Sticky Chicken Drumsticks (Oven Baked!)

This Sticky Chicken Drumsticks recipe bridges that gap between budget-friendly and family-pleasing. It’s SO easy to prepare with just a handful of ingredients that smother chicken drumsticks in a bbq glaze.

These drumsticks are then baked until golden brown with a zesty sticky-crisp outer crust and a moist and juicy interior perfect alongside Baked Mac and Cheese.

Sticky Chicken Drumsticks on a tray garnished with chives.

How to Make Chicken Drumsticks

Big family packs of drumsticks are perfect for sticky chicken drumsticks, Cuban mojo chicken, or delicious breaded oven-fried chicken, forks are always optional! Just dig in!

Best of all, the sauce ingredients for this recipe are so simple; honey, barbecue sauce, garlic, and mustard. You probably already have most of them in your pantry. The glaze in this recipe is equally appropriate for baked wings or drumettes too.

Left image shows ingredients for glaze in a glass bowl, right image shows glaze being spread on each drumstick with a brush.

To Make Chicken Drumsticks:

  1. Mix the sauce ingredients (per recipe below).
  2. Brush or coat the drumsticks with the sticky sauce.
  3. Bake until golden brown, reapplying the sauce halfway through. Broil if desired.

These sticky chicken drumsticks are so versatile, they can be served with almost anything! We love pairing with an easy tossed salad and a side of brown rice.

Substitutions

  • BBQ Sauce: Use any kind or any brand. If you don’t have any, it’s pretty easy to make homemade bbq sauce.
  • Honey: If you don’t have honey, you can substitute 1/4 cup brown sugar.
  • Garlic: No fresh garlic at hand? Use garlic powder instead. Approximately 1/2 teaspoon of powder will serve the purpose since 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder is equivalent to one medium minced garlic clove.

Overhead shot of raw chicken drumsticks on a tray with glaze on each drumstick.

How Long to Bake Chicken Drumsticks

Allow for approximately 45 minutes of cooking time in the oven. You may need a bit more or less. When it comes to cooking poultry, a meat thermometer is always your best friend. The poultry safe temperature is 165°F at the center, be careful not to touch a bone when taking the temperature.

Don’t have a meat thermometer? Test for doneness by cutting into the flesh with a fork and look for three things to tell if your drumsticks are ready:

  1. If the juices run clear
  2. If the meat easily separates from the bone with a fork
  3. If there is no pink anywhere.

Crispy Sticky Chicken Drumsticks in a bowl garnished with chives.

What to Serve with Chicken Drumsticks

A drumstick dinner is a casual family fare where simple hearty side dishes will complement the robust flavors of sticky baked drumsticks.

Try serving with creamy coleslaw, baked beans with bacon, or creamy garlic mashed potatoes. Pull apart garlic bread or cheesy biscuits will taste fabulous with chicken drumsticks.

Now that’s good eatin’!

Finger-Lickin’ Chicken Recipes

Sticky Chicken Drumsticks

Chicken drumsticks baked with a sticky glaze until golden brown.

  • 3 lbs chicken drumsticks

Sauce

  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey (or brow sugar)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. Mix all sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Brush chicken with sauce and place on a parchment-lined pan. Bake 20 minutes.

  4. Brush with more sauce, turning chicken to coat well and bake an additional 20-25 minutes or until chicken reaches 165°F and sauce is sticky.

Optional, transfer to a foil lined pan and broil on low 2-3 minutes to brown skin.

Garnish with green onions if desired.

You can substitute bone in chicken thighs in this recipe.

Sticky Chicken Drumsticks on a tray garnished with chives.
Sticky Chicken Drumsticks on a tray garnished with chives.
Top photo - Sticky Chicken Drumsticks on a tray garnished with chives. Bottom photo - Overhead shot of raw chicken drumsticks on a tray with glaze on each drumstick.

Best Ever Beef Wellington Recipe

Best Ever Beef Wellington Recipe is a decadent tender and juicy beef tenderloin with a layer of mustard, mushroom duxelles and prosciutto wrapped in a soft, buttery pastry that is cooked until golden brown. A holiday favorite! 

Impress your family with this rich, decadent meal for the holidays. If you are looking for an extra special meal try this Garlic Butter Herb Prime Rib Recipe or Garlic Herb Butter Beef Tenderloin.

beef welling ton cut into a slice on a plate

Beef Wellington Recipe

This beef Wellington recipe is sure to please your family and friends this holiday season.

It is a special cut of meat that is to be celebrated on.

Beef Wellington is know to be a decadent meat with an AMAZING presentation.

The combination of a thick, juicy beef tenderloin, special duxelles and prosciutto all wrapped in a pastry shell is pure heaven.

Beef tenderloin is already know to be the most tender cut of beef and wrapping it in more ingredients creates a perfect holiday meal.

Don’t let these ingredients scare you off, this is a simple recipe that will come together beautifully!

What is beef Wellington?

Beef Wellington is originated in France and is a main dish.

It is an elegant and decadent meal that is saved for special occasions.

Beef Wellington is a nice cut of meat, usually a fillet steak, beef tenderloin or filet mignon.

It is the center cut portion of the meat that is known to be the most tender and juicy part of the cow.

This decadent meat is sometimes on the pricy side and is made for special occasions or holidays.

If you have not had it before it is SO delicious and one AMAZING meal when it is complete.

The cut of meat is wrapped in a mustard sauce, then a mushroom duxelles and prosciutto.

All wrapped in a puff pastry and baked until golden brown.

Beef Wellington being rolled into the mushroom and meat layers

What cut of meat is best for beef Wellington

Beef Wellington is made with a whole beef tenderloin fillet in this recipe.

The beef tenderloin is the most tender beef cut.

It is lean and juicy with a melt in your mouth taste!

This is an impressive main dish that will be the center of attention.

It is beautifully sliced into chunks and shared.

Don’t be surprised that there are no left overs.

What you need to make beef Wellington

The cut of meat is the most important.

This beef tenderloin is a little more in price than other holiday traditional meals but it is worth every penny!

A mushroom duxelles is a mixture of finely cooked and chopped mushrooms, onion and garlic.

When it all comes together it will be a dark grayish-black color.

It will taste SO delicious when it is done baking.

This is a simple recipe with simple steps to follow and won’t take long for you to have one AMAZING meal centered at your table.

  • Beef tenderloin: the center most cut of meat.
  • Salt and pepper: to taste.
  • Olive oil: help sear the tenderloin before wrapping it up.

Mushroom Duxelles:

  • Mushrooms: we used Bella
  • Onion: chopped up
  • Garlic: minced
  • Prosciutto: another layer of meat added around the mushroom duxelles.
  • Yellow mustard: used as a glaze over the beef tenderloin.
  • Puff pastry sheet: wraps it all together to be baked.
  • Eggs: helps create a golden brown look on the pastry.

Beef Wellington tightly wrapped in a plastic wrap

How to make beef Wellington

Don’t let these instructions scare you.

This is a simple recipe that can be made ahead of time if needed.

We love to indulge in Beef Wellington during the holidays.

It is a sweet and savory blend of layers that melt in your mouth and tastes Oh-So-Good!

You won’t have anyone complaining about a tender, juicy cut of meat.

Enjoy your holidays with this special Beef Wellington recipe.

