Sweet Corn Risotto

This Sweet Corn Risotto is infused with the flavors of summer! It’s comforting, simple, and budget-friendly cooking at its finest.

The post Sweet Corn Risotto appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sweet Corn Risotto is a Summertime treat that shouldn’t be missed. Summer corn flavors infuse this entire dish when you use every scrap while cooking! Corn cobs that would normally be discarded bring extra sweetness and earthy flavor to this risotto, making each bite taste like pure farm-to-table bliss. And don’t even get me started on the texture combo. The kernels give the recipe a little crunch and freshness, while the creamy risotto is smooth and decadent – it’s giving budget-friendly… but make it summery!

A plate of sweet corn risotto.

What is Sweet Corn Risotto?

Oh, how I love a good risotto. This Italian dish is made from starchy, short-grain rice cooked in broth until all those lovely starches are released – giving the recipe its creamy, dreamy texture WITHOUT adding any cream. This sweet corn risotto is similar to my Parmesan risotto but with a summery twist! I shave the corn off the cob and use the bare cobs (yep, we use the whole cob here) to give the broth that sweet corn taste. White wine, butter, arborio rice, and Parmesan cheese round out the flavors, making this recipe a must-try this season.

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make sweet corn risotto:

  • Arborio Rice: This is the best, and most commonly used, rice for making risotto. It’s short-grain and super starchy. DON’T RINSE THE RICE before using it, or you’ll wash away some of the starch that makes risotto so creamy.
  • Corn Cobs: Use fresh corn cobs for this recipe, and save the cobs after you shave off the kernels. You can also use canned or frozen and thawed corn in a pinch (about 2 cups worth), but the broth won’t have the same fresh corn flavor without the cobs.
  • Sweet Onion: Choose a sweet onion, like Vidalia, Walla Walla, or Maui, if possible. They’re a bit milder and sweeter than yellow or white onions. However, yellow onions are typically cheapest- and they work great, too!
  • Butter: Use salted butter to give the risotto a little extra flavor.
  • White Wine: We don’t often add wine to our recipes because it hikes up the cost, so you can skip it if it’s not in your budget. However, if you can make it work, the wine adds a really nice depth of flavor. Use any crisp, dry white wine you like to drink. I usually use Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. Don’t forget, you can freeze wine in ice cube trays for future recipes so nothing goes to waste!
  • Parmesan: The salty, nutty Parmesan cheese is the perfect finish to this summer corn risotto. 
  • Vegetable Broth: Use homemade vegetable broth or your favorite store-bought variety. I used bouillon to keep costs low.

What Else Can I Add?

This sweet corn risotto recipe is delicious as-is, but it’s also the perfect base for adding other ingredients. Here are a few ideas:

Time Saving Tip

This recipe is super simple to make, but risotto is a hands-on process – ain’t nobody denying that. You have to slowly add in the broth and continuously stir while it is absorbed until it’s time to add more. While it only takes about 20 minutes to do this, it’s not a recipe you can walk away from! To make things easier and save some time, I always prep the corn, onion, and shred the Parmesan in advance. They last well in the fridge, so all I have to do is add them in when it’s time to cook. Planning ahead helps!

Serving Suggestions

I love to serve my creamy corn risotto with roasted asparagus and tomatoes, quick garlic butter shrimp, or balsamic roasted vegetables.

How to Store Sweet Corn Risotto

This sweet corn risotto is best eaten fresh but can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stovetop, stirring often, with a splash of broth or water to bring back its creamy texture. I don’t recommend freezing risotto purely because the texture doesn’t hold up well after thawing.

Sweet corn risotto in a skillet topped with fresh herbs.
Sweet corn risotto on a plate.
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Sweet Corn Risotto

This Sweet Corn Risotto is infused with the flavors of summer! It's comforting, simple, and budget-friendly cooking at its finest.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Total Cost ($9.37 recipe / $2.34 serving)
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings, about 1.5 cups per serving
Calories 494kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 corn cobs $0.99
  • ½ small sweet onion $0.94
  • 3 Tbsp salted butter, divided $0.42
  • 1 ½ cups arborio rice $2.28
  • ¼ cup white wine* $0.58
  • 5 cups vegetable broth $1.45
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese $2.71

Instructions

  • Cut corn from cobs and chop the bare cobs in half. Dice the onion, and gather white wine*, shredded Parmesan cheese, butter, and arborio rice.
  • Add bare cobs and veggie broth to a pot and bring to a simmer on low heat while you prepare the risotto:
  • Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook the onion down until glossy.
  • Add arborio rice to butter and onion and toast for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add corn, cook for an additional minute.
  • Add white wine and cook down.
  • Add one ladle full of corn veggie broth and stir constantly. Wait until the broth is around 75% absorbed by the rice before adding the next ladle. Keep adding ladles of broth until all the stock is used and the risotto is creamy and complete. This step will take about 20 minutes in total.
  • Stir in 1 Tbsp butter and the Parmesan cheese. Serve with parsley or other fresh herbs (optional).

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

* If wine is not in your budget, it’s ok to skip it. If you can cook with wine, I recommend a crisp, dry white like a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. An unoaked Chardonnay would also work in this risotto! There are super affordable bottles out there that are great for cooking ($5 for Yellowtail and even less dough needed if you pick up a single serving mini bottle!) Did you know you can also freeze wine in ice cube trays for cooking later, so you never waste a bottle?

