Potatoes Au Gratin

Potatoes Au Gratin are a dinnertime staple around here! Tender potato and onion slices smothered in a quick cheesy sauce and baked until golden.

Au Gratin Potatoes is a family favorite recipe in my home! This side comes together easily and creates a cheesy and creamy dish that is unbelievably yummy!

Potatoes Au Gratin in a casserole dish.

I love cheese! It is no secret that I can’t resist it! Even better when it’s smothering my fave potatoes!  This is the perfect dish to serve next to a perfectly cooked pork tenderloin or even with a delicious Easter Ham!

Potatoes Au Gratin satisfy my need for creamy, cheesy goodness and creates a side dish that your entire family will love! The recipe comes together very easily!

  • Thinly slice potatoes and onions (I use a simple inexpensive mandoline, it’s under $20 and saves tons of time).
  • Stack the potatoes in little piles and then stand them upright in your casserole dish (instead of laying them flat like a traditional gratin). This is easy to do and makes this potatoes au gratin beautiful! It adds both extra texture and flavor with the crispy edges on the potatoes (and who doesn’t love the crispy yummy cheesy bits)!!
  • A simple and silky homemade cheese sauce loaded with flavor smothers these potatoes.
  • Bake these Potatoes Au Gratin for about 90 minutes.

While we most often eat these as a side, I sometimes make Potatoes Au Gratin with ham by including slices or diced leftover ham (from our favorite Crock Pot Ham) before baking.

Potatoes Au Gratin served out of the casserole dish.

I’ve tested countless varieties to figure out what is the best cheese for potatoes au gratin… and they are cheeses that have lots of flavor.  You’ll want to select varieties with a sharper flavor such as a sharp cheddar or gruyere (or swiss) or even sprinkle in some feta.  The gruyere cheese I use adds a rich flavor to the Au Gratin Potatoes that truly cannot be matched; if you can get it, I highly recommend that you do! If gruyere isn’t available a mild provolone or swiss can be substituted for a similar flavor!

If you’re a little short on time, set the potatoes and onions in the dish as directed and cover with plastic wrap.  Microwave on full power for about 10 minutes (be careful, it will be hot when removing the plastic wrap).  Add the cheese sauce and bake as directed below for about 45-55 minutes.  Equally delicious… just a little bit quicker!

Au Gratin Potatoes assembled and cheese sauce being poured over it.

You may be wondering, What is the difference between scalloped potatoes and au gratin potatoes? They’re both very similar containing potatoes (and often onions) baked until tender in a creamy sauce. Au Gratin is defined as covered with breadcrumbs or cheese where as according to the dictionary, scalloped refers to “bake with milk or a sauce”.  In the case of this recipe, the difference is the cheese within the sauce. Truthfully, I think the term scalloped potatoes is often still used if there is cheese within the dish!

More Amazing Potato Dishes You’ll Love

Au Gratin Potatoes

Potatoes are a dinnertime staple for good reason! They are versatile and there are so many ways to prepare them! Au Gratin Potatoes is a family favorite recipe in my home! This side comes together easily and creates a cheesy and creamy dish that is unbelievably yummy!

  • 2.5 lbs red potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup gruyere cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Wash potatoes and slice into 1/8′ thin slices. Slice onion as thin as possible.
  3. Layer potatoes and onions in little stacks. Place stacks upright in a greased casserole dish.
  4. Melt butter & flour in a sauce pan and cook 2-3 minutes. Add seasonings and milk. Whisk over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in cheeses until melted.
  5. Spoon cheese sauce over potatoes. Cover with foil (sprayed with cooking spray) and bake 60 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 20-30 minutes or until lightly browned and potatoes are cooked.

To reduce baking time, wrap casserole dish in plastic wrap before adding the cheese sauce and microwave on full power for about 10 minutes (be careful, it will be hot when removing the plastic wrap). Add the cheese sauce and bake as directed below for about 45-55 minutes. Equally delicious… just a little bit quicker!

Repin this Delicious Casserole

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Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

 

 

A bowl of mashed potatoes with a wooden spoon.

No Boil Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

Slow Cooker with whipped mashed potatoes and parsley

Twice Baked Potatoes

Potatoes Au Gratin is easy to make and is one of my favorite side dishes. This cheesy potato casserole has layers of thin potatoes with a quick homemade cheese sauce and is baked until browned and bubbly! Pretty enough for guests, easy enough for any day of the week! #spendwithpennies #casserole #augratin #cheese #potato #sidedish #potatocasserole
Potatoes Au Gratin is easy to make and is one of my favorite side dishes. This cheesy potato casserole has layers of thin potatoes with a quick homemade cheese sauce and is baked until browned and bubbly! Pretty enough for guests, easy enough for any day of the week!#spendwithpennies #casserole #augratin #cheese #potato #sidedish #potatocasserole

Sausage Stuffing

Sausage Stuffing is the perfect side dish for any holiday spread. Celery, onions, fresh herbs, and seasoned pork sausage are tossed with bread and broth and baked until golden. 

This easy sausage stuffing recipe is full of flavor and perfect served with Turkey, Mashed Potatoes and Cranberry Sauce!

Baked Sausage stuffing - an easy dressing recipe for Thanksgiving.

Sausage Stuffing

Thanksgiving is always a big family holiday for us! Since I often host a large crowd, I love dishes that I can prep ahead of time (and that everyone raves about)!

