Top 20 Recipes of 2019

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

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

Best Budget Bytes Recipes of 2019

Close up of Cilantro lime chicken with title text overlay

(in chronological order)

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

A bowl of creamy Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala being eaten with a spoon and two pieces of naan on the side.

Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala

This super easy, ultra creamy, and heavily spiced Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala will be your new favorite weeknight dinner! So much flavor, so little effort. 

Go to the recipe >>>


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

Close up of a bowl of Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms with Herby Kale Mashed Potatoes

Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms with Herby Kale Mashed Potatoes

These Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms with Herby Kale Mashed Potatoes are a vegetarian meal that will please any “meat and potatoes” style meal lover. 

Go to the recipe >>>


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

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. 

Go to the recipe >>>


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

Close up of a plate full of creamy white bean and spinach quesadillas with a dish of red salsa

Creamy White Bean and Spinach Quesadillas

Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, these insanely delicious Creamy White Bean and Spinach Quesadillas make an awesomely fast weeknight dinner. 

Go to the recipe >>>


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

A hand grabbing a stack of two halves of a Scallion Herb Chickpea Salad sandwich on wheat bread.

Scallion Herb Chickpea Salad

Light, bright, and full of spring flavors, this Scallion Herb Chickpea Salad will keep you full all afternoon. Serve as a sandwich, wrap, or salad! 

Go to the recipe >>>


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

Close up of Easy Cilantro Lime Chicken in the skillet, garnished with cilantro and lime wedges.

Easy Cilantro Lime Chicken

Easy Cilantro Lime Chicken is full of the bright fresh flavors of summer. Cook it quickly in a skillet or throw it on the grill for a fast dinner! 

Go to the recipe >>>


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

A basket full of Homemade Baked Chicken Nuggets, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, and a small dish of ranch.

Homemade Baked Chicken Nuggets

Homemade baked chicken nuggets are crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside, easy to make, and make a delicious meal or snack. 

Go to the recipe >>>


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

Honey Mustard Sauce dripping off a spoon into a bowl

Honey Mustard Sauce

This sweet, tangy, and creamy homemade honey mustard sauce only takes a few minutes to make and is great for sandwiches, salads, dipping, and more!

Go to the recipe >>>


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

A wooden plate full of baked sweet potato fries drizzled with peanut lime dressing and topped with cilantro, peanuts, and red pepper.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Peanut Lime Dressing

Oven baked sweet potato fries drizzled with homemade peanut lime dressing, piled high with fresh cilantro, chopped peanuts, and a pinch of spicy red pepper.

Go to the recipe >>>


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

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 >>>


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

Overhead view of homemade lemon curd in a jar with a small silver butter knife stuck inside, lemon slices on the side.

Luscious Homemade Lemon Curd

This luscious homemade lemon curd only takes four simple ingredients, about 10 minutes, and tastes like velvet sunshine in a jar.

Go to the recipe >>>


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

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 >>>


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

Front view of a bowl of Honey Mustard Broccoli Salad with a black fork and spoon in the side of the bowl.

Honey Mustard Broccoli Salad

This crunchy, sweet, tangy, and creamy Honey Mustard Broccoli Salad only takes minutes to makes the perfect summer side dish.

Go to the recipe >>>


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

A spoon lifting some homemade balsamic vinaigrette out of a small bowl

Easy Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette

This super simple homemade balsamic vinaigrette is perfect for all your green salads and pasta salads and has several options for customizing!

Go to the recipe >>>


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

Close up overhead view of a bowl full of vegan creamy mushroom ramen with chopsticks lifting some noodles

Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen

This incredibly simple Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen is a rich and flavorful 15 minute meal that only requires a handful of ingredients! 

Go to the recipe >>>


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

A bowl of Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup with two pieces of toasted bread and a black spoon in the middle.

Easy Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup

This incredibly easy Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup takes only eight simple ingredients to deliver a bowl full of rich, bold flavor.

Go to the recipe >>>


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

Overhead view of a Maple Brown Butter Pumpkin Pie with a slice cut out, on a plate on the side with whipped cream.

Maple Brown Butter Pumpkin Pie

This Maple Brown Butter Pumpkin Pie is the perfect special touch for your Thanksgiving dinner, without adding a lot of extra work or unusual ingredients.

Go to the recipe >>>


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

Overhead view of secret ingredient tomato soup in a white bowl with black rim, and a black spoon.

Secret Ingredient Tomato Soup

This super thick, warm, and comforting tomato soup has two secret ingredients that make it rich and delicious without any dairy. 100% vegan!

Go to the recipe >>>


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

Close up of one pot creamy pesto chicken pasta in a shallow bowl with a black fork.

One Pot Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta

This super lush and Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta is perfect for busy weeknights. Everything cooks in one pot and is done in under 30 minutes! 

Go to the recipe >>>


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

Close up of a wooden spoon in the casserole dish full of baked ziti

Classic Baked Ziti

Like a freeform lasagna, this Baked Ziti has layers of pasta, homemade red sauce with Italian sausage, and three types of melty cheese!

Go to the recipe >>>


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

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