Mediterranean Turkey Burgers

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

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

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

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

Can the Turkey Burgers be Grilled?

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

Why 19 oz. of Ground Turkey?

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

What to Serve with Mediterranean Turkey Burgers

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

Can I Use Fresh Spinach?

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

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

 

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

Mediterranean Turkey Burgers

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

Ingredients

Lemon Dill Yogurt Sauce

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

Turkey Burgers

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

For Serving

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

Instructions

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

Notes

*I used 93% lean ground turkey

Nutrition

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

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

How to Make Mediterranean Turkey Burgers – Step By Step Photos

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

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

Chopped burger add-ins on a cutting board

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

Ground turkey and burger add-ins in a bowl

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

Turkey burger mixture in the bowl

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

Shaped Turkey Burgers on an orange cutting board

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

Three cooked turkey burgers in a skillet

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

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

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

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

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Sun Dried Tomato and Herb Scones.

Sun dried tomato scones are perfect for your weekend! Fluffy scones with a crunchy sugar top, tart sun dried tomatoes inside – I can’t get enough. Spread them with softened butter or drizzle with honey and go to town. Deeeelish. Scones were one of the first recipes I shared on the blog waaaay back in […]

The post Sun Dried Tomato and Herb Scones. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Sun dried tomato scones are perfect for your weekend!

sun dried tomato scones

Fluffy scones with a crunchy sugar top, tart sun dried tomatoes inside – I can’t get enough. Spread them with softened butter or drizzle with honey and go to town. Deeeelish.

scone dough with sun dried tomatoes

Scones were one of the first recipes I shared on the blog waaaay back in the day. You may remember! Cinnamon chip scones are amazing. The recipe came from a friend and has always been one of my favorite baked goods to make – they are foolproof! She used to bring them in to work and everyone would fight over the last one. So delicious.

sun dried tomato scone dough

I’ve used that scone recipe to make many different varieties before – including savory versions. You can truly add anything you want to this scone dough and it will turn out wonderfully. Chocolate chips, dried fruit, cheese, roasted red peppers? Get to it!

Just maybe not all at once…

sun dried tomato scone ready for baking

That’s why I’m so, so excited to tell you about these sun dried tomato scones! They are an at-home version of the sun dried tomato scone at de fer and have crunchy raw sugar baked into the bottom and top for texture and sweetness.

Seriously, the perfect combo of savory and sweet.

baked sun dried tomato scone

I adore sun dried tomatoes and have thrown them in quite a few recipes this last year. They are sweet and tart and have a bit of chew – a texture lover’s dream. And I love how they take regular old recipes up a notch! 

My preference is to use the sun dried tomatoes in olive oil. I drain them and pat them completely dry, then dice them up. Into the dough they go! 

The scones bake on a sheet covered in coarse sugar, so they bottoms get caramelized and sweet and crunchy! I sprinkle some coarse sugar on top too, which gets equally as crunchy and wonderful.

The end result is a perfect fluffy savory scone – that isn’t dry whatsoever – with hints of sweetness all around. It’s FABULOUS.  (more…)

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Kale and White Bean Power Bowls

These kale and white bean power bowls are full of flavor, texture, protein, fiber, and other nutrients. Perfect for meal prep!

The post Kale and White Bean Power Bowls appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you’ve been around Budget Bytes a while, then you already know how much I love bowl meals (we even have a whole category for them). So when several people asked me to replicate the Healthy Choice brand frozen Power Bowls, I needed to go see what all the fuss was about. I bought a few, and I have to say, they’re pretty good! …but expensive. So I knew I could do better. Here is my first riff off of the freezer aisle power bowls: Kale and White Bean Power Bowls. Pretty easy, VERY filling, and about half the price!

Overhead view of a kale and white bean power bowl with a fork in the side

My Modifications

This particular bowl is inspired by the White Bean & Feta Salad by Healthy Choice. Since that one had some of my fav ingredients, I knew it was a great place to start. The bowl was nice and filling, but overall it was a touch too sweet for my taste. So here’s what I subbed:

  • Sun dried tomatoes instead of dried cranberries to reduce the sweetness.
  • A homemade vinaigrette that is more tangy than their sweet vinaigrette.
  • Walnuts instead of pepitas. Walnuts just seemed like a better fit for this flavor profile.
  • Brown rice instead of mixed grains (theirs has brown rice, red rice, quinoa, and barley). Using one grain was just more convenient.

P.S. My bowls cost about $1.50 each and the store bought version retails at my local grocery store for $3.99 each ($3.50 on sale when I bought them). WIN.

Make it Your Own

One of my favorite things about bowl meals is that they are endlessly customizable. If you don’t like some of the ingredients I used, you can just swap them out! Here are some options:

  • Spinach instead of kale
  • Quinoa or cauliflower rice in place of brown rice
  • Chickpeas or kidney beans in place of cannellini beans
  • Store bought Greek or Italian dressing in place of the homemade vinaigrette

How to Store Kale and White Bean Power Bowls

This recipe is made for meal prepping. You can keep these bowls refrigerated for about 4 days, or you can freeze them for a couple of months. I suggest using a microwave to reheat the bowls (if frozen, use the defrost setting first, then full power to heat through).

three glass meal prep containers filled with kale and white bean power bowls
Overhead view of a Kale and White Bean Power Bowl with a fork in the side

