Beef, Dinner, one pot meals

Stuffed Pepper Casserole

Okay, so we made stuffed peppers in the crockpot and they came out great. Now we have a one pot casserole based off the stuffed pepper that is just as good. As the weather is starting to turn colder, this is a hot and hearty one pot dinner.

I guess you could call it a deconstructed stuff pepper when you look at all the ingredients.


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 green pepper diced
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Salt & pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 1-2 cups Colby Monterey Jack cheese


  • In high sided pan combine ground beef, peppers, onion, oregano, salt and pepper and cook until beef is no longer pink and vegetables are tender.
  • Add in garlic and cook about 1 minutes.
  • Add beef broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce and balsamic vinegar, stir to combine then bring to a boil.
  • Add rice and stir to combine, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes until rice is tender and juices are mainly soaked up.
  • Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup cheese.
  • Top with remaining cheese and place cover back on to melt.
  • Serve with chopped parsley if desired.


Dinner, one pot meals

Cheesy Kielbasa Skillet

The one pot meal has become a go to this summer. It has all the dinner benefits combined together that is very satisfying. But what is even better is that it makes for easy clean up. Hubby scours Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration and before I know it we have a new recipe to try. Polish Sausage (Kielbasa) is flavorful on its own but when mixed in with a bunch of other delights you get a great one pot meal.

  • 4 tablespoons Butter, divided
  • 1 lb. Kielbasa sausage, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 medium zucchini, shredded
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • scallions for garnish
  1. Melt 2 tablespoons of Butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the sausage and cook until lightly browned. Add in the onion and garlic salt and cook until onion is tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook, until lightly toasted, about 1 minute.
  2. Pour in the chicken broth and stir, breaking up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.
  3. Fluff rice and add in the zucchini and both cheeses. Stir until cheese is melted into rice, then add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and stir until melted. Garnish with scallions and serve immediately.
Dinner, one pot meals

Swiss Steak

Cube Steaks – an old standard growing up. It was always a quick and easy dinner. I decided that I wanted to break out the old Paula Deen cookbook and make her Swiss Steak recipe. It reminds me a bit of pepper steak without the asian flavors. It will come together pretty easily and when served over rice it makes a really nice supper dish.

1 round steak (approximately 1 1/2 pounds) (I used cube steaks)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Salt and pepper

All-purpose flour, for dusting

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 (14-1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 medium onion, cut into strips

1 medium bell pepper, cut into strips

Cut steak into serving-size pieces. Season, to taste, with garlic powder and salt and pepper. Dust meat with flour. In heavy skillet, brown both sides of meat in vegetable oil. Transfer to Dutch oven. Combine garlic, tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, and 1 tomato-can measure of water. Pour over steak and simmer over low heat until meat is tender, about 1 1/2 hours adding water, if necessary to keep meat partially covered. Season, to taste, with additional salt and pepper. Hint: Cook this in a slow-cooker, according to manufacturers instructions, on low for a most fabulous dinner. Low heat on a slow cooker is about 200 degrees F and high heat on a slow cooker is about 300 degrees F.
Note: to ensure tenderness, it is necessary to have the butcher run the round steak through a cuber.

Chicken, one pot meals

Sheet Pan Dinner

This is the ovens’ equivalent of a one pot meal!  Pull all of this together and in less than an hour you have a complete meal on your table.  Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think. 

Sheet Pan Chicken Dinner

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil

8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

1 pound green beans

2 cups mixed cherry tomatoes

1 loaf crusty ciabatta bread

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. 

To a bowl or pitcher, add the vinegar, parsley, basil, salt, pepper, garlic and 1 cup of the olive oil. Whisk until well combined.

Put the chicken in a large zipper bag and pour in half the dressing. Seal the bag and squish to coat the chicken.

