Swedish Meatball Pasta

Everyone’s favorite Swedish meatballs with pasta noodles tossed right into that cream sauce goodness. So heavenly, so good.

Swedish Meatball Pasta - Everyone's favorite Swedish meatballs with pasta noodles tossed right into that cream sauce goodness. So heavenly, so good.

Is there anything better than Swedish meatballs?

The answer to that is yes. And that is Swedish meatballs with perfectly cooked elbow macaroni stirred into that heavenly cream sauce gravy.

I know. It’s mind-blowingly-fantastic.

Swedish Meatball Pasta - Everyone's favorite Swedish meatballs with pasta noodles tossed right into that cream sauce goodness. So heavenly, so good.

Now if elbow macaroni is not your thing, you can use ANY pasta to your liking – rotini, cavatelli, ditalini, penne – it is ALL GOOD. But I do recommend using a tube-type pasta for the sauce to sneak in.

And if you do have any leftovers (so sorry but I can’t make promises on this!), they taste even better on day 2 and 3!

Swedish Meatball Pasta - Everyone's favorite Swedish meatballs with pasta noodles tossed right into that cream sauce goodness. So heavenly, so good.

Swedish Meatball Pasta

Everyone’s favorite Swedish meatballs with pasta noodles tossed right into that cream sauce goodness. So heavenly, so good.

Print Recipe

20 minutes20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 3/4 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 pound ground pork
  • 1/3 cup Panko
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1/3 cup sour cream

Directions:

  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.
  2. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, ground pork, Panko, egg yolks, green onions, parsley, allspice and nutmeg; season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Using a wooden spoon or clean hands, stir until well combined. Roll the mixture into 1-to-1-1/4-inch meatballs, forming about 24 meatballs.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add meatballs, in batches, and cook until all sides are browned, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
  4. Melt butter in the skillet. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in beef stock and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Stir in meatballs and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through and thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in pasta and sour cream until heated through, about 2-3 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Serve immediately.

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Make-Ahead Breakfast Recipes

Whether you call it a “make-ahead breakfast” or “breakfast meal prep,” having breakfast already made and ready to be eaten on busy mornings is a lifesaver. Start your week off right by taking a few moments to prepare one of these make-ahead breakfast recipes on Sunday night, so you can have a fast, satisfying breakfast all week long! 

Bonus: some of these recipes are freezer-friendly, so you can prep more than just 4-5 days worth at a time!

 

Grab and go breakfast ideas for busy mornings:


One Country Breakfast Bowl in a glass container being eaten with a black fork next to a newspaper, coffee mug, and apple

Country Breakfast Bowls

Country breakfast bowls combine roasted potatoes, scrambled eggs, salsa, and cheese for an easy freezer-friendly make ahead breakfast meal prep!

Go to the recipe >>>

1. Country Breakfast Bowls

These hearty bowls are freezer-friendly and are the perfect BIG breakfast for when you have a BIG day ahead and no time! Just pop one in the microwave or take it with you to reheat at work.


“Oatmeal Cookie” Baked Oatmeal

This freezable Oatmeal Cookie Baked Oatmeal tastes like an oatmeal cookie’s older, more healthful sibling. Perfect for breakfast meal prep. 

Go to the recipe >>>

2. “Oatmeal Cookie” Baked Oatmeal

Tastes like you’re eating a cookie for breakfast, but really it’s hearty oats with a lot less sugar than a cookie. You can freeze or refrigerate your portions of baked oatmeal, and it can be eaten reheated or cold!


Layer ingredients in container for Make Ahead Microwave Breakfast Scrambles.

Make Ahead Microwave Breakfast Scrambles

Make Ahead Microwave Breakfast Scrambles make a fast, easy, and healthy breakfast when you’re short on time! 

Go to the recipe >>>

3. Make-Ahead Microwave Breakfast Scrambles

These are basically the homemade version of those little “just add an egg” cups that you can find at the grocery store. Make them with your favorite meat and vegetables, then just add a fresh egg, stir, and microwave each morning!


