Budget Bytes

Butter

close up of chocolate molasses cookies on a cooling rack

Chocolate Molasses Cookies

Growing up we called these cookies “chocolate gingersnaps” but they’re not like a crunchy gingersnap at all, they’re actually a classic soft and chewy molasses cookie full of warm spices and chunks of melty...

Close side view of mushroom rice in a pan

Mushroom Rice

This simple mushroom rice combines earthy mushrooms, savory garlic, rich butter, and flavorful vegetable broth for a simple yet flavorful side dish.

close up of mini pumpkin pies with whipped cream

Mini Pumpkin Pies

Make your Thanksgiving dollar go further by using simple pantry staples to make these adorable and affordable Mini Pumpkin Pies!

Overhead view of a bowl of wild rice pilaf

Wild Rice Pilaf

This wild rice pilaf is full of color, texture, and fall flavors. It's the perfect side dish for dinner during the cooler months.

Close up of a pot full of chicken stew

Chicken Stew

This chicken stew is a rich and hearty mix of tender chicken thighs, vegetables, and a light but flavorful herb-infused gravy.

spicy chex mix on a baking sheet

Spicy Chex Mix

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

side view of ranch drop biscuits on a plate

Ranch Drop Biscuits

Add ranch seasoning to your biscuit dough for an extra punch of flavor! These Ranch Drop Biscuits are the perfect side for a bowl of soup.

Apple crisp in a bowl topped with vanilla ice cream

Easy Apple Crisp

This Easy Apple Crisp is a simple dessert that is warm, cozy, and sweet. It's the perfect dessert for chilly fall evenings.

Close up of pasta being twirled around the tongs in the skillet

One Pot Creamy Mushroom Pasta

This creamy mushroom pasta is a rich, umami-filled delight that cooks quickly and easily in one pot. The perfect dinner for busy nights.

Two bowls of autumn fruit and nut oatmeal surrounded by apples, leaves, and pinecones

Autumn Fruit and Nut Oatmeal

Oatmeal has been one of my favorite budget ingredients since day one. It’s super inexpensive, shelf-stable, and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. Not to mention, a warm bowl of oatmeal...

Close up side view of shredded buffalo chicken in the slow cooker with tongs

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken is tender, juicy, tangy, and rich all at the same time! Perfect for sandwiches, nachos, salads, pizza, and more.

Close up of a fork cutting into a piece of apple cinnamon bread pudding

Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding

Bread pudding, also known as French Toast Casserole, is what all your cozy weekend breakfast dreams are made of. It’s basically bread soaked in a sweet and creamy custard, then baked to perfection. The...

overhead view of a bowl full of savory oatmeal with ingredients on the sides

Savory Oatmeal

It’s funny how oats have been pigeonholed for use in mostly sweet dishes in the U.S. We tend to eat oats sweetened at breakfast, or as part of delicious crumbly desserts, but oats do...

A hand holding a stack of raspberry oatmeal bars close to the camera

Raspberry Oatmeal Bars

I don’t do desserts too often, and when I do they’re usually made with simple pantry staples that I know I’m already going to have on hand. These super easy Raspberry Oatmeal Bars are...

close up of ranch broccoli pasta in a bowl

Ranch Broccoli Pasta

This Ranch Broccoli Pasta just takes minutes to make and is full of deliciously creamy, tangy, herby ranch flavor!

Overhead view of a sliced lemon cream pie with lemons on the sides

Easy Lemon Cream Pie

This sweet and creamy cloud-like lemon cream pie is an easy summer dessert that can be made completely no-bake, if needed.

a pot of cheese grits surrounded by other breakfast items

Cheese Grits

These cheese grits are extra rich, creamy, and flavorful. They make a hearty and comforting breakfast or a delicious side dish with dinner.

Oven roasted corn on a tray, partially shucked, with a bowl of honey chili butter

Oven Roasted Corn with Honey Chili Butter

Oven roasting is hands down my favorite way to prepare vegetables and that includes fresh summer sweet corn. Roasting the fresh ears while still in their husks keeps them ultra sweet and juicy, plus...

Side view of quick veggie pasta in a bowl twirled around a fork

Quick Veggie Pasta

Use up your leftover odds and ends in the kitchen because "anything goes" with this Quick Veggie Pasta! Make it vegetarian or vegan!

