Category: Main Dishes

Bacon Broccoli Pasta Casserole

Enjoy bacon broccoli pasta casserole, a cheesy, family-friendly baked dish with bacon, Parmesan, mozzarella, mushrooms, carrots, onions and broccoli.
Enjoy bacon broccoli pasta casserole, a cheesy, family-friendly baked dish with bacon, Parmesan, mozzarella, mushrooms, carrots, onions and broccoli.

Do you enjoy casseroles? We do, and I especially enjoy having leftovers, which are fantastic to have around for lunches or another dinner. Today I want to share with you a recipe I came up with “on the fly”. I simply used food items I found in my pantry and refrigerator, and experimented with, until I ended up with a wonderful tasting dish!

The casserole is fully prepped on the stove top in a large saucepan (or Dutch Oven), and then it is finished by baking for 15 minutes. It has great flavor, and is fairly simple to prepare. Here’s how:

Cook the Bacon, Carrot And Onions

The first thing you will need to do is to cook the bacon, chopped onions and grated carrots. Stack the bacon slices on top of each other, and then cut into 1″ wide pieces. This will allow the bacon to cook faster.

Place the sliced bacon in a large saucepan (or Dutch Oven), and cook it on medium-high heat, stirring often to separate bacon pieces.  Once the bacon has cooked for a 2-3 minutes, add the butter, chopped onions and grated carrots to the pan. Stir to combine, and continue to cook until bacon is cooked through (approx. 5 minutes).

Bacon pieces, chopped onions, are grated carrots are prepped then cooked together.

Add Liquids, Mushrooms And Pasta

Pour a can of cream of mushroom soup, a can of mushroom slices (drained), and water into the saucepan with the bacon, etc. Season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Bring this to a boil on medium heat.

Once the liquid is boiling in the pan, add four cups of dry bowtie pasta, and stir to combine. Once the pasta has been added, turn down the heat to LOW, and cover the pan. Cook for approximately 15 minutes, or until pasta is fully cooked. Stir occasionally.

Mushrooms, cream of mushroom soup, water and seasoning cook in large saucepan.Bow tie pasta noodles are added, to cook in the liquid in saucepan.

Add Broccoli And Cheeses

After the pasta is fully cooked, add cooked broccoli, mozzarella and part of the Parmesan cheese (1/4 cup) to the pan. Stir and cook for 4-5 more minutes, so the cheeses will melt into the pasta.

Cooked broccoli, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses are added to the saucepan.

Time To Bake The Bacon Broccoli Pasta Casserole!

Spray a casserole dish with non-stick baking spray. Pour the bacon pasta casserole into the dish, and spread to cover. Sprinkle the top with the remaining grated Parmesan cheese, and then cover the pan with aluminum foil.

Bake the bacon broccoli pasta casserole in a preheated 350°F oven for 15 minutes. When done, remove the casserole from the oven, and serve.

Bacon broccoli pasta casserole is placed in baking dish and topped with Parmesan to bake.Here is the hot casserole after being removed from the oven.

Portion out the bacon broccoli pasta casserole into individual serving bowls or onto plates, and then dig in! There are a lot of flavors to enjoy in this tasty dish!

A bowl of the bacon broccoli pasta casserole, ready to eat.A close-up look at the pasta casserole, before it is eaten.

I really hope you enjoy this bacon broccoli pasta casserole. Yes, there are a few prep steps involved, but the end result is a lovely pasta casserole you (and those you love) can enjoy! Have a wonderful day.

Looking for More CASSEROLE RECIPES?

You can find all of my recipes in the Recipe Index, located at the top of the page. I have several casserole dishes you might enjoy, including:

Interested In More Recipes?

Thank you for visiting this website. I appreciate you using some of your valuable time to do soIf you’re interested, I publish a newsletter 2 times per month (1st and 15th) with all the latest recipes, and other fun info. I would be honored to have you join our growing list of subscribers, so you never miss a great recipe!
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Bacon Broccoli Pasta Casserole
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

Enjoy bacon broccoli pasta casserole, a cheesy, family-friendly baked dish with bacon, Parmesan, mozzarella, mushrooms, carrots, onions and broccoli.

Category: Casserole, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bacon broccoli pasta casserole
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 386 kcal
Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Ingredients
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • cup brown onion chopped
  • 3 medium carrots grated
  • 10½ ounces cream of mushroom soup (canned)
  • 4 ounces canned mushrooms (sliced) , drained
  • cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt and pepper ( ½ tsp. each)
  • 4 cups bow-tie pasta (12 ounce box)
  • 1 cup broccoli , pre-cooked and cut into small florets
  • cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese divided (reserve ½ C. for topping)
Instructions
  1. Stack bacon slices on top of each other, and cut into 1" wide pieces. Place bacon in a large saucepan (or Dutch Oven); cook for 2-3 minutes on medium-high heat, stirring often to separate pieces.  Add butter, chopped onions and grated carrots to pan. Stir to combine, and continue to cook until bacon is cooked through (approx. 5 minutes).

  2. Add cream of mushroom soup, mushroom slices (drained), and water into the saucepan with bacon, etc. Season with salt and pepper; stir to combine. Bring to a boil on medium heat. Once boiling, dry pasta; stir to combine. Turn down heat to LOW, and cover pan. Cook (covered) for approx. 15 minutes, or until pasta is fully cooked. Stir occasionally. While this is cooking, preheat oven to 350°F.

  3. Add cooked broccoli, mozzarella and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese to the pasta. Cook 3-4 minutes on low, stirring often, until cheese has melted.

  4. Spray an oven-proof casserole dish with non-stick baking spray. Pour pasta casserole into dish. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese, and cover dish with aluminum foil.

  5. Bake the bacon broccoli pasta casserole at 350°F for 15 minutes. When done, remove casserole from oven, remove foil, and serve.

Nutrition Facts
Bacon Broccoli Pasta Casserole
Amount Per Serving (1 (1/6 of total))
Calories 386 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Cholesterol 38mg13%
Sodium 1047mg46%
Potassium 394mg11%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 18g36%
Vitamin A 5398IU108%
Vitamin C 16mg19%
Calcium 202mg20%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Enjoy bacon broccoli pasta casserole, a cheesy, family-friendly baked dish with bacon, Parmesan, mozzarella, mushrooms, carrots, onions and broccoli.

Easy Potato Chowder

Make four servings of yummy, filling, easy potato chowder in about 30 minutes, from start to finish, using a few simple and common ingredients!
Make four servings of yummy, filling, easy potato chowder in about 30 minutes, from start to finish, using a few simple and common ingredients!

My mom used to make this easy potato chowder for our family as I was growing up. The recipe is incredibly EASY, inexpensive, and can be made fairly quickly (about 30 minutes) with common pantry items. It is a delicious, filling soup, which tastes wonderful on a chilly day!

The end result is a creamy chowder with cubes of tender potatoes, celery, and onions, seasoned with salt, pepper, butter, and a few green onions for garnish. These simple ingredients, along with milk, make up this delicious potato chowder! Here’s how easy it is to make!

Prepare The Veggies

First things first… prepare the veggies! Chop onions, thinly slice celery, and peel and cut the potato into small 1″ cubes. Don’t make the cubes of potato too big, so they will cook fairly quickly. NOTE: I used Russet potatoes, but other varieties can be easily substituted.

Melt butter in a large saucepan, and then add the chopped onions and sliced celery. Cook on medium heat, stirring often, for 4-5 minutes, until the onions and celery have softened.

Chopped onions and celery are cooked in butter to tenderize.

Add the cubed raw potatoes to the saucepan, and stir to combine. Continue to cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring often. The small cubes of potato will begin to soften as they cook.

Cubed raw potatoes are added to onions, celery and butter in pan to cook and soften.

Season Veggies And Add Flour To Thicken Chowder

After the potatoes have cooked for 10 minutes (and have become tender), remove the pan from the heat. Season the veggies with salt and black pepper. Add the all purpose flour to the pan, and stir to fully combine.

The flour coats the vegetables, and will act as a thickener for the chowder, once the milk has been added.

The potatoes are seasoned with salt and pepper.Flour is added into the potatoes to thicken soup as it cooks.

Time To Turn This Into Easy Potato Chowder!

Now it is time to add the milk to the saucepan! Slowly pour 4 cups of milk into the saucepan. I used 1% milk, but feel free to use any kind you prefer. Stir well, once all the milk is in, to fully combine the ingredients.

