Spicy Chex Mix

Spicy Chex Mix is an easy homemade snack mix with just the right combination of salty, crunchy, and spicy flavors.

The post Spicy Chex Mix appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Most of us will be sitting at home next weekend passing out candy to little goblins and ghouls, so I thought you might need a little spicy-salty-crunchy snack to keep you company as you wait for that doorbell to ring. This Spicy Chex Mix is the classic snack mix but with a spicy kick! It’s super easy to make and the cost is just so much less to make at home compared to buying it pre-packaged. You might find yourself making a batch every week or so instead of buying your regular chips and pretzels!

Spicy chex mix on a baking sheet with fall ornaments on the sides

Smaller Batch Size

I made a slightly smaller batch size compared to most chex mix recipes you’ll see on the internet because we have a smaller household and I didn’t want to be drowning in the stuff. It’s so easy to make that I’d rather make smaller batches more often and have fresh chex mix, rather than making a ton and trying to eat it before it goes stale. If you’re making this for a party, I would double the recipe.

How to Store Chex Mix

If you don’t end up eating the entire batch in one night (I won’t judge), make sure to store your leftover chex mix in an air-tight container like a ziptop bag or a resealable food container. As long as it stays sealed, it should stay fresh for a few weeks. You can also freeze the chex mix for about 3 months (again, make sure it’s sealed air-tight).

What Kind of Hot Sauce to Use

This recipe is really flexible and you can use just about any vinegar based hot sauce. I’ve used a cayenne flavored hot sauce, like Tabasco, and even a thicker hot sauce like sriracha. The flavors are slightly different, but great none the less!

Other Add-Ins and Substitutions

Chex mix and snack mixes like this are fun because you can get creative with the ingredients. You can choose any pretzel shape you like, you can substitute in a different nut or even a flavored nut. Bagel chips are a pretty common add-in (I couldn’t find any at the store) or you could do little breadsticks or rice crackers. Just make sure that whatever you’re adding is fairly neutral in flavor so it can soak up all of that spicy, buttery goodness!

Three bowls of chex mix next to bowls of candy and pumpkins
spicy chex mix on a baking sheet

Spicy Chex Mix

Spicy Chex Mix is an easy homemade snack mix with just the right combination of salty, crunchy, and spicy flavors.
Total Cost $3.31 recipe / $0.55 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8 1 cup each
Calories 388kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups rice chex $0.23
  • 1.5 cups corn chex $0.23
  • 1.5 cups wheat chex $1.05
  • 1 cup cheese crackers $0.39
  • 1 cup pretzels $0.24
  • 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts $0.24
  • 6 Tbsp butter $0.66
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce $0.04
  • 1.5 Tbsp hot sauce $0.14
  • 3/4 tsp seasoning salt* $0.08
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika $0.05

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 250ºF. Combine the rice chex, corn chex, wheat chex, cheese crackers, pretzels, and peanuts. Stir the dry ingredients together.
  • Melt the butter in a separate bowl, then stir in the Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, seasoning salt, garlic powder, and smoked paprika.
  • Pour about a third of the seasoned butter over the dry ingredients, then stir well. Repeat two more times until all of the butter has been added. Continue to stir the chex mix until everything is very well coated.
  • Spread the seasoned mix over a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
  • After baking for one hour, the snack mix will be dry, toasty, and delicious. Serve warm or let cool before serving.

Notes

*Seasoning salt like Lawry’s or a similar generic brand. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 388kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 19g | Sodium: 908mg | Fiber: 4g
Close up of spicy chex mix on the baking sheet

How to Make Spicy Chex Mix – Step by Step Photos

seasoned butter in a bowl with a spoon

Preheat the oven to 250ºF. Melt 6 Tbsp butter in a bowl, then stir in 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1.5 Tbsp hot sauce, ¾ tsp seasoning salt (like Lawry’s), ½ tsp garlic powder, and ½ tsp smoked paprika.

chex mix dry ingredients in a bowl

In a large bowl, combine 1.5 cups corn chex, 1.5 cups rice chex, 1.5 cups wheat chex, 1 cup cheese crackers, 1 cup pretzels, and ½ cup unsalted peanuts. Stir the ingredients together.

seasoned butter being poured over the snack mix

Pour about ⅓ of the seasoned butter over the snack mix, then give it a good stir. Repeat two more times until all of the butter has been added.

Seasoned snack mix in the bowl, unbaked

Continue stirring the snack mix until it is very evenly covered in seasoned butter.

snack mix on baking sheet not baked

Spread the snack mix out onto a large baking sheet. I covered my baking sheet with parchment for easy cleanup.

Baked snack mix on the baking sheet

Bake the chex mix for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes, or until it is very dry and slightly toasty. Let the mix cool completely, then serve.

Three bowls of spicy chex mix with pumpkins on the sides

The post Spicy Chex Mix appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Classic Homemade Meatloaf

This classic meatloaf recipe is just like the traditional meatloaf grandma used to make. Tender and juicy with the perfect tomato glaze!

The post Classic Homemade Meatloaf appeared first on Budget Bytes.

The concept of meatloaf kind of makes me raise an eyebrow because, well, it’s a loaf of meat. But when it’s executed well it’s just so good. So filling, so cozy, and so delicious that I look forward to eating the leftovers over the next few days (hello meatloaf sandwich, I’m looking at you). This Classic Homemade Meatloaf recipe is the traditional meatloaf that we all know and love—tender, juicy, full of flavor, and with the perfectly tangy tomato glaze on top. It’s so perfect when paired with mashed potatoes and green beans. Like a plate of pure comfort!

Side view of sliced meatloaf on a platter, side dishes in the background

The Secret to Good Meatloaf

Milk. The secret to good meatloaf is milk. It sounds weird, but it makes a HUGE difference. Milk hydrates the breadcrumbs that are used as a binder in meatloaf, which keeps the loaf super moist and tender.

During the testing phase for this recipe, I made one without the milk just to see if really made a difference and I’m here to say that the difference was ENORMOUS. The meatloaf without milk was dense, a little tough, and notably drier than the meatloaf made with milk. So don’t skip it! P.S. I’m sure that non-dairy milk would have the same effect.

Loaf Pan or Baking Sheet?

There are two camps when it comes to meatloaf: baking in a loaf pan or on a baking sheet. I’m team baking sheet, but I think ultimately it’s going to boil down to personal preference. I find that loaf pans don’t allow for quite enough evaporation so the bottom can get a little soupy. Baking sheets allow for a little more evaporation, leaving the meatloaf perfectly juicy and flavorful.

