Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad

This Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad is the perfect mix of salty, sweet, and spicy, making it an addictive summer treat.

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I’ve been totally obsessed with the salty-sweet-spicy flavor combo lately. Ever since I fell victim to a Facebook ad selling some chili-coated sour patch kids (yes, they were awesome). So I was totally delighted when I decided to throw together the gochujang in the back of my fridge with some pineapple from my freezer, and a fresh cucumber, and it tasted exactly like the chili gummies! But like, with actual fruit and vegetables instead of candy. Haha! Needless to say, this Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad is a HIT.

Close up overhead view of a bowl of spicy pineapple cucumber salad

What is Gochujang?

Gochujang is a centuries-old Korean chili paste made with chili peppers, rice, soybeans, and salt (check this article for a really extensive history and detail of this awesome sauce). It has a salty-spicy-umami flavor that kind of reminds me of a spicy version of miso. The flavor profile is so unique and so delicious, and I couldn’t be happier about the fact that it’s really trending in the U.S. right now because that means it’s fairly easy to find in major grocery stores. My local Kroger store has about five or six different brands on the shelf!

P.S. Gochujang stays good in the fridge for a really long time, so don’t worry about needing to use up the whole container right away. Here are some other recipes I’ve made using gochujang, if you need some inspiration.

Fresh or Frozen Pineapple?

I used frozen pineapple this time around because I had it on hand, but fresh would work just as well. Canned pineapple (in juice, NOT syrup) might work in a pinch, but it tends to be a lot sweeter and not quite as bright in flavor as fresh or frozen, so it’s definitely not my first choice for this recipe.

Substitutions

This particular flavor combination has a lot of flexibility, so I think there is a lot of room for substitution. Here are some ideas:

  • Pineapple: You can use mango, cantaloupe, or even watermelon in place of the pineapple.
  • Cilantro: If you can’t do cilantro, you can either leave it out or try adding some green onion for a little fresh kick.
  • Gochujang: If you can’t find gochujang, Tajín seasoning actually makes a really good substitute. It has a really similar salty-spicy flavor profile. It is a powder instead of a paste, but will mix into the dressing all the same. Use about 1 tsp Tajín and add more to your liking.

What to Serve with Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad

This tasty salad would make a great side dish to something like Coconut Chicken Strips, Baked Ginger Salmon, Soy Marinated Tofu Bowls, or Easy Orange Chicken.

Side view of spicy pineapple cucumber salad in a bowl
Overhead view of Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad in a bowl

Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad

This Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad is the perfect mix of salty, sweet, and spicy, making it an addictive summer treat.
Total Cost $4.41 recipe / $1.10 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 1.25 cups each
Calories 75kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 cucumber (3 cups chopped) $1.25
  • 1/2 lb. frozen pineapple chunks (2 cups) $2.46
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro $0.20
  • 1.5 tsp gochujang $0.12
  • 3 Tbsp rice vinegar $0.37
  • 1 Tbsp sugar $0.01

Instructions

  • Thaw the pineapple chunks and chop the cucumber into pieces roughly the same size as the pineapple chunks. Roughly chop the cilantro.
  • Prepare the dressing by whisking together the gochujang, rice vinegar, and sugar until dissolved.
  • Combine the cucumber, pineapple, cilantro, and dressing in a bowl. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat. Stir the salad just before eating to redistribute the dressing.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 75kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 104mg | Fiber: 2g

How to Make Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad – Step by Step Photos

Cucumber, pineapple and cilantro in a bowl

Thaw ½ lb. (about 2 cups) pineapple chunks. Chop one cucumber (about 3 cups) into pieces roughly the same size as the pineapple. Roughly chop about ½ cup cilantro. Place the pineapple, cucumber, and cilantro in a bowl.

Gochujang dressing in a bowl

In a bowl, stir together 1.5 tsp gochujang, 3 Tbsp rice vinegar, and 1 Tbsp sugar until everything is dissolved.

Dressing being poured over cucumbers and pineapple

Pour that “awesome sauce” over the pineapple, cucumber, and cilantro in the bowl, then give it a good stir.

Finished spicy pineapple cucumber salad in a bowl

You can either eat your salad immediately or let it marinate for a while. The salad will stay good in the fridge for 2-3 days, but the fruit and vegetables will get softer the longer they marinate. Make sure to give it a good stir each time just before serving to redistribute the dressing!

front view of a bowl full of spicy pineapple cucumber salad

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Eggplant Mozzarella Sandwiches

These Eggplant Mozzarella Sandwiches are an easy vegetarian dish with plenty of options for customizing to fit your tastes and budget.

The post Eggplant Mozzarella Sandwiches appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I had a craving for a grilled eggplant sandwich the other day but 1) I don’t have a grill and 2) that sounded like a lot of work, so I made this quick skillet version instead. The resulting Eggplant Mozzarella Sandwiches are a “meaty” combo of sautéed eggplant drenched with marinara sauce, piled high onto a garlic butter toasted bun, then topped off with melty mozzarella cheese. YES PLEASE.

Three Eggplant Mozzarella Sandwiches on a wooden board

What to Serve with Eggplant Mozzarella Sandwiches

These eggplant sandwiches are pretty filling, so I would pair them with something super simple, like a very basic side salad (greens + vinaigrette) to kind of lighten up the plate. Or, if you want something more vegetable-packed, they would be awesome with Marinated Cauliflower Salad, Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes, Garlic Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower, or Simple Sautéed Vegetables.

Sandwich Sizes and Servings

This recipe makes about 3-4 sandwiches, depending on the size of your eggplant and the size of your rolls or buns. I used hoagie buns that were about 6 inches in length and an eggplant that was about 8-inches long and I was able to make three large sandwiches. If you were to use round rolls, you’d probably get four piled-high sandwiches.

How to Store Leftovers

These sandwiches definitely need to be consumed right when they’re assembled, so if you’re in a smaller household that won’t be eating all three or four sandwiches at once, make sure to store the components separately. Keep the sautéed eggplant with red sauce in its own container and reheat either in a skillet or in the microwave. Butter and toast your bread just before assembly, then add the eggplant and cheese, and briefly heat to melt the cheese.

