30 Minute Sausage Pasta & Rice

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Some weeks you really just need a cabinet clearing, quick and easy dinner. Cooking rice and pasta together is a great way to build flavor and texture in a single dish. This creamy one-pot meal is going to make everyone wish you made two pots! 30-minute Sausage Pasta & Rice is an quintessential weeknight meal.

30 Minute Sausage Pasta & Rice

I used a chicken and garlic smoked sausage (looks for Hillshire Farms). You can use any smoked sausage (beef, pork, turkey or chicken). Whatever sausage you choose, just make sure it is smoked or precooked, as you need to cut it into chunks so that it heats through but doesn’t over cook in this dish.

30 Minute Sausage Pasta & Rice

For this one, I opted for cannelloni beans – a simple white bean. You could use a navy bean or garbabzo (chickpea) in its place. A kidney bean would also work with a slightly different flavor but still delish! This recipes is one of those “what do we have on hand” meals. So variation is a great and welcome with this one.

30 Minute Sausage Pasta & Rice

When I say one Pot meal, I mean it. This is an all inclusive fulfilling dinner. You really won’t need any sort of side dish or filler, unless you want to create leftovers or spread it out at all.

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30 Minute Sausage Pasta & Rice

Rice, Pasta, Beans, and sausage all come together in a flavorful one-pot weeknight dinner
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword 30 minutes, beans, cannelloni beans, chicken sausage, orzo, quick meals, rice
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp Oil
  • 2 cups Orzo
  • cup Long Grain Rice
  • ½ Yellow Onion diced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1 tsp Celery Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Parsley plus more for garnish
  • ½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 15oz can Cannelloni Beans drained
  • 1 lb Smoked Chicken Sausage
  • qt Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese grated

Instructions

  • In a large saute pan over medium high heat, add oil, garlic, and onion. Let cook for 2 minutes then add rice and orzo. Saute for 3 minutes then add beans, sausage and broth.
  • Bring just to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cover pan. Let cook for 20 minutes.
  • Remove lid and stir in cream and parmesan cheese. Return lid and let cook another 5 minutes. Serve with a sprinkle of parsley, if desired.

Estelle Forrest’s self-published first cookbook – Homemade on a Weeknight: A Family Cookbook – was created after a lot of playing around in the kitchen. You can purchase your own copy here:

AVAILABLE IN PRINT OR KINDLE eBOOK VERSIONS

Estelle self-published a second cookbook – Burgers on a Weeknight – recently. It has over 60 delicious burger creations! You can purchase your own copy here:

AVAILABLE IN PRINT OR KINDLE eBOOK VERSIONS

Don’t miss new recipes from Homemade on a Weeknight – subscribe and get an email with every new post!

Creamiest Creamed Corn

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I always like to say that side dishes need a spotlight sometimes too. We almost always make them, but they can often seem like an afterthought. But if you think of a meal, in terms of a cohesive creation, your side dish can be just as important as your main dish. And this recipe for the Creamiest Creamed Corn, can fit that bill for sure. The combination of heavy cream and cream cheese truly create a the most velvety creamed corn I have ever had.

Creamiest Creamed Corn

This side dish could be traditionally considered midwestern or southern cuisine. But a version of it can be found in Native American, Chinese, French and Canadian cuisines around the world. Some say it evolved from corn pudding at time when canning or preserving produce became more prominent. The notion that is was a way to use the “less than perfect” earns of corn, as creamed corn does not always have the whole kernels intact (making it more of a pudding consistency). This particular recipe is a step back to the whole kernel version.

Creamiest Creamed Corn

This Creamed Corn would make a great holiday dish. It is simple to put together, and goes with just about any protein. It would be very welcome on any Thanksgiving or Christmas table along side the turkey, ham or prime rib. And a delicious accompaniment for the stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy.

