Creamy Peanut Thai Noodles

Creamy peanut Thai noodles is a quick and delicious dinner that’s perfect for busy weeknights. Noodles are tossed in a quick peanut sauce along with our favorite veggies; carrots, peppers and cabbage. 

If your family is like mine, finding a dish everyone loves can be a challenge but everyone always agrees on homemade takeout from Mongolian beef to Bang Bang Shrimp and this super quick noodle dish!

A bowl of thai peanut noodles with fresh limes.

What’s In Thai Noodles?

  • Sauce: An easy Thai-flavored peanut butter cream sauce with a hint of heat and lots of flavor. You can make it as spicy (or mild) as you like.
  • Noodles: Linguine or spaghetti work well in this recipe (whole wheat noodles work too). You can also use rice noodles if you prefer.
  • Veggies: Julienned or shredded veggies are great in this dish. Use whatever you have on hand.
  • Toppings: My favorite part! Lime juice, peanuts, cilantro and green onions all add a big punch of flavor!

Ingredients for thai peanut noodles arranged on a working surface.

Tips For Making Peanut Thai Noodles

  • Once you start cooking this recipe comes togehter FAST! Prep all ingredients before getting started.
  • Add leftover oven baked chicken breasts or shrimp to this recipe.
  • If the sauce is too thick, just add a little pasta water or chicken broth to thin it out.
  • The sauce does thicken up a bit when it sits on the pasta, so it’s best to serve this dish right after tossing the pasta and sauce together.
  • The amount of salt you’ll ultimately need in this dish will be greatly affected by the soy sauce you use. I use a low sodium soy sauce.

2 process shots of thai peanut noodles being made in a saucepan.

My Favorite Thai Peanut Noodle Toppings

If you’re looking for some quick and easy toppings for these Thai peanut noodles, try some of these:

  • meat: chicken, shrimp, beef, or pork
  • peanuts
  • cilantro
  • lime juice
  • green onions

A pot of creamy thai peanut noodles ready to be served.

 

Looking for a few more Asian inspiration?

How about some crazy delicious, teriyaki chicken. Serve these over rice and you’ve got another dinner your whole family will love. Sesame Ginger Snap Peas or Sesame Bok Choy make great sides with this meal.

This dish is a great alternative to our fave Chicken Pad Thai.

Creamy Peanut Thai Noodles

This thai noodles recipe is a quick and delicious dish.

  • 8 ounces dry pasta (linguine or spaghetti)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon ginger (grated)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 cup carrots (julienned)
  • 1 1/2 cups cabbage (thinly sliced)
  • 1/4 cup bean sprouts (optional)
  • green onions, peanuts, and cilantro for garnish

Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha (or to taste)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  1. Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

  2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well, do not rinse.

  3. Meanwhile, cook ginger and garlic in vegetable oil until fragrant.

  4. Add carrots and cabbage and cook 2-3 minutes or until slightly tender. Add sauce while stirring over medium heat and simmer until thickened, about 2-3 minutes.

  5. Stir in noodles and bean sprouts. Garnish with crushed peanuts, cilantro and green onions (add lime wedges).

More Noodle Dishes We Love

Creamy Peanut Thai Noodles is one dish our whole family agrees on! This easy pasta dish is smothered in a Thai-flavored peanut butter cream sauce and loaded with chicken, red peppers, carrots & green onions for a great family meal.
A pot of creamy thai peanut noodles garnished with limes and peanuts.
A pot of creamy thai peanut noodles garnished with limes and peanuts.
Top photo - A bowl of thai peanut noodles with fresh limes. Bottom photo - Ingredients for thai peanut noodles arranged on a working surface.

Chicken Mushroom Casserole {Easy Weeknight Meal!}

Chicken Mushroom Casserole is a perfect weeknight meal and this one is crazy easy to make! This casserole recipe has a delicious combination of mushrooms, chicken, rice and beans with lots parmesan & garlic flavor! 

Chicken Mushroom Casserole garnished with parsley.

I’ve partnered with Zatarain’s® to bring you this belly warming casserole!

How to Make Chicken Mushroom Casserole with Rice

Zatarain’s® Parmesan Garlic Brown Rice with White Beans makes this recipe extra easy peasy. This rice blend has tons of flavor from garlic and parmesan plus great texture with the addition of white beans! The whole thing bakes up easily in the oven, no pre-cooking the rice required!

This rice blend also makes an easy side dish recipe (ready in just 10 minutes) and packed with 9 grams of protein and 11g of fiber. Hearty and healthy!!

Chicken mushroom casserole ingredients laid out.

