Dollar Store Dinners – Pea Soup

This pea soup with seasoned flatbread is a simple and comforting meal that you can make using ingredients from the dollar store.

The post Dollar Store Dinners – Pea Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

This super simple and cozy pea soup with seasoned flatbread is a simple meal that you can make with minimal ingredients when your budget is tight. We used canned peas to keep the recipe quick and an all-purpose steak seasoning blend to add lots of flavor without needing to buy several herbs and spices. And, as always, I’ve got some variations and ideas for extra add-ins below if you have more ingredients and want to take it to the next level!

Dollar Store Dinners

Welcome to the new Dollar Store Dinners series on Budget Bytes. We’re making quick and simple meals using only ingredients found at the dollar store. While the availability of ingredients will vary from store to store, hopefully, these easy recipes will give you some inspiration for when money is tight and access to groceries is limited!

Overhead view of a bowl of split pea soup with flatbread and a spoon dipping into the center.

What’s In This Meal?

I based this pea soup on our favorite Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup which is made by combining blended canned beans with broth and herbs to make an incredibly simple yet delicious soup. This time around, we started off by browning some bacon for extra flavor, then puréed peas and chicken broth, and seasoned it up with a bold steak seasoning (garlic, onion, pepper, parika, and other spices).

We then used the extra bacon fat to brush our flatbread (aka pizza crust), then topped it with a little more steak seasoning and baked it until crispy. The delicious “flatbread” was perfect for dipping into the cozy soup!

Here’s what we bought:

  • 3 cans of peas ($1.25 each) $3.75
  • 1 quart chicken broth $1.25
  • 3 oz. bacon $1.25
  • 1 ultra-thin pizza crust $1.25
  • 1 container steakhouse seasoning $1.25

Total: $8.75

dollar store grocery haul.

Can I use Frozen Peas?

If you have access to frozen peas, definitely use those in place of canned peas. You’ll need about 4-5 cups of thawed peas to replace the three cans. Frozen peas will have a fresher, sweeter flavor and a brighter color than canned peas.

No Dollar Store, No problem

If you don’t have a dollar store in your area, don’t fret. This will still be an incredibly budget-friendly recipe, even when the ingredients are purchased at a traditional grocery store. In fact, in some cases, the prices will be even better at a traditional grocery store than at a dollar store. Canned peas, for instance, are usually around $0.80-$0.90 at our local grocery, but are $1.25 at the dollar store. Why is this? Dollar stores do not specialize in food, so their prices can sometimes be a bit higher.

What Else Can I Add?

If you have access to more ingredients, here are a few things that can take this pea soup to the next level:

  • Onion, garlic, carrot, and celery: dice each and sauté in the bacon fat after removing the cooked bacon from the pot.
  • Ham: make it extra hearty by adding some diced ham to your soup.
  • Extra herbs: if you have a stocked spice cabinet, try adding some oregano and thyme to your soup, or extra black pepper.
  • Potato: add a diced potato and simmer until the potatoes are soft to make this soup extra filling.
  • Add shredded cheese to your flatbread before baking for an extra delicious cheesy flatbread.
A spoon dipping into a bowl of pea soup with flatbread on the side.
Print

Pea Soup with Seasoned Flatbread

This pea soup with seasoned flatbread is a simple and comforting meal that you can make using ingredients from the dollar store.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Total Cost $8.75 recipe / $2.19 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 1.25 cups each
Calories 342kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 15oz. cans peas $3.75
  • 3 cups chicken broth $1.25
  • 3 oz. bacon $1.25
  • 1 thin pizza crust $1.25
  • 1.75 tsp steak seasoning, divided $1.25

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF Drain the canned peas and add them to a blender with 2 cups of chicken broth. Purée until smooth. Add more chicken broth until the peas reach a thick soup consistency, or your desired consistency. We used 3 cups of broth total.
  • Cut the bacon into smaller pieces, then add them to a soup pot. Cook over medium heat until the bacon is brown and crispy. Remove the bacon from the pot.
  • Brush some of the bacon fat from the pot over the surface of the pizza crust. Season the pizza crust with an additional ¼ tsp steak seasoning.
  • Pour the puréed peas into the soup pot. Heat and stir over medium, using a wooden spoon or whisk to help dissolve the browned bits off the bottom of the pot.
  • Season the soup with steak seasoning, starting with 1 tsp and adding more to your liking. Make sure to taste as you go because steak seasoning often contains salt and you want to avoid over-salting the soup.
  • While the soup is heating, bake the pizza crust for about 5 minutes or until browned and crispy. Tear or cut the bread into pieces for serving.
  • Serve the soup in a bowl, topped with the browned bacon, and a couple pieces of the flatbread for dipping.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*I included the full purchase price for all ingredients rather than just the portion used. You will have leftover chicken broth and steak seasoning to use in other recipes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 342kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 11g | Sodium: 1492mg | Fiber: 11g

How to Make Pea Soup – Step by Step Photos

Puréed peas and broth in a blender.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Drain three 15oz. cans of peas, then add them to a blender along with 2 cups of chicken broth. Purée until smooth. Add more broth until the peas reach a thick soup consistency. We used 3 cups of chicken broth in total.