  • Sear the tenderloin: Generously salt and pepper your tenderloin. In a large skillet over medium high heat add the olive oil. Sear the tenderloin on each side foe about 2-3 minutes until it gets a golden brown crust. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Prepare the mushroom duxelles: In a food processor, add the mushrooms, garlic, and onion. Pulse in the food processor until it becomes a puree. Heat your skillet to medium high and add the mixture. Sauté the mushrooms until you have the moisture has left. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Wrap the tenderloin: Roll out some plastic wrap and lay the prosciutto so they are even and overlap. Spread the mushroom mixture on top leaving an inch boarder from the sides. Rub the mustard on the tenderloin and then roll the tenderloin up in the prosciutto and mushroom mixture folding up the sides around the tenderloin as you roll. Wrap the plastic wrap tightly around the beef and refrigerated for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll the puff pastry sheet out on a lightly floured surface. Place the tenderloin in the center. Brush the egg mixture around the tenderloin on the sheet and roll the tenderloin tightly in the pastry. Brush the remaining egg mixture on the outside of the pastry and cut slits in the top.
  • Bake the Wellington: Bake until the pastry is golden and the beef registers to 120 degrees for medium rare. About 45 minutes. Remove the from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Tips for making beef Wellington

These tips will ensure that you have the best Beef Wellington recipe.

This is a tried and true recipe that keeps on giving.

Make this your next family tradition by adding in Beef Wellington recipe to your holiday dinners.

You won’t go wrong with this juicy, tender meat sitting in the center of the table.

Mouth watering flavors and texture all paired well together.

  • It is best to let the meat rest in-between each stage of wrapping. Sitting it in the refrigerator or freezer for a time will help firm up the tenderloin.
  • Tie your beef tenderloin with kitchen twine. This will help hold its shape while it is being seared.
  • According to Gordon Ramsey: brush your meat as well as the pastry with egg wash. This will make the top layer of the pastry stick to the meat and stop it from rising and leaving a gap.
  • The trick with Beef Wellington is having the outside layer, golden brown and the inside layer a rare cooked meat. The mushroom duxelles and prosciutto will help slow down the heat from burning the meat and still be able to keep the outside pastry layer cooking.
  • Try not to trim the pasty too close to the meat. Give the meat more pastry when wrapping it.
  • When adding the pastry, try not to warp it tightly but don’t let any air in-between. Layer it on smooth and careful without pressing too hard.
  • Use the end of a fork or a spoon to help seal the edges. You will want to avoid piercing through the pastry.
  • If you have leftover pastry try using it for other recipes. Simply refrigerate it for another use like pie decorating.
  • Try this with different meats, dijon mustard and wild mushrooms for a more flavorful way of enjoying Beef Wellington.

Beef Wellington laying on a puff pastry being brushed on with butter.

How long to cook beef Wellington

The trick with Beef Wellington is to have a rare cooked meat with a golden brown pastry.

Once your Beef Wellington is in the oven you can reduce the temperature down to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Then after 10 to 15 minutes reduce the amount of temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Using a thermometer inserted into the center of the beef tenderloin registers to 135 degrees Fahrenheit for medium rare.

It usually takes about 20 to 25 minutes.

What to serve with beef Wellington

This Beef Wellington recipe comes together quickly and easily just by following the steps.

With this Beef Wellington recipe I love to serve it always with mashed potatoes and some kind of green vegetable.

It all pairs well and tastes amazing with this Beef Wellington recipe.

Beef Wellington layered with a puff pastry and getting butter brushed overtop.

How to store beef Wellington

Usually you don’t have any leftovers after this meal.

On occasion it is nice to double the recipe or plan to make it ahead.

Here are some ways to store it properly and still have a great recipe when warming up.

  • Can you make beef Wellington ahead of time? Yes! You can make Beef Wellington ahead of time up to 24 hours. Prepare your Beef Wellington according to the recipe and stop right before you need to add the puff pastry. Wrap that portion tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake it. Simply finish the recipe according to the Beef Wellington directions.
  • Can you freeze beef Wellington? Yes, this is best to do prior to baking it with the pastry over top. Freeze your beef tenderloin with all the layers for 3 days. When ready to bake, place the meat in the refrigerator over night to thaw. Finish the recipe by adding the puff pastry layer over top.
  • How to reheat beef Wellington: Reheating Beef Wellington is a little tricky making sure that it is not soggy or over cooked with the pasty now over top. It is not as good as the first time you enjoyed it warm and freshly baked but it will come close! Heat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit and preheat for about 10 to 12 minutes or until warm. Be careful when using a microwave, Use less power and heat in small increments flipping it back and forth. Remember you are warming it up not cooking it.

Beef Wellington baked on a plate

More main dishes to serve during the holidays

Holiday side dishes that you will love

Beef Wellington sliced onto a plate with mashed potatoes and green beans

Best Ever Beef Wellington Recipe

Best Ever Beef Wellington Recipe is a decadent tender and juicy beef tenderloin with a layer of mustard, mushroom sauce and prosciutto wrapped in a soft, buttery pastry that is cooked until golden brown. A holiday favorite! 

  • 2-3 pound beef tenderloin
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

Mushroom Duxelles

  • 1 pound mushrooms (we used Bella)
  • 1/4 cup onion (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 6-8 slices prosciutto
  • 3 Tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 sheet puff pastry (thawed if using frozen)
  • 2 eggs (beaten)

Sear the Tenderloin

  1. Generously salt and pepper your tenderloin. In a large skillet over medium high heat add the olive oil. Sear the tenderloin on each side foe about 2-3 minutes until it gets a golden brown crust. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Prepare the Mushroom Duxelles

  1. In a food processor, add the mushrooms, garlic, and onion. Pulse in the food processor until it becomes a puree. Heat your skillet to medium high and add the mixture. Sauté the mushrooms until you have the moisture has left. Remove from heat and let cool.

Wrap the Tenderloin

  1. Roll out some plastic wrap and lay the prosciutto so they are even and overlap. Spread the mushroom mixture on top leaving an inch boarder from the sides. Rub the mustard on the tenderloin and then roll the tenderloin up in the prosciutto and mushroom mixture folding up the sides around the tenderloin as you roll. Wrap the plastic wrap tightly around the beef and refrigerated for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll the puff pastry sheet out on a lightly floured surface. Place the tenderloin in the center. Brush the egg mixture around the tenderloin on the sheet and roll the tenderloin tightly in the pastry. Brush the remaining egg mixture on the outside of the pastry and cut slits in the top.

Bake the Wellington

  1. Bake until the pastry is golden and the beef registers to 120 degrees for medium rare. About 45 minutes. Remove the from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

One Pan Chili Lime Chicken and Rice

One Pan Chili Lime Chicken and Rice is made in one pan with minimal ingredients but is packed with amazing flavor!  Your entire family will love this easy 30 minute meal!

This one pan meal is quick and easy! If you love one pan meals try this One Pan Fajita Chicken and Veggies, One Pan Southwest Blackened Cajun Chicken with Rice with this Red Beans and Rice.

One pan chili lime chicken and rice

One Pan Chili Lime Chicken and Rice

I am OBSESSED with one pan and one pot meals.

The whole idea of making a main dish and a side dish all in one pan without having to worry about separate cooking times, or dirtying up a million bakeware items is kind of genius.

And I’m always looking for simple 30 minute dinners my family will love so anything that can be done in about a half hour is right up my alley.

