10-Minute Mushroom Avocado Toast

Avocado toast? We’re not over it. It’s hard to beat the quick, easy, and savory goodness of this breakfast staple, but topped with subtly spicy sautéed mushrooms?! It’s a must-try, friends!
We love this mushroom avocado toast on its own as a snack, but…

10-Minute Mushroom Avocado Toast

Avocado toast? We’re not over it. It’s hard to beat the quick, easy, and savory goodness of this breakfast staple, but topped with subtly spicy sautéed mushrooms?! It’s a must-try, friends!

We love this mushroom avocado toast on its own as a snack, but it’s also perfect for breakfast with greens or alongside a fried egg. Just 1 pan, 7 ingredients, and 10 minutes required.

10-Minute Mushroom Avocado Toast from Minimalist Baker →

Carrot Soup

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

The post Carrot Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

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

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

Is Roasting Necessary?

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

Boiling Instead of Simmering

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

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

Can I freeze carrot soup?

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

What can I serve with carrot soup?

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

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

Side shot of white bowl with carrot soup in it.

Carrot Soup

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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

Nutrition

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

How to Make Carrot Soup – Step by Step Photos

Overhead shot of sliced raw carrots in a sheet pan.

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

Overhead shot of butter browning.

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

Overhead shot of butter browning.

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

Overhead shot of chicken stock being poured into soup base.

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

Overhead shot of sheet pan with roasted carrots.

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

Overhead shot of carrots cooking in cream mixture.

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

Overhead shot of blended carrot soup.

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

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

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

Try These Other Great Creamy Soups

The post Carrot Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken pot pie is a cozy and classic comfort food made with a flakey crust and a rich sauce full of tender chicken and vegetables.

The post Chicken Pot Pie appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I could eat this chicken pot pie every day for the rest of my life. Okay, maybe I’m being a little hyperbolic, but it’s definitely one of those recipes that I can eat for days in a row and I’ll still be sad once the leftovers are gone. Because when a food makes you feel this cozy and good, how can you not want it in your life every day? Either way, I guarantee this scrumptious homemade chicken pot pie is going to be made on REPEAT in my house all through the fall and winter.

Chicken Pot Pie with a slice removed.

What’s in a Chicken Pot Pie?

Chicken pot pie starts with a deliciously flakey pie crust and is filled with a rich and saucy chicken gravy, chunks of tender chicken, and a medley of colorful vegetables. It’s everything you want in a meal on one plate!

This recipe is pretty flexible, allowing you to take some shortcuts if you need to make the prep easier, or you can do everything from scratch to make this pie an ✨EVENT✨!

Pie Crust Options

It’s no secret that the crust is one of the best parts of a chicken pot pie, so we chose not to skimp on the crust. We used our simple 3-ingredient pie crust recipe, which is super buttery and deliciously flakey. If you want to use a store-bought crust, just make sure to buy a double crust (top and bottom crusts) and follow the baking instructions on the box.

You could also bake this “pie” in skillet without a bottom crust and then top it with your favorite biscuits. The filling is fully cooked before it goes into the pie, so simply top with biscuits and then bake until the biscuits are browned and cooked through.

Can I Use Pre-Cooked Chicken for Chicken Pot Pie?

Yes! Chicken pot pie is a great way to use up leftover rotisserie chicken, or even leftover turkey from Thanksgiving! Just skip the first step in the recipe below (cooking the raw chicken) and add your pre-cooked chicken to the filling when the cooked chicken is added back to the gravy with the herbs and spices.

Use Fresh or Frozen Vegetables

To make this chicken pot pie super simple, we used a frozen vegetable medley. Using a frozen veggie mix means less chopping and you won’t have any leftover vegetables to try to use up later. If you do want to slice and chop your own vegetables, use 1-2 carrots, about ½ cup corn kernels, ½ cup chopped green beans, and ½ cup peas. You could also other vegetables, like mushrooms or celery.

Do I Need to Blind Bake the Crust?