Browned bacon in a soup pot.

Cut 3 oz. bacon into smaller pieces, then add to a soup pot. Cook over medium heat until the bacon is brown and crispy. Remove the bacon from the pot.

Bacon fat being brushed over the pizza crust.

Brush the extra bacon fat from the pot over the surface of one thin pizza crust. Sprinkle about ¼ tsp steak seasoning over the flatbread.

Pea soup being poured from the blender into the pot.

Pour the puréed peas and chicken broth into the pot. Stir and heat over medium, using a wooden spoon or whisk to help dissolve the browned bits of bacon off the bottom of the pot.

Steak seasoning being added to the soup.

Add a teaspoon of steak seasoning to the soup. Stir to combine and heat through. Taste the soup and add more seasoning if desired. We used 1.5 teaspoons in total. Make sure to taste as you add the seasoning, as it does contain salt and you don’t want to over-salt the soup.

Baked flatbread torn into pieces.

While the soup is heating, transfer the seasoned flatbread to the oven and bake for about 5 minutes or until golden and crispy. Tear or cut the flatbread into pieces for serving.

finished soup being stirred.

Once the soup is hot and seasoned to your liking, it’s ready to serve!

Served split pea soup with flatbread and topped with bacon.

Serve the soup in a bowl, top with the crumbled bacon, and the seasoned flatbread on the side.

The post Dollar Store Dinners – Pea Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sautéed Beef Cabbage and Rice

Sautéed Beef, Cabbage, and Rice is a simple yet delicious comfort food that will keep you full without draining your wallet.

The post Sautéed Beef Cabbage and Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

You know how sometimes food that is super simple is the most satisfying? Like buttered pasta, rice with soy sauce, or boiled cabbage with butter? There’s nothing to them, but somehow they’re just so comforting and good. I decided to combine a few of these simple comfort foods to create this Sautéed Beef, Cabbage, and Rice. It’s super cheap, cozy, and satisfying without a lot of effort. And that’s exactly what I need to combat these inflation blues!

Overhead view of a skillet full of sautéed beef cabbage and rice with a wooden spoon.

Seasoning Options

I used steak seasoning, one of my favorite go-to seasoning blends, to season this dish, but you could go so many different ways! Steak seasoning is basically a coarse mixture of salt, pepper, onion, garlic, red pepper, and paprika (and sometimes a couple of other things, depending on the brand or recipe). I think this dish would also be really great with other seasonings blends as well, like curry powder, Cajun seasoning, or even just some salsa stirred into the skillet! I encourage you to add your favorite seasoning blends to see how you can make this recipe your own.

Meat Options

I used a half-pound of ground beef for this recipe to keep it budget-friendly, but you could use more meat if it fits your budget. You can also swap out the ground beef for any other ground meat, like pork, turkey, or even ground sausage (even more flavor).

For Best Results, Use Day Old Rice

As with fried rice recipes, day old rice, or rice that has been cooked and fully cooled works best for this recipe. Fully cooked and cooled rice will be less sticky and you’ll be able to incorporate it into the skillet without it becoming mushy. Bonus, when you cool cooked rice the starches transform into resistant starches, which are great for your gut bacteria!

What Else Can I Add?

This recipe is just asking for customization, so make sure to browse your pantry and refrigerator for other ingredients that you might want to toss in there. Shredded carrot would be awesome, as would some diced bell pepper. You can add garlic (when can you *not* add garlic?), bacon, diced tomatoes, or even a sprinkle of cheese on top.

How to Serve Sautéed Beef, Cabbage, and Rice

This recipe is meant to be a super simple all-in-one bowl meal. It’s got meat, grains, and vegetables all in one serving. If I did decide to serve something on the side, I’d probably go for something in the red/orange color spectrum for some balance. Maybe some roasted carrots, roasted squash, or maybe even a cup of tomato soup on the side.

Overhead view of a bowl full of sautéed beef, cabbage, and rice.
Overhead view of the finished sautéed beef, cabbage, and rice in the skillet.

Sautéed Beef, Cabbage, and Rice

Sautéed Beef, Cabbage, and Rice is a simple yet delicious comfort food that will keep you full without draining your wallet.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $5.90 recipe / $1.48 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Calories 372kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 1/2 head green cabbage (5 cups chopped) $1.08
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef $3.50
  • 1 Tbsp steak seasoning $0.30
  • 1/4 cup water $0.00
  • 2 cups cooked rice* $0.41
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.41
  • 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce $0.03

Instructions

  • Dice the onion and chop the cabbage into ½-inch pieces.
  • Add the onion and cooking oil to a large skillet and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft.
  • Add the ground beef and steak seasoning to the skillet and continue to sauté until the beef is fully cooked. If using a higher fat content beef, drain the excess fat from the skillet.
  • Add the chopped cabbage and water to the skillet. Continue to sauté until the cabbage has softened to your desired level of tenderness.
  • Add the cooked rice and butter to the skillet. Fold the rice and butter into the beef and cabbage until the butter has melted, everything is evenly combined, and the rice is heated through.
  • Finally, season the skillet with soy sauce to taste. Start with 1 tsp and add more to your liking (I added ½ Tbsp, or 1.5 tsp). Serve hot and enjoy!

