Budget Bytes https://www.budgetbytes.com Delicious Recipes Designed for Small Budgets Tue, 07 Apr 2020 18:21:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 How to Freeze Green Onions https://www.budgetbytes.com/how-to-freeze-green-onions/ https://www.budgetbytes.com/how-to-freeze-green-onions/#comments Tue, 07 Apr 2020 18:21:04 +0000 https://www.budgetbytes.com/?p=48679 I use green onions a lot in my cooking. I find they offer a great pop of freshness, flavor, and color to recipes, making them the perfect final touch to just about everything. The problem is, you can’t just buy one or two green onions, and they tend to wilt rather quickly in the refrigerator. Now […]

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I use green onions a lot in my cooking. I find they offer a great pop of freshness, flavor, and color to recipes, making them the perfect final touch to just about everything. The problem is, you can’t just buy one or two green onions, and they tend to wilt rather quickly in the refrigerator. Now that we’re all stuck at home and not going to the grocery quite as often, I wanted to offer some solutions for keeping green onions on hand without having them go to waste. Below you’ll find tips for keeping green onions fresh in the refrigerator and a quick tutorial on how to freeze green onions for longer storage.

How to Store and Freeze Green Onions

Fresh green onions laying in front of a small mason jar

How to Shop for Green Onions

Before we even get to how to keep your green onions fresh, it’s important to make sure your green onions are fresh when you buy them. If they’re already on the way out before you take them home, you’ll only get 2-3 days out of them once they’re in your fridge.

Look for green onions that are firm (the green ends don’t flop over easily) and they aren’t broken or torn. I also tend to get a much longer storage life out of green onions that are sold unwrapped (just held together with a rubber band) than those that come in a sealed plastic bag. This is probably because the unwrapped green onions are allowed to breathe and absorb moisture from the misters on the produce wall.

How to Store Green Onions in the Refrigerator

Green onions need moisture to stay fresh. You’ll get the most life out of the green onions if you place the root end in a glass or jar with 1-2 inches of water. Placing a loose plastic bag (like a produce bag from the grocery store) over the tops will also help reduce evaporation from the high amount of air circulating through the refrigerator. But do not close off or secure the bag to prevent air flow. Depending on how fresh the green onions were when purchased, this method can extend the life of your green onions for a week or more.

Sliced green onion on a cutting board with a chef's knife and mason jar on the side

When to Freeze vs. Refrigerate Green Onions

If you have simply bought more green onions than you know you’ll be able to use within a week, then it’s a good idea to freeze some for later. Make sure to freeze the green onions as close to purchase as possible. You want to freeze them while they’re still fresh.

While I still prefer fresh green onions over frozen, having frozen green onions on hand is far better than having none at all. So when in doubt, freeze half of the bunch you buy just in case.

 
Frozen sliced green onion pouring out of a mason jar
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How to Freeze Green Onions

Learn how to store and freeze green onions to reduce waste, save money, and always have fresh green onions on hand for cooking!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch green onions

Instructions

  • Rinse the green onions well, then pat dry with a paper towel or clean, lint-free dish towel.
  • Slice the green onions.
  • Place the sliced green onions in a jar, freezer bag, or other air-tight, freezer safe container. Close the container tightly to prevent air flow.
  • Freeze the green onions for 3-4 months. To use, simply sprinkle the frozen green onions over your meal. The green onions will thaw within seconds and be ready to eat.

Need recipe ideas for your green onions? Scroll down to see my favorites…

Frozen sliced green onion pouring out of a mason jar

What Should I Make with Green Onions?

As I mentioned above, I use green onions on just about everything. Here are a few of my favorite ways to use green onions:

Fresh sliced green onions in a jar

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Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad https://www.budgetbytes.com/broccoli-cheddar-chicken-salad/ https://www.budgetbytes.com/broccoli-cheddar-chicken-salad/#comments Sat, 04 Apr 2020 17:35:25 +0000 https://www.budgetbytes.com/?p=48655 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 use some other things that you might have on hand. There are several ways you can eat this Broccoli Cheddar Chicken […]

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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 use some other things that you might have on hand. There are several ways you can eat this Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad, so make sure to scroll down to the “How to Serve” section to see how I ate mine! I seriously gobbled this stuff up in record time, and was immediately wanting more, so I know this is going to be a new regular for me!

Chopped Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad

Overhead view of a large white bowl full of broccoli cheddar chicken salad with a fork

What Kind of “Cooked Chicken” Should I use?

This recipe is pretty flexible and can use just about any type of precooked chicken like rotisserie chicken, grilled chicken, or canned chicken breast. If you have raw chicken breast on hand, simply season your chicken with a pinch of salt and cook in a skillet with a touch of oil until the chicken is browned on the outside and cooked through (internal temperature of 165ºF). Let the chicken cool before chopping and adding to the salad.

Can I Use Frozen Broccoli?

This recipe works best with fresh broccoli. Frozen broccoli florets will probably be too wet and soft to achieve the proper texture in this salad.

What Else Can I Add to This Salad?

I kept this salad pretty simple because I’m working with what I have during this lock down, but if you have some of these other ingredients on hand they would be awesome in this Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad:

  • Cooked bacon or bacon bits
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Finely diced red onion in place of the green onion
  • Shredded Parmesan in place of the cheddar for more of a Caesar salad vibe
  • Diced hard boiled egg
  • Small shaped cooked pasta like mini shells or orecchiette

When adding additional ingredients, you may need to increase the amount of dressing used to make sure everything is covered.

How to Serve Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad

Okay, here’s where it gets fun. I could barely stop forking it into my mouth right out of the bowl, but I also ate it a couple other ways. It’s really good rolled into a tortilla (or pita) as a wrap sandwich, especially with the tomato flavored wraps that I happened to get from Aldi. That tangy flavor was the perfect juxtaposition for the salad. The next day I also made it into a quesadilla by stuffing it inside a regular tortilla and toasting it in a skillet until the inside got warm and the cheese melted. That was so insanely good that I immediately made a second one after I finished the first! And of course you could mix this with some cooked and cooled pasta for a really good pasta salad, as mentioned above.

Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad in a wrap sandwich, open and facing the camera close up

Love hearty salads? Check out my round up of 19 Refrigerator Salads for Eating Healthy on the Go!

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

This chunky chopped Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad is a great fresh salad that can be eaten on its own or turned into several different easy lunch ideas!
Total Cost $4.84 recipe / $1.61 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 3 about 1 cup each
Calories 360.63kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. fresh broccoli (about 2 cups chopped) $1.89
  • 1 cup chopped cooked chicken* $1.16
  • 2 oz. cheddar, shredded (about ½ cup) $1.00
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.25
  • 1/3 cup ranch dressing $0.49
  • freshly cracked pepper to taste $0.05

Instructions

  • Finely chop the broccoli. It's important that the broccoli pieces be very small. Chop the chicken into small pieces as well.
  • Add the broccoli, chopped chicken, shredded cheddar, sliced green onions, and ranch dressing to a large bowl. Stir well until everything is evenly coated in dressing. Add freshly cracked pepper to your liking.
  • Serve as is, stuff into a tortilla or pita for a sandwich, or stuff into a tortilla and toast in a skillet until the inside is melted for a quesadilla. Keep any remaining salad refrigerated for up to 3-4 days.

Notes

*Use any type of pre-cooked chicken, like rotisserie chicken, grilled chicken, or canned chicken breast.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 360.63kcal | Carbohydrates: 13.1g | Protein: 30.4g | Fat: 22.23g | Sodium: 610.43mg | Fiber: 4.17g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

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

How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad – Step by Step Photos

Chopped broccoli on a cutting board

Finely chop one pound of fresh broccoli. It’s really important that the broccoli be in tiny pieces, so once you think you’ve chopped it enough, just go ahead and chop it a little more. ;)

Chopped chicken on a cutting board

You’ll also need about 1 cup chopped cooked chicken. This can be any type of cooked chicken, like rotisserie chicken, grilled chicken, canned chicken breast, or a piece of chicken that you just cook up in a skillet real quick (that’s what I did). Just make sure you let your chicken cool a bit before adding it to the salad. Again, you want the pieces to be pretty small.

Shredded cheddar and sliced green onion on a cutting board

You also need two ounces shredded cheddar (about ½ cup) and two sliced green onions.