  1. Season and brown chicken (per recipe below).
  2. Cook mushrooms and onions until tender.
  3. Combine all ingredients in dish and bake.  So easy!

Be sure to let the rice rest a few minutes before serving so it can soak up any liquid. Garnish with fresh herbs (like parsley or basil) and a sprinkle of parmesan.

Water being poured into the chicken mushroom casserole.

Variations

  • Chicken: I use chicken breasts, you can use chicken thighs if you’d like. Leftover roast chicken or rotisserie chicken works too (or even leftover turkey)! (This rice also makes a great Chicken Skillet Recipe).
  • Mushrooms: No mushrooms? No problem! Stir fry a little bit of zucchini or even add in some steamed broccoli or leftover roast veggies!
  • Seasonings: I love the addition of Italian seasoning in this recipe. Or skip the additional seasoning since this Zatarain’s® mixture is full of flavor.
  • Toppings: This dish is great topped with cheese or a bread crumb topping. Once the foil is removed, add a handful of shredded mozzarella or even provolone.

What to Serve with Chicken Mushroom Casserole

Nothing pairs better with a casserole than a crisp, green salad, and maybe a few slices of homemade garlic bread! For a heartier offering, a side of roasted green beans or a medley of steamed veggies like broccoli and cauliflower really round out the menu!

A serving of chicken mushroom casserole on a white plate.

Got Leftovers?

Perfect for next day lunches at work or school! Store it in an airtight container in the fridge.

When you are ready to reheat and eat, simply pop a serving (or more!) into the microwave. Refresh the flavors with a dash of salt and pepper and it will be as good as new!

More Delicious Casserole Dishes

Chicken Mushroom Casserole

This easy casserole is a hearty and delicious dinner option!

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 8 oz chicken breasts (cut into bite sized pieces)
  • 1/2 small onion (diced)
  • 8 oz mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 package Zatarain's® Parmesan Garlic Brown Rice with White Beans
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • parsley and parmesan cheese (for garnish)
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 2qt casserole dish.
  2. Season chicken with Italian seasoning, salt & pepper to taste. Cook chicken in 1 tablespoon olive oil until lightly browned (it does not need to be cooked through). Remove from heat and add to casserole dish.

  3. Heat remaining oil in the same pan. Add onions and cook until softened, 2-3 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until tender, about 4 minutes.

  4. Add mushroom mixture to casserole dish along with remaining ingredients (except garnish). Stir and cover tightly with foil or a lid. Bake 35 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove foil and bake 5 minutes more.

  5. Rest 5 minutes. Stir, garnish and serve.

This dish is great topped with cheese. Once the foil is removed, add a handful of shredded mozzarella or even provolone.

Top image - a serving of chicken mushroom casserole on a white plate. Bottom image - water being poured on top of the chicken mushroom casserole.

Perfect Mashed Potatoes

How to Make Mashed Potatoes that come out perfectly creamy every time! These are truly the best mashed potatoes.

Potatoes are my kryptonite (ok, potatoes and Stuffing).They are an easy side dish and go perfectly with Mushroom Salisbury SteakCrock Pot Pork Chops and of course a roast turkey!

A bowl of creamy mashed potatoes topped with fresh parsley and melted butter.

Potatoes are great however they’re prepared – baked potatoes, fried potatoes, and or in a Cheesy Ham and Potato Casserole. Homemade mashed potatoes are at the top of my list!

The Best Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes

This is an easy mashed potato recipe but it’s important to start with the right kind of potatoes.

The best kind of potatoes for mashed potatoes are starchy potato, such as a Russet or Idaho potato is ideal, Yukon gold makes great mashed potatoes too. I sometimes like to leave some of the skin on if I’m using a Yukon gold potato, I love the texture it adds to the mashed potatoes.

Other Ingredients

This recipe is for classic mashed potatoes so there are no additions of cheeses or exotic spices. Of course you can add those if you’d  like.

  • Butter: This is one place where there really are no substitutes. Add real butter to your potatoes and plenty of it. I prefer salted if it have it but unsalted works and the potatoes can be salted to taste.
  • Cream/Milk: I use regular whole milk in this recipe, you can also use cream if you have it on hand. Remember to heat the dairy for the best potatoes.
  • Garlic/Seasonings: Again, keeping this recipe simple, I simply add salt & pepper. If you’d like a little bit of garlic, chop a few cloves and let them boil with the potatoes.

A wooden spoon full of light and fluffy mashed potatoes

How To Make Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes are super simple to make with very few ingredients. You can make them in the Crock Pot or Instant Pot, but I really do think the best mashed potatoes are a simple classic. 