As much as I love turkey, I have to admit the thing I love most are the side dishes! From Sweet Potato Casserole to Classic Green Bean Casserole (and of course corn casserole) I could skip the turkey and just have a spread of sides. My absolute favorite side dish is always – stuffing

traditional stuffing recipe has been my go to (and don’t get me wrong, I do love a classic dressing) but this sausage stuffing recipe is next level. Between the juicy chunks of seasoned sausage and fresh herbs this is definitely my new holiday must have! The juices from the sausage add great flavor to the dressing and of course fresh herbs make everything better!

A bowl of dry stuffing ingredients to make the best sausage stuffing of all time!

How To Make Sausage Stuffing

Thanksgiving dressing (or stuffing) with sausage is delicious and flavorful! Made with fried sausage, celery, onion, seasoned with poultry seasoning and fresh herbs.

  1. Tear/slice bread cubes and allow to dry overnight.
  2. Brown sausage and set aside. Cook celery and onions.
  3. Toss all ingredients with broth until moist.
  4. Bake (or cool completely and stuff your turkey).

To save time (and space) on the big day, I like to prep my stuffing up to 24 hours in advance and storing it in the fridge. Then, I can just pop it in the oven when it’s time (you may need to add a few extra minutes bake time if it’s chilled from the fridge)!

A pan of sausage, celery and onions ready prepared to make perfect sausage stuffing.

How to Stuff a Turkey

I love to cook sausage stuffing a casserole dish in the oven but of course it’s fabulous stuffed inside of a turkey too! You’ll need approximately 1/2 cup of stuffing per pound of turkey.

Stuffing Food Safety Tips

  • Stuffing recipe should be completely cooled
  • Do not add raw ingredients to stuffing (like eggs or raw oysters)
  • Stuff turkey before cooking (do not stuff ahead of time)
  • Place stuffing gently in the bird, do not pack it in
  • Centre of stuffing must reach 165°F
  • Extra stuffing can be baked in a casserole dish about 25 minutes (or until reaches 165°F)

Baked Sausage Stuffing from our favorite stuffing recipe

Tips for Great Sausage Stuffing

Stuffing is easy to make but the consistency and flavor can vary based on your ingredients and even the type of bread you choose!

  • Bread
    • Any kind of bread will work.
    • Dry cubed bread on the counter for a day or two or bake at 250°F for 10-15 minutes (do not brown)
    • Replace half of the bread with cornbread for a flavorful option
  • Sausage
    • Any kind of ground sausage will work (Italian/turkey/breakfast)
    • Cool sausage completely before adding if making this ahead of time
    • Cook the celery and onions in the sausage fat for extra flavor
  • Broth
    • Homemade or store bought broth or stock can be used
    • If using store bought, I use boxed ready to use works well
    • The amount of broth needed for stuffing can vary greatly based on the type of bread you use and how dry it is. Eg. dried bread cubes from the store will require much more broth than cubes left on the counter overnight.
    • Sausage and any add-ins (see below) will also add moisture so ensure your stuffing isn’t soggy.
  • Add-Ins
    • Add a handful of any of the following for a festive twist on your holiday stuffing
      • chopped pecans or walnuts
      • dried or fresh cranberries, dried fruit (apricots, raisins, cherries)
      • diced apples, cooked & cooled veggies (mushrooms, butternut squash)
      • cooked wild rice

More Turkey Dinner Sides You’ll Love

 

Sausage Stuffing

This sausage stuffing recipe is the perfect side dish for any holiday spread.

  • 1 pound ground sausage
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • 1 cup celery (diced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • salt (to taste)
  • 8 cups dried bread cubes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, rosemary and/or sage)
  • 2-3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup butter (melted)
  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F

  2. Brown sausage until no pink remains. Remove from skillet reserving drippings.

  3. Add 1 tablespoon butter to the skillet. Add onion, celery and poultry seasoning and cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes.

  4. In a large mixing bowl, add dried bread cubes, cooled sausage, onions and celery, fresh herbs. Toss to combine.

  5. Add broth a little bit at a time while stirring to combine *see note. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  6. Place in a 2.5qt casserole dish and drizzle with 1/4 cup melted butter.

  7. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden.

The amount of broth will vary based on type of bread used.

Add broth to soften the bread (you don’t want it mushy). Allow a bit of time for bread to soak up broth between additions if your bread is very dry. 

Grape Jelly Meatballs (Cocktail Meatballs)

This is one of my favorite meatball recipes! Perfect as an appetizer and delicious as a meal over rice!

Grape Jelly Meatballs are a favorite from way back when I was young! We have served these easy cocktail meatballs at every party and gathering for as long as I can remember!

Tender juicy meatballs simmered in a quick two ingredient sweet and sour sauce made with grape jelly. These will be the first thing gone and nobody will ever believe what is in them!

Easy Cocktail Meatballs in a white bowl

Grape Jelly Meatballs

While we make my favorite easy Meatball Recipe with pasta for dinner often and even have a dinnertime Sweet and Sour Meatball recipe, these are a party go-to for us!

Every single time I bring these cocktail meatballs to a party, they are gone immediately and I always get requests for the recipe.

How to Make Meatballs with Grape Jelly

The easy sauce for these Grape Jelly Meatballs needs just two ingredients: ketchup and grape jelly. Combining these two ingredients, as strange as it may sound, makes an easy sweet and sour sauce and is perfect for simmering meatballs or even cocktail smokies.

You can use homemade meatballs (which is my preference) or use frozen if you’re in a hurry!

These work perfectly in the Crockpot too!  Bake the meatballs as directed (or just add them frozen if you’re not making homemade) and place the sauce ingredients in the slow cooker.  Add meatballs to the sauce and let heat through on high for at least 1-2 hours before serving (a bit longer if using frozen). Once heated through meatballs can be left on low for serving.