Ranch dressing being drizzled over the salad ingredients in the bowl

Add the chopped broccoli, chopped chicken, shredded cheddar, and sliced green onions to a large bowl, then add ⅓ cup ranch dressing.

Ranch dressing bottle from Aldi

I used this ranch dressing that I got from Aldi. Another brand that I really like is Ken’s Steakhouse buttermilk ranch. Or you can make your own ranch dressing using my Homemade Ranch Dressing recipe!

Finished broccoli cheddar chicken salad in the bowl with a spatula

Stir until everything is coated really well with the ranch dressing. I also added some freshly cracked black pepper just for an extra kick!

Close up side view of a bowl of broccoli cheddar chicken salad with freshly cracked pepper on top

So good as is, or made into a wrap sandwich, quesadilla, or even a pasta salad!

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Long Lasting Produce to Stock Up On During Isolation https://www.budgetbytes.com/long-lasting-produce-to-stock-up-on-during-isolation/ https://www.budgetbytes.com/long-lasting-produce-to-stock-up-on-during-isolation/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2020 20:47:49 +0000 https://www.budgetbytes.com/?p=48622 One of my main goals when I started Budget Bytes 11 years ago was to be able to maintain a well rounded diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, despite working with a very limited budget. Today we’re facing a new challenge—limited grocery access. The world-wide pandemic is making it difficult to stay stocked with […]

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One of my main goals when I started Budget Bytes 11 years ago was to be able to maintain a well rounded diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, despite working with a very limited budget. Today we’re facing a new challenge—limited grocery access. The world-wide pandemic is making it difficult to stay stocked with perishable grocery items, like fresh produce, and once again I’m focusing on creative ways to keep vegetables in my diet, despite the current challenges.

So today I’m rounding up some fruits and vegetables that you can buy and keep on hand for weeks (or even months) to make sure your diet isn’t void of vegetation. Below you’ll see some of my favorite long lasting produce options, along with links for ways to use them. I hope this round up inspires you to make the most of what’s available, and enables you to make many delicious and inexpensive meals in the weeks ahead!

Close up image of tri-colored baby potatoes with the article title text on top

Stock Your Pantry and Freezer with These Fruit and Vegetables 

This list is divided into three sections: fresh, frozen, and canned. Each section will include my favorite items, storage tips, and links to recipes where the ingredient can be used. The list is not all-inclusive, so if you have some favorites that aren’t listed below, feel free to share with the rest of us in the comments below!

Fresh Vegetables:

Braised Red Cabbage is an easy, cost efficient, and healthful side for your comforting winter meals. BudgetBytes.com

Fresh Fruit:

Slice Apples

Frozen Vegetables:

I lean heavily on frozen vegetables all year long. Not only are they convenient (usually pre-washed and pre-chopped), but I don’t have to worry about using them before they go limp. I can use any amount that I need, and stash the leftovers in the freezer for later. Here are my favorite picks: 

Thawed Bacon for Crustless Quiche

Frozen Fruit:

  • Pineapple – Chopping fresh pineapple can be quite a task, so I like to buy it frozen (pre-chopped, yay!). Frozen pineapple can be added to stir fries (Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry Bowls), Smoothies (Pineapple Protein Smoothie), or even used to make salsa (Easy Pineapple Salsa).
  • Melon – I like to eat frozen melon just as a snack (it’s like natural popsicle bites!), but it’s also great to thaw and add to a bowl of cottage cheese, or mix with feta and mint for a quick refreshing salad.
  • Blueberries – Frozen blueberries are my favorite way to get a little dose of antioxidants. I add them to my oatmeal and yogurt on a regular basis (Blueberry Almond Overnight Oats), but they’re also great for baking (Blueberry Buttermilk Coffee Cake).
  • Strawberries – Strawberries are great for adding to your homemade smoothie packs, adding to yogurt or oatmeal, or making a homemade frozen cocktail (Strawberry Rosé Slush). ;)
  • Avocado – I’m seeing peeled and cubed frozen avocados more and more in the stores these days. While I haven’t tried them yet, I think they would make a great alternative when fresh are out of season and prices are sky high. Frozen avocado would be great for adding to smoothies, topping tacos, adding to salads, making guacamole, or filling enchiladas (Black Bean and Avocado Enchiladas).
  • Mango – Mango is another fruit that can be kind of a pain to peel and chop, so frozen mangoes are super convenient. Frozen mangoes are great for smoothies, adding to stir fry (Mango Coconut Tofu Stir Fry Bowls), puréeing into sauces, or making mango salsas. 

These Blueberry Almond Overnight Oats are naturally sweet without any added sugar, and provide plenty of flavor and texture to keep you happy and full all morning. BudgetBytes.com

Canned Fruit and Vegetables:

While canned fruit and vegetables are my last resort option, I still consider them to be far better than no fruit or vegetables at all. Canned fruit and vegetables do sacrifice a little on the flavor and texture side in exchange for a nearly indefinite shelf life, which can be extremely valuable, especially in times like these. 

For those worried about the nutritional content of canned fruits and vegetables, I’ve asked our consulting Registered Dietitian, Tori Watters, to weigh in on the subject. This is what Tori has to say:

Although canned produce has a bad reputation, it can be an affordable, accessible, and convenient option. When shopping for canned vegetables, look for “no salt added” varieties. When shopping for canned fruits, look for those packed in 100% juice or water. Most canned goods can be drained and rinsed to further remove excess salt or sugar. When preparing meals for those with particular tastes and texture preferences, all servings of vegetables count in meeting micronutrient needs. Finally, as with any type of food, preparation is key; therefore, the fats, seasonings, and sugars you add to your produce can be even more important than how it is purchased!” – Tori Watters, RD

Here is a quick nutritional comparison of fresh, frozen, and canned items so you can see how they generally compare:

Comparison chart of green beans and peaches in their fresh, frozen, and canned forms.

For more information on how and where we get our nutritional data, please visit our nutrition disclaimer

Here are some of my favorite items to buy canned, even when supplies of other forms are not limited:

  • Tomatoes (diced, crushed, paste, sauce)
  • Artichoke Hearts
  • Water Chestnuts
  • Beets
  • Olives
  • Pineapple

What about you? What are your favorite long lasting fruits and vegetables, and your favorite ways to use them? Share yours in the comments below!

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Vegetable Fritters with Garlic Herb Sauce https://www.budgetbytes.com/vegetable-fritters-with-garlic-herb-sauce/ https://www.budgetbytes.com/vegetable-fritters-with-garlic-herb-sauce/#comments Sat, 28 Mar 2020 18:34:37 +0000 https://www.budgetbytes.com/?p=48601 We’re kind of coming full circle here, with Budget Bytes. I started this blog as a log of what I was cooking up in my kitchen with my limited budget and over the years it has grown into a massive recipe development project. But now, with limited grocery access, I’m returning to just showcasing the […]

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We’re kind of coming full circle here, with Budget Bytes. I started this blog as a log of what I was cooking up in my kitchen with my limited budget and over the years it has grown into a massive recipe development project. But now, with limited grocery access, I’m returning to just showcasing the things I’m cooking up in my kitchen with what I have. These Vegetable Fritters are one of the things I’ve made while isolating at home. It’s just a mish-mash of the vegetables I had on hand in my fridge and freezer, fried up with a simple batter, and served with a sour cream based Garlic Herb sauce. It’s simple, delish, and a great way to use up your leftover vegetables so they don’t go to waste!

Easy Vegetable Fritters with Garlic Herb Dip

Overhead of vegetable fritters on a paper towel lined white tray, with a bowl of garlic herb dipping sauce on the side

What Vegetables Can I Add to the Fritters?

Some other vegetables that would be excellent in these fritters include: cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, mushrooms, spinach, potatoes, zucchini, eggplant, and bell pepper. For really soft, high water content vegetables, like eggplant, zucchini, and frozen spinach, you probably want to sauté them first to eliminate some of the excess moisture before adding to your fritters. 

No matter what vegetables you plan to add to your fritters, make sure to shred them (using a large-holed cheese grater or food processor), or chop them finely so the fritters hold together better. 