Mozzarella Options

I used fresh mozzarella because it melts so beautifully and I can get it for a decent price. If fresh mozzarella is not available or not available at a reasonable price, you can use shredded mozzarella instead. Full-fat mozzarella will always melt better than part-skim, but part-skim will work in a pinch.

three eggplant mozzarella sandwiches in a line, angled away from the camera
front view of one eggplant mozzarella sandwich

Eggplant Mozzarella Sandwiches

Total Cost $6.41 recipe / $2.14 each
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 3 to 4 sandwiches
Calories 455kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant (8" length) $1.49
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided $0.32
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning $0.10
  • 1 cup marinara sauce $0.50
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 4 rolls $1.53
  • 1 Tbsp butter $0.11
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 4 oz. mozzarella $2.00

Instructions

  • Cube the eggplant into ½-inch cubes. Mince the garlic.
  • Heat 2 Tbsp of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes, then add the cubed eggplant and Italian seasoning. Continue to sauté until the eggplant is soft (5-7 minutes).
  • Add the marinara sauce to the skillet with the eggplant, stir to combine, then heat through (3-5 minutes). Taste and season with salt (about ½ tsp).
  • Preheat the boiler on your oven and make sure the oven rack is positioned in the middle. Combine the second 2 Tbsp olive oil with the butter and garlic powder. Microwave for 15-30 seconds to melt the butter, then stir to combine.
  • Place the buns on a baking sheet, cut sides up. Brush the butter and olive oil mixture over the cut surfaces of the rolls. Bake under the broiler for about 5 minutes, or until they are just barely golden brown (watch them closely as broilers can vary).
  • After removing the rolls from the oven, switch the setting from broil to bake (350ºF). Pile the eggplant mixture onto the toasted rolls, then top with mozzarella. Return the sandwiches to the hot oven and bake for about 5 minutes more, or until the mozzarella is melted. Serve hot!

Nutrition

Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 455kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 26g | Sodium: 1110mg | Fiber: 6g
front view of one eggplant mozzarella sandwich

How to Make Eggplant Mozzarella Sandwiches – Step by Step Photos

Cubed eggplant

Cube one eggplant into 1/2-inch cubes. Mince two cloves of garlic.

Minced garlic in oil in a skillet

Add 2 Tbsp olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes.

Cubed eggplant in the skillet with Italian seasoning

Add the cubed eggplant and 1 tsp Italian seasoning. Continue to sauté until the eggplant is soft (5-7 minutes).

Marinara sauce being added to sautéed eggplant in the skillet

Once the eggplant is soft, add 1 cup marinara sauce.

Finished eggplant with marinara in the skillet

Stir to combine the eggplant and sauce, then heat through. Taste and season with salt (about ½ tsp).

Garlic butter and oil being brushed onto rolls

Preheat the broiler on your oven and make sure the oven’s rack is in the middle position. Place your buns or rolls on a baking sheet, cut side up. Combine the remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp butter, and ¼ tsp garlic powder. Microwave for 15-30 seconds, or until melted, then stir to combine. Brush the butter and oil mixture over the cut surface of the rolls.

Eggplant mixture being spooned onto toasted rolls

Toast the rolls under the broiler for about 5 minutes, or until they are barely golden brown. Watch them closely, as broilers can vary quite a bit. Once toasted, switch the oven’s setting from broil to bake (350ºF). Spoon the eggplant mixture onto the rolls.

sandwiches topped with mozzarella

Top the eggplant mixture with mozzarella (about 1 oz. per sandwich).

Baked eggplant sandwiches on the baking sheet

Return the sandwiches to the oven and bake for a few minutes more, or until the mozzarella is melted.

Eggplant sandwiches ready to serve

Serve the eggplant mozzarella sandwiches while they’re still hot! (I added a little chopped parsley for color, but it’s not needed for flavor)

three stacked eggplant mozzarella sandwiches on a wooden board

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Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad

This light and fresh Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad is perfect for summer BBQs and potlucks, or your weekly meal prep.

The post Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

As soon as the warm weather of summer rolls around all I want to eat are crunchy vegetables and cold pasta salad. This Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad is my go-to with a medley of colorful vegetables, a tangy homemade vinaigrette, and plenty of ways to customize it based on what I have on hand, or what I’m craving that day. Plus it holds up great in the fridge, so it’s perfect for meal prep!

Originally posted 6-14-2011, updated 5-22-2021.

Overhead view of a bowl full of summer vegetable pasta salad

Perfect for Potlucks

This classic vegetable pasta salad is absolutely perfect for potlucks because it makes a huge batch and it goes with everything. Not to mention it holds up well to travel and is still super delicious after it’s been sitting on that picnic table for a bit. ;)

Vegetable Options

I used fresh broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, red onion, and parsley, plus threw in some roasted red peppers for fun. But you can add so many different vegetables to this mix. Here are a few more options:

  • Cauliflower
  • Fresh bell pepper
  • Black olives
  • Asparagus (steamed or grilled)
  • Chopped spinach
  • Artichokes

Other Add-ins

In addition to swapping out some of the vegetables, you can experiment with adding other ingredients to this salad to either add more flavor or make it into a full meal. Here are a few ideas:

  • Grilled chicken
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Toasted pita bread
  • Feta cheese
  • Salami
  • Mozzarella cubes or pearls

Dressing Options

The recipe below includes a really basic tangy vinaigrette, but if you don’t have a well stocked pantry and want to buy a bottled dressing for this salad, any basic Italian dressing will do well. You could also choose something like a Caesar dressing (not creamy-style) or a Greek vinaigrette.

