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.

Roasted Vegetables With Smashed Garlic

Roasted Vegetables are the perfect fall staple for Friendsgiving and beyond! A mixture of our favorite vegetables are roasted until golden and caramelized. The veggies are tossed with tender roasted garlic cloves and a get a creamy flavor boost from an easy hummus vinaigrette.

This version of oven roasted vegetables is perfect served warm or room temperature meaning they can be made ahead for your feast while the rest of the meal is being prepped!

I am so excited to partner with Sabra and their delicious selection of Hummus. With Sabra, we are able to create a delicious hummus vinaigrette that’s perfect with any vegetables that need roasting!

How to Roast Vegetables

What veggies can be roasted? Almost anything goes;  bell peppers, onions, brussels sprouts, carrots, potatoes, and sweet potatoes to name a few!

What about frozen veggies? Sure, frozen vegetables can be roasted but they don’t caramelize as well as fresh. They’re already soft, so the cook time will be much less. Be sure to place the garlic in the oven early so it has time to get sweet and golden brown.

  • Cut Uniformly: Cut vegetables uniformly so they cook evenly. If you have quicker cooking veggies like bell peppers, they can be added part way through cooking so they don’t overcook.
  • Add Oil: A generous dose of oil keeps the veggies from sticking and allows them to caramelize.

Baking pan with raw chopped veggies, spices, and garlic.

  • High Temperature: Cooking at a high temperature allows the veggies to brown and caramelize meaning more flavor!
  • Add Flavor: Season the veggies before cooking but keep in mind that some herbs and minced garlic can burn at a high temperature. We’ve added a delicious Sabra hummus vinaigrette to these veggies for maximum yum!

  • Roasting Garlic makes it sweet and delicious! Place the garlic cloves in a small packet in a single layer, add olive oil and seal well. If time allows, place them in the oven about 15 minutes before the rest of the veggies.

To Make the Hummus Drizzle

The star of this recipe is the vinaigrette dressing, it has tons of flavor and adds a creamy element to the dish. Sabra Hummus is of course great for dipping and even hummus toast but it creates an amazing vinaigrette too (I used classic flavor, feel free to swap up the flavors)!

This hummus vinaigrette drizzle is a delight over any assortment of roasted root vegetables! Make a little extra to use over salads or for dipping!

 

 

Friendsgiving Tips

Friendsgiving is a time for celebration of great friends and great food!

  • Plan in advance so everyone has a chance to save the date
  • If you’re hosting, it’s a good idea to prepare the main dish as you’ll have access to the oven
  • If you’re a guest, be mindful that the oven may be full, a dish like these roasted veggies is great because it can be made ahead of time.
  • Choose a dish that can be served warm or kept warm in the slow cooker (or even served at room temperature like this one)
  • Keep appetizers light and fresh (like fresh veggies and hummus for dipping) so your hungry guests don’t fill up before the main event.
  • Visit Sabra on Pinterest for more Friendsgiving ideas!

How to Store the Leftovers

These reheat beautifully and taste delicious! Store leftover roasted vegetables in the fridge in a sealed container and they should last about a week. To refresh them simply add a little extra dressing and pop them in the microwave

More Delicious Roasted Sides

Roasted Vegetables with Smashed Garlic

  • 8 cups vegetables (including any of the following parsnips, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, onions, carrots, turnips, bell peppers, baby potatoes)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 1 tablespoon parsley (or rosemary)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 10 cloves garlic (peeled)

Hummus Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup Sabra Hummus (classic flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoons honey
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. Mix vinaigrette ingredients and refrigerate.

  3. Toss garlic with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Wrap garlic cloves in a single layer of foil.

  4. Toss vegetables with remaining olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper. Place vegetables and garlic wrapped foil on a parchment lined pan.

  5. Roast vegetables 45-60 minutes or until tender and garlic is soft, golden, and sweet.

  6. Slightly smash garlic with a fork, toss with hot vegetables and drizzle with hummus vinaigrette. Toss if desired and serve immediately.

