Turtle Brownies

Crazy moist Turtle Brownies seeping with pockets of caramel, infused with pecans and chocolate chips, smothered in the BEST chocolate frosting and topped with more caramel.  AKA heaven. 

The making of a turtle is one of my favorites! If you love turtles as much as I do try these Turtle Cookies, Turtle Pecan Bars or Turtle Rice Krispie Treats for more turtle treats.

Turtle Brownies

Turtle Brownies

If you are not familiar with “turtles,” let me tell you that turtle anything are amazing and these Turtle Brownies are beyond amazing!

They are so good that although I had a list of people to deliver the leftovers brownies to, they didn’t make it.

I embarrassingly will admit that Patrick and I ate the entire pan of brownies by ourselves.  The entire pan.

They are just so intoxicatingly delicious and stay so moist for forever, that my selfish sweet tooth would not take no for an answer.

So just a fair warning, with one bite, you won’t be able to say no unless you have the will power of steel.

What you need to make turtle brownies

This tried and true recipe will have you MMMMing and AWWing with every bite!

These turtle brownies will melt in your mouth and leave you wanting more.

Each ingredient has a key role to making these brownies sweet, rich and AMAZING!

You will realize how quickly this pan of turtle brownies is gone once you make them.

Brownies:

  • Butter: melted
  • Granulated sugar: brings in the sweetness.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder: has the chocolatey flavoring as well as the coloring for the brownies.
  • Eggs: rich and creamy.
  • Vanilla extract: makes everything better!
  • Flour: holds it all together.
  • Baking powder: helps the brownies rise in the oven.
  • Salt: flavor and helps the brownies to rise.
  • Cinnamon: brings on added flavor that is worth it!
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips: you can use mini or large chocolate chips here.
  • Pecans: roughly chopped and divided.
  • Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce: you can also buy a store bought brand.
  • Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips: you can substitute for the larger chocolate chips as well.

Chocolate Frosting

  • Butter: softened
  • Cocoa powder: has the chocolate flavoring and color.
  • Light corn syrup: you can substitute honey if needed.
  • Vanilla extract: just a dash!
  • Powdered sugar: sifted is best.
  • Milk: creamy flavoring.

Turtle Brownies

How to make turtle brownies

These turtle brownies come together so easily and will be gone in minutes.

Poking holes in the brownies are a MUST!

This will help get caramel to the bottom of the pan keep the brownies moist and rich!

You will not be disappointed with these brownies!

  1. Preheat oven and prepare your pan: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Making your brownies: Add butter, sugar and cocoa powder to stand or hand mixer and beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs to the batter one at a time, beating after each addition just until incorporated. Beat in vanilla.
  3. Combine ingredients: In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon then beat into batter just until combined. Add 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and 3/4 cups chopped pecans to batter and stir until just combined. Pour batter evenly into pan.
  4. Bake your brownies: Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Let pan cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes then poke holes all over with the back of a wooden spoon. Pour 1/2 cup caramel over brownies and spread into holes with a spatula. Refrigerate brownies for one hour or freeze for 30 minutes to let the caramel set. Meanwhile, prepare the Chocolate Frosting.
  5. Chocolate Frosting: Beat butter, cocoa, corn syrup and vanilla in small bowl until blended. Add powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons milk and beat until smooth, adding additional milk if needed to reach spreading consistency.
  6. Frost your brownies: Once caramel has set, frost brownies with Chocolate Frosting (you don’t have to use all of it but I highly recommend it!). Sprinkle evenly with 1/2 cup chopped pecans, 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips and drizzle with 1/4 cup caramel.
  7. Serve and enjoy! You can serve immediately or refrigerate to allow frosting to set and make cutting easier. I LOVE to microwave my brownie serving for 15 seconds or so before devouring.

Tips for making turtle brownies

These are a simple, basic recipe that is tried and true through and through.

You can’t go wrong with pecans, caramel and chocolate.

Keep it simple or make the original recipe and be pleased both ways.

You will have a dry pan either way!

  • If you are not a fan of nuts, you can leave out the pecans. This will only take away the “turtle” part of the name and become a caramel brownie.
  • You can substitute a brownie mix (9×9 pan) or chocolate cake mix (9×13 pan) for the brownie ingredients to save time.
  • My caramel sauce is one to die for but totally understand if you need to buy a jar from the store to make a quicker recipe. Not ice cream topping though!
  • I don’t recommend stacking the brownies. The caramel on top is a little too sticky for staking.
  • Smaller slices are best since they are rich in flavor.

Storing turtle brownies

Each piece of brownie is moist, rich and thick.

There are caramel pockets soaking in caramel and chocolate keeping this cake nice moist.

Because of this, these turtle brownies last a little longer than most desserts.

You can freeze them, refrigerate them or just keep them on the counter.

Regardless of how you serve them, turtle brownies will be a hit with all of your family and friends!

Room temperature: Cover brownies with parchment paper and place in zip lock bag or an airtight container. These will last about 1 week in at room temperature.

Refrigerator: these brownies are best stored in the refrigerator. Keep them in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 1 month. You can eat them straight out of the refrigerator cold or let them sit until they reach room temperature.

Freezer: these freeze for up to 3 months. Just leave the extra nut and caramel topping until you warm them up. When ready to eat, let the brownies thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Then set them out at room temperature before serving.

Warming up: leaving them sit out and bringing them to room temperature is a great way to let them thaw. You can also warm them up for about 12-15 seconds in the microwave.

Turtle Brownies

More brownie recipes

 

Poke Turtle Brownies

Crazy moist Poke Turtle Brownies seeping with pockets of caramel, infused with pecans and chocolate chips, smothered in the BEST chocolate frosting and topped with more caramel.  AKA heaven. 

Brownies

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks, melted)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/4 cup pecans (roughly chopped, divided)
  • 3/4 cup Easy Caramel Sauce (store bought, divided)
  • 1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (may sub regular size)

Chocolate Frosting

  • 6 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup (may substitute honey)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
  1. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Let pan cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes then poke holes all over with the back of a wooden spoon. Pour 1/2 cup caramel over brownies and spread into holes with a spatula. Refrigerate brownies for one hour or freeze for 30 minutes to let the caramel set. Meanwhile, prepare the Chocolate Frosting.
  2. Chocolate Frosting: Beat butter, cocoa, corn syrup and vanilla in small bowl until blended. Add powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons milk and beat until smooth, adding additional milk if needed to reach spreading consistency.
  3. Once caramel has set, frost brownies with Chocolate Frosting (you don’t have to use all of it but I highly recommend it!). Sprinkle evenly with 1/2 cup chopped pecans, 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips and drizzle with 1/4 cup caramel.
  4. You can serve immediately or refrigerate to allow frosting to set and make cutting easier. I LOVE to microwave my brownie serving for 15 seconds or so before devouring.

 

Awesome Kung Pao Shrimp

Awesome Kung Pao Shrimp is filled full of flavor with large shrimp, tender bell peppers, nutty peanuts cooked together with a sweet and spicy sauce. Ready in under 20 minutes!

