Easy Baked Bruschetta Chicken (serve over pasta)

Baked Bruschetta Chicken is an easy weeknight meal and perfect served over your favorite pasta! Tender balsamic marinated chicken breasts are baked with garlic, basil and juicy cherry tomatoes to create a delicious meal that everyone loves!

Serve this with some crusty bread and garlic butter and a fresh Italian Salad for a complete meal!

Baked bruschetta chicken breasts topped with tomatoes and basil and served over a bowl of spaghetti

An Easy Weeknight Meal

Don’t be afraid of the fancy Italian-sounding name “Bruschetta.” I make a ton of tomato bruschetta all summer long and we often end up eating it for meals or served over chicken!

Kind of like Easy Chicken Parmesan, this bruschetta chicken recipe is a make-ahead and pop-in-the oven kind of entrée. Tender chicken breasts covered in a garlicky, seasoned marinara, cherry tomatoes, and bubbling mozzarella cheese! Perfect for Sunday dinner with the extended fam. Who can say no to that?

Cooked Chicken breasts in a 9x13 pan topped with cheese and cherry tomato bruschetta

Bruschetta Chicken

Bruschetta is an appetizer many of us are familiar with however, did you know that the word bruschetta actually refers to the bread and not the topping? I took the flavors from my favorite bruschetta topping (tomato/basil/garlic) to create this amazing meal!

What is Bruschetta Chicken? Bruschetta chicken bake is full-flavored and hearty; the topping is baked right onto the chicken breasts. Turn this into a complete meal by serving it over spaghetti for the perfect Bruschetta Chicken Pasta. Mama Mia!

Raw chicken breasts topped with Italian seasoning, balsamic vinegar and olive oil for making bruschetta chicken

How to Make Bruschetta Chicken

This meal is pretty easy to make and uses basic ingredients. Fresh basil isn’t expensive but it makes a huge difference in the flavor of this dish! If you can’t find cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes (or even chopped roma tomatoes) will work just fine.

  • Marinate: Combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar and minced garlic in a small bowl and marinate chicken breasts for a few minutes.
  • Brown: Brown the chicken for two minutes on each side. The chicken will cook in the oven, you just want to brown it.
  • Bake: Place in a 9×13 casserole dish and top with cherry tomatoes. Bake until bubbly.
  • Top: Top with cheese and broil up to 3 minutes or until melted.

To Serve this Chicken Dish

For the topping, combine tomatoes with olive oil, vinegar, and basil garlic. Spoon over the finished dish and serve over pasta!

A 9x13 pan of cooked bruschetta chicken topped with cheese and fresh basil.

What to Serve with Bruschetta Chicken

A great glass of Chianti, of course! A light, bright tossed salad, and some garlic bread rounds out this unforgettable entrée! For a true Italian dining experience, a little Tiramisu or Panna Cotta makes for a sweet ending!

More Italian Favorites

Bruschetta Chicken

Tender balsamic marinated chicken breasts are baked with garlic, basil and juicy cherry tomatoes to create a delicious meal that everyone loves!

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup marinara sauce
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese

Bruschetta Topping

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (diced)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar (or balsamic)
  • salt & pepper (to taste)
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Combine 3 tablespoons olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and garlic in a small bowl.

  3. Mix 1/4 cup of the balsamic mixture with chicken breasts, salt & pepper and Italian seasoning and marinate 15 minutes.

  4. Heat remaining tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet. Add chicken and brown 2 minutes on each side.

  5. Place marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Top with browned chicken breasts and cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with remaining balsamic mixture.

  6. Bake 20-25 minutes or until juices run clear and chicken reaches 165°F. 

  7. Top with mozzarella and broil 2-3 minutes.

  8. Combine all topping ingredients in a bowl and spoon over chicken. Serve over pasta.

 

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Oven Baked Califlower

Easy Baked Cauliflower is the perfect side dish for any meal! This is one of those sides that everyone needs in their recipe book, nothing fancy, no crazy ingredients but lots of flavor and simple to prep.

Serve it alongside a juicy Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin or perfectly tender Oven Baked Chicken Breasts or thighs.

Baked cauliflower garnished with parsley on a baking sheet

A Simple Side Dish

Want to take your veggie game to the next level? There are so many new and tasty ways to enjoy the vegetables we grew up with (zoodles anyone?). This easy baked cauliflower recipe will please vegetarians and carnivores alike!

