Bacon Grilled Cheese

Bacon Grilled Cheese! What kind of magic is this?! Combining bacon with cheddar and pepper jack cheeses takes a classic grilled cheese sandwich to the next level!

Perfect for lunch served alongside tomato soup or great for game day or movie night. Grilled cheese with bacon is a fancy, filling and flavorful take on a family favorite!

Two bacon grilled cheese sandwiches stacked and topped with extra bacon slices.

How to Make Bacon Grilled Cheese

Start with a bread thick enough to hold the melted cheese and heavy enough so it won’t fall apart. Grilled cheese with bacon (and tomato should you choose) needs a hearty bread. Sourdough is a great choice!

  1. Cook bacon slices until they are crisp. Remove the bacon and drain off all but about 1 tablespoon of bacon fat from the pan.
  2. Spread mayonnaise on the outside of two slices of sourdough bread (or bread of your choice).
  3. Layer the cheese and bacon (and optional tomato) over two slices of bread and top with remaining bread.
  4. Grill those slices of heaven up!

Overview of bacon grilled cheese sandwich ingredients on a cutting board.

To Make Bacon Grilled Cheese: Reheat the pan you cooked the bacon in on low heat and let the bacon grease become fully melted.

Gently place the bacon grilled cheese sandwich mayonnaise side out in the center of the pan and cook until golden. Flip and continue cooking until you see the cheese oozing from the sides.

a cross section of a bacon grilled cheese with melted cheese oozing out.

What to Serve with Grilled Cheese

Everything goes with a bacon grilled cheese sandwich!

Traditionally, it’s great with tomato soup (or any soup recipe you love)! On a warm day, we love to add in a tossed salad with a tangy vinaigrette. And nothing tastes better than washing it all down with an icy glass of Watermelon Lemonade!

More Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Bacon Grilled Cheese

A classic grilled cheese is taken to the next level by adding in our favorite, bacon!

  • 4 slices sourdough bread
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 2 oz cheddar cheese
  • 2 oz pepper jack cheese
  1. Cook bacon in a pan until crisp. Remove from pan and drain, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in the pan.

  2. Spread mayonnaise over the outside of each slice of bread.
  3. Divide the cheese and bacon over 2 slices of bread and top with remaining bread.
  4. Preheat a small skillet over low heat.
  5. Grill sandwich until golden, about 4-5 minutes. Flip and grill the other side until golden.

REPIN this Delicious Recipe

You can see the bacon and cheese oozing out from the middle of this grilled cheese sandwich

A bacon grilled cheese sandwich! This sandwich combines all my favorites! Cheese and bacon are melted between two pieces of sourdough bread to create this tasty treat! #spendwithpennies #bacongrilledcheese #cheesegrilledsandwich #lunch #kidfriendly
A bacon grilled cheese sandwich! This sandwich combines all my favorites! Cheese and bacon are melted between two pieces of sourdough bread to create this tasty treat! #spendwithpennies #bacongrilledcheese #cheesegrilledsandwich #lunch #kidfriendly

Tasty Frito Taco Salad

Frito Taco Salad is quickly making a name for itself as a hearty, tasty, crunchy meal that’s easy to make and super fun to eat! Our go-to taco salad is paired with our fave corn chips for a delicious crunch!

Top with fresh veggies, sour cream and your choice of toppings like homemade salsa or the best guacamole

A fully prepared Frito taco salad topped with extra corn chips and shredded cheese.

Instead of making a batch of loaded nachos, load up on fresh veggies with this super easy salad recipe and get all the ooh’s and aah’s from family and friends!

Building a Frito Salad

Taco salad ingredients are the same as what you’d put in a regular ground beef taco, but served over a bed of lettuce instead of in a taco shell. Make individual salads or assemble and serve a Frito taco salad bar and let everyone build their own! Assemble the base and let people choose their favorite dressing and add-ins!

A prepared Frito Taco Salad with catalina dressing being poured on top.

How to Make Frito Taco Salad

You can make individual servings or like a Dorito Taco Salad, this is also a great dish to serve at a potluck or party! Just cook the meat mixture, assemble and serve!

  1. Brown beef until fully cooked and drain fat.
  2. Add taco seasoning (or homemade taco seasoning) and water and simmer until thickened.
  3. Top shredded lettuce with meat mixture and remaining ingredients.

You can toss with your desired dressing or serve dry and let guests choose their own dressing! Once dressed, add extra corn chips and dive in!

What Goes with Frito Taco Salad

This salad definitely stands on its own, but a citrusy side like orange wedges or a bright, flavorful lemonade drink are crowd-pleasers for sure!

Frito Taco Salad prepared in a white bowl before dressing is added. Garnished with slices jalapeños and sour cream.