But if shaping is difficult for you or you want those perfect square edges, you might prefer a loaf pan.

Two slices of meatloaf on a plate with mashed potatoes and green beans

How to Keep Meatloaf from Falling Apart

There are a couple of tricks to making a meatloaf that holds together in nice slices. Here are a few tips:

  • Use a recipe that has the right amount of binders (egg and breadcrumbs). This is essentially the glue that holds the meat together.
  • Use ground beef with a finer grind, or that has been double ground. Really coarse ground beef won’t mix as thoroughly with the binders and may crumble when sliced.
  • Mince the onion as finely as possible. Large chunks of onion will prevent the loaf from holding together as well.

What to Serve with Meatloaf

My favorite pairing for meatloaf is what I have pictured here, Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Green Beans. It’s so simple, classic, and balanced with the meatloaf and its tangy glaze. But here are some other good side dishes for meatloaf:

Overhead view of sliced meatloaf on a platter
Side view of sliced meatloaf on a platter

Classic Meatloaf

This classic meatloaf recipe is just like the traditional meatloaf grandma used to make. Tender and juicy with the perfect tomato glaze!
Total Cost $9.56 recipe / $0.96 per slice
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 10 slices
Calories 204kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Meatloaf

  • 1 large egg $0.21
  • 1/3 cup milk $0.14
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce $0.02
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs $0.32
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1/2 cup minced onion $0.14
  • 1.5 lbs. ground beef (85/15) $8.03

Glaze

  • 1/2 cup ketchup $0.40
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce $0.06
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard $0.03

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a small bowl whisk together the egg, milk, and Worcestershire sauce. In a separate small bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mince the onion.
  • Add the ground beef, egg mixture, breadcrumb mixture, and minced onion to a large bowl. Use your hands to mix the ingredients together until evenly combined. Avoid over mixing.
  • Place the meatloaf mixture on a rimmed baking dish and shape it into a loaf that is approximately 4-inches wide, 8-inches long, and 2-inches tall.
  • In a separate small bowl, stir together the glaze ingredients (ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard). Spread the glaze evenly over the top and sides of the meatloaf.
  • Bake the meatloaf for 50-55 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF. Allow the meatloaf to rest for 5-10 minutes after baking, then slice and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 204kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 11g | Sodium: 465mg | Fiber: 1g

How to Make Classic Meatloaf – Step by Step Photos

Wet and dry ingredients for meatloaf in separate bowls

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Start by pre-mixing some of the ingredients for the meatloaf so there will be less mixing required for the meat (overmixing the meat can make meatloaf tough). In a small bowl, whisk together ⅓ cup milk, one large egg, and 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce. In a separate bowl, stir together ½ cup breadcrumbs, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt.

minced onion on a cutting board

Mince about a ½ cup onion. Make sure to chop or mince the onion as finely as possible. Chunky onion can make the meatloaf fall apart more easily.

meatloaf mixture in a bowl

Add the milk mixture, breadcrumb mixture, and minced onion to 1.5 lbs. ground beef (85/15). Mix with your hands until everything is evenly combined. Avoid overmixing.

shaped meatloaf in baking dish

Place the meatloaf mixture on a rimmed baking sheet or baking dish and shape it into a loaf that is approximately 8″ long, 4″ wide, and 2″ tall.

meatloaf glaze ingredients in a bowl

Next, combine the ingredients for the glaze. Stir together ½ cup ketchup, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon yellow mustard, and 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce.

Glaze being spread over the meatloaf

Spread the glaze over the top and sides of the meatloaf.

baked meatloaf with a meat thermometer inside

Bake the meatloaf in the preheated 350ºF oven for 50-55 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF. Let the meatloaf rest for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

front view of a sliced meatloaf on a platter

The post Classic Homemade Meatloaf appeared first on Budget Bytes.

One Pot Beef and Mushroom Stroganoff

Guess what time it is! Comfort-food-o’clock. And what makes better comfort food than a rich creamy pasta dish, like this One Pot Beef and Mushroom Stroganoff? This is yet another “better than the box” meal. It cooks in one easy pot, just like hamburger helper stroganoff, but it’s homemade. You’re going to want to tuck […]

The post One Pot Beef and Mushroom Stroganoff appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Guess what time it is! Comfort-food-o’clock. And what makes better comfort food than a rich creamy pasta dish, like this One Pot Beef and Mushroom Stroganoff? This is yet another “better than the box” meal. It cooks in one easy pot, just like hamburger helper stroganoff, but it’s homemade. You’re going to want to tuck this recipe into your back pocket for those nights when you’re super tired and need an extra comforting meal. :)

Originally posted 2-17-14, updated 5-20-21

overhead view of a skillet full of beef and mushroom stroganoff

Use All Beef, No Beef, or Both!

I used half ground beef and half mushrooms to stretch my pennies a bit further, but you could do all mushrooms or all beef if you prefer. If you’re doing a vegetarian version with all mushrooms, use mushroom or vegetable broth to replace the beef broth.

Tips for “One Pot” Success

One pot recipes can be a bit tricky for some, so here are some pointers:

  • Use heavy, thick cookware to help the ingredients heat evenly.
  • The broth does not need to fully cover the noodles for them to cook, so resist the urge to add extra water or broth.
  • Make sure the liquid is simmering the whole time the pasta is cooking. If the heat is too low, the pasta will just get gummy.
  • Stir the pot occasionally to prevent sticking, but not too often or your risk breaking down the pasta.
  • Use your judgment. If your pasta looks close to being cooked through, but there is too much liquid left in the skillet, let it finish simmering with the lid off. If the liquid is gone but your pasta is still not tender, add a splash more water or broth and continue to simmer.

Every piece of cookware and every range top is different, so one pot recipes are a bit like riding a bike. You have to feel it out and find the sweet spot for the equipment you’re using.

Use Good Broth

The broth brings a lot of flavor to this beef and mushroom stroganoff, so make sure you’re using a nice and flavorful broth that has adequate salt. I like to use Better than Bouillon to make broth for recipes because it’s super flavorful, I can mix up any amount I need, and the jar stays good in the refrigerator for months, so there are no leftovers to go to waste. If you still find your stroganoff to be on the bland side in the end, an extra pinch of salt can really help the flavors pop.

Side view of a bowl full of beef and mushroom stroganoff

 

Want more One Pot Recipes? Check out our One Pot Recipe Archives!

