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.

Cheesy Rutabaga Gratin

Rutabaga Gratin is a side dish that will make everybody’s eyes light up when you serve it.  In this delicious casserole, tender chunks of peppery rutabaga are smothered in a creamy cheddar and gruyere sauce and baked until bubbly and browned on top.

Topping vegetables with a creamy cheese sauce, like a classic green bean casserole, is an easy way to get your family saying “Yes please!” to a generous helping of veggies, and even asking for seconds!

Overview of baked rutabaga gratin garnished with thyme.

What is a Rutabaga?

Rutabagas are a root vegetable in the cabbage family with a yellowish-orange flesh, and a sweetness and bite similar to but slightly stronger than turnips, which have white flesh.

In fact, a common question is “What is the difference?”. Both have purple tops, but turnips tend to be smaller and cleaner in appearance. Rutabagas often look like they’ve been knocked around a bit, but those scars are all erased once you peel them.

Rutabaga has a spicy, pungent edge that pairs well with a smooth creamy cheese sauce!

 

How to Prepare Rutabaga Gratin

You’ll want a sharp knife and a safe technique. Here’s how to peel, prep, and keep your fingers intact.

  • Cut off bottom and top to prepare a flat surface.
  • Stand on end and slice off strips all the way around (or use a vegetable peeler).
  • Flip to the other flat edge and remove the rest of the peel.
  • Cut into bite-size cubes, and simmer in water until partially cooked.

Two images showing cheese sauce ingredients in a pot and rutabaga cubed in a strainer.

How to Make Rutabaga Gratin

With the rutabaga prepped and parboiled you are ready to make a cheesy rutabaga casserole in 3 simple steps!

  1. Cheese Sauce: Make the seasoned cheese sauce, starting with a roux.
  2. Combine: Place parboiled rutabagas and diced onion in a casserole dish and pour the sauce over.
  3. Cook: Bake until fragrant, bubbling and golden brown on top.

Two images showing the prepared cheese sauce pot and then poured over the rutabaga.

Once you have the basic idea, go ahead and experiment. You can soften rutabagas’ bite by combining with equal parts of potato or turnip cubes. Brussel sprouts or broccoli can add some extra color. Plus their flavors are complementary to rutabagas and equally enhanced by cheese.

Alternatively, you could slice the rutabagas thinly instead of cutting into cubes, and layer the slices with the sauce, scalloped potato style. If you go this route, don’t parboil.

Can You Freeze Rutabaga Gratin?

This is one dish you probably want to leave out of the freezer. That smooth and luscious cheese sauce is likely to separate and get gummy when thawing.

  • Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to four days.
  • Reheat in the microwave or with a foil cover in the oven, to prevent the top from burning.

More Cheesy Sides Please

We love serving roasted root vegetables and dishes like brown sugar roasted rutabaga, but there is something irresistible about covering veggies in a creamy cheese sauce!

You will definitely want to make extras when serving side dishes like cheesy broccoli casserole or a classic potatoes au gratin for supper!

Rutabaga Gratin

Cheesy and delicious side dish perfect for the holidays.

  • 3 1/2 to 4 lbs rutabaga (cubed)
  • 1/2 cup onion (chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1/2 cup gruyere cheese (shredded)
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Peel and cube rutabaga. Place in a pot of cold water and bring to a boil. Simmer 10-15 minutes or just until tender. Do not overcook, they will cook more in the oven. Drain well.
  3. Meanwhile, cook onion in butter on medium low heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add flour and thyme, cook 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add milk a little bit at a time stirring until smooth after each addition. It will seem thick at first but will smooth out with each addition. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in cheeses until melted. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
  5. Toss sauce with rutabaga and transfer to a 2qt baking dish. Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned.

Close up of a rutabaga gratin casserole.
Close up of a rutabaga gratin casserole.
Top photo - Close up of a rutabaga gratin casserole. Bottom photo - A rutabaga on a cutting board being cubed.

The Best Homemade Alfredo Sauce Ever!

Alfredo Sauce is the most creamy and delicious homemade alfredo sauce that you will ever make!   This is a tried and true recipe and you will agree that it is the best recipe out there!

This is my most popular recipe for a good reason! If you love alfredo as much as I do try this Creamy Garlic Shrimp Alfredo Pasta, Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo Pasta or Asiago Garlic Alfredo Pastahomemade Alfredo Sauce in a jar using a spoon to show how thick it is.

Alfredo Sauce

I just had to post my favorite alfredo recipe that I have created here on the blog.

There are a few secret ingredients that set it apart from all of the rest.

If there is one thing I can always count on my family to eat it is my homemade alfredo sauce over pasta.

We recently had some company over for dinner and I made these Chicken Bacon Garlic Alfredo Roll Ups and they always are a huge hit!

This alfredo sauce is thick and creamy and the flavor is out of the world.

It is restaurant quality that you can make right at home!

What is Alfredo Sauce

Classic Alfredo Sauce is a simple but elegant creamy, white sauce that is commonly known to lay over pasta noodles.

It is made from butter, a type of cream and parmesan cheese.

Adding seasonings and cream cheese for a thickener I like to blend a rich, creamy sauce together that is simple and irresistible.

The end result of this mixture is satisfying to say the least!

What you need to make alfredo sauce

Simple ingredients for an elegant sauce that is a classic dish loved by all.

Alfredo Sauce just has a smooth, creamy texture that melts in your mouth.

The best results comes from the ingredients. Using the freshest ingredients is key!

Fresh parmesan cheese grated off the block is one of those key ingredients.

This will create a smooth textured sauce rather than a grainy one.

Each of these ingredients melt and blend together so well creating a masterpiece!