Creamiest Creamed Corn

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Creamiest Creamed Corn

A humble side dish that is so creamy and velvety, it just might be the star of the show.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Southern
Keyword corn, cream cheese, creamed corn, heavy cream, Side Dish, side dish ideas
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 8 oz Cream Cheese cut into 1 oz chunks
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Parsley
  • ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese grated
  • 3 15oz cans Sweet Corn

Instructions

  • Add cream cheeses, heavy cream, salt, pepper and parsley to a sauce pan over medium heat.
  • Once the cheese is melted and fully incorporated, add corn. Reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for at least 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Estelle Forrest’s self-published first cookbook – Homemade on a Weeknight: A Family Cookbook – was created after a lot of playing around in the kitchen. You can purchase your own copy here:

AVAILABLE IN PRINT OR KINDLE eBOOK VERSIONS

Estelle self-published a second cookbook – Burgers on a Weeknight – recently. It has over 60 delicious burger creations! You can purchase your own copy here:

AVAILABLE IN PRINT OR KINDLE eBOOK VERSIONS

Don’t miss new recipes from Homemade on a Weeknight – subscribe and get an email with every new post!

Quick Breakfast Wraps

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Not everything named Breakfast has to be served at breakfast time. We have breakfast for lunch or dinner quite frequently. These Quick Breakfast Wraps are perfect for any meal of the day, super easy to make and a great on the go recipe. They are also really great for camping or to make ahead.

Quick Breakfast Wraps

When I say quick, I mean quick. If you can multi task, you can probably get it done in under fifteen minutes, definitely if you get some helping hands. These wraps are super simple but I promise they are very tasty. You can jazz them up by using different types of ground sausage, or changing up the cheese. Some times we add in a dollop of sour cream, if we happen to have any on hand. Once I even made them with some spinach wraps – that was tasty for sure.

With just 6 ingredients, you can make this hearty recipe any day, any time, on any budget. As I mentioned, these are really good for camping. Whether you are going to make them at the campsite or make them ahead of time, they can be a great energy boost to get your day going or round out a fun filled day.

Quick Breakfast Wraps

These also make a great afterschool snack – my kids used to love them. I would make two dozen of them, wrap each in plastic wrap and store them in a zippered freezer bag. They would get home from school, unwrap them from the plastic, wrap it in a paper towel and microwave it for 45 seconds.

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Quick Breakfast Wraps

A super simple egg and sausage breakfast wrap that takes minutes to make.
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch
Cuisine American
Keyword cheese, egg, eggs, Sausage, tortilla
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Breakfast Sausage
  • 6 Large Eggs
  • 3 cups Cheddar Cheese shredded
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 6 Large Tortillas

Instructions

  • Add eggs, salt and pepper to a bowl and thoroughly whisk.
  • In a frying pan over medium high heat, add sausage. Cook and crumble until no pink is seen. Add beaten eggs and continue to stir until eggs are almost set. Add two cups of cheese to pan. Stir into mixture and remove from heat.
  • Put a portion of cheese in center of tortilla. Top with a portion of egg and sausage mixture. Fold in sides of tortilla then roll up into a wrap.
  • NOTE – If making ahead, wrap them up in aluminum foil right away. If planning to freeze for later, wrap in plastic wrap and then store in zippered freezer bag.

Estelle Forrest’s self-published first cookbook – Homemade on a Weeknight: A Family Cookbook – was created after a lot of playing around in the kitchen. You can purchase your own copy here:

AVAILABLE IN PRINT OR KINDLE eBOOK VERSIONS

Estelle self-published a second cookbook – Burgers on a Weeknight – recently. It has over 60 delicious burger creations! You can purchase your own copy here:

AVAILABLE IN PRINT OR KINDLE eBOOK VERSIONS

Don’t miss new recipes from Homemade on a Weeknight – subscribe and get an email with every new post!

