Budget Bytes

Quick Recipes

side view of a fork lifting green chile mac and cheese from the bowl

Green Chile Mac and Cheese

Creamy Monterey Jack cheese, tangy diced green chiles, and a little earthy cumin make this green chile mac and cheese anything but ordinary!

Two lemon blueberry scones on a plate, one partially crumbled

Lemon Blueberry Scones

Scones are my bakery treat of choice to have with coffee. Why? Because they’re not too sweet, they’re not too rich, and they’re not too heavy. Especially when they’re dotted with juicy blueberries and...

A stack of pizza melts, cut sides facing camera

Pizza Melts

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

Side view of biscuits and gravy on a plate with eggs

Country Sausage Gravy

Make this easy Country Sausage Gravy from scratch in under 20 minutes for a hearty southern style breakfast at home.

Pesto chickpea salad in a bowl surrounded by crackers

Pesto Chickpea Salad

I love quick fixes because I am busy and if something takes me more than 15-30 minutes to prepare, chances are I’m not going to do it, especially if it’s not my day off....

Overhead view of a bowl full of beef and mushroom stroganoff

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”...

Overhead view of a bowl full of cinnamon pecan cauli oats with a spoon in the center

Cinnamon Pecan Cauli Oats

Cinnamon Pecan Cauli oats combine riced cauliflower with rolled oats for an extra dose of vegetables and texture with your breakfast!

Side view of a wooden bowl with lemon tahini dressing, some dripping down the side

Lemon Tahini Dressing

This super fast and easy dressing has bold flavors of garlic, lemon, and nutty tahini. Drizzle over salads, roasted vegetables, and more!

Close up side view of a bowl of creamy pesto mac with spinach

Creamy Pesto Mac with Spinach

I bought a little jar of pesto recently and have been having fun finding ways to add it to everyday recipes. Yesterday I noticed a half bag of macaroni that had been sitting in my...

Side view of a bowl of tomato basil vinaigrette with a spoon dripping the dressing into a bowl

Tomato Basil Vinaigrette

This tangy and slightly sweet tomato basil vinaigrette only requires a few simple ingredients and tastes great over salad and pasta alike.

Overhead view of an open faced Mediterranean Turkey Burger on a paper lined plate with cucumber salad on the side

Mediterranean Turkey Burgers

Ground turkey can be kind of, well, boring if you don’t dress it up right. That’s why for these Mediterranean Turkey Burgers I added fun add-ins to the burger patty for maximum flavor and...

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!

Side view of baked biscuits on a baking sheet

Homemade Butter Biscuits

Big homemade weekend breakfasts are one of my favorite things ever and no weekend breakfast is complete without homemade biscuits. These butter biscuits are my “basic” biscuit recipe that I’ve been using for years....

A sliced piece of lemon pepper chicken on a plate with pasta.

Easy Lemon Pepper Chicken

These Easy Lemon Pepper Chicken Breasts are so tender, juicy, and flavorful, you'll want to spoon that delicious pan sauce over EVERYTHING.

Close up side view of lemon parsley pasta on a platter with lemon slices

Lemon Parsley Pasta

Lemon Parsley Pasta is bright, garlicky, and full of rich Parmesan flavor. It makes a great side dish or bed for chicken or fish.

Cheddar drop biscuits on a wire cooling rack against a blue background

Cheddar Drop Biscuits

These rich, fluffy, and cheesy Cheddar Drop Biscuits are as easy as it gets when it comes to homemade biscuits.

Side view of sautéed vegetables in the skillet

Simple Sautéed Vegetables

“What should I serve on the side?” is one of the most common questions I get. So it’s never a bad idea to have an arsenal of simple side dishes that you know how...

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

Baked Ginger Salmon

Salmon is a bit on the expensive side, but it’s a really nice “sensible splurge” to have on special occasions or when you want to treat yourself. Fish can be intimidating if you’ve never...

Sesame roasted green beans on a plate, viewed from above

Sesame Roasted Green Beans

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

overhead view of a bowl full of cumin lime coleslaw with green onion and limes on the side

Cumin Lime Coleslaw

I used to really hate coleslaw until I made my own homemade coleslaw. It’s so fresh, crunchy, and creamy, and not at all gloppy or heavy like the storebought stuff. AND you can make it...

Close up side view of Mediterranean Tuna Salad in a bowl

Mediterranean Tuna Salad

This simple, fresh, and filling Mediterranean Tuna Salad makes an easy protein-packed make-ahead lunch for your workweek. Tons of ideas for add-ins and substitutions included!