Easy 3 Ingredient Cocktail Meatballs! These delicious appetizer meatballs can be made 3 different ways and cooked on the stove top or in the slow cooker. Ketchup and Grape Jelly makes the best ever sauce!

More Sauces You’ll Love

While I most often use grape jelly and ketchup for the meatball glaze, you can swap the ingredients based on your favorites or what you have on hand you just need one sweet item and one zesty! Swap out the grape jelly for apricot preserves, cranberry sauce, apple jelly etc. and you can swap out the ketchup for chili sauce or barbecue sauce!

  • Meatball Sauce #1 (my favorite) – 3/4 cup grape jelly & 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • Meatball Sauce #2 – 10 oz apricot preserves & 2/3 cup barbecue sauce
  • Meatball Sauce #3 – 14 oz jellied cranberry sauce & 12 oz chili sauce

These are amazing as an appetizer or even served over rice for a weeknight meal that your kids will love!

More Easy Appetizers You’ll Love

Grape Jelly Meatballs

Easy Cocktail Meatballs are a delicious appetizer that can be cooked on the stove top or in the slow cooker. Ketchup and Grape Jelly makes the best ever sauce!

Meatballs

  • 2 lbs frozen meatballs
  • OR
  • 2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 small onion (, very finely diced)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 3/4 cup grape jelly
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together all meatball ingredients just until combined. Form into 1″ meatballs. Bake for 18-20 minutes (or bake frozen meatballs according to package directions).
  3. Combine sauce ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until preserves/jelly melts. Allow to come to a boil for 1 minute. Toss with meatballs and allow to simmer on low 10-15 minutes.

Other sauce options for meatballs:

  • 10 oz apricot preserves & 2/3 cup barbecue sauce
  • 14 oz jellied cranberry sauce & 12 oz chili sauce

 

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Cranberry Feta Pinwheels

Jalapeno Popper Dip

Jalapeno Popper Dip is my go to party appetizer. Rich cream cheese, spicy diced jalapenos and sharp cheddar are topped with crispy Panko bread crumbs and baked until warm and gooey. The result is the most incredible dip, reminiscent of the appetizer we all love so much!

Beef Enchilada Dip

Beef Enchilada Dip - All the fixings of Enchiladas, in a hot bubbly dip!

 

Easy 3 Ingredient Cocktail Meatballs! These delicious appetizer meatballs can be made 3 different ways and cooked on the stove top or in the slow cooker. Ketchup and Grape Jelly makes the best ever sauce!
Easy 3 Ingredient Cocktail Meatballs! These delicious appetizer meatballs can be made 3 different ways and cooked on the stove top or in the slow cooker. Ketchup and Grape Jelly makes the best ever sauce!

Zuppa Toscana

Zuppa Toscana! A delicious combination of potatoes, sausage and bacon in a light and creamy broth. While this is a soup I frequently order from my favorite Italian restaurant, the great news is that Zuppa Toscana is really easy to make at home!

Serve this classic Italian soup recipe with homemade dinner rolls or easy garlic crescents for a delicious meal!

How to make Zuppa Toscana quickly and easily at home

Zuppa Toscana

What is Zuppa Toscana Zuppa Toscana simply put is a Tuscan style soup. This hearty Italian soup recipe has potatoes, sausage and bacon in a light, creamy broth. It is delicious and if you’ve ever been to Olive Garden, there’s a good chance you’ve enjoyed their Zuppa Toscana! !

I love to add in bacon (because everything is better with bacon) and sometimes add a can of cannellini beans as well (along with the potatoes).

How to Make Zuppa Toscana

Zuppa Toscana often uses kale but I personally prefer the light flavor of spinach so this recipe contains spinach.  If you would rather use kale, add it in along with the chicken broth so it has time to soften.

To cut the potatoes into cubes I used my favorite kitchen chopper and was able to do 4 potatoes in about 30 seconds.  (I used it for the onions too.  It’s one thing I can’t live without in my kitchen, mine is the Vidalia Chop Wizard brand).

Stove Top Zuppa Toscana

  1. Brown sausage and onions. Fry bacon.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients and simmer until potatoes are soft.
  3. Stir in cream and spinach just before serving.

It’s really easy to make and perfect to serve with some homemade bread or Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits.

two bowls of Zuppa Toscana ready to eat

How to Make Crockpot Zuppa Toscana

This easy soup doesn’t take long to prep on the stove however sometimes it’s nice to come home to a meal ready to go after a long day of work! I love to use my slow cooker for soups and stews because it allows the flavors to blend and it’s so easy!

To make Zuppa Toscana in the Slow Cooker

  1. Brown sausage and onion as directed.  Cook bacon.
  2. Add all ingredients except cream and spinach/kale to the slow cooker.
  3. Cook on high about 3-4 hours (or on low 6-7 hours) or until potatoes are tender.
  4. Heat cream and stir in cream and spinach. Cook an additional 20-30 minutes.

Homemade Zuppa Toscana ingredients in a bowl

If you’d like to lighten this soup up a little bit, you can use turkey sausage in place of the pork sausage and reduce the amount of bacon (be sure to drain it very well) or use turkey bacon.

While I love the buttery flavor the heavy cream adds, evaporated milk can be used in place of cream in this recipe.

More Creamy Soups You’ll Love

Zuppa Toscana

Zuppa Toscana is an easy Italian soup with a rich creamy broth filled with sausage, potatoes and greens.

Follow Spend With Pennies on Pinterestfor more great recipes!