Notes

*This recipe works best with day-old rice or rice that has been cooked and fully cooled.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 372kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 21g | Sodium: 232mg | Fiber: 4g
Side view of sautéed Beef, Cabbage, and Rice in the skillet.

How to Make Sautéed Beef, Cabbage, and Rice – Step by Step Photos

Diced onion on a cutting board.

Dice one yellow onion.

Chopped cabbage on a cutting board.

Chop ½ head of green cabbage into ½-inch pieces. You should have about five cups once chopped, but it’s flexible so it’s okay if you have more or less.

Sautéed Onion in the skillet with a spatula.

Sauté the diced onion in 1 Tbsp cooking oil over medium heat until soft (about five minutes).

Ground beef in the skillet, steak seasoning being sprinkled over top.

Add ½ lb. ground beef and 1 Tbsp steak seasoning (or your favorite seasoning blend) to the skillet. Continue to sauté until the beef is cooked through. If you’re using a higher fat content beef, you can drain the excess fat from the skillet after the beef has cooked through.

Cabbage added to the skillet.

Add the chopped cabbage and ¼ cup water to the skillet. Continue to stir and cook over medium heat until the cabbage has softened.

Softened cabbage mixed with beef and onion in the skillet.

You can continue to cook this until the cabbage reaches your desired level of tenderness. I like mine to still have some texture and a vibrant green color.

Cooked rice and butter added to the skillet.

Add 2 cups cooked rice and 2 Tbsp butter to the skillet. Fold the rice and butter into the beef and cabbage until the butter has melted, everything is evenly combined, and the rice has heated through.

Soy sauce being drizzled over the skillet.

Finally, add about ½ Tbsp soy sauce. It’s best to add this to your own taste buds, so start with 1 tsp and add more until it tastes good.

Overhead view of the finished sautéed beef, cabbage, and rice in the skillet.

Serve and enjoy!

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Easy Chicken and Vegetable Meal Prep

This simple chicken and vegetable meal prep is an easy way to prepare meals ahead to save time and money, plus it’s customizable!

The post Easy Chicken and Vegetable Meal Prep appeared first on Budget Bytes.

It’s January again and this time of year there are a LOT of people experimenting with meal prep, whether it be for budget reasons, health reasons, or maybe you’re just trying to work on organization and time management. Well, this blog post is simply to remind you that meal prep doesn’t have to be complicated. This Easy Chicken and Vegetable Meal Prep is what I make when I don’t want to think too hard. It’s easy, always satisfying, and there is plenty of room for customization.

Four rectangular glass meal prep containers with chicken, brussels sprouts and sweet potato

The Meal Prep Formula

The easiest way to meal prep is to use a simple formula and just plug ingredients into the formula. So for this meal prep, I used the protein + veg + veg formula. Sometimes I do a protein + veg + grain. Either way, I keep the cooking method and seasonings simple to reduce effort.

A third formula that I use sometimes is refrigerator salad + protein. This formula is a little more involved, in my opinion, because salads tend to take a little more prep work than a simple roasted vegetable.

Other Vegetable Options

As mentioned above, one of the reasons I love this simple meal prep is that it’s super customizable. If you’re not a fan of the vegetables I used, you can swap them out with just about anything. Here are some options:

Keep the Seasonings Simple

One of the keys to keeping this meal prep fast and easy is to not overthink the seasonings. This is one time when I usually lean heavily on pre-made seasoning blends. I don’t want to pull out ten bottles of herbs and spices, I just want to add a sprinkle-sprinkle of one thing and that and be done with it. Some great seasoning options are steak seasoning, cajun seasoning, taco seasoning, chili seasoning, za’atar, curry powder, garlic herb seasoning, lemon pepper, or Greek seasoning.

I usually season the protein heavily, and then keep the seasonings for the vegetables quite simple (salt, pepper, maybe garlic powder) so they aren’t competing too much.

