Black Bean Soup – Budget Friendly!

This Black Bean Soup recipe is a thick and hearty favorite with tons of flavor. Black beans, veggies and broth simmer with our favorite bold seasonings for a delicious and easy soup!

Serve with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of bacon and your favorite fresh herbs or sliced green onions.

Black Bean Soup in a bowl with a pot and bread in the background

Why We Love This Soup

It’s quick to make!

It’s rich and creamy without the addition of heavy cream and full of veggies and fiber while tasting decadent.

Panera Black Bean Soup has always been a favorite and it has recently been discontinued, I have to admit, I prefer this version!

It’s a budget-friendly soup full of veggies, bacon, beans, and spices, and you can garnish with all your favorite toppings!

ingredients to make Black Bean Soup on a sheet

Ingredients/Variations

BEANS
Black beans are the star of this soup! Canned beans make for an extra quick soup but I’ve included directions for dried beans if you’d prefer.

VEGGIES
Bell peppers, onions, celery, and tomatoes are simmered with the beans to create a hearty, filling soup. Add mushrooms, zucchini, corn, or spinach, whatever you have on hand!

SEASONINGS
Chili powder, paprika, and cumin are all simmered with broth until the flavors blend together! Add your own taco seasoning, fajita seasoning, or even cajun seasoning, whatever you prefer!

Blending ingredients in a pot with black beans and vegetables

How to Make Black Bean Soup

This easy recipe will be ready in no time!

  1. Saute the bacon first, (or try making it in the oven) and cook the veggies in the drippings.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients (per recipe below) and simmer 20 minutes.
  3. Remove bay leaf and blend a portion of the soup to make the texture thick and creamy.

Mix-ins and Toppings

Black bean soup is made even heartier and tastier with some mix-ins and toppings! Put out bowls of tasty add-ins and let everyone make their own black bean soup!

  • Shredded cheddar cheese or crumbled Cotija cheese
  • Tortilla strips or cornbread crumbles
  • Avocado slices and sliced black olives
  • Sliced jalapenos or diced green chiles
  • Salsa and sour cream
  • Guacamole or nacho cheese

Black Bean Soup in a pot with a spoonful in a laddle

Tips

  • Drain and rinse canned beans really well to get all the salt & foam off before adding.
  • Blend a portion of the soup leaving some of the beans and veggies for texture.
  • If your soup is too thick, add broth (a little at a time) and adjust your spices accordingly.

Leftovers

  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • To reheat, simmer on the stove or heat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or until heated through.
  • Black Bean Soup can be frozen. Cool completely, then ladle into a freezer bags and lay flat to freeze (keeps up to 4 months in the freezer).

Hearty Soups to Try

Did your family love this Black Bean Soup? Be sure to leave a comment and a rating below! 

Black Bean Soup in a bowl with a pot and bread in the background

Black Bean Soup

This soup is hearty, flavorful and will warm you from the inside out on a cold day!
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Entree, Lunch, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 329
Author Holly Nilsson

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon chopped, or 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 cup celery chopped
  • 1 ½ cups bell pepper (any color) finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 14 ounces diced tomatoes with juices
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeded, finely diced
  • 2 cups chicken broth low sodium
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cans black beans 19 ounces each, drained and rinsed

Toppings

  • sour cream, green onions, cilantro optional

Instructions

  • Heat a large saucepan and add bacon. Cook over medium heat until crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside (reserving fat.)
  • Add onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic to the bacon fat and cook over medium heat until tender.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients (except bacon) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 20 minutes.
  • Remove bay leaf and discard. Using an immersion blender, blend about half of the soup mixture to thicken. Stir to combine and add in bacon.
  • Serve with sour cream, cilantro, and green onions if desired.

Notes

To use dried beans, omit canned beans. Place ½ pound beans in large saucepan along with 1 large onion halved and 2 cloves of garlic whole. Cover with water, bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Simmer until beans are tender, about 90 minutes. (Add more water if needed).

Nutrition

Calories: 329 | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 762mg | Potassium: 1056mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 2449IU | Vitamin C: 97mg | Calcium: 112mg | Iron: 5mg
close up of Black Bean Soup in a white bowl
Black Bean Soup in a pot with writing
Black Bean Soup in a bowl with a title
ingredients to make Black Bean Soup and the finished dish in a bowl with a title

Creamy Mushroom Tagliatelle

Every home cook needs to have a mushroom pasta sauce recipe in their recipe box!

This homemade version is super rich and super creamy and the perfect addition to a tagliatelle pasta! A perfect Meatless Monday dinner and a great lunch the next day at school or work, if there is any left!

Creamy Mushroom Tagliatelle in the pan

What is Tagliatelle?

Tagliatelle are long, flat ribbons of pasta that are almost identical to fettucine in color, width, and length (they can vary slightly in thickness).

Tagliatelle comes from a different region in Italy than fettucine does, so even though the names are different they can be used interchangeably. However, tagliatelle does sound a little fancier, doesn’t it?

ingredients to make Creamy Mushroom Tagliatelle

Mushroom Pasta Ingredients

WINE
Wine adds richness and flavor to the dish. Be sure to let it simmer so the alcohol can cook out. You can switch out the white wine for a deep burgundy or Bordeaux when deglazing the pan if you’d prefer.