When using our 3-ingredient pie crust recipe and a glass pie plate, our chicken pot pie baked to perfection with a golden brown flakey bottom crust without having to pre-bake the bottom crust. That being said, using different crust recipes or store-bought crusts with different types of pie plates may yield different results.

A slice of chicken pot pie being lifted out of the pie pan from the side.
A slice of chicken pot pie taken out of the pie dish.

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken pot pie is a cozy classic comfort food made with a flakey crust and a rich sauce full of tender chicken and vegetables.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $8.44 recipe / $1.06 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 361kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (about ⅔ lb.) $3.33
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1 yellow onion $0.38
  • 4 Tbsp butter $0.50
  • 4 Tbsp flour $0.04
  • 1 cup chicken broth $0.13
  • 1/2 cup whole milk $0.10
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp rubbed sage $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper $0.02
  • 3/4 tsp salt $0.05
  • 12 oz. frozen mixed vegetables $1.25
  • 1 double pie crust $2.34
  • l egg (optional) $0.20

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cut the chicken breast into ½-inch pieces.
  • Heat a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add the cooking oil and diced chicken. Cook just until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken from the skillet.
  • While the chicken is cooking, dice the onion. After removing the chicken from the skillet, add the diced onion and butter. Sauté the onions in the butter until softened.
  • Sprinkle the flour over the onions in the skillet and continue to cook and stir for two minutes more. It's okay if the flour begins to coat the surface of the skillet, but don't let it burn.
  • Add the chicken broth and milk to the skillet. Whisk to combine and dissolve any flour off the bottom of the skillet. Let the liquid come up to a simmer, at which point it will thicken into a gravy.
  • Add the cooked chicken back to the skillet along with the thyme, sage, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Finally, add the frozen mixed vegetables and allow them to heat through in the gravy, stirring occasionally, just until the gravy begins to simmer again. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  • Place your bottom crust in a 9-inch pie plate. Prick the bottom several times with a fork. Transfer the chicken, vegetable, and gravy mixture into the pie crust.
  • Add the top crust and crimp the edges closed. Brush a light layer of whisked egg over the surface of the pie crust (optional). Use a knife to cut large vents in the top of the crust.
  • Bake the chicken pot pie for 45-50 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and flakey. The baking time may vary depending on the type of crust and pie plate used.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 20g | Sodium: 616mg | Fiber: 3g
Close up overhead view of a chicken pot pie with a slice cut into it.

How to Make Chicken Pot Pie – Step by Step Photos

Cooked diced chicken in a skillet.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Dice one boneless skinless chicken breast into ½-inch pieces and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Heat a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp cooking oil and the diced chicken breast. Cook the chicken pieces just until cooked through (do not over cook).

Diced onion and butter in a deep skillet.

While the chicken is cooking, dice one yellow onion. Remove the cooked chicken from the skillet and add the diced onion and 4 Tbsp butter. Sauté the onions in the butter over medium heat until softened.

Flour being added to the skillet.

Once the onions are soft, sprinkle in 4 Tbsp of all-purpose flour. Continue to cook and stir for about two minutes more. It’s okay for the flour to begin to coat the bottom of the skillet, just make sure it doesn’t begin to burn.

Milk and broth being added to the skillet.

Add one cup of chicken broth and one cup of whole milk to the skillet. Whisk to combine and dissolve any flour off the bottom of the skillet.

Thickened gravy being whisked.

Allow the liquid to come up to a simmer, at which point it will thicken into a nice gravy.

Chicken and seasoning added back to the gravy.

Add the cooked chicken back to the skillet along with ¼ tsp dried thyme, ¼ tsp rubbed sage, ¼ tsp black pepper, and ¾ tsp salt. Stir to combine.

frozen vegetables stirred into the gravy.

Stir in one 12oz. bag of frozen mixed vegetables. Allow the gravy mixture to heat through and come back up to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Once fully heated through and simmering, remove it from the heat.

Pie filling being added to a pie crust.

Place the bottom crust into a pie plate and prick it several times over the bottom with a fork. Fill the pie crust with the chicken pot pie filling.

Vents being cut into the top pie crust.