Chicken & Dirty Rice

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I have said it so many times, chicken and rice is the perfect starting point for a weeknight meal. They are simple ingredients that can take on big bold flavors and a variety of ingredients. You can go with the sauce route (like classic creamy chicken & rice) or you can go with a soup (like wild rice soup). You can also do a variety of add-ins, which is exactly like what this recipe does. With kidney beans and tomatoes along with the smoky flavors of chili powder and cumin, this Chicken & Dirty Rice, is going to be another winner winner chicken dinner.

Chicken & Dirty Rice

Being another one pot dinner, this dish becomes doubly weeknight compatible. I know I bring this up a lot but my 12in Ninja Kitchen saute pan is my absolute favorite pan – I literally cook with it 9 out of 10 meals. It is so versatile, and big enough for my whole family of 6. Being oven safe makes it even more useful, because I do not have to transfer things to a separate baking dish when I want to start something on the stove and finish it in the oven. Another great thing about it, I can actually use in on the grill too! I am in no way sponsored or paid by Ninja Kitchen to say any of this – I am just genuinely enamored with the whole set.

Chicken & Dirty Rice

I used kidney beans for this recipe, as it more common in the sort of Cajun style of cooking that this recipe derived from. You could certainly swap out black beans or even cannelloni beans for a slightly different flavors but still tasty. I always like to provide alternatives, so that you can use things you have on hand because sometimes that’s what you gotta do.

Chicken & Dirty Rice

As an side on this very hearty and filling dinner, we made some Cheesy Cornbread. It’s so simple – just make your favorite cornbread mix (homemade or from a box/bag) and add in 2 cups of fine shred cheddar cheese. The cook time should be roughly 5 minutes longer than the what your recipe calls for. If you wanted to add a little kick to it, you could totally add in a 4oz can of green chilies or diced pickled jalapenos. Either way, it’s a great side for this flavorful family dinner.

Chicken & Dirty Rice

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Chicken & Dirty Rice

A super flavor packed one pot chicken & rice dish that the whole family can love
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Southern
Keyword Chicken, chicken and rice, chicken drumsticks, kidney beans, rice, tomato
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp Oil
  • 8 Chicken Drumsticks
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Celery Salt
  • 1 tsp Parika
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Parsley
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • ½ Yellow Onion diced
  • 4 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 2 cup Long Grain Rice
  • 1 qt Chicken Broth
  • 1 15oz can Petite Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 15oz can Kidney Beans drained
  • 2 Green Onions chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375degF.
  • Combine dried seasonings and sprinkle evenly over the chicken pieces.
  • In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add oil. Once hot, add chicken. Cook on each side for 4 minutes each. Remove from pan. Add onion and garlic. Saute for 2 minutes then add rice. Saute for 3 minutes more.
  • Reduce heat to medium. Add broth, beans and tomatoes. Bring just a boil and cover with lid. Place in oven for 30 minutes.
  • Carefully remove from oven (lid and handles will be very hot). Remove lid and sprinkle with green onions.

Estelle Forrest’s self-published first cookbook – Homemade on a Weeknight: A Family Cookbook – was created after a lot of playing around in the kitchen. You can purchase your own copy here:

AVAILABLE IN PRINT OR KINDLE eBOOK VERSIONS

Estelle self-published a second cookbook – Burgers on a Weeknight – recently. It has over 60 delicious burger creations! You can purchase your own copy here:

AVAILABLE IN PRINT OR KINDLE eBOOK VERSIONS

Don’t miss new recipes from Homemade on a Weeknight – subscribe and get an email with every new post!

Bacon & Blue Cheese Burgers

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Burgers are a staple in our home – typically we have at least one every week. It is just so much fun to see what combination of ingredients I can come up with week after week. And the whole family loves a burger – so I have plenty of willing taste-testers. Recently I decided to go all in on a blue cheese burger and make these so super yum Bacon & Blue Cheese Burgers – because what burger doesn’t benefit from added bacon.

When it comes to bacon, I like to use thick-cut only – it really makes a different. I want my bacon to be a substantial part of the burger and not just added fat to the mix. I find that locally sourced bacon is a great option to get good thick cut – some call it farm cut – bacon. While it does tend to cost a bit more, it also tastes way better. Bacon shouldn’t be obligatory for a burger, it should be very present member of the party!

