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Easy Shepherd’s Pie

When I think of comfort food, one of the very first things that pop into my mind is Shepherd’s Pie. The first time I ever had this delicious meaty casserole, was in Gresham, Oregon when I attended the Portland Highland Games. It was so delicious, so flavorful, and lots of gravy under those mashed potatoes. I believe they made theirs with lamb, and therefore, probably better than my version. 😂 If you have the money to spend, and want to use lamb, you go right ahead, cause I would too!

For my version of Shepherd’s pie, I wanted to make it budget friendly, and very very simple without losing delicious flavor.  So what I came up with, was to use ground beef, frozen vegetables, jarred gravy, and leftover mashed potatoes. Whenever I make mashed potatoes, I always make A TON. Seriously. Could feed an army! So I always have leftover mashed potatoes, and this Shepherd’s Pie, is exactly why I do that. Sprinkling paprika on the top of the potatoes just gives it a very pretty color. As far as veggies go, you can use whatever veggies you fancy. I used to make this with a frozen mix (peas, carrots, green beans, corn) but my husband hates peas and he hates corn. So now, if he’s home for dinner, I use just green beans and carrots. Use what you and your family like best.

This makes a lot of servings. I’m guessing about 10-12 maybe. It makes a whole 13×9 dish. If you want, you can bake half of the recipe in a 2-quart dish, and put the other half of the meat mixture into a freezer friendly container and freeze until ready to use. Once you’re ready, just defrost the meat mixture in the refrigerator overnight, then once thawed, transfer to a 2-quart baking dish, top with mashed potatoes, butter and paprika and bake as directed.

Delicious and filling all on it’s own, or if you wish you could serve this with a crisp green salad for an easy weeknight dinner.

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Easy Shepherd's Pie Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a Dutch oven, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink and onion is tender; drain any fat.
  3. Add gravy, vegetables and seasoning to meat and stir to combine.
  4. Spoon into a 13x9 baking dish and top with mashed potatoes. Drizzle butter over the top and sprinkle with paprika.
  5. Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.
Recipe Notes

*Feel free to use any veggies you and your family prefer.

**In place of Montreal Steak Seasoning, I have used salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste and it's great that way too!

To cut this recipe in half, prepare as directed, except place half of the meat mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with potatoes, butter and paprika and bake as directed. Place the other half of the beef mixture into a freezer container and freeze. When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Once thawed, pour into a 2-quart casserole, top with potatoes, butter and paprika, and bake as directed.

Adapted from Taste of Home

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Zippy Pork Chili

The days suddenly started getting quite a bit colder. I don’t know if it’s that way where you live, but it certainly got that way around here quite quickly. It seemed like Fall was feeling a lot like Spring for quite some time, and then suddenly the temperature just dropped! Like out of no where, I’m not kidding. Then it warmed up again, we had a bunch of huge thunderstorms, and then the temperature dropped again. I swear Indiana weather doesn’t know if it’s coming or going! For right now though, it’s quite chilly! And speaking of chilly, I have just the recipe to warm you up from the inside out. Zippy Pork Chili! Super easy, super delicious, and it’s done in the slow cooker.

What I like to do is prep everything I can ahead of time. Like, the night before. That way, when I get up in the morning, I just need to dump it in the slow cooker and turn it on.  So I pre-chop everything. Starting with my pork loin, I trimmed off any huge honkin’ pieces of fat, then cut it all up into little bite sized cubes.

Then I chopped up my onion and garlic. That’s all the chopping you need to do for this simple chili recipe.

Heat up some olive oil in a pan, and toss your pork, onion and garlic into the pan and brown the meat. I did this the night before as well, and stored it in a Zip-Loc container in the fridge until the morning. All that’s left to do now is put everything into the slow cooker, cover, and cook. It’ll be ready when you are!

Top it with your favorite chili toppings. I used sour cream, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips. Enjoy!