  • Butter: either unsalted or salted work for this alfredo sauce recipe.
  • Heavy whipping cream: for a richer and creamy flavor heavy whipping cream is preferred over whipping cream.
  • Cream cheese: this adds a nice thick consistency to your alfredo sauce.
  • Minced garlic: for best flavoring use fresh garlic and mince it the best you can.
  • Garlic powder: adds to the rich and garlic flavoring.
  • Italian seasoning: brings on an Italian fill and blends all the seasonings together.
  • Salt and pepper: just to taste!
  • Grated parmesan cheese: using real parmesan cheese is best. Powdered cheese will create a grainy texture and does not melt through when heated.

How to make Alfredo sauce

Creating this master piece does take a little bit of time. We all know that it is worth it!

We love Alfredo sauce and it is a quick and easy sauce that can be made in minutes with these simple ingredients.

Enjoy alfredo sauce right when you need it!

  • Whisk dairy ingredients together: In a medium saucepan add butter, heavy whipping cream, and cream cheese. Cook over medium heat and whisk until melted.
  • Add and whisk seasonings: Add the minced garlic, garlic powder, italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Continue to whisk until smooth.
  • Stir in cheese: Add the grated parmesan cheese.
  • Thicken your sauce: Bring to a simmer and continue to cook for about 3-5 minutes or until it starts to thicken.
  • Toss with pasta: Toss it with your favorite pasta!

Is Alfredo Sauce keto?

Yes! This is totally keto! I left out the flour and that makes this keto.

Crazy, I know! But such good news!

If you are following a low carb diet this can be a great recipe to enjoy while cutting back on other favorite meals.

Even though it is keto and considered a low carb recipe, it is still full on creamy, thick and rich alfredo sauce.

It will be like dessert in your mouth!

This easy to make Alfredo Sauce recipe will have you saying MMMMM and AWW, with every bite.

Alfredo Sauce in a pan

FAQ’s for making Alfredo Sauce

This alfredo sauce has delicious garlic flavor and Italian seasonings.

I like to add cream cheese to my alfredo for that extra creamy flavor and texture.

This alfredo sauce always gets raved about whenever I make it!

  • How to make Alfredo Sauce with milk instead cream?

    Adding milk is always an option. This will be a lighter and less thick consistency but can work. Half and half is also another option instead of heavy whipping cream. To thicken it up a little more adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of flour to thicken.

  • How to make Alfredo Sauce thicker?

    When adding cream cheese, slowly cut chunks of cream cheese as you are stirring. This helps create a thicker and creamier sauce. You can also use a roux by using an equal amount of butter to flour, about 1 teaspoon.

  • Is Alfredo Sauce gluten free?

    This recipe is considered gluten free! It still has a great taste and all the fresh ingredients to make this just the way you like it with no substitutions.

  • Is Alfredo Sauce cheese?

    This is a cheese based sauce that is rich in flavor. It does not harden like a cheese though.

  • Does Alfredo sauce have dairy?

    There are substitutions to make this dairy free but I do not recommend it if you are looking for the authentic taste of Alfredo Sauce. Having dairy in this Alfredo Sauce recipe makes this rich, creamy and smooth when simmering.

  • Is Alfredo Sauce good with ground beef? 

    It can be done, but not recommended. Alfredo sauce goes best with a chicken, fish or pasta.

  • How Many Cups Does this Yield?

    When you are done making your Alfredo Sauce you will be able to fill a tall canning jar. This is about 14 to 16 ounces (1 pound) of pasta or 2 cups of sauce. We like to reserve a little alfredo sauce on the side for dipping. 

Tips for making Alfredo Sauce

I think this sauce is even better than any restaurant that I have been to and the best part is that you can make it yourself!

It is thick, creamy, and rich and the perfect sauce on top of your favorite pasta.

I know that you will quickly agree that this is the BEST!

This will be a recipe that you make again and again, just like I do!

  • Slowly add in your heavy whipping cream and cream cheese. This will enhance your flavors as well as thicken evenly throughout.
  • Avoid separating your Alfredo Sauce when mixing it by whisking it together rather than stirring with a spatula.
  • Parmesan cheese is the key ingredient for making this Alfredo Sauce thick and creamy. I recommend using a fresh parmesan cheese that you grate yourself or similar. Try to avoid using the powder or grated grated parmesan cheese in a tall can.
  • The most important rule is not overheating your Alfredo Sauce. Slowly add ingredients on a low and for a short period of time. Melted cheese will break and separate once it gets too hot leaving your cheese clumpy.
  • When simmering, a shorter amount of time is best. Around 1 minute, whisking it well.
  • Do not boil or overheat. Boiling will separate and ruin the alfredo sauce.
  • If you are worried about overheating, add your parmesan with the heat off. This will also precent clumping and separating the alfredo sauce.

Variations of alfredo sauce

There are many variations that can be done with Alfredo Sauce recipe.

Adding thickeners or making it more creamy and watery are great ways to adjust this Alfredo Sauce.

Substituting any dairy or cheese can have major changes to this alfredo sauce recipe though.

For best results, enjoy my delicious Alfredo Sauce recipe that is definitely a tried and true recipe that is pure perfection!

  • Half and half or milk is great to substitute the heavy whipping cream.
  • Grilled chicken, shredding rotisserie chicken or shrimp goes well with pasta.
  • Add in more spices and seasonings like red pepper flakes or paprika for a sweeter and spicier Alfredo Sauce like this One Pot Cajun Chicken Alfredo Pasta.
  • Use half Romano cheese or asiago cheese instead of parmesan cheese.
  • Making your own fresh pasta instead of dry pasta tastes even more amazing.

Ways to use Alfredo Sauce

This alfredo sauce recipe comes together pretty easily and you will never go back to the jarred alfredo sauce again!   

It is awesome on top of just about any pasta but is also delicious used as a dip or even spread on pizza.

You can’t go wrong where you add your Alfredo Sauce to!