The real key to making the BEST creamy mashed potatoes is to get the consistency right. Here are a few tips for perfect mashed potatoes:

  1. Drain well: I usually let them sit about 5 minutes or so to completely drain or even drain well and put them back in the warm pot for a few minutes to make sure all liquid is evaporated.
  2. Mash by Hand: Use a hand masher or a potato ricer. Using a hand mixer, stand mixer or food processor can break down the starches in the potatoes and cause a very gluey or gummy texture. You can still get buttery smooth creamy mashed potatoes mashing by hand.
  3. Butter is Your Friend:. There are places you can skimp on butter and this is not one of them.  I like to use salted butter and lots of it (but you can use unsalted season yourself). Butter helps your mashed potatoes get a creamy… well, buttery texture.
  4. Heat Your Cream:  Heat your milk/cream before adding.  This keeps the potatoes hot and absorbs better.  Add cream/milk a little a a time to get the right consistency.

Cream cheese, garlic, and butter added to homemade mashed potatoes can add a delicious tang! You can really add whatever toppings you love the most, mashed potatoes are very forgiving!

Creamy mashed potatoes getting mashed with pepper and butter.

How Long To Boil Potatoes For Mashed

Potatoes should always be placed in cold salted water and brought to a boil, this helps them cook evenly. 

The length of time you need to boil the potatoes for entirely depends on how big they are cut. I quarter them so they generally take about 15 minutes.  To check if your potatoes are ready, use a fork. If it is easy to pierce the potato, it is ready to go!

Make Ahead

Mashed potatoes can be made up to 48 hours in advance. Follow the recipe as directed and cool completely. Refrigerate.

To reheat, they can be placed in a casserole dish in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Stir in a little bit of warm cream/milk if needed. You can also reheat these in the microwave stirring occasionally or even on low in the slow cooker for a couple of hours.

a close up of a pile of creamy mashed potatoes with melting butter.

Can You Freeze Mashed Potatoes

You sure can, frozen mashed potatoes reheat pretty well in the oven with a little milk. To freeze, scoop them into a plastic freezer bag and press flat (this helps them defrost and reheat evenly)! When you reheat them, add about a tablespoon of milk per cup of potatoes and stick them in the oven to reheat.

What To Do With Leftover Mashed Potatoes

I have four words for you. Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes

How to Make Mashed Potatoes

Fluffy, creamy and buttery, these are literally the PERFECT mashed potato.

  • 4 pounds potatoes (russet or Yukon gold)
  • 1/3 cup salted butter (melted)
  • 1 cup milk (or cream)
  • salt & pepper (to taste)
  • 3 cloves garlic (optional)
  1. Peel and quarter potatoes, place in cold salted water.

  2. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered 15 minutes or until fork tender. Drain well.

  3. Heat milk on the stove top (or in the microwave) until warm.
  4. Add butter to the potatoes and begin mashing. Pour in milk a little at a time while using a potato masher to reach desired consistency.
  5. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Add milk/cream a little bit at a time until desired consistency is reached.

 

 

 

 

 

These are the perfect mashed potatoes! They are fluffy, buttery, light, and go perfectly with just about any main dish! #spendwithpennies #potatoes #potato #mashed #mashedpotatoes #butter #starch

Bok Choy – a stir-fry staple!

Bok Choy recipe is a side dish that’s simple, nourishing and packed with delicious flavors.  The combination of soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and chili flakes are the perfect complement to tender-crisp bok choy.

Preparing this dish takes only minutes, and makes a marvelous side with any lunch or dinner. Serve over a bed of fried rice with take-out style sweet and sour chicken or Mongolian Beef!

Bok Choy in a serving bowl that has been chopped, sautéed, and tossed in an asian inspired sauce.

How to Choose Bok Choy

Bok choy should be firm and waxy with no brown spots. It is sometimes known as pak choi and come in two different sizes.

  • A full-grown head of bok choy is about a foot long, with thick white stalks and dark green leaves along the top edges.
  • Baby bok choy (photographed here) is about half that size and has a milder flavor that many people prefer over the more pungent adult version.

Whatever the name or size, it’s always versatile, easy to prep, and remains a staple of Chinese cuisine; it’s a stir-fry workhorse.

What does Bok Choy taste like? It has a mild, peppery flavor that makes it suitable for many dishes or salads. Chop or grate it raw for salads or slaw, or, keep it simple and cut in half, brush with oil and grill. The great thing about this vegetable is that it retains its crunchiness, even when cooked.

Baby Bok Choy chopped in a glass bowl.

How to Cut Bok Choy

  • The stalks can often have dirt or grit at the base of the stem so be sure to remove them and rinse it well.
  • To cut Bok Choy, cut the greens off and keep them separate from the whites part since they need less time to cook.