This is totally better than take out! If you love Chinese food as much as I do try these favorites of mine: Sweet and Sour Shrimp, Instant Pot Beef and Broccoli or Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken.

Kung Pao shrimp

Kung Pao Shrimp

You guys! This kung pao shrimp is going to rock your world. It is that good!

This is a tried and true recipe that I love and had to share with all of you.

All the flavors from this dish are busting in your mouth. Every bite is to die for!

From a sweet and spicy glaze, crunchy peanuts, tender bell peppers and thick, large shrimp this dish is sure to please.

I do love a good kung poa dish!

Try my Skinny Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken or Baked Kung Pao Chicken if you prefer to use chicken instead of shrimp.

What you need to make Kung Pao shrimp

Don’t let this list of ingredients intimidate you!

Most of the items you already have and some of them you are going to want to have for more Chinese recipes.

These are simple ingredients and you will see how quick they are to put together.

All these ingredients make the perfect blend with flavor and texture making this Chinese dish one to remember.

Skip the takeout and enjoy some kung pao shrimp at home!

  • Olive Oil: helps for sautéing and keeping from sticking to the pan.
  • Bell Peppers: red and green cut into chunks.
  • Garlic Cloves: minced.
  • Shrimp: large, peeled and deveined.
  • Salt and Pepper: for extra seasoning.
  • Soy Sauce: bringing out the authentic Chinese meal.
  • Sesame Oil: adds extra flavoring.
  • Brown Sugar: add a little sweetness to the meal.
  • Sriracha: bring on the heat!
  • Red Pepper Flaked: a pinch for texture and more spicy aftertaste.
  • Cornstarch: thickens the sauce.
  • Water: creates a smooth textured sauce.
  • Peanuts: crunchy and yummy!

bell peppers sautéing

How to make Kung Pao shrimp

Dinner is served in less than 20 minutes! You can’t beat that!

I love how quickly shrimp cooks up and is ready in minutes.

Using only one dish for this meal makes this super simple and clean up a breeze.

Whisking your sauce will take minutes to make and makes this dish just pop!

You will love the blended flavors of the sauce over your shrimp.

All together this meal is a tried and true favorite and you can’t go wrong with it!

  • Cook your shrimp: In a medium sized skillet add the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the bell pepper and garlic and sauté until almost tender. Add the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes until pink.
  • Make your sauce: In a small bowl whisk soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, sriracha, and red pepper flakes. Mix together the cornstarch and water and whisk into the sauce. Pour sauce over the shrimp mixture and add peanuts.
  • Combine and sauté: Sauté until it starts to thicken and coat the shrimp. Garnish with sliced green onions if desired.

shrimp and bell peppers sautéing together

Preparing and cooking shrimp

Shrimp is so easy to cook and takes just a matter of minutes.

Cooking shrimp to perfection is key! Just watch the color of the shrimp go from gray to a light pink in minutes.

You know it is cooked through when it is pink and only 1 to 2 minutes on each side.

Try to watch them carefully and not over cook your shrimp.

Preparing shrimp:

This is a great way to

  1. When peeling your raw shrimp, pull the shell and tear it away from the first segment of the shell.
  2. Make a shallow cut along the spine of the shrimp or the back of the shrimp.
  3. Take the back strip of the intestines and remove them with a knife or fork.
  4. Remove tails by simply squeezing the shrimp and pulling the tail off.

Cooking shrimp:

  • Shrimp is best cooked just barley enough but not too much that it is overcooked.
  • When overcooking your shrimp you are left with a chewy, gummy texture and tend to have a fishier taste.
  • Once the shrimp turns an off white, pinkish color you will know it is ready to get off the skillet.
  • Another sign of being done or starting to overcook is the shrimp will begin to curl itself around.
  • Cook your shrimp hot and quickly. Sometimes I find myself turning up the heat to cook the shrimp and the sauce together.
  • This will help thicken your sauce as well as help your shrimp cook through just enough.

What to serve with Kung Pao Shrimp

Make this a complete meal with a few side dishes to enjoy.

We always love my fried rice. There are so many ways of making it. It is already a tried and true recipe that everyone loves.

A quick 20 Minute Vegetable Lo Mein dish is always easy to make and ready at the same time as the Kung Pao shrimp.

Steamed Vegetables or even Cauliflower Fried Rice is just as tasty and brings in more added flavors.

sauce poured over shrimp and bell peppers

Storing Kung Pao Shrimp

This Kung Pao shrimp is perfect for meal prepping, making ahead or simply freezing it for another day.

It is nice to have a few options for a meal that is so tasty and irresistible.

This is ready in minutes and reheats well!

Freezing Kung Pao shrimp after it is cooked:

We usually don’t have left overs but with this dish I always hope that there will be just enough for me to enjoy the next day for lunch.

  1. Place your cooked, but cooled down Kung Pao shrimp in an airtight container or ziplock bag. Remove all excess air.
  2. I like to lay my bags flat so the ingredients are not all at the bottom.
  3. Freeze for 1 to 2 months.

Freezing Kung Pao shrimp before it is cooked:

This is the best way to freeze Kung Pao shrimp!

  1. If you can, freeze this meal in separate bags. Portion each ingredient into each bag.
  2. Non-cooked shrimp, cook and prepare vegetables and sauce each go in their own separate bags.
  3. Then in a larger bag add each of those baggies inside to keep them all together. Freeze for about 2 to 3 months.

Reheating Kung Pao shrimp:

You will want to be careful not to overcook the ingredients.

This will still be prepared and made within 20 minutes!

  1. When ready to reheat, remove shrimp from freezer and completely thaw.
  2. Once shrimp has thawed, follow the recipe below on cooking shrimp in the skillet.
  3. Then add frozen bell peppers and cook through. Add the shrimp next.
  4. Add the sauce on top and stir together and enjoy while it is steaming hot!

Kung Pao shrimp

Here are more shrimp recipes:

Kung Pao shrimp

 

Amazing Kung Pao Shrimp

Awesome Kung Pao Shrimp is filled full of flavor with large shrimp, tender bell peppers, nutty peanuts cooked together with a sweet and spicy sauce. Ready in under 20 minutes!

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper (cut into chunks)
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper (cut into chunks)
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 pound large shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  1. In a medium sized skillet add the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the bell pepper and garlic and sauté until almost tender. Add the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes until pink.
  2. In a small bowl whisk soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, sriracha, and red pepper flakes. Mix together the cornstarch and water and whisk into the sauce. Pour sauce over the shrimp mixture and add peanuts.

  3. Sauté until it starts to thicken and coat the shrimp. Garnish with sliced green onions if desired.

Slow Cooker Stuffed Bell Peppers

Slow Cooker Stuffed Bell Peppers are stuffed with ground beef, rice, diced tomatoes, black beans, and cheese.  They cook to perfection in the slow cooker and make an excellent dinner! 