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Zippy Pork Chili Yum
Recipe By Christine Titus
Course Stews & Chili
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Stews & Chili
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown pork with onions and garlic until pork is no longer pink. Transfer to slow cooker. Don't worry about cooking it all the way through. It will cook completely in the slow cooker.
  2. Add beans, tomatoes, broth and seasoning mixes to slow cooker. Stir to combine.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
  4. To serve, ladle into bowls and top with sour cream, tortilla chips and shredded cheese, or any of your favorite chili toppings.
Recipe Notes

If you prefer a spicier chili, swap out the cans of diced tomatoes with mild green chilies, for the hotter versions.

Adapted from Taste of Home

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Nacho Tacos

It’s no secret that we love Mexican food around here. There’s always at least one night a week where we have Mexican food, or Mexican inspired food. I know plenty of folks who have Taco night or Taco Tuesdays. Perhaps you’re one of them? Or maybe you just like the flavors of Mexican food as much as I do? In either case, I’ve got this great, easy and fun spin on tacos for your next fiesta. Nacho Tacos!

As usual with tacos, the toppings are endless. Use your favorite toppings. To make this a Nacho Taco, you will definitely need to cheese sauce. Don’t worry it’s ridiculously easy. This recipe is super easy, not very time consuming at all, and therefore, prefect for weeknights. You know… like Taco Tuesday!

My family absolutely loved this, including the kids. They like building their own tacos, and who doesn’t like nachos?! It’s a marriage made in heaven! To go along with our Nacho Tacos, I served up some Easy Mexican Salsa Rice, a wonderful and simple recipe I found over at Six Sister’s Stuff. When you’re done here, you  might go check that recipe out. It’s incredibly simple and incredibly yummy! So what are you waiting for? Go make these delicious Nacho Tacos for your family. I hope they enjoy them as much as we did!

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Nacho Tacos Yum
Recipe by: Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook beef and onion until the beef is no longer pink, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Drain any fat.
  2. Stir taco seasoning mix and water into beef mixture. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and let simmer for about 5 minutes.
  3. While the meat is simmering, heat soup in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it's hot and bubbling.
  4. To assemble tacos, spoon taco meat into the taco shells. Top with the soup, lettuce and tomato.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from Campbell's

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Tomato Mac & Cheese

Tomato and Mac & Cheese. It’s sounds like a strange combo doesn’t it?! At first, it really did sound crazy to me, but then I thought about it. One of my favorite comfort foods is grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup. So why not a Tomato Mac & Cheese? See, not so strange now, is it?

The entire idea behind my recipes as of late, is simplicity. Simple weeknight fall comfort foods. I’m no longer just a mom and housewife. I took a part time job at a school, and although part time, it’s fast paced. It’s a busy busy job, and by the time I’m done there and get home, I’m beat. The last thing I want to think about is dinner. This is where planning ahead, and making things very simple come into play.

This Tomato Mac & Cheese couldn’t be easier. It looks a lot like Dad’s Glop, but don’t get fooled because it’s a totally different flavor. Probably just as easy to prepare though, which is not a bad thing at all. Tired or not, I still need to bring my family around the table. Gathering my family around the table in the evenings, sharing a delicious meal, is so important to me that no matter what, it will not be compromised. With this recipe, you can do it too, and enjoy conversation and reconnecting with your family. To save on precious time, I like to chop my onions and garlic the night before and store them in an air tight container in the fridge. That way when I get home from work, and it’s time to cook dinner, I don’t have to waste precious time chopping the veggies. At this point it’s pretty much a dump and cook recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I did, and enjoy some much needed reconnect time with your loved ones.