Close up view of summer vegetable pasta salad
Overhead view of a bowl full of summer vegetable pasta salad

Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad

This light and fresh Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad is perfect for summer BBQs and potlucks, or your weekly meal prep.
Total Cost $8.76 recipe / $1.10 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8 1.5 cups each
Calories 330kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup olive oil $1.28
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar $0.53
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard $0.10
  • 1 tsp dried oregano $0.10
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 3/4 tsp salt $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Salad

  • 12 oz. bowtie pasta $0.79
  • 2 Roma tomatoes $0.63
  • 1 yellow squash $0.75
  • 1 zucchini $0.85
  • 1 broccoli crown $1.07
  • 1/2 red onion $0.19
  • 1 12oz. jar roasted red peppers $1.99
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley $0.35

Instructions

  • Make the vinaigrette first. Whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon, oregano, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Set the dressing aside.
  • Cook the bowtie pasta according to the package directions (boil 7-10 minutes or until tender), then drain in a colander. Rinse briefly to cool the pasta, then let it drain well.
  • While the pasta is cooking and draining, prepare the vegetables. Chop the tomatoes, squash, zucchini, broccoli, and parsley. Slice the roasted red peppers (drained) and the red onion.
  • Place the pasta and chopped vegetables in the largest bowl you have. Give the vinaigrette a brief whisk, then pour it over the salad. Stir the pasta and vegetables until everything is coated in dressing. Give it a taste and add salt or pepper, if needed. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 330kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 15g | Sodium: 856mg | Fiber: 5g | Iron: 2mg
close up side view of a bowl of summer vegetable pasta salad

How to Make Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad – Step By Step Photos

homemade vinaigrette in a glass measuring cup

Make the dressing first. Whisk together ½ cup olive oil, ⅓ cup red wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 clove of minced garlic, ¾ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper. Set the dressing aside.

Cooked bowtie pasta in a metal colander

Cook 12oz. bowtie pasta (or other short shaped pasta) according to the package directions (boil until tender, drain in a colander). Give the pasta a quick rise to cool it off, then let it drain well.

Chopped vegetables on a cutting board

While the pasta is cooking and draining, prepare the rest of the vegetables. Chop two Roma tomatoes, one yellow squash, one zucchini, and drain and slice one jar of roasted red peppers.

Chopped broccoli and red onion on a cutting board

Chop one crown of broccoli into small bite-sized florets and slice ½ of a red onion. Roughly chop ½ cup parsley (not pictured).

pasta and vegetables in a large dish, vinaigrette being poured over top

When the pasta is cool and drained and all the vegetables chopped, it’s time to assemble the salad. Place everything in the largest bowl or container you have, give the vinaigrette a quick whisk, then pour it over the pasta and vegetables.

Finished summer vegetable pasta salad in a large casserole dish

Stir until everything is really well coated in dressing. Give it a taste and add salt or pepper if needed. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat. Make sure to give it a stir after refrigerating and just before serving to redistribute the dressing.

Overhead view of summer vegetable pasta salad in a rectangular casserole dish

The post Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Easy Pesto Chicken and Vegetables

This Easy Pesto Chicken and Vegetables meal prep is super fast and easy, and holds up well in the fridge for tasty lunches all week!

The post Easy Pesto Chicken and Vegetables appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Are you ready for this? Because I wasn’t quite ready for how easy and delicious this meal was. When I sat down to eat my first bowl of these Pesto Chicken and Vegetables I was like, “Oh yes, I’m going to make this every single week.” It’s the perfect light, flavorful, and fast recipe for meal prep. And it’s just SO SIMPLE.

Pesto chicken and vegetables in a skillet

Vegetable Options

I used a summery mix of yellow squash, zucchini, red bell pepper, green beans, and red onion for this quick sauté, but there are a lot of options when it comes to the vegetables. Here are some other vegetables you could add:

  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Fresh corn
  • Asparagus
  • Spinach

The key thing to keep in mind when using different vegetables is when to add them to the skillet. For this recipe you don’t want to fully cook the vegetables. They should be just tender-crisp. So, keeping that in mind, add sturdy vegetables first and tender vegetables later to make sure they don’t get overcooked.

Can I Substitute the Chicken?

Yes, there are options for that, too! I think shrimp would be absolutely awesome in this recipe, as would tofu. If using tofu, I would do a cornstarch coating and fry it separately (see the technique used in this recipe) before tossing it together with the vegetables and pesto at the end.

How to Serve Pesto Chicken and Vegetables

I ate this dish as-is, just a bowl of flavorful chicken and vegetables. But there are more options! You could eat this over a bowl of rice, stir in some cooked orzo or quinoa, or even add them to a bed of greens. Honestly, I would probably even add them to a flat bread and top with mozzarella as a sort of vegetable pizza!

How Long Does it Stay Good?

I got about four days out of my pesto chicken and vegetables, but this can vary depending on the conditions in your refrigerator, freshness of the ingredients, and how long you cook the vegetables. As I mentioned above, you want to barely cook the vegetables for this recipe. Just make them tender-crisp so they don’t get too wilted. Not only does this give them great texture and a fresh, bright flavor, but they last a little longer in the fridge, too.

side view of a bowl full of pesto chicken and vegetables
Easy pesto chicken and vegetables in a skillet with a spatula

Easy Pesto Chicken and Vegetables

This Easy Pesto Chicken and Vegetables meal prep is super fast and easy, and holds up well in the fridge for tasty lunches all week!
Total Cost $11.07 recipe / $2.72 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Calories 369.33kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 red bell pepper $1.50
  • 1 zucchini $0.60
  • 1 yellow squash $0.50
  • 1/2 red onion $0.19
  • 1.3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast $6.67
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08
  • 1 cup frozen green beans $0.67
  • 1/3 cup pesto* $0.73
  • 1/8 tsp salt* $0.01
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked pepper* $0.01
  • 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan* $0.11

Instructions

  • Chop the bell pepper, yellow squash, and zucchini, and slice the red onion. I like to make different shapes for each vegetable, but aim to make the pieces all around the same size.
  • Cube the chicken breasts into ½-inch pieces.
  • Add the cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high. Once the skillet and oil are very hot, add the chicken and sauté until the chicken pieces are opaque (3-5 minutes – the chicken will continue to cook as you add vegetables).
  • Add the green beans to the skillet and sauté for 1-2 minutes more, or just until thawed.
  • Add the bell pepper and red onion to the skillet. Sauté for 1-2 minutes more. If water is beginning to pool in the skillet, turn the heat up slightly. It should be hot enough that the water released from the vegetables evaporates quickly.
  • Add the yellow squash and zucchini to the skillet and continue to sauté 2-3 minutes more, or just until the squash softens slightly.
  • Turn the heat off, add the pesto to the skillet, and stir until everything is coated. Give the vegetables a taste and add salt, pepper, or more pesto if desired. Top with a light sprinkle of Parmesan just before serving.