A Funfetti Mug Cake topped with whipped cream from the side

Funfetti Mug Cake

This super cute Funfetti Mug Cake is the perfect single-serving dessert for when you need something sweet and fast! It only takes five minutes and seven simple pantry staple ingredients!

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.

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!

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...

Overhead view of several chips dipped into a dish full of hot corn dip

Hot Corn Dip

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

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.

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...

Broccoli cheddar casserole being scooped out of the dish

Broccoli Cheddar Casserole

Who doesn’t love Broccoli Cheddar Casserole?? This cozy homemade version doesn’t contain any canned “cream of” soup and comes together quickly. This comforting classic is great as a Thanksgiving side, or just a tasty...

Close up overhead view of spinach rice with feta in a serving dish

Spinach Rice with Feta

I like to add vegetables into whatever I'm eating, whenever I can, and this Spinach Rice with Feta is such a great way to do that. The spinach adds just a little bit of...

Garlic Herb Mashed Cauliflower in a bowl with a spoon and melted butter

Garlic Herb Mashed Cauliflower

You can never have too many easy side dish recipes in your back pocket, which is why I've been playing around a little with mashed cauliflower. Mashed cauliflower is easy, flexible, you can flavor...

Sheet Pan Cranberry Chicken Dinner on a plate, viewed from the side

Sheet Pan Cranberry Chicken Dinner

One of my favorite simple dinner "formulas" is two roasted vegetables and a meat. It's just so simple and when I can cook them all on one sheet pan, it's even better. For this...

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

Classic French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup is one of my favorite things to order at a restaurant. I usually reserve this bowl of warm comfort for restaurants because it's a soup that takes time and patience to...

Overhead view of cheesy loaded cauliflower casserole on a blue background

Cheesy Loaded Cauliflower Casserole

Thanksgiving is probably going to look a little different for a lot of us this year, but we can still celebrate, enjoy good food and each other's company in new and creative ways. Since...

Side view of a sliced loaf of pumpkin molasses bread

Pumpkin Molasses Bread

You need to make this Pumpkin Molasses Bread for dessert on Thanksgiving this year. Trust me. It’s really easy to whip up (who needs something complicated on Thanksgiving? NO ONE), it’s super delicious, and...

wild rice stuffed acorn squash close up from above

Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash

You guys, Thanksgiving is right around the corner! And if you've been looking for a vegetarian (or vegan) main dish for Thanksgiving, this one is for you.

close up side view of a bowl of honey balsamic glazed carrots

Honey Balsamic Glazed Carrots

Honey + Balsamic Vinegar + Butter = Heaven. It’s sweet, tangy, and rich, all at the same time. You already know that I love roasted vegetables, but drenching roasted vegetables in a honey balsamic...

close up of potatoes au gratin being scooped out of the casserole dish

Potatoes Au Gratin

When you need pure comfort in a casserole dish, Potatoes Au Gratin deliver. These thinly sliced potatoes baked in a creamy, cheesy sauce hit all the comfort food buttons. And the leftovers are awesome,...

Finished Creamy Mushroom Chicken with Crispy Onions, garnished with parsley

Creamy Mushroom Chicken with Crispy Onions

Creamy mushroom sauces make me weak in the knees. Anyone else? The chicken here is purely a vehicle for the creamy, garlicky, heavenly mushroom sauce. And the crispy onions? Well that’s just icing on...

Overhead of a bowl of steamed green beans with butter, salt, and pepper.

How to Steam Fresh Green Beans

One of my go-to side dishes is steamed green beans. Why? Because they’re so fast, they’re uncomplicated, delicious, and you can make them several different flavors to match your main dish. They’re just the perfect...

Overhead view of roasted vegetable baked penne being scooped out of the casserole dish

Roasted Vegetable Baked Penne

This was actually supposed to be a baked ziti, but it turns out ziti is just about impossible to find in grocery stores right now, so I went with a Roasted Vegetable Baked Penne instead....

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 a ladle full of broccoli cheddar soup

The Best Easy Broccoli Cheddar Soup

If ever there was a meal-worthy soup, it would be Broccoli Cheddar! This bowl full of colorful, chunky vegetables and a super thick cheesy “broth” is sure to leave you warm, happy, and satisfied....

