Caramelized Banana Pudding | Sally’s Baking Addiction


Caramelized banana pudding is a fun variation of the Southern classic. Made with layers of brown sugar caramelized bananas and real from-scratch pudding, you won’t be able to stop at just 1 taste. Layer with vanilla wafer cookies and top with extra fluffy cinnamon spiced whipped cream.

banana pudding with whipped cream on top

This Isn’t Traditional Banana Pudding

Let me show you a delicious variation of banana pudding. This isn’t traditional banana pudding– rather, it’s a version made with brown sugar caramelized bananas and fluffy cinnamon spiced whipped cream on top. Classic southern banana pudding is typically made with fresh bananas and a meringue topping. My favorite real homemade banana pudding is found on Grand Baby Cakes— have you tried Jocelyn’s version yet? It’s unreal.

But it’s fun to play around with different flavors and variations. I first made this back around Christmas and have been perfecting it since. If you love cinnamon, brown sugar, real homemade pudding, billowy whipped cream, and bananas (raises hand *so high*), this dessert is totally for you.


Caramelized Banana Pudding Video Tutorial

caramelized banana pudding

caramelized banana pudding with vanilla wafer cookies

4 Parts to Caramelized Banana Pudding

  1. Caramelized Bananas: You need about 4 cups of banana slices, which is around 5 large bananas. To caramelize the bananas, cook butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon together on the stove. Add the bananas and cook them until softened and caramelized. They’ll become pretty soft, so if you prefer a little more texture in your banana pudding layers, reduce the banana cook time.
  2. Homemade Vanilla Pudding: This pudding is a variation of the pudding I use in my banana cream pie. It’s much thicker in the pie recipe since we need it to solidify into slices. I’ve thinned it out with more milk, a little more sugar, and extra butter. A little extra salt offsets the sweetness. Continue below to read how it’s made.
  3. Vanilla Wafer Cookies: A staple in banana pudding recipes! If you don’t have vanilla wafer cookies, use graham crackers.
  4. Cinnamon Whipped Cream: Extra creamy and perfectly spiced whipped cream adds a luscious layer on top of this dessert. The pudding and bananas are pretty sweet, so a lightly sweetened topping is a welcome addition. This recipe yields about 3 cups of whipped cream, so expect a generous layer.

caramelizing bananas

ingredients for homemade pudding

Homemade Vanilla Pudding

If you ever need a vanilla pudding, use this one. It’s my favorite– perfectly creamy and sweet, extra soft and buttery, and easy to make ahead of time. I love using this pudding in a trifle, layering it with sliced strawberries, cubes of brown butter pound cake, and topped with whipped cream. The recipe yields 4 cups.

You need the 8 ingredients pictured above: whole milk, heavy cream, sugar, salt, egg yolks, cornstarch, vanilla extract, and softened butter. Cook those 1st 4 ingredients together on the stove, mix the egg yolks and cornstarch together (below, left), then temper the egg yolks into the milk mixture. Whisk constantly, cook together, then remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla extract and butter. The stovetop process is similar to butterscotch pudding.

If you know how to whisk, you know how to make homemade pudding. It’s simple.

making pudding

Overview: How to Make & Assemble

This is the easiest part of the entire recipe– you can’t really mess it up. Line half of the vanilla wafers on the bottom of your dish. Evenly top with half of the caramelized bananas. Give the pudding a quick stir. If it has thickened considerably and isn’t pourable, whisk in a splash of milk to help thin out. Pour/spread half of the warm pudding on top. Top with remaining vanilla wafers, then the remaining caramelized bananas. Finish with the rest of the pudding, then spread whipped cream in a generous layer all over the top.

Chill the dessert for at least 4 hours and up to 1 day. The pudding will thicken, the flavors will mingle, and the vanilla wafers will soften. After or close to 24 hours, the wafers may taste too soggy and the bananas will begin to release some liquid.

For best taste and texture, serve within 24 hours.

assembling caramelized bananas and pudding in a baking dish

whipped cream on banana pudding

Other Sizes:

I usually assemble this no-bake dessert in 2.5 quart pan. The ceramic one I use in these photos is from Crate & Barrel, but– sadly– I can’t find it on the website anymore. If you’re making individual banana puddings or 1 large trifle, keep in mind that this recipe yields a lot of whipped cream, so feel free to reduce down.

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Description

This is a fun variation of the classic Southern dessert. Made with layers of brown sugar caramelized bananas and real from-scratch pudding, you won’t be able to stop at just 1 taste. Layer with vanilla wafer cookies and top with extra fluffy cinnamon spiced whipped cream.


Ingredients

Caramelized Bananas

  • 1/4 cup (60g; 4 Tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 large bananas, sliced into 1/4 inch slices (about 4 heaping cups)

Pudding & Assembly

  • 2 and 1/4 cups (540ml) whole milk*
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream*
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup (30gcornstarch
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • about 50 vanilla wafer cookies (such as Nilla Wafers; one 11 ounce box is enough)*

Cinnamon Whipped Cream & Optional Garnish

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) heavy cream*
  • 1/4 cup (30g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • optional garnish: quartered banana slices and/or crumbled vanilla wafer cookies

  1. Caramelized Bananas: Place the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a large skillet over medium heat. Constantly stir as the butter and sugar melt down. Add the bananas and cook until softened and slightly caramelized, about 3 minutes. *If you prefer a little more texture in your banana pudding, only cook the bananas for about 1-2 minutes.* Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Pudding: Combine the milk, heavy cream, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until all the sugar has dissolved, then bring to a gentle simmer, whisking occasionally. Working quickly as the milk mixture begins to simmer, whisk the egg yolks and cornstarch together in a medium heatproof bowl until very thick and smooth. Very slowly stream in about 3/4 cup (180ml) of the simmering milk to slightly warm the egg yolk mixture. Then, in a very slow stream, whisk the egg yolk mixture into the pan. While continuously whisking, cook until the mixture is thick and big bubbles begin bursting at the surface, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from heat and whisk in the vanilla extract and butter. Makes about 4 cups of pudding.
  3. Assemble: Use an ungreased 9-inch or any 2.5 quart baking dish. Line half of the vanilla wafers on the bottom. Evenly top with half of the caramelized bananas. Give the pudding a quick stir. If it has thickened considerably and isn’t pourable, whisk in a splash of milk to help thin out. Pour half of the warm pudding on top. Use a spoon to evenly spread around. Evenly top with remaining vanilla wafers, then the remaining caramelized bananas. Pour the rest of the pudding on top and spread into an even layer. Set aside, covered or uncovered, at room temperature or in the refrigerator as you make the whipped cream.
  4. Whipped Cream: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, and cinnamon on medium-high speed until medium peaks form, about 3-4 minutes. Medium peaks are between soft/loose peaks and stiff peaks. Spread evenly on top of the pudding.
  5. Cover the pudding tightly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours. The vanilla wafers will soften during this time. They may taste too soggy after 1 full day and the bananas will begin to release some liquid, so for best taste and texture, serve within 24 hours.
  6. To serve, spoon into individual bowls. Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. I don’t recommend freezing this because of the high volume of liquid in the pudding, whipped cream, and bananas. The caramelized bananas won’t thaw very nicely either.

Notes

  1. Detailed Make Ahead Instructions: This is the perfect make ahead recipe because it needs to chill for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours. You can also prepare the caramelized bananas and pudding in advance. Let the cooked bananas cool, cover tightly, then refrigerate for up to 1 day. If making the pudding in advance, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the warm pudding to prevent a “skin” from forming on top. Refrigerate for up to 2 days. Add a splash of milk to help thin the cold pudding out before layering in step 3. The whipped cream is best made and layered on fresh, but if needed, you can prepare it, cover tightly, and chill in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before using.
  2. Whole Milk & Heavy Cream: These precise amounts of whole milk and heavy cream are ideal. Using all or some half-and-half wouldn’t yield the same milkfat needed. Lower fat or nondairy milks will produce a very thin pudding, so I don’t recommend either. You need heavy cream for the whipped cream anyway and this entire recipe conveniently uses 1 pint.
  3. Egg Yolks: Egg yolks are key in this homemade pudding. For your extra egg whites, here are recipes using egg whites.
  4. Vanilla Wafer Cookies: Nilla Wafers are commonly used in banana pudding. If you don’t have access to vanilla wafer cookies, use about 12 full sheets of graham crackers, breaking up 6 per layer to fit the pan.
  5. Individual Banana Puddings or 1 Large Trifle: This recipe yields enough for at least 8-10 6 ounce parfaits. You can also make this banana pudding in a 3 quart (or slightly smaller/slightly larger) trifle bowl. Using the exact ingredient amounts given above, you should have enough for 3 layers of wafers, bananas, and pudding. For either size/presentation, see note above about adjusting the whipped cream.
  6. What about a traditional meringue topping? Traditional Southern banana pudding uses meringue topping instead of whipped cream. This is simply a delicious variation! Feel free to use my marshmallow meringue topping instead of whipped cream. (Which is convenient because it uses 4 egg whites.) You can torch it with a kitchen torch or, after layering on top, bake the entire assembled pudding on the top oven rack for 10 minutes at 325°F (163°C). Serve warm or cold.

