Cowboy Caviar

Cowboy Caviar is a deliciously fresh bean salad with a colorful mix of beans and vegetables, plus a zesty lime dressing.

The post Cowboy Caviar appeared first on Budget Bytes.

This super fresh and colorful Cowboy Caviar combines two types of beans, delicious summer vegetables, and a sweet and tangy lime dressing to make a bold and versatile dish that you’ll find yourself making over and over. From a party dip to a salad topper, Cowboy Caviar has become a go-to healthy meal prep item in my kitchen. It’s the O.G. refrigerator salad. 😄 Read on for more ideas on how to use this amazing cross between bean salad and salsa!

Originally posted 7-19-2016, updated 6-1-2022.

Close up overhead view of cowboy caviar in a bowl with chips on the side.

What is Cowboy Caviar?

Cowboy Caviar, sometimes called Mexican Caviar, is like a cross between a bean salad and a fresh salsa. It combines two types of beans (black beans and black eyed peas) with a colorful medley of fresh vegetables and a tangy balsamic-lime vinaigrette.

Where Do You Find Black Eyed Peas?

If you can’t find black eyed peas in the canned bean aisle, check with the canned vegetables. Because they’re a “pea” they’re sometimes found with the canned vegetables rather than the beans. And if you can’t find black eyed peas, you can substitute pinto beans or navy beans.

How Long Does it Last?

Well, if you don’t eat it all in one sitting (it can happen!), Cowboy Caviar holds up extremely well in the refrigerator and will be just as tasty after about 4-5 days of refrigeration. While the vegetables will let off a little water, most of the ingredients are very sturdy. Just be sure to stir the salad before serving to redistribute the dressing. This salad will probably not freeze well, due to the fresh herbs and vegetables.

Close up of Cowboy Caviar on a chip.

How to Serve Cowboy Caviar

There are SO many ways to eat Cowboy Caviar that you’ll probably find yourself adding it to everything you eat. But here are a few ideas anyway:

  • Serve it as a side dish with dinner
  • As a chunky dip for chips
  • As a topping for tacos
  • Stuffed into a burrito or as part of a burrito bowl
  • Sprinkled over a green salad
  • Spooned on top of scrambled eggs
  • Stuffed into a quesadilla with some cheese

…and so much more. If you have a favorite way to eat your Cowboy Caviar, feel free to share it with the rest of us in the comments below!

Recipe Variations

One of the best things about Cowboy Caviar is that it is extremely versatile. You can customize this recipe to give it your own personal touch. Here are a couple of substitutions and add-ins that will make it your own:

  • Add avocado for a creamy finish
  • Skip the jalapeño to make it mild, or keep the jalapeño and add a few dashes of hot sauce to make it extra spicy
  • Substitute green onion for the red onion to make the salad milder
  • Add sweet corn for more color and flavor variation
  • Add ½ tsp smoked paprika to the dressing for a smokier finish

Can you Freeze Cowboy Caviar?

I don’t suggest freezing this dish because it has multiple delicate fresh vegetables that will become limp and soggy upon freezing and reheating. You want those veggies to be fresh, juicy, and crunchy to give the salad its amazing texture! :)

close up side view of cowboy caviar in a bowl.

Close up overhead view of cowboy caviar in a bowl with chips on the side.

Cowboy Caviar

Cowboy Caviar is a deliciously fresh bean salad with a colorful mix of beans and vegetables, plus a zesty lime dressing.
Course Dinner, Dip, Lunch, Salad
Cuisine Southwest
Total Cost $5.30 recipe / $0.53 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 10 (1/2 cup each)
Calories 140kcal

Ingredients

DRESSING

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 fresh lime (2 Tbsp juice) $0.33
  • 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder* $0.05
  • 1 tsp ground cumin $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp sugar $0.02

Salad

  • 1 15oz. can black beans $0.89
  • 1 15oz. can black eyed peas $1.09
  • 1 bell pepper (any color) $1.50
  • 2 Roma tomatoes $0.86
  • 1 jalapeño $0.12
  • 1/4 red onion $0.20
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro $0.20

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, 2 Tbsp of juice from the lime, balsamic vinegar, chili powder, cumin, salt, and sugar.
  • Rinse and drain both cans of beans in a colander. Once well drained, transfer them to a large bowl.
  • Finely dice the bell pepper, tomatoes, jalapeño, and red onion. Try to dice the vegetables into pieces that are roughly the same size as the beans. For a less spicy salad, scrape the seeds out of the jalapeño before dicing. Roughly chop the cilantro.
  • Add the chopped vegetables to the bowl with the beans.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad, then stir until everything is well coated. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Video

Notes

*This chili powder is a mild blend of chiles and other spices.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5Cup | Calories: 140kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 122mg | Fiber: 7g

How to Make Cowboy Caviar – Step by Step Photos

Dressing ingredients in a bowl with a whisk.

Make the dressing first so the flavors have a few minutes to blend. Whisk together 2 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp lime juice, ½ Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp cumin, ½ tsp chili powder, ½ tsp sugar, and ½ tsp salt.

Rinsed and drained beans in a bowl.

Rinse and drain one 15oz. can of black beans and one 15oz. can of black eyed peas in a colander. 

Fresh vegetables on a cutting board.

Gather one bell pepper (any color), two Roma tomatoes, one jalapeño, 1/4 of a red onion, and 1/4 bunch of cilantro. While any color bell pepper can be used, I like the colorful pop of a yellow or orange bell pepper. 