How to Cook Bok Choy

This veggie is quick and easy to cook and comes together in no time flat.

  1. Combine sauce ingredients and set aside (per recipe below).
  2. Stir fry the garlic, ginger and sliced bok choy in oil for a few minutes.
  3. Stir in the sauce and add the tops and simmer a few minutes more.

Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve.

Bok Choy in a sauce pan with sauce.

What to Serve With It

Bring out the best in bok choy by serving it with Asian noodles, ramen noodles or Jasmine rice. Rice or udon noodles make excellent accompaniments.

Steamed fish or sautéed shrimp are excellent pairings for this recipe. If you’re in the mood for something more substantial, consider sautéing it with teriyaki chicken or Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry.

Storing and Reheating the Leftovers

Leftovers will keep in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to four days, or in the freezer for up to four months. Reheat on low or medium in the microwave or stovetop until heated through. Don’t overdo the heat or your bok choy could get mushy and overdone.

Take-Out At Home

Sesame Ginger Bok Choy

Simple, nourishing and packed with delicious umami flavors!

  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed and chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
  • 8 heads baby bok choy
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
  • sesame seeds for garnish
  1. Combine sesame oil, soy sauce, water and chili flakes in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet and cook the garlic and ginger until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Mix in the whites of the bok choy and cook 3-4 minutes. Add soy sauce mixture and leaves and cook 2 minutes more or until heated through and leaves are gently wilted.
  4. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Bok Choy in a serving bowl that has been chopped, sautéed, and tossed in an asian inspired sauce.
Bok Choy in a serving bowl that has been chopped, sautéed, and tossed in an asian inspired sauce.
Top photo - Bok Choy in a sauce pan with the sauce. Bottom photo - Baby Bok Choy chopped in a glass bowl.

Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Garlic Mashed Potatoes are the easiest way to make your next dinner extra special. Tender potatoes are mashed until rich and creamy with butter, cream and roasted garlic. 

While I do love a good classic mashed potatoes recipe, the secret to turning ordinary spuds into a sensational dish worthy of seconds…or thirds is the addition of roasted garlic!

A bowl of garlic mashed potatoes, garnished with parsley, pepper, and pats of butter.

What Potatoes to Use

The best potatoes for garlic mashed potatoes are nice and starchy like russets or Yukon gold.

Another option is to make garlic red skin mashed potatoes. The thin tender skin doesn’t need to be peeled and offers a little texture, flavor and color.

A bowl of boiled potatoes and roasted garlic ready to mash.

How to Prepare Garlic

There are 3 possible options to add a nice garlicky flavor to your spuds!

  1. Roasted Garlic: Roasted garlic is by far my favorite option. It becomes buttery and sweet once roasted. Garlic can be roasted a couple of days in advance (just pop it into the oven next to your roast chicken and set aside).
  2. Fresh Garlic: This is still a great option if you don’t have time for roasting. Simply slice up 8 or so cloves of garlic and add them to the water with the potatoes. The flavor will mellow out and be great.
  3. Garlic Powder: If you don’t have any garlic on hand, you can add garlic powder (you can even buy roasted garlic powder) once the potatoes are cooked. Heat it up with the milk/butter mixture and stir it in.

Two images showing garlic mashed potatoes before and while melted butter and heavy cream are being poured in.

How to Make Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Potatoes are washed before they are bagged, but it’s still a good idea to give them a good rinse before peeling, and usually again after the peels are removed to ensure you don’t have any grit or dirt.

  1. Roast garlic per recipe below (or prepare garlic to add to potatoes for boiling).
  2. Bring potatoes to a boil starting in cold salted water. Drain well.
  3. Mash and add warmed cream, melted butter and roasted garlic.
  4. Season with salt & pepper and serve.

Close up of a bowl of garlic mashed potatoes, garnished with parsley, pepper, and pats of butter.

Other Additions

  • Parmesan: Make these into garlic parmesan mashed potatoes by adding in some finely grated parmesan.
  • Herbs: Fresh parsley, chives, dill or thyme all make amazing additions.
  • Cream Cheese: A few ounces of cream cheese will make these cheesy and extra creamy.
  • Caramelized Onions: I make big batches of caramelized onions and freeze them. They’re perfect to add to this recipe.
  • Horseradish: If you’re serving these alongside steak or roast beef, a generous scoop of horseradish is a delicious addition!

Can You Freeze Mashed Potatoes?

You can freeze mashed potatoes for up to a year, so go ahead and make lots. They retain their quality remarkable well as long as they have lots of nice fat in them (butter and cream).