Add the top crust and crimp the edges closed. Brush the top of the pie with a thin layer of whisked egg. Use a knife to cut large vents into the top of the pie crust.

Baked Chicken Pot Pie.

Bake the chicken pot pie for 45-50 minutes, or until the pie crust is golden brown and flakey and the filling is bubbling up slightly through the vents. Total cooking time may vary depending on the type of crust and pie dish used. The filling is fully cooked before going into the pie, so adjust the baking time based on the crust.

Chicken pot pie on a blue background with plates and parsley on the sides.

Let the pie cool for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

A slice of chicken pot pie taken out of the pie dish.

Try these other savory pie recipes:

The post Chicken Pot Pie appeared first on Budget Bytes.

French Tomato Tart

This week I saw the first promise of tomato season. A few brightly colored cherry specimens were brought home from the local market, as well as the more standard varieties. I was down in Gascony visiting my friend Kate Hill, and her photographer friend Tim Clinch was there preparing to lead a photography workshop. Looking for something tempting and colorful, tomatoes seemed the obvious choice…

tomato tart

This week I saw the first promise of tomato season. A few brightly colored cherry specimens were brought home from the local market, as well as the more standard varieties. I was down in Gascony visiting my friend Kate Hill, and her photographer friend Tim Clinch was there preparing to lead a photography workshop. Looking for something tempting and colorful, tomatoes seemed the obvious choice to be willing subjects for pictures, and for dinner.

cherry tomatoes erika

In addition to the profusion of flowers plucked from the lush garden by the canal du Midi, the tomatoes had their moment in front of the camera. But once the participants stopped clicking, we grabbed them and put them where they rightfully belong: In the kitchen.

Continue Reading French Tomato Tart...

One Pot Chicken and Rice

This hearty and delicious chicken and rice combines rich and flavorful rice with well seasoned chicken or an easy one pot meal.

The post One Pot Chicken and Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

You guys know how much I love my one pot meals. They’re easy, cozy, and always satisfying. This Chicken and Rice one pot meal is kind of a mash-up of two of my other favorite recipes, Cajun Sausage and Rice and Mushroom Rice, and it’s definitely moving to the top of my list of favorites. The rice is rich and flavorful, the chicken is super tender, and the whole dish comes together almost effortlessly.

chicken and rice being scooped out of the skillet.

What’s in Chicken and Rice?

This super simple dish includes juicy chicken thighs coated in herbs and spices (not spicy!), sautéed onions, and long grain white rice cooked in vegetable broth. Because you cook everything in one pot from start to finish, no flavors are lost. Every bite is packed with rich and delicious flavor.

Can I Use Chicken Breasts?

I highly suggest sticking to chicken thighs for this recipe because chicken breasts can tend to dry out a bit with the double cook (sear first, steam with rice second), and the fattier chicken thighs make the dish nice and rich. It can be done, but it definitely won’t be as juicy or tender as chicken thighs. And whichever you use, make sure it’s boneless because bone-in chicken needs more time to cook and may not cook through by the time the rice is finished.

What Else Can I Add to Chicken and Rice?

If you want to add some vegetables to the pot, I would try adding a ½ cup frozen peas when you add the broth, or sautéing some mushrooms after the chicken and before the onions.

What to Serve with Chicken and Rice?

Since I didn’t add any vegetables in the pot with my chicken and rice, I added some roasted broccoli on the side. I think roasted broccoli is the perfect side because the roasted flavor matches the coziness of the chicken and rice, plus the simple flavor doesn’t compete, leaving the chicken and rice to shine. You could also do some steamed green beans, sautéed zucchini, or a simple side salad.

Chicken and rice on a plate with roasted broccoli.
Close up of chicken being scooped out of the skillet.