Caramelized onions are delicious component of this burger. When you let the onions reduce and caramelize down in the butter, you get a slightly sweet onion to add to your burger. You are going to want to remember how to make these onions for other meals for sure. They are so good on lots of burgers, sandwiches, on steaks or chicken.

Blue cheese is a very distinct flavor. And it does seem to have a real love or hate reputation. I absolutely love the flavor of it. For this burger, I used crumbles in the patties as well as a blue cheese dressing on top. Your dressing can be chunky or not (totally to your preference), but I prefer it to be a bit more chunky, so that’s what I have in my refrigerator. Using the potato buns, lends a more mild background so the bacon and blue cheese can stand out.

As with any burger, a fried potato side is always a good pairing. We like to have seasoned shoestrings for the most part. But with all the wonderful options out there you can do what you like. Waffle, steak-cut, curly, seasoned or not, you can find your family’s favorite to add with this tasty burger creation.

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Bacon & Blue Cheese Burgers

The sharpness of blue cheese with crispy bacon and caramelized onions piled high on a beef burger.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword bacon, bacon cheeseburger, blue cheese, burger, burgers, cheeseburger, ground beef, ground beef recipes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Butter
  • 2 Medium Yellow Onions
  • 2 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 2 tsp Dill
  • 2 tsp Paprika
  • 8 oz Blue Cheese crumbles
  • ½ lb Bacon cut in half
  • 6 pieces Green Leaf Lettuce
  • ½ cup Blue Cheese Dressing
  • 6 Potato Burger Buns

Instructions

  • In a large frying pan over medium heat, add butter. Once melted add onion. Stir to coat and reduce heat to medium low. Continue to simmer and stir while making the rest of the burger.
  • In a bowl, combine ground beef, salt, pepper, dill, paprika and blue cheese crumbles. Once thoroughly combined, form into 12 1½-inch balls.
  • In a separate large saute pan, add bacon. Cook until crispy and remove to a paper towel covered plate.
  • In the same pan, cook the patties in stages. Place each ball in pan and use a flat spatula to flatten as much as you are able to (roughly ¼-inch thick). Remove from pan, and continue with remaining patties.
  • Build the burger, starting with bottom bun then a piece of lettuce. Place two patties on lettuce, top with 2-3 pieces of bacon and a portion of caramelized onions. Next drizzle blue cheese dressing over and then add top bun.

Estelle Forrest’s self-published first cookbook – Homemade on a Weeknight: A Family Cookbook – was created after a lot of playing around in the kitchen. You can purchase your own copy here:

AVAILABLE IN PRINT OR KINDLE eBOOK VERSIONS

Estelle self-published a second cookbook – Burgers on a Weeknight – recently. It has over 60 delicious burger creations! You can purchase your own copy here:

AVAILABLE IN PRINT OR KINDLE eBOOK VERSIONS

Don’t miss new recipes from Homemade on a Weeknight – subscribe and get an email with every new post!

Bacon Cheeseburger Cups

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You know how much I love a cheeseburger! Couple that knowledge with my love of appetizers and it’s no surprise that my latest recipe is these Bacon Cheeseburger Cups! A fun and delicious two-bite appetizer gives you all the flavors of a fully loaded classic Bacon Cheeseburger, complete with ketchup, mustard and pickles.

Bacon Cheeseburger Cups

You will need a standard muffin tin for this recipe, a 12 cup muffin tin. You want the cups small enough that the buns will not fit flat inside of them – you want them to actually form a cup. You also do not want to use a jumbo bun, but a regular sized hamburger bun, as you still need some space for the meatball in the center.

Bacon Cheeseburger Cups

I like to use dill pickles for this particular recipe, but you could also use a bread & butter pickle if you prefer. I also went with standard yellow mustard and ketchup, but you could certainly get fancier with a dijon, dijonaise, BBQ sauce, any number of sauce combinations.

