Savory Oatmeal

It’s funny how oats have been pigeonholed for use in mostly sweet dishes in the U.S. We tend to eat oats sweetened at breakfast, or as part of delicious crumbly desserts, but oats do just as well with savory flavors as do any other grain. This savory oatmeal is a delicious and hearty meal any […]

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It’s funny how oats have been pigeonholed for use in mostly sweet dishes in the U.S. We tend to eat oats sweetened at breakfast, or as part of delicious crumbly desserts, but oats do just as well with savory flavors as do any other grain. This savory oatmeal is a delicious and hearty meal any time of day, and there are so many options for toppings and add-ins, so you can make it work with whatever ingredients you have on hand. This might just end up being your new favorite easy budget meal!

close up side view of a bowl of savory oatmeal

What Kind of Oats are Best for This Recipe?

You can technically make savory oats with any kind of oats, but the recipe below is written for old-fashioned rolled oats, which cook fairly quickly (about 5 minutes). I find that old-fashioned rolled oats are a nice balance between texture and convenience. Steel-cut oats take much longer to cook and you’ll need more liquid. Quick oats cook faster but don’t provide very much texture.

How to Flavor Savory Oatmeal

Oats on their own have a very bland flavor, and I think that’s why they often get a bad rap. Here are some tips for making sure your savory oatmeal is full of flavor:

  • Cook them in a really flavorful broth. I like to use Better Than Bouillon because it tends to have a nice vibrant flavor. Plus it comes in several flavors and options.
  • Use aromatics. A little bit of fresh garlic or ginger goes a long way! Green onion or shallots are also great.
  • Add your favorite seasoning blend. You could experiment with your favorite bottled seasonings like Everything Bagel Seasoning, jerk seasoning, steak seasoning, furikake, onion salt.
  • Top with your favorite sauce. Try adding a little chili garlic paste, sriracha, or gochujang!

Savory Oatmeal Topping Ideas

In addition to ingredients that can be added into your oatmeal, you can add all sorts of delicious toppings, too! Here are some oatmeal topping ideas:

Can I Make it Ahead?

Yes, savory oatmeal is great for making ahead! You can change the number of servings in the recipe card below and the ingredients will auto adjust for you. After cooking, divide your savory oatmeal into single-serving portions and refrigerate. To reheat, simply microwave on high for about 2 minutes, stirring half-way through. If the oatmeal is too thick, just add a splash of water.

Make it Vegan

You can make the savory oatmeal recipe below vegan by swapping out the butter for your favorite cooking oil. Coconut oil would be very nice here because it has a rich mouthfeel, similar to butter.

overhead view of a bowl full of savory oatmeal with ingredients on the sides
overhead view of a bowl full of savory oatmeal with ingredients on the sides

Savory Oatmeal

Savory oatmeal is a delicious, hearty, and inexpensive meal that can be customized to use ingredients you have on hand.
Total Cost $1.25 recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 245kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger $0.05
  • 4 mushrooms $0.62
  • 1 tsp butter $0.04
  • 1 cup vegetable broth $0.13
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats $0.09
  • 1/2 cup spinach $0.19
  • 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil $0.05

Instructions

  • Mince the garlic, grate the ginger, and slice the mushrooms.
  • Add the butter, garlic, and ginger to a small saucepot. Sauté over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms and continue to sauté for a few minutes more, or until the mushrooms have wilted a bit.
  • Add the vegetable broth to the saucepot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the broth up to a boil.
  • When the broth reaches a boil, add the rolled oats and stir to combine. Allow it to return to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low. Let the oats simmer for about 5 minutes, or until thickened.
  • While the oats are simmering, roughly chop the spinach. Stir the spinach into the thickened oats, along with the toasted sesame oil.
  • Taste and add salt to your liking, if needed, then top it off with your favorite toppings. Serve hot!

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 245kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 995mg | Fiber: 5g
Close up of a spoonful of savory oats, the bowl in the background

How to Make Savory Oatmeal – Step by Step Photos

Butter, garlic, and ginger in a pot

Mince one clove of garlic, grate about ½ tsp of fresh ginger, and slice 3-4 mushrooms. Add the garlic, ginger, and 1 teaspoon butter to a small saucepot. Sauté the garlic and ginger in the butter over medium heat for about one minute.

sautéed mushrooms in the pot

Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes more, or just until the mushrooms have softened.

Vegetable broth being poured into the pot

Add one cup vegetable broth to the pot. Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring the broth up to a boil.

Oats being poured into the saucepot

When the broth reaches a boil, add ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats.