  • 1 large onion (, diced)
  • 1 lb Italian sausage ((mild))
  • 6 slices bacon (, diced)
  • 4 cups diced potatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red peppers ((optional))
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups torn & gently packed fresh spinach
  • pepper to taste
  1. In a large pot cook sausage and onion until no pink remains. Drain and set aside.

  2. Cook bacon over medium heat until most of the fat has been rendered out and drain. 

  3. Add in potatoes, garlic, chicken broth, crushed peppers (if using) and sausage. Bring to a boil.

  4. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 12-14 minutes or until potatoes are softened.
  5. Stir in heavy cream and let boil 1 minute. Remove from heat, stir in spinach.

  6. Garnish with additional bacon if desired.

If using kale in place of spinach, add along with the chicken broth as it takes longer to cook.

Zuppa Toscana is quick and easy to make at home and delicious! Loaded with sausage, potatoes and bacon, this is definitely a crowd pleaser!

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Easy Lentil Soup

This 5 ingredient lentil soup is as easy to make as it is delicious. Lentils are simmered in a rich bone broth with onions, peppers, and tomatoes. It’s comfort food without the work. Serve lentil soup with some homemade dinner rolls for an easy meal that the whole family will love!

I am so excited to partner with Walmart and Imagine® to create an easy and flavorful soup that will keep you happy and warm as the weather cools down.

Having a go-to lentil soup recipe is important. So many lentil soup recipes require a ton of ingredients and time; but not this one, this recipe is seriously simple. You can find all of the ingredients you need at your local Walmart and have this delicious soup on the table in just 30 minutes. What is easier than that?

Imagine® Chicken Bone Broth provides a delicious base for this lentil soup recipe. Their bone broth is rich and flavorful, and since this is the base of the whole soup, it is a definite must if you’re making lentil soup. You can find Imagine® broth at a Walmart and other retail locations!

You will find a lentil soup recipe in just about every culture. Moroccan lentil soup, French lentil soup, Indian lentil soup… the list goes on. It is one of the most versatile dishes you can make. You can add sausage, leftover chicken, curry, veggies… you name it! I find that this classic version is the best lentil soup out there.

Using great ingredients is the best way to make a great soup! Imagine® Chicken Bone Broth is a sipping broth full of good protein and it has a rich flavor with sea salt, a little ground pepper and crushed garlic. Adding in seasoned tomatoes and frozen peppers and onions adds a lot of flavor (without a lot of work)!! And of course, Lentils are amazing to use in soups because you don’t need to forge ahead and plan to pre-soak them. You can just add them to the soup, let it simmer and you’re good to go!

Imagine® is Ingredient Proud of all of their products. Made with non-GMO ingredients and no added MSG, each Imagine® product is USDA Organic, Gluten free, Dairy free. Every Imagine® product is unique, nutrient-packed and offers a wide variety of natural and organic soups, broths and gravies.


What Are Lentils

Lentils are a delicious legume grown year-round across the world. They grow in tiny pods and have a half circular shape. At the store, you will usually find lentils dried. Because they are so small, you don’t need to worry about soaking them before you add them to lentil soup!

Lentils are many used in soups and stews, but they are also commonly used in salads and dips!

How To Make Lentil Soup

Probably the simplest soup you’ll ever make. All you need to do is combine everything except the peppers and onions, simmer for 20 minutes, then add in the remaining ingredients.

If you’re as busy as me during the week, adapting this recipe for the slow cooker isn’t difficult. Create a slow cooker lentil soup by adding the ingredients and cooking it on low for 4-5 hours. Voila!


More Easy Soup Recipes You’ll Love

Easy Lentil Soup

This 5 ingredient lentil soup is as easy to make as it is delicious. Lentils are simmered in a flavorful bone broth with onions, peppers, and tomatoes.

  • 1 box Imagine® Chicken Bone Broth
  • 14.5 oz can Great Value Diced Tomatoes With Green Peppers, Celery & Onions
  • 3/4 cup Great Value Lentils
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen Great Value Pepper & Onion Blend
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (or fresh herbs of your choice)
  • seasoning to taste (salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and/or cumin)
  1. Combine broth, undrained tomatoes, lentils and seasonings if using. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.

  2. Stir in peppers and onions and simmer an additional 10 minutes or until lentils are tender.
  3. For a thicker soup, increase cook time by 15 minutes.

  4. Stir in fresh herbs and serve.

Add your favorites to make this soup your own. Great additions include:

  • shredded chicken
  • smoked sausage
  • carrots, zucchini or mushrooms
  • fresh herbs

For a thicker lentil soup, increase cooking time until broth thickens.

REPIN this Delicious Soup Recipe

Lentil Soup in a white bowl with a gold spoon

This 5 ingredient lentil soup is as easy to make as it is delicious. Lentils are simmered in a rich bone broth with onions, peppers, and tomatoes. It’s comfort food without the work. #spendwithpennies #lentilsoup #easyrecipe #easysoup #withlentils #healthysoup #easydinner

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The Best Turkey Gravy You Have Tasted!

This Turkey Gravy Recipe will become your ‘secret weapon’ this holiday season! It is so easy to prepare and the result is a rich, flavorful gravy perfect over roast turkey.

Using a super easy, pre-cooked gravy base/broth along with all those deliciously browned turkey drippings makes the best turkey gravy you have ever tasted! If you’d like to make this extra quick, you can use store bought turkey or chicken broth.

Turkey Gravy in a clear gravy boat.

How to Make Turkey Gravy

Don’t stress over making gravy for this year’s festive feast! Crock Pot Stuffing, Green Bean Casserole and No Boil Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes are part of my “holiday survival kit” that keep me sane and happy while I host a houseful of people! An easy turkey gravy recipe is required as well!

