Gold Star Cincinnati Chili

Cincinnati Chili is a classic Midwestern recipe that slow simmers the meat sauce then served over top noodles. This chili is nothing like you have ever had before!

This fun, iconic American dish is a staple in the city of Cincinnati. Complete your meal by serving alongside a Greek Salad, a baked potato, and end the meal with some homemade funnel cakes!

Cincinnati Chili Recipe

This chili is definitely unlike any other chili! It’s a combination of so many different foods and flavors. This chili cooks up as a flavorful meat sauce that is perfect to use over noodles or to smother hot dogs with. It can be eaten in a bowl like a regular bowl of chili, but that’s not it’s purpose in life!

This is such a fun and unique meal that the entire family is sure to love. The best part is that everyone can choose which way they want to eat it. Beans? No beans? Onion? Cheese? You can pick your own way!

What Makes Cincinnati Chili Different?

Cincinnati Chili is a recipe developed in the 1920s thanks to Greek immigrants who settled in the Midwest. It’s a combination of a soupy Midwestern stew and traditional Mediterranean spices. It was created as a hot dog topping, and was originally served at a stand outside a theater called Empress. 

Later the owners of the hot dog stand expanded into a restaurant which they named Empress and started serving the chili over noodles also. As the idea spread other restaurants and chili parlors opened, adopting the same style of chili. Today some of the most popular chili parlors serving this dish are Empress, Skyline, and Gold Star Chili. Today Cincinnati Chili is known as an iconic American dish, and is enjoyed by many people visiting the Midwest. 

Ingredients Needed

  • Tomato Paste: helps to thicken the meat sauce and also gives a nice red, tomato base to the broth.
  • Water/Broth: This recipe can be made with just water, as the meat simmers in the pot it will become quite flavorful. If you want to push the flavor along a little bit you can do a mixture of half water and half beef broth.
  • Ground Beef: 80/20 is a good balance for the chili. We need just enough fat to create a flavorful broth while simmering, but we don’t want too much fat, since we’re boiling the meat, the grease will stay in the pot, we can’t just drain it out.
  • Onion: some say that no onion is included in the actual chili, but it gives a great flavor. Mince the onion up nice and fine and you don’t even notice the bits in the chili.
  • Chili Powder: Adds a depth of flavor.
  • Salt: Amount can be adjusted to taste if needed.
  • Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Allspice & cloves: The warm spices are what sets this chili apart from all others!
  • Cocoa: a necessity to come as close to authentic Skyline Chili as possible.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: not a required ingredient, but it does add a depth to the broth of the chili.
  • Vinegar: brightens up the meat sauce.

Chili in a pot with a wooden spoon in it.

How to Make Cincinnati Style Chili

This copycat original is famous by Skyline chili parlor. Cincinnati chili is a flavorful meat sauce infused with mediterranean spices. Serve over noodles or on top of a hot dog!

  1. Combine: Water/broth with tomato paste to start the broth. Crumble the ground beef with your hands and add it into the liquid.
  2. Add in: Remaining ingredients for the chili.
  3. Bring to a simmer: Let the chili simmer for 2-3 hours while covered, until meat is fully cooked. Stir the meat. To ensure the meat is completely crumbled, it should have a fine texture, no large chunks of meat.
  4. Storing Chili: Let the chili cool to room temperature and then cover to store in the refrigerator overnight.
  5. Remove Grease: The next day, break up the cooled grease on the top of the chili, remove it completely, then bring the chili back to a simmer on the stovetop.
  6. Serve: Serve over spaghetti noodles or on a hot dog.

The process of making Cincinnati chili in four photos.

What to Serve with Cincinnati Chili

While you could serve up a bowl of this chili, that’s not how you will typically see it served. Most common ways of enjoying this particular style of chili is over hot dogs as a “cheese coney” or over spaghetti noodles. 

Whichever way you choose to go, just make sure you have plenty of oyster crackers on the side!

  • Cheese Coney: hot dog, bun, chili, cheese, mustard and onion (optional)
  • Simple: Just noodles and chili combined.
  • Have it with more: Add cheese with your noodles and chili
  • More to Love: Noodles, chili, cheese and onions or beans. The variations are endless!
  • The Works: Add all five together and you have it all with noodles, chili, cheese, onions and beans.

Cincinnati chili with spaghetti noodles garnished with cheese, onions and crackers.

More Chili Recipes to Enjoy

  • True Texas Chili
  • Best Ever Chili 
  • Turkey Chili 
  • Instant Pot Chili
  • Jalapeno Popper Chili


Cincinnati Chili

Cincinnati Chili is a classic Midwestern recipe! This chili is nothing like you have ever had before! Slow simmered meat sauce is served over spaghetti noodles. 
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword chili, Cincinnati Chili
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8 People
Calories 352kcal
Author Serene Herrera


  • 4 cups water (OR can do half water, half beef broth)
  • 6 ounce tomato paste
  • 2 pounds ground beef (80/20)
  • ½ cup onion finely diced
  • 3 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 Tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground all spice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 ounce dark chocolate OR unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 bayleaf


  • spaghetti noodles cooked
  • beans
  • onion diced
  • cheddar cheese shredded
  • oyster crackers


  • In a large dutch oven combine the water and tomato paste. Whisk together to combine.
  • Crumble the meat with fingers and add to the liquid in the pot.
  • Add all remaining ingredients to the pot and stir to combine.
  • Bring pot of chili to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and lower heat. Let simmer for 2-3 hours stirring occasionally. Skim grease from the top as needed.
  • Remove the chili from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Cover and store the chili in the refrigerator overnight.
  • After chili has cooled overnight, using a spoon, breakup the grease on the top of the chili and remove completely.
  • Bring the chili back to a low simmer over medium heat.
  • Serve the chili warm over spagehtti noodles or over a hot dog.


