Category Archives: casseroles

Taco Lasagna

I love Mexican food and I also love lasagna so this seemed like a no-brainer when I saw the pin on Pinterest. Plus it seemed alarmingly easy.

Adapted from a recipe on The Girl Who Ate Everything.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • Packet of taco seasoning
  • 8oz shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 15oz ricotta
  • 24oz jar of salsa
  • No-boil lasagna noodles
  • 1 can of refried beans
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of taco sauce
  • 1/3 cup of water

Directions:

  1. Brown the ground beef in a skillet, drain the fat and add taco seasoning and 1/3 cup of water, mix well.
  2. In a greased 9×13 pan place your first layer of noodles (I put a little bit of the salsa in first so the noodles wouldn’t stick, but cooking spray would’ve been better.)
  3. Mix your ricotta and the egg together and spread half of it on the first layer of noodles.
  4. Sprinkle a third of the beef and a 1/3 of the salsa and top with 1/2 a cup of the shredded cheddar and the next row of noodles.
  5. Mix the refried beans and the taco sauce and use half the mixture on the next row of noodles.
  6. Top with 1/3 of the beef and 1/3 of the salsa and 1/2 cup of cheese. Then place the next row of noodles.
  7. Place the rest of the ricotta, beans, meat, salsa and cheese.
  8. Cover with aluminum foil and bake on 400 for 1 hour.

Verdict: Fail

So, I had such high hopes for this meal and I just didn’t care for it. This wasn’t a fail for everyone in the family, one of us quite liked it. For me personally, I just didn’t like the ricotta in my Mexican dish. I thought it would be great but it didn’t work for me. If I made it again, I would omit the ricotta and keep the beans. If you love ricotta this recipe might work for you and it really is pretty easy.

Mexican Chicken and Rice Bake

This recipe caught my eye right away. Initially because it has Mexican flavors (a favorite of mine) and secondly because I already had all the ingredients. (It was also a huge plus that it uses uncooked rice!)

I adapted this from a recipe on Dessert Now, Dinner Later.

Ingredients:

  • 4 or 5 thin chicken breasts. (You can cut them in half if you have larger ones. I happened to have some thin cut ones in the freezer.)
  • 16oz jar of salsa
  • taco seasoning
  • 1 cup of long grain white rice
  • 2/3 a bag of Birdseye Recipe Ready Southwestern Mix  (This was a coupon freebie I’ve had in the freezer for a while and it worked perfectly in this recipe.)
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • About 1 cup of Mexican blend shredded cheese.

Directions:

  1. In a greased 9×13 pan, stir together rice, salsa and water.
  2. Add the Southwestern mix and mix well.
  3. Place the chicken on top of the mixture and rub it with the taco seasoning.
  4. Bake at 400 for 45 minutest or until chicken is cooked through.
  5. Add Mexi-blend cheese on top of each piece of chicken and bake for an additional five minutes.

Verdict: Win

This came out great! The rice almost had a Spanish rice type flavor to it and the cheese really made the chicken taste delicious. The family enjoyed it (and some people were sure they wouldn’t like it, so that is saying something.) Very flavorful and quite easy to put together. I would definitely make this again. If you are feeding more than three or four I would recommend doubling it.

Italian Turkey Casserole

We always have turkey on Easter. I gather from the lack of turkeys in the grocery store that this is not the norm, but not everyone in the family loves ham. But of course fixing turkey means leftovers. So, I took to Pinterest to find something fun to do with my leftover turkey. This recipe sounded different and tasty and I had all the ingredients in the pantry so it was pretty easy to decide on this one. (I humbly apologize for the less than stellar photos, the lighting was less than perfect and I was in a hurry.)

Adapted from a recipe on My Life of Travel and Adventures

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of cooked turkey, shredded
  • 1 box of Stove Top stuffing mix (I used the Cornbread one since that is what I had on hand.)
  • 3/4 cup of mayo
  • 2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup of frozen mixed veggies (I only had frozen corn, so I used that.)
  • 1 cup of water

Directions:

  1. Add 4 cups of cooked turkey to a bowl and stir in mayo until the turkey is evenly coated. (This was not in the original recipe, but it’s a trick I’ve used before to keep the turkey from drying out when you reheat it.) Layer it into a greased 9×13 pan.
  2. In a bowl combine all the other ingredients and mix well.
  3. Spread the stuffing mixture on top of the turkey evenly.
  4. Bake at 400 for 40 minutes or until heated through.