Notes

*You may need more or less pesto, salt, pepper, or Parmesan depending on the volume of your vegetables and your personal taste. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 369.33kcal | Carbohydrates: 11.68g | Protein: 36.8g | Fat: 19.2g | Sodium: 423.15mg | Fiber: 3.43g
Pesto chicken and vegetables in glass meal prep containers lined up side by side

How to Make Pesto Chicken and Vegetables – Step by Step Photos

Chopped vegetables on a cutting board

Chop the vegetables first so they’re ready to go. Chop one red bell pepper, one yellow squash, one zucchini, slice ½ of one red onion and measure 1 cup frozen green beans. I like to do different shapes for the vegetables, but aim to keep them roughly the same size.

Cubed chicken breast on a cutting board

Cut 1.3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast into ½-inch pieces.

Cooked chicken in the skillet, frozen green beans being poured in

Add 2 Tbsp cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high. Once very hot, add the cubed chicken and sauté just until the chicken is opaque (3-5 minutes – it will continue to cook as you add more vegetables). Next, add the frozen green beans and sauté for a couple of minutes more, or just until thawed.

Red bell pepper and red onion added to the skillet

Next add the bell pepper and red onion. Continue to sauté a couple of minutes more. If you see water pooling in the skillet, turn the heat up higher. The heat should be high enough that any moisture released by the vegetables evaporates quickly.

zucchini and yellow squash added to the skillet

Finally, add the yellow squash and zucchini to the skillet. Sauté just a couple of minutes more, or just until the raw edge is taken off the squash.

Pesto being added to the skillet

Turn the heat off. Add about ⅓ cup pesto to the skillet and stir until everything is coated.

Finished pesto chicken and vegetables

Give the vegetables a taste and add salt, pepper, or more pesto if needed (I added a pinch of each).

pesto chicken and vegetables in a bowl topped with a pinch of parmesan

Top with a light sprinkle of Parmesan just before serving.

Three glass meal prep containers full of pesto chicken and vegetables

Perfect for meal prep!!

The post Easy Pesto Chicken and Vegetables appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Curry Roasted Vegetable Bowls

These curry roasted vegetable bowls are colorful, full of vibrant flavors, and the leftovers pack up well for your weekly meal prep!

The post Curry Roasted Vegetable Bowls appeared first on Budget Bytes.

My absolute favorite meal “formula” is roasted vegetables (with or without meat) over a bowl of grains, with a delicious drizzle of sauce. I come back to this type of meal over and over again because the formula is easy to prepare, meal preps well, and there are endless flavor possibilities. This week’s version was Curry Roasted Vegetable Bowls with a Lemon Tahini Dressing drizzle. It’s simple, colorful, flavorful, filling, and will leave you looking forward to the leftovers. :)

Overhead view of curry roasted vegetable bowls with a dish of dressing on the side

What is Curry Powder?

Since curry powder is responsible for all of the seasoning in the bowls, let’s take a minute to chat about it. If you’ve never had curry powder, it’s a warm blend of spices that are pre-ground and blended to mimic the fresh spices used in Indian cuisine. This blend usually includes cumin, turmeric, coriander, and other spices. Every curry powder blend is unique, so you may need to experiment with different brands or recipes to find one that suits your palate. If you’d like to try making your own curry powder, try this recipe for homemade curry powder from Spice it Upp.

Add More to Your Curry Roasted Vegetable Bowls

I kept my curry roasted vegetable bowls simple because I like simplicity, but you can add more to make them a little more fancy, if you’d like. I think a light sprinkle of raisins would add an incredible pop of sweetness to contrast the savory curry powder and tahini dressing.

Slivered almonds would offer an amazing crunch to these bowls without competing with the already strong flavors.

If you want to add some meat, rotisserie chicken would be great, as would some Yogurt Marinated Chicken.

Swap Out the Vegetables or Grains

This recipe is super flexible. You can swap out the vegetables for anything you like. Try broccoli, sweet potatoes, asparagus, sweet bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, or whatever vegetable you like.

The same goes for the “bed” for these bowls. If you don’t like brown rice you can swap it out with white rice, couscous, quinoa, your favorite grain, or even salad greens.

How Long Do The Leftovers Last?

Simple bowl meals like this hold up in the refrigerator for about four days, with the dressing kept on the side. Your mileage may vary depending on the freshness of your ingredients and the conditions within your fridge. I’ll link my favorite meal prep containers for meals like this in the recipe below.

Side view of a fork lifting a bite out of the curry roasted vegetable bowls
Overview of curry roasted vegetable bowls with lemon tahini dressing on the side

Curry Roasted Vegetable Bowls

These curry roasted vegetable bowls are colorful, full of vibrant flavors, and the leftovers pack up well for your weekly meal prep!
Total Cost $6.10 recipe / $1.53 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 480.38kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup long grain brown rice (uncooked) $0.40
  • 1 head cauliflower $2.29
  • 3 carrots $0.24
  • 1 red onion $0.37
  • 1 cup frozen peas $0.60
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder $0.30
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02

Lemon Tahini Dressing

  • 1/3 cup tahini $1.13
  • 1/3 cup water $0.00
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice $0.18
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02