Make life easier with a slow cooker! If you love slow cook dinners, try this Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef, Slow Cooker Korean Beef or Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon for a quick and easy meal.

slow cooker stuffed bell peppers

Stuffed Bell Peppers

I love my slow cooker.  If I could marry my slow cooker I would.   Ok not really, but that is how much I love that thing.

I use my slow cooker year round.  It is perfect for busy days.  I love throwing a meal in and letting it cook all day.

Some of my favorite recipes on the blog are slow cooker recipes.  And this one was definitely added to the list!

The entire family gobbled this one down and thought it was delicious.

Well, except for the picky eater.  He ate the inside of the pepper.  But hey its a start right? 🙂

What you need to make stuffed bell peppers

How perfect is the idea that you can cook your meal right inside a bell pepper?

You get your own individual serving right inside a pepper.

The meat is combined with rice, diced tomatoes, cheese and some amazing flavors and seasonings.

It slow cooks all day and the peppers turn soft so that you can just eat the whole thing right up!

  • Bell Peppers: the larger the better. All colors work great for this recipe.
  • Lean ground beef: one pound
  • Onion: chopped
  • Tomatoes: diced and in a can
  • Wild rice: any kind of rice will work. Cook it ahead of time.
  • Worcestershire sauce:
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cheese: shredded and divided for during and after the recipe is cooking and a garnish.
  • Water: add this to the bottom of the slow cooker.

How you make stuffed bell peppers

Delicious bell peppers that are stuffed and cooked in your slow cooker!

So simple to make with loads of flavor!

Simple cook everything at once, then add them to eat pepper, stuffing them full.

Let the slow cooker tenderize the bell peppers and melt the cheese on top.

You have one delicious and tasty meal that everyone will love!

  • Prepare each bell pepper: Cut off each top of the peppers and scrape out the seeds and membranes. Set aside.
  • Stuff the bell peppers with cooked ingredients: Combine ground beef, onion, diced tomatoes, rice, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and 1 cup of cheese. Stuff each bell pepper with mixture. Put water in the bottom of slow cooker.
  • Let the slow cooker do the work! Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours until peppers are tender and ground beef is cooked throughout.
  • Garnish with cheese: About 15 minutes before serving, sprinkle remaining cheese and let it melt.

slow cooker stuffed bell peppers

Do you need to pre-cook the bell peppers?

Nope! This is what is so nice about this meal. The slow cooker will do the work for you. This will leave the bell peppers some-what crisp.

If you prefer to pre-cook them, bake in the oven for 10-12 minuets at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. This will help tenderize your bell peppers and get them softer than only being cooked in the slow cooker.

Don’t have a slow cooker?!

No worries! These stuffed peppers can still be made in the oven.

Bake your stuffed bell peppers at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 35 to 40 minutes.

Prepare the bell peppers the same as the instructions for slow cooker.

Place bell peppers in a pan and cover your pan with aluminum foil to ensure they don’t dry out in the process.

For the last 10 minutes, uncover and add the divided cheese and bake for 10 more minutes or until brown and the cheese is bubbling.

Add some toppings for a complete meal

  • Guacamole
  • Sour cream
  • Salsa
  • Extra Cheese
  • Avocado
  • Shredded Lettuce
  • Olives
  • Pico De Gallo
  • Cilantro
  • Onions

Storing stuffed bell peppers

These are a great make-ahead meal!

You can either freeze them for another meal later on or store them in the refrigerator for a pre-made meal that week.

Enjoy these and the simplicity that they are!

Freezing stuffed bell peppers:

Prepare and make these stuffed bell peppers as normal. Let them cool completely.

You can freeze them individually or together in a freezer bag or an airtight shallow pan.

Wrap them in aluminum foil and place in a freezer bag. They will last up to 1 month in the freezer.

To reheat, thaw the bell peppers in the refrigerator overnight. You can add them back into the slow cooker or bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until heated through.

Refrigerate stuffed bell peppers:

These stuffed bell peppers will keep in the refrigerator for about 3 to 5 days long. Store in an airtight container for best results.

To reheat, warm them up in the oven for about 5-10 minutes or the microwave for 3 to 5 minutes.

stuffed bell peppers

 

For more stuffed bell pepper ideas, try these recipes:

 

Slow Cooker Stuffed Bell Peppers

Delicious bell peppers that are stuffed and cooked in your slow cooker!

  • 6 Large Bell Peppers
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup onion (chopped)
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup wild rice (cooked (any kind of rice will work))
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded cheese (divided)
  • 1/4 cup water (to put on the bottom of the slow cooker)
  1. Cut off each top of the peppers and scrape out the seeds and membranes. Set aside.
  2. Combine ground beef, onion, diced tomatoes, rice, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and 1 cup of cheese. Stuff each bell pepper with mixture. Put water in the bottom of slow cooker.
  3. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours until peppers are tender and ground beef is cooked throughout.
  4. About 15 minutes before serving, sprinkle remaining cheese and let it melt.

 

 

stuffed bell peppers

Picture Updated 8-16-17

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Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Mashed Sweet Potatoes. These sweet, creamy potatoes are swirled with maple syrup and sprinkled with salt. The salty sweet flavor makes these the BEST side dish recipe! 

These mashed sweet potatoes are a fun, easy to make side dish that are perfect for any Fall or Holiday meal. Serve alongside some squash casserole, or on the side of these Grilled Spinach and Herb Stuffed Pork Chops and finish the meal with some Apple Pecan Crisp for the perfect Fall meal! 

mashed sweet potatoes

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Hey y’all! Serene from House of Yumm with you today to share these Mashed Sweet Potatoes. I LOVE a good potato side dish, and these are everything you could ever hope for from a sweet potato. Roasting the potatoes gives a wonderful flavor to the finished dish. The swirl of maple syrup really accentuates the natural flavors. Plus the additional sprinkle of sea salt gives the BEST sweet, salty flavor combination.

How to make Mashed Sweet Potatoes:

How do you cook Sweet Potatoes?

The best flavor for mashed sweet potatoes comes when you roast your sweet potatoes. If you prefer, you can also boil them, which is a quicker method. 

To roast the sweet potatoes:

  • Rinse and completely dry the sweet potatoes. Poke the potatoes with a fork about 4 times. 
  • Lay the potatoes on a large baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. 
  • Bake for about 1 hour at 400 degrees. Potatoes should be fork tender.
  • Once done, let the potatoes cool slightly and then remove the skins, they will easily peel off, and this can be done with your fingers. 
  • Give the potatoes a quick chop and add to a large bowl for mashing. 

To boil the sweet potatoes:

  • Peel and chop the potatoes into 1 inch chunks. 
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. 
  • Add the potatoes and boil for about 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are tender. 
  • Strain the water out and add the potatoes to a large bowl for mashing.

cooking sweet potatoes

How to mash sweet potatoes:

Sweet potatoes can be mashed using several methods. It comes down to preference. 

Hand mashing:

Using either of these methods will leave you with a rustic style mash, a mix of creamy potatoes with sweet chunks mixed in. 

