Chili Mac Skillet (One Pan Meal)

Supper never fails to satisfy when you serve this Chili Mac Skillet. This cheesy, meaty meal combines ground beef, macaroni, and cheddar cheese in a thick tomato sauce enriched with beef broth.

Make this your go-to recipe when you need to stretch your food budget and still put a smile on everyone’s face! Serve this hearty meal with a light tomato cucumber salad and a slice of garlic bread to soak up every last drop!

Chli Mac in a skillet topped with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese

What is Chili Mac?

Chili Mac is a fresh take on an American Goulash recipe, with a flavorful Tex-Mex flair, thanks to the addition of chili powder and herbs. Make it on the stovetop in a pot for an easy meal that’s a breeze to prep!

Ingredients for Chili Mac

Not only is the shopping, prepping and cooking for this homemade one pot meal super easy, but cleanup is a breeze too. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  •  Base: ground beef, beef broth, elbow macaroni
  • Toppings: cheddar cheese
  • Veggies: crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, garlic cloves
  • Sugar & Spice: parsley, basil, oregano, chili powder, beef bouillon cube, sugar

Substitutions

If you prefer, substitute ground turkey or chicken for the beef and use chicken broth and bouillon. Penne pasta, rotini or shells will also serve in place of the macaroni. Add canned black beans, bell peppers or corn to stretch this recipe even more.

For maximum flavor and bite, use extra sharp cheddar. Pepper jack or Colby also work well in this recipe. Consider giving chili mac more of a Mexican vibe by getting creative with cumin powder, jalapenos, or chopped cilantro.

Ingredients to make Chili Mac in a large skillet

To Make this One Pan Skillet Meal

Follow these simple steps and you’ll have dinner on the table in a flash:

  1. Brown the ground beef with onion and garlic and drain off any fat.
  2. Add all the ingredients to the same pan (per recipe below) expect the cheese.
  3. Cover and cook until the macaroni is tender, stirring occasionally.

Once cooked, adjust seasoning, top with shredded cheddar, a sprinkle of green onion or cilantro and serve.

An overhead image of chili mac ready to serve

Don’t Forget the Sides!

The beauty of one pot meals like this is that you don’t have to fuss too much with sides. Serve chili mac with tortilla chips or tangy panzanella salad for a welcome crunch.

Baked corn on the cob or tomato avocado salad are also tasty and light sides that will complement the stick-to-your-ribs heartiness of chili mac.

How to Reheat It

This is a terrific meal to make in advance to allow the flavors to deepen and develop. Chili mac will keep in the fridge for up to four days, or in the freezer for up to four months.

To reheat, thaw and then pop into the microwave until steaming hot. Or you can take it straight from the freezer to the oven and bake until bubbling hot throughout.

Macaroni Madness

Chili Mac Skillet

Creamy tex-mex infused pasta skillet!

  • 1/2 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 3/4 pound dry macaroni noodles
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon each dried parsley, basil and oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
  1. Finely dice the onion (or grate with a cheese grater). Add onion, beef and garlic to a pan over medium heat. Cook until no pink remains. Drain any fat.

  2. Add remaining ingredients except cheese. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and cover.

  3. Stirring occasionally, let cook 13-17 minutes or until macaroni is cooked through (add a little bit of water if needed).

  4. Season with salt & pepper to taste and serve warm topped with cheese.

 

Chili Mac Skillet served in a white bowl and garnished with shredded cheddar and fresh parsley.
Chili Mac Skillet served in a white bowl and garnished with shredded cheddar and fresh parsley.
Top photo - Chili Mac Skillet served in a white bowl and garnished with shredded cheddar and fresh parsley. Bottom photo - Chili Mac cooked and ready in the skillet.

Fresh Corn Salad

summer corn salad with tomatoes and cucumbers

Corn Salad is one of our favorite easy sides!  This easy Corn Salad features sweet fresh corn off the cob, crisp cucumbers and ripe juicy garden tomatoes all combined in a light and easy vinaigrette.

It’s great to enjoy fresh summer produce in recipes like Summer Pasta Salad or Garden Fresh Bruschetta!

Summer corn salad with tomatoes and cucumbers in a bowl.

A Summer Favorite

Corn Salad is such a great summer salad; it’s easy to make and tastes incredibly fresh without a lot of ingredients or fuss (and no cooking required)!

Summer is the best time of year to serve up fresh salads and vegetables from the garden. While I have a very small garden, I also stop by the farmer’s markets to enjoy their harvests.

I don’t grow a ton of varieties of veggies in my itty bitty garden space; usually carrots, zucchini (for the best ever Easy Baked Zucchini), radishes, and green onions (and this year I have some beets). While my garden is small,  I always grow cherry tomatoes and regular tomatoes and loads of fresh herbs.

Single serving of corn salad in a wooden bowl.

How to Make Corn Salad

CORN: This Corn Salad recipe starts with a base of delicious sweet corn (of course), if you have time it’s worth making grilled corn to use in this recipe it before you cut it off the cob.

