Instant Pot Salisbury Steak

Instant Pot salisbury steak is a quick and delicious dinner that is ready in just 35 minutes. On a cold winter day, there’s nothing like this comforting recipe coated in gravy to satisfy your cravings. Serve it over mashed potatoes with some roasted asparagus for the perfect meal! 

This savory hearty main dish is made easy in the Instant Pot for a quick meal that tastes like you slaved all day!

Instant Pot salisbury steak on a bed of mashed potatoes with fresh parsley.

What is Salisbury Steak?

When it comes to classic, home-cooked American cuisine, it doesn’t get any more authentic than Salisbury steak. This dish is nothing more than ground beef patties smothered in a rich onion and mushroom gravy. The ground beef is seasoned and mixed with egg and bread crumbs as a binder.

Traditionally, the patties are cooked in a skillet on the stovetop, and then simmered in Salisbury steak gravy, made with beef stock, onion and mushrooms. You could also pile the patties and the gravy ingredients in a crock pot, for slow cooker Salisbury steak. But if you’re looking to save time, this Instant Pot Salisbury steak with easy mushroom gravy is perfect!

How To Make Salisbury Steak From Scratch

I love cooking in my Instant Pot (if you aren’t familiar with them, you can learn more here: What is The Instant Pot?). Just follow these simple steps to make homemade Salisbury steak in your Instant Pot:

  1. Place chopped onion and sliced mushrooms in the bottom of your Instant Pot.
  2. Mix the ingredients for the beef patties, and shape into patties.
  3. Brown the patties in a skillet, and then layer onto the onion and mushrooms.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook on high pressure.

I have browned the patties in the Instant Pot (on sautee) however they can be difficult to flip so using a non-stick frying pan is easier. Either way will work!

Beef patties, onions, and mushrooms layered in an Instant Pot for Instant Pot salisbury steak.

How To Make Salisbury Steak Gravy

No Salisbury steak would be complete without a rich gravy. After the patties are finished cooking in your Instant Pot, it’s super easy to make mushroom gravy right inside the Instant Pot:

  • While the patties are still cooking in your Instant Pot, make a cornstarch and water slurry.
  • When the cooking cycle is complete, depressurize and remove the lid. Set the patties aside.
  • Turn the Instant Pot to sauté, and when the sauce starts bubbling, stir in the cornstarch slurry to thicken.

Voila, perfect rich salisbury steak gravy!

Instant Pot salisbury steak in an instant pot covered in fresh parsley and gravy, ready to be served.

You might have noticed by now that the ingredients for Salisbury steak patties are very similar to the ones we use for meatballs. This Instant Pot Salisbury steak recipe can easily be made into Salisbury steak meatballs. Instead of forming the meat, egg and bread crumb mixture into patties, form them into 1” meatballs. Then, just proceed with the rest of the recipe as directed.

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Instant Pot Salisbury Steak

During cold winter days, there’s nothing like this traditional easy Salisbury steak recipe to satisfy your craving for comfort food.

  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 onion (sliced)
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth (low sodium)
  • 1 oz package brown gravy mix (dry)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 4 tablespoons water

Beef Patties

  • 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Place onions and mushrooms in the bottom of the Instant Pot.

  2. Combine beef patty ingredients and form 6 patties. Brown over medium high heat (about 3 minutes per side) in a skillet. *see note

  3. Layer beef patties over mushrooms. Combine remaining ingredients except water and cornstarch. Pour over beef and cook high pressure, 18 minutes.
  4. Quick release. Remove patties and set aside.
  5. Turn IP onto sautee. Combine cold water and cornstarch. Stir into the broth and let cook a few minutes until thickened. Add beef back into the sauce to coat.
  6. Serve over mashed potatoes or rice.

These can be browned in batches of two using the sautee function. I found it difficult to flip and time consuming so opted to use a frying pan. The choice is yours.

Instant Pot salisbury steak is comfort food heaven. It is perfect over mashed potatoes, topped with mushroom gravy! #spendwithpennies #instantpot #instantpotsalisburysteak #steak #salisburysteak #instantpotdinner #mushroomsalisburysteak #mushroomgravy
Instant Pot salisbury steak is comfort food heaven. It is perfect over mashed potatoes, topped with mushroom gravy! #spendwithpennies #instantpot #instantpotsalisburysteak #steak #salisburysteak #instantpotdinner #mushroomsalisburysteak #mushroomgravy

Kale and Potato Soup with Turkey Sausage

Kale and Potato Soup with Turkey Sausage is an easy, hearty soup made with kale, potatoes, carrots and turkey or chicken sausage.