You’ll start with a base of turkey broth or stock (either use a from scratch recipe or store bought) stock or broth. If you have any turkey drippings they’ll get added to the base for flavor. The turkey gravy base is thickened, usually with a mixture of cornstarch or flour just before serving.

How to Make Gravy from Turkey Drippings

Once you’ve roasted a turkey, those brown bits and drippings in the bottom of the roaster add a ton of flavor.  Make sure you add a bit of hot gravy base or water to help lift all those delicious bits!

  1. Bring broth to a boil and add any drippings from your turkey.
  2. Thicken with cornstarch or flour.
  3. Add herbs and season.

How to Make Gravy without Turkey Drippings

For those of you who perhaps purchase a pre-cooked turkey or just want the gravy, you DO NOT need turkey drippings to make a delicious gravy! When you start with a great Turkey Stock (or Broth), all you need is your choice of thickening agent and you are set!

Follow the directions for making gravy and just leave out the part about adding the drippings. The gravy will be delicious just the same.

A close up of Turkey gravy in a clear gravy boat, garnished with herbs

How to Thicken Gravy

You can use either cornstarch or flour to thicken your gravy. You may need a bit more or less than called for in the recipe based on how much drippings are in your pan.

With either one you will need to create a slurry, this just means mixing the thickener with water/broth before adding to the gravy. Whichever you use is personal preference.

With flour combine 2 tablespoons flour for each 1 cup water or broth into a jar, shake VERY well to eliminate lumps. If using flour/water as your slurry, place it in a jar and shake well.  This will help make sure you don’t get lumps in your gravy!

With cornstarch, mix equal parts cornstarch and water or broth. Whisk into boiling broth/droppings to reach desired consistency.

With either cornstarch or flour, let gravy boil at least 1 minute to remove starchy flavors. Season to taste with salt, pepper and fresh herbs.

Other Holiday Favorites:

The Best Turkey Gravy Recipe

Rich savory turkey gravy is easy to make and perfect served over mashed potatoes!

  • 4 cups turkey broth ( or stock)
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary)

For Thickening

  • 1/3 cup corn starch
  • 1/3 cup cold water (or cold broth)

OR

  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup cold water (or cold broth)

To Prepare Gravy With Flour

  1. Combine 6 tablespoons flour to every 2 cups broth or water and shake in a jar with a lid (I prefer broth!).

  2.  Add to gravy base while whisking until thickened. Let boil 1 minute. 

  3. Stir in fresh herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste before serving. 

To Prepare Gravy With Cornstarch

  1. Combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl and set aside. Bring prepared broth to a boil over medium high heat. Add any turkey drippings if available (I cook the gravy right in the turkey roasting pan on my stovetop).

  2. While whisking, slowly pour the cornstarch slurry into boiling gravy a little bit at a time. Continue adding until gravy reaches desired consistency.

  3. Stir in fresh herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste before serving. 

 

Slurry: You may need to create more slurry (cornstarch or flour mixture) based on the amount of drippings/broth and desired consistency.

To Make a Roux: To create a roux based gravy, skim fat from drippings. Combine 1/2 c fat with 1/2 cup flour for each 3-4 cups liquid (broth or juices). Cook fat and flour over medium heat for 1 minute. Add broth a little bit at a time whisking after each addition.

Herbs: Most grocery stores sell as “poultry” herb pack which is great in this recipe. If your store doesn’t carry it, you can use any fresh herbs you like.  I use a combination of parsley, rosemary, thyme and sage.

Nutrition: Nutrition may vary greatly based on amount of fat, drippings etc in your gravy.

Turkey Gravy in a clear gravy boat.
Turkey Gravy in a clear gravy boat.
Top photo - Turkey Gravy in a clear gravy boat. Bottom photo - Ingredients to make turkey broth, sitting in a large stock pot.

Baked Spaghetti

Baked Spaghetti is a favorite casserole around here!  A quick zesty meat sauce is combined with tomatoes and spaghetti and topped with cheese.  This spaghetti casserole is baked in the oven until hot and bubbly.

Just like stuffed shells, this easy recipe is perfect served with  crusty bread, homemade Garlic Butter and a Caesar Salad.

Easy Baked Spaghetti

This easy baked spaghetti casserole is a family favorite that is loaded with flavor!  We love Italian flavors from Easy Meatballs to a simple bruschetta and this cheesy casserole is no exception!

While Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole contains a lot of cheese in the spaghetti mixture (like cream cheese, cottage cheese or ricotta), this recipe is simple has pasta and sauce with a little bit of cheese on top.

How to Make Baked Spaghetti

Baked Spaghetti Casserole is easy to make, simply prepare the meat sauce, toss with spaghetti and bake until bubbly. The prep can be done then night before and then baked before serving making this baked spaghetti the perfect potluck dish!

  1. Brown beef and onions. Add veggies and tomato sauce and simmer.
  2. Stir in spaghetti and place in a dish.
  3. Top with cheese and bake!

The cheese on top gets golden and crusty making for amazing flavor! Make sure your spaghetti is cooked al dente as the noodles do cook a bit more in the oven and you don’t want them to get mushy.

One great thing about this recipe is that you can add whatever you like to the sauce. If you don’t like green pepper, skip it and add diced mushrooms or zucchini.  You can easily adjust this to your liking and add more or less sauce if you’d prefer.

How Long to Bake Spaghetti

Since the pasta and the sauce are warm when I put this dish together, it usually takes about 25 minutes or so to bake in the oven.  If you prep it ahead of time and refrigerate, it’ll take a bit longer.  Remove it from the fridge about 30 minutes before baking and bake about 35 minutes or until hot in the centre.