Return the pan to the stove top and cook on medium, bringing it up to heat slowly. Be careful to not let the soup boil after adding the milk. Just bring it up to a very hot serving temperature slowly. As it cooks, the soup will thicken.

Milk is added to the pan to thicken and cook into the soup.

When the easy potato chowder has thickened and is very hot (but not boiling), taste test a potato cube to make sure they are tender. At this point, adjust the seasoning to your taste by adding more salt and pepper, if desired.

Want Your Chowder Even Thicker?

If at the last minute you decide you want the chowder to be even thicker (a personal choice), here’s a little secret tip I’ve used a couple of times to do that:

Once the chowder is at serving temp, simply stir in about 1/2 cup of instant potato flakes! Yep… give them a stir into the soup, and instant thickener! This is completely OPTIONAL, but it does work!

The potato chowder has thickened, is heated through, and is ready to serve.

Serve The Easy Potato Chowder

Once the soup is heated to serving temp, ladle it out into individual serving bowls. Sprinkle some thinly sliced green onions over the top, if desired, and grab a spoon! Go ahead… dig in!

The easy potato chowder is delicious, served with warm bread or rolls. We usually get about 4 good sized bowls of chowder from this recipe (as written), but it can EASILY be doubled! Hope you enjoy it!

Sliced green onions are added to the easy potato chowder, right before serving.You can see the chunks of potatoes in the finished chowder.

Well, this really is an easy soup to make for lunch OR dinner! Sure hope you have the opportunity to try it soon, and trust you will enjoy it, too. Have a wonderful day, and thank you for visiting.

Looking For More Potato SOUP Recipes?

You can find all of my soup recipes in the Recipe Index, located at the top of the page. A few of our favorite soups that include potatoes are:

Interested In More Recipes?

Thank you for visiting this website. I appreciate you using some of your valuable time to do soIf you’re interested, I publish a newsletter 2 times per month (1st and 15th) with all the latest recipes, and other fun info. I would be honored to have you join our growing list of subscribers, so you never miss a great recipe!
There is a Newsletter subscription box on the top right side (or bottom) of each blog post, depending on the device you use, where you can easily submit your e-mail address (only) to be included in my mailing list.

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Original recipe source: My Mom

Easy Potato Chowder
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

Make four servings of yummy, filling, easy potato chowder in about 30 minutes, from start to finish, using a few simple and common ingredients!

Category: Dinner, Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy potato chowder
Servings: 4
Calories Per Serving: 309 kcal
Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup butter (½ stick or 4 Tablespoons)
  • 1 cup brown onion , finely chopped
  • ½ cup celery , thinly sliced
  • cup potatoes (approx. 2 medium) , peeled and cut into 1" cubes-I used russets.
  • teaspoons salt ( + more to taste as desired)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • cup all purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • ½ cup instant potato flakes (OPTIONAL) (if desired for thicker soup)
  • 1 stem green onion (green part) (OPTIONAL GARNISH) , thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. Chop onions, thinly slice celery; peel/ cut potato into small 1" cubes. Small potato cubes are important, so they cook quickly. Melt butter in a large saucepan; add the onions and celery. Cook on medium heat, stirring often, for 4-5 minutes, until onions/celery have softened.

  2. Add potato cubes to the pan; stir to combine. Cook on medium for 10 minutes, stirring often. Remove pan from heat. Season with salt and pepper. Add flour to the pan; stir to combine.

  3. Add 4 cups of milk into the pan. Stir well, to fully combine ingredients. Return pan to the heat and cook on medium, bringing it up to serving temperature slowly. Don't let soup boil after adding milk. As it cooks, the soup will thicken. Taste test a potato cube to make sure they are tender (if not tender, let chowder cook a couple more minutes). Adjust seasonings to your taste by adding additional salt and pepper, if desired.

  4. Once chowder is heated to serving temp (and potatoes are tender), ladle it into individual bowls. Sprinkle thinly sliced green onions over the top, if desired. Serve, and enjoy!

  5. OPTIONAL TIP: Want Your Chowder Even Thicker? When chowder has thickened and is very hot , if you decide you want the chowder to be even thicker (a personal choice), here's a little tip I've used a couple of times: Simply stir in about 1/2 cup of instant potato flakes! Yep... give them a stir into the soup, and instant thickener! This is completely OPTIONAL, but it does work!

Recipe Notes

NOTE: Caloric calculation was made using 1% milk, and NO instant potato flakes.

Nutrition Facts
Easy Potato Chowder
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 309 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 42mg14%
Sodium 1092mg47%
Potassium 730mg21%
Carbohydrates 36g12%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 15g17%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 874IU17%
Vitamin C 7mg8%
Calcium 321mg32%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Make four servings of yummy, filling, easy potato chowder in about 30 minutes, from start to finish, using a few simple and common ingredients!

Easy Ground Beef Stroganoff

Looking for a quick, inexpensive dinner that tastes good? Easy Ground Beef Stroganoff can be made in about 25 minutes from start to finish!
Looking for a quick, inexpensive dinner that tastes good? Easy Ground Beef Stroganoff can be made in about 25 minutes from start to finish!

My husband and I love beef stroganoff. Most of the time I make classic beef stroganoff, with beef tenderloin (or occasionally stew meat), which needs to cook longer, to fully tenderize the meat.

Occasionally when I want the taste of the original recipe, but am pressed for time, or want to take the easy way out, I make this EASY ground beef stroganoff! Today I want to share this simple recipe with you.

This recipe can be cooked and on the table in under 30 minutes, and has great flavor! It’s also very easy to make, which is always a win-win! Using ground beef tends to be a fairly inexpensive way to feed 4 people. Here’s how to make this easy ground beef stroganoff!

Cook The Ground Beef And Onions

Sauté the ground beef and chopped onions on medium heat in a large skillet. Continue to cook until meat is browned and cooked through.

This will only take a few minutes. Once the meat is fully cooked, remove the skillet from the heat, and drain any accumulated grease from the pan.

Ground beef and chopped onions are pan-seared until fully cooked.Browned ground beef and onions have cooked, and grease has been drained.

Stir in the mushroom pieces, cream of mushroom soup, red wine (or beef broth or water), salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cover the skillet and simmer on low for 15 minutes.

Mushrooms, red wine, and mushroom soup are added to ground beef stroganoff mixture.

While Stroganoff Cooks, Prepare Egg Noodles In Separate Pan

While the stroganoff is cooking, prepare the egg noodles in a separate saucepan, according to the package instructions. When the noodles are done cooking, drain, stir in butter, and keep the noodles warm.

Egg noodles are cooked, drained, then buttered before topping with stroganoff.

Hot, buttered noodles are a wonderful classic base for this dish, but you can also substitute steamed rice under the stroganoff, if you prefer.

Finish The Ground Beef Stroganoff

After the ground beef stroganoff has cooked (covered) for 15 minutes, remove the lid from the skillet. Add the sour cream, and stir this mixture well, to fully blend it in.

Heat this meat mixture, uncovered, on medium-low heat until heated through. DO NOT LET IT BOIL AFTER ADDING SOUR CREAM.

Sour cream is added to the ground beef stroganoff.The ground beef stroganoff is heated through before serving.

Time To Serve Ground Beef Stroganoff

Divide the hot, buttered egg noodles on each plate . Top the noodles with some of the beef stroganoff. You can sprinkle the dish with fresh or dried parsley for garnish, if desired.

Hot, buttered egg noodles are topped with the ground beef stroganoff to serve.

We enjoyed my yummy broccoli corn casserole alongside the stroganoff. The ground beef stroganoff, hot buttered noodles, and a veggie dish made this a well-rounded and filling meal.

Easy ground beef stroganoff on noodles, with broccoli casserole on the side.

Thanks for visiting my blog today. I appreciate your time, and hope you have the opportunity to try this simple, but delicious recipe! It is really good, and I hope you enjoy it. Don’t forget to check out my yummy recipes for classic beef stroganoff or meatballs stroganoff!

You can find all of my recipes in the Recipe Index, which is located at the top of the page. Have a wonderful day, and may God bless you!

Looking For More Recipes Using GROUND BEEF?

You can find all of my recipes in the Recipe Index, located at the top of the page. A few favorites include:

Interested In More Recipes?

Thank you for visiting this website. I appreciate you using some of your valuable time to do soIf you’re interested, I publish a newsletter 2 times per month (1st and 15th) with all the latest recipes, and other fun info. I would be honored to have you join our growing list of subscribers, so you never miss a great recipe!
There is a Newsletter subscription box on the top right side (or bottom) of each blog post, depending on the device you use, where you can easily submit your e-mail address (only) to be included in my mailing list.