DRESSING: I then add in some fresh veggies and toss it all with a simple homemade vinaigrette (and once in a while I add in a sprinkle of crumbled feta or blue cheese).

While I don’t eat a ton of salt, corn is one of those things that pretty much screams for a sprinkling of coarse salt so be generous when adding salt to this recipe!

VEGGIES: Keep in mind that the measurements of the vegetables in this summer corn salad don’t have to be exact, if you have extra tomatoes or just happen to love them, add extra…  a little short on cucumbers, this will turn out delicious!

fresh corn salad with onion, cucumber and tomatoes

More Summer Salads You’ll Love

Easy Corn Salad

Sweet summer corn, crisp cucumbers and ripe juicy garden tomatoes all combined in a light and easy vinaigrette.

  • 3 cups corn kernels (about 4 cobs of corn)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (quartered)
  • 1 cup diced cucumbers
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
  • a generous sprinkle of course salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • fresh basil or dill (optional)
  1. Either boil or grill corn. Once cooked, remove kernels from corn.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and gently toss.
  3. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

If time allows, grill your corn for maximum flavor.

Preheat grill to medium high heat. Remove silk and husk from corn.  Brush with olive oil and generously season.  Grill 2-3 minutes per side or until slightly charred. Cool before using.

 

More Corn Recipes You’ll Love

Mexican Corn Dip

Mexican corn dip with tortilla chip

Crock Pot Corn on the Cobhalf of a Corn on the Cob with melted butter

Ham and Corn Chowder

Ham and Corn Chowder in white bowls

Summer Corn Salad features fresh corn on the cob, juicy garden tomatoes and crisp cucumbers in a simple dressing! This recipe is delicious and quick!
Summer Corn Salad features fresh corn on the cob, juicy garden tomatoes and crisp cucumbers in a simple dressing! This recipe is delicious and quick!
Summer Corn Salad features fresh corn on the cob, juicy garden tomatoes and crisp cucumbers in a simple dressing! This recipe is delicious and quick!
Summer Corn Salad features fresh corn on the cob, juicy garden tomatoes and crisp cucumbers in a simple dressing! This recipe is delicious and quick!

Fresh and Juicy Mango Salsa

Mango Salsa is a delicious combination of sweet juicy mangoes, tart lime juice and peppers for the perfect combination of sweet and heat.  

Use as a topper for grilled chicken, fish tacos, or serve it up with tortilla chips and margaritas for the perfect Mexican snack!

Close up of Mango Salsa with half a lime and tortilla chip.

Sweet & Savory

Take the crisp and colorful bounty of summer and put together this sweet and spicy topping that can also be a dip! Use fresh ingredients from your garden or the farmers market and double the recipe because it’ll get used up super quick!

The best way to show off all the bright colors of mango salsa is to dice the fruit and veggies uniformly. The easiest way to achieve this is to use my favorite vegetable chopper. It’s so easy to do and looks so fancy!

  1. Dice the mangoes and red pepper. Mince the red onion and jalapeño (keep the seeds in for a spicier flavor)!
  2. Mix together, add the remaining ingredients, and season with salt and pepper.

Let all the flavors marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature and serve!

Close up of Mango Salsa

What to Serve with Mango Salsa

Mango salsa is a perfect topping for fish and seafood, like shrimp tacos and grilled salmon, but it also makes a great dip for chips and crackers! Mixed with softened cream cheese, mango salsa makes an elegant spread on a burger or in a vegetarian sandwich!

Add or substitute equal amounts of fresh pineapple or fresh peaches for a different twist. This recipe is so versatile, so healthy and so easy to make, it’ll be a summer staple every year!

How Long Does Mango Salsa Last?

Mango salsa will last about 5 days in the refrigerator. Before serving again, stir and refresh the flavors by adding a little splash of lime juice and salt and pepper.

Mango Salsa in a bowl being scooped with a tortilla chip.

Can You Freeze Mango Salsa?

Mango salsa can be frozen by putting in an airtight container or zippered bag that is labeled for up to about 3 months. However, it will not be as firm once it is thawed. Drain the extra water, add some new diced mangos, or fruit like pineapple or peach for a whole new look and taste!

More Fresh & Scoopable Appetizers

FRESH MANGO SALSA RECIPE

This mango salsa features sweet juicy mangoes, tart lime juice and jalapeno peppers for the perfect combination of sweet and heat. Use this as a topper for grilled chicken or fish or serve it up with tortilla chips and margaritas for the perfect snack!

  • 1 large or 2 small mangoes (diced)
  • 1 red pepper (diced)
  • 1/4 cup red onion (minced)
  • 1 jalapeño (seeded & minced)
  • 1/2 lime (juiced)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • salt to taste
  1. Combine all ingredients and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. So delicious with tortilla chips or on chicken or fish.