Cooked savory oatmeal in the saucepot

Allow the broth to come back up to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and let the oats simmer for about 5 minutes, or until thickened.

Chopped spinach stirred into the oats

While the oats are simmering, roughly chop a handful of spinach. Stir the chopped spinach and ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil into the oats.

Overhead view of a bowl full of savory oatmeal with ingredients on the sides

Give it a taste and add salt, if needed. Serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

A bowl of Savory Oatmeal with an egg on top

It’s also really good with an egg on top!

The post Savory Oatmeal appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sticky Ginger Chicken Wings

Wow. Just, WOW. These Sticky Ginger Chicken Wings are just the right amount of salty, sweet, and spicy with a fresh little zing thanks to the ginger. The sticky gooey sauce is so good that you won’t even care when it gets all over your face and fingers. …but maybe keep some wet naps close […]

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Wow. Just, WOW. These Sticky Ginger Chicken Wings are just the right amount of salty, sweet, and spicy with a fresh little zing thanks to the ginger. The sticky gooey sauce is so good that you won’t even care when it gets all over your face and fingers. …but maybe keep some wet naps close by. ;) 

Originally posted 8-29-2010, updated 3-8-2021

Overhead view of a bowl full of sticky ginger chicken wings

Baked Instead of Fried

Restaurant chicken wings are usually fried, but I have an irrational fear (or maybe it’s a rational fear) of deep-frying, so I make my wings in the oven. Sometimes I’ll bake the wings coated in cornstarch to get a nice crispy skin (see my Honey Mustard Wings), but this time I baked my wings right in the soy ginger sauce so the sauce would reduce and turn into a sticky glaze as the wings baked—no need for a second pot. It’s super easy and there’s no danger of fryer grease splashing or causing third-degree burns (or at least that’s what plays out in my head every time I think about deep-frying). 

What Kind of Baking Dish is Best?

I used an 8″x11″ glass casserole dish to bake my wings. I suggest glass or ceramic because they conduct heat a little more evenly than metal, which may cause the sauce to burn a bit more on the edges. If you want to double the batch, just use a larger dish, like a 9″x13″, or one that allows you to spread the chicken wings in a single layer.

What to Serve with Sticky Ginger Chicken Wings

Since these wings are so sticky sweet, I would suggest adding a vegetable-heavy side, like this Crunchy Cabbage Salad, or Sesame Cucumber Salad. And then if you want to also add a starch, try something simple like Sesame Rice or Garlic Noodles.

Close up side view of a bowl full of sticky ginger chicken wings

Overhead view of a bowl full of sticky ginger chicken wings

Sticky Ginger Chicken Wings

These sticky ginger chicken wings are sweet, spicy, and salty all in one bite. They're totally addictive and finger-licking delicious!
Total Cost $8.56 recipe / $4.28 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 2 about 6 pieces each
Calories 1129.25kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. chicken wings or drummettes 6.58
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1/4 cup honey $0.66
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce $0.12
  • 1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce $0.13
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil $0.24
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar $0.13
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger $0.30
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.20

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Place the chicken wings in a glass or ceramic baking dish so that they're in a single layer. Drizzle the cooking oil over top, then toss the wings to coat in the oil. Transfer the wings to the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  • While the wings are baking, prepare the sticky ginger sauce. Combine the honey, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, minced garlic, and grated ginger in a bowl.
  • After the wings have baked for 15 minutes, pour the sauce over the wings, then toss to coat. Return the wings to the oven and bake for an additional 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced into a sticky glaze and deepened in color. Baking time may vary slightly, so keep an eye on the sauce toward the end of the baking time.
  • Top with sliced green onions and serve!

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 1129.25kcal | Carbohydrates: 38.05g | Protein: 81.95g | Fat: 72.05g | Sodium: 1409.5mg | Fiber: 0.75g

How to Make Sticky Ginger Chicken Wings – Step By Step Photos

Raw chicken wings in a casserole dish being drizzled with cooking oil

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Place 2 lbs. chicken wings and/or drummettes in a casserole dish so they’re in a single layer. Drizzle 1 Tbsp cooking oil over top and then toss to coat in the oil. Place the wings in the preheated oven and cook for 15 minutes.

Sticky ginger sauce ingredients in a bowl

While the wings are beginning to cook, prepare the sticky ginger sauce. In a bowl, stir together ¼ cup honey, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce, 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil, 1 Tbsp rice vinegar, 2 cloves of minced garlic, and 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger.

Sauce being poured over wings

After the wings have cooked for 15 minutes, pour the prepared sauce over top and stir to coat. Return the wings to the oven.

