Budget Bytes https://www.budgetbytes.com/ Delicious Recipes Designed for Small Budgets Sun, 14 Aug 2022 15:53:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 Homemade Granola https://www.budgetbytes.com/homemade-granola/ https://www.budgetbytes.com/homemade-granola/#respond Sat, 13 Aug 2022 14:29:16 +0000 https://www.budgetbytes.com/?p=68342 Homemade granola is easy, inexpensive, and endlessly customizable. Use your favorite mix of nuts, seeds, and spices to make it your own.

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Making food at home versus buying premade is always a question of time versus money. But if there’s one thing that is definitely way cheaper to make at home without taking a lot of extra time or energy to make, it’s granola! This homemade granola recipe is SO fast and easy, you can customize it a hundred different ways, and it’s pennies on the dollar compared to store-bought granola.

Overhead view of homemade granola in a glass storage container.

What is Granola Made Of?

Granola, at its most basic, is simply a combination of oats, nuts, seeds, and fruit coated in a mixture of sugar and oil, then baked until deliciously crispy and toasty in flavor. My basic granola formula is:

  • 4 cups oats
  • 1 cup nuts & seeds
  • ½ cup dried fruit
  • ½ cup oil
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Spices or extracts for extra flavor

To make different varieties of granola, I simply substitute different nuts, seeds, fruit, oils, sugars, and flavorings.

The recipe I have below is a very classic homemade granola recipe that will go with just about anything. I’ll list some other options for add-ins and flavors so you can experiment with making it your own!

What Makes Granola Crunchy?

The combination of oil and sugar gives granola that classic crunchy and clumpy texture. The oil helps the oats, nuts, and seeds toast without developing an overly dry texture, while the melted sugars help bind the ingredients into clumps and gives an extra crunchy finish. While it may be tempting to reduce the oil or sugar, keep in mind that doing so will drastically change the texture of the finished granola.

Overhead view of a bowl of yogurt topped with granola and strawberries.

Can I Use Quick Oats?

Old-fashioned or plain rolled oats are best for granola because they have more texture than quick oats. While it is possible to use quick oats, quick oats tend to be very delicate and thin, which doesn’t provide as much texture to the final granola.

How Long Does Homemade Granola Last?

After baking the granola, make sure to allow the granola to cool to room temperature so any residual moisture will evaporate before placing it in an air-tight food storage container. Granola will stay good in an air-tight container at room temperature for about a month. It will stay edible longer, but the granola will slowly absorb moisture from the air and become stale over time.

What Else Can I Add?

Here’s the fun part. You can add all sorts of ingredients to your granola. You can plug any nut, seed, or dried fruit into the recipe below. Here are some ideas:

  • Nuts: walnuts, pistachios, almonds, peanuts
  • Seeds: flaxseed, chia seeds, pepitas, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds
  • Fruit: dried cherries, raisins, banana chips, dried apples, dried pineapple, chopped dried dates, dried blueberries
  • Other add-ins: wheat germ, wheat bran, chocolate chips, citrus zest, crystalized ginger, nut butters, mashed bananas
  • Spices and Flavors: ground ginger, almond extract, cocoa powder, cloves, nutmeg, turmeric
  • Other sugars: maple syrup, molasses, brown sugar
  • Other oils: coconut oil, ghee or clarified butter
Close up of homemade granola on a baking sheet with a spatula.
Overhead view of homemade granola in a glass storage container.

Homemade Granola

Homemade granola is easy, inexpensive, and endlessly customizable. Use your favorite mix of nuts, seeds, and spices to make it your own.
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Total Cost $5.87 recipe / $0.49 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Cool time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 12 ½ cup each
Calories 295kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats $0.93
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans $1.18
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut $0.84
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil $0.80
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar $0.16
  • 1/4 cup honey $1.08
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract $0.25
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries $0.53

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, pecans, and coconut.
  • Add the oil, brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla in a small saucepot. Stir and cook over medium heat until the brown sugar is melted (about 3-5 minutes).
  • Pour the sugar and oil mixture over the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir until everything is very well coated in the oil and sugar.
  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment, then spread the granola out over the parchment in an even layer.
  • Bake the granola for 20 minutes, or until it is deeply golden brown.
  • Remove the granola from the oven and stir in the dried cranberries while the granola is still warm and soft. Spread it out into an even layer again and let it cool completely. The granola will harden as it cools.
  • Once cool, break the granola into chunks and transfer it to an air-tight container for storage.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 295kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17g | Sodium: 102mg | Fiber: 4g

How to Make Granola – Step by Step Photos

Granola dry ingredients in a bowl.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Combine the dry ingredients (oats, nuts, and seeds) in a large bowl. I used 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats, ½ cup chopped pecans, and ½ cup unsweetened coconut. Do not add the dried fruit yet. Stir these ingredients together well.

Sugar, oil, and spices in a saucepot.

Add ½ cup cooking oil (or oil of choice), ¼ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup honey, ½ tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp vanilla extract into a small sauce pot. Stir and cook over medium heat until the brown sugar is melted (3-5 minutes).

Oil and sugar mixture being poured over the dry granola.

Pour the sugar and oil mixture over the dry ingredients in the bowl.

Granola coated in oil and sugar.

Stir the two mixtures together until everything is very, VERY well coated in the oil and sugar. Make sure no dry spots remain.

Uncooked granola being spread out onto a baking sheet.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, then spread the granola out onto the parchment in an even layer.

granola ready to bake.

Transfer the unbaked granola to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until it turns a deep golden brown (photo below is after baking).

Dried cranberries being added to the granola after baking.

Once the granola has baked and turned a deep golden brown color, remove it from the oven. Stir in the dried cranberries while it’s still warm and soft. Spread the granola out into an even layer again to cool.

Finished crispy granola on the baking sheet.

Allow the granola to cool completely to room temperature. It will harden and crisp up as the sugars cool.

Overhead view of homemade granola in a glass storage container.

Once the granola is completely cool, break it into clumps and transfer it to an air-tight food container for storage. Enjoy with yogurt, milk, ice cream, smoothie bowls, and more!

Try These Other Granola Recipes:

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Baked Zucchini Fries https://www.budgetbytes.com/baked-zucchini-fries/ https://www.budgetbytes.com/baked-zucchini-fries/#comments Fri, 12 Aug 2022 12:15:00 +0000 http://www.budgetbytes.com/2012/07/28/baked-zucchini-fries-2-73-recipe-0-55-serving/ Baked Zucchini Fries make a delicious snack or side dish and are the perfect way to use up that extra bumper crop of summer zucchini.

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Zucchini is one of my favorite summer vegetables. It’s cheap (especially if you have a friend or neighbor who is growing it), versatile, and totally delicious. So if you’re looking for extra ways to use up your summer zucchini, you’ve got to give these Baked Zucchini Fries a try. They’re crispy on the outside but creamy and delicious on the inside! Eat them plain or dip them into your favorite pizza sauce or marinara sauce.

Originally posted 7-28-2012, updated 8-12-2022.

Close up of a baked zucchini fry being dipped into a cup of pizza sauce.

Are Zucchini Fries Crispy?

Zucchini is a high water content vegetable, so it tends to get very soft when cooked. To counteract that, we’ve cut the zucchini into smaller pieces to allow for more evaporation and coated the fries in a crispy combination of panko breadcrumbs and Parmesan. The result is a zucchini fry that is crispy and tasty on the outside, but soft and creamy on the inside.

Do I Have to Use Panko?

I highly suggest sticking with panko breadcrumbs here instead of regular breadcrumbs because their light texture and larger pieces help make the zucchini fries extra crispy. Regular breadcrumbs tend to be smaller pieces and a bit more dense, which will produce a harder shell rather than a light, crispy coating.

Make Them Gluten-Free

To make these zucchini fries gluten-free you’ll need to make two swaps. Use a 1:1 gluten-free flour, potato flour, or arrowroot flour to dredge the zucchini before the eggwash, then use gluten-free panko crumbs for the final coating. I do not suggest using almond flour or coconut flour in place of the all-purpose flour because they will not absorb moisture as well as the all-purpose flour.