Keywords: banana pudding, bananas, pudding

bowl of banana pudding with whipped cream



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Creamy Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli


$5.48 recipe / $1.37 serving

I’m all about the quick skillet meals because, let’s face it, sometimes after a long day of work you don’t really want to cook anything… but you still gotta eat. This super quick Creamy Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli combines the vibrant flavors of basil pesto with tangy cream cheese to make a deliciously rich sauce to smother the pasta, chicken, and broccoli. The pesto provides all the garlic and herbal flavor needed, so there’s no need to even dice an onion, mince garlic, or measure any herbs and spices—it’s already in the sauce! The whole dish cooks very quickly so you can have this one on the dinner table in about 30 minutes.

Originally posted 11-24-2013, updated 8-9-2020.

Creamy pesto pasta with chicken and broccoli in the skillet, viewed from above

Can I Use a Different Pasta Shape?

Yep! Any short shaped pasta, like penne, rotini, or even macaroni will work fine for this recipe. You can use a longer type pasta, like fettuccine or linguine, but it’s a little harder to stir chunky ingredients, like the chicken and broccoli, into long pasta. Sometimes breaking it in half before cooking can help.

What Kind of Pesto Do You Use?

I used basil pesto from ALDI for this recipe because it’s super affordable. If you don’t have an ALDI store near you, Classico brand pesto and Barilla brand pesto also tend to be very affordable. 

Can I Substitute the Cream Cheese?

If you’re not into cream cheese, you can make a similar creamy sauce by substituting the cream cheese with about a ½ cup heavy cream, or replace both the chicken broth and cream cheese with 1 cup half and half. The sauce will be nice and creamy, but it won’t have that tangy cream cheese flavor that some people are not a fan of. You may need to add a pinch or two of salt at the end if you’re skipping the chicken broth.

Make it a Vegetarian Creamy Pesto Pasta

This Creamy Pesto Pasta can easily be made vegetarian. Just use a little extra broccoli, substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth, and you’re good to go!

Front view of a bowl of creamy pesto pasta with chicken and broccoli, a fork lifting one bite

 

Creamy Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli

A super fast creamy pesto sauce drenches tender pasta, chicken breast, and broccoli for an easy weeknight dinner.

Total Cost: $5.48 recipe / $1.37 serving

Author: Beth – Budget Bytes

Servings: 4

  • 8 oz. bow tie pasta ($0.67)
  • 8 oz. frozen broccoli florets ($1.00)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.12)
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast ($2.49)
  • 1/3 cup basil pesto ($0.73)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth ($0.07)
  • 4 oz. cream cheese ($0.40)
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Once it reaches a full boil, add the pasta and continue to boil just until the pasta is tender, but still slightly firm in the center (7-8 minutes). Once the pasta is tender, add the frozen broccoli florets to the water with the pasta and continue to cook for 2-3 more minutes, or until the broccoli is tender. Drain the pasta and broccoli in a colander.

  • While the pasta is cooking, cut the chicken breast into ½-inch pieces. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the chicken and continue to cook until the outside of the chicken pieces are white, but they’re still tender in the center (they will continue to cook as more ingredients are added).

  • Add the chicken broth to the skillet with the chicken and allow it to heat through. Once hot, add the cream cheese (cut into small pieces) and pesto. Continue to stir and cook until the cream cheese has melted and created a smooth, creamy sauce with the pesto and chicken broth.

  • Finally, add the cooked and drained pasta and broccoli to the skillet and stir to coat it in the cream sauce. If the sauce becomes too dry or thick, add another splash of chicken broth to loosen it up. Serve hot.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 606.33kcalCarbohydrates: 53.58gProtein: 37.18gFat: 28.33gSodium: 725.78mgFiber: 7.15g

Nutritional values are estimates only. See our full nutrition disclosure here.


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How to Use Your Leftover Pesto

Not sure what to do with the rest of the jar of pesto? Try these recipes:

How to Make Creamy Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli – Step by Step Photos

Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add 8oz. bowtie pasta and continue to boil for 7-8 minutes, or just until it’s tender with a little firmness in the center. Add ½ lb. frozen broccoli florets and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes more or just until the broccoli is tender. Drain the pasta and broccoli in a colander.

Diced chicken breast on an orange cutting board

While the pasta and broccoli are cooking, cut one pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast into ½-inch chunks.

Broth being poured into a skillet with cooked chicken pieces.

Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, add the diced chicken and cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until the chicken is white on the outside, but still slightly tender inside (it will continue to cook as more ingredients are added). Add ½ cup chicken broth to the skillet and allow it to heat through.

pesto and cream cheese added to the skillet with the chicken and broth

Add 4oz. cream cheese (cut into small chunks) and ⅓ cup basil pesto to the skillet. 

Smooth and creamy pesto sauce in the skillet

Stir and cook over medium heat until the cream cheese has melted and created a smooth sauce with the pesto and broth. The cream cheese might look a little chunky as it’s melting, but keep stirring and cooking, it will smooth out once fully melted.

Finished creamy pesto pasta with chicken and broccoli in the skillet with a spatula

Finally, add the cooked and drained pasta and broccoli to the skillet and stir until it is all coated in the creamy pesto sauce. If the sauce becomes too dry or too thick, add another splash of chicken broth to loosen it up.

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

And that’s that! So easy! If you like ranch flavored foods, I think this tangy, garlicky sauce almost tastes ranch-like. So yum!





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kachumber cooler – smitten kitchen


If you go way back in the land of Smitten Kitchen, you might know that one of my favorite restaurants of all time was called Tabla, specifically the more casual, heavier on the small plates, downstairs space called the Bread Bar. In my early years in New York, I went there as often as I could scrape the change together. I’m pretty sure we ate there for my 25th birthday. Alex met my parents there for the first time. We even put the (now discontinued) wine glasses on our wedding registry. I obsessed over every dish and can reel off the names of several just from memory — saag paneer pizza, potato apple chaat, black pepper shrimp, boondi raita, aloo kulcha, and the mango kulfi pops. The cocktails were also exceptional; Alex loved the Masala Mary, and I loved the Tamarind Margarita and the Kachumber Cooler; we drank them standing up, because it was always crowded, a snacked on my desert island favorite, the bar popcorn with ghee and chat masala, although we’d also never say no to the chickpea-battered onion rings with a spicy masala ketchup.

cucumber, jalapenomuddle it

After Tabla closed in 2009, we went out to eat everywhere the chef, Floyd Cardoz, cooked next — North End Grill, Paowalla, later called Bombay Bread Bar, where he rekindled the menu with many Tabla favorites, much to our delight. It closed a little under a year ago, and I was impatiently waiting to hear what he’d be up to next when a friend texted early one morning in March that he had died of complications relating to Covid-19. He was only 59.


muddledstrain

We’ve lost so many people this year; there are an uncountable number of lives that have been cruelly cut short due to this virus. And while his is no more singularly tragic than anyone else’s, I think about it a lot because it was such a tremendous shock, and because his cooking had such a significant impact on me.

kachumber cooler

This summer, I’ve taken his two cookbooks down from the shelves many times, glad we’ve been left with so many of his recipes to enjoy. This spicy cocktail is named after an Indian kachumber salad that usually consists of chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and sometimes chili peppers, and sometimes lemon, lime, or herbs. Here, he uses just cucumber, cilantro, and chili, muddled in your glass. Shake it up with gin, lime juice, and simple syrup, then strain it over ice, for a bracing, spicy, and cooling cocktail that feels like the absolutely perfect antidote for another hot, stormy week.

kachumber cooler

Previously

Six months ago: Sweet Potato Salad with Pepita Dressing
One year ago: Ultimate Zucchini Bread
Two years ago: Marbled Raspberry Pound Cake
Three years ago: German Chocolate Cake + A Wedding Cake
Four years ago: Blueberry Bread and Butter Pudding
Five years ago: Takeout-Style Sesame Noodles with Cucumber
Six years ago: Three-Ingredient Summertime Salsa and Blueberry Crumb Cake
Seven years ago: Banana Nutella and Salted Pistachio Popsicles
Eight years ago: Zucchini Bread Pancakes and Zucchini, Tomato and Rice Gratin
Nine years ago: Corn Buttermilk and Chive Popovers
Ten years ago: Nectarine Brown Butter Buckle and Sweet and Smoky Oven Spare Ribs
Eleven years ago: Peach and Creme Fraiche Pie
Twelve years ago: Asparagus with Chorizo and Croutons and Sour Cherry Slab Pie
Thirteen years ago: Herbed Summer Squash and Potato Torte and Garlic Mustard Glazed Skewers
Fourteen years ago: Pearl Couscous with Olives and Roasted Tomatoes

Kachumber Cooler

To make simple syrup, heat 1 tablespoon water with 2 tablespoons sugar, stirring, just until the sugar dissolves. Pour into cup or bowl and 1 tablespoon ice-cold water to cool it somewhat, then chill in the fridge until needed. Scale up as needed. Leftovers keep in fridge.