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 494kcal | Carbohydrates: 81g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 13g | Sodium: 1475mg | Fiber: 4g
A fork scooping some sweet corn risotto off a plate.

how to make SWEET CORN RISOTTO – step by step photos

A knife slicing kernels off a corn cob into a bowl.

Using a sharp knife, cut the corn from 3 cobs into a large bowl. Carefully chop the bare cobs in half and set the corn kernels to one side for now.

The ingredients to make summer corn risotto.

Dice ½ a small, sweet onion into small pieces. Gather ½ a cup of Parmesan cheese, 3 Tbsp of salted butter (divided), a ¼ cup of white wine (if using), and 1½ cups of arborio rice.

Bare corn cobs and vegetable broth in a pot.

Add the halved corn cobs into a pot and cover with 5 cups of veggie broth. Bring the broth to a simmer over low heat while you prepare the risotto.

Melted butter and diced onion in a skillet.

Add 2 Tbsp of salted butter to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once melted, add the diced onion to the butter and cook down until glossy. We don’t want the onion to brown or caramelize; we just want it to become fragrant and soft.

Arborio rice added to diced onions in a skillet.

Add 1½ cups of arborio rice to the skillet with the butter and onions. Allow the rice to toast for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Corn kernels added to arborio rice to make sweet corn risotto in a skillet.

Pour the previously prepared corn kernels into the skillet and cook for another minute.

White wine being poured into arborio rice and corn kernels in a skillet.

Add a ¼ cup of white wine to the skillet to release any browned bits from the bottom of the pan (known as deglazing). Stir and allow the wine to cook down for 1-2 minutes.

A ladle adding vegetable broth to sweet corn risotto in a skillet.

Slowly ladle 1 cup of hot corn veggie broth into the skillet with the rice, and stir until about 75% of the liquid has been absorbed.

A wooden spoon stirring sweet corn risotto in a skillet.

Add 1 ladle of broth at a time, stirring often, until the rice has mostly absorbed all 5 cups. This will take about 20 minutes in total. Your rice should be al dente, meaning it still has a slight bite to it. The risotto should also be creamy and not soupy.

A cube of butter and shredded parmesan cheese added to sweet corn risotto in a skillet.

Add 1 Tbsp of salted butter and ½ a cup of shredded Parmesan cheese to your summer corn risotto and stir until well combined.

Creamy sweet corn risotto in a skillet.

Serve hot and (optional) garnish with parsley or other fresh herbs.

Overhead view of sweet corn risotto in a skillet.

There’s nothing quite like a creamy bowl of sweet corn risotto to fill your belly on a late summer night!

The post Sweet Corn Risotto appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Baked Beans in the Slow Cooker

Baked Beans don’t have to be boring and from a can, Baked Beans in the Slow Cooker takes a classic recipe to a whole new level! The rich aroma, savory flavors, touch of sweetness and simplicity of using a crock pot make them irresistible. Perfect for all your summer cookouts! Why I Love This Recipe The Ingredients Variations and Substitutions How to…

The post Baked Beans in the Slow Cooker appeared first on Weelicious.

Baked Beans don’t have to be boring and from a can, Baked Beans in the Slow Cooker takes a classic recipe to a whole new level! The rich aroma, savory flavors, touch of sweetness and simplicity of using a crock pot make them irresistible. Perfect for all your summer cookouts!

Baked beans in a blue bowl with a spoon.

Why I Love This Recipe

  • Effortless Cooking: Just toss all your ingredients in a slow cooker and let it do the work for you! Especially if you’re making these during the summer, it’s so convenient to not have to stand over a hot stovetop!
  • Versatile: Perfect as a side dish for barbecues, potlucks, or even as a main course just like my Summer Pasta Salad recipe!
  • Make-Ahead Friendly: Make your baked beans in advance and enjoy later! The flavors only get better with time.
  • Full of Flavor: These baked beans are the perfect balance of sweet and saucy. My kids could eat beans for every meal. They’re obsessed. If yours are too, try these Pressure Cooker Pinto Beans or Slow Cooker Black Eyed Peas.
  • Vegetarian: This baked beans recipe is a hearty, delicious vegetarian option that everyone will love!

The Ingredients

Crock pot baked beans ingredients.
  • Small onion: You’ll sauté the onions before adding them to the slow cooker. They provide a savory base flavor for the beans.
  • Small white beans: The main ingredient! We use dried beans for this recipe and cook them low and slow. Any white or Great Northern bean variety will work fabulously in this.
  • Tomato paste: Instead of ketchup we use tomato paste to add that delicious tomatoey, tangy flavor.
  • Maple syrup: This adds a touch of natural, rich sweetness to the beans without being overly sweet.
  • Molasses: This ingredients adds a slightly smoky, complex sweetness.
  • Dijon mustard: Adds more tanginess with a little spicy note.
  • Vegetable broth and water: Cooking the beans in vegetable broth and water adds more flavor to the cooking liquid.