How Are the Leftovers?

The one caveat with these Baked Zucchini Fries is that they’re definitely best right when they come out of the oven. After they’re stored in the refrigerator the breading will absorb moisture and become soft. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t still totally gobble them up after reheating, but you definitely won’t get the same texture experience.

Baked Zucchini Fries on a piece of parchment with a dish of pizza sauce.

One Zucchini Fry dipped into a dish of pizza sauce.

Baked Zucchini Fries

Baked Zucchini Fries make a delicious snack or side dish and are the perfect way to use up that extra bumper crop of summer zucchini.
Course Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Total Cost $3.81 recipe / $0.76 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 165kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. zucchini $1.69
  • 2 large eggs $0.39
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs $0.50
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan $0.36
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning $0.30
  • 1/2 tsp salt, divided $0.03
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.04
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce (for serving) $0.50

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Slice the zucchini into matchsticks that are ½-inch wide and 3-inches long. Set the zucchini aside.
  • Whisk the eggs in a bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together the panko, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, and ¼ tsp salt.
  • Add the sliced zucchini to a large bowl. Sprinkle the all-purpose flour and remaining ¼ tsp salt over the zucchini. Toss the zucchini until they are evenly coated in flour.
  • Place wire cooling racks over a large baking sheet to lift the zucchini pieces and allow airflow underneath. Bread the zucchini slices by briefly dipping them in the whisked egg, letting the excess run off, then coating them in the panko-Parmesan mixture.
  • Place the breaded zucchini on the wire racks with a small amount of space between each piece to allow for airflow.
  • Bake the breaded zucchini fries for 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown and crispy.
  • Serve immediately with pizza sauce for dipping.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 700mg | Fiber: 3g

Close up of a zucchini fry dipped in pizza sauce.

How to Make Zucchini Fries – Step By Step Photos

Zucchini being sliced into matchsticks.

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Slice about one pound of zucchini into ½-inch thick matchsticks (about 3-inches long).

Eggwash and Panko mix in bowls.

Whisk two eggs in a bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together 1 cup panko breadcrumbs, ¼ cup grated Parmesan, 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning, and ¼ tsp salt.

Zucchini dusted with flour.

Place the sliced zucchini in a large bowl and sprinkle with ¼ tsp salt and 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour. Toss the zucchini until they are evenly coated in flour.

Zucchini being breaded and placed on a baking sheet.

Place two wire cooling racks over a large baking sheet. Begin to bread the zucchini fries by first briefly dipping them in whisked egg, allowing the excess to drip off, then coating them in the panko-Parmesan mixture. To make this process faster, I usually dip 2-3 at a time into the eggwash. 

Zucchini fries on the baking sheet ready to bake.

Place the breaded zucchini on the wire racks with a little space between each piece.

Baked Zucchini Fries on the baking sheet.

Bake the zucchini fries for about 20 minutes in the fully preheated 425ºF oven or until they are golden brown and crispy. Allow the fries to cool for a couple of minutes before wiggling them loose from the rack. If any of the fries are stuck, use a fork to scoop under the fry and lift it up off the rack.

Baked zucchini fries on parchment with a dish of pizza sauce in the back.

Serve the zucchini fries with pizza sauce or marinara for dipping!

Love Zucchini? Try These Zucchini Recipes:

These baked zucchini fries have a buttery flavor and are a fun way to get your vegetables. BudgetBytes.com

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Tomato Rice https://www.budgetbytes.com/tomato-rice/ https://www.budgetbytes.com/tomato-rice/#comments Wed, 10 Aug 2022 16:31:15 +0000 https://www.budgetbytes.com/?p=68016 Tomato rice is an easy yet flavorful side dish that uses only a few simple ingredients, and it's sure to liven up any dinner plate!

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I love a big ol’ bowl of hot rice. Rice is filling, cozy, and CHEAP. 🙌 Plus, it’s super easy to add different flavors to rice, so it never gets boring. This easy and flavorful tomato rice uses really simple ingredients that I often have on hand, and it has the most delicious bright yet savory flavor. Plus you can use it as a base for bowl meals, or you can serve it as a side to liven up your dinner plate.

Tomato rice in a bowl with limes and green onion.

What’s in Tomato Rice?

This tomato rice is similar to what a lot of people call Spanish rice or Mexican rice, although I can’t say that my technique is authentic to either culture. It’s simply rice that has been cooked with onion, garlic, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, a couple of spices (cumin and chili powder), and a flavorful broth. So simple, yet SO good! I couldn’t stop taking forkfuls right out of the pot. 😅

What Else Can I Add?

There are a lot of ways you can modify this rice to make it your own. You can swap the vegetable broth for chicken broth for a slightly different flavor, or replace the diced tomatoes with salsa or Rotel. You can also experiment with adding some extra spices, like cayenne or smoked paprika, or even squeeze a little lime juice in with the broth before cooking. Want more vegetables? Try stirring in some frozen peas or diced bell pepper.

I like to garnish the tomato rice with some sliced green onions and lime wedges, but they are not required to make the rice taste great.

Can I Use Brown Rice?

Brown rice requires more liquid and a longer simmer time (2-3 times longer) than white rice. So while I’d need to test this with brown rice before offering exact recommendations, it is definitely possible to make this tomato rice with long grain brown rice.

How to Store the Leftovers

If you plan to use your rice for meal prep or if you want to freeze the leftovers, make sure to divide the rice into single portions before refrigerating to make sure it cools down quickly once in the refrigerator. Once completely cooled, it can be transferred to the freezer for longer storage (make sure it’s in an air-tight container).

The tomato rice can be reheated quickly in the microwave. Add a sprinkle of water or an ice cube before reheating to prevent the rice from drying out.

Close up side view of a bowl of tomato rice.

Tomato Rice

Tomato rice is an easy yet flavorful side dish that uses only a few simple ingredients, and it's sure to liven up any dinner plate!
Course Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine Southwest
Total Cost $2.40 recipe / $0.30 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 1 cup each
Calories 186kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 yellow onion $0.37
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08
  • 1.5 cups long grain white rice $0.56
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin $0.02
  • 1 15oz. can petite diced tomatoes $0.79
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste $0.08
  • 2 cups vegetable broth $0.26
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.03

Instructions

  • Mince the garlic and finely dice the onion. Add the onion, garlic, and cooking oil to a saucepot and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent.
  • Add the rice, chili powder, and cumin to the pot. Continue to stir and cook for a couple of minutes more to toast the rice and spices.
  • Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), tomato paste, and broth to the pot. Stir to combine and dissolve and spices that are stuck to the bottom.
  • Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to high, and let the broth come up to a full boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low (or just above low) to bring the broth down to a gentle simmer.
  • Let the rice gently simmer for 20 minutes without lifting the lid or stirring. After 20 minutes, remove the pot from the heat, and let the rice rest for five minutes without lifting the lid.
  • After resting, fluff the rice with a fork to redistribute the tomatoes throughout. Serve hot!

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 186kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Sodium: 471mg | Fiber: 2g
Overhead view of a pot full of tomato rice with limes and green onion.

How to Make Tomato Rice – Step by Step Photos

Chopped onion and garlic on a cutting board.

Start by mincing two cloves of garlic and finely dicing one onion.

sautéed onion and garlic in the pot.

Add the onion and garlic to a sauce pot with 2 Tbsp cooking oil. Sauté over medium until the onions are soft and translucent.

Rice and spices added to the pot.

Add 1.5 cups long grain white rice, ½ tsp chili powder, and ¼ tsp cumin to the pot.

Rice and spices cooked in the pot.

Cook and stir the rice and spices for a couple of minutes more to slightly toast the rice and spices.

Tomatoes and broth added to the pot.

Add one 15oz. can of petite diced tomatoes (with juices), 1 Tbsp tomato paste, 2 cups vegetable broth, and ½ tsp salt to the pot. Stir to combine and dissolve any spices stuck to the bottom of the pot. I like to keep frozen tomato paste on hand in one tablespoon portions, just for recipes like this!