Other Add-ins

If you want to make these cheesy fritters, you can add some grated Parmesan (about ¼ cup) or some shredded cheddar (½ cup) to the batter. Another option is to change up the seasoning. I made my vegetable fritters super simple because I actually enjoy being able to taste the individual vegetables, but you can also experiment with adding different seasonings like ranch powder, Cajun seasoning, or a basic seasoning salt like Lawry’s. Just make sure that if you’re adding a seasoning that already contains salt that you also reduce the salt added to the batter.

How to Serve Vegetable Fritters

Vegetable fritters make a great appetizer or side dish to just about any main. I’d serve them next to something like meatloaf, Glazed Chicken Thighs, Sloppy Joes, Portobello Burgers, or just serve them right on top of a pile of creamy Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes (in place of the dipping sauce)

Can I Bake the Fritters?

No, these will not turn out well if baked. They definitely need to be fried in oil to create the correct texture.

How Are the Leftovers?

As with any fried food the fritters do not stay crispy on the edges, but I still find the leftovers to be quite flavorful and delicious! As long as you’re not expecting a crispy fritter, I think they’re quite enjoyable as leftovers. I reheated mine using a microwave, but you could also heat them in a skillet over medium-low heat until heated through.

Front view of vegetable fritters on a tray with a small bowl of garlic herb sauce

 
Overhead view of a white tray lined with paper towel, with vegetable fritters and a small bowl of garlic herb dipping sauce
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Vegetable Fritters with Garlic Herb Dipping Sauce

Use up your leftover frozen and fresh vegetables in this easy and flavorful vegetable fritters recipe, with a side of homemade garlic herb dipping sauce!
Total Cost $3.19 recipe / $1.06 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 3 3 fritters each
Calories 406.27kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Garlic Herb Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup sour cream $0.22
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil $0.03
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp pepper $0.02

Vegetable Fritters

  • 1/2 lb. frozen broccoli florets $1.30
  • 1 cup frozen corn $0.35
  • 1 carrot $0.07
  • 3 green onions $0.30
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1 tsp salt $0.05
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour $0.08
  • 2 large eggs $0.47
  • 3 Tbsp cooking oil $0.12

Instructions

  • Make the garlic herb dipping sauce first, so the flavors have some time to blend. In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, dried parsley, dried oregano, dried basil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Refrigerate the dip until ready to eat.
  • Allow the broccoli and corn to thaw, or use the defrost function on a microwave thaw to them. Finely chop the broccoli. Peel and grate the carrot using a large-holed cheese grater. Slice the green onions.
  • Add the broccoli, corn, carrots, and green onion to a large bowl. Also add the flour, eggs, garlic powder, and salt. Stir until everything is evenly combined.
  • Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a large non-stick skillet (cast iron, ceramic, or teflon) over medium heat. Once the skillet is hot and the oil is shimmering, add the vegetable fritter batter to the skillet in ¼ cup dollops, pressing the mixture down to a flat pancake once it's in the skillet. Cook the fritters for about 3 minutes on each side, or until deep golden brown on both sides. Cook 3 or 4 fritters in the skillet at a time, adding another tablespoon of oil between batches. Transfer the cooked fritters to a paper towel lined plate.
  • Once all the fritters are cooked, serve while still warm, with the garlic herb sauce for dipping.

Notes

If using other vegetables, use a total of about 3.5 cups finely chopped or shredded vegetables.

Nutrition

Serving: 3fritters | Calories: 406.27kcal | Carbohydrates: 33.77g | Protein: 11.5g | Fat: 25.53g | Sodium: 992.73mg | Fiber: 5.93g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Close up of a vegetable fritter that has been dipped in the garlic herb sauce.

How to Make Vegetable Fritters – Step by Step Photos

A small bowl with garlic herb dipping sauce and a small spatula

Make the garlic herb dipping sauce first so the flavors have a little time to blend. This is basically just sour cream plus my All-Purpose Garlic Herb Seasoning (a half batch). It also makes a great chip dip! Stir together ½ cup sour cream, ½ tsp dried parsley, ¼ tsp dried oregano, ¼ tsp dried basil, ⅛ tsp garlic powder, ⅛ tsp onion powder, ⅛ tsp salt, and ⅛ tsp pepper. Refrigerate the dip until ready to serve.

Chopped thawed frozen broccoli florets

Thaw ½ lb. frozen broccoli florets and 1 cup frozen corn. Finely chop the broccoli florets.

Shredded carrot with cheese grater

Peel and shred one carrot (about 1 cup once shredded). Slice 3 green onions.

Prepared vegetables in a large bowl

Add the broccoli, carrot, corn, and green onion to a large bowl.

Vegetables in the bowl with flour, eggs, and seasoning.

Also add 2 large eggs, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1 tsp salt, and ¼ tsp garlic powder. 

Vegetable fritter batter in the bowl

Stir until everything is evenly combined and coated in batter.

Cooked fritters in a skillet

Cook the fritters in batches of 3 to 4 at a time, in a non-stick skillet (any type of non-stick, like cast iron, ceramic, or teflon). Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to the skillet before each batch and heat over medium until the skillet is hot and the oil shimmering. Once hot, add the batter, ¼ cup at a time, pressing it down into a pancake once it’s in the skillet. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side or until deeply golden brown.

Cooked vegetable fritters on a paper towel lined plate

Transfer the cooked vegetable fritters to a paper towel lined plate before cooking the next batch.

Overhead view of a white tray lined with paper towel, with vegetable fritters and a small bowl of garlic herb dipping sauce

Once they’re all cooked, serve warm with the garlic herb sauce for dipping!

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Freezer Breakfast Burritos https://www.budgetbytes.com/freezer-breakfast-burritos/ https://www.budgetbytes.com/freezer-breakfast-burritos/#comments Sun, 15 Mar 2020 15:11:00 +0000 http://www.budgetbytes.com/2011/01/09/freezer-breakfast-burritos-3-56-recipe-0-59-serving/ I’m a huge proponent of batch cooking and stocking your freezer with portioned meals that you can just grab-reheat-and-go! Not only are these make-ahead freezer breakfast burritos a great answer to the “I’m too busy to make breakfast” conundrum, but for someone who loves breakfast for dinner as much as I do, these burritos make […]

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I’m a huge proponent of batch cooking and stocking your freezer with portioned meals that you can just grab-reheat-and-go! Not only are these make-ahead freezer breakfast burritos a great answer to the “I’m too busy to make breakfast” conundrum, but for someone who loves breakfast for dinner as much as I do, these burritos make a fast and easy anytime meal. #brinner

Originally posted 1-9-2011, updated 3-15-2020. You can download the original version here.

Freezer-Friendly Homemade Breakfast Burritos

A freezer breakfast burrito cut open on a plate with little cups of salsa and sour cream, a cup of coffee and a tangerine on the side.

What Can I Add to Breakfast Burritos?

I kept my breakfast burritos super simple with just eggs, cheese, sautéed peppers and onions, and cooked ham, but this is another wonderfully flexible recipe. You can skip the ham to make them vegetarian, or switch them up with any of the following ingredients:

  • Meat (cooked): bacon, breakfast sausage
  • Vegetables: hash browns (cooked), avocado, green onion, jalapeño, pickled red onions, spinach
  • Beans: black beans, hummus
  • Cheeses and Sauces: Monterey jack or pepper jack, cotija, feta, taco sauce (sparingly), salsa (thick type, not a watery variety), guacamole

I do not suggest adding sour cream to your breakfast burritos because sour cream doesn’t hold up well to freezing and thawing. Instead, serve sour cream on the side for dipping after reheating.

How Long do Breakfast Burritos Lasts?

I always suggest using up your frozen food within three months for best quality. Frozen goods slowly lose moisture and develop freezer burn over time, so while you may get longer freezer life out of them, the quality will slowly diminish the longer they are stored. So, make sure to label and date everything that goes in your freezer! :)

How to Reheat Freezer Burritos

You’ll have the best results if you let the burrito thaw in the refrigerator overnight or until they are no longer frozen solid in the middle. Reheating from the chilled state instead of straight from the freezer takes less heat and makes it easier to reheat without overcooking the egg. Reheating from a refrigerated, non-frozen state can be done in the microwave (1-2 minutes on high), or in a skillet over medium-low heat until the tortilla is nice and crispy and the insides are heated through. A toaster oven is also a great option, although I don’t own one so I was not able to test the cooking time needed.

If you do need to reheat straight from the freezer, I suggest using the defrost function on your microwave fist for 3-5 minutes to help defrost the inside, before microwaving on high for 1-2 minutes. Cooking times in the microwave will vary depending on the wattage of your microwave.