Bulk it Up

A great way to bulk this meal up a bit without adding too much to the cost is to add a grain. Try rice, quinoa, bulgur, farro, or barley are all great options. Try cooking your grain in broth instead of water for an easy extra dose of flavor.

lineup of meal prep containers with chicken, brussels sprouts, and sweet potatoes
lineup of meal prep containers with chicken, brussels sprouts, and sweet potatoes

Chicken and Vegetable Meal Prep

This simple chicken and vegetable meal prep is an easy way to prepare meals ahead to save time and money, plus it's customizable!
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Total Cost $10.59 recipe / $2.65 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 461kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts $1.99
  • 1.25 lbs. sweet potato* $1.25
  • 3 Tbsp cooking oil, divided $0.12
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp pepper $0.02
  • 1.3 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast $6.79
  • 2 tsp steak seasoning $0.20
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika $0.05
  • 1 Tbsp butter $0.10

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Rinse the Brussels sprouts and slice them in half. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, drizzle with 1 Tbsp oil, and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
  • Wash the sweet potato then slice it in half lengthwise. Prick the outside surface with a fork. Rub 1 Tbsp oil over all surfaces of the sweet potato. Place the sweet potato, cut sides down, on the baking sheet with the Brussels sprouts.
  • Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and roast for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, stir the Brussels sprouts, then return the baking sheet to the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the Brussels sprouts have reached your desired level of browning. If the sweet potato is not softened all the way through at this point, just remove the sprouts and return the sweet potato to the oven.
  • While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the chicken breast. Combine the steak seasoning, smoked paprika, and sweet paprika in a bowl. Coat the chicken breasts in the seasoning mixture.
  • Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Once hot, add the chicken breasts.
  • Cook the chicken breasts, without flipping, for about 8 minutes, or until well browned on the bottom. Flip the breasts and cook on the second side until well browned and cooked through (internal temperature 165ºF). Cooking time will vary with the thickness of the chicken.
  • Transfer the cooked chicken breast to a clean cutting board to rest for five minutes before slicing.
  • Cut the sweet potato halves in half once again to create four portions. Divide the sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and sliced chicken between four containers. Add a pat of butter to each piece of sweet potato. Refrigerate up to four days.

Notes

*I had one very large sweet potato and used ¼ of the potato per portion. You could also use two smaller sweet potatoes and use ½ of each per meal prep.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 461kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 18g | Sodium: 448mg | Fiber: 9g

How to Make Chicken and Vegetable Meal Prep – Step by Step Photos

Prepped Brussels sprouts on a baking sheet

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Rinse one pound of Brussels sprouts and slice them in half. Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet, drizzle with 1 Tbsp cooking oil, and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to coat the Brussels sprouts.

Prepped sweet potatoes on the baking sheet with Brussels sprouts

Wash a sweet potato (or two) and slice it in half length-wise. Use a fork to prick the outer skin. Rub a tablespoon of cooking oil over all surfaces of the sweet potato. Place the sweet potato, cut sides down, on the baking sheet with the Brussels sprouts.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato

Roast the vegetables for 20 minutes, then stir the Brussels sprouts and return everything to the oven for another 10-15 minutes, or until the Brussels have browned to your liking. If the sweet potatoes are not softened all the way through, simply remove the Brussels and return the sweet potato to the oven until tender.

Seasoned chicken breasts on a cutting board

While the vegetables are in the oven, prepare the chicken. Coat the outside of two boneless, skinless chicken breasts with a mix of 2 tsp steak seasoning, ½ tsp smoked paprika, and ½ tsp sweet paprika.

oil being added to the skillet

Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-low.

Cooked Chicken breasts in the skillet

Once the skillet and oil are hot, add the seasoned chicken breasts. Cook on one side, without flipping, for about 8 minutes or until well browned on the bottom. Flip the chicken breasts and cook on the second side until well browned and cooked through (internal temperature of 165º).

Sliced chicken breasts

Transfer the chicken breast to a clean cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

meal prep containers full of chicken, Brussels sprouts, and sweet potato scattered on the surface

Divide the Brussels sprouts, sweet potato, and chicken between four meal prep containers. Add a pat of butter to each sweet potato. Refrigerate up to four days.

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How to Cook Chicken Breast in a Pan

Learn how to cook tender, juicy, and flavorful boneless chicken breasts in a pan. Perfect for quick dinners and meal prep!

The post How to Cook Chicken Breast in a Pan appeared first on Budget Bytes.

The last two times I bought chicken breast at the grocery store, the cashiers asked me how to cook them (I had to wonder if they secretly knew what I did for a living 😅). While it can seem like a simple process, it can definitely go wrong if not done properly. And I’m not about to let you big $$$ dry, tasteless chicken breasts. So here is my full tutorial on how to cook chicken breast in a pan so that it stays juicy, flavorful, and tender.

Two chicken breasts in a skillet garnished with parsley

Why I Love Pan Seared Chicken Breasts

This has become my go-to method for cooking chicken breasts. Not only is it super fast and easy, but you get a lot of delicious browning on the outside of the meat, which is something that doesn’t happen in the gentle heat of an oven. Plus, you can change the seasoning and make it taste like something new every time!

I’ve begun cooking a couple of chicken breasts at the beginning of each week, slicing them up, then storing them in the refrigerator to add to salads, pasta, sandwiches, and bowls over the next few days. It’s only a few minutes of prep and then I’ve got an easy protein ready to add to any meal. Here is a roundup of flexible recipes that are perfect for adding any protein, like pan-seared chicken breasts.