One Pot Chicken and Rice

This hearty and delicious chicken and rice combines rich and flavorful rice with well seasoned chicken or an easy one pot meal.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $5.82 recipe / $1.46 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 421kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp paprika $0.20
  • 1 tsp dried oregano $0.10
  • 1 tsp dried thyme $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp pepper $0.02
  • 1.25 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (4-5 thighs) $4.23
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil, divided $0.08
  • 1 yellow onion, diced $0.32
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice (uncooked) $0.32
  • 1.75 cups vegetable broth $0.23
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley (optional garnish) $0.10

Instructions

  • Combine the paprika, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Coat both sides of the chicken thighs in the seasoning mix.
  • Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to a deep skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, swirl to coat the surface of the skillet, then add the chicken thighs. Cook the thighs for a few minutes on each side, or until well browned. The chicken does not need to be cooked through at this point.
  • Remove the browned chicken to a clean plate. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add an additional 1 Tbsp cooking oil to the skillet, then add the diced onion. Sauté the onion for about 5 minutes, or until softened. Allow the moisture from the onion to dissolve the browned bits from the skillet as you stir.
  • Add the uncooked rice to the skillet and continue to sauté for 1-2 minutes more to toast the rice.
  • Add the vegetable broth to the skillet and briefly stir to dissolve any remaining brown bits from the bottom of the skillet.
  • Return the chicken to the skillet, setting it on top of the rice. Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the broth to come up to a full boil.
  • Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let the chicken and rice continue to simmer over low, without lifting the lid or stirring, for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn off the heat and let it rest, without lifting the lid, for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Finally, remove the lid and fluff the rice around the chicken. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired, then serve and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 421kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 13g | Sodium: 688mg | Fiber: 2g
Side view of chicken being scooped out of the skillet.

How to Make Chicken and Rice – Step by Step Photos

seasoned chicken thighs on a cutting board.

Combine 2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp dried thyme, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp onion powder, ¼ tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper in a bowl. Coat both sides of four or five boneless, skinless chicken thighs with the seasoning mix.

Browned chicken thighs in the skillet.

Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a deep skillet over medium. Once hot, swirl to coat the surface, then add the seasoned chicken thighs. Cook for about five minutes on each side, or until well browned. The chicken does not need to be fully cooked at this point, just well browned on the surface. While the chicken cooks, dice a yellow onion.

Sautéed onions in the skillet.

Remove the browned chicken to a clean plate. Reduce the heat to medium-low, then add another 1 Tbsp cooking oil and the diced onion to the skillet. Sauté the onion until soft, allowing the moisture from the onion to dissolve the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.

Rice added to the skillet with the onion.

Add one cup of uncooked long-grain white rice to the skillet. Continue to sauté with the onion for 1-2 minutes to slightly toast the rice. You should hear it crackling and popping.

Broth being poured into the skillet.

Add 1.75 cups vegetable broth to the skillet with the rice and onions. Briefly stir to dissolve any browned bits that might remain stuck to the bottom of the skillet.

Chicken thighs back in the skillet, the lid being placed on top.

Return the chicken thighs to the skillet, placing them on top of the rice. Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the broth to come up to a boil. When it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and let it continue to simmer on low, without lifting the lid or stirring, for 20 minutes.

Cooked chicken and rice in the skillet.

After simmering on low for 20 minutes, turn off the heat and let it rest for five minutes without lifting the lid. After resting, it should look like the above photo.

fluffed rice in the skillet with chicken thighs, garnished with parsley.

Fluff the rice with a fork and stir the onions back into the rice (it tends to float to the top while simmering). Garnish with chopped parsley and serve!

Close up of chicken being scooped out of the skillet.

The post One Pot Chicken and Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Easy Skillet Chicken Thighs

I have a winner, winner chicken dinner for you! This Easy Skillet Chicken Thigh recipe is a family favorite and takes less than 30 minutes to make! We make this chicken recipe all of the time because it is so simple and the chicken is SO juicy. It turn…

I have a winner, winner chicken dinner for you! This Easy Skillet Chicken Thigh recipe is a family favorite and takes less than 30 minutes to make! We make this chicken recipe all of the time because it is so simple and the chicken is SO juicy. It turns out perfect every single time. If…

Vegetarian French Dip Sandwiches

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

The post Vegetarian French Dip Sandwiches appeared first on Budget Bytes.

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

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

Overhead view of vegetarian French dip sandwiches in a tray.