Bacon Cheeseburger Cups

Appetizer nights are super fun in home family event. You can have everyone pick their own appetizer to add to the feast, or you can use it as a great opportunity to try out new flavor combinations or styles of food. These cups would also be a great passing appetizer for a potluck or backyard party.

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Bacon Cheeseburger Cups

A fun way to serve up a bacon cheeseburger as an appetizer
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword appetizer, bacon, cheeseburger, ground beef, ketchup, mustard, pickles
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 6

Equipment

  • 1 Standard Muffin Tin

Ingredients

  • 4 slices Bacon cut into thirds
  • 6 Hamburger Buns
  • 3 slices Cheddar Cheese cut in quarters
  • 12 Dill Pickle Chips
  • ½ cup Ketchup
  • ½ cup Mustard
  • 1 tbsp Sesame Seeds
  • Cooking Spray

For the Meatballs

  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Parsley

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400degF.
  • In a frying pan over medium-high heat, add bacon. Cook until crispy and remove to a paper towel covered plate.
  • Add meatball ingredients to a bowl and thoroughly combine. Form into 12 1½-inch balls.
  • Spray muffin tin with cooking spray. Press half of each burger bun into each muffin whole. Spray again with cooking spray. Place one meatball into each cup. Place in oven for 15 minutes.
  • Remove tray from oven and place one quartered piece of cheese on each cup. Return to oven for 5 minutes more. Remove from oven and immediately top each with a piece of cooked bacon.
  • Drizzle each cup with ketchup and mustard. Secure a pickle chip on top with a long toothpick. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Estelle Forrest’s self-published first cookbook – Homemade on a Weeknight: A Family Cookbook – was created after a lot of playing around in the kitchen. You can purchase your own copy here:

AVAILABLE IN PRINT OR KINDLE eBOOK VERSIONS

Estelle self-published a second cookbook – Burgers on a Weeknight – recently. It has over 60 delicious burger creations! You can purchase your own copy here:

AVAILABLE IN PRINT OR KINDLE eBOOK VERSIONS

Don’t miss new recipes from Homemade on a Weeknight – subscribe and get an email with every new post!

One Pot Spaghetti

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Spaghetti probably appears on just about every family’s go-to meal ideas. Everyone has their own take on it too – loose meat or meatballs, sauced noodles or sauce on top, sugar or honey or no sweet. This particular Spaghetti recipe is unique in that it’s all made in a single vessel. One Pot Spaghetti has a unique flavor and is perfect for a weeknight dinner.

I’m going to say it right off – yes I put honey in my pasta sauce. Some put regular sugar in and some are absolutely against it. I do it for one very specific reason – it cuts the acidity of the tomato puree so that you just get the good flavors. I use local honey or hot honey depending on the desired outcome. If you haven’t tried it, just give it a go with this easy recipe, you might just become a believer.

One Pot Spaghetti

You need a wide moderately deep pan for this recipe to work out. I use my 12inch saute pan which is approximately three inches deep. If the pan is too deep, the pasta will not cook evenly. If it is not wide enough, you won’t be able to fit it all in.

One Pot Spaghetti

Since this Spaghetti recipe is so close to a classic one, garlic bread and nice garden salad is a great accompaniment. It is Avery hearty meal, so sides are not a total necessity.

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One Pot Spaghetti

Make this classic weeknight meal even quicker with this one pot version.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword ground beef, ground beef recipes, meat sauce, one pot, spaghetti
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 2 lb Ground Beef
  • 3 Garlic Cloves minced
  • ½ Yellow Onion minced
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 2 28oz cans Tomato Puree
  • 2 cups Broth beef or vegetable
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tsp Parsley
  • ½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese grated
  • 1 tsp Basil
  • lb Spaghetti

Instructions

  • In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add ground beef, garlic, onion, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook and crumble until no longer pink.
  • Add tomato puree, broth, honey, parsley, red pepper flakes, basil, and parmesan cheese. Bring just to a boil and reduce heat to medium.
  • Add spaghetti in batches, pressing down into the sauce mixture until all the pasta is submerged. Cover with lid and cook for 20 minutes. Use tongs to move pasta around every five minutes to make sure it doesn't clump.