Ramen noodles being lifted from the bowl with a fork

Spicy Peanut Butter Ramen

This Spicy Peanut Butter Ramen is an easy way to upgrade this inexpensive convenience food. It's super quick, filling, and can be customized a hundred ways.

Close up of a forkful of lemon pepper zucchini with the bowl in the background

Lemon Pepper Zucchini

I’m a true believer that side dishes should be as simple as possible. Save your time and energy for that amazing main dish and don’t let the sides overshadow its glory. ;)  The magic...

overhead view of turkey taco salad drizzled with creamy avocado dressing

Turkey Taco Salad

This Turkey Taco Salad is an easy, light, and fresh dinner that's flexible enough to feed all your family members. Mix and match your favorite taco salad toppings, or just use up what you...

Creamy avocado dressing dripping off a spoon into a bowl

Creamy Avocado Dressing

This tangy and creamy avocado dressing is great drizzled over salads, sandwiches, wraps, bowl meals, nachos, tacos, fresh vegetables, and more.

A stack of black bean quesadillas on a serving tray

Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas

These super tasty Black Bean Quesadillas have been a runaway Budget Bytes hit since they were first posted in 2012. The spicy mix of cheese, beans, corn, cilantro, and onion makes and incredibly flavorful...

a piece of oven roasted broccoli being dipped into a cup of comeback sauce

Perfect Oven Roasted Broccoli

If you're not a fan of broccoli, it might just be because you haven't tried it roasted yet. Roasted broccoli is my go-to side dish for any dinner because it's A) easy and B)...

Two slices of tortilla baked eggs on a plate with a fork

Tortilla Baked Eggs

You guys know how I love using leftover odds and ends in my fridge to make delicious meals on the fly, right? Well these tasty little eggs baked in a tortilla shell are my...

Stacked sausage and egg breakfast quesadillas held close to the camera

Sausage and Egg Breakfast Quesadillas

Breakfast quesadillas are one of my absolute favorite foods. Not just a favorite breakfast food, but a favorite any time food. Normally I stick to a quick fried egg and a slice of cheese,...

three bowls of quick tofu stir fry

Quick Tofu Stir Fry

Here's a little quickie for you this weekend! This super simple tofu stir fry is a riff off of my favorite Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry. It's super fast, super easy, and endlessly customizable....

Tomato herb soup in a mug on a plate with grilled cheese

Tomato Herb Soup

I’m constantly looking for new ways to use my favorite (not) Sun Dried Tomato Sauce in recipes because it’s just SO good. So, the other day I was thinking, “Hmmm, I wonder if I...

A plate full of scrambled eggs with spinach and feta, toast, and orange slices

Scrambled Eggs with Spinach and Feta

Here’s a little quickie for you this weekend! I’m always looking for ways to use up the odds and ends of my fresh spinach, and  Scrambled Eggs with Spinach and Feta is one of...

Close up of garlic butter shrimp in the skillet

Quick Garlic Butter Shrimp

As I mentioned last week, I’ve been experimenting a with shrimp a little more lately. Why? It’s super fast and easy to cook, and you can add it to so many different things! So...

Overhead view of a bowl full of pesto shrimp pasta with a black fork in the center

Pesto Shrimp Pasta

I’ve been experimenting with shrimp a lot lately. Yes, it can be a little on the expensive side, but if you pair it whith an inexpensive ingredient like pasta, you can really stretch that...

Finished one pot lemon artichoke chicken in the skillet

One Pot Lemon Artichoke Chicken and Rice

As this unusual summer draws to a close, it’s time to start moving into new routines for fall. Having a routine dinnertime can be so helpful when the world feels like it has turned...

Overhead view of a bowl full of Mediterranean White Bean Salad with parsley, tomatoes, and garlic on the side

Mediterranean White Bean Salad

You can never have enough easy side dish recipes, am I right?? I like to keep my side dishes simple so they don’t steal the show from my main dish, and they don’t add...

Classic tuna salad in a bowl with bread and lettuce on the sides

Classic Tuna Salad

With so many people going back to work but without the luxury of being able to use their break room microwaves or refrigerators, classic cold lunches like tuna salad are making a comeback! So...

Close up overhead shot of beef taco skillet

Beef Taco Skillet

Sometimes I just throw random leftovers into a pot or skillet and just see how it turns out. 😜 But you can’t really go wrong with the ingredients that I used this time around....

A bowl full of creamy pesto pasta with chicken and broccoli, a black fork on the side

Creamy Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli

I’m all about the quick skillet meals because, let’s face it, sometimes after a long day of work you don’t really want to cook anything… but you still gotta eat. This super quick Creamy...