Cottage cheese, blueberries, sliced almonds, and honey in a glass meal prep container

Blueberry Almond Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowl

Creamy cottage cheese, juicy blueberries, crunchy almonds, and a little drizzle of honey make a breakfast bowl that tastes surprisingly like blueberry cheesecake!

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4. Blueberry Almond Cottage Cheese Bowls

When you want something sweet, but you also want a lot of protein, these Blueberry Almond Cottage Cheese Bowls are it. They taste like a cheese danish, but without the sugar crash later.


Preparing individual oat packs with seeds, seasoning, and other add-ins, like these Make Ahead Seeded Oats, makes having a healthy breakfast fast and easy. BudgetBytes.com

Make Ahead Seeded Oats

Preparing individual oat packs with seeds, seasoning, and other add-ins, like these Make Ahead Seeded Oats, makes having a healthy breakfast fast and easy. 

Go to the recipe >>>

5. Make Ahead Seeded Oats

If you like your oatmeal full of lots of nuts, seeds, and other add-ins, you’ll love these make-ahead seeded oats. Just add water and microwave every morning for a hot bowl of oaty goodness.


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

Freezer Breakfast Burritos

Make ahead breakfast burritos are an easy reheatable and portable breakfast meal prep idea. Including options for vegetarian or other add-ins! BudgetBytes.com

Go to the recipe >>>

6. Freezer Breakfast Burritos

Who doesn’t love a breakfast burrito?? A totally customizable, super filling, no-utensils-need breakfast big enough to fill up even the most active individuals.


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

No Sugar Added Blueberry Almond Overnight Oats

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

Go to the recipe >>>

7. No Sugar Added Blueberry Almond Overnight Oats

Naturally sweet applesauce and frozen blueberries provide all the sweetness you need in these cold and refreshing overnight oats. Just add your favorite milk and refrigerate overnight or up to four days!


A glass bowl with cottage cheese, hard boiled egg, tomatoes, cucumber, and pepper.

Savory Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowl

Creamy cottage cheese, fresh crunchy vegetables, an extra shot of protein from a hard boiled egg, and a little black pepper to kick things up make this easy, protein-filled breakfast!

Go to the recipe >>>

8. Savory Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowls

If you’re looking for a lower carb make-ahead breakfast, these savory cottage cheese bowls fit the bill. Loaded with vegetables, creamy cottage cheese, and an optional hard boiled egg. 


Stir Mango Coconut Chia Pudding

Mango Coconut Chia Pudding

These Mango Coconut Chia Pudding cups are a fast and easy make-ahead breakfast with tons of fiber and protein.

Go to the recipe >>>

9. Mango Coconut Chia Pudding

This creamy vegan breakfast is packed with fiber from chia seeds and tropical mango-coconut flavor! This is a great breakfast to get you through those hot mornings of summer.


Veggie Packed Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches

Meal prep six days of breakfast at once with these Veggie Packed Freezer Ready Breakfast Sandwiches to stay on track on those busy mornings!

Go to the recipe >>>

10. Veggie Packed Freezer-Ready Breakfast Sandwiches

It’s like an Egg McMuffin, but with a lot more vegetables! This is another great handheld breakfast option for those who never stop moving in the morning!


No Sugar Added Apple Pie Overnight Oats

No Sugar Added Apple Pie Overnight Oats are an easy, healthy, and delicious make-ahead breakfast that you can eat either hot or cold.

Go to the recipe >>>

11. No Sugar Added Apple Pie Overnight Oats

If you’ve ever wanted to eat apple pie for breakfast, you’ve got to try these overnight oats. They seriously taste like apple pie, but they have no added sugar whatsoever. And you can eat them hot or cold, your choice!


Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal

Fresh fruit and rich, custardy oats make this baked oatmeal a filling and flavorful “fix ahead” breakfast. Just heat and eat each morning!

Go to the recipe >>>

12. Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal

Another great, basic baked oatmeal recipe full of bananas and dotted with blueberries. After baking just divide and refrigerate or freeze your portions for later! 


Tropical Yogurt Parfaits

Tropical Yogurt Parfaits are the perfect healthy summer breakfast when you’re short on time. Prepare them on the weekend and eat good all week. 