Verdict: Win

I really enjoyed this and it smelled wonderful while it was cooking. The turkey hater in the family had two servings! I cut the seasoning back quite a bit from the original recipe, but the pickiest of the fam still thought it had too much seasoning, so that is something to be aware of if you have a picky eater in your family. Overall though, it was a hit.

 

Bacon Cheddar Potatoes

I had a coupon recently for Tyson Smokey Steakhouse Chicken. These are with the regular frozen chicken breasts and are exactly the same, but are already seasoned. I thought I’d give them a try since they were a good deal, but what I could serve with them? That’s when I came across a pin on Pinterest for Baked Potato Casserole. It looked yummy, so I had to try it.

Adapted from a recipe at Hott Mama in the City.

Ingredients:

  • About 6 large red potatoes, rinsed.
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 package of bacon bits.
  • Butter or margarine.

Directions:

  1. Butter the bottom of a the pan or baking dish. Then place small pats of butter on the bottom. (I used 6 small pats, you can omit this if you like less butter.)
  2. Cube the potatoes and spread them out in the pan. Make sure they are spread out evenly.
  3. Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hours. (I took mine out after 30 minutes and covered them with aluminum foil before putting them back in to prevent the ones on top from burning.)
  4. Once the potatoes are cooked, take them out and add bacon bits and cheese. Bake for an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Verdict: Win

These were super yummy AND super easy, which are the two most important things. You can add onion or sour cream as well to complete the loaded baked potato experience. Plus, they went really well with the chicken. I will definitely make it again.

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Bake

I chose this recipe for two reasons. First, it’s topped with Ritz crackers and I have some I needed to use up. Secondly, you don’t have to cook the rice first (woohoo!)

After a few less than stellar dinner moments (and one epic failure) this week, I was understandably nervous about this dish.

Source: South of Your Mouth (I love this blog. She posts so many down-home recipes and many of them are easy enough that even I can manage it.)

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts (I used the thin sliced by Tyson so I could skip cutting them up.)
  • 2 cans of cheddar soup
  • 1 cup of long-grain rice, uncooked
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of broccoli florets (the original recipe calls for more, but I’m not crazy about broccoli so I went light on it.)
  • 2 sleeves of Ritz crackers, crushed
  • 6 tblsp of butter, melted
  • 1/8 tsp of garlic powder

Recipe:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together soup, milk and salt.
  2. Fold in the rice.
  3. Pour 2/3 of the mixture into a greased 9×13 pan.
  4. Place chicken on top and then pour the rest of the soup mixture on top.
  5. Add broccoli, cover with aluminum foil and bake at 400 for 1 hour.
  6. Combine crackers, butter, and garlic powder.
  7. Take the pan out of the oven, remove the aluminum foil and sprinkle the cracker crumb mixture on top evenly.
  8. Place back in the oven for 20 minutes or until the crackers are brown.

Verdict: Win!

This dinner was definitely a success. It comes together really easy and everyone enjoyed it (even the rice hater in the family.) I really loved the crackers on top, but I think it would be good without them as well. I will definitely be making it again.

Chili Dog Casserole

Have you ever had that day where you have a fabulous dinner in the crockpot only to realize that the whole time it was never actually turned on? THAT happened today. As a result, I needed to make something quick and easy with things already in the house.

Thank goodness for this casserole. It’s crazy easy to put together, doesn’t take long to cook and works perfectly if you have hot dogs but you don’t have buns (why does that always seem to happen?)

Adapted from: The Weary Chef

Ingredients:

  • 5 hot dogs
  • 2 cans of chili (I used Hormel)
  • Half a 32oz bag of frozen french fries.
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar (because that is how much I had)

Directions:

  1. Cut up hot dogs into bite size pieces and mix with chili.
  2. Spread into a greased 9×13 baking dish.
  3. Cover with a single layer of french fries.
  4. Add shredded cheddar
  5. Bake at 450 for 30 minutes or until fries are done.

Verdict: Dinner Saver!

This casserole really saved the day. It was super easy to throw together and quite yummy. Everyone ate it and a few even had seconds. It was definitely a winner. I served it with cheddar biscuits .

Mexican Hashbrown Casserole

I spend the first part of today doing some freezer cooking (I’ll have a post tomorrow about it) and I finished off the cooking spree by putting this together for dinner. I happened to get free Simply Potatoes Shredded Hashbrowns (thanks to coupons!) so of course I headed to Pinterest to see what I  could make that would be new and yummy. This recipe caught my eye because pretty much any recipe that’s labeled Mexican jumps out at me.