Tomato rice before simmering.

Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to high, and allow the broth to come up to a full boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low (or lightly above low) to bring the broth down to a gentle simmer.

Simmered rice in the pot with tomatoes on top.

Let the rice gently simmer for 20 minutes without stirring or lifting the lid. After 20 minutes, remove the pot from the heat (lid still on) and let the rice rest for 5 minutes. This is what it looks like after simmering.

Fluffed tomato rice in the pot.

Fluff the rice with a fork to redistribute the diced tomatoes, which float to the top as the rice simmers.

Lime being squeezed over the rice in a bowl.

Serve hot! I like to garnish with a little lime and green onion, but it’s not necessary! The rice tastes great on its own, too. :)

Try These Other Flavored Rice Recipes:

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Sheet Pan Portobello Fajitas https://www.budgetbytes.com/chipotle-portobello-oven-fajitas/ https://www.budgetbytes.com/chipotle-portobello-oven-fajitas/#comments Mon, 08 Aug 2022 16:43:52 +0000 http://www.budgetbytes.com/?p=26372 Sheet Pan Portobello Fajitas are an easy and flavorful vegetarian dinner idea that all cooks on one pan for easy cleanup!

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I got that craving for fajitas the other day and just had to have ’em. I decided to switch things up a bit from my usual sheet pan fajitas and use portobello caps in place of the chicken. I also added a little smoky chipotle powder to the spice mix to keep things interesting. These Sheet Pan Portobello Fajitas are a new and welcome twist on the classic. A little squeeze of lime on top and a slice or two of creamy avocado, and you have a really tasty veggie-filled dinner.

Originally posted 6/11/2016, updated 8/8/2022.

Three Portobello Fajitas on a plate.

Portobello Mushrooms on a Budget

Portobello mushrooms aren’t the cheapest item in the produce aisle, so it’s important to use some of our budget byting principles here. First, make sure you compare prices both between available grocery stores and even within the store. If your grocery store sells them both packaged together and loose, be careful to compare the per-pound price because it might be cheaper to buy them loose! 

Second, we’re going to combine the portobello mushrooms with other ingredients that are much less expensive, like onions, bell peppers, and tortillas to balance out the total price and keep the price per serving on the low side. 

Make it Spicy or Mild

The recipe, as written below, is a little smoky and spicy thanks to the chipotle powder in the fajita spice mix. If you prefer a mild fajita, skip the chipotle powder and make sure to use a chili powder blend that is mild. If you want your fajitas to be smoky but not spicy, replace the chipotle powder with smoked paprika. 

Meal Prep It!

The filling for the fajitas works great as a meal prep. Just pack up the roasted mushroom, pepper, and onion mix in a lunch container with a slice of lime and a couple of tortillas. When it’s time for lunch, remove the tortillas and lime, reheat, then fill the tortillas, squeeze your lime, and enjoy!

For the avocado, I suggest slicing a few slices off the whole avocado each day. Only the exposed surface will darken, and it only darkens slightly (it doesn’t turn completely black like mashed avocado). The darkening of the avocado does not mean it is spoiled, it just means that it has been exposed to oxygen (like a brown apple), and is still perfectly safe to eat.

What to Serve with Portobello Fajitas

Sweet Corn Salsa or Summer Sweet Corn Salad would be a wonderfully light and fresh contrast to these portobello fajitas. And if you want to dress them up a little bit more you could whip up a quick batch of Guacamole or Pico de Gallo

Roasted portobello and vegetables on a sheet pan.

Three portobello fajitas on a plate.

Sheet Pan Portobello Fajitas

Sheet Pan Portobello Fajitas are an easy and flavorful vegetarian dinner idea that all cooks on one pan for easy cleanup!
Course Dinner
Cuisine Southwest
Total Cost $10.81 recipe / $2.70 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 (two fajitas each)
Calories 423kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

FAJITA SPICE MIX

  • 1 Tbsp chili powder* $0.30
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.05
  • 1 tsp cumin $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1 tsp sugar** $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.03

FAJITAS

  • 2 portobello mushroom caps $3.99
  • 2 bell peppers (any color) $2.29
  • 2 yellow onions $0.64
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil $0.38
  • 8 small flour tortillas (6-inch) $1.00
  • 1 avocado $1.09
  • handful cilantro (optional) $0.25
  • 1 fresh lime $0.59

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a small bowl, stir together all the ingredients for the fajita spice mix
  • Slice the portobellos, bell peppers, and onions into 1/4 inch wide strips. Place the sliced vegetables on a large sheet pan. Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables then sprinkle the fajita spice mix over top. Use your hands to toss the vegetables until everything is well coated in oil and spices.
  • Roast the vegetables in the fully preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until the vegetables are slightly wilted and the edges have a nice brown color. Stir the vegetables half way through the roasting time to make sure everything gets even exposure to the hot air.
  • After removing the vegetables from the oven, squeeze fresh lime juice over top. Sprinkle chopped cilantro over the vegetables. To serve the fajitas, scoop a small amount of the roasted vegetables into each tortilla and add a slice of avocado.

Notes

*The chili powder I use is a mild blend made by McCormick. It is not spicy at all and contains barely any salt. If using a different brand, make sure to adjust the salt and/or chipotle accordingly.
**The small amount of sugar in this recipe helps caramelize the vegetables and give everything that grilled or charred flavor that is characteristic of fajitas.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 423kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 23g | Sodium: 782mg | Fiber: 9g

side view of three portobello fajitas on a plate.

How to Make Sheet Pan Portobello Fajitas – Step by Step Photos

Fajita spices in a wooden bowl.

Begin by preheating the oven to 400ºF. In a small bowl, stir together 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp chipotle powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt. 

Whole vegetables on a cutting board.

I used 8 oz. portobello caps (2-3 depending on their size), two bell peppers (any color), and two yellow onions for my fajitas.

Sliced vegetables on a baking sheet.

Slice the vegetables into strips about ¼-inch wide. I also cut the portobello strips in half, so the pieces aren’t quite so large. Place the sliced vegetables on a large sheet pan.

Spices being sprinkled over the sliced vegetables.

Drizzle 3 Tbsp olive oil over the vegetables, then sprinkle the prepared fajita seasoning over top.

Seasoned vegetables ready to roast.

Use your hands to toss the vegetables in the oil and spices until everything is evenly coated, then make sure the vegetables are spread out over the baking sheet in an even layer.

Roasted vegetables on the sheet pan.

Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until they are slightly wilted and have browned on the edges. Stir the vegetables halfway through the roasting time to make sure everything gets even exposure to the hot air. 

Finished fajita vegetables on the baking sheet with lime and cilantro.

After roasting, squeeze lime juice over the vegetables and top with chopped cilantro.

Three portobello fajitas on a plate.

To serve, scoop a small amount of the fajita vegetables into each small tortilla and add a slice of fresh avocado.

Overhead view of the fajita vegetables on a sheet pan.

Seriously, these Chipotle Portobello Oven Fajitas are probably one of my favorite vegan recipes!

Chipotle Portobello Oven Fajitas are an easy and flavor packed dinner perfect for summer. BudgetBytes.com

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Chipotle Peach Salsa https://www.budgetbytes.com/chipotle-peach-salsa/ https://www.budgetbytes.com/chipotle-peach-salsa/#comments Sat, 06 Aug 2022 13:54:00 +0000 http://www.budgetbytes.com/2010/07/30/chipotle-peach-salsa-2-67-recipe-0-45-serving/ Use those fresh, juicy summer peaches to make this sweet and spicy Chipotle Peach Salsa! Goes great with chips, chicken, fish, and more!

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Peach season is in full swing! And if there’s one thing I can’t resist, it’s a fragrant and juicy summer peach. And while peach desserts are great, peaches also go fabulously well with savory dishes. For this Chipotle Peach Salsa, the sweetness of the peaches perfectly balances the smoky heat of chipotle pepper, while lime and cilantro keep the salsa light and fresh. You’ve got to try this amazing salsa. Scoop it up with chips, spoon it over your grilled chicken or fish, or pile it onto some rice as part of a bowl meal! 

