the leftover scraps and greens.

Kohlrabi may look like an alien creature, but if you’ve never had it before, you’re in for a treat! It has a taste and texture similar to broccoli stems, but sweeter and not quite as odorous.

Dark gray bowls with Hungarian Stuffed Kohlrabi (one bigger and one smaller bulb) surrounded by a green kohlrabi green puree

This is our second year as Caney Fork Farms CSA members, which, unlike other CSAs we’ve been a part of over the years, offers a year round produce box. The fact that we can still get fresh produce in the dead of winter still astonishes this raised-in-Colorado girl.

Last winter, one of the most exciting items in our box was an alien-looking brassica called Kohlrabi. It was something I had never eaten, let alone cooked, and I really had no clue what to do with it. So, hoping for both inspiration and education, I asked my followers on Instagram for recipe ideas. And boy did you deliver!

Many suggested soup, also popular were slaws or salads (the crunchy bulb being not unlike the thick stalks of broccoli in terms of texture and flavor, so this makes sense.)

But one recipe stood out. Piszke, a generous follower from Hungary, sent over a recipe for a traditional Hungarian stuffed kohlrabi with a ground pork and rice filling, then served over a kohlrabi green and sour cream puree.

Single bulb of fresh kohlrabi, on a white marble background and harsh light and shadows

Stuffed kohlrabi is a very traditional Hungarian dish, but there’s no one single way to make it. Much like Italians and their marinara, every family will have their own different version of it, with different meats (some feature beef instead of pork, or a mix of the two) as well as many different stuffings, seasonings, and accompaniments.

But this one is particularly unique in that it uses the entire vegetable, greens and all. It makes its own side dish, essentially, by pureeing the greens and leftover pulp from the hollowed-out bulbs into a gorgeously green, flavorful soup. Brilliant, right? That’d be like a cake recipe that made its own frosting or something.

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