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Tomato Mac & Cheese Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a skillet, cook ground beef, onion and garlic over medium-high heat until meat is no longer pink. Drain any fat if necessary. Season with salt & pepper.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine cooked pasta, the beef mixture, soup, sauce, and milk. Heat mixture over medium heat until heated through, stirring occasionally.
  3. Serve with Parmesan cheese.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from Campbell's Kitchen

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Broccoli-Sausage Macaroni

It’s supposed to be Fall. Right? I mean, here in Southern Indiana, it really doesn’t feel like Fall. We are in desperate need of rain, and we’re still in the mid to upper 80 degree weather! However, the evenings have become a lot cooler. Down in between 55-60. Beautiful nights for some bonfires, if you ask me. In fact, friends are starting to schedule their Fall bonfire parties. Let the potlucks and fires begin! These get togethers are why I love Fall so much. A big part of it anyway. Another reason I love fall, comforting casseroles like this Broccoli-Sausage Macaroni.

Broccoli-Sausage Macaroni is full of delicious flavor, and creamy cheesy goodness. It’s easy to fix, perfect weeknight meal for busy families. With Fall brings school and all those extra activities that come with that like sports. So having a nice comforting filling dish is greatly needed during this time of year.

What I like to do, is I look at my recipe the night before, and see what I can prep ahead of time. For instance, in this recipe, I need to chop a few things up. I’m not exactly a pro with a knife, so chopping things can take some time. I do all my chopping the night before and store them in Ziplocs, or plastic containers. That way, when I get home and I’m ready to start dinner, the time consuming chopping is already done. Just take it out of the fridge, and toss it in the pan, or mixture, or whatever the recipe says to do with it.

For this recipe, it’s real simple. Cook your elbow macaroni (or any short pasta you prefer) according to the package directions. While that’s cooking, steam  your broccoli. I get the packages of frozen steamable broccoli, and do this in the microwave. No extra dishes, you just do it right in the package and it’s quick. Just be sure you buy the packages that are steamable. Then melt some butter in a pan, and saute the onion, bell pepper and sausage until the veggies are crisp tender. Sprinkle a little flour over that, and cook it just for a minute to get that flour taste out. Gradually add your milk, bring that to a boil and cook and stir for about 2 minutes or until it’s thickened. Cut off the heat and add your cheese and seasonings and stir until the cheese is melted. Drain the macaroni and if necessary, the broccoli. Mix the cheese mixture, broccoli and noodles together.

Transfer this creamy deliciousness to a greased 13×9 glass baking dish. The dish is going to be full. If you’re worried about it spilling over in the oven, just set the dish on a foil lined baking sheet and don’t worry about clean up. It’ll be easy peasy! Sprinkle your breadcrumbs and butter mixture over the top, and bake this at at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until heated through.

All that’s left, is to serve this beautiful comforting casserole, and enjoy!

 

Print Recipe
Broccoli-Sausage Macaroni Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, steam broccoli according to package directions.
  2. In a large saucepan, saute the onion, sausage and red pepper in 1 tablespoon butter until vegetables are crisp-tender. Sprinkle with flour; stir until blended. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
  3. Stir in the cheese, parsley, mustard and seasonings until blended. Drain broccoli and macaroni; stir into cheese sauce. Transfer to a greased 13x9 baking dish (dish will be full).
  4. Combine bread crumbs and butter. Sprinkle over top. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until heated through.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from Taste of Home

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Susan’s Fabulous Meat Pie

Ok, so you’ve probably seen my post for Dad’s Glop, which is my dad’s take on Goulash basically speaking. This time, I’m bringing you a recipe from my Mom that she shared with me. Her’s didn’t come with a name, but after making it, I decided we would call it Susan’s Fabulous Meat Pie. Although, this isn’t the prettiest dish I’ve ever seen, it is however, big on flavor and tastes FABULOUS! This is an easy weeknight dinner, and it makes a lot, so there’s potential for cooking once and eating twice. I’m a huge fan of leftovers, so this was perfect. To make this even easier, and quicker to put together, you can make the filling ahead of time, and when ready to prepare dinner, just quickly assemble it and pop it in the oven. So let me show you how easy this is.