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Author's signature

Original recipe source: unknown (found handwritten on a recipe card in a very old recipe box)

Easy Ground Beef Stroganoff
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 

Looking for a quick, inexpensive dinner that tastes good? Easy Ground Beef Stroganoff can be made in about 25 minutes from start to finish!

Category: Entree
Cuisine: American
Keyword: ground beef stroganoff
Servings: 4
Calories Per Serving: 454 kcal
Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small brown onion , chopped
  • 4 ounces mushroom pieces (canned) , drained
  • 10.5 ounces cream of mushroom soup , one small can
  • ¼ cup red wine, water or beef broth , whichever you prefer (I used red wine)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon (each) black pepper and garlic powder
  • ½ cup sour cream (regular or low-fat)
  • 2 cups dry egg noodles , cooked according to pkg. directions
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
Instructions
  1. Sauté ground beef and onions on medium heat in large skillet. Cook until meat is browned and cooked through. Remove skillet from heat, and drain accumulated grease from pan.

  2. Stir in mushrooms, cream of mushroom soup, red wine (or beef broth or water), salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cover skillet and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.

  3. **While the stroganoff is cooking, prepare egg noodles in a separate saucepan, according to package instructions. When noodles are done cooking, drain, and stir in butter. Keep warm.

  4. After it has cooked (covered) for 15 minutes, remove lid. Add sour cream, and stir well, to fully blend it in. Cook on medium-low heat (uncovered), until heated through. DO NOT LET IT BOIL AFTER ADDING SOUR CREAM. To Serve: Place egg noodles on plates. Top with beef stroganoff. Sprinkle with fresh or dried parsley, if desired. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

NOTE: Recipe caloric calculation was calculated using red wine, and light sour cream. 

Nutrition Facts
Easy Ground Beef Stroganoff
Amount Per Serving (1 (1/4 of total))
Calories 454 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Cholesterol 114mg38%
Sodium 1064mg46%
Potassium 617mg18%
Carbohydrates 23g8%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 29g58%
Vitamin A 182IU4%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 74mg7%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Looking for a quick, inexpensive dinner that tastes good? Easy Ground Beef Stroganoff can be made in about 25 minutes from start to finish!

Hearty Minestrone Soup

Hearty Minestrone Soup is filling and DELICIOUS! This classic Italian soup, with meat, veggies, tomatoes, beans, and macaroni is sure to please.
Hearty Minestrone Soup is filling and DELICIOUS! This classic Italian soup, with meat, veggies, tomatoes, beans, and macaroni is sure to please.

The first time I had this hearty minestrone soup was when my Father-in-Law died over 40 years ago. A friend of the family was there for his memorial, and fixed a massive pot of this soup for the family at my in-laws home after the service.

The day of his memorial service was very cold and snowy (January), so this hot, delicious, filling meal was a God-send, as well as a sweet, thoughtful “gift” to our family!  A long-time family friend named Veda Quatro made the soup, gave me her recipe, and we’ve enjoyed this hearty, flavor-packed soup ever since that day!

The recipe makes 12 servings, and is CRAZY DELICIOUS. It takes a bit of time and prep work to make, but honestly, the results are wonderful, and will be worth your time! If you will only be serving a few people, you will enjoy having the leftovers for lunches or a quick meal! YUM!

Four Steps To Making Hearty Minestrone Soup!

There are basically 4 steps to making this soup. Cook the stew meat in broth, cook ground beef, onions and spices, cook the veggies, and add the final batch of veggies and pasta to the soup 30 minutes before serving!

It’s really not that hard to make… honest! Here’s how to cook a large batch of this yummy soup:

Step #1 – Cooking The Stew Meat

Place 5 quarts of water into a HUGE soup pot. Add the beef bouillon cubes and the stew meat. NOTE: You can substitute 5 quarts beef broth for water and bouillon, if more convenient. Cook on high for about 20 minutes, or until the stew meat is cooked through. Once done, turn off heat, and transfer the stew meat with a slotted spoon to a plate to rest.

NOTE: Trust me… you will want to use a LARGE soup pot or divide the recipe between two standard sized soup pots for this recipe, because it makes a LOT of soup, once completed!

Stew meat is cooked in beef broth in a large stock pot.

Step #2

Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the ground beef, drained stew meat, chopped onion, pepper, and chopped parsley. Cook this mixture until the ground beef is browned and fully cooked through.

As soon as the ground beef is fully cooked, add the minced garlic, and continue to cook, stirring often, for one minute.

Stew meat, ground beef, onions, and parsley are browned in skillet.

Minced garlic is added to the browned meat mixture.

Drain the grease from the skillet (discard) and then add the cooked beef and onion mixture into the broth and stir, to combine.

Cooked beef and onion mixture is added to beef broth.

Step #3

On to the next step! Gather the sliced celery, carrots and shredded cabbage, and add them to the pot of hearty minestrone soup! Pour in the canned diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and then give everything a good stir, to combine. Add the salt, stir then taste the soup, and add  additional salt, if desired, to suit your personal taste.

Continue to cook the hearty minestrone soup (uncovered) on medium heat for about 30 minutes, or until the veggies become tender. The soup liquid will reduce in volume slightly as the mixture cooks.

NOTE: If making soup ahead for serving later in the day… turn off the heat after this step, and let soup sit until 30 minutes before you want to serve, then go to Step #4.

Carrots, celery and green cabbage are prepped for the minestrone soup.Hearty minestrone soup is cooking away in a large stock pot.

Step #4 – The FINAL Step Before Serving

About 30 minutes BEFORE serving, add the uncooked macaroni noodles, frozen peas, kidney beans and zucchini slices to the pot of soup.

Cook the hearty minestrone soup on medium heat (still uncovered) for 30 minutes, and then it will be ready to serve! The broth will slightly reduce as it continues to cook, and the macaroni will fully cook in the soup!

Zucchini, peas, and uncooked macaroni noodles are added to the soup.The macaroni noodles cook fully in the hot minestrone soup.

Time To Serve Hearty Minestrone Soup!

After 30 minutes your huge pot of homemade, hearty minestrone soup is ready to serve! Give it a final taste, and add additional salt, if desired. Ladle the steaming soup into bowls, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, and serve!

A bowl of hearty minestrone soup, topped with grated Parmesan cheese.Beef, veggies macaroni, tomatoes and beans are featured in hearty minestrone soup.

I really hope you will give this hearty minestrone soup a try! It is fabulous, and feeds a small village, or provides you with quite a few leftover bowls of delicious soup! YUM!!! Have a great day.

Looking For More SOUP Recipes?

You can find all of my soup recipes in the Recipe Index, located at the top of the page. I have many soup recipes on the blog, including:

Interested In More Recipes?

Thank you for visiting this website. I appreciate you using some of your valuable time to do soIf you’re interested, I publish a newsletter 2 times per month (1st and 15th) with all the latest recipes, and other fun info. I would be honored to have you join our growing list of subscribers, so you never miss a great recipe!
There is a Newsletter subscription box on the top right side (or bottom) of each blog post, depending on the device you use, where you can easily submit your e-mail address (only) to be included in my mailing list.

You Can Also Find Me On Social Media:
Facebook page: The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Pinterest: The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Instagram: jbatthegratefulgirlcooks

Author's signature

Recipe adapted from: Family friend Veda Quatro’s original recipe (1979)

Hearty Minestrone Soup
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins
 

Hearty Minestrone Soup is filling and DELICIOUS! This classic Italian soup, with meat, veggies, tomatoes, beans, and macaroni is sure to please.

Category: Entree, Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: hearty minestrone soup
Servings: 12
Calories Per Serving: 241 kcal
Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Ingredients
  • 5 quarts water
  • pounds beef stew meat , cut into cubes
  • 4 large beef bouillon cubes
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ pound ground beef
  • 1 medium brown onion , chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup fresh parsley , finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 cup celery , sliced
  • 2 cups green cabbage , shredded
  • cups carrots , sliced or diced
  • 43.5 ounces diced, canned tomatoes (=three 14.5 ounce cans)
  • teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons salt , plus additional, to desired taste
  • 1 cup zucchini , sliced thin, then cut slices in half
  • 1 cup frozen peas , do not thaw
  • 15.5 ounces kidney beans (canned) , rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni , uncooked
  • grated Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. STEP #1: Place 5 quarts of water into a HUGE soup pot. Add the beef bouillon cubes and the stew meat. NOTE: Substitute 5 quarts beef broth for water and bouillon, if more convenient. Cook on high for 20 minutes, or until stew meat is cooked through. Once done, turn off heat, and transfer stew meat with a slotted spoon to a plate to rest.