Kale and White Bean Power Bowls

These kale and white bean power bowls are full of flavor, texture, protein, fiber, and other nutrients. Perfect for meal prep! 
Total Cost $5.81 recipe / $1.45 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 550.05kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup long grain brown rice $0.40

Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup olive oil $0.52
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar $0.30
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard $0.05
  • 1/2 Tbsp Italian seasoning $0.15
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Sautéed Kale

  • 1/2 lb. chopped fresh kale (6 cups) $1.15
  • 1/2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.02
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.02

Bowl Toppings

  • 1 15oz. can cannellini beans $0.07
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes $0.83
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts $0.03
  • 2 oz. feta $1.14

Instructions

  • Begin cooking the rice first. The remaining bowl ingredients can be prepared while the rice is cooking. Add the rice and 2 cups water to a saucepot. Place a lid on top and bring the water up to a full boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, turn the heat off and let the rice sit with the lid in place for an additional 5 minutes. Fluff just before serving.
  • While the rice is cooking, make the vinaigrette so the flavors have a little time to blend. In a jar or bowl, combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine, or close the jar and shake until combined. Set the dressing aside.
  • Add the cooking oil and minced garlic to a large pot or skillet. Sauté the garlic over medium heat for about one minute. Add the chopped kale and salt. Sauté for a few more minutes, or just until the kale is wilted. Set the kale aside.
  • Finally, prepare the rest of the toppings. Rinse and drain the white beans. Chop the sun dried tomatoes and walnuts. Crumble the feta.
  • When the rice has finished cooking, it's time to assemble the bowls. Add about ¾ cup rice to each bowl or container, followed by ½ cup sautéed kale, ⅓ cup beans, and a tablespoon each of sun dried tomatoes and walnuts. Sprinkle a little feta over each bowl. Divide the vinaigrette between four small containers. Refrigerate until ready to eat.
  • Reheat the bowls using a microwave just before serving, then drizzle with vinaigrette, stir, and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 550.05kcal | Carbohydrates: 64.18g | Protein: 16.58g | Fat: 26.3g | Sodium: 887.8mg | Fiber: 10.1g

How to Make Kale and White Bean Power Bowls – Step by Step Photos

Cooked brown rice in a pot being fluffed with a fork

Start with the brown rice because it takes about 50 minutes to cook and the rest of the bowls can be prepared while the rice cooks. Add 1 cup brown rice to a pot with 2 cups water. Place a lid on top and bring it up to a boil over high heat. When it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest, lid in place, for an additional 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork just before serving.

Overhead view of homemade vinaigrette in a jar.

Next, make the vinaigrette so the flavors have a little time to blend. Combine ¼ cup olive oil, 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar, ½ Tbsp Dijon mustard, ½ Tbsp Italian seasoning, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper in a jar or bowl. Whisk the ingredients to combine or close the jar and shake until combined. Set the dressing aside.

Chopped kale in a colander

Next, prepare the kale. I buy pre-chopped kale because it’s super inexpensive and really cuts down on the prep work. I do give it an extra rinse, though, and pick out any large pieces of stems.

Minced garlic and oil in a large pot

Add ½ Tbsp cooking oil and one clove of minced garlic to a large pot or skillet. Sauté the garlic over medium for about a minute.

Sautéed kale in the pot

Add 1/2 lb. chopped kale to the pot with ⅛ tsp salt and continue to sauté for a few minutes more, or just until the kale is wilted. Set the kale aside.

Sun dried tomatoes, walnuts, beans, and feta on a cutting board

Prepare the last few ingredients. Chop about ¼ cup sun dried tomatoes and ¼ cup walnuts. Rinse and drain one 15oz. can of cannellini beans. Crumbled about 2 oz. feta.

Power bowls base layer of rice, kale, and beans

When the rice is finished cooking, it’s time to build the bowls. Start with ¾ cup rice in each bowl or container, ⅓ cup beans, and about ½ cup sautéed kale.

Sun dried tomatoes, walnuts, feta, and dressing added to the power bowl

Add about 1 Tbsp sun dried tomatoes and chopped walnuts on top, and a light sprinkle of crumbled feta. Divide the dressing between four containers. Refrigerate the bowls until ready to eat. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the bowls after reheating, then stir and enjoy!

Overhead view of a Kale and White Bean Power Bowl with a fork in the side

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Saucy Sun Dried Tomato Gnocchi.

This sun dried tomato gnocchi is the ultimate comfort food. I am a huuuuuge fan of gnocchi. I loathed all pasta when I was a kid (weird, I know, right?) but my mom had pasta night every Thursday. Gnocchi was the only pasta I enjoyed so it was a frequent dish! It’s just so fluffy […]

The post Saucy Sun Dried Tomato Gnocchi. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

This sun dried tomato gnocchi is the ultimate comfort food.

saucy sun dried tomato gnocchi

I am a huuuuuge fan of gnocchi. I loathed all pasta when I was a kid (weird, I know, right?) but my mom had pasta night every Thursday. Gnocchi was the only pasta I enjoyed so it was a frequent dish!

It’s just so fluffy and cloud-like with the perfect bite. I can never get enough. 

diced sun dried tomatoes

One of our favorite local restaurants has an incredible gnocchi dish (it’s served in a freaking bread bowl! omg!) that is absolutely wonderful. It’s not really described as a tomato cream sauce, but it definitely has a creamier consistency than regular marinara. 

This dish reminds me of that so much and it’s exactly what I was going for!

YUM.