More Yummy Taco Inspired Recipes

Frito Taco Salad

Impress your family with this hearty, tasty, crunchy Frito Taco Salad that’s easy to make and super fun to eat!

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 package taco seasoning (or homemade)
  • 6 cups iceberg lettuce (chopped)
  • 1 cup tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 2 cups Frito corn chips
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup Catalina dressing (or to taste)
  • toppings as desired (peppers, onions, jalapenos, sour cream)
  1. Brown beef over medium heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat.
  2. Add taco seasoning and 1/2 cup water. Simmer 5 minutes or until thickened.
  3. Place lettuce in a large bowl. Top with meat, tomatoes, cheese, 1 cup of Frito corn chips, salsa and desired toppings.
  4. Add dressing and toss well. Top with remaining corn chips. Serve immediately.

Nutrition information does not include desired toppings. 

REPIN this Easy Recipe

Taco Salad with Fritos served in a white bowl and garnished with sour cream, shredded cheddar and Fritos

This Frito taco salad is a fun twist on a classic taco salad. Just brown your meat mixture, top your lettuce with you favorite toppings, like salsa or guacamole, and dive in!  #spendwithpennies #fritotacosalad #tacotuesday #maindish #salad
This Frito taco salad is a fun twist on a classic taco salad. Just brown your meat mixture, top your lettuce with you favorite toppings, like salsa or guacamole, and dive in!  #spendwithpennies #fritotacosalad #tacotuesday #maindish #salad

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes (in half the time)

Cheesy Scalloped potatoes are the perfect comfort food…  creamy, rich and cheesy; but they always take so long to cook! Not anymore! This recipe uses a method that will show you how to make this cheesy goodness in about half of the time of traditional scalloped potatoes recipe

My mom taught me an easy little trick that speeds up the cooking of the potatoes and has them ready on time every time!  If you just pop them in boiling water for just a few  minutes before you put this together, you will cut down your cooking time by as much as an hour, saving time for delicious main dishes like meatloaf or pork chops!

A close up of a spoon serving cheesy scalloped potatoes.

What Are Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped potatoes are a classic side dish made with thinly sliced potatoes layered and baked until hot and bubbly. A classic scalloped potato recipe doesn’t include cheese and is made with a roux (white sauce).

While similar to au gratin potatoes, there are some key differences:

  • Potatoes au gratin have a cheese sauce (instead of a white sauce), and are most often made with layers of onions and potatoes.
  • Classic scalloped potatoes don’t contain cheese sauce or cheese
  • Cheesy scalloped potatoes use a white sauce and are layered with cheese

A pot full of potato medallions surrounded by cheese and other cheesy scalloped potato ingredients.

How Do You Make Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped potatoes are easy to make and delicious but they can take a very long time to cook, not anymore!! In this quick recipe, I have a couple of tips to reduce the baking time from about 90 minutes to 45 minutes! 

Tips to reduce cooking time:

  • Potatoes: Boiling the sliced potatoes for a couple of minutes makes this recipe quick as the potatoes don’t have to cook as long and they’re already warm going into the oven.
  • Sauce: These cheesy scalloped have a quick and easy shortcut white sauce to save time (and effort). I use condensed cream of mushroom soup and layer with cheese and onions! If you’d prefer you can make your own Homemade Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup or use cream of chicken or cream of celery!

A collage of process shots of cheesy scalloped potatoes being layered and assembled.

To Make Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes:

  1. PREP:
    • Slice the potatoes (I use a mandoline slicer to make it quick) and drop the potatoes into boiling water for 5 minutes (this is a huge time saver).
    • Mix the white sauce ingredients together.
  2. LAYER:
    • Layer the sauce, potatoes and cheese in a 9×9 baking dish
    • Top with more cheese
  3. BAKE:
    • Bake the cheesy scalloped potatoes until golden and bubbly.

A serving dish full of cheesy scalloped potatoes fresh from the oven topped with pepper and parsley.

Can You Freeze Scalloped Potatoes

Potatoes can sometimes change texture when frozen, so scalloped potatoes taste best when made fresh. If you plan to freeze them, make sure you have already baked them first. Raw potatoes can still oxidize in the freezer, causing them to turn grey.

Cheesy scalloped potatoes should last up to a month in the freezer. The trick to ensuring they taste great is in the reheating, like most potato side dishes, we prefer to reheat in the oven with a little bit of fresh cheese added on top!

More Perfect Potato Sides

Easy Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

This scalloped potatoes recipe is quick and easy to put together yet tastes incredibly delicious!