Chopped vegetables in the bowl with the beans.

Finely dice the bell pepper, tomatoes, jalapeño, and red onion. The idea is to get the pieces close in size to the beans so that you have a “caviar” type appearance in the end. Roughly chop the cilantro leaves. Place the chopped vegetables in the bowl with the rinsed beans.

Dressing being poured over the salad in the bowl.

Pour the prepared dressing over the salad.

Finished cowboy caviar in the bowl.

Stir the salad until everything is coated in the dressing. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat. This is one of those salads that tastes even better after it has time to chill in the fridge, so it’s great to eat over the course of a few days!

Finished cowboy caviar in a bowl with a chip.

Cowboy Caviar makes a great snack with tortilla chips, a topper for tacos, bowl meals, or salads, or spoon some onto baked or grilled fish for a nice light meal!

Try These Other Bean Salad Recipes:

The post Cowboy Caviar appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Super Fudgy Homemade Brownies

These super fudgy homemade brownies are thick, rich, extra-chocolatey, and super moist. They’re the ultimate homemade fudge brownie!

The post Super Fudgy Homemade Brownies appeared first on Budget Bytes.

These are some seriously fudgy brownies, guys. Like, if you’re not really into chocolate, you might want to just skip this one because these homemade brownies are about as close as you can get to fudge while still being a brownie. Consider the lines blurred. But if you like ’em thick, rich, fudgy, and moist, these are the brownies for you!

P.S. Did I mention that you can make these incredible brownies in just one bowl? Yeah, they’re easy AND delicious!

A stack of fudgy homemade brownies.

Fudgy Brownies vs. Cakey Brownies

There are two main camps when it comes to brownies: fudge brownies and cake brownies. Fudge brownies are dense, chewy, and rich. Cakey brownies are lighter and fluffier, and just more cake-like in texture. I’m definitely all about those fudge brownies, so that’s what we have here. But not just any fudge brownies, SUPER fudgy brownies.

How to Make Brownies Fudgy

The secret to making moist, fudgy brownies is all in the type of fat you use and how you use it. Butter offers the best flavor for brownies, but because it’s solid at room temperature, adding a little cooking oil in addition to the butter helps keep the brownies extra soft and moist as they cool.

Using melted butter instead of cold butter also helps keep the brownies extra rich and fudgy. When solid butter is creamed together with sugar, it aerates the batter creating a light cake-like texture in the brownie. Melted butter can’t trap air in the same way, resulting in a dense, rich brownie.

What Type of Chocolate to Use for Homemade Brownies

This recipe calls for chocolate in two forms: unsweetened cocoa powder and chocolate chips. I used a generic cocoa powder because I wanted to make sure these brownies would still be excellent even on a budget (they are), but if you have room in your budget for a higher quality cocoa powder, your brownies will only get better.

As for the chocolate chips, you can choose just about anything. Semi-sweet, dark, mint, peanut butter, large, small, whatever. Anything goes when it comes to the chips! This is a great way to use up leftover chips that you might have in your pantry. ;)

Homemade brownies scattered on a surface, from above.
A hand holding a stack of super fudgy homemade brownies.

Super Fudgy Homemade Brownies

These super fudgy homemade brownies are thick, rich, extra-chocolatey, and super moist. They're the ultimate homemade fudge brownie!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Total Cost $3.93 recipe / $0.44 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 9
Calories 374kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 12 Tbsp butter (salted) $1.32
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder $0.42
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar $0.20
  • 2 large eggs $0.42
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract $0.56
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.01
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour $0.05
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips $0.83

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Melt the butter in a large bowl (or in a saucepot and then transfer to a bowl).
  • Add the cooking oil and cocoa powder to the melted butter and whisk until smooth.
  • Whisk the sugar into the chocolate mixture until evenly incorporated, then whisk in the eggs, vanilla extract, and salt.
  • Stir in the flour until it forms a thick batter. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips.
  • Prepare an 8×8-inch baking dish by coating it with butter or non-stick spray, then laying in a piece of parchment paper (the paper does not need to cover all sides of the dish). Add the brownie batter to the prepared dish, then spread it out evenly.
  • Bake the brownies in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. The brownies will be quite soft and moist, even when fully baked.
  • Remove the brownies from the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes before lifting them out of the baking dish. Slice into nine pieces and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1brownie | Calories: 374kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 22g | Sodium: 205mg | Fiber: 3g
A hand holding a stack of super fudgy homemade brownies.

How to Make Fudgy Homemade Brownies – Step by Step Photos

Butter in a bowl

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Melt ¾ cup (12 Tbsp, or 1.5 sticks) butter in a large bowl. I use a microwave, but you can also do this in a saucepot and then transfer it to a bowl.

Cocoa powder added to melted butter.

Whisk ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder and 2 Tbsp cooking oil into the melted butter until smooth.

sugar added to the butter and chocolate.

Whisk 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar into the butter and cocoa mixture.

Eggs and vanilla added to batter in the bowl.

Whisk two large eggs, 2 tsp vanilla extract, and ¼ tsp salt into the batter.

flour added to the bowl of brownie batter.

Stir ¾ cup of all-purpose flour into the brownie batter until evenly combined.

chocolate chips being added to the brownie batter.