PASTA
If tagliatelle or fettuccine aren’t handy, penne, rotini, or orecchiette pasta will do just fine! Look for heftier shapes of paste that the sauce can cling to.

MUSHROOMS
Get creative with the mushrooms! Choose shiitakes, or porcini, or even thin slices of portobellos. If you have dried mushrooms, they can be rehydrated and added to this recipe as well!

Creamy Mushroom Tagliatelle in the pan adding seosonings

How to Make Mushroom Tagliatelle

  1. Saute onions & mushrooms. Add the garlic & cook until fragrant. Deglaze the pan with wine.
  2. Add cream and cream cheese. Simmer until thickened.
  3. Toss with pasta and serve.

Tips for Success

  • Cook the pasta until it is just al dente since it will continue to cook when it’s added back to the pan.
  • Deglazing the pan is a very important step. Simply scrape the bits from the bottom of the pan while stirring in the wine, those little bits = big flavor!
  • Using room temperature cream cheese will make it easier when it is time to blend with the cream and other cheeses.

Creamy Mushroom Tagliatelle in a white bowl with bread behind

Storing Creamy Mushroom Tagliatelle

Keep mushroom tagliatelle in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

To reheat, add a little cream or milk to the pan and gently stir the pasta until steaming hot. Refresh with salt and pepper and enjoy!

Serve alongside cheesy garlic breadsticks and some roasted tomatoes. Don’t forget a nice glass of red wine! Sounds like a

Easy Weeknight Pasta Dishes

  • Did you love this Creamy Mushroom Tagliatelle? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

    Creamy Mushroom Tagliatelle in a white bowl with bread behind

    Creamy Mushroom Tagliatelle

    Mushroom pasta sauce on a bed of tagliatelle, this dish is sure to impress the whole family!
    Course Dinner, Entree, Main Course, Pasta
    Cuisine American
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 25 minutes
    Total Time 35 minutes
    Servings 4 servings
    Calories 596
    Author Holly Nilsson

    Ingredients

    • 8 ounces tagliatelle or long pasta such as linguine
    • ½ onion small, diced
    • 8 ounces mushrooms brown or white, sliced
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 2 cloves garlic minced
    • ½ cup white wine
    • 1 ⅓ cup heavy cream
    • 4 ounces cream cheese
    • ½ cup Parmesan cheese grated, divided
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • fresh parsley for garnish

    Instructions

    • Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain, reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
    • In a large skillet, saute onion and mushrooms in olive oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
    • Add the wine to deglaze and loosen any bits off the pan and simmer until the wine has almost evaporated, about 3-4 minutes.
    • Add the cream and cream cheese and stir until smooth. Simmer 5 minutes or slightly reduced and thickened. Stir in the pasta and half of the parmesan cheese. Toss to combine adding a little bit of the reserved pasta water if needed (you may not need all of it). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    • Garnish with remaining cheese and parsley if desired.

    Notes

    Any kind of mushrooms can be used in this recipe (add extra if you'd like).
    You may or may not need all of the pasta water.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 596 | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 153mg | Sodium: 285mg | Potassium: 436mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1198IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 229mg | Iron: 2mg
    Creamy Mushroom Tagliatelle with a title
    close up of Creamy Mushroom Tagliatelle with a title
    Creamy Mushroom Tagliatelle in a pan with writing

     

    ingredients to make Creamy Mushroom Tagliatelle with writing and the finished dish

Grilled Chicken Thighs – 10 Minute Grill Time

Summertime and grillin’ are super easy (and delicious) with this recipe for juicy grilled chicken thighs!

Made with boneless, skinless chicken thighs, this recipe is a go-to for last-minute get-togethers, make-ahead picnics, and crowd-pleasing potlucks!

The simple marinade coats each piece just right! Most of the ingredients are probably already on hand, so just mix it, marinate it, and make it!

Grilled Chicken Thighs on a plate with a fork and garnish

Perfectly Grilled Thighs

This recipe is a favorite because the marinade does all the work adding flavor and making the chicken extra tender. (This marinade is great brushed onto grilled veggies, too)!

It takes just minutes to prep the marinade and then only about 10-15 minutes to grill (of course time for marinating in between too). Easy peasy!

Serve these grilled chicken thighs with a southern potato salad and toss some corn on the grill while you’re at it!

Ingredients/Variations

CHICKEN
This recipe uses boneless skinless thighs, but bone-in/skin-on thighs will work great too! (If using bone-in chicken, the cook time and method will change, I would suggest following the method in my bbq chicken recipe).

MARINADE
Simple ingredients like vinegar, mustard, and soy sauce make up the base for the marinade.

As long as you have oil, sweetness, acid, and a bit of bold flavor, ingredients can easily be substituted. Switch it up by using ketchup, honey, or even Italian dressing! Make a signature marinade and sauce!

chicken in marinade before mixing to make Grilled Chicken Thighs

How to Make Chicken Marinade

This marinade comes together in a snap:

  1. Whisk marinade ingredients in a bowl or shake them up in a zippered bag.
  2. Add chicken and marinate in the refrigerator up to 4 hours, but at least 30 minutes.