Variations and Substitutions

  • For a meatier option: Cook 4 pieces of chopped bacon with the onions for a meaty, smokier version of this recipe. You could also add cut up hot dogs in the last few minutes to cook through. 
  • Sweeteners: Swap maple syrup for light brown sugar or coconut sugar if you need.
  • More Heat: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or a small diced jalapeño pepper (at your own risk!).
  • Chicken Broth: If you don’t need this recipe to be vegetarian, you can use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth.

How to Make Baked Beans in the Slow Cooker

Chopped onions sautéing  in pan.

Step 1: Heat the olive oil in a saute pan, add the onions and cook until soft, about 3-4 minutes.

Baked beans ingredients in a slow cooker.

Step 2: Transfer the onions to a crock pot, add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

Baked beans in a slow cooker.

Step 3: Cook on low for 8-10 hours or 6-8 hours on high or until the beans are tender.

Storing Tips

  • Refrigerate: You can store leftover baked beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze: To freeze baked beans, place cooled beans in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
  • Reheat: Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop. Add a splash of water or broth if they need to be loosened up a bit.

Serving Suggestions

Looking for delicious ideas to serve with your next big batch of baked beans? Here are some of my favorites:

FAQs

Can you make baked beans in a pressure cooker?

Yes! This baked beans recipe can be made in a pressure cooker really easily. Here’s how: lock the lid of your pressure cooker and cook for 60 minutes at high pressure. Once the cook time is finished, allow the pressure to naturally release for at least 10 minutes. Then, release the remaining pressure, remove the lid and serve.

Can I make crock pot baked beans in advance?

Absolutely! Store them in the refrigerator and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Baked beans on a plate served with a hot dog.

More Slow Cooker Recipes

Baked Beans tend to fly under the radar a bit at a potluck or barbecue, but this crockpot baked beans recipe will be the star of the show wherever you take it. If you make these, let me know what you think by leaving a rating and comment below!

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Baked beans in a blue bowl with a spoon.
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Baked Beans in the Slow Cooker

Baked Beans don't have to be boring and from a can, this version made in the crock pot takes a classic recipe to a whole new level!
Course Side
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 5 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 388kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a saute pan, add the onions and cook until soft, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Transfer the onions to a crock pot, add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Cook on low for 8-10 hours or 6-8 hours on high or until the beans are tender. See notes for pressure cooker instructions.

Notes

Pressure Cooker Baked Bean Instructions: Lock the lid of your pressure cooker and cook for 60 minutes at high pressure. Once the cook time is finished, allow the pressure to naturally release for at least 10 minutes. Then, release the remaining pressure, remove the lid and serve.
For a meatier option: Cook 4 pieces of chopped bacon with the onions for a meaty, smokier version of this recipe. You could also add cut up hot dogs in the last few minutes to cook through. 
To Store: You can store leftover baked beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Freeze: To freeze baked beans, place cooled beans in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
Reheat: Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop. Add a splash of water or broth if they need to be loosened up a bit.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 388kcal | Carbohydrates: 74g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 1.682mg | Potassium: 1.904mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 758IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 244mg | Iron: 10mg

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Mediterranean Lentil Soup

This vegan Mediterranean Lentil Soup is bright and refreshing. Finished with a squeeze of lemon, it’s the perfect meal for rainy spring days.

The post Mediterranean Lentil Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

In my opinion, a bright and refreshing soup is the perfect way to welcome spring, and this vegan Mediterranean Lentil Soup is the perfect comforting meal for the rainy days to come. A rich and flavorful broth loaded with veggies, lentils, and kale will fill you up for pennies and is a great recipe for fridge clean out day. Finish it off with a squeeze of lemon juice for a delicious and easy weeknight meal.

overhead view of a bowl of mediterranean lentil soup with lemon slices.

Why Make Mediterranean Lentil Soup?

The first time I experienced cinnamon in a savory dish was while cooking at a Lebanese restaurant and it was life changing! This Mediterranean Lentil Soup is the perfect introduction to the savory use of cinnamon. This clean and flavorful lentil soup is a vegan flavor explosion. It’s loaded with protein and fiber, naturally gluten-free, and super versatile. You can toss in just about any veggie or green, so raid the fridge and get cooking!

Ingredients for Mediterranean Lentil Soup

Here’s what you’ll need to make Mediterranean lentil soup:

  • Oil: Olive oil is our preferred choice in this recipe for its Mediterranean flavor profile, but vegetable or canola oil will work in a pinch.
  • Mirepoix: A combination of small diced yellow onion, carrots, and celery creates an earthy and sweet base of flavor for this soup.
  • Garlic: The large pieces of crushed garlic versus mincing it fine is intentional to bring out the natural sweetness and flavor of cooked garlic instead of the sometimes-overwhelming bite it has when minced.
  • Cumin: Adds a savory and nutty Mediterranean flavor to this soup.
  • Cinnamon: A great savory application of the spice! It will warm you up from the inside out and make your house smell fantastic.
  • Lentils: We used brown lentils for their firm texture.
  • Vegetable Broth: We used Vegetable flavored Better Than Bouillon in this recipe. If using another brand, make sure salt is not the first ingredient or it’s a waste of money!
  • Lemon Juice: Gives the soup a brightness that is seriously addictive. You can use fresh-squeezed lemon juice and save half of your lemon for garnishing each bowl, or you can use a bottled lemon juice. I always have lemons in the kitchen, so we had some to garnish with, too!
  • Kale: Swiss chard, rainbow chard, spinach, escarole, and all varieties of kale work great, too.
  • Salt and Pepper: Enhance the natural flavors of the soup.