If adding quicker cooking vegetables such as bell peppers, they can be added in after 30 minutes.

Hummus vinaigrette can be prepared and served over the warm roasted vegetables or it can all be tossed together. 

This dish is great served at room temperature.

Roasted Vegetables with a fork smashing a roasted garlic clove.
Roasted Vegetables with a fork smashing a roasted garlic clove.
Top photo - Roasted Vegetables with a fork smashing a roasted garlic clove. Bottom photo - vegetables cleaned and chopped, ready for roasting.

Easy Broccoli Rice Casserole

Broccoli Rice Casserole from Scratch!! This delicious side is easy to make.. and if you add chicken or ham it makes a great main dish!

This Broccoli Rice Casserole recipe is made from scratch with no condensed soup! Fresh broccoli cooked until tender crisp and fluffy rice come together in a creamy cheesy homemade sauce to create a family favorite side dish!

This cheesy broccoli rice casserole is great served alongside our Crispy Baked Chicken with a tossed salad for the perfect easy meal!

Broccoli Rice Casserole baked with cheese on top

If you’re looking for a side dish your whole family is going to love, this broccoli rice casserole is the answer!  I’ve combined my favorite velvety cheese sauce with a combination of broccoli & rice and baked it until bubbly.  The result is a side (or a quick meatless meal that my whole family loves)!

How Do You Make Broccoli Rice Casserole?

Don’t let the homemade sauce scare you away from giving this recipe a try, this from scratch cheese sauce tastes amazing (much better than just adding in a can of soup)!

Creamy cheese sauce ingredients in a sauce pan.

  1. The sauce for this recipe starts with a roux (which is just butter and flour cooked and milk added). Let the butter and flour cook for a few minutes before adding milk for the best flavor.
  2. Slowly stir in milk a bit at a time while whisking and cook until thick and bubbly. Add cheeses and stir until melted and creamy.
  3. Toss cheese sauce with broccoli and rice and bake in a casserole dish.

Broccoli Rice Casserole ingredients in a bowl.

Variations on Broccoli Rice Casserole

  • Lighten it up: To lighten this up a little bit you can use light cheese and lowfat milk with great results. We’ve also subbed in brown rice or quinoa (or even Cauliflower Rice) with amazing results.
  • Add protein: We very often add in chicken to make a chicken and rice casserole (the perfect way to enjoy your leftover baked chicken breasts).  Turkey or ham work great too.
  • Swap the Cheeses: Out of cheddar?  Use swiss, monterey jack or whatever you have on hand.
  • Add veggies: Add in cauliflower or whatever other veggies you have on hand to turn it from a side into a whole meal!

Two images showing the broccoli rice casserole before and after being baked.

Serving Suggestions

Broccoli Rice Casserole is great as an entrée for vegetarians, but if you are a meat-eater, it goes perfectly with any kind of protein! It’s a perfect complement to roasted chicken, pork chops, or even a beef roast!

Add a crunchy, cold salad, some dinner rolls with butter!

Cheesy Dishes You’ll Love

Broccoli Rice Casserole from Scratch

This Broccoli Rice Casserole is made from scratch (and contains no condensed soup). Fresh crisp broccoli and fluffy rice come together in a creamy cheesy homemade sauce to create a family favorite side dish!

  • 6 cups fresh broccoli cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cups cooked white rice

SAUCE

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup onion (diced (about 1 small))
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon each garlic & black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (divided)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Cook onion and butter on medium-low heat until softened and translucent. Stir in flour, garlic powder and pepper. Cook an additional 2 minutes.
  3. Gradually pour in milk while whisking. Continue whisking over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and add dry mustard, paprika, cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese. Stir until melted.
  4. Place broccoli in boiling water for about 2 minutes. You still want it slightly crisp as it cooks more in the oven.
  5. Stir together rice, broccoli and cheese sauce. Place in a greased 2 qt casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese and bake 35 minutes or until bubbly and cheese lightly browned.