If you don’t have time to store the chili overnight, you can simply skim the grease as best as you can from the top of the chili and serve. Storing overnight helps remove the grease and allows further development of the flavors. It is not necessary. 




Calories: 352kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 924mg | Potassium: 659mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1214IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 4mg

Chinese Sausage Fried Rice

Fried Rice has now become a morning staple here at home ever since ODL has started. Everybody needs something heavy for breakfast. Ykaie starts school at 8am and peanutbutter leaves the house for work at 9:30am. At pagkatapos non, syempre, simula nang umaatikabong araw namin ni Twinkle.

Of course, di naman laging garlic rice lang.. so I try to cook different kinds of fried rice. Chinese Sausage Fried Rice is one of their favorites because of how the chinese sausage makes the rice aromatic and flavorful. What I love about this is that there is no staple ingredient. You can put anything in your fridge — any vegetable leftover or even meat leftover from your ulam the night before. Yes, this can be a fridge clean-up dish.

Then, since it’s already filled with all things wonderful, you can eat it as is. Pwedeng wala ng ulam. Or if you’re feeling like indulging, you can serve this with breakfast staples like luncheon meat and crispy dried fish.

What are your breakfast staples at home these days?


Chinese Sausage Fried Rice


  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 pcs chinese sausage, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 onion chopped
  • ½ cup frozen carrots and peas
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp magic sarap/ Patis
for serving
  • fried luncheon meat
  • crispy dried fish

  1. Heat oil in a pan and fry sliced chinese sausage until brown. Put it aside in the pan.
  2. In the same pan and oil, sauté chopped garlic and onions until translucent.
  3. Add green peas, and carrots. mix for about 30 seconds and put it on one side of the pan.
  4. On the empty side, cook the egg and chop it into pieces using your spatula.
  5. Add rice and mix well. Stir-fry/ Heat through.
  6. Season with Magic Sarap or patis.
  7. Serve with luncheon meat or tuyo or as is.

 If you make this recipe, kindly snap a photo and tag @thepeachkitchen on Instagram (OR hashtag it #thepeachkitchen). I’d love to see what you cook!

The post Chinese Sausage Fried Rice appeared first on The Peach Kitchen.

Slow Cooker Crack Chicken (Cheddar Ranch Chicken)

This Slow Cooker Crack Chicken (Cheddar Ranch Chicken) is an addicting concoction of chicken, cheese, bacon and perfectly seasoned with ranch dressing. Cooking this in the slow cooker takes all the work out of it and makes it a super simple hearty dinner on busy days.

Things are called “crack” for a good reason. They’re just so good you get addicted. You just can’t enough like this Best Christmas Crack Recipe. This Crack Chicken is amazing especially when made with Homemade Ranch Dressing Mix.

Crack Chicken Recipe

What exactly is “Crack Chicken?” It’s that classic combination of cream cheese, ranch, cheddar and bacon. Similar to the Crack Dip, this has all the same delicious flavors, but made meal worthy by adding chicken. Now you can have a bowl full and not feel guilty, like you might if you had a whole bowl full of just dip.

This keto friendly dish is so versatile, and everyone loves it. It’s a hearty, rich and creamy meal. Perfect for any occasion, it’s like the little black dress of dinners. Dress it up or down depending on the occasion and it’s a winner either way.

Cheddar Ranch Chicken Ingredients

Simple ingredients when put all together taste so amazing.

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts: I love that you don’t have to pre cut these
  • Homemade Ranch Seasoning: This is the dry mix not ranch dressing. Using homemade is SO GOOD
  • Cream Cheese: Creamy and decadent filling
  • Bacon: Cooked and crumbled then stirred into the chicken mix.
  • Cheddar Cheese: Shredded over top and melted when warm.
  • Green Onion: Top it off as a garnish!

How to Make Crockpot Crack Chicken

This is so easy, you’ll wonder why you haven’t tried it sooner.

  1. Slow Cooker: In the bottom of a slow cooker place the chicken. Sprinkle with dry ranch dressing. Cut the cream cheese into cubes and place over the chicken and seasoning.
  2. Cook: Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4.
  3. Shred: Shred the chicken and top with bacon and cheese. Cover till melted. Garnish with green onions.

Shredding Crack Chicken in a crock pot

Tips for the Best Crack Chicken Slow Cooker

It’s really difficult to mess up this Crack Chicken recipe but here are a few tips to help it be awesome.

