Easy Cheese Dip: Ready in 5 Minutes!

5 Minute Cheese Dip is perfect for when friends drop in at a moment’s notice.

A simple combination of cheese and zesty spices come together in just minutes in the food processor! (No food processor? No problem, tips below).

A bowl of 5 minute cheese dip with veggies and crackers.

How to Make Cheese Dip

I mentioned fast, but did I also say easy? Absolutely no chopping or cooking required with this simple timesaver.

I like to use a food processor as it really blends all of the cheddar into the dip. If you don’t have a food processor, ensure your cheddar is finely shredded and mix well with a hand mixer.

  1. Whip softened cream cheese with mayo and sour cream.
  2. Add in remaining ingredients pulse a few times,
  3. Chill and enjoy!

Cheese dip ingredients in a food processor before and after being blended.

To quickly soften cream cheese – simply remove foil wrapping and microwave on the lowest power setting in short bursts, checking frequently. Or, leave it sealed in the foil wrapper and immerse in warm water until soft.

Variations

Cheese: This dip has a cream cheese base and I add in sharp cheddar; I love the flavor! You can add any combination of cheeses you’d like!

Seasonings: Add your favorite seasonings to this recipe. Ranch Dressing Mix, fresh herbs, even homemade taco seasoning all work well.

Add-ins: The possibilities are endless.

  • jalapenos
  • chopped bacon
  • green onions
  • defrosted and drained spinach
  • pimentos

A platter with cheese dip, veggies, and crackers.

To Make Ahead

Cheese dip can (and should) be made well in advance to allow the flavors to blend. It will keep in the fridge for as long as the shortest expiration date mentioned on your packages of cream cheese, sour cream or shredded cheddar cheese.

  • To Refrigerate: Be sure to tightly cover with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. This dip does not freeze well.
  • Leftovers are great melted and added to cooked pasta with some chicken for an easy cheesy meal.

To Serve

  • Veggies: celery sticks, carrots, broccoli or cauliflower florets, and cherry tomatoes
  • Bread & Crackers: pita or bagel chips, toasted baguette rounds, crackers, and tortilla chips

This cheesy concoction can also serve as the basis for platters of hors d’oeuvres. Pipe it onto celery sticks or crackers and serve plain. Or, garnish with chopped chives or parsley, olives, halved cherry tomatoes, pimento or your favorite topping.

More Easy Dips

5 Minute Cheese Dip

Creamy and rich, with a tangy mustard bite, a 5-minute dip is perfect with your favorite crunchy snacks.

  • 8 oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  1. Combine cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise in a food processor until fluffy.

  2. Add remaining ingredients and combine until smooth.

  3. For best flavor, refrigerate 1 hour if time allows.

Optional Add Ins:
Diced jalapeños
Pimentos
Chopped Artichokes
Bacon Bits

A bowl of cheese dip garnished with cayenne and shredded cheese.
A bowl of cheese dip garnished with cayenne and shredded cheese.
Top image - a bowl of cheese dip. Bottom image - cheese dip ingredients in a food processor.

Quick & Easy Cream Cheese Dip

Cream cheese dip is always a crowd favorite! With a combination of cream cheese (of course!), salsa, taco seasoning and cheddar, this dip needs just minutes to prepare.

It’s perfect with any dippers you may be serving, from chips to veggies!

A bowl of cream cheese dip with tortilla chips ready to serve

How to Make Cream Cheese Dip

Start with softened cream cheese for easy mixing. When making dips, a hand mixer creates a light fluffy base making it the perfect consistency.

  1. Using a hand mixer, combine cream cheese, sour cream and salsa (per recipe below).
  2. Fold in shredded cheddar and other ingredients.
  3. Chill and serve.

What to Serve with Cream Cheese Dip: Serve this dip with celery sticks, veggies, tortilla chips, bagel chips, or as a spread for crackers or toast.

It makes a great dip in the center of a raw veggie platter.

Two process shots showing cream cheese dip being assembled in a bowl.

Variations

Tex Mex flavors like taco seasoning and salsa mean this dip is easy to add any number of favorites.