  • 2 lbs yellow potatoes
  • 1 can cream of mushroom (chicken or celery soup)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 small onion (thinly sliced)
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Wash potatoes and slice 1/4″ thick (no need to peel). Drop into boiling water for 5 minutes. During the last minute, add sliced onions to the water. Drain.
  3. Meanwhile, combine soup, milk, pepper and garlic powder in a bowl. Microwave until hot.
  4. Put a little bit of the soup mixture in the bottom of a greased 2qt casserole dish, a 9×9 pan or an oven safe pan. Layer 1/2 of the potatoes, 1/2 of the soup mixture and 1/2 of the cheese. Repeat layers ending with cheese.
  5. Bake at 375 for 45-55 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

REPIN this Easy Side Dish

Scalloped Potato Casserole in a square white baking dish

remove

These easy cheesy scalloped potatoes are a delicious and easy potato side dish that makes classic scalloped potatoes even simpler! #spendwithpennies #scallopedpotatoes #potatoes #cheesyscallopedpotatoes #scalloped #cheesypotatoes #sidedish #easysidedish
These easy cheesy scalloped potatoes are a delicious and easy potato side dish that makes classic scalloped potatoes even simpler! #spendwithpennies #scallopedpotatoes #potatoes #cheesyscallopedpotatoes #scalloped #cheesypotatoes #sidedish #easysidedish

Pea Salad

The Best Bacon Pea salad is a simple summer side that everyone loves. Tender sweet peas are mixed with bacon, shredded cheddar cheese and a bit of red onion for some zest. A simple mayonnaise based dressing is seasoned with a little vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Simple yet perfect.

Already sounds tasty, doesn’t it? This easy side is a welcome salad at any potluck and perfect served next to grilled chicken, grilled shrimp, and other delicious mains!

Pea salad in a wooden serving bowl topped with cheese and bacon.

Classic Pea Salad

The list of ingredients alone will be enough to show how you can take sweet peas and turn them into the perfect side dish for potlucks and barbecues!  Green pea salad is versatile, add in bell peppers or other favorite veggies, substitute leftover ham for the bacon, your favorite cheeses instead of cheddar, and ranch dressing if you don’t have sour cream and mayonnaise.

English pea salad is another favorite variation, add in diced hard boiled eggs. Now that’s one hearty side dish, more like a main course!

A process shot of pea salad ingredients in a clear mixing bowl.

Do You Have to Cook Frozen Peas for Salad?

You really don’t have to cook frozen peas before making green pea salad. That’s because anytime you buy frozen vegetables, they’ve already been blanched. (In other words, partially cooked and quickly chilled.) This prevents the cell walls from bursting and turning vegetables into mush.

To make a sweet pea salad, buy frozen tiny peas, sometimes called baby peas or baby sweet peas. They contain more sugar, and make a nice complement to the saltiness of the bacon.

Simply run the peas under cold water to allow them to defrost.

Pea salad in a wooden serving bowl with bacon and cheese on top.

How to Make Bacon Pea Salad

Here are the steps to making a delicious pea salad with bacon:

  1. Defrost the peas under cold water and cook the bacon until crispy and then crumble.
  2. Whisk the dressing ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add the peas, bacon, and onion, and stir to coat with the dressing.

Voila. It’s so easy! To make creamy pea salad with fresh peas from the garden, shell the peas and place them in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes or until tender. Drain well and cool completely. If you’d prefer, bacon bits can be substituted for bacon.

Can You Freeze Pea Salad?

In a word, no. Freezing pea salad is not recommended. The mayonnaise will separate, the sour cream will get grainy, and you’ll probably wind up with a yucky mush. It will keep in the refrigerator for a few days however, so make it ahead if you need to.

More Easy Sides

The Best Pea Salad

Pea salad is a delicious crowd pleasing summer side dish with tender peas, cheddar cheese and bacon.

  • 8 slices bacon (cooked and crumbled)
  • 4 cups frozen peas (defrosted)
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion

Dressing

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • salt & pepper
  1. Combine all dressing ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

  2. Add peas, bacon, onion and cheese to the bowl and gently stir.

  3. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

REPIN this Easy Salad Recipe

Pea Salad in a wooden bowl and garnished with crumbled bacon, cheddar cheese and red onion.

This green pea salad recipe is an easy and delicious bacon filled salad recipe that the whole family loves! #spendwithpennies #peasalad #salad #peas #sweetpeasalad #greenpeasalad #easypeasalad #peasaladrecipe
This green pea salad recipe is an easy and delicious bacon filled salad recipe that the whole family loves! #spendwithpennies #peasalad #salad #peas #sweetpeasalad #greenpeasalad #easypeasalad #peasaladrecipe

Spicy Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwich!

Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese is everything you could possibly ask for from comfort food! Soft bread with a crisp exterior and a creamy, cheesy, dreamy jalapeno popper inspired filling! 

Piquant and cheesy, this easy grilled cheese sandwich is a perfectly heavenly combination of gooey and crunchy at the same time.