  2. STEP #2: Heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add ground beef, drained stew meat, chopped onions, black pepper, and parsley. Cook until ground beef is browned and cooked through. Add minced garlic, and cook, stirring often, for one minute. Drain grease from skillet (discard) and then add this mixture to the broth and stir to combine.

  3. STEP #3: Add celery, carrots and cabbage to the pot of soup. Pour in canned diced tomatoes and Italian seasoning; stir, to combine. Add salt, stir then taste the soup, and add additional salt, if desired. Continue to cook soup (uncovered) on medium heat for 30 minutes, or until the veggies become tender. The soup liquid will reduce in volume slightly as the mixture cooks. NOTE: If making soup ahead for serving later in the day -turn off heat after this step, and let soup sit until 30 minutes before you want to serve, then go to Step #4.

  4. STEP #4: 30 minutes BEFORE serving, add the uncooked macaroni noodles, frozen peas, kidney beans and zucchini slices to the soup. Cook on medium high heat (still uncovered) for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, and then it's ready to serve! Give it a final taste; add additional salt, if desired. Ladle soup into bowls, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, and serve! Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

TIP: The original author of this recipe (Veda) told me this tip: If you need to stretch out any leftover soup, just add another can of diced tomatoes or kidney beans, to make it go further!

Nutrition Facts
Hearty Minestrone Soup
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 241 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 13mg4%
Sodium 974mg42%
Potassium 689mg20%
Carbohydrates 36g12%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 3271IU65%
Vitamin C 26mg32%
Calcium 82mg8%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Hearty Minestrone Soup is filling and DELICIOUS! This classic Italian soup, with meat, veggies, tomatoes, beans, and macaroni is sure to please.

Chicken Veggie TexMex Skillet

Southwest flavors shine in this deliciously seasoned, low-calorie Chicken Veggie TexMex Skillet, with zucchini, onion, yellow squash, & bell peppers!
Southwest flavors shine in this deliciously seasoned, low-calorie Chicken Veggie TexMex Skillet, with zucchini, onion, yellow squash, & bell peppers!

Anybody out there enjoy fajitas? I sure do, and chicken fajitas (in flour tortillas) are my favorite. This recipe for chicken veggie TexMex skillet is one I came up with while trying to cut out some carbs from my diet a few years ago. I wanted to enjoy the TASTE of fajitas, but with far less calories from tortillas, sour cream and guacamole!

Well… here’s a tasty solution! Southwestern-inspired spices, chicken breast strips, onions, peppers and green and yellow zucchini squash are featured in this simple dish! Everything can be eaten as is (no tortillas), for a “healthier” yet delicious TexMex meal!

It’s REALLY GOOD, and you get your protein (chicken) AND veggies, without a lot of extra calories! Here’s how to make a chicken veggie TexMex skillet:

Prepare The Chicken

Pat two large boneless, skinless chicken breasts dry with paper towels. Slice into strips, about 2″ long and 1″ wide.

Mix together the Southwest-inspired spices and sprinkle lightly over the chicken pieces. The spices used for the chicken are ground cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are cut into strips before cooking.Salt, chili powder, cayenne pepper, pepper, cumin and garlic powder are the seasonings for chicken.

Pan-Sear The Seasoned Chicken

Heat 1½ Tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet, over medium-high heat. Once the oil is very hot (but NOT smoking), add the chicken pieces. They should sizzle when they hit the pan.

TexMex seasoned chicken is pan-seared in hot oil in a skillet.

Cook the chicken until the pieces are lightly browned on the bottom. This will take 2-3 minutes, depending on how hot the oil in the skillet is.

Turn each piece of chicken over, and finish cooking on the second side (a minute or two). Once the chicken is cooked all the way through and golden brown, remove the skillet from the heat, and set aside.

The chicken strips are turned halfway through cooking to brown the other side.

Prepare And Cook The Veggies

Prepare the veggies by slicing the onion and the red and green bell peppers into thin strips. Cut the squash into “planks”, as shown below, and then combine the all the veggies.

To cut the zucchini and yellow squash, remove both ends. Cut the squash in half, as shown in Step #1 below.  Now cut the half portion in half (step #2- below). Finally (step #3-below), slice each piece into planks, about 1/2″ wide.

Zucchini and yellow squash are cut into plank shapes using 3 steps, as shown.

Cook The Veggies

Heat the remaining 1½ Tablespoons of oil on medium-high heat in a large skillet. Once the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the prepared veggies, and stir. Lightly season with additional salt and pepper (if desired).

Continue to cook the veggies, stirring often, for 5-6 minutes, or until they have softened, and are fully heated through.

Veggies are cooked to add to the chicken veggie TexMex skillet.

Last Step For The Chicken Veggie TexMex Skillet!

Once the veggies have cooked through, add the seasoned chicken pieces back into the pan. Stir to combine all the ingredients in the chicken veggie TexMex skillet, and cook until the entire dish is heated through.

When ready to serve, portion out the chicken and veggies onto plates. We enjoy eating it, as is, as a delicious low-calorie dish of meat and veggies. HOWEVER, if you really want something else to go with it, place it on top of steamed rice, or throw it in a warmed tortilla!

You can even go crazy and top it with grated cheese, sour cream or guacamole, if calories aren’t a concern! There is a lot of flavor here already, so however you choose to enjoy it, I truly hope you enjoy this dish.

Chicken Veggie TexMex Skillet is fully cooked and ready to eat!

Thank you for spending a bit of your valuable time on this blog today, friends. I appreciate it, and hope you have the opportunity to make this meal for those you love. Have a wonderful day, and may God bless you!

Looking For More CHICKEN Recipes?

You can find all of my CHICKEN recipes in the Recipe Index, located at the top of the page. I have LOTS of recipes featuring chicken, including:

Interested In More Recipes?

Thank you for visiting this website. I appreciate you using some of your valuable time to do soIf you’re interested, I publish a newsletter 2 times per month (1st and 15th) with all the latest recipes, and other fun info. I would be honored to have you join our growing list of subscribers, so you never miss a great recipe!
There is a Newsletter subscription box on the top right side (or bottom) of each blog post, depending on the device you use, where you can easily submit your e-mail address (only) to be included in my mailing list.

You Can Also Find Me On Social Media:
Facebook page: The Grateful Girl Cooks!
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Author's signature

Chicken Veggie TexMex Skillet
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

Southwest flavors shine in this deliciously seasoned, low-calorie Chicken Veggie TexMex Skillet, with zucchini, onion, yellow squash, & bell peppers!

Category: Entree
Cuisine: Southwestern
Keyword: chicken veggie texmex skillet
Servings: 3
Calories Per Serving: 245 kcal
Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Ingredients
  • 2 large chicken breasts (boneless skinless) , cut into 2" strips
  • Tablespoons vegetable oil , for cooking chicken
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper (¼ tsp. EACH)
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • teaspoon garlic powder
  • Tablespoons vegetable oil , for cooking veggies
  • 3 cups zucchini and yellow squash (1½ cups EACH) , cut into 2" long x 1" wide planks
  • ½ medium red bell pepper , seeded and cut in thin strips
  • ¼ medium green bell pepper , seeded and cut in thin strips
  • ½ medium brown onion , thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. Pat two large boneless, skinless chicken breasts dry with paper towels. Slice into strips approx. 2" long by 1" wide. Mix spices together and sprinkle lightly over chicken, to season. Mix by hand, to distribute spices onto chicken.

  2. Heat 1½ Tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet, on medium-high heat. Once oil is very hot (but NOT smoking), add chicken. Chicken should sizzle when it hits the pan. Cook until lightly browned on the bottom (approx. 2-3 minutes). Turn each piece of chicken over, and finish cooking for and additional 1-2 minutes. Once chicken is fully cooked through and golden brown, remove skillet from heat, and set aside.

  3. Slice onion and red and green bell peppers into thin strips. Cut squash into "planks", and then combine all veggies. Heat 1½ Tablespoons of oil on medium-high heat in large skillet. Once oil is hot, but not smoking, add veggies, and stir. Lightly season with additional salt and pepper (optional- if desired). Continue to cook, stirring often, for 5-6 minutes, or until veggies have softened, and are fully cooked through.