Make this into a jalapeno cream cheese dip by adding ½ cup of chopped pickled jalapenos from a jar. More favorites:

  • Veggies Corn, diced peppers, chopped tomatoes
  • Spice Hot sauce, hot peppers, a pinch of cayenne
  • Meat Ground beef or sausage can ‘beef up’ this dip.
  • Toppings Black olives, green onions, extra cheddar, cilantro

A bowl of cream cheese dip topped with green onions and cheese next to some tortilla chips.

Can You Make Cream Cheese Dip in Advance?

It’s a good idea to make cream cheese dip in advance to give the flavors a chance to develop. Keep it tightly covered in the refrigerator. It will keep up to a week.

Not a good candidate for freezing, however. This is a dairy rich dip, and will separate when thawed, so better confine it to the fridge.

Cream Cheese Dip

Cream cheese dip is always a crowd favorite! It's super creamy, cheesy, and perfect with any dippers you may be serving, from chips to veggies!

  • 8 oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese (or Mexican cheese blend, finely shredded)
  • 2 green onions (sliced)
  • 1/4 cup jalapenos (finely chopped and drained (optional))
  1. Mix cream cheese, sour cream, taco seasoning and salsa with a hand mixer until fluffy.
  2. Fold in cheddar, onions and jalapenos if adding.
  3. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving.

 

More Quick Dips

A serving bowl of Cream Cheese Dip next to tortilla chips garnished with green onions.
A bowl of cream cheese dip topped with green onions and cheese next to some tortilla chips.
Top photo - A serving bowl of Cream Cheese Dip next to tortilla chips garnished with green onions. Bottom photo - A process shot showing cream cheese dip being assembled in a bowl.

Easy Cheesy Crack Dip Recipe

Crack Dip is an amazing dip, great for parties or game day! With a creamy cheesy base and loads of bacon and cheddar, it’s seasoned with ranch seasoning mix for a crowd pleasing favorite!

Just like jalapeño popper dip or buffalo chicken dip, this dip is sure to be a crowd favorite!

What is Crack Dip?

I have to tell you, I did not name this dip but I do love to make it! Crack Dip is easy, cheesy and full of bacon-y goodness.

Cream cheese, sour cream and mayo make the base oh-so-creamy and it’s flavored with ranch dressing mix (I make homemade). Add in crumbled bacon (or bacon bits), cheddar and green onions.

Variations

Spicy Add in a handful of diced jalapenos or a splash or two of hot sauce.

Meaty Add chicken or sausage

Seasonings Swap out the ranch mix for Italian dressing mix or your favorite fresh herbs

Bake It Serve it cold or bake this dip in a 400°F oven for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Two images showing crack dip ingredients in a glass bowl before and after being mixed.

How to Make Crack Dip

This is so easy it’s ready in just 2 simple steps!

  1. Mix the first 5 ingredients together with an electric mixer. If you are mixing by hand, make sure the ingredients are at room temperature. This makes them easier to mix, just be sure to refrigerate before serving.
  2. Gently fold in the remaining ingredients and refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

Best Dippers for Crack Dip

Here is a list of my favorite dippers for this cheesy crack dip!

  • Crackers: Any kind of buttery-flavored crackers, Triscuits, or slices of toasted baguettes.
  • Chips: Any kind of tortilla or potato chip.
  • Veggies: Celery sticks, carrot stick, or cucumber slices. Try filling mushroom caps and heating with a little parmesan cheese melted on top.
  • Spread: Or, use as spread on a sandwich or burger!

Great Dips for a Crowd

Crack Dip

A little bit of ranch dressing and some bacon and you’ve a dip recipe that is perfect for a crowd or even if you’re just hanging out at home with the fam!

  • 8 oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 oz package ranch dressing mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1/3 cup bacon bits (or 6 slices cooked and crumbled)
  • 2 green onions (sliced)
  1. Mix cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise ranch mix and garlic powder with a mixer on medium speed.
  2. Fold in remaining ingredients.
  3. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Top photo shows a cracker being dipped into a bowl of crack dip. Bottom photo shows crack dip ingredients in a glass bowl before being mixed.
Top photo - a cracker being dipped into a bowl of crack dip. Bottom photo - crack dip ingredients in a clear glass mixing bowl.

Buffalo Chicken Dip – in the crockpot!

Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Dip is so simple to prepare. Simply add chicken, cream cheese, cheddar and buffalo sauce to the slow cooker and let it work its magic! 

When it comes to appetizer recipes, this one is a year-round favorite with just a handful of ingredients! All of the flavor of buffalo wings in a cheesy scoopable dip!

A bowl of crockpot buffalo chicken dip with a tortilla chip in it.

Ingredients

Chicken I most often use rotisserie chicken for this recipe as it’s easy. You can make poached chicken breasts in minutes (great for adding to any recipe). Canned chicken tends to break apart too much and is not ideal in this recipe.

Hot Sauce I use Franks Red Hot and any of the variations of their sauces are great in this (they have Xtra Hot or Chile Lime too). If you have leftover buffalo sauce, that works too!

Cheese Shred your own cheese, it melts better than pre-shredded. I prefer a sharp cheddar as the flavor can stand up to the heat from the sauce, swap it for Monterey Jack if you’d like. If you like blue cheese, add in a handful crumbles

VARIATIONS

Add any one of the following to make this dip your own:

How to Make Buffalo Chicken Dip

This appetizer is as easy as 1, 2, 3 and is always a crowd favorite.

  1. Combine all the ingredients together in a slow cooker (a Crock Pot under 4qt is a great size for dips)
  2. Cook on low for a few hours until melty and delicious
  3. Set to warm for your guests to enjoy.

Serve with dippers and enjoy!

Two images showing the buffalo chicken dip ingredients in a crockpot before and after being cooked.

What Goes Well with Buffalo Chicken Dip

I love to serve buffalo dip with an assortment of dippers. My personal favorite are the veggies. They provide the perfect crunch and balance to the spiciness of the dip!

  • Crackers – crostini, tortilla chips, triscuits, wheat thins, or ritz crackers.
  • Veggies – celery sticks, carrot sticks, broccoli florets, cauliflower florets, or cucumber slices.

Or instead of dipping serve this yummy dip scooped into mushroom caps. Sprinkle with extra cheddar cheese and bake at 350°F for about 15 minutes! Mini appetizers!

A bowl of crockpot buffalo chicken dip with tortilla chips around it.

How to Reheat It

Crockpot buffalo chicken dip is easy to reheat, you can even just put it right back into the crockpot to reheat.

To reheat in the microwave, scoop it into a microwave safe container and heat it for about two minutes. Give it a stir and enjoy!

Easy Cheesy Dips

CrockPot Buffalo Chicken Dip

With chicken, cream cheese, and buffalo sauce it is a spicy and cheesy appetizer that everyone loves! 

  • 3 cups chicken breasts (cooked and shredded)
  • 2/3 cup buffalo sauce
  • 8 oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/3 cup ranch dressing
  • 2 green onions (sliced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese (or cheese blend divided and shredded)
  1. Set 1/2 cup cheese aside for topping.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a small slow cooker (2qt) and stir.
  3. Cook on low for 2-3 hours stirring occasionally.
  4. Top with remaining cheese and cover until cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.

Shred your own cheddar cheese from a block for best results.

Use leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken. Do not use canned chicken in this recipe.

A bowl of crockpot buffalo chicken dip with tortilla chips around it.
A bowl of crockpot buffalo chicken dip with a tortilla chip in it.
Top photo - A bowl of crockpot buffalo chicken dip with a tortilla chip in it. Bottom photo - Buffalo Chicken Dip ingredients in a crockpot before being cooked.

Easy Layered Salad – Perfect to Make Ahead

This Seven Layer Salad is the perfect overnight salad! It’s a make-ahead, family-pleasin’, easy to make side dish! Layers of crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, sweet peas and eggs are smothered in an easy creamy dressing and topped with cheese and bacon.

We most often make this for potlucks, picnics and of course next to our holiday ham with scalloped potatoes!

a glass bowl of layered salad topped with bacon and cheese

What’s in a Layered Salad

Almost any fresh veggie can go into a seven layer salad, but this is the recipe we like the best. Think of how colorful the layers are in this recipe and feel free to add something a little extra to make your own signature salad!

My go-to list of toppings (plus the dressing).

