Top 20 Recipes of 2019

by Beth - Budget Bytes
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It’s that time of year again! Time to look back and reflect on everything that happened. I like to do an end of the year round up my favorite recipes so you can browse the best of the best in one place and make sure that you don’t miss out on anything delicious! This list of top 20 recipes of 2019 are my absolute favorites from this year, recipes that made me say, “WOW.” Recipes that I think you should put on your list ASAP!

And feel free to share your favorites in the comments below. I know we all have different tastes, so if there is a recipe that you think is an absolute must have, we want to know!

Best Budget Bytes Recipes of 2019

Close up of Cilantro lime chicken with title text overlay

(in chronological order)

1. Easy Cauliflower and Chickpea MasalaThis runaway hit is loved by meat eaters and vegetarians alike! The super flavorful and creamy sauce is absolutely to die for, and it’s easy to make vegan with one simple ingredient swap.

Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala

A bowl of creamy Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala being eaten with a spoon and two pieces of naan on the side.
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. 
4.83 from 176 votes
$4.10 recipe / $1.03 serving Get the Recipe

2. Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms with Herby Kale Mashed PotatoesAnother hit from last January’s Vegetarian Challenge, this super hearty vegetarian dinner meal preps well and will not leave your taste buds disappointed!

Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms with Herby Kale Mashed Potatoes

Close up of a bowl of Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms with Herby Kale Mashed Potatoes
These Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms with Herby Kale Mashed Potatoes are a vegetarian meal that will please any "meat and potatoes" style meal lover. 
4.70 from 59 votes
$7.17 recipe / $1.79 serving Get the Recipe


3. Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad – I absolutely LOVE this salad because you can actually freeze it! How many other salads can you freeze?? Not to mention it makes a great base for bowl meals and is also great stuffed into a tortilla as a wrap (with a little ranch dressing). Super versatile!

Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad

A bowl of Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad on a teal napkin.
This Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad holds up well in the refrigerator for days, making it perfect for meal prep or brown bagging your lunch. 
4.92 from 37 votes
$8.47 recipe / $1.41 serving Get the Recipe


4. Creamy White Bean and Spinach Quesadillas – I love an easy quesadilla. This one is super creamy, cheesy, and flavorful, plus there is minimal chopping and cooking. P.S. there is a version with chicken, too (Creamy Chicken and Spinach Quesadillas)!

Creamy White Bean and Spinach Quesadillas

Close up of a plate full of creamy white bean and spinach quesadillas with a dish of red salsa
Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, these insanely delicious Creamy White Bean and Spinach Quesadillas make an awesomely fast weeknight dinner. 
4.96 from 74 votes
$3.99 recipe / $1.00 per quesadilla Get the Recipe


5. Scallion Herb Chickpea Salad – Ever wonder what you should do with your leftover green onions, parsley, and cilantro? THIS IS IT. This super yummy salad is a great filling vegetarian dish that can be scooped up with crackers or stuffed into a pita or wrap for lunch. So fresh, so good.

Scallion Herb Chickpea Salad

A hand grabbing a stack of two halves of a Scallion Herb Chickpea Salad sandwich on wheat bread.
Light, bright, and full of spring flavors, this Scallion Herb Chickpea Salad will keep you full all afternoon. Serve as a sandwich, wrap, or salad! 
4.91 from 43 votes
$2.46 recipe / $1.23 serving Get the Recipe


6. Easy Cilantro Lime Chicken – If you’re as crazy about cilantro and lime as I am, you’ll love this super fast skillet chicken. The flavors are vibrant, fresh, and bold. Pair it with a couple of simple sides like beans and rice and your dinner is DONE.

Easy Cilantro Lime Chicken

Close up of Easy Cilantro Lime Chicken in the skillet, garnished with cilantro and lime wedges.
Easy Cilantro Lime Chicken is full of the bright fresh flavors of summer. Cook it quickly in a skillet or throw it on the grill for a fast dinner! 
4.90 from 37 votes
$6.67 recipe / $1.11 serving Get the Recipe


7. Homemade Baked Chicken Nuggets – This one actually surprised me. I’ve never been a huge chicken nugget fan, but I pretty much crave these daily! Add a couple dipping sauces, some fresh vegetables, and you’ve got an awesome little meal.