How to Prevent a Soggy Freezer Burrito

Overcooking eggs during reheating is probably the biggest culprit of a soggy breakfast burrito. As eggs continue to cook, the protein molecules seize up and squeeze out water. So, to prevent the eggs from expelling a ton of liquid, reheat only until the burritos are warmed through.

Another culprit is using ingredients that contain a lot of water. Avoid using salsa that are very watery, and if using high-water content vegetables, just make sure to sauté them first to remove some of their moisture.

A hand holding half of a breakfast burrito with the open cut side facing the camera.

 
A hand holding half of a breakfast burrito with the open cut side facing the camera.
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Freezer Breakfast Burritos

Make ahead breakfast burritos are an easy reheatable and portable breakfast meal prep idea. Including options for vegetarian or other add-ins! BudgetBytes.com
Total Cost $11.29 recipe / $1.41 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 615.36kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. cheddar $1.69
  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 1 bell pepper $1.00
  • 2 Tbsp butter, divided $0.26
  • 2 pinches salt and pepper $0.05
  • 1 lb. cooked ham $3.75
  • 12 large eggs $2.79
  • 8 large flour tortillas (burrito size) $1.39

Instructions

  • Begin by preparing all of the filling ingredients for the breakfast burritos. Shred the cheddar, if not purchased pre-shredded.
  • Dice the onion and bell pepper. Add the onion and bell pepper to a large skillet with ½ Tbsp butter and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent (about 5 minutes). Season the bell pepper and onion with a pinch of salt and pepper. Transfer the bell pepper and onion to a bowl.
  • Dice the ham, then add it to the skillet with another ½ Tbp butter. Sauté the ham over medium heat until it is browned (about 5 minutes). Transfer the ham to a separate bowl and clean the skillet.
  • Crack 12 eggs into a bowl and lightly whisk. Add the last tablespoon butter to the skillet and heat over medium. Once the skillet is hot, spread the butter to coat the surface, then pour in the whisked eggs.
  • Push the eggs in toward the center of the skillet as they set on the bottom, until most of the eggs have set, but the eggs still look moist. Do not over cook the eggs or they'll become dry. Season the eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • To assemble the burritos, add a scoop of scrambled eggs to the middle of each tortilla, then top with a scoop of cooked bell pepper and onion, a handful of cheese, and some of the cooked ham.
  • To roll the burritos, first fold the tortilla up from the bottom, then fold in the sides, and then finish rolling the burrito up until it has closed. Wrap each burrito in parchment paper using the same folding and rolling method (bottom up, sides in, finish rolling up). Label each burrito on the parchment paper or on masking tape
  • Transfer the wrapped burritos to freezer bags, label and date the bags, then place in the freezer.

To Reheat Breakfast Burritos

  • Transfer the breakfast burrito to the refrigerator the day before to thaw. Once thawed, microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or heat in a skillet over medium-low, about 5 minutes on each side, or until the tortilla is crispy and the insides are warm.
  • To reheat from frozen, use the microwave's defrost setting for about 5 minutes, then microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through.

Nutrition

Serving: 1burrito | Calories: 615.36kcal | Carbohydrates: 47.38g | Protein: 33.31g | Fat: 30.54g | Sodium: 1243.15mg | Fiber: 1.69g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

The open sides of a cut open breakfast burrito held toward the camera, close up.

How to Make Freezer Breakfast Burritos – Step by Step Photos

Shredded cheddar on a cutting board with the cheese grater.

Prepare all the components of the breakfast burritos before assembly. Shred one 8oz. block of cheddar cheese (or whatever flavor cheese you prefer–pepper jack is also awesome in these!).

 

Sautéed peppers and onions in a skillet

Dice one onion and one bell pepper. You can use any color bell pepper, I just happened to have an extra orange pepper, so I used that. Add the pepper and onion to a skillet with ½ Tbsp butter and sauté over medium until the onions are soft and translucent. Season the peppers and onions with a pinch of salt and pepper, then transfer them to a bowl.

Cooked ham in the skillet

Dice one pound of cooked ham. Add the ham to the skillet with another ½ Tbsp of butter and cook over medium until the ham is browned. Transfer the cooked ham to another bowl. Clean out the skillet.

Whisked eggs in a bowl

Whisk one dozen eggs in a bowl. I like to only lightly whisk my eggs because I enjoy some ribbons of whites and yolks in my scrambled eggs. You can use less or more eggs, if you prefer, but using 12 eggs for 8 burritos will give you 1.5 eggs per burrito, which I find to be a good compromise between budget and quantity.

Cooked eggs in the skillet

Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is melted and the skillet is heated, pour in the whisked eggs. Gently push the eggs in toward the center of the skillet as they set on the bottom, until most of the eggs are set, but they still look moist. Avoid over cooking the eggs or they will become dry. Season the scrambled eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Build breakfast burritos, eggs on tortillas first

Now that all the components are prepared, it’s time to start assembling the burritos. You can do this one at a time, or lay out all eight tortillas and do them together if that makes it easier for you to divide the ingredients evenly between all eight. Begin with the scrambled eggs.

Add peppers, onions, and cheese to breakfast burritos

Next, add a scoop of the cooked peppers and onions, and a handful of shredded cheese.

Cooked ham added to the breakfast burritos

Finally, add some of the cooked ham to the breakfast burrito (or leave it out if you want to make plain egg and cheese burritos).

Fold and roll breakfast burritos

To roll the breakfast burritos, first roll up the bottom, then fold in the sides, and then finish rolling up from the bottom until it is closed.

Breakfast burrito wrapped in parchment paper and labeled.

Place the rolled breakfast burrito on a square of parchment paper, then use the same rolling technique to wrap it in paper (bottom up, sides in, then finish rolling up). Label your breakfast burrito (I used sharpie on the parchment, but you can also do masking tape and then write on that).

Breakfast burritos in freezer bags

Then place your wrapped breakfast burritos in freezer bags, label the bags with name and date, and transfer to the freezer. For reheating instructions, refer to the text above the recipe card for options.

A reheated breakfast burrito on a plate with a newsprint liner, two small dishes of salsa and sour cream, a tangerine and cup of coffee on the side

And then pat yourself on the back because you have amazing breakfasts prepared and ready to go! (serving suggestion: salsa or sour cream for dipping). 

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Sesame Tuna Salad https://www.budgetbytes.com/sesame-tuna-salad/ https://www.budgetbytes.com/sesame-tuna-salad/#comments Thu, 12 Mar 2020 21:15:11 +0000 https://www.budgetbytes.com/?p=48429 Canned tuna is a lot more versatile than I think many people realize. In other words, there’s a lot more you can do with it than just mixing with mayo and slapping it between two slices of bread. 😅If you’re tired of the traditional mayo-based tuna salad, give this lighter, brighter, Sesame Tuna Salad a […]

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Canned tuna is a lot more versatile than I think many people realize. In other words, there’s a lot more you can do with it than just mixing with mayo and slapping it between two slices of bread. 😅If you’re tired of the traditional mayo-based tuna salad, give this lighter, brighter, Sesame Tuna Salad a shot. It’s savory with a hint of sweetness and deep nutty undertones, and can be served several ways. Scroll down to see ideas for substitutions and add-ins, as well as a few different ways you can gobble up this tuna salad.

Simple Sesame Tuna Salad

A bowl of Sesame Tuna Salad surrounded by crackers, cucumber slices, and red pepper slices

Red Bell Pepper Substitutes:

If needed, you can substitute the red bell pepper with one shredded carrot. The carrot will supply a similar mild sweetness and a decent amount of crunch. Use a large-holed cheese grater to shred the carrot.

What is Toasted Sesame Oil and Can I Substitute It?

Toasted sesame oil is the ingredient that brings most of the sesame flavor to this recipe, so I don’t suggest substituting it. You can find a photo of my toasted sesame oil (purchased at Aldi) in the step by step photos below. Toasted sesame oil is pressed from sesame seeds that have been toasted first, so it has a very strong toasted nut flavor.

Unfortunately, toasted sesame oil isn’t always labeled as “toasted” but you can differentiate it from regular sesame oil by the color. Un-toasted sesame oil, which has a very mild flavor, is a light straw color similar to canola oil. Toasted sesame oil, on the other hand, has a deep amber color. You can usually find it in major grocery stores in the International foods aisle, near the Asian ingredients.