  1. Lettuce
  2. Tomatoes
  3. Peas
  4. Eggs
  5. Onions (red or green)
  6. Cheese
  7. Bacon

While this is a seven layer salad… there’s no reason it can’t be a 10 layer salad if you want! Why not add in shredded zucchini, purple cabbage, or carrots for a little extra color? Chopped celery, water chestnuts, and diced red, yellow or orange bell peppers add a little extra crunch, too!

Layer all of these delicious ingredients in a lovely trifle dish for a fancy display, or try a 9×13 glass dish for convenience!

Dressing

This recipe uses a classic mayonnaise based dressing (although I do love a good Ranch 7 Layer Salad too)! I do not suggest using reduced fat or light ingredients as they can become watery in this recipe.

ingredients for a layered salad on a counter

How to Make Overnight Layered Salad

This layered salad is as easy as 1, 2, 3 and is best prepared the night ahead making dinner a breeze!

  1. Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Layer ingredients over a bed of lettuce in a salad bowl (reserve the cheese and bacon for just before serving).
  3. Spread the dressing over the top of the salad all the way to the edges of the inside of the bowl.

Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours. Top with cheese and bacon and serve!

a layered salad being prepared in a glass bowl

How Far In Advance Can You Make It

The best time to make overnight layered salad is the night before or a minimum of four hours. Much earlier than that and the dressing could make the salad a bit soggy.

Be sure to layer it carefully, scoop the dressing over the top, seal with plastic wrap or in a container with a tightly fitted lid and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Garnish the top with bacon bits and get ready to watch it disappear!

Leftovers?

Sadly it’s not a good idea to freeze a layered salad (or any salad recipe). Frozen vegetables become mushy and the sour cream and mayonnaise will break and separate once it is thawed as well.

Leftovers will keep for up to a week. The dressing may get a bit watery as the veggies lose some of their moisture but the flavor is always still amazing!

Easy and Delicious Salads

Overnight Layered Salad

A perfect combination of layers dressing with a delicious homemade dressing makes for a gorgeous salad!

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce (chopped)
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes (or sliced cherry tomatoes)
  • 2 cups frozen peas (defrosted (uncooked))
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions (or red onions)
  • 8 hard boiled eggs (cooled, peeled and chopped)
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 8 slices bacon (cooked crisp and crumbled)

DRESSING

  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  1. Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.

  2. Place lettuce in the bottom of a large bowl (or 9×13 pan).

  3. Top with tomatoes, peas, onions and boiled eggs. Spread dressing overtop to seal the edges. Top with cheese.

  4. Cover salad and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

  5. Top with bacon before serving.

Optional add-ins for layers

Bell peppers, shredded carrot, shredded cabbage, sliced celery.

Optional Ranch Style Dressing
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon fresh dill
1 tablespoon fresh parsley

 

 

Easy Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole

A Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole is perfect when you need to feed a crowd first thing in the morning. Eggs, sausage and hashbrowns are layered in a casserole dish, topped with cheese and baked to a gooey golden brown.

Serve with a fresh fruit salad (or fruit kabobs for easy serving) and keep the coffee coming (or mimosas)! The day will start off right with this delicious, no-fuss breakfast casserole.

Breakfast casserole cut and ready to serve

Variations

Hashbrowns I use shredded but any hash browns will work in this recipe, or even leftover home fries or roasted potatoes!

Sausage The sky’s the limit for this recipe. Use cooked (or smoked) sausage of any kind. Swap it out for turkey sausage, ham, bacon or even leftover ground beef from last night’s tacos!

Veggies I add peppers to this casserole but add whatever veggies you have on hand. Mushrooms (cook them first so they don’t get watery), asparagus or even steamed broccoli are great.

This recipe is very forgiving, and you can alter according to your preference or what you have on hand. It will accommodate leftover meats, veggies and cheeses of all kinds. Just chop or shred and toss them into the mix.

 

ingredients for a breakfast casserole on a cutting board

How to Make Breakfast Casserole

Frozen hash browns make this breakfast casserole is super easy to whip up.

  1. Spread thawed shredded hash browns in the bottom of a casserole pan.
  2. Add in cheese, meat and vegetables.
  3. Pour egg and milk mixture on top (per recipe below).

egg mixture in a bowl with a whisk next to a breakfast casserole in a dish

To Bake or Make Ahead

Cook it now or refrigerate overnight At this point you can either bake the casserole and serve or you can cover and refrigerate overnight and bake in the morning.