Homemade Baked Chicken Nuggets

A basket full of Homemade Baked Chicken Nuggets, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, and a small dish of ranch.
Homemade baked chicken nuggets are crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside, easy to make, and make a delicious meal or snack. 
4.86 from 28 votes
$3.56 recipe / $0.89 serving Get the Recipe


8. Honey Mustard Sauce – Speaking of dipping sauces for the chicken nuggets, this homemade Honey Mustard Sauce is TO DIE FOR. Like, I wanted to just eat it with a spoon. But broccoli florets work well, too. ;)

Honey Mustard Sauce

Honey Mustard Sauce dripping off a spoon into a bowl
This sweet, tangy, and creamy homemade honey mustard sauce only takes a few minutes to make and is great for sandwiches, salads, dipping, and more!
4.87 from 37 votes
$1.43 recipe / $0.24 serving Get the Recipe


9. Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Peanut Lime Dressing – I never expected sweet potatoes to taste so good with peanut lime dressing, but the combo is absolutely magical! This is one of those side dish appetizer type recipes that will accidentally become your whole meal because you won’t be able to stop.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Peanut Lime Dressing

A wooden plate full of baked sweet potato fries drizzled with peanut lime dressing and topped with cilantro, peanuts, and red pepper.
Oven baked sweet potato fries drizzled with homemade peanut lime dressing, piled high with fresh cilantro, chopped peanuts, and a pinch of spicy red pepper.
5 from 12 votes
$3.17 recipe / $1.59 serving Get the Recipe


10. Cold Peanut Noodle Salad – I was really crushing on the peanut lime dressing this year! This amazing veggie-filled pasta salad is definitely one of my top 3 recipes of the year. It makes an amazing meal prep and is just soooo delish. Basically, it’s everything I want in a recipe.

Cold Peanut Noodle Salad

Peanut Lime Dressing being poured onto a bowl of Cold Peanut Noodle Salad
This Cold Peanut Noodle Salad with homemade peanut lime dressing is the perfect meal prep for summer! No reheating necessary.
4.91 from 77 votes
$5.30 recipe / $1.33 serving Get the Recipe


11. Luscious Homemade Lemon Curd – Ohhh-emmmm-geeee. This stuff tastes like velvet sunshine. Need I say more? Well yes, let me also say that it’s awesome on strawberry or blueberry shortcakes (and yogurt parfaits, oatmeal, waffles, English muffins, cakes, etc.). 

Homemade Lemon Curd

Overhead view of homemade lemon curd in a jar with a small silver butter knife stuck inside, lemon slices on the side.
This luscious homemade lemon curd only takes four simple ingredients, about 10 minutes, and tastes like velvet sunshine in a jar.
5 from 43 votes
$1.03 recipe / $0.13 serving Get the Recipe


12. Creamy Coconut Curry Lentils – Easy dinners are always appreciated in my house. And the fact that this one is vegan and still super filling makes it an instant favorite of mine. Plus, so much fiber. And we can all use more fiber, right??

Creamy Coconut Curry Lentils with Spinach

A hand dipping a piece of naan into the Creamy Coconut Curried Lentils with Spinach on a plate with curry roasted carrots
These rich, creamy, and earthy Coconut Curry Lentils are an easy and delicious vegan option for dinner or weekly meal prep!
4.97 from 91 votes
$6.29 recipe / $1.57 serving Get the Recipe


13. Honey Mustard Broccoli Salad – It’s that magic honey mustard sauce at it again… That sweet-salty-creamy-tangy dressing pairs perfectly with the slight bitterness of raw broccoli, plus crunchy almonds, tart dried cranberries, and savory red onions. If you think you don’t like broccoli, I challenge you to try this salad.

Honey Mustard Broccoli Salad

Front view of a bowl of Honey Mustard Broccoli Salad with a black fork and spoon in the side of the bowl.
This crunchy, sweet, tangy, and creamy Honey Mustard Broccoli Salad only takes minutes to makes the perfect summer side dish.
5 from 35 votes
$4.10 recipe / $0.82 serving Get the Recipe


14. Balsamic Vinaigrette – After several people commented that the dressing from this Tomato Mozzarella Pasta Salad was the best dressing they’ve ever eaten, I decided to post the dressing on its own because you really will want to just pour it on everything. 