Kale and Potato Soup with Turkey Sausage is an easy, hearty soup made with kale, potatoes, carrots and turkey or chicken sausage.

Kale and Potato Soup with Turkey Sausage

This quick and easy soup is the perfect one-pot meal, and a tasty way to enjoy kale, which is high in vitamins K, A and C with both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Great for dinner, or meal prep if you like batch cooking because this recipe is freezer-friendly and tastes great reheated. A few more hearty soup recipes are Leftover Ham Bone Soup with Potatoes and Cabbage, Chicken Soup with Spinach and Whole Wheat Acini di Pepe and Chicken Sweet Potato and Kale Soup.

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Incredible Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Cake

Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Cake is so easy to throw together for breakfast.  It is incredibly moist, buttery, and bursting with fresh blueberries inside.  Your family won’t be able to get enough of it!

Every bite is jammed packed with a sweet taste of blueberry and moist, rich cake that will wake your taste buds early in the morning. Simple to make and brings everyone out of bed, down to the table for a family breakfast together. Be sure to try more cakes that fill your family with warmth and love like this Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake, Banana Bread Crumb Cake, or Almond Poppy Seed Bundt Cake.

Incredible Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Cake

My family gobbled this down in about 2.5 seconds.  It truly is INCREDIBLE.  We loved every single thing about this cake and it is perfect for breakfast! Who wouldn’t want cake for breakfast, right?! This cake is buttery, moist and bursting with fresh blueberries and is so easy to make.

How do you make Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Cake?

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 8 or 9 inch pan and set aside.  In a medium sized mixing bowl, cream together the butter, lemon zest, and sugar.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.  Toss the blueberries in 1/4 cup flour.
  • Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture a little at a time alternating with the buttermilk until combined.  Gently fold in the blueberries.
  • Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan.  Sprinkle with coarse sugar.  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until it is cooked through and toothpick is clean.  Let cook for 15 minutes before serving.

Can you use frozen blueberries?

Yes you can!  If you don’t thaw them, you just have to increase the baking time until the cake is done and toothpick inserted is clean. Frozen blueberries may change the color of the batter but the cake itself will still taste delicious!

Can you substitute blueberries with other fruit?

Yes! This is also great with strawberries, apples with cinnamon and sugar, or even rhubarb.

What can I substitute Buttermilk with?

If you do not have buttermilk for this recipe you can use this recipe:

  • For each cup of buttermilk, you can use 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice plus enough milk to measure 1 cup. Stir, then let stand for 5 minutes.
  • You can also use 1 cup of plain yogurt or 1-3/4 teaspoons cream of tartar plus 1 cup milk.

Want more Blueberry Recipes?

Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Cake

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • zest from one lemon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour (divided )
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sugar (for topping )
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 8 or 9 inch pan and set aside.  In a medium sized mixing bowl, cream together the butter, lemon zest, and sugar.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.

  2. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.  Toss the blueberries in 1/4 cup flour.

  3. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture a little at a time alternating with the buttermilk until combined.  Gently fold in the blueberries.  

  4. Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan.  Sprinkle with coarse sugar.  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until it is cooked through and toothpick is clean.  Let cook for 15 minutes before serving.  

Recipe inspired by Tip Hero 

Collard Greens

Collard Greens are the perfect southern-inspired side dish and so full of flavor. This member of the cabbage family has a dense flavor and a meaty, tender texture unlike any other cooked green you’ve had before.

If you’ve never tried these beautiful greens before, this easy collard greens recipe is a great introduction. I love serving them alongside Black Eyed Peas Recipe (with Ham) with a big chunk of cornbread. It’s the perfect side dish!

A bowl of collard greens topped with crispy bacon and onions.

I absolutely love greens of any sort from Creamed Spinach to this easy collard greens recipe! On a recent trip to GA, I visited Paula Deens restaurant and was in heaven with a plate full of fried chicken, mac and cheese, cheesy grits and tender greens! Truly the best.

What are Collard Greens?

