Favorite Recipes forum: Main Dishes

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Oct 3, 2018 6:25 PM CST
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA
From Arlene

Slow Cooker Lasagna

Total Time:6:20 Prep:0:20 Cook:6:0 Serves:6 Difficulty Easy

There's no need to cook the noodles first or stay home while this
Italian classic slow cooks. Just let it sit a few minutes before serving
so it can firm up a bit.

1 pound(s) uncooked 93% lean ground beef
1 small uncooked onion(s), chopped
1 clove(s), medium garlic clove(s), minced
28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
15 oz canned tomato sauce
1 tsp table salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 cup(s) part-skim riccota cheese
1 1/2 cup(s) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
6 item(s) uncooked lasagna noodles
1/2 cup(s) shredded Parmesan cheese, strong-flavored like Parmigiano Reggiano

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, onion and
garlic; cook, stirring frequently, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon as it
cooks, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt,
oregano, basil and red pepper flakes; simmer 5 minutes to allow flavors to

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together ricotta cheese and 1 cup of
mozzarella cheese.

Spoon 1/3 of beef mixture into a 5-quart slow cooker. Break 3 lasagna sheets
in half and arrange over beef mixture; top with half of ricotta mixture. Repeat
with another layer and finish with remaining 1/3 of beef mixture.
Cover slow cooker and cook on low setting for 4 to 6 hours. Remove cover;
turn off heat and season to taste, if desired.
In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and
Parmesan cheese; sprinkle over beef mixture. Cover and set aside until cheese
melts and lasagna firms up, about 10 minutes. Yields 1/6th of dish per serving.

I used half ground turkey, half ground beef and substituted sliced eggplant for the lasagna noodles.
Jan 4, 2019 5:30 PM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
From Jill

Paul Prudhomme's Red-Eye Chicken (with Jill's notes in parentheses)
from Fiery Foods that I Love

So I just finished a very late supper of leftover Red-Eye Chicken, reminding me that I still need to share the recipe! I make up the seasoning mix ahead of time in 6x batches. I also boost the heat by using some half-sharp paprika (which uses the hotter inner membranes or veins of the paprika peppers) along with the regular paprika.

The toasted paprika and sour cream is a wonderful combination!

Seasoning mix (combine in a small bowl)
3 Tbsp paprika (or 2 Tbsp regular sweet paprika plus 1 Tbsp half-sharp paprika)
2 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground dried California Beauty (or Pasilla) chile peppers
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp white pepper

Six 4-6 oz boneless skinless chicken breast halves
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken stock, in all
2 Tbsp vegetable oil (or olive oil)
1 1/2 c. chopped onions
(I like to add sweet red peppers, too, sometimes corn or snap peas)
1 1/c c. sour cream

Sprinkle chicken breasts evenly with 2 tablespoons of the seasoning mix and rub it in well. (I like to cut the chicken into 1/2" thick slices instead of using whole breasts.)

Make a paste by combining the flour with 3 tablespoons of the stock. (If you put the flour and some stock into a little jar and close the lid -- tightly! -- you can just give it a good shaking to combine.)

Heat the oil in a 4-qt pot (or a large saute' pan, love my 14" pan for this) over high heat until the oil begins to smoke, about 4 minutes. Brown the seasoned chicken breasts in batches, 2-3 minutes per side. Remove chicken from the pot and set it aside. In his introduction, Paul notes that when you're browning the chicken, the seasoning mix absorbs most of the oil, so you're really working with a dry pot when you add the seasoning mix and the onions. The result is that you're toasting the paprika, which changes its flavor and ultimately gives the dish a wonderful slightly smoky taste.

Add the remaining seasoning mix and the onions to the pot and cook, stirring constantly until the paprika begins to darken and smell wonderful, about 3 minutes. (I add the onions after the seasoning mix has toasted or even later, if using sweet onions. You want to run your exhaust fan on HIGH during this process and/or open windows, especially if you are using half-sharp paprika. The fumes from toasting dried hot peppers can be intense.)

Stir in 1 cup of stock and scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen all the browned bits. Add the flour paste and stir 2-3 minutes until the sauce is very thick. Add the remaining stock and whisk vigorously to distribute the flour evenly through the sauce. (Add sweet onions, sweet red peppers, and other veggies now, if using.)

Bring to a boil over high heat for about 5 minutes (or until veggies are crisp-tender). Return the chicken & accumulated juices to the pot, reduce heat to medium, and cook 4 minutes (more like 2 minutes if you cut up the chicken). Remove the chicken (don't bother taking it out if it's cut up) and whisk in the sour cream. Return chicken to pot and serve immediately.