Finished sticky ginger chicken wings in the casserole dish

Continue to cook the chicken wings for about 45 minutes more, stirring every 15 minutes or so, or until the sauce has reduced into a sticky glaze and turned deep brown in color. Baking time may vary slightly, so keep an eye on the sauce toward the end of the baking time.

Finished sticky ginger chicken wings topped with sliced green onions

Top with sliced green onions, then serve! Enjoy that sticky-sweet-salty-spicy goodness!

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Baked Ginger Salmon

Salmon is a bit on the expensive side, but it’s a really nice “sensible splurge” to have on special occasions or when you want to treat yourself. Fish can be intimidating if you’ve never cooked it before, but I promise that this Baked Ginger Salmon is so foolproof that it’s a great beginner fish recipe. […]

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Salmon is a bit on the expensive side, but it’s a really nice “sensible splurge” to have on special occasions or when you want to treat yourself. Fish can be intimidating if you’ve never cooked it before, but I promise that this Baked Ginger Salmon is so foolproof that it’s a great beginner fish recipe. I also love this recipe for the fact that the leftovers hold up really well, so it’s a really great item for meal prep.

Originally posted 4-19-2011, updated 1-24-2021.

Baked ginger salmon on a plate with green beans and rice

Baking Time Will Vary

Salmon filets come in a variety of thicknesses, even sometimes within one fillet, you’ll have one end that is very thick while the opposite end is very thin (like the filet I used in the photos below). Thankfully, this recipe is pretty forgiving. For thicker fillets (1-2 inches thick) you’ll want to bake your salmon for about 20 minutes, for thinner fillets (½-inch or so) you’ll probably only need around 15 minutes. Since my fillet had both a thick end and a thin end, I baked for the whole 20 minutes and the thin side was still not dried out. 

To verify you’ve cooked your salmon long enough, you can use an instant read thermometer in one of your thicker pieces and make sure it has reached 145ºF.

What is Toasted Sesame Oil?

Toasted sesame oil is an important ingredient in this dish. This is an oil that is expressed from toasted sesame seeds, so it has a super deep nutty flavor. Just a little splash of this oil really adds a lot of flavor, so you don’t want to skip it. You can find toasted sesame oil in the international foods aisle of most major grocery stores. While it is not always labeled “toasted” you can tell you have toasted sesame oil by the deep brown color. Regular sesame oil (not toasted) is a light straw color, like canola oil.

What to Serve with Baked Ginger Salmon

Because this main dish is so simple, I like to keep everything in the meal super simple. Today I served my Baked Ginger Salmon with Sesame Roasted Green Beans and plain rice, but I think this salmon would also be AMAZING served over my Crunchy Cabbage Salad. You could also pair it with something simple like steamed broccoli and Sesame Rice.

Side view of baked ginger salmon on a plate with green beans and rice

 

a flaked piece of baked ginger salmon on a plate with green beans and rice

Baked Ginger Salmon

Topped with a quick sweet and savory glaze, this Baked Ginger Salmon is a fast, easy, and delicious way to prepare salmon.
Total Cost $7.87 recipe / $1.97 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 173.73kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger $0.10
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar $0.08
  • 1 tsp soy sauce $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil $0.02
  • 1 lb. fresh salmon $7.57

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Grate about 1 tsp fresh ginger. Combine the ginger, garlic, brown sugar, soy sauce, and toasted sesame oil in a bowl.
  • Cut the salmon into four equal portions. Place the portioned salmon on a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil, skin side down.
  • Spread the prepared ginger glaze over the top of each piece of salmon.
  • Bake the salmon for about 20 minutes (15 minutes for thin fillets), or until the internal temperature reaches 145ºF. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 4oz. | Calories: 173.73kcal | Carbohydrates: 7.18g | Protein: 23.23g | Fat: 5.25g | Sodium: 159.75mg | Fiber: 0.03g

How to Make Baked Ginger Salmon – Step By Step Photos

grated fresh ginger on a cutting board

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Grate about 1 tsp fresh ginger. If you’re new to working with ginger, it is actually easier to grate when it’s frozen, so when I bring it home from the store I wash it up really well then just pop it into a freezer bag and store it in the freezer. That way I always have fresh ginger on hand. P.S. I never even bother to peel it anymore, I just make sure it’s washed well before freezing.

ginger glaze ingredients in a bowl

Combine the grated ginger with 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 clove of garlic (minced), 1 tsp soy sauce, and ¼ tsp toasted sesame oil.

mixed ginger glaze in the bowl with a spatula

Mix the glaze ingredients together until combined.