  • Chicken: Use skinless and boneless chicken for less fat and grease. You can use boneless skinless chicken thighs with the same success as chicken breasts.
  • Bacon: For the best taste and texture use real bacon crumbles not bacon bits which can be pretty artificial tasting.
  • Keep it from Drying! This is definitely a recipe you don’t want to over cook it. The best success is long and low.
  • Cream Cheese: Chunk the cream cheese and distribute evenly over the chicken for even melting.
  • Cheddar Cheese: Bacon and cheddar just go together but you can easily change it up, try jalapeno pepper jack for a kick, colby or even swiss.
  • Storing Cheddar Ranch Chicken: Keep this in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days and YES you can freeze it. Put it in a freezer safe airtight container and it will keep for up to 3 months.
  • Double: Double the recipe and freeze leftovers for quick dinners or even lunches.
  • Shredding Chicken: The easiest way to shred chicken is with your hand mixer right in crock pot. It’s easy and fast. Or you can also just use two forks.

What Do You Eat Crack Chicken With?

Slow Cooker Crack Chicken is such a versatile dish. It can be served so many different ways, making it a new dish each time!

  • Over rice: This adds an asian twist.
  • Hamburger buns or Pitas: Place on oven toasted buns for a delicious sandwich.
  • Mashed potatoes: Over top for a rich and tasty meal.
  • Inside of baked potatoes: Split open your baked potato and insert the chicken right inside.
  • Crackers and veggies: Make a fun dip with a fun tray full of deliciousness.
  • Wrapped in a Tortilla: Something light but simple for a quick lunch or snack time.
  • Lettuce Wraps or on top of a salad: Add a little more to your greens with this hearty chicken and cheese.
  • In Pitas or Croissants: Another idea for a quick lunch or a gathering.
  • Pasta: Bring on something filling with noodles and this chicken.

Creamy, rich addicting Slow Cooker Crack Chicken with cheddar, bacon and ranch on a bun.

More Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes to Love

These chicken favorites are made so much easier in the slow cooker,  and that makes life so much easier.

  • Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken
  • Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie
  • Skinny Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken
  • Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
  • Slow Cooker Chicken Tortellini Soup


Slow Cooker Crack Chicken

This Slow Cooker Crack Chicken (Cheddar Ranch Chicken) is an addicting concoction of chicken, cheese, bacon and perfectly seasoned with ranch dressing. Cooking this in the slow cooker takes all the work out of it and makes it a super simple hearty dinner on busy days.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword crack chicken, crack chicken recipe, slow cooker crack chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 People
Calories 427kcal
Author Alyssa Rivers


  • 3 pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 2 packets dry ranch seasoning or try my Homemade Ranch Seasoning
  • 2 8 ounce cream cheese
  • 6 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • chopped green onions for garnish


  • In a slow cooker add the chicken to the bottom. Sprinkle with dry ranch seasoning. Top with cream cheese. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours long.
  • Shred the chicken with two forks. Top with bacon and sprinkle with cheese. Cover until melted. Serve on buns, over rice and garnish with green onions.


Calories: 427kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 56g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 180mg | Sodium: 527mg | Potassium: 901mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 257IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 147mg | Iron: 1mg


Homemade Pancake Mix

Super easy and made with simple ingredients, you can ditch the box mix and make your own Homemade Pancake Mix.  Make the most delicate, divinely fluffy pancakes whenever you want for your family!

Making things from scratch is so unbelievably easy. Just like this Insanely Good Homemade Granola, but it can be intimidating like the thought of making Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup. But the great news is,  just like those recipes, this is insanely easy and quick and once you try it, you’ll never go back.

The Best Pancake Mix

Not only is super simple but the pancakes it makes are so good! Fluffy, soft, tender and melt in your mouth tasty. Warm breakfasts are so great to wake up to and this makes it so easy.  Just whip this up with some milk, eggs, and oil  and you’ve got a hot breakfast in no time. Pancakes really are fast and they’re just so comforting, everyone loves them.

Buying and preparing all of your own foods is the single easiest way to ensure that you know exactly what your family is eating.  It is also a great way to save money on groceries!  Most premade baking mixes are typically simply mixtures of very simple, common dry baking ingredients. This homemade pancake mix is easy to whip up and is a great way to save on the budget.

Pancake Ingredients

You probably already have these in your pantry.

  • Flour: All purpose flour works best for fluffy pancakes
  • Baking Powder: This gives you fluffiness and puffs the pancakes up.
  • Sugar: A little bit of sweetness to add in the pancakes.
  • Salt: Always needed for balance!

How to Make Pancake Mix

Ever look at the ingredients in those box mixes? Can’t pronounce some of them can you and you don’t even know what they’re for, and you’re feeding that to your family. Now you can know exactly what’s in your pancake mix!

  1. Mix: Whisk all the ingredients together. Place in a sealed container and keep in a dry cool place.

Mixing pancake mix ingredients in a bowl.

Pancake Mix from Scratch

Now it’s time to use the mix for fluffy yummy pancakes. It is just two simple instructions to making the best pancakes at home.

  1. Mix: In a medium bowl mix together 1 cup of milk 1 egg and 2 Tablespoons of oil. Add in 1 cup of pancake mix and stir till combined.
  2. Cook: Drop by 1/4 cups in a heated buttered skillet on medium heat.