Estelle Forrest’s self-published first cookbook – Homemade on a Weeknight: A Family Cookbook – was created after a lot of playing around in the kitchen. You can purchase your own copy here:

AVAILABLE IN PRINT OR KINDLE eBOOK VERSIONS

Estelle self-published a second cookbook – Burgers on a Weeknight – recently. It has over 60 delicious burger creations! You can purchase your own copy here:

AVAILABLE IN PRINT OR KINDLE eBOOK VERSIONS

Don’t miss new recipes from Homemade on a Weeknight – subscribe and get an email with every new post!

Creamy Garlic Shells

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Need a delicious and simple pasta side dish? Then you came to the right recipe – this one is a big hit with the whole family. And super simple to boot! Creamy Garlic Shells are so popular in fact, that you will likely find packets on the grocery shelf. This recipe helps you make a delicious and simple side dish that works with just about any protein (beef, pork, chicken) or could make a great lunch or meatless meal.

Creamy Garlic Shells

Because the recipe name has shells in it, I obviously list shells as the type of pasta to use. Really you could use any short or small pasta. The sauce does need a pasta with good surface areas, so that it latches on better, so a long pasta (spaghetti, linguini, fettuccini) is not ideal. While this sauce resembles an alfredo, it is not as thick as a traditional alfredo, so it doesn’t act the same. So the smaller pastas hold the sauce in a lot better.

Creamy Garlic Shells

This is a very garlic forward pasta side dish recipe. So while the amount of garlic powder might seem extreme, it really does need to be the star of the show. If you are wondering why I do not call for fresh garlic – there are two reasons. First is texture – the sauce is supposed to be very silky and creamy, so chunk (even small ones) of garlic would change that. And second, garlic powder dissolves and disperses into the sauce more evenly.

Creamy Garlic Shells

This one is a family favorite, so I make it often. Most recently I made it with a Apple Gouda Hasselback Pork Tenderloin. It was great balance of flavor. This pasta is also delicious with a nice simple steak (salt, pepper, garlic powder, seared on a very hot pan and butter basted). As well as a baked chicken.

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Creamy Garlic Shells

A smooth garlic cream sauce over shells is a perfect side dish for so many meals.
Course Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword cream sauce, Garlic, garlic sauce, Pasta, pasta side dish, Side Dish, side dish ideas
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Small Shells
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 3 tsp Garlic Powder divided
  • 4 tbsp Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 2 cup Broth chicken or vegetable
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese grated
  • 1 tbsp Parsley Flakes

Instructions

  • Start water boiling for the pasta.
  • In a sauce pan over medium heat, add oil, butter and two teaspoons of garlic powder. Once melted whisk in flour. Let cook for 3 minutes then whisk in broth, salt and pepper. Cook another 3 minutes and whisk in heavy cream. Let cook another 3 minutes.
  • Add pasta to boiling water and cook as directed on the package. Drain in colander and rinse with cool water. Return to pot away from heat.
  • Remove sauce from heat and stir in remaining garlic powder, parmesan cheese and parsley. Pour over cooked pasta and stir to evenly coat.

Estelle Forrest’s self-published first cookbook – Homemade on a Weeknight: A Family Cookbook – was created after a lot of playing around in the kitchen. You can purchase your own copy here:

AVAILABLE IN PRINT OR KINDLE eBOOK VERSIONS

Estelle self-published a second cookbook – Burgers on a Weeknight – recently. It has over 60 delicious burger creations! You can purchase your own copy here:

AVAILABLE IN PRINT OR KINDLE eBOOK VERSIONS

Don’t miss new recipes from Homemade on a Weeknight – subscribe and get an email with every new post!