Three glass containers filled with hummus lunch box ingredients

The Hummus Lunch Box

Are y’all ready for the next installment in the no-cook lunch box series? The Hummus Lunch Box is a classic, one that I’m sure many of you have made before, but it definitely deserves...

One bowl of gochujang ramen with tofu, chopsticks on the side

Gochujang Ramen with Tofu

I love good quality food, but I also have a small place in my heart reserved for convenience foods like instant ramen or frozen pizzas. I don’t indulge in them often, and when I...

Sesame ginger dressing being poured over the crunchy cabbage salad

Crunchy Cabbage Salad

I ate my teriyaki meatball bowls all week as meal prep and absolutely loved them, but I desperately need another vegetable side to balance things out. So, I whipped up a quick crunchy cabbage...

A wooden bowl filled with sesame ginger dressing next to a knob of fresh ginger

Sesame Ginger Dressing

This Sesame Ginger Dressing is probably one of the most addictive homemade dressings I’ve ever made. It’s sweet, salty, tangy, and has a super “zingy” fresh ginger bite. It’s one of those dressings that...

Blackened salmon with zucchini on a plate with a black fork on the side

Blackened Salmon with Zucchini

Are you ready for a dinner that is seriously easy and is so good that it will make you go weak in the knees? Just wait until you try this Blackened Salmon with Zucchini....

Side view of a bowl of sesame cucumber salad, chopsticks picking up one slice of cucumber

Sesame Cucumber Salad

This salad is one of the very first recipes I ever posted on Budget Bytes. Like, way back when I was still taking photos with my pre-smart-phone era phone. Yikes! Because this Sesame Cucumber...

BBQ sauce being brushed onto chicken in a skillet

Quick BBQ Chicken

We get a lot of feedback from readers who are trying to cook for families who all have different dietary needs and preferences, especially families with both vegetarians and meat eaters. So I wanted...

Overhead view of a bowl of pico de gallo surrounded by tortilla chips, salt, tomatoes, cilantro, and limes

Pico de Gallo

Pico de gallo is one of my favorite fresh summer condiments because it only takes a few minutes to make and it’s just so fresh and vibrant. The flavor just screams “summer!” I’m always...

A wooden spoon in a bowl of green chile enchilada sauce with cilantro and diced green chiles on the side

Green Chile Enchilada Sauce

Canned green enchilada sauce is just kind of sad. It’s watery and usually not very flavorful. Authentic green enchilada sauce is a little bit of a project, involving roasting fresh tomatillos, onions, garlic, and...

A hand picking up a piece of spinach artichoke grilled cheese with cheese stretching from the slice

Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese

This Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese is totally indulgent. It’s like your favorite restaurant appetizer turned into a meal (because you were going to eat that spinach artichoke dip as your meal anyway, right?). I’ve...

Close up of broccoli being dipped into comeback sauce

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...

Overhead view of a Cottage Cheese Crab Bowl with a black fork in the side

Cottage Cheese Crab Bowl

Every now and then I like to share things with you that aren’t exactly “recipes” but are just the random bowl meals that I make out of things found in my fridge. I’ve discovered...

Overhead view of a bowl full of creamy tomato and spinach pasta, a black fork in the side

Creamy Tomato and Spinach Pasta

Easy wins again! I’m on day 6 of an 8 day work week, so that means two things: I’m tired and I’m hungry. Quick skillet pasta dishes like this Creamy Tomato and Spinach Pasta are perfect...

A hand dipping a fresh strawberry into the fruit dip on a fruit platter

Honey Vanilla Cottage Cheese Fruit Dip

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but I’ve fallen in love with a new budget ingredient: cottage cheese. A lot of people are turned off by the texture of cottage cheese, but when you...

Piece of pepperoni pizza being pulled out the side of the pizza

No-Yeast Pizza Dough

Desperate times call for desperate measures. There’s nothing quite like a perfectly light, chewy, and crispy traditional pizza crust made with yeast, but right now we have to make do with what we’ve got...

Overhead view of a bowl of Chimichurri Chickpea Salad with pita in the side of the bowl

Chimichurri Chickpea Salad

We’re still experiencing a lot of grocery shortages in the middle of this pandemic, but when I ventured out to the grocery store this week I noticed something. The produce department was very well stocked,...

Close up side view of a bowl of Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad

Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad

I was lucky enough to get a bunch of fresh broccoli last week, so I wanted to share this super simple salad that I made with it, along with some ideas for variations to...

A bowl of Pasta Puttanesca with a fork twirled in the center. Garlic and parsley on the side.