Instructions

  • Begin the rice first because it takes the longest to cook. Combine the uncooked rice in a pot with 2 cups water. Place a lid on top, turn the heat onto high, and allow the water to come up to a full boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer for 45 minutes (no stirring). After 45 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest with the lid in place for an additional five minutes.
  • Once the rice is started, move on to the curry roasted vegetables. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Chop the cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Peel and slice the carrots. Slice the red onion into ¼-inch wide slices.
  • Place the cauliflower, carrots, and red onion on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over top, then add the curry powder and salt. Toss the vegetables until everything is evenly coated in oil and spices. Spread the vegetables out over the baking sheet in a single layer.
  • Transfer the seasoned vegetables to the oven and roast for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes give them a good stir, then roast for another 15 minutes. Next, add the frozen peas and toss together with the roasted vegetables, then return the baking sheet to the oven for the an additional 5 minutes. Taste the vegetables and add additional salt, if needed.
  • While the rice is simmering and the vegetables are roasting, make the lemon tahini dressing. Place the tahini, water, lemon juice, minced garlic, cumin, cayenne, and salt in a blender then blend until smooth. Set the dressing aside.
  • When the rice has finished cooking, fluff with a fork. Place about ¾ cup rice into each bowl or meal prep container. Top with ¼ of the roasted vegetables. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of dressing just before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 480.38kcal | Carbohydrates: 66.68g | Protein: 14.18g | Fat: 20.38g | Sodium: 579.93mg | Fiber: 12.85g

How to Make Curry Roasted Vegetable Bowls – Step by Step Photos

Cooked rice being fluffed with a fork in a saucepot

Start the brown rice first, since it takes the longest to cook. Add 1 cup brown rice to a sauce pot with 2 cups water. Place a lid on top and turn the heat onto high. Bring the water up to a full boil, then reduce the heat to low and let the rice simmer for 45 minutes (no stirring). After 45 minutes, turn the heat off and let the rice rest with the lid on for five more minutes.

Chopped vegetables on a baking sheet

While the rice is cooking, start on the roasted vegetables. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Chop one head of cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Peel and slice three carrots. Slice one red onion into ¼-inch wide slices. Place all of the vegetables onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

Olive oil and curry powder added to the chopped vegetables

Add 2 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp curry powder, and ½ tsp salt to the prepared vegetables. Toss the vegetables until they are evenly coated in oil and spices.

Seasoned unroasted vegetables

Transfer the prepared vegetables to the preheated 400ºF oven. Roast for 20 minutes then give them a good stir. Return the stirred vegetables to the oven and roast for another 15 minutes.

Frozen peas added to the roasted vegetables

After roasting for 35 minutes total, add 1 cup frozen peas (no need to thaw). Toss them together with the roasted vegetables and return them to the oven for an additional 5 minutes.

lemon juice being poured into a blender containing the rest of the dressing ingredients

While the vegetables are in the oven, prepare the lemon tahini dressing. Combine ⅓ cup tahini, ⅓ cup water, ¼ cup lemon juice, 2 cloves of minced garlic, ½ tsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp cayenne, and ¼ tsp salt in a blender.

Blended lemon tahini dressing in the blender

Blend the ingredients until smooth, then set the dressing aside.

Finished roasted vegetables on the baking sheet

Give the final roasted vegetables a taste and adjust the salt, if needed.

Overview of curry roasted vegetable bowls with lemon tahini dressing on the side

To build your curry roasted vegetable bowls, add about ¾ cup brown rice to each bowl or container then top with ¼ of the roasted vegetable mix. Drizzle with the lemon tahini dressing just before serving!

The post Curry Roasted Vegetable Bowls appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Hot Corn Dip

This creamy, cheesy hot corn dip will be the star of the show at your next party, gathering, or BBQ. Easy to double for larger crowds!

The post Hot Corn Dip appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you like chips and queso, you’re going to love this hot corn dip. It’s like queso’s older hotter cousin. It’s got all that creamy cheesy goodness, plus a little sweetness from the corn, plenty of color from the peppers, and a little kick of spicy heat. And a little bowl of cool salsa on the side offers the perfect complimentary flavors and textures. THIS will be a staple at every party that I hope the future holds.

A rectangular baking dish full of hot corn dip with chips and salsa on the sides

What’s in Hot Corn Dip?

To make this dip, I started with my recipe for Spinach Artichoke Dip and simply swapped out the spinach and artichoke for corn and peppers, keeping that creamy-cheesy base. I then added a few more southwest flavors, like green onion, cumin, pepper jack cheese, and hot sauce to really solidify the flavor profile. The result? A super creamy, cheesy, slightly spicy dip that you won’t be able to stop dunking chips into.

Make it Extra

I always like to present a sort of “base layer” recipe to which you can add if your budget allows. If you want to go above and beyond with your hot corn dip, consider using a fire roasted corn for a more smoky flavor (I’ve seen fire roasted frozen corn at Trader Joes). You can also try stirring in some crumbled bacon, topping with some pico de gallo, or fresh cilantro.

Can I Use Fresh Corn?

This delicious dip is a natural choice during the summer months when fresh corn is cheap, sweet, and in abundance. To use fresh corn in this recipe you’ll want to roast, grill, or boil your corn before adding it to the mix. You’ll need about 3 cups of cooked corn kernels.

A chip dipped into the hot corn dip and being lifted away from the dish
Overhead view of several chips dipped into a dish full of hot corn dip

Hot Corn Dip

This creamy, cheesy hot corn dip will be the star of the show at your next party, gathering, or BBQ. Easy to double for larger crowds!
Total Cost $5.14 recipe / $0.86 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 about ½ cup each
Calories 292kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 red bell pepper $1.50
  • 1 jalapeño $0.10
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 3 green onions $0.19
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.28
  • 12 oz. frozen corn $0.75
  • 4 oz. cream cheese $0.35
  • 1/4 cup sour cream $0.11
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise $0.20
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp hot sauce $0.08
  • 4 oz. pepper jack cheese, shredded (1 cup) $1.15
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan $0.22