Overhead view of a bowl full of beef and mushroom stroganoff

One Pot Beef and Mushroom Stroganoff

This super easy one pot Beef and Mushroom Stroganoff is a delicious and comforting weeknight dinner that requires just a few ingredients.
Total Cost $5.54 recipe / $1.39 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 about 1.5 cups each
Calories 476kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.22
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef $2.50
  • 8 oz. mushrooms $1.49
  • 1/8 tsp Freshly cracked black pepper $0.01
  • 2 cups beef broth $0.26
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce $0.03
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard $0.02
  • 8 oz. wide egg noodles $0.60
  • 1/3 cup sour cream $0.15
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley (optional) $0.10

Instructions

  • Mince the garlic. Add the garlic and butter to a large pot or skillet and sauté over medium heat for about one minute, or until the garlic is soft and fragrant.
  • Add the ground beef and continue to sauté until it is fully browned.
  • While the beef is browning, slice the mushrooms. Add the sliced mushrooms and some freshly cracked pepper to the pot with the beef. Continue to sauté until the mushrooms are soft (about five minutes).
  • Add the uncooked egg noodles to the pot along with the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and Dijon mustard. Stir to combine. The liquid will not fully cover the noodles, but that's okay.
  • Place a lid on the pot and allow the liquid to come up to a boil over medium-high heat. As soon as it reaches a boil, give the pot a stir, replace the lid, and reduce the heat to low. Allow the pot to simmer on low heat for about 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally and replacing the lid every couple of minutes. After 7-10 minutes the pasta should be tender and most of the liquid absorbed.
  • Once the noodles are tender, add the sour cream and fold it into the noodles until everything is rich and creamy. Give the noodles a taste and add extra salt or pepper, if needed. Roughly chop a handful of parsley leaves and sprinkle over top. Serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5Cups | Calories: 476kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 24g | Sodium: 614mg | Fiber: 3g

Overhead view of a bowl full of beef and mushroom stroganoff

How to Make Beef and Mushroom Stroganoff – Step by Step Photos

garlic sautéed in butter in the skillet

Begin by sautéing 2 cloves of minced garlic in 2 Tbsp of butter until soft (1-2 minutes). You can use a large pot or large skillet, as long as it is big enough to hold all of the pasta AND has a lid (the lid will be used later).

browned ground beef in the skillet

Next, add 1/2 lb. ground beef and continue to sauté until it is fully browned.

Sliced mushrooms on a cutting board

While the beef is browning, slice 8oz. mushrooms. White button mushrooms are fine, but if you can get these baby bella mushrooms they are even more awesome (shout out to ALDI for carrying these at an affordable price).

Mushrooms in the skillet with beef

Once the beef is browned, add the mushrooms and some freshly cracked pepper. Continue to sauté until they are soft (about five minutes).

noodles added to the skillet, beef broth being poured in

Add ½ lb. wide egg noodles to the skillet along with 2 cups beef broth, 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, and ½ tsp Dijon mustard. Stir to combine. The broth will not fully cover the noodles, but that’s okay. The steam in the skillet will help cook them and they’ll be stirred to make sure even cooking.

Cooked noodles with beef in the skillet

Place a lid on the skillet and bring the broth up to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, give it a quick stir to loosen the noodles from the bottom, return the lid quickly, and turn the heat down to low. Let the skillet simmer, stirring occasionally and always replacing the lid, for 7-10 minutes or until the noodles are tender and there is only a small amount of thick sauce left in the skillet. 

Sour cream added to beef and noodles in the skillet

Finally, add ⅓ cup sour cream and fold it into the noodles until everything is creamy and delicious!

Finished one pot beef and mushroom stroganoff topped with parsley

Top off the beef and mushroom stroganoff with a little chopped parsley for color (because stroganoff is kind of boring to look at) and it’s time to dive into that skillet full of creamy goodness! You might want to give it a taste at this point to see if you want a little extra salt or pepper (again, depending on the salt content of your broth), but other than that it’s time to eat! And only one dish to clean. :)

close up side view of beef and mushroom stroganoff in the skillet

The post One Pot Beef and Mushroom Stroganoff appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich

When I dip, you dip, we dip! These Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches are a classic! My boys love dipping their beef sandwiches into the homemade au jus, a fun and delicious meal! And the best part? The sandwiches are so easy to make because the slow co…

When I dip, you dip, we dip! These Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches are a classic! My boys love dipping their beef sandwiches into the homemade au jus, a fun and delicious meal! And the best part? The sandwiches are so easy to make because the slow cooker does most of the work. The beef…

The post Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Unstuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed bell peppers are awesome, but I always find them slightly awkward or difficult to eat. Can’t I just throw the ingredients in a bowl and eat it with a fork?! (I feel that way about a lot of food, TBH). So that’s what I ended up doing! These super simple unstuffed bell peppers are […]

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Stuffed bell peppers are awesome, but I always find them slightly awkward or difficult to eat. Can’t I just throw the ingredients in a bowl and eat it with a fork?! (I feel that way about a lot of food, TBH). So that’s what I ended up doing! These super simple unstuffed bell peppers are cooked in one skillet to make your (my) life super easy and delicious. #yesplease

Originally posted 8-13-2014, updated 2-4-2021.

Overhead view of unstuffed bell peppers in the skillet with a spoon.

Can I Use Cauliflower Rice Instead of White Rice?

Unfortunately, you can not swap out cauliflower rice for the white rice in this recipe. Cauliflower rice releases liquid as it cooks, whereas white rice absorbs it, so you’ll end up with a stuffed bell pepper soup. :) But hey, that actually doesn’t sound so bad! You can also try using cauli rice and skipping the broth, but you’ll be missing a lot of flavor with that option.

Can I Freeze Unstuffed Bell Peppers?

Yes, this recipe freezes great! Make sure to divide the skillet into single serving portions just after cooking, and chill them completely in the refrigerator before transferring to the freezer. Once frozen, they’ll keep in the freezer for about three months and can be reheated in the microwave straight from the freezer (use the defrost setting first, then high until heated through).

Tips for Making One-Pot Rice Dishes

Even cooking plain rice on the stovetop can be a bit challenging for some folks, and when you add in other ingredients it can end up a little more tricky. To make sure your rice cooks thoroughly and evenly, keep these things in mind:

  • Cookware: A really good quality (thick and heavy) skillet is really important for making this recipe work correctly. Heavy cookware conducts heat really evenly so the sides of your skillet will cook at the same rate as the part that is right above the flame. If it’s a thin skillet, it might scorch right in the center and leave the outer edges uncooked. If you don’t have a good skillet, a dutch oven or heavy soup pot would also work well.
  • Heat level: Another key to cooking rice is making sure the water in the pot (or skillet) is simmering the whole time, but the heat is not so high that it burns on the bottom. So once you’ve got everything in the pot and have already brought everything up to a boil, turn the heat down to the lowest setting that still maintains a light simmer. Since this can vary from stove to stove and the type of cookware you’re using, you’ll need to adjust this based on what you’re hearing and seeing in the pot. Once you get the hang of it, though, it will be easy!
  • Use a burner close in size to the bottom of your pot or skillet. If you’re using a wide bottomed pot or skillet over a very small burner, the outside edges of your pot or skillet may not receive enough heat to simmer and cook the rice through. 