You’ll need 2 boxes of refrigerated pie crust. There’s two crusts per box. Open the first box, and unroll the first crust starting from the middle of the pan, all the way to edge. Then do the same thing with the second crust, overlapping the first crust, like shown in the photo. Now set that aside.

Moving over to the stove, brown  your ground beef, onion, celery and green pepper until the beef is no longer pink and the veggies are tender. In my Fabulous Meat Pie, I didn’t use ground beef. I have some ground venison in my freezer, so I used two pounds of that instead. You can pretty much use any kind of ground meat you want. Beef, turkey, venison, pork, etc would all work just fine. So use your favorite.

Now all you do is stir in the remaining ingredients, bring it to a boil. Then cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Once  your beef mixture has simmered for 15 minutes, spread that over your bottom crust in your casserole dish.

Unroll the last two crusts over the top, just like you did on the bottom, and press and seal, or flute the edges and try to make it prettier than mine. 😂 Cut a few slits in the top to let steam vent and you’re ready for the oven. Bake at 375 degrees for about 35-40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

There you have it! A not so attractive pie 😂 but an extremely delicious one! Mine kinda turned out like a Frankenstein pie, but who cares?! I’m not entering it into a contest. Although, if I did, the judges would be blown away by how good this tastes! Let it stand for about 15 minutes before cutting into it, and enjoy!

 

 

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Susan's Fabulous Meat Pie Yum
Recipe by Susan Young
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray glass 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Roll out one pie pastry starting from the middle of the dish, to the end, then roll out your 2nd pastry from the middle to the opposite end of the dish, overlapping pie crust in the middle. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook ground beef, onions, celery and green pepper until the beef is no longer pink, and the vegetables are tender; drain.
  4. Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Pour beef mixture over bottom pie crust. Top with remaining two pie crusts just like you did on the bottom. Start in the middle and unroll to one end of dish, and then the unroll last pie crust to the opposite end, overlapping in the middle. Seal crust, and cut a few slits in the top to let steam escape.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting into squares.
  7. Enjoy!
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Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore Over Rice – #SundaySupper

When our wonderful host Em Beitel at Sunday Supper started asking for rice recipes, this recipe for Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore Over Rice was the first thing to hit my brain! I absolutely love this dish over rice. I know it’s mostly a chicken dish, but it just wouldn’t be the same without rice in my opinion.  I love rice, and especially in a dish like this. This dish has a delicious sauce, but it’s a thin sauce. It’s not thick like a spaghetti sauce. That’s where the rice is a beautiful thing! It soaks up all that sauce and you don’t miss a single delicious drop.

Just a few days ago, I shared an easy Individual Baked Ziti recipe that is full of flavor yet low in fat. Well guess what folks? So is this Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore Over Rice. Just look at all those pretty veggies! This dish is full of bell peppers, mushrooms and onions. Lots of tomato going on in there, and lots of seasoning. Great thing about cooking at home, you get to control how much seasoning. Want less salt? Use less salt. Super easy and fast for busy families. Prep  your veggies the night before and store in the fridge. In the morning, put it all in the slow cooker, turn it on low and let it cook while you’re at work, or running errands or otherwise busy. Or  heck… take a nap!

These are a few reasons why I love my slow cooker so much. In the market? This is the slow cooker I  have, and absolutely adore it! Some recipes, usually soups and stews, will say to stir occasionally, but to do that you have to open the lid, and that’s taboo when slow cooking. You’re not supposed to open the lid. Plus, the entire idea behind a slow cooker is to dump dinner in it and forget about it. You can’t do that if you have to stir every now and again. So…this slow cooker, has an auto stir system. Problem solved!

End result, you are left with a beautiful dish of deliciousness. No one would ever guess that this dish, is healthy, and since I’m a Weight Watchers girl, I calculated this recipe at only 3 SmartPoints per serving. SmartPoints aside, even if you just want to add more healthy meals to your rotation, you’re going to love this.