Which color lentils are best for soup?

Brown or green lentils work best for this soup, as they will keep their shape after cooking, which is what we’re looking for texture-wise. Red lentils are not recommended because they cook quicker and will dissolve into the soup as they cook, creating a thick and mushy texture.

How to Store Leftovers

Store leftover Mediterranean lentil soup in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. This soup also freezes super well for up to 3 months when stored properly in an air-tight container. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating in a pot set over medium-low heat until warmed through.

overhead view of mediterranean lentil soup in a red dutch oven.
overhead view of 2 bowls of mediterranean lentil soup with lemon slices.
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Mediterranean Lentil Soup

This vegan Mediterranean Lentil Soup is bright and refreshing. Finished with a squeeze of lemon, it's the perfect meal for rainy spring days.
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Mediterranean
Total Cost $7.59 recipe / $1.08 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 7 (about 1.5 cups each)
Calories 185kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced small $0.78
  • 2 medium carrots, diced small $0.24
  • 3 stalks celery, diced small $0.36
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed $0.30
  • 2 tsp ground cumin $0.20
  • 1 tsp cinnamon $0.16
  • 1 cup uncooked brown or green lentils $0.68
  • 8 cups vegetable broth $1.44
  • 4 oz. lemon juice $0.48
  • 3 cups kale, chopped and lightly packed $2.48
  • 1 tsp salt $0.05
  • 2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.10

Instructions

  • Rinse the lentils in a strainer under cold water until the water runs clear.
  • Heat the oil in a large soup pot set over medium-high heat. Add in the onions, carrots, and celery and cook until they become tender, about 6-7 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Stir in the garlic, cumin, and cinnamon. Heat until fragrant, about 60 seconds. Add the lentils to the pan and heat for 1-2 minutes to slightly toast.
  • Pour in the vegetable broth, water, and lemon juice, then bring the pot to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30-45 minutes.
  • Stir in the greens, season with additional salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste before serving.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 185kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 1452mg | Fiber: 11g
three-quarters view of mediterranean lentil soup in a white bowl with a lemon slice.

how to make Mediterranean Lentil Soup – step by step photos

mirepoix in a red dutch oven.

Rinse 1 cup brown or green lentils in a strainer under cold water until the water runs clear. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large soup pot set over medium-high heat. Add in 1 diced yellow onion, 2 diced medium carrots, and 3 diced stalks celery and cook until they become tender, about 6-7 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with 1 tsp salt and 2 tsp pepper.

mirepoix, spices, and lentils in a red dutch oven.

Stir in 5 crushed cloves garlic, 2 tsp ground cumin, and 1 tsp cinnamon. Heat until fragrant, about 60 seconds. Add the lentils to the pan and heat for 1-2 minutes to slightly toast.

broth added to lentil soup in a red dutch oven.

Pour in 8 cups vegetable broth and 4 oz. lemon juice, then bring the pot to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30-45 minutes.

kale added to lentil soup in a red dutch oven.

Stir in 3 cups chopped kale, season with additional salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste before serving.

overhead view of a spoon lifting a scoop of mediterranean lentil soup from a red dutch oven.

This Mediterranean lentil soup is going to be your new favorite!

The post Mediterranean Lentil Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Ham and Potato Soup

This ham and potato soup is creamy but not too heavy and loaded with fresh veggies and salty ham. It’s perfect for the seasonal transition!

The post Ham and Potato Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

These hot and cold spring days have me feeling all kinds of confused about what to make for dinner. One day it’s warm and sunny, and the next it feels like winter all over again. But no matter the mood, I feel like soup is always the right answer, and this Ham and Potato Soup is a crowd pleaser. Creamy but not too heavy, and loaded with fresh veggies and salty ham, this soup is perfect for this transitional season!

a ladleful of ham and potato soup suspended over a pot of soup.

What is Ham and Potato Soup?

This rich and creamy soup is made from a base of vegetable broth enriched with milk and butter and stuffed to the brim with fresh veggies, chunky potatoes, and salty ham. It’s real belly-warming food, perfect for taking the chill off!

Ingredients for Ham and Potato Soup

Here’s what you’ll need to make ham and potato soup:

  • Oil: I used olive oil, but a neutral-flavored oil like canola or vegetable oil will also work well.
  • Mirepoix: A base of celery, carrots, and onion builds the flavor of this soup.
  • Potatoes: I used 2 medium potatoes, which came out to be 3 1/2 cups once diced. I prefer to peel my potatoes for this recipe, but you can leave the skins on if you like them!
  • Cooked Ham: You can buy a ham steak or use your leftover ham from our Baked Ham recipe! Vegetarian? No problem. You can leave out the ham and this becomes more of a vegetable chowder and it is delicious!
  • Vegetable Broth: You’ll need 6 cups, or you can dissolve 2 Tbsp of vegetable bouillon in 6 cups of water. You can also use Chicken Broth if that’s what you have on hand!
  • Salted Butter: Adds richness and helps form the roux that thickens the soup.
  • All-Purpose Flour: Combines with the butter to form a roux that thickens the soup.
  • Milk: Adds creaminess to the soup.
  • Salt and Pepper: Enhance the overall flavor of the soup.
  • Parsley: A bit of minced fresh parsley adds some color and freshness to the soup.