  4. Once the veggies have cooked, add the seasoned chicken pieces to the veggies. Stir to combine all ingredients, and cook on medium heat until heated through. To serve, portion out chicken and veggies onto plates. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Chicken Veggie TexMex Skillet
Amount Per Serving (1 (1/3 of total))
Calories 245 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Cholesterol 48mg16%
Sodium 296mg13%
Potassium 688mg20%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 18g36%
Vitamin A 1012IU20%
Vitamin C 58mg70%
Calcium 28mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Southwest flavors shine in this deliciously seasoned, low-calorie Chicken Veggie TexMex Skillet, with zucchini, onion, yellow squash, & bell peppers!

 

Cajun Chicken Strips

Making these yummy Cajun Chicken Strips couldn’t be easier! Dry spice seasoned chicken is pan-seared in butter for this EASY, quick lunch or dinner!
Making these yummy Cajun Chicken Strips couldn't be easier! Dry spice seasoned chicken is pan-seared in butter for this EASY, quick lunch or dinner!

Do you enjoy chicken strips, or tenders, as they are often called? We sure do, and today I want to share a ridiculously EASY way to make CAJUN chicken strips! There’s no long prep time, and before you know it, you can be munching on this delicious chicken!

Whether you prefer to call them chicken strips, chicken planks, or chicken tenders, these “pieces of chicken” are really yummy, and are a quick dish to whip up for lunch or dinner!

In this simple recipe, chicken breasts are cut into strips, coated in a mild Cajun spice mix, and then pan-seared and browned in butter until done. BOOM! Talk about EASY!!!! This is a GREAT recipe to have in your “bag of tricks”. Here’s how to make this dish:

Prepare The Chicken

Place boneless, skinless chicken breasts on a cutting mat or board. Slice the chicken into strips, about 3/4″ wide. Pat the chicken pieces dry, using paper towels, to absorb some of the moisture.

Boneless chicken breasts are cut into strips before adding spices.

Season The Chicken Strips

Measure the spices for the seasoning mix into a resealable container or plastic bag. The spices you will need are flour, poultry seasoning (mine’s homemade), garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.

Once the spices are mixed, add the chicken strips, and mix together until the chicken is well coated. You “might” need to do this in batches, depending on the amount of chicken strips you will be making.

The spices for the chicken strips seasoning are ready to mix.

Chicken strips are added to spice mix in plastic bag, and combined to coat.

Time To Cook The Cajun Chicken Strips!

Once the chicken is seasoned, it’s time to cook the strips! You might need to cook the chicken in a couple batches, depending on the size skillet you are using.

Melt the butter in a large skillet, and let the skillet get very hot (but not smoking). Add the Cajun chicken strips in a single layer, but be sure to not overcrowd the skillet. Cook the chicken strips for about 4 minutes without moving them.

Butter is melted and heated in skillet before adding seasoned chicken strips.Cajun chicken strips are added to the hot skillet to brown.

Carefully flip the chicken strips to the other side after about four minutes. The chicken should be well-browned on the bottom before you turn them over.

Continue to sear the chicken for 4-5 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Remove the chicken from the skillet, once done. If your chicken strips are really thick, it may take a couple minutes longer to cook all the way through.

The chicken strips are flipped to cook the other side after browning.

Time To Eat Some Cajun Chicken Strips!

Once the chicken is cooked through and is golden brown on all sides, these yummy chicken strips are ready to serve! They have a very mild kick to them (but not too much), and taste wonderful served as is, or with a dipping sauce (Ranch dressing or Bleu cheese).

A plate full of cajun chicken strips, cooked and ready to eat!Close up of browned chicken strips with cajun seasoning on a plate.

We have even had these served alongside a delicious broccoli corn casserole (so we could get our veggies in, too!). The chicken is tender, seasoned nicely, and was a super simple twist on plain chicken strips!

A few Cajun chicken strips, served with broccoli corn casserole on the side.

Hope you will consider trying out this really easy recipe for Cajun chicken strips. They are flavorful, but mild enough for kids and adults who don’t like things too spicy! Thank you for stopping by and spending some of your valuable time on this blog. I hope you enjoy a wonderful day!

Looking For More CHICKEN Recipes?

You can find all of my recipes in the Recipe Index, located at the top of the page. I have many chicken recipes for you to enjoy, including:

Interested In More Recipes?

Thank you for visiting this website. I appreciate you using some of your valuable time to do soIf you’re interested, I publish a newsletter 2 times per month (1st and 15th) with all the latest recipes, and other fun info. I would be honored to have you join our growing list of subscribers, so you never miss a great recipe!
There is a Newsletter subscription box on the top right side (or bottom) of each blog post, depending on the device you use, where you can easily submit your e-mail address (only) to be included in my mailing list.

You Can Also Find Me On Social Media:
Facebook page: The Grateful Girl Cooks!
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Author's signature

Original recipe source: unknown. Found handwritten on a 3×5 card in one of my old recipe boxes.

Cajun Chicken Strips
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
8 mins
Total Time
18 mins
 

Making these yummy Cajun Chicken Strips couldn't be easier! Dry spice seasoned chicken is pan-seared in butter for this EASY, quick lunch or dinner!

Category: Dinner
Cuisine: Cajun
Keyword: cajun chicken strips
Servings: 4
Calories Per Serving: 255 kcal
Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Ingredients
  • pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts , cut into 3/4" strips
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper (¼ tsp. each)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
Instructions
  1. Place boneless, skinless chicken breasts onto a cutting mat or board. Slice chicken into long strips, about 3/4" wide. Pat chicken pieces dry, using paper towels, to absorb some of the moisture. Set aside.

  2. Measure spices into a resealable container or plastic bag, and stir, to combine. Once mixed, add chicken strips; mix until chicken is well coated. You "might" need to do this in batches, depending on the amount of chicken you make.

  3. Melt butter in a large skillet. Once skillet is very hot, add chicken strips in a single layer. Don't overcrowd skillet. Cook for 4 minutes without moving them. Once bottom is well-browned, carefully flip chicken to the other side. Continue to cook for 4-5 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Note: If your chicken strips are really thick, it may take a couple minutes longer to cook all the way through. Remove chicken from skillet, once done. Serve chicken strips as is, or with a dipping sauce! Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Cajun Chicken Strips
Amount Per Serving (1 (1/4 of total))
Calories 255 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 124mg41%
Sodium 393mg17%
Potassium 629mg18%
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 37g74%
Vitamin A 414IU8%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 13mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Making these yummy Cajun Chicken Strips couldn't be easier! Dry spice seasoned chicken is pan-seared in butter for this EASY, quick lunch or dinner!

Asian Chicken Thigh Skillet

Asian Chicken Thigh Skillet is a delicious, EASY dish to make. Chicken thighs are pan-seared, then covered and cooked in a simple Asian garlic sauce!
Asian Chicken Thigh Skillet is a delicious, EASY dish to make. Chicken thighs are pan-seared, then covered and cooked in a simple Asian garlic sauce!

If you’re looking for a simple, yet DELICIOUS way to cook chicken thighs, may I suggest this dish? It truly is a simple dish to make, and is packed with flavor!

Skinless chicken thighs (bone-in or no-bone) are pan seared, then are cooked for a short time in a 4-ingredient Asian sauce, along with minced garlic and red pepper flakes. The result is perfectly cooked chicken thighs, covered in an amazing tasting sauce, and then served on a bed of rice!

The Asian Chicken Thigh Skillet only takes about half an hour to make, and requires very few ingredients. **NOTE: The recipe calls for using SIX chicken thighs, but as you will see, I only made four thighs, so my photos will reflect that!

Make The Asian Sauce

The first thing you will need to do is make a quick, Asian-inspired sauce. Easy! Simply mix together soy sauce, vinegar, honey and ground ginger in a small bowl. Once fully combined, set the bowl of Asian sauce aside.

A sauce is made with soy sauce, vinegar, honey and ground ginger.

Brown The Chicken Thighs

The next step is to brown the chicken thighs! To do this, first heat the oil on medium-high heat in a large skillet. I used a cast iron skillet, but it really doesn’t matter. Once the oil is very hot, but NOT smoking, carefully add the skinless chicken thighs to the hot oil.

Let the chicken cook (without disturbing) for 5 minutes, and then carefully turn each piece to the other side. The chicken thighs should be lightly browned before turning them over. Continue to cook for 5 more minutes on the second side.