  • To Freeze: Scoop into freezer bags, squeeze out the air, and store flat.
  • To Reheat: No need to thaw first. Just use the microwave on a medium setting or heat up in the oven.

More Mashed Potato Goodness

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Roasted garlic is the secret to turning these ordinary spuds into a sensational dish worthy of seconds…or thirds! 

  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 pounds potatoes (russet or Yukon gold)
  • 1/3 cup salted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream (more as needed)
  • salt & pepper ( to taste)
  • chives and/or parsley for garnish (optional)

To Roast Garlic*

  1. Slice the top off of the whole head of garlic and drizzle with olive oil.

  2. Wrap in foil and roast at 425°F for 45-55 minutes or until the garlic reaches a golden brown color and is very soft. (This can be done up to 5 days in advance). Remove golden cloves from the skin.

Potatoes

  1. Peel and cube potatoes, place in cold salted water (add raw garlic if you are not using roasted garlic). Boil uncovered 15-20 minutes or until fork tender. Drain well.

  2. Heat cream and butter until warm and butter is melted.
  3. With a potato masher, mash potatoes and roasted garlic until smooth. Add cream mixture a little bit at a time while mashing to reach desired consistency.
  4. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

*To Use Fresh Garlic in Place of Roasting: If you are short on time, 8-10 raw garlic cloves can be boiled along with the potatoes in place of roasting.

For a chunkier garlic potato, mash half of the roasted garlic into the potatoes. Chop and stir in the remaining garlic before serving. 

Garlic Mashed Potatoes with squares of butter, whole roasted garlic cloves and freshly chopped parsley on top.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes with squares of butter, whole roasted garlic cloves and freshly chopped parsley on top.
Top photo - Garlic Mashed Potatoes with squares of butter, whole roasted garlic cloves and freshly chopped parsley on top. Bottom photo - cooked potatoes and roasted garlic in a clear bowl ready to be mashed.

Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Garlic Mashed Potatoes are the easiest way to make your next dinner extra special. Tender potatoes are mashed until rich and creamy with butter, cream and roasted garlic. 

While I do love a good classic mashed potatoes recipe, the secret to turning ordinary spuds into a sensational dish worthy of seconds…or thirds is the addition of roasted garlic!

A bowl of garlic mashed potatoes, garnished with parsley, pepper, and pats of butter.

What Potatoes to Use

The best potatoes for garlic mashed potatoes are nice and starchy like russets or Yukon gold.

Another option is to make garlic red skin mashed potatoes. The thin tender skin doesn’t need to be peeled and offers a little texture, flavor and color.

A bowl of boiled potatoes and roasted garlic ready to mash.

How to Prepare Garlic

There are 3 possible options to add a nice garlicky flavor to your spuds!

  1. Roasted Garlic: Roasted garlic is by far my favorite option. It becomes buttery and sweet once roasted. Garlic can be roasted a couple of days in advance (just pop it into the oven next to your roast chicken and set aside).
  2. Fresh Garlic: This is still a great option if you don’t have time for roasting. Simply slice up 8 or so cloves of garlic and add them to the water with the potatoes. The flavor will mellow out and be great.
  3. Garlic Powder: If you don’t have any garlic on hand, you can add garlic powder (you can even buy roasted garlic powder) once the potatoes are cooked. Heat it up with the milk/butter mixture and stir it in.

Two images showing garlic mashed potatoes before and while melted butter and heavy cream are being poured in.

How to Make Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Potatoes are washed before they are bagged, but it’s still a good idea to give them a good rinse before peeling, and usually again after the peels are removed to ensure you don’t have any grit or dirt.

  1. Roast garlic per recipe below (or prepare garlic to add to potatoes for boiling).
  2. Bring potatoes to a boil starting in cold salted water. Drain well.
  3. Mash and add warmed cream, melted butter and roasted garlic.
  4. Season with salt & pepper and serve.

Close up of a bowl of garlic mashed potatoes, garnished with parsley, pepper, and pats of butter.

Other Additions

  • Parmesan: Make these into garlic parmesan mashed potatoes by adding in some finely grated parmesan.
  • Herbs: Fresh parsley, chives, dill or thyme all make amazing additions.
  • Cream Cheese: A few ounces of cream cheese will make these cheesy and extra creamy.
  • Caramelized Onions: I make big batches of caramelized onions and freeze them. They’re perfect to add to this recipe.
  • Horseradish: If you’re serving these alongside steak or roast beef, a generous scoop of horseradish is a delicious addition!

Can You Freeze Mashed Potatoes?