What Can I Put in my Pancake Mix?

There are so many variations and fun ways to eat a pancake. From classic butter and syrup to adding in fruit or chocolate, these pancakes are amazingly delicious. Your family will be raving how good they are!

  • Spices: This is the perfect base to add spices. When you add your mix to the wet ingredients add in cinnamon, vanilla, pumpkin spice, or other flavorings.
  • Mix ins: To your wet mix add in mashed bananas, nuts, blueberries, chocolate chips, chia seeds, flax meal or protein powder for variations.
  • Flour: You can use whole wheat flour, unbleached flour or all purpose flour in this pre mix.

Tips and Storing Homemade Pancake Mix

  • Double: Feel free to double the mix or even triple it. I like to make lots of pancakes at once and freeze them for even quicker hot breakfasts in the morning.
  • Wait: When cooking your pancakes wait for those bubbles to form on top to ensure you don’t end up with gooey middles.
  • Butter: For extra richness substitute melted butter for the oil. So yummy!
  • Don’t over mix: It’s important when you mix your wet with dry ingredients you don’t over mix. It’s ok to have a few little lumps.
  • Storage: The shelf life of this homemade mix is about the same as any you’d find at the store. This should keep for 6-8 months in a cool dark place. Make sure your jar or container has a tight seal as well.

Homemade pancake mix in bowl.

More Homemade Goodness

Because Homemade is always better, and unbelievably easy!

  • Homemade Cheese Sauce
  • Homemade Ranch Dressing
  • Easiest Marinara Sauce
  • Homemade Fajita Seasoning
  • Easy Homemade Tomato Sauce


Homemade Pancake Mix

Super easy and made with simple ingredients, you can ditch the box mix and make your own Homemade Pancake Mix.  Make the most delicate, divinely fluffy pancakes whenever you want for your family.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword pancake mix, pancakes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 People
Calories 425kcal
Author Alyssa Rivers


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup baking powder
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt


To make pancakes:

  • In a medium sized bowl whisk together 1 cup milk, 1 egg and 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil. Add in 1 cup of pancake mix and stir until combined.

To make chocolate chip pancakes:

  • In a medium sized bowl whisk together 1 cup milk, 1 egg and 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil. Add in 1 cup of pancake mix and stir until combined. Fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips.


Calories: 425kcal | Carbohydrates: 97g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 601mg | Potassium: 2092mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 17g | Calcium: 868mg | Iron: 6mg


Sheet Pan Kielbasa Potatoes and Green Beans

THIS is the sheet pan meal to end all sheet pan meals! It’s similar to some I’ve made before, but it is by far the easiest one yet, and without sacrificing any flavor. This Sheet Pan Kielbasa, Potatoes, and Green Beans recipe is filling, tasty, and as easy as it gets, with only SIX simple ingredients, and very little hands on time. I don’t know what more you could want from a dinner recipe! 🙌

Can I Use a Different Sausage?

Yes, if you can not find kielbasa, any sort of smoked sausage will taste delicious with this combination of ingredients. It’s so flexible!

Can I Use Fresh Green Beans?

I used frozen green beans for this recipe because they are already cleaned, cut, and blanched before freezing. The blanching keeps the green beans a little more moist as they roast in the oven. You can use fresh green beans if you prefer, just keep in mind that they will dry out a little more while roasting than frozen green beans.

What is Steak Seasoning?

Steak seasoning is my short cut for this recipe. It’s a bottled spice blend, sometimes called Montreal Steak Seasoning, that you should be able to find at any major grocery store in the U.S. It’s a chunky mix of salt, pepper, garlic, red pepper, and sometimes a couple other spices. I love steak seasoning because that chunky grind of the spices gives the dish not only texture but these wonderful pops of flavor in every bite. Don’t skip it! 🙂

Can I Use Different Potatoes?

Yes! Again, this recipe is so flexible. I used small red potatoes, but you can substitute larger red potatoes or even russet potatoes if that is what you have. Just make sure to cut the potatoes into one-inch pieces so they roast at an even pace with everything else.

Sheet pan kielbasa, potatoes, and green beans in a bowl with a fork

Sheet pan roasted kielbasa potatoes and green beans with a spatula

Sheet Pan Kielbasa Potatoes and Green Beans

Sheet pan meals don’t get an easier or more delicious than this Sheet Pan Kielbasa Potatoes and Green Beans dinner.
Total Cost $9.47 recipe / $2.37 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 504.88kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes


  • Chef’s Knife
  • White Cutting Boards
  • Enamelware Sheet Pan


  • 24 oz. petite red potatoes $2.99
  • 12 oz. kielbasa $4.69
  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 12 oz. frozen green beans $1.00
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 1/2 Tbsp steak seasoning $0.15


  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Wash and slice the potatoes into 1-inch pieces. Slice the kielbasa into medallions. Dice the onion into 1-inch pieces.
  • Add the potatoes, kielbasa, onion, and frozen green beans (no need to thaw) to a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle the steak seasoning over top. Use your hands to toss the ingredients until everything is coated in oil and spices.
  • Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and roast in the oven for 20 minutes, then give the ingredients on the sheet pan a good stir. Roast for an additional 15 minutes, or until the ingredients achieve the level of browning you desire. Serve hot.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 504.88kcal | Carbohydrates: 40.3g | Protein: 15.65g | Fat: 32.45g | Sodium: 1028.88mg | Fiber: 5.88g