Close up side view of unstuffed bell peppers in the skillet

Love skillet meals? Check out my Chorizo Sweet Potato Skillet, Creamy Chicken and Rice Skillet, or One Pot Teriyaki Chicken and Rice.

Close up side view of unstuffed bell peppers in the skillet

Unstuffed Bell Peppers

All the ingredients and flavor of stuffed bell peppers cooked in one skillet for an easy, free-form bowl meal. It's UNstuffed Bell Peppers!
Total Cost $8.02 recipe / $1.34 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 1 ⅓ cups each
Calories 320.53kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic $0.08
  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 2 bell peppers $1.53
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef $2.85
  • 1 15oz. can diced tomatoes $1.00
  • 1 cup long grain white rice (uncooked) $0.62
  • 1 tsp dried basil $0.10
  • 1 tsp dried oregano $0.10
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1.5 cups beef broth $0.07
  • 1 8oz. can tomato sauce $0.26
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce $0.01
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella $0.85
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley (optional garnish) $0.05

Instructions

  • Mince the garlic and dice the onion and bell pepper.
  • Add the olive oil and ground beef to a deep skillet. Cook the beef over medium heat until it is fully browned.
  • Add the diced onion, bell pepper, minced garlic, basil, oregano, and pepper to the skillet. Continue to cook and stir until the onions are soft.
  • Next, add the diced tomatoes (with juices), uncooked rice, and beef broth. Give everything a brief stir to combine.
  • Place a lid on the skillet and turn the heat up to medium-high. Allow the broth to come up to a full boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let it continue to simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest, lid still in place, for another five minutes.
  • While the pot is simmering, combine the tomato sauce and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Once the rice has rested for 5 minutes, remove the lid and fluff it with a fork, gently folding the ingredients back together (peppers and tomatoes may float to the top while it simmers).
  • Pour the prepared tomato sauce over top, then sprinkled the shredded mozzarella over the sauce. Place the lid back on top and let the heat from the skillet melt the mozzarella. Once melted, sprinkle a little chopped parsley on top and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.33cups | Calories: 320.53kcal | Carbohydrates: 35.55g | Protein: 15.75g | Fat: 12.78g | Sodium: 646.32mg | Fiber: 3.88g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

A fork lifting some rice and cheese from a bowl of unstuffed bell peppers

How to Make Unstuffed Bell Peppers – Step by Step Photos

browned ground beef with diced onion, bell pepper, and herbs

Mince one clove of garlic and dice a yellow onion and bell pepper. Add ½ lb. ground beef to a deep skillet with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Cook the ground beef over medium heat until it has fully browned. Add the diced bell pepper, onion, garlic, 1 tsp dried basil, 1 tsp dried oregano, and about ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper to the skillet. Continue to cook and stir until the onions are soft.

Tomatoes, rice, and broth added to the skillet.

Next, add one 15oz. can of diced tomatoes (with juices), 1 cup uncooked long grain white rice, and 1.5 cups beef broth to the skillet. 

Combined ingredients in the skillet

Give everything a brief stir to combine. Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high and allow the broth to come up to a full boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let it continue to simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest, lid still in place, for an additional 5 minutes.

Worcestershire sauce being added to tomato sauce

While the rice is simmering, prepare the tomato sauce. Combine one 8oz. can of tomato sauce with 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce. Set the sauce aside.

Rice being fluffed with a fork in the skillet

After the rice has rested for five minutes, remove the lid and fluff it with a fork, gently folding the tomatoes and peppers back into the rice.

Cheese being added to the skillet

Pour the prepared tomato sauce over the rice in the skillet, then top with 1 cup shredded mozzarella. Place the lid back on the skillet and let the residual heat melt the cheese.

finished unstuffed bell peppers in the skillet topped with parsley

Top with chopped parsley, if desired, and serve!

Unstuffed Bell Peppers skillet with lid on the side

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French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup is one of my favorite things to order at a restaurant. I usually reserve this bowl of warm comfort for restaurants because it’s a soup that takes time and patience to make. But I’ve come to realize that although it is a slow process, it’s still ridiculously simple and inexpensive, so it’s totally worth the effort.

The post French Onion Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

French Onion Soup is one of my favorite things to order at a restaurant. I usually reserve this bowl of warm comfort for restaurants because it’s a soup that takes time and patience to make. But I’ve come to realize that although it is a slow process, it’s still ridiculously simple and inexpensive, so it’s totally worth the effort. I encourage you to make a pot of this incredible French Onion Soup on your next day off while you’re relaxing with a movie or folding some laundry. I think you’ll be glad you did!

One bowl of french onion soup garnished with fresh thyme, spoon on the side

What is French Onion Soup?

If you’ve never had the pleasure, French Onion Soup is made with sweet caramelized onions, beef broth, and herbs. The soup is usually topped with a piece of toasted bread and a generous heap of cheese, which are then broiled to perfection. So with every spoonful you get a piece of bread soaked with flavorful broth, melty cheese, and sweet-savory onions. It’s pretty epic.

Don’t Take Shortcuts with Caramelization

It’s so so so so important to properly caramelize the onions when making French Onion Soup (see the step by step photos below for a visual reference). The deep flavor of the caramelized onion is what gives this soup its characteristic flavor. If you take shortcuts with this step it will show in the color and flavor of your soup.

Caramelizing onions, especially this quantity of onions, is a slow process and it takes a lot of time. Like an hour or more. If you stop too soon your soup will be lacking. If you try to go too fast you risk burning the onions not getting that sweet jammy flavor. Just go slow. It’s worth it.

Broth Matters

The other key to making a really good pot of French Onion Soup is using a really flavorful broth. If you know me then you know I love Better Than Bouillon so I used that to make my broth for this soup. But if you have access to a really good beef stock or bone broth that would also be incredible. Just make sure you use a broth that you know has good flavor.

What Else Can I Add?

I made this French Onion Soup as simple as possible while still retaining its rich flavor. But if you want to go above and beyond you can try adding a couple other ingredients.