Source: Bubbly Nature Creations

Ingredients:

  • 20oz bag of shredded hashbrowns
  • 8oz block of cream cheese, softened
  • 8oz bag of Mexi-blend shredded cheese
  • 15oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning

Directions:

  1. In a skillet brown the ground beef on medium heat, drain.
  2. Add taco seasoning and tomato sauce. Mix and then simmer on medium-low for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the cream cheese and half of the Mexi-blend cheese and mix well until the cheeses have melted.
  4. Turn off the burner, then add the hashbrown potatoes. Mix completely until the potatoes are covered.
  5. Dump the mixture into a greased 9×13 pan.
  6. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.
  7. Bake on 400 for 40 minutes or until the edges brown up.

Verdict: Not quite a win.

This was fine. Everyone ate it, but it wasn’t a total win. Some of the fam thought it was too cheesy (it is VERY cheesy.) If you are a huge cheese fan this will probably be a win for you. I definitely recommend serving this with tortilla chips for a nice bit of crunch.

 

 

Mexican Chicken Alfredo {Freezer Meal}

I found this recipe on the Taste of Home site and adapted it a bit to make it even easier. One of the things that drew me to it was the interesting combination of flavors. It had never occurred to me to mix Alfredo sauce with salsa and taco seasoning, but when I thought about it, I could see how it might work. This recipe also has the added bonus of making two different meals (one to eat and one to freeze) and more bang for my buck is always appreciated!

Adapted from Taste of Home.

Continue reading Mexican Chicken Alfredo {Freezer Meal}

Easy Spaghetti Bake

I had another pack of Mama Mancini’s meatballs that I had to use (the first pack was used in the Meatball Sub Casserole) so I went to Pinterest to search for an easy spaghetti bake. Unfortunately none of the recipes I came across were as easy as I was hoping for, so I threw this together.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb spaghetti, cooked and drained
  • 24oz jar of pasta sauce (if you use frozen meatballs that do not come in sauce, you will need an additional cup of sauce.)
  • Mama Mancini’s refrigerated meatballs in sauce (or frozen meatballs, thawed)
  • 1 cup of shredded mozarella, divided
  • grated parmesan (optional)

Directions:

  1. Stir the 24 oz jar of pasta sauce into the cooked spaghetti.
  2. Once mixed, pour spaghetti into a greased 9×13 pan.
  3. Top with 1/2 cup of mozzarella (and parmesan, if desired)
  4. Add the meatballs and sauce on top of the cheese (this is where you would add the extra cup of sauce if you are using frozen meatballs.)
  5. Add the rest of the mozzarella to the top.
  6. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes.

Verdict: Eh

This was fine if you love spaghetti. I’m not crazy about spaghetti, but I know the family will eat it. I do think it was better as a bake because I was able to add a lot more cheese to it than I do when I just make spaghetti the usual way.

 

 

Meatball Sub Casserole

This was another recipe I came across on Pinterest. I liked it because it had meatballs and I don’t often cook anything with meatballs so I thought it would be a nice change of pace for the family (and of course, it looked easy!)

The original recipe is from: Julie’s Eats and Treats (There are lots of fun recipes on this blog, I can’t wait to check them all out.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf of Italian Bread (The original recipe calls for French bread, but Italian was on sale, so that’s what I used.)
  • Meatballs (I used the 22oz Mama Mancini’s refrigerated meatballs)
  • 24oz jar of pasta sauce
  • 8oz bag of shredded mozzarella (2 cups)
  • 1 8oz block of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup of mayo
  • 1 tsp of Italian seasoning
  • pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cut the Italian bread in half  and cut it down to fit in the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 pan.
  2. In a bowl mix mayo, cream cheese and seasonings then spread the mixture evenly onto the bread.
  3. Top with half (1 cup) of the shredded mozzarella.
  4. In a second bowl combine the meatballs and sauce then spread that evenly on top of the cheese.
  5. Finish by topping with the rest of the cheese.
  6. Bake on 350 for 30 minutes.

Verdict: Win

This was a definite win and a nice break from the usual Italian meals I make. It had a lot of flavor and the cream cheese made it extra cheesy. This was also my first time using the Mama Mancini meatballs and whoa, those are good! I served this with Parmesan noodles and Italian green beans.