Love Sheet Pan Meals? Try these other flavors:

  • Sheet Pan BBQ Meatloaf Dinner
  • Sheet Pan Pesto Chicken Dinner
  • Sheet Pan Greek Chicken and Vegetables
  • One Pan Roasted Kielbasa and Cabbage Dinner
  • Oven Roasted Autumn Medley

How to Make Sheet Pan Kielbasa Potatoes and Green Beans – Step by Step Photos

Meal ingredients whole on the sheet pan

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. This is all that goes into the dinner, plus some olive oil and steak seasoning. How simple is that?? 24oz. petite red potatoes, 12oz. kielbasa, 12oz. frozen green beans, and one yellow onion.

Chopped ingredients on the sheet pan

Chop the potatoes into 1-inch pieces. Slice the kielbasa into medallions. Dice the onion into 1-inch pieces. Add the potatoes, kielbasa, onion, and green beans (no need to thaw) to the sheet pan.

Steak seasoning bottle close up

This is all I used to season the sheet pan meal. The chunky texture of this seasoning blend really adds a lot of texture and flavor differentiation to every bite! 

Seasoned sheet pan meal

Add 2 Tbsp olive oil and ½ Tbsp of the steak seasoning to the ingredients on the sheet pan, then toss really well until everything is coated in oil and seasoning.

Roasted sheet pan meal

Then place the sheet pan in the oven, roast for 20 minutes, then give it a good stir. Return it to the oven and roast for about another 15 minutes, or until it’s browned to the level that you like. 

Close up of sheet pan kielbasa potatoes and green beans on a sheet pan

It’s hard to describe how awesome this is. It doesn’t even need any sort of dressing or sauce. The fat and seasoning from the kielbasa soak into the potatoes and coats the other vegetables in an incredible amount of flavor, then you have the steak seasoning on top. It’s just 100% awesome! Serve hot and enjoy. 🙂

The post Sheet Pan Kielbasa Potatoes and Green Beans appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Nashville Hot Chicken Wings

Finger-licking good Nashville Hot Fried Chicken Wings will have you smacking your lips! These deep-fried wings are crispy, spicy, sweet, and dripping with homemade Nashville hot sauce. You don’t want to miss these! Wings are the perfect party food! Sitting around with friends watching football, having a game night with the family, or whenever youContinue Reading

Amazing Air Fryer French Fries

Air Fryer French Fries are perfectly crispy outside, tender inside, and absolutely heavenly. Simply they are AMAZING! You won’t believe how healthy these fries are after you taste one.

Serve these delectable fries with Famous Fry Sauce or for a kick Skillet Queso.  Then place them on a plate with The Best Grilled Burger or Copycat Chick-fil-A Nuggets for healthy tweak on fast food favorites made at home.

Air Fryer French Fries

If you don’t have an air fryer yet, you need to buy one just for these French fries!  This is hands down one of my favorite things EVER and making them in the air fryer makes them even better! There is just something about a really great french fry that’s hard to beat. The fact that you can make the BEST fries right at home is just plain awesome. I don’t have to leave my home to get the best tasting, crispy, tender perfectly tasting fries anymore. Both your wallet and your health will thank you for making the change.

These are so good, you may just eat only fries for dinner. So be prepared to make enough. These will be so popular you may need to triple the recipe to have enough. But that’s ok if that’s the only thing you have for dinner, they’re healthier after all!

Air Fryer Fries Ingredients

Making these fries is super easy. Simple ingredients, for wholesome fries.

  • Potatoes: I like to use Russets
  • OIive Oil: Heart healthy oil
  • Italian Seasoning: Makes everything taste great.
  • Parmesan: Because why not, It’s so good
  • Salt and Pepper: All to taste

How to Make French Fries in an Air Fryer

With just a fraction of the oil, these are the ideal for anyone trying to eat healthier without sacrificing flavor! Give your loved ones the taste they love that’s also good for them.

  1. Preheat: Preheat your fryer to 380 degrees
  2. Cut and Rinse: Slice the potatoes using a fry cutter or slice into 1/4 inch strips. Rinse in cold water and pat dry with paper towels
  3. Toss: In a medium sized bowl toss with the oil and seasonings and salt and pepper.
  4. Fry: Place in air fryer basket and cook for 15-20 minutes till golden brown

Rinsing, cutting, and making air fryer french fries.

What is an Air Fryer?

Air Fryers are a countertop appliance similar to a convection oven in that it circulates hot air to cook food. This process produces a crispy product without the added oil or extra calories of deep fat frying. It cooks at a high speed so it cooks faster than a convection or regular oven as well. It’s compact and won’t heat your whole kitchen either. It won’t sacrifice flavor even though it slashes fat and calories. It’s a total win.