  • 2 1/2-inch slices of cucumber, plus a couple thinner slices for garnish
  • 2 1/4-inch slices of a mild-to-medium chile, such as jalapeño)
  • 8 fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) simple syrup
  • 1 3/4 ounces (3 1/2 tablespoons) gin

Muddle thick slices of cucumber, cilantro, and chili in a cocktail shaker or mixing glass until well broken-down and mashed. Add gin, lime, and simple syrup and shake vigorously. Strain into medium or double rocks glass, half filled with ice. Add more ice as desired. Garnish with thinner slice of cucumber.



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5 Templates for Easy Vegan Dinners


The older I get the more I love meals where I can just throw whatever I have into one pot, bowl, or skillet. I’ve noticed that these “easy dinners” usually fall into five distinct categories: stir fries, bowl meals, curries, soups and stews, or salads. It doesn’t matter what ingredients you have on hand or what you happened to get at the farmer’s market or in your CSA that week, you can usually toss just about anything into one of these easy vegan dinners.

And guess what? If you have some family members who are vegan and some that aren’t, it’s super easy to cook a meat on the side and add it to individual portions of any of these meals!

Collage of six easy vegan dinners with title box in the center

 

Stir Fry

Stir fry is the ultimate use-whatever-you-have meal. All you need is a hot pan, a few handfuls of vegetables or proteins, a simple sauce, and some noodles or rice to spoon to soak up all that delciousness. Ultimately, the stir fry is all about the stir fry sauce. Check out these simple vegan stir fry recipes to explore some different simple stir fry sauces: 

A bowl of Spicy Coconut Vegetable Stir Fry ready to be eaten.

Spicy Coconut Vegetable Stir Fry

This rich and spicy coconut vegetable stir fry is adaptable to whatever vegetables are lingering in your fridge, making it a great sweep the kitchen recipe!

Go to the recipe >>>

Spicy Coconut Vegetable Stir Fry

Eating a large plate of Salad Bar Vegetable Lo Mein

Salad Bar Vegetable Lo Mein

When you need dinner to be fast, easy, and satisfying, this Salad Bar Vegetable Lo Mein is your answer. It’s as simple and satisfying as it gets!

Go to the recipe >>>

Salad Bar Vegetable Lo Mein

With just a few ingredients you can make these easy and delicious Mushroom Broccoli Stir Fry Noodles for a fast weeknight dinner. BudgetBytes.com

Simple Mushroom Broccoli Stir Fry Noodles

With just a few ingredients you can make these easy and delicious Mushroom Broccoli Stir Fry Noodles for a fast weeknight dinner.

Go to the recipe >>>

Simple Mushroom Broccoli Stir Fry Noodles

Pan Fried Sesame Tofu with Broccoli

This Pan Fried Sesame Tofu is seriously crispy and drenched in a tangy sesame sauce. Broccoli florets and cooked rice make it a meal.

Go to the recipe >>>

Pan Fried Sesame Tofu with Broccoli

Vegetable Stir Fry Noodle Bowls - Budget Bytes

SNAP Challenge: Vegetable Stir Fry with Noodles

This colorful vegetable stir fry with noodles is packed with vegetables and drenched in a salty sweet sauce. Fast, easy, and customizable.

Go to the recipe >>>

Vegetable Stir Fry with Noodles

 

Bowl Meals

The “bowl meal” formula is easy. Base (grain or greens) + protein + vegetable(s) + sauce. Every bowl is a complete meal, no need to plan side dishes. And an added bonus: bowl meals are great for meal prepping, so tomorrow’s lunch is covered! Here are some of my favorite vegan bowl meals:

Sweet Chili Stir Fried Tofu Bowls

Sweet Chili Tofu Bowls are an easy, fresh, and flavorful vegan weeknight dinner, packed with vibrant colors and flavors. Perfect for meal prep!

Go to the recipe >>>

Sweet Chili Tofu Bowls

These rich and spicy Coconut Jerk Peas are super simple to make and pair brilliantly with a sweet and vibrant pineapple salsa. BudgetBytes.com

Coconut Jerk Peas with Pineapple Salsa

These rich and spicy Coconut Jerk Peas are super simple to make and pair brilliantly with a sweet and vibrant pineapple salsa. 

Go to the recipe >>>

Coconut Jerk Peas with Pineapple Salsa

Sesame Tempeh Bowls being eaten with chopsticks

Sesame Tempeh Bowls

These Sesame Tempeh Bowls are a great vegan alternative to sesame chicken and only take about 20 minutes to make. An easy fast vegan meal prep! 

Go to the recipe >>>

Sesame Tempeh Bowls

Broiled Balsamic Vegetables with Lemon Parsley Rice

Broiled balsamic vegetables top a vibrant and fresh lemon parsley rice to make this light and healthy dish. Works great as a side or a light meal. 

Go to the recipe >>>

Broiled Balsamic Vegetables with Lemon Parsley Rice

These vegan Soy Marinated Tofu Bowls are full of rich flavors and plenty of texture to keep your taste buds happy and your belly full. BudgetBytes.com

Soy Marinated Tofu Bowls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

These vegan Soy Marinated Tofu Bowls are full of rich flavors and plenty of texture to keep your taste buds happy and your belly full. 

Go to the recipe >>>

Soy Marinated Tofu Bowls

Chili Garlic Tofu Bowls

Chili Garlic Tofu Bowls are a fiber and flavor filled healthy lunch that you can pre-pack for your week ahead

Go to the recipe >>>

Chili Garlic Tofu Bowls

These Sweet Potato Grain Bowls with Green Tahini Sauce are prefect for meal prep and bursting with color, texture, and flavor! BudgetBytes.com

Sweet Potato Grain Bowls with Green Tahini Sauce

These Sweet Potato Grain Bowls with Green Tahini Sauce are prefect for meal prep and bursting with color, texture, and flavor!

Go to the recipe >>>

Sweet Potato Grain Bowls with Green Tahini Sauce

 

Curry

Curries are another “it’s all about the sauce” meal. As long as you have a delicious curry sauce, you can pour it over any vegetable or protein and your meal is going to be awesome. I like to make my curries with either a tomato based sauce or a creamy coconut based sauce. Both varieties are super easy, flavorful, and versatile! Try these simple vegan curries:

A hand dipping a piece of naan into the Creamy Coconut Curried Lentils with Spinach on a plate with curry roasted carrots

Creamy Coconut Curry Lentils with Spinach

These rich, creamy, and earthy Coconut Curry Lentils are an easy and delicious vegan option for dinner or weekly meal prep!

Go to the recipe >>>

Creamy Coconut Curry Lentils with Spinach

These super fast Curried Chickpeas with spinach are packed with flavor and nutrients, vegan, gluten-free, and filling! Plus they freeze great! BudgetBytes.com

Curried Chickpeas with Spinach

These super fast Curried Chickpeas with spinach are packed with flavor and nutrients, vegan, gluten-free, and filling! Plus they freeze great!

Go to the recipe >>>

Curried Chickpeas with Spinach

Two bowls of chana saag with rice, next to the skillet and a piece of torn naan

Chana Saag

Chana saag is a creamy chickpea and spinach curry that comes together quickly, is full of warm spices, filling, and vegan! Perfect for meal prep!

Go to the recipe >>>

Chana Saag – Chickpea and Spinach Curry

Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Lentils

Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Lentils are an easy, hands-off, fiber filled, freezer friendly vegan dinner. 