Trim the ends of the green beans and put in a large bowl with the tomatoes. Pour over the remaining dressing and toss. Using tongs, arrange the chicken skin-side up on a sheet pan. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beans and tomatoes to the sheet pan, leaving the excess marinade behind. Roast for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, rip the bread into large chunks. Add to a bowl, drizzle with the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and toss. After the chicken and vegetables have roasted for 20 minutes, shake the pan to prevent sticking, then add the bread chunks to the pan.   Continue to roast until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is golden and crisp, about another 10 minutes. Sprinkle the sheet pan with parsley and serve.

Dinner, one pot meals, Pasta

Rigatoni with Sausage and Fennel

Just by looking a this picture you can almost taste how delicious this is. My son and I were watching an old Ina Garten episode from the summer of 2017 on pasta dishes and saw her making this recipe. My mouth was watering by the end of the episode and I knew that I needed to make this. So off to the store this morning to get the necessary ingredients. My pasta loving son was pleased and so was my hubby. I even think this is foodie friends worthy.

3 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 cups chopped fennel (1 large fennel bulb)

1 ½ cups chopped yellow onion

1 ¼ pounds Sweet Italian sausage, casing removed

2 tsp. minced garlic (2 cloves)

½ teaspoon whole fennel seeds, crushed with a mortar and pestle

½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper

1 cup dry white wine

1 cup heavy cream

2/3 cups half-and-half

2 tbsp. tomato paste

1 lb. Rigatoni

½ cup chopped, fresh Italian parsley leaves

1 cup freshly grated Reggiano Parmigiano cheese, divided

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset, over medium heat. Add the fennel and onion and sauté for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add the sausage and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, crumbling it with a fork, until nicely browned. Add the garlic, crushed fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. black pepper and cook for one minute.

Pour in the wine, bring to a boil and add the heavy cream, half-and-half, and tomato paste. Bring back to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 2 tbsp. salt and cook the rigatoni according to package directions. Drain and add to the sauce, stirring to coat the pasta. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes to allow the pasta to absorb the sauce.

Off the heat, stir in the parsley and ½ cup of the Reggiano Parmigiano. Serve hot in shallow bowls with passing the remaining ½ cup of Parmigiano.

Dinner, one pot meals

Classic comfort food

Yesterday was a very cold day and one that lends itself to a great big bowl of classic comfort food, Macaroni and Cheese!  Not the bland box kind, the real homemade Mac and Cheese.  
The day started out at -11 degrees and wind chill temperatures at -26.  Almost all of the schools in our area were either closed or had a 2 hour delay, except my kids school.  They were not very happy with us when we decided that we would bring them to school after the 2 hour scheduled delay, especially since 75% of the students didn’t show up.  I was reminded all day that they should of closed school, and they should of, but we could get them there and back home.
Our dear daughter thought that since we made them go to school we should go out to eat, but once I got home from work I didn’t want to bundle back up and go out into the cold again.  So, what would taste good on a cold winters night – my classic Macaroni and Cheese.  Now my son was not a fan of this recipe when he was little.  He preferred the box stuff over real cheese macaroni.  I would have to call it something else and use a different shaped noodle than the basic macaroni to get him to eat it.  Now he would eat the whole bowl if I let him. On the other hand the little 8 year old that lives behind us loves it so much she wants her mom to make my recipe and even when I gave it to her she told her it wasn’t the same.  So I occasionally make a pan when she is around so she can have mine.
So, with the cheese I had on hand in the refrigerator (some shredded Cheddar cheese and a brick of Guyre) and a box of rotelle noodles, my daughter and I whipped together a big tasty bowl of comfort food on an extremely cold winters night.
Macaroni and Cheese
3 tablespoons  of butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash pepper
2 cups of milk
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups of macaroni, cooked and drained
( for this recipe I used a bag of shredded cheese and then about 4ounces of Guyre.  You can use any combination of cheese to change the flavor)
Melt butter over low heat.  Stir in flour, salt and pepper.  Cook until smooth stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and gradually add the milk.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Boil and stir for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted.  If necessary return to low heat to finish melting cheese.  Do not boil.  Combine cheese sauce and macaroni.  Spoon into a buttered 2 quart casserole. Sprinkle some flavored bread crumbs over top and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.