Do You Cover Baked Spaghetti

I never cover baked spaghetti because the  crusty cheese on top is my favorite part!  Covering this dish also makes it steam which can overcook the spaghetti.

Serve this with a side salad and garlic toast for an easy meal.  This easy casserole is great leftover and freezes perfectly!

More Pasta Dishes You’ll Love

Baked Spaghetti

This easy baked spaghetti casserole is a family favorite that is easy to prepare!

  • 16 oz spaghetti (cooked)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup fresh parmesan cheese

Sauce

  • 1 lb ground beef (or italian sausage)
  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 green pepper (diced)
  • 32 oz pasta sauce
  • 14.5 oz diced tomatoes
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Brown meat, onion, garlic, seasoning and green pepper over medium heat making sure to break up the meat very well. (Drain any fat if needed).
  3. Add pasta sauce, Italian seasoning and tomatoes to meat. Simmer 5-10 minutes uncovered. Stir in spaghetti and parsley.

  4. Spread into a  9×13 pan, top with cheeses and bake 25-30 minutes or until hot and cheese is browned and bubbly. Cut into squares to serve.

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Pizza Pasta Bake

Baked Spaghetti Casserole! Delicious and easy, this casserole is a great twist on a family favorite! Spaghetti noodles combined with a quick & easy fully loaded sauce & tons of gooey cheese!! @spendpennies

The post Baked Spaghetti appeared first on Spend With Pennies.

Easy Stuffing Recipe

This Easy Stuffing Recipe will complete just about any meal! Celery, onions, and butter are tossed with dried bread cubes, then topped with broth and baked until hot and golden.

Don’t get me wrong I love mashed potatoes, but I will always save room for homemade stuffing over potatoes. I could eat stuffing for every meal!

A close up of this easy stuffing recipe baked until moist and golden topped with fresh rosemary.

How to Make Turkey Stuffing

Stuffing is one of the most important dishes in a holiday or Thanksgiving spread. Serve it alongside green bean casserole, mashed sweet potatoes, turkey, turkey gravy (of course), and don’t forget about the pumpkin pie for dessert!

Some stuffing recipes include things like carrots, raisins, or dried cranberries. While these can all be great additions, nothing compares to to this classic stuffing recipe!

Poultry Seasoning is the best spice blend for this turkey stuffing recipe (and it can sometimes be sold out during Thanksgiving)! If you’ve never used  poultry seasoning, it’s a savory blend of spices like sage, thyme and rosemary and it adds delicious flavor to soups, stews and casseroles. You can also use your own spices (or make Homemade Poultry Seasoning), I think sage is the most prevalent spice in stuffing.

A clear bowl of delicious stuffing ingredients like bread, celery, onions, and butter.

How To Make Stuffing

The trick to a good classic stuffing from scratch is making sure your bread is really dry before you add broth. If you buy your bread a few days early, tear it or cut it into cubes and dry them in a bowl for a few days on your counter. Any kind of bread will do, I most often use a combo of brown and white.

In a pinch, I like to stick fresh bread cubes in an oven at 300°F to dry it out for about 10 minutes (be sure not to brown/toast it)! If you dry fresh bread in the oven, you will not need as much broth.

Stuffing Casserole

I prefer to cook my stuffing in a casserole dish (which would technically make it dressing) or to make Crock Pot Stuffing. Cooking the turkey and stuffing separately ensures that they both reach the right temperatures without overcooking.

Stuffing can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge in a casserole dish.  If stuffing a turkey, stuffing should be room temperature or cool and not stuffed in the turkey until just before roasting.

If you do stuff your turkey, remember to completely cool the stuffing first. If you don’t, the bird will sit at an unsafe cooking temperature for too long. If stuffing a turkey, the center of the stuffing needs to be cooked to 165°F because the drippings from the bird enter the stuffing.

A white casserole dish filled with moist stuffing topped with a sprig of fresh rosemary.

How To Freeze Stuffing

Everyone loves turkey dinner leftovers. Turkey dinner stacks or hot turkey sandwiches are my personal favorite ways to enjoy them, but sometimes you can’t get to them by the time they will go bad. Fear not, as turkey stuffing freezes well! Just pop it in the freezer and it should several  months.

To reheat stuffing, pop it in the oven at 350°F for about 20 minutes with a little broth on it to keep it from drying out.

Easy Stuffing Recipe

This classic stuffing recipe will complete just about any meal! Celery, onions, and butter are tossed with dried bread cubes, then topped with broth and baked until hot and golden.

  • 2 small onions (diced)
  • 4 stalks celery (diced)
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning (or 1/2 teaspoon ground sage)
  • black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 12 cups bread cubes
  • 3-4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary)
  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery and poultry seasoning (and rosemary if using). Cook over medium-low until tender (do not brown), about 10-12 minutes.

  2. Place bread cubes in a large bowl. Add onion mixture, parsley and fresh herbs. 

  3. Pour broth overtop until cubes are moist (but not soggy) and gently toss. You may not need all of the broth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  4. Place mixture in a serving dish, dot with additional butter and cover.
  5. Bake 35 minutes, uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.

If using rosemary in the herbs, cook along with the onions/celery. To stuff turkey, stuffing must be cooled completely in the refrigerator at least 45 minutes.