Bake Now Simply pour the egg mixture overtop and bake. Unlike a strata or french toast type recipe, you do not need to wait as there is no bread to soak up the mixture. So just make and bake.

Bake Later Cover the mixture tightly and refrigerate up to 48 hours. Remove from the fridge at least 30 minutes before baking (while preheating the oven).

How Long to Bake

This bakes at 350°F for 55-65 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. If you’ve let it sit overnight, it may need a few extra minutes if it’s still quite chilled from the fridge.

breakfast casserole ingredients in a dish

 

What About the Leftovers?

Just like egg muffins, leftovers are perfect for busy weekday mornings.

Fridge  They’ll keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave or the oven.

Freezer Can you freeze breakfast casserole? Yes, you sure can! This will last in the freezer up to four months. Wrap individual and store in freezer bags. Defrost in the fridge overnight and reheat in the microwave or the oven

Easy Make Ahead Breakfasts

Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole

Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole is is a complete meal in one dish. Eggs, hash browns, sausage (or ham) and loads of cheddar cheese make the perfect meal!

  • 20 oz shredded hash browns (thawed)
  • 1 lb sausage (cooked, crumbled and drained)
  • 1/4 cup onion (finely diced)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper (diced)
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 can evaporated milk (12 oz, or 1 1/3 cups milk)
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese
  • salt & pepper (to taste)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (if baking immediately).
  2. Brown sausage and drain fat.
  3. Combine eggs, evaporated milk, salt & pepper in a bowl. Whisk until smooth.
  4. Set aside 1/2 cup cheese for the topping.

  5. Place remaining ingredients in a 9×13 baking pan. Pour egg mixture over the mixture and top with remaining cheese.
  6. Cover and refrigerate overnight if desired.
  7. Bake 55-65 minutes or until cooked through.

If casserole is refrigerated overnight, remove from fridge 30 minutes before baking. It may require an extra 10-15 minutes cook time.

Evaporated milk can be substituted with 1 1/3 cups milk.

Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs

Pimento cheese deviled eggs are a flavorful twist on a classic recipe. Traditional deviled eggs are upgraded with delicious pimento and sharp cheddar cheese to create the perfect holiday appetizer. 

These are great to make ahead of time and everyone loves them!

A tray of pimento cheese deviled eggs

I am so excited to partner with Cabot Cheese during their 100th year as a co-operative this year to share their cheese selections. Cabot cheeses are naturally lactose free, naturally aged and truly delicious!

We love deviled eggs from a good ol’ classic recipe to dill pickle deviled eggs. It seems these bundles are always a hit. Another snack we MUST have at parties is pimento cheese so naturally this mash up was bound to happen!

A block of seriously sharp cheddar cheese for making pimento cheese deviled eggs

Cheese for Pimento Cheese

Pimento cheese is loaded with flavor and most of it comes from both a quality cheddar cheese and pimentos! Since this recipe doesn’t have a lot of ingredients, I try to make sure I’m using great quality for the best flavor.

The addition of Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar in this recipe and takes the filling in these eggs to the next level! It’s light and creamy yet rich and decadent all at the same time.

Deviled egg filling in a bowl and being piped into egg whites

How To Make Deviled Eggs

  1. Prepare hard boiled eggs. Cool completely in ice water and peel.
  2. Slice eggs in half lengthwise with a sharp knife. To keep them as clean as possible, I like to wipe the yolk off of the knife between each cut.
  3. Remove yolks and place in a food processor with remaining ingredients in the recipe below, except the pimentos and cheese. Pulse until smooth, then fold in the pimentos and cheese before adding mixture to a piping bag. You can skip the food processor and mash it by hand but the food processor makes it extra creamy.
  4. Pipe mixture into each egg white and top with a sprinkle of paprika and chives for garnish!

Tip: Process yolks just until smooth. Over processing can cause the mayonnaise to separate and become grainy.

To Make Ahead of Time

The reason pimento cheddar deviled eggs are such a great dish for get togethers and parties, is that they are great made well ahead of time. If you are travelling with them, I like to prepare the filling and fill the eggs once I arrive so I don’t worry about squishing them along the way!