Close up of sliced jalapeño popper grilled cheese with melted cheese dropping out and sliced jalapeños on top

If you are looking for a delicious and easy meal or midnight snack, I’ve got you covered. This sandwich is fast and easy, and the results make for a delicious reward at the end!

Jalapeno Grilled Cheese Ingredients

This jalapeño popper grilled cheese sandwich recipe uses a delicious combination of of flavors similar to those found in my famous Jalapeno Popper Dip!

Smooth cream cheese with shredded parmesan and sharp cheddar, pickled jalapeño peppers and thick slices of sourdough bread.

  • Cheese: You can substitute or add in any other cheeses you like. Grated asiago, romano, and/or pepper jack are good options. You want something with a robust flavor to stand out among the cream cheese.
  • Bread: The bread you choose is another area you can play around with. For the best texture look for a crusty, substantial bread that holds its’ shape when thickly sliced.
  • Flavor Boost: To boost the flavor of this jalapeño popper grilled cheese even more, turn up the flavor even by adding a layer of crispy bacon or sliced ham.

Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese ingredients laid out on a wood cutting board.

How to Make a Grilled Cheese Sandwich

For this recipe all you need is a frying pan and a spatula. It’s as easy as 1,2,3 to prep and cook the best grilled cheese jalapeño popper sandwich you’ve ever tasted:

  1. Spread one side of each slice of bread with mayonnaise (or butter if you’d prefer but mayonnaise definitely gives the best crust).
  2. Place the jalapeño filling between two slices, on the plain sides.
  3. Grill until toasted brown on one side, then flip and repeat on the other.

Cut diagonally from end to end and serve warm and melty (with a cold beer if you like).

Jalapeno cream cheese and cheddar cheese on bread in a frying pan for making jalapeno popper grilled cheese sandwiches

What Goes Good With Grilled Cheese?

Jalapeño popper grilled cheese sandwiches are rich and filling, so serve them with sides that are fresh and crisp. Skip the salty or oily chips, instead, think a classic Tomato Soup (of course)!!

Fresh Summer Fruit Salad or crisp tossed salad. Or, for a pop of color and nutrition, simply serve with fresh crispy veggies and dip (ranch or blue cheese are my faves).

More Grilled Cheese Goodness

Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Piquant and cheesy, a jalapeño popper grilled cheese is a heavenly combination of gooey, crunchy and chewy, all at the same time.

  • 4 slices sourdough bread (thick cut)
  • 1 teaspoon mayonnaise
  • 3 oz cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons diced jalapenos (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 4 oz cheddar cheese
  1. Combine cream cheese, jalapeños, garlic powder, and parmesan cheese in a small bowl. Mix well.

  2. Spread jalapeño filling over 2 of the slices of bread. Top with cheddar cheese and remaining slice of bread.

  3. Spread mayonnaise over the outside of each slice of bread.
  4. Preheat a small skillet over low heat. Place mayonnaise side down in the skillet.
  5. Grill until golden, about 4-5 minutes. Flip and grill the other side until golden.

REPIN this Easy Recipe

Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese sandwiches piled on top of each other

What could possibly be better than grilled cheese? How about a jalapeño popper grilled cheese! With cream cheese, sourdough bread and jalapeños this spicy treat is irresistible. #spendwithpennies #jalapeñopoppergrilledcheese #grilledcheese #lunch #sandwich #maindish
What could possibly be better than grilled cheese? How about a jalapeño popper grilled cheese! With cream cheese, sourdough bread and jalapeños this spicy treat is irresistible. #spendwithpennies #jalapeñopoppergrilledcheese #grilledcheese #lunch #sandwich #maindish

Easy Cheesy Potato Casserole

Easy Cheesy Potatoes are sure to become a favorite side dish in your house. Tender potatoes in a short-cut cheese sauce are baked until golden and bubbly!

This potato casserole will elevate any meal into a feast. Serve this rich, savory side dish with glazed ham, baked chicken legs or roasted pork tenderloin.

Close up of cheesy potatoes in a white casserole dish with a scoop missing.

Cheesy Potato Ingredients

While the obvious ingredient is potatoes we add lots of cheddar cheese, sour cream, butter, soup, and green onions finish out this easy dish.

You can vary these ingredients to suit your taste or use what you have on hand.

  • Cheese: I find that cheddar cheese produces the best sauce with the most flavor, especially if you use extra-sharp but a nice swiss or your fave cheese will work just fine!
  • Potatoes: Almost any kind of potatoes will work for this recipe.
    • In a hurry? Use country style hash browned potatoes in place of boiling your own potatoes.
    • Choose thin skinned potatoes (like Yukon gold or red potatoes) and skip the peeling
  • Canned Soup: Use any kind of condensed “cream of” canned soup in this recipe. I love using homemade condensed mushroom soup to control the salt.