Of course, in my house, there’s usually a salad involved. This recipe pairs very well with a nice crisp Caesar salad. I hope you enjoy this healthy and delicious recipe as much as we did, and it brings your family together around the table too!

Simple Rice Recipes for Dinner #SundaySupper

What’s for dinner?

Rice is for dinner!

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore over Rice Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of your slow cooker (5-6 qt), add crushed tomatoes, wine, tomato paste, Italian seasonings, salt and black pepper. Whisk together to thoroughly combine. Add chicken thighs, onion, garlic, mushrooms & bell peppers.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high 3 1/2 – 4 hours. Mine took 4 hours.
  3. Serve over hot cooked rice, and garnish with black olives.
Recipe Notes

You can serve this over anything you like, mashed potatoes, noodles, whatever you prefer. I chose rice because the sauce is thin, and the rice soaks up all that deliciousness.

Per Serving: (1 thigh and about 3/4 cup vegetables): 3 SmartPoints. (Does not include rice)

Adapted from Weight Watchers The SmartPoints Cookbook

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Dad’s Glop – #SundaySupper

Oh my we have been busy with back to school lately haven’t we?! Speaking of busy, things just get busier once school is in full swing. Before you know it there’s sports, and band, and fundraisers, and just all sorts of things going on all year to keep the kids and the parents busy! Thanks to #SundaySupper and our gracious host Em from Life Tastes Good for this back to school dinner event, we’ve got some fresh ideas for those busy weeknight dinners.

This one, is one of my favorites, and my family’s favorite too. Some people call it Goulash, others may call it American Chop Suey, but around here, we call this Dad’s Glop. Doesn’t sound appetizing does it? Well I can assure you it’s amazing. Not just amazing, but it’s quick and perfect for busy dinner nights.

There’s a reason for the unappetizing name though. There were occasional times when my dad would be in charge of dinner. I grew up with both of my parents working, so sometimes mom had to work late, or maybe wasn’t feeling well, or whatever the case that kept her out of the kitchen, and so it was up to dad. I remember asking him what was for dinner, and his answer was…. “Glop!” No joke. That’s what he said. He’s a funny guy, and apparently, this is Glop. My father isn’t just a funny guy, he’s a very simple guy, and folks, cooking doesn’t have to be a gourmet feast. It doesn’t have to be difficult. Simplicity can be so wonderful. Just like my Dad’s Glop. My brother still makes this from time to time for his family. I remember him calling me and asking me “what’s the recipe for Dad’s Glop?” I had to stifle a giggle before I told him how to make it. His response, “That’s it?!” Yea… that’s it.

So how simple? Well, let me show you how simple my dad likes to keep it, and hopefully you’ll give it a try yourself, and enjoy it as much as my family and I do.

First, grab a large pot and get some salted water started on the stove to boiling. While you are waiting for the water to boil, you’re going to want to chop up a small – medium onion and about 4 or 5 medium-large garlic cloves. I have a little hand chopper I use for both the onion and the garlic, which saves time for me because I’m really no good with a knife. I can’t do what I see Chefs on TV do. So anyway, you’ll want to brown your ground beef with the onion and garlic until the beef is no longer pink.

Drain your meat if necessary. Depends on how lean your beef is. Then add your favorite pasta sauce (homemade if you can your own would be great!) I like to  use a Tomato & Basil pasta sauce. Just 1 jar will do ya. Then add some black pepper to taste, and about 1-2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning. I just sprinkle it in until it looks like that (above). It’s really just to your taste.

Stir that all up in the pan real good and heat it just until it starts to bubble. Then cover it with a lid and lower the heat to simmer. Stir occasionally. By this time, your water should be boiling, or about to. Just dump your elbow noodles in the boiling water and cook as per the directions on the package; drain.