Fold ½ cup chocolate chips into the brownie batter.

Brownie batter in the prepared baking dish.

Coat an 8×8-inch baking dish in butter or non-stick spray, then lay parchment paper in the dish (it doesn’t need to cover all sides, it just makes it easy to lift the brownies out of the dish). Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish and spread it smooth.

Baked brownies in the baking dish.

Bake the brownies in the preheated 350ºF oven for 40 minutes. The brownies will be very soft and moist when hot, so let them cool for 10 minutes before removing them from the dish.

sliced brownies on a piece of parchment paper.

Once the brownies are slightly cooled, you can use the parchment to lift them out of the baking dish. You can cut them while still warm (they will still be quite soft) or let them cool even further for cleaner cuts.

Side view of a stack of fudgy homemade brownies.

Enjoy all that fudgy brownie goodness! 🤤

Love Chocolate? Try These Recipes:

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Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

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

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

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

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

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

What Kind of Sheet Pan to Use

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

Make it Fit Your Budget

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

Make Your Own Fajita Seasoning or Buy Pre-Made

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

Toppings for Chicken Fajitas

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

What to Serve with Oven Baked Fajitas

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

Prepared chicken fajitas on a plate with sour cream and cilantro

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

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

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

Ingredients

FAJITA SEASONING

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

FAJITAS

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

Instructions

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

Video

Nutrition

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

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

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

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

Spices for fajita seasoning in a bowl

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

Vegetables for chicken fajitas on a cutting board.

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

Sliced onions, peppers, and chicken on a baking sheet

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

fajita spices being sprinkled over the chicken and vegetables

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

Seasoned chicken and vegetables ready to go into the oven

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

Baked chicken fajitas on the sheet pan.

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

lime juice being squeezed over the chicken and vegetables

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

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

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

Two fajitas on a wooden plate with toppings on the sides

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

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Spinach and Mushroom Crustless Quiche

I’m a big fan of savory breakfast dishes and this Spinach and Mushroom Crustless Quiche might be my new favorite! It’s very filling, full of vegetables, and doesn’t leave me with a carb hangover (I’m looking at you, pancakes). You can serve it up at brunch or eat it for lunch or dinner, so give […]

The post Spinach and Mushroom Crustless Quiche appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’m a big fan of savory breakfast dishes and this Spinach and Mushroom Crustless Quiche might be my new favorite! It’s very filling, full of vegetables, and doesn’t leave me with a carb hangover (I’m looking at you, pancakes). You can serve it up at brunch or eat it for lunch or dinner, so give this spinach and mushroom crustless quiche recipe a try the next time you want to prepare something special. I promise it’s worth the effort!

Originally posted 11/1/2011, updated 11/9/2021.

Close up overhead view of a spinach and mushroom crustless quiche in a pie dish

Isn’t a “crustless quiche” just a frittata?

While they are both baked egg dishes, there are distinct differences. The main difference is the texture. Quiches are a custard made with egg, cheese, and milk or cream. They have a soft, delicate texture. Frittatas, on the other hand, contain little to no milk or cream, so it is closer in texture to an omelet or baked egg. The other significant difference comes in the cooking process. Frittatas start on the stovetop and only finish only for the last few minutes in the oven. Quiches are baked in the oven only.

Can this crustless quiche be reheated?

Yes, this is one of my favorite make-ahead breakfast dishes! But you do need to be cautious while reheating because overheating can cause the egg proteins to seize up, expel water, and become rubbery. For that reason, I suggest reheating in the microwave only until the crustless quiche is warmed through, but not piping hot. This will store in the refrigerator for about 4 days.

Can You Freeze Quiche?

Egg dishes like crustless quiche freeze just so-so. This is one of those grey areas where it will depend a lot on how sensitive you are to texture changes. The egg will seep a little water upon freezing, thawing, and reheating, which may or may not bother you. I suggest testing this with one piece of the quiche first to see if the changes are acceptable to you. To freeze, cool the quiche in the refrigerator first, then wrap tightly in plastic and transfer to the freezer. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Love this Spinach Mushroom and Feta Crustless Quiche? Try my Bacon Broccoli Cheddar Crustless Quiche, too!

A slice of crustless quiche being held in front of the pie dish on a spatula

close up view of sliced spinach and mushroom crustless quiche in the pie dish

Spinach Mushroom and Feta Crustless Quiche

This easy, tasty Spinach Mushroom and Feta Crustless Quiche is low on carbs and big on flavor. This veggie-filled breakfast will keep you full and happy.
Total Cost $5.89 recipe / $0.98 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 6 slices
Calories 187kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 10oz. box frozen chopped spinach $1.00
  • 8 oz. mushrooms $1.49
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 1/8 tsp Salt $0.01
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil, divided $0.04
  • 2 oz. feta cheese $1.10
  • 4 large eggs $0.83
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan $0.44
  • 1/4 tsp pepper $0.02
  • 1 cup milk $0.42
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella $0.46

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Thaw and squeeze as much moisture out the spinach as possible. Rinse any dirt or debris from the mushrooms, then slice thinly. Mince the garlic.
  • Slice the mushrooms and mince the garlic. Add the mushrooms, garlic, salt, and a ½ Tbsp cooking oil to a skillet. Sauté the mushrooms over medium heat until they have released all of their moisture and it has evaporated from the skillet. No water should remain in the skillet.
  • Brush the other ½ Tbsp cooking oil inside a 9-inch pie plate. Layer the mushrooms, spinach, and crumbled feta into the pie plate.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, Parmesan, pepper, and milk.
  • Pour the egg mixture into the pie plate over the spinach, mushrooms, and feta. Top with the shredded mozzarella.
  • Bake the crustless quiche in the preheated 350ºF oven for about 50 minutes, or until it is golden brown on top and the internal temperature reaches 160ºF. Slice and enjoy!