Inspired by Looney Spoons

For a fresh, healthy, homemade dip try this easy mango salsa recipe! It is a delicious combination of sweet and spicy.  It's the best party appetizer with tortillas and perfectly pairs with grilled chicken, salmon, fish tacos and so many more dishes! #spendwithpennies #mangosalsa #appetizer #healthyrecipe #salsarecipe #fruitsalsa #Mexican
For a fresh, healthy, homemade dip try this easy mango salsa recipe! It is a delicious combination of sweet and spicy.  It's the best party appetizer with tortillas and perfectly pairs with grilled chicken, salmon, fish tacos and so many more dishes! #spendwithpennies #mangosalsa #appetizer #healthyrecipe #salsarecipe #fruitsalsa #Mexican
For a fresh, healthy, homemade dip try this easy mango salsa recipe! It is a delicious combination of sweet and spicy.  It's the best party appetizer with tortillas and perfectly pairs with grilled chicken, salmon, fish tacos and so many more dishes! #spendwithpennies #mangosalsa #appetizer #healthyrecipe #salsarecipe #fruitsalsa #Mexican

Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs

Grilled Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs are a summer favorite. Tender juicy grilled chicken is layered with a rainbow of veggies in a tangy Pineapple BBQ Sauce.

Serve this yummy meal with an easy rice pilaf or even a simple summer salad for a great meal!

Four Grilled Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs

Perfect for Summer

Like most grilling recipes, kabobs are the perfect summer meal! Chicken and fresh veggies all beautifully stacked on a skewer and grilled until caramelized.

The possibilities are endless.  These Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs are delicious when you make them and perfect leftover and added to a salad for lunch the next day.

If you’re using wood skewers, be sure to give them a soak first so they don’t burn on the grill!

Or Winter….

Don’t have a grill or want to stand out in the snow? No problem, you can also make these kabobs in the oven!

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Place prepared kabobs on a foil lined pan.
  3. Bake 22-26 minutes or until chicken reaches 165°F.

Easy peasy!

A rainbow of veggies on pan for chicken kebabs

One of the very best things about summer is all of the fresh produce and I try to incorporate it into every meal. These Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs are loaded up with peppers, chicken and of course pineapple and are brushed with an easy to create Pineapple Honey BBQ sauce!

Delicious BBQ Sauce is Key

Having a delicious thick BBQ sauce is great to add that sticky caramelized finish we all love so much .

Combine KC Masterpiece® BBQ Sauce & Dry Rubs with ANY liquid to create a delicious sauce or marinade. I simply added pineapple juice to the mix… I often add it to homemade bbq sauce for a basting sauce too. This makes tender grilled kabobs with loads of sweet tangy pineapple flavor.

hawaiian chicken kabobs being brushed with marinade

Great for Marinades

Making a great chicken marinade is easy and delicious! Most marinades need a bit of acidity and in this case I use pineapple juice. Not only does this tenderize the meat (don’t worry, it’s just a bit, it won’t make the meat mushy) but it also adds flavor and the sugars in the juice help to caramelize the sauce!

If you haven’t seen these mixes yet, I’m kind of in love with them! Each box comes with two pouches of mix that can be combined with any liquid to create your own sauces and marinades…  think beer, cola, juice or root beer to create the perfect BBQ sauce for your summer grilling!

Grilled Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs with peppers

More Grilled Chicken Recipes

Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs

Grilled Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs. Tender juicy chicken layered with a rainbow of veggies in a tangy Pineapple Honey BBQ Sauce. The perfect quick & easy summer meal!

  • 4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup mushrooms (halved)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 1 cup diced pineapple
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 purple onion

Sauce

  • 1 package KC Masterpiece® BBQ Sauce & Dry Rub (Sweet Honey)
  • 1 3/4 cup pineapple juice (divided)

Sauce

  1. Combine 3/4 pineapple juice and 1 pouch KC Masterpiece® BBQ Sauce & Dry Rub. Set aside.

Skewers

  1. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces. In a large zipper bag combine 1 cup pineapple juice and 1 pouch KC Masterpiece® BBQ Sauce & Dry Rub and chicken. Marinate 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat grill to medium high.
  3. Thread chicken and vegetables onto skewers and brush with BBQ Sauce.
  4. Grill 12-16 minutes or until cooked through.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of KC Masterpiece® . The opinions and text are all mine.

Grilled Steak Fajitas

These Grilled Steak Fajitas are a delicious summer meal made easy on the barbecue. Flank steak is marinated in a savory fajita sauce and served with sautéed peppers and onions in soft tortillas.

Fresh, easy and delicious, these flank steak fajitas are a fun dinner any time of year!

Grilled flank steak fajitas on a board with toppings

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

Steak Fajitas are a great recipe to feed a crowd and loaded with flavor! They’re easy to make and fun to share with a collection of our favorite toppers like Homemade Salsa, sliced jalapenos and cheese!

Like many of you, I’m obsessed with spicy foods including toppers for fajitas (I could literally eat Queso Dip by the bucket full). Unfortunately, along with spicy foods (and summer grilling) comes heartburn. No fun for anyone. I’m not alone; Omeprazole ODT commissioned the “Prevent the Summer Burn” survey of 1,029 American heartburn sufferers and found that 42 percent categorize summer as the worst time for heartburn (and more than half of sufferers claim that outdoor barbecues worsens their heartburn).