Collard greens are a loose leafed cabbage, similar to kale, but with very large smooth leaves, and a milder flavor. Cooking them is a must, they are too tough to eat raw.  The ingredients for the best collard greens recipes include onion and garlic, and some kind of smoked meat as a flavoring. You can make collard greens with bacon, ham hocks or smoked turkey (I use bacon because I most often have it on hand).

Collard greens benefits are extensive. They are inexpensive, packed with nutrition, and quite filling. They have abundant vitamins, rich in antioxidants and have anti-cancer effects.

As comfort food goes, you can’t find a better example than this flavorful leafy green. Serve them with pulled pork, fried chicken or ribs and of course our favorite macaroni and cheese recipe!

Collard greens in a dutch oven being mixed with bacon and onions with 2 collard greens leaves next to it.

How to Cook Collard Greens

A single bunch of cut collards produces a hefty mountain that will fill your pot to the top, but don’t worry, they cook down by less than half. Because collard greens are quite tough, they take longer to cook than most other greens.

Collard greens can have a lot of grit and dirt and they have a tough stem so you’ll want to make sure you clean them well.  More details on how to clean collard greens here (and how to cut them).

To make sautéed collard greens with bacon:

  1. Clean and cut your collard greens into one-inch pieces (as described here).
  2. In a large pot, cook the chopped bacon until crispy and remove some for garnish.
  3. Sauté the onion in the bacon grease until soft, then add the greens and garlic and cook just until wilted.
  4. Add the broth, cover and cook up to 45 minutes, until tender.
  5. Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with the reserved cooked bacon.

They will also benefit from slow cooking. To make crock pot collard greens, start by sautéing, and after the collards wilt, place them in your crock pot, cover, and cook until tender.

Cooked collard greens in a dutch oven with a wooden spoon.

How Long to Cook Collard Greens

Most leafy greens don’t take too long to cook, but collard greens are an exception to this rule. If you make crock pot collard greens, cook in the crock pot for 3 hours on high or 6 on low.

Collards may seem soft enough after 15 minutes but trust me, let them cook for the entire time. The texture and flavor after cooking for a longer is incredible. Sauteed collard greens take about 35-40 minutes in a covered pot on the stove top.

Give collard greens 20 minutes to cook in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker.

An overhead shot of collard greens topped with bacon and a silver serving spoon.

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Collard Greens

Collard greens are the perfect comforting side dish. 

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 slices bacon (chopped)
  • 1 small onion (finely diced)
  • 1 pound collard greens
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Wash greens and using a sharp knife, cut out the woody stem. Cut into 3/4″ pieces.
  2. Cook chopped bacon and butter in a pan until crisp. Remove a few slices for garnish.
  3. Add onions to bacon grease and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add greens and garlic. Cook until slightly wilted, about 3-4 minutes.
  5. Add broth, cover and cook 35-40 minutes or until tender.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Collard greens with bacon are a delicious side dish that we love making with fried chicken. This collard greens recipe is easy, and makes the perfect comfort food! #spendwithpennies #greens #collardgreens #collard #friedcollardgreens #baconandcollardgreens #collardgreensandbacon
Collard greens with bacon are a delicious side dish that we love making with fried chicken. This collard greens recipe is easy, and makes the perfect comfort food! #spendwithpennies #greens #collardgreens #collard #friedcollardgreens #baconandcollardgreens #collardgreensandbacon

How To Clean Collard Greens

If you’re wondering how to clean collard greens and cut/prep them for cooking, it’s not difficult! Collard greens are delicious, but require thorough cleaning before they are cooked. 

Collard greens chopped and ready to cook

How to Clean Collard Greens

Collard greens have a tough stem and prominent veins on the back of the leaves. These veiny crevices can sometimes harbor sand and dirt so you’ll want to wash them well. To clean and prepare for cooking do the following:

  1. Cut the root off if it is still attached
  2. Dunk and swish the leaves in a sink or basin full cold water, and change the water until you no longer see any dirt or sand on the bottom.
  3. Cut out the tough stem and central vein by folding each leaf in half and slicing down the center.
  4. Cut into one inch pieces by rolling the leaves into spirals and cross cutting, then turn the cut spirals and cut at right angles.

Collard greens are easy to prepare, and a southern comfort food staple that everyone loves. We love collard greens with bacon and serve them alongside other favorites like black eyed peas, corn casserole, and shrimp and grits. They’re the perfect side dish!