How Long to Grill Chicken Thighs

Grill thighs for about 5 to 7 minutes on each side. It’s best to cook thighs at medium-high heat, making sure to rotate the thighs in and around the “hot spots” on the grill. This creates evenly grilled pieces. Look for a caramelized, golden brown color all around (and a temperature of 165°F).

close up of Grilled Chicken Thighs on a plate

Tips

  • Choose chicken pieces that are uniform in size so they will cook evenly on the grill.
  • If using chicken breasts in this recipe, pound them to an even thickness so they cook evenly.
  • Make grilled veggies or corn for a complete meal without the oven! Even garlic bread can be cooked on the grill!

How to Store Leftovers

  • Leftover grilled chicken thighs make a great second meal, even served cold! Boneless thighs can be tucked into a wrap with some salad greens, onions, and tomatoes.
  • Or, serve leftover grilled chicken on top of a bed of salad greens with some ranch or bleu cheese dressing.
  • Keep grilled chicken thighs in a zippered bag or airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • To reheat, just microwave for a minute or two and add a little salt and pepper or even homemade BBQ sauce!

Favorites From the Grill

Did your family love these Grilled Chicken Thighs? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

close up of Grilled Chicken Thighs on a plate

Grilled Chicken Thighs

These Chicken Thighs are juicy & flavorful, perfect for a backyard BBQ!
Course Chicken, Dinner, Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marinate Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 385
Author Holly Nilsson

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs

Marinade

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary slightly crushed
  • 1 clove garlic minced

Instructions

  • Combine all marinade ingredients in a small bowl or a freezer bag. Mix well.
  • Add chicken thighs and allow to marinate at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
  • Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Add chicken thighs and cook 5-7 minutes per side or until chicken reaches 165°F.
  • Rest 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. 
Reheat on the grill or in the microwave until heated through. 

Nutrition

Calories: 385 | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 215mg | Sodium: 498mg | Potassium: 565mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 54IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 2mg
Grilled Chicken Thighs on a white plate with a fork and writing
close up of Grilled Chicken Thighs with writing
close up of Grilled Chicken Thighs on a plate with a title
Grilled Chicken Thighs with a fork and a title

Unstuffed Peppers – A Delicious, One-Pot Dish!

Unstuffed Peppers have all of the flavors of our favorite stuffed peppers but this casserole is quick to make in just one pan!

A zesty rice and sausage skillet filled with sweet bell peppers is on the table in no time at all!

unstuffed peppers on a white plate topped with melted cheese and parsley

Unstuffed peppers have all of the flavors of our favorite stuffed peppers recipe but needs just one pot! Top with cheese and serve this easy dish casserole style.

Easy One-Pot Meal

Who doesn’t love an entire entrée that can be prepared in one pan? We love all the healthy ways unstuffed peppers can be made. No meat? No problem! We like unstuffed peppers made with cauliflower rice for a low-carb, keto version, quinoa for a high protein version, or brown rice for a super high-fiber version. Just adjust cooking times as necessary.

Ingredients to make unstuffed peppers on a tray

Ingredients and Variations

Unstuffed peppers are not only super easy to make, but almost anything can be tossed into the skillet along with the original ingredients or subbed out with other ingredients.

VEGGIES: Add mushrooms, diced zucchini or other squash, frozen veggies.

PROTEIN: Sausage adds lots of flavor but you can substitute it for ground beef, or for a lower fat version, switch out the sausage for ground turkey or even leftover shredded chicken.

cooked sausage, rice and tomatoes in a pot with seasonings

How to Make Unstuffed Peppers

This dish is so easy to make, but so tasty and filling everyone will want seconds!

  1. BROWN MEAT
    Brown the sausage, onion, & garlic, drain fat.
  2. COOK RICE
    Add tomatoes, rice, water, seasonings, salt, & pepper. Simmer until thickened.
  3. SIMMER PEPPERS
    Add diced bell peppers & continue to cook until rice is tender.

That’s all there is to it. Remove from heat, top with cheese & cover until cheese is melted (or pop it under the broiler if you’d like)!

green and red bell peppers on top of sausage cooked with rice in tomato sauce

Tips and Tricks

  • For extra flavor and texture, place the skillet under the broiler until the cheese topping gets golden brown and bubbly.
  • If subbing the rice out for cauliflower rice, quinoa, or brown rice, adjust the cooking time as necessary.
  • Store unstuffed peppers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • It’s easy to freeze! Scoop into zippered bags, label with the date and store for up to two months in the freezer.

a spoonful of unstuffed peppers with melted cheese and parsley on top

More Bell Pepper Favorites

Did you love these Unstuffed Peppers? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

unstuffed peppers on a white plate topped with melted cheese and parsley

Unstuffed Peppers

Unstuffed Peppers is a delicious one-pot meal that's full of fresh, simple ingredients!
Course Beef, Dinner, Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Calories 621
Author Holly Nilsson