Originally published 7-30-2010, updated 8-6-2022.

Overhead view of a bowl full of chipotle peach salsa with chips.

What’s in Chipotle Peach Salsa

This fresh (not cooked) salsa is super simple. You’ve got some of the classic salsa ingredients like onion, garlic, cilantro, lime, and salt, but instead of using tomato as the base flavor, we’re using peaches. To balance the sweetness of the peach I’ve added some chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, which has a spicy and smoky flavor. Then for a little extra zing, I threw in some grated fresh ginger!

Is This Salsa Spicy?

Yes, this Chipotle Peach Salsa is spicy. You can control the level of the heat by adjusting how many chipotle peppers are added. Start with one and just stir in more until it gets to where you like it! If you prefer no heat, simply leave the chipotle peppers out and you’ll have a great classic peach salsa.

What to Serve with Peach Salsa

This salsa is so good you’ll probably find yourself stuffing chip after chip piled high with the salsa into your mouth. But if you want to serve it as part of a meal, try adding the salsa on top of grilled chicken, fish, or shrimp. Fruit also goes quite well with pork, so this salsa would be awesome on some pork chops or a pork tenderloin! It would also make a great add-on to bowl meals, like these Mango Coconut Tofu Bowls or Sweet and Spicy Chicken Bowls.

How Long Does it Last?

Fresh salsas last somewhere between 3-5 days in the refrigerator, but the longevity will depend on the freshness and ripeness of the ingredients. If your peaches are very ripe and soft, like the ones I used today, the salsa will break down a little faster. If the peaches are a little more firm, you may get more of a lifespan out of the salsa. But I love using soft peaches because they create a saucy texture in the salsa as you stir everything together!

Chipotle Peach Salsa on a chip with the bowl in the background.

Overhead view of a bowl full of peach salsa surrounded by chips, peaches, and limes.

Chipotle Peach Salsa

Use those fresh, juicy summer peaches to make this sweet and spicy Chipotle Peach Salsa! Goes great with chips, chicken, fish, and more!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Southwest
Total Cost $3.19 recipe / $0.27 serving
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 ¼ cup each
Calories 36kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. ripe peaches 1.56
  • 1/4 red onion $0.11
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger $0.10
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo $0.20
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro $0.45
  • 1 lime $0.59
  • ½ tsp salt $0.02

Instructions

  • Dice the peaches into small pieces (peeling is not necessary). Finely dice the onion, mince the garlic, grate the ginger, mince the chipotle peppers, roughly chop the cilantro, and squeeze the juice from the lime.
  • Add the peaches, onion, garlic, and ginger to a bowl. Add one of the minced chipotle peppers, 1 Tbsp lime juice, and 1/4 tsp salt to begin with. Stir the ingredients to combine. Taste the salsa and adjust the salt, lime, or chipotle to your liking (I used 2 chipotle peppers, 2 Tbsp lime juice, and ½ tsp salt total).
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 36kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 139mg | Fiber: 1g

Side view of a bowl of chipotle peach salsa.

How to Make Peach Salsa – Step By Step Photos

peach salsa ingredients from above.

For this Chipotle Peach Salsa, you’ll need 2 lbs. of fresh ripe peaches (about 8 peaches), ¼ of a red onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 fresh lime, about 1 tsp grated fresh ginger, ½ bunch of cilantro, and 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.

Can of chipotle peppers open so you can see the peppers in the sauce.

This is what the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce look like. You can use one pepper if you just want a little heat, then add more to your liking. I added two peppers (finely chopped).

Salsa ingredients in the bowl, not mixed together.

Chop the peaches (not peeled) into small pieces. Finely dice the red onion. Mince the garlic and grate the ginger. Roughly chop the cilantro and mince the chipotle peppers. Add the peaches, onion, garlic, ginger, cilantro, and chipotle peppers to a bowl. Squeeze about 1 Tbsp lime juice over the top and add ¼ tsp salt.

Salsa stirred together in the bowl.

Stir everything together, then give it a taste. Add more lime and salt as needed. I ended up using 2 Tbsp juice and ½ tsp salt, total. If your peaches are very soft, they will form a saucy texture the more you stir the ingredients together. If your peaches are firm, you’ll have a chunkier salsa, similar to the texture of pico de gallo.

Overhead view of a bowl full of peach salsa surrounded by chips, peaches, and limes.

Enjoy that deliciously sweet and smoky peach salsa immediately or refrigerate for later!

Try These Other Salsa Recipes:

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Bún Chả (Vietnamese Meatballs) https://www.budgetbytes.com/bun-cha/ https://www.budgetbytes.com/bun-cha/#comments Wed, 03 Aug 2022 14:43:32 +0000 https://www.budgetbytes.com/?p=68230 Bún chả (Vietnamese Meatballs) are simple, light, fresh, and perfect for a hot summer day or as a make-ahead meal.

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This light and fresh Bún Chả recipe features flavorful and juicy pork meatballs paired with vermicelli noodles and plenty of herbs and vegetables. Bún chả is light yet filling and it comes together effortlessly in a few straightforward steps. Served with a homemade dipping sauce, this refreshing recipe is perfect for a hot summer day or as a make-ahead meal.

Close up of Bún chả in a bowl with rice noodles and vegetables.

What is Bún Chả?

Growing up, I didn’t realize there was a name for these delicious juicy pork meatballs. They were just something my mom made for me because it was one of the five things that I was willing to eat without question. It’s a recipe that you can easily make, you can scale it up or down, and most importantly, it’s super flavorful. 

Bún chả, also known as Vietnamese pork meatballs with vermicelli noodles, is a popular Vietnamese dish that is thought to have originated in Hanoi. You can find them served anywhere from street food stalls to restaurants in Hanoi. While a popular lunchtime recipe, you can enjoy this recipe any time of the day. I love how refreshing the noodles, vegetables, and herbs are on a hot summer day. You can even find Anthony Bourdain and Barack Obama enjoying it on an episode of Parts Unknown!

What is fish sauce? 

Fish sauce is the secret ingredient of this entire recipe. It goes into the meatballs as well as the dipping sauce (nước chấm) and is an absolute umami bomb. It is a liquid condiment that is made from fermenting fish over time. It adds major savory, salty, and general deliciousness to the overall dish. You can find fish sauce in the international aisle in most grocery stores, or at an Asian grocer.

Bún chả being dipped in a bowl of sauce with ingredients on the sides.

What is lemongrass? 

Lemongrass is an aromatic herb that has a fragrant complex flavor that is bright and citrusy. You can purchase lemongrass fresh or frozen. I usually find frozen lemongrass at Asian grocers and like to stock up my freezer with them. If you can’t find lemongrass, lemon zest and some ginger could work in a pinch, but I highly recommend not substituting the lemongrass because it is key to achieving the authentic Vietnamese flavor profile.

When using fresh lemongrass, keep in mind that the bottom woody section should be discarded. I’ve been noticing more chain grocery stores carrying fresh lemongrass so you should be able to find it relatively easily. If not, check where the ginger paste is kept and you might find lemongrass paste instead for an easy swap!

How to store leftovers

This recipe is perfect for meal prepping! Store the rice noodles, veggies, and herbs in one container and the pork meatballs in another container. This makes reheating the meatballs much easier, especially at work. Everything should keep and stay fresh for up to 4 days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge. 

Tips for Making Bún Chả

  • Do not overpack the meatballs while shaping the meatballs as you do not want them to be dense. 
  • For uniformed meatballs, use a cookie scoop. This helps them cook evenly as well. You do not want to go any larger than around a golf ball’s size.
  • For the nước chấm, feel free to adjust the ingredients to suit your tastes. 
  • While I use a non-stick skillet, you can use a grilling pan or cast-iron skillet as well. 
  • When buying rice vermicelli noodles, make sure to double-check the ingredients. At first glance, they look similar to cellophane noodles but they are not the same.
Close up side view of Bún chả in a bowl with rice noodles and vegetables.
Close up side view of Bún chả in a bowl with rice noodles and vegetables.