This dish has SO much flavor packed into it and it only calls for a few ingredients – you can’t be that!

It meets both of my big checklist items: one pan AND ready in about 30 minutes.

And this dish is one you can easily customize by kicking up the spice with some chopped jalapeños, or adding corn and beans to the rice right at the end.

My whole family loves this and I know yours will too!

What you need to make chili lime chicken and rice

  • Chicken: boneless, skinless chicken breast pounded to even thickness
  • Vegetable oil: helps ensure your chicken will not stick to the pan.
  • Chili powder: a little spice.
  • Paprika: some gently added heat.
  • Garlic powder: you can’t have enough garlic.
  • Onion powder: added flavoring.
  • Cayenne pepper: a little bit of spice!
  • Salt and pepper: just to taste.
  • Lime: squeezed lime juice.
  • Cilantro: add for a topping.
  • White rice: I prefer jasmine rice but a long grain rice would be best.
  • Chicken broth: soaks up all the chicken pieces and adds flavoring to the rice and chicken at the end.

How to make chili lime chicken and rice

  • Prepare chicken: Stir together chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Season chicken with half of the seasoning mixture and set remaining seasoning aside.
  • Cook chicken: Drizzle a pan with oil over and bring to medium heat. Cook chicken 3-4 minutes on each side until browned. Remove from pan.
  • Add rice and chicken broth: Add rice, remaining seasonings, chicken broth, and lime juice to pan and stir to combine. Return chicken to pan on top of the rice. Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes until liquid is dissolved.
  • Prepare to serve: Fluff the rice with a fork. Top with cilantro and squeeze fresh lime juice over the top. Serve immediately.

Storing one pan chili lime chicken and rice

You can prepare parts of this dish ahead of time!

This recipe is great to even make a meal prep plan with

  • Can you make this ahead of time? Yes, this is a great recipe to make ahead of time.
  • How do you store this one pan meal? Once cooked, let cool completely and store in an air tight container for 5 to 7 days.
  • Can you freeze chili lime chicken and rice? Yes, this is best frozen without the rice. Separate the chicken and the rice. Let cool completely and add your chili lime chicken into a freezer bag and place flat in the freezer. When ready to reheat, let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • How do you reheat chili lime chicken and rice? Cook your rice ahead of time or during the reheating process. Add your chicken to a pan and cook on low to medium reheating your chicken. Place on a oven pan and cook at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until your chicken is cooked through or microwave you chicken in small time increments. This will ensure you do not over cook your chicken,

More delicious one pan meals

one pan chili lime chicken and rice

 

One Pan Chili Lime Chicken & Rice

One Pan Chili Lime Chicken and Rice is made in one pan with minimal ingredients but is packed with amazing flavor! Your entire family will love this easy 30 minute meal!

  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs (or 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • juice of 1 lime (plus additional lime wedges for serving)
  • chopped cilantro for topping
  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 2 1/4 cups chicken broth
  1. Stir together chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Season chicken with half of the seasoning mixture and set remaining seasoning aside.
  2. Drizzle a pan with oil over and bring to medium heat. Cook chicken 3-4 minutes on each side until browned. Remove from pan.
  3. Add rice, remaining seasonings, chicken broth, and lime juice to pan and stir to combine. Return chicken to pan on top of the rice. Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes until liquid is dissolved.
  4. Fluff the rice with a fork. Top with cilantro and squeeze fresh lime juice over the top. Serve immediately.

Updated Post on November 13, 2019

Original Post on June 2, 2017

 

 

Different Ways to Cook a Turkey for Thanksgiving

Different Ways to Cook a Turkey for Thanksgiving

Cooking Turkey for Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it will soon be time to start planning the feast.

And what is more important than the main course, the turkey?!

When it comes to preparing the bird there are so many different ways you can go with it.

You have your traditional way of cooking but their are endless possibilities as well.

What I have done is pulled together some of the best and easiest ways to cook a turkey.

The recipes below will walk you through the ingredients you need and how to switch up your typical

Thanksgiving meal for the better! 

1. Traditional Turkey:

Juicy Butter Herb Turkey Recipe is a tender, buttery turkey stuffed with slices of citrus, a crisp apple and fresh herbs coated with a buttery herb mixture all baked until golden brown. Thanksgiving turkey just got easier with these step by step instructions!

Prep Time: 20 Minutes 

Cook Time: 4 Hours

Recipe Difficulty:

What you need to make a Traditional Turkey

  • 1 12-20 pound turkey thawed
  • Stuffing ingredients
  • 1 onion quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 apple quartered
  • 1 lemon sliced
  • 2 sprigs thyme

Herb Butter

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tablespoon thyme finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon oregano finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon rosemary finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

How to make a traditional turkey HERE 

 

2. Slow Cooker Turkey:

 

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours 

Recipe Difficulty:

What you need to make a slow cooker turkey

  • 1 5-6 pound turkey breast (make sure it will fit into your slow cooker)
  • ½ C orange juice
  • 1 14 oz can whole cranberry sauce
  • 1 package Onion Soup Mix
  • salt and pepper to taste

How to make a slow cooker turkey HERE 

 

3. Brine Turkey:

Turkey Brine creates a tender, moist and juicy turkey with sweet citrusy flavoring and a hint of spice all submerged in a water bath for your turkey to soak from the inside-out. Make your turkey irresistible this holiday season!

Prep Time: 5 Minutes 

Cook Time: 1 Day and 5 Minutes 

Recipe Difficulty:

What you need to brine a turkey

  • 1 gallon warm water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 orange sliced
  • 1 medium sized onion quartered
  • 1 lemon sliced
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 3 tablespoons peppercorn
  • 1 turkey

How to brine a turkey HERE

 

4. Smoked Turkey:

This Smoked Turkey is the perfect turkey to serve on Thanksgiving or other special occasions. If you haven’t had the opportunity to try the tender delicacy that is the perfect smoked turkey, now is the time to try it out. It takes the ol’ turkey to the next level.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 7 Hours

Find out how to smoke a turkey HERE

 

5. Deep Fried Turkey:

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Recipe Difficulty:

What you need to make a Deep Fried turkey

  • 13 lb Turkey (thawed)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp seasoned salt
  • 24 oz pop (cola flavored)
  • 1 large onion (quartered)
  • 1 large apple (quartered 
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp salt 

Find out how to make a Deep Fried Turkey HERE 

6. Roast Turkey:

Prep Time: 30 Minutes

Cook Time: 2 Hours

Recipe Difficulty: Intermediate

What you need to roast a turkey

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped thyme leaves
  • 1 lemon zested and juiced 
  • 1 fresh turkey (10-12 lbs)
  • Ground black pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 whole lemon halved
  • 1 large bunch of fresh thyme 
  • 1 head garlic, halved 
  • 1 spanish onion quartered 

How to roast a turkey

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit
  2. In a small saucepan melt the butter,  then add the juice and zest of lemon and 1 tsp of thyme leaves to the butter mixture and set aside.
  3. Remove the giblets out of the turkey and wash inside and out. 
  4. Take off and excess fat and leftover feathers and pat the turkey dry.
  5. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan and generously salt and pepper the inside of the turkey cavity.
  6. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, halved lemon, quartered onion, and garlic.
  7. Spread the butter mixture and sprinkle salt and pepper on the outside of the turkey then tie the legs together with a string and tuck the wing tips under the turkey
  8. Let the turkey roast for about 2 ½ hours or until the juices turn clear when you cut between the leg and thigh. Let the turkey sit covered with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes before slicing