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Remove the seeds and stems from the red bell pepper and jalapeño, then finely dice both. Mince the garlic and slice the green onion.
  • Add the butter to a large skillet and melt over medium heat. Once melted, add the red bell pepper, jalapeño, and garlic. Sauté over medium for a few minutes, or just until the red bell pepper begins to soften.
  • Add the frozen corn and continue to sauté until the corn has heated through.
  • Cut the cream cheese into chunks, then add it to the skillet along with the sour cream and mayonnaise. Stir and heat the mixture until everything is melted together and smooth.
  • Finally, add the sliced green onions, cumin, hot sauce, half of the shredded pepper jack (½ cup) , and Parmesan. Stir until the cheese has melted into the sauce.
  • Spread the corn dip into a 2 quart casserole dish, then top with the remaining pepper jack. Transfer the dish to the oven and bake the corn dip for about 20 minutes in the preheated 375ºF oven, or until the cheese on top is melted and the dip is bubbling around the edges. Serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 292kcal | Carbohydrates: 15.87g | Protein: 8.8g | Fat: 22.73g | Sodium: 286.93mg | Fiber: 2.37g
Overhead view of several chips dipped into a dish full of hot corn dip

How to Make Hot Corn Dip – Step by Step Photos

Diced peppers and garlic in a skillet

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Remove the seeds and stems from one red bell pepper and jalapeño, then finely dice them. Mince two cloves of garlic and slice 3 green onions. Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add the red bell pepper, jalapeño, and garlic. Sauté the peppers and garlic over medium heat for a few minutes, or just until the red bell pepper begins to soften.

Frozen corn added to the skillet

Add a 12 oz. bag of frozen corn to the skillet and continue to sauté until the corn is heated through.

Cream cheese, sour cream, and mayo added to the skillet

Cut 4 oz. cream cheese into chunks, then add it to the skillet along with ¼ cup sour cream and 2 Tbsp mayonnaise. Stir them into the vegetables until they are melted, smooth, and creamy.

Spices, cheese, and green onion added to the skillet

Next, add sliced green onion, ½ tsp ground cumin, ½ tsp hot sauce, ½ cup shredded pepper jack, and 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan. Stir until everything is combined and melted together.

Hot corn dip being spread into a baking dish

Transfer the hot corn dip into a 2-quart baking dish and top with the remaining ½ cup shredded pepper jack.

Baked hot corn dip in the baking dish

Bake the hot corn dip in the preheated 375ºF oven for about 20 minutes or until the cheese on top is melted and the dip is bubbling around the edges.

Close up of a chip dipped into the corner of the hot corn dip casserole dish

Serve hot while the cheese is ooey-gooey and delicious!

The post Hot Corn Dip appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus

Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus is an easy side dish with vibrant flavors that pair well with grilled or roasted meat.

The post Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I get so excited for asparagus season every year! Not only are they way less expensive when in season, but they’re also just so much more delicious. And because the price is just so inflated the rest of the year, I pretty much save all my asparagus eating for the spring, when they’re in season. This simple method for Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus is one of the easiest ways to prepare asparagus and it’s so scrumptious that I could just about eat the entire bunch myself. Consider that a fair warning. ;)

Originally posted 3/5/2011, updated 4/16/2021.

Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus on a white roasting pan with lemon wedges

Why I Love Roasted Asparagus

There are several ways to cook asparagus, but roasting takes first prize for me. Roasting kind of concentrates the flavor, so you get a much more deep, savory flavor than lighter cooking methods like steaming or sautéing. The edges get a little brown and crispy, which gives them so much wonderful texture. They’re just a delight to eat.

When is Asparagus Season?

As I mentioned in the introduction, asparagus is definitely one of those vegetables that you want to buy in season to get the best price and flavor. Asparagus are in season during the spring months, or from late February to early June, depending on where you live.

How to Pick Good Asparagus

Avoid choosing asparagus that aren’t kept moist at the grocery store. Check the cut ends to make sure they’re not dry (even better if they’re displayed with cut ends in water), and make sure the asparagus itself is crisp and not soft or rubbery. The flowering end should be tightly closed to the stalk.

What to Serve with Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus

Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus are a classic, simple side dish for roasted or grilled meats. These asparagus would go great with Lemon Pepper Chicken, Brown Sugar Roasted Pork Loin, Honey Mustard Pork Chops, or Creamy Mushroom Chicken with Crispy Onions.

Close up overhead shot of lemon garlic roasted asparagus on the sheet pan
Lemon Garlic Rosted Asparagus on a sheet pan with lemon wedges

Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus

Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus is an easy side dish with vibrant flavors that pair well with grilled or roasted meat.
Total Cost $3.13 recipe / $0.78 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 56.28kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch asparagus (1 lb.) $1.88
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1 fresh lemon $0.89

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Rinse the asparagus well, then trim off the dry or woody end of the stem (usually about one inch needs to be removed from the ends). Mince two cloves of garlic.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup, if desired. Place the trimmed asparagus on the baking sheet along with the minced garlic. Drizzle the olive oil over top, then add the salt and pepper. Toss the asparagus until they are coated in garlic, oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Transfer the asparagus to the preheated 400ºF oven and roast for 20 minutes or until they have browned to your liking (roasting time may vary depending on the girth of your asparagus). Stir once halfway through roasting.
  • While the asparagus are cooking, zest the lemon using the fine side of a box grater or a small-holed cheese grater. You'll need about 1 tsp zest. After zesting, cut the lemon into wedges.
  • Once the asparagus are roasted, add the lemon zest and a couple squeezes of lemon juice. Toss to coat. Taste and adjust the salt or lemon as desired. Serve with the remaining lemon wedges.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 56.28kcal | Carbohydrates: 5.05g | Protein: 2.58g | Fat: 3.63g | Sodium: 106.38mg | Fiber: 2.45g

How to Make Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus – Step by Step Photos

Ends trimmed off asparagus

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Rinse one bunch of asparagus (about 1 lb.), then trim off the dry woody ends. Sometimes I leave the rubber bands on while trimming to make it a bit easier. Mince two cloves of garlic.

asparagus, garlic, oil, and salt on a baking sheet

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, if you prefer easy cleanup. Add the trimmed asparagus to the baking sheet along with the minced garlic, 1 Tbsp olive oil, and about 1/8 tsp salt and pepper. Toss the asparagus until they’re coated in oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Transfer to the oven to roast.