If you want to make your cheesy potato bake more of a one-pot meal, then go ahead and add a cup or two of diced ham or some poached chicken breasts (or leftover roast chicken). Even ground beef would be great in this casserole!

Cheesy potato ingredients in a bowl prior to mixing.

How to Make Cheesy Potatoes (with real potatoes)

This casserole recipe is a simple variation of scalloped potatoes, but with diced potatoes and requires less prep thanks to an easy-to-make sauce. Here’s how easy it is to make cheesy potatoes in the oven:

  1. Boil the diced potatoes until tender.
  2. Melt the butter and mix in the remaining ingredients. Save some cheese to sprinkle on top.
  3. Combine all the ingredients together, including the cooked potatoes, and transfer to a greased casserole dish.
  4. Top with the remainder of the cheese and bake until bubbling and browned.

Don’t cover these cheesy potatoes while baking. You want the top to get golden brown.

Not ready to bake it yet? Cheesy potatoes will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days before baking. So make this dish extra easy by taking care of all the prep work the day before! Just pop them in the oven following the recipe and you are ready to enjoy.

Cheesy potatoes sprinkled with cheddar cheese and green onions before baking.

Can You Freeze Cheesy Potato Casserole?

Cheesy potatoes come out of the oven tender and delicious! You can make and bake this casserole ahead of time and freeze it as well. Or, freeze the leftovers, if there are any!

Let this dish thaw before baking at 400F for about an hour, or until piping hot and the cheese is nicely browned.

Our Fave Potato Sides

Cheesy Potatoes

These potatoes are loaded with creamy goodness like sour cream and cheddar cheese and make a perfect side dish!

  • 3 lbs diced potatoes (or 30oz country style hash browns)
  • 1/4 cup butter (melted)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup cream of chicken soup (or cream of cheddar)
  • 1/4 cup green onion (chopped)
  • 2 cup cheddar cheese (divided)
  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F and grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.

  2. If using fresh potatoes, place in a saucepan with cold water. Simmer 12-14 minutes or until fork tender. Drain and allow to cool slightly.

  3. Melt butter, add sour cream, soup, onion and 1 1/2 cups cheese. 

  4. Toss in the potatoes (or frozen hash brown potatoes) and combine. Spread into a prepared baking dish.

  5. Top with remaining cheese and bake for 28-30 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

Optional topping: For a crunchy topping, combine 1 1/2 cups cornflakes, slightly crushed with 4 tablespoons melted butter. Top casserole before baking.

 

REPIN this Easy Cheesy Recipe

Cheesy Potatoes baked in a white dish and garnished with parsley

This easy cheesy potato casserole is great to prep and make ahead. Then just toss in the oven to bake until browned! You can also easily freeze this recipe for a quick meal or perfectly portioned leftovers! #spendwithpennies #cheesypotatoes #sidedish #ovenbaked #casserole #makeahead #freezerfriendly
This easy cheesy potato casserole is great to prep and make ahead. Then just toss in the oven to bake until browned! You can also easily freeze this recipe for a quick meal or perfectly portioned leftovers! #spendwithpennies #cheesypotatoes #sidedish #ovenbaked #casserole #makeahead #freezerfriendly

Perfect Taco Salad (Quick Meal)

Taco Salad is crispy, crunchy and colorful! Crisp lettuce is topped with a zesty seasoned ground beef, crunchy tortilla chips and all of our favorite taco toppings. 

It’s so quick, it makes an easy weeknight meal or even a build-your-own taco salad bar when feeding a crowd!

A top view of a taco salad in a brown bowl with toppings like salsa, avocado, tomatoes and diced jalapenos on the side.

How to Make Taco Salad

Taco salad is a staple around here! It takes about 20 minutes start to finish (especially if you have other hands in the kitchen prepping toppers) and is a welcome variation of ground beef tacos!

    1. Brown and season ground beef. Stir in beans.
    2. Wash lettuce and top with beef mixture and your favorite toppings.
    3. Scoop into bowls or plates and top with tortilla chips, sour cream, and salsa.

If you’d like to make a crispy baked tortilla bowl (like you’d get at a restaurant), they’re easy to bake at home!

To Make a Crispy Baked Taco Salad Bowl

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Spray a flour tortilla with cooking spray (or brush it with butter or olive oil) and season with salt & your fave seasonings (cumin or a bit of chili powder are good).
  • Place the tortilla in an oven proof bowl or a taco bowl maker.
  • Bake 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned and crispy!

A Taco Salad assembled in a brown bowl. Each fresh topping is shown on top of a bed of lettuce.

Taco Salad Ingredients

The beauty of this tex-mex inspired salad is the fact that you can customize it to what you have on hand or whatever your taste buds desire!