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 14 ounces crushed tomatoes canned
  • 14 ounces diced tomatoes with juices
  • ½ cup long-grain white rice uncooked
  • 1 ⅔ cup water or as needed
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 bell peppers any color, diced
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese shredded

Instructions

  • In a large pan, brown sausage, onion & garlic over medium heat until no pink remains. Drain fat.
  • Add tomatoes, rice, water, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, and salt & pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook covered 10 minutes.
  • Stir in diced peppers and cook an additional 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender.
  • Stir and add cheese on top. Remove from heat, cover with a lid and rest 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

Add water as needed until rice is tender. Rice will absorb liquid as the mixture rests.
Optional: Broil cheese on top if desired.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 621 | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 1244mg | Potassium: 1127mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 4150IU | Vitamin C: 176mg | Calcium: 191mg | Iron: 5mg

Honey Glazed Salmon – Ready in Under 30 Minutes!

Salmon cooks quickly while being deliciously tender and flaky! This recipe pairs salmon filets with a soy and honey glaze for an easy meal!

This fish can be poached, grilled, baked in the oven, or simply pan-fried as in this recipe! It’s the perfect entrée for an easy dinner at home or a weekend gathering!

spooning sauce over two honey glazed salmon filets with chives

How to Make Honey Glazed Salmon

For the best tasting honey glazed salmon, select fillets that are firm and brightly colored, with no tears in the flesh and no fishy odors. Check the filets over for bones before beginning.

  1. Season with salt and pepper. Sear in a hot pan 1 minute per side.
  2. In a separate pan, simmer the honey glaze ingredients until thickened.
  3. Pour sauce over the filets and bake for about 5 minutes.

Serve immediately with lime wedges.

How Long to Cook Salmon

This salmon only needs about 2 minutes on the stovetop and 5-7 minutes in the oven (baking in the same pan that they were seared in as it is preheated). Thicker filets will need more time while thinner filets cook faster.

Cook times can vary based on many factors including thickness of the salmon, individual ovens or even the material of the pan (and how well it retains heat) so be sure to check the salmon a little early for doneness so it doesn’t overcook.

Pans with cooked salmon and a honey soy glaze being poured overtop

What to Serve With It

Salmon goes with so many sides!

Veggies: Creamy asparagus, Roasted potatoes and carrotsroasted sweet potatoes

Salads: Marinated chopped saladAsian noodle salad

Starch: Garlic butter kale riceBaked spaghetti squashMashed potatoes

Breads: Homemade french breadHomemade garlic breadCheesy garlic breadsticks30-minute dinner rolls

How to Store

It’s easy to store honey glazed salmon! It will keep about 4 days in the refrigerator if it’s in a zippered bag or airtight container.

Reheating is easy in the microwave and to refresh the flavors just add a dash of salt and pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon!

Salmon can be frozen but will be a little soft once it is thawed, so it’s good for salads and sandwiches. Leftover honey glazed salmon lends itself perfectly as a salad topper or tucked into a wrap, even reheated with mustard aioli on a toasted ciabatta roll or as part of seafood chowder!

Delicious Salmon Dishes

Did your family love this Honey Glazed Salmon? Be sure to leave a comment and a rating below! 

spooning sauce over two honey glazed salmon filets with chives

Honey Glazed Salmon

Tender, flaky & full of flavor, this Honey Glazed Salmon is the perfect entree!
Course Dinner, Entree, Fish, Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 383
Author Holly Nilsson

Ingredients

  • 4 salmon fillets 6 oz each
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Sauce

  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Instructions

  • Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Whisk all sauce ingredients except butter in a small bowl. Pour into a saucepan and bring to a simmer for 2-3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in butter and set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add salmon and cook 1 minute per side. Spoon sauce over salmon.
  • Place the pan in the oven and bake 5-6 minutes or until salmon is cooked through. Do not overcook.
  • Serve warm with lime wedges.

Notes

Thicker salmon filets may need up to 10 minutes while thinner salmon filets may need only 5-6 minutes.
Cook salmon just until flaky. It should be somewhat translucent in the very center. Keep in mind that as the salmon sits, it will continue cooking a little bit. Do not overcook.
Salmon can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. 

Nutrition

Calories: 383 | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 616mg | Potassium: 892mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 216IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 2mg
Sauce poured over two honey glazed salmon filets with chives with writing.
A white plate with two honey glazed salmon filets, and pouring a soy honey glaze over salmon in a pan underneath the title.

Poppy Seed Chicken (no canned soups)

Poppy Seed Chicken is one of the best creamy homemade casseroles (with no canned “cream of” soups). I literally can’t get enough!

Shredded chicken is mixed in an easy homemade cream sauce with poppy seeds. Serve this dish over rice or potatoes!

Poppy Seed Chicken in a dish with casserole dish in the background

Easy from Scratch

Chicken casseroles are pretty common, but what sets this recipe apart, and why we love it, is the rich and creamy sauce! It’s made from scratch and has so much flavor!

This dish can be made up to 48 hours before baking (store the topping separately) and baked at meal time.