Mac & Cheese Pizza

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Looking for a fun way to liven up pizza night? Look no further – Mac & Cheese Pizza is going to be a hit the whole family is going to love. By taking two classic family favorites, you are going to get smiles all around the dinner table. In fact, the only negative comment you are likely to endure is that you didn’t make enough!

The creamy homemade mac and cheese is so very delicious. The method for making the cheese sauce results in a bit thicker consistency. This was for 2 reasons – it helps the mac and cheese stay on the crust when you are building the pizza. And it lets it get a little more melty after being the oven on the second cook. Makes for an ooey gooey masterpiece. But you will want to hang on to this recipe for the mac & cheese recipe, as it make a delicious side dish.

Mac & Cheese Pizza

I went with cubed ham for the protein on this pizza creation because I love putting ham in my mac & cheese anyway. I think you could get more creative and do pepperoni, sausage or bacon. If you really wanted to go outside the box – I honestly think BBQ Pulled pork would be a total winner on this pizza! I have included my own pizza dough recipe below the main recipe. You could also totally use a store-bought refrigerator or pre-cooked pizza crust, if you wanted to. Just use the directions for which ever version you prefer to use.

Mac & Cheese Pizza

Now don’t get me wrong – this is wildly carb forward dish. So no it is not winning in healthy recipe awards and might even be a stretch for a “cheat day meal”. I subscribe more to the everything in moderation lifestyle – so a slice of this along side a nice healthy salad is a good combination.

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Mac & Cheese Pizza

Two classic family favorites rolled into one fun and delicious meal.
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword cheese, cheese sauce, Ham, mac & cheese, pizza
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 2 Pizza Dough refrigerated or see recipe below
  • ½ Ham Steak cubed
  • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese shredded

For the Mac & Cheese

  • 1 lb Small Pasta shells or elbows
  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 3 tbsp Flour
  • 2 cups Broth chicken or vegetable
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Ground Mustard
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 3 cups Cheddar Cheese shredded

Instructions

  • Preheat oven as directed by pizza dough recipe. Start water boiling for pasta.
  • Spread out pizza dough (one recipe on each of two parchment paper covered baking sheets). Bake for 10 minutes and then remove from oven. (It will not be cooked through but will have a crust developed).
  • Add pasta to boiling water. Cook as directed on package. Drain in colander, rinse with cool water and return to pot (away from heat).
  • In a sauce pan over medium-high heat, add butter and garlic powder. Once melted whisk in flour and let cook for 3 minutes. Whisk in chicken broth, ground mustard, salt, pepper and paprika. Let cook another 2 minutes before whisking in heavy cream. Once incorporated and thickened, add cheese – stirring regularly to fully melt and combine.
  • Add cheese sauce to cooked pasta and toss to coat.
  • Spread half of mac & cheese on each par-cooked pizza crust. Sprinkle each with half of cubed ham and half of additional cheese. Return to oven and cook for 10 minutes more. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before slicing to serve.
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Pizza Dough

A simple pizza dough to use for all sorts of pizzas. Makes 1 12 by 17 pizza crust.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword pizza, pizza dough
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Rising Time 1 hour
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Flour
  • 1 tbsp Yeast instant
  • cup Avocado Oil
  • cup Warm Water
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Avocado Oil for bowl

Instructions

  • Prepare all of the ingredients
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Pour in water while stirring. Then add olive oil and continue to mix by hand. Mix until a sticky dough forms.
  • Brush the insides of a second bowl with avocado oil and transfer ball of dough. Cover with towel or plastic wrap and let rise at least 1 hour. Dough should approximately double in size.
  • Once risen, place dough on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper. Stretch and press it out until you cover the baking sheet with ¼ inch thick crust.
  • Place in 400 deg oven for 15 minutes.
  • Continue to pizza recipe directions.
  • If making for focaccia – brush with oil and add desired seasoning. Then bake for 15 minutes in 425 deg oven.