Now combine everything together in that same large pot. Mix it all up really good. Now you are ready to serve!

You can serve this with some cheesy garlic Texas toast, and a quick tossed salad like I did and you have a very family pleasing, quick weeknight meal!

I hope you give this a try, and enjoy Dad’s Glop!

Here are some more idea’s from my #SundaySupper friends!

Back to School Dinners

Beef and Pork

Pastas, Soups, Rice and Stews

Poultry

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Print Recipe
Dad's Glop Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus Inspired by my Father, John Soden
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet brown ground beef with onion and garlic until beef is no longer pink; drain and return to skillet.
  3. Add pasta sauce, pepper, and Italian seasoning to beef in skillet. Mix thoroughly. Bring just to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low and let simmer, stirring ocassionally.
  4. Add elbow macaroni to boiling water and cook according to package directions; drain and return to large pot.
  5. Add beef mixture to macaroni and stir to combine. Serve with Parmesan cheese, if desired and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

To round out this meal, serve with garlic bread and a tossed green salad with your favorite dressing.

From time to time, I add sliced black olives to the beef mixture when I add the sauce. I also like to use ground Italian sausage in place of the ground beef, or half sausage and half beef for a different twist.

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5 Bean Chili – #SundaySupper

Ok, so how many of you have kids that are just so sick of sandwiches? Or just don’t care for them? OR are just picky?! I happen to have a couple of those, and yet they want so badly to take lunch to school. I can’t blame them, the cafeteria food at their school is just, gross. I tried to come up with a more polite way of saying it, but lets face it, it’s gross. Poor kids don’t even get access to salt & pepper! Savage, right?!

Not to worry! #SundaySupper, along with our gracious host Christie Campbell from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures, are here to give you ideas for hot lunches to send your kids to school with. I never thought I could send hot lunches to school with my kids. I don’t know about your kids, but mine do not have access to a microwave while at school. So how do you keep food hot?

You would be amazed at the items available these days, from insulated lunch bags, to insulated containers that go beyond a thermos. Here’s one I really like:

Thermos Foogo – They have other colors besides pink, of course. This is a 10 oz food container, vacuum insulated to keep food hot or cold. It keeps things warm for 5 hours and cold for 7. The outside of the thermos doesn’t get hot, so it’s fine to put it in your lunch bag with cold items. Also, it’s easy to open. This particular one was designed with kids in mind. Yea it’s a thermos, but you can put so much more than just soup in it. Try leftover pasta from the night before, or a real kid favorite like mac & cheese.

Or, how about the recipe I’ve got for you today? This would go perfectly into that cute container, and would stay hot/warm until lunch time. My 5 bean chili! Now, I make my chili on the mild side because that’s just how I roll. My kids appreciate it too, and in fact they love this recipe. Even my bean hater doesn’t mind mom’s chili. It’s so simple too, because I make this in my 6 quart, black, oval Crockpot, and I just LOVE my Crockpot!

First you want to brown up 2 pounds of ground beef along with a bunch of chopped onion. I used two medium onions. As you can already tell, this recipe makes quite a bit of chili. It’s perfect for taking to a potluck, or you can freeze some of it. I have some in the freezer right now.

Once you’ve got the beef all browned up and the onion soft, drain it, if necessary, depending on how lean your meat is. Then just dump it in the slow cooker! The rest of this recipe, is pure dumping.

Drain your 5 cans of beans, and dump those into the slow cooker on top of your beef. I’ve got light red kidney beans, Cannellini beans, black beans, dark red kidney beans, and pinto beans.

Now dump in your 3 cans of Rotel, chili seasoning mixes, tomato sauce, water and salt & pepper. Then mix it up to combine it all real good. Cover, and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

Garnish however you wish. For mine, I went heavy on some low-fat Mexican cheese blend, and a nice dollop of light sour cream. There are a lot of ways we have topped this delicious chili. We’ve used corn bread, fritos, tortilla chips, chopped fresh cilantro, jalapeno slices for those that enjoy a spicy kick. Top it with whatever your favorite toppings are.