Cauliflower is a nutritional powerhouse with just 50 calories per 2 cups and packed with fiber. This baked cauliflower recipe is a simple fix on a busy night and can easily be placed in the oven along with your favorite meatloaf recipe or even placed in the pan with a roasted chicken!

How to Prepare Cauliflower Florets

Cauliflower is a compact and heavy vegetable, so it is easy to work with.  For this baked cauliflower recipe:

  • Remove any green leaves at the bottom and cut off the stem.
  • Cut the entire head in half vertically from the stem up.
  • Then, with your fingers, break apart each half into smaller pieces. These are the florets. Break them up as big or small as you like. Think about if you will be using a fork or your fingers to eat them with!

A photograph of cauliflower florets on a baking pan

How to Make Baked Cauliflower

I keep it very simple but if i have fresh herbs on hand, I add those in too! Feel free to season with anything you like even toss with dressing after it comes out of the oven!  After rinsing, drain them extra well. Any leftover water will cause them to steam and they won’t brown as nicely.

  1. Preheat oven.
  2. Toss cauliflower florets with olive oil and your fave seasonings.
  3. Spread on a greased sheet pan and bake:
    • Bake at 350°F about 30-35 minutes
    • Bake at 375°F about 25-30 minutes
    • Bake at 400°F about 20-25 minutes

These times are a guide if you like your cauliflower softer, cook it longer if you prefer more tender crisp, cook it less. A higher temperature will give more browning (and flavor). I personally don’t stir them, I like one side to get nice and browned. Don’t overcook them, you still want them to be a little crunchy!

More Cauliflower Yum

Baked Cauliflower

Tender baked cauliflower is an easy and effortless side dish!

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

  2. Wash and prepare 1 head of cauliflower. Slice so it has one flat side,

  3. Mix together olive oil and remaining ingredients.

  4. Toss dried cauliflower with olive oil mixture.

  5. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until tender and lightly browned.

Garnish with parsley and/or parmesan cheese if desired.

The Best Tzatziki Recipe

This easy Tzatziki sauce recipe is a fresh and delicious Greek sauce or dip that complements countless meals. Tzatziki is great with grilled chicken, in wraps, or simply served as a dip for fresh veggies or pita bread! 

Tzatziki dip in a small clear bowl with garlic cloves, salt, lemon and pepper all on a wooden board

Tzatziki is so bright and flavorful that it has easily made its way into all kinds of American cuisines, especially as a sauce for wraps and sandwiches, or as a dip for kababs.

Cucumber Yogurt Dip

So, what is Tzatziki? Even though tzatziki is made with seemingly simple ingredients like yogurt and olive oil, the flavors are seriously enhanced by the amount of garlic and lemon juice and freshness of the cucumber.

This is the best tzatziki recipe because it goes with nearly anything you have on hand, especially meats like beef, chicken, pork, and even fish!

The ingredients for tzatziki dip in a wooden bowl ready to mix together.

How to Make Tzatziki Sauce

This tzatziki dip is a cinch to make and will keep about 5 days in the fridge. I have made this with both regular and Greek yogurt and my personal preference is regular plain yogurt.

  1. Peel, seed and shred a large cucumber and set aside. I use a cheese grater.
  2. Combine yogurt, olive oil, minced clove of garlic (more or less depending how strong you want it to be), lemon juice and salt and pepper. Gently stir in shredded cucumber last.
  3. Allow the flavors to blend in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.

The bright and tangy flavor of tzatziki stands out best when it is served chilled!

tzatziki Greek cucumber dip on pita chip

What to Eat with Tzatziki

This homemade tzatziki sauce tastes great with so many different things, get creative and use as a veggie dip for cucumbers, carrots, tomato slices and even pita bread!

Tzatziki sauce is great on gyros. We eat it over rice, Oven Baked Chicken Breasts, deep-fried eggplant or zucchini fries for a quick appetizer when company is coming!

More Easy Dip Recipes

Greek Tzatziki (Yogurt Cucumber Dip)

Tzatziki sauce is my favorite part of going to a Greek restaurant! It’s deliciously fresh and easy to make!