  • Pasta: Any pasta is great with Alfredo Sauce. The thicker and larger is best to soak up the rich, thick and creamy sauce.
  • Pizza: Alfredo pizza is one of our favorites. We love the fresh and lighter taste this sauce has to offer. This Chicken Alfredo Pizza is a great use of Alfredo Sauce recipe. Making my Quick and Easy Dough for the crust is a great combination too.
  • Dipping: We love to dip breadsticks or Miracle No Knead Bread. It is always so delicious and almost addicting it is so good!
  • Casserole: I have several casserole dishes that work so well with this alfredo sauce. It is easy to make and add to a simple casserole. Try this Pesto Alfredo Chicken Casserole for your next main meal!

Pasta mixed with Alfredo Sauce

What to make with Alfredo Sauce

Alfredo sauce is a family favorite over here.

I know that I can make so many delicious recipes with this Alfredo Sauce.

Simple and basic recipes to a little more complex, this Alfredo Sauce recipe just does the trick!

Make this a complete meal with a few vegetables, garlic bread and a side salad.

How to store alfredo sauce

To make the perfect blend of Alfredo Sauce you will want to watch your cooking temperature and stirring well.

This will make the perfect alfredo sauce and reheating just a breeze.

Alfredo Sauce is a favorite in our home and I know that it does not last long, even if I double it!

Enjoy your Alfredo Sauce again and again when storing it properly.

  • How long does Alfredo sauce last in the fridge: I like to pour my Alfredo Sauce in a jar and sealed in the refrigerator. For best results and continued flavoring it will last in the fridge for about 5 days.
  • Can you freeze Alfredo Sauce: Unfortunately this Alfredo Sauce does not freeze well. Because of the freshness of it, it will separate when freezing.
  • How to heat up Alfredo sauce: Slowly, is the key! Slow, low temperatures and stirring often. If it starts to separate, slowly stir it back together over low heat on the stove top. It is best not to microwave this sauce. It becomes more oily and separates just as easily, if not more. Once reheated, do not reheat again.

Alfredo Sauce with pasta

More delicious recipes using alfredo sauce

alfredo sauce and pasta in a bowl

The Best Homemade Alfredo Sauce Ever!

Alfredo Sauce is the most creamy and delicious homemade alfredo sauce that you will ever make!   This is a tried and true recipe and you will agree that it is the best recipe out there!

  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream (2 cups)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  1. In a medium saucepan add butter, heavy whipping cream, and cream cheese. Cook over medium heat and whisk until melted.  

  2. Add the minced garlic, garlic powder, italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Continue to whisk until smooth. Add the grated parmesan cheese.

  3. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook for about 3-5 minutes or until it starts to thicken. Toss it with your favorite pasta!

Updated on October 24, 2019

Original Post on February 18, 2016

 

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Easy Mexican Cheese Ball – Just 5 Ingredients!

Woman's hand dipping a tortilla chip in a cheese ball.

This Taco Cheese Ball recipe could not be easier to make! It is loaded with Mexican cheese and taco seasoning for a simple and addictive appetizer recipe that’s perfect for parties, Christmas, and beyond!

This cream cheese ball recipe builds on flavors from classic tacos to kick up the flavor and have everyone coming back for more!

 

Cheese ball coated in chopped pecans and cilantro surrounded by tortilla chips.

What Is a Cheese Ball?

A cheese ball is a simple appetizer recipe made with a base of cream cheese and shredded cheese. Seasoning is added to flavor the cheese. Sometimes other things like peppers or pineapple or bacon are added to the mix. And finally, the ball is rolled in a crust.

From a sweet gooey pecan pie cheese ball to a spicy jalapeno bacon cheese ball, these are always a hit at parties! No one can resist that creamy flavored cheese spread atop a crunchy cracker. It’s hard to pick the best cheese ball recipe, but they’re even better when they are made with just 5 ingredients like this Taco Cheese Ball recipe!

What To Roll It In?

  • Nuts: This is definitely most people’s preferred coating. It helps add crunch to the dish
  • Herbs: If you’re trying to keep it simple but really want to amp up that freshness factor, try rolling the ball in minced herbs. Herbs can be added to any other topping in this recipe. Try adding some finely diced jalapenos for some extra zip too! Both herbs and jalapenos will add a fresh color to a cheese ball.
  • Crumbs: Now, this topping can be a little tricky since crumbs can get moist and or stale. So if you decide to go this route, I would recommend rolling your ball in the crumbs just before serving. Crushed Tortilla chips or Doritos would be a great option for this recipe!
  • Bacon: Ah, the king of flavor! Crispy, finely diced bacon can make for a truly delicious crust on a cheese ball!

Cheese and spices in a metal bowl to make a cheese ball.

How To Make A Cheese Ball

Cheese balls are one of the easiest appetizer recipes to make because they don’t require any cooking. And this recipe only requires 5 simple ingredients!  However, you will want to chill it for a few hours (or overnight) so you’ll still need to plan ahead!

  1. Mix together the first 3 ingredients (see recipe below) with a mixer. It’s important to beat the cheese with a mixer as this will help with the texture in the final dish.
  2. Chill for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours before forming into a ball and rolling in your desired topping.

For this cheese ball recipe with cream cheese, I love a blend of pecans and cilantro. It’s the perfect balance to the cheesy taco flavors.

Cheese ball bites, basically mini cheese balls, are fun too. Use a melon scoop or small cookie scoop to make even sized servings, roll into balls and roll in the toppings. Add a pretzel stick in the top for serving, or serve atop a tortilla chip or cracker!

What To Serve A Cheese Ball With

There are so many delicious dippers to serve with this easy cheese ball recipe, but here as some of our favorites!

  • Tortilla Chips – This might not be the usual choice with every flavor cheese ball, but I think it’s the best way to serve up this taco flavored version!
  • Crackers – The standard go-to for serving.
  • Veggies – Another great option, especially if you’re looking to keep things gluten-free, keto, or just have more options. Try serving with celery, bell peppers, cucumbers, and more!