  • Fork 
  • Potato Masher

Mashing with appliances:

Using either of these will leave you with epically smooth and creamy mashed sweet potatoes.

  • Mixer
  • Food Processor

 

sweet potatoes cooked with butter

How do you season Mashed Sweet Potatoes?

Sweet potatoes can go either the sweet or savory route. Although, I LOVE the sweet and salty combination of the recipe included below. If you’re looking for some other options here’s some ideas for you. Simply follow the recipe, but instead of adding in the maple syrup in this recipe add any of the following ideas:

Savory seasonings:

  • Fresh Herbs: parsley, chives, thyme, rosemary,
  • Garlic
  • Green Onion 
  • Chipotle or chili powder

Sweet Seasonings:

  • Spices: Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger
  • Honey
  • Candied Pecans
  • Browned Butter

mashed sweet potatoes

Can you freeze mashed sweet potatoes?

This Mashed Sweet Potato Recipe can be frozen. If you make a large batch and are wanting to save them for a later date add the finished sweet potatoes into a large freezer resealable bag or a freezer safe container. Freeze for up to 6 months. 

To reheat, place the potatoes in the refrigerator overnight to thaw out. Then add the mashed sweet potatoes to a casserole dish to reheat in the oven. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes until warmed through. You may need to add a bit more milk to the mashed sweet potatoes to get the right consistency. 

Other Fall Inspired recipes you may enjoy:

sweet potatoes mashed with butter and seasoning

 

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Mashed Sweet Potatoes. These sweet, creamy potatoes are swirled with maple syrup and sprinkled with salt. The salty sweet flavor makes these the BEST side dish recipe! 

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup milk (of preference)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Topping

  • additional maple syrup
  • flakey salt (like Maldon Sea Salt Flakes)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with foil. Spray with cooking spray.

  2. Scrub the sweet potatoes clean with water, then dry them completely.

  3. Lay the potatoes on the baking sheet and poke holes in the top of the potatoes with a fork.

  4. Bake potatoes for 60 minutes rotating the pan halfway through if needed to ensure even cooking in the oven. 

  5. Test the potatoes to ensure they are fork tender. Allow the potatoes to cool slightly for 5-10 minutes

  6. Remove the skin from the potatoes. Give the potatoes a quick large chop. Add the potatoes to a large mixing bowl. 

  7. Add the butter and maple syrup. Mash the potatoes. 

  8. Pour the milk in gradually while mashing to get desired texture/creaminess. Add salt to taste.

  9. Top with additional maple syrup and flakey sea salt if desired.

  10. Serve warm and enjoy.

 

Squash Casserole

The best way to use up that yellow summer squash! Squash Casserole is a great way to use up fresh squash from your garden. Easy to make with a creamy, cheesy filling and a crispy, buttery topping!

Need more great summer veggie recipes!? Check out this Butternut Squash Soup, Turkey Bolognese with Spaghetti Squash, or Roasted Zucchini Spears!

yellow summer squash

Squash Casserole

Is there anything better than fresh garden produce? I have been loving all of fresh veggies this year and have been making fresh zucchini bread and my favorite salsa recipe like crazy. However, this Squash Casserole might be my favorite garden-borne recipe yet! With a creamy, cheesy base and a golden cracker top crust, this casserole dish is crunchy and creamy and the best way to get your veggies!

How to Make Squash Casserole

  • Start by washing and slicing your squash! Make sure all slices are the same size (or as close as possible) so your casserole will cook evenly.
  • Combine squash, diced onion, and a bit of butter in a large saucepan and cook until the squash is just softened.
  • Combine sour cream, cheddar and parmesan cheese, 2 eggs, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a large bowl then toss in your squash and onion. Stir everything well and then pour into a 11×7″ pan.
  • Make your topping! Stir together crushed crackers and a bit of melted butter and then sprinkle over the squash mixture.
  • Bake until cooked through and topping is golden brown.

yellow squash sliced thin

What Kind of Squash Should I use for Squash Casserole?

You will want to use yellow squash for this recipe. I don’t recommend using butternut or acorn squash.

Do I Need to Peel Squash Before I use it?

There is no need to peel your squash before making this casserole! Make sure to wash your squash well and you will want to chop off the stem, but you do not need to peel the skin. It will soften as it cooks in your skillet, and then even more as the squash casserole bakes.

yellow summer squash

Can I use Zucchini Instead of Squash?

While zucchini and yellow squash aren’t always completely interchangeable, you can actually substitute zucchini for squash in this recipe. Your squash (well, zucchini) casserole will still be delicious, it will just be  a different color!

More Great Summer Recipes to Try:

Squash Casserole

An easy recipe for creamy squash casserole with a buttery crisp cracker topping!

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 lbs yellow squash (sliced ¼” thin)
  • 1 medium yellow onion (diced)
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

Topping

  • 2 sleeves Ritz crackers (crushed)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter (melted)
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven (you will need a lot of space so make sure it’s large enough to hold all of your squash!) melt 2 Tablespoons of butter over medium heat.
  3. Add sliced squash and diced onion and cook, stirring frequently, until squash is just softened.
  4. Remove from heat and drain through a colander; drain as much excess water as possible. Let squash continue to drain while you prepare your filling.
  5. In a large bowl, stir together sour cream, eggs, cheeses, garlic powder, and salt and pepper until well-combined.
  6. Add drained squash/onion mixture and stir well.
  7. Evenly pour ingredients into an 11×7” baking dish and prepare your topping.

Topping

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine crushed Ritz crackers and melted butter. Stir until well-combined.
  2. Sprinkle cracker crumbs evenly over squash mixture in casserole dish.
  3. Transfer to 350F oven and bake 25-30 minutes.
  4. Serve warm. Enjoy!

Amazing Steak Fajitas

Amazing Steak Fajitas have tender marinated, juicy steak with colorful bell peppers wrapped in a soft shell tortilla topped with all your favorites. A complete dinner in 30 minutes!

Fajitas are a fun and adds so much flavor to the dinner table! If you love fajitas as much as I do try this Sheet Pan Salsa Verde Chicken Fajitas, Sheet Pan Garlic Lime Salmon Fajitas or 20 Minute Skillet Blackened Shrimp Fajitas.

Amazing Steak Fajitas

I am not going to lie. These Steak Fajitas are truly AMAZING! I am not sure I will ever be able to eat another steak fajitas again!

This is so easy to make in a skillet. One pan with one mess! And ONLY 30 minutes is all you need!

I do get asked a lot about my skillet. I have a Staub but any skillet will work for these fajitas.

Sitting down at the dinner table with all the colors on your plate just makes my mouth water. My boys were thrilled to see fajitas and ate a few each.

These fajitas are a bit spicy, a little bit tangy with sweet bell peppers to

What you need to make steak fajitas

So many flavors in marinated together on this steak for these fajitas.

They all blend so well together and have so much in common. It just tastes good!