Go to the recipe >>>

13. Tropical Yogurt Parfaits

Cold and refreshing layers of creamy yogurt, soft soaked oats, juicy tropical fruit, and a light sprinkle of coconut. Grab a spoon and a jar as you pass through the kitchen on your way to work, and you’re good to go!


What are your favorite make-ahead breakfast recipes? Share yours in the comments below!

The post Make-Ahead Breakfast Recipes appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins are moist and rich muffins that are loaded with flavor from rich chocolate and shredded zucchini!  They will be a huge hit and will give you a great way to use all that zucchini from your garden!

Turning nutritious zucchini into a chocolate treat is easier than you think! Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting and Chocolate Zucchini Brownies with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting are two more delicious chocolate and zucchini recipes you’ll love!

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

Muffins are a MUST have in our house! They are quick and easy to make and eat. The soft and fluffy texture and crave-worthy flavors are everyone’s favorite.  These chocolate chip zucchini muffins are a healthier version that we all enjoy for breakfast on repeat over the summer!  This is a great way to use up zucchini from the garden and a bonus alternative to sugary morning breakfasts.

On top of their fantastic flavors and texture, these chocolate chip muffins are so easy to make!  They come together in no time.  These are so good, you will want to double or triple this recipe once you see what a huge hit they are!  Having some of these muffins made ahead and stored in the freezer will save you time later and make your mornings easier.  They can be reheated in the microwave, and the warm melted chocolate chips are so delicious and satisfying.  Your entire family will be happy and full!

Zucchini Muffin Ingredients:

This family friendly chocolate chip muffin is crowd pleasing and you will be amazed at the simplicity of the ingredients!  Most are things you can store easily in your pantry or spice cabinet.  Everything comes together perfectly to form the most amazing muffins!

  • All purpose flour: Adds thickness and structure.
  • Sugar: Just the right amount of sweetness!
  • Baking Soda: Helps the muffins rise to that perfect muffin dome.
  • Cinnamon: Adds great warm cinnamon spice
  • Salt: Just a pinch!
  • Egg: Lightly beaten egg will act as a binding agent for the muffin.
  • Vegetable Oil: The oil creates a tender and moist texture.
  • Vanilla: A hint of vanilla flavor.
  • Milk: Gives the batter a creamy texture.
  • Zucchini: Adds moisture to the muffin. Shred finely and dry completely before folding in.
  • Chocolate Chips: The melty chocolate chips are so rich and sweet!
  • Chopped Walnuts: Optional, but I love the crunch adding in some walnuts creates!

Let’s Make Muffins!

These muffins are quick and easy to make.  You will just need a medium and small bowl and a muffin pan.  This is a no fail recipe that will become your tried and true favorite!

  1. Prep: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with liners or grease each tin.
  2. Mix dry ingredients: In a medium sized bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  3. Mix wet ingredients: In a small bowl combine the egg, vegetable oil, vanilla, and milk.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients: Add to the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  5. Fold in final ingredients:  Gently fold in zucchini, chocolate chips and walnut to batter.
  6. Bake: Scoop the batter and fill 1/2 full.  Bake for 20-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and lightly brown.

Steps to make chocolate chip zucchini muffins.

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins:

Making the most perfect zucchini muffin is a skill you will use forever.  So, I’m going to pass along to you some tips on how to create them.

  • Finely shred: Shred zucchini on the finest setting.  By doing a very thin shred you will just create an amazing muffin that is moist and secretly healthy.
  • Dry zucchini: Before adding in zucchini to the mixture, make sure to remove any excess water. Just blot with a paper towel to remove the extra liquid.
  • To peel or not to peel:  You do not need to peel the zucchini first!  Since you are finely shredding the zucchini, the peel being on or off will make no difference to the overall taste and texture of your muffin.
  • Cooling: Place the muffins on a wire cooling rack to cool.  This will give them the perfect texture and keep them from getting too soggy.

Scattered chocolate chip zucchini muffins sitting on parchment paper.

Storing Made from Scratch Zucchini Muffins:

These muffins can be made ahead and will store very well!  You can still enjoy this moist chocolate chip muffin for days and weeks after baking them!  Start by allowing the muffins to cool completely before storing.  I recommend you move them to a wire rack for the quickest cooling time.  Then, wrap them tightly in foil or plastic wrap to keep that amazing zucchini moisture in!