What Potatoes Are Best For Soup?

The best potato for any given soup really depends on the texture you’re after.

  • With this soup, I wanted to keep distinct chunks of intact potato, so I went for red potatoes. Other varieties that hold their shape well include new potatoes, baby potatoes, and fingerlings.
  • If you’re looking for your potatoes to soften up a bit more but still mostly hold their shape, Yukon Golds are a great choice for this soup.
  • Starchier potatoes, like Russets, will melt into the soup, making it super thick, but you won’t get the whole potato texture in every bite.

A Note on Salt

You may not need any salt depending on the ham you’re using, so taste often and adjust as you see fit. Between the salted butter, bouillon, and the ham from our Baked Ham recipe, I didn’t have a need for more than a pinch of additional salt.

How Do You Thicken Ham and Potato SOup?

I chose to thicken this soup with what’s known as a “blonde roux.” It’s a mixture of butter and flour that is cooked over medium-low heat until it juuust starts to change color from white to blonde. This deepens the flavor of the soup without overpowering the natural flavor of the other ingredients.

three-quarters view of a serving of ham and potato soup in a white bowl.
a ladleful of ham and potato soup suspended over a pot of soup.
Print

Ham and Potato Soup

This ham and potato soup is creamy but not too heavy and loaded with fresh veggies and salty ham. It's perfect for the seasonal transition!
Course Dinner, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Total Cost $11.24 recipe / $1.40 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 (1.5 cups each)
Calories 212kcal
Author Jess Rice

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.34
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced $0.20
  • 3 stalks celery, diced $0.30
  • 1 small white onion, diced $1.02
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced (roughly 3½ cups) $1.66
  • 6 cups vegetable broth $0.53
  • 2 cups cooked diced ham $6.38
  • 2 Tbsp salted butter $0.24
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour $0.05
  • 2 cups milk $0.38
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley $0.08
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.05
  • Salt, to taste $0.01

Instructions

  • In the stock pot, add 2 Tbsp olive oil on medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, and onion and cook down until slightly softened and the onions are nice and glossy, about 5 minutes.
  • Add potatoes, vegetable broth, and ham in the stockpot. Bring the pot to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium and let the potatoes simmer for about 15 minutes, or until they are tender. Stir in the pepper.
  • Melt the butter in a separate medium-size saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in the all-purpose flour until smooth. Cook for about 1 minute. (Note: this is a “blonde roux” so you don’t want the flour to toast too much!) Whisk in milk and cook for about 4 minutes until thick and warm.
  • Pour milk/roux mixture into the stockpot with ham soup and whisk to combine. Cook until all vegetables reach desired tenderness and soup thickens to your liking, another 10 minutes should do it. Add the parsley, additional salt and pepper if needed and enjoy!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

This makes 12 cups of soup, but we found 1 1/2 cups to be perfect for a meal, so if that’s your serving size, you can serve 8 people.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 212kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 11g | Sodium: 1109mg | Fiber: 2g
overhead view of ham and potato soup in a white dutch oven.

how to make Ham and Potato Soup – step by step photos

chopped celery, carrots, and onions in s white dutch oven.

In your stock pot, add 2 Tbsp olive oil on medium heat. Add 2 peeled and diced carrots, 3 diced stalks celery, and 1 diced small white onion and cook down until slightly softened and the onions are nice and glossy, about 5 minutes.

broth poured over mirepoix, potatoes, and ham in a dutch oven.

Add 2 peeled and diced potatoes, 6 cups vegetable broth, and 2 cups diced cooked ham in the stockpot. Bring to a boil; simmer over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in your 1 tsp black pepper.

milk poured over butter and flour paste in a frying pan with a whisk.

Melt 2 Tbsp salted butter in a separate medium-size saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in 1/4 cup all-purpose flour until smooth. Cook for about 1 minute. (Note: this is a “blonde roux” so you don’t want the flour to toast too much!) Whisk in 2 cups milk and cook for about 4 minutes until thick and warm.

ham and potato soup in a dutch oven.

Pour milk/roux mixture into the stockpot with ham soup and whisk to combine. Cook until all vegetables reach desired tenderness and soup thickens to your liking, another 10 minutes should do it. Add parsley, additional salt, and pepper if needed and enjoy!

overhead view of a spoonful of ham and potato soup suspended above a serving of soup in a white bowl.

This creamy ham and potato soup is perfect for the changing seasons!

The post Ham and Potato Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Parmesan Risotto

Creamy Parmesan risotto is comfort food at its finest! Warm, rich, and cheesy, this dish is a perennial favorite.

The post Parmesan Risotto appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Creamy Parmesan risotto is comfort food at its finest! Warm, rich, and cheesy, this dish is a perennial favorite. It’s loaded with belly-filling Arborio rice and Parmesan cheese to keep you full and satisfied for under $10. What could be better?!

overhead view of a wooden spoon in a pan of parmesan risotto.

What is Parmesan Risotto?