Refrigerator: Just prepare as directed and refrigerate covered for up to 2 days.

Freezer:  Raw eggs can be frozen well, but cooked eggs aren’t great once frozen. Frozen and defrosted egg whites can become watery and rubbery when defrosted, and egg yolks will become grainy.

More Delicious Holiday Appetizers

Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs

Pimento cheese deviled eggs are a fun and flavorful twist on a classic recipe.

  • 12 eggs
  • 4 oz Cabot seriously sharp cheddar (finely shredded)
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons pimentos (drained and finely chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • chives and paprika for garnish (optional)
  1. Place eggs in a saucepan and and fill with water to 1/2″ above the eggs. Bring water to a rolling boil over high heat. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand covered for 15-17 minutes (for large eggs).
  2. Remove from hot water and place in a bowl of ice water or run under cold water for 5 minutes.
  3. Once cool, peel eggs and slice in half lengthwise.
  4. Remove yolks and place in a food processor with mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic powder, and salt & pepper. Process until the mixture is smooth.

  5. Gently fold in pimentos and cheese and place in a piping bag.

  6. Pipe filling into each egg and sprinkle with paprika if desired. Chill at least 1 hour before serving.

Nutrition information is based on one deviled egg.

A close up of a deviled egg with a pimento cheese filling.
Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs prepared and served on a wooden platter.
Top photo - A close up of a deviled egg with a pimento cheese filling. Bottom photo - pimento cheese egg filling in a clear mixing bowl.

Quick & Easy CrockPot Potato Soup

CrockPot Potato Soup is very easy to prep and your whole family will love it. A creamy potato base is flavored with onion, bacon and cheese.

Slow cooker potato soup is a creamy comforting take on mashed potatoes and has all of the same flavors we add to our twice baked potatoes.

A ladle serving CrockPot potato soup made with bacon and green onions.

How to Make Slow Cooker Potato Soup

Making potato soup in the crock pot is easy to do. A quick overview of this recipe:

  1. Cook bacon until crispy.
  2. Add (raw) potatoes and other ingredients to the slow cooker. Set it and forget it!
  3. When potatoes are tender, mash a bit to thicken and add a splash of cream.

Serve and enjoy with green onions, cheese and extra bacon as a garnish!

Process shots of potato soup ingredients being added to the slow cooker.

Potato Soup Consistency

To Make it Thicker There many methods to thicken soups but really, mashing or pureeing part of the soup works the best. With this method you are using the soup ingredients themselves to create a creamier base.

  • (Easiest Method) Use a potato masher. You’ll definitely want this soup to have some texture, so go easy!
  • Use an immersion blender right in the slow cooker.
  • Put part of the soup into a blender (be sure not to seal the lid so the steam can escape).
  • You could also add a sprinkle (or two) of instant potato flakes.

To Make Potato Soup Thinner If you’ve over-mashed a little or are finding your soup too thick, add a bit more broth, cream or even milk.

Potatoes being mashed and cheese and sour cream being added to CrockPot potato soup.

Reheating Potato Soup

CrockPot Potato Soup will taste just as good the next day and reheats beautifully. It should last up to 5 days in the fridge.

Stovetop Heat soup over medium heat until hot (do not boil). Ladle into bowls, garnish and serve.

Microwave Microwave soup until hot stirring every 30-40 seconds. Top with extra cheese, bacon crumbles, a sprinkle of chili flakes… yum!

Oven Pour soup into a casserole dish (who knew?), add cheese as topping, and bake in the oven on 350°F for 20 to 30 minutes. Top with croutons and dinner is served!

Can Potato Soup Be Frozen?

Yes (and no). Potatoes don’t generally freeze well as they tend to fall apart.

Since the potatoes in this soup are mashed, it’s ok to freeze. The texture may change very slightly but it’ll still taste great! Do not add the dairy before freezing, stir in the cream/sour cream while reheating.

More Favorite Soups

CrockPot Potato Soup

Slow cooked creamy potato soup garnished with bacon and cheddar cheese.