The crispy, crunchy topping gives it the final touch!

ingredients to make Poppy Seed Chicken

Ingredients & Variations

DAIRY
Super creamy! A combo of cream cheese, sour cream, and light cream are blended together with chicken & savory spices.

TOPPING
This casserole is topped with crushed corn flakes or use butter crackers if that’s what you have on hand.

ADDITIONS
Why not add some frozen peas or sliced mushrooms for a heartier casserole? Even a can green chiles can put an entirely new spin on poppy seed chicken! Give a try!

process of adding ingredients to frying pan to make Poppy Seed Chicken

How to Make Poppy Seed Chicken

Poppy seed chicken comes together easily for a delicious entree that’s sure to be a hit!

  1. Soften onion in butter. Add flour (per recipe below).
  2. Whisk in broth & cream until thick and creamy. Stir in cream cheese.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients and sprinkle with topping.
  4. Bake until topping is browned & casserole is bubbly.

Serve over rice, pasta, or potatoes!

adding crushed cornflakes to Poppy Seed Chicken

Tips

  • This recipe starts with a roux (which simply means equal amounts of butter and flour).
  • When adding the liquid, add a little at a time stirring until smooth after each addition. It will be very thick at first.
  • Start with room temperature cream cheese so it is easier to blend in the cream sauce.
  • Dairy can burn easily, so keep the burner on medium and whisk until the sauce is smooth and velvety.
  • If making ahead of time, store the topping separately and add just before baking.

baked Poppy Seed Chicken in a casserole dish

Delicious Casserole Recipes

Did you make this Poppy Seed Chicken? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

close up of Poppy Seed Chicken on a plate

Poppy Seed Chicken

Poppy Seed Chicken is a hearty, tasty casserole the whole family will love!
Course Casserole, Chicken, Dinner, Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 597
Author Holly Nilsson

Ingredients

  • 3 cups chicken cooked and shredded
  • 1 ½ tablespoons poppy seeds

Cream Sauce

  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ¼ teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ¾ cup light cream
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • cup sour cream

Topping

  • ½ cup crushed cornflakes or buttery round crackers
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • In a saucepan, cook onion, garlic, and poultry seasoning in butter over medium heat until tender. Add flour and cook 1-2 minutes. Stir in broth and cream a little bit at a time until smooth. Stir in cream cheese and sour cream and cook until melted and smooth.
  • Remove from heat and combine chicken, poppy seeds, cream sauce, and salt & pepper to taste.
  • Spread into an 8x8 serving dish. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over top.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
  • Serve over rice or pasta.

Notes

  • This recipe starts with a roux (which simply means equal amounts of butter and flour). When adding the liquid, add a little at a time stirring until smooth after each addition. It will be very thick at first.
  • Start with room temperature cream cheese so it is easier to blend in the cream sauce.
  • Dairy can burn easily, so keep the burner on medium and whisk until the sauce is smooth and velvety.
  • If making ahead of time, store the topping separately and add just before baking.

Nutrition

Calories: 597 | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 725mg | Potassium: 326mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1838IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 132mg | Iron: 10mg
Poppy Seed Chicken on a plate with writing
top view of casserole dish of Poppy Seed Chicken with writing
Poppy Seed Chicken on a white plate with a title
Poppy Seed Chicken in a casserole dish and plated with a title

Shrimp Étouffée – A Cajun-Style Shrimp Dish!

Shrimp Étouffée is a southern dish packed with all the flavor of our favorite New Orleans cuisine! 

In this dish, tender seasoned shrimp are smothered in a creamy sauce and jam-packed with flavor. The best Shrimp Etoufee is easy to make but it does take a bit of time and I can assure you that the time is definitely worth it!

Shrimp Etouffee on a white plate with rice

What is Shrimp Étouffée?

This is a dish I learned to make in cooking classes in New Orleans. It’s so incredibly delicious, I knew I HAD to share it with you!

Roughly translated, Shrimp Étouffée means “smothered shrimp.” It’s picked up many variations along the way.

For this recipe, a creamy sauce made with a roux will mix with cajun-seasoned shrimp. We love the layers of flavor in this creamy sauce and of course the plump juicy shrimp.

ingredients to make Shrimp Etouffee on a baking sheet

Ingredients & Variations

SHELLFISH
Étouffée can be made with any kind of shellfish. Sub out the shrimp for crab, mussels, or even crayfish (or crawdads) if you can find them! Fresh shrimp is the best to use, but if frozen is all that’s available, no worries! Just make sure it’s well-drained, and don’t overcook.

SAUCE
The base of this dish is the sauce made from a roux. It’s possible to make different types of roux, from “blonde” to medium, to brown. The longer the roux cooks, the darker and nuttier it becomes, but it can definitely take some time. So our recipe strikes a happy medium, without sacrificing any of the flavors!

BROTH
If time is short, just go ahead and use chicken broth, or better yet, canned shrimp broth. But if time is no issue and you want to “get your chef on,” then go ahead and make homemade shrimp stock.

How to Make Shrimp Étouffée

This dish takes time but I can assure you it’s worth every second.