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Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Lentils

 

Salad

Salads aren’t just for side dishes! Pile ’em high with lots of vegetables and whatever protein you prefer, and you’ve got a filling meal with more color, flavor, and texture than most people get in one day. Get creative with your salad greens, too. In addition to the traditional mixed greens, spinach, or Romaine, you can also build a great salad on kale, cabbage, or parsley. Beef up your salad by adding a grain or a handful of nuts for extra filling power. Try these meal-worthy vegan salads: 

Four glass containers with Roasted Vegetable Salad and three dressing containers

Roasted Vegetable Salad Meal Prep

These Roasted Vegetable Salad Meal Prep boxes are an easy, no-reheat, plan-ahead lunch option that will help you get your daily vegetables!

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Roasted Vegetable Salad Meal Prep

Overhead view of Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad in a bowl with lemon wedges and a fork.

Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad

This Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad is a light and refreshing summer salad that holds up well in the refrigerator and is perfect for meal prep!

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Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad

Peanut Lime Dressing being poured onto a bowl of Cold Peanut Noodle Salad

Cold Peanut Noodle Salad

This Cold Peanut Noodle Salad with homemade peanut lime dressing is the perfect meal prep for summer! No reheating necessary.

Go to the recipe >>>

Cold Peanut Noodle Salad

This Roasted Cauliflower Salad combines sweet roasted red onions, spiced chickpeas, tender cauliflower, and a tangy lemon tahini dressing. BudgetBytes.com

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

This Roasted Cauliflower Salad combines sweet roasted red onions, spiced chickpeas, tender cauliflower, and a tangy lemon tahini dressing.

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Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

This Apple Dijon Kale Salad is tangy, sweet, and crunchy with Granny Smith apples, walnuts, raisins, and a homemade Dijon vinaigrette. BudgetBytes.com

Apple Dijon Kale Salad

This Apple Dijon Kale Salad is tangy, sweet, and crunchy with Granny Smith apples, walnuts, raisins, and a homemade Dijon vinaigrette.

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Apple Dijon Kale Salad

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

Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad

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. 

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Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad

 

Soup & Stew

Soups and stews are the cold-weather counterpart to my big ol’ summer salads. They’re always very quick and easy to make, they don’t require any difficult cooking skills, and they are so flexible. Plus, because they’re usually large-batch recipes, they’re great for busy people. Soups and stews make great leftovers and often freeze well. So if you’re a busy bee but want to still eat meals full of flavor and texture, check out some of these vegan soups and stews:

Overhead view of a pot full of vegetable barley soup with bread on the side

Vegetable Barley Soup

Loaded with colorful vegetables and filling pearled barley, this Vegetable Barley Soup is a healthy, freezer-friendly staple recipe for winter!

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Vegetable Barley Soup 

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The Hummus Lunch Box – No-Cook Lunch Ideas


$8.04 recipe / $2.01 serving

Are y’all ready for the next installment in the no-cook lunch box series? The Hummus Lunch Box is a classic, one that I’m sure many of you have made before, but it definitely deserves its own mention in the series because it is flexible and always a pleaser. I’ve got a few different ways you can eat or serve this lunch box listed below, so even if you’ve made this before, make sure to go check out the alternate ideas!

Hummus Lunch Box packed in divided glass containers

What’s in the Hummus Lunch Box:

Hummus (of course), kalamata olives, cucumber, grape tomatoes, and pita bread. I love this lunch box because of its simplicity, it requires so little prep, and I just like “snacky” finger foods. The only prep work I had to do was slicing the cucumber and draining the jar of olives! For the sake of convenience, and because ALDI has very inexpensive hummus, I used store bought hummus this time. But if you want to make your own hummus or want to experiment with different hummus flavors, try my homemade hummus recipe (four flavors).

Serving Options

As I mentioned in intro, there are a few different ways you can eat this lunch box. The obvious way is to eat it in a “snacky” fashion, eating a little of this, a little of that, etc. But here are a couple other options:

  • Make it into a pita sandwich. Instead of cutting the pita bread into triangles like in my photos, leave your pita cut in half, then when you sit down for lunch smear the hummus inside, add some cucumber slices, olives, and tomatoes, and eat it like a sandwich!
  • Make it into a salad. Pack a separate bowl of mixed greens, then when you sit down to lunch, add the vegetables and hummus on top and eat it as a giant sandwich! You might also want to some dressing on the side (I suggest a vinaigrette, like Greek dressing, Italian, or Caesar dressing).

Alternate Ingredient Ideas

Just like all the no-cook lunch boxes in this series, this hummus lunch box is very flexible. If you don’t like some of the ingredients I included in mine, here are a few other ideas:

  • Pita chips or pretzel crackers in place of the pita bread
  • Feta cheese cubes
  • Marinated white beans
  • Celery or carrot sticks
  • Bell peppers
  • Sliced grilled chicken

How Long Does the Lunch Box Keep?

This lunch box holds up very well to refrigeration, so it will probably keep about 5 days in the refrigerator, depending on the freshness of your ingredients when the boxes are made and the conditions inside your refrigerator.

What Containers Do You Use?

I got these divided glass meal prep containers on Amazon. You can find a link to the product in the bottom of the recipe card below. (P.S. these containers came three to a set and this recipe makes FOUR lunch boxes, so I ate the fourth portion on a plate the day that I packed them. 😄)

Three glass containers filled with hummus lunch box ingredients

 

The Hummus Lunch Box

This Hummus Lunch Box is a cold lunch classic. With almost zero prep work, this is the fastest, easiest no-cook lunch around.

Total Cost: $8.04 recipe / $2.01 serving

Author: Beth – Budget Bytes

  • 1 cucumber ($1.29)
  • 2 pita breads ($0.66)
  • 1 cup hummus ($1.95)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes ($1.99)
  • 1 6oz. jar kalamata olives ($2.15)
  • Slice the cucumber and cut the pita bread into triangles.

  • Divide the hummus, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, and pita triangles between four containers. Refrigerate up to 5 days.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.


Serving: 1boxCalories: 362.55kcalCarbohydrates: 36.28gProtein: 8.58gFat: 22.95gSodium: 1155.63mgFiber: 9.1g

Nutritional values are estimates only. See our full nutrition disclosure here.


The equipment section above contains affiliate links to products we use and love. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

More No-Cook Lunch Ideas:

Overhead view of one hummus lunch box.





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Homemade Breakfast Pastries (Recipe + Video)


Let’s make homemade breakfast pastries using a variation of classic Danish pastry dough. We’re working the butter directly into the dough, which is a different method from laminating it with separate layers of butter. These breakfast pastries are buttery and flaky with sweet fillings and a drizzle of vanilla icing. For best success, use the video tutorial and step-by-step photos, as well as the carefully explained recipe and guidance included in this lengthy post. I’m prepping you with all the information you could possibly need!

This recipe is brought to you in partnership with Red Star Yeast.

homemade breakfast pastries

Do you remember when I shared a shortcut variation of Danish pastry dough? You might not– it was back in 2013! Since then, I’ve created a raspberry pastry braid and a blueberry cream cheese pastry braid using that same dough. Let’s take it a step further and make individual homemade breakfast pastries.

Researching their origin, I learned that traditional Danish pastries came to life around the 1850s by Austrian bakers working in Denmark. What started as the Austrian pastry known as Plundergebäck developed into what is now known as danishes. There are many ways to make, top, shape, and serve these pastries and that usually depends on the region. Here in the US, we can usually find them topped with fruit, jams, and sweetened cream cheese fillings. Bottom line: we’re all so very thankful for these sweets!


This is a Shortcut Homemade Pastry

Before I describe these homemade pastries and show you how to make them, let me explain this pastry dough variation. This is a shortcut version– it’s not the traditional method of making real danishes. This dough is usually laminated several times between layers of butter, similar to how we prepare homemade croissants. Here we are working the butter directly into the dough using a food processor. We’re still rolling out and folding the dough, just as you do when you laminate dough with butter, but we’re not folding it up with a separate layer of butter.

I use the term “shortcut” loosely as this dough still takes at least 5-6 hours total with 2 rounds of refrigeration. They’re just as buttery and flaky as the real thing!

breakfast pastries

I have the full written recipe below, as well as step-by-step photos and careful explanations below the recipe. This post is rather long, so I wanted to add most of the details below the recipe. I can’t wait for you to try these at home!

These Homemade Breakfast Pastries Are:

  • Made from a modified yeasted pastry dough
  • Crisp, flaky, & extra buttery
  • Ready for your favorite breakfast pastry fillings
  • Topped with sweet vanilla icing

Plus, you can easily make this dough in 1 morning or over the course of 3 days. I love make-ahead dough where you have plenty of options in terms of timing. You can also freeze half the dough if 16 pastries are too many or even make 8 pastries and 1 pastry braid!