These do have a bit of kick to them when making. Be sure to omit or leave out any spicy ingredients that is needed for your family, especially little ones.

We love some spice in our family and my girls that are young even loved every bite. They both gobbled up 2 each. I was impressed!

These fajitas are so versatile. Make them your own and love your dinner tonight!

  • Flank steak: intense beef flavor and very tender cut of meat.
  • Olive oil: this adds a bit of flavor when cooking.
  • Chili powder: a hint of spicy, earthy flavors.
  • Paprika: a sweeter and more subtle seasoning.
  • Garlic powder: bring a garlicky flavor in the fajitas.
  • Cumin: an earthy, nutty and a little spicy seasoning.
  • Red Pepper Flakes: you can always omit these for less spicy fajitas.
  • Salt and Pepper: to taste and adds that extra seasoning.
  • Cilantro: a fresh, citrus flavor that adds some green color and texture.
  • Onion: crunchy salty, spicy, a little bitter but sweet in the end. All the flavors captured in one dice of onion.
  • Bell Peppers: a colorful variety of red, yellow and green.

How to make steak fajitas

Marinating this flank steak can help soften and tenderize the meat. Plus, add in all the extra flavors to make a delicious meal.

We love how easy this comes together. You can’t go wrong with a good fajita.

Sautéing the vegetables is simple and doesn’t take long at all. Tender bell peppers and onions leave a great texture to add to your tortilla.

I choose flank steak because of the thickness and tenderness it has to offer. Once cut, it is tender and

  • Marinate the steak: In a medium sized bowl or zip lock bag at 2 tablespoons olive oil, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. Add the flank steak and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Sauté the vegetables in a skillet: In a medium sized skillet at 1 tablespoon olive oil peppers and onions and sauté for about 5 minutes until veggies are tender. Remove and set aside on a plate.
  • Sear the meat: Turn the skillet to high heat and add the steak. Sear each side for about 2-3 minutes until it gets a golden brown crust and is to desired doneness. Remove the steak and let it rest. Slice in strips across the grain.
  • Serve: Meat with the veggies and then garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and favorite toppings.

What do you serve with steak fajitas?

  1. Stuff them in tortilla wraps (corn or white flour)
  2. Use lettuce leaves for a low carb option!
  3. Avocado slices
  4. Grilled/seared peppers (capsicums)
  5. Sour cream
  6. Don’t forget to load the chicken fajitas with all your favorite toppings! All optional, of course…but highly recommended. 🙂

don’t have time to marinade?

No worries! You don’t NEED to, because this marinade has so much flavour in it already, you can get away with letting it sit for 5 minutes while you get your skillet and other ingredients ready.

which steak is best for fajitas

Rump, skirt or flank steak are the best cuts for fajitas! I prefer skirt steak (pictured). It’s more tender and flavourful than flank and can be cooked well done (for those who prefer well) without getting tough and chewy. Flank steak is a leaner cut and is better cooked rare — medium.

WHAT KIND OF BEEF DO YOU USE FOR FAJITAS?

Flank steak and skirt steak are the best cuts of beef for fajitas. I prefer to use flank steak (pictured above). Whichever cut of beef you use, make sure to cut it as thinly as possibly to prevent it from being too chewy.

THE SECRET TO FLAVORFUL STEAK FAJITAS

The secret to getting the meat irresistibly flavorful and juicy is marinating the steak for at least 2 hours up to 8 hours.

This helps tenderize the meat and infuse all the good flavors that are in the actual marinade. I know the marinating process requires planning, but the end result is so worth i

Here are more fajita options

Amazing Steak Fajitas

  • 1 pound flank steak
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons cilantro (finely chopped)
  • 1 small onion (sliced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (sliced)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper (sliced)
  • 1 green bell pepper (sliced)
  1. In a medium sized bowl or zip lock bag at 2 tablespoons olive oil, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. Add the flank steak and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. In a medium sized skillet at 1 tablespoon olive oil peppers and onions and sauté for about 5 minutes until veggies are tender. Remove and set aside on a plate.
  3. Turn the skillet to high heat and add the steak. Sear each side for about 2-3 minutes until it gets a golden brown crust and is to desired doneness. Remove the steak and let it rest. Slice in strips across the grain. Serve with veggies and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and favorite toppings.

Jerk Chicken

Jerk Chicken is a delightful Caribbean chicken recipe that is spicy, sweet, zesty, and has the most delicious crispy skin. Marinating the chicken overnight makes it flavorful and juicy.

If you love grilled chicken recipes, try this Grilled Honey Balsamic ChickenGrilled Chipotle Chicken with Pineapple SalsaGrilled Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken Skewers, or this Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad with Candied Bacon.

Jerk chicken

Jerk Chicken

Hi! It’s Natasha here from Salt & Lavender bringing you this tasty grilled jerk chicken recipe. It’s actually pretty easy to make your own jerk seasoning blend. There’s many different variations out there. This version makes it easy by using a combination of ground spices plus fresh lime juice, ginger, and chili peppers. Allspice is a key ingredient that I would not leave out when making this marinade. It’s easily found in most grocery stores in the spice aisle.

Jerk chicken ingredients

  • Chicken thighs and drumsticks
  • Brown sugar
  • Ground allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg
  • Garlic powder
  • Dried thyme
  • Salt
  • Fresh ginger
  • Lime juice
  • Chili peppers (use habanero, scotch bonnet, or serrano)
  • Scallions

Jerk chicken

What cut of chicken to use?

I recommend using bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and/or drumsticks. They hold up well to grilling, and they remain moist. You could even cut up a whole chicken if you feel comfortable doing that. You can use boneless skinless chicken breasts, but they tend to dry out.

How to make jerk chicken

  1. Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl. Stir until everything is combined.
  2. Add chicken pieces to a large ZipLoc bag.
  3. Pour the marinade into the ZipLoc and toss until the chicken is coated.
  4. Marinade at least 12 hours (up to 24 hours or so). Overnight works well.
  5. Grill or roast the chicken in the oven (further instructions are provided in the recipe card below).
  6. Garnish with chopped scallions.

jerk chicken marinating

How to grill jerk chicken

Oil the grill’s grate and cook the chicken pieces over medium-high heat until they’re cooked through (approximately 25 minutes). Every grill varies, so it’s important to use your best judgement so it doesn’t burn. I recommend keeping an eye on it while it’s cooking (don’t just leave it), turning it frequently, and if it looks like the skin is getting too charred, turn down the heat and/or move it to a cooler part of your BBQ. Internal temperature of the chicken should reach 165F before you eat it.

How to make jerk chicken in the oven

Preheat oven to 400F. Arrange chicken pieces in a baking dish or a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast chicken for 35-45 minutes. Ensure the chicken’s internal temperature is 165F prior to eating it. For extra crispy skin, broil it for a few minutes at the end if needed.

What to serve with jerk chicken

You can’t go wrong with rice, pasta, or a salad. Or try these Garlic Parmesan Green Beans with Bacon.