  • 8 slices bacon
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes (peeled and 1-inch diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme (leaves removed from stem, or 1/2 tsp dry )
  • 1/2 onion (diced)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3-1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3 green onions (green tops sliced thinly)
  1. Cook bacon until crispy over medium-high heat. Remove from the pan and chop.

  2. In a 6-quart slow cooker add potatoes, garlic, thyme leaves, onion, black pepper, and bacon (reserve a little bit of bacon for garnish).

  3. Pour chicken stock into the slow cooker and stir to combine.
  4. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours (or 6-8 hours on low) or until the potatoes are fork-tender.

  5. When the potatoes are soft use a potato masher to mash some of the potatoes in the slow cooker. The more you mash, the thicker the soup.

  6. Add cheddar cheese, sour cream, and heavy cream to the mixture. Stir to combine.

  7. Place the lid back on the slow cooker and let the soup warm through on high, about 30 minutes. Stir the soup a few times while it’s warming up.
  8. Serve the soup topped with green onions.

Heavy cream can be replaced with evaporated milk.

Ham can be added in place of bacon in this recipe.

Add any cheeses you like, parmesan and gruyere are great choices!

A big bowl of CrockPot potato soup with cheese, bacon, and green onions.
A big bowl of CrockPot potato soup with cheese, bacon, and green onions.
Top photo - A ladle serving CrockPot potato soup made with bacon and green onions. Bottom photo - Cheese and sour cream being added to CrockPot potato soup.

Pimento Cheese: An Easy Dip or a Spread!

Pimento Cheese is the best Southern style spread! Sharp cheddar, cream cheese, pimentos and seasonings make for a dip or spread that’s crazy good. I could seriously eat this stuff with a spoon!

It’s also versatile, you can use it as an appetizer served with pretzels, bagel chips or veggies, anything that will convey this yummy stuff from plate to mouth! Pimento cheese is also great as spread for sandwiches or grilled cheese sandwiches,  either by itself or, as a mayo alternative!

Pimento cheese mixed in a glass bowl.

What is Pimento Cheese?

Pimento Cheese is one of those old fashioned Southern favorites that over time has become a staple. In the South it’s sometimes known as “Carolina Caviar” or “Southern Pate.” But no matter what you call it, everyone loves it because of its distinctive and cheesy flavor!

This is an easy combination of mayonnaise (Duke’s is best), sharp cheddar cheese and of course pimentos.

So, What are Pimentos? These little red bits are what you find in olives and add great flavor to dips, dressings and casseroles. They’re made from small sweet peppers called “Cherry Peppers” (more about pimentos here).

How to Make Pimento Cheese

Making pimento cheese is as easy as 1, 2, 3! Which is great, considering how fast we seem to go through it.

  1. Shred sharp cheddar cheese by hand or in a processor.
  2. Combine all the ingredients except for the shredded cheese and pimentos. Mix thoroughly until smooth and creamy.
  3. Fold in the shredded cheese and pimentos last to make this spread super chunky and delicious! Pretty easy, right?

Two images showing the pimento cheese ingredients being mixed in stages.

To Serve Pimento Cheese

Spread onto your favorite crackers, enjoy in a sandwich, or set out as a dip with veggies, pretzels, or bagel chips!

  • Try it with simple celery dipping sticks or other veggies
  • Perfect for veggie platters or with an array of chips and dips!
  • Roll it up in tortillas with chopped cucumber and slice into fancy sandwiches!
  • LOVE to dip pretzels in this stuff!
  • Spread it on burgers, wraps or sandwiches

Can You Freeze It?

Cream cheese has a tendency to separate and become grainy/liquid when frozen, so freezing is not recommended. Pimento Cheese should keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Variations

  • Add in some sundried tomatoes or finely chopped chives.
  • Experiment with different cheeses.
  • Diced jalapeños give this spread a spicy kick.

Overhead image of pimento cheese on a cutting board with crackers and celery.

Delicious Party Dips

Pimento Cheese

A festive dip that’s bursting with zest.

  • 2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese (shredded, extra sharp)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 8 oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 4 oz pimentos (drained and chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  1. Combine mayonnaise, cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, yellow mustard, garlic powder and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Mix with a hand mixer until fluffy.
  2. Fold in pimentos and cheddar cheese.

For a smoother texture, mix cheddar with a hand mixer before folding in the pimentos.