Zested lemon on a cutting board with a small-holed cheese grater

While the asparagus is roasting, zest one lemon. You’ll need about 1 tsp lemon zest. After zesting, cut the lemon into wedges.

Lemon being squeezed on roasted asparagus

Roast the asparagus for about 20 minutes, or until they are browned to your liking (roasting time may vary depending on the girth of your asparagus). Stir the asparagus about halfway through roasting. Once roasted, add the lemon zest and a couple squeezes of lemon juice. Toss the asparagus to coat in lemon. Taste and adjust the salt or lemon to your liking.

Lemon Garlic Rosted Asparagus on a sheet pan with lemon wedges

Serve the roasted asparagus with the remaining lemon wedges. Enjoy! And try not to eat the entire batch yourself…

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Southwest Cauliflower Rice

Southwest Cauliflower Rice is a quick, easy, and flavorful side dish that can also be spruced up and turned into an entire meal!

The post Southwest Cauliflower Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Look, I’m not one to say that cauliflower tastes like rice. It doesn’t. Not to me anyway. But there is something to say for cauliflower that has been “riced.” Or cauliflower that is minced to the size of small granules. It’s a fun and useful ingredient in its own right. So today I’m highlighting a really easy recipe using riced cauliflower. This Southwest Cauliflower Rice makes a super flavorful and easy side dish, or you can spruce it up and turn it into an entire meal! Keep on reading to find out how.

Overhead view of a skillet full of Southwest Cauliflower Rice garnished with lime and a bowl of salt on the side

What is Cauliflower Rice?

Cauliflower rice is simply cauliflower that has been minced to rice-sized granules. It takes on flavors really well and is an easy way to add a bunch of vegetable fiber to your meals. You can find this in the freezer section of most major grocery stores, or you can make your own with a food processor or a knife. I’ve got a tutorial for this coming later this week!

Cauliflower rice gained in popularity with the low-carb movement because a lot of people use it as a substitute for rice. I don’t find them to be similar at all, but I think that it’s useful as its own unique way.

Take a Short Cut with Taco Seasoning

I seasoned this dish with my Homemade Taco Seasoning (minus the cayenne and garlic powder), but if you want a short cut or don’t yet have a well stocked spice cabinet, you can use one packet of store-bought taco seasoning in place of the herbs and spices listed in the recipe below.

Overhead view of a bowl full of southwest cauliflower rice with a fork on the side

Is it Spicy?

I would rate this as a “medium” on the spicy scale. All of the heat is going to come from either the diced tomatoes with green chiles or the chili powder. Some brands of both chili powder and diced tomatoes with green chiles do make mild versions (no heat), so if you can’t handle spiciness, make sure you look for non-spicy versions of both of these ingredients. You can also try using fire-roasted diced tomatoes in place of the tomatoes with green chiles.

How to Serve Southwest Cauliflower Rice

This simple recipe makes a great side dish to any southwest-flavored dish, like Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas, Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas, Baked Beef and Black Bean Tacos, or Black Bean and Avocado Enchiladas. But you can also add a few ingredients and just make the cauliflower rice into a whole meal…

Make it a Meal

To make this Southwest Cauliflower Rice into a full meal you can add a can of black beans, ground beef or turkey, top it with some shredded cheese, sliced avocado, and maybe a couple of jalapeños. In fact, let me just put that on my list of recipe to make because now I want some!!

Overhead view of a skillet full of southwest cauliflower rice with a bowl of salt and cilantro on the side
Close up overhead of southwest cauliflower rice in a skillet with a wooden spoon

Southwest Cauliflower Rice

Southwest Cauliflower Rice is a quick, easy, and flavorful side dish that can also be spruced up and turned into an entire meal!
Total Cost $3.00 recipe / $0.75 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 ¾ cup each
Calories 83.05kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 4 cups cauliflower rice $1.66
  • 1 10oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles $0.50
  • 1/2 Tbsp chili powder $0.15
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.20

Instructions

  • Mince the garlic and add it to a skillet with the olive oil. Sauté over medium heat for about one minute, or just until the garlic is slightly softened and fragrant.
  • Add the cauliflower rice and continue to sauté for about five minutes, or until the cauliflower is a little softer.
  • Finally, add the diced tomatoes with green chilies (and all the juices from the can), as well as all the spices: chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Continue to stir and cook for about five minutes more, or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  • Taste the cauliflower rice and adjust the salt or other spices to your liking. Top with sliced green onions and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.75cup | Calories: 83.05kcal | Carbohydrates: 10.13g | Protein: 3.33g | Fat: 4.08g | Sodium: 456.33mg | Fiber: 3.95g
Side view of a fork picking up some southwest cauliflower rice out of a bowl

How to Make Southwest Cauliflower Rice – Step by Step Photos

Cauliflower rice in a skillet with a spatula

Mince two cloves of garlic and add them to a skillet with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Sauté the garlic over medium heat for about one minute, or just until soft and fragrant. Add 4 cups of cauliflower rice and continue to sauté for about five minutes, or until the cauliflower has softened.

Tomatoes being poured into the skillet with cauliflower rice and spices

Add one 10oz. can of diced tomatoes with green chiles (with the juices), ½ Tbsp chili powder, ½ tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp dried oregano, ¼ tsp salt, and ⅛ tsp pepper.

Finished southwest cauliflower rice in the skillet

Continue to sauté the cauliflower, tomatoes, and spices for about five minutes more, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Give the cauliflower rice a taste and adjust the salt or other spices to your preferences. Top with sliced green onions and serve!

Close up overhead of southwest cauliflower rice in a skillet with a wooden spoon

The post Southwest Cauliflower Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Easy Vegetarian Minestrone

This easy Vegetarian Minestrone Soup is hearty, chock full of vegetables, budget friendly, meal prep ready, and super flexible!

The post Easy Vegetarian Minestrone appeared first on Budget Bytes.

As we move from colder weather to warmer days, a good soup like Minestrone is a must. This hearty, vegetable-filled soup is warm and soothing, but light enough to not make you feel weighed down as you’re out enjoying these beautiful days. Plus, this Vegetarian Minestrone ticks all of my Budget Bytes boxes: easy, inexpensive, flexible, and meal prep friendly!