If you’re not into toasted sesame as a flavor or can’t source this ingredient, try my Sweet and Spicy Tuna Salad as an alternative.

Other Add-in Ideas:

There are other fun things that you can add to this Sesame Tuna Salad, if you have them on hand. Edamame would be a great way to stretch the tuna salad, while adding both protein and fiber. Chopped water chestnuts would also make a fun, fresh, and crunchy addition, as would slivered almonds. If you like a little spicy kick you can always add a pinch or two of red pepper flakes.

How to Serve Sesame Tuna Salad

I love this recipe because of all the different ways you can serve it. As shown in the photos, it’s great on crackers or cucumber slices. You can also serve it over a bowl of rice with a few cucumber slices as a nice bowl meal, or use it to fill lettuce wraps (with or without rice). You could even use it to make a more American style wrap sandwich in a large wrap with baby spinach. And lastly, this sesame tuna salad would be a great topper to any bed of greens.

Meal prep container filled with Sesame Tuna Salad, crackers, and cucumber slices

Find these glass meal prep containers in my Amazon shop.

 
A bowl of Sesame Tuna Salad surrounded by crackers and cucumber slices
Print

Sesame Tuna Salad

This fun spin on canned tuna is savory, sweet, and nutty. Sesame Tuna Salad is great on crackers, sliced cucumber, in lettuce wraps, or on salad greens.
Total Cost $2.59 recipe / $1.30 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 about 1 cup each
Calories 218.6kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp soy sauce $0.04
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil $0.20
  • 2 tsp brown sugar $0.03
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds $0.02
  • 2 5oz. cans chunk light tuna in water $1.58
  • 1/2 red bell pepper $0.50
  • 2 green onions $0.22

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, brown sugar, and sesame seeds.
  • Drain the tuna well, then add it to a bowl. Dice the red bell pepper (I served the other half on the side with the tuna salad) and slice the green onions. Add the bell pepper and green onion to the bowl with the tuna.
  • Pour the prepared sesame dressing over the tuna and vegetables in the bowl. Carefully fold the ingredients together until everything is coated in dressing. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 218.6kcal | Carbohydrates: 9.8g | Protein: 28.55g | Fat: 6.8g | Sodium: 607.45mg | Fiber: 1.9g

Scroll down to see the step by step photos!

A cracker topped with sesame tuna salad held close to the camera

How to Make Sesame Tuna Salad – Step by Step Photos

Bottle of toasted sesame oil

This little bottle is where all the magic happens. Toasted sesame oil has a VERY strong nutty-sesame flavor. This brand labels it as “toasted” but sometimes the bottles just say “sesame oil.” You can tell it’s toasted vs. un-toasted by the color. Toasted sesame oil is a deep brown/amber color. Un-toasted sesame oil, which has a very mild flavor and is better suited for cooking, is a light straw color, like canola oil.

Sesame dressing in a small bowl

Prepare the sesame dressing first. In a small bowl, combine 2 tsp soy sauce, 2 tsp toasted sesame oil 2 tsp brown sugar, and 1 tsp sesame seeds. 

Tuna, diced red bell pepper, and sliced green onion in a bowl

Drain two 5oz. cans of chunk light tuna in water, then add them to a bowl. Dice 1/2 of a red bell pepper and slice two green onions. Add the bell pepper and green onion to the bowl with the drained tuna.

Sesame dressing being poured into the bowl with tuna

Give the sesame dressing another quick stir, then pour it over the ingredients in the bowl.

Finished sesame tuna salad in the bowl

Carefully fold the ingredients together until everything is coated in dressing. Don’t stir so vigorously that the tuna completely shreds.

A bowl of Sesame Tuna Salad surrounded by crackers and cucumber slices

Serve the Sesame Tuna Salad immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat. The tuna salad will be good in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days, and you’ll probably want to give it a stir before serving if it’s been stored in the refrigerator. :)

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15 Pantry Recipes for Emergency Preparedness https://www.budgetbytes.com/pantry-recipes/ https://www.budgetbytes.com/pantry-recipes/#comments Wed, 11 Mar 2020 00:25:42 +0000 https://www.budgetbytes.com/?p=48398 I’ve had an increase in requests for pantry staple recipes over the past week, mostly due to fears over the need for social isolation and possible shortages in the food supply. Whether this situation gets to that level or not, I figured it was a good idea to round up some pantry recipes because they […]

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I’ve had an increase in requests for pantry staple recipes over the past week, mostly due to fears over the need for social isolation and possible shortages in the food supply. Whether this situation gets to that level or not, I figured it was a good idea to round up some pantry recipes because they are also useful for people who aren’t able to get to the grocery store often, or those who just prefer to shop less often. Use the printable grocery list below to keep the ingredients stocked for these 15 recipes, and you’ll always have something ready to cook no matter the situation!

Stock Up with Staple Ingredients for These 15 Pantry Recipes – Grocery List Included!

A big plate of pasta with the title text overlay on the center of the image

 

What is a Pantry Recipe?

There are a lot of different opinions about what counts as a “pantry recipe” so I’m going to quickly define my criteria here. I’ve chosen to include recipes that call for both room temperature stable ingredients and frozen or freezable foods. This allows more variety of ingredients (and vegetables!) while keeping a long storage life for the ingredients. Because of that, this recipe list is most useful for situations where electricity is still running, but fresh ingredients may not be easily accessible.

What Ingredients are Included in This Emergency Plan:

The recipes in this round up include ingredients in these three categories:

  • Shelf stable at room temperature: oils, vinegars, flour, sugar, spices, herbs, rice, pasta, beans, and canned goods
  • Frozen goods: frozen vegetables
  • Fresh items that can be stored frozen: meat, cheese, butter, onions, ginger, jalapeños, and garlic

Freezing Fresh Ingredient Staples

Here are some general tips for freezing fresh items to extend their storage life:

Onions: dice the onions, separate them into 1 cup portions (about one onion-worth), and freeze in quart-sized freezer bags. Frozen onions can be added to most recipes straight from the freezer. For green onions, simply slice and place in a freezer bag, or empty jar, then stash in the freezer.

Jalapeños: Slice, freeze flat on a baking sheet covered in parchment, then transfer to a freezer bag once solid.

Garlic: peel and freeze in freezer bags. The garlic’s appearance will change slightly after thawing, but the flavor will still be great.

Ginger: Wash the ginger well, then freeze in a freezer bag. The frozen ginger can be easily grated into your recipe using a small-holed cheese grater, while still frozen, no need to peel. If you prefer to peel your ginger, simply peel before freezing.

Cheese: Cheese can be frozen either in block form or shredded. Make sure to wrap tightly to reduce air exposure. 

Meat: I prefer to divide meat into ½ lb. portions before freezing, since most of my recipes use about ½ pound of meat per recipe. Again, make sure to wrap tightly to prevent air exposure, which leads to freezer burn.

And always, always label and date everything you put into the freezer! :)

How Long Will The Ingredients and Recipes Last?

Because these recipes include some frozen goods, the minimum amount of time the ingredients can be stored before using is about 3 months. After that amount of time frozen ingredients slowly dry out, but may remain usable. For a more detailed list of the recommended freezer storage time is for different foods, check out this Refrigerator and Freezer Storage Chart from the FDA.

This pantry recipe list includes 15 recipes, so depending on how often you cook and how many people you’re feeding, purchasing all the ingredients in the list can last you for two weeks or more. For a single person who may only need to cook once every few days, stocking these ingredients can feed you for a month or more.

Notes About the Recipes

Next to each recipe, I’ll include notes about what ingredients, if any, to substitute in order to make this a “pantry recipe”. I’ll also indicate recipes that make freezer-friendly leftovers with an asterisk, so you can further stock your freezer and delay your next shopping trip. 

Red meat sauce in a skillet with a wooden spatula

 

Pantry Recipes:

>>Click here to download the grocery list<<

One Pot Chili Pasta

This super hearty One Pot Chili Pasta is bursting with southwest chili flavor, protein, and fiber. It's a meal in a bowl that the whole family will love.
Go to the recipe >>>

One Pot Chili Pasta* or Cheesy Vegetarian Chili Mac* – These two recipes are essentially the same, one containing beef, the other containing extra beans. They meal prep well and freeze well for later!