I can assure you that I don’t let heartburn stop me from indulging in my summer favorites (like patio parties filled with barbecue ribs and of course steak fajitas)!

Always talk to your doctor or a licensed professional before taking a new medication.

We’re always on the go at this time of year. For me, the best part of summer is time spent having BBQs with our friends and neighbors (and drinking mojitos on the deck). Like 1/3 of sufferers, I find that heartburn can keep me from enjoying summer favorites (both foods and activities)! Being proactive and taking Omeprazole Orally Disintegrating Tablets (also referred to as ODT) daily helps keep heartburn at bay.

ODT can provide affordable relief to those of us that suffer from heartburn two or more days/week, and you can grab it at Walmart (or other retailers) while you’re grabbing your groceries! Find Omeprazole ODT at a retailer near you. If you’re like me, it’s not always easy to remember to take medication on time. Having tablets that can easily dissolve on the tongue means I can keep a stash in my purse and discreetly take them any time and any place (without water). Perfect for someone like me who is on the go all of the time!

Relief can come in as little as 24 hours. (It can take up to 1-4 days for full effect and is not for immediate relief). They’re so convenient, simply place the strawberry-flavored tablet on your tongue and let it dissolve (they’re the same small size shown on the box). Being able to take heartburn medication easily and discreetly makes summers easier and definitely more enjoyable… and allows me to enjoy my favorite summer foods like these steak fajitas!

Use Omeprazole ODT as directed for 14 days to treat frequent heartburn. Do not take it for more than 14 days or more frequently than every 4 months unless directed by a doctor.

Best Steak For Fajitas

The steak we use for beef fajitas is usually flank steak or skirt steak. I love skirt steak, however our store doesn’t always have it so I more commonly use flank steak.

Fajita Marinade

The key to making the best fajitas is leaving time for the beef to marinate. Not only does it add flavor, but the acidity of lime juice can help break down the proteins in the steak, resulting in tender fajita meat. We marinate at least 4 hours or up to 8 hours.

If you’re using a more tender cut of beef (such as ribeye) you’ll want to reduce your marinating time to about 30 minutes.

How To Make Steak Fajitas

To make these steak fajitas:

  1. Marinate: Marinate the flank steak in the fajita marinade ingredients for 4-8 hours.
  2. Grill: Grill steak to medium rare (135-140°F) or to desired temperature. Remember let the steak rest at least 10 minutes before slicing to keep it extra juicy (while you cook the peppers/onions).
  3. Saute: Saute the onions for a few minutes over medium heat. Add peppers and spices, then saute an additional 3-5 minutes or until they’re tender crisp

Once rested, it’s important to cut the flank steak across the grain. You will see the direction of long fibers running down the steak, you want to be sure to cut across the fibers to ensure tender meat.

Sliced flank steak with peppers, onions and tomatoes for making grilled fajitas

Toppings For Steak Fajitas

When making steak fajitas, we put out an array of toppings to enjoy and let everyone dress them up the way they like! Place your steak slices and a spoonful of peppers & onions in soft tortillas and top with desired toppings: .

More Recipes You’ll Love

Grilled Steak Fajitas

Tender steak slices are marinated in a savory fajita sauce and served with satueed peppers and onions in soft tortillas. 

Beef

  • 1 1/2 lbs flank steak (or skirt steak)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Vegetables

  • 1 white onion (sliced)
  • 1 green bell pepper (seeded & sliced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (seeded & sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

For Serving

  • 8 flour tortillas (8")
  • toppings as desired
  1. Combine beef, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Marinate at least 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Grill the steak 7-9 minutes. Flip over and cook an additional 5-7 minutes or to reach desired doneness. Rest 10 minutes before slicing.
  3. Drizzle onions and peppers with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and cumin.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil to a pan and add onions. Cook 3-4 minutes. Add sliced peppers and cook and additional 3-5 minutes or until tender crisp.
  5. Slice steak across the grain. Fill warmed tortillas with steak, peppers and desired toppings.

 

Taking Omeprazole ODT is simple, 1 dose every 24 hours for 14 days.  Do not take Omeprazole Orally Disintegrating Tablets for more than 14 days and do not exceed more than every four months unless directed to do so by your Physician.

I am excited to have partnered with Mirum to bring you this belly warming recipe.  While I was compensated for this post, all thoughts and opinions are my own.  Working with great brands I love allows me to keep bringing you the great recipes you love!
Beef fajitas just got an upgrade, with these easy authentic flank steak fajitas. We love serving these when it's time to bust out the grill, they couldn't be more delicious! #spendwithpennies #fajitas #steakfajitas #fajitasmarinade #easyfajitas #easysteakfajitas #skirtsteakfajitas
Beef fajitas just got an upgrade, with these easy authentic flank steak fajitas. We love serving these when it's time to bust out the grill, they couldn't be more delicious! #spendwithpennies #fajitas #steakfajitas #fajitasmarinade #easyfajitas #easysteakfajitas #skirtsteakfajitas

Grilled Potato Packets (only 3 ingredients)

Grilled Potatoes in foil are on of our all time favorite grilling recipes! Nothing’s easier than making grilled vegetables and these potato packets are no exception!