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 187kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 13g | Sodium: 378mg | Fiber: 2g

How to Make Spinach and Mushroom Crustless Quiche – Step by Step Photos

thawed and squeezed spinach in a bowl

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Thaw one 10oz. block of frozen chopped spinach (I use the microwave), then squeeze out as much of the moisture as possible. The spinach should be fairly dry after squeezing, no water remaining in the bottom of the bowl.

sliced mushrooms on a cutting board

Slice 8oz. of mushrooms and mince one clove of garlic.

Sautéed mushrooms in a skillet

Add the mushrooms to a skillet with ½ Tbsp cooking oil, one clove of minced garlic, and ⅛ tsp salt. Sauté the mushrooms until they release all of their moisture and it has evaporated off the bottom of the skillet. 

Layered mushrooms, spinach, and feta in a pie dish

Brush another ½ Tbsp cooking oil over the inside surface of a 9″ pie dish. Layer in the sautéed mushrooms, squeeze-dried spinach, and 2oz. crumbled feta.

Milk being poured into a bowl with eggs, Parmesan, and pepper

Next, make the savory custard. Whisk together 4 large eggs, ¼ cup grated Parmesan, 1 cup milk, and ¼ tsp pepper.

custard mixture being poured into the pie dish

Pour the custard mixture into the pie dish over the spinach, mushrooms and feat. Sometimes I like to use a larger baking tray to transport my pie plate in and out of the oven. I feel like it makes it a little easier to do without spilling, but that’s up to you.

unbaked quiche topped with grated mozzarella

Top the unbaked quiche with a little shredded mozzarella. You don’t need much, I only used about ½ cup or ¼ off an 8oz. block.

baked spinach and mushroom quiche

Bake the quiche in the preheated 350ºF oven for about 50 minutes, or until it’s golden brown on top or until the internal temperature reaches 160ºF.

close up view of sliced spinach and mushroom crustless quiche in the pie dish

Slice and serve warm! 

Spinach and Mushroom Crustless Quiche is a great low carb breakfast or brunch tread packed with vegetables and protein. BudgetBytes.com

(old photo from 2011 😊)

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Pizza Melts

Pizza melts are like a cross between your two favorite comfort foods: pizza and grilled cheese. They’re fast, easy, and the perfect quick meal!

The post Pizza Melts appeared first on Budget Bytes.

What do you get when a grilled cheese and a pepperoni pizza have a baby? A PIZZA MELT! (Sorry for yelling, I’m excited.) I used to eat these as an after-school snack when I was growing up because they’re super easy and who doesn’t want pizza? But now, decades later, I took this pizza-inspired sandwich to the next level by adding an herby-Parmesan butter to the bread which creates an extra crispy finish. It’s to die for and way better than the pizza melts of my teen years. You’ve got to try it!

A stack of pizza melts cut in half on a plate against a blue background

What Kind of Bread To Use for Pizza Melts

You definitely want to use some sort of sturdy bread for your pizza melt. If you try to use a soft white sandwich bread it just won’t hold up to the moisture in the pizza sauce. I used a sourdough loaf, which gave my pizza melts even more flavor. Something like a rosemary olive oil bread or some homemade focaccia would also be amazing. Just make sure the bread is strong!

What Else Can You Put on a Pizza Melt?

A pizza melt, even in its most basic form (pizza sauce, cheese, pepperoni), is awesome, but if you happen to have some leftover ingredients on hand and you want to throw them on there, go for it! Here are a few ideas:

  • Diced bell pepper
  • Olives
  • Red onion
  • Bacon bits
  • Ham
  • Spinach
  • Mushrooms
  • Feta cheese
  • Banana peppers
  • Sun dried tomatoes

I would caution against using any ingredient that is very wet, like fresh tomatoes or canned artichoke hearts, since this can make the bread soggy.

Use Medium-Low Heat for the Perfect Grilled Cheese

Making a grilled cheese with a perfectly browned exterior and melty-cheesy interior can take a little practice. My trick is to cook over a slightly lower heat. This gives the inside time to warm up before the outside gets too brown or burns. It might take a little more patience, but you’ll get the most perfectly delicious grilled cheese. …or pizza melt. :)

cut open pizza melt being held close to the camera
A stack of pizza melts, cut sides facing camera

Pizza Melt

Pizza melts are like a cross between your two favorite comfort foods: pizza and grilled cheese. They're fast, easy, and the perfect quick meal!
Total Cost $1.11 each
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 451kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp butter, room temperature $0.11
  • 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan $0.11
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning $0.05
  • 2 slices hearty bread $0.44
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella $0.19
  • 1 Tbsp pizza sauce $0.06
  • 6 slices pepperoni $0.15

Instructions

  • Stir together the room temperature butter, grated parmesan, and Italian seasoning in a small bowl until evenly combined. Spread the Parmesan butter over one side of each slice of bread.
  • Flip the bread over so the un-buttered side is facing up. Place half of the shredded mozzarella on one slice of bread. Next, add small dollops of the sauce over top of the cheese, followed by the sliced pepperoni. Finally, add the remaining cheese. Place the second slice of bread on top to close the sandwich, butter side facing out.
  • Place the sandwich in a skillet and cook over medium-low heat until golden brown on each side and the cheese is melted on the inside. Cut the sandwich in half and serve!