In the early weeks of this pregnancy, we got their take-out a few times and the gnocchi was all I wanted in life. It is just incredible.

sun dried tomato gnocchi ready for the oven

I made this baked gnocchi as a nod to that (so we could have it at home!) before the holidays and just didn’t get a chance to share it with you.

It’s definitely an indulgent dish. It’s like a sunday dinner dish that you served with a big salad and maybe some sourdough. And it’s rich and indulgent but the gnocchi is also pillowy and light, so it makes for the best combination.

saucy sun dried tomato gnocchi

I personally love to make a big house salad with it. Crisp and refreshing pairs well with hot and saucy pasta. Plus bread for dipping!

saucy sun dried tomato gnocchi

When it comes to the sun dried tomato sauce, it could not be easier! I use a jar of sun dried tomatoes and add some garlic. A little stock, some cream, some herbs and of course parmesan. It bakes and gets all bubbly and the cheese on top gets perfectly melty too.

It.is.wonderful. 

saucy sun dried tomato gnocchi

This can be a main dish if you serve it with said salad, or it could be a side dish depending on what else is being served. It is a great dish to bring to a party or family gathering (once we can do that again!) if it accompanies other dishes too. Everyone loves it!

A big sprinkle of parmesan, some crushed red pepper flakes… this is incredible.

saucy sun dried tomato gnocchi

Sun Dried Tomato Gnocchi

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Saucy Sun Dried Tomato Gnocchi

This saucy sun dried tomato gnocchi is baked and topped with melty cheese! Bubbly and warm, it's the ultimate comfort food. Yum.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Servings 4 to 6 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 1 (7 oz) jar sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained
  • 2 lbs gnocchi, cooked according to package directions (this is usually 2 packages)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable, or chicken! stock
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • cup heavy cream or half and half
  • ½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced or torn into pieces
  • fresh basil, for garnish
  • crushed red pepper flakes, for topping

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Place the sun dried tomatoes on a paper towel and press out some of the oil to remove it. This is important or your sauce will be oily! Really press the oil out. Dice the tomatoes.
  • Cook the gnocchi according to the package directions. This should only take about 3 to 5 minutes!
  • Heat the olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-low heat. Add the sun dried tomatoes and the garlic with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until they soften.
  • Place the stock in a shaker cup or bottle. Add the flour and shake the mixture for 30 seconds to create a slurry. Pour the mixture into the tomatoes in the pan while stirring constantly. Stir for a few minutes as the mixture warms up (it may thicken a bit).
  • Stir in the cream and the parmesan until combined. Add in the gnocchi and stir to combine. Top with the torn mozzarella. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until bubbly and melty.
  • Top with fresh basil, extra parmesan and red pepper flakes.

saucy sun dried tomato gnocchi

Want to nap on one of those pasta pillows!

The post Saucy Sun Dried Tomato Gnocchi. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Sun Dried Tomato Corn Chowder with Crispy Goat Cheese Croutons.

We’re taking corn chowder to a whole new level today. Another summer day, another soup! I don’t know how these soup recipes continue to fall on close-to-100 degree degrees, but if it’s too warm, put this in your pocket for next week. The flavors are incredible, it’s comforting and will make you so, so happy. […]

The post Sun Dried Tomato Corn Chowder with Crispy Goat Cheese Croutons. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

We’re taking corn chowder to a whole new level today.

sun dried tomato corn chowder with crispy goat cheese

Another summer day, another soup!

I don’t know how these soup recipes continue to fall on close-to-100 degree degrees, but if it’s too warm, put this in your pocket for next week. The flavors are incredible, it’s comforting and will make you so, so happy.

corn chowder base

This also must be the summer of sun dried tomatoes and corn for me! I made the lasagna skillet last month and loved the flavor profile so much that I decided to carry it into chowder.

I love how the tomatoes are slightly sweet and tart. And I also adore the texture. These little bits add so much to the chowder that the depth of flavor is wild. 

creamy corn chowder in a pot

A few years ago I made this beer corn chowder with chicken and it is a huge favorite here on the blog. As much as I love eating corn on the cob almost daily come late July, I also love finding other uses for it.

That’s the best right?

And even though Eddie isn’t a huge soup person (unless it’s, like, chili), he does like chowder. This recipe is so good that I’ll use it as a starter to our meals, because leftovers are wonderful. I’ll serve with sliced tomatoes and blue cheese on the side, maybe with some grilled chicken. Or a big house salad! Or of course, it can be your entire meal too. 

Because the toppings are what MAKE the bowl.

crispy fried goat cheese

The base is made with a few chopped sun dried tomatoes. Also, lots of corn and potato cubes too! Then I use my favorite soup creamy method – make a slurry with half and half – and stir that in to bring it all together. 

It’s silky and comforting and melts in your mouth!

sun dried tomato corn chowder

And of course, let’s not forget the crispy goat cheese croutons. I first shared crispy goat cheese here in 2011. I feel like it really had a moment back then – topping salads and even served as an appetizer. Then I forgot about it, like I do with many other trends.

Thankfully I remembered JUST IN TIME for this soup.

The crispy, melty goat cheese is a little extra here. You don’t NEED it, but you need it. You know? It does add another step to the recipe, but it also fancifies things. And since we can barely go anywhere these days or do anything super fun, making fancy goat cheese to put on top of my corn chowder is how I’m making it through. 