7. Turducken Turkey:

 

Prep Time: 30 Minutes ( Inactive for 8 hours)

Cook Time: 5 Hours 

Recipe Difficulty: Advanced 

What you need to turducken a turkey

  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar 
  • House seasoning (1 cup salt, ¼ cup black pepper, ¼ cup garlic powder)
  • Cornbread( 1 cup self rising cornmeal, ½ cup flour, ¾ cup buttermilk, 2 eggs, 2 tbsp vegetable oil) 
  • Cornbread dressing ( recipe follows) 
  • Paprika 
  • 18-21 lb turkey skin intact and boned except for drumsticks
  • 3-4 lb chicken, boned
  • 3-4 lb duck, boned 

Cornbread Dressing

  • Cornbread
  • 7 slices white bread, dried in the oven
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 sleeve saltine crackers
  • 8 tbsp butter
  • 7 cups chicken stock
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp poultry seasoning 

How to make a turducken turkey here

 

8. Grilled Turkey:

Prep Time: 15 Minutes 

Cook Time: 4 Hours 

Recipe Difficulty: 

What you need to make a grilled turkey

  • 2 cups water
  • 12 lb turkey
  •   2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 Tbsp chicken bouillon powder
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning 
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder 
  • 1 tsp paprika 
  • ½ tsp chopped parsley 

How to make a grilled turkey HERE

 

9. Crockpot Turkey:

Prep Time: 10 Minutes 

Cook Time: 7 Hours 30 Minutes 

Recipe Difficulty: 

What you need to make a crockpot turkey

  •  ½ cup water
  • 8 lb whole turkey
  • 2 tsp seasoning salt
  • ½ black pepper
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp garlic powder

How to make a crockpot turkey

  1. Make garlic butter by mixing together the garlic powder, butter, seasoning salt, black pepper, and italian seasoning. Set aside 1-2 tsp of the garlic butter.
  2. Loosen the skin of the turkey and spread the garlic butter under the skin as well as on top. If possible, try to do this the night before and let turkey sit with seasoning overnight.
  3. Pour the water into the crockpot and cook the turkey for 3-4 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low. Once done the internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh should be at 180 degrees fahrenheit and 170 degrees farenheit in the breast. 
  4. Drain some of the liquid from the crockpot. Melt remaining garlic butter and brush onto the turkey and let that cook on high for about 30 minutes until you see the skin brown up. 
  5. Once done remove turkey from crockpot and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

10. Frozen Turkey:

 

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

Cook Time: 6 Hours

Recipe Difficulty: 

Temperatures for cooking a turkey

Cook times can vary:

  • 8- to 12-pound turkey: 4 to 4 1/2 hours
  • 12- to 14-pound turkey: 4 1/2 to 5 3/4 hours
  • 14- to 18-pound turkey: 5 3/4 to 6 1/4 hours
  • 18- to 20-pound turkey: 6 1/4 to 6 3/4 hours
  • 20- to 24-pound turkey: 6 3/4 to 7 1/2 hours

What you need to cook a frozen turkey

  • 1 14-16 lb turkey
  • 1 cookie sheet
  • 1 cooling rack
  • 1 instant read or probe thermometer 

How to cook a frozen turkey

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit
  2. Line a rimmed cookie sheet or short walled pan with foil and place a cooling rack on it. Remove the plastic covering from the turkey and place it on the rack breast side down. Since the turkey is frozen you will not be able to remove the giblets just yet. Check the chart above to see how much time it needs to be cooked for depending on the size. (keep in mind this recipe is for a 14-16 lb turkey)
  3. Let the turkey cook for 2 ½ hours and then remove the giblets and flip the turkey breast side up.
  4. After about 3 hours the turkey should be well thawed out so if wishing to stuff the turkey do so at this point.
  5. At the 4 hour mark start checking the internal temperature of the turkey every 20-30 minutes. In order for safe consumption make sure the thickest part of the thigh/breast reaches 165 degrees fahrenheit.
  6. Once the turkey is at the correct temperature, remove the bird from the oven and cover it with foil. Let it sit for about 15 minutes before carving.  

Which turkey recipe will you make?

Hopefully some of these recipes were able to spark some interest.

There are so many different ways to prepare a Turkey and it never hurts to try something new!

Keep in mind some of the basics when it comes to Turkey cooking; do not forget to take the giblets out! It is not that they cannot be consumed but typically may be wrapped in a bag or such that could be harmful if melted and cooked into the turkey!

Also make sure when preparing to make the turkey you have access to a thermometer so that you can accurately check the temperature to ensure that it is fully cooked.

The recipes will tell you the highly suggested cook times but it can vary due to how big of a turkey you have so you’ll always want to make sure that the safe temperature for consumption has been reached. 

Quick & Easy Orecchiette with Brussels Sprouts!

Orecchiette is an easy one pot pasta dish that you can get on the table fast! Bacon, brussel sprouts, and orecchiette pasta are tossed in a quick creamy sauce to create delicious dish.

It’s a quick-and-easy pasta recipe that can easily be served as a meal. For a heartier dish, top with a diced oven baked chicken breast and a side of garlic bread.

What is Orecchiette?

Orecchiette is pasta in the size and shape of tiny saucers and  translates to “small ears”.

The indented shape cups and holds sauces and anything it is cooked with, making it ideal for combining with other ingredients. As you cook orecchiette, the starches also slightly thicken and meld with the sauce it’s in to produce a wonderful creaminess.

Prepping Brussels Sprouts

For this recipe the brussels sprouts are thinly sliced and pan fried in a bit of bacon fat. I use a knife to cut them but you can also use a mandolin.

Some grocery stores sell shaved/sliced brussels for brussel sprout salad or slaw. Those will work great in this recipe.

How to Make Orecchiette and Brussel Sprouts

This dish comes together in no time flat, it really as easy as 1, 2, 3!

  1. Cook pasta and bacon (see recipe below).
  2. Reserve the bacon fat to cook sliced brussel sprouts.
  3. Add broth, wine and cream and briefly simmer.

Crumble bacon on top and serve hot. With all of the fresh brussel sprouts mixed right into the pasta this dish is best served with a slice of garlic bread or cheesy breadstick!

Other Delicious Additions

  • Vegetables: Lots of other vegetables can be used instead of, or in addition to the brussel sprouts. Try shredded broccoli florets (or broccoli slaw), or broccoli rabe. Sundried tomatoes provide it some welcome tartness and texture. Chopped zucchini or yellow squash are other terrific options.
  • Cheese: Bump up the flavors with grated cheese such as parmesan, romano and asiago.
  • Meat: Turn orecchiette with brussels sprouts into a one-pot meal by adding meat. It’s a terrific way to use up and stretch any poultry or meat left over from last night’s dinner. Diced chicken, ham or Italian sausage are excellent choices.

The Best Sides for Orecchiette

Serve orecchiette with brussels sprouts with cheesy pull apart garlic rolls or 30 minute rolls. A zesty tossed cucumber tomato salad or a simple tossed salad with balsamic vinaigrette can also complete the meal.

Delicious and easy orecchiette with brussel sprouts is a filling and flavor packed dish that’s sure to satisfy your family.

More Creamy Pastas

 

Orecchiette with Brussels Sprouts

An easy one pot pasta dish that you can get on the table fast.