  • Room temperature storage: These muffins will last for 1-2 days on the counter at room temperature.
  • Refrigerator Storage: When chilled in the fridge they will last for up to 1 week. I store them this way when making a week’s worth of breakfast so they will be fresh the entire week.
  • Freezer Storage: Freezing your muffins will keep them fresh for up to 3 months.  This is great when you make more than one batch and you know they will not be eaten within the week.
  • Re-heating: Frozen muffins will need to thaw at room temperature for 3-4 hours before serving. Or microwave for 20-30 seconds. I love to make these ahead and freeze them.  I just pop them in the microwave in the mornings.  The warm chocolate muffin with my coffee has become my go-to breakfast.

Chocolate chip zucchini muffins in a baking pan.

More Delicious Zucchini Recipes:

  • Zucchini Chips
  • Baked Zucchini Fries
  • Cheesy Zucchini Fritters
  • Chocolate Zucchini Bread
  • Double Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

Print

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins are moist and rich muffins that are loaded with flavor from rich chocolate and shredded zucchini!  They will be a huge hit and will give you a great way to use all that zucchini from your garden!
Course Appetizer, Bread, Breakfast, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate chip muffins, chocolate chip zucchini muffins, Muffins, zucchini chocolate chip muffins, zucchini muffins
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 24 Muffins
Calories 159kcal
Author Alyssa Rivers

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup zucchini shred and wring out with paper towel
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with liners or grease each tin. In a medium sized bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a small bowl combine the egg, vegetable oil, vanilla, and milk. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  • Fold in zucchini, chocolate chips and walnut. Scoop the batter and fill 1/2 full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and lightly brown.

Nutrition

Calories: 159kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 55mg | Potassium: 38mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 41IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg

 

One chocolate chip zucchini muffin being held in the air with a white background.

Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad is made with layers of fresh tomato slices, basil, and mozzarella cheese, then drizzled with balsamic glaze and topped with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  It is the perfect summer meal that you will crave all year!

Tomato and mozzarella appetizers start your menu off with great color and flavors, so try Easiest Bruschetta Recipe or Italian Avocado Cucumber Salad.  These fresh and colorful apps are great for entertaining or for a typical Tuesday.

Caprese Salad Recipe

Summertime is one of my very favorite seasons! Being outside and seeing the bright colors makes me happy. I seem to crave lighter meals during this time of year and love this caprese salad recipe. Fresh fruits and vegetables become my go-to snacks and adding them to each meal makes it even better. Tomatoes are rich in flavor but have a light and airy taste to them. The fresh flavors in this salad come alive and make the perfect combination!

Tomatoes and mozzarella are the two main ingredients. The sweet and colorful tomatoes were so juicy and soaked in the balsamic glaze. The mozzarella’s soft, creamy texture was perfect! The basil and coarse salt gave just the right Italian spices that are original to this salad.  Don’t overlook this salad, it may be simple to make, but it is so impressive and beautiful on the plate. This caprese salad is my first choice for a fantastic summer salad for sure!

Where did Caprese Salad Come From?

The name literally means “salad of Capri” due to its original home on the island of Capri.  It is pronounced “Cuh-prey-zey.” There is not a real reason behind it but a few myths that formed around fresh tomatoes and a type of cheese with a sweet basil leaf over top. It is popular in Italy and one of the most famous salads there.

What’s in a Fresh Caprese Salad?

Whenever I am at the farmers market in the summer and I see all the fresh tomatoes I get so excited to create this colorful salad.  This ingredient list is so short I have it memorized.  It is really such a simple list of ingredients that picking quality is vital! It will make all the difference to have fresh from the garden or farm ingredients.