Recipe notes:

  • If you can’t find habanero peppers, try serrano peppers or scotch bonnet peppers. I’ve also made this with jalapeno peppers, but they aren’t quite as spicy, so I suggest using one jalapeno if you want this recipe to be milder.
  • I always keep a piece of fresh ginger in my freezer (in a resealable bag or Tupperware container). It makes it so much easier to grate, and I’m never without ginger that way.

More tasty chicken recipes you may like:

Jerk Chicken

Jerk Chicken

Jerk Chicken is a delightful Caribbean chicken recipe that is spicy, sweet, zesty, and has the most delicious crispy skin. Marinating the chicken overnight makes it flavorful and juicy.

  • 8 pieces bone-in skin on chicken ((I used drumsticks and thighs))
  • 2 tablespoons (packed) brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 3 habanero or serrano peppers ((chopped finely))
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Scallions, for garnish ((to taste))
  1. Mix all the marinade ingredients (everything except the scallions) together in a bowl.

  2. Add the chicken pieces to a large ZipLoc.

  3. Pour the marinade over the chicken and toss to coat. Let the chicken marinade at least 12 hours (up to 24 hours). I like to rotate the bag once halfway through if I remember just so the marinade is evenly distributed.

To Grill:

  1. Oil the grill's grate and cook the chicken pieces over medium-high heat until they're cooked through (approximately 25 minutes). Every grill varies, so it's important to use your best judgement so it doesn't burn. I recommend keeping an eye on it while it's cooking (don't just leave it), turning it frequently, and if it looks like the skin is getting too charred, turn down the heat and/or move it to a cooler part of your BBQ. Internal temperature of the chicken should reach 165F before you eat it. Oven method: Preheat oven to 400F. Arrange chicken pieces in a baking dish or a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast chicken for 35-45 minutes. Ensure the chicken's internal temperature is 165F prior to eating it. For extra crispy skin, broil it for a few minutes at the end if needed.

  2. Serve chicken with chopped scallions.

  • This chicken is meant to be spicy. If you want a milder version, use one jalapeno pepper instead of the suggested spicier peppers.

Lemon Garlic Butter Herb Chicken with Asparagus

Lemon Garlic Butter Herb Chicken with Asparagus is the easiest 30 minute meal that is bursting with amazing flavor.  Cooked in a buttery lemon garlic herb blend to tender juicy perfection with asparagus!

One pan meals are simple and quick on a busy weeknight. If you love one pan meals try this Roasted Honey Garlic Butter Chicken, Skillet Honey Lime Chicken or Skillet Honey Lime Chicken.

Lemon garlic butter herb chicken with asparagus

Lemon Garlic Butter Herb Chicken with Asparagus

Lemon?  Asparagus?  If I cook with foods that remind me of spring does that mean that it will come sooner?  Gah!

I am so ready for the snow to melt and warmer days to come.  We are starting to reach the stir crazy stage in the house.

I can’t wait for the day we can go outside and take walks and go to the park again!

Even though lemon and asparagus tend to get categorized with spring,  they are perfect eating all year long too.

It is amazing how simple this meal is, but give it some delicious herbs and cook it in some garlic and butter and you have an amazing meal that is jam-packed with flavor.

What you need to make herb chicken

Simple ingredients for a flavorful delicious dish!

You can’t go wrong with this one-pan meal!

Everything is so simplistic and easy to make.

All the flavors blend so well together leaving a sweet, savory and filling meal!

  • Butter- start by melting the butter for a rich flavor around your chicken.
  • Juice of one lemon- has a sour and sweet taste over the seasonings.
  • Garlic cloves- a very strong pungent and heated taste comes from cloves.
  • Oregano- freshly chopped for added seasoning.
  • Rosemary- brings a minty flavor in the seasonings.
  • Thyme- very powerful but creates a blend of flavors mixed with the other herbs.
  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs- dark meat that is rich in flavor.
  • Salt and pepper- for added seasoning.
  • Asparagus bunch- bright and colorful to add to your plate making this a complete meal.

How do you make herb chicken?

Only one pan! 30 minutes! It is that simple!

A tried and true recipe that is loved by all.

You can’t go wrong with this easy-to-make dish that will impress everyone at the dinner table!

Take your dinner to the next level with this savory dish.

  • One pan meal: In a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat add the butter until melted. Add the lemon juice, garlic, oregano, rosemary, and thyme. Add the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until chicken is no longer pink and 165 degrees. Remove chicken and set aside on a plate.
  • Add a vegetable: Add the asparagus to the pan and salt and pepper. Saute for 5-6 minutes or until tender. Add chicken back to the pan for a minute or so and serve.

Can you make this with chicken breast?

Yes, this will be a great one pan meal with chicken breast. Cook it the same as the chicken thigh. Once the inside temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit remove your chicken from the pan.

Lemon garlic butter herb chicken with asparagus

How do you cook skillet chicken?

Cooking chicken in the skillet is one of my favorite ways.

You add the butter to your pan and add the garlic, oregano, rosemary and thyme.

Add the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until chicken is no longer pink and 165 degrees.

How do I cook asparagus?

You can cook asparagus in the oven or even grill it.  But I love sauteing asparagus in the pan.  They remain crisp but tender and are perfect!

Do I have to blanch the asparagus before cooking?

Nope!  Just put the asparagus in the pan and saute in the butter and herbs until tender about 5-6 minutes.

You are going to love how this dish comes out. So easy, healthy and the perfect weeknight meal that is full of lemon garlic buttery herb goodness!

More skillet chicken recipes that you will love:

Lemon Garlic Butter Herb Chicken with Asparagus

Lemon Garlic Butter Herb Chicken with Asparagus is the easiest 30 minute meal that is bursting with amazing flavor. Cooked in a buttery lemon garlic herb blend to tender juicy perfection with asparagus!

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • ¼ cup freshly chopped oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (chopped)
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs (or breasts)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 bunch asparagus (cut in half)
  1. In a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat add the butter until melted. Add the lemon juice, garlic, oregano, rosemary, and thyme. Add the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until chicken is no longer pink and 165 degrees. Remove chicken and set aside on a plate.
  2. Add the asparagus to the pan and salt and pepper. Saute for 5-6 minutes or until tender. Add chicken back to the pan for a minute or so and serve.

 

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls are a quick and easy cinnamon roll stuffed with real apples and drizzled with caramel. Ready within an hour!

There is really no possible way that you can make these and not fall in love. If you love cinnamon rolls like we do try this Quick and Easy Cinnamon RollStrawberry Cinnamon Rolls with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze or Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls.
caramelapplecinnamonrollstitle

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

We are heading into my favorite time of the year!  I can feel it coming with the cooler weather and the leaves are starting to change.

I love fall baking and I especially love anything that has to do with apples.  And caramel.  And cinnamon rolls.

When these three things are combined….  you have one amazing treat!

This is my favorite dough recipe.  It is perfect for beginners and so easy to make.

You can have the cinnamon rolls in the oven and done within an hour and ready to devour.