Breakfast Pastries Video Tutorial

raspberry breakfast pastries

Filling Ideas

You need around 2/3 cup of filling for the entire recipe (16 breakfast pastries). Feel free to mix and match, creating different flavors in your batch.

  • Jam or Preserves, such as raspberry, peach, or strawberry
  • Pumpkin Butter or Apple Butter
  • Lemon Curd
  • Cherry Pie Filling
  • Nutella
  • Cream Cheese Filling (my favorite and detailed in the recipe below)

Use This Dough to Make Pastry Braids

I love a versatile dough! Just as we can use pizza dough to make pizza, cheesy breadsticks, garlic knots, and pepperoni pizza rolls, we can use this homemade pastry dough to make individual pastries and pastry braids. I haven’t perfected other shapes yet, but feel free to try. Make sure you chill any shaped pastries before baking to help guarantee they hold their shape. See step 13 and corresponding recipe note below.

Baker’s Tip: I find that the braids bake up even flakier than the individual pastries! I have a video tutorial showing you how to shape this pastry braid. It’s easier than it looks.

blueberry cream cheese pastry braid

Step-by-step photos below!

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Description

These homemade breakfast pastries use a variation of classic Danish pastry dough. We’re working the butter directly into the dough, which is a different method from laminating it with separate layers of butter. Make sure the butter is very cold before beginning. This recipe yields 2 pounds of dough.


Ingredients

Pastry Dough

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) warm water (between 100-110°F, 38-43°C)
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons Platinum Yeast by Red Star (1 standard packet)*
  • 1/4 cup (50ggranulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) whole milk, at room temperature (between 68–72°F, 20-22°C)
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 14 Tablespoons (205g) unsalted butter, cold
  • 2 and 1/2 cups (315g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for generously flouring hands, surface, and dough

Filling

  • 2/3 cup filling (see recipe notes for options & cheese filling)

Egg Wash

  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) milk

Vanilla Icing (Optional)

  • 1 cup (120gconfectioners’ sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) milk or heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  1. Preliminary note: To help guarantee success, I recommend reading through the recipe, watching the video tutorial, and reading the explanations below this recipe. (All answer many FAQs.) Do not use an electric mixer for this dough. It’s best if the dough is folded together with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula since it is so sticky. There is very minimal mixing required.
  2. Make the Pastry Dough: Whisk the warm water, yeast, and 1 Tablespoon (6g) of sugar together in a large bowl. Cover and allow to rest until foamy on top, about 5 minutes. If the surface doesn’t have bubbles on top or look foamy after 15 minutes (it should if the yeast isn’t expired), start over with a fresh packet of yeast. Whisk in remaining sugar, the milk, egg, and salt. Once these wet ingredients are mixed together, lightly cover and set the bowl aside as you work on the next step.
  3. Cut the cold butter into 1/4 inch slices and add to a food processor or blender. Top with 2 and 1/2 cups flour. Pulse the mixture 12-15 times, until butter is crumbled into pea-size bits. See photo below for a visual. Using a food processor or blender is best for this dough. Keeping that in mind, if you don’t have one, you can use a pastry cutter to work in the butter.
  4. Pour the flour mixture into the wet yeast mixture. Very gently fold everything together using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Fold *just until* the dry ingredients are moistened. The butter must remain in pieces and crumbles, which creates a flaky pastry. Turn the sticky dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap, parchment paper, aluminum foil, or into any container you can tightly cover.
  5. 1st Refrigeration: Wrap the dough/cover up tightly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 48 hours.
  6. Roll & Fold: Take the dough out of the refrigerator to begin the “rolling and folding” process. If the dough sat for more than 4 hours, it may have slightly puffed up and that’s ok. (It will deflate as you shape it, which is also ok.) Very generously flour a work surface. The dough is very sticky, so make sure you have more flour nearby as you roll and fold. Using the palm of your hands, gently flatten the dough into a small square. Using a rolling pin, roll out into a 15×8 inch rectangle. When needed, flour the work surface and dough as you are rolling. Fold the dough into thirds as if it were a business letter. (See photos and video tutorial.) Turn it clockwise and roll it out into a 15 inch long rectangle again. Then, fold into thirds again. Turn it clockwise. You’ll repeat rolling and folding 1 more time for a total of 3 times.
  7. 2nd Refrigeration: Wrap up/seal tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours. You can also freeze the dough at this point. See freezing instructions.
  8. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Rimmed baking sheets are best because butter may leak from the dough as it bakes. If you don’t have rimmed baking sheets, when it’s time to preheat the oven, place another baking sheet on the oven rack below to catch any butter that may drip.
  9. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and cut it in half. Wrap 1 half up and keep refrigerated as you work with the first half. (You can freeze half of the dough at this point, use the freezing instructions below.)
  10. Shape into rounds: Cut the first half of dough into 8 even pieces. This will be about 1/4 cup of dough per pastry. Roll each into balls. Flatten each into a 2.5 inch circle. Use your fingers to create a lip around the edges. See photos and video tutorial if needed. Press the center down to flatten the center as much as you can so you can fit the filling inside. (Center puffs up as it bakes.) Arrange pastries 3 inches apart on a lined baking sheet. Repeat with second half of dough.
  11. Spoon 2 teaspoons of fruity filling or 1 Tablespoon of cheese filling inside each.
  12. Egg Wash: Whisk the egg wash ingredients together. Brush on the edges of each shaped pastry.
  13. This step is optional, but I very strongly recommend it. Chill the shaped pastries in the refrigerator, covered or uncovered, for at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour. See recipe note. You can preheat the oven as they finish up chilling.
  14. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
  15. Bake for 19-22 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Some butter may leak from the dough, that’s completely normal and expected. Feel free to remove the baking sheets from the oven halfway through baking and brush the dough with any of the leaking butter, then place back in the oven to finish baking. (That’s what I do!)
  16. Remove baked pastries from the oven. Cool for at least 5 minutes before icing/serving.
  17. Make the icing: Whisk the icing ingredients together. If you want a thicker icing, whisk in more confectioners’ sugar. If you want a thinner icing, whisk in more milk or cream. Drizzle over warm pastries and serve.
  18. Cover leftover iced or un-iced pastries and store at room temperature for 1 day or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Or you can freeze them for up to 3 months. Thaw before serving. Before enjoying, feel free to reheat leftover iced or un-iced pastries in the microwave for a few seconds until warmed.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Prepare the dough as instructed in steps 2-4. At this point the dough can be refrigerated up to 48 hours. You can also prepare the dough through step 6. At this point the dough can be refrigerated up to 24 hours. During or after this second chilling time, you could also freeze the dough for up to 1 month. (I don’t recommend freezing the dough before the rolling and folding step.) Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then continue with step 8. You can also freeze the unfilled pastries after shaping them in step 10. Thaw in the refrigerator, then continue with step 11.
  2. Fruity Fillings: You need around 2/3 cup (about 200g) of filling for the entire recipe (16 pastries). Use jam or fruit preserves, pumpkin butter, apple butter, lemon curd, cherry pie filling, etc. Or even Nutella! You need 2 heaping teaspoons per pastry. Feel free to mix and match, making different flavors in your batch.
  3. Cheese Filling: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed, beat one 8 ounce block (224g) of full-fat cream cheese that is softened at room temperature in a medium bowl until smooth. Beat in 1 large egg yolk, 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract until smooth. Use 1 scant Tablespoon per pastry. Feel free to dot the cream cheese filling with fresh berries before baking or mix fruit preserves in with the cream cheese filling (still using 2-3 teaspoons of filling per pastry).
  4. Temperature & Substitutions: The temperature of your ingredients is imperative to this pastry’s success. Make sure you take the time to warm the water and bring the milk to room temperature. Keep the butter in the refrigerator until you need it in step 3. I do not recommend any substitutions in this carefully formulated dough, though a lower fat or nondairy milk works in a pinch. For the egg wash and icing, low fat or nondairy milks work, as do heavy cream or half-and-half.
  5. Yeast: Platinum Yeast by Red Star is an instant yeast. If needed, you can use active dry yeast instead. The instructions and amount remain exactly the same regardless of which you use.
  6. Optional Step (step 13): Chilling the shaped pastries in the refrigerator helps them maintain their shape in the oven. Remember, cold pastry dough is best. I usually refrigerate them for 15 minutes as the oven preheats. If you’re nervous to chill the baking sheets in the refrigerator then bake them (which can cause warping), you have two other options. You can simply assemble the pastries on parchment paper or silicone baking mats, lift the parchment/baking mat as a whole and place on another baking sheet or directly onto a shelf in the refrigerator. After chilling, carefully lift up and place the entire parchment/baking mat onto the baking sheets for baking. Or you can use a thin spatula and very carefully transfer the assembled unbaked pastries to a large plate to chill.
  7. Halve the Recipe? I don’t recommend halving this dough recipe. Make the dough as written, then freeze half after step 9. Or make 8 breakfast pastries and 1 pastry braid (cream cheese or raspberry).
  8. Special Tools (affiliate links): Food Processor (I own and love this one), Pastry Cutter, Pastry Brush, Rolling Pin, Rimmed Baking Sheet
  9. Dough recipe adapted from Cooking IllustratedJoy of Cooking, and Beatrice Ojakangas

Keywords: breakfast pastries, danishes, pastry

Detailed Explanations: How to Make Homemade Breakfast Pastries

This yeasted pastry dough comes together with 8 basic ingredients.