Cooking Boneless vs. Bone-in Chicken Breasts

The cooking technique below is for boneless chicken breasts (with or without skin). Bone-in chicken breasts take much longer to cook through, so you’ll want to utilize the oven to make sure the breast heats through completely without burning on the outside. For bone-in chicken breasts, I suggest using the method outlined in my Herb Roasted Chicken Breast recipe.

How Long to Cook Chicken Breasts in a Skillet

The amount of time needed to cook a chicken breast in a pan will vary depending on the thickness of the chicken breast, the amount of heat used, and the type of cookware used. To take the guesswork out of how long to cook the chicken breasts, I suggest using an instant-read meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature of the chicken breast has reached 165ºF.

Thick Chicken Breasts

Thick chicken breasts take longer to cook through than thin chicken breasts, so I like to use lower heat (medium-low) and a longer cook time, which allows time for the meat to heat through without the outside burning. For a boneless chicken breast that is about one inch thick, I cook for about 8 minutes per side over medium-low heat.

Thin Chicken Breasts

If you buy thin cut breasts, fillet the chicken breasts yourself, or use a mallet to pound the chicken breasts to ½-inch thick, they will cook much faster. You’ll want to increase the heat to medium so you can still achieve some browning on the outside with a shorter cook time. For thinner breasts, I cook for about 4-5 minutes per side.

How to Season Chicken Breasts

I used a very classic smoky seasoning for the chicken breasts in the recipe below, but there are so many other delicious options. Here are some other ways you can season your pan-seared chicken breasts:

side view of chicken breasts in a skillet
close up of cooked chicken breasts in the skillet

Pan Seared Chicken Breasts

Learn how to cook tender, juicy, and flavorful boneless chicken breasts in a pan. Perfect for quick dinners and meal prep! 
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $7.27 recipe / $0.91 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 229kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp steak seasoning $0.20
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika $0.05
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1.3 lbs. total) $6.79
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08
  • 1 Tbsp butter (optional) $0.10

Instructions

  • Combine the steak seasoning, smoked paprika, and sweet paprika in a bowl. Coat the chicken breasts liberally with the seasoning on all sides.
  • Add the cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-low (or medium for thin-cut breasts). Once hot, swirl the oil to coat the skillet.
  • Add the chicken breasts to the skillet and cook for about 8 minutes without flipping (5 minutes for thin-cut breasts). Flip the chicken and then cook on the second side until well browned and cooked through (internal temperature of 165ºF).
  • For extra luscious chicken, add a tablespoon of butter to the skillet, allow it to melt, then flip the chicken a couple of times to coat in the melted butter.
  • Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board and allow it to rest for five minutes before slicing and serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 229kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 10g | Sodium: 197mg | Fiber: 1g
close up side view of sliced chicken breasts

How to Make Cook Chicken Breasts in a Pan – Step by Step Photos

Seasoned chicken breasts on a cutting board

Begin by seasoning the chicken breast liberally on each side. I used a mix of 2 tsp steak seasoning, ½ tsp smoked paprika, and ½ tsp sweet paprika. The steak seasoning contains salt, so no extra salt was needed in my mix.

oil being added to the skillet

Add a tablespoon or so of your favorite cooking oil to a large skillet. Heat the skillet over medium-low (or medium heat for thin cut breasts).

Cooked Chicken breasts in the skillet

Once hot, swirl the oil in the skillet to coat the surface, then add the chicken breasts. Let the chicken breasts cook for 8 minutes without flipping (or 5 minutes for thin cut breasts). Flip once and cook until well browned on the second side and cooked through.

Butter added to the skillet

To make the chicken breasts extra luscious, add a tablespoon of butter to the skillet, allow it to melt, then flip the chicken a couple of times to coat. The butter will help dissolve some of the flavor off the bottom of the skillet to further coat the chicken.

Sliced chicken breasts

Transfer the cooked chicken to a clean cutting board and allow it to rest for five minutes before slicing and serving.

close up of cooked chicken breasts in the skillet

The post How to Cook Chicken Breast in a Pan appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sheet Pan Kielbasa Potatoes and Green Beans

THIS is the sheet pan meal to end all sheet pan meals! It’s similar to some I’ve made before, but it is by far the easiest one yet, and without sacrificing any flavor. This Sheet Pan Kielbasa, Potatoes, and Green Beans recipe is filling, tasty, and as easy as it gets, with only SIX simple ingredients, […]

The post Sheet Pan Kielbasa Potatoes and Green Beans appeared first on Budget Bytes.

THIS is the sheet pan meal to end all sheet pan meals! It’s similar to some I’ve made before, but it is by far the easiest one yet, and without sacrificing any flavor. This Sheet Pan Kielbasa, Potatoes, and Green Beans recipe is filling, tasty, and as easy as it gets, with only SIX simple ingredients, and very little hands on time. I don’t know what more you could want from a dinner recipe! ?

Sheet pan kielbasa, potatoes, and green beans with a spatula

Can I Use a Different Sausage?

Yes, if you can not find kielbasa, any sort of smoked sausage will taste delicious with this combination of ingredients. It’s so flexible!

Can I Use Fresh Green Beans?