Try it! 

sun dried tomato corn chowder with crispy goat cheese

Creamy, comforting summer in a bowl!

sun dried tomato corn chowder with crispy goat cheese

Sun Dried Tomato Corn Chowder

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Sun Dried Tomato Corn Chowder

This incredible corn chowder is made with sun dried tomatoes and topped with crispy, melty goat cheese. It's incredible and perfect with fresh herbs!
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ cup chopped sun dried tomatoes, drain if they are in oil, plus more for topping
  • 2 cups corn kernels, cut fresh from the cob, plus extra for topping
  • 1 ½ cups chopped yukon gold potatoes
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped chives

goat cheese croutons

  • 1 11 ounce log goat cheese (cold, right from the fridge)
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • olive oil, for pan frying

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Stir in the onions and garlic with a pinch of salt and pepper and smoked paprika and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped sun dried tomatoes and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the corn, potatoes and stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce it to a simmer and cover, cooking until the potatoes are fork tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • While the soup simmers, make the goat cheese croutons. Slice the goat cheese into rounds - this can be as many rounds as you want, but I do 6 or so. Place the flour on one plate, the beaten egg on another and the breadcrumbs on a third. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Dip each goat cheese piece in flour, then in egg, then in breadcrumbs. Place it in the hot oil and cook for 1ish minute per side until it’s golden and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and place it on a paper towel to remove excess grease.
  • In a shaker bottle, add the flour to the half and half and shake well until it is combined. Slowly pour it into the soup mixture while stirring. Simmer the mixture for 5 minutes – it should thicken up. Taste and season additionally if needed. Stir in most of the chives, reserving a few for topping.
  • Serve, topping the bowl with extra sun dried tomatoes, fresh corn off the cob and a goat cheese crouton!

sun dried tomato corn chowder with crispy goat cheese

I’ll also take a plate of crispy goat cheese please!

The post Sun Dried Tomato Corn Chowder with Crispy Goat Cheese Croutons. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

During the lockdown, I did what everyone else did: Went through all my kitchen cabinets, cleaning them out, and finding little bits and bags and jars of stuff that I should have used a long time ago, but didn’t. You did do that – right? Mine was quite a purge. I’ve had so many things from travels, friends, food companies, houseguests, strangers, etc. that my…

During the lockdown, I did what everyone else did: Went through all my kitchen cabinets, cleaning them out, and finding little bits and bags and jars of stuff that I should have used a long time ago, but didn’t.

You did do that – right?

Mine was quite a purge. I’ve had so many things from travels, friends, food companies, houseguests, strangers, etc. that my drawers and cabinets were out-of-control. I posted some pictures on social media of the things that I appeared to be running low on, but that I was anxious to use up, and people, kindly, offered to send me more…which would have negated the whole idea of the purge. The time had come to use things up.

Continue Reading Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto...

One Pot Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

Y’all know I love one pot pasta meals, and I know a lot of you do too. They’re quick, easy, and pack a lot of flavor into only one little dish that needs to be cleaned at the end. Creamy one pot pastas, in particular, have become my go-to comfort food. This time I paired […]

The post One Pot Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Y’all know I love one pot pasta meals, and I know a lot of you do too. They’re quick, easy, and pack a lot of flavor into only one little dish that needs to be cleaned at the end. Creamy one pot pastas, in particular, have become my go-to comfort food. This time I paired the tangy flavor of sun dried tomatoes with garlic and Parmesan for a simple but indulgent One Pot Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta.

Originally posted 11-1-2015, updated 5-17-2020.

Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Garlic and Parmesan

Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta in a deep skillet with tongs, a bowl with garlic and dry pasta on the side

Changes to the Original Sun Dried Tomato Pasta Recipe:

Many readers were having trouble with the original recipe, so I reformulated it a bit based on my experience creating one pot pastas since this recipe was originally posted (it’s now based on my One Pot Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta). In particular, many people were having trouble with their milk curdling or the sauce not coming out smooth. Here is what I changed to create better and more consistent results:

  • The milk is now added after the pasta simmers so the high heat and acidity from the tomatoes will not cause curdling.
  • A small amount of cream cheese is added to the sauce to help stabilize and emulsify the Parmesan into the sauce. 
  • I also added a healthy dose of dried basil for a little more flavor!

If you preferred the original version of this recipe, you can download it here.

Can I Substitute the Cream Cheese?

Cream cheese is great and keeping milk based sauces smooth and to help cheese melt smoothly without clumpig. If you just can’t stand cream cheese, you can replace half of the milk with heavy cream. This reduces the water content in the sauce, which will help the Parmesan emulsify properly.

Can I Add Meat?

Yes, this recipe is extremely flexible and can be made with or without meat. If you’d like to add chicken, you can dice up the chicken and sauté it in the skillet with the garlic in the beginning, or simply add sliced grilled chicken to the finished pasta. Italian sausage might also be great with this sun dried tomato pasta. Simply brown it in the skillet in the beginning with the garlic. Bacon would also be quite tasty. Brown the bacon in the skillet before the garlic, and drain off the excess fat before continuing with the recipe.

Tips for Cooking One Pot Pastas:

Getting one pot pastas just right can take some practice, so if you find you’re having trouble, here are a few tips:

  • Stir every few minutes to keep the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot, or to itself.
  • After the pot has been brought to a boil, turn the heat down to low, or just above low, so the liquid is still simmering. If the liquid is not simmering, the pasta will not cook. The temperature setting can vary depending on your stove top and cookware.
  • Use heavy cookware. Skillets and pots that are thin on the bottom don’t heat evenly and do not yield good results with the one pot cooking method because some areas of the pot will be simmering, while other areas are not.
  • Keep the lid in place at all times when not stirring. This holds in the steam and helps the pasta cook more evenly.
  • Watch the pasta. One pot pastas are a little like riding a bike. You have to observe and adjust as you go. If the liquid is almost all absorbed before the pasta is tender, add a little more water. If the pasta is almost tender, but there is still a lot of liquid, allow it to simmer without a lid for the last couple of minutes.