 1. Beef:

    • I use lean beef but ground turkey or chicken will work too, or even juicy shrimp.
    • I prefer Homemade Taco Seasoning but store bought will do in a pinch!
    • Black beans or pinto beans are great additions too.

2. Lettuce:

    • Romaine or iceberg lettuce are crunchy and hold up well.
    • Chop or tear it into bite sized pieces.

All the ingredients to make a taco salad assembled on a wooden board.

3. Toppings:

    • Cheese – Cheddar, marble, mozzarella or Monterey Jack are great.
    • Tortilla Chips – Pick your favorite tortilla chips. Be sure to add just before serving so they stay crunchy!
    • Use flavored chips or Doritos to make this delicious Dorito Taco Salad version.
    • Veggies – Add a delicious assortment of veggies like olives, bell peppers, onions, jalapenos, avocado or green chiles on top.

4. Dressing:

    • Classic – Sour cream and salsa is our go-to dressing for this salad.
    • Creamy – Try a Ranch Dressing or Avocado Dressing. These will compliment the ground beef and spicy jalapenos perfectly.
    • Zesty – Or you can use Thousand Island Dressing or store bought Catalina for a yummy alternative.

Avocado, jalapenos, tomatoes, beans, red onion, cheese, ground beef, cheese and tortilla chips all on top of a bed of lettuce in a brown bowl.

What to Serve with Taco Salad

This Taco Salad is definitely a full meal in itself, simply pair it with a cold beverage like horchata, lemonade, or even a fruity Sangria or Margarita!

If you want to keep your menu super simple, serve warmed soft tortillas on the side to create a quick taco or burrito at the ready.

Feeding a larger crowd? Add Spanish Rice or this zesty Cilantro Lime Rice to your menu! In keeping with the Mexican theme and to finish off the evening, try some dulce de leche, Mexican chocolate mousse or Easy Sopapilla Cheesecake for dessert!

More Delicious Taco Inspired Recipes

Taco Salad

This easy taco salad is crispy, crunchy and colorful! It is so much fun to put together because you can customize the toppings, making everyone at the dinner table happy!

Beef

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 package taco seasoning (or homemade)
  • 1 cup black beans (drained and rinsed)

Salad

  • 6 cups romaine or iceberg lettuce (chopped)
  • 1 cup tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 avocado (diced)
  • 1 cup tortilla chips
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • toppings as desired (olives, bell peppers, jalapenos, red or green onion)
  1. Brown beef over medium heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat. 

  2. Add taco seasoning and 1/2 cup water. Simmer 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in beans.

  3. Place lettuce in a large bowl. Top with meat, tomatoes, cheese, avocado and desired toppings.
  4. Top each serving with tortilla chips, salsa and sour cream.

While we use sour cream and salsa as dressing, catalina or Thousand Island are also great tossed with this salad.

 

Top photo - top view of Taco Salad in a wooden bowl. Bottom photo - close up view of taco salad.
Close up of Taco Salad in a wooden bowl.
Close up of Taco Salad in a wooden bowl.

Creamy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese (Boiled in Milk)

homemade macaroni and cheese in bowl

Stovetop Mac and Cheese is the creamiest, dreamiest version of an all-American favorite! No one can resist a savory combination of a creamy cheddar cheese base blended with macaroni noodles, and it couldn’t be easier made on the stovetop.

Serve this creamy homemade mac and cheese with a fresh tossed salad, some garlic bread, and roasted broccoli for the perfect rounded meal!

Creamy stovetop macaroni and cheese in a cooking dish with a wooden spoon.

How to Make Stove Top Mac and Cheese

This stovetop mac and cheese is the creamiest version! The secret to this recipe is that the pasta is boiled in milk (which means only one pot for easy clean up). It’s as easy as 1,2,3!

  1. Combine milk, garlic powder, butter and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Add in the macaroni noodles and reduce the heat to low (adding liquid as needed). Cook until the noodles are tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Once the pasta is fully cooked, add the rest of the ingredients and stir until melted.

The final result is a smooth and hearty easy family entrée that everyone will love and want seconds of!

Troubleshooting

This recipe is really easy to make but here are a few to tips to make sure it comes out creamy.

When the macaroni is done cooking in the milk, you do not want it dry.  You may need to add more milk/water to the pot while it is cooking. The macaroni noodles should be as moist as the photo on the top right below BEFORE you add in the cheese.  Once you add the cheese, remove it from the stove and stir until the cheese has melted.

Keep in mind, pre-shredded cheese often has additives to keep it from clumping. These additives can cause it to be grainy instead of creamy.

Process shots of stovetop macaroni and cheese being made from the pasta being cooked to the cheese being added.

What Goes with Mac and Cheese?

Everything goes with stovetop mac and cheese! A salad with a bright balsamic vinaigrette, or a crusty loaf with Homemade Garlic Butter can round out this meal.