Simply combine sliced potatoes with onion, seasoning and butter for the perfect effortless side dish!

Grilled potato packet topped with sour cream and green onions.

How to Grill Potatoes in Foil

Grilled potatoes are easy to make and everyone absolutely loves them! The cook a bit quicker than making baked potatoes since they’re sliced before grilling. Grilled potatoes make a great complement to steaks, burgers, and grilled chicken breasts!

Make this potato foil packets in 3 easy steps!

  1. Slice potatoes about ¼” inch thick. If adding additional veggies, wash and slice them as well.
  2. Place one whole sliced potato and some sliced onions in the center of each foil square and top with butter and seasonings.
  3. Seal, grill and serve!

Sliced potatoes and onions on a cutting board with garlic, salt, and a pepper grinder.

Get Creative with Additions

Seasonings: Feel free to get creative with your favorite seasonings! Add a dash of spice, chili powder, garlic powder, or even your favorite steak seasonings!

Veggies: Anything and everything goes here! Add in garden veggies like sliced carrots or add in fresh mushrooms or chopped/sliced bell peppers.

Toppings: After cooking, top with sour cream, salsa, cheese, jalapeños and green onions! Foil potatoes can be topped with anything!

Potato packet prepped in foil with butter and onions.

How Long to Cook Grilled Potatoes

GRILL

To make grilled potatoes in foil, place packets directly on the grill rack and cook approximately 30 minutes turning occasionally until tender.

OVEN

No grill or is your grill full of BBQ Chicken? These foil potato packets can be baked in the oven at 350°F for 40-50 minutes or until cooked through.

FIRE

Roughing it and looking to make campfire-style foil packet potatoes? Place them directly onto some of the coals (not in the flames) and cook about 20-30 minutes or so turning occasionally.

You want them to cook but ensure they don’t burn (I sometimes add an icecube to the middle of the packet to help steam them). Carefully use tongs to remove packets from the coals.

Close up of a grilled potato packet with onion, topped with green onions and pepper.

More Grilled Side Dishes

Grilled Potatoes in Foil

Foil packets are a quick and easy way to prepare potatoes for the grill, oven or even the campfire!

  • 3 lbs potatoes (cut 1/4" slices)
  • 1 small onion (thinly)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • salt & pepper (to taste)

Optional Toppings

  • mushrooms
  • real bacon bits
  • cheese
  1. Place foil packets on the counter and spray with cooking spray.

  2. Wash and slice potatoes (and onions/mushrooms if using).

  3. Place potato slices (approx 1 potato per packet) and any optional toppings on each foil piece. Top with a generous pat of butter and salt/pepper to taste. Fold each packet closed.

  4. Grill over medium heat for 30 minutes or until soft.

Bake in the oven at 375°F for 40 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through.

Or cook over the campfire for about 20-30 minutes avoiding direct flames.

 

REPIN this Easy Potato Recipe

Potato Packets in foil garnished with sour cream and green onion

 

Make these potato packets on the grill, in the oven or over a campfire! With potatoes, onions and butter as the base you can customize this dish for any meal! Add cheese, or chicken for a full meal. #spendwithpennies #grilledpotatopackets #potatofoilpackets #grillingrecipes #campingrecipes #hobodinners
Make these potato packets on the grill, in the oven or over a campfire! With potatoes, onions and butter as the base you can customize this dish for any meal! Add cheese, or chicken for a full meal. #spendwithpennies #grilledpotatopackets #potatofoilpackets #grillingrecipes #campingrecipes #hobodinners

Grilled Chicken Fajitas (with lime marinade)

Grilled Chicken Fajitas are a summertime version of our favorite Chicken Fajita recipe! Tender juicy chicken breasts in a homemade fajita marinade are grilled to perfection and served along with bell peppers and onions.

Wrap these fajitas in soft tortillas and serve alongside Mexican rice or a fresh corn salad for the perfect summer meal!

A pan of grilled chicken fajitas with a spread of toppings ready to serve.

A Mexican Favorite

Everyone loves to see the server bring that sizzling pan of seasoned grilled chicken fajitas to the table, surrounded by strips of red and green bell peppers and onions.

These delicious chicken fajitas are made on the grill, so they’re quick and perfect for a busy weeknight or a hot summer evening!  (This recipe works great for beef or steak fajitas too)!  We load them up with cheese, sour cream, lettuce and jalapeños!

Fajita marinade poured over chicken for making a grilled chicken fajita recipe

How to Make Grilled Chicken Fajitas

These healthy chicken fajitas are seasoned with delicious fresh ingredients like cilantro, lime juice, garlic and cumin.

Fajita Marinade:  Whisk all the ingredients until smooth and add half to the chicken and half of the vegetables and marinate two hours (or longer). If you’d like to make extra, you can even freeze the chicken right in the marinade and once defrosted it can go straight to the grill!