Close up of tongs picking up a clump of creamy pasta from the skillet

 
Overhead view of creamy pasta twirled around the tongs in the skillet.
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One Pot Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

This incredibly fast and easy Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta cooks in 30 minutes and uses just one pot. The perfect quick and satisfying weeknight dinner! 
Total Cost $4.22 recipe / $1.06 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 387.6kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • ½ cup sun dried tomatoes $1.66
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.26
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 8 oz. fettuccine $0.67
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil $0.05
  • Freshly cracked pepper $0.05
  • 2 cups chicken broth* $0.26
  • 2 oz. cream cheese $0.30
  • 1 cups whole milk $0.37
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan $0.44

Instructions

  • Chop the sun dried tomatoes into small bite-sized pieces.
  • Add the butter and garlic to a deep skillet or Dutch oven. Sauté the garlic over medium heat for about one minute, or until it is very fragrant.
  • Add the fettuccine, dried basil, some freshly cracked pepper, and the chicken broth to the skillet. If needed, break the fettuccine in half to make sure it lays flat in the skillet and is submerged in broth.
  • Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to high, and bring the broth to a boil. As soon as it reaches a boil, give the pasta a good stir, replace the lid, and turn the heat down to low or the lowest setting that maintains a simmer.
  • Let the pasta simmer in the broth for 7-10 minutes, or until most of the broth is absorbed and the pasta is tender, stirring every couple of minutes and always replacing the lid.
  • Keeping the heat on low, cut the cream cheese into chunks and stir it into the pasta. Once the cream cheese has melted, add the milk and stir until a smooth sauce forms. Finally, add the grated Parmesan over top and stir until it has melted into the sauce. Serve with extra freshly cracked pepper, if desired.

Notes

*I use Better Than Bouillon soup base to make my broth.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 387.6kcal | Carbohydrates: 51.9g | Protein: 13.5g | Fat: 14.68g | Sodium: 651.33mg | Fiber: 2.75g

Scroll down for the step by step Photos!

Overhead view of creamy pasta twirled around the tongs in the skillet.

Try These Other Creamy One Pot Pasta Recipes:

How to Make Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta – Step by Step Photos

chopped sun dried tomatoes on a cutting board

Chop about ½ cup sun dried tomatoes into small bite-sized pieces. You want a little bit in every bite, instead of a few larger pieces throughout. I used dried, non-oil packed sun dried tomatoes for this recipe because I find them easier to work with and the leftovers easier to store (no refrigeration needed).

Butter and Garlic in a skillet

Add 2 Tbsp butter and two minced cloves of garlic to a deep skillet or Dutch oven. Sauté the garlic over medium heat for about 1 minute, or just until the garlic is a little softened and becomes really fragrant.

tomatoes, basil, pasta, and broth added to the skillet

Add the chopped sun dried tomatoes, ½ tsp dried basil, some freshly cracked pepper, 8oz. fettuccine, and 2 cups chicken broth to the skillet. If your skillet or Dutch oven is not wide enough for the pasta to lay flat and submerged in the broth, you’ll want to break the pasta in half so it fits (I ended up breaking mine in half just after this photo).

Cooked pasta in the skillet, tongs pulling the pasta aside to show the sauce in the bottom of the skillet

Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to high, and bring the broth up to a boil. As soon as it reaches a boil, give the pasta a good stir, replace the lid, and turn the heat down to low, or the lowest temperature that maintains a simmer. Continue to simmer the pasta for 7-10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes (always replacing the lid), or until the pasta is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. If the pasta dries out while it cooks, add a little more water. There should be a little bit of thick saucy liquid left in the skillet once the pasta is cooked.

Cream cheese added to the pasta in the skillet

Cut 2 oz. cream cheese into chunks, then stir it into the pasta until it has melted (still over low heat). Adding the cream cheese before the milk helps stabilize the sauce and prevent curdling.

Milk being poured into the skillet full of pasta

Once the cream cheese has melted into the pasta, add 1 cup milk and stir to combine.

Grated Parmesan being sprinkled over the skillet

Finally, sprinkle ¼ cup grated Parmesan over the pasta, and stir until it has melted into the sauce (the pasta is still over low heat).

Finished creamy sun dried tomato pasta in the skillet

And now you have a deliciously creamy and slightly tangy sun dried tomato pasta in cream sauce!

Overhead view of the finished sun dried tomato pasta, dry pasta, sun dried tomatoes, and garlic on the side of the skillet

Season the pasta with more freshly cracked pepper, if desired, and serve!

The post One Pot Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

The Tortellini Salad that We Can’t Stop Eating!

Just going to say it: this cilantro lime tortellini salad is life changing. This tortellini salad is my new favorite thing. Out of all the favorite things right now. And it’s going to be your new favorite thing! I realize that’s a bold statement, but coming from someone who has a new favorite thing every […]

The post The Tortellini Salad that We Can’t Stop Eating! appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Just going to say it: this cilantro lime tortellini salad is life changing.