Wine – Try deglazing the pot (after adding the flour) with about 1/2 cup wine before adding the beef broth. You can use either a dry white wine or a red wine, depending on whether you want your soup to have a lighter touch (white wine) or a richer flavor (red wine).

Sweet Onions – I made my soup with your average everyday yellow onions, but if you want a tad more sweetness you can choose a sweet onion instead.

Brandy or Sherry – A couple tablespoons of brandy or sherry added to your French Onion Soup at the end can brighten the flavors.

Garlic – I didn’t want to muddy the sweet delicate flavor of the onions, but a lot of people do prefer to also add garlic. If adding garlic, mince it up good and sauté it with the caramelized onions for a minute or two just before adding the flour.

Side view of a bowl of French Onion Soup garnished with fresh thyme
Garnished with fresh thyme for visual appeal. Dried thyme is used in the recipe.
Overhead view of one bowl of french onion soup with a spoon and fresh thyme on the side

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup requires time and patience, but the incredible soul-warming flavor and low cost make it a meal that is worth the wait!
Total Cost $5.34 recipe / $1.07 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 5 1.5 cups ech
Calories 621.84kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 3 lbs. yellow onions $1.19
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.28
  • 3 Tbsp flour $0.03
  • 6 cups beef broth* $0.78
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1 bay leaf $0.15
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce $0.02
  • 5 slices French bread $1.00
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss or Gruyere $1.00

Instructions

  • Slice the onions into ¼-inch thick slices. Add the sliced onions to a large soup pot with olive oil. Cook the onions over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the onions begin to get a little bit of golden brown color (after about 30-45 minutes), add the butter.
  • Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the onions are deeply caramelized (the color of an old penny). This should take about an hour total. If needed, add a couple tablespoons of water to dissolve any browned bits off the bottom to prevent them from burning while the onions continue to cook.
  • Once the onions are deep brown and jammy in texture, add the flour. Stir and cook the flour with the caramelized onions for about two minutes more. The flour helps thicken the broth slightly, giving it body.
  • Add the beef broth to the pot and stir to dissolve any browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Also add the thyme, bay leaf, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring the soup up to a simmer, then allow it to simmer for about a half hour. If using a low sodium broth, make sure to taste the soup after simmering and add salt to taste.
  • Toward the end of the simmer time, preheat the oven's broiler. Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and place them in the oven on the middle rack. Broil for a few minutes on each side, or just until they are barely golden brown (they will broil more later).
  • If you do not have oven safe bowls, top each slice of bread with shredded cheese, then return them to the oven and continue to broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Broiling time will vary with each oven, so make sure to watch them closely. This should only take a few minutes. Place one piece of toasted bread with melted cheese on top of each bowl of soup just before serving.
  • If you do have oven safe bowls, portion your soup into the bowls, top each one with a piece of lightly toasted bread, then some of the shredded cheese. Place the bowls back on the baking sheet and place everything back in the oven under the broiler. Broil for just a few minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve hot!

Notes

*I used Better Than Bouillon to make my beef broth.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 621.84kcal | Carbohydrates: 91.04g | Protein: 22.28g | Fat: 19.62g | Sodium: 2670.74mg | Fiber: 7.44g

Love cozy soups? Check out all of our Budget-Friendly Soup Recipes!

A pot of French Onion Soup with a ladle full held close to the camera

How to Make French Onion Soup – Step by Step Photos

Sliced onions in a soup pot

Begin by slicing 3 lbs. yellow onions into ¼-inch thick slices. Add the sliced onions to a large soup pot with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Cook the onions over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Add butter to golden onions in the soup pot

When the onions begin to get a little golden color (after about 30-45 minutes) add 2 Tbsp butter. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Pot being deglazed with water

The goal is to keep cooking until the onions become deep brown in color and have a jammy texture. If the bottom of the pot begins to brown faster than the onions, just add a couple tablespoons of water to dissolve the browned bits off the bottom and continue to cook. Do not stop when the onions are the color in the photo above. There is still a ways to go!

Caramelized onions in the pot, flour being added

When the onions are the color of an old penny (see photo above), add 3 Tbsp flour and continue to cook and stir for about two minutes. The flour helps thicken the soup very slightly, just giving it a little extra body.

Beef broth being added to the pot

Finally, add six cups of beef broth to the pot. Stir to dissolve any browned bits off the bottom.

Herbs added to the soup

Also add ½ tsp dried thyme, one bay leaf, ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper, and 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce. Bring the soup up to a simmer and let it continue to simmer for about 30 minutes. If you’re using a lower sodium broth, you’ll want to taste the soup and add salt to taste after it simmers.

Toasted bread on a baking sheet

Toward the end of the simmer time, begin to prepare the cheese toast. Preheat the oven’s broiler. Place slices of French bread on a baking sheet (I only had four soup bowls, so I’m only toasting four pieces right now, but the soup makes about 5 servings). Broil the bread for a few minutes on each side or just until it’s lightly golden brown. It will broil more later with the cheese.

Soup being portioned into oven safe bowls

If you have oven safe bowls, portion the soup into the bowls. If you do not have oven safe bowls, pile the shredded cheese right onto the toasted bread on the baking sheet, then broil for a few minutes more to melt the cheese. Top each bowl of soup with a cheesy bread slice.

Toasted bread and cheese added to the soup bowls

If you do have oven safe bowls, place the bowls on the baking sheet and add a piece of toasted bread to each bowl, then top with shredded cheese.

Boiled bowls of french onion soup with bread and cheese

Return the baking sheet with the bowls of soup to the oven and broil for a few minutes more, or until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasty. Every broiler is a little different, and they cook quickly, so keep an eye on them!

Overhead view of one bowl of french onion soup with a spoon and fresh thyme on the side

Dig in!

The post French Onion Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Beef Stroganoff

This easy beef stroganoff recipe is made with the most delicious garlicky creamy mushroom sauce and can be ready to go in just 30 minutes! Feel free to serve over any kind of noodles, rice, or polenta. For those days when you’re craving a cozy and comforting bowl of beef and noodles… …this classic beef […]

This easy beef stroganoff recipe is made with the most delicious garlicky creamy mushroom sauce and can be ready to go in just 30 minutes! Feel free to serve over any kind of noodles, rice, or polenta.