  • 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 english cucumber
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dill
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • salt & pepper
  1. Peel, seed and shred cucumber.
  2. Juice lemon and set aside.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in cucumber.
  4. Allow flavors to blend at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve cold.

REPIN this Easy Dip Recipe

Greek tzatziki dip served in a clear bowl

 

This deliciou Greek tzatziki sauce is the best appetizer dip ever. We love serving it at potlucks or on gyros! #spendwithpennies #tzatziki #tzatzikisauce #tzatzikirecipe #tzatzikidip #authentictzatziki

Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken Breasts

This Honey Mustard Chicken breast recipe is an all time favorite for me! Tender juicy chicken breasts marinated in a flavorful honey mustard marinade and served with a delicious sauce.

This recipe makes for a killer chicken sandwich on a toasted roll. We serve sliced honey mustard chicken over a salad or next to some roasted potatoes and vegetables for the perfect healthy dinner!

grilled honey mustard chicken drizzled with sauce

Grill to Juicy Perfection

Making grilled chicken breasts provides a delicious smoky exterior while retaining the juices and this recipe is no exception. Boneless chicken breasts (or thighs) make the best grilling chicken as they’re lean and really quick to make.

If you chicken breasts are really thick, you can pound them to make them a little bit thinner and more even. Cook over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes on each side (this can vary based on thickness) or until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F. For lean meats, I always use a thermometer to make sure they are cooked perfectly.

3 pieces of Easy Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken

How To Make Honey Mustard Chicken

To make this delicious honey mustard chicken recipe:

  1. MIX: Mix the honey mustard sauce ingredients together. Set aside 3 tablespoons of the honey mustard sauce for later.
  2. MARINATE: Marinate the chicken breasts for about 4 hours in the fridge with the remaining honey mustard sauce. I find that it’s easiest to do this in a freezer bag turning it every now and then.
  3. GRILL: Grill the chicken breasts over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes on each side (this can vary based on thickness).

The reserved sauce gets mixed with a little bit of mayonnaise for a topper so good I could literally drink it. Don’t skip it, I promise it won’t disappoint!

Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken on a board ready to serve with honey mustard sauce

What Goes With Honey Mustard Chicken

Serve grilled honey mustard chicken over rice, on a freshly chopped salad, or with other delicious veggies like steamed broccoli or even Grilled Asparagus.

This is a great recipe for meal prep for the week, I chop it up with some lettuce and other delicious veggies. Pack a little honey mustard vinaigrette on the side and toss it when you’re ready to eat!

More Grilled Recipes You Need this Summer

Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken

These honey mustard chicken breasts are grilled to perfection with a delicious homemade honey mustard sauce.

  • 6 Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • 3 Tablespoons of Mayonnaise or Dressing
  • 1/3 Cup Dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Soy Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
  1. Mix together Dijon, honey, soy sauce and lemon juice.

  2. Remove 3 tablespoons of the Honey Mustard Sauce and set aside.

  3. Mix the chicken breasts with the remaining marinade and let sit up to 4 hours in the fridge

  4. Preheat the grill to medium and grill the chicken 6-7 minutes per side or until juices run clear and the chicken reaches 165°F.

Sauce

  1. Add 3 tablespoons of mayo or dressing to the reserved 3 tablespoons Honey Mustard Sauce

  2. Drizzle over chicken breasts and enjoy!

Easy Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken is tender & juicy... totally irresistible! This can be grilled (or baked) for the perfect summer meal and this chicken is perfect on a fresh crisp salad!
Honey mustard chicken breasts can be grilled or baked, and is an easy and delicious chicken dinner recipe. We love making honey mustard chicken breasts at home, but honey mustard chicken thighs work too! #spendwithpennies #chicken #honeymustard #honeymustardchicken #honeymustardchickenbreasts #chickenbreasts #grilledhoneymustardchickenbreasts #grilledchicken

Fresh Tossed Salad with a Crunch

The Best Tossed Salad is a healthy and refreshing side dish full of crisp fresh veggies! You can serve this easy side salad with everything from Pork Tenderloin to Baked Chicken Thighs

With so many colorfully crunchy options, this simple tossed salad recipe can also be a meal in itself topped with your favorite proteins from shrimp to Grilled Chicken Breast!

A simple tossed salad ready to serve

Great tossed salad recipes are a staple, really versatile and start with the freshest and crispest of ingredients! From an Easy Italian Salad to a simple Cucumber Dill Salad, they make the perfect fresh side dish!