Peppers: To make the peppers easy to grill, cut them into halves or quarters so you can handle them without having them slip through the grates.  Once they’re done, cut them into strips.

Onions: For the onion, I halve it and cut strips while leaving the root intact (almost how you’d cut a bloomin’ onion) and grill it that way.  It cooks through beautifully and there are no little pieces slipping through the grill.

Sliced grilled chicken fajitas with limes and jalapenos

To Grill Chicken Fajitas

  1. Preheat the grill to medium heat and cook the chicken on both sides about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add vegetables and grill until tender crisp.
  3. Slice the chicken, peppers and onions into strips and serve with your favorite toppings in tender tortillas.

Toppings for Chicken Fajitas

The toppings for chicken fajitas are endless! I try to add a combination of creamy, spicy, crunchy and colorful!

  • Creamy: cheese, sour cream/crema, avocado
  • Fresh: lettuce/cabbage, tomatoes, radish, cilantro
  • Spicy: salsa, jalapenos, pico de gallo
  • Flavorful: olives, green onions, lime wedges,

Serve this easy favorite with a great marinated corn salad or even something simple like chips and salsa or guacamole, just like they do at your favorite neighborhood Mexican restaurant! Ole!

More Mexican Favorites

Grilled Chicken Fajitas

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 2 bell peppers (halved)
  • 1 green bell pepper (halved)
  • 1 white onion (sliced (see note))

Marinade

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • salt & pepper to taste

For Serving

  • 8 6" flour or corn tortillas
  • toppings as desired
  1. Whisk all marinade ingredients until smooth.

  2. Pour 1/2 of the marinade over the chicken. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Pour remaining 1/2 of the marinade over the vegetables and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

  3. Preheat grill to medium heat. Cook chicken 7-8 minutes per side or until cooked through and chicken reaches 165°F. Add vegetables to the grill and cook just until tender crisp.

  4. Slice chicken and peppers.

  5. Warm tortillas according to package directions. Fill tortillas with chicken, grilled peppers and desired toppings.

For the onion, I cut strips while leaving the root intact and grill it that way.  

It cooks through beautifully and there are no little pieces slipping through the grill.Nutrition information includes chicken, vegetables and 1/3 of the marinade mixture.

REPIN this Delicious Recipe

Chicken fajitas fresh off the grill and surrounded by vibrant veggies!

More Recipes You’ll Love

* Grilled Chicken Cordon Bleu  * Easy Chicken Fajitas * Crockpot Chicken Tacos  *

Grilled Chicken Fajitas! A homemade fajita marinade makes deliciously tender chicken! These are served with grilled peppers & onions and loaded with your favorite toppings for a quick, healthy meal!
Grilled chicken fajitas are a delicious and easy barbecued chicken recipe. Red and green peppers and onions are all grilled until tender. Serve it all in a soft flour tortilla for the perfect summer dinner idea! #spendwithpennies #chickenfajitas #grilledchickenfajitas #grilledchicken #Mexican #fajitamarinade #fajitarecipe
Grilled chicken fajitas are a delicious and easy barbecued chicken recipe. Red and green peppers and onions are all grilled until tender. Serve it all in a soft flour tortilla for the perfect summer dinner idea! #spendwithpennies #chickenfajitas #grilledchickenfajitas #grilledchicken #Mexican #fajitamarinade #fajitarecipe

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes (in half the time)

Cheesy Scalloped potatoes are the perfect comfort food…  creamy, rich and cheesy; but they always take so long to cook! Not anymore! This recipe uses a method that will show you how to make this cheesy goodness in about half of the time of traditional scalloped potatoes recipe

My mom taught me an easy little trick that speeds up the cooking of the potatoes and has them ready on time every time!  If you just pop them in boiling water for just a few  minutes before you put this together, you will cut down your cooking time by as much as an hour, saving time for delicious main dishes like meatloaf or pork chops!

A close up of a spoon serving cheesy scalloped potatoes.

What Are Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped potatoes are a classic side dish made with thinly sliced potatoes layered and baked until hot and bubbly. A classic scalloped potato recipe doesn’t include cheese and is made with a roux (white sauce).

While similar to au gratin potatoes, there are some key differences:

  • Potatoes au gratin have a cheese sauce (instead of a white sauce), and are most often made with layers of onions and potatoes.
  • Classic scalloped potatoes don’t contain cheese sauce or cheese
  • Cheesy scalloped potatoes use a white sauce and are layered with cheese

A pot full of potato medallions surrounded by cheese and other cheesy scalloped potato ingredients.

How Do You Make Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped potatoes are easy to make and delicious but they can take a very long time to cook, not anymore!! In this quick recipe, I have a couple of tips to reduce the baking time from about 90 minutes to 45 minutes! 

Tips to reduce cooking time:

  • Potatoes: Boiling the sliced potatoes for a couple of minutes makes this recipe quick as the potatoes don’t have to cook as long and they’re already warm going into the oven.
  • Sauce: These cheesy scalloped have a quick and easy shortcut white sauce to save time (and effort). I use condensed cream of mushroom soup and layer with cheese and onions! If you’d prefer you can make your own Homemade Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup or use cream of chicken or cream of celery!