Just look at these beauties fresh out of the oven.  They filled my house with an amazing cinnamon apple smell.  I couldn’t wait to gobble them up!

I couldn’t believe the delicious caramel on top and I absolutely loved every ooey gooey bite!  Give them a try.  You will not be disappointed!

What you need to make caramel apple cinnamon rolls

I couldn’t decide if I wanted to make a cream cheese caramel frosting or go for the real caramel glaze on top.

I chose the real caramel.  And I was so glad I did!

It tasted just like biting into a caramel apple.  The soft caramel on top of these ooey gooey cinnamon rolls was divine!

And the fresh baked apples right inside the cinnamon roll.  OMG

Dough Ingredients:

Take your time on the dough. You will not want to skip raising the dough.

This will ensure a soft, fluffy cinnamon roll every time.

  • Flour: this helps raise the cinnamon rolls. You can either use a bread flour for a higher raise or all-purpose flour.
  • Instant yeast: one hour rapid instant yeast is best.
  • White sugar: adds sweetness to the dough.
  • Salt: added seasoning.
  • Egg: forms and sticks the dough together.
  • Water: Luke warm water helps keep the dough softened.
  • Milk: 1% or 2% is best to help make a creamy flavorful way to soften the dough.
  • Butter: soften

Filling Ingredients:

This filling comes together simply and aids in the sweetness and flavor for the cinnamon rolls.

I love to use a crisp apple like Granny Smith apples but there are several other apples that can be used instead.

Even mixing green and red apples together to have a more sweet and savory crunch.

The tart from the Granny Smith apples become subtle when mixed with the spices.

  • Granny Smith Apples: a crisp sweet and a little tart apple.
  • Brown sugar: adds the extra sweetness in the filling.
  • Cinnamon: a classic spice that adds comfort and smell to the apples.
  • Nutmeg: is an incredibly intense spice that is both sweet and savory.
  • Butter: softened

Caramel Glaze:

For best results cooking the glaze slowly will help from separating or clumping.

You can’t go wrong with this homemade caramel glaze.

  • Butter: melted
  • Brown sugar: brings out the caramel and toffee flavor for the glaze.
  • Sweetened condensed milkthickens and creates a creamy caramel glaze.

caramelapplecinnamonrollstitle

How to make caramel apple cinnamon rolls recipe

This recipe is so simple to make but it does need some time to make it perfect!

These are mouthwatering cinnamon rolls to say the least. I made one pan and they were gone in minutes!

Just imagine biting into a fluffy, soft caramel apple. These caramel apple cinnamon rolls are heavenly!

You will be making these all season long!

  • To make the dough: In a small saucepan over medium low heat add the milk and butter. Stir until the butter has melted and remove from heat. Let stand until luke warm temperature.
  • Whisk together dry ingredients: In a large mixing bowl whisk together 2¼ cups flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Add to the stand mixer with dough hook attached. (You can also make this by hand, just knead until smooth once all of the ingredients are added.) Add the egg and water and mix until just starting to combine. Slowly add in the milk mixture and 1 cup of flour until the dough starts to form and become smooth. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
  • Roll out the dough: On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a large 9×15 square. About ¼-1/2 inch thick.
  • To make the filling: In a small bowl combine the cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar. Spread the softened butter onto the dough keeping it about a ½ inch away from the edge. Sprinkle the cinnamon and brown sugar on top of the softened butter. Sprinkle with chopped apples.
  • To make the cinnamon roll: Roll up the 15 inch side into a log and pinch the seams. Cut into 9-12 slices depending on how thick you want your cinnamon rolls. Place in a greased 9×13 inch pan or 9 inch pie pan. and cover with a damp cloth and let rise for 30 minutes.
  • Bake until golden brown: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes or until just golden brown on the tops.
  • To make the caramel glaze: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar until sugar dissolves. Add the sweetened condensed milk and bring to a boil over medium high heat for about 2-3 minutes. Pour over warm cinnamon rolls.

Why are your rolls not fluffy?

Too much flour and not enough water can cause crumbly bread.

This often does this if the dough is too sticky and you add more flour rather than kneading through it.

Other culprits can be over-proving or not kneading enough.

Tips for making cinnamon rolls

There are several ways to make cinnamon rolls and I just love variations.

You never know what you can make until you try!

Don’t be scared to make these homemade caramel apple cinnamon rolls.

They can be made from scratch or store bought and still have great taste and flavor!

  • If you are short on time, store bought caramel sauce will work great too. .
  • You can use any kind of apples that you prefer. Even mixing red and green apples together works well and has a sweet and savory taste.
  • I kept the skin on my apples but you can peel the skin off if you prefer. It does hold the shape of an apple better leaving it on.
  • Substituting bread flour for all purpose flour will help your rolls raise even more beautifully. It holds their shape better too!
  • Remember not to roll them too tight. Cinnamon rolls need room to grow, raise and expand.
  • One hour highly active yeast is best. They will not turn out with traditional yeast.
  • If your cinnamon roll dough is too sticky just add more flour in small increments.
  • Add in extras like chocolate chips or nuts.
  • After baking you can top them with caramel, melted chocolate or powdered sugar.

Can you make cinnamon rolls ahead?

Yes, these are great to make ahead if you do not have time to finish.

They only take 1 hour from start to finish. They are simple to make and ready to eat sooner than you think!

Make the dough according to directions, fill it with apple filling, roll them up and slice them.

Place each slice on a greased pan to let rise. Cover and refrigerate the roll until you are ready to bake them.

They will last 24 hours in the refrigerator.

You can also freeze the rolls until you are ready to bake them too. Before baking them, they need to be fully thawed and bake according to directions.

Storing cinnamon rolls

  • Storing: place in an airtight container or zip top bag and store in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. You do not need to store in the refrigerator.
  • Freezing: Wrap each cinnamon roll individually in foil, then place in a freezer bag. Store in freezer for 1 to 2 months.
  • Reheating: Reheat in the oven at 375°F until warm for best results or microwave for 1 to 2 minutes.

Love cinnamon rolls? Try these recipes!

 

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

A quick and easy cinnamon rolls stuffed with real apples and drizzled with caramel. Ready within an hour!

Dough Ingredients:

  • 3¼ cups flour
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ⅓ cup butter (softened)

Filling Ingredients:

  • 2 Granny Smith Apples (chopped)
  • ¾ cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 5 Tablespoons butter (softened)

Caramel Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

To make the dough:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium low heat add the milk and butter. Stir until the butter has melted and remove from heat. Let stand until luke warm temperature.

  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together 2¼ cups flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Add to the stand mixer with dough hook attached. (You can also make this by hand, just knead until smooth once all of the ingredients are added.) Add the egg and water and mix until just starting to combine. Slowly add in the milk mixture and 1 cup of flour until the dough starts to form and become smooth. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a large 9×15 square. About ¼-1/2 inch thick.