What to Add to a Tossed Salad

BASE (Greens or Lettuce)

When making a tossed salad start with your base…the greens! There are so many options! Iceberg lettuce is super crunchy because it is so water-dense, but as far as nutrition and color goes, it’s on the simpler classic side.

Romaine, endive, baby spinach, radicchio, and arugula are not only super nutritious and fun, but add a colorful component to a tossed salad. You can easily find this combination of greens called ‘Spring Mix’ at your local supermarket.

ingredients to make a fresh tossed salad

Salad Vegetables

When choosing veggies, go for a combination of colors and textures. Choose something juicy and something crunchy and add in a rainbow of oranges, reds and greens!

  • Juicy – tomatoes, cucumbers,
  • Crunchy – bell peppers, radish, celery,
  • Sweet – roasted butternut squash, fruits, berries
  • Colorful – beets, purple cabbage, shredded carrot
  • Flavorful – onions (green/red/white), fresh herbs

Flavor Boosters

Flavor boosters keep your salad from being boring! This adds in the smoky, nutty, cheesy flavors.

  • Olives (Nicoise, Kalamata, black or green) – salty
  • Toasted nuts (pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts or almonds) – nutty (of course)
  • Bacon – smoky/salty
  • Dried Fruits – sweet, chewy
  • Cheese – creamy, salty (goat cheese and feta are my favorites)
  • Homemade Croutons

There are so many more things that you can add, it’s hards to list them all! Let yourself be creative and try adding your favorites into this salad there is no wrong addition here.

A bowl of tossed salad topped with carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes and radishes

How to Toss a Salad

This tossed vegetable salad recipe is chock full of the healthy stuff you love without being too time consuming to put together. I prewash my lettuce and keep it fresh in the fridge for days by washing it in icy cold water, giving it a spin in a salad spinner and placing it in a freezer bag with paper towel. Depending on the variety it can stay fresh for a couple of weeks.

To make salad ahead of time, prepare your tossed salad and place it in a bowl. Cover with a damp paper towel and refrigerate for a couple of hours. If it’s going to be longer than a couple of hours, cover with plastic wrap.

Pouring dressing over a tossed salad

What Kind of Dressing Goes on a Tossed Salad?

A simple vinaigrette is all you need to bring out the individual flavors of each component to this salad. In a jar or salad dressing cruet, shake up some olive oil, vinegar (cider, balsamic, or white), some honey and a dash of salt and pepper to taste and gently add to the salad.

Other Favorite Dressings

Tossed Salad

You can customize this salad with whatever veggies you have on hand making it the perfect way to utilize your fresh veggies!

  • 8 cups lettuce
  • 1 cup cucumber
  • 1 cup tomatoes
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables (radish, shredded carrot, purple cabbage)
  • 2 tablespoons almonds or sunflower seeds (toasted)

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (cider, balsamic or white)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • seasoned salt & pepper to taste
  1. Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl.

  2. Place dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until well mixed.

  3. Toss salad with dressing to taste and serve immediately.

REPIN this Easy Salad Recipe

Salad dressing being poured on to a fresh tossed salad

This simple tossed salad recipe is the perfect way to enjoy your garden vegetables! It is full of fresh lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and any other mixed vegetables you wish all drizzled with a delicious dressing! Mmmmm.... #spendwithpennies #tossedsalad #gardenvegetables #farmersmarketvegetables #sidesalad #healthyeating

Garlic Bacon Kale (and how to prep kale)

Below is our favorite Garlic Bacon Kale Recipe plus the best tips on How to Cook Kale! Everything from sautéing to oven baking can be found below! 

This delicious powerhouse veggie adds great flavor to soups and casseroles it’s perfect served up as a Easy Kale Salad with Fresh Lemon Dressing and great on its own as a side dish!

A bowl of garlic butter kale with bacon on top

A Real Superfood

So what is Kale? Kale is a leafy green often used as a garnish or in ornamental uses however it’s also a deliciously flavorful green if prepared right! It has a rich earthy flavor and is a very popular superfood these days! You can buy kale chips, kale hummus, and even shredded kale! Kale is good for adding to dishes like salads, soups (like Zuppa Toscana), and green smoothies! It’s also great as a side dish or a Kale Salad!