I used frozen green beans for this recipe because they are already cleaned, cut, and blanched before freezing. The blanching keeps the green beans a little more moist as they roast in the oven. You can use fresh green beans if you prefer, just keep in mind that they will dry out a little more while roasting than frozen green beans.

What is Steak Seasoning?

Steak seasoning is my short cut for this recipe. It’s a bottled spice blend, sometimes called Montreal Steak Seasoning, that you should be able to find at any major grocery store in the U.S. It’s a chunky mix of salt, pepper, garlic, red pepper, and sometimes a couple other spices. I love steak seasoning because that chunky grind of the spices gives the dish not only texture but these wonderful pops of flavor in every bite. Don’t skip it! :)

Can I Use Different Potatoes?

Yes! Again, this recipe is so flexible. I used small red potatoes, but you can substitute larger red potatoes or even russet potatoes if that is what you have. Just make sure to cut the potatoes into one-inch pieces so they roast at an even pace with everything else.

Sheet pan kielbasa, potatoes, and green beans in a bowl with a fork

 
Sheet pan roasted kielbasa potatoes and green beans with a spatula

Sheet Pan Kielbasa Potatoes and Green Beans

Sheet pan meals don't get an easier or more delicious than this Sheet Pan Kielbasa Potatoes and Green Beans dinner.
Total Cost $9.47 recipe / $2.37 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 504.88kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 24 oz. petite red potatoes $2.99
  • 12 oz. kielbasa $4.69
  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 12 oz. frozen green beans $1.00
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 1/2 Tbsp steak seasoning $0.15

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Wash and slice the potatoes into 1-inch pieces. Slice the kielbasa into medallions. Dice the onion into 1-inch pieces.
  • Add the potatoes, kielbasa, onion, and frozen green beans (no need to thaw) to a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle the steak seasoning over top. Use your hands to toss the ingredients until everything is coated in oil and spices.
  • Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and roast in the oven for 20 minutes, then give the ingredients on the sheet pan a good stir. Roast for an additional 15 minutes, or until the ingredients achieve the level of browning you desire. Serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 504.88kcal | Carbohydrates: 40.3g | Protein: 15.65g | Fat: 32.45g | Sodium: 1028.88mg | Fiber: 5.88g

Love Sheet Pan Meals? Try these other flavors:

How to Make Sheet Pan Kielbasa Potatoes and Green Beans – Step by Step Photos

Meal ingredients whole on the sheet pan

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. This is all that goes into the dinner, plus some olive oil and steak seasoning. How simple is that?? 24oz. petite red potatoes, 12oz. kielbasa, 12oz. frozen green beans, and one yellow onion.

Chopped ingredients on the sheet pan

Chop the potatoes into 1-inch pieces. Slice the kielbasa into medallions. Dice the onion into 1-inch pieces. Add the potatoes, kielbasa, onion, and green beans (no need to thaw) to the sheet pan.

Steak seasoning bottle close up

This is all I used to season the sheet pan meal. The chunky texture of this seasoning blend really adds a lot of texture and flavor differentiation to every bite! 

Seasoned sheet pan meal

Add 2 Tbsp olive oil and ½ Tbsp of the steak seasoning to the ingredients on the sheet pan, then toss really well until everything is coated in oil and seasoning.

Roasted sheet pan meal

Then place the sheet pan in the oven, roast for 20 minutes, then give it a good stir. Return it to the oven and roast for about another 15 minutes, or until it’s browned to the level that you like. 

Close up of sheet pan kielbasa potatoes and green beans on a sheet pan

It’s hard to describe how awesome this is. It doesn’t even need any sort of dressing or sauce. The fat and seasoning from the kielbasa soak into the potatoes and coats the other vegetables in an incredible amount of flavor, then you have the steak seasoning on top. It’s just 100% awesome! Serve hot and enjoy. :)

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Oven Baked Steak Fries

Who needs a little comfort food these days? Yeah, me too. I had some leftover russet potatoes the other day and I knew exactly what I was going to make with them. Thick cut, perfect for dipping and dunking, oven baked steak fries. These tasty potato wedges get surprisingly crispy in the oven without any […]

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Who needs a little comfort food these days? Yeah, me too. I had some leftover russet potatoes the other day and I knew exactly what I was going to make with them. Thick cut, perfect for dipping and dunking, oven baked steak fries. These tasty potato wedges get surprisingly crispy in the oven without any extra steps, like soaking or drying, making them an incredibly simple side dish. …Or main dish, if you’re like me. ?

Steak fries on a paper lined plate, one being dipped into one of three dipping sauces

What Are Steak Fries?

Simply put, steak fries thick potato wedges. Usually they’re deep fried like French fries, but I don’t like dealing with all that scary hot grease, so I baked them instead. They were still surprisingly crispy, and wayyyyy easier than dealing with getting (and keeping) a vat of hot oil to the proper temperature, and dodging splattering oil that is trying to kill you.

What is “Steak Seasoning”?