Top image - close up of broccoli rice casserole. Bottom image - broccoli rice casserole before being baked.>/div>

Close up of broccoli rice casserole.
Close up of broccoli rice casserole.

Homemade Sweet and Sour Pork

Sweet and Sour Pork reinvents one of our favorite Chinese takeout classics into an easy at-home dinner that the whole family will love.

We’ve loaded it up with extra veggies and created a quick homemade sweet and sour sauce with the perfect balance between sweet and savory. Serve this easy pork stir fry over rice for the perfect takeout-inspired meal!

A bowl of sweet and sour pork with rice topped with green onions

Better Than Takeout at Home

Gone are the days of needing to order deep fried, sugar-laden takeout! I find more and more take out is way too sweet, with limp vegetables (and most of the dishes taste almost the same, just sugary).

Making this easy dish as home is so much better, the veggies are tender crisp, the pork is deliciously tender.

Of course sweet and sour pork has a sweet sauce but this homemade version has just the right amount and is perfectly balanced with a splash of vinegar and lots of flavor from fresh ginger and garlic.

Sweet and sour pork in a pan with sesame seeds and green onions.

Add In Extra Veggies

I’ve upped the veggies in this recipe, adding loads of sweet peppers. While I stick to simple peppers, onions and pineapple, you can add in your favorites from bok choy or broccoli to mushrooms or carrots.

To up the veggies even more, skip the rice and serve this sweet and sour pork over some cauliflower fried rice or zucchini noodles.

How To Make Sweet and Sour Pork

To make sweet and sour pork:

  1. Marinate the pork pieces while prepping the veggies
  2. Sear the pork until crisp.
  3. Cook the garlic, ginger, and peppers. Add pork and sauce.
  4. Stir until bubbly and thickened.

While the pork is marinating, prep all of the ingredients and stir together the sauce mixture. Once you begin cooking, it won’t take you long to have this sweet and sour pork on the table!

A pan of sweet and sour pork ready to serve over rice.

More Take Out at Home

Sweet and Sour Pork

This sweet and sour pork recipe combines takes a classic takeout dish and reinvents it as a healthy, at-home dinner that the whole family will love.

  • 1 lb pork tenderloin
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 each green, red and yellow or orange bell pepper (diced, about 4 cups)
  • 8 oz pineapple in juice (canned, juice reserved for sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 large clove garlic (minced)
  • 3 green onions (sliced and greens/whites divided)

Sauce

  • 1 cup chicken broth (low sodium)
  • 1/2 cup reserved pineapple juice
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  1. Trim pork of any fat and cut into 1″ cubes. Combine with egg and soy sauce and allow to marinate 20 minutes while preparing the remaining ingredients.

  2. Combine all sauce ingredients and mix well. Set aside.
  3. Remove pork from marinade (remove any excess marinade) and gently toss with flour and cornstarch. 

  4. Heat oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium high heat. Add pork and cook without stirring 3 minutes on one side or until a crust forms. Continuing cooking just until pork is cooked through but still slightly pink, about 3 more minutes.
  5. Remove pork from pan and set aside. Add garlic, ginger and the whites of the onions (add more oil if needed). Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  6. Stir in peppers and cook until tender crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Stir sauce and add to peppers, cook until thick and bubbly while stirring, about 2 minutes.
  7. Add pork and pineapple and simmer 1 minute more.
  8. Serve over rice.

A bowl of sweet and sour pork with rice topped with green onions
A bowl of sweet and sour pork with rice topped with green onions
Top photo - A pan of sweet and sour pork ready to serve over rice. Bottom photo - A bowl of sweet and sour pork with rice topped with green onions

Easy Chicken Fajitas (30 Minute Meal)

Easy Chicken Fajitas are one of our all time favorite dinners. Tender juicy chicken breasts, fresh crisp peppers and sweet onions tossed in an easy homemade seasoning and piled high in tortillas.