(We have it with egg noodles. It "holds" just fine if you wait to add the sour cream just before you eat. I often toss the egg noodles into the pan so they get coated with sauce. Leftovers are delicious later in the week, but if you want to freeze some of it, take that part out of the pan before adding sour cream.)


If you like it, you'll want to make a x6 batch of seasoning mix (which fills a 16 oz jar) to greatly simplify preparation. The directions sound very complicated -- I remember referring to them multiple times the first few times I made this -- but the actual process is very straightforward for anybody who has cooked meat and veggies in a pan. Cutting up the chicken means less fooling around with taking it in and out of the pot, and I think the meat gets seasoned better, too.

I've played with this recipe a bit over the years, and this is the mix I'm using now. I use 1/4 c. half-sharp paprika if I'm making it for my parents, 1/2 cup for us. If you don't have half-sharp paprika, use 3/4 to 1 cup sweet paprika and an extra 2-3 Tbsp. ground cayenne.

Since this is 6 times the regular recipe, use 1/3 c. per recipe, 2-3 Tbsp on the chicken to start with and the rest dumped into the pan later.

x6 Red Eye Seasoning Mix, about 2 cups

1/2 c sweet paprika
1/4 - 1/2 c. half-sharp paprika
1/4 c. salt
2 Tbsp ground pasilla or california beauty chile peppers
2 Tbsp. onion powder
2 Tbsp. basil (dried)
1 Tbsp. ground cayenne
1 Tbsp black pepper (ground)
2 tsp. white pepper
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
Jan 14, 2019 5:41 PM CST
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA
Jill's Baked Mac 'n Cheese

16 oz macaroni pasta
16 oz sharp cheddar, grated
1 1/3 c milk
2 lg eggs, beaten
1 tsp paprika
12 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne or half-sharp paprika
1/8 tsp turmeric (if using white cheddar)

Pre-heat oven to 350'F (325 convection)

Start water for pasta while you grate the cheese. Reserve about 1/4 of cheese for top (couple handfuls).

Cook pasta until al dente' -- you want it firm, not soft, but not still crunchy either. Test after 5 minutes. Drain pasta and return to pot.

While pasta is cooking...

Cut up half a stick of butter (frozen is easiest).

Beat eggs well and measure milk.

Measure spices, and mix them into the cheese so they don't clump up.

Grease a 9x13" glass baking dish, or a couple of loaf pans.

Add butter, cheese, and spices to still-hot pasta and stir them in so they get melty, then stir in milk. I like to add some of the milk to the eggs, which get added last.

Check temperature -- if you can stand to put your finger in for 10 seconds, the egg won't get scrambled LOL. Stir in eggs.

Pour mixture into prepared pan. If you've let it sit at all, the pasta might have soaked up some of the milk... not a disaster, just add a little extra to the pan. You should be able to see the liquid at least 1/4 inch below the noodles.

Sprinkle reserved cheese on top.

Bake at 350'F for 34-40 minutes, until it "sets" (might jiggle but won't slosh when you nudge the pan). Let top get as browned as you like.

For easier serving, let it stand a few minutes after removing from oven.

Serves 4-8. Our favorite pairings are with ham and green peas, or on its own with a green salad.

Keeps overnight on counter, probably for a week in fridge. Freezes well, just heat in microwave.
Jan 31, 2019 8:49 AM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
From Aspenhill

Taco Casserole

Brown ground beef, add in a can of rotel diced tomatoes and a packet of taco seasoning. Then she whipped up the batter from a jiffy corn bread box mix, using a can of creamed corn instead of the water. Put the ground beef mixture in the bottom of a casserole dish, spread the corn bread batter on top, sprinkled with a shredded Mexican cheese blend, and then baked in the oven.

Simple, simple, simple, but oh so good. Need an emoji for smacking lips LOL.
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
[Last edited Jan 31, 2019 8:50 AM CST]
Quote | Post #1309398 (4)
Jan 31, 2019 12:16 PM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
From Toni

Cowboy Mac n cheese

1lb diced pork or ground chicken.
1/2 loaf Velveeta cheese
1 cup uncooked noodles (shells, elbows, my favorite are the spiral kind but not WackyMac)
1/2 cup milk
1jar chunky salsa

Cook meat until cooked in saute pan. Cook noodles until ala dente. Dice Velveeta & put in large pot. Melt SLOWLY over low heat, adding milk as needed to melt completely. Once melted, drain completely the noodles (put in collender & shake all water off ), adding to Velveeta. Next add meat, stirring so everything is well mixed. Add as much salsa as you like (I use an entire bottle of 505 Green Chile Sauce). Mix well, serve. Super bad for you, but oh so good & takes about 20 min. Plus lots of yummy leftovers!
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
Jan 3, 2020 3:09 PM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
From Angie


Here's my lasagne recipe. I do not use sausage but you could use it if you


In dutch oven, place 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil, 2 tablespoons cooking
oil and 4 chopped buds of garlic. Saute on low heat until garlic is tender but not brown. Add 1 pound lean ground beef and brown, stirring so that the beef makes small crumbs. Add 1 teaspoon garlic salt (I just used garlic powder and sea salt), 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon Worcester sauce, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon oregano, 1 teaspoon parsley flakes and 1 teaspoon celery flakes.
Mix well and add 1 large can crushed tomatoes and 1 15-oz. can tomato sauce and 1 15-oz. can small diced tomatoes. Mix well and simmer, covered, for at least an hour.