  • 8 oz orecchiette pasta
  • 8 oz brussels sprouts
  • 4 slices bacon (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • parsley for garnish (optional)
  • 1/2 lemon (optional)
  1. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain while reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
  2. With a sharp knife or mandoline, slice brussels sprouts very thinly.
  3. Cook bacon over medium heat until browned and crisp. Remove from pan and set aside reserving drippings. Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook just until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  4. Stir in white wine and chicken stock. Simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.

  5. Stir in lemon zest and heavy cream. Simmer 5 additional minutes. Add brussels sprouts and 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese and cook for 2 minutes. Add pasta and heat through (add pasta water if needed).

  6. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Then sprinkle with bacon, parmesan, and squeeze half a lemon over top (optional). Serve immediately.

Orecchiette with brussels sprouts topped with parmesan cheese and crumbled bacon in a serving dish.
Orecchiette with brussels sprouts topped with parmesan cheese and crumbled bacon in a serving dish.
Top photo - Close up of orecchiette with brussels sprouts in a frying pan. Bottom photo - Close up of orecchiette and sliced brussels sprouts in a frying pan prior to tossing together.

Garlic Butter Herb Prime Rib

Garlic Butter Herb Prime Rib is melt in your mouth tender and juicy prime rib that is cooked to medium rare perfection and marbled with fat.  The seared garlic butter herb crust is incredible! 

Impress your family with this beautiful cut of meat! When making this prime rib add Garlic Parmesan Green beans with Bacon, Dad’s Famous Mashed Potatoes and Perfect Soft and Buttery Rolls for a complete meal.

Best Prime Rib Recipe - How to Cook Prime Rib | The Recipe Critic by Alyssa Rivers

Best Garlic Butter Herb Prime Rib Recipe

The holidays wouldn’t be complete without a prime rib roast.

Well, I am here to bring you the best prime rib recipe with a few tips and tricks for cooking the perfect tender and juicy prime rib every single time.

You are going to bring your A- game to Christmas dinner with a flavorful and bold prime rib roast that is actually really simple to make!

With these easy to follow steps you will have a perfect Christmas dinner that will be loved by all.

Prime rib is top of the line meat that tastes just as AMAZING as it looks.

The marbled cut and beautiful bone structure is just what you need to have this slice of heaven on your plate.

Cooking prime rib does not have to take long.

It is best to have a crispy outside and a tender, juicy inside.

With this garlic butter herb prime rib recipe you will have the PERFECT prime rib dinner this holiday season!

Prime Rib is simple to make

Prime rib can be a little intimidating to make because you are trying to achieve the perfect medium rare temperature.

Since prime rib can be a bit pricey, the last thing that you want to do is to over cook it.

I have had that happen before and it is awful!  I highly recommend using an oven thermometer for this recipe.

It makes it easy to quickly check to see if it is getting close to the desired temperature.

The closed oven method can be a great one, but I had a prime rib roast over cook because I was too trusting.

That is where you roast the meat at a 500 degrees for 5 minutes per pound.

Then you leave the oven closed for 2 hours and it slowly cooks.

If using this method I highly recommend a thermometer inside of the meat so that you can check on it without opening the oven while it cooks.

  • Rare: 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Medium Rare: 130-135 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Medium: 135-140 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Medium Well: 145-155 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Well Done: 155 degrees Fahrenheit

Best Prime Rib Recipe - How to Cook Prime Rib | The Recipe Critic by Alyssa Rivers

What cut of meat is prime rib?

A prime rib roast, or standing rib roast, is cut from the back of the upper rib section of the steer, and it usually comprises a total of seven ribs.

To make the slow roasted Prime Rib, you’ll need a three-bone rib roast, which can be cut either from the chuck end or the loin end of the rib section.

Here are some tips for choosing the best prime rib meat:

  • You will want a bone in prime rib. On average a 2 to 6 pound prime rib has 2 to 3 bones.
  • When ordering from a butcher, ask to keep the strings on it if possible. This will ensure cooking it evenly and keeps its form while cooking.
  • If possible, ask to have the largest deckle. The deckle is tender and the most flavorful piece of meat.

How long do you cook a prime rib roast per pound?

The bones create a natural roasting rack for the meat.

Cook the roast at a higher temperature of 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

Then reduce the temperature to 325 degrees and continue to cook until the thermometer reads 110 degrees.

About 15 minutes of cooking time per pound.

Best Prime Rib Recipe right out of the oven - How to Cook Prime Rib | The Recipe Critic by Alyssa Rivers

Why is prime rib so good?

Prime rib has a large eye of meat in the center.  This is juicy, tender and marbled with fat.

Prime rib is so tender because the muscles aren’t heavily used and it stays juicy because of all of the fat.

It is extremely flavorful and beefy which contributes to the high price.

Every single thing about this recipe is absolute perfection.

This is hands down the best prime rib recipe that I have every had in my entire life.

That is sure saying something!

I have never had more tender meat while carving the roast.

It just melts in your mouth and the flavor is unreal.

I know that your family will love it just as much as we did.  It will be the star at your dinner table this holiday!

Best Prime Rib Recipe - How to Cook Prime Rib | The Recipe Critic by Alyssa Rivers

Tips for making prime rib

Melt in your mouth prime rib is just what you need to celebrate the holidays this year!

A meat thermometer is always a MUST when cooking any type of meat.

This will ensure the perfect prime rib dinner every time.

These quick and simple tips will help cooking the best prime rib this year!

  • Using a meat thermometer is the best way to ensure a perfect prime rib every time.
  • Take your prime rib out of the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to let it rest before cooking. This will ensure an even cook time.
  • You can remove the bones before cooking but it is not necessary. The bone in adds to the flavor and helps keep the prime rib tender and juicy.
  • Remove your prime rib out of the oven when it is about 5 degrees lower than your temperature you are wanting. Cover your meat and let it rest. It will slowly cook as it is resting.

 

What you need to make a prime rib

I always buy my prime rib with the bone.

The butcher at our local grocery store cuts the bone but leaves it partially attached and ties it onto the roast.

This makes it easier to carve the meat and the bone creates a rack for the prime rib to cook on.

The best part of this recipe is hands down the garlic herb butter that gets rubbed on the roast before it cooks.

I am telling you!  It gives it the absolute best flavor.

You can never go wrong with garlic, butter, and herbs slathered on meat.  Am I right?  Just look at that amazing crust!!

  • Prime rib: bone in and tied
  • Butter: 
  • Garlic: cloves
  • Thyme:
  • Oregano: 
  • Rosemary: 
  • Salt and pepper: to taste!

How to make prime rib

Preparing your meat is a great way to ensure your cooking time is perfected by having an evenly cooked prime rib.

Taking out your prime rib before cooking will help with this process.

Making the garlic butter herb sauce is simple and creates a perfect outside crust while soaking it in internally for a juicy and tender prime rib.

This prime rib recipe will be a little piece of heaven on your plate.

Enjoy this prime rib this holiday season with friends and family!

  • Prepare your meat: Remove the prime rib from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before to bring it to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  • Mix together garlic butter herb sauce : In a small bowl mix butter, garlic, thyme, oregano, rosemary, salt and pepper. Rub all of the butter on the outside of your prime rib and plave in a roasting pan or large skillet with the fat side up.
  • Cook prime rib: Cook for 15 minutes and reduce the temperature to 325 degrees. It is about 15 minutes per pound of meat. Bake until it reaches an internal temperature of 110 degrees.
  • Let your meat rest: Remove from oven and let it rest with foil for at least 20 minutes. The temperature will rise to 130 degrees for a medium rare prime rib.