Salmon fillet cut into four portions on a cutting board

Cut a one pound salmon fillet into four portions. I cut the thinner end a little wider and the thicker end a little narrower to make the portions more even. If your salmon has skin and scales, you don’t need to remove it. The salmon will be baking skin down, and the salmon flesh easily comes off the skin after baking.

Glaze being spread onto salmon portions

Place the salmon portions on a baking sheet lined in parchment or foil (for easy cleanup), then spread the ginger glaze over the surface of the pieces. You can smear a little on the sides, but leave most of it on top. It will drip down the sides as it bakes.

Baked ginger salmon on the baking sheet

Bake the salmon in the fully preheated 425ºF oven for about 20 minutes (a little less if your fillets are thin), or until the internal temperature of the salmon reaches 145ºF. The glaze that drips off the side of the salmon may burn on the baking sheet, but the fish and the glaze that is on the fish will not burn.

a flaked piece of baked ginger salmon on a plate with green beans and rice

Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 3 days. Enjoy!

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Sesame Roasted Green Beans

Simply seasoned and roasted to perfection in the oven, these Sesame Roasted Green Beans are an easy and flavorful side dish.

The post Sesame Roasted Green Beans appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Want dinner to be easy? Oven roast everything. Haha! Seriously, it’s my favorite cooking method because it’s mostly hands-off and the dry cooking environment concentrates flavors and creates delicious caramelization. I usually steam my green beans, keeping them mostly fresh, but since I already had the oven going for some salmon, I decided to try to make Sesame Roasted Green Beans instead. They were super easy, tasty, and a nice change of pace from my usual!

Sesame Roasted Green Beans on a plate, viewed from above

What Do They Taste Like?

These Sesame Roasted Green Beans are seasoned really simply with garlic, some soy sauce for umami and salt, and sesame oil and seeds for an earthy base. So they’re simple, but good. They’re definitely more savory compared to light and fresh steamed green beans, so they’re great for the winter months when meals are little cozier.

Don’t Skip the Toasted Sesame Oil

Toasted sesame oil is such a magical ingredient and I always get questions about whether or not you can substitute or skip it and my answer is an emphatic “no.” Toasted sesame oil has an extremely deep nutty flavor that just can’t be replicated with any other ingredient. You only need a small amount to totally transform an entire dish.

Where to Find Toasted Sesame Oil

Thankfully, toasted sesame oil is becoming really easy to find and a lot of store brands are beginning to make their own (thank you, ALDI and Trader Joes!). You’ll usually find it in the international foods aisle at the grocery store rather than with olive oil or cooking oils, but of course, every store is different.

It’s not always labeled as “toasted” but you’ll know it’s toasted by the color. Toasted sesame oil is a deep brown color, whereas regular, un-toasted sesame oil is a light straw color, like canola oil. Un-toasted sesame oil has a very light flavor, and won’t provide the same depth that you’ll get with toasted sesame oil.

What to Serve with Sesame Roasted Green Beans

I served my roasted green beans with baked salmon (recipe coming later this week), but it would also be great as a side for Sesame Chicken, Pork and Peanut Dragon Noodles, Sticky Ginger Soy Glazed Chicken, or Hoisin Stir Fry Bowls.

Sesame roasted green beans on a plate with salmon and rice
Sesame roasted green beans on a plate, viewed from above

Sesame Roasted Green Beans

Simply seasoned and roasted to perfection in the oven, these Sesame Roasted Green Beans are an easy and flavorful side dish.
Total Cost $2.99 recipe / $0.75 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 103.53kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. green beans $1.89
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce $0.06
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil $0.24
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds $0.06

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Wash the green beans and break off the stems. Mince the garlic.
  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup, if desired. Add the green beans, minced garlic, cooking oil, and soy sauce to the baking sheet, then toss the beans until they are evenly coated in oil, soy sauce, and minced garlic. Spread the beans out evenly on the baking sheet.
  • Roast the green beans in the fully preheated oven for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes take them out of the oven, drizzle 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil and sprinkle 1 teaspoon sesame seeds over top. Give everything a good stir.
  • Return the green beans to the oven and roast for an additional 5 minutes, or until the beans are slightly browned and blistered. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 103.53kcal | Carbohydrates: 8.73g | Protein: 2.6g | Fat: 7.65g | Sodium: 226.83mg | Fiber: 3.2g
Side view of sesame roasted green beans in a shallow bowl.