Nutrition

Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 451kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 28g | Sodium: 991mg | Fiber: 3g
Two pizza melts on a plates with bread, sauce, and cheese on the sides

How to Make a Pizza Melt – Step by Step Photos

Herby Parmesan butter in a bowl

Combine 1 Tbsp room temperature butter with 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan, and ½ tsp Italian seasoning. Mix them together until they form a paste.

Buttered bread on a cutting board

Spread the Parmesan butter over one side each slice of bread.

Cheese and pizza sauce added to the bread

Flip the bread over so the un-buttered side is facing up, then top one slice with ½ of the ⅓ cup shredded mozzarella. Add about 1 Tbsp pizza sauce in small dollops over the cheese (that helps make a barrier so the sauce doesn’t soak into the bread and make it too soggy).

pepperoni and cheese added to the sandwich

Next add about six slices of pepperoni, and then top with the remaining shredded mozzarella. Place the second slice of bread on top, buttered side facing out.

pizza melt cooking in a skillet

Cook the pizza melt in a skillet over medium-low heat until it’s golden brown and crispy on both sides and the cheese inside is melted.

pizza melt cut in half on a cutting board

Cut the pizza melt in half and enjoy!

a pizza melt sandwich on a plate with ingredients on the sides

The post Pizza Melts appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas

These super tasty Black Bean Quesadillas have been a runaway Budget Bytes hit since they were first posted in 2012. The spicy mix of cheese, beans, corn, cilantro, and onion makes and incredibly flavorful quesadilla that’s perfect for dipping in some cool sour cream or salsa. Make up an entire batch and freeze some for […]

The post Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas appeared first on Budget Bytes.

These super tasty Black Bean Quesadillas have been a runaway Budget Bytes hit since they were first posted in 2012. The spicy mix of cheese, beans, corn, cilantro, and onion makes and incredibly flavorful quesadilla that’s perfect for dipping in some cool sour cream or salsa. Make up an entire batch and freeze some for later!

Originally posted 2-19-2012, updated 1-12-2021.

A stack of black bean quesadillas on a tray with a dish of sour cream behind them

Why I’m In Love with These Quesadillas ❤️

I love these quesadillas for three reasons:

  • they’re bursting with flavor
  • incredibly EASY to make 
  • perfect for the freezer!

Students and other busy people take note: this recipe is perfect for you!

I called them “hearty” black bean quesadillas because they are surprisingly filling. I hastily ate two and then promptly felt like my belly was not just full, but full-full. This is one of those vegetarian recipes that meat-eaters won’t feel deprived when eating. Promise.

How to Freeze Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas:

Just fill and fold your quesadillas, but before you cook them, stack them with parchment paper in between each quesadilla. Place the stacked quesadillas in a gallon-sized freezer bag (or two) and pop them into the freezer. When you want to eat one, take a quesadilla out of the freezer and reheat it slowly over medium-low heat until the outside is crispy and the inside has melted. Using a lower heat gives the black bean quesadilla time to thaw and heat on the inside before the outside overcooks or burns.

Or, for a faster method, microwave from frozen for 30-60 seconds, or until the inside is thawed, then finish in a skillet to crisp up the outside and melt the cheese on the inside. 

What Kind of Taco Seasoning to Use

To make these black bean quesadillas super fast and easy, you can use a packet of store-bought taco seasoning. Or, if you have a well-stocked spice cabinet, you can use my homemade taco seasoning recipe

black bean quesadillas layered on a serving tray, sprinkled with cilantro

A stack of black bean quesadillas on a serving tray

Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas

These Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas are an easy vegetarian snack or light meal that are filling, flavorful, and freezer-friendly!
Total Cost $4.70 recipe / $0.47 per quesadilla
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 10 quesadillas
Calories 289.24kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 15oz.can black beans $0.49
  • 1 cup frozen corn $0.20
  • 1/2 cup red onion $0.22
  • 1 clove garlic $0.08
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro (about ½ cup chopped) $0.20
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese $1.69
  • 1 batch taco seasoning* $0.67
  • 10 flour tortillas (7-inch diameter) $2.00

Instructions

  • Drain the black beans and add them to a bowl along with the frozen corn (no need to thaw)
  • Finely dice the onion, mince the garlic, and roughly chop the cilantro.
  • Add the onion, garlic, cilantro, shredded cheddar, and taco seasoning to the bowl with the beans and corn. Stir until everything is evenly combined and coated in seasoning.
  • Place a half cup of the filling on one side of each tortilla and fold over. Cook the quesadillas in a skillet over medium heat on each side until brown and crispy and the cheesy filling has melted. Slice into triangles then serve.
  • To freeze the quesadillas, stack the filled and uncooked quesadillas with a piece of parchment paper between each quesadilla. Place in a freezer bag and freeze for up to three months. To reheat either microwave (for a soft quesadilla) or cook in a skillet on low heat (make sure to use low heat so that the filling has time to thaw and melt before the outside burns).