To make the filling:

  1. In a small bowl combine the cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar for the filling. Spread the softened butter onto the dough keeping it about a ½ inch away from the edge. Sprinkle the cinnamon and brown sugar on top of the softened butter. Sprinkle with chopped apples.
  2. Roll up the 15 inch side into a log and pinch the seams. Cut into 9-12 slices depending on how thick you want your cinnamon rolls. Place in a greased 9×13 inch pan or 9 inch pie pan. and cover with a damp cloth and let rise for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes or until just golden brown on the tops.

To make the caramel glaze:

  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar until sugar dissolves. Add the sweetened condensed milk and bring to a boil over medium high heat for about 2-3 minutes. Pour over warm cinnamon rolls.

 

Creamy Bacon Carbonara

Creamy Bacon Carbonara is a classic Italian creamy pasta, bacon, mushrooms and onions cooked together and tossed in a cheesy, rich egg yolk mixture for an easy 30 minute meal!  A quick and easy dinner that is made in minutes!

Pasta is a weekly special in our home! If you love pasta as much as we do try these Creamy Garlic Shrimp Alfredo Pasta, Creamy Chicken, Bacon and Broccoli Ranch Pasta or Creamy Pork Carnitas Pasta.

Creamy Bacon Carbonara

Creamy Bacon Carbonara

I finally found a carbonara recipe that I love. The sauce is so creamy, cheesy and so good.

The best part is that the pickiest eater gobbled this down and my other boy had seconds!

It was pretty easy to throw the whole thing together.  I felt like it was the perfect Sunday meal served with a side salad and garlic bread!

If you want a quick and easy delicious meal in just minutes, this is the dish. This pasta carbonara only takes 30 minutes from start to finish!

It is simply delicious and so easy to make at home. Everyone will be raving over this incredible creamy pasta!

What you need to make creamy bacon carbonara:

Simplicity is key with this carbonara meal! The use of good quality ingredients is a must though!

For a fully traditional carbonara recipe, use pancetta instead of bacon.

  • Eggs- all you need is just the yolks!
  • Cream or Heavy Cream  (Whipping Cream)- half and half will work but for a rich, creamy blend heavy whipping cream is my preference.
  • Parmesan- use a sharp, hard cheese of parmesan that is shaved instead of grated for a less gritty texture on your pasta.
  • Fresh diced Parsley or dried flakes- fresh and chopped up very fine add color and some fragrant garnish.
  • Salt- season to your liking.
  • Red Pepper flakes- a little kick of heat to help aid in flavor.
  • Bacon- a good thick cut bacon or even a high quality standard cut of bacon will make a difference.
  • Mushrooms chopped- this is optional but I love mushrooms and can’t leave them out.
  • Onion chopped- this is optional but adds a great flavor.
  • Pasta- linguine is my favorite but spaghetti will work great too.
bacon on the skillet

How to make creamy bacon carbonara:

This recipe is simple to make but is a little delicate if made too fast.

  • Prepare the pasta: cook the pasta according to the package.
  • Start the Sauce: beat the eggs, cream, Parmesan, parsley, salt and the red pepper together in a bowl. I just used a fork but a whisk will work great too.
  • Fry the bacon: until it is crisp, then crumble and set aside.
  • Saute: With 1 -2 Tbsp. bacon grease, sauté the onion and the mushrooms until the onions are translucent and golden.
  • Drain the pasta: While it is still warm, add to the onions and mushrooms.
  • Pour: cream mixture into the pasta, and stir over low heat for one to two minutes. Don’t do this on high heat, or you will make scrambled eggs.
  • Serve it hot: with additional Parmesan, and a loaf of Crusty French bread and a salad.
eggs and seasonings in a skillet

What is carbonara?

Carbonara is an Italian pasta dish from Rome made with egg, hard cheese, guanciale, and black pepper.

The dish arrived at its modern form, with its current name, in the middle of the 20th century.

How to make it a traditional carbonara recipe:

If you want to make this a more authentic carbonara recipe mix the cream and use pancetta or guanciale which is a pork jowl.

You can find at most specialty Italian supermarkets or in some unique grocery stores.

Just keep in mind that when substituting the heavy cream it will result in a dish that may be a bit drier, hence not quite a creamy carbonara.

For pasta you can also use fettuccine, rigatoni, or bucatini.

egg and seasoning cooking in a skillet

Can you Store Carbonara?

Yes! If you have any left overs, store in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.

When reheating, warm over low heat until the sauce is warm.

You may need to add a 1 tablespoon of milk or cream to keep a creamy consistency.

Unfortunately, carbonara pasta does not freeze well with the creams and pasta.

The pasta can become mushy and the creamy sauce can separate when reheating. Making it a day ahead will work great too.

This is a quick and easy recipe to make ahead of time but best to serve hot.

Tips for creamy bacon carbonara:

Getting carbonara just right can take some practice. So don’t worry if your carbonara sauce is a little lumpy the first time you make it.

  • Have you sauce completely prepared before starting on the pasta. You will want your pasta hot when making the egg mixture.
  • You will not want to cook the sauce or you will make scrambled eggs.
  • When stirring the egg mixture into the pasta it needs to be quickly but not hot enough to scramble the egg.
  • An easy add in to this pasta are chicken, shrimp, ham and more vegetables.
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese is best. Avoid pre-shredded parmesan. It does not melt smoothly when heating over the stove.
  • Powdered grated parmesan cheese can be used if necessary.
  • Double the sauce for it to be saucy enough.
  • I also put the sauce on low whisking consistently while I cooked the noodles because I wanted the eggs to cook enough.  You have to watch it though or your sauce will turn into scrambled eggs.
creamy bacon carbonara

Looking for more Italian recipes?! Try these!

creamy bacon carbonara

Creamy Bacon Carbonara

Creamy Bacon Carbonara is a classic Italian creamy pasta, bacon, mushrooms and onions cooked together and tossed in a cheesy egg mixture for an easy 30 minute meal!  A quick and easy dinner that is made in minutes!

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup Cream or Heavy Cream   (Whipping Cream)
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan
  • Fresh diced Parsley or dried flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper flakes
  • * (I doubled the Sauce recipe, and it was perfect)
  • 1/2 lb. bacon
  • 3 mushrooms chopped (opt)
  • 1 small onion chopped (opt)
  • 1/2 pound pasta
  1. Beat the eggs, cream, Parmesan, parsley, salt and the red pepper together in a bowl.  I just used a fork.   

  2. Fry the bacon until crisp, then crumble and set aside. 

  3. With 1 -2 Tbsp. bacon grease, sauté the onion and the mushrooms until the onions are translucent and golden. 

  4. Drain the pasta and while still warm, add to the onions and mushrooms. 

  5. Pour cream mixture into the pasta, and stir over low heat for one to two minutes. 

  6. I don’t do this on high heat, or you will make scrambled eggs. 

  7. Serve with additional Parmesan, and a loaf of Crusty French bread and a salad.  So Good!

(** I doubled the sauce recipe and I saved a bit of the pasta water, just in case my sauce got thicker than I liked – simply add a bit if you need).