Is kale good for you? You bet it is! Kale is a powerhouse of nutrition! It’s high in fiber and potassium.

To Prepare Kale for Cooking

  • Clean
    • Before cooking kale make sure the leaves are free from dirt and are dry and not mushy.
    • Rinse leaves under cold water and shake dry
  • Cut
    • Remove any tough stalks by simply pulling the curly leaves off of the stalk. Discard the stalks.
    • Cut (or tear) the kale into approximately one inch pieces.

Kale being prepared for cooking

How to Cook Fresh Kale

Fresh kale is an easy veggie to cook and enjoy. Kale can be sauteed in a pan (like in this recipe) or baked in the oven (to make kale chips). If you want to add it to soups/stews you can simply prepare the kale as directed above and add it to the soup allowing it to simmer for at least 12 minutes.

To Cook Kale in Oven simply prepare as above and make sure you dry it very well. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spritz with olive oil and a touch of salt & pepper. Bake until crisp but not burnt (about 10-15 minutes). These are delicious to snack on but they’re also great as a garnish sprinkled over dishes like risotto or creamy casseroles.

kale in a frying pan ready to be sauteed

How Long to Cook Kale

The leaves are much sturdier than a spinach but don’t take quite as long to cook as Collard Greens.

I saute kale about 5 to 7 minutes so it’s wilted and soft but not mushy. Just when you think it’s done, remove it from the heat, and it will ‘carryover’ cook to perfection!

Sautéed kale is a flavorful alternative to creamed spinach or collard greens and when you make garlic kale with bacon it really adds an irresistible flavor boost to these nutrient packed greens! Season with salt and pepper or a splash of balsamic vinaigrette and enjoy! If you are wanting to keep it vegetarian just sautéed kale with garlic and olive oil is a delicious alternative to bacon kale!

A bowl of sauteed kale topped with crispy bacon

More Healthy Side Dishes

 

Garlic Bacon Kale

This nutrient packed superfood is sure to impress! With bacon and garlic it smells just as good as it tastes! 

  • 3 slices bacon (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 bunch kale (washed)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Cook bacon until crisp over medium heat. Remove bacon and set aside reserving drippings.

  2. Reduce heat to medium low and cook onion in the drippings until tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add kale and garlic stirring until cooked, about 5 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

REPIN this Easy Recipe

A bowl of garlic butter kale with bacon on top

Kale can be a tricky superfood to cook! This guide tells you all about how long to cook kale, how to oven bake kale and just how to cook kale in general! We have fallen for this superfood now that we know how to cook it properly! #spendwithpennies #howtocookkale #superfood #healthyeating #sidedish #garlickale

Yummy Fresh Fruit Salad for Summer

 

Fruit Salad is the absolute perfect summer side dish, snack, dessert or even brunch option! A big variety of colorful juicy fresh fruits make this salad a pretty as it is delicious!

Serve it alongside Quick and Easy French Toast or your favorite Breakfast Casserole for the perfect way to start your day!

Fresh summer fruit salad with berries, watermelon and mango in a serving bowl

I love fruit salads when they’re fresh and juicy like this one (but I do love a creamy classic ambrosia salad with marshmallows and sour cream too). In the summer though, a fresh fruit salad is the way to go and truly the best way to enjoy the abundance of the season!

How To Make Fruit Salad

Even the best summer fruit salad can be put together with very little effort! It all starts with picking fresh and colorful ingredients that you love.

Choosing Fruits: While I’ve shared my favorite combo below, any fruit can go into a fruit salad. I try to think about colors and make sure I include as many colors/textures as I can!

If possible, check out your local farmer’s markets to get the best seasonal fruits. If not, many grocers bring in local produce during the summer months too.

A rainbow of fruit for a fresh fruit salad in a bowl

When picking your fruits, you will want to make sure they are ripe and fragrant for a sweeter salad!

If using fruits that can brown like apples/pears, toss them in a little bit of citrus juice before adding to the salad. This will keep them from browning as quickly.

Cut all of the fresh fruit roughly the same size, making each piece bites sized or smaller. Then toss in a big bowl and add your fruit salad dressing if using!

Fresh fruit salad with summer fruit in a serving bowl.

Fruit Salad Dressing

I’m not going to lie, I most often serve a fruit salad without dressing because I love the flavors of the fruit itself.