Tips and Variations for Homemade French Fries

  • Potatoes: Experiment with potato varieties. There are lots of different kinds of potatoes, each with unique properties. See which one you like best. Maybe you can have a French fry tasting party. You can peel them or leave the peel on, either way. Cut the potatoes evenly so they are all the same size. This way they will cook evenly as well.
  • Rinse or Soak: Whether you choose to just rinse your potatoes or soak them for up to 15 minutes, it’s important you don’t skip this step. It rinses some of the starch away allowing the potatoes to get nice and crispy. Just make sure you dry them really well, soggy potatoes equals soggy fries.
  • Spices: There are so many different spices to try: black pepper, smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, ranch seasoning, basil, oregano, cajun seasoning, let your imagination run wild.
  • Small Batches: Getting the perfect crispiness means not over crowding the air fryer. You may have to work in small batches but that’s essential to allow the air to circulate around all the potatoes. Once you are done cooking all the fires, put them all back in the fryer and cook for another 1-2 minutes just to rewarm and crisp them. They will remain crispy.
  • Leftovers: Fries will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days and 2 months in the freezer.
  • Reheat: Bring fridge or frozen fries close to room temperature. Reheat at 425 for 5 minutes in the oven or in the air fryer for about 5 minutes till they are the texture and temperature you want.

Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, amazing air fryer french fries.

More “French” Recipes to Try

You know recipes with the word “French” in them are going to taste AMAZING!

  • Cinnamon Baked French Toast
  • Skillet French Onion Chicken
  • Sausage Stuffed French Bread Boats
  • Easy French Onion Soup
  • Slow Cooker French Dips


Air Fryer French Fries

Air Fryer French Fries are perfectly crispy outside, tender inside, and absolutely heavenly. Simply they are AMAZING! You won’t believe how healthy these fries are after you taste one. 
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword air fryer french fries, french fries
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 People
Calories 127kcal
Author Alyssa Rivers


  • 2 medium sized russet potatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoons parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  • Preheat air fryer to 380 degrees. Slice the potato using a fry cutter or slice into 1/4 inch strips. Rinse in cold water and pat dry with paper towel.
  • In a medium sized bowl toss with olive oil, Italian seasoning, parmesan, salt and pepper. Place in air fryer basket and cook for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with ketchup or fry sauce.


Calories: 127kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 336mg | Potassium: 444mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 20IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 1mg

Mexican Refried Beans and Salsa


Mexican Refried Beans and Salsa

My ultimate favorite cuisine is of course Indian. But I must say that Mexican and Italian cuisines are close seconds! Overall, I enjoy trying new cuisines with a variety of flavors. After coming to the United States, Mexican cuisine was the first new cuisine I tried. As you already know, I have a story behind every dish.

It was many years ago and we had just come to the United States. Some good friends of ours decided to take us to a small mom and pop Mexican restaurant. They were sure we would enjoy the food. I was a little hesitant and when the server came to take our order, I immediately began to tell her all of my limitations for food, such as no onions, garlic, and of course vegetarian. She smiled at me and proudly let me know she was the owner of the restaurant. She reassured me that I had come to the right restaurant and advised that all the food at her restaurant was made fresh that very day. She personally brought out our food which included refried beans, soft tortillas, salsa, enchiladas, and salad. I tried the food and immediately fell in love. Mexican cuisine had become another favorite cuisine, and this restaurant became our go-to place for dinner. Both dishes are also vegan and gluten free.

I typically keep beans and salsa in my refrigerator or freezer. Both items freeze well. Also, you can come up with so many dishes using them. These are some of my favorite dishes to serve using refried beans and salsa: beans and corn chips, tostadas, burritos, and enchiladas. I hope you will enjoy these dishes!

This recipe will serve 4.


Refried Beans

  • 1 cup pinto beans
  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • ½ cup tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger shredded
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cup of water


  • 5 Roma tomatoes
  • 3 Jalapeno pepper
  • 6 red whole red chili
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup cilantro finely chopped


How to prepare Beans

  • soak the beans for at least 6 hours in six cups of water. Drain the water boiled the beans in 3 cups of water instant pot or pressure cooker for 40 minutes. Drain most of the water and save, this will be used slowly as needed.
  • In a saucepan moderately heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add beans keep steering and keep mashing the beans. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, ginger and salt keep mashing, and cook for another five minutes. Add water we have saved from beans slowly as needed. As beans cool off will become thick. I used most of the water, we saved from beans. Beans should be the inconsistency of thick batter.

How to prepare Salsa

  • dry roast the red chilies over medium heat, till they are darker in color. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Preheat the oven at 350-degree F. Half the tomatoes and jalapeno peppers long way. Spread them over the baking sheet, Put the tomatoes and jalapeno face down, and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Take out from the oven and remove the skin from tomatoes and jalapenos.
  • First in a food processor crush red chilies, then add tomatoes, jalapeno, and salt roughly blend them together, take it out in a bowl and add cilantro. Salsa is ready and keeps aside.
  • Beans and salsa make a good side dish for any Mexican cuisine.
  • Enjoy!

The post Mexican Refried Beans and Salsa appeared first on Manjula’s Kitchen.