My steak fries have an extra “steak” element to them—steak seasoning. Steak seasoning, a.k.a. Montreal steak seasoning, is one of my new favorite seasoning blends. It’s a chunky blend of salt, pepper, red pepper, garlic, and sometimes other spices. The chunky nature of this blend gives you little pops of flavor as you eat the fries and also adds a little bit of delicious crunch. I love this stuff! 

Where to Buy Steak Seasoning

You can get this at any major grocery store. It’s usually in the spice aisle near the other seasoning blends or grill seasoning blends. McCormick brand makes one, and that brand is in most major U.S. supermarkets. The one I used today was purchased at Aldi. You can see a photo of the bottle if you scroll down to the step by step photos section of the post.

How Are the Leftovers?

Like most types of fries, these Steak Fries are definitely best right out of the oven. The will get less crispy the longer they sit, and if kept in the refrigerator overnight the texture will be more along the lines of baked potato. Did that stop me from devouring the leftovers? Absolutely not. They were delicious dipped into some comeback sauce (recipe coming soon).

Close up side view of the plate of steak fries

 
Overhead view of a plate full of steak fries with three dipping sauces

Oven Baked Steak Fries

These incredibly crispy, thick cut, oven baked steak fries are seasoned to perfection with steak seasoning for maximum flavor in every bite! 
Total Cost $0.94 recipe / $0.47 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 239.4kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. russet potatoes $0.60
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1/2 Tbsp paprika $0.15
  • 1/2 Tbsp steak seasoning $0.15

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Wash the potatoes well. Cut each potato into wedges, approximately 12 wedges per potato. (Quarter the potato lengthwise, then slice each quarter into three wedges.)
  • Add the potato wedges to a bowl with the cooking oil, paprika, and steak seasoning. Toss the potato wedges until they are well coated.
  • Spread the seasoned potato wedges out over a parchment lined baking sheet, making sure they're in a single layer. Transfer to the preheated oven and bake for 35 minutes, or until they are well browned and crispy. Flip the steak fries once, after about 20 minutes of baking.
  • Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 239.4kcal | Carbohydrates: 40.95g | Protein: 4.9g | Fat: 7.3g | Sodium: 1631.65mg | Fiber: 3.15g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Baked steak fries close up on a parchment lined baking sheet

Try These Other Homemade Fry Recipes:

How to Make Steak Fries – Step by Step Photos

Potatoes cut into wedges on a cutting board

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Start with one pound of russet potatoes (this is two 1/2 lb. potatoes). Wash your potatoes well, because they grow under ground. In the dirt. You get the point. Cut each potato into 12 wedges. To do this I began by cutting each potato into quarters, lengthwise. Then cut each quarter into 3 wedges.

Potato wedges with seasoning in a bowl

Add the potato wedges to a bowl with 1 Tbsp cooking oil, ½ Tbsp paprika, and ½ Tbsp steak seasoning.

Steak seasoning bottle

This is the steak seasoning I used. I got this at Aldi, but McCormick brand can be found in most grocery stores. It’s just a chunky mix of salt, pepper, garlic, red pepper, and maybe a small amount of other spices.

Seasoned potato wedges

Toss the potato wedges until they’re well coated in oil and spices.

Potato wedges spread out on the parchment lined baking sheet

Spread the potato wedges out onto a parchment lined baking sheet, making sure they’re in a single layer.

Baked steak fries on the baking sheet

Bake the steak fries in the preheated 425ºF oven for about 35 minutes, or until they’re well browned and crispy. Make sure to flip them once during baking, after about 20 minutes.

Overhead view of a plate full of steak fries with three dipping sauces

Serve with your favorite sauces! Shown with: ketchup, ranch, and comeback sauce.

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Roasted Broccoli Pasta with Lemon and Feta

Keep it stupid simple. That saying applies to so much in life, including food. One of my favorite “stupid simple” meals is buttered pasta with a vegetable and a healthy does of salt and pepper. Incredibly simple, incredibly good, and a million ways you can play on that theme. This Roasted Broccoli Pasta with Lemon […]

The post Roasted Broccoli Pasta with Lemon and Feta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Keep it stupid simple. That saying applies to so much in life, including food. One of my favorite “stupid simple” meals is buttered pasta with a vegetable and a healthy does of salt and pepper. Incredibly simple, incredibly good, and a million ways you can play on that theme. This Roasted Broccoli Pasta with Lemon and Feta is just buttered pasta with charred oven roasted broccoli, steak seasoning, bright lemon, and salty feta. The flavor combo is absolutely to die for and it really couldn’t be any easier.

Roasted Broccoli Pasta with Lemon and Feta

A plate with roasted broccoli pasta, lemon wedges, feta, and a black fork on the left

What is Steak Seasoning?

Steak seasoning, sometimes called Montreal steak seasoning, is one of the few pre-made spice blends that I keep in my pantry. This chunky-crunchy blend of spices has big pieces of salt, pepper, garlic, paprika, and other spices. It’s not just good for steak, it’s also great with broccoli, potatoes, pasta, and a million other things. The way the coarsely ground spices coat the surface of food provides a slightly crunchy texture, a subtle smokiness, and big pops of flavor. I put it on everything.