Easy Beef Stroganoff with Noodles

For those days when you’re craving a cozy and comforting bowl of beef and noodles…

…this classic beef stroganoff recipe is here for you, friends. ♡

It’s made with a quick sauté of tender steak (or you can opt for ground beef) and a perfectly-browned mushrooms, and tossed with the richest, savory, garlicky cream sauce (that I’ve lightened up a bit and made without heavy cream).  And when served warm over a big bowl of noodles, rice or polenta, get ready for a delicious burst of nostalgia.  Because this retro recipe is total comfort food and always so satisfying and delicious.

The other bonus with this particular beef stroganoff recipe is that it’s actually incredibly quick and easy to make in just about 30 minutes.  So the next time you need a quick weeknight meal that’s sure to please a crowd, bring out the beef and mushrooms and let’s sauté up some stroganoff together!

(more…)

Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew

Y’all. I am SO ready for sweater weather and cozy slow cooker stews! To kick the season off, I made this super simple Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew this week. It’s nothing fancy, it’s just simple, good, comforting food! I love the simplicity of this dish and the flexibility. It’s the perfect thing to have simmering […]

The post Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Y’all. I am SO ready for sweater weather and cozy slow cooker stews! To kick the season off, I made this super simple Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew this week. It’s nothing fancy, it’s just simple, good, comforting food! I love the simplicity of this dish and the flexibility. It’s the perfect thing to have simmering away on the weekend as you do your chores or relax and enjoy watching the changing of the seasons. :)

Overhead view of a bowl of slow cooker hamburger stew with bread on the side

What’s in Hamburger Stew?

Hamburger stew is very similar to traditional beef stew, but it’s made with ground beef instead of stew meat. Using ground beef is a little bit less expensive than using stew meat, and I like how you get a little bit of beef in every bite! 

In addition to the beef we have a medley of fresh vegetables (carrots, onions, potatoes, peas), beef broth, herbs and spices, plus a little Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce to zhuzh it up a bit. It’s incredibly simple, but creates that beautifully subtle slow stewed flavor.

Why Brown The Hamburger First?

For this Hamburger Stew I browned the ground beef in a skillet before adding it to the slow cooker. I did this for two reasons. One, to render off some of the fat. I used 15% fat ground beef and there was quite a bit that needed to be drained away (I actually tested this recipe once without draining the fat and it just ended up far too oily). The second reason is that you get a nice browning (maillard reaction) on the beef in the dry environment of a skillet that you do not get in the wet environment of a slow cooker. So you’ll get just a little bit more flavor with this extra step!

Can I Use Different Vegetables?

Yes! Stews are very flexible. If you don’t like one of the vegetables listed, go ahead and skip it. Just keep in mind that the potatoes do help thicken the stew, so if you skip the potatoes you’ll have more of a soup texture. Other great vegetables to use in beef stew include:

  • mushrooms
  • pearl onions
  • parsnips
  • turnips
  • rutabagas
  • sweet potatoes
  • winter squash (acorn, butternut, pumpkin)

What Are Stewed Tomatoes?

This recipe calls for stewed tomatoes, which are a variety of canned tomatoes that are popular in the U.S. (example: Hunts stewed tomatoes). These tomatoes are cooked with seasonings and a little bit of sugar to give them the slightest sweetness. Stewed tomatoes add a little extra special unique flavor to the broth of this stew. While you can use diced tomatoes if stewed tomatoes are not available, this substitution will slightly change the flavor of the stew.

How Long Is Hamburger Stew Good?

After cooking the hamburger stew, I suggest dividing it into single portions (so that it cools faster) and refrigerating it right away. It will stay good in the refrigerator for 4-5 days, or it can be transferred to the freezer for longer storage (about 3 months). This stew is a great item to have stashed in your freezer for busy nights! It can be reheated quickly in the microwave, or slowly over medium-low heat in a pot on the stove.

Slow cooker hamburger stew in a ladle over the slow cooker

 
Overhead view of a bowl full of slow cooker hamburger stew with bread and a spoon on the side

Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew

This super easy Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew is simple, comforting food at its best. And the leftovers are even better the next day!
Total Cost $9.88 recipe / $1.65 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6 1.5 cups each
Calories 348.27kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. russet potatoes $1.20
  • 1/2 lb. carrots (about 4 carrots) $0.45
  • 1 yellow onion 0.32
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary $0.05
  • ½ tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1 lb. ground beef $5.69
  • 1 15oz. can stewed tomatoes $1.00
  • 2 cups beef broth $0.26
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce $0.06
  • 1 cup frozen peas $0.60

Instructions

  • Peel and dice the potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Peel and slice the carrots. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the potatoes, carrots, onion, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and pepper to a slow cooker (4 quarts or larger).
  • Brown the ground beef in a skillet, then drain off the excess fat. Add the browned and drained beef to the slow cooker along with the can of stewed tomatoes (with juices). Finally, add the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce to the slow cooker.
  • Give the contents of the slow cooker a brief stir to make sure everything is evenly combined (the broth may not fully cover the other ingredients). Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours, or low for eight hours.
  • After cooking on high for four hours or low for eight hours, remove the lid and stir the stew. Use the back of a spoon to slightly mash some of the potatoes, which will help thicken the stew.
  • Add the frozen peas (no need to thaw) and stir to combine into the stew. Taste the stew and add extra salt if needed (I did not add any, this will depend on the salt content of your beef broth). Serve hot with bread for dipping!

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 348.27kcal | Carbohydrates: 41.42g | Protein: 20.15g | Fat: 11.83g | Sodium: 751.72mg | Fiber: 5.07g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Try These Other Stew Recipes:

Front view of Hamburger Stew in the slow cooker

How to Make Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew – Step by Step Photos

Vegetables herbs and spices in the slow cooker

Peel and dice 2 lbs. of potatoes into 1-inch pieces. Peel and slice ½ lb. carrots (about 4 carrots). Dice one onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Add the potatoes, carrots, onion, and garlic to a slow cooker along with ½ tsp dried rosemary, ½ tsp dried tyme, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper.

Browned ground beef and stewed tomatoes added to slow cooker

Brown one pound of ground beef and drain off the excess fat. Add the browned ground beef to the slow cooker along with one 15oz. can of stewed tomatoes (with the juices).

Beef broth Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce added to slow cooker

Add 2 cups beef broth, 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, and 1 Tbsp soy sauce to the slow cooker.

Slow cooker ready to be turned on

Give the contents of the slow cooker a brief stir to combine. The broth will not fully cover the meat and vegetables, but that’s okay. The vegetables will release more moisture and increase the broth as they cook. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours.

Cooked hamburger stew in the slow cooker

After cooking on high for four hours or low for eight hours, it will look like this. Give it a good stir and smash some of the potatoes against the side of the slow cooker. The smashed potatoes will help thicken the broth into a nice hearty stew.