Close up overhead shot of vegetarian minestrone in the pot with a ladle

Isn’t All Minestrone Soup Vegetarian?

There are a LOT of interpretations of Minestrone out there, but they often include a Parmesan rind to infuse more umami flavor into the broth. Parmesan is one of the few cheeses that is not considered vegetarian because it contains animal rennet. And since I didn’t have a Parmesan rind on hand, this particular recipe is a vegetarian minestrone. But by all means, if you have a Parmesan rind on hand and aren’t concerned about keeping the soup vegetarian, add it to the soup before it simmers! You won’t be disappointed.

Some people also add a little bit of meat to their Minestrone. Pancetta or bacon are great options (brown in the pot before adding the vegetables) for adding a touch more flavor.

Where’s the Pasta??

Minestrone soup often has some sort of pasta or grain to make the soup extra hearty. Since pasta can get mushy when it swims around in soup for too long, I decided to avoid that issue and just sub some extra beans (chickpeas) to add that extra heartiness without having to deal with soggy pasta.

If you want to add some pasta to your minestrone, just choose any small shaped pasta like ditalini, small shells, or orzo. Add about 1 cup of the uncooked pasta and an extra 2 cups of water to the soup, then boil until the pasta is tender.

What Other Vegetables Can I Add to Minestrone?

My favorite thing about Minestrone is that it is SUPER flexible. If you don’t like one or more of the vegetables in my recipe below, feel free to use one of these instead:

  • Celery
  • Sweet Potato
  • Russet Potato
  • Fennel
  • Turnips
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Butternut Squash
  • Peas
Overhead view of a bowl of vegetarian minestrone with a spoon in the middle
Overhead view of a bowl of vegetarian minestrone with a spoon in the middle

Vegetarian Minestrone

This easy Vegetarian Minestrone Soup is hearty, chock full of vegetables, budget friendly, meal prep ready, and super flexible! 
Total Cost $5.96 recipe / $0.99 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 about 1.5 cups each
Calories 313.55kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 4 carrots $0.32
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste $0.10
  • 1 28oz. can diced tomatoes $1.00
  • 1 15oz. can kidney beans $0.75
  • 1 15oz. can chickpeas $1.00
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning $0.30
  • 4 cups vegetable broth $0.52
  • 1 zucchini (about 1/2 lb.) $0.71
  • 1 cup frozen green beans $0.30
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice $0.06
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley (optional) $0.10

Instructions

  • Dice the onion, mince the garlic, and slice the carrots. Add the olive oil, onion, garlic, and carrots to a large soup pot. Sauté over medium heat until the onions become soft and translucent (about 5 minutes).
  • Add the tomato paste to the pot and continue to sauté for 2-3 minutes more, or until the tomato paste begins to coat the bottom of the pot (do not let it burn).
  • Rinse and drain the kidney beans and chickpeas, and then add them to the pot along with the diced tomatoes (with juices), Italian Seasoning, and vegetable broth. Give everything a good stir, place a lid on top, and allow it to come up to a simmer. Allow the soup to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • While the soup is simmering, slice the zucchini into quarter-rounds. After the soup has simmered for 20 minutes, add the sliced zucchini and frozen green beans (no need to thaw first). Stir and simmer the soup for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the zucchini just begin to soften.
  • Finish the soup by adding lemon juice and chopped parsley. Give it a taste and add extra salt if needed (my soup did not need any extra salt, but it may depending on the type of broth used). Serve hot with crusty bread for dipping!

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 313.55kcal | Carbohydrates: 48.08g | Protein: 14.1g | Fat: 8.55g | Sodium: 1008.55mg | Fiber: 11.32g
Overhead view of a pot full of vegetarian minestrone

How to Make Vegetarian Minestrone – Step by Step Photos

Chopped onion, carrots, and garlic in a soup pot with olive oil

Dice one yellow onion, mince two cloves of garlic, and slice four carrots. Add the onion, garlic, and carrots to a large soup pot with 2 Tbsp olive oil and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent (about 5 minutes).

Tomato paste in the pot with vegetables

Add 2 Tbsp tomato paste to the pot and continue to sauté for 2-3 minutes more, or just until the tomato paste begins to coat the bottom of the pot.

Beans, herbs, tomatoes, and broth added to the soup pot

Rinse and drain one 15oz. can of kidney beans and one 15oz. can of chickpeas. Add the beans to the pot along with one 28oz. can diced tomatoes (with juices), 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning, and 4 cups vegetable broth. Give everything a stir, place a lid on top, and allow it to come up to a simmer. Simmer the soup for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sliced zucchini on a cutting board

While the soup is simmering, slice one zucchini (about ½ lb.) into quarter-rounds.

Zucchini and green beans added to the soup

Once the soup has simmered for 20 minutes, add the sliced zucchini and 1 cup frozen green beans (no need to thaw first). Stir everything together and let it continue to simmer for 5-10 minutes more, or until the zucchini just begins to soften.

Chopped parsley and lemon juice added to the soup

Finish the soup off with 1 Tbsp lemon juice and about a tablespoon of chopped parsley. Give the soup a taste and add salt if needed. I did not add any extra salt to my soup, but you may need some depending on the salt content of your broth.

Front view of a bowl full of vegetarian minestrone with a spoon lifting a bite

So much vegetable goodness!!

The post Easy Vegetarian Minestrone appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Brown Butter Colcannon

BROWN BUTTER COLCANNONToday we have a simple and super delicious Brown Butter Colcannon recipe for St Patrick’s Day! We’re big potato lovers over here so this creamy mashed potato dish was a no brainer for us. We can’t stress how easy…

BROWN BUTTER COLCANNON
Today we have a simple and super delicious Brown Butter Colcannon recipe for St Patrick’s Day! We’re big potato lovers over here so this creamy mashed potato dish was a no brainer for us. We can’t stress how easy it is to make and it only requires…
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