Wishing You All A Very Happy Navratri

Navratri is an incredibly lively festival that is full of vibrant colors, beautiful clothes, and rhythmic music. Family and friends come together to celebrate Garbha, a traditional dance from the state of Gujarat. Navratri, or “Nine nights”, is a festival which marks the onset of autumn. The nine days of Navratri are dedicated to the worship of nine forms of the Goddess, Durga. From garba dance to Durga Puja rituals, Navratri is celebrated in different ways across India. The festival of Navratri is one of the most widely celebrated Hindu festivals. It is also celebrated as the triumph of good over evil. Many people keep fast for Navratri.

Some suggestions for food for this auspicious time include:

Sabudana Khichdi

Sabudana Vada

Kuttu Ki Puri

Stir Fry Arbi

Aloo Tamatar ki Sabji

Shahi Kheer (Makhana Pudding)

The post Wishing You All A Very Happy Navratri appeared first on Manjula’s Kitchen.

5 Kitchen Tools I Can’t Live Without

It’s always been my philosophy to keep my kitchen equipment basic, with as few single-purpose tools and appliances as possible. But there are a few kitchen tools that go above and beyond. They’re multi-purpose items that are absolutely invaluable in my kitchen, and they get used almost every day. I want to share this short list of essential items with you because they’re a great place to start when you’re a beginner cook, and if you’re an experienced cook with tons of kitchen tools and gadgets, maybe this will help you simplify. 😉

If you want to read the full post about all of my kitchen equipment, check out Kitchen Basics – Tools and Equipment for a Well Equipped Kitchen

This post contains affiliate links to products I use and love. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

P.S. I saved the best for last, so don’t skip the end! And make sure to share your most used, can’t-live-without kitchen tools in the comments below. Are you ready? Let’s dive right in!

1. Dutch Oven

Why I Love It

I was a little late to get on the Dutch Oven bus, but once on board I don’t know how I ever cooked without one! A Dutch Oven is a heavy duty pot with a tight fitting lid that can be used both on the stove top and in the oven. The thick walls, usually made with cast iron, make the vessel durable and provides super even heating for your food. Buy one Dutch Oven and you’ll have it for life!

How I Use It

Because this piece of cookware can be used both on the stove top and in the oven, it is probably one of my most widely used pieces of cookware. On the stove top it’s great as an all-purpose soup pot, but the super even heating it provides also makes it ideal for one-pot style meals. No more cooked rice in the center and crunchy rice around the outside! The superbly even heating also makes this pot a great choice for deep frying, where keeping a consistent oil temperature is key.

Dutch ovens are also great to use in the oven because of their size and, again, the amazingly even heat. They’re great to use for roasting and braising meat, like pot roasts or roasted chickens. The thick walls of the Dutch oven also mimic the thick crock of a slow cooker, so many slow cooker recipes can be converted to the oven by using a Dutch oven (here is a conversion chart). Dutch ovens also make the perfect steam-filled environment for baking fresh no-knead bread. You’ve got to try it!

Buying Tips

Dutch ovens are usually constructed of cast iron, but many are also coated in enamel for easy cleanup and care. While some fancier Dutch ovens can cost hundreds of dollars, there are definitely budget-friendly models available. I have this Amazon Basics Enameled Dutch Oven, which cost less than $50, and I love it so much that I bought a second one! Lodge also makes a really affordable non-enameled cast-iron Dutch oven that is very affordable, but the bare cast iron surface will require a little more care.

All three (!!) of my Dutch ovens are 6-quart size, which has worked out perfectly for the types of recipes I make—big batches of soup, beans, large roasts, and whole loafs of bread. Smaller Dutch ovens are available, but you can usually use the larger ovens for smaller recipes just as well.

2. Sheet Pans

Why I Love Them

Because roasting vegetables is my life! Haha, just kidding, sort of. Without sheet pans I wouldn’t be able to make at least half of the recipes that I cook. Baking things in the oven on a sheet pan is one of the easiest ways to cook, and even after you become a very experienced cook, you’ll return to your trusty sheet pan time and time again for its simplicity.

How I Use Them

Sheet pans, or baking sheets, are great for baking cookies, roasting vegetables, making entire “sheet pan dinners“, baking pizzas, freezing ingredients without clumping, baking fries or chicken nuggets, cooking bacon, making granola, baking bread, and the list only goes on from there. I’d seriously be lost with a set of sheet pans!

Buying Tips

Sheet pans can be made with several types of material, and it’s important to know the difference between them when buying.

  • Aluminum: aluminum baking sheets are lightweight and durable, but aluminum can react with some acidic ingredients, like tomatoes, so you’ll want to always be sure to use parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  • Stainless steel: stainless steel baking sheets are prized for their durability, non-toxic, and non-reactive material, but they are slow to heat and cool, and can weigh a bit more. This surface is also not non-stick, so again, make sure to use parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  • Non-stick: non-stick baking sheets are quite common for non-commercial use. The non-stick coating can scratch, so make sure to avoid using metal utensils with these baking sheets. The darker color of the non-stick coating also tends to brown the bottoms of cookies and other baked goods faster, so keep that in mind.
  • Enamel coated: enamel coated baking sheets have a glossy enamel coating, which is naturally non-stick. They’re lightweight, easy to clean, and can be visually appealing, but the enamel coating can scratch and crack if you tend to be rough with your bakeware.