Video

Notes

* I used my homemade taco seasoning here, but you can use a store-bought packet of taco seasoning if needed.

Nutrition

Serving: 1quesadilla | Calories: 289.24kcal | Carbohydrates: 34.29g | Protein: 12.19g | Fat: 11.58g | Sodium: 833.43mg | Fiber: 5.29g

Scroll down for the step by step photos

Overhead view of black bean quesadillas on a serving tray with a dish of sour cream

 

How to Make Black Bean Quesadillas – Step By Step Photos

Corn and black beans in a bowl
Add 1 cup frozen corn (no need to thaw) and one 15oz. can of black beans (drained) to a large bowl.

Onion, garlic, and cilantro added to the bowl
Next, finely dice about ½ cup red onion, mince one clove of garlic, and roughly chop about ¼ bunch fresh cilantro. These ingredients are super flexible, so you don’t need to be exact on the measurements. 

Taco seasoning spices in a small wooden bowl

You can use either one packet of store-bought taco seasoning, or make your own using my Homemade Taco Seasoning recipe. 

Cheddar and taco seasoning added to the bowl
Add the taco seasoning and 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese to the bowl. The cheese is the “glue” that holds the quesadillas together.

stirred quesadilla filling in the bowl with a fork
Stir the ingredients until everything is mixed. 

A tortilla being filled with the bean and cheese mixture
Now it’s time to stuff the quesadillas. You’ll need about 10 7-inch diameter flour tortillas for these quesadillas (the tortillas I had today were slightly larger so my quesadillas ended up being a bit thinner). Place a half cup of filling in each tortilla and fold it over. You can either cook them or freeze them at this point (see instructions for freezing in the post above the recipe).

quesadillas cooking in a skillet
To cook the black bean quesadillas, place the quesadilla in a skillet over medium heat and cook on both sides until golden brown, crispy, and the filling has melted. I don’t use any sort of oil or butter, but you certainly can if you want more of a fried finish to the quesadillas.

cut quesadillas on a cutting board
Slice then serve! You can slice each quesadilla into two or three pieces. I find that if I cut starting on the outside edge going in toward the center fold, I get less of the filling oozing out. A pizza cutter also works great!

Overhead view of cut black bean quesadillas on a baking sheet

The post Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Spinach and Artichoke Wonderpot

What is a Wonderpot? It’s a pasta dish that cooks all in one pot (a.k.a. One Pot Pasta) with vegetables, aromatics (garlic, onion), and broth so that every bite is packed with flavor. The broth and pasta create a rich saucy gravy in the pot that coats everything in wonderful flavor. This Spinach and Artichoke […]

The post Spinach and Artichoke Wonderpot appeared first on Budget Bytes.

What is a Wonderpot? It’s a pasta dish that cooks all in one pot (a.k.a. One Pot Pasta) with vegetables, aromatics (garlic, onion), and broth so that every bite is packed with flavor. The broth and pasta create a rich saucy gravy in the pot that coats everything in wonderful flavor. This Spinach and Artichoke Wonderpot is like, the easiest, tastiest “dinner in 30 minutes” meal! 

Originally posted 10-17-2013, updated 12-22-2019

Spinach and Artichoke Wonderpot (One Pot Pasta)

A red Dutch oven full of Spinach and Artichoke Wonderpot, with feta and spinach leaves on the sides

Use Fresh or Frozen Spinach

The original version of this recipe used frozen spinach, but the price of fresh spinach has come down tremendously in the past six years, so I was able to remake this with fresh spinach for about the same price as frozen. Fresh spinach has a much better texture, but frozen is still an option if you have that on hand or can’t get fresh spinach for a decent price.

Whether using fresh or frozen spinach, it can be added to the recipe at the same point—after the pasta has cooked. Frozen spinach is added to the pasta without thawing, and the heat of the pasta quickly thaws the spinach as it’s stirred in.

What Kind of Artichokes Should I use?

You can use artichoke hearts packed in a brine or marinated in oil. Either will work just fine. I usually find the kind packed in a brine in a can to be a little more affordable.

A shallow bowl full of Spinach and Artichoke One Pot Pasta with spinach and feta on the sides.

Can I Use a Different Pasta Shape?

Yes, you can use a different type of pasta, just be aware that different shapes may need different amounts of broth to cook properly, so you’ll have to adjust the recipe slightly. You can do this as the pasta cooks, adding more broth if it becomes dry before the pasta is tender, or allowing the pasta to boil without a lid if it’s too brothy when the pasta is nearly cooked through.

Can I Freeze the Spinach and Artichoke Wonderpot?

Yes, you can freeze this dish, just be aware that the pasta may soften further through the freeze and reheat cycles. The best option for reheating would be in the microwave, first on the defrost setting, then high once it has loosened enough to stir.

Love One Pot Pastas? Check out my entire category of One Pot Meals for more!

 

Spinach and Artichoke Wonderpot (One Pot Pasta)

This delicious and simple Spinach and Artichoke Wonderpot is a One Pot Pasta that takes less than 30 minutes to make and is packed with vegetables.