Best Prime Rib Recipe Cooking in the Pan - How to Cook Prime Rib Perfectly | The Recipe Critic by Alyssa Rivers

Storing prime rib

Having left over prime rib is just another way to enjoy it a little longer!

You still have all the tender, juicy flavors are infused into the prime rib.

Enjoy another slice of heaven a second time around with these storing ideas.

  • How long does prime rib last in the refrigerator: prime rib can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days.
  • Can you freeze prime rib: Yes! Let your cooked prime rib rest until completely cooled. Once cooled, place in an ziplock freezer bag, letting all the air out. Lay flat in the freezer for 1 month. When ready to warm up, place in the refrigerator over night until thawed.
  • How to reheat prime rib: If frozen, let thaw completely. Place in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until it has reached the desire internal temperature. Enjoy!

 

More Beef Recipes to enjoy

 

Watch a Video on How to Make the Best Prime Rib Here:


Garlic Butter Herb Prime Rib Recipe

Garlic Butter Herb Prime Rib is melt in your mouth tender and juicy prime rib that is cooked to medium rare perfection and marbled with fat.  The seared garlic butter herb crust is incredible!

  • 2-6 pounds bone prime rib (boned and tied)
  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 5 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 Tablespoon thyme (finely chopped)
  • 1 Tablespoon oregano (finely chopped)
  • 1 Tablespoon rosemary (finely chopped)
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  1. Remove the prime rib from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before to bring it to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl mix butter, garlic, thyme, oregano, rosemary, salt and pepper. Rub all of the butter on the outside of your prime rib and plave in a roasting pan or large skillet with the fat side up.

  3. Cook for 15 minutes and reduce the temperature to 325 degrees. It is about 15 minutes per pound of meat. Bake until it reaches an internal temperature of 110 degrees.
  4. Remove from oven and let it rest with foil for at least 20 minutes. The temperature will rise to 130 degrees for a medium rare prime rib.

Updated on November 10, 2019

Original Post on 

 

Hearty & Healthy Chicken Fajita Salad

Chicken Fajita Salad is a delicious way way to enjoy Chicken Fajitas! A crisp green salad topped with grilled chicken, peppers and onions is brought together with a simple flavorful vinaigrette!

Just like a delicious taco salad or zesty chicken burrito bowl, serve this fajita salad with a side of salsa and all your favorite toppings!

Close up of vinaigrette dressing being poured on chicken fajita salad.

What’s in a Fajita Salad?

  • Lettuce: We love a nice crisp romaine for this salad but you can use any type of lettuce or a combination of kale and lettuce
  • Vegetables: Traditional fajita veggies including bell peppers and onions.
  • Protein: Chili Lime Chicken Breasts are the star of this meal. Swap them out for shrimp or even grilled steaks.
  • Flavors: Add lots of cheese, a few spoonfuls of zesty salsa or jalapenos.  Top with a scoop of guacamole or pico de gallo!

Raw chicken with fajita seasoning on a white plate, and fresh cut veggies on a cutting board

To Make Fajita Salad

This easy salad bowl comes together in three simple steps. Just cook, combine, and serve!

  1. Cook seasoned chicken breasts (per recipe below).
  2. Pan fry peppers, onion, and fajita seasoning in the same skillet until tender crisp.
  3. Serve by equally dividing chopped romaine between two bowls. Place one sliced chicken breast over lettuce in each bowl. Top with half the veggie mixture on each salad.

Drizzle the lime vinaigrette dressing over the top and toss to combine.

How Long Will It Last?

This salad will last, undressed about 3 days in the fridge as long as it is covered. With the dressing, it could go about 2 days, then it starts to get soggy.

Be sure not to overdress it if you think you won’t finish it in one sitting! It IS an entrée recipe! Keep salad tightly covered in the fridge to keep it crisp! If you are making it in advance to serve later, don’t add the dressing until you are ready to serve it to keep it from getting soggy!

Other Delicious Mix-Ins!

Anything that goes in a taco, burrito or regular fajitas will go great in a chicken fajita salad!  Here is a list of some of my favorites.

  • Fresh: diced tomatoes, shredded cabbage, sliced jalapenos
  • Flavorful: crumbled cotija cheese, refried, pinto or black beans
  • Crunchy: crushed tortilla chips or strips

Must-Try Salad Recipes!

Chicken Fajita Salad

A healthy way to enjoy Chicken Fajitas without the starchy carbs from the tortilla! All the grilled flavor of fajitas and classic toppings tossed together in a salad bowl!

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 teaspoons fajita seasoning (divided)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 1 green bell pepper (cored and thinly sliced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (cored and thinly sliced)
  • 1 small yellow onion (peeled and thinly sliced)
  • 2 heads romaine hearts (chopped)
  • 1 avocado (peeled, seeded and diced)
  • 1/2 cup Monterey jack cheese

Cilantro lime vinaigrette:

  • 1 lime (juiced and zested)
  • 1 clove garlic (grated)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  1. Place chicken breasts on a plate and season both sides with 2 teaspoons fajita seasoning.

  2. Over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add seasoned chicken breast and cook 18-20 minutes or until chicken reaches 165°F. Then remove and let rest on a plate.

  3. In the same skillet, add the remaining olive oil, green & red bell peppers, yellow onion, and remaining fajita seasoning. Cook until soft but not falling apart.

  4. In 2 large salad bowls add an equal amount of chopped romaine lettuce.
  5. Slice the chicken and add 1 sliced breast to each salad along with half the pepper and onion mixture and avocado.
  6. Top with cilantro lime vinaigrette and toss to combine.

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette:

  1. Add all ingredients to a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine.

Chicken can be replaced with shrimp or steak.

Close up of vinaigrette dressing being poured on chicken fajita salad.
Close up of vinaigrette dressing being poured on chicken fajita salad.
Top photo - Slices of fajita chicken and fresh vegetables in a white bowl, topped with shredded cheese and garnish. Bottom photo - Raw chicken with fajita seasoning on a white plate, and fresh cut veggies on a cutting board.

Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells (Freezer Friendly)

Taco stuffed pasta shells are a great twist on classic stuffed shells Jumbo pasta shells are filled with a creamy seasoned beef & vegetable mixture and topped with cheese. 

All you need to add to this delicious taco inspired casserole is a simple tossed salad, or some roasted broccoli!

A serving of taco stuffed shells on a plate garnished with parsley.

What Pasta To Use

Jumbo shells are sold with the pasta and are available in most supermarkets (or online at Amazon).  They often come in a box (to keep them from breaking) next to the lasagna. They are called conchiglie, because they resemble conch shells.

If you can’t find them, try substituting for the smaller shells and creating a casserole (layered like I do with my baked ziti), rather than stuffed shells.

How To Make Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells

To make these stuffed pasta shells:

  1. Cook the pasta shells to al dente (they’ll cook a bit more in the oven).
  2. Brown the ground beef and onions and drain fat.

Two images showing taco stuffed shells filling in a pan then mixed and combined with cream cheese.