  1. Cook Shrimp
    Season and cook shrimp just until pink (per recipe below). It will cook more later, do not overcook.
  2. Make Roux
    Combine flour and fat and cook until it becomes the color of peanut butter. Add onions/celery/peppers (this helps stop the cooking process).

flour and butter mixture cooked to the right color to make Shrimp Etouffee

  1. Simmer
    Add diced fresh tomatoes, bay leaf, and Worcestershire and simmer.
  2. Add flavors
    Add shrimp, green onions, and a squeeze of lemon juice and heat through. Serve over rice.

adding final ingredients to the pan to make Shrimp Etouffee

Tips

  • Once the roux has reached the color of peanut butter, add the celery/onion/green pepper (aka the holy trinity). This cools the roux to keep it from browning further.
  • The best shrimp is cooked safely—but just until pink! For the first cooking, remove shrimp from heat just as soon as it turns pink on both sides, which takes just a couple of  minutes! Once added back into the sauce, make sure it’s heated thoroughly but doesn’t boil. A very short simmer is fine, but that’s it. This will ensure the shrimp stays juicy and tender.
  • Add green onion and parsley last, just before removing the dish from heat. This way the herbs retain their flavor and stay bright green.
  • Make sure to time the cooking so that the rice is ready when the Étouffée is done. Hot, steaming, and slightly sticky rice tastes the best. Try making Instant Pot Rice or baked rice.

Shrimp Etouffee in a pan with a wooden spoon

Classic Southern-Style Dishes!

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Shrimp Etouffee on a white plate with rice

Shrimp Etouffee

Shrimp slow-simmered with fresh veggies in a cajun-spice sauce, and served over rice!
Course Dinner, Entree, Main Course, Seafood
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 458
Author Holly Nilsson

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds medium shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • cup butter
  • cup flour
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • ½ bell pepper chopped
  • 2 ribs celery chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 cups shrimp stock or chicken broth
  • 2 cups tomatoes fresh (not canned), diced
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup green onion
  • ¼ cup parsley
  • ½ lemon juiced

Instructions

  • Toss shrimp with cajun seasoning. Heat oil over medium-high heat and add shrimp. Cook until shrimp just begins to turn pink, about 2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook until the flour becomes the color of peanut butter, about 6-8 minutes.
  • Add onions, bell pepper, celery, thyme and garlic and cook until slightly softened. Stir in the broth/stock a bit at a time until smooth.
  • Add tomatoes, Worcestershire and bay leaves and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered about 20 minutes. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  • Stir in the green onions, parsley, lemon juice and shrimp with any juices. Cook just until shrimp is heated through, do not overcook.
  • Serve over rice.

Notes

For more flavor, shell your own shrimp. Add shells (and heads), add to chicken broth and simmer on low 20 minutes. Strain and discard shells. Use this broth in place of chicken broth.
Do not overcook shrimp, cook just until pink on each side in step 1. The shrimp will finish cooking through when reheating.

Nutrition

Calories: 458 | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 469mg | Sodium: 2190mg | Potassium: 801mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2889IU | Vitamin C: 54mg | Calcium: 362mg | Iron: 6mg
plated Shrimp Etouffee with a title with a photos of the ingredientws in a pan cooking
Shrimp Etouffee in the pan with writing
Shrimp Etouffee in the pan with a title
Shrimp Etouffee on a plate with a title

Egg Drop Soup – Made From Scratch!

 

Why get take-out egg drop soup when you can make it at home in just minutes?

A ginger and garlic infused broth is filled with thin tender strands of egg. This recipe is full of flavor and really quick to make, perfect for a busy weeknight dinner when time is short!

Egg Drop Soup in a white bowl and a white spoon inside

What is Egg Drop Soup?

Egg drop soup is a delicious Chinese favorite with a ginger-flavored broth filled with thin strands of egg.

This soup is so easy to make, too! One pot, a few steps, and dinner is served!

Ingredients

Pretty much all recipes for this soup have the same ingredients, broth with flavorings (ginger/garlic), cornstarch, eggs and green onions. That’s all there is to it!

CONSISTENCY
The cornstarch is required in this recipe for consistency but mainly to help with the texture of the egg strands themselves. While you can drizzle the eggs in from a bowl, I find adding them to a sandwich bag and snipping a tiny hole makes this soup even easier to create.

ADDITIONS
There are many optional additions to this soup including tofu, mushrooms, bean sprouts, sesame oil, sriracha, or even corn. I like to keep it simple with just the basics.

Process of dropping in eggs to make Egg Drop Soup

How to Make Egg Drop Soup

  1. Whisk together some of the broth and corn starch.
  2. Bring everything (except eggs) to a simmer. Slowly drizzle in whisked eggs while stirring the soup.
  3. Remove ginger and garlic, stir in green onions and serve.

Tips

  • Remove the garlic and ginger once the soup cooks. This keeps their pungent flavors from overpowering the soup, creating a more delicate flavor.
  • Pour whisked eggs into a small sandwich bag and snip a corner off at the bottom to make streaming the eggs into the soup easy.
  • Ensure broth is at a simmer, not boiling, while adding the eggs.