Woman's hand dipping a tortilla chip in a cheese ball.

Can I Make a Cheese Ball a Day Ahead?

Absolutely! In fact, I think it tastes best this way because it gives the spices a substantial amount of time to infuse into the cheese resulting in a bigger flavor!

How Long Will It Last?

The best way to store this cream cheese ball is uncoated (after mixing, not yet rolled in the crust). Prep it and place it in an airtight container or wrap tightly in plastic wrap.

  • In the Fridge: It will be good for up to 2 weeks. Don’t forget to roll in the crust before serving.
  • In the Freezer: Can you freeze a cheese ball? Yes, definitely!  It will last for up to one month. Let thaw fully in the fridge before rolling in your preferred crust and serving.

Once you coat it, especially if you use fresh cilantro as this recipe calls for, the cheese ball will be good for 48 hours in the refrigerator.

More Delicious Cheesy Recipes

Taco Cheese Ball

This Taco Cheese Ball could not be easier to make! It is loaded with Mexican cheese and taco seasoning for a simple and addictive appetizer recipe that's perfect for parties and beyond!

  • 2 cups Mexican cheese (shredded)
  • 16 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro (finely minced)
  • 1/2 cup pecans (chopped)
  1. Add Mexican cheese to a food processor and pulse until crumbly.

  2. Add the Mexican cheese, cream cheese, and taco seasoning to a large bowl and beat with a hand mixer until fully combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

  3. Cover the mixture and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

  4. Mix together the minced cilantro and the chopped pecans in a medium bowl. Form the cheese mixture into a ball and roll it in the nut mixture until evenly coated. Plate and serve with tortilla chips or crackers.

Cheese ball coated in chopped pecans and cilantro surrounded by tortilla chips.
Cheese ball coated in chopped pecans and cilantro surrounded by tortilla chips.
Top photo - A tortilla chip in being dipped into a cheese ball. Bottom photo - Cheese and spices in a metal bowl to make a cheese ball.

Chicken Tacos (Quick Weeknight Meal)

Chicken Tacos are an easy weeknight meal perfect every day of the week! A delicious change from our usual ground beef tacos, these feature seasoned chicken breast with fresh lime juice for lots of flavor!

Of course tacos make the perfect meal, lunch on the go or even a great game day snack as a DIY Taco Bar! Serve with cilantro lime rice or Mexican rice and elote.

A chicken taco topped with jalapeños, cheese, tomatoes, and lettuce.

How Much Chicken for Chicken Tacos?

Since we add lots of toppings and cheese, I allow for about 1/2 chicken breast per person give or take. If you’re using shredded chicken I account for 1/4 cup of chicken per taco.

How to Make Chicken Tacos

Making chicken tacos is as easy as 1,2,3! You need just a handful of ingredients and about 20 minutes!

You can use taco seasoning on chicken, I prefer to make homemade.

  1. Toss diced chicken in taco seasoning (see recipe below).
  2. Saute chicken until fully cooked and lightly browned. Then add lime juice and zest.
  3. Warm tortillas by placing them in the microwave. Then keep them in a ceramic tortilla warmer or a casserole dish set on a warm towel.
  4. Place chicken mixture and toppings in the center of the warmed tortilla.

Chicken taco meat with pico de gallo on the side for serving

Set out an array of taco toppings including Pico de Gallo and guacamole. Just let your guests assemble their own and then settle in for the big game!

Toppings for Chicken Tacos

The best chicken tacos start with the best toppings! The classic combination in the recipe below is my favorite but here are a few others to try.

  • Veggies: black olives, pineapples, jalapeños, avocados
  • Cheese: Other kinds of shredded cheese like cheddar or Monterey jack
  • Beans: Black beans, pinto beans, or refried beans
  • Sauces: sour cream, salsa, hot sauce, and guacamole

A close up of seasoned chicken for tacos

What to Serve with Chicken Tacos

While tacos are delicious on their own, a tasty array of side dishes never hurt!

Try a classic Mexican rice dish or a delicious cob of Mexican corn, and top it off with a refreshing strawberry margarita.

Got Leftovers?

Make a delicious taco salad, chicken quesadillas or enjoy tacos for days to come.

Add leftover chicken to pasta or even chop it up to make a yummy taco inspired Chicken Salad!

CLose up of a chicken taco assembled with tomatoes, jalapeños, lettuce and cheese. With salsa and a second chicken taco in the background.

Taco Night!

Chicken Tacos

Seasoned chicken breast in a warm tortilla, topped with a tomato mixture and cheese!

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast (cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 1 package taco seasoning (or homemade)
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lime (zested and juiced, divided)
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes (diced)
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion (diced)
  • 1/4 cups cilantro (minced)
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • 12 flour tortilla (6-inch) (warmed)
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese (crumbled, or cheddar)
  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl evenly coat cubed raw chicken with taco seasoning.

  2. In a 12-inch skillet set over medium-high heat add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook chicken, in batches, until browned and fully cooked on the inside.

  3. Add all of the browned chicken to the pan and add in the juice and zest of 1/2 lime. Then remove the chicken from the heat and cover with a lid to keep warm.

  4. In a small mixing bowl add tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and the juice and zest of 1/2 lime. Stir to combine and season with kosher salt to taste.

  5. Add an equal amount of chicken to each tortilla and top with an equal amount of the tomato mixture and cheese.

A chicken taco on laying open and topped with cheese, jalapenos, lettuce and tomatoes.
A chicken taco on laying open and topped with cheese, jalapenos, lettuce and tomatoes.
Top photo - A chicken taco on laying open and topped with cheese, jalapenos, lettuce and tomatoes. Bottom photo - cubes of cooked chicken in a white bowl.