Skinless chicken thighs are browned in hot oil in skillet.The chicken thighs are flipped over once browned.

Add Seasonings And Sauce To The Asian Chicken Thigh Skillet

At this point, you need to add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes to the skillet, and stir, to combine. Continue to cook for about 2 minutes, stirring often, to keep the garlic from burning.

Garlic, red pepper flakes and sauce are added to the Asian Chicken Thigh Skillet.

Pour the Asian sauce you previously set aside into the skillet. Stir well, to combine. Cover the skillet, turn the heat down to medium and let the chicken cook, undisturbed, for 15 minutes.

Asian Chicken Thigh Skillet is covered to let meat cook in sauce for 15 minutes.

Time To Finish The Asian Chicken Thigh Skillet!

After the 15 minutes of covered cooking time, carefully remove the cover on the skillet. Let the chicken and sauce cook uncovered for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. While cooking, spoon the sauce on top of each piece of chicken several times.

The sauce will slightly thicken as it cooks, and the chicken will become beautifully browned, thanks to the flavor-filled sauce. When done, the chicken should have an internal temperature of 165°F, and then it is ready to serve!

Some of the Asian sauce is spooned on top of chicken thighs before serving.

Time To Enjoy This Asian Chicken Thigh Skillet!

Once the chicken is cooked through to the proper temperature, and the sauce has slightly thickened, it is time to eat!

We enjoy this chicken best when served on top of some steamed rice! Spoon some of the sauce over each piece of chicken when serving, for an added flavor boost! Can you see all that minced garlic on top of the chicken? That’s some GOOD flavor there, friends!

Finished Asian chicken thigh skillet dish is served on top of steamed rice.Chicken thigh with sauce is served on steamed rice, with broccoli on the side.

I really hope you will consider trying this simple recipe for Asian Chicken Thigh Skillet! We truly enjoy this meal, and trust you will, too! Have a wonderful day, and thank you for visiting!

Looking For Other CHICKEN Recipes?

You can find all of my recipes in the Recipe Index, located at the top of the page. I have many chicken recipes, including:

Interested In More Recipes?

Thank you for visiting this website. I appreciate you using some of your valuable time to do soIf you’re interested, I publish a newsletter 2 times per month (1st and 15th) with all the latest recipes, and other fun info. I would be honored to have you join our growing list of subscribers, so you never miss a great recipe!
There is a Newsletter subscription box on the top right side (or bottom) of each blog post, depending on the device you use, where you can easily submit your e-mail address (only) to be included in my mailing list.

You Can Also Find Me On Social Media:
Facebook page: The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Pinterest: The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Instagram: jbatthegratefulgirlcooks

Author's signature

Original recipe source: unknown (recipe found written on a 3×5 card from many, many years ago)

Asian Chicken Thigh Skillet
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
17 mins
Total Time
32 mins
 

Asian Chicken Thigh Skillet is a delicious, EASY dish to make. Chicken thighs are pan-seared, then covered and cooked in a simple Asian garlic sauce!

Category: Entree
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Asian chicken thigh skillet
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 325 kcal
Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Ingredients
  • 6 medium chicken thighs , skin removed
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoon honey
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut oil (or veg. oil)
  • 10 cloves garlic , coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • cooked rice (optional-for serving)
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, vinegar, honey and ground ginger. Set aside.

  2. Heat oil on medium-high heat in a large skillet. Once oil is very hot, but NOT smoking, carefully add skinless chicken thighs. Let cook (without disturbing) for 5 minutes, and then carefully turn them to the other side. The chicken thighs should be lightly browned before turning them over. Continue to cook 5 more minutes on second side.

  3. Add minced garlic and red pepper flakes to skillet, and stir, to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring often, to keep garlic from burning. Pour reserved sauce into skillet. Stir well, to combine. Cover skillet, turn heat down to medium and let chicken cook, undisturbed, for 15 minutes.

  4. After 15 minutes, carefully remove cover from skillet. Let chicken and sauce cook uncovered for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. While cooking, spoon sauce over top of chicken thighs several times. Sauce will slightly thicken as it cooks, and will become beautifully browned, thanks to the flavor-filled sauce. When done, chicken should have an internal temperature of 165°F, and then it is ready to serve! Serve over steamed rice, spoon some sauce over the top of the chicken, and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Asian Chicken Thigh Skillet
Amount Per Serving (1 thigh)
Calories 325 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Fat 24g37%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 111mg37%
Sodium 360mg16%
Potassium 273mg8%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 19g38%
Vitamin A 187IU4%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 18mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Asian Chicken Thigh Skillet is a delicious, EASY dish to make. Chicken thighs are pan-seared, then covered and cooked in a simple Asian garlic sauce!

 

 

Air Fryer Italian Meatballs

It’s so EASY to make delicious Air Fryer Italian Meatballs, to add to a favorite sauce for pasta, or to make a yummy meatball sandwich!
It's so EASY to make delicious Air Fryer Italian Meatballs, to add to a favorite sauce for pasta, or to make a yummy meatball sandwich!

If you have an air fryer, then you know how many foods can be cooked or “fried” in them, without using a lot of oil. Normally I fry my meatballs for spaghetti in oil, in a large skillet on the stove, but wanted to give the old air fryer a go at it, too!

Using an air fryer has become a fun challenge for me, ever since I used birthday gift cards to purchase one last year. My husband and I have sure enjoyed using ours and trying new recipes. We appreciate this appliance that cooks with highly heated air rather than using a lot of oil to prepare food.

So… this time I made meatballs! The result was delicious tasting air fryer Italian meatballs, which were added to homemade spaghetti sauce, and then combined with hot cooked pasta! The process for making the meatballs was practically effortless, and I would whole-heartedly make them this way again!. Here’s how to make Italian meatballs in an air fryer.

Prepare The Meatballs

This step is simple. Simply combine ground beef, breadcrumbs, egg, milk, spices (including salt and pepper), and Parmesan cheese in a medium sized bowl.

Ingredients for meatballs, ready to be combined in large bowl.The meat mixture is fully combined and ready to form into meatballs.

Measure out heaping Tablespoons of the meat mixture and roll each portion between the palms of you hands to form meatballs. Place them on aluminum foil or wax paper, and then lightly spritz them with non-stick baking spray or oil on top and bottom.

The air fryer Italian meatballs recipe calls for only a half pound of ground beef, so the recipe (as written below), should yield about 11-12 medium-sized meatballs, which yields approximately 3 servings.

Place the meatballs in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before cooking. Begin preheating your air fryer towards the end of the refrigeration time.

Meatballs are spritzed with cooking spray or oil before cooking.

Time To Cook the Air Fryer Italian Meatballs!

Okay, now you should have 11-12 lightly sprayed (and lightly chilled meatballs), right? Right! Preheat your air fryer to 400°F. Once the air fryer is pre-heated, place the meatballs into the basket, leaving a bit of space between each one.

I have a Cosori 5.8 quart air fryer, so all the meatballs fit nicely in the basket. If you are making a double portion, you may have to cook the air fryer Italian meatballs in two batches.

Air fryer Italian meatballs in the fryer, ready to be cooked.

Cooking Meatballs In An Air Fryer

Cook the meatballs at 400°F. for approximately 8 minutes in the air fryer. Half way through the cooking time, gently flip the meatballs to the other side using tongs. I found this was so much easier than turning meatballs in a skillet where they sometimes stick to the oiled pan, regardless!

Since some air fryers tend to run really HOT, plan to check on the meatballs around the 7 minute mark, to ensure you don’t overcook them. Mine cooked perfectly in 8 minutes, but it is always best to keep an eye on them.

The cooked air fryer Italian meatballs are crispy and browned when done.Meatballs have been removed from fryer, and are ready to add to sauce.

Okay, They Are Fully Cooked – Now What?

You can eat the meatballs as soon as they are fully cooked, just the way they are. BUT… I think they are best added to a pot of spaghetti or marinara sauce!

Just toss them into the pan, and spoon the sauce over the meatballs. Heat the sauce and meatballs through before serving.

Spaghetti sauce is heated, along with the air fryer cooked meatballs.

When done, add the meatballs and sauce to cooked pasta OR make a wonderful tasting meatball sandwich! Honestly, the meatballs aren’t hard at all to make! Using an air fryer to cook them let me work on other parts of the meal (hands free) while they were cooking!

The air fryer Italian meatballs have good flavor (thanks to garlic powder, Parmesan, onion powder and oregano), and will be a wonderful addition to your meal! Throw some extra Parmesan cheese on top and dig In!