For leftovers: Keep egg drop soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat on the stove and refresh the flavors with a little salt and pepper.

white pan full of Egg Drop Soup

Take-Out at Home

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Egg Drop Soup in a white bowl and a white spoon inside

Egg Drop Soup

Egg Drop Soup is a quick, easy dish that's perfect for a busy weeknight!
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Entree, Lunch, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American, Asian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 57
Author Holly Nilsson

Ingredients

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 clove garlic whole
  • ½ inch slice fresh ginger
  • 5 green onions thinly sliced whites and greens divided
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • crushed red peppers to taste optional

Instructions

  • Combine 1/2 cup chicken broth and cornstarch in a small bowl.
  • Bring remaining chicken broth, garlic clove, ginger slice and the whites of the green onions to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the cornstarch mixture and continue stirring until the broth is simmering.
  • While stirring the soup, pour in the eggs slowly in a very thin stream* (see tip), this should take about 1 minute. Bring just to a boil and remove from heat. Discard ginger and garlic clove.
  • Top with green onions and crushed red pepper flakes (if using).

Notes

Ensure the eggs are very well whisked before beginning.
An easy way to pour the eggs is to place them in a small sandwich bag and snip a very small hole in the corner. Squeeze the eggs into the broth while stirring.
Broth should be simmering, not boiling, while adding the eggs.
Optional additions: Thinly sliced mushrooms, bean sprouts, diced tofu, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, white pepper.

Nutrition

Calories: 57 | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 893mg | Potassium: 235mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 179IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg

More Favorite Soup Recipes

Recipe Inspired “Egg Drop Soup” Recipe. BHG 17th Addition, New Cook Book 2018. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018. 352. Print.

Egg Drop Soup in a white bowl with writing
Egg Drop Soup in pot with a title
Egg Drop Soup in a white bowl with a title
ingredients for Egg Drop Soup and a title with an image of finished dish in a white bowl

Grilled Chicken Sandwich – Perfect Summer Meal!

Summer is the perfect time to fire up the bbq and make juicy grilled chicken sandwiches!

Marinated chicken breasts are grilled to tender perfection and topped with a quick homemade honey mustard sauce and our favorite garden-fresh toppings. This sandwich is a favorite all year long!

close up of Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Perfect to Make Ahead

Honestly, the best chicken sandwich is one that’s simple to make, tender, juicy, and topped with fresh goodies!

It’s great to prepare ahead of time and toss on the grill for guests (or at the beach). Prep the chicken and add to the marinade in a tightly sealed container and take it along or stash it in the fridge until dinner time.

Add crisp bacon, or make it spicy with your favorite sauce toppings! It’s nearly impossible to mess this one up! We love the lightly toasted sesame bun, and the marinade is to die for, with its delicious combo of zesty and sweet!

pouring sauce on chickent to make Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Ingredients & Variations

CHICKEN
Stick with chicken breasts or use boneless/skinless chicken thighs, for a super juicy chicken sandwich.

BUNS
This recipe calls for a toasted sesame bun, but feel free to sub it out with any of your favorites like buttery brioche! Or whip up some homemade garlic bread or even jalapeno cheddar bread, and serve it up sandwich-style!

SAUCE
We love the way honey mustard sauce perfectly complements, but the marinade is so versatile that any sauce will pair well with it. Try sriracha, BBQ, homemade mayo, or whatever strikes your fancy!

ingredients to make a Grilled Chicken Sandwich

How to Make a Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Prepping chicken for the grill has never been easier and results in a sandwich that’s going to taste restaurant-worthy! Here’s the basic overview:

  1. Marinate Chicken
    Combine marinade ingredients(per recipe below). Pound chicken to an even thickness and marinate.
  2. Grill
    When ready to cook, preheat the grill then grill the chicken 5-6 minutes per side and toast the buns (I do this right on the grill too).
  3. Add toppings and serve!

These taste amazing alongside grilled potato packets or grilled vegetables, and a crunchy salad! Add some corn on the cob for a feast fit for a king!

top view of open Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Tips for Success

  • Use a meat mallet and cutting board to pound the chicken to 1/2 inch thickness. The secret to perfectly grilled chicken is even meat, so try to make sure that the entire breast is the same thickness. No meat mallet? No problem, just use the rounded side of a heavy metal spoon!
  • When making grilled chicken, be sure not to overcook.
  • For baking the chicken rather than grilling, go ahead and use the broiler in the oven. Put chicken 4″ from the heat and broil 5-7 minutes per side (or until it reaches 165°F).
  • Marinate for 30 minutes or up to 4 hours. Any longer than that and the meat won’t have the same consistency after cooking since the marinade will start to “cook” the meat.