Close up overhead shot of a poor man's burrito bowl with melted cheese

Poor Man's Burrito Bowls

These easy no-frills burrito bowls are super fast and affordable. They're the perfect satisfying weeknight meal for times when money is tight!
Go to the recipe >>>

Poor Man’s Burrito Bowls* – Rice, beans, salsa, and cheese is one of my favorite pantry meals. It’s so incredibly simple, yet it never gets old. There is a lot of room for customization here, as well. So check the post for a list of other ingredients you can add, if you have them on hand.

Curried Red Lentil and Pumpkin Soup

This super fast and easy Curried Red Lentil and Pumpkin Soup is soul warming and flavorful. Customize with your favorite toppings!
Go to the recipe >>>

Curried Red Lentil and Pumpkin Soup* – This incredibly simple soup only requires a few ingredients, yet it still has big flavor. Serve with crackers or homemade bread (recipe below). 

Skillet Cheeseburger Pasta

Skillet Cheeseburger Pasta is a fast and easy "from scratch" version of the classic hamburger helper boxed dinner, and everything cooks in one pot!
Go to the recipe >>>

Skillet Cheeseburger Pasta* – Stretch a half pound of ground beef over four servings of this classic American comfort food.

A quick pan sauce drenches tender chicken thighs and thick pineapple slices in this easy Skillet Pineapple BBQ Chicken. BudgetBytes.com

Skillet Pineapple BBQ Chicken

A quick pan sauce drenches tender chicken thighs and thick pineapple slices in this easy Skillet Pineapple BBQ Chicken. 
Go to the recipe >>>

Skillet Pineapple BBQ Chicken – Serve over a bed of rice for an easy and quick meal. If you want more green, you can also serve it up with a size of oven roasted frozen broccoli.

This rich and subtle pasta sauce is incredibly easy, which has earned it the title of The Best Weeknight Pasta Sauce in my house! BudgetBytes.com

The Best Weeknight Pasta Sauce

This rich and subtle pasta sauce is incredibly easy, which has earned it the title of The Best Weeknight Pasta Sauce in my house!
Go to the recipe >>>

Weeknight Pasta Sauce* + Spaghetti – Nothing is more comforting than a big plate of pasta, and this simple sauce is incredibly easy. If you’re looking for a vegetarian version, check out my 5-Ingredient Butter Tomato Sauce.

Basic Chili in a bowl being eaten

Simple Homemade Chili Recipe

This no-frills basic chili recipe is ready for your personal touch. Learn how to make classic chili and what you can add to make it your own! 
Go to the recipe >>>

Simple Homemade Chili* – A lot of options for variations listed in the blog post. You can either make your own homemade chili seasoning (included in this recipe) or use a packet of store-bought seasoning if you don’t have a well stocked spiced cabinet.

Plate of Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry

Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry Bowls

Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry Bowls use my favorite "formula" for keeping weeknight dinners simple and effortless. Customize the formula to make your own! 
Go to the recipe >>>

Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry Bowls – Use frozen broccoli florets in place of fresh. You can use regular white rice in place of jasmine, if you prefer. Use either a store-bought sweet chili sauce, or make a homemade sweet chili sauce.

A bowl of creamy Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala being eaten with a spoon and two pieces of naan on the side.

Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala

This super easy, ultra creamy, and heavily spiced Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala will be your new favorite weeknight dinner! So much flavor, so little effort. 
Go to the recipe >>>

Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala – Substitute the heavy cream with full-fat canned coconut milk, and serve over rice.

Close up of One Pot Teriyaki Chicken and Rice in the skillet.

One Pot Teriyaki Chicken and Rice

This One Pot Teriyaki Chicken and Rice is an easy and satisfying meal that the whole family will love. It also meal preps well for lunches all week! 
Go to the recipe >>>

One Pot Teriyaki Chicken and Rice* – Frozen stir fry vegetables make this recipe not only easy, but totally pantry ready! 

A bowl of Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup with two pieces of toasted bread and a black spoon in the middle.

Easy Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup

This incredibly easy Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup takes only eight simple ingredients to deliver a bowl full of rich, bold flavor.
Go to the recipe >>>

Easy Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup* – Canned beans for the win! Serve with homemade focaccia rolls listed below.

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

Garlic Noodles with Beef and Broccoli

Garlic Noodles with Beef and Broccoli is a quick and easy all-in-one bowl dinner recipe with a rich, buttery, salty, and sweet sauce.
Go to the recipe >>>

Garlic Noodles with Beef and Broccoli – If you can’t get out to pick up your favorite take out, make it at home! This easy and indulgent noodle stir fry will give you your fix.

Close up overhead view of a bowl full of slow cooker white chicken chili

Easy Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

The slow cooker does all the work with this easy, flavorful, and healthy white chicken chili. This "dump and go" dinner will become a family favorite!
Go to the recipe >>>

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili* – If you don’t have a slow cooker, let the chili simmer over low heat for one hour on the stove top, or until the chicken is shreddable. 

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

Turkey Taco Skillet

This easy and versatile Turkey Taco Skillet takes about 20 minutes to make, is freezer friendly, and can be served several different ways.
Go to the recipe >>>

Turkey Taco Skillet* – Serve witch corn tortillas (freezable) and shredded cheese.

And in case you want some bread to serve with your soups or chilis:

Focaccia Rolls

No-Knead Focaccia Rolls

No kneading required for these focaccia rolls! The long, overnight fermentation develops the gluten with no effort from you! 
Go to the recipe >>>

No Knead Focaccia Rolls – the overnight fermentation means you don’t have to spend a lot of time or effort kneading this dough by hand!

If you enjoyed this list of recipes with the pre-made grocery list, make sure to check out the Budget Bytes Meal Plans!
 
Banner for Budget Bytes Meal Plans with recipes images in the background
 

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Chunky Ham and Bean Soup https://www.budgetbytes.com/chunky-ham-and-bean-soup/ https://www.budgetbytes.com/chunky-ham-and-bean-soup/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2020 21:24:40 +0000 https://www.budgetbytes.com/?p=48342 Soup season is already on its way out, but I couldn’t resist one more warm and cozy pot of goodness. For this super easy and deliciously chunky Ham and Bean Soup I took cue from my easy Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup and used a puréed can of beans to thicken the pot, combined that […]

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Soup season is already on its way out, but I couldn’t resist one more warm and cozy pot of goodness. For this super easy and deliciously chunky Ham and Bean Soup I took cue from my easy Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup and used a puréed can of beans to thicken the pot, combined that with some chunky and colorful vegetables and a handful of diced ham to round out this meal in a bowl. This is also a great use for your leftover holiday ham, so bookmark this recipe for Easter next month!

Thick & Chunky Ham and Bean Soup

Two bowls of chunky ham and bean soup with torn chunks of bread on the side

What Kind of Beans Should I Use?

I used cannellini beans for this soup because I love their large shape and creamy texture. You can also use a different type of white beans, like navy beans or great northern beans. 

Can I Use Dry Beans?

This recipe is written specifically for canned beans. Using dry beans would require different methods and different amounts of liquids and seasoning, so I would need to develop and test a recipe specifically for dry beans before providing instructions.

What Kind of Ham Can I Use?

You can use virtually any cooked ham. The ham I used is an uncured, fully cooked, thick sliced ham. If using pre-sliced ham, a thicker slice works a little better than thin sandwich slices, which won’t give much texture to the soup. If you have leftover cooked ham from Easter or any other holiday, that can also be used in this recipe.

Can I Freeze Ham and Bean Soup?

Yes, this soup is a great candidate for freezing! Simply chill the soup completely in the refrigerator overnight before transferring to the freezer for long term storage (about 3 months). I prefer to divide my soup into single servings before freezing, so they can be reheated as needed and in the amount needed. Quart-sized freezer bags are great for freezing soup, as are the small blue-top Ziploc food storage containers.

Close up front view of a bowl full of chunky ham and bean soup with a spoon lifting some and a chunk of bread in the side of the bowl.