Air fryer Italian meatballs are served along with pasta and sauce!

I hope you will have an opportunity to try this recipe. We are really enjoying our air fryer, and are grateful for the many food items that can be prepared in it. Hope you have a wonderful day!

Looking For More AIR FRYER Recipes?

You can find all of my recipes in the Recipe Index, located at the top of the page. A few Air Fryer recipes include:

Interested In More Recipes?

Thank you for visiting this website. I appreciate you using some of your valuable time to do soIf you’re interested, I publish a newsletter 2 times per month (1st and 15th) with all the latest recipes, and other fun info. I would be honored to have you join our growing list of subscribers, so you never miss a great recipe!
There is a Newsletter subscription box on the top right side (or bottom) of each blog post, depending on the device you use, where you can easily submit your e-mail address (only) to be included in my mailing list.

You Can Also Find Me On Social Media:
Facebook page: The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Pinterest: The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Instagram: jbatthegratefulgirlcooks

Author's signature

Original recipe source:  The “Cosori Air Fryer Recipes” owner’s recipe book that came with the purchase of my air fryer. Page 22

Air Fryer Italian Meatballs
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
8 mins
Total Time
23 mins
 

It's so EASY to make delicious Air Fryer Italian Meatballs, to add to a favorite sauce for pasta, or to make a yummy meatball sandwich!

Category: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Air fryer Italian meatballs
Servings: 3 (3-4 meatballs per person)
Calories Per Serving: 246 kcal
Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Ingredients
  • ½ pound ground beef (75/25 recommended)
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • cup milk
  • 3 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper (¼ tsp. each)
  • non-stick cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Combine ground beef, breadcrumbs, egg, milk, salt, pepper, spices, and Parmesan cheese in a medium sized bowl. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated.

  2. Measure out heaping Tablespoons of the meat mixture and roll each portion between the palms of you hands to form meatballs. Place them on aluminum foil or wax paper, and then lightly spritz them with non-stick baking spray or oil on top and bottom. The mixture should make about 11-12 medium-sized meatballs, which yields approximately 3 servings. Place the meatballs in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before cooking. Begin preheating your air fryer towards the end of the refrigeration time.

  3. Preheat air fryer to 400°F. Once pre-heated, place meatballs into basket, leaving space between each one. If you are making a double portion, you may have to cook the meatballs in two batches. Cook the meatballs at 400°F. for approximately 8 minutes in the air fryer. Half way through cooking time, gently turn meatballs to other side using tongs. Check on meatballs around the 7 minute mark, to ensure you don't overcook them.

  4. Once meatballs are done, they're ready to eat. Eat them as is, or add them to a pot of spaghetti sauce to combine with cooked pasta, or make a meatball sandwich! Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Air Fryer Italian Meatballs
Amount Per Serving (1 (approx. 3-4 meatballs))
Calories 246 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 127mg42%
Sodium 392mg17%
Potassium 310mg9%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 20g40%
Vitamin A 187IU4%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 128mg13%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!It's so EASY to make delicious Air Fryer Italian Meatballs, to add to a favorite sauce for pasta, or to make a yummy meatball sandwich!

Air Fryer Chicken Breasts

Simple spices and butter provide wonderful flavor for these easy air fryer chicken breasts! Use your air fryer to make this tasty main dish quickly!
Simple spices and butter provide wonderful flavor for these easy air fryer chicken breasts! Use your air fryer to make this tasty main dish quickly!

This past summer I received a Cosori air fryer for my birthday. It’s fun to cook foods with hot air, and with only a minimum amount of oil! I’ve been having fun with it ever since, trying out recipes for both main dishes, muffins, side dishes and desserts!

I’ve already posted a few delicious air fryer recipes, including:

Last month I made air fryer chicken breasts.  I knew I wanted to experiment with our family favorite sauce we use for grilling chicken breasts outside, but wanted to re-create it using my air fryer! Guess what? It turned out fabulous, so I want to share the recipe for this EASY dish.

Make The Basting Sauce For The Chicken Breasts

The basting sauce recipe for the chicken breasts came from my Mom. It was how we ate our grilled chicken while growing up. We use it all summer long when we grill chicken on our BBQ, and have used the same recipe for almost 50 years. I thought it would be a perfect seasoning for these air fryer chicken breasts! And it WAS!

To make the sauce, combine the seasonings (garlic powder, celery salt, seasoning salt and coarse black pepper) with melted butter. Stir, until fully combined. Easy, right?

Sauce for chicken is made with combining melted butter and a few common spices.

Brush the sauce over 1 side of the boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

Seasoning sauce is brushed over one side of the chicken breasts.

Ready To Cook Air Fryer Chicken Breasts!

Preheat your air fryer to 370° (this usually takes about 3-4 minutes). TIP: To save time, preheat the air fryer while making the sauce and basting the chicken.

Place the chicken breasts, with the sauce side down in the basket of the preheated air fryer. Now brush the remaining sauce over the top of the chicken.

The chicken is placed in preheated air fryer, and other side is basted with sauce.

Cook the chicken breasts in the air fryer for 4 minutes, and then pause the air fryer and flip the chicken to the other side. Continue cooking for 4-5 additional minutes, or until chicken is golden brown, cooked through and is at a safe internal temperature of 165° F.

Your cooking time may vary a little bit, due to two factors: the size and weight of the chicken breasts you are using, and the ambient temps with air fryers. Because air fryer temperatures can vary, make sure to check the chicken while cooking to make sure you know when it is done.

The photo below shows the chicken breasts about halfway through the cooking time. You can see that the pieces are already beginning to brown.

Halfway through cooking time, air fryer chicken breasts are turning golden brown.

When the air fryer chicken breasts are finished cooking, carefully remove them from the hot basket, and serve immediately! BOOM! See how easy that was?

Now it’s time to enjoy one of the air fryer chicken breasts with some home canned green beans, and some orzo with Parmesan on the side. YUM! It was a good dinner!

Air fryer chicken breasts were served with orzo and green beans.

The air fryer chicken breasts were fully cooked and juicy inside, had a bit of a browned, crunchy crust on them, and had GREAT flavor! They were soooo good!

One of the air fryer chicken breasts in a close up photo.

If you have an air fryer, then I hope you will enjoy this quick and easy chicken recipe! Have a great day, friends! Why not look for ways throughout the day to be an encourager, because there are LOTS of hurting, lonely people around. Won’t you join me in trying to make a difference? Have a great day.

Looking For More CHICKEN Recipes?

You can find all of my chicken recipes in the Recipe Index, located at the top of the page. I have lots of them… including:

Interested In More Recipes?

Thank you for visiting this website. I appreciate you using some of your valuable time to do soIf you’re interested, I publish a newsletter 2 times per month (1st and 15th) with all the latest recipes, and other fun info. I would be honored to have you join our growing list of subscribers, so you never miss a great recipe!
There is a Newsletter subscription box on the top right side (or bottom) of each blog post, depending on the device you use, where you can easily submit your e-mail address (only) to be included in my mailing list.

You Can Also Find Me On Social Media:
Facebook page: The Grateful Girl Cooks!
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Author's signature

Recipe source: my brain, and my mom’s recipe for basting sauce

Air Fryer Chicken Breasts
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
8 mins
Total Time
13 mins
 

Simple spices and butter provide wonderful flavor for these easy air fryer chicken breasts! Use your air fryer to make this tasty main dish quickly!

Category: Entree, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air fryer chicken breasts
Servings: 2
Calories Per Serving: 295 kcal
Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Ingredients
  • 12 ounces chicken breasts
  • 2 Tablespoons butter , melted
  • teaspoon garlic powder
  • teaspoon celery salt
  • teaspoon seasoning salt
  • teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat your air fryer to 370° (this usually takes about 4-5 minutes). TIP: To save time, mix the sauce and baste the chicken while the air fryer preheats.

  2. Combine garlic powder, celery salt, seasoning salt and coarse black pepper in a small bowl with the melted butter. Stir, until fully combined.

  3. Brush half of the sauce over 1 side of the boneless, skinless chicken breasts. When air fryer is at temperature, place chicken breasts, sauce side down in the basket of the air fryer. Brush remaining sauce over the top of the chicken.

  4. Cook at 370° F. for 4 minutes; pause the air fryer and turn chicken to the other side. Continue cooking for 4-5 more minutes, or until chicken is golden brown, cooked through and has an internal temperature of 165° F. When done, remove chicken, serve, and enjoy!