Creamy Pesto Mac and Cheese

Pesto Mac and Cheese takes your mac and cheese game to the next level! This fun twist on a traditional mac and cheese recipe is made with creamy havarti and a couple of spoonfuls of pesto for a great flavor boost! 

Get creative and add in your favorites; chicken, bacon, broccoli or any mix-ins you have in the fridge or pantry! Think of the ‘pasta-bilities!’

Pesto mac and cheese in a serving bowl with a serving spoon, garnished with basil.

A New Favorite

I’m so excited to be sharing this recipe with you today because it’s one of many recipes I’ve fallen in love with from my newest gem in my cookbook collection!

This bowl of love is from The Two Peas & Their Pod Cookbook written by my good friend Maria who blogs over at Two Peas and Their Pod.

I’ve waited so long to get my hands on a copy and it was well worth the wait! This book is filled with amazing fresh recipes that are not only easy to make, they’re family friendly! I love that most of the ingredients are things you likely have on hand (just like this mac and cheese, which is crazy easy and insanely delish)!

Two Peas & Their Pod Cookbook has easy to follow recipes with gorgeous photos that your entire family is going to love! I’ve got a big ol’ list of recipes dog eared in this book already!

Two peas & their pod cookbook with pesto mac and cheese ingredients around it.

What is Pesto?

Most people think of basil pesto but, pesto is a style of sauce, and can be made with nearly any herb or vegetable. Spinach and basil are the most common kinds of pesto, but it can also be made with sundried tomatoes, bell peppers, and even mushrooms!

How to Make Pesto Mac and Cheese

This easy pasta dish is so creamy and it’s a quick and delicious family meal.

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Combine butter and flour in a stockpot to make a roux (see recipe below). Whisk in milk and cook until thickened.
  3. Stir in shredded cheese until sauce is smooth and creamy.
  4. Gently fold in the pasta and enjoy!

Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately. This mac and cheese dish is delicious served with a slice of homemade garlic bread or cheesy garlic breadstick to soak up every drop of that yummy sauce.

Two images showing the steps to create the pesto mac and cheese sauce.

My Favorite Add-Ins

This recipe is super flavorful made as written but Maria also has lots of great add-in suggestions; it’s will be like a new recipe every time!

Close up of pesto mac and cheese being scooped out of serving dish.

How To Store Mac and Cheese

Pesto mac and cheese is easily stored in the fridge in a zippered bag or airtight container.

  • Freeze it the same way, use a zippered bag or airtight container. Be sure to write the date on the outside of the bag or container.
  • Thaw in the fridge overnight. Pesto mac and cheese might not be as firm because the freezing process breaks down the pasta, but it can still be refreshed by draining any liquid that may have accumulated.
  • Reheat by putting the mac and cheese in a pot and heating gently. Refresh the flavors by adding a little salt and pepper or some new add-ins and it’s a whole new recipe!

Mac and Cheese Lover Recipes

Pesto Mac and Cheese

This stovetop mac and cheese is super creamy, cheesy, and full of flavor! It is easy to make but tastes gourmet! 

  • 12 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk (at room temperature)
  • 2 cups Havarti ( or mozzarella cheese, shredded)
  • 3 Tablespoons pesto (or store bought basil pesto)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook just until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta and set aside.
  2. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the flour to create a paste.

  3. Add the milk and whisk until smooth. Increase the heat to medium and continue whisking until the sauce starts to thicken, about 2 minutes.

  4. Stir in the shredded cheese and continue stirring until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Fold in the pesto.

  5. Add the pasta, stirring to combine, and cook just until the pasta is warmed through.

  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Recipe published with permission from Two Peas & Their Pod Cookbook.

Pesto Mac and Cheese in a white bowl.
Pesto Mac and Cheese in a white bowl.
Top photo - Pesto Mac and Cheese in a white bowl. Bottom photo - Pesto sauce being made in a saucepan.

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

All of the goodness of chicken parmesan packed into a delicious cheesy casserole!  Crispy chicken, marinara sauce, penne pasta, and cheese come together in this easy to make dish!

Casseroles are simple and delicious to make.  If you love casseroles as much as we do try this Easy Teriyaki Chicken Casserole, No Peek Chicken and Rice Casserole or Easy Sausage and Rice Casserole. chicken parmesan casserole

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

This time of the year is great for a delicious casserole.

It is starting to cool down outside and a good casserole is comfort food at its finest.

Chicken parmesan is one of my favorite dishes!  I love the crispy breaded chicken with the marinara sauce on top and melted cheese.

So why now turn it into a delicious casserole for my family?

I wanted to add all of my favorite things about chicken parmesan into this casserole.

Especially the crispy breaded chicken.

Oh and don’t forget the melty cheese on top and throughout!

What you need to make chicken parmesan casserole

This classic Chicken Parmesan is perfect for a casserole dish!

You can’t go wrong with this simple recipe that will please everyone around the dinner table.

  • Penne pasta: cooked according to package on the back of box.
  • Chicken breasts: boneless, skinless chicken breasts are best.
  • Vegetable oil: this will be used for frying.
  • Flour: combines the ingredients together.
  • Eggs: helps bind the ingredients and helps baking the casserole all together.
  • Bread crumbs: I prefer the Italian seasoned flavoring bread crumbs.
  • Mozzarella cheese: shredded and divided for two different spots in the recipe.
  • Parmesan cheese: fresh is best and shredded.
  • Marinara sauce: pick your favorite marinara sauce.
  • Chopped basil for garnish: this is an option but it also brings in color and added seasoning.

chickenparmesan3

How you make chicken parmesan casserole

  • Cook your pasta: Cook the pasta according to package directions. Rinse and drain the pasta in a colander.
  • Prepare and fry your chicken: In a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Pound the chicken to be about 1/4 inch thick or slice in half so they fry easily. Place the flour, egg, and Italian bread crumbs in separate bowls. Coat the chicken in the flour, then the egg and lastly the bread crumbs. Place to fry in hot oil until brown on each side and no longer pink in center. Remove from the skillet and slice into pieces.
  • Combine ingredients: In a large bowl combine cooked pasta, chicken, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese and marinara sauce. Mix until combined.
  • Bake casserole: Spread the pasta in a 9×13 inch casserole dish and cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and uncover and top with remaining cheeses. Continue to bake for about 10 minutes until cheese is melted and casserole is heated through. Garnish with chopped basil if desired.