Chocolate Banana Muffins in a muffin tin, some turned on their side

Chocolate Banana Muffins

What to do with browning bananas? It’s the question that never stops needing to be answered. The other day I was about to make a batch of my Yogurt Banana Bread with some over...

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...

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....

A loaf of yogurt banana bread on a wooden cutting board, a few slices scattered, one smeared with butter

Yogurt Banana Bread

I’ve been even more diligent about keeping my food waste low since the pandemic started, since our visits to the grocery store are few and far between. So when I was taking stock of...

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

Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy

My boyfriend saw what I was cooking and said, “What is this, the “Hungry Man” edition of Budget Bytes? 😆 What can I say, this pandemic has me craving comfort food! And for some...

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

Freezer Friendly Breakfast Burritos

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...

Close up of chicken and rice being scooped out of the skillet with a wooden spoon.

Creamy Chicken and Rice Skillet

It’s almost Friday and it’s this part of the week when my cravings for comfort food really start kicking in. It doesn’t help that it’s been dark and rainy non-stop for like, the last...

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 bowl full of Roasted Broccoli Pasta with lemon and feta and a black fork on the left side

Roasted Broccoli Pasta with Lemon and Feta

Keep it stupid simple. That saying applies to so much in life, including food. One of my favorite “stupid simple” meals is buttered pasta with a vegetable and a healthy dose of salt and...

Close up of Cinnamon Pecan Sandies on a wooden plate with whole pecans

Cinnamon Pecan Sandies

I’m not a huge cookie person (I’d rather have a chunk of cheese 🧀), but I looooove pecan sandies! I think I love them because they’re not too sweet. They’re rich, buttery, and nutty,...

Curried Cabbage in a red pot with wooden utensils on the side.

Curried Cabbage

There’s something super comforting to me about sautéed cabbage with butter and I eat it a lot in the winter months when cabbage is fresh and inexpensive. And because it’s just so cheap, delicious, and...

Overhead view of Garlic Butter Baked Chicken Thighs in the baking dish, one being scooped out with a serving spoon.

Garlic Butter Baked Chicken Thighs

Is there any food that isn’t good when drenched in garlic butter? It’s the easiest, most fool-proof way to make something insanely delish. So, because it’s the week after Thanksgiving and I don’t feel like...

Add salsa to meal prep containers

Country Breakfast Bowls

If you’ve been following the blog for a while, then you know how I love to meal prep my breakfast. It’s just so much easier to spend a little time on the weekend to...

Overhead view of a pot full of Roasted Apple Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing with ingredients scattered all around

Roasted Apple Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing

My philosophy on Thanksgiving is to keep it simple. Simple is elegant, simple is cost effective, and simple is easy (because hey, the cook wants to enjoy the day, too). I like to take super...

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...

Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes in a casserole dish with a wooden spoon on a blue background with leaves and pine cones on the side.

Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pecans

Whether you call them Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes or candied yams, these tender, sweet, and irresistible nuggets are the quintessential Thanksgiving side dish. They’re also super simple to prepare, which gives them a permanent...

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...

Overhead view of a Maple Brown Butter Pumpkin Pie with a slice cut out, on a plate on the side with whipped cream.

Maple Brown Butter Pumpkin Pie

There are a million pumpkin pie recipes on the web. There’s even a perfectly good recipe on the back of every single can of pumpkin purée on the store shelves. So I didn’t want...

Close overhead view of Balsamic Chicken and Vegetables on a plate with mashed potatoes and green beans

Balsamic Chicken and Mushrooms

Pan sauces for the win! Making a quick sauce in the skillet after browning meat is one of the easiest ways to make a really spectacular meal. Those little browned bits on the skillet...

A hand picking up half of a sweet potato biscuit, smeared with butter and drizzled with maple syrup

Sweet Potato Biscuits

It’s fall, and that means that I’m working sweet potatoes and pumpkin into everything. Why? They provide a subtle sweetness, a vibrant orange color, and a dose of extra nutrients. And in the case of...

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...

Overhead view of a bowl full of candied walnuts

Small Batch Crunchy Candied Walnuts

These crunchy little devils are dangerous. They’re addictively sweet, rich, crunchy, and nutty. I made this “small batch” recipe to not only keep myself from eating two cups of candied walnuts at once, but...

Close up overhead view of Autumn Kale and Apple Salad, with balsamic vinaigrette and a fork on the side.