Bún chả

Bún chả (Vietnamese Meatballs) are simple, light, fresh, and perfect for a hot summer day or as a make-ahead meal.
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Vietnames
Total Cost $16.22 recipe / $4.06 serving
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 469kcal
Author Carmy Do

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1 lb. ground pork $4.49
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped $0.24
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallot $0.68
  • 4 Tbsp minced lemongrass $0.60
  • 2 Tbsp honey $0.24
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce $0.23
  • 1 tsp salt $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp pepper $0.02

Dipping Sauce (​​Nuoc Cham)

  • 1/4 cup lime juice (about 2 limes) $1.20
  • 3/4 cup water $0.00
  • 3 Tbsp fish sauce $0.68
  • 1 Thai red chili pepper $0.10
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 2 Tbsp sugar $0.02
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced $0.16

Bowls

  • 8 oz. rice vermicelli noodles $2.99
  • 1 head butter lettuce $1.59
  • 1 handful fresh mint $2.19
  • 1 carrot, sliced $0.16
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced $0.50

Instructions

For the Meatballs:

  • Chop the garlic and shallots, and mince the lemongrass.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together the pork, fish sauce, salt, pepper, honey, lemongrass, shallots, and garlic. Set the mixture aside for 1 to 2 hours in the fridge.
  • Shape the mixture into small meatballs (about 20 meatballs), and then gently flatten them a bit.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil and add the meatballs in a single layer. Cook the meatballs until they are golden and caramelized, around 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set the cooked meatballs aside.

For the Sauce:

  • Whisk the sauce ingredients together and adjust to your tastes. Optional: heat the water and whisk the sugar in to dissolve before adding the rest of the ingredients.

For the Bowls:

  • Prepare the vermicelli noodles according to package instructions (usually cook 2-3 minutes in a pot of boiling water).
  • Serve the noodles with the meatballs along with a handful of lettuce, mint, carrots, and cucumbers with the nuoc cham on the side.

Notes

Editor’s note: The prices listed above are from U.S. chain grocery stores. If you have an Asian market in your area you’ll be able to source ingredients like fish sauce, lemongrass, limes, Thai chilis, mint, and rice noodles for much cheaper and often with much higher quality.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 469kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 24g | Sodium: 2098mg | Fiber: 3g
Overhead view of Bún chả in a bowl with rice noodles and vegetables.

How to Make Bún chả – Step by Step Photos

Prepared aromatics for the meatballs on a cutting board.

First, prepare the aromatics for the meatballs. Mince three cloves of garlic, ¼ cup shallots, and 4 tablespoons lemongrass.

Meatball ingredients in a bowl.

Add the garlic, shallots, and lemongrass to a bowl with about one pound of ground pork, 2 Tablespoons of honey, 1 Tablespoon fish sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Mix the ingredients together then set the mixture aside for 1 to 2 hours in the fridge so the flavors can blend.

Shaped meatballs in a casserole dish.

Shape the mixture into small meatballs, and then gently flatten them a bit. To help divide the mixture evenly, first, dive the meat into four equal pieces, then divide each quarter into five pieces to yield 20 meatballs.

Cooked meatballs in a skillet.

Heat a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add a tablespoon or two of cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add the meatballs to the hot skillet in a single layer. Cook the meatballs until they are golden and caramelized, around 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set the cooked meatballs aside.

Prepared dipping sauce in a small container with a whisk.

For the sauce, whisk together ¼ cup lime juice, ¾ cup water, 3 Tablespoons fish sauce, 1 minced clove of garlic, 1 finely chopped red chili, 2 Tablespoons of sugar, and some thinly sliced carrots (optional garnish). Taste the sauce and adjust the ingredients to your taste buds.

Cooked rice noodles draining in a sieve over a bowl.

Prepare the vermicelli noodles according to package instructions (they usually require cooking for 2-3 minutes in a pot of boiling water). Drain the noodles and set them aside.

Chopped vegetables on a cutting board.

Prepare the rest of the vegetables for your bowls. Slice a cucumber, slice a carrot into matchsticks, pull a handful of mint leaves from the stems, and wash some tender lettuce.

Finished Bún chả bowl from above.

Build the Bún chả bowls by adding the rice vermicelli noodles to a bowl along with some lettuce, cucumber, carrot, and Bún chả. Dip the Bún chả into the sauce, or drizzle a little over the bowl.

Bún chả in a bowl of dipping sauce.

SO fresh and so GOOD!

Overhead view of Bún chả in a bowl with noodles and vegetables, dipping sauce on the side.

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Panzanella https://www.budgetbytes.com/panzanella/ https://www.budgetbytes.com/panzanella/#comments Mon, 01 Aug 2022 19:51:12 +0000 https://www.budgetbytes.com/?p=68513 This panzanella salad is a quick and delicious way to use up day-old bread, ripe tomatoes, and other summer produce. For the ultimate convenience, you can even prep the ingredients ahead of time.

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My friends, don’t sleep on this simple Panzanella salad! It’s a quick and delicious way to use up day-old bread, ripe tomatoes, and other summer produce. For the ultimate convenience, you can even prep the ingredients ahead of time. What’s not to love?!?!

Overhead shot of panzanella salad in a white bowl.

What Is Panzanella?

Panzanella is a hearty Tuscan salad and an OG food waste recipe. It was created by Italian peasants to keep stale bread out of the trash and to use up garden produce before it spoiled. It can be made with almost any combination of fruits and veggies, but traditionally, the stars of the show are juicy summer tomatoes and crusty bread that’s had time to absorb the salad’s tangy dressing.

Ingredients You’ll Need

You’ll need some day-old bread, ripe tomatoes, some fresh greens, and any other summer fruit and veg you want to take advantage of. You can dress it with your favorite bottled dressing, or you can use our easy homemade balsamic vinaigrette. Beth and I added mozzarella pearls because, YES. Then we just drizzled it with a little olive oil and vinegar that we emulsified in a mason jar. (That’s just chef-speak for shaking the ever-living life out of it until the oil and vinegar transform into a creamy dressing.)

How Long Does Panzanella Last?

While it lives forever in my dreams, in real life, Panzanella doesn’t last longer than a day. You’ll need to make it an hour or so before serving to give the bread time to soak up the dressing.

Can I Meal-Prep Panzanella?

I’ve had lots of success prepping Panzanella components ahead of time. Chop and toast the bread, cool it, then store it in an air-tight container with a folded paper towel in it to absorb humidity. Slice and salt the tomatoes and store them in an airtight container as well. The salt forces them to release their juices, which you can then incorporate into your dressing. Chop the rest of your ingredients and also store them in your fridge in an airtight container. Then it’s as easy as mixing everything together with greens and dressing. Toasted bread will stay fresh at room temperature for a few days. Chopped produce will also stay fresh for a few days in the fridge.

Side view of panzanella salad in a white bowl.
Overhead shot of panzanella salad in a white bowl with wood serving spoons next to it.

Panzanella

This scrumptious Panzanella salad is a quick and delicious way to use up day-old bread, ripe tomatoes, and other summer produce. For the ultimate convenience, you can even prep the ingredients ahead of time.
Course Salad
Cuisine Italian
Total Cost $13.54 recipe / $2.26 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 6 2 cups each
Calories 254kcal
Author Monti – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups bread, cubed $2.00
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided $0.64
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes $3.49
  • 1 nectarine $0.90
  • 1 cucumber $0.69
  • 1/2 red onion $0.40
  • 10 oz. baby spring mix $3.49
  • 4 oz. mozzarella pearls $1.75
  • 1 tsp salt $0.08
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar $0.10

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Slice the bread into 2 x 2-inch cubes and place in the sheet pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toss to combine. Bake until toasted, about 20 minutes.
  • While the bread toasts, wash all of the produce. Slice cherry tomatoes in half. Cut the cucumber in 1/2 inch thick quarter rounds. Slice the nectarine in 1/2 inch thick slices. Slice the red onion in 1/4 inch thick half moons.
  • Once the bread has toasted, pull it from the oven, and allow it to cool.
  • Add the toasted bread to a very large bowl and top with salad greens. Top the greens with tomatoes, nectarines, cucumbers, red onions, and mozzarella pearls.
  • Add remaining olive oil, vinegar, and salt to a small mason jar or other container with a tight-fitting lid. Close the lid tightly and shake the oil and vinegar until combined. Dress the salad. Toss to coat.
  • Let the salad sit for at least an hour to allow the bread to soak up the dressing. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 15g | Sodium: 664mg | Fiber: 3g
Overhead shot of panzanella salad in a white bowl with wood serving spoons next to it.