This cilantro lime tortellini salad is loaded with flavor! Served warm or cold, it has pepitas, sun dried tomatoes and crumbled feta. It's ridiculously good!

This tortellini salad is my new favorite thing. Out of all the favorite things right now. And it’s going to be your new favorite thing!

I realize that’s a bold statement, but coming from someone who has a new favorite thing every few days, I figure it’s fine. And expected.

But you are going to love it!

cilantro lime vinaigrette

Okay so you want to know something embarrassing? This is another recipe I’m making inspired by lunch from Nordstrom Cafe. I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW. This might be the fourth recipe on this blog that I made based on a meal there?

And what’s even worse – it’s not even in the cafe. It’s sold at the E Bar in our Nordstrom! The grab and go place!

p.s. this is obviously not sponsored and Nordstrom has no idea who I am, aside from the fact that a few months ago Max knocked over a mannequin while we were shopping and I wanted to crawl into a hole and disappear. 

cheese tortellini

I’ve rambled approximately ten million times about how we still love to go to the mall. We still love it! My mom, aunt and Mother Lovett would take Lacy and me every Friday when I was growing up and it’s a fun tradition that we like to try and hold on to every now and then. We don’t go every week, but when we do go, it can turn into a marathon day. My kids are just used to it by now!

See also: I get them a cookie from E Bar to bribe them into enjoying our marathon shopping day.

See also again: that’s where we first learned of the cilantro lime tortellini salad!

I love it so much. 

This cilantro lime tortellini salad is loaded with flavor! Served warm or cold, it has pepitas, sun dried tomatoes and crumbled feta. It's ridiculously good!

Lacy actually had the salad first and straight up RAVED about it. Then I grabbed it for lunch a few weeks ago when I took my dress (for her wedding!!) to get alterations. I can’t even BELIEVE how delicious it is. I had to create it the moment I got home. 

Cheese tortellini has never been a staple in our meals, so I rarely think of it. But this salad? I was obsessed from the get go. I AM in love. I.am.living.for.it.

This cilantro lime tortellini salad is loaded with flavor! Served warm or cold, it has pepitas, sun dried tomatoes and crumbled feta. It's ridiculously good!

Here are just a few reasons why:

First, it’s incredible. Tastes so, so good, has crunch and texted and creaminess. I love it.

Second, it’s better served cold. At least, I think so. This makes it a perfect make-ahead meal, whether it be for lunch or for a big party. Make it ahead of time. Transport it to where ever you need to go. It works! 

Third, it works as meal (for me, sure!) or a side dish. It can be your lunch tomorrow or a side to your dinner tonight. 

Finally, it has kale in it. It’s good for us. And sun-dried tomatoes. It’s red and green and kind of festive, so it’s perfect for the holiday season and all those potlucks.

This cilantro lime tortellini salad is loaded with flavor! Served warm or cold, it has pepitas, sun dried tomatoes and crumbled feta. It's ridiculously good!

Everyone in this house loved it. The salad has crumbly cheese and roasted pepitas too, so the flavor is just over the top. You can add as much or as little dressing as you’d like. And the Nordstrom version also has corn and poblanos, which I left out her because they felt slightly summery to me. If you’re feeling it, I suggest throwing in a ⅓ cup of sweet corn, because the sweetness really complements everything. 

Yes yes yes!

This cilantro lime tortellini salad is loaded with flavor! Served warm or cold, it has pepitas, sun dried tomatoes and crumbled feta. It's ridiculously good!

I’m sharing this today because I know in this crazy season, we all need something incredible to take to a gathering. Bring this dish if you’re looking for something different to share, something that everyone would love. Something that can be made ahead of time and something that can be made in a big batch for a group.

Promise it’s a hit every time.

This cilantro lime tortellini salad is loaded with flavor! Served warm or cold, it has pepitas, sun dried tomatoes and crumbled feta. It's ridiculously good!

Cilantro Lime Tortellini Salad

Cilantro Lime Tortellini Salad

This cilantro lime tortellini salad is loaded with flavor! Served warm or cold, it has pepitas, sun dried tomatoes and crumbled feta. It’s ridiculously good!

  • 1 pound cheese tortellini, (cooked)
  • 1 jar sun dried tomatoes, (drained and chopped)
  • 3 cups baby kale. (coarsely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled cotija, ((or feta!) cheese)
  • 3 tablespoons roasted and salted pepitas
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro

cilantro lime vinaigrette

  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves, (minced or pressed)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. Boil the cheese tortellini according to the package instructions. Once drained, toss the tortellini with the sun dried tomatoes and kale. Drizzle on a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette and toss.

  2. Add in the cheese and pepitas. Drizzle more dressing if desired. Toss in some fresh cilantro. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Serve.

  3. This is amazing served warm or cold. I prefer it cold and it's even better after it sits for a few hours!

cilantro lime vinaigrette

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the lime juice, honey, garlic, cilantro salt, pepper, pepper flakes and olive oil. Blend until combined an

This cilantro lime tortellini salad is loaded with flavor! Served warm or cold, it has pepitas, sun dried tomatoes and crumbled feta. It's ridiculously good!

Totally making it for lunch today.