    NOTE: Your cooking time may vary, due to two factors: the size and weight of the chicken breasts you are using, and the ambient temps with air fryers. Because air fryer temperatures can vary, be sure to check the chicken while cooking to make sure you know when it is done.

Nutrition Facts
Air Fryer Chicken Breasts
Amount Per Serving (1 chicken breast)
Calories 295 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Cholesterol 139mg46%
Sodium 588mg26%
Potassium 629mg18%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 36g72%
Vitamin A 401IU8%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 9mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Simple spices and butter provide wonderful flavor for these easy air fryer chicken breasts! Use your air fryer to make this tasty main dish quickly!

Traeger Grill Smoked Trout

Traeger Grill Smoked Trout is a great recipe for cooking smoked, fresh trout! Butterflied trout are soaked in a brine before smoking, for peak flavor!
Traeger Grill Smoked Trout is a great recipe for cooking smoked, fresh trout! Butterflied trout are soaked in a brine before smoking, for peak flavor!

We sure have been having fun trying recipes on our Traeger grill! Our most recent adventure involved brining and smoking trout that we received from a very nice, generous neighbor!

I found the original recipe on the Traeger app, and thought it sounded wonderful, so off I went into the kitchen to check this recipe out! WOW! This was some good tasting smoked trout! My husband (a trout-lovin’ guy) said it was some of the best trout he has ever had!

With very minimal prep work, and a “hands off” smoking time on the grill, this recipe was also SUPER EASY! Brine the fish, then smoke it on the pellet grill. BOOM! Yummy smoked trout! Here’s how to make Traeger smoked trout:

Prepare The BRINE Mixture

Salting meats as a way to preserve food has been around for many, many years. Throughout history voyagers, travelers or armies used to preserve their meats in salt so they could survive on long voyages or trips, even with a lack of refrigeration.

Nowadays brining is a “thing”. When you brine meats, it’s typically done using a salt, water, and seasoning combination, but using far less salt than our ancestors. Brining infuses meats with lots of flavor, and can also help tenderize the meat, in a fairly short amount of time.

To make THIS brine for Traeger smoked trout, place water, salt, brown sugar, black pepper and soy sauce in a LARGE covered container. Whisk the ingredients together until sugar has dissolved. THIS will be your brine!

Ingredients for the brine are whisked together before adding trout.

Prepare The Trout

The trout will need to be cleaned and gutted, with the head removed. Butterfly cut each trout almost all the way down to the tail, and then spread it out. You want the trout to be able to lie flat while being smoked on the grill.

NOTE: The recipe as written (in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post) is for 4 trout. Since it was only my husband and I eating, I smoked only TWO trout, but used the regular amount of brine.

Trout are cleaned, gutted, and butterflied before brining and smoking.

Place the butterflied trout into the brine, and position in the brine so that it is covered. You might find it easy to weigh the fish down with a heavy plate, to keep it under the brine.

Cover the container, and then let the trout brine in the liquid for 60 minutes in the refrigerator. I turned the trout over, halfway through the brining time.

The butterflied trout are soaked in brine for one hour before smoking on the grill.

Dry The Brined Trout And Then Get Them On The Traeger

Once the fish has brined for 1 hour, remove each fish from the brine and pat dry with a paper towel. Get both sides as dry as possible before you put them onto the grill.

Each trout is patted dry before putting it on the grill for smoking.

Preparing Traeger Smoked Trout Is EASY!

Fill your pellet hopper with fresh pellets (we used mesquite). Start your Traeger by turning it on and waiting 4-5 minutes (with the lid open) until it is smoking, and a fire has been fully established. Turn the temperature gauge to 225°F., and let the grill preheat (with the lid closed). This might take anywhere from 10-15 minutes.

Once pre-heated, quickly brush vegetable oil over the grill grates with a pastry brush. This helps to help prevent the fish skin from sticking to the grill. Place the patted dry trout directly onto the oiled grill grate, with the skin side down. Close the lid on the grill.

Traeger grill smoked trout is cooked skin side down on the grill.

Smoke the trout for 1½ – 2 hours until the fish starts to flake and the fish turns slightly opaque in color. You don’t even need to mess with them once they are on the grill. NOTE: Cooking times can vary a bit, due to ambient temps of each smoker, and the thickness of the trout.

The length of time will obviously depend on the thickness of the trout you are using. Ours were done in 1½ hours! See how beautiful they looked? Oooh…

When done, Traeger smoked trout is beginning to flake and is opaque in color.

Remove the trout from the Traeger once they are fully cooked, and transfer them to a baking sheet and bring them indoors! They smell really good about this time.

De-bone each fish, and then serve this tasty Traeger grill smoked trout. You can serve this smoked fish hot or cold, however you prefer it. It has GREAT flavor!

Here is one Traeger grill smoked trout, fully cooked, and ready to de-bone and eat!

Thanks for reading. I sure do sincerely hope you enjoy this recipe for Traeger grill smoked trout. My husband is already asking for me to make it again… ha ha! Lucky for us, our sweet neighbor just gave us even MORE frozen trout this week. Yippee!

Looking For More TRAEGER Recipes?

You can find all of my recipes in the Recipe Index, located at the top of the page. A few of my Traeger recipes you might enjoy checking out include:

Interested In More Recipes?

Thank you for visiting this website. I appreciate you using some of your valuable time to do soIf you’re interested, I publish a newsletter 2 times per month (1st and 15th) with all the latest recipes, and other fun info. I would be honored to have you join our growing list of subscribers, so you never miss a great recipe!
There is a Newsletter subscription box on the top right side (or bottom) of each blog post, depending on the device you use, where you can easily submit your e-mail address (only) to be included in my mailing list.

You Can Also Find Me On Social Media:
Facebook page: The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Pinterest: The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Instagram: jbatthegratefulgirlcooks

Author's signature

Recipe adapted from: https://www.traegergrills.com/recipes/seafood/smoked-trout

Traeger Grill Smoked Trout
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 30 mins
Brining Time (inactive)
1 hr
Total Time
2 hrs 35 mins
 

Traeger Grill Smoked Trout is a great recipe for cooking smoked, fresh trout! Butterflied trout are soaked in a brine before smoking, for peak flavor!

Category: Entree-Seafood
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Traeger grill smoked trout
Servings: 4
Calories Per Serving: 392 kcal
Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Ingredients
  • 4 medium trout (approx. 8 ounces per fish) , cleaned and head removed
For Brine:
  • ½ gallon water
  • cup salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar (light or dark)
  • ½ Tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
Instructions
  1. To make brine: Place water, salt, brown sugar, black pepper and soy sauce in a LARGE covered container. Whisk ingredients together until sugar has dissolved.

Brine The Trout:
  1. Remove fish head. Clean and gut each trout. Butterfly cut each trout almost all the way to the tail, and then spread it out. Do not slice all the way through the bottom skin. You want the trout to be able to lie flat when smoking. Place the butterflied trout into the brine; make sure each fish is covered. You might need to weigh the fish down with a heavy plate, to keep them under the brine. Cover container, and let fish brine in liquid for 60 minutes in refrigerator. Once fish has brined for 1 hour, remove fish from brine and pat dry with a paper towel. Get fish as dry as possible before you put them onto the grill.

Smoking The Trout:
  1. Start Traeger by turning it on and waiting 4-5 minutes (with lid open) until it is smoking, and a fire has been established. Turn temperature gauge to 225°F., and let grill preheat (with lid closed). This might take anywhere from 10-15 minutes. Once pre-heated, quickly brush vegetable oil over the grill grates with a pastry brush. This helps to help prevent the fish skin from sticking to the grill. Place trout directly onto oiled grill grate, skin side down. Close the lid. Smoke trout for 1½ - 2 hours until the fish starts to flake and turns slightly opaque in color. You don't need to mess with them once they are on the grill. Remove trout once they are fully cooked; transfer to a baking sheet. De-bone each fish, and then serve. You can serve the trout hot or cold, however you prefer it.

    NOTE: Cooking times can vary a bit, due to the ambient temps of each smoker, and thickness of the trout.

Nutrition Facts
Traeger Grill Smoked Trout
Amount Per Serving (1 trout (whole))
Calories 392 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 132mg44%
Sodium 3816mg166%
Potassium 847mg24%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 47g94%
Vitamin A 129IU3%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 126mg13%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Traeger Grill Smoked Trout is a great recipe for cooking smoked, fresh trout! Butterflied trout are soaked in a brine before smoking, for peak flavor!