A collage of process shots of cheesy scalloped potatoes being layered and assembled.

To Make Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes:

  1. PREP:
    • Slice the potatoes (I use a mandoline slicer to make it quick) and drop the potatoes into boiling water for 5 minutes (this is a huge time saver).
    • Mix the white sauce ingredients together.
  2. LAYER:
    • Layer the sauce, potatoes and cheese in a 9×9 baking dish
    • Top with more cheese
  3. BAKE:
    • Bake the cheesy scalloped potatoes until golden and bubbly.

A serving dish full of cheesy scalloped potatoes fresh from the oven topped with pepper and parsley.

Can You Freeze Scalloped Potatoes

Potatoes can sometimes change texture when frozen, so scalloped potatoes taste best when made fresh. If you plan to freeze them, make sure you have already baked them first. Raw potatoes can still oxidize in the freezer, causing them to turn grey.

Cheesy scalloped potatoes should last up to a month in the freezer. The trick to ensuring they taste great is in the reheating, like most potato side dishes, we prefer to reheat in the oven with a little bit of fresh cheese added on top!

More Perfect Potato Sides

Easy Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

This scalloped potatoes recipe is quick and easy to put together yet tastes incredibly delicious!

  • 2 lbs yellow potatoes
  • 1 can cream of mushroom (chicken or celery soup)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 small onion (thinly sliced)
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Wash potatoes and slice 1/4″ thick (no need to peel). Drop into boiling water for 5 minutes. During the last minute, add sliced onions to the water. Drain.
  3. Meanwhile, combine soup, milk, pepper and garlic powder in a bowl. Microwave until hot.
  4. Put a little bit of the soup mixture in the bottom of a greased 2qt casserole dish, a 9×9 pan or an oven safe pan. Layer 1/2 of the potatoes, 1/2 of the soup mixture and 1/2 of the cheese. Repeat layers ending with cheese.
  5. Bake at 375 for 45-55 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

REPIN this Easy Side Dish

Scalloped Potato Casserole in a square white baking dish

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These easy cheesy scalloped potatoes are a delicious and easy potato side dish that makes classic scalloped potatoes even simpler! #spendwithpennies #scallopedpotatoes #potatoes #cheesyscallopedpotatoes #scalloped #cheesypotatoes #sidedish #easysidedish
These easy cheesy scalloped potatoes are a delicious and easy potato side dish that makes classic scalloped potatoes even simpler! #spendwithpennies #scallopedpotatoes #potatoes #cheesyscallopedpotatoes #scalloped #cheesypotatoes #sidedish #easysidedish

The Perfect Caramelized Onions

caramelized onions in pan

Caramelized Onions are easily one of the most deliciously-sweet and versatile things you can make. With just a few ingredients (onions, butter and olive oil) and a bit of time you can easily make perfectly sweet and golden onions!

They are the perfect addition to many dishes, and are often used as a base flavor for things like soups (and of course Slow Cooker French Onion Soup) and casseroles and of course perfect for topping Hamburgers

Close up photo of caramelized onions

Some of my favorite uses for caramelized onions include caramelized onion dip or caramelized onion pizza (with brie… and balsamic reduction so good right?!)! I find the sweetness from the onions pairs perfectly with a salty or meaty dish! They really take any dish from ordinary to extraordinary!

How to Caramelize Onions

When you make caramelized onions, they release their sugars which then caramelize, creating a sweet yet savory addition to many dishes such as burgers, steaks, or even your favorite soup recipes!

What kind of Onions to use for Caramelized Onions? I find sweet onions work the best but you can truly use any kind of onion to caramelize.

You can cook them on the stove top or in the slow cooker and both are equally delicious!

The real key to amazing caramelized onions is low and slow.  Just add some heat, some butter, and lots of time!

How Long do Caramelized Onions Take?

If you cook them in the crock pot, they’ll take about 8 hours. Literally just add the ingredients and walk away!  If you cook them on the stove top they cook much quicker but require attention and stirring.

So many recipes out there claim that you can create perfect caramelized onions in just a few minutes on a stovetop. I wish this was true, but good things take time and these onions are included!

Onions are full of sugars so cooking them at a high temp can cause them to burn. I have had the most success with cooking them about 40 -50 minutes. The slower you cook them down, the more uniform the caramelization process is. Set your burner to low and take your time.

How do you Caramelize Onions Quickly?

If you need to caramelize onions quickly, adding sugar or a pinch of baking soda (to raise the pH level and help them brown quicker) can help to speed up the caramelization process but truly they aren’t a dish that cooks up quickly. If using baking soda I’d suggest about 1/4 tsp per pound of raw onions.

Caramelized Onions in the slow cooker.

How to Caramelize Onions in the Slow Cooker

The slow cooker has the capability to make perfect caramelized onions without having to babysit a pan for an hour.

To make caramelized onions in the slow cooker, add the onions and butter to the slow cooker, set it to low, and cook for 8-12 hours!