How To Clean Collard Greens With Vinegar

Vinegar has antibiotic properties, making it a great natural alternative to most vegetable cleaners. I like to add 1/2 a cup of vinegar to the water before I clean collard greens. It doesn’t change the flavor of the greens, and it works like a charm. Just remember to rinse the collard greens in cold water before you add them to the recipe!

Creamy Shrimp and Mushroom Pasta

Creamy Shrimp and Mushroom Pasta. Who says weeknight dinners have to be boring? This restaurant-worthy pasta dish can be on your table in under 30 minutes, so you’ll have more time to spend with your family.

If you want more amazing easy pasta recipes, try this Creamy Shrimp Alfredo Pasta,  Asiago Garlic Alfredo Pasta, this Creamy Pork Carnitas Pasta, or this Cheesy Chicken, Bacon and Broccoli Ranch Pasta.

Creamy Shrimp and Mushroom Pasta

Hi everyone! It’s Natasha here from Salt & Lavender bringing you this quick weeknight dinner recipe. This is my first blog post as a contributor to The Recipe Critic, and I’m so excited to be here. If there’s one thing to know about me, I’m all about the creamy pastas… and this one does not disappoint. It’s simple enough for a weekday and elegant enough for company. Serve this creamy shrimp and mushroom pasta with garlic bread, and you’ll have some very happy tummies.

How do you make shrimp and mushroom pasta?

  • Prep your shrimp. Ensure they’re thawed if you’re using frozen shrimp. Don’t forget to boil some water for your pasta!
  • Cook the mushrooms. Add the butter and oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, sauté the mushrooms until the water is cooked off (about 5-6 minutes). Take the mushrooms out of the pan once they’re done.
  • Make the sauce. Take the skillet off the heat and add the garlic, mustard, flour, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, and chicken broth. Return the pan to the heat and let it cook for about a minute, ensuring you’ve stirred the mixture well. You then add the cream and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.
  • Finish cooking the dish. Add the shrimp and mushrooms back to the pan. Cook for another 5 minutes or until the shrimp are cooked through and the sauce has thickened up a bit. Toss with the pasta and enjoy!

My trick to making creamy pastas taste extra delicious is using a little bit of Dijon mustard. It adds that extra something-something to the sauce.

What kind of mushrooms can I use?

I used cremini mushrooms, but white mushrooms or whatever mushroom you have on hand will work too.

What size shrimp can I use?

I used 31-40/pound count frozen raw shrimp. Feel free to use smaller or larger shrimp.

Can I substitute heavy cream?

You could try half-and-half, but the sauce will end up thinner.

Can you reheat shrimp and mushroom pasta?

It’s better freshly made, but I suggest reheating it on a low heat or in 30 seconds increments in the microwave.

More shrimp recipes you may like:

Creamy Shrimp and Mushroom Pasta

This restaurant-worthy creamy shrimp and mushroom pasta dish can be on your table in under 30 minutes! It’s easy to make and totally delicious.

  • 8 ounces uncooked pasta
  • 3/4 pound medium shrimp, (thawed & peeled, remove tails if desired)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, (sliced)
  • 3 cloves garlic, (minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 dashes Italian seasoning
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth or stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt & pepper, (to taste)
  • Parmesan cheese, (to taste)
  1. Boil a large, salted pot of water for the pasta. Cook pasta according to package instructions.

  2. Add the butter and oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Once it’s hot, add the mushrooms and cook for 5-6 minutes or until the mushrooms release their water and it’s cooked off. Take the mushrooms out of the pan and set them aside.

  3. Take the pan off the heat. Add the garlic, Dijon mustard, flour, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, and chicken broth to the pan. Return the pan to the heat. Stir until the mixture is nice and smooth, and let it bubble for a minute or so.

  4. Add in the cream and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.

  5. Add the shrimp and mushrooms to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes or until the shrimp are cooked through and the sauce is thickened to your liking. Taste and season with salt & pepper as needed.

  6. Drain the pasta and toss it with the sauce (add a little pasta water if you wish to thin the sauce). Serve with grated parmesan if you wish. 

  • Anything from 3/4 lb. to 1 lb. of shrimp will work fine.
  • I used fettuccine pasta – any shape will work for this recipe.

Easy Shrimp Tacos

Shrimp Tacos are the perfect go-to for last minute get-togethers or kicking back at home with an almost effortless meal. Take a trip south of the border with this super easy take on a southwest favorite!