The post The Tortellini Salad that We Can’t Stop Eating! appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

One Pot Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta

This One Pot Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta was inspired by those little packets of powdered pasta sauce mix I always see in the grocery store. While those little packets are probably great for camping, stocking a bomb shelter, or keeping in your emergency hurricane supplies, I think regular weeknights call for something better. Better but […]

The post One Pot Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

This One Pot Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta was inspired by those little packets of powdered pasta sauce mix I always see in the grocery store. While those little packets are probably great for camping, stocking a bomb shelter, or keeping in your emergency hurricane supplies, I think regular weeknights call for something better. Better but not harder. This Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta comes together in about 25 minutes, is super luscious and creamy, and uses just a few simple ingredients. ;)

Overhead view of a skillet full of one pot creamy pesto chicken pasta with a wooden spoon in the side.

Chicken, Spinach, and Tomatoes Optional

This recipe idea started as just pasta and sauce. Because sometimes that’s all you need to be satisfied. But I like to rummage through my pantry, fridge, and freezer to find leftover ingredients that can be added to whatever I’m cooking. So I ended up with this creamy pesto chicken pasta, with spinach and sun dried tomatoes. But I ate it as just pasta and sauce during testing and it still made me do the happy chair wiggle.

What Type of Pasta Should I Use?

I used penne pasta, but bowties or rotini would also work well. Because this pasta to broth ratio is very important in one pot pastas I can’t vouch for alternative pastas like gluten-free, rice, chickpea, or even whole wheat pasta. They absorb broth differently than semolina pasta and may not work the same in this recipe.

Tips for Success with “one pot” Pastas

One pot pastas can be tricky for some because the pasta is cooked in a much smaller amount of liquid than traditional pasta cooking methods. Here are a few tips to make sure your one pot pasta cooks evenly and to the right texture:

  • Make sure you’re using quality cookware. Use cookware that is thick, heavy, and transfers heat evenly. Thin cookware will leave some pasta overcooked and some pasta undercooked.
  • Use a burner that is close in size to your cookware. This will help the pot heat evenly and cook the pasta evenly.
  • Make sure the broth maintains a strong simmer throughout the cooking time. If it’s not simmering, the pasta will become mushy.
  • Stir every few minutes to prevent sticking and make sure the pasta cooks evenly.
  • Keep the pot covered to trap steam, which will help cook the pasta.

Close up of One Pot Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta in the skillet with a wooden spoon.

 

One Pot Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta

This super lush and Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta is perfect for busy weeknights. Everything cooks in one pot and is done in under 30 minutes! 

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast ($5.56)
  • 2 Tbsp butter ($0.26)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 1/2 lb. penne pasta ($0.40)
  • 1.5 cups chicken broth ($0.20)
  • 1 cup milk ($0.32)
  • 3 oz. cream cheese* ($0.29)
  • 1/3 cup basil pesto ($0.73)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan ($0.44)
  • freshly cracked pepper ($0.03)
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper ($0.02)

Optional Add-Ins

  • 3 cup fresh spinach ($0.90)
  • 1/4 cup sliced sun dried tomatoes ($1.10)
  1. Cut the chicken breast into 1-inch pieces. Add the butter to a deep skillet and melt over medium heat. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook over medium heat until the chicken is slightly browned on the outside.

  2. While the chicken is cooking, mince the garlic. Add the garlic to the skillet with the chicken and continue to sauté for one minute more.

  3. Add the uncooked pasta and chicken broth to the skillet with the chicken and garlic. Stir to dissolve any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the broth up to a boil.

  4. Once the broth comes to a full boil, give the pasta a quick stir, replace the lid, and turn the heat down to medium-low. Let the pasta simmer over medium-low heat for about 8 minutes, or until the pasta is tender and most of the broth has been absorbed. Stir the pasta briefly every two minutes as it simmers, replacing the lid quickly each time.

  5. Once the pasta is tender and most of the broth absorbed, add the milk, cream cheese (cut into chunks), and pesto. Stir and cook over medium heat until the cream cheese has fully melted into the sauce. Finally, add the grated Parmesan and stir until combined.

  6. If using, add the fresh spinach and sliced sun dried tomatoes. Stir until the spinach has wilted, then remove the pasta from the heat. Top the pasta with freshly cracked pepper and a pinch of crushed red pepper, then serve.

*Cream cheese usually has markings on the outer wrapping showing lines for each ounce. Use this as a guide to cut three ounces from the block.

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Close up of one pot creamy pesto chicken pasta in a shallow bowl with a black fork.

Love one pot pasta? Check out my One Pot Meals category for more! 

How to Make Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta – Step by Step Photos

Browned chicken pieces in a deep skillet

Cut one pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast into 1-inch pieces. Add 2 Tbsp butter to a deep skillet and melt over medium heat. Add the chicken pieces and sauté until the chicken is slightly browned on the outside. Add 2 cloves of minced garlic and sauté for one minute more. (I’m using an OXO 4-quart covered skillet)

Uncooked pasta and chicken broth added to the skillet

Add 1/2 lb. uncooked penne pasta and 1.5 cups chicken broth to the skillet. Stir briefly to dissolve any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.

Lid being placed on the skillet with uncooked pasta and chicken

Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the broth to come up to a full boil.

Cooked pasta in the skillet with a spatula pulling the pasta to the side to show no broth remains

Once the broth comes to a full boil, give the pasta a brief stir, replace the lid, turn the heat down to medium-low and let it continue to simmer for about 8 minutes, or until the pasta is tender and most of the broth absorbed. Stir the pasta every two minutes or so as it simmers, replacing the lid each time.

Milk being poured into the skillet with chunks of cream cheese and pesto.

Add 3 oz. cream cheese (cut into chunks), 1/3 cup pesto, and 1 cup milk to the skillet. Stir and cook the mixture over medium until the cream cheese has fully melted and the sauce is creamy.