Frozen peas being added to the slow cooker

Stir one cup of frozen peas into the slow cooker (they’ll thaw and heat within a minute or so). 

Finished slow cooker hamburger stew in the slow cooker

Give the hamburger stew a final taste and adjust the salt to your liking. I didn’t need to add any because the broth I use (Better than Bouillon) has a decent amount, but if your broth has less sodium you may find that a pinch of salt at the end helps the flavors pop!

Slow Cooker Hamburger stew in a bowl with a spoon lifting a bite

Serve the hamburger stew immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat (but I don’t know how you’ll resist having a bowl after smelling that cooking all day!).

The post Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Comeback Sauce

Earlier this week I made some amazing steak fries and I needed a dipping sauce for them that was equally as epic. Plain old ketchup was just not going to do, so I made some Comeback Sauce. Comeback Sauce is a creamy, tangy, sweet, and savory sauce that’s great for dipping, dunking, drizzling, and smearing […]

The post Comeback Sauce appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Earlier this week I made some amazing steak fries and I needed a dipping sauce for them that was equally as epic. Plain old ketchup was just not going to do, so I made some Comeback Sauce. Comeback Sauce is a creamy, tangy, sweet, and savory sauce that’s great for dipping, dunking, drizzling, and smearing onto just about any food. It’s not called “comeback sauce” for nothing. It will keep you coming back for more. And more. And MORE. (I “accidentally” ate an entire bunch of broccoli in one sitting, thanks to this delicious sauce.)

Comeback Sauce – Creamy, Tangy, Sweet, and Savory

A piece of roasted broccoli being dipped into a bowl of comeback sauce

What is Comeback Sauce?

This unique sauce is said to have originated in a Greek restaurant in Mississippi, but it quickly spread throughout the entire south. The original sauce had a base of mayonnaise and Heinz Chili Sauce (a tomato based sauce not to be confused with Sweet Chili Sauce), plus some other seasonings. There are many interpretations of this addictive sauce, with each person putting their own spin on the original as it spread across the region. Because Heinz Chili Sauce is not something I keep in my pantry, I made a few substitutions to create a similar flavor profile using items that I keep on hand, and in the process put the Budget Bytes stamp on the classic comeback sauce. ;)

What Do You Serve it With?

What can you not serve it with is probably a more appropriate question! It’s a fantastic all-purpose dip for things like roasted vegetables (shown with roasted broccoli), fried foods like french fries, chicken fingers or nuggets, or chips. It’s also great smeared onto burgers, fried chicken sandwiches, or wrap sandwiches. I wouldn’t be opposed to using this as a salad dressing, or using it to make an extra flavorful batch of coleslaw!

Close up of broccoli being dipped into comeback sauce

 
Close up of broccoli being dipped into comeback sauce

Comeback Sauce

This creamy, tangy, sweet, and savory Comeback Sauce is great for dipping, drizzling, smearing, and smothering all of your favorite foods. 
Total Cost $1.03 recipe. /$0.21 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 5 2 Tbsp each
Calories 158.8kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise $0.80
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup $0.10
  • 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce $0.01
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp hot sauce* $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.02

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until evenly mixed. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Notes

*Any vinegar based hot sauce like Tabasco.

Nutrition

Serving: 2Tbsp | Calories: 158.8kcal | Carbohydrates: 2.44g | Protein: 0.34g | Fat: 16.52g | Sodium: 319.92mg | Fiber: 0.06g

Check out these other homemade sauces:

A bowl of comeback sauce surrounded by roasted broccoli

How to Make Comeback Sauce – Step by Step Photos

sauce ingredients in a bowl, not mixed

Combine ½ cup mayonnaise, 2 Tbsp ketchup, 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, ½ tsp Dijon mustard, 1/8 tsp hot sauce, ¼ tsp smoked paprika, ⅛ tsp garlic powder, ⅛ tsp freshly cracked black pepper, and ⅛ tsp salt.

Finished comeback sauce being stirred with a red spatula

Stir the ingredients together until smooth. Serve or refrigerate until ready to eat!

Overhead view of a bowl of comeback sauce surrounded by roasted broccoli

Shown with roasted broccoli – toss broccoli in oil, then roast at 400ºF for about 30 minutes, or until you reach your desired level of brown.

The post Comeback Sauce appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy

My boyfriend saw what I was cooking and said, “What is this, the “Hungry Man” edition of Budget Bytes? 😆 What can I say, this pandemic has me craving comfort food! And for some reason, Salisbury Steak has been on my mind for weeks. So I set to work putting together a super simple version […]

The post Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy appeared first on Budget Bytes.

My boyfriend saw what I was cooking and said, “What is this, the “Hungry Man” edition of Budget Bytes? ? What can I say, this pandemic has me craving comfort food! And for some reason, Salisbury Steak has been on my mind for weeks. So I set to work putting together a super simple version of Salisbury Steak, smothered with a mushroom and onion gravy, perfect for serving over a hot bed of fluffy mashed potatoes. Add a little something green (peas, in this case), and you have a classic “meat and potatoes” comfort meal. 

It’s funny because the very first time I ever had Salisbury Steak was in a frozen TV dinner in the 1980’s. So, this kind of is a Hungry Man edition of Budget Bytes. :P

Easy Salisbury Steak with Mushroom and Onion Gravy

Salisbury steak with mushroom gravy on a plate with mashed potatoes and peas, a fork on the side.

What is Salisbury Steak?

If you weren’t as lucky as I was to experience Salisbury Steak for the first time as a frozen TV dinner in the 80’s (read: sarcasm), then let me tell you a little about this classic comfort food. It’s a bit like a mini-meatloaf or big, flat meatball. It’s a mixture of ground beef and seasonings, plus a little breadcrumbs and egg to keep it all moist and tender. It’s usually cooked in a skillet and smothered with gravy. The dish gets its name from Dr. Salisbury, who recommended a version of this dish in the late 19th century as a part of his meat-centric diet (read more on Wikipedia). 

What to Serve with Salisbury Steak

The mushroom and onion gravy made with this Salisbury Steak is so delicious that you definitely want some sort of starch to soak it up. I served mine with fluffy mashed potatoes, but you could also spoon it over hot rice. Or, just serve with some crusty bread so sop up the gravy from your plate.

I really suggest having a vegetable or two on the side as well. Definitely something green, like the peas shown in my photos, or roasted broccoli. As a second vegetable, I’d probably go with something orange, like roasted carrots. Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes would also make a great, colorful side to Salisbury Steak. With my leftovers, I added a scoop of sauerkraut on top and that was an AMAZING combination.