Sheet pans also come in a variety of sizes. Commercial baking sheets are often listed as full (26″x18″), half (18″x13″), or quarter (13″x9″). A commercial half sheet pan would be considered a large sheet pan for home cooking. Sheet pans sold for home cooks often just have the dimensions listed alone. I highly suggest buying a set of three sizes when just starting out, so you can have a sheet pan for every need.

3. Cheese Grater

Why I Love It

Oh the humble cheese grater. So unassuming, but oh so very useful! I love this simple tool because it’s so versatile, yet so simple, so there are no complex mechanical parts to break. It saves me time with chopping and helps me sneak more vegetables into my meals.

How I Use It

I suppose I should stop calling it a “cheese” grater because I use it for so many more things than just cheese! Instead of finely chopping vegetables, just run the vegetables across the surface of your “cheese” grater to get an almost minced texture. I most often grate carrots, zucchini, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and beets. Fine-holed graters are great for garlic and ginger. I also use my graters to zest citrus fruits, and grate frozen butter when making biscuits and other flakey baked goods.

Buying Tips

Graters come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but I suggest getting at least two sizes: large and small holes. You can either buy these as separate hand-held graters, or as one box grater than has multiple surfaces. I tend to like the single graters because I find them easier to clean, and if one is in the dishwasher, the other may still be clean and ready to use.

4. Small Blender

Why I Love It

My small, single-serving blender is a surprise winner in my kitchen. I originally bought my little single-serving blender for making smoothies, but over the years have pulled it out of my cabinet for so much more. It’s small, so it doesn’t take up a lot of cabinet or countertop space, it’s easy to clean (mine can go in the dishwasher), and it’s inexpensive.

While my small blender was a cheap-o $15 dollar model that definitely didn’t last forever, I love it so much and find it so useful that each time it wore out, I repurchased it (two times over about 8 years).

Funny story: one day I convinced myself that I needed a “real” blender so I went and bought a fancy and expensive Ninja. I used that thing maybe two times and then kept going back for my little $15 wonder. 🙂

How I Use It

My little mighty blender does just fine for smoothies, but don’t expect Blendtec or Vitamix level results. In addition to smoothies, I use my little blender for whipping up homemade salad dressings, dips (although it’s not great for super thick dips like hummus), sauces, and puréeing other ingredients, like beans. It’s just perfect for small jobs where you don’t want to deal with or clean a giant 9 cup blender with scary sharp blades.

Buying Tips

I can only vouch for the Hamilton Beach model that I have owned, which also doesn’t seem to be available on Amazon for its normal $15-$20 price. You can get this model at Target, Walmart, or probably any other major home goods store.

As an alternative to a small single-serving blender, an immersion blender will probably accomplish many of the same small tasks and can boast a few more uses (like blending soups right in the pot), but they do tend to be about double the price.

5. Chef’s Knife

Why I Love It

I saved the best for last! My chef’s knife is like an extension of my arm. It’s a general purpose kitchen utility knife that I use almost exclusively when cooking. In fact, I probably will never buy a full set of kitchen knives because this is practically the only knife I use (aside from a bread knife and the occasional paring knife). Chef’s knife are big and sturdy enough for large jobs, but small enough to be nimble and allow for a working at a quick pace. I absolutely, without a doubt, would not be able to function in my kitchen without it.

How I Use It

The long, broad, slightly tapered blade of a chef’s knife is great for slicing, chopping, mincing, julienning, carving, and more. If you’re not sure what type of knife to use for your task, a chef’s knife is a safe bet. Avoid chef’s knives for small jobs, like peeling or scoring, boning, or fileting.

Always make sure your chef’s knife is clean and sharp to avoid slips and injuries. Always wash by hand and avoid the dishwasher, where it can get dinged up and dulled. Keep your chef’s knife in some sort of knife holder or magnetic strip, again to avoid rubbing on other items and unintentionally damaging the blade.

Buying Tips

Much like Dutch ovens, chef’s knives can range in price from very cheap to very expensive. I’ve used the cheapest of the cheap chef’s knives up to some very pricey “fancy” knives, and I will say that they all get the job done. My favorite chef’s knife that is the perfect balance between budget and quality is the Victorinox Fibrox 8-inch Chef’s Knife, and this is what I am currently using daily in my kitchen. I also own a Shun 8-inch Chef’s Knife that I won in a raffle, and while it is very pretty and has superb craftsmanship, I don’t find that it performs any better than my Victorinox. In fact, I prefer the weight balance of my Victorinox.

Chef’s knives come in several different lengths, materials, and weights. It’s important to choose a length that is appropriate for your hand size. With my petite hands, an 8-inch knife is perfect and allows for great control and agility. If you have larger hands, you may prefer a 10 or even 12-inch chef’s knife. If you’re serious about your knives, I suggest visiting a cutlery store where you can pick up and feel the knives in your hand and choose one that feels comfortable and natural to you.

So that’s it! Those are the five most used items in my kitchen! What are yours? Share your favorite kitchen tools and gadgets, plus how you use them, in the comments below!

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