Pizza Pasta Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup black olives
  • 1 box rotini pasta, cooked al dente, and rinsed with cold water and drained
  • 1 ball (8 ounces) fresh mozzarella, cubed into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cups pepperoni, halved
  • 1-3/4 cups prepared zesty Italian dressing

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the bell pepper, onions, tomatoes and black olives.
  2. Add the cooked pasta and stir until combined.
  3. Fold in the pepperoni and cheese until evenly mixed.
  4. Pour the dressing over all of the ingredients and gently toss until all of the ingredients are coated.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  6. Serve cold alongside your favorite protein or eat as is for a light lunch.

The original recipe for this delightful pasta salad can be found here.

Sausage & Cream Cheese Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tube (16 ounces) hot pork sausage
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained

Instructions

  1. In a large, heavy pan or cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add in the sausage, then cook, crumble and stir until cooked through.
  3. Add in the cream cheese, stir until well blended and heat through.
  4. Stir in the drained tomatoes and green chilies until evenly mixed.
  5. Serve hot with tortilla chips or Fritos Scoops (my personal favorite).

The original recipe for this addictive dip came from Caroline Davis (@Mississippi_Kween on TikTok). Go give her a follow for more easy and delicious meal ideas!

Hot Italian Sausage Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 pound hot Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, sliced in 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 pound bowtie pasta
  • 2 teaspoons Adobo seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. In a large stock pot, cook hot Italian sausage in olive oil, crumbling and cooking until no longer pink.
  2. Add in the peppers and cook for about 3-5 minutes until slightly tender.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the bowtie pasta according to package directions.
  4. To the sausage and peppers, add in the Adobo and black pepper and mix well.
  5. Stir in the broth, bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Drain the pasta, add it to the sausage and pepper mixture, mix well and heat through.
  7. Season with more Adobo and pepper, if desired.
  8. Serve alongside a salad topped with grated parmesan, and enjoy.

The original recipe for this slightly spicy pasta dish can be found here.

Cheesy Bacon Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 strips bacon, diced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon (heaping) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat over to 375 degrees and line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Cut the spaghetti squash in half and remove seeds.
  3. Drizzle the inside of the squash with olive oil and season as desired.
  4. Turn the squash halves over onto the prepared baking sheet, place in the preheated oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until the squash is tender.
  5. Allow to cool slightly, then, using a fork, scrape out the squash into “spaghetti” strands.
  6. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the bacon until crisp, stirring as needed.
  7. Remove the bacon pieces with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl lined with paper towels.
  8. To the bacon drippings, add the butter and brown sugar, and heat over medium until everything is melted and blended together.
  9. Add in the spaghetti squash strands, stir and heat through.
  10. Stir in the cheese and bacon until everything is well mixed.
  11. Serve alongside your favorite protein, or eat as is.

The original recipe for this tasty side dish can be found here.

Mongolian Chicken

Ingredients

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1-1/2 pounds), thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup + 2 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup green onions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Place the sliced chicken and 1/4 cup cornstarch in a resealable plastic bag, and shake to coat evenly.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan over high heat.
  3. Add the chicken to the pan in a single layer, and cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until browned (this will likely need to be done in batches).
  4. Remove the chicken from the pan and place on a plate lined with paper towels.
  5. In the same pan, add the garlic and ginger, and cook and stir for about 1 minute.
  6. Add the soy sauce, sesame oil, broth and brown sugar to the pan and bring to a simmer.
  7. Mix the 2 teaspoons of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of cold water.
  8. Add the cornstarch to the sauce and bring to a boil, cooking for about 1 minute, or until just thickened.
  9. Add the chicken to the pan, toss to coat in sauce and heat through.
  10. Stir in the green onions.
  11. Serve over cooked rice topped with toasted sesame seeds, and alongside some steamed broccoli, if desired.

The original recipe for this delicious Asian-inspired dish can be found here.

Sourdough Pop-Tarts

Ingredients

  • 1 cup + 1 teaspoon flour
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup (125 grams) sourdough discard
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup blueberry preserves (or your favorite flavor)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten (egg wash)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • Sprinkles, if desired