You can freeze mashed potatoes for up to a year, so go ahead and make lots. They retain their quality remarkable well as long as they have lots of nice fat in them (butter and cream).

  • To Freeze: Scoop into freezer bags, squeeze out the air, and store flat.
  • To Reheat: No need to thaw first. Just use the microwave on a medium setting or heat up in the oven.

More Mashed Potato Goodness

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Roasted garlic is the secret to turning these ordinary spuds into a sensational dish worthy of seconds…or thirds! 

  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 pounds potatoes (russet or Yukon gold)
  • 1/3 cup salted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream (more as needed)
  • salt & pepper ( to taste)
  • chives and/or parsley for garnish (optional)

To Roast Garlic*

  1. Slice the top off of the whole head of garlic and drizzle with olive oil.

  2. Wrap in foil and roast at 425°F for 45-55 minutes or until the garlic reaches a golden brown color and is very soft. (This can be done up to 5 days in advance). Remove golden cloves from the skin.

Potatoes

  1. Peel and cube potatoes, place in cold salted water (add raw garlic if you are not using roasted garlic). Boil uncovered 15-20 minutes or until fork tender. Drain well.

  2. Heat cream and butter until warm and butter is melted.
  3. With a potato masher, mash potatoes and roasted garlic until smooth. Add cream mixture a little bit at a time while mashing to reach desired consistency.
  4. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

*To Use Fresh Garlic in Place of Roasting: If you are short on time, 8-10 raw garlic cloves can be boiled along with the potatoes in place of roasting.

For a chunkier garlic potato, mash half of the roasted garlic into the potatoes. Chop and stir in the remaining garlic before serving. 

Garlic Mashed Potatoes with squares of butter, whole roasted garlic cloves and freshly chopped parsley on top.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes with squares of butter, whole roasted garlic cloves and freshly chopped parsley on top.
Top photo - Garlic Mashed Potatoes with squares of butter, whole roasted garlic cloves and freshly chopped parsley on top. Bottom photo - cooked potatoes and roasted garlic in a clear bowl ready to be mashed.

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 Slow Cooker Chicken Adobo

A little sweet, a little spicy…Slow Cooker Chicken Adobo is an easy dinner you’ll love any day of the week. The chicken is marinated in a simple vinegar, soy sauce, and brown sugar sauce and slow cooker with jalapeños and garlic for an extra boost of flavor!

Inspired by a favorite Filipino Chicken Adobo, this classic chicken adobo recipe is made easy with our favorite countertop appliance, a slow cooker. Spoon over a bed of white rice with a side of green beans!

A serving of chicken adobo on a plate with rice and green beans.

Skip the Oven

Winter is on its way and it’s time to dust off that slow cooker or crockpot to start stewing all the things if you haven’t been using it all summer like me. I love using my slow cooker or Crock Pot all year long but this year, I’ve been defaulting to the grill for most meals.

I still enjoy an easy, braised chicken dinner when the weather heats up. In fact, I’ve been craving this Filipino Chicken Adobo for months and didn’t want to keep the oven on for hours because it’s been so hot most of the summer.

So, I created an easy Crock Pot Chicken Adobo recipe for those times when you don’t want to leave the oven on all day because it’s hot….or have to go to work. This easy slow cooker recipe is one of our favorites and has been on repeat ever since we first made it.

Overview of a slow cooker with chicken adobo ingredients inside.

What is Chicken Adobo?

Filipino Chicken Adobo isn’t really a “recipe” as much as it is a method of marinating and stewing a specific cut of meat in a broth mixture made of vinegar, soy sauce and spices.

Most recipes call for a period of marinating the meat before stewing in the same mixture. This creates the most tender, tangy, melt-in-your-mouth meat.

For this chicken recipe, we use skip the step of marinating the meat. The slow cooker does all the work of infusing your Chicken Adobo with all the flavors commonly found in a classic Filipino recipe.

Chicken Adobo ingredients on a cutting board next to a plate of seared chicken.

How to Make Chicken Adobo

Making Slow Cooker Chicken Adobo is so easy to do and can be whipped up early in the day before you leave for work, school or wherever you need to be during the day.

  1. GARLIC: Cut the garlic bulbs in half to expose the inside of the cloves. Keep the whole bulb in tact and don’t separate the cloves.
  2. CHICKEN: Brown chicken in a skillet until crispy and golden on all sides. (If you’re in a rush, you can skip this step but browning the chicken adds a ton of flavor). Transfer all ingredients to the slow cooker.
  3. SAUCE: In a small bowl, whisk together sauce ingredients and pour over chicken.
  4. COOK: Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.