Finished creamy pesto pasta sauce and pasta in the skillet

Once the cream cheese has fully melted in, add 1/4 cup grated Parmesan and stir to combine.

Spinach and sun dried tomatoes added to the skillet

If you’re adding spinach and sun dried tomatoes, like I did, add them once the sauce is finished and stir just until the spinach has wilted, then remove the skillet from the heat.

Finished creamy pesto chicken pasta in the skillet topped with black pepper and crushed red pepper

Whether you are using spinach and sun dried tomatoes or not, finish the creamy pesto chicken pasta off with some freshly cracked pepper and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. The little pops of flavor that these two bring to the dish really take it to the next level!

Close up of One Pot Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta in the skillet with a wooden spoon

Dive in! :)

The post One Pot Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Pesto Grilled Cheese with Sun Dried Tomatoes

I went all Splurgy McSpurgison on this Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich, but you know what? It was so worth it. And still a fraction of what it would cost to buy a fancy schmancy sandwich like this at a deli. So here it is. When you need a little splurge in your life, or you […]

The post Pesto Grilled Cheese with Sun Dried Tomatoes appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I went all Splurgy McSpurgison on this Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich, but you know what? It was so worth it. And still a fraction of what it would cost to buy a fancy schmancy sandwich like this at a deli. So here it is. When you need a little splurge in your life, or you just have some leftover pesto that needs to be used up, make this Pesto Grilled Cheese with Sun Dried Tomatoes. You won’t regret it.

Two halves of a Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich stacked with cut sides facing the camera. Blue background.

What Kind of Pesto Should I Use?

I used my homemade Kale Pesto for this sandwich, but it works just as well with store-bought pesto, of any flavor. 

What Kind of Cheese Should I Use?

I used fresh mozzarella because I love the way it melts, but you can use block or grated mozzarella in its place (that’s usually more affordable as well). Other types of cheese that would work great with pesto are: smoked mozzarella, gruyere, swiss, brie, or white cheddar. 

What Kind of Bread Should I Use?

You definitely want to get some sort of sturdy, crusty bread for this sandwich. Pesto is fairly oily in nature, so it will soak right through a delicate sandwich bread. Go for something thick, robust, and sturdy. If you want to make your own, try my No Knead Bread.

Add-Ins for Your Pesto Grilled Cheese

I added some sun dried tomatoes to my Pesto Grilled Cheese, which added a nice sweet-tart pop of flavor against the creamy cheese and salty pesto. The sun dried tomatoes are totally optional, but they do take things to the next level. Some other add-in ideas are: fresh spinach, fresh tomatoes, avocado, roasted red peppers, olives, or ham. OMG, I’m totally drooling right now.

Two hands pulling the pesto grilled cheese sandwich in half, with the cheese pulling between and sun dried tomato pieces exposed.

 

Pesto Grilled Cheese

Whether you're using up leftover pesto or just want to treat yourself to something special, this Pesto Grilled Cheese is next level!

  • 2 slices hearty bread ($0.75)
  • 1 Tbsp butter ($0.13)
  • 2 Tbsp pesto ($0.42)
  • 2 sun dried tomato pieces ($0.55)
  • 2 oz. mozzarella ($0.60)
  1. Spread 1/2 Tbsp butter over one side of each piece of bread. Spread 1 Tbsp pesto over the opposite side of each piece of bread. The butter sides will be facing out on the sandwich and the pesto sides facing in.

  2. Cut the sun dried tomatoes into small pieces. Sprinkle them over one of the pesto coated surface of bread. Add the mozzarella on top of the sun dried tomatoes (shred or break the mozzarella into small pieces to facilitate fast melting). Place the other piece of bread on top, pesto side facing in.

  3. Place the sandwich in a small skillet and heat over medium-low until golden brown on one side. Flip and cook until golden brown on the other side, and the cheese is melted on the inside (about 3-5 minutes each side). Serve hot.

Scroll down for the step by step photos!
Two stacked pieces of pesto grilled cheese next to a bowl and small knife with pesto on it.

Step by Step Photos

Pesto being spread onto two slices of bread, a bowl of pesto on the side.

Smear 1/2 Tbsp of butter over one side of two pieces of bread. Flip the bread over and spread 1 Tbsp pesto on the opposite sides. The butter sides will be facing out on the sandwich, and the pesto sides facing in.

Sun dried tomato pieces added to pesto on bread.

Cut two pieces of sun dried tomato into small pieces, then sprinkle them over one half of the sandwich.

Add mozzarella to sandwich, in small pieces.

Add 2 oz. mozzarella on top of the sun dried tomatoes. If you’re using shredded mozzarella, add as-is. If you are using slices, break them into small pieces so they’ll melt faster.

Cooked Pesto Grilled Cheese in the skillet

Close the sandwich by placing the second piece of bread on top, pesto side facing in. Place the sandwich in a skillet and cook over medium-low until the bread is golden brown. Flip the sandwich and cook on the second side until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted on the inside. I find that cooking on a slightly lower heat (medium-low instead of medium) gives the inside time to heat and melt the cheese before the outside burns.

Hands holding a stacked pesto grilled cheese facing the camera.

Serve while the pesto grilled cheese is still hot and melty!! (And no, I didn’t plan my nail color to match the toothpick! Happy accident!)

The post Pesto Grilled Cheese with Sun Dried Tomatoes appeared first on Budget Bytes.