Instructions

  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk the flour, sugar and salt. 
  2. Using a cheese grater, grate the cold butter into the flour mixture.
  3. With a pastry blender or fork, cut the butter into the flour until it forms large crumbles.
  4. Add the sourdough starter discard and vinegar to the mixture and use a fork to bring the dough together. 
  5. Use your hands to form the mixture into a cohesive ball and press into a rectangular shape.
  6. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and use a rolling pin to flatten it and smooth the edges.
  7. Place the dough in the refrigerator and let it chill for about 2 hours (and up to 24).
  8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  9. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangle, with a 1/8-inch thickness.
  10. Cut the dough into four long strips. 
  11. Brush the edges of the dough strips with the egg wash.
  12. Spoon about two tablespoons of the blueberry preserves on one side of each rectangle. 
  13. Fold the dough over itself, and gently press the edges down.
  14. Use a fork and go around the edges of the pop-tart to press and seal the edges.
  15. Brush more egg wash over the top of each pop-tart.
  16. Transfer the pop-tarts onto the baking sheet and place in the oven.
  17. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. 
  18. Remove from the oven and transfer the baked pop-tarts to a cooling rack.
  19. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and water until thick and smooth. 
  20. Once the pop-tarts are cooled, pour the glaze evenly over each one and top with sprinkles immediately (before the glaze hardens or they’ll just roll off) if using.

The original recipe for these adult-acceptable pop-tarts can be found here.

Chickpea Curry

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1–1/2 tablespoons red curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (13.5 ounces) coconut milk
  • 2 cans ((15 ounces each) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Naan bread and cooked jasmine rice, to serve (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-low.
  2. Add the onions, garlic and crushed red pepper to the pot.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and deep golden, about 15 minutes.
  4. Increase the heat to medium, and add the curry powder and cumin, stirring until toasted, about 1 minute.
  5. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and gently scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden or rubber spoon to release the any browned spices or onions stuck to the bottom.
  6. Add the coconut milk and chickpeas to the pot.
  7. Stir, reduce heat to low and let simmer until the sauce is thickened and the chickpeas are slightly softened, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and adjust other seasonings as necessary.
  9. Serve over jasmine rice with naan.

The original recipe for this amazing meatless dish can be found here.

Everything Bagel Crescent Bites

Ingredients

  • 1 can (8 ounces) crescent rolls
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup everything bagel seasoning, more if you like

Instructions

  1. Preheat air fryer (or oven) to 350 degrees.
  2. Unroll crescent roll dough and pinch together any perforations.
  3. Using a butter knife or spoon, spread the cream cheese evenly over the crescent roll dough.
  4. Sprinkle everything bagel seasoning (as much as your heart desires) over the cream cheese.
  5. Lay the dough horizontally (with the longest points running right to left) and cut the dough vertically into 10 equal strips.
  6. Roll each strip up snuggly.
  7. Lay the pinwheels in the air fryer basket (or on an un-greased cookie sheet if using the oven).
  8. Bake in the air fryer for about 7-8 minutes (flipping half way through), or until the crescent dough is nicely browned. If using the oven, bake according to the crescent roll package directions.
  9. Remove from the air fryer, allow to cool slightly, and enjoy.

The inspiration for these amazing everything bagel bites came from @kelseysfoodreviews on TikTok.

Fruit Pizza

Ingredients

Pizza

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 block (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 pineapple, peeled, cored, sliced and cut into chunks
  • 4 kiwis, peeled and sliced
  • 1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Glaze

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 12-inch pizza pan with aluminum foil.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour and powdered sugar.
  3. Cut in the butter until crumbly.
  4. Stir in the pecans.
  5. Press the crust mixture onto the ungreased pizza pan, spreading it to the edges.
  6. Bake the crust for 12-14 minutes or until it is set and the edges are lightly browned.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
  8. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, egg and sugar until smooth.
  9. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the crust, leaving about a 1/4-inch of the crust showing at the edge.
  10. Return the pizza pan to the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes longer or until the cream cheese layer is set.
  11. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
  12. Combine the glaze ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  13. Boil for 2 minutes or until thickened.
  14. Cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  15. While waiting for the glaze to cool, arrange the fruit on top of cooled cream cheese layer.
  16. Brush the glaze over fruit.
  17. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  18. Slice the fruit pizza and serve.

Bacon Cheeseburger Gnocchi

Ingredients

  • 1 package (16 ounces) bacon
  • 1 pound ground pork (or other ground meat of your choosing)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) cream of potato soup
  • 2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) cheddar cheese soup
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 2 packages (16 ounces each) shelf-stable or frozen gnocchi
  • 1 teaspoon Adobo seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Slice and cook bacon in a large skillet or pot, reserving about 1 tablespoon of bacon grease.
  2. Add the ground pork to the bacon grease and cook until no longer pink.
  3. Stir in the onions and continue cooking until they are translucent.
  4. Add in the garlic and cook for about one minute more.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the three cans of soup with the milk.
  6. Pour the soup mixture into the pan with the meat, onions and garlic and bring to a simmer.
  7. Meanwhile, boil the gnocchi according to package directions.
  8. Once the gnocchi is done, drain it and then add it to the meat and soup mixture, and stir until well mixed.
  9. Stir in the Adobo and pepper, adding more to taste.
  10. Serve hot in bowls (it will have the consistency of a thick stew) and garnish with bacon pieces.