How to Make Sesame Roasted Green Beans – Step by Step Photos

green beans and garlic on a baking sheet, soy sauce being drizzled over top

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Rinse one pound of green beans and snap off the stems. Mince two cloves of garlic. Place the green beans and minced garlic on a large baking sheet (line with parchment for easy cleanup, if desired). Drizzle 1 Tbsp cooking oil and 1 Tbsp soy sauce over top.

Seasoned green beans on the baking sheet

Toss the green beans until they are evenly coated in oil, soy sauce, and minced garlic. Spread the green beans out evenly over the baking sheet.

Mostly roasted green beans, sesame seeds being sprinkled on top

Roast the green beans in the fully preheated 425ºF oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, take them out of the oven, drizzle 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil over top and add 1 tsp sesame seeds. Toss everything together to coat.

Toasted sesame oil bottle

This is what my toasted sesame oil looks like, by the way. You can see the deep brown color that let’s you know it’s actually toasted. It’s usually in a small bottle, since you need so little to provide a lot of flavor, but this bottle from ALDI is quite large.

Finished sesame roasted green beans on the baking sheet

After adding the sesame seeds and sesame oil, return the green beans to the oven and roast for an additional 5 minutes, or until they achieve your desired level of browning.

Close up side view of sesame roasted green beans in a shallow bowl

Serve immediately and enjoy!

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Sesame Tuna Salad

Canned tuna is a lot more versatile than I think many people realize. In other words, there’s a lot more you can do with it than just mixing with mayo and slapping it between two slices of bread. 😅If you’re tired of the traditional mayo-based tuna salad, give this lighter, brighter, Sesame Tuna Salad a […]

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Canned tuna is a lot more versatile than I think many people realize. In other words, there’s a lot more you can do with it than just mixing with mayo and slapping it between two slices of bread. ?If you’re tired of the traditional mayo-based tuna salad, give this lighter, brighter, Sesame Tuna Salad a shot. It’s savory with a hint of sweetness and deep nutty undertones, and can be served several ways. Scroll down to see ideas for substitutions and add-ins, as well as a few different ways you can gobble up this tuna salad.

Simple Sesame Tuna Salad

A bowl of Sesame Tuna Salad surrounded by crackers, cucumber slices, and red pepper slices

Red Bell Pepper Substitutes:

If needed, you can substitute the red bell pepper with one shredded carrot. The carrot will supply a similar mild sweetness and a decent amount of crunch. Use a large-holed cheese grater to shred the carrot.

What is Toasted Sesame Oil and Can I Substitute It?

Toasted sesame oil is the ingredient that brings most of the sesame flavor to this recipe, so I don’t suggest substituting it. You can find a photo of my toasted sesame oil (purchased at Aldi) in the step by step photos below. Toasted sesame oil is pressed from sesame seeds that have been toasted first, so it has a very strong toasted nut flavor.

Unfortunately, toasted sesame oil isn’t always labeled as “toasted” but you can differentiate it from regular sesame oil by the color. Un-toasted sesame oil, which has a very mild flavor, is a light straw color similar to canola oil. Toasted sesame oil, on the other hand, has a deep amber color. You can usually find it in major grocery stores in the International foods aisle, near the Asian ingredients.

If you’re not into toasted sesame as a flavor or can’t source this ingredient, try my Sweet and Spicy Tuna Salad as an alternative.

Other Add-in Ideas:

There are other fun things that you can add to this Sesame Tuna Salad, if you have them on hand. Edamame would be a great way to stretch the tuna salad, while adding both protein and fiber. Chopped water chestnuts would also make a fun, fresh, and crunchy addition, as would slivered almonds. If you like a little spicy kick you can always add a pinch or two of red pepper flakes.

How to Serve Sesame Tuna Salad

I love this recipe because of all the different ways you can serve it. As shown in the photos, it’s great on crackers or cucumber slices. You can also serve it over a bowl of rice with a few cucumber slices as a nice bowl meal, or use it to fill lettuce wraps (with or without rice). You could even use it to make a more American style wrap sandwich in a large wrap with baby spinach. And lastly, this sesame tuna salad would be a great topper to any bed of greens.

Meal prep container filled with Sesame Tuna Salad, crackers, and cucumber slices

Find these glass meal prep containers in my Amazon shop.