  1. Water: You need 2 liquids in this dough recipe: warm water and room temperature milk. Don’t use all water or all milk; this careful balance is key. Mix the warm water with yeast and some granulated sugar. Cover and wait until the top is a little foamy, as pictured below. (You will do this step no matter if you are using instant yeast or active-dry yeast.)
  2. Yeast: You can use active dry yeast or instant yeast. The instructions, amount, and recipe do not change– you will still do each of these exact steps regardless of which type you use. I recommend Platinum Yeast from Red Star, which is an instant yeast that is blended with natural dough improvers.
  3. Granulated Sugar: Sugar sweetens this dough and feeds the yeast. Use 1 Tablespoon at first, then add the rest of the sugar when you whisk in the milk, egg, and salt.
  4. Whole Milk: Use room temperature milk, not warm milk. For best taste and texture, I strongly recommend whole milk.
  5. Egg: 1 egg tenderizes the dough. Don’t skip it!
  6. Salt: Adds flavor.
  7. All-Purpose Flour: You need flour in the dough, plus a generous amount for the rolling, folding, and shaping steps. As you can see in my video tutorial above, it’s helpful to have plenty of extra flour on hand. I use a lot of it!
  8. Cold Butter: Butter is the main ingredient in this dough recipe– you will work it directly into the flour, forming pea-sized crumbles. Just like when we make pie crust or biscuits, make sure the butter is extra cold. If the butter isn’t cold, the butter will melt, the dough will turn to semi-liquid, and you won’t have any layers or flakes in your pastry. The colder the butter (and dough), the better results.

yeast mixture in glass bowl

After the yeast has proofed and foamed (above), whisk in the rest of the sugar, the milk, egg, and salt. We’ll call these the wet ingredients:

wet ingredients for dough in glass bowl

You need a food processor blender for this recipe. If you have neither, use a pastry cutter to cut the cold butter into the flour. An electric mixer will not work for this step. You are looking for pea-size crumbles of flour coated butter. This step is only possible if the butter is cold.

butter and flour in food processor

Pour the butter/flour crumbles into the wet ingredients and fold it together using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. It is very sticky. Since this dough is so sticky, I do not recommend using an electric mixer. It will create a huge mess! There is minimal mixing required anyway– we don’t want to overwork this dough.

sticky pastry dough

You’ll notice many bits of butter still visible in the dough– that’s a GOOD thing! Wrap the dough up tightly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 48 hours.

This is the 1st refrigeration.

homemade breakfast pastry dough

Shortcut Lamination

Now let’s do a variation of laminating aka rolling and folding dough and butter together. Remember when we made croissants and laminated the dough with a sheet of butter? The butter is IN this pastry dough. So, instead, we’re just rolling and folding the dough itself. Roll it out into a 15×8 inch rectangle:

rolling and folding pastry dough

Fold it in thirds like a letter:

rolling and folding pastry dough

Turn it clockwise:

rolling and folding pastry dough

Then roll it out into a 15-inch rectangle again. Repeat the folding. Turn it clockwise again. Repeat rolling and folding 1 more time for a total of 3 times. Wrap the laminated dough up tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

This is the 2nd refrigeration.

How to Shape Homemade Breakfast Pastries

This dough recipe yields 16 breakfast pastries. See recipe note above about halving/freezing the dough. Cut the dough in half. (Work with only half the dough at once. Wrap half up and refrigerate until ready to use.) Cut the half of dough into 8 pieces. Roll into balls:

shaping dough for breakfast pastries

Flatten each into a 2.5 inch circle. Use your fingers to create a lip around the edges. Arrange pastries 3 inches apart on a lined baking sheet. Repeat with second half of dough.

Spoon your filling of choice inside each, then brush the edges of the pastries with egg wash, which is a combination of 1 egg and milk.

What is the purpose of an egg wash? It guarantees a shiny and crisp golden crust.

shaped breakfast pastries before baking

shaped breakfast pastries before baking

To help guarantee the shaped pastries hold their shape, chill them in the refrigerator as the oven preheats and even up to 1 hour. (See recipe note above.)

Bake until the breakfast pastries are golden brown. Cool for a few minutes, then drizzle with vanilla icing and serve!

breakfast pastries

homemade breakfast pastry

How to Join Sally’s Baking Challenge

Make the Homemade Breakfast Pastries above OR make a Pastry Braid using either my blueberry cream cheese version or raspberry version. (You can also make 8 pastries and 1 braid from this dough. Individual pastries OR a pastry braid counts!) If you’re not into this recipe, here is the alternate August Baking Challenge:

  1. any previous challenge recipe OR
  2. Berry Cobbler

After you make the breakfast pastries (or pastry braids) or alternate recipe, email me your recipe photo. Feel free to also share it on social media using #sallysbakingchallenge. For a bonus entry, leave a review on the recipe below!

By emailing your photo to us, you are automatically entered in the baking challenge for the $250 Amazon gift card prize. We keep track of your photos and randomly select 1 winner at the end of the month. The challenge is open to the whole world. Challenge ends on August 30th 2020 at 5pm ET. The winner will be selected at random and posted in the September Baking Challenge blog post on August 31st 2020.

Visit the Sally’s Baking Challenge FAQ page if you have any questions about my baking challenges!



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Quick Gochujang Ramen with Tofu


$2.26 recipe / $1.13 serving

I love good quality food, but I also have a small place in my heart reserved for convenience foods like instant ramen or frozen pizzas. I don’t indulge in them often, and when I do I often spruce them up with something special to make them a little more interesting. I’ve posted before about the things I like to add to my instant ramen to give it an upgrade, and now I have a new favorite ingredient—gochujang! This sweet-salty-spicy paste creates a rich broth with plenty of umami that I balanced with some fresh spinach and chunks of mild tofu. This Gochujang Ramen with Tofu is a quick and easy way to indulge that noodle craving!

Two bowls of gochujang ramen with tofu, a bowl of gochujang on the side

What is Gochujang?

If you’ve never heard of gochujang, it’s a Korean chile paste made with chile peppers, rice, fermented soybeans, and salt. It kind of reminds me of a spicy version of miso. Gochujang is really starting to trend in the U.S. because of its uniquely sweet-salty-spicy and UMAMI flavor. And because we’re all kind of over our infatuation with sriracha and looking for the next best thing. It’s those fermented soy beans that really set gochujang apart and give whatever you’re adding it to that extra “WOW” factor. So if you haven’t tried it yet, put it on your list!

Where to Buy Gochujang

Because gochujang is really becoming quite popular, you’ll probably be able to find some at most major grocery stores. My local kroger actually carries about 4-5 different kinds! I’m using this Sempio Gochujang. If you have an Asian grocery store near you, you’re sure to find a really good selection there, and probably much better prices. Want to try to make your own? Try this traditional gochujang recipe, or this quickie 5-minute gochujang.

To Use the Ramen Packet or Not to Use the Ramen Packet

Personally, I like to use my own broth when making ramen instead of using the little seasoning packet that comes with the noodles. I like the freedom of tweaking the flavors and salt content, but you can use the seasoning packet if you prefer. Gochujang has quite a bit of salt, so if you do want to use the flavor packet that comes with the instant ramen I suggest adding the gochujang to the water first (3 cups water), then adding a little of the flavor packet at a time until the broth reaches a reasonable salt level for you.

How Spicy is It?

Decently spicy, IMHO. You can reduce the amount of gochujang to make it slightly less spicy, if you prefer. Or, if you’re looking for non-spicy ways to spruce up your ramen, check out my post about 6 Ways to Upgrade Ramen, or my Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen.