Best pasta for chicken parmesan casserole

Any type and shape of pasta works great for this tried and true Chicken Parmesan casserole.

My personal favorite is penne because it is dense and thick enough to enjoy the sauce and chicken all together.

Spaghetti is a little harder to enjoy this casserole with so I would avoid that pasta.

Penne or bowtie pasta holds up well and even helps to freeze well in the long run.

A thicker and dense pasta noodle is best because it can catch and hold the sauce in the grooves of the pasta.

This makes the casserole juicy and more tender chicken as well as thick and rich.

One of my favorite pasta casserole dishes!

  • Penne
  • Rotini
  • Penne
  • Fettuccini
  • Bowtie

Add ins to the chicken parmesan casserole

If you’re using a larger vegetable with a longer cooking time (like broccoli), you may want to steam the vegetables first before adding to the dish.

For something small like frozen peas, you can just add them (still frozen) straight to the baking dish towards the end of the cooking time.

  • Zucchini
  • Broccoli (frozen is best)
  • Peas
  • Beans
  • Bell peppers
  • Chopped up onion

Tips for making chicken parmesan casserole

  • Bite sized pieces of chicken is best when cutting it up. This will help it cook faster as well as helping while you are eating. You do not have to cut it up as you are enjoying your dinner.
  • To ensure a crispy texture that is similar to a traditional chicken parmesan, I prefer panko breadcrumbs over regular breadcrumbs.
  • If you are hoping for a healthier dish, simply use whole grain or whole wheat pasta and even panko breadcrumbs.
  • Add in vegetables or different types of meat to your casserole. Having a variety of different add-ins help make this casserole more fun when making it regularly.
  • Garnish with parsley or basil for more color and flavoring on top.

chickenparmesan2

Storing chicken parmesan casserole

This casserole became a instant family favorite.

And the best part is that if you have a smaller family you can freeze half of it for another night.

My entire family raved about this delicious casserole and I know that it will become a family favorite at your house as well!

  • Making ahead: This can be made up to 24 hours in advanced. Just cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to bake. You may need to add an additional few minutes or let rest for a few minutes outside of the refrigerator before baking it.
  • Freezer: It is best to freeze before baking.  Cover the pan tightly with foil and write down the directions on top of the container.  Remove the casserole from the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator during the day before baking. This will freeze for 1 month.
  • Warming up: Because of the marinara sauce in this casserole, it reheats really well and won’t dry out. To reheat leftovers, heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bakes for 20-25 minutes or until it is warm through. You do not want to over bake.

More chicken parmesan recipes for you to enjoy

chickenparmcasserole

 

 

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

All of the goodness of chicken parmesan packed into a delicious cheesy casserole! Crispy chicken, marinara sauce, penne pasta, and cheese come together in this easy to make dish!

  • 1 (16 ounce) package uncooked penne pasta
  • 1 pound boneless (skinless chicken breasts)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 eggs (beaten)
  • 2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (divided)
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 (32 ounce jars) marinara sauce
  • chopped basil for garnish (optional)
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Rinse and drain the pasta in a colander.
  2. In a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Pound the chicken to be about 1/4 inch thick or slice in half so they fry easily. Place the flour, egg, and Italian bread crumbs in separate bowls. Coat the chicken in the flour, then the egg and lastly the bread crumbs. Place to fry in hot oil until brown on each side and no longer pink in center. Remove from the skillet and slice into pieces.
  3. In a large bowl combine cooked pasta, chicken, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese and marinara sauce. Mix until combined.
  4. Spread the pasta in a 9×13 inch casserole dish and cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and uncover and top with remaining cheeses. Continue to bake for about 10 minutes until cheese is melted and casserole is heated through. Garnish with chopped basil if desired.

Updated on October 11, 2019

Original post on September 21, 2015

 

Beef Taco Casserole

Scoop of beef taco casserole in baking dish

Beef Taco Casserole is a fun twist on taco night, and is a great way to feed a crowd or hungry family! A mixture of seasoned ground beef and black beans is mixed with salsa and cheese, then baked until hot and bubbly for the perfect taco inspired meal.

Add your fave toppings; shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sliced black olives, jalapeño slices and more! My favorite topping is some crunchy Fritos corn chips… it gives this taco meat casserole a “walking taco” feel, which my kids just love!

Taco casserole in white baking dish

What is a Taco Casserole?

It’s everything you love about tacos, but in a super-comforting casserole form, an easy taco bake.

I just love taco casserole recipes with ground beef, so my version uses ground beef, and that 1 pound of meat is stretched further by using black beans as well.  Normally I use a package of taco seasoning, but homemade taco seasoning really takes this to a new fabulous level!

Swap it Up

This recipe can be changed based on what you have on hand. Any ground meat will work (like chicken or turkey). Add in some diced veggies or peppers or swap out the salsa for enchilada sauce. Pretty much anything goes!

Taco casserole with taco toppings and Fritos on top

How to Make Taco Casserole

It seems like every region here in the U.S. has a type of food that it’s known for.  Here in the Midwest, I think if there’s one thing we’re known for, it’s a comforting casserole.  Of course, other places in the country serve up casseroles too, but Midwesterners will turn anything and everything into a casserole!

This dish needs just a few easy steps:

  1. Brown beef and drain fat. Stir in beans and sauce mixture.
  2. Pour into a casserole dish, top with cheese.
  3. Bake until bubbly and melted.