This recipes leans closer to a Mexican Adobo Chicken with jalapenos for spice. For a milder flavor, leave them out. This will not affect the overall success of the recipe!

Overview of chicken adobo prepared with rice.

What to Serve With Chicken Adobo

We like to serve Slow Cooker Chicken Adobo alongside a fluffy pile of white rice but if you’re going the low carb route sub that rice with a mountain of cauliflower rice, like I do!

You can also serve Filipino Chicken Adobo with buttered noodles or a fresh green salad.

More Slow Cooker Recipes

Slow Cooker Chicken Adobo

A classic Filipino Chicken Adobo recipe made easy with the help of your slow cooker.

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 skinless bone-in chicken thighs and/or drumsticks
  • 1 head garlic
  • 2 whole jalapeno ( or serrano chilis)
  • 1 cup onion (diced)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sauce

  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  1. Heat the olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.

  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken in the skillet until golden brown and crispy on all sides, approximately 10-15 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker.

  3. Cut the garlic lengthwise to expose the top of the garlic cloves being careful not to break the bulb apart. Transfer the garlic to the slow cooker.

  4. Thinly slice the chilis removing the seeds to make it less spicy, if desired. Add to the slow cooker.

  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients and pour over the chicken. Top with the bay leaves.

  6. Cover the slow cooker and cook for 4 hours on high or 6-7 hours on low.

  7. Remove bay leaves. Serve the chicken over white rice and spoon the sauce over the chicken.

A serving of chicken adobo on a plate with rice and green beans.
A serving of chicken adobo on a plate with rice and green beans.
Top photo - Chicken Adobo assembled in a crock pot. Bottom photo - A serving of chicken adobo on a plate with rice and green beans.

Green Beans Almondine: Elegant but simple!

Green Beans Almondine isn’t your everyday green bean casserole!  Made with green beans, almonds, and garlic this elegant side dish is super easy to prepare! 

It’s a great side dish for a crowd because it’s both easy and inexpensive. So remember this winner when cooking up a Roast Turkey Breast during the holidays, too!

Green Beans Almondine being scooped out of a frying pan.

What is Green Beans Almondine?

Also known as green beans ‘amandine’, this is a simple dish that only sounds complicated. Tender green beans are boiled briefly and then shocked in ice water to stop the cooking and keep their bright green color.

They are then dressed with toasted almonds and butter and seasoned salt and pepper. This recipe is made with garlic for a more savory flavor!

Blanching veggies means to boil them for a short period and then to plunge them into cold water to stop cooking. This makes them perfectly tender crisp!

How To Make Green Beans Almondine

This elegant side dish is so simple to make! It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!

  1. Blanch green beans and then plunge into an ice-water bath and drain (see recipe below).
  2. Saute almonds and add garlic and green beans.
  3. Remove from heat and season with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Green beans in an ice bath.

What to Serve Green Beans Almondine With

This side dish is so universally compatible with nearly any kind of meat or fish! It goes great with meatloaf or a pork tenderloin!

This recipe is also a great side dish for the holidays. Serve it alongside turkey and mashed potatoes.

Overview of green beans topped with almonds in a frying pan.

How to Store Leftovers

Keep your green beans almondine in a tightly covered container in the fridge. They are easy to reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.

An extra squeeze of lemon and some salt and pepper will freshen the flavors and make it taste brand new again!

More Green Bean Greats

Green Beans Almondine

Green Beans Almondine isn’t your everyday casserole, it's an elegant side dish that is super easy to prepare! 

  • 1 lb green beans
  • 1/4 cup almonds (sliced)
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Trim tips off green beans and cut in half. Prepare an ice water bath.

  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and generously salt. Add beans and boil 3 minutes.
  3. Remove beans and place into ice water.
  4. Meanwhile, cook almonds and butter over medium heat until slightly browned. Add garlic and beans.
  5. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes or until heated through.
  6. Remove from heat, add a squeeze of lemon and season with salt & pepper to taste.

Green Beans Almondine being scooped out of a pan.
Green Been Almondine being scooped out of a pan.
Top image - green beans almondine being scooped out of a pan. Bottom image - green beans topped with almonds.

Spinach Artichoke Dip – Party Perfect!

Spinach Artichoke Dip is one of those recipes that absolutely everyone seems to love. A creamy cheesy base loaded with spinach, a bit of garlic and of course marinated artichokes.

It’s all topped off with more cheese and baked until golden and bubbly.  Between this recipe and our favorite Buffalo Chicken Dip, I’m pretty much guaranteed an invite to every party!

Spinach Artichoke Dip baked until golden and bubbly.