What is a French Dip Sandwich?

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

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

How to Make a French Dip Sandwich Vegetarian

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

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

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

How to Store Leftovers

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

What Kind of Bread Should I Use?

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

Side view of vegetarian French dip sandwiches.

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

Vegetarian French Dip Sandwiches

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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

Notes

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

Nutrition

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

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

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

Sliced mushrooms and onion.

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

Sautéed onions in a skillet.

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

Sautéed mushrooms in the skillet.

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

Broth being poured into the skillet.

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

Finished mushrooms in au jus.

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

Hoagie rolls sliced open on a baking sheet.

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

Mushrooms and onions being placed on toasted rolls.

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

Sliced provolone added to the rolls.

Add a slice of provolone to each…

Melted cheese on the sandwiches on the baking sheet.

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

front view of finished sandwiches on the baking sheet.

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

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

These Vegetarian French Dip Sandwiches are seriously good stuff. nomnomnom

The post Vegetarian French Dip Sandwiches appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Lemony Risotto with Fresh Herbs & Garlic

It’s probably obvious by now — we LOVE risotto. It’s comforting, incredibly versatile, and surprisingly easy to make! This Lemony Risotto is all of those things, plus bright, fresh, garlicky, herby, and perfect for spring!
It’s vegan and gluten-f…

Lemony Risotto with Fresh Herbs & Garlic

It’s probably obvious by now — we LOVE risotto. It’s comforting, incredibly versatile, and surprisingly easy to make! This Lemony Risotto is all of those things, plus bright, fresh, garlicky, herby, and perfect for spring!

It’s vegan and gluten-free but does not skimp on creaminess! We love it for a weeknight meal when we’re feeling fancy but needing something easy.

Lemony Risotto with Fresh Herbs & Garlic from Minimalist Baker →

Vegetables and Gravy

Vegetables and Gravy is a simple, no frills recipe that is warm and comforting and can be made with simple, inexpensive ingredients.

The post Vegetables and Gravy appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’ve been having a lot of fun lately looking at old recipes from The Great Depression and I’m always surprised at how simple they are. They’re always just a few ingredients, barely seasoned, but always filling. The simplicity of those recipes inspired this Vegetables and Gravy recipe, although I did make sure it was well seasoned to fit today’s pallet. 😅

This recipe is great for those times when you just need to throw together something simple, warm, and filling using inexpensive ingredients that you might already have on hand. It’s kind of like a cross between potato soup and the filling of a chicken pot pie (minus the chicken). Is it the best thing I’ve ever eaten in my life? No. But when money is tight, this dish hits just right.

side view of a bowl of vegetables and gravy with a piece of bread and a spoon.

What is Vegetables and Gravy?

This dish starts with cubed potatoes that are boiled in vegetable broth until tender. The liquid is then seasoned with herbs and spices and thickened to a gravy with a milk and flour slurry. Next, we add a bag of mixed frozen vegetables to add color, texture, and flavor. And we finish the dish off with some butter for added creaminess, and salt and pepper to taste. Simple, filling, and satisfying!

What Else Can I Add?

If you happen to have some extra ingredients on hand and want to take this dish up a notch, here are some ideas:

  • Top with shredded cheese
  • Brown some bacon in the pot first and top the finished dish with the crumbled bacon
  • Add your favorite seasoning blend(you could do anything from a Cajun seasoning to something simple like Lawry’s)
  • Add chopped cooked chicken to make it more like a chicken pot pie (a great use for leftover rotisserie chicken!)
  • Add dumplings

How to Serve Vegetables and Gravy

I would consider this a simple all-in-one bowl meal and would not plan to make anything on the side. I might serve with some crusty bread for sopping up all that delicious gravy, but otherwise, everything I need is in that bowl. If you definitely need something on the side, I’d do a simple roasted vegetable. Maybe broccoli or Brussels sprouts.

About Those Leftovers…

Because this gravy is thickened with flour, it does gel up and get quite thick when refrigerated. But don’t worry, it will loosen a bit upon reheating and you can always add a splash of water or milk to thin it out even more, if needed.