Pasta Puttanesca

I’m a little embarrassed to admit that the first time I ever heard of Pasta Puttanesca was in the movie Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, over 15 years ago. In the movie,...

Overhead view of turkey taco skillet next to tortilla chips, a bowl of sour cream, and toasted tortillas

Turkey Taco Skillet

I’ve probably made a hundred iterations of the bean-salsa-corn combo over the years, and yet I still keep making more. Why? Because it never stops being delicious, it’s super versatile, and I love making...

Two jars of no bake strawberry cheesecake side by side with whole strawberries on the side

No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake for Two

Valentine’s Day is coming and and whether you’re going to be celebrating with your honey, your bestie, or your selfie, this super easy No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake is sure to make the day a...

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

Simple Sesame Rice

Sometimes you just need something simple to flesh out your meal, to bulk it up without adding a lot of work, or without adding a lot of $$$. Rice is my favorite ingredient for...

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

Crunchy Chicken Ramen Stir Fry

I’m all about quick stir fry dinners because they’re easy, you can work a LOT of vegetables into them, and they’re just plain delicious. My newest creation, Crunchy Chicken Ramen Stir Fry, is kind...

A cracker being dipped into the whipped cottage cheese dip, the platter of vegetables and crackers in the background

Garlic Herb Whipped Cottage Cheese Dip

I’m continuing my new love affair with cottage cheese and experimenting with all the fun things you can do with this inexpensive source of protein. I know a lot of people just can’t stand...

Side view of a bowl of creamy coleslaw with a fork lifting a bite

Simple Creamy Coleslaw

I never knew I was a coleslaw person until I made it myself. I had eaten it plenty of times at restaurants, never once having been impressed, and always wondering what the appeal was....

Two bowls of Swamp Soup with a bowl of Swiss cheese on the side, plus a few oyster crackers

Swamp Soup

Despite its “swampy” appearance, this soup is simply one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. If you like tomato soup, you’ll adore Swamp Soup. It’s like tomato soup on steroids and with a...

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

Spinach and Artichoke Wonderpot

What is a Wonderpot? It’s a pasta dish that cooks all in one pot (a.k.a. One Pot Pasta) with vegetables, aromatics (garlic, onion), and broth so that every bite is packed with flavor. The...

Two bowls of Smoky Black Bean Soup with various toppings, next to a bowl of sliced green onion and a crumbled corn muffin.

Smoky Black Bean Soup

I hope you guys don’t get sick of all my soup recipes, because I pretty much live off of soup this time of year! This Smoky Black Bean Soup is definitely going to be...

Close up of Mushroom and Spinach Pasta with Ricotta on a plate with a black fork.

Mushroom and Spinach Pasta with Ricotta

There’s something really special about the simplicity of pasta with butter, salt, and pepper. The creaminess of the butter and the little pops of salt and pepper sitting on the surface of the pasta,...

Close up of a fork twirling some Garlic Noodles with Beef and Broccoli on a black plate

Garlic Noodles with Beef and Broccoli

Have you ever tried Garlic Noodles? They’re a super rich, buttery, salty-sweet, umami filled dream. I usually serve them as a side dish, but this week I decided to just go ahead and turn...

Homemade whipped cream being spooned onto a mug of hot cocoa, a second mug in the background

How to Make Homemade Whipped Cream

It’s the season for cozy mugs of hot cocoa, pumpkin pies, and other delectable desserts, all of which can benefit from a heaping spoonful of fluffy, cloud-like whipped cream. And not just any whipped...

Close up overhead shot of Apple Walnut Stuffing in the casserole dish with a wooden spoon in the corner

Apple Walnut Stuffing

I’m all about making things from scratch. When it makes sense. If you’re cooking an entire Thanksgiving dinner by yourself, I think it makes sense to take a few shortcuts. One shortcut I like...

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip platter with crackers and apple slices

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip

We are rapidly descending into party season. There are Halloween parties, then Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving, Christmas parties, and then finally New Year’s Eve parties. It’s like boom-boom-boom-boom! So I thought I’d get started with...

Five different bowls full of tomato soup with the soup pot and ladle at the top

Secret Ingredient Tomato Soup

I don’t know if I’ve told you, but I’m a little bit of a tomato soup fanatic. I’ve made several tomato soup recipes for Budget Bytes over the past ten years, but this week...

Close up of One Pot Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta in the skillet with a wooden spoon.

One Pot Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta

This One Pot Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta was inspired by those little packets of powdered pasta sauce mix I always see in the grocery store. While those little packets are probably great for camping,...

Three bowls of Easy Pumpkin Soup garnished with sour cream and pepitas, a small bowl of pepitas on the side.