Shrimp is a protein that is super fast to cook. Add in some fresh veggies like cabbage and slaw and you’ve got a meal in literally minutes!

Shrimp tacos stuffed with succulent shrimp, avocado, slaw and onions

 

The shrimp taco seasoning is a snap to put together and can be used on fish too (for amazing Fish Tacos), so make extra to keep on hand! Instead of ordinary chopped lettuce, a tangy slaw with lime juice and mayo pulls the flavors together for a shrimp taco sauce that is muy bueno! Keep this easy shrimp tacos recipe somewhere safe because it’ll be a family favorite no matter what time of year it is!

Most shrimp tacos with slaw are heavy on the mayonnaise, but this recipe has just enough cumin and garlic powder added to the mayo to bring out the full flavor of the spicy shrimp!  Grilled shrimp tacos just might be your new summertime favorite, we love serving them during patio parties alongside some sangria!

The best seasoned shrimp for making shrimp tacos tacos

How to Make Shrimp Tacos

For the best tasting slaw, prepare it well ahead of time and keep refrigerated so the flavors can all blend. Once the dressing is prepared, use only enough to keep the slaw coated but not soaking so it stays crisp and crunchy!

How to Cook Shrimp for Tacos

  1. Peel and devein the shrimp (and remove tails if desired). Mix with taco seasoning, garlic and lime juice.
  2. On a hot skillet or grill, cook shrimp until they are pink.
  3. Heat tortillas.
  4. Scoop slaw into each tortilla and add shrimp and desired toppings.

Crazy easy right?! For a low-carb version, scoop slaw into a bowl and top with shrimp!

Grabbing a stuffed shrimp taco from a plate

What to Put in Tacos

What can’t go into a taco? 

Guacamole, sour cream, homemade salsa are great flavor enhancers! Olives, jalapenos, and cabbage or coleslaw all make great taco toppings no matter what kind of meat is used. Create a taco bar on the patio for your next get-together and let guests can build their own taco creations…get festive and have fun!

What to Serve with Shrimp Tacos

Anything goes with tacos, making it a simple and fun dinner. For an appetizer, serve some tortilla chips with mango salsa and pico de gallo.

Since these are Mexican inspired shrimp tacos, we add in rice and our favorite salad! For beverages, offer up some homemade mojitos, or a fun assortment of margaritas like mango margaritas, orange, or strawberry!

More Taco’d Recipes

Shrimp Tacos

These spicy shrimp tacos are the perfect go-to for last minute get-togethers or kicking back at home.

  • 1 lb medium shrimp (shelled & deveined, tails removed if desired)
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning (bought or homemade)
  • 1/2 lime (juiced)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 corn tortillas (or flour)

Cilantro Slaw

  • 1 cup cabbage (finely sliced)
  • 1/4 cup purple cabbage (finely sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  1. Combine all slaw ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate.
  2. Mix shrimp, taco seasoning, garlic and lime juice.
  3. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook 2 minutes, flip and cook an additional 2-3 minutes or until cooked through.

  4. Heat tortillas according to package directions.
  5. Fill tortillas with slaw, shrimp and desired toppings.

Shrimp tacos are a delicious way to enjoy fresh ingredients. We love serving these at patio parties! #shrimptacos #tacos #shrimp #taconight #seafoodtacos #easytacos #spicyshrimptacos #easyshrimptacos
Shrimp tacos are a delicious way to enjoy fresh ingredients. We love serving these at patio parties! #shrimptacos #tacos #shrimp #taconight #seafoodtacos #easytacos #spicyshrimptacos #easyshrimptacos

Gooey Cheese Sticks

Homemade Cheese Sticks are one of the crispy finger foods I crave the most (along with Oven Baked Potato Skins)! The first bite begins with a deliciously crispy outer coating followed closely with a surprisingly soft, gooey and cheesy middle. Serve them with homemade marinara sauce for an appetizer the whole family will love!

Be sure you’re using cheese strings (and not cheese sticks) for this recipe. It melts better and helps keep the cheese from leaking out.

Gooey homemade cheese sticks with marinara sauce ready to eat

How To Make Cheese Sticks

Making homemade cheese sticks could not be easier! It is important to purchase cheese strings and not just mozzarella as the cheese strings will not melt as quickly as regular cheese will. The cornstarch mixture is a bit messy and can feel like a lot but this really keeps the cheese inside.