Risotto is a magical dish created by slow-cooking starchy rice in broth. Part of the magic is how the rice leeches its starches into the liquid, creating a creamy and rich sauce. This is achieved by adding the broth slowly over a longer period of time and stirring continuously. Most risotto has cheese, and we love Parmesan, so it felt like a natural choice for this Parmesan risotto recipe!

Ingredients for Parmesan Risotto

Here’s what you’ll need to make Parmesan risotto:

  • Vegetable Broth: We used Better than Bouillon to cut costs. You can also substitute chicken broth if you prefer.
  • Dry White Wine: We used a mini chardonnay Bota Box for this recipe, but white cooking wine also works well. If you don’t have white wine on hand, just up your recipe to 5 cups of vegetable broth.
  • Olive Oil: Helps cook the onion without burning it. You can use canola or vegetable oil to cut costs.
  • Yellow Onion: Adds a sweet and earthy flavor to the risotto.
  • Arborio Rice: An Italian, short-grain rice that has a high starch content, perfect for making risotto.
  • Butter: Salted or unsalted is fine, you will just need to adjust any additional salt based on whatever butter you have on hand. We used unsalted butter.
  • Salt and Pepper: Enhance the overall flavor of this risotto.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Provides the majority of the flavor of this dish. We do not recommend using pre-shredded cheese for this recipe. Shred yours fresh!
  • Parsley: Adds a pop of freshness and color.

What Else Can I Add to Parmesan Risotto?

This Parmesan risotto is great as is, but you can also make it your own by experimenting with additional ingredients. Try adding:

  • Sauteed mushrooms
  • Frozen peas
  • Frozen corn kernels
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Crushed red pepper flakes

Tips for Making Parmesan Risotto

  • This recipe requires few ingredients, but it is a labor of love! You don’t want to pour all of the broth in at once, because then you will just have regular boiled rice. Your rice will slowly absorb the liquid and become super creamy if you take your time and follow the directions. Risotto shouldn’t take you much longer than 20 minutes from start to finish. As you can see in the photos, we used up all of the veggie broth, so be patient and watch the magic happen!
  • Risotto is traditionally enjoyed “al dente” with a little chew left to it.
  • Typically, we don’t use wine on Budget Bytes because it tends to hike the grocery bill up and, if you don’t imbibe, you will have a lot leftover and therefore a lot of waste. This is definitely a special date night recipe, so we say you splurge for the wine and enjoy yourselves!
  • If you are vegan or just dairy-free, you can definitely make risotto with vegan butter or margarine and omit the Parmesan cheese.

What to Serve with Parmesan Risotto

We love serving risotto with sauteed asparagus and fresh herbs. It’s also fantastic with sauteed or balsamic roasted mushrooms. YUM!

overhead view of parmesan risotto in a white bowl with asparagus spears.
overhead view of a wooden spoon in a pan of parmesan risotto.
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Parmesan Risotto

Creamy Parmesan risotto is comfort food at its finest! Warm, rich, and cheesy, this dish is a perennial favorite.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Total Cost $7.97 recipe / $1.99 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 454kcal
Author Jess Rice

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 cups vegetable broth $0.36
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil $0.34
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced small $0.78
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice, uncooked and unrinsed $2.62
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or vegetable broth $1.04
  • 1 Tbsp butter $0.13
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.03
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan $2.57
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh parsley $0.08

Instructions

  • Bring the vegetable broth to a simmer in a large saucepan. Keep warm over low heat.
  • Heat a large deep sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add oil to the pan. Swirl to coat and add your onion and salt. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until onions look glossy and clear. Your onions should not caramelize or brown for this recipe.
  • Add the Arborio rice to the pan and stir to combine. Toast the onion and rice together for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Deglaze your pan with room temperature white wine and let it cook down until there’s just a little left in the pan, about ½ or less of what you poured in.
  • Now, begin adding 1 ladle of hot broth at a time, stirring the risotto constantly until the broth is about 75% absorbed by the arborio rice. I find it usually takes a solid minute or two before I add another ladle of broth. Add another ladle until your entire supply of hot stock has been used up. This step takes approximately 20 minutes total. Once you have used up all of your broth and your Arborio rice is al dente and creamy, remove pot from heat.
  • Stir in butter, pepper, and cheese. Taste and adjust salt, if needed, and finish with the parsley.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 454kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 14g | Sodium: 1448mg | Fiber: 2g
three-quarters view of parmesan risotto in a white bowl with asparagus spears and a fork.

how to make Parmesan Risotto – step by step photos

orange liquid in a saucepan.

Bring 4 1/2 cups vegetable broth to a simmer in a large saucepan. Keep warm over low heat.

diced onion in a pan.

Heat a large deep sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil to the pan. Swirl to coat and add 1 diced yellow onion and 1/4 tsp salt. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until onions look glossy and clear. Your onions should not caramelize or brown for this recipe.

diced onion and rice in a pan.

Add the Arborio rice to the pan and stir to combine. Toast the onion and rice together for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.

white wine poured over rice and onions in a pan.

Deglaze your pan with 1/2 cup of room-temperature white wine and let it cook down until there’s just a little left in the pan, about half or less of what you poured in.

vegetable broth added to rice in a pan.

Now, begin adding 1 ladle of hot broth at a time. Stir the risotto constantly until the broth is about 75% absorbed by the arborio rice. Then, add another ladle every time until your entire supply of hot stock has been used up. Remove pot from heat.

parmesan risotto in a pan.