How to Make Panzanella- Step by Step Photos

Overhead shot of cubed bread in a sheet pan being dressed with olive oil .

Place a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 300°F. Slice three cups of day-old (or fresh) bread into 2 x 2-inch cubes and place in the sheet pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toss to combine. Bake until toasted, about 20 minutes. Fresh bread will take about 5-10 minutes longer.

Overhead shot of chopped onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, and nectarines on a wood cutting board.

While the bread toasts, wash all of the produce. Slice the pint of cherry tomatoes in half. Cut the cucumber in 1/2 inch thick quarter rounds. Slice the nectarine into 1/2 inch thick slices. Slice half of a red onion in 1/4 inch thick half moons.

Overhead shot of panzanella salad croutons in a sheet pan.

Once the bread has toasted, pull it from the oven, and allow it to cool.

Overhead shot of panzanella salad components.in a white bowl.

Add the toasted bread to a very large bowl and top with 10 oz. of salad greens. Top the greens with tomatoes, nectarines, cucumbers, and red onions. Finish with mozzarella pearls (not pictured here.)

Overhead shot of panzanella salad being dressed in a white bowl with wood serving spoons next to it.

Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the tablespoon of vinegar, and the teaspoon of salt to a small mason jar or another container with a tight-fitting lid. Close the lid tightly and shake the oil and vinegar until combined. Dress the salad. Toss to coat.

Overhead shot of panzanella salad in a white bowl.

Let the salad sit for at least an hour to allow the bread to soak up the dressing. Serve and enjoy!

Side shot of panzanella salad in a white bowl.

Check out these other great summer salads

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Peach Galette https://www.budgetbytes.com/peach-galette/ https://www.budgetbytes.com/peach-galette/#comments Sat, 30 Jul 2022 14:29:46 +0000 https://www.budgetbytes.com/?p=68411 This stunning peach galette is stupid-easy to make. It's my favorite way to showcase succulent summer peaches. You can use my simple three-ingredient pie dough recipe for the crust or opt for store-bought pie dough to get this luscious dessert on the table in under an hour.

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This stunning peach galette is stupid-easy to make and incredibly delicious. It’s my favorite way to showcase succulent summer peaches. You can use my simple three-ingredient pie dough recipe for the crust or opt for store-bought pie dough to get this luscious dessert on the table in under an hour.

Overhead shot of peach galette surrounded by fresh peaches.

What is a galette?

Galette is French for a free-form pastry with a sweet or savory filling. It’s baked on a sheet pan, not a pie pan. It’s the perfect way to use a bounty of juicy, ripe peaches. It’s an absolute cinch to put together and looks gorgeous on your table for the three seconds it takes before it gets gobbled up.

How to pick a ripe peach

Skip pale yellow peaches and opt for fruit that has a deep golden color. It should feel heavy for its size, and the flesh should be firm but still have a bit of a give. The skin around the stem should be slightly wrinkled, and the fruit should have a robust honey-like aroma.

Can I use frozen, canned, or jarred peaches?

If prepping fresh peaches seems like too much work, or if you simply don’t have access to them, opt for two pounds of frozen. You can use canned or jarred but opt for ones without added sugar. Drain them and pat them dry. If all you have are peaches packed in syrup, rinse them off, pat them dry, and lower the sugar in the recipe to ¼ cup. 

Overhead shot of slice of peach galette on a wood plate with a dollop of whipped cream.

How do I serve a peach galette?

With pride! You can serve it warm or cold, though warm is so much better. I love finishing a peach galette with a pinch of flaky salt. Then I serve the slices with a dollop of homemade whipped cream and a drizzle of honey. It also goes well with a scoop of no-churn strawberry ice cream and chopped pistachios. If you want to get real fancy with it, serve it with a chilled glass of rosé. OH, YOU’RE WELCOME.

How to store leftovers

A galette is best enjoyed the day it’s made, but if you manage some sort of self-control, first email me your secret. Then wrap any leftovers in parchment or wax paper and store them in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to two days. There is NO WAY they will last any longer than that, so stop showing off your superior craving control and don’t even bother asking me about freezing.

Side view shot of slice of peach galette being lifted by a pie spatula.
Overhead shot of peach galette with one slice being removed.

Peach Galette

This stunning peach galette is stupid-easy to make. With the help of a pre-made pie crust, you can get it on the table in about an hour.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Total Cost ($8.16 recipe / $1.02 serving)
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8 slices
Calories 320kcal
Author Monti – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 double pie crust* $1.34
  • 8 peaches $6.24
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract $0.26
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar $0.19
  • 2 tbsp corn starch $0.02
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream $0.09

Instructions

  • Place a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 400°F. Moisten your countertop and place a 15×15-inch sheet of parchment paper on it. Dust the parchment paper lightly with flour.
  • Place the pie dough on the parchment paper and roll it out to 14 inches in diameter. Use a fork to poke a few holes in the center of the dough.
  • Transfer the pie dough on the parchment paper to a sheet pan and chill it in the freezer while you prepare the peaches.
  • Slice the peaches, skin on, into 1/2 inch thick slices. Place the slices in a large bowl and drizzle with vanilla. Mix the sugar and cornstarch, then sprinkle over the peaches.
  • Toss the peaches gently to cover them in the sugar mixture, then place them in a mesh sieve set over the large bowl. Macerate the peaches until they release their juices, about fifteen minutes.
  • Add the juices to a small pot set over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Do not stir. Swirl the juices. Once the juices thicken, remove them from the heat.
  • Remove the chilled pie dough from the freezer and layer it with the peach slices, working from the center out. Leave a four-inch border. Top the peaches with the cooled caramel.
  • Fold the outer lip of the dough over the peaches, pleating it where necessary. Lightly brush a thin layer of heavy cream onto the top of the galette.
  • Bake for 40 minutes, or until the crust is crispy and golden.
  • Cool the galette on the sheet pan for fifteen minutes before serving. Use the edges of the parchment paper to help you lift it off the sheet pan.

Notes

*You can substitute with store-bought pie dough, the kind that comes with two crusts.
If using store-bought pie dough:
  • Roll out two smaller rounds on separate pieces of parchment, each about 9 inches in diameter.
  • Use a fork to poke holes in the center of each crust, leaving a three-inch border.
  • Divide the peaches between the two chilled crusts. Leave a three-inch border.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 320kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 12g | Sodium: 194mg | Fiber: 3g
Overhead shot of peach galette with one slice being removed.

How to Make Peach Galette – Step by Step Photos

Overhead shot of rolled out pie dough.

Place a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 400°F. Moisten your countertop with a sprinkle of water, place a 15×15-inch sheet of parchment paper on it, dust it with flour, and place the pie dough on top. Roll the dough into a 14-inch circle, about 1/4 inch thick, and use a fork to poke a few holes in the center. Transfer the pie dough on the parchment paper to a sheet pan and chill it in the freezer.

Overhead shot of sugar cornstarch mixture being sprinkled onto peaches with a tablespoon measure.

Cut the peaches with their skin on into 1/2 inch thick slices. Place the slices in a large bowl and drizzle with vanilla. Mix the sugar with the cornstarch, then sprinkle the sugar mixture over the peaches.

Overhead shot of wo hands tossing peaches with sugar mixture in a white bowl.

Toss the peaches gently to cover them in the sugar mixture. Place the peaches in a mesh sieve and place it over the large bowl. Macerate the peaches for about fifteen minutes until they release their juices.