  1. Peel open the cheese strings, cut them in half and freeze.
  2. Dredge the cheese strings first in beaten egg, then a flour/cornstarch mixture, back into the egg and finally in the bread crumbs.
    • The flour mixture will be a thick coating and sometimes needs to be rolled a bit to get the egg to soak into the flour mixture.
    • Press the breadcrumbs into each cheese string to ensure even coating.
    • Be sure to follow the order of – Egg – Flour Mix – Egg – Bread Crumbs –
  3. Freeze for later or place each in hot oil and cook until just browned. Serve immediately.

Making gooey homemade cheese sticks

How to Cook Cheese Sticks

These Cheese Sticks will have the best results deep fried, it makes them crispy and delicious. They can be baked in the oven or cooked in the air fryer but the best results come from frying! When baking or air frying, a bit of the cheese may leak out, this is normal and they’ll still be delish!

  • To Bake Cheese Sticks: Spray cheese sticks with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake 9-11 minutes or until crumbs are crisp and cheese is melted.
  • To Cook Cheese Sticks in the Air Fryer: Preheat air fryer to 400°F. Cook cheese sticks in small batches for 4-6 minutes or until crumbs are crisp and cheese is melted.

Cheese Stick Do’s & Don’ts

  • Cheese: Purchase cheese strings and not just mozzarella as they melt differently.
  • Freeze: Completely freeze your cheese before you begin, this keeps it from leaking out during cooking.
  • Crumbs: Take extra care to press the breadcrumbs into each cheese stick. You want the oil to get at the breadcrumbs, not the cheese inside!
  • Cook Time: Do not  overcook your cheese sticks, you just want the breading to get crispy. If they cook too long, the cheese will melt and begin to ooze out.

WARNING: If the cheese is not fully coated (or you use cheese sticks and not strings) the cheese can leak out of the coating causing hot oil to splatter.

Homemade cheese sticks breaded and ready to fry

What dipping sauces go well with crispy fried Cheese Sticks?

Many people enjoy a classic marinara sauce with their cheese sticks, but you could use a bolognese sauce for a meatier option. Another delicious dipper is homemade ranch.

I love to eat cheese sticks as an appetizer along with ‘pub grub’ food like loaded nachos, chicken wings, potato skins, sausage balls or Ham and Cheese Sliders! I also enjoy these crispy cheesy bites as a side dish with a tomato soup for a fun lunch or dinner!

Cheese leaking out of gooey homemade cheese sticks

More Snack Recipes

Gooey Cheese Sticks

Homemade cheese sticks are made with a deliciously crispy outer coating followed closely with a surprisingly soft, gooey and cheesy middle.

  • 16 Mozzarella string cheese sticks (must be string cheese)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • oil for frying
  1. Open the cheese strings and cut each in half. Cover and place in the freezer for at least 2 hours or until completely frozen. 

  2. Combine flour and cornstarch in a small bowl. Combine the Italian and Panko bread crumbs in a separate shallow dish. In third small bowl, whisk eggs and olive oil until well combined.

  3. Dip each cheese stick half into the egg mixture and then gently roll into the flour mixture.

  4. Put back into the egg mixture and roll until coated. Finally, place into the bread crumbs pressing the crumbs on each piece of cheese to make sure it’s coated all around so the cheese doesn’t leak out.

  5. Place in the freezer while the oil preheats. Preheat oil to 350 degrees. It should be hot enough that a few crumbs dropped into the oil will bubble.

  6. In small batches, place breaded cheese sticks into the hot oil for about 2 minutes or just until browned. Do not overcook or the cheese will leak out.

  7. Serve hot with warm pasta sauce.

These easy cheese sticks are the best appetizer ever. Serve them alongside some marinara sauce for mozzarella sticks that everyone will devour! #spendwithpennies #cheesesticks #mozzarellasticks #cheesy #appetizers #cheesysticks #mozzasticks
These easy cheese sticks are the best appetizer ever. Serve them alongside some marinara sauce for mozzarella sticks that everyone will devour! #spendwithpennies #cheesesticks #mozzarellasticks #cheesy #appetizers #cheesysticks #mozzasticks

Amazing Pepper Steak Stir Fry

Pepper Steak Stir Fry has melt in your mouth flank steak with bell pepper in the most amazing sauce.  This is a restaurant quality meal that you can make in less than 30 minutes!