 
Two bowls of chunky ham and bean soup with chunks of bread on the side
Print

Chunky Ham and Bean Soup

This incredibly easy and deliciously chunky Ham and Bean Soup features a medley of colorful vegetables, browned ham, and plenty of hearty white beans.
Total Cost $6.70 recipe / $1.68 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Calories 553.83kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 3 carrots $0.30
  • 3 ribs celery $0.35
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 lb. cooked ham $3.75
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 3 15oz. cans cannellini beans $1.47
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme $0.02
  • freshly cracked black pepper $0.03
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or more as needed) $0.26

Instructions

  • Dice the onion, peel and slice the carrots, slice the celery, and mince the garlic.
  • Dice the ham into bite-sized chunks. Add the ham and cooking oil to a large soup pot. Sauté the ham for 3-5 minutes over medium heat, or until it achieves a decent amount of browning. Remove the browned ham to a clean bowl.
  • Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic to the pot in place of the ham. Sauté the vegetables for about 5 minutes over medium heat, or until the onions have softened. Allow the moisture released from the vegetables to help dissolve the browned bits of ham from the bottom of the soup pot as you stir.
  • While the vegetables are sautéing, add one of the three cans of beans to a blender, with the liquid from the can, and purée until smooth. Drain the remaining two cans of beans.
  • Add all three cans of beans (one puréed and two drained) to the soup pot with the vegetables. Also add 1/4 tsp dried thyme, some freshly cracked pepper (about 10 cranks of a pepper mill), and 2 cups chicken broth. Stir to combine, then turn the heat up to medium-high and allow the soup to come to a boil.
  • Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to medium and allow the soup to continue to boil for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. As the soup boils it will reduce and thicken. If the soup becomes too thick, add more vegetable broth or water to achieve your desired soup consistency.
  • After the soup has boiled for 15 minutes and has thickened, stir the cooked ham back into the soup. Give the soup a taste and adjust the salt or pepper to your liking. I did not add any additional salt, but I did top each bowl with a little fresh pepper. Serve hot!

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 553.83kcal | Carbohydrates: 75.33g | Protein: 41.75g | Fat: 9.98g | Sodium: 2143.8mg | Fiber: 18.23g

Close up of a ladle full of chunky ham and bean soup being held over the soup pot

How to Make Ham and Bean Soup – Step by Step Photos

Chopped vegetables on a cutting board

Before you begin, dice one yellow onion, peel and slice three carrots, slice three ribs of celery, and mince two cloves of garlic.

Uncured ham pacakge

This is the type of ham I used. You can use any cooked ham, but a thicker slice works better than thin sandwich slices. You can also use cooked holiday ham. You’ll need one pound of cooked ham.

Browned ham in the soup pot

Dice one pound of ham and add it to a soup pot with one tablespoon cooking oil. Cook the ham over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the ham is browned on the edges. Remove the ham to a clean bowl.

Diced vegetables cooked in soup pot.

Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to the pot in place of the ham and continue to cook over medium for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are softened. Use the moisture released from the vegetables to dissolve the browned bits off the bottom of the pot.

Whole and pureed beans added to soup pot

While the vegetables are cooking, add one of the three cans of cannellini beans to a blender (with the liquid from the can) and purée until smooth. Drain the other two cans. Add the puréed beans and drained beans to the soup pot.

thyme pepper and chicken broth added to the soup pot

Also add 1/4 tsp dried thyme, some freshly cracked pepper, and 2 cups of chicken broth to the pot. Stir to combine. The soup will be fairly watery at this point.

Boiled ham and bean soup

Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring the soup up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down slightly to medium and let the soup boil for 15 minutes, stirring often. The soup will reduce and thicken as it boils. If it becomes too thick for your liking, simply add a little more water or chicken broth to reach your desired consistency.

Cooked ham being poured back into the soup pot

After boiling the soup for 15 minutes, stir the cooked ham back into the pot. Give the soup a taste and adjust the salt or pepper, if needed.

Finished chunky ham and bean soup in the soup pot with bread on the side

Serve the chunky Ham and Bean Soup hot, preferably with crusty bread for dipping!

Two bowls of chunky ham and bean soup with chunks of bread on the side

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Turkey Taco Skillet https://www.budgetbytes.com/turkey-taco-skillet/ https://www.budgetbytes.com/turkey-taco-skillet/#comments Thu, 27 Feb 2020 20:34:50 +0000 https://www.budgetbytes.com/?p=48256 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 new versions to fit new different lifestyles. This Turkey Taco Skillet version is super fast (unlike the original Slow Cooker Taco […]

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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 new versions to fit new different lifestyles. This Turkey Taco Skillet version is super fast (unlike the original Slow Cooker Taco Chicken Bowls), it doesn’t include rice  (unlike the Southwest Chicken Skillet), and is every bit as delicious. This version literally takes about 15-20 minutes, you can serve it several different ways, and is a great make-ahead, stock-your-freezer type recipe!

Ground Turkey Taco Skillet

Turkey Taco Skillet next to tortilla chips, toasted corn tortillas, and a bowl of sour cream

How to Serve Turkey Taco Skillet

My favorite thing about this recipe is that you can do so many different things with it. The most obvious use for this delicious skillet mix is to use it as a taco filling. Simply toast some tortillas, add a scoop of this turkey taco filling, and top with whatever you fancy (cheese, sour cream, pickled red onions, cilantro, jalapeños, etc.)

Another option is to use it for taco salads. Just fill a bowl with your favorite greens, top with the ground turkey taco mixture, and add any extra toppings you might like.

But my favorite? I love to just scoop it up with some tortilla chips and call that a meal. 😅

You can also make a bowl meal with a bed of rice, stuff this into a burrito, or put it inside a folded over tortilla with cheese and toast it up in a skillet for some quesadillas. And I’m sure there are other great ways to use this mix, as well.

Can I Substitute the Turkey?

Yep! This recipe works just as well with ground beef or ground chicken. 

Can I Substitute the Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles?

Yes, you can substitute that, too! (See? This recipe is so versatile.) If you don’t have access to Rotel or canned diced tomatoes with green chiles, you can either use 1.5 cups red salsa, or a can of plain diced tomatoes plus a 4oz. can of diced green chiles.

How to Freeze Turkey Taco Skillet

Chill your turkey taco skillet mixture in the refrigerator overnight, then transfer to quart-sized freezer bags (I would do this in 1-2 serving sized portions), label and date the bag, then freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, either thaw in the refrigerator overnight, or cut away the bag, place the frozen mixture in a skillet, add a couple tablespoons of water, and heat over low with a lid, stirring occasionally as soon as it loosens up enough to stir. Or just pop it in the microwave and use the defrost then heat functions. :)

Close up of some turkey taco skillet being scooped up by a tortilla chip

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

Turkey Taco Skillet

This easy and versatile Turkey Taco Skillet takes about 20 minutes to make, is freezer friendly, and can be served several different ways.
Total Cost $6.71 recipe / $1.68 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Calories 426.45kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Taco Seasoning*

  • 1 Tbsp chili powder $0.30
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika $0.10
  • 1 tsp cumin $0.10
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional) $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.03
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper $0.02

Taco Skillet

  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08
  • 1 lb. ground turkey $3.99
  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 1 10oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles $0.45
  • 1 15oz. can black beans $0.48
  • 1 cup frozen corn $0.35
  • 1/2 bunch green onions $0.45

Instructions

  • Combine the spices for the homemade taco seasoning, then set the seasoning aside.
  • Add the cooking oil and ground turkey to a large skillet. Begin to cook the turkey over medium heat, breaking it up into pieces as it cooks.
  • While the turkey is cooking, dice the onion. Add the onion to the skillet with the turkey and continue to stir and cook until the onions are soft. Add the prepared taco seasoning, then continue to stir and cook for 1-2 minutes more.
  • Drain the black beans then add them to the skillet with the diced tomatoes (with juices) and frozen corn (no need to thaw). Stir the ingredients in the skillet to combine, then heat through over medium.
  • While the mixture is heating, slice the green onions. Stir the green onions into the skillet just before serving.

Notes

*You can use store bought taco seasoning if you do not have a well stocked spice cabinet.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 426.45kcal | Carbohydrates: 34.08g | Protein: 26.8g | Fat: 21.3g | Sodium: 1036.55mg | Fiber: 9.7g

Serving Suggestions:

Turkey Taco Skillet served with toasted tortillas and sour cream

Use to fill tacos, then top with your favorite toppings (sour cream, cheese, pickled red onions, jalapeños, etc.)