  1. Add tomatoes, taco seasoning, water, and veggies (per the recipe below). Cook until all of the water is evaporated.
  2. Fill each pasta shell with a few tablespoons of the beef mixture. Add them to a casserole dish.

Two images showing jumbo pasta shells being filled with the taco mixture and then lined up in a casserole dish.

  1. Top with salsa. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Then, add cheese and bake an additional 10 minutes to melt the cheese.

You bet, these are even freezable! You can prepare these up until step 5, and store them in the fridge for up to 24 hours or freeze them (more on that below).

Two images showing taco filled pasta shells on a casserole dish topped with sauce and then with shredded cheese.

To Make This a Freezer Meal

This meal can be made ahead of time and frozen.  Prepare as directed but don’t add the cheese on top and don’t bake it. Ensure the filling is cooled and cover tightly with plastic wrap and then wrap in foil.

To Cook: Remove it from the freezer the night before and refrigerate overnight.  By dinner time the next day it’s ready to top with cheese and bake.

Storing and Reheating The Leftovers

Have leftovers? No worries! They will last about 3 days in the fridge, covered.

These reheat pretty well. To reheat this stuffed taco casserole, microwave for a couple minutes, or reheat in the oven at 350°F for about 10-12 minutes.

More Tasty Taco Takes

We love traditional ground beef tacos and often cook the meat up in batches for meals. Add taco meat to your regular ground beef dishes to spice them up like taco lasagna or taco casserole.

Leftover meat is also great on Taco Salad or in a taco soup recipe!

Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells

Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells. Jumbo pasta shells filled with a creamy seasoned beef & vegetable mixture and topped with cheese.  This is the perfect weeknight meal and fun twist on Taco night!

Filling

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 onion
  • 2 envelopes taco seasoning
  • 1 14.5 oz can of ((low sodium) diced tomatoes with juice)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped veggies ((red, yellow or green peppers, corn, zucchini… whatever you have on hand))
  • 1 package ((8 ounces) cream cheese, cubed)

Other

  • 24 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
  • 2 Cups Salsa
  • 2 Cups grated cheddar and/or monterey jack cheese
  • Sour cream for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Cook pasta shells al dente according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.

  3. Brown ground beef and onion in a large pan until no pink remains.

  4. Add in undrained tomatoes, taco seasoning, 3/4 cup of water and veggies. Cook 5 minutes or until liquid has evaporated. Stir in cream cheese until melted.

  5. Fill each pasta shell with about 2-3 tablespoons of the beef mixture. Place into a casserole dish.

  6. Top with salsa. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle cheese on top. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

To Make Ahead: Prepare up to step 5. Refrigerate or freeze overnight.

To Cook Frozen Shells: Defrost in the fridge overnight and proceed with baking as directed.

 

 

Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells served on a white plate.
Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells served on a white plate.
Top Photo - Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells served on a white plate. Bottom photo - Pasta shells in a casserole dish.

Secret Ingredient French Toast Recipe

French Toast is a sliced thick, chunky bread dipped in a creamy egg, milk and cinnamon mixture with a secret ingredient that will take this French toast over the top! A little slice of heaven on your plate! 

Breakfast is better with French toast!  If you love French toast as much I do try this Caramel Apple French Toast Casserole, Creme Brûlée French Toast or Almond Crusted French Toast with Roasted Strawberry Syrup.

Secret Ingredient French Toast Recipe

You can never go wrong with the best french toast recipe!

To make this the best of the best you have to have the secret ingredient that is often left out.

My hubby learned in France to put vanilla in his French toast and it has been our secret ingredient ever since!

Such a small and simple ingredient can change this French toast recipe to the ultimate and best French toast recipe.

It is a little slice of heaven when everything is sliced, mixed, covered and cooked all to perfection!

Where did French toast originate?

Surprisingly, French toast is not from France. Historians say French toast is originally from a Roman recipe.

It is thought that the roman recipe soaked the bread in milk and then fried it .

In France they call French toast Pain Perdu. It means lost bread.

They take stale bread that is dipped and then cooked.

Since it is not known to be French and no one really knows how French toast got its name, I think we can all say we are just happy to have a good French toast recipe.

What you need to make the best French toast

Very basic and simple ingredient with one ingredient that stands out and makes this French toast recipe the best French toast recipe!

Vanilla is the key and secret ingredient that will make your French toast stand out and have that extra added flavor you will instantly love.

This tried and true recipe is simple and easy to make. Your family will be thanking you every time you make it!

  • Eggs: this coats the bread and gives it a crisp crust when cooked.
  • Milk: makes a creamy coating over the bread when mixed with eggs.
  • Cinnamon: gives it that comforting flavor.
  • Vanilla: the secret ingredient that will take this French toast recipe to the top!
  • Butter: greases up the griddle or pan that will be cooking the French toast.
  • Bread: thick Texas toast or French bread sliced to your preference.

Optional Toppings: 

  • Fresh berries: blueberries, strawberries, blackberries or raspberries is my favorite combination.
  • Powdered sugar: a little sweetness sprinkled over top.
  • Syrup: a sugary syrup that softens the bread and adds the perfect touch.

How to make French toast

Simple ingredients that lead to a simple French toast recipe!

Don’t let these simple ingredients fool you though! You are making one of the best French toast recipes!

Especially with the secret ingredient that will change your French toast and take it to the next level.

This tried and true French toast recipe is one of a kind and tastes even better when made fresh!

  • Whisk together ingredients: In a medium size bowl add eggs and milk and whisk together until smooth. Add in the cinnamon and vanilla and whisk.
  • Prepare skillet or griddle: Preheat the skillet to medium and add the butter.
  • Cook French toast: Once the butter has melted and pan is hot, add the French toast and fry until golden brown. Repeat on the other side.
  • Top and serve warm: Top with your favorite toppings, fresh berries, powdered sugar, and syrup and enjoy!

Best bread for French toast

There is a variety of breads that will work well with this French toast recipe.

You can use a simple bread that you have in the pantry or find a thick, rich bread and slice it.

I prefer a thick, dense bread that is sliced thick and can be soaked a few seconds longer and has a thicker crust.

The best French toast starts with the bread. Having a good quality bread is key!

  • Sandwich bread: this is thin and will do if you are in a hurry. Usually this is my last option.
  • Texas toast: another go-to recipe that works well and has a thicker bread over sandwich bread.
  • Brioche: this is a soft and thick bread that will hold its shaped and won’t get soggy when dipped in the egg mixture.
  • French bread:  the best French bread is day old bread. This is usually the our choice when making this French toast recipe.
  • Pullman loaf: this is more for cutting into long strips of French toast. This is fun for kids to dip their French toast by grabbing it with their hands.
  • Challah: this is known as a jewish bread. It has a buttery flavor and looks like a long braid. this bread is thick and will not get soggy.
  • Baguette: it is a thick and hard crust that can soak up a lot of the mixture and cook very nicely. Slice it as thick as you would like and it enjoy!
  • Sourdough bread: yes, it does have a tart taste but it is so good when dipped in the egg mixture and cooked.
  • Cinnamon raisin bread: this is my kids favorite! It has a fun twist to French toast and tastes delicious!

Toppings for French toast

There are so many options to make the best French toast.

Simple to extreme toppings can be added or just left off for a basic, delicious French toast with berries.

However you top your French toast just know the next time can be made with the next set up toppings that you love!

You will be making this French toast recipe over and over again with this special ingredient!