Like I mentioned before, this makes a ton of chili, so why not turn leftovers into chili dogs? Or, how about Chili Cheese Burritos? I found that recipe over on Meggan’s blog Culinary Hill. So as you can see this chili is versatile, easy to make, delicious, and perfect for packing into your child’s thermos to take to school for lunch. Add a home made corn muffin, some fruit or a veggie like carrot sticks & celery along with their favorite dip and you’ve got a full and happy kid! It’s time to go beyond sandwiches, and add extra love into the lunch boxes!

 

Sunday Supper Hot Lunch Ideas

Hearty Hot Lunches

Soups and Stews

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Print Recipe
5 Bean Chili Yum
Recipe by: Christine Titus
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown ground beef with the onions, breaking up clumps.
  2. Transfer beef mixture to slow cooker.
  3. Add beans, Rotel, seasoning mix, tomato sauce, water and salt and pepper. Stir everything together well. Cover and cook on high setting for 4 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours.
  4. Ladle into bowls and serve with your favorite toppings and some cornbread.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from Sandra Lee

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Penne Marinara Casserole with Brown Sugar Bourbon Smoked Sausage

Ever find yourself without a plan for dinner? I’m a planner, it’s what I do. I have to have a plan for just about everything and that includes dinner. Sometimes though, plans fall through, or I forgot a minor detail that turns out to be a huge big deal! This is how this Penne Marinara Casserole with Brown Sugar Bourbon Smoked Sausage was born. My plan for dinner fell through because of a few forgotten ingredients and so I found myself at the last minute digging into my freezer and cabinets saying to myself “Now what?!” Since I live way out in the countryside, just jumping in the car and going to the store for forgotten items just isn’t all that feasible, or appealing. 😂

This turned out to be great though! It wasn’t a disaster at all. My kids gobbled this casserole up, and I gotta say, I enjoyed it too. You can use any variety of sausages in this casserole, but the Brown Sugar Bourbon Smoked Sausage is what I had on hand. I really liked the subtle sweetness it gave the dish. It’s not overpowering at all, just a background sweetness. You’ve just got to try it! Here’s how to make it! It’s easy peasy!

First you want to get your water going for your pasta, and cook your pasta according to the directions on the package. Just until al dente (cooked, but firm to the bite). While that’s doing it’s thing, you can brown up your ground beef (or turkey if you prefer) along with your onion and garlic. Once the beef is cooked, then just slice your sausages into coins, like above. Toss that in the skillet with the beef.

Toss your pasta sauce and seasonings in along with your sausage and stir it up to combine. Then just let it simmer and heat through while your pasta finishes cooking. Once the pasta is done, drain it and return it to the pot.

Take your meat mixture, and dump that in with your pasta and give it a good stir.

Transfer the pasta to your prepared casserole dish, and top with the cheeses. It is now ready for the oven!

Pop that in a 350 degree oven, and in about 10-15 minutes (or until the cheese is melted and the casserole is heated through) you have a delicious dinner.

Full of two different kinds of meat and cheesy goodness, what more do you need?! Perhaps a fresh, crisp green salad to go along side it wouldn’t hurt. 😉

 

 

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Penne Marinara Casserole with Brown Sugar Bourbon Smoked Sausage Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2 1/2 – 3 quart baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions, until al dente.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef with onion and garlic until beef is no longer pink and vegetables are tender.
  4. Slice sausages into coins, and add to the skillet along with pasta sauce and seasonings. Stir to combine, and let simmer to heat through while pasta finishes cooking.
  5. When pasta is cooked, drain thoroughly and return to pot.
  6. Stir meat mixture into pasta and transfer to prepared baking dish.
  7. Top with Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
  8. Bake for 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese melts and heated through.
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