Overhead shot of peach juice being strained into a pot.

Take the juices (not the peaches) and simmer them in a small pot. Do not stir, as this will crystallize the caramel. Occasionally pick up the pan to swirl the juices. Once the juices thicken and turn a golden brown, remove them from the heat.

Overhead shot of peach juice caramel being drizzled onto sliced peaches arranged on pie dough.

Remove the chilled pie dough from the freezer. Layer the peach slices on the dough, working from the center out. Leave a four-inch border. Top the peaches with the cooled caramel.

Overhead shot of pie dough edges being folded over peaches.

Fold the outer lip of the dough over the peaches, pleating it where necessary. You’re not looking for perfection here; that’s the beauty of a galette. Lightly brush a thin layer of heavy cream onto the top of the galette.

Overhead shot of baked peach galette.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until the crust is crispy and golden. Cool the galette on the sheet pan for fifteen minutes before serving. Use the edges of the parchment paper to help you lift it off the sheet pan.

Side shot of slice of peach galette on a pie spatula.

I mean, is this the prettiest thing you’ve seen all day or what?!?!?!? Eight servings for under $10 and JUST SIX INGREDIENTS. This one’s gonna be on repeat for a while.

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Easy 3-Ingredient Pie Crust https://www.budgetbytes.com/3-ingredient-pie-crust/ https://www.budgetbytes.com/3-ingredient-pie-crust/#comments Wed, 27 Jul 2022 14:45:18 +0000 https://www.budgetbytes.com/?p=68235 This super easy pie crust recipe comes together in minutes and has just three ingredients: salted butter, all-purpose flour, and water.

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This scrumptious and super easy pie crust recipe comes together in minutes and has just three ingredients: flour, butter, and water. You don’t need any special tools to make it, just a little know-how. That’s right. Contrary to popular belief, making pie dough from scratch isn’t complicated. That’s what relationships are for.

Overhead shot of a fully baked pie with a napkin, cup of flour, and rolling pin. surrounding it

What’s in a 3-ingredient pie crust?

Traditionally pie dough is just a mix of flour, liquid, fat, and salt. And while you can get super fancy with all of those ingredients, I use all-purpose for the flour and ice water for the liquid. By incorporating frozen, salted butter into the mix, I kill two birds with one stone. (For the record, I’ve never killed a bird with a stone, though my patio door did a number on one once). If you don’t have salted butter, add 2/3 teaspoon of sea salt to your flour.

I prefer using butter as opposed to other fats because it adds rich, creamy, nutty notes to the dough. You just can’t get that with shortening and other fats, which often leave a tasteless greasy film on the roof of your mouth. #shudder.

What is the secret to a good pie crust?

The secret to a good pie is never to break the golden rule: keep everything cold. I won’t get too deep into the science of it all, but if you’re interested, check out How to make perfect pie crust with the power of science.

For this easy 3-ingredient pie crust recipe, make sure to freeze your ingredients, especially in the summertime, when your kitchen can be a hot, steamy mess. Yes, I put everything in the freezer: the butter, flour, even the tools. When I worked in a kitchen with no AC (nightmare), I would roll out the dough on a frozen cookie sheet. If you don’t have the space/patience for all of that, just freeze the butter and make sure you use ice water.

Can I freeze pie dough?

Absolutely! Because it only stays fresh in the fridge for three days, I keep WAY too much of this dough tucked into my freezer, where it keeps for up to three months. (What can I say? I prefer to eat my fruits and veggies wrapped in flaky layers of pie crust. Judge me all you want. My life is delicious.) To prevent freezer burn, double wrap it in either plastic or beeswax and then keep it in a freezer-safe container. Thaw it out in your fridge a day before you plan to use it.

What can I make with pie crust?

What I love the most about this 3-ingredient pie crust is how versatile it is. You can use it to make a double-crust apple pie or a savory chicken pot pie. The dough is flexible enough for hand pies and sturdy enough for a galette, like our awesome Blueberry Lemon Cream Cheese Galette. You can even use the scraps to make the most amazing little cookies, which I should totally share with my kid, but instead, I stash them away because every mom needs her secrets. (If you know, YOU KNOW.)

Side view of fully baked pie.
Overhead view of baked pie on a countertop.

Easy 3-Ingredient Pie Crust

This super easy pie crust recipe comes together in minutes and has just three ingredients: salted butter, all-purpose flour, and water.
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Total Cost $1.34 recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 2 Crusts
Calories 1436kcal
Author Monti – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus some for dusting) $0.34
  • 2 sticks salted butter (1 cup) $1.00
  • 1/2 cup chilled water* $0.00

Instructions

  • Sift the flour through a fine mesh sieve and then spoon 2 3/4 cups of flour into dry measuring cups. Use the back of a butter knife to level the flour before adding it to a large bowl. Place in the freezer to chill while you grate the butter.
  • Grate the butter sticks on the box grater's large holes. When the butter becomes challenging to handle, chop what's left of it into dice-sized pieces.
  • Add the butter to the flour. Use a spoon to toss the butter and flour like you would a salad. Work quickly until the butter is completely covered in flour and the mixture resembles a shaggy, coarse corn meal.
  • Spoon four tablespoons of chilled, icy water onto the flour/butter mixture. Mix quickly with a fork, incorporating the flour gathered at the bowl's bottom.
  • Continue to add water tablespoon by tablespoon, mixing between each addition, until you can lightly pinch the flour/butter mixture and it holds together in a dough.
  • Use your hands to press the shaggy bits of dough into a ball quickly. Then, lightly flour your work surface and shape the ball into a flat disc, about six inches in diameter and three to four inches thick.
  • Wrap the disc of dough tightly in plastic or beeswax. Let it rest in the fridge for at least two hours, preferably overnight.
  • Use the pie dough in your favorite recipe or keep the pie dough in the refrigerator for up to three days or frozen for up to three months. This recipe is for a double crust.*

Notes

*The amount of water used will vary depending on multiple factors, like the humidity in the room. 
*You can blind-bake this dough at 350°F for about 40 minutes. Make sure to use pie weights to prevent bubbling and a foil ring to prevent burning.  If you are making a filled pie, temperatures and bake time will vary, depending on the filling and the thickness of the required crust.

Nutrition

Serving: 1recipe | Calories: 1436kcal | Carbohydrates: 131g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 93g | Sodium: 730mg | Fiber: 5g
Overhead view of baked pie on a countertop.

How to Make Homemade Pie Dough – Step by Step Photos

Flour being sifted into a white bowl.

For an accurate measurement of volume, sift your flour, and don’t scoop it into your measuring cups. Spoon 2 3/4 cups of sifted flour into the cups, and then use the back of a butter knife to level it off. Place it in a large bowl and put that in the freezer while you grate the butter.

Overhead shot of a hand grating butter on a box grater.

Grate two sticks of salted butter that have been frozen solid. When you get down to a three-inch knob of butter, and it’s getting tricky to keep your knuckles out of the party, chop the remaining butter into diced-sized pieces.

Overhead shot of flour and butter mixture being tossed with a fork.

Take the bowl of sifted flour out of your freezer and add the grated butter. Use a spoon to mix the flour and butter as if you were tossing a salad. Mix until all of the butter is coated with flour.

Overhead shot of water being added to flour and butter mixture.

Add 1/4 cup of chilled water to the flour and butter mixture. Use your spoon to toss the mixture and incorporate the water. Continue adding water, tablespoon by tablespoon, tossing between each addition and incorporating flour that has shifted to the bottom of the bowl.

Once most of the flour has started to clump together with the butter, grab a bit and pinch it together. It should form a dough with a texture like play-dough, neither dry nor wet. If your dough is crumbly when you pinch it together, continue to add chilled water.

Overhead shot of two hands holding dough shaped in a flat disc over a white bowl.

Press the bits of dough together into a ball and flatten it into a disc about 6 inches wide and three inches thick. Wrap it tightly in plastic or beeswax cloth and set it inside an airtight container. Let it rest in the fridge for at least two hours, preferably overnight.