 
A bowl of Sesame Tuna Salad surrounded by crackers and cucumber slices
Print

Sesame Tuna Salad

This fun spin on canned tuna is savory, sweet, and nutty. Sesame Tuna Salad is great on crackers, sliced cucumber, in lettuce wraps, or on salad greens.
Total Cost $2.59 recipe / $1.30 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 about 1 cup each
Calories 218.6kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp soy sauce $0.04
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil $0.20
  • 2 tsp brown sugar $0.03
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds $0.02
  • 2 5oz. cans chunk light tuna in water $1.58
  • 1/2 red bell pepper $0.50
  • 2 green onions $0.22

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, brown sugar, and sesame seeds.
  • Drain the tuna well, then add it to a bowl. Dice the red bell pepper (I served the other half on the side with the tuna salad) and slice the green onions. Add the bell pepper and green onion to the bowl with the tuna.
  • Pour the prepared sesame dressing over the tuna and vegetables in the bowl. Carefully fold the ingredients together until everything is coated in dressing. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 218.6kcal | Carbohydrates: 9.8g | Protein: 28.55g | Fat: 6.8g | Sodium: 607.45mg | Fiber: 1.9g

Scroll down to see the step by step photos!

A cracker topped with sesame tuna salad held close to the camera

How to Make Sesame Tuna Salad – Step by Step Photos

Bottle of toasted sesame oil

This little bottle is where all the magic happens. Toasted sesame oil has a VERY strong nutty-sesame flavor. This brand labels it as “toasted” but sometimes the bottles just say “sesame oil.” You can tell it’s toasted vs. un-toasted by the color. Toasted sesame oil is a deep brown/amber color. Un-toasted sesame oil, which has a very mild flavor and is better suited for cooking, is a light straw color, like canola oil.

Sesame dressing in a small bowl

Prepare the sesame dressing first. In a small bowl, combine 2 tsp soy sauce, 2 tsp toasted sesame oil 2 tsp brown sugar, and 1 tsp sesame seeds. 

Tuna, diced red bell pepper, and sliced green onion in a bowl

Drain two 5oz. cans of chunk light tuna in water, then add them to a bowl. Dice 1/2 of a red bell pepper and slice two green onions. Add the bell pepper and green onion to the bowl with the drained tuna.

Sesame dressing being poured into the bowl with tuna

Give the sesame dressing another quick stir, then pour it over the ingredients in the bowl.

Finished sesame tuna salad in the bowl

Carefully fold the ingredients together until everything is coated in dressing. Don’t stir so vigorously that the tuna completely shreds.

A bowl of Sesame Tuna Salad surrounded by crackers and cucumber slices

Serve the Sesame Tuna Salad immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat. The tuna salad will be good in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days, and you’ll probably want to give it a stir before serving if it’s been stored in the refrigerator. :)

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Simple Sesame Rice

Sometimes you just need something simple to flesh out your meal, to bulk it up without adding a lot of work, or without adding a lot of $$$. Rice is my favorite ingredient for that job. But as much as I love rice, even I can get sick of it sometimes, so it’s important to […]

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Sometimes you just need something simple to flesh out your meal, to bulk it up without adding a lot of work, or without adding a lot of $$$. Rice is my favorite ingredient for that job. But as much as I love rice, even I can get sick of it sometimes, so it’s important to know how to jazz it up just a bit to make things interesting while still keeping it simple. This toasty Sesame Rice recipe does just that.

Super Simple Savory Sesame Rice

A bowl of sesame rice with chopsticks balanced on the rim and a small bowl of sesame seeds on the side

It’s All About the Toasted Sesame Oil

The magic in this savory sesame rice is the toasted sesame oil. If you haven’t discovered this magical ingredient yet, you’re in for a treat! Even just a small amount of this toasty oil gives any food a deliciously nutty aroma and flavor. It’s a finishing oil, so you’ll want to drizzle it onto your food after cooking for maximum impact.

Where to Find Toasted Sesame Oil

The tricky part about buying toasted sesame oil is that the label on the bottle doesn’t always say “toasted”, so you’ll have to take a closer look. Regular, or un-toasted, sesame oil has a light straw-like color similar to canola oil, and only has a mildly nutty flavor. Toasted sesame oil has a deep amber color and a strong nutty flavor and aroma. Most oil is sold in a glass bottle, so simply check the color to know if you’ve got the right oil.

Un-toasted sesame oil is usually sold near other cooking oils, while toasted sesame oil is usually found in the international aisle at major grocery stores. Thankfully, this ingredient is becoming more popular in the U.S. so even stores like Trader Joe’s and Aldi are carrying their own brand (and for a great price!). A little bit goes a long way with this oil, so don’t be afraid of the price tag. It will last you quite a while.

Do I Have to Use Jasmine Rice?

No, you can use plain long grain white rice if you prefer, but jasmine rice will provide more flavor. To find jasmine rice for a good price, skip the small containers of “specialty” rice and look on the bottom shelf for a large 5 lb. bag. It’s so good, you’ll use that 5 lbs. in no time!