BBQ Side Dishes

Did you make these Grilled Chicken Sandwiches? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

close up of Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Grilled Chicken Sandwich

These Grilled Chicken Sandwiches are perfect for a hot summer day, served with a fresh salad or grilled veggies!
Course Chicken, Dinner, Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marinate Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 sandwiches
Calories 452
Author Holly Nilsson

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds chicken breasts 4 small
  • 4 sesame seed buns
  • ¼ cup honey mustard sauce* or mayonnaise
  • lettuce, tomatoes, onions optional

Marinade

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt & pepper each

Instructions

  • Pound chicken breasts to ½" thickness.
  • Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl or freezer bag. Add chicken and toss well to combine. Marinade for 30 minutes (or up to 4 hours).
  • Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  • Place chicken on the grill for 5-6 minutes per side until no pink remains and chicken reaches 165°F.
  • While chicken is grilling, brush buns with olive oil and place face down on the grill. Lightly toast.
  • Spread each bun with honey mustard and add lettuce, tomatoes and onions if desired. Top with chicken and serve.

Notes

If your chicken breasts are larger, they can be cut to make 4 portions.
Do not overcook the chicken, it is pounded to cook evenly and only needs about 10-12 minutes total.
Chicken breasts can be replaced with boneless skinless chicken thighs.
Homemade Honey Mustard: Combine ⅓ cup mayonnaise, 1 ½ tablespoons yellow mustard, 1 ½ tablespoons honey &  ½ teaspoon garlic powder.

Nutrition

Calories: 452 | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 823mg | Potassium: 692mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 51IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 2mg
Grilled Chicken Sandwich with a title
Chicken and ingredients to make Grilled Chicken Sandwich with writing
Grilled Chicken Sandwich with writing
Grilled Chicken Sandwich with writing and a photo of all the ingredients

Best Brine for Pork Chops!

No more dry boring chops!! Brining pork chops before cooking is an easy way to make them extra juicy and tender!

Brine helps the meat to draw in moisture (and salt) adding tons of flavor, especially to lean meats like pork and poultry. This simple pork chop brine makes any cut a savory delight!

Close up of pork chops brining in a zippered bag.

Best Brine for Pork Chops

This savory brine is made with fresh herbs and seasonings and some sugar. While I use water, add in your favorite liquids from apple cider to a cup of white wine. The sky really is the limit for flavors and herbs as long as you’ve got salt, sugar and liquid.

After just a little simmering, the brine should be stored until cool or even overnight. After that, it’s ready to use!

Pork Chop Brine ingredients

Ingredients & Variations

  • A basic brine consists of sugar, salt, water, and seasonings.
  • Variations can be made by using different kinds of peppercorns, thyme, even chili peppers!
  • Be sure to pat pork chops dry before brining.

How to Brine Pork Chops

With a simple pork chop brine, it is super easy to get flavorful chops every time!

  1. Add salt, sugar, and seasonings (per recipe below) to a simmering pot of water.
  2. Cool the brine completely in the refrigerator (or outside if it is chilly)! To speed up chilling, use a bit less water in the boiling step and add in some ice while cooling.
  3. Once cooled add the pork chops and the chilled brine to a ziptop bag and refrigerate at least 2 hours (or up to 4 hours)!
  4. Remove the chops from the brine, pat dry and cook as usual. Do not add extra salt when cooking or the chops may become too salty.

Grill, bake, broil or fry them up!

Tips for Success

As with turkey brine, ensure the sugar and salt are fully dissolved in the water. No need to bring the water to a boil, just a gentle simmer will do!

To ensure that chops don’t become overly salted, be sure to purchase pork that isn’t already brined before or salted before packaging. And if adding additional seasoning before cooking, omit the salt or opt for unsalted seasonings!

Don’t brine them too long (2-4 hours is enough) or the meat can take on a mushy texture.

To store Brine will keep in the fridge about two weeks before the flavors start to fade. Do not store ‘used’ brine. Once your pork has been brined, discard the remaining brine.

Perfectly Tender Pork Chops

Have you tried this Pork Chop Brine? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

Close up of pork chops brining in a zippered bag

Pork Chop Brine

This simple pork chop brine makes even the toughest cuts of meat a savory delight!
Course How To
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Cooling Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 209
Author Holly Nilsson

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 4 pork chops

Instructions

  • In a medium-sized pot add water, kosher salt, sugar, peppercorns, bay leaf, and rosemary.
  • Bring to a simmer over high heat. You do not need the water to rapidly boil but you need to make sure the salt and sugar have dissolved in the water.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and cool completely.
  • Once the brine is cool add the pork chops to a large ziptop bag and pour in the brine.
  • Let the pork brine in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours.
  • Rinse and pat dry before cooking.

Notes

Purchase pork that has not been pre-brined. A lot of pork in grocery stores has a saline solution so using brine on that will make it too salty.
Ensure sugar and salt are completely dissolved in the brine.
Brine must be completely cool before adding the pork.
Don't brine them too long (2-4 hours is enough) or the meat can take on a mushy texture.
To season pork before cooking, use herbs and spices without salt.
Do not store 'used' brine. Once your pork has been brined, discard the remaining brine.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pork chop | Calories: 209 | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 784mg | Potassium: 500mg | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg
Top image - Pork chops brining in a zippered bag. Bottom image - pork chip brine ingredients

Pork chops brining in a zippered bag with writing
Pork chops brining in a zippered bag with text.
Pork chops brining in a ziptop bag with text