It’s that easy! Next top with your favorite toppings and serve!

To Make it Healthier

With a few substitutions, you can easily turn this into a healthy taco casserole!

  • Swap regular ground beef for extra lean ground beef, or even ground turkey will lighten up this taco casserole.
  • Use reduced-fat shredded cheese.
  • Use reduced-sodium ingredients.
  • Add diced or shredded veggies to the meat as it cooks.
  • Top the casserole with fresh veggies (lettuce/tomatoes) for serving and swap out the sour cream for plain Greek yogurt!

Scoop of beef taco casserole in baking dish

Can You Freeze Taco Casserole?

Yes!  This bean and beef taco casserole freezes beautifully, which makes it great for meal prepping, or even making a meal for a sick friend.

To thaw, just set the casserole in your refrigerator overnight, and by dinner time the next day, it should be fully thawed. Full freezing instructions are below the recipe at the end of the post!

Beef taco casserole on white plate with Fritos

To Freeze Taco Casserole

TO FREEZE Cook beef mixture in skillet and assemble in baking dish, omitting 1 cup remaining cheese on top. Cool completely and cover tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil, then freeze for up to 3 months.

Thaw overnight in refrigerator until casserole is completely thawed. Remove plastic wrap and aluminum foil, set out on the counter for about 20 minutes, top with 1 cup of cheese, then bake at 350 F degrees for about 45-55 minutes, until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted. If the casserole is still very cold from the fridge, you may need to add few additional minutes to the bake time.

More Mexican Inspired Casseroles

Beef Taco Casserole

This beef and bean taco casserole is incredibly easy, made from scratch, freezer-friendly, and a huge hit with families!

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion (diced)
  • 1 jalapeno (seeded and diced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 15 ounce can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 4 ounce can diced green chiles (drained)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 16 ounce jar of picante sauce or salsa
  • 2 cups Mexican blend shredded cheese (divided)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Spray a 9×13 or 3 quart baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. Heat a large, deep skillet over medium high heat and add olive oil. Add ground beef and cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon or potato masher, until browned and mostly cooked, about 4-5 minutes.

  3. Add onion and jalapeno to beef. Cook, stirring often, until softened and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook about 1 minute. Beef should be fully cooked and brown at this point.
  4. Drain any fat and return to skillet. Stir in taco seasoning, black beans, green chiles, salt, pepper, tomato paste and picante sauce. Cook 1-2 minutes.

  5. Set skillet aside and add 1 cup of shredded cheese.
  6. Transfer beef mixture to prepared baking dish and top with remaining 1 cup of cheese.

  7. Bake approximately 25 minutes, until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted.
  8. Top with desired toppings and serve!

TO FREEZE Cook beef mixture in skillet and assemble in baking dish, omitting 1 cup remaining cheese on top. Cool completely and cover tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil, then freeze for up to 3 months.

Thaw overnight in refrigerator until casserole is completely thawed. Remove plastic wrap and aluminum foil, set out on the counter for about 20 minutes, top with 1 cup of cheese, then bake at 350 F degrees for about 45-55 minutes, until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted.

Topping Options: Salsa, Shredded iceburg lettuce, Sliced black olives, Chopped tomatoes, Sliced jalapenos, Minced fresh cilantro, Lime wedges, Frito corn chips, Cheddar Cheese, Sour Cream, Refried Beans.

Repin this Delicious Casserole

Easy Broccoli Rice Casserole

Broccoli Rice Casserole from Scratch!! This delicious side is easy to make.. and if you add chicken or ham it makes a great main dish!

This Broccoli Rice Casserole recipe is made from scratch with no condensed soup! Fresh broccoli cooked until tender crisp and fluffy rice come together in a creamy cheesy homemade sauce to create a family favorite side dish!

This cheesy broccoli rice casserole is great served alongside our Crispy Baked Chicken with a tossed salad for the perfect easy meal!

Broccoli Rice Casserole baked with cheese on top

If you’re looking for a side dish your whole family is going to love, this broccoli rice casserole is the answer!  I’ve combined my favorite velvety cheese sauce with a combination of broccoli & rice and baked it until bubbly.  The result is a side (or a quick meatless meal that my whole family loves)!

How Do You Make Broccoli Rice Casserole?

Don’t let the homemade sauce scare you away from giving this recipe a try, this from scratch cheese sauce tastes amazing (much better than just adding in a can of soup)!

Creamy cheese sauce ingredients in a sauce pan.

  1. The sauce for this recipe starts with a roux (which is just butter and flour cooked and milk added). Let the butter and flour cook for a few minutes before adding milk for the best flavor.
  2. Slowly stir in milk a bit at a time while whisking and cook until thick and bubbly. Add cheeses and stir until melted and creamy.
  3. Toss cheese sauce with broccoli and rice and bake in a casserole dish.

Broccoli Rice Casserole ingredients in a bowl.

Variations on Broccoli Rice Casserole

  • Lighten it up: To lighten this up a little bit you can use light cheese and lowfat milk with great results. We’ve also subbed in brown rice or quinoa (or even Cauliflower Rice) with amazing results.
  • Add protein: We very often add in chicken to make a chicken and rice casserole (the perfect way to enjoy your leftover baked chicken breasts).  Turkey or ham work great too.
  • Swap the Cheeses: Out of cheddar?  Use swiss, monterey jack or whatever you have on hand.
  • Add veggies: Add in cauliflower or whatever other veggies you have on hand to turn it from a side into a whole meal!

Two images showing the broccoli rice casserole before and after being baked.

Serving Suggestions

Broccoli Rice Casserole is great as an entrée for vegetarians, but if you are a meat-eater, it goes perfectly with any kind of protein! It’s a perfect complement to roasted chicken, pork chops, or even a beef roast!