Easy Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette

A spoon lifting some homemade balsamic vinaigrette out of a small bowl
This super simple homemade balsamic vinaigrette is perfect for all your green salads and pasta salads and has several options for customizing!
4.34 from 3 votes
$1.38 recipe / $0.23 serving Get the Recipe


15. Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen – Who knew that adding coconut milk to ramen could be so magical?? This is by far the best ramen hack I’ve ever come across. It’s creamy, savory, and absolutely divine. (Check out my other ways to upgrade instant ramen here.)

Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen

Close up overhead view of a bowl full of vegan creamy mushroom ramen with chopsticks lifting some noodles
This incredibly simple Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen is a rich and flavorful 15 minute meal that only requires a handful of ingredients! 
4.87 from 118 votes
$2.75 per serving Get the Recipe


16. Easy Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup – Soups have always been a favorite food of mine because they’re always just so easy, but this soup takes the cake. It’s ridiculously simple, yet so creamy and delicious. Just a few simple ingredients and a quick 30 minutes to a hearty and comforting winter meal.

Easy Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup

A bowl of Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup with two pieces of toasted bread and a black spoon in the middle.
This incredibly easy Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup takes only eight simple ingredients to deliver a bowl full of rich, bold flavor.
4.80 from 115 votes
$2.49 recipe / $0.62 serving Get the Recipe


17. Maple Brown Butter Pumpkin Pie – I have to admit, this one kind of surprised me, too. Just two simple ingredient swaps on a traditional pumpkin pie recipe really takes it to the next level. Make sure to bookmark this one for next year’s Thanksgiving!

Maple Brown Butter Pumpkin Pie

Overhead view of a Maple Brown Butter Pumpkin Pie with a slice cut out, on a plate on the side with whipped cream.
This Maple Brown Butter Pumpkin Pie is the perfect special touch for your Thanksgiving dinner, without adding a lot of extra work or unusual ingredients.
4.85 from 13 votes
$4.70 recipe / $0.59 serving Get the Recipe


18. Secret Ingredient Tomato Soup – There’s not one, but two secret ingredients that make this tomato soup ultra rich and flavorful. All without any butter or cream, I might add! 100% vegan. 

Secret Ingredient Tomato Soup

Overhead view of secret ingredient tomato soup in a white bowl with black rim, and a black spoon.
This super thick, warm, and comforting tomato soup has two secret ingredients that make it rich and delicious without any dairy. 100% vegan!
Get the Recipe


19. One Pot Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta – Who doesn’t love a rich and creamy pasta dish? And it’s even better when everything cooks in one pot. I think I would call this one the #1 weeknight dinner recipe of the year. 👌

One Pot Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta

Close up of one pot creamy pesto chicken pasta in a shallow bowl with a black fork.
This super lush and Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta is perfect for busy weeknights. Everything cooks in one pot and is done in under 30 minutes! 
4.84 from 125 votes
$10.41 recipe / $2.60 serving Get the Recipe


20. Classic Baked Ziti – And last but not least, the ultimate comfort food, Baked Ziti. This casserole is super rich, cheesy deliciousness. And so much easier than layering lasagna! 😅

Classic Baked Ziti

Close up of a wooden spoon in the casserole dish full of baked ziti
Like a freeform lasagna, this Baked Ziti has layers of pasta, homemade red sauce with Italian sausage, and three types of melty cheese!
4.85 from 32 votes
$12.16 recipe / $1.52 serving Get the Recipe


And it would be just silly if I didn’t mention one of the best things to happen this year: Budget Bytes Meal Plans! If your goal for 2020 is to get organized and efficient, check out our 4-week dinner plans, complete with 6 dinner recipes per week, grocery lists, and suggestions for using up leftover ingredients! 

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  1. No doubt all the recipes are amazing and healthy. I saved this content for trying one by one. Thankyou for sharing such nice blog.