We have so many amazing steak recipes that we love.  Be sure to try this Easy Mongolian Beef,  Lemon Garlic Flank Steak, or Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli.

Pepper Steak Recipe

Can you hear that sizzle?! That is the sound of deliciousness being cooked up! While cooking you will notice your family gathering around you enjoying the aroma of this sweet and spicy dish. I was noticing how quickly my family was drawn to the kitchen this evening when I was making this meal for the first time. It was fun to enjoy their company while I was making this quick and simple meal that only takes minutes to prepare. Forget the restaurant and get more flavor with this sizzling dish!

How Do You Make Pepper Steak Stir Fry?

  • In a medium sized skillet or wok over medium high heat add 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Add the bell peppers and cook 1-2 minutes until tender.  Remove and set aside on a plate.
  • Turn the heat to high and add the flank steak and cook on each side to sear the beef and reduce heat to medium high and continue to cook until no longer pink and brown on each side.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the garlic, brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger and cornstarch.
  • Add the peppers back to the skillet and add the sauce.  Let simmer for 1-2 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken.  Serve over rice.

What is stir fry method of cooking?

A skillet or a wok is the best cooking method for stir frying. A good cast iron skillet is recommended. A wok pan is a versatile round-bottomed cooking vessel. It heats from the bottom and is a little bigger than a skillet and can make stirring a bit easier.

What temperature is Flank Steak cooked at?

Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to your skillet or wok and cook, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes.  You can cook the steak until medium rare.  (130-135 degrees.)  Let rest for 10 minutes and slice against the grain.

How do you cut against the grain?

You will need to find the direction of the grain (which way the muscle fibers are aligned), then slice across the grain rather than parallel with it. Flank steak is a chewy steak, and is much easier to chew if it is cut against the grain. Look for the parallel lines of muscle fiber running down the meat, and slice perpendicular to them. For those cuts that have fibers running in different directions, it’s vital to “read the meat” and adjust the direction in which you’re slicing. Cutting steak “against the grain” means you’re cutting through the long fibers of the meat – cut flank steaks and skirt steaks across the width of the steak, not down the length of steak (so you have lots of thin strips instead of just a few super long strips.

What goes well with Beef and Pepper Stir Fry?

We like to serve Pepper Steak Stir Fry with a white rice, fried rice or chow Mein. This makes for a more filling dish!

We also like to add in a variety of vegetables in the stir fry. Here are a few suggestions:

  • For a spicier taste, peppers are a great add in
  • Water chestnuts add a crunchy texture
  • Onions are an easy addition
  • Carrots add color and flavoring
  • Broccoli helps being more flavor and filling
  • Pea Pods are tasty and colorful

Looking for more Stir Fry Recipes? Here you go!

Amazing Pepper Steak Stir Fry

  • 2 tbsp olive oil (divided )
  • 1 red bell pepper (cut into 1 inch cubes or strips )
  • 1 green bell pepper (cut into 1 inch cubes or strips )
  • 8 ounce 8 ounce flank steak (sliced in strips against the grain)
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced )
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (packed )
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (low sodium )
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  1. In a medium sized skillet or wok over medium high heat add 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Add the bell peppers and cook 1-2 minutes until tender.  Remove and set aside on a plate.

  2. Turn the heat to high and add the flank steak and cook on each side to sear the beef and reduce heat to medium high and continue to cook until no longer pink and brown on each side. 

  3. In a small bowl, whisk the garlic, brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger and cornstarch.  

  4. Add the peppers back to the skillet and add the sauce.  Let simmer for 1-2 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken.  Serve over rice. 

 

Skinnytaste Meal Plan (February 18-February 24)

A free 7-day flexible weight loss meal plan including breakfast, lunch and dinner and a shopping list. All recipes include calories and Weight Watchers Freestyle™ SmartPoints®.

If you’re new to my meal plans, I’ve been sharing these free, 7-day flexible healthy meal plans (you can see my previous meal plans here) that are meant as a guide, with plenty of wiggle room for you to add more food, coffee, beverages, fruits, snacks, dessert, wine, etc or swap recipes out for meals you prefer, you can search for recipes by course in the index. You should aim for around 1500 calories* per day.

There’s also a precise, organized grocery list that will make grocery shopping so much easier and much less stressful. Save you money and time. You’ll dine out less often, waste less food and you’ll have everything you need on hand to help keep you on track.