Add a crunchy, cold salad, some dinner rolls with butter!

Cheesy Dishes You’ll Love

Broccoli Rice Casserole from Scratch

This Broccoli Rice Casserole is made from scratch (and contains no condensed soup). Fresh crisp broccoli and fluffy rice come together in a creamy cheesy homemade sauce to create a family favorite side dish!

  • 6 cups fresh broccoli cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cups cooked white rice

SAUCE

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup onion (diced (about 1 small))
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon each garlic & black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (divided)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Cook onion and butter on medium-low heat until softened and translucent. Stir in flour, garlic powder and pepper. Cook an additional 2 minutes.
  3. Gradually pour in milk while whisking. Continue whisking over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and add dry mustard, paprika, cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese. Stir until melted.
  4. Place broccoli in boiling water for about 2 minutes. You still want it slightly crisp as it cooks more in the oven.
  5. Stir together rice, broccoli and cheese sauce. Place in a greased 2 qt casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese and bake 35 minutes or until bubbly and cheese lightly browned.

Top image - close up of broccoli rice casserole. Bottom image - broccoli rice casserole before being baked.>/div>

Close up of broccoli rice casserole.
Close up of broccoli rice casserole.

Cheeseburger Meatballs (Easy Appetizer)

Cheeseburger stuffed meatballs are the ultimate tailgating snack! Juicy beef meatballs are stuffed with cheese and baked crisp on the outside and gooey on the inside. Serve them with lettuce, tomato, and pickles and of course a great selection of dips for rave reviews! 

This post is sponsored by Mirum, but all opinions are my own.

Cheeseburger anything is a family favorite around here. From Cheeseburger Macaroni to bacon cheeseburger soup, we always find a way to enjoy the classic cheesy, beefy, savory goodness of burgers!

Close up of cheeseburger stuffed meatballs topped with pickles, lettuce, and tomatoes on a cutting board.

Tailgating season is always busy, and full of delicious food.

Time Saving Tip: Walmart.com has NextDay Delivery meaning just hop online, order your groceries and they show up on your doorstep the very next day! It’s a huge time saver! Don’t forget the Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise for this stuffed cheeseburger recipe. Talk about easy!

Two images - a box from walmart.com on the doorstep, and the box opened filled with Hellmans products.

Tailgating Favorite

Homemade meatballs are a go-to for appetizers and these juicy cheese stuffed meatballs are a favorite for everyone! With all the flavor of your favorite hamburger in a bite sized snack, take them to the next level with the perfect dipping sauces like Hellmann’s Spicy Dipping Sauce or Burger Sauce.

The real secret to keeping the cheese inside the meatballs is, of course, to make sure the cheese is sealed inside. The smoother the meat mixture, the better it seals the cheese for ultimate gooey goodness.

Tips for Juicy Stuffed Meatballs

  • Adding Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise to the meat mixture adds flavor and moisture while making the meat mixture smooth (keeping all of the cheese inside)
  • Grate the onions to get lots of flavor while still keeping the mixture smooth
  • Don’t overmix the meat mixture, gently combine so you don’t get tough meatballs
  • Bake on a rack (or grill) to allow fat to drip away

To images showing the ingredients for cheeseburger stuffed meatballs in a bowl, and how to stuff the meatballs.

To Make Ahead

The convenience of ordering groceries with NextDay Delivery at Walmart.com means I can get everything done well ahead of time including prepping the meatballs for tailgating!

To make meatballs ahead of time:

  • Combine meatball mixture per recipe
  • Fill with cheese and roll into balls
  • Refrigerate up to 24 hours or freeze up to 3 months.

To cook from frozen, simply place the meatballs in the refrigerator overnight to defrost. Once defrosted, and bake as directed.

Ingredients for a dill dip for cheeseburger stuffed meatballs.

Tailgating Tips

  • Bake as directed and keep warm in a slow cooker on low for serving
  • Meatballs can be cooked on a grill over medium low heat until they reach 165°F.
  • Serve these meatballs with Hellmann’s Spicy Dipping Sauce and Hellmann’s Burger Sauce
  • Add fun toppings with skewers or put out a topping bar allowing guests to choose their own toppings.

Cheeseburger stuffed meatballs on a skewer with pickles, lettuce and tomatoes.

To Make Dip

No good appetizer is complete without the perfect dips!

For convenient serving, be sure to add Hellmann’s Burger Sauce and Hellmann’s Spicy Dipping Sauce to your Walmart Next Day delivery order. If you’d like to create your own dip, you need just a couple of ingredients

  • Mix 2 parts Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise with 1 part sour cream.
  • Add your favorite seasonings, spices and add ins for a great dip
    • Ideas: spices, sriracha, cheeses, onions, hot sauce, bacon bits, pickles etc.

More Tailgating Goodness

Cheeseburger Stuffed Meatballs

Meatballs

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion (*see note)
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Hellmann's ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise
  • 1 egg
  • 6 cheddar cheese sticks (cut into 4 pieces each)

Other

  • pickles (tomatoes, lettuce for topping)
  • Hellmann's Spicy Dipping Sauce & Hellmann's Burger Sauce (for dipping)
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Combine all meatball ingredients except cheese. Divide into 24 even pieces.
  3. Wrap each meatball around a piece of cheese. Roll into a ball ensuring all of the cheese is completely covered mixture. Place on a parchment lined pan and bake 25 minutes.

  4. Allow to rest 5 minutes before serving.
  5. Serve with sliced pickles, lettuce and tomatoes and dipping sauces.

Grating the onion with a cheese grater adds flavor while keeping the meatballs smooth so the cheese doesn’t leak out.

Dill Pickle Dip:

Combine 1/4 cup Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons sour cream, 1 tablespoon chopped pickles, 1/4 teaspoon each dill and garlic powder. Add pickle juice to reach desired consistency.