REPIN this Super Stuffing Recipe

A casserole dish filled with golden baked stuffing topped with fresh rosemary, made with easy stuffing recipe

This easy stuffing recipe is the perfect side dish for any holiday or Thanksgiving dinner! Stuffing is one of my favorite dishes! #spendwithpennies #stuffing #stuffingrecipe #turkeystuffing #turkeydinner #thanksgiving

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The Perfect Sunday Dinner – Meatloaf

The BEST Meatloaf Recipe is something I’ve worked years at perfecting… and here it is! A tender juicy beef meatloaf topped with a zesty topping and baked until tender and juicy!

I absolutely LOVE meatloaf and I always have! This easy meatloaf recipe is loaded with flavor and is pretty simple to make! Add in a side of my favorite Crock Pot Mac and Cheese and some bread with Homemade Garlic Butter you’ve literally got the meal of my dreams. 

Juicy meatloaf on a cutting board ready to eat!

Mom’s Meatloaf

Meatloaf was always a dish my mom would make and a meal I absolutely loved so I wanted to keep this meatloaf recipe as close to hers as possible. 

Ground beef is mixed with bread crumbs, onions, and parsley but my absolute favorite part is the topping on this meatloaf recipe.

I serve meatloaf alongside mac and cheese or mashed potatoes and peas, it is the perfect classic dinner. Broccoli, pasta, and carrots all make awesome sides for this meatloaf recipe too!

Easy meatloaf made from my favorite meatloaf recipe with veggies and rice

Meatloaf Sauce

I use a mixture of chili sauce and ketchup (just like my mom always made) and it really takes this recipe to the next level. It’s all baked until crisped on the outside and melt in your mouth tender inside.

If you’ve never had chili sauce, you need to try it! It’s not spicy at all, it’s more like a zesty ketchup with tons of flavor. I add it to soups and stews (and it’s amazing added to bbq sauce for Barbecue Ribs). I love it on everything from Burgers to Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes. It adds amazing flavor to this meatloaf recipe. 

Making the Best Meatloaf

Meatloaf is not difficult to make but there are a couple of common problems people encounter.

Overmixing will cause your meatloaf to become dense making it seem tough and not tender. As with most ground beef recipes (including patties or meatballs), the beef and add-ins should be mixed just until combined for a tender result.

Adding too much liquid or not allowing the meat to rest can result in the meatloaf falling apart so be sure to leave a few minutes for rest time!

Ingredients to make the best meatloaf recipe.

How To Make Meatloaf

Meatloaf has had a bad rap in the past… which makes me sad because it’s dang good when prepared properly! There are a few tips you need to know to make sure this meatloaf recipe comes out perfectly juicy and flavorful every time!

  • Do Not Overmix:
    • You want to mix until everything is just combined. Over mixing will create a dense loaf!
  • Use Lean Meat:
    • Use lean beef (but not extra lean). You need a bit of fat for flavor but don’t want it swimming in grease so lean beef is the perfect option.
  • Add flavors and moisture:
    • Adding in seasonings and soaking the breadcrumbs in milk keep this flavorful and moist.  If you have fresh herbs, add those in as well for great results!
  • Cook on a Baking Sheet:
    • Using a baking sheet to cook your meatloaf gives the best results. If you cook in a loaf pan you’ll get steam (and nobody wants steamed meat) and nowhere for the drippings to go.  Form your own loaf on a foil lined pan.
  • Rest the Meatloaf:
    • With any meatloaf recipe, the final product should be rested once it comes out of the oven.  This helps redistribute the juices and makes sure it won’t fall apart!

Juicy meatloaf recipe topped with chili sauce and ketchup.

How Long To Cook Meatloaf

Meatloaf will need to cook at 350°F for about 50-60 minutes (depending on shape/size). The best way ensure it is cooked through is to use a meat thermometer. A meat thermometer inserted into the centre should read an internal temperature of 160°F.

Meatloaf Cooking Times

Below you can find how long to cook a 2lb meatloaf:

  • Bake at 350° for 55-65 minutes
  • Bake at 375° for 45-55 minutes

If you are halving the recipe (or increasing it) you can use the cook times below to cook at 350°F. Remember that using a thermometer is your best bet to ensure meatloaf that is cooked through yet perfectly tender.

  • Bake a 1lb meatloaf for about 45 minutes total.
  • Bake a 2lb meatloaf for about 55 minutes total.
  • Bake a 3 lb meatloaf for about 1 hour 20 minutes.

Make sure you let your meatloaf rest for 10-15 minutes before you slice it so it doesn’t fall apart and it retains all of its juices!  I like to tent it with aluminum foil so it keeps warm while it’s resting.

Can you Freeze Meatloaf?

You can absolutely freeze meatloaf either before or after cooking.  To freeze before cooking, place in a loaf pan lined with plastic wrap (or form a loaf on a pan). Freeze completely, seal well. Defrost raw frozen meatloaf in the refrigerator 24 hours. Bake as directed.

Once cooked, I freeze the individual slices on a parchment lined pan and once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag.  This makes it easy to grab one slice or several to reheat! Simply reheat in the microwave or in the oven.

Serve it with a caesar salad, mashed potatoes, or dinner rolls for a perfect meal that will make everyone beg for seconds!

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The Best Meatloaf Recipe

This is the best meatloaf recipe ever! It comes out juicy every time, and it seriously couldn’t be easier. 

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/3 cup onion (diced)
  • 1 tablespoon chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped)

Meatloaf Sauce

  • 1/2 cup chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a foil lined baking tray with cooking spray and set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl combine eggs, milk, and breadcrumbs. Allow mixture to sit for 5-10 minutes. 

  3. Add the ground beef, onions, 1 tablespoon of chili sauce, Italian seasoning and parsley. Mix until just combined.

  4. Form a 8″x4″ loaf on the prepared baking tray. Bake for 40 minutes. 

  5. Meanwhile, combine the chili sauce and ketchup (and brown sugar if using). Spread mixture over the meatloaf and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until cooked through and the meatloaf reaches 160°F.