Our favorite Spinach Artichoke Dip

Spinach Artichoke Dip is a dish you’ll find on almost every menu and at every party for good reason. Everyone loves it! This spinach artichoke dip recipe is easy to make and it’s creamy, cheesy, and super satisfying!

How to Make Spinach Artichoke Dip

Like most creamy dip recipes, this spinach artichoke dip starts with a delicious cream cheese base. The first step to a perfectly scoopable spinach dip is to make the cream cheese nice and fluffy using either a hand mixer or a stand mixer. You can certainly mix it by hand but an electric mixer will make your dip softer so you don’t end up with a ‘chip-wreck’.

I love the use of marinated artichokes in this recipe (instead of canned). The difference is that the canned artichokes are usually in water with a bit of salt… the marinated artichokes are in olive oil and usually have lots of great seasoning which adds tons of flavor to this dip! If you’re using canned artichokes instead, you’ll likely want to add a bit of Italian Seasoning or some dried basil for flavor.

  1. Mix cream cheese, sour cream and a bit of mayo until fluffy.
  2. Fold in spinach, artichokes and cheeses.
  3. Bake until bubbly.

I used to make this dip with lots of gruyere but have found it’s better if you use some mozzarella and a bit of gruyere. If you don’t have gruyere you can substitute it with gouda or swiss.

A dish of hot spinach artichoke dip ready for serving

To Cook in the Slow Cooker

Most dips you bake in the oven can also be made in a slow cooker! Spread the dip into the bottom of a 4QT crock pot and cook on low for about 2 hours stirring after 60 minutes. Just before serving, sprinkle the extra mozzarella on top.

Fresh Spinach for Spinach Dip

You can use fresh spinach in this recipe instead of frozen spinach!  I use frozen chopped spinach to keep this spinach artichoke dip quick and easy. Frozen spinach tends to have a lot of liquid so once defrosted, you’ll want to squeeze our as much liquid as possible.  This will keep your dip from being runny.

To Replace Frozen Spinach with Fresh Spinach

If you’d prefer to make this spinach artichoke dip with fresh spinach, simply chop, cook and squeeze dry 1lb of fresh spinach. Don’t forget to remove any tough stems before cooking.

The ingredients to make the BEST spinach artichoke dip recipe.

What to Serve With Spinach Artichoke Dip

This is a hot spinach artichoke dip and I like to it with toasted slices of baguette. It’s also great with crackers, chunks of sourdough bread or even tortilla chips!

If you happen to have flour tortillas on hand, they make great dippers once baked in the oven! Lightly brush them with olive oil (or melted butter) and season them with a pinch of salt and garlic powder.  Bake at 350°F 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp.

If you’re looking for a fresh crunch (or to keep this low carb), carrots, celery, mini bell peppers or cucumbers are also great dippers! Just know, if you take this dip with you, you’ll be left with nothing but an empty dish!

A big scoop of hot spinach artichoke dip ready for serving

To Make Ahead

This dip can be made as much as 48 hours ahead of time and refrigerated. Once baked it will keep 3-4 days in the fridge.

If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, it’s great to heat up with a bit of cream and toss with pasta or spoon over chicken and baked for a complete meal!

More Great Dip Recipes

The Best Spinach Artichoke Dip

This is my favorite Spinach Artichoke dip recipe!! It’s easy to make and always a huge hit!

  • 8 oz cream cheese (, softened)
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese (divided)
  • 1/2 cup fresh shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup gruyere cheese
  • 10 oz frozen chopped spinach (defrosted and squeezed dry)
  • 14 oz marinated artichoke hearts (chopped)

For Serving

  • 1 baguette (optoinal)
  • olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. In a bowl combine cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise and garlic with a hand mixer until fluffy.

  3. Stir in parmesan cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, gruyere cheese, spinach, and artichokes.

  4. Place into a 9×9 casserole dish (or deep dish pie plate) and top with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.

  5. Bake 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is browned.
  6. Slice baguette into 1/2″ slices. Lightly brush one side of each slice with olive oil. Broil the oiled side for about 2 minutes or just until lightly browned.

  7. Remove from the oven and gently rub each slice with a clove of garlic. Serve with spinach artichoke dip.

*Nutrition information does not include baguette.

REPIN this Easy Appetizer

Spinach Artichoke Dip in a white baking dish and being scooped out with a cracker

 

Spinach Artichoke Dip is an appetizer recipe that absolutely loves. A creamy cheesy base loaded with spinach, a bit of garlic and of course marinated artichokes. #spendwithpennies #spinachartichokedip #artichokedip #spinachdip #appetizerrecipe #diprecipe #easyrecipe #partyrecipe