How are the Leftovers?

AWESOME. We reheated leftovers of this dish in the microwave and happily gobbled them up. Your leftovers should keep for about 4 days in the refrigerator. And while I haven’t tested freezing this one, this is definitely a dish that I would normally have frozen, if we hadn’t eaten it so fast. The gravy may separate a little upon thawing and reheating, as many flour thickened sauces do, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad and won’t be noticed if it’s mixed right into your mashed potatoes.

Gravy being spooned over a Salisbury Steak in the skillet

What Percent Fat Beef Should I Use?

You can use any type of ground beef for this recipe. If you use a higher fat ground beef, like 15% fat, the extra fat will be absorbed by the breadcrumbs and make the Salisbury Steak extra tender. If you use a more lean ground beef, like 93% fat, your Salisbury Steak will be a little more firm, but will be kept moist by the egg and breadcrumbs.

What Kind of Mushrooms Should I Use?

I used Baby Bella mushrooms because they give the gravy a wonderful color and they’re quite affordable at Aldi. If you have a limited selection or Baby Bella mushrooms are too expensive in your area, regular button mushrooms can be used instead. Your gravy may be slightly lighter in color when using white button mushrooms.

Salisbury Steak in rectangular meal prep containers with mashed potatoes and peas

 
A plate full of Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy, mashed potatoes, and green peas.
Print

Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy

Homemade Salisbury Steak with a rich mushroom gravy is a quick, simple, and hearty weeknight dinner that will fill even the biggest of appetites!
Total Cost $8.34 recipe / $2.09 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 446.88kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion, divided $0.32
  • 1 lb. ground beef $5.15
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs $0.13
  • 1 large egg $0.23
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, divided $0.05
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp pepper $0.03
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 8 oz. mushrooms $1.69
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.26
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.02
  • 1.5 cups beef broth* $0.20
  • salt and pepper to taste $0.05

Instructions

  • Finely mince about ½ cup of the onion and slice the remainder of the onion. The minced onion will go in the ground beef mixture, the rest will be used for the gravy.
  • Add the ground beef, minced onion, breadcrumbs, egg, 1 Tbsp of the Worcestershire sauce (the remainder will go in the gravy), Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to a large bowl. Use your hands to mix the ingredients together until they are evenly combined. Divide the mixture into four equal parts, and shape each into a flattened oval.
  • Add the cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once the skillet is hot, add the shaped beef patties and cook for about 5 minutes on each side, or until they are well browned on each side. Transfer the cooked patties to a clean plate.
  • While the beef patties are cooking, slice the mushrooms. After removing the beef from the skillet, add the sliced mushrooms and the remaining sliced onion along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Continue to cook the mushrooms and onions over medium until they are soft. Allow the moisture released from the onions and mushrooms to help you dissolve any browned bits off the bottom of the skillet as you stir.
  • Once the mushrooms and onions have softened and most of the moisture has evaporated off the bottom of the skillet, add the butter and flour. Continue to stir and cook for about two minutes. The flour and butter will form a paste and begin to coat the bottom of the skillet.
  • Add the beef broth and one tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce to the skillet. Stir to dissolve the flour into the broth, making sure to dissolve any flour that is stuck to the bottom of the skillet. Allow the broth to come up to simmer (still over medium heat), stirring often. Once it reaches a simmer, it will thicken into a gravy.
  • Once the gravy is simmering, add the beef patties back to the skillet with the broth, mushrooms, and onions. Spoon the gravy over top, and continue to simmer the beef in the gravy for an additional five minutes. Taste the gravy and adjust the salt and pepper to your liking.

Notes

*I use Better Than Bouillon to make my broth, which as a full, robust flavor. The flavor of your broth will greatly impact the overall flavor of your gravy, so make sure to use one that has great flavor.

Nutrition

Serving: 1steak with gravy | Calories: 446.88kcal | Carbohydrates: 20.6g | Protein: 27.35g | Fat: 27.78g | Sodium: 1009.73mg | Fiber: 1.83g

Scroll down to see the step by step photos!

Close up side view of a Salisbury Steak on a plate with peas and mashed potatoes, and a piece of the steak cut off the side.

How to Make Salisbury Steak – Step by Step Photos

Sliced and minced onion on a cutting board

Mince about ½ cup of one yellow onion, and slice the rest of the onion. The minced portion will go IN the Salisbury Steaks, the sliced portion will go into the gravy. If you have a small onion, you’ll probably mince about half and slice half. If you have a larger onion, you’ll mince about ¼ of the onion and slice the remaining ¾ onion.

Salisbury Steak ingredients in a bowl

Add 1 lb. ground beef, the minced onion, one large egg, ½ cup breadcrumbs, 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp Italian seasoning, ½  tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper to a bowl.

Shaped Salisbury Steak patties in a bowl

Use your hands to combine the ingredients until they are evenly mixed. Divide the mixture into four equal pieces, then shape them into flattened ovals.

Cooked beef patties in a skillet

Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the shaped patties in the hot skillet for about five minutes on each side, or until they are well browned on each side. Remove the cooked patties to a clean plate.

Sliced mushrooms on a cutting board with the sliced onion.

While the beef patties are cooking, slice 8 oz. mushrooms.

Onions and Mushrooms added to the skillet

After removing the cooked beef from the skillet, add the sliced onion and mushrooms. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, then continue to cook the onions and mushrooms over medium heat until they have softened. Allow the moisture released from the onions and mushrooms to help dissolve any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.

Butter and flour added to the skillet with the mushrooms and onions.

Once the mushrooms and onions have softened and most of the moisture has evaporated from the skillet, add 2 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour. Continue to stir and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes more. The flour and butter will form a paste and begin to coat the bottom of the skillet.

Beef broth being poured into the skillet

Add 1.5 cups beef broth and another 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce to the skillet. Stir and cook over medium heat, dissolving the flour into the broth. When the broth reaches a simmer, it will thicken into a gravy.

Beef patties returned to gravy in the skillet

Return the beef patties to the skillet with the gravy and spoon the gravy over top. 

Simmered Salisbury Steaks in the skillet with mushroom gravy.

Continue to let the patties simmer in the gravy for another five minutes. 

Close up side view of the Salisbury Steak in the skillet with mushroom gravy.

Taste the gravy and adjust the salt and pepper if needed.

A plate full of Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy, mashed potatoes, and green peas.

Serve with mashed potatoes and peas for a classic comfort meal!

The post Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy appeared first on Budget Bytes.