  6. Allow meatloaf to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. 

REPIN this Delicious Recipe

Classic Meatloaf slices on a white plate

20 Minute Broccoli Cheese Soup

Broccoli Cheese Soup is one of our favorite quick and easy meals any time of year!  Perfect for lunch, or an easy weeknight dinner with salad and loaf of french bread.  The best part is that this broccoli cheese soup is ready in 20 minutes start to finish!

Bowls of creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup on a table.

Broccoli Cheese Soup From Scratch

This Broccoli Cheese soup is one of our favorite quick weeknight meals!  There’s just something amazing about a hearty bowl of soup in your belly to warm you from the inside out.. and even better when it takes just minutes to make!

If you’ve ever been to Panera, you likely know that the Panera broccoli cheddar soup is so hard to resist! Rich, creamy and oh so cheesy, I definitely needed to come up with a yummy homemade version.

I love knowing that I can make a recipe from scratch using fresh ingredients in about  20 minutes; perfect for a weeknight dinner! We serve it with a side salad and bread for a complete meal! This soup is also amazing served in a bread bowl (and it reheats beautifully for lunches).

A spoonful of cream of broccoli cheese soup in a while bowl.

How Do You Make Broccoli Cheese Soup?

This broccoli cheese soup is made without Velveeta and instead is loaded with lots of real cheddar making it rich, velvety and satisfying!

  1. Using a sharp cheddar adds extra cheese flavor to this recipe.  I love to use a sharp cheddar for a nice strong flavor, but you can use any kind of cheese you like. Gruyere is also wonderful in this broccoli cheese soup!
  2. You’ll note that the cheese is added in once the soup is removed from the heat.  If cheese (or dairy) boils it can separate leaving a less than desirable texture.  The soup should be plenty hot enough to melt the cheese to a perfect velvety consistency.
  3.  Fresh broccoli gives the best results in this recipe, frozen can certainly be substituted if that’s all you have on hand. Instead of blending all of the veggies, I chop some and add them in after the soup is blended. This adds some extra flavor to the soup.
  4. When blending this recipe, you can use a typical blender (be sure not to have the lid on tightly or it can explode from the steam) but I find an inexpensive immersion blender or hand blender works perfectly plus you can do it right in the pot (less dishes is always a win in my books)!
  5. To make a skinnier version of broccoli cheese soup, you can substitute the cream with evaporated milk and use a light cheddar (sharp is still best for flavor).  We top it with a sprinkle of pepper and sometimes a little dollop of sour cream.

5 Other Irresistible Soups You Need to Try

  1. Easy Hamburger Soup: Loaded with vegetables, lean beef, diced tomatoes and potatoes.  It’s great made ahead of time, reheats well and freezes perfectly.
  2. Chinese Beef & Broccoli Soup Tender beef, paired with broccoli in a rich spicy, flavorful broth. This soup totally hits the spot!
  3. Crock Pot Ham and Bean Soup:  This “no-soaking required” Ham and Bean soup takes just minutes to prepare and cooks effortlessly in your Crock Pot all day long!
  4. Weight Loss Vegetable Soup: Completely loaded with veggies and flavor and naturally low in fat and calories it’s the perfect lunch, snack or starter!
  5. Slow Cooker Bacon  Corn Chowder: Fresh vegetables, chunks of tender potato, and smoky bacon add so much flavor while the creamy corn base adds a touch of sweetness.  The perfect cool weather soup!

Broccoli Cheese Soup ready to serve - this takes just minutes to prep!

Can you Freeze Broccoli Cheese soup?

Diary doesn’t tend to freeze well and it can sometimes become grainy or the texture can change slightly.  I would suggest keeping this broccoli cheese soup in the fridge for up to 4 days.  To reheat it can be microwaved stirring occasionally or heated on the stove over medium-low.

What Goes Well with Broccoli Cheese Soup?

We most often eat this broccoli cheese soup for lunch or a quick easy weeknight meal.  I like to add a side of 30 Minute Dinner Rolls to dip into the soup and sop up any dribbles left in the bottom of my bowl!  It’s great served with a fresh garden salad on the side.

More Broccoli Recipes You’ll Love

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Broccoli Cheese Soup is an easy cheesy soup ready in 20 minutes start to finish!

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 3 cups fresh broccoli
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon each thyme and garlic powder
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups light cream
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup fresh parmesan cheese
  1. In a large saucepan, cook butter, onion and carrots over medium heat until onion softens (about 3 minutes). Add chicken broth, broccoli and seasonings. Simmer until broccoli is softened, about 8 minutes.
  2. Remove 1 cup of vegetables, coarsely chop and set aside. Using an immersion blender, blend remaining vegetables and broth.
  3. Place flour in a small bowl. Add in cream a little at a time stirring until smooth. Bring blended vegetable mixture to a boil and whisk in cream mixture. Continue whisking until thick and bubbly, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, stir in cheeses & reserved chopped vegetables and serve immediately.

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 Slow Cooker Ham & Potato Soup

Slow Cooker Ham & Potato Soup

  Broccoli Cheese Casserole with Ham

This Broccoli Cheese Casserole is a family favorite! Pasta, broccoli and tender ham is tossed in a quick and easy from scratch cheese sauce. This casserole is then topped with breadcrumbs and baked until bubbly and golden.

20 Minute Broccoli Cheese Soup! This delicious soup is made from scratch in just 20 minutes! The perfect meal to warm you from the inside out on a chilly day!

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