What to Serve with Sesame Rice

Sesame rice makes a simple side dish to any Southeast Asian inspired meal. You can serve it along side Soy Glazed Eggplant, Easy Sesame Chicken, or Slow Cooker Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken. Or swap it out for plain rice in any of your favorite bowl meals, like Teriyaki Meatball Bowls, Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry Bowls, or Chili Garlic Tofu Bowls.

Close up side view of a bowl full of sesame rice garnished with green onions

Green onions added for garnish.

 

Simple Sesame Rice

Adding just a few ingredients to your rice can really make your meal pop. Try this Simple Sesame Rice with any of your Southeast Asian inspired meals.

  • 1 clove garlic ($0.08)
  • 1 Tbsp butter ($0.13)
  • 1 cup long grain jasmine rice ($0.67)
  • 1.75 cups water ($0.00)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce ($0.06)
  • 1/2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil ($0.15)
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds ($0.02)
  1. Mince the garlic and add it to a medium sauce pot with the butter. Sauté the garlic for 1-2 minutes over medium heat, or just until the garlic begins to soften and becomes very fragrant.

  2. Add the rice to the pot and continue to stir and cook for 2-3 minutes more to toast the rice.

  3. Carefully add the water and soy sauce, then give the pot a brief stir to combine. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to high, and allow it to come to a full boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes.

  4. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the rice rest, undisturbed and with the lid in place, for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Drizzle the toasted sesame oil over top, add the sesame seeds, and gently fold the rice until the sesame oil and seeds are distributed throughout. Serve warm.

A pot full of sesame rice with a bowl of sesame rice on the side, both garnished with green onion

 

How to Make Sesame Rice – Step by Step Photos

Garlic and butter in sauce pot

Mince one clove of garlic and add it to a medium sauce pot with 1 Tbsp butter. Place the pot over medium heat and sauté the garlic for 1-2 minutes, or just until it has softened a bit and is very fragrant.

Rice being poured into the pot

Add 1 cup jasmine rice to the pot and continue to stir and cook for 2-3 minutes more to toast the rice.

Water being poured into the pot

Carefully pour 1.75 cups water into the pot…

Soy sauce being added to the pot

Along with 1 Tbsp soy sauce. Give the pot a brief stir to combine. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to high, and allow it to come up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest for 5 minutes.

Add sesame oil to the cooked rice

After resting without heat for 5 minutes, remove the lid and drizzle ½ Tbsp toasted sesame oil over the cooked rice. Add 1 tsp sesame seeds and gently fold the rice until the oil and seeds are evenly distributed throughout.

Finished sesame rice garnished with green onion

Serve the rice while warm, next to your favorite main dish! (I garnished with green onion, but this is not necessary for the overall flavor of the dish).

The post Simple Sesame Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Crunchy Chicken Ramen Stir Fry

I’m all about quick stir fry dinners because they’re easy, you can work a LOT of vegetables into them, and they’re just plain delicious. My newest creation, Crunchy Chicken Ramen Stir Fry, is kind of a new twist on an old favorite Beef and Cabbage Stir fry. This time we’re using chicken instead of beef, […]

The post Crunchy Chicken Ramen Stir Fry appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’m all about quick stir fry dinners because they’re easy, you can work a LOT of vegetables into them, and they’re just plain delicious. My newest creation, Crunchy Chicken Ramen Stir Fry, is kind of a new twist on an old favorite Beef and Cabbage Stir fry. This time we’re using chicken instead of beef, using the same light and easy sauce, tons of shredded cabbage and carrots for inexpensive bulk, and some crushed up ramen noodles for crunch. Oh, and I added a drizzle of creamy sriracha mayo because I was feeling a bit #extra. ;)

Quick & Easy Crunchy Chicken Ramen Stir Fry

A bowl of crunchy chicken ramen stir fry next to a ramen package, yellow napkin, and a bowl of sliced green onions

Can I Skip the Ramen?

Sure! If you’re not the ramen type, this is still a really killer (although slightly less crunchy) stir fry recipe! No hard feelings. You do you. 

Same goes for the sriracha mayo topping. While *I* love the contrast of the creamy spicy with the fresh crunch, you don’t have to add it to your stir fry if you’re not into it.

How to Store Your Stir Fry

If you plan to eat some of your stir fry as leftovers, make sure to keep the crunchy crushed ramen noodles separate from the stir fry and just stir them in after the stir fry has been reheated. Same goes for the sriracha mayo topping. Add that after reheating. The cabbage and carrots do get slightly softer after refrigeration and reheating, but I still find it to be quite delicious.