Autumn Kale and Apple Salad

I’m moving forward full speed ahead with indulging my autumn obsession, despite the fact that it’s still 95 degrees outside. A good compromise between the crushing heat and my desire for all things fall...

flaked garlic butter baked cod on a plate with a fork

Easy 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 recipe....

The casserole dish next to a plate with a serving of King Ranch Chicken Casserole

King Ranch Chicken Casserole

What am I doing over here cooking a casserole on one of the hottest days of the summer? Crazy, perhaps, but the stomach wants what the stomach wants, and mine wants King Ranch Chicken...

Overhead view of one bowl of no churn balsamic peach ice cream with waffle cone and a fresh peach on the side.

No Churn Balsamic Peach Ice Cream

Once upon a time I considered buying an ice cream machine. I’m really glad I didn’t because this simple no-churn ice cream method is almost effortless and creates ice cream that is every bit...

Overhead view of homemade lemon curd in a jar with a small silver butter knife stuck inside, lemon slices on the side.

Luscious Homemade Lemon Curd

Luscious might be an understatement. It’s kind of mind blowing how four of the most basic ingredients in your kitchen can make something so beyond delicious as this homemade lemon curd, but somehow they...

Overhead view of a spoon dug into a Cinnamon Nut Swirl Mug Cake

Cinnamon Nut Swirl Mug Cake

Watch out mug cake lovers, this might just become your new go-to! This Cinnamon Nut Swirl Mug Cake is like a short cut cinnamon roll with no kneading, no rising, and no rolling required!...

A piece of Creamy Spinach Artichoke Chicken being lifted out of the skillet with a spatula

Creamy Spinach Artichoke Chicken

It’s no secret that I love spinach artichoke dip and I’m always looking for ways to make it into a legit dinner, instead of just an appetizer that I accidentally over-indulged in. For this...

A hand lifting a forkful of Cajun Cabbage and Noodles from a large bowl.

Cajun Cabbage and Noodles

Cabbage and noodles is one of those super simple, no-frills comfort foods. The flavors aren’t complex or even particularly special, it’s just straight up satisfying and comforting. A lot of people add a little...

Overhead view of a wooden spoon scooping out a portion of Cheesy Cottage Pie from the casserole dish

Cheesy Cottage Pie

Okay, I’m going to squeeze in one more wintry comfort food dish before the weather really starts warming up! This Cheesy Cottage Pie is chock-full of vegetables in a rich beef gravy, and topped...

Three Hummus Breakfast Tacos on a wooden cutting board, a hand picking one up

Hummus Breakfast Tacos

If you’ve been hanging around Budget Bytes for a while, you might already know how awesome eggs and hummus are together. If not, let these Hummus Breakfast Tacos be your introduction. The egg-hummus base...

Creamy Dijon Dressing being Drizzled onto a Roasted Brussels Sprout Bowl

Roasted Brussels Sprout Bowls

One of the best parts about recipe testing is that when you stumble onto something good you have a great excuse to make it over and over again while you tweak the details. I’ve...

Cajun Salmon Burgers topped with guacamole and the top half of a bun

Cajun Salmon Burgers

My interest in canned salmon has recently been reignited, so I decided to start playing around with it again. I figured a good salmon burger would be a great place to start, but I...

A bowl of Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad on a teal napkin.

Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad

For week 2 of my Vegetarian Challenge, I knew that I wanted a “refrigerator salad.” By that I mean a salad that I can prepare in the beginning of the week and will hold...

A large bowl of Vegetable Breakfast Scrambles about to be eaten with a fork.

Vegetable Breakfast Scrambles

Many of my day to day meals are just a hodgepodge of random ingredients that I find in my fridge all thrown into a bowl or a wrap. While I don’t really consider these...

Meal prepped Sweet and Spicy Tempeh Bowls in round glass bowls

Sweet and Spicy Tempeh Bowls

Happy New Year! My 31 Day Vegetarian Challenge officially starts today and I have to say, the first recipe I made for the challenge, Sweet and Spicy Tempeh Bowls, is pretty killer. I chose...

Close up of jam being spread on ricotta inside a baked Almond Dutch Baby

Almond Dutch Baby with Ricotta and Jam

I’ve been a little obsessed with Dutch Baby Pancakes lately. They’re just so easy and fun that they make the perfect weekend breakfast splurge. And I’m all about doing up breakfast big on the...