Tag Archives: cheese

Chicken, Bacon & Ranch Sliders

I love sliders. They are literally the perfect food for any gatherings from sports to holidays. Another thing that makes them awesome is you can prep them the day before, and simply pop them in the oven before your event.

These sliders may be my new favorite. I mean, bacon, ranch, CHEESE?!?! What’s not to love, right?

Begin with 12 potato rolls (I like Martins) and place the bottom halves on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Melt a stick of butter with 1tsp garlic salt, 1/2tsp onion powder, & 1tbl dried parsley. Brush over your roll halves.

Break apart 6 slices of Colby jack cheese and place on your bread.

Now layer 1lb thinly sliced deli chicken (or you could use shredded rotisserie chicken).

Cook 6 pieces of bacon until crispy.

Crumble and sprinkle on top of your chicken.

Drizzle 1/3C “good” Ranch dressing (y’all know what I’m talking about) over the bacon.

Add more broken Colby jack slices.

Put the tops of the rolls back on and brush with the rest of your butter. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.

Cover loosely with foil and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes.

Try and grab 1 or 3 for yourself before they disappear!

Adapted From: Melissa’s Southern Kitchen

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Sausage & Spinach Stuffed Shells

I literally hadn’t made these in years and we forgot how amazing they are. They were one of my original freezer meals back in the day. This meal is so easy and tasty – perfect for kids and grownups alike.

Begin by cooking 16-18 jumbo shells about 2 minutes shy of their cooking instructions. Drain and set aside.

Heat a tablespoon of EVOO over medium heat. Add an onion and a pound of Italian sausage and cook through. Add a spoonful of minced garlic, cook for 30 more seconds, and remove from heat. Set aside.

Now combine 7-8 ounces of fresh, cooked spinach or a box of frozen spinach that has been thawed and wrung out with the following: 1 lightly beaten egg, 1.5C grated Parmesan, 1/4C Italian style breadcrumbs, 15oz ricotta cheese, 1tbl chopped fresh basil, and cracked salt & pepper to taste.

Add in your sausage and onions and fold to combine.

Using a 28oz can of Italian seasoned diced tomatoes, spoon a layer into the bottom of a large baking dish. Begin filling your shells and line them close to each other.

Top with the remaining tomatoes.

Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese. Bake for 10 more minutes.

Top with shredded parmesan. Serve with salad and crusty bread to complete!🥖🍷

Adapted From: Everyday Annie

Crockpot Pesto & Mozzarella Chicken Pasta

On Sundays we put the lean eating aside for an indulgent family dinner. I look forward to this tremendously.😋

Trying out new recipes makes my heart so happy. As soon as I saw the words pesto, cheese, & pasta I knew this would not disappoint.

I always make my own pesto because it’s super easy and noticeably better, but if you’re short on time you could substitute with a jar variety. My pesto is easy: Simply combine the leaves of 1 basil plant, 1/3C pine nuts, 1/2C shredded Parmesan, 1/2C EVOO, juice of a lemon, and cracked salt and pepper to taste.

Trim 3 chicken breasts and place them in your crockpot. Top with a liberal amount of cracked salt and pepper.

Top with your pesto and one tablespoon of stick butter.

Turn your crockpot to low and let cook for 5-6 hours (don’t remove the lid!).

Shred you chicken and add in 1/2C shredded Parmesan and 1/2lb pasta.

Grate 2C mozzarella. Buying shredded cheese isn’t the same as grating your own. Trust me.

Combine your Parmesan and pasta with the chicken. Top with the mozzarella and cover for an additional 15 minutes.

Serve with grated parm, dried basil, and cracked pepper. Bread and a mixed green salad would complete this meal.😋

Adapted from: The Magical Slow Cooker

Turkey & Spinach Meatballs

So I convinced my husband to do a juice cleanse with me for the past couple of days. About halfway through (in the midst of stomach growling and grumpiness overload), I told him that at the end of the tunnel (today), I would make him anything he wanted for dinner. Much to my surprise he asked for something from the vault…..something I haven’t made in so many years…..something I used to make weekly when we were getting in shape for our wedding.👀

I honestly forgot what they tasted like. That was before I attempted to up my cooking game when I became a stay at home wife. They were part of the menu when there were only about 5 things on the menu. So, I wasn’t sure if they would be worth talking about…but they are!

Start with 2lbs of lean ground turkey in a mixing bowl. Add a pack of frozen spinach (thawed and wrung out with a kitchen towel), 1 large egg, 3/4c Italian bread crumbs, 1/2c grated Parmesan, 2tsp minced garlic, 1/4c milk, & 1/2 of a finely diced onion. With your hands, mix to combine.

Divide your mixture into 4 sections for easy dividing. Now form 12 large meatballs and place on prepared baking sheets.

Drizzle with EVOO and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

These can be served many ways; over sautéed veggies, spaghetti squash, traditional pasta, alone with melted cheese? The possibilities are endless. Tonight, I made homemade marinara and served them over angel hair with pecorino romano cheese. They were so good. Back on the rotation for sure.😋

Adapted From: Rachel Ray

Sausage Stuffed ‘Shrooms

I feel like winter holidays need a sausage dish; whether it be sausage stuffing or sausage balls, it’s just a festive comfort food. This year I made something different and I’m so glad I did! I made around 50 of them, and there was not a single one leftover.

Begin with whole Bella mushrooms and rinse well.

Remove the stems and save them for dicing.

Spray a baking dish (or 2!) with non-stick spray and place your mushrooms hole side up.