Fresh fruit salad or a tangy gelatin dessert go well for with this rich macaroni. When you serve this creamy stovetop mac and cheese, almost anything goes.

Add ins: You can get creative with this recipe. Add in bacon, jalapenos, canned tuna, peas, even topping mac and cheese with fresh pico de gallo!

Cheese being stirred into stovetop macaroni and cheese with a wooden spoon.

Got Leftovers?

Mac and Cheese leftovers can last 4-5 days in the fridge. Reheat on low on the stove top (or in them microwave) and add a splash of milk to keep it creamy.

Can You Freeze Mac and Cheese? The best creamy mac and cheese recipes are served just as they’re made, including this one. This recipe doesn’t freeze well.

More Mac and Cheese Love

Extra Creamy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

If you love rich and creamy Macaroni and Cheese then this homemade stovetop recipe is for you!!

  • 2 cups uncooked macaroni noodles
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1. In a saucepan combine a pinch of salt, milk, garlic powder, onion powder, butter and water. Bring to a boil.

  2. Add in macaroni noodles, reduce heat to low.
  3. Continue to simmer stirring frequently until noodles are cooked (about 20 minutes).

  4. Watch to make sure the liquid doesn’t completely evaporate. You can add extra milk 1/4 cup at a time if the liquid is low.
  5. Once the pasta is cooked, ensure the noodles are not dry. They should be as moist as the photo above before adding cheese. Stir in cream cheese until melted.

  6. Remove from heat and stir in cheddar cheese. Cover for 3 minutes.

Recipe slightly adapted from Plain Chicken.

REPIN this Easy Stovetop Recipe

This one pot stovetop mac and cheese is seriously good. Homemade mac and cheese is always better, and making this cheesy comfort food couldn't be easier thanks to the stove top! #spendwithpennies #macandcheese #stovetopmacandcheese #macaroniandcheese #macaroni #cheese #stovetop
This one pot stovetop mac and cheese is seriously good. Homemade mac and cheese is always better, and making this cheesy comfort food couldn't be easier thanks to the stove top! #spendwithpennies #macandcheese #stovetopmacandcheese #macaroniandcheese #macaroni #cheese #stovetop

Creamy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

Stovetop Mac and Cheese is the creamiest, dreamiest version of an all-American favorite! No one can resist a savory combination of a creamy cheddar cheese base blended with macaroni noodles, and it couldn’t be easier made on the stovetop.

Serve this creamy homemade mac and cheese with a fresh tossed salad, some garlic bread, and roasted broccoli for the perfect rounded meal!

Creamy stovetop macaroni and cheese in a cooking dish with a wooden spoon.

How to Make Stove Top Mac and Cheese

This stovetop mac and cheese is the creamiest version! The secret to this recipe is that the pasta is boiled in milk (which means only one pot for easy clean up). It’s as easy as 1,2,3!

  1. Combine milk, garlic powder, butter and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Add in the macaroni noodles and reduce the heat to low (adding liquid as needed). Cook until the noodles are tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Once the pasta is fully cooked, add the rest of the ingredients and stir until melted.

The final result is a smooth and hearty easy family entrée that everyone will love and want seconds of!

Troubleshooting

This recipe is really easy to make but here are a few to tips to make sure it comes out creamy.

When the macaroni is done cooking in the milk, you do not want it dry.  You may need to add more milk/water to the pot while it is cooking. The macaroni noodles should be as moist as the photo on the top right below BEFORE you add in the cheese.  Once you add the cheese, remove it from the stove and stir until the cheese has melted.

Keep in mind, pre-shredded cheese often has additives to keep it from clumping. These additives can cause it to be grainy instead of creamy.

Process shots of stovetop macaroni and cheese being made from the pasta being cooked to the cheese being added.

What Goes with Mac and Cheese?

Everything goes with stovetop mac and cheese! A salad with a bright balsamic vinaigrette, or a crusty loaf with Homemade Garlic Butter can round out this meal.

Fresh fruit salad or a tangy gelatin dessert go well for with this rich macaroni. When you serve this creamy stovetop mac and cheese, almost anything goes.

Add ins: You can get creative with this recipe. Add in bacon, jalapenos, canned tuna, peas, even topping mac and cheese with fresh pico de gallo!

Cheese being stirred into stovetop macaroni and cheese with a wooden spoon.

Got Leftovers?

Mac and Cheese leftovers can last 4-5 days in the fridge. Reheat on low on the stove top (or in them microwave) and add a splash of milk to keep it creamy.

Can You Freeze Mac and Cheese? The best creamy mac and cheese recipes are served just as they’re made, including this one. This recipe doesn’t freeze well.

More Mac and Cheese Love

Extra Creamy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

If you love rich and creamy Macaroni and Cheese then this homemade stovetop recipe is for you!!