Other Vegetables You Can Add:

The other awesome thing about stir fries is that you can add just about any vegetable that you might have leftover in your fridge. Some other good options would be spinach, broccoli, bell pepper, mushrooms, snow peas. Keep in mind that if you increase the amount of vegetables, you may also want to increase the sauce.

A skillet full of Crunchy Chicken Ramen Stir fry with a spatula in the side and a package of ramen on the left

 

Crunchy Chicken Ramen Stir Fry

Crunchy Chicken Ramen Stir Fry is an easy weeknight dinner with tons of cabbage and carrots, crunchy crushed ramen, and a creamy sriracha drizzle.

Stir Fry Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce ($0.12)
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil ($0.30)
  • 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar ($0.02)

Sriracha Mayo Drizzle (optional)

  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise ($0.09)
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha ($0.11)

Stir Fry

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 2/3 lb.) ($4.08)
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.08)
  • 1 14oz. bag coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots) ($1.49)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger ($0.10)
  • 3 green onions ($0.30)
  • 1 3oz. block ramen noodles (seasoning packet discarded) ($0.25)
  1. Prepare the sauces first so they're ready to use when needed. In a small bowl stir together the ingredients for the stir fry sauce (soy sauce, sesame oil, and brown sugar). In a separate small bowl stir together the sriracha and mayonnaise.

  2. Mince 2 cloves of garlic, grate about one teaspoon of fresh ginger, and slice three green onions.

  3. Without opening the package of ramen, use a rolling pin or mallet to crush the noodles into small pieces. Once crushed, open the package and discard the seasoning packet.

  4. Chop the chicken into small 1/2-inch pieces.

  5. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface of the skillet. Add the chicken pieces and sauté until they're cooked through (3-5 minutes). Add the garlic and ginger to the skillet about half way through cooking the chicken.

  6. Once the chicken is cooked through, add the coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots). Continue to sauté for about 2 minutes more, or just until the cabbage begins to soften slightly (do not overcook at this step).

  7. Add the stir fry sauce to the skillet and continue to sauté for 1-2 minutes more, or until the cabbage has softened to your liking (I prefer mine still slightly firm).

  8. Finally, turn off the heat, stir in the crushed ramen, and top with sliced green onions and a drizzle of sriracha mayo.

Close up of Crunchy Chicken Ramen Stir fry in the skillet

 

How to Make Crunchy Chicken Ramen Stir Fry – Step by Step Photos

Stir fry sauce in a small white bowl

This stir fry cooks SUPER fast, so it’s best to prepare all of the components before you begin cooking. Start with the stir fry sauce: stir together 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil, and ½ Tbsp brown sugar. The brown sugar might not dissolve all the way, but that’s okay.

Sriracha mayo being stirred together in a small white bowl

For the sriracha mayo, simply stir together 1 Tbsp sriracha and 1 Tbsp mayonnaise.

Garlic, ginger, and green onions being prepped on a cutting board

Mince two cloves of garlic, grate about 1 tsp fresh ginger (I keep mine in the freezer for easier grating and longer storage), and slice three green onions.

Crush ramen noodles in the package

Without opening the package of ramen, use a rolling pin or a mallet to crush the noodles into small pieces. After crushing the noodles you can open it and discard the seasoning packet (or use it for something else).

Chopped chicken breast on an orange cutting board

Chop one boneless, skinless chicken breast (about ⅔ lb.) into small 1/2-inch pieces.

Cooked chicken in the skillet with garlic and ginger

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add 2 Tbsp cooking oil and swirl to coat the skillet. Add the chicken and sauté until the chicken is cooked through, adding the garlic and ginger about half way through cooking. Because the chicken pieces are so small and the pan is so hot, it should only take a few minutes for the chicken to cook through.

Coleslaw mix being poured into the skillet

Add one 14oz. bag of coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots) to the skillet. Continue to sauté for only 2 minutes, or just until the cabbage begins to soften.

Stir fry sauce being poured into the skillet

Add the prepared stir fry sauce, making sure to scrape any sugar that has settled to the bottom into the skillet. Continue to sauté for a couple minutes more, or until the cabbage is to your desired softness. I like mine still a bit firm, so I only sauté for about 2 minutes more.

Crushed ramen noodles being added to skillet

Pour the crushed ramen into the skillet. Turn the heat off, and stir the crunchy noodles into the stir fry.

Close up of sriracha mayo drizzled on stir fry

Sprinkle the sliced green onions on top and then drizzle the sriracha mayo over everything.

Finished skillet full of Crunchy Chicken Ramen Stir Fry

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