Easy Pumpkin Soup

 Y’all, I’m reaching waaaaay down into the Budget Bytes archives with this one. I first posted this Easy Pumpkin Soup in 2009, just a few months into my blogging journey. When October 1st hit...

Close up of a fork digging into a filet of Garlic Butter Baked Cod on a plate with vegetables.

Garlic Butter Baked Cod

Do you love garlic bread as much I as do? Like, do you keep it on hand in your freezer at all times? Then you’re going to love this Garlic Butter Baked Cod. In...

Side view of a spoonful of kale pesto being lifted from the bowl.

Homemade Kale Pesto

I’ve made kale pesto before (Kale Pesto Pasta), but I felt like the pesto needed a post itself. I often find myself with leftover fresh kale (why does it come in such HUGE qantities?),...

Three bowls of rosemary garlic white bean soup with different toppings (pesto, croutons, Parmesan).

Easy Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup

This past week I was talking to a reporter from MarketWatch and as I told the story of Budget Bytes I joked about being a broke college graduate and not wanting to eat canned...

Close up of four Maple Sage Breakfast Sausages in a cast iron skillet

Maple Sage Breakfast Sausage

Making breakfast an event on Sunday is one of my favorite things. I’d much rather make something from scratch at home (in my PJ’s) than go wait in line for 45 minutes at a...

Front view of a bowl of Honey Mustard Broccoli Salad with a black fork and spoon in the side of the bowl.

Honey Mustard Broccoli Salad

A few months ago I made a batch of Honey Mustard Sauce and I literally could not stop dipping broccoli florets into it, so I knew right away that I just needed to make a...

Close up of a dumpling being dipped into a bowl of Simple Sweet and Sour Sauce

Easy Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce

One of my biggest pet peeves is having a million half-used condiments in my fridge. So if I can quickly whip up a homemade sauce with pantry staples, I’m going to do that before...

Close up overhead view of pork chops in the skillet with vegetables, covered with sweet and sour sauce.

Sweet and Sour Pork Chops with Vegetables

Easy dinners are my jam! I love these Sweet and Sour Pork Chops because they’re a super fast alternative to take out, they require NO chopping, you need only a few pantry staples to...

Close up of Lemon Dill Salmon and Kale Salad on a plate with a black fork

Lemon Dill Salmon and Kale Salad

I made the most amazing Lemon Dill Tahini Dressing this week and I have a looooong list of foods that I can’t wait to pour it over, but my first choice was this light...

A bowl of Sweet and Spicy Tuna Salad surrounded by crackers and vegetables.

Sweet and Spicy Tuna Salad

Have you ever seen those packets of flavored tuna in the grocery store? They were on sale once and I got curious, so I bought a few. The idea was interesting, but the execution...

Close up side view of Soy Glazed Eggplant in the skillet, topped with peanuts and green onion

Soy Glazed Eggplant

I love taking advantage of all the fresh produce in summer and all the color and texture it brings to my plate! This week I played around with eggplant, which has a unique almost...

Close up of a bowl of cucumber mango salad with chopsticks picking up a piece of mango

Cucumber Mango Salad

I’m not sure there is anything more summery than this Cucumber Mango Salad. It perfectly marries sweet, sour, and spicy flavors with that whoosh of cucumber freshness, for a light and refreshing summer side...

Two grilled chicken breasts coated in homemade bbq sauce in a dish, one sliced into strips, and a fork dipping a piece of chicken into a bowl of sauce.

Homemade BBQ Sauce (no ketchup)

It’s grilling season, so it’s only natural (and about time) that I make my own homemade BBQ Sauce! This sweet, smoky, and tangy BBQ sauce takes only minutes to make and will take your...

Front view of a bowl of BBQ Beef and Beans topped with cheddar and green onion, and a fork lifting a bite.

BBQ Beef and Beans

It’s been a while since I’ve made something that was just a straight up simple comfort food, and after a super long week comfort food was definitely in order. These BBQ Beef and Beans...

Cold Peanut Noodle Salad divided between meal prep containers, dressing being poured.

Cold Peanut Noodle Salad

This Cold Peanut Noodle Salad is the perfect meal prep for summer! No need to reheat, it’s light but filling, and the flavors are oh so fresh. It’s topped off with a homemade tangy,...

A spoon lifting some peanut lime dressing out of a bow, squeezed lime and cilantro on the side.

Peanut Lime Dressing

If you want to change up your salad game, the easiest way is to use a new salad dressing. This Peanut Lime Salad dressing is sweet, savory, tangy, and creamy all in one! And...