  • Tomatoes: I love to use ripe summer tomatoes from my garden or the local farmers market.
  • Mozzarella: Slice and layer with tomatoes. If you can’t find fresh mozzarella look for burrata or bocconcini before opting for the packed version that has been wrapped and water soaked and will be rubbery and won’t absorb the oils and flavors as well.
  • Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil is the best for this salad.
  • Balsamic Glaze: Drizzle on top of the layers of mozzarella and tomatoes.
  • Sea Salt and Pepper: To taste.  My opinion is you must use a coarse salt and a freshly ground black pepper.
  • Basil: Fresh will give you the most vibrant flavor!

How to Prepare a Italian Caprese Salad:

To make this fresh and satisfying summer salad, you will just need to slice the ingredients, layer them, and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic glaze.  It will be ready in a flash and gone just as quickly because this caprese salad is unbelievably good!

  1. Slice tomatoes: Cut as evenly as possible into ¼ inch thick slices.
  2. Slice cheese: Use a cheese cutter to slice cheese into ¼ inch pieces.
  3. Layer: Place tomatoes and cheese on a plate in layers.
  4. Drizzle: Top with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic glaze.   Then sprinkle with flaked sea salt, pepper and fresh basil.

The Recipe Critic Pro Tip:

To create a professional looking display use a serrated knife to cut easily through the tomato and make clean even slices.  Also, make sure to match your tomato size to the size slice of cheese for the best looking presentation.

Ingredients for Caprese salad.

 

What do I Serve with an Italian Salad:

This easy fresh salad has sweet and fresh flavors that pair very well with savory sidekicks.  Add meat or bread to make this amazing appetizer into a complete meal.

  • Cured meat slices
  • Flank steak
  • Grilled Chicken
  • Toast
  • Salad

Salad Variations:

I love the original layered and drizzled version of this salad.  It presents so beautifully.  The red and white colors are even a bit patriotic if you ask me.  Here are some great ideas to take this salad to the next level.  I guarantee you will be craving these fresh flavors and making this salad a ton!  So, you may want a few variations to keep it interesting! 🙂

  • Chopped salad: Chop all the ingredients and toss with vinaigrette instead of layering.
  • Skewers: Stack grape or cherry tomatoes and mini mozzarella balls then drizzle with balsamic.

Storing Tomato and Mozzarella Salad:

The fresh from the garden flavors are clearly going to be most vibrant and bold if served immediately.  However, that is not always possible.  Sometimes, making a salad ahead can be a lifesaver and this salad can be made ahead.  I recommend storing the ingredients separately and layering and plating at the last second. To store, you will need to cover tightly in a container, aluminum foil or plastic wrap and then follow the freshness timelines below:

  • Sliced Tomatoes: 3-4 days refrigerated 2 months freezer.
  • Freezing tomatoes: Although they will last for 2 months in the freezer, I don’t recommend using frozen tomatoes for this salad because they will become mushy when you thaw them. If you plan to use them in a sauce or cooked meal it would be different, but for this salad, frozen tomatoes just won’t do.
  • Mozzarella: Refrigerate 1-2 weeks, Freeze up to 6 months.
  • Storing tip: When storing mozzarella wrap the cheese in wax or parchment paper before you cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

Close up on caprese salad.

More Caprese Recipes:

  • Farro Caprese Salad
  • Baked Caprese Chicken
  • Chicken Caprese Pasta Casserole
  • Caprese Pasta Salad
  • Chicken Caprese Macaroni and Cheese

Print

Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad is made with layers of fresh tomato slices, basil, and mozzarella cheese, then drizzled with balsamic glaze and topped with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  It is the perfect summer meal that you will crave all year!
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Salad, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Italian, Italian American
Keyword caprese salad, caprese salad recipes, salad caprese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 People
Calories 742kcal
Author Alyssa Rivers

Ingredients

  • 4 medium ripe tomatoes
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • balsamic glaze
  • flaked sea salt
  • pepper
  • fresh basil

Instructions

  • Start by slicing tomatoes 1/4 inch thick. Slice the cheese 1/4 inch thick. Layer the tomatoes and cheese on a plate. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic glaze. Top with flaked sea salt, pepper and fresh basil.

Nutrition

Calories: 742kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 52g | Fat: 53g | Saturated Fat: 30g | Cholesterol: 179mg | Sodium: 1434mg | Potassium: 755mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 3582IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 1170mg | Iron: 2mg