Warm a tablespoon of EVOO in a sauce pan and combine your diced stems, 1 chopped onion, and 1lb of Italian sausage. I used mild, but sweet or spicy would be delicious as well. Cook until sausage is fully browned. Add in 1 minced garlic clove and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant. Remove from heat.

Let cool completely.

Stir in 1C herb stuffing mix, 1/3C Monterey Jack cheese, 3tbl mayo, and 1/2tsp black pepper.

Fill your mushroom caps. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, top with fresh parsley and serve!

Note: These can be prepared the night before.🙌🏼

Adapted From – Spicy Southern Kitchen

Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes

I’ll be honest, I didn’t grow up eating mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving. We were a sweet potato casserole group (and I’m still on that team). However, my husband of almost 10 years (13 years together), insists on mashed potatoes every year.

Previously I’ve made a loaded potato casserole with cheddar, bacon, green onions, etc., but this year I decided to make traditional mashed potatoes. I was skeptical as a non-fan, but these are pretty darn tasty.

Begin with 4lbs of russet potatoes.

Skin and rinse.

Cube into 1 inch pieces.

Transfer to a large pot and add 2tbl room temp 1/2 inch butter squares, 2 smashed garlic cloves, and 2tsp salt.

Cover with cold water and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once it bubbles, simmer over low for 15-20 minutes until potatoes are soft.

Drain, remove garlic cloves, return to pot, and mash.

Add in 3/4C grated Parmesan, 1/2C low sodium chicken bone broth, 8oz mascarpone cheese, 2tsp salt, 1tsp pepper, and 4tbl cubed butter. Cracked pepper to taste. Stir over low heat until creamy. Enjoy!😋

Adapted from: Giada De Laurentiis

Mini Avocado & Jalapeño Eggrolls

Need another game day treat? These were so good! Begin with just a few simple ingredients: avocados, jalapeño peppers, shredded cheese, and wonton wrappers.

Lay down 2 wrappers (a square on top of a diamond).

Now place a slice of avocado, 2 thin strips of jalapeño (seeded if you’d like to remove the spice), and a pinch of your favorite melty cheese..

Fold your edges and roll as tightly as you can. Seal with a bit of water.

Now, we used a deep fryer but you could also heat oil in a saucepan. Fry until your eggrolls become a nice golden brown.

These are amazing dipped in anything. We loved ranch dressing and sriracha last night. So, so good.🥑💃🏻

Adapted From: One Green Planet

Cajun Shrimp Stuffed Poblanos

Basically everything about this appealed to me – spicy shrimp, poblano peppers, manchego and goat cheese…..talk about a combo made in heaven!

I used a little over a pound of peeled and deveined shrimp. Coat them with EVOO and a couple of tablespoons of Cajun seasoning. Lay them out on a lined cookie sheet and roast at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes depending on the size of your shrimp.

Once they’ve cooled, chop them up and toss them into a mixing bowl. Add 8oz goat cheese, 8oz shredded manchego, 18-20 chopped basil leaves, and 2+ tablespoons of your favorite hot sauce. Stir until thoroughly combined.

Clean the seeds ands ribs out of 3-4 poblanos and fill with the shrimp mixture. Roast in a 375 degree oven for 30-40 minutes. Top with chopped cilantro and more hot sauce. Enjoy!😋

Adapted From: Chili Pepper Madness

Louisiana Shrimp Dip

I love shrimp and I love dips, so immediately I wanted to try this one. I made it for the Super Bowl yesterday and it was exactly what I was hoping for. I used local shrimp – I think the better quality shrimp you can use, the better.

After cleaning and deveining the shrimp I cut them into about 1 inch size pieces. Warm a tablespoon of butter over medium high heat. Toss in a diced red pepper and cook for a couple of minutes. Now add in your shrimp, a handful of chopped, green onions, and about a teaspoon of Creole or Cajun seasoning.

Cook until shrimp begins to turn pink. You don’t want to overcook them since they will have more cook time in your oven. Set aside.

Combine 8oz of cream cheese (I prefer the Greek yogurt variety), 1/3C mayo, juice of 1/2 of a lemon, and 1tsp Worcestershire sauce. I used a hand mixer for this step, but a wooden spoon would work also. Now stir in 1/2tsp red pepper flakes, 1tsp Creole or Cajun seasoning, 1/3C grated Parmesan cheese, and 1.5C shredded mozzarella. Once combined, fold in your shrimp mixture. Grease an 8×8 pan and spoon in your dip.

Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.

Serve with tortilla chips or a baguette. Enjoy!

Adapted From: Spicy Southern Kitchen

The most EPIC Mac & Cheese

This is not an over statement – it really is the best Mac I’ve ever had, and my friends and family would agree. It’s a bit tedious, but WELL worth the effort!

Begin by shredding 8oz of gruyere, 10oz of white cheddar, and 10oz of yellow cheddar. 

Now warm 3.5 cups of whole milk and 2 cups of heavy cream together over medium heat in a saucepan. 

In a large saucepan melt 6 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter bubbles, whisk in 1/2 cup of flour. Whisk for about a minute until it combines and thickens. 

Slowly add in your warm milk/cream mixture whisking continuously until sauce thickens and bubbles. 

Remove from heat and add 2tsp salt, 1/4tsp nutmeg, 1/4tsp cayenne pepper, & 1/4tsp black pepper. 

Stir in grated cheeses. 

Now add 2lbs cooked elbow macaroni. 

Prepare 6 slices good white bread, crust removed and ripped into 1/2inch size pieces. Pour 3-4 tablespoons of melted butter over the breadcrumbs and toss to combine. Cover your pot of macaroni with breadcrumbs and bake at 375 for approximately 30 minutes until top begins to brown. Enjoy!😋

Adapted from: Eat Drink Smile