If you’re going to be enjoying this for a couple of days, a fruit salad dressing helps keep things fresh, it certainly serves more than one purpose.

Besides tasting delicious, the combination of lime juice and honey helps to keep the fruit fresh longer while storing it and reduces the browning that may happen on your fruits.

To make this dressing you simply mix the two ingredients together and very gently mix the dressing over the cut fruit. You can then top with some chopped mint or lime zest for garnish.

This fruit salad dressing is light and fresh and does not compete with the flavors of all other components.

For a creamy fruit salad dressing, add a little bit of flavored yogurt (often strawberry) and mix it in. When my kids were little, this was one of the desserts they loved the most!

How to Keep Fruit Salad Fresh

Fruit Salad is best served fresh, but it will keep for a up to 3 days in the fridge…just remember to keep it chilled (and don’t add the bananas until serving)!

If you’re not able to finish it before, freeze the fruit and use it to make smoothies in the months to come!

More Ways to Add Fruit into Your Summer…

Fresh Summer Fruit Salad

This salad is a cocktail of delicious fresh fruits covered in a simple healthy dressing!

  • 3 cups watermelon (chopped)
  • 3 kiwis (chopped)
  • 2 cups grapes (halved)
  • 2 cups strawberries (chopped)
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup mango (pitted and diced)
  • 2 oranges (sectioned)

Dressing (Optional)

  • 1/2 lime (juiced)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  1. Place all fruit salad  ingredients in a large bowl.

  2. If using, mix honey and lime and pour over fruit salad. 

  3. Gently toss to combine.

This fresh fruit salad combines all our favorites into one crunchy colorful dish. With watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, kiwis, grapes, oranges and mango this salad is sure to satisfy your fruit craving! #spendwithpennies #fruitsalad #freshfruit #summersalad #fruitcocktailsalad #dessert

Delicious Summery Cucumber Salad

Cucumber Onion Salad makes for a welcome change of pace from the classic iceberg lettuce tossed salad. At your next barbecue, your guests will love this crunchy salad with some delicious grilled chicken breasts and a side of Homemade Garlic Bread!

Crisp fresh cucumbers are tossed with sweet onion and fresh dill for an easy summer favorite that is light and refreshing.

Cucumber onion salad in a serving bowl.

Easy Cucumber Onion Salad Salad

For as long as I can remember, we’ve served creamy cucumber salad at gatherings and get togethers. As much as I love the creamy version, we do love the sweet tart vinaigrette style dressing on this recipe! You can make it in no time flat from just a few simple ingredients, including sliced English cucumber, sweet onion, vinegar, fresh dill and seasonings.

Ingredients for Cucumber Onion Salad

Any cukes will do the trick, but for best results, use English cucumbers ( also known as seedless, or European cucumbers).  These are longer and thinner than salad or pickling cucumbers, and often come tightly wrapped in plastic. English cucumbers also have thinner skins and a sweeter taste then salad cucumbers, and the seeds are smaller.

If you are using regular salad cucumbers, you will want to remove all or most of the peel and seeds, as these tend to be bitter and a bit tough. Many people also dislike the wax coating that is used on grocery store cucumbers to keep the product fresh longer. You’ll want to peel to remove this coating, or you can try soaking the cucumber in vinegar for several minutes and wiping the surface clean.

Vinegar

  • Rice vinegar is a good choice, it’s a little sweeter and less tangy than white or cider vinegar, and won’t discolor the cucumber or onion.
  • Cider vinegar is a great option and adds a bit extra flavor and tang.
  • White Balsamic is also a way to boost the complexity of the flavors. It pairs well with tomatoes so feel free to toss a few in before serving and make it into a cucumber tomato salad.

Cucumber Onion Salad pairs nicely with spicy meats, such as marinated chicken or lamb skewers or even Chicken Curry.

A bowl of cucumber onion salad with fresh dill

To Make Cucumber Onion Salad

Cucumber salad comes together so easily. All you need is your salad bowl and a cutting board.

  1. Prep: Slice or chunk the cucumber and thinly slice the sweet onion.
  2. Dress: Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Marinate: Add the sliced or chunked cucumber and sliced sweet onion and toss to coat. Marinate for a few hours before serving.