    • Syrup: maple, coconut, buttermilk, huckleberry or apricot syrup.
    • Sauces: nutella, caramel sauce, peanut butter or cookie butter.
    • Fruit: peaches, bananas or orange zest.
    • Nuts: chopped pecans, walnuts or pistachios.
    • Jam: peach, apricot, strawberry or huckleberry jam.
    • Chocolate: chocolate chips, mint chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips.
    • Extras: butter, whipped cream, sprinkles, powdered sugar or shredded coconut.

Tips to making French toast

This simple French toast recipe is very easy to make and will be a favorite in your home.

The bread is the most important part. Finding a good bread will make all the difference.

Next, the secret ingredient! Vanilla has that overall flavoring that makes this the best French toast.

Cook to perfection with a little butter to crisp the edges and have a soft center.

  • Find bread that is thick or can be sliced thicker.
  • When cooking the time may vary depending on the thickness of the bread.
  • I like to use whole milk but half and half or heavy cream can be substituted.
  • Let the bread lay in the egg mixture and soak in the bread. Flip and do the same on both sides.
  • If you are wanting strips of French toast sticks, I like to first cook the French toast and then cut them into strips. You can always do it before too.
  • Continue to butter your skillet or griddle as you are making your French toast. This will help from sticking and burning to the pan.

Making the best French toast

Cooking times will vary depending on the bread and thickness of the bread.

A sandwich bread will cook up quicker compared to a thick, sliced French bread.

These tips will help you have the crispy edges with a soft and fluffy center.

  • Soggy french toast: this happens if you let the bread soak too long in the egg mixture. Your bread will tend to fall apart.
  • Egg on the outside of bread: make sure to whisk you egg mixture until it is smooth and creamy looking. This will take a few minutes to do.
  • Undercooked inside/Burnt outside: the griddle or skillet temperature may be too high. Turn down your heat to medium/low and see a difference.
  • Dry French Toast: try soaking your bread a little longer to have it absorb all the bread and cook on low to medium high.

Storing French toast

We love a good, fresh French toast early in the morning for breakfast!

This specialty breakfast is usually made on the weekend but breakfast for dinner is just as great!

Hot, fresh and covered with toppings is just the way we enjoy your French toast recipe!

  • Can you make French toast ahead of time? Yes! for those busy mornings, place your cooked French toast in a ziplock bag or pre-wrap them to warm up quickly. These will last in the refrigerator for about 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for 1 month.
  • Can you soak French toast overnight? Yes! this will make a great casserole for in the morning. Bake your bread in the oven for 35 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Can you freeze French toast? Yes, cook your French toast then let cool completely. Next, place in a freezer bag, letting out all of the air. You can freeze for up to 1 month. When ready to warm up you do not need to thaw. Just simply cook in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds or reheat on the griddle or skillet.

More delicious French toast recipes

 

French Toast Recipe

French Toast is a sliced thick, chunky bread dipped in a creamy egg, milk and cinnamon mixture with a secret ingredient that will take this French toast over the top! A little slice of heaven on your plate! 

  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 8 slices thick bread (Texas toast or French bread)

Optional toppings:

  • fresh berries
  • powdered sugar
  • syrup
  1. In a medium size bowl add eggs and milk and whisk together until smooth. Add in the cinnamon and vanilla and whisk.
  2. Preheat the skillet to medium and add the butter. Once the butter has melted and pan is hot, add the French toast and fry until golden brown. Repeat on the other side.

  3. Top with your favorite toppings, fresh berries, powdered sugar, and syrup and enjoy!

Turkey Pot Pie: Perfect for Leftover Turkey!

Turkey Pot Pie is the perfect way to enjoy leftover roast turkey! A creamy filling loaded with turkey and veggies is tucked inside a flaky pie crust and baked until golden and bubbly!

There is nothing better than leftover turkey recipes from turkey broccoli rice casserole or Turkey Tetrazzini, and of course this pot pie recipe!

Close up of a slice of turkey pot pie with the pie plate in the background.

What’s in a Turkey Pot Pie?

Keep it easy on yourself and know that nearly anything that you have can be baked into this pot pie! I always include a combination of turkey, vegetables, savory spices, a creamy sauce, all baked into a crust.

Got peas? Got carrots, leftover roast vegetables or potatoes? It all goes perfectly in a pot pie!

Two images showing the first stages of creating the turkey pot pie filling.

How to Make Turkey Pot Pie

For this recipe the filling is similar to a chicken pot pie. I love to use leftover turkey, leftover veggies, and a pre-made pie crust. It takes almost all of the prep work out of this recipe!

  1. Cook onions until tender. Add flour and milk to make a roux (per recipe below).
  2. Toss sauce with turkey and veggies. Fill a pie crust.

Two images showing the turkey pot pie filling being prepared and poured into the pie crust.

  1. Add top crust, pinch edges to seal the pot pie, use a fork to ‘crimp’ the edges all the way around and add a few slits in the center to create vents for the steam to escape. This prevents the pot pie from bursting at the edges while it bakes.

Once your turkey pot pie is prepared you can either pop it in the freezer for later or in the oven to enjoy now! Bake until the top of the crust is golden brown, and let cool before cutting and serving.

Overview of a baked turkey pot pie in a white pie plate.

Make Ahead

Can You Freeze It? Definitely! Turkey pot pie can be frozen either before or after baking. Prepare as directed and cool completely. Cover tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil.

To bake from frozen:  Preheat oven to 375°F and unwrap pie. Bake for about 80-90 minutes or until golden and the filling is bubbly. If you notice the crust starting to brown too much, loosely cover with foil or use a pie shield.

Leftover Turkey?

There are countless recipes to enjoy your leftover turkey! Classic Chicken Salad (made with turkey of course!) or Turkey Noodle Soup make for a great lunch. Pretty much any recipe that requires chopped cooked chicken can be made with leftover turkey from chicken casserole to Homemade Chicken Spaghetti!

Turkey Pot Pie

Great for leftover turkey during the holidays.

  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup milk (or cream)
  • 1 potato (diced and cooked)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen vegetables (defrosted)
  • 2 cups leftover turkey
  • 1 double pie crust
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Whisk egg with 1 tablespoon water. Set aside.

  2. Cook onion in butter over medium low heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Add flour, poultry seasoning, thyme, salt & pepper. Cook 2 minutes more.
  3. Whisk in chicken broth and milk a little bit at a time stirring after each addition. It will seem thick at first but will smooth out. Bring to a boil over medium heat, simmer 1 minute and remove from heat. Stir in turkey and vegetables.
  4. Line a 9" pie plate with one of the crusts. Fill with turkey filling. Brush edges of crust with egg wash and top with second crust. Pinch edges to seal and cut a few slits to vent pie. Brush with egg wash.

  5. Bake 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned and filling is bubbly.
  6. Cool for 10-15 minutes before cutting.

Turkey can be replaced with chicken.
Leftover vegetables can be used in place of frozen vegetables.
Fresh vegetables can be used but should be cooked to tender crisp before adding to the sauce.
If crust begins to brown too much, loosely tent with foil.

Potato can be cooked in the microwave. 

Close up of a slice of turkey pot pie with the pie plate in the background.
Close up of a slice of turkey pot pie with the pie plate in the background.
Top photo - Close up of a slice of turkey pot pie with the pie plate in the background. Bottom photo - Overview of a baked turkey pot pie in a white pie plate.