Stir in 1 Tbsp butter, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Taste and adjust salt, if needed, and finish with 1 Tbsp minced fresh parsley.

overhead view of parmesan risotto on a white plate with asparagus spears and a fork.

Make this rich and creamy Parmesan risotto for your next cozy night in!

The post Parmesan Risotto appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Creamy Mushroom Soup

This deliciously rich and creamy Mushroom soup is quick, easy, and perfect for cold winter nights or to pack in a thermos for an easy lunch!

The post Creamy Mushroom Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’m all about the creamy soups during the cold winter months, and this incredibly creamy Mushroom Soup is one of the best. This mushroom soup recipe is so easy to make and is as cozy as it gets. You’ll want to serve this soup with some crusty bread or crackers to soak up every drop of that savory creamy broth because it is just to die for. And the best part? Because this mushroom soup is so simple and uncomplicated, it’s also very inexpensive, even when the cost of mushrooms is on the higher side!

Side view of a bowl of creamy mushroom soup with a spoon lifting some out of the bowl.

Ingredients for Mushroom Soup

I love this Creamy Mushroom Soup for its simplicity. It’s just sautéed mushrooms, a creamy broth, and a few simple seasonings. Here’s what you’ll need to make this mushroom soup:

  • Mushrooms: I highly suggest using baby bella mushrooms for this soup because they have a nice deep color and rich flavor. White button mushrooms will not add as much color or flavor to the soup. You could also chop up some larger portobello mushroom caps to use in place of the Baby Bellas.
  • Olive Oil: Olive oil is used to sauté the mushrooms so they get a nice deep brown color, which adds both flavor and color to the soup.
  • Garlic: Garlic adds depth to the flavor and Pairs just perfectly with the flavor of the mushrooms.
  • Butter: Butter adds richness to the soup and combines with the flour to create a roux, which thickens the broth.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour combines with the butter to create a roux, which thickens the broth. Without the flour, the broth will be very thin.
  • Vegetable Broth: Vegetable broth is the base for this soup and it provides complexity to the flavor, as well as a nice brown color. You can use mushroom broth instead if you have it.
  • Heavy Cream: Heavy cream adds a deliciously rich and creamy flavor to the soup.
  • Seasonings: This mushroom soup is seasoned simply with salt, pepper, thyme, and soy sauce. The soy sauce adds a wonderfully earthy umami flavor that enhances the mushrooms.

What Else Can I Add?

If you want to put your own spin on this mushroom soup recipe, here are a few other ingredients you can add:

  • Paprika: Add sweet paprika to make it closer to a Hungarian Mushroom Soup.
  • Onion: If you want even more savory vegetable flavor, sauté a finely diced onion with the mushrooms.
  • Sour Cream: To make the soup even richer and to add a slight tang, stir a few dollops of sour cream into the broth at the end.
  • Homemade Croutons: Top your soup with homemade croutons for a delicious garlicky crunch!

Make it Vegan

It’s very easy to convert this recipe to a vegan mushroom soup. Simply use coconut oil in place of the butter to make the roux, and then use full-fat coconut milk in place of the heavy cream. Coconut milk tastes really good in savory recipes like this and actually pairs very well with mushrooms! Check out our Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen for another example of these flavors together.

What to Serve with mushroom Soup

The broth in this soup is extremely rich and creamy and you’re going to want to sop up every drop, so I highly suggest serving it with some crusty bread like our No-Knead Bread, Focaccia Rolls, or Soda Bread. Or, if you don’t want to make homemade bread, at least make sure you have some crackers on hand!

I’d also suggest adding some vegetables on the side to lighten things up, and I’d go for a wintery roasted vegetable like Roasted Brussels Sprouts or our Roasted Cauliflower Salad.

How to Make Mushroom Soup Taste Better

Using really good, full-flavored broth is key to making mushroom soup taste its best. We suggest using Better Than Bouillon to make the broth used in this soup because it has tons of flavor, is budget-friendly, and reduces waste compared to boxed and canned broths. We used their vegetable-flavored bouillon, but you could certainly use their mushroom flavor if you have it.

Overhead view of a bowl of creamy mushroom soup with a spoon in the center.
Side view of a bowl of creamy mushroom soup with a spoon lifting some out of the bowl.
Print

Creamy Mushroom Soup

This deliciously rich and creamy Mushroom soup is quick, easy, and perfect for cold winter nights or to pack in a thermos for an easy lunch!
Course Dinner, Lunch, Soup
Cuisine American
Total Cost $6.82 recipe / $1.71 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 (1 cup each)
Calories 299kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. baby bella mushrooms $4.59
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced $0.24
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1 pinch salt & pepper $0.05
  • 4 Tbsp butter $0.47
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour $0.04
  • 3 cups vegetable broth $0.51
  • 1 tsp soy sauce $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp dried thyme $0.02
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream $0.75

Instructions

  • Wash the mushrooms to remove any dirt or debris. Slice the mushrooms and mince the garlic.
  • Add the olive oil, mushrooms, and a pinch of salt and pepper to a soup pot. Sauté the mushrooms over medium heat until they have released all of their moisture, all the liquid has evaporated from the bottom of the pot, and the mushrooms become very dark brown. Add the minced garlic and continue to sauté for one minute more.
  • Add the butter and flour to the pot. Stir and cook for about two minutes more, or until the butter coats the bottom of the pot and turns deep golden brown.
  • Once the flour mixture is a bit browned, add the vegetable broth, soy sauce, and thyme. Stir to dissolve all of the flour from the bottom of the pot. Allow the liquid to come up to a simmer, at which point the flour will slightly thicken the broth.
  • Finally, stir the cream into the soup. Give the soup a taste and adjust the salt or pepper to your liking. Serve with crusty bread and enjoy!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 299kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 26g | Sodium: 904mg | Fiber: 1g
Overhead view of a ladle full of creamy mushroom soup held over the soup pot.