  • 8 oz. mushrooms ($1.69)
  • 1 13 oz. can artichoke hearts ($2.59)
  • 4 cloves garlic ($0.32)
  • 1 small yellow onion ($0.32)
  • 5 cups vegetable broth ($0.65)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 12 oz. fettuccine ($0.82)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano ($0.10)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme ($0.05)
  • freshly cracked black pepper ($0.05)
  • 4 oz. fresh or frozen spinach ($0.65)
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper (optional) ($0.05)
  • 3 oz. feta (optional) ($2.19)
  1. Rinse the mushrooms to remove any dirt or debris, then slice them thinly. Drain the can of artichoke hearts and roughly chop them into bite-sized pieces. Thinly slice the onion and garlic (you can mince the garlic and dice the onion if you don't like large pieces).

  2. Place the vegetable broth, olive oil, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, onions, and garlic in a large pot. Break the fettuccine in half and add it to the pot along with the oregano, thyme, and some freshly cracked pepper (10-15 cranks of a pepper mill). Push the ingredients down under the broth as much as possible. Place a lid on the pot and bring it up to a rolling boil over high heat.

  3. As soon as it reaches a boil, stir the pot to evenly distribute the ingredients and prevent the pasta from sticking. Turn the heat down to low so that the pot is simmering. Allow the pot to simmer, with the lid on, stirring every couple of minutes, for 10-15 minutes, or until the pasta is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Make sure the broth is simmering the entire time, turning the heat up slightly, if needed, to maintain a simmer.

  4. Once the pasta is cooked through, add the spinach and stir it into the pasta, allowing the heat to wilt the spinach (if using frozen, stir until the heat has thawed the spinach).

  5. Serve the pasta hot with a pinch of crushed red pepper and some crumbled feta on top, if desired).

If you use low sodium vegetable broth, you may want to season with a little salt at the end. Sometimes just a pinch of salt will help pronounce the flavors and prevent a bland finish.

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Close up of Spinach and Artichoke One Pot Pasta on the plate being twirled around a fork

 

How to Make Spinach and Artichoke Wonderpot – Step by Step Photos

Sliced onion mushrooms garlic and artichoke hearts

Start by prepping the veggies. Rinse and slice 8 oz. mushrooms. Drain a 13 oz. can of artichoke hearts and then just chop them up roughly so that they are in smaller, bite-sized pieces. Thinly slice one small onion and 4 cloves garlic. If you don’t want big garlic pieces, you can mince the garlic and dice the onion. 

Vegetable broth being poured into the pot with all the other inredients

Place the sliced onion, mushrooms, garlic, artichoke hearts, 12 oz. fettuccine, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp dried thyme, some freshly cracked black pepper (about 10-15 cranks of a pepper mill), and 5 cups vegetable broth. If your pot is not big enough for the fettuccine to lay flat across the pot, I suggest breaking it in half first. My pot is quite wide, so I left it whole.

Ingredients pushed down in the pot below the broth

Push all of the ingredients down under the liquid as much as possible. Place a lid on top and bring it up to a boil over high heat. As soon as it reaches a boil, give it a good stir, and reduce the heat to low. 

Cooked one pot pasta

Let it simmer on low, with the lid in place, stirring every couple of minutes, for 10-15 minutes, or until the pasta is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Make sure the broth is simmering well the entire time, turning the heat up slightly if needed to maintain a simmer.

Fresh spinach added to the one pot pasta

Once the pasta is cooked, add 4 oz. fresh spinach and stir it into the pasta until the spinach has wilted. If using frozen spinach, stir it in until the heat from the pasta has thawed the spinach.

Finished spinach and artichoke one pot pasta

And then you suddenly have this! Amazing! Easy! Yum! It’s a WONDERPOT!

Sauciness in the bottom of the wonderpot

Take a closer look… see that yummy sauciness in the bottom of the pot? ?

A pasta fork lifting pasta from the pot of Spinach and Artichoke Wonderpot

Serve the Spinach and Artichoke Wonderpot as is, or add a pinch of crushed red pepper and some crumbled feta. It’s also pretty good with Parmesan!

The post Spinach and Artichoke Wonderpot appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Chicken and Lime Soup

I’m a soup-all-year-long type of person. Soup is tasty. Soup is filling. Soup freezes well. And this Chicken and Lime Soup is where it’s at. The clear broth is light enough for summer, and has a deliciously spicy, sour, and salty broth that will keep you coming back for more, and more, and MORE. If […]

The post Chicken and Lime Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’m a soup-all-year-long type of person. Soup is tasty. Soup is filling. Soup freezes well. And this Chicken and Lime Soup is where it’s at. The clear broth is light enough for summer, and has a deliciously spicy, sour, and salty broth that will keep you coming back for more, and more, and MORE. If you want to change up your chicken soup game, this Chicken and Lime Soup is the way to go!

Originally posted 10-14-2012, updated 8-22-2019

Close up overhead view of a bowl of Chicken and Lime Soup with avocado slices, lime wedges, and tortilla chips.

This Chicken and Lime Soup was inspired by a trip to a Mexican restaurant where I had the most amazing tangy Caldo Xochitl. I added more lime because I’m a lime fiend, and it gave the soup the perfect mix between spicy, salty, and sour – that same famous combo that makes Chinese hot & sour soup so delish. There’s just something about that flavor combination that tickles all the right parts of your tongue!

Make Your Chicken and Lime Soup Mild

The recipe as written is fairly spicy. The heat comes from the jalapeño pepper and the diced tomatoes with green chiles. If you’d like to make your Chicken and Lime Soup mild, simply skip the jalapeño pepper and use a 15 oz. can of regular diced tomatoes, or fire roasted diced tomatoes, in place of the tomatoes with green chiles.

Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles Substitutes

If canned diced tomatoes with green chiles are not sold in your area, you can use a 15 oz. can of petite diced tomatoes plus one 4 oz. can of diced green chiles. Or, leave the green chiles out and use a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes. You can also dice up a fresh hatch green chile and sauté that with the onion, celery, and garlic in the beginning of the recipe.

Close up of a spoonful of Chicken and Lime Soup with the bowl in the background.

Use More Chicken if Desired

Using only a small amount of meat in my recipes is kind of my calling card, so that’s what I did here. One chicken breast, shredded so you get a little bit in every spoonful, is all I needed. If you prefer more meat in your dishes, you can use two chicken breasts in this recipe without having to make any other adjustments.

Topping Your Chicken and Lime Soup

For me, topping soup with lots of stuff is half the fun, and you have a lot of topping options with this one. I wrote avocado into the recipe because I really feel like that topping is critical and really makes the soup flavors well rounded, but the rest are totally optional. When I have tortilla chips on hand, I like to use those like I would crackers in other soup, crushing them up so they can soak up that awesome broth. A little dab of sour cream would be awesome, as would a few pickled red onions.

A hand squeezing a wedge of lime into a bowl of Chicken and Lime Soup

 

Chicken and Lime Soup

This Chicken and Lime Soup is light, fresh, and flavorful with shredded chicken, vegetables, fresh cilantro, and a tangy lime infused broth.

  • 1 yellow onion ($0.21)
  • 3 ribs celery (about 1/4 bunch) ($0.37)
  • 1 jalapenño ($0.17)
  • 4 cloves garlic ($0.32)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 3/4 lb.) ($2.32)
  • 6 cups chicken broth* ($0.78)
  • 2 10oz. cans diced tomatoes with green chiles (Rotel) ($0.90)
  • 1 tsp oregano ($0.10)
  • 1/2 Tbsp cumin ($0.15)
  • 1 lime ($0.22)
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro ($0.40)
  • 1 avocado ($1.50)
  1. Dice the onion, celery, and jalapeño (scrape the seeds out of the jalapeño before dicing). Mince the garlic. Add the onion, celery, jalapeño, garlic, and olive oil to a large soup pot and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent.

  2. Add the chicken breast, chicken broth, diced tomatoes with chiles (with juices), oregano, and cumin to the pot. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to high, and bring the broth up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let the pot simmer for 45 minutes.

  3. After simmering for 45 minutes, carefully remove the chicken breast from the pot and use two forks to shred the meat. Return the shredded meat to the pot. Squeeze the juice of one lime into the soup (2-3 Tbsp juice).

  4. Rinse the cilantro and then roughly chop the leaves. Add the chopped cilantro to the soup, give it a quick stir, then serve. Slice the avocado and add a few slices to each bowl.

*I use Better Than Bouillon chicken soup base to make my broth because it is less expensive than buying canned or boxed broths.

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Close up of a bowl of Chicken and Lime Soup with garnishes and a black spoon in the middle

 

Step By Step Photos

Celery, onion, jalapeño and garlic on a cutting board
Dice one yellow onion, three ribs of celery, and one jalapeño. Mince four cloves of garlic.

Remove ribs and seeds from jalapeño

Before dicing the jalapeño, slice it in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scrape out the white ribs and seeds. These are the hottest parts of the jalapeño, so removing them first will give you a little more jalapeño flavor and a little less heat.

Onion, celery, jalapeño, and garlic in soup pot with olive oil

Add the celery, onion, jalapeño, and garlic to a large soup pot with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent.

Chicken broth being poured into the soup pot over a chicken breast.
Add one boneless, skinless chicken breast to the pot (about 3/4 lb.). Then add 6 cups chicken broth (I use Better Than Bouillon so I can mix up any amount needed at any time). 

A can of diced tomatoes with green chiles
Next, add two 10 oz. cans of diced tomatoes with green chiles. If you can only find 15 oz cans, you can use one. Or, if you can not find canned diced tomatoes with green chiles, you can either use diced tomatoes and one 4 oz. can of green chiles, or just use fire roasted diced tomatoes.

Add cumin and oregano to the soup pot.
In addition to the diced tomatoes with green chiles, also add 1/2 Tbsp cumin and 1 tsp dried oregano.

Simmered chicken and lime soup

Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to high, and allow it to come up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let the soup simmer for 45 minutes (lid on).

Shred chicken on a cutting board with two knives.
After simmering for 45 minutes, the chicken should be tender enough to shred. Carefully remove it from the pot to a clean cutting board, then use two forks to shred the meat into small pieces. Return the shredded meat to the soup pot.

Squeezing half lime into the soup.

Squeeze the juice from one lime (about 2-3 Tbsp) into the broth. To get the most juice out of the lime, I like to cut it in half, squeeze as much by hand, then insert a spoon into the lime and twist to squeeze out the rest.

Stir fresh cilantro into the soup
Rinse the cilantro to make sure there’s no sand hiding in there, then give it a rough chop. You don’t have to take the time to carefully remove all stems. Cilantro stems are tender enough to enjoy. Stir the cilantro into the soup.

Finished bowl of Chicken and Lime Soup with sliced avocado and a couple of lime wedges

Slice the avocado and add a few slices to each bowl just before serving! Enjoy!

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