You should be able to find some form of steak seasoning at most major grocery stores. McCormick makes one, as does Aldi and Kroger.

Do I have to use Whole Wheat Pasta?

You can actually use any type of pasta you have on hand for this recipe, BUT I find that the slightly nutty flavor of whole wheat pasta pairs the best with the flavors in this dish. And while you can use a long shaped pasta, like spaghetti or linguine, shorter shapes will be easier to stir together with the rest of the ingredients. Bowtie and rotini are great alternatives to the penne.

Fresh Lemon is a Must

The fresh lemon carries a lot of weight in the flavor profile of this pasta, so please don’t be tempted to skip it! Whole lemons can be on the pricier side, but if you buy a whole bag of lemons and keep them in your freezer, you’ll pay less per lemon. Frozen lemons are still great for zesting and juicing, but will not be pretty for garnishing or slicing.

Can I use Frozen Broccoli?

If you know me then you know I love to roast frozen broccoli. It’s fast, easy, and totally delish. But for this recipe I highly recommend using fresh instead of frozen broccoli. Fresh broccoli is not as “wet” as frozen broccoli, so you get a better char on the outside edges, which lends a really smoky flavor to this pasta. You can use frozen in a pinch, but you’ll get much better flavor with fresh for this recipe.

Front view of a pot full of Roasted Broccoli Pasta with Lemon and feta, garnished with lemon wedges

 

Roasted Broccoli Pasta with Lemon and Feta

Roasted Broccoli Pasta with Lemon and Feta is an incredibly simple pasta dish with big flavors. An easy, fast, and delicious weeknight dinner!

  • 1 lb. broccoli crowns ($1.79)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.16)
  • 1 tsp steak seasoning ($0.10)
  • 1 fresh lemon ($0.39)
  • 8 oz. whole wheat penne pasta ($0.50)
  • 2 Tbsp butter ($0.20)
  • 1 oz. crumbled feta ($0.55)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Cut the broccoli into small florets. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then spread the florets out over the baking sheet. Drizzle the broccoli with olive oil and sprinkle the steak seasoning over top. Toss the broccoli until it is well coated in oil and seasoning.

  2. Roast the broccoli for 20-25 minutes, or until it is brown and crispy on the edges.

  3. While the broccoli is roasting, prepare the rest of the dish. Bring a pot of water to boil for the penne. Once boiling, add the pasta, and continue to boil until the pasta is tender (8-10 minutes). Reserve about ½ cup of the starchy pasta water, then drain the pasta in a colander.

  4. While the pasta is boiling, zest a lemon, then cut it into wedges.

  5. Return the drained pasta to the pot (heat turned off). Add the roasted broccoli florets, the butter, about 1 tsp lemon zest, and the juice from two of the lemon wedges. Stir the ingredients together, letting the residual heat from the pasta melt the butter. If the pasta seems too dry, add a splash or two of the reserved pasta water.

  6. Top the pasta with crumbled feta and a pinch or two more steak seasoning, if desired. Serve with extra lemon wedges.

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Close up view of a fork picking up some roasted broccoli pasta from the bowl

 

How to Make Roasted Broccoli Pasta – Step by Step Photos

Chopped broccoli florets on a green cutting board

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Chop the broccoli crowns into small florets.

Steak seasoning bottle held over sheet pan with broccoli

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the broccoli florets out over the baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil and sprinkle 1 tsp steak seasoning over the broccoli.

Seasoned broccoli florets on the baking sheet

Toss the broccoli florets until they are well coated in oil and seasoning. 

Roasted broccoli florets on the baking sheet

Roast the broccoli florets in the 400ºF oven for about 25 minutes, or until they are well browned and crispy on the edges.

Cooked whole wheat penne being held in a pasta spoon over the pot

While the broccoli is roasting, bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add 8 oz. whole wheat penne and continue to boil until the pasta is tender (8-10 minutes). Reserve ½ cup of the starchy pasta water, then drain the pasta in a colander.

Zested and sliced lemon

While the broccoli is roasting and the pasta is boiling, zest the lemon then cut it into wedges.

Pasta, broccoli, butter, and lemon combined in the pot.

Once the pasta has drained, but is still hot, return it to the pot (with the heat turned off) and add the roasted broccoli, 2 Tbsp butter, about 1 tsp lemon zest, and the juice from two of the lemon wedges.

Feta added to pasta in the pot

Stir the pasta to combine the ingredients and let the hot pasta melt the butter. If the pasta becomes dry, add a splash or two of the reserved pasta water. Once the butter has fully melted, top the pasta with 1 oz. crumbled feta.

Finished pot of roasted broccoli pasta with lemon and feta

Serve with the remaining lemon wedges for squeezing over each bowl. If desired, add an additional pinch or two of steak seasoning.

A bowl full of Roasted Broccoli Pasta with lemon and feta and a black fork on the left side

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