Once prepped cover and refrigerate for an hour or more. This salad is best served well chilled!

Cucumber salad can be made in advance and will keep well for a couple of days. They’re great as a topper for burgers or sandwiches in place of pickles! The next time you need a simple, palate-cleansing side dish, cucumber dill salad is an easy option.

More Cucumber Favorites

Cucumber Onion Salad

This delicious salad will be a hit at your next dinner party! Mix these fresh and crunchy flavors for a twist to a classic summer salad.

  • 2 long english cucumbers
  • 1/2 sweet white onion
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar (or cider vinegar)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Wash cucumbers and peel if desired. Thinly slice cucumbers and onions.
  2. Mix vinegar, vegetable oil and sugar. Combine mixture with cucumbers and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours. (Stir or toss a few times while marinating).

  3. Place in a bowl and toss with dill, salt and pepper to taste.

The top photo shows Cucumber Salad in a white serving bowl. The bottom photo shows the salad in a clear mixing bowl

Avocado Ranch Chicken Salad Wrap

avocado chicken salad wrap

This easy Avocado Ranch Chicken Salad is loaded with flavor (and contains no mayonnaise) for a deliciously lighter version of a typical chicken salad.  It is paired with our favorite fresh vegetables and wrapped in a light Flatout flatbread for a low cal lunch that will keep your belly happy all day long! Thank you to our friends at Flatout for partnering with us and sponsoring this post!

chicken salad wrap

One thing I always focus on after a holiday (after all of the indulging I do) is ensuring I include more fresh choices, leaner proteins and healthier sauces and dressings in my meals.  Don’t get me wrong, I definitely still indulge every now and then, but I find that it is a time I try to be more balanced.

While I do try to have a good fresh start, I do also love to continue to eat my favorites so I like to put a nice fresh spin on them.  One thing I love to eat for lunch is a good chicken salad wrap.

chicken avocado salad wrap

Chicken salad is something that reminds me of being a kid as it’s something we always used to eat for lunch. The version we used to eat was chicken loaded with mayonnaise and a little bit of celery and green onion…  and we know that mayonnaise (while delicious) isn’t maybe the best base for a meal.

Swap the Mayo for Avocado

This easy recipe replaces the mayonnaise with a delicious base of avocado, Greek yogurt and light ranch dressing.  You can use any kind of ranch dressing, I used homemade since I always have a batch of my light Buttermilk Ranch dressing in the fridge.

Keeping with the theme of a lightened up chicken salad, I love to wrap these in light Flatout flatbread because they have only 90 calories each and are high in both protein and fiber (keeping my belly happy and full).  I then layer in my favorite veggies like lettuce and tomatoes…  but I’ve also added shredded carrots, alfalfa sprouts, thinly sliced cucumbers and slivers of red onion.

Wrap it in Flatbread (or lettuce)

I’ve been enjoying a LOT of meals on the light Flatout flatbread because they’re low cal and totally satisfying.. you can stuff them with everything from turkey taco meat to cream cheese and veggies.

They’re also great spritzed with olive oil, sprinkled with garlic salt and baked into a low cal cracker to serve with your favorite lunch meal or as a snack.

avocado chicken salad in a bowl with chicken salad wraps

Perfect for Leftover Chicken

Ok back to this Avocado Ranch Chicken Salad Wrap… you’ll definitely want to add this to your menu.  It’s the perfect way to enjoy leftover chicken (or turkey), quick and easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time.  The filling will last about 3 days in the fridge.

We serve it with a fresh fruit salad for the perfect light dinner or lunch.

More Great Sandwich Fillings

Avocado Ranch Chicken Salad Wrap

This easy Avocado Ranch Chicken Salad is loaded with flavor (and contains no mayonnaise) for a deliciously lighter version of a typical chicken salad.

  • 4 light Flatout flatbreads
  • 1 avocado (peeled & pitted)
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup fat free Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup light ranch dressing (bottled or homemade)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cooked chicken
  • 1 cup diced celery

OPTIONAL

  • lettuce
  • tomato slices
  1. Place avocado and lemon juice in a bowl. Mash until almost smooth (a few little chunks are ok).
  2. Stir in yogurt, dressing, dill, parsley and salt & pepper. Add chicken and celery and mix well.
  3. Place one light Flatout flatbread on your surface. Top with lettuce and tomato if using. Add chicken mixture and roll snugly. Slice in half and serve.