Lastly, if you’re on Facebook join my Skinnytaste Facebook Community where everyone’s sharing photos of recipes they are making, you can join here. I’m loving all the ideas everyone’s sharing!

Also, if you don’t have the Skinnytaste Meal Planner, now would be a great time to get one to get organized for 2019! There was a print error last year, but it’s perfect now! You can order it here!

THE DETAILS:

Breakfast and lunch Monday-Friday, are designed to serve 1 while dinners and all meals on Saturday and Sunday are designed to serve a family of 4. Some recipes make enough leftovers for two nights or lunch the next day. While we truly believe there is no one size fits all meal plan, we did our best to come up with something that appeals to a wide range of individuals. Everything is Weight Watchers friendly, I included the updated Weight Watcher Freestyle Points for your convenience, feel free to swap out any recipes you wish or just use this for inspiration!

The grocery list is comprehensive and includes everything you need to make all meals on the plan. I’ve even included brand recommendations of products I love and use often. Cross check your cabinets because many condiments you’ll notice I use often, so you may already have a lot of them.

And last, but certainly not least, this meal plan is flexible and realistic. There’s plenty of wiggle room for cocktails, healthy snacks, dessert and dinner out. And if necessary, you can move some things around to make it work with your schedule. Please let me know if you’re using these plans, this will help me decide if I should continue sharing them!

MONDAY (2/18)
B: PB + J Yogurt (6)
L: Food Cart-Style Chicken Salad with White Sauce* (8)
D: Red Lentil Soup with Spinach* (1) and 1 mini naan (or flatbread) (5)
Totals: Freestyle™ SP 20, Calories 1,008**

TUESDAY (2/19)
B: 2 hard-boiled eggs (0) and an orange (0)
L: Food Cart-Style Chicken Salad with White Sauce (8)
D: Instant Pot Chicken Taco Chili (0) with 2 tablespoons reduced fat cheese blend (1), 1 tablespoon light sour
cream (1) and 1 ounce avocado (1)

Totals: Freestyle™ SP 11, Calories 863**

WEDNESDAY (2/20)
B: PB + J Yogurt (6)
L: Food Cart-Style Chicken Salad with White Sauce (8)
D: LEFTOVER Instant Pot Chicken Taco Chili (0) with 2 tablespoons  reduced fat cheese blend (1), 1 tablespoon
light sour cream (1) and 1 ounce avocado (1)

Totals: Freestyle™ SP 17, Calories 915**

THURSDAY (2/21)
B: 2 hard-boiled eggs (0) and an orange (0)
L: Food Cart-Style Chicken Salad with White Sauce (8)
D: One-Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce (8) and 1 ½ cups romaine*** (0) with 2 tablespoons Skinny Caesar Dressing
(2)

Totals: Freestyle™ SP 18, Calories 991**

FRIDAY (2/22)
B: 6 ounces plain nonfat Greek yogurt (0) with ½ cup sliced strawberries (0), 1 tablespoon chopped peanuts (2),
and 1 teaspoon honey (1)
L: LEFTOVER One-Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce (8) and 1 ½ cups romaine (0) with 2 tablespoons Skinny Caesar
Dressing (2)
D: Honey Garlic Shrimp (2) with Asian Edamame Fried Rice (4)

Totals: Freestyle™ SP 19, Calories 1,018**

SATURDAY (2/23)
B: Eggs and Tomato Breakfast Melts (3) and 1/2 cup grapes (0)
L: Asian Lettuce Wrap Chicken Chopped Salad (8)
D: DINNER OUT!

Totals: Freestyle™ SP 11, Calories 544**

SUNDAY (2/24)
B: 3 Czech Crepes with Berries and Cream (6)
L: Lentil Bowls with Avocado, Eggs and Cholula (2) (Recipe x 2)
D: Slow-Cooker Banh Mi Rice Bowls (10)

Totals: Freestyle™ SP 18, Calories 970**

**Prep Chicken Salad Sunday night for lunch Mon-Thurs. Freeze any leftover soup you/your family won’t eat

**This is just a guide, women should aim for around 1500 calories per day. Here’s a helpful calculator to estimate
your calorie needs. I’ve left plenty of wiggle room for you to add more food such as coffee, beverages, fruits,
snacks, dessert, wine, etc.
***Chop extra 1 ½ cups romaine for lunch Friday

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