What Should I Do With my Leftover Tofu?

This recipe uses half of a traditional 14oz. block of tofu. My first choice for using up the other half of the block would be to make a half batch of my Curried Tofu Salad. That stuff is to die for. You could also toss it into a stir fry, or chop it up, add some BBQ sauce and make yourself a BBQ Tofu Slider.

Gochujang ramen with tofu in the sauce pot on a yellow background with a black and white zig-zag napkin.

 

Gochujang Ramen with Tofu

Spicy gochujang gives this instant ramen extra oomph! Gochujang Ramen with Tofu is a quick and easy way to satisfy that noodle craving.

Total Cost: $2.26 recipe / $1.13 serving

Author: Beth – Budget Bytes

Servings: 2

  • 7 oz. extra firm tofu ($0.90)
  • 1 cup water ($0.00)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth* ($0.26)
  • 2 Tbsp gochujang ($0.46)
  • 1 package instant ramen* ($0.19)
  • 2 cups fresh spinach ($0.25)
  • 2 green onions ($0.20)
  • Drain the tofu and cut it into 1/2-inch cubes.

  • Add the water, vegetable broth, and gochujang to a small sauce pot. Whisk until the gochujang is dissolved.

  • Add the cubed tofu to the pot, place a lid on top, and bring it up to a boil over high heat.

  • Once boiling, add the instant ramen noodles (without seasoning). Boil for one to two minutes, or just until the noodles begin to soften and pull loose from each other.

  • Add two handfuls (about 2 cups) fresh spinach and stir it into the hot broth until wilted. The noodles will finish cooking as the spinach wilts.

  • Slice the green onions and sprinkle over top of the ramen just before serving.

*If using vegetable broth, discard the seasoning packet that comes with the ramen noodles. If using the seasoning packet, use 3 cups of water instead of 1 cup water and 2 cups vegetable broth. Add the gochujang to the water first, then add a small amount of the seasoning packet at a time until you reach the desired level of saltiness for the broth.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 322.15kcalCarbohydrates: 37.55gProtein: 15.9gFat: 12.6gSodium: 1347.35mgFiber: 3.1g

Nutritional values are estimates only. See our full nutrition disclosure here.


The equipment section above contains affiliate links to products we use and love. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

side view of a bowl of gochujang ramen with chopsticks picking up a piece of tofu

How to Make Gochujang Ramen with Tofu – Step by Step Photos

cubed tofu on a cutting board

Drain a 14oz. block of tofu and cut half of it into ½-inch cubes. See the notes above the recipe for ideas for using the remaining tofu.

Gochujang broth in a small sauce pot with a whisk, tub of gochujang on the side

Add 1 cup water, 2 cups vegetable broth, and 2 Tbsp gochujang to a small sauce pot. Whisk until the gochujang has dissolved.

Cubed tofu being dropped into the pot

Add the cubed tofu to the pot. Adding the tofu before we start boiling the broth gives it a few minutes to start absorbing some of the flavor from the broth, as opposed to adding it at the end. Place a lid on the pot and bring the broth up to a boil over high heat.

Ramen noodles added to the pot, empty package on the side

Once boiling, add the block of instant ramen noodles (without seasoning packet). Let the noodles boil for about a minute, or just until they being to soften up and loosen up from the block.

Spinach added to the pot

Add a couple handfuls of spinach to the pot and stir it in until wilted. This should give the noodles just enough time to finish cooking as well.

Finished gochujang ramen in the pot

Slice two green onions and sprinkle them over the ramen just before serving.

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

Enjoy that spicy goodness!!





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August Baking Challenge | Sally’s Baking Addiction


breakfast pastry

AUGUST BAKING CHALLENGE

August 2020 Sally’s Baking Challenge Recipe: Homemade Breakfast Pastries (recipe and full details coming tomorrow)

I’m teaching you how to make breakfast pastries! We’re using a variation of classic Danish pastry dough. This is another Sally’s Baking Challenge recipe where you can let your creativity shine. I have plenty of filling options and recommendations for you– choose your favorite! We’re channeling the April 2018 Sally’s Baking Challenge when we made Homemade Croissants, only these are a little quicker and easier!

GIVEAWAY

Everyone who participates in the August Baking Challenge is automatically entered. See below for How to Join Sally’s Baking Challenge. We updated how to enter, so make sure you review the pink box below. (Enter via email!) My assistants and I keep track of your photos and randomly select 1 winner at the end of the month. This giveaway is open to the whole world. Giveaway ends on August 30th 2020 at 5pm ET.

1 winner will receive: $250 Amazon Gift Card. Winner will be selected at random and posted in the September Baking Challenge blog post on August 31st 2020.

Visit the Sally’s Baking Challenge FAQ page if you have any questions about my baking challenges!

How to Join Sally’s Baking Challenge

  1. Recipe: On or around the 1st of each month, I publish a new challenge recipe. Sign up for Sally’s Baking Challenge emails so you’re alerted as soon as a new challenge recipe is published!
  2. Bake & Comment: Bake the recipe during that month.
  3. Send: Share your recipe photo with us via email: [email protected]. By emailing your recipe photo, you are automatically entered in the giveaway. For a bonus entry, leave a review on the challenge recipe. Instagram direct messages are hard to track, so please email your recipe photo instead. Feel free to share on social media using #sallysbakingchallenge and tagging me (@sallysbakeblog), but the only way to guarantee you are in the running is sending your entry via email.

Want to subscribe? Sign up for Sally’s Baking Challenge emails so you’re alerted as soon as a new challenge recipe is published.

Let’s Review the July Baking Challenge

July 2020 Sally’s Baking Challenge Recipe: Fresh Berry Cream Cake

I challenged you to make a lovely towering berry cake this past month! I know cake decorating can be intimidating, but this recipe proves that you don’t need complicated assembly techniques to make a beautiful layer cake. Using this method of decorating, there were so many delicious looking creations. Lemon cakes, 9 inch cakes, 6 inch cakes, strawberry cakes, pistachio cakes, white cakes, and so many more. The combination of light cake, fresh berries, and whipped cream is a summertime dessert staple and I hope you make this many more times in the future, too!

One of my favorite recipe reviews came from reader Andrea:

“I made this with my 3 year old and my whole family loved it! I made lemon curd with the leftover egg yolks and added a thin layer on the cakes (as Sally suggested) and it was an amazing addition. Highly recommend this recipe, I’m looking forward to making (and eating) it again and trying different varieties.”

We gathered as many fresh berry cream cake photo entries as we could and included them below. (Email is the only way to guarantee your photo will be included!)

collage of fresh berry cream cake photos

collage of fresh berry cream cake photos

collage of fresh berry cream cake photos

collage of fresh berry cream cake photos

collage of fresh berry cream cake photos

collage of fresh berry cream cake photos

collage of fresh berry cream cake photos

collage of fresh berry cream cake photos

collage of fresh berry cream cake photos

collage of fresh berry cream cake photos

collage of fresh berry cream cake photos

collage of fresh berry cream cake photos

collage of fresh berry cream cake photos

collage of fresh berry cream cake photos

collage of fresh berry cream cake photos

collage of fresh berry cream cake photos

collage of fresh berry cream cake photos

collage of fresh berry cream cake photos

collage of fresh berry cream cake photos

collage of fresh berry cream cake photos

collage of fresh berry cream cake photos

collage of fresh berry cream cake photos

collage of fresh berry cream cake photos

collage of fresh berry cream cake photos

collage of fresh berry cream cake photos

Giveaway winner for July is Kristin and she has been notified. 🙂

fresh berry cream cake winner image



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dulce de leche chocoflan – smitten kitchen


Heat your oven: To 350ºF (180°C).

Make the flan: In a blender, combine the dulce de leche, evaporated milk, cream cheese, vanilla extract, and salt and blend until smooth, 20 to 30 seconds. Pour in the eggs and blend for another 10 seconds until smooth.

Make the chocolate cake: Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon directly into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or a large bowl for use with an electric handmixer. Mix on the lowest setting until just combined, then add the softened butter and continue mixing on low speed until the mixture resembles wet sand. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed.

In a liquid measuring cup, combine the coffee, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla extract, then slowly pour it into the flour-butter mixture with the mixer running on low. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat the mixture on high for a full minute.