Top these easy fajitas with cheese, sour cream, lettuce guacamole, and Pico de Gallo!

Chicken fajita filling in a frying pan.

We love fajitas in our house!  Not only are they delicious and healthy, they’re one of my all time favorite Mexican foods!

These Easy Chicken Fajitas are the perfect weeknight meal because they’re on the table in about 20 minutes start to finish!  I used a combination of red and yellow peppers and have also added in a sliced poblano pepper if I have it on hand!

A Healthy Meal

Are Fajitas Healthy? Yes, as written, these Chicken Fajitas are healthy.  The fajita filling in this recipe is definitely healthy, lean chicken, fresh peppers and homemade seasonings with a dash of olive oil.  I personally love to serve these with corn tortillas since I love the flavor.

I often top them with low fat cheese and even Greek yogurt in place of sour cream.  Load them up with crisp lettuce and juicy ripe tomatoes too and fresh jalapenos!

How Do I Season Chicken for Fajitas?

These chicken fajitas are flavored with an easy homemade fajita seasoning.  While you can purchase fajita seasoning packets, I find combining my own spices not only adds more flavor but has less salt and additives.

In a pinch you could use taco seasoning (but add a little bit of extra ground cumin if you have it on hand).

Marinade: I add a bit of olive oil and some lime juice to create a chicken fajita  marinade. Starting with the chicken, I allow it to sit in the  marinade while I prep the rest of the ingredients.

Overview of raw chicken fajitas ingredients.

How to Make Chicken Fajitas

This chicken fajita recipe is a total breeze to make!  The chicken is flavorful and juicy while the peppers are perfectly tender crisp! You can have delicious chicken fajitas on the table in just 20 minutes, including prep!

  1. Mix seasoning blend.
  2. Cut veggies and chicken.
  3. Cook chicken in olive oil in a pan, add veggies. (You can make fajitas on the grill if you prefer).
  4. Fill your tortilla shells with your favorite toppings!

Be sure you don’t overcrowd the pan with your chicken or it won’t brown nicely (I do two smaller batches).

I usually soak the onions in cold water while I prep the rest of the ingredients to take a bit of the “bite” out of them for my kids.  This step is optional of course!

Overview of cooked chicken fajitas ingredients

My Favorite Fajita Toppings

We top ours with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, Homemade Salsa and sour cream…  but you can get creative with the toppings making it a fun family meal!  Olives, shredded veggies such as carrots or cabbage, guacamole or avocados, they all making amazing toppings!

We serve this with a side of  Spanish RiceCrock Pot Corn on the Cob and our favorite Mango Margaritas for a perfect meal!

More Delicious Fajita Recipes

Easy Chicken Fajitas

These Easy Chicken Fajitas are the perfect weeknight meal because they’re on the table in about 20 minutes start to finish!

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 lime
  • 3 bell peppers (, red, yellow, green or orange)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (, divided)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • salt to taste
  1. Cut onion into slivers & slice peppers.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, juice of 1/2 lime, chili powder, paprika, onion powder, pepper, cumin and salt. Cut chicken into strips and toss with the spice mixture.
  3. Preheat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high. Add 1/2 of the chicken and cook until just cooked, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  4. Set chicken aside and add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Drain onions well and cook 2 minutes. Add in sliced peppers and cook an additional 2 minutes or just until hot. Add chicken back to the pan and stir to combine.
  5. Squeeze additional lime overtop and serve over tortillas.

Optional: If I am serving these to kids, I find soaking the onions in cold water for a bit takes a bit of the “bite” out of them.

Chicken fajitas in a pan with tortillas and lime.

 

Easy Chicken Fajitas in a skillet with tortillas on the side.
Easy Chicken Fajitas in a skillet with tortillas on the side.
Top photo - Easy Chicken Fajitas in a skillet with tortillas on the side. Bottom photo - sliced chicken in a bowl with seasoning and sliced peppers on the side.

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