More Recipes You’ll Love

Ham & Hash Brown Breakfast Wraps

California Avocado Chicken Club Sandwich

Greek Salad Lamb Cups

This post was sponsored by our friends at Flatout. We love to partner with brands we personally use and love to bring you new recipes to enjoy!  These partnerships help support this site at no cost to you and while I was compensated, all opinions are my own.

This easy Avocado Ranch Chicken Salad is loaded with flavor (and contains no mayonnaise) for a deliciously lighter version of a typical chicken salad.  It is paired with our favorite fresh vegetables and wrapped in a light Flatout flatbread for a low cal lunch that will keep your belly happy all day long!

How to Make Peanut Butter at Home (So Easy)!

Homemade Peanut Butter needs just minutes to make and a few ingredients. Once you make this easy recipe at home, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been making it yourself all along!

This creamy peanut butter is perfect for your fave PB&J sandwiches (on toast of course) or used to make a delish Peanut Butter Pie!

Homemade peanut butter on toast with peanuts beside.

The Perfect Spread

Nothing says ‘all-American’ like a batch of homemade peanut butter! This natural peanut butter recipe is so easy to make, you’ll wonder why you ever bought it in a store to begin with! This is a great ‘first recipe’ to try with the kiddos, one of those recipes that gets them thinking about where their food comes from!

Peanut butter is one of the ultimate comfort foods! The good thing about this peanut butter recipe is that you can adjust how much salt you want, add a little extra honey if you’d like it sweeter. It’s even a great base for peanut butter cookies and peanut butter cheesecake!

Who Invented Peanut Butter?

Seriously, who was this genius person? The man behind the legend was a Canadian named Marcellus Gilmore Edson who created ‘peanut paste’ in 1884. This was the process of milling roasted peanuts between two heated surfaces. In 1895, John Harvey Kellogg (yes, the cereal Kellogg!) patented the process in the United States, and the nutritious staple that is in 94% of American households today was born!

What would childhood be like without the famous peanut butter and jelly sandwich packed into our lunches every day?

The stages of peanuts in a food processor showing how to make peanut butter

How to Make Peanut Butter

Here’s the fun part! All you really need are peanuts, some honey for sweetness, and salt! I add a touch of oil to help with consistency. Homemade Peanut Butter is super inexpensive to make if your local supermarket has a bulk section! You will need a food processor to make this recipe.

  • Buy shelled and roasted peanuts.
  • Process the peanuts, honey, and salt in a food processor. Be sure to stop every couple of minutes and scrape down the sides of the food processor to get a smooth consistency.
  • Adjust the honey and salt to your own preference.Slowly drizzle in the oil as you continue to pulse the food processor. Keep adding oil until you get the right consistency.

To Make a Chunky Peanut Butter: Process the peanuts in a food processor as directed in the recipe. Add 3 tablespoons (or to taste) chopped peanuts to the peanut butter!

Then, just transfer to an airtight container and keep refrigerated until you are ready to use!

fresh homemade Peanut butter in a jar after learning how to make peanut butter

How to Store Peanut Butter

The best way to store homemade peanut butter is in an airtight container and in the refrigerator just like you would a natural store bought peanut butter. Remember this delish PB has no additives or preservatives so it can spoil. You can always soften it up a bit by putting it in the microwave for about 30 seconds so that it spreads easier.

What To Use Homemade PB For

This homemade peanut butter recipe can be used for more than just sandwiches and cookies!  Add a little Sriracha and make an amazingly tasty dipping sauce for kebabs! Or add some balsamic vinegar and oil and whip up into an Asian peanut dressing for salad! A few more PB favorites

How to Make Homemade Peanut Butter

Homemade Peanut Butter is easy to make with just a handful of ingredients!

  • 15 ounces shelled roasted peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 2-4 teaspoons oil (peanut or vegetable)
  1. Process peanuts, salt and honey in the food processor for 60 seconds.
  2. Take a spoon and scrape and scoop down the sides of the bowl. Replace lid
  3. Continue to process for about 1 ½ to 2 ½ minutes while slowly drizzling in the oil. Begin with 2 teaspoons oil and add more until you reach your desired consistency.

  4. Store your homemade peanut butter in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to 2 months.