It couldn’t be easier, and the result is a delicious and tender caramelized onion without the hassle of cooking them on a stovetop.

A frying pan filled with caramelized onions

How to Freeze Caramelized Onions

Caramelized onions are a favorite but take a long time to make right. For this reason, I always try to make extra.

The leftovers can be frozen to add flavor to a weeknight meal that will taste like it’s been cooking all day!

They’ll keep for 4-5 days in the fridge but can also be frozen to use in casseroles at a later date! The easiest way to freeze is to place in a freezer bag and press until flattened.  Once frozen, break off pieces and add them to your recipe directly!

I generally label them with the amount of raw onion that was cooked, this allows me to use them as a guide for recipes calling for caramelized onions!

A freezer bag filled with caramelized onions.

Add Caramelized Onions to:

Caramelized Onions

Sweet tender caramelized onions are the perfect addition to any dish and the perfect topper to any sandwich!

  • 6 large onions (approx. 2lbs, any kind (I prefer white onions))
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar (optional, see note)
  • salt to taste

OR SLOW COOKER CARAMELIZED ONIONS

  • 3 pounds onions (sliced)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

STOVE TOP

  1. In a large non-stick pan, cook onions, butter, olive oil and brown sugar over medium low heat.
  2. Stir frequently until golden and caramelized. (About 45 minutes).

SLOW COOKER

  1. Combine sliced onions, butter and salt (no brown sugar required).
  2. Stir, cover and cook on low 8-10 hours.

If you are using sweeter onions (red onions, Walla Walla, vidalia) you will likely not need the brown sugar as they contain enough natural sugars on their own. If using white onions (with yellow-ish papery skin) I would suggest adding brown sugar to help with the caramelization process.

Onions being caramelized in a frying pan.
Onions being caramelized in a frying pan.
Onions being caramelized in a frying pan

Zucchini Pancakes – Deliciously Different!

Zucchini Pancakes are the perfect way to enjoy the perfect vegetable, zucchini! Shredded zucchini is tossed with parmesan cheese, flour, and spices then fried into perfectly delicious bites.

Serve the these veggie pancakes with a dollop of sour cream or marinara sauce for the perfect healthy appetizer or side dish!

Moist zucchini pancakes topped with salsa and fresh parsley.

Zucchini Pancakes or Fritters

I love making all types of fritters and pancakes  from Salmon cakes to mashed potato cakes. These zucchini fritters have officially joined the team.

I usually think of fritters as a crisp deep fried item, almost like hush puppies. Zucchini has a lot of moisture giving these zucchini pancakes are a texture that is a cross between a pancake and a fritter; golden and crisp on the outside and soft and tender in the middle.

Zucchini is over 90% water so in these pancakes, I pre-cook the zucchini to remove the moisture and squeeze out any remaining moisture.  Many people salt the zucchini but I prefer the method of cooking the zucchini first (along with the white onion).

Delicious zucchini fritters covered in parsley.

How To Shred Zucchini

When you make zucchini pancakes, shredding the zucchini helps to keep it thin enough to shape them. I use the large side of a standard box cheese grater to shred zucchini.

You don’t need to worry about peeling zucchini before you shred it as the peel softens a ton when it is cooked. You will hardly notice it in your dish.

A stack of delicious zucchini pancakes topped with parsley.

How To Make Zucchini Pancakes

When we make zucchini pancakes, cook the shredded zucchini first to eliminate some of the water. This keeps the pancakes from becoming soggy and helps to hold them together while they cook.

Mix your ingredients and drop about 1 ½ tablespoons into the hot pan. Cook ‘em for about 5 minutes on each side or until you see a beautiful crispy and caramelized exterior!

Serve zucchini pancakes with an array of dipping sauces like pico de gallo, sour cream, hot sauce… there’s no wrong answer here!

More Zucchini Faves

Zucchini Pancakes

These zucchini pancakes are the perfect way to enjoy this colorful vegetable! Shredded zucchini is tossed with parmesan cheese, flour, and spices then fried into perfect zucchini pancakes. 

  • 2 large zucchini (or 3 small)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (shredded)
  1. Cook shredded zucchini in a non-stick pan until tender, about 5 minutes.  Cool and using cheesecloth or a tea towel, squeeze out as much moisture as possible.

  2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, seasonings, cheeses and bread crumbs. Add zucchini and egg.

  3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a frying pan over medium high. Drop zucchini mixture by large tablespoons into hot oil. Spread to 3″ circles.

  4. Fry about 3-4 minutes on each side flipping as needed.

  5. Serve warm with sour cream or tomato sauce.

REPIN this Delicious Recipe

Zucchini pancakes piled up on each other and topped with tomato sauce

 

These zucchini pancakes are one of my favorite snacks without all of the guilt! #spendwithpennies #zucchini #keto #snacks #zucchinipancakes #appetizer #easyappetizer #easyrecipe #easysnack
These zucchini pancakes are one of my favorite snacks without all of the guilt! #spendwithpennies #zucchini #keto #snacks #zucchinipancakes #appetizer #easyappetizer #easyrecipe #easysnack