A ladle full of vegetables and gravy being lifted from the pot.
Side view of a bowl of vegetables with gravy with a piece of bread and a spoon.

Vegetables and Gravy

Vegetables and Gravy is a simple, no frills recipe that is warm and comforting and can be made with simple, inexpensive ingredients.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $4.00 recipe / $1.00 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Calories 317kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs. russet potatoes $1.96
  • 2 cups vegetable broth $0.26
  • 1 cup milk $0.20
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour $0.03
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce $0.12
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 12 oz. frozen mixed vegetables $1.00
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.22
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste) $0.02

Instructions

  • Peel and cube the potatoes into ¾-inch pieces.
  • Add the cubed potatoes to a large pot with the vegetable broth. Cover the pot, turn the heat on to medium-high, and allow the broth to come up to a boil. Continue to boil the potatoes until they are fork-tender.
  • While the potatoes are boiling, whisk together the milk and flour.
  • Once the potatoes are tender, turn the heat down to medium and add the flour and milk slurry. Also add the soy sauce, thyme, sage, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper.
  • Allow the liquid in the pot to come back up to a simmer, at which point it will thicken to a gravy.
  • Add the frozen vegetables to the pot, stir to combine, then allow them to heat through.
  • Stir the butter into the gravy until melted and combined. Give the gravy a taste and add salt, pepper, butter or other seasonings to your liking. Serve hot!

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cup | Calories: 317kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 1381mg | Fiber: 6g
Overhead view of a bowl of vegetables and gravy with a piece of bread.

How to Make Vegetables and Gravy

Diced potatoes on a cutting board.

Start by peeling and cubing about 1.5 lbs. russet potatoes. Cut them into ¾-inch cubes.

broth being poured into a pot with cubed potatoes.

Add the cubed potatoes to a large pot and add 2 cups of vegetable broth. Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the broth up to a boil. Continue to boil the potatoes until fork tender (about 7 minutes).

Milk in a measuring cup with a whisk.

While the potatoes are boiling, prepare the milk and flour slurry. Whisk ¼ cup all-purpose flour into 1 cup milk.

Milk being poured into the pot with potatoes and herbs.

Once the potatoes are tender, turn the heat down to medium and add the milk and flour slurry to the pot along with 2 Tbsp soy sauce, ½ tsp dried thyme, ½ tsp dried sage, ½ tsp onion powder, ¼ tsp garlic powder, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper. Stir to combine.

Thickened gravy being stirred in the pot.

Allow the liquid to come back up to a simmer, at which point it will thicken into a gravy.

Frozen vegetables being poured into the pot.

Add one 12oz. bag of frozen mixed vegetables and stir to combine. Allow the vegetables to heat through in the gravy.

Finished vegetables and gravy being stirred in the pot.

Lastly, add 2 tablespoons of butter to the gravy and stir until it has melted in. Give the gravy a taste and add salt, pepper, or more butter to your liking.

Overhead view of a pot full of vegetables and gravy.

Serve it up hot with a little bread for sopping up that delicious gravy! (I garnished with some fresh parsley because I had it on hand, but it’s not necessary to flavor this dish.)

Side view of a bowl of vegetables with gravy with a piece of bread and a spoon.

The post Vegetables and Gravy appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Crispy Baked Tofu with Italian Herbs

Crispy tofu that tastes like pizza? Count us in! After a few tests, we nailed this crumbled baked tofu featuring Italian herbs and garlic. It’s so crispy and flavor-packed that we couldn’t stop eating it right off the pan! Even tofu haters admitted it’…

Crispy Baked Tofu with Italian Herbs

Crispy tofu that tastes like pizza? Count us in! After a few tests, we nailed this crumbled baked tofu featuring Italian herbs and garlic. It’s so crispy and flavor-packed that we couldn’t stop eating it right off the pan! Even tofu haters admitted it’s good.

It’s an endlessly versatile, plant-based protein boost perfect for polenta, pasta, pizza, wraps (recipe coming soon), and beyond!

Crispy Baked Tofu with Italian Herbs from Minimalist Baker →