Overhead shpt pf pie dough being rolled out by hand.

Slice the rested dough an inch above the center line and shape both halves into a disc. Place the larger half on a lightly floured work surface. Roll from the center up, down, left, and right. Lift the dough, rotate 15 degrees, and repeat the sequence until it’s 14 inches in diameter and the thickness of an ear lobe

Overhead shot of two hands using a rolling pin to place rolled out dough in a pie pan.

Place your rolling pin on the bottom edge of your crust and roll it onto your rolling pin. Place the pin on the top edge of a greased pie plate, centering the crust. Unfurl the dough towards you, then press it into the plate.

To prevent steam from forcing the bottom crust to bubble up, use a fork to dock the dough, pressing the tines all the way through. Optional if using a liquidy filling: separate an egg and beat the white until frothy. Brush a thin layer over the bottom crust to seal the crust. Rest the pie plate in the freezer.

Overhead shot of hands fluting pie dough.

Roll out the top crust to 11 inches in diameter. Take the pie plate out, add your filling, and brush water on the outer edges of the bottom crust. Place the top crust over the filling, fold the bottom crust over it, and pinch the two together to seal.

Overhead shot of hand using a pastry brush to place egg wash on pie dough.

Optional: Beat the remaining egg yolk with a tablespoon of cream or milk and brush it onto the top crust. This will help with browning. You can also use plain milk or cream.

Overhead shot of knifecutting steam vents into uncooked pie top crust.

To prevent the pie crust from bubbling up as it bakes, cut steam vents into the top crust. Rest the pie in the freezer for fifteen minutes.

Overhead shot of a fully cooked pie with a golden-brown pastry.

Place your chilled pie on the middle rack of a preheated oven and bake according to recipe directions.

Look at all that flaky goodness for a little over a dollar! Yum!!

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Chicken Alfredo https://www.budgetbytes.com/chicken-alfredo/ https://www.budgetbytes.com/chicken-alfredo/#comments Mon, 25 Jul 2022 14:34:20 +0000 https://www.budgetbytes.com/?p=67733 This Chicken Alfredo features pasta drenched in an ultra-rich and creamy sauce and topped with juicy strips of seared chicken.

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When it comes to indulgent comfort foods, I don’t know if anything beats Chicken Alfredo. I just can’t say no to a big ol’ plate of carby pasta drenched in an ultra-rich and creamy sauce and topped with juicy strips of seared chicken, can you? (That was a rhetorical question.) And now that I know how easy it is to make it at home, I have a feeling this is going to become my new favorite special occasion meal. And yes, sometimes just making it through to the end of the week is a special occasion in this house. ;)

close up overhead view of a bowl full of chicken alfredo pasta.

Can I Substitute the Heavy Cream?

While authentic alfredo doesn’t use any heavy cream, this American alfredo does use heavy cream as the base for the sauce, which helps the Parmesan melt in smoothly instead of clumping or sticking to the bottom of the pan. Most other dairy products or dairy substitutes contain too much water to allow the cheese to melt into the sauce properly, so I do not suggest substituting the heavy cream.

Fresh vs. Grated Parmesan

Freshly shredded Parmesan always trumps grated Parmesan from a can, there’s no argument there, but we’re cooking on a budget here so I made sure this recipe tastes great even when using less expensive Parmesan. If you have room in your budget for a wedge of fresh Parmesan, by all means, use it! But just know that you can still make a tasty alfredo even if you can’t afford the good stuff.

What to Serve with Chicken Alfredo

With any heavy dish like this, I like to pair it with a light and simple side salad. The delicate texture and fresh flavor of a simple side salad perfectly balances the thick and creamy alfredo sauce. Some Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus or Lemon Pepper Zucchini would also pair well. And of course, it wouldn’t be pasta night without some homemade garlic bread!

How Are the Leftovers?

The rich nature of this sauce means that it does start to thicken up quite a bit as it cools, so you definitely want to serve and enjoy this pasta when it’s hot out of the skillet. That being said, I would never turn down the leftovers of something so creamy and delicious. Just know that the texture when reheated will not be as silky smooth.

Close up side view of chicken alfredo in the skillet.
Overhead view of chicken alfredo in the skillet.

Chicken Alfredo

This Chicken Alfredo features pasta drenched in an ultra-rich and creamy sauce, topped with juicy strips of seared chicken.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Total Cost $10.62 recipe / $2.66 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 756kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1.3 lb. total) $6.49
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning $0.20
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.22
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced $0.32
  • 1 cup heavy cream $1.25
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan $1.08
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp pepper $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley (optional garnish) $0.10
  • 8 oz. fettuccine $0.88

Instructions

  • Season both sides of the chicken breast with Italian seasoning and a pinch of salt.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add the cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook for about 7-8 minutes on each side, or until browned on the outside and cooked through.
  • Remove the chicken to a clean plate and turn the heat under the skillet down to medium-low.
  • Add the butter and minced garlic to the skillet. Stir and cook the garlic in the melted butter for about two minutes, dissolving the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet as you stir.
  • Add the heavy cream and whisk to combine, dissolving any remaining browned bits. Allow the cream to come up to a simmer.
  • While waiting for the cream to simmer, bring a pot of water to a boil for the fettuccine. Once boiling, add the pasta and continue to boil until tender (about 7 minutes). Reserve about ½ cup of the starchy cooking water just before draining the pasta.
  • Once the cream is simmering, add the grated Parmesan to the skillet. Continue to whisk and stir until the Parmesan has melted into the sauce and the sauce has begun to simmer. Simmer the sauce for a few minutes, or until it becomes slightly thicker. Add salt and pepper to the sauce to taste.
  • Add the drained pasta to the skillet with the creamy sauce and toss to combine. If the sauce becomes too thick, add a couple of tablespoons of the reserved pasta water and toss to combine with the sauce.
  • Slice the cooked chicken breasts and serve it atop the creamy pasta. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 756kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 42g | Sodium: 719mg | Fiber: 2g

Love alfredo? Check out our Shrimp Alfredo, too!

Overhead view of chicken alfredo in the skillet.

How to Make Chicken Alfredo – Step by Step Photos

Seasoned chicken breast on a cutting board.

Season two boneless, skinless chicken breasts with two teaspoons of Italian Seasoning and a pinch of salt.

Seared chicken in the skillet.

Heat a large skillet over medium. Once fully preheated, add 1 Tablespoon of cooking oil and swirl to coat the skillet. Add the chicken breasts and cook on each side for 7-8 minutes, or until the chicken is well browned and cooked through. Remove the chicken to a clean plate.

Butter and minced garlic in the skillet.

Turn the heat down to medium-low, then add 2 tablespoons of butter and 4 cloves of minced garlic to the skillet.

Deglazed pan with butter and garlic.

Cook and stir the butter and garlic over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes, dissolving the browned bits as you stir.

Heavy cream being poured into the skillet.

Add one cup of heavy cream to the skillet and stir to combine. Turn the heat up to medium and bring the cream up to a simmer.

A box of fettuccine open on one end with pasta coming out

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add 8oz. of pasta and continue to boil until the pasta is tender. Reserve ½ cup of the starchy pasta water before draining the pasta in a colander.

Parmesan being added to the skillet.

While waiting for the pasta to boil, continue with the sauce. Once the cream is simmering, add ¾ cup Parmesan and continue to stir and cook until the sauce comes back up to a simmer.

Finished alfredo sauce in the skillet.

When the sauce comes back up to a simmer the Parmesan will begin to melt. Continue to cook and stir until the sauce thickens slightly (3-5 minutes). Add salt and pepper to the sauce to taste.

Fettuccine being tossed in the cream sauce.

Add the cooked and drained pasta to the alfredo sauce and toss to combine. If the sauce is too thick or too dry, add a few tablespoons of the reserved pasta water and toss to combine.

Sliced chicken added on top of the pasta alfredo.

Slice the chicken breast and add it on top of the pasta, then serve. (You can garnish with chopped parsley if desired).

Overhead view of chicken alfredo in a shallow bowl with a fork.

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