How to Make Creamy Mushroom Soup – Step by Step Photos

Sliced mushrooms on a cutting board.

Begin by rinsing and slicing one pound of baby Bella mushrooms.

Sautéed mushrooms in a soup pot.

Add the mushrooms to a soup pot with 1 Tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté the mushrooms over medium heat until they release all of their water, the water evaporates, and the mushrooms begin to brown. Add three cloves of minced garlic and sauté for about one minute more.

Flour and butter added to the soup pot with the mushrooms.

Add 3 Tbsp of salted butter and 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour to the pot. Continue to stir and cook over medium heat, allowing the butter to melt and create a paste with the flour that coats the mushrooms.

Browned roux showing on the bottom of the pot under the mushrooms.

The butter and flour will begin to coat the bottom of the pot. When it becomes medium brown, it’s time to add the liquid to the pot.

Vegetable broth being poured into the soup pot.

Add three cups of vegetable broth, ⅛ tsp thyme, and 1 tsp soy sauce to the soup pot and stir to dissolve all of the browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Allow the broth to come up to a boil, at which point it will thicken slightly from the flour and butter roux.

Heavy cream being poured into the soup.

Once the soup has reached a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and add ½ cup heavy cream. Allow the soup to heat through and begin to simmer gently.

Finished soup being stirred.

Taste the soup and adjust the salt or other seasonings if desired. The soup may need additional salt depending on the salt content of the broth used. We used Better Than Bouillon, which tends to be on the salty side, so we did not need any additional salt.

Overhead view of two bowls of mushroom soup garnished with parsley.

Serve the creamy mushroom soup with your favorite crusty bread and enjoy!

The post Creamy Mushroom Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Creamy White Beans with Spinach

Whenever I need a super simple meal, I turn to this Creamy White Bean and Spinach recipe. It only takes 20 minutes to make from start to finish and the flavors are incredible! This white bean skillet is made with basic ingredients that I always have in…

Whenever I need a super simple meal, I turn to this Creamy White Bean and Spinach recipe. It only takes 20 minutes to make from start to finish and the flavors are incredible! This white bean skillet is made with basic ingredients that I always have in my kitchen, making it a dinner (or lunch)…

Warming 1-Pot Chickpea Curry (Vindaloo-Inspired)

An EASY vegan version of vindaloo has evaded us for a while. Recreating the rich, spicy, warming flavors of this Indian curry while staying true to our commitment to simplicity is a challenge. The quest continues, but through our trials and tribulation…

Warming 1-Pot Chickpea Curry (Vindaloo-Inspired)

An EASY vegan version of vindaloo has evaded us for a while. Recreating the rich, spicy, warming flavors of this Indian curry while staying true to our commitment to simplicity is a challenge. The quest continues, but through our trials and tribulations, we landed on a super comforting, warming chickpea curry that was too good not to share!

Made in 1 pot with easy-to-find ingredients, this curry is fuss-free and SO flavorful.

Warming 1-Pot Chickpea Curry (Vindaloo-Inspired) from Minimalist Baker →

Chickpea Soup

Soup season is my favorite season because I LOVE a good bowl of soup. A few of my favorites include: black bean soup, potato leek soup, curry lentil soup, white bean soup, and carrot ginger soup. I also love this Chickpea Soup recipe. It is easy to mak…

Soup season is my favorite season because I LOVE a good bowl of soup. A few of my favorites include: black bean soup, potato leek soup, curry lentil soup, white bean soup, and carrot ginger soup. I also love this Chickpea Soup recipe. It is easy to make, healthy, super satisfying, and full of flavor.…

Vegan White Bean Pot Pie Soup

Pot pie without a finicky crust or long bake time? Meet this EASY vegan soup that’s super cozy and delicious! It’s got all the flavor of your favorite pot pie but none of the hassle.
Think flaky, buttery, optionally gluten-free biscuits over a creamy, …

Vegan White Bean Pot Pie Soup

Pot pie without a finicky crust or long bake time? Meet this EASY vegan soup that’s super cozy and delicious! It’s got all the flavor of your favorite pot pie but none of the hassle.

Think flaky, buttery, optionally gluten-free biscuits over a creamy, comforting soup packed with white beans and veggies. What’s not to love? Let’s make soup!

This cozy, comforting soup begins with a base made by sautéing onion and garlic, thickening with flour (gluten-free or all-purpose), seasoning with salt and pepper, and finally, vegetable broth.

Vegan White Bean Pot Pie Soup from Minimalist Baker →