Estelle Forrest’s self-published first cookbook – Homemade on a Weeknight: A Family Cookbook – was created after a lot of playing around in the kitchen. You can purchase your own copy here:

AVAILABLE IN PRINT OR KINDLE eBOOK VERSIONS

Estelle self-published a second cookbook – Burgers on a Weeknight – recently. It has over 60 delicious burger creations! You can purchase your own copy here:

AVAILABLE IN PRINT OR KINDLE eBOOK VERSIONS

Don’t miss new recipes from Homemade on a Weeknight – subscribe and get an email with every new post!

Creamy Cheeseburger Gnocchi Soup

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This one might require a little extra open mindedness – but it will be worth it. All the flavors of a cheeseburger and fries, loaded into a creamy flavorful soup. The amazing depth of flavor that comes from this fully loaded soup will knock your socks off. Creamy Cheeseburger Gnocchi Soup is a fun and inviting weeknight dinner soup.

The base for this soup is something akin to “special sauce”. By incorporating the flavors of pickles, ketchup and mustard into the creamy mixture gives you all those hints to really bring the idea of a bacon cheese burger home. In several of my recipes, I will list broth as an ingredients but list options for the variety. However, for this recipe you really need to use beef broth to bring the flavor of beef throughout the soup.

Creamy Cheeseburger Gnocchi Soup

If you have not had potato gnocchi before, this is a great way to introduce it to your family. If you are familiar with gnocchi and have your own recipe for it, please use that in place of the suggest store bought version here. Store bought gnocchi is usually by the regular pasta in the store. In my experience, its usually on the top shelf or next to the more unique pasta varieties like jumbo shells. Also note that it’s important to not add the gnocchi to the soup too soon. If it sits for too long they are likely to become mushy.

This is a very hearty soup and can totally be a full meal on it’s own. If you wanted to add some bread on the side, I would suggest a toasted and buttered brioche to mesh with the whole burger concept. Presentation is also a big part of this soup. Putting some of the bacon and cheese in and some on top, really goes a long way for the enjoyment of this meal.

Creamy Cheeseburger Gnocchi Soup

Now Let’s Get Cookin’!

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Creamy Cheeseburger Gnocchi Soup

All the flavors of a cheeseburger and fries – loaded into a creamy soup!
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword cheeseburger, creamy soup, gnocchi, ketchup, mustard, soup, soup recipes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • ½ lb Bacon cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 lb Ground Beef
  • ½ Medium Yellow Onion minced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1 qt Beef Broth
  • 1 28oz can Tomato Puree
  • ½ cup Ketchup
  • ¼ cup Yellow Mustard
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Dill Pickle Juice
  • 3 cup Cheddar Cheese shredded
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 24 oz Potato Gnocchi
  • 2 Green Onions chopped

Instructions

  • In a large stock pot over medium high heat, add bacon. Cook until crispy and removed to a paper towel covered plate. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon grease in the pot.
  • Add onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and ground beef. Cook and crumble until no longer pink. Reduce heat to medium and add beef broth, tomato puree, ketchup, mustard, pickle juice and Worcestershire sauce. Cover with lid and let cook for 20 minutes.
  • Start water boiling for gnocchi. Cook as directed on the package and drain in a colander.
  • Add heavy cream and two cups of cheese to soup and stir until melted in. Add gnocchi, and ¾ of cooked bacon.
  • Serve with a garnish of remaining cheese, bacon and green onions.

Estelle Forrest’s self-published first cookbook – Homemade on a Weeknight: A Family Cookbook – was created after a lot of playing around in the kitchen. You can purchase your own copy here:

AVAILABLE IN PRINT OR KINDLE eBOOK VERSIONS

Estelle self-published a second cookbook – Burgers on a Weeknight – recently. It has over 60 delicious burger creations! You can purchase your own copy here:

AVAILABLE IN PRINT OR KINDLE eBOOK VERSIONS

Don’t miss new recipes from Homemade on a Weeknight – subscribe and get an email with every new post!

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