Bake chocoflan: Liberally coat a 10-cup (2.5 liter) Bundt pan with cooking spray. [I’m using this one.] Add the cake batter, smoothing out the top with an offset spatula or spoon. Carefully ladle in the flan so you disturb the cake batter as little as possible. Transfer the Bundt pan to a roasting pan or baking dish large enough to fit the Bundt pan. Grease a piece of foil and place it greased side down onto the Bundt pan, folding it over the edges to loosely seal it. Transfer to the oven, then pour water (from the tap is fine) into the roasting pan or baking dish to come up 2 to 3 inches.

Bake for 2 hours to 2 hours 15 minutes, checking for doneness after 1 hour 45 minutes, using a skewer inserted into the cake to make sure it’s baked through, with little to no crumbs sticking to the skewer when you pull it out.

Carefully remove the Bundt pan from the roasting pan and let it cool to room temperature before placing it in the fridge to cool completely, at least a couple of hours.

To serve: Once you’re ready to serve, carefully run a knife around any edges that are still sticking, then invert onto a serving platter, gently shaking it up and down if it’s being difficult. If desired, serve with dulce de leche and a sprinkle of chopped nuts or with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

To make dulce de leche from sweetened condensed milk: I could not find a can of dulce at the grocery store so I needed to make my own for this recipe; give yourself time if you need to do this too. Even though you only need one can of dulce, and the volume will be the same as the volume of a can of sweetened condensed milk, you lose some volume when you make it, so I recommend making two cans worth. You’ll definitely have extra — it makes a little over 2 cups. You won’t regret it.

Pour the contents of 2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk into a pie or medium casserole dish, and cover snugly with foil. Set plate in a large roasting pan and add enough hot water to pan to reach halfway up the smaller dish. Bake in a 425°F oven for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until it takes on a caramelized color. Set aside until cool, then whisk until smooth. For this recipe, you’ll need to measure 1 1/2 cups from the dulce de leche you’ve made. Save the rest for serving (a few flakes of salt will really liven it up). It will keep for weeks in the fridge, if not longer; rewarm in the microwave for 20 seconds, then stir, adding more time if needed.

To make dulce de leche fully from scratch (milk and sugar, no sweetened condensed milk): The Smitten Kitchen has you covered!



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Homemade Black Bean Burger Recipe


$2.57 recipe / $0.43 serving

Super flavorful Homemade Black Bean Burgers are as easy as combining black beans together with a slew of flavorful ingredients, like garlic, red onion, cumin, cilantro, and sriracha. A little egg and breadcrumbs help hold the patty together, and you’ve got a super hearty, flavorful, and freezer-friendly homemade black bean burger. No more $8 restaurant veggie burgers for me!

Originally posted 1-23-2011, updated 7-28-2020.

Side view of a black bean burger with toppings in the background

How Many Burgers Does This Recipe Make?

This recipe makes six decent-sized black bean burgers. And don’t worry, if you can’t eat all six within a few days, they’re freezer friendly! Note: The recipe and price breakdown below are for the burger only. Everyone likes something different on their burger, so I decided not to include buns and toppings in the recipe or price breakdown. 

How to Freeze the Black Bean Burger Patties?

Since I cook for just myself, I cooked two of my patties and froze the rest. Just wrap the raw patties in plastic wrap and then place them in a zip top freezer bag. To cook later, thaw the patty for 30 seconds in the microwave then finish cooking in a skillet as described in the recipe below.

What Toppings are Good on a Black Bean Burger?

I went with traditional mustard, tomato, lettuce, and red onion, but you could really have a lot of fun with the toppings. You could do a southwest spin and add some chipotle mayo, cheddar cheese, and jalapeños. Or how about a BBQ version with BBQ sauce and pepper jack cheese? A few avocado slices with any of the above themes would also be really nice. And you definitely need to try some Comeback Sauce on there!

Black Bean burgers on a tray with buns, toppings, ketchup and mustard.

Are These Black Bean Burgers Spicy?

Despite having sriracha as one of the ingredients, I don’t find these black bean burgers to be spicy at all. The sriracha just adds another subtle layer of flavor. If you want your black bean burgers to be spicy, simply double the sriracha, or add a jalapeño to the food processor when you’re processing your ingredients together.

Do I Have to Use a Food Processor?

You can make these black bean burgers without a food processor, but it’s a whole lot easier with one. 🙂 To make the black bean burgers without a food processor, just finely mince the red onion, garlic, and sriracha by hand. Mash the black beans by hand (either with a fork or with a potato masher), then stir everything together by hand. 

Can I Bake Them?

I don’t suggest baking the black bean burgers because you won’t get the nice browning on the outside of the burger, which provides extra flavor and texture to the burger. 

Can I Skip the Egg?

I tried to make these black bean burgers without the egg, but unfortunately they just don’t hold together in the skillet (they turn into something more like refried beans). You may be able to do something like a flaxseed egg replacer, but I haven’t tested this.

P.S. This black bean burger recipe is basically a variation on my Homemade Falafel recipe, which is one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.

A black bean burger on a plate, dressed but open faced with ketchup and mustard on the side

 

Homemade Black Bean Burgers

Black beans, cumin, sriracha, garlic, and fresh red onion make these homemade black bean burgers a flavorful and filling vegetarian meal.

Total Cost: $2.57 recipe / $0.43 serving

Servings: 6

  • 2 15oz. cans black beans ($0.96)
  • 1/4 red onion ($0.11)
  • 1 clove garlic ($0.08)
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro* ($0.20)
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha ($0.11)
  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise ($0.09)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin ($0.10)
  • 1.5 Tbsp soy sauce ($0.09)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper ($0.03)
  • 1 large egg ($0.23)
  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs ($0.26)
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.08)
  • Rinse and drain the canned black beans. Add the black beans to a food processor along with the red onion, garlic, cilantro, sriracha, mayonnaise, cumin, soy sauce, and pepper. Pulse the ingredients until they are evenly mixed, but still slightly chunky.

  • Transfer the black bean mixture to a bowl and add one large egg and 1 cup breadcrumbs. Stir the ingredients together until they’re evenly combined. Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes.

  • Divide the black bean mixture into six equal portions, then shape each portion into a patty, about 3.5 inches in diameter, ½-inch thick.

  • To cook the black bean burgers, heat 1Tbsp cooking oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add a few of the black bean burgers and cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until they are well browned and heated through. Repeat with more oil and the rest of the patties until they’re all cooked.

  • Place each patty in a bun, add your favorite toppings, and enjoy!

*feel free to sub parsley for the cilantro.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.


Serving: 1pattyCalories: 334.88kcalCarbohydrates: 49.75gProtein: 16.23gFat: 7.98gSodium: 942.65mgFiber: 15.33g

Nutritional values are estimates only. See our full nutrition disclosure here.


The equipment section above contains affiliate links to products we use and love. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Updates to the old recipe: I eliminated the Worcestershire sauce from the original recipe so this recipe would actually be vegetarian (because if you’re making a black bean burger, I’m guessing you want it to be vegetarian!). I also swapped canned beans for home-cooked black beans, because I figure most people will have canned on hand. I used cilantro in place of parsley because that’s what I had on hand, but you can use whichever one you prefer! If you’d like a copy of the old recipe, simply email us at [email protected] and we can send you a pdf.

How to Make Black Bean Burgers – Step By Step Photos

Black Bean Burgers in a food processor

Rinse and drain two 15oz. cans of black beans. Add them to a food processor along with ¼ of a red onion, 1 clove of garlic, ¼ bunch of cilantro (about ½ cup), 1 Tbsp sriracha, 1 Tbsp mayonnaise, 1 tsp cumin, 1.5 Tbsp soy sauce, and ¼ tsp pepper.

Processed black bean burger ingredients in the food processor.

Pulse the ingredients together until they’re mostly mixed. I like to leave it just a little chunky, but fairly even.

Black bean mixture with egg and breadcrumbs

Add the black bean mixture to a large bowl along with one egg and 1 cup breadcrumbs. 

Final black bean burger mixture in the bowl

Combine the black bean mixture with the breadcrumbs and eggs. I like to let this mixture sit for about five minute to let the breadcrumbs absorb some of the moisture.

Shaped black bean burgers on a green cutting board

Divide the mixture into six equal portions and shape them into patties (about ½ cup of mixture each, 3.5″ diameter, ½” thick).

Black bean burgers in a skillet

Add a ½ Tbsp cooking oil to a skillet and heat over medium. When the oil is hot, add a couple of patties and cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until they are nicely browned and heated through. Repeat with more oil and patties until the desired number are cooked (or freeze the rest, see the info above the recipe for instructions on how to freeze).

Side view of a single black bean burger on a bun, fully dressed, sitting on newsprint

Top your black bean burger with your favorite toppings and enjoy!!





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