Top photo - Pimento cheese mixed in a glass bowl. Bottom photo - Pimento Cheese ingredients being mixed in a clear bowl.
Overhead image of pimento cheese on a cutting board with crackers and celery.
Overhead image of pimento cheese on a cutting board with crackers and celery.

Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells (Freezer Friendly)

Taco stuffed pasta shells are a great twist on classic stuffed shells Jumbo pasta shells are filled with a creamy seasoned beef & vegetable mixture and topped with cheese. 

All you need to add to this delicious taco inspired casserole is a simple tossed salad, or some roasted broccoli!

A serving of taco stuffed shells on a plate garnished with parsley.

What Pasta To Use

Jumbo shells are sold with the pasta and are available in most supermarkets (or online at Amazon).  They often come in a box (to keep them from breaking) next to the lasagna. They are called conchiglie, because they resemble conch shells.

If you can’t find them, try substituting for the smaller shells and creating a casserole (layered like I do with my baked ziti), rather than stuffed shells.

How To Make Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells

To make these stuffed pasta shells:

  1. Cook the pasta shells to al dente (they’ll cook a bit more in the oven).
  2. Brown the ground beef and onions and drain fat.

Two images showing taco stuffed shells filling in a pan then mixed and combined with cream cheese.

  1. Add tomatoes, taco seasoning, water, and veggies (per the recipe below). Cook until all of the water is evaporated.
  2. Fill each pasta shell with a few tablespoons of the beef mixture. Add them to a casserole dish.

Two images showing jumbo pasta shells being filled with the taco mixture and then lined up in a casserole dish.

  1. Top with salsa. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Then, add cheese and bake an additional 10 minutes to melt the cheese.

You bet, these are even freezable! You can prepare these up until step 5, and store them in the fridge for up to 24 hours or freeze them (more on that below).

Two images showing taco filled pasta shells on a casserole dish topped with sauce and then with shredded cheese.

To Make This a Freezer Meal

This meal can be made ahead of time and frozen.  Prepare as directed but don’t add the cheese on top and don’t bake it. Ensure the filling is cooled and cover tightly with plastic wrap and then wrap in foil.

To Cook: Remove it from the freezer the night before and refrigerate overnight.  By dinner time the next day it’s ready to top with cheese and bake.

Storing and Reheating The Leftovers

Have leftovers? No worries! They will last about 3 days in the fridge, covered.

These reheat pretty well. To reheat this stuffed taco casserole, microwave for a couple minutes, or reheat in the oven at 350°F for about 10-12 minutes.

More Tasty Taco Takes

We love traditional ground beef tacos and often cook the meat up in batches for meals. Add taco meat to your regular ground beef dishes to spice them up like taco lasagna or taco casserole.

Leftover meat is also great on Taco Salad or in a taco soup recipe!

Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells

Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells. Jumbo pasta shells filled with a creamy seasoned beef & vegetable mixture and topped with cheese.  This is the perfect weeknight meal and fun twist on Taco night!

Filling

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 onion
  • 2 envelopes taco seasoning
  • 1 14.5 oz can of ((low sodium) diced tomatoes with juice)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped veggies ((red, yellow or green peppers, corn, zucchini… whatever you have on hand))
  • 1 package ((8 ounces) cream cheese, cubed)

Other

  • 24 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
  • 2 Cups Salsa
  • 2 Cups grated cheddar and/or monterey jack cheese
  • Sour cream for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Cook pasta shells al dente according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.

  3. Brown ground beef and onion in a large pan until no pink remains.

  4. Add in undrained tomatoes, taco seasoning, 3/4 cup of water and veggies. Cook 5 minutes or until liquid has evaporated. Stir in cream cheese until melted.

  5. Fill each pasta shell with about 2-3 tablespoons of the beef mixture. Place into a casserole dish.

  6. Top with salsa. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle cheese on top. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

To Make Ahead: Prepare up to step 5. Refrigerate or freeze overnight.

To Cook Frozen Shells: Defrost in the fridge overnight and proceed with baking as directed.

 

 

Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells served on a white plate.
Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells served on a white plate.
Top Photo - Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells served on a white plate. Bottom photo - Pasta shells in a casserole dish.