Turkey taco skillet used to make a taco salad

Serve it up taco salad style, over a bed of greens and with your favorite toppings.

Turkey taco skillet in a small bowl with tortilla chips for dipping

Or just scoop it up with some tortilla chips! 

How to Make Turkey Taco Skillet – Step by Step Photos

Homemade taco seasoning ingredients in a bowl

First, make your homemade taco seasoning (you can use store bought, if that works better for you). In a small bowl, combine 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp cumin, ¼ tsp cayenne (optional), ½ tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp salt, and about ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper. I skipped the cayenne this day because I wanted a less spicy turkey taco skillet.

Cooked ground turkey and onions in the skillet

Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil and 1 lb. ground turkey to a large skillet. Cook over medium heat, breaking up the ground turkey as you stir. While the turkey is cooking, dice one yellow onion, then add it to the skillet and continue to cook with the turkey until the onion is soft.

Taco seasoning being added to the skillet with turkey and onion

Add the taco seasoning to the skillet with the ground turkey and onion. Continue to cook and stir for 1-2 minutes more.

Black beans, tomatoes with green chiles, and corn added to the skillet

Drain one 15oz. can of black beans, then add them to the skillet with one 10oz. can of diced tomatoes with green chiles, and 1 cup frozen corn (no need to thaw). Stir to combine, then heat through over medium, stirring occasionally.

Sliced green onions added to the skillet

While the skillet is heating through, slice half a bunch of green onions (about 4 green onions). Add the green onions just before serving and stir to combine.

Finished turkey taco skillet

Look how colorful and delicious that is!! 

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

Dinner is served!

Close up side view of the turkey taco skillet

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Turkey Chili Smothered Sweet Potatoes https://www.budgetbytes.com/turkey-chili-smothered-sweet-potatoes/ https://www.budgetbytes.com/turkey-chili-smothered-sweet-potatoes/#comments Tue, 25 Feb 2020 20:29:51 +0000 http://www.budgetbytes.com/?p=24753 Sweet potatoes and chili are totally made for each other. The subtle sweetness of the sweet potatoes perfectly contrasts the smoky, spicy flavor of the chili. Add a little creamy cheese on top and you’ve got the perfect trifecta! These Turkey Chili Smothered Sweet Potatoes are an easy, pre-portioned meal that is filling, delicious, and […]

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Sweet potatoes and chili are totally made for each other. The subtle sweetness of the sweet potatoes perfectly contrasts the smoky, spicy flavor of the chili. Add a little creamy cheese on top and you’ve got the perfect trifecta! These Turkey Chili Smothered Sweet Potatoes are an easy, pre-portioned meal that is filling, delicious, and works great for weekly meal prep!

Originally posted 12-21-2015, updated 2-25-2020.

Turkey Chili Smothered Sweet Potatoes

Four turkey chili smothered sweet potatoes in a small white baking dish.

Can I Use Beef Instead?

Absolutely! The chili included in this recipe is basically a half batch of my basic Homemade Chili recipe, which is extremely customizable. You can swap out the protein, make it spicy or mild (reduce or eliminate the cayenne), or add other fun ingredients, like cocoa powder!

Can I Make them Vegetarian?

Yes, simply swap the 1/2 lb. of ground turkey for an extra can of black beans, or kidney beans, and you have a super delish vegetarian chili to top your sweet potatoes. :)

How do I Meal Prep These Sweet Potatoes?

After stuffing your sweet potatoes with chili and cheese, simply pack each one into an individual, microwave safe container. To reheat, simply microwave on high for about 2 minutes, or until heated through.

A fork digging into a turkey chili smothered sweet potato, on a white plate

 
Side view of turkey chili smothered sweet potatoes in a baking dish, topped with green onion and cilantro
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Turkey Chili Smothered Sweet Potatoes

Tender baked sweet potatoes smothered with turkey and bean chili, then topped with melty cheddar. Turkey Chili Smothered Sweet Potatoes are an easy dinner!
Total Cost $9.26 recipe / $2.32 each
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 610.63kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

CHILI

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1/2 lb. ground turkey $2.00
  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 15oz. can diced tomatoes $0.59
  • 3 oz. tomato paste (1/2 of a 6oz. can) $0.25
  • 1 15oz. can black beans $0.79
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder $0.30
  • 1/2 tsp oregano $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp cumin $0.05
  • 1 cup water $0.00
  • 1/2 tsp Salt $0.02

POTATOES AND TOPPINGS

  • 4 small sweet potatoes (3/4 lb. each) $3.94
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese $0.43
  • Cilantro or green onions for garnish $0.25

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Wash the sweet potatoes well, then prick the skins several times with a fork. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet or in a baking dish and bake for 60 minutes, or until soft and oozing from the fork holes.
  • While the sweet potatoes are baking, prepare the small batch of chili. Add the ground turkey and olive oil to a large pot. Sauté the turkey over medium heat. While the turkey is cooking, dice the yellow onion and mince the garlic. Add the onions and garlic to the pot and continue to sauté until the onions are soft and translucent.
  • Drain the beans and add them to the pot along with the diced tomatoes (with juices), tomato paste, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and water. Stir to combine. Allow the chili to come up to a simmer, then reduce the heat and let simmer until the sweet potatoes have finished baking, stirring occasionally. Taste and add salt to taste (about 1/2 tsp).
  • Once the sweet potatoes are finished baking, carefully slice each one open lengthwise and slightly mash the insides. Spoon about 3/4 cup chili over each potato, then top with 2 Tbsp shredded cheddar. Return the potatoes to the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese. Top with cilantro or sliced green onions just before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1each | Calories: 610.63kcal | Carbohydrates: 86.1g | Protein: 25.23g | Fat: 18.08g | Sodium: 905.75mg | Fiber: 17.83g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Front view of four turkey chili stuffed sweet potatoes in a small white baking dish

 

How to Make Chili Stuffed Sweet Potatoes – Step by Step Photos

Sweet potatoes in a baking dish rubbed in oil and pricked with a fork

Begin by preheating the oven to 400ºF. Wash four small sweet potatoes (about 3/4 lb. each). Prick the skins of each potato several times with a fork. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet or in a baking dish, then bake the sweet potatoes in the preheated oven for about 60 minutes, or until they’re soft all the way through and are oozing sugary juice from the fork holes.

Cooked ground turkey, onion, and garlic in a pot

While the sweet potatoes are baking, prepare the small batch of chili. Add 1/2 lb. ground turkey and 1 Tbsp olive oil to a large pot. Sauté the turkey over medium heat. While the turkey is cooking, dice the yellow onion and mince 2 cloves garlic. Add the onions and garlic to the pot and continue to sauté until the onions are soft and translucent.

Tomatoes, beans, spices, and water added to the pot.

Drain one 15oz. can black beans and add them to the pot along with one 15oz. can diced tomatoes (with juices), 3oz. tomato paste, 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp cumin, and 1 cup water. Stir to combine. 

Finished turkey chili in the pot

Allow the chili to come up to a simmer, then reduce the heat and let simmer until the sweet potatoes have finished baking, stirring occasionally. Taste and add salt to taste (about 1/2 tsp).

Baked sweet potatoes in the baking dish with some juices bubbling out of the fork holes

Test the sweet potatoes to make sure they are baked all the way through by piercing with a fork or a small knife. The potatoes should be soft all the way through, and juices should be bubbling out of the fork holes that were made before baking.

Opened and mashed sweet potatoes in the baking dish

Once the sweet potatoes are baked and soft all the way through , slice them open lengthwise and slightly mash the inside of the sweet potatoes.

Turkey chili being spooned into the open sweet potatoes

Scoop about 3/4 cup turkey chili onto each sweet potato.

Sweet potatoes topped with cheddar

Add a couple tablespoons of shredded cheddar to each potato, then return the baking sheet to the oven for just a few minutes to melt the cheese.

Turkey chili smothered sweet potatoes with melted cheese and topped with cilantro

Finally, top with a little chopped cilantro or sliced green onions (or hey, sour cream?) just before serving.

Side view of turkey chili smothered sweet potatoes in a baking dish, topped with green onion and cilantro

And then you have four incredibly delicious, single portion sized Turkey Chili Smothered Sweet Potatoes! Bonus, I had some chili left over that will serve as an extra meal for me. :)

Turkey Chili Smothered Sweet Potatoes - BudgetBytes.com

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