  • 2 cups uncooked macaroni noodles
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1. In a saucepan combine a pinch of salt, milk, garlic powder, onion powder, butter and water. Bring to a boil.

  2. Add in macaroni noodles, reduce heat to low.
  3. Continue to simmer stirring frequently until noodles are cooked (about 20 minutes).

  4. Watch to make sure the liquid doesn’t completely evaporate. You can add extra milk 1/4 cup at a time if the liquid is low.
  5. Once the pasta is cooked, ensure the noodles are not dry. They should be as moist as the photo above before adding cheese. Stir in cream cheese until melted.

  6. Remove from heat and stir in cheddar cheese. Cover for 3 minutes.

Recipe slightly adapted from Plain Chicken.

REPIN this Easy Stovetop Recipe

This one pot stovetop mac and cheese is seriously good. Homemade mac and cheese is always better, and making this cheesy comfort food couldn't be easier thanks to the stove top! #spendwithpennies #macandcheese #stovetopmacandcheese #macaroniandcheese #macaroni #cheese #stovetop
This one pot stovetop mac and cheese is seriously good. Homemade mac and cheese is always better, and making this cheesy comfort food couldn't be easier thanks to the stove top! #spendwithpennies #macandcheese #stovetopmacandcheese #macaroniandcheese #macaroni #cheese #stovetop

Easy 3 Ingredient Bubble Pizza

Bubble Pizza is almost as much fun to make as it is to eat. If you’ve ever had monkey bread, pull apart pizza bread is a similar concept. Canned biscuit dough (or even homemade biscuits) are tossed with cheese, pizza sauce and toppings for an easy snack!

To turn bubble pizza bread into a meal, add hearty toppings like Italian sausage and serve with a fresh tossed salad or even veggie sticks or Caesar Salad!

A pan of bubble pizza ready to be served with marinara sauce

A perfect homemade pizza is hands down one of my favorites! Tender chewy crust, zesty sauce and of course loads of toppings. As much as I love a good pizza, I also love having a recipe in my pocket for something that has all of the same delicious flavor with just a few ingredients a very little prep.

Bubble Pizza Ingredients

Since it’s so easy to prepare, pizza bread is the perfect snack to introduce your kids to cooking too! You’ll need just three ingredients:

  • Pizza Sauce
    • Use store bought or homemade
    • Cirio pizza sauce is my favorite brand (I get it our local Italian market for about $3)
  • Biscuit Dough
    • Canned biscuit dough to keeps this recipe easy
    • Homemade dough (or dough from biscuit mix) will work as well.
  • Shredded Cheese
    • Mozzarella is best for achieving that gooey goodness that makes pull apart pizza bread so good
    • Parmesan adds great flavor
    • Swap in some extra sharp cheddar to pump up the flavor even more
  • Toppings
    • No toppings are required if you’d prefer plain cheese
    • Add fresh basil with mozzarella to create a Margherita Pizza bread
    • Cook watery toppings (like mushrooms) before adding

Ingredients for pizza bread ready to be prepared including quartered biscuits, cheeses, pizza sauce and pepperoni.

How to Make Bubble Bread

You won’t believe how easy it is to make a pizza casserole with biscuits. Here’s all you do:

  1. Separate the biscuits and cut into quarters, using kitchen scissors or a knife.
  2. Toss the pieces with the pizza sauce and half the cheese & toppings.
  3. Place the mixture in a casserole dish and bake until puffed up and lightly browned.

Top with the remaining cheese and cook until melted and gooey. So easy!

Pizza Bubble Bread baked and ready to serve

What to Serve with Pizza Bread

Bubble Up Pizza Bread is the ultimate party snack food, so serve it with a variety of dips that go well with the flavors of pizza. Marinara sauce is a popular (and delicious) choice! Other good options include ranch dip, Blue Cheese Dressing or Spicy Dill Dip.

Bubble Pizza makes a terrific finger food to serve at parties or on game day. Just don’t forget to put out plenty of extra-large napkins –or better yet, a roll of paper towels!

Pizza Inspired Favorites

Easy Bubble Pizza

This easy bubble pizza is quick and delicious recipe needing just a few ingredients. Add your favorite toppings and bake until bubbly.

  • 1 roll of biscuit dough
  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese (or cheddar) (shredded)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (shredded)
  • Toppings as desired
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

  2. Cut each biscuit into 4 pieces using kitchen scissors or a knife.
  3. In a large bowl, toss biscuit pieces, pizza sauce, toppings and 1/2 cup of cheese.
  4. Spoon biscuit pieces into a well greased 9×9 pan. Top with toppings. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned and centre seems cooked.

  5. Top with remaining cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Broil to brown if desired.

Easy Pizza Bubble Bread in pan with a piece being taken out

remove