In medium bowl beat 2 eggs and add 1 14-oz. container of ricotta cheese.
Add 2 teaspoons parsley flakes, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1 tsp.
black pepper, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. seasoning salt if desired.

In large baking pan or dish, place a thin layer of sauce, top with oven-ready
noodles, slices of mozzarella, add a dollop of the ricotta cheese mixture on each
cheese slice and smoosh around with the back of the spoon, another layer of
sauce, noodles, etc., ending with layer of mozzarella and ricotta. I sprinkle
some grated Romano cheese on top before baking.

Bake at 350 for 45 mins. Let stand about 10 minutes before serving.

Feel free to tweak the recipe to suit your taste.
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
Jan 3, 2020 3:10 PM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
From Jill


I make decent lasagna using sauce from a jar. (gasp) Just choose a sauce you like the favor of, and add ½ C of water. I add a couple of eggs, 1-2 T Italian seasoning, and a big handful of parmesan to a large container of ricotta and let it sit overnight. Assemble with DRY noodles in alternating layers of pasta, sauce, shredded mozzarella, other ingredients, ricotta, ending with the last bit of sauce & mozzarella. You can add cooked crumbled ground beef, cooked onions, spinach, etc with the sauce, or just do a plain version. I like 3 layers of noodles and, even 4 if my pan is deep enough, so I’m pretty skimpy with the ingredients in each layer. The eggs firm it up so the cut squares don’t slide over the whole plate.

my lasagna "recipe" is more of a set of suggestions... I didn't even have instructions on baking it, although 350 for 45 min sounds about right. I like the texture of regular rather than "oven ready" lasagna noodles -- just add 1/2 cup water to the sauce, or pour around edges of pan before putting it in the oven.

Tip on cooking ground beef: I don't have the patience to stand by the stove and chop at it while it cooks. I spread it in an even layer in the pan, season it (usually with garlic powder, at least), cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes (depends on how thick the layer is) until browned on the bottom, then flip chunks over with a spatula and brown the other side. When it's cooked through, remove from heat & allow to cool, then crumble with your hands.
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
[Last edited Jan 4, 2020 4:05 AM CST]
Quote | Post #1336176 (7)
Jan 11, 2020 5:08 AM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
From Toni


I like using this when I'm wanting to make curry.

Thumb of 2020-01-11/vic/a47d16

I just chop up chicken, saute it in my electric skillet with some Golden Mountain sauce & minced garlic. 8 cubes of this stuff (1 large box) & 4 cups water, set to simmer with diced golden potatoes, water chestnuts, carrot coins. Serve over jasmine rice & garnish with fresh chopped green onion.

NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
Feb 27, 2020 6:12 PM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
From Angie

Tuna/macaroni salad.

2 cups macaroni, cooked and drained.
1 sweet apple such as McIntosh, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 5-oz can tuna (I use albacore)

Combine above ingredients with Kraft Miracle Whip salad dressing (not mayo)
to taste. Very light and refreshing. Serve with any sweet muffin.
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
Mar 23, 2020 8:19 AM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
From Terri ~

Chicken Apple Sausage and Sweet Pepper Hash.

I've made this several times and have used both red and yellow/gold potatoes, either one or the other or both together, and don't quite use a whole 1 1/2 pounds - more like 1 pound. Also, I've used dried thyme and tarragon instead of fresh and it still seasons deliciously, but I go heavy on the dried and don't really reduce the quantity called for in the recipe as much as you usually do when substituting dry for fresh. Only using 1/4 cup chicken broth makes it a hash, but I've been using 2 cans of chicken broth to make it more liquidy and stew like, just personal preference.

1 (12-ounce) package chicken apple sausage, sliced
1 1/2 cups onions, sliced
1 1/2 pounds red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 cups sweet peppers, chopped
1/2 cup swiss cheese, shredded
2 tsp fresh tarragon

In a large nonstick skillet, cook sausage and onion in 1 tbl hot vegetable oil over medium heat, about 5 minutes or until browned.

Spray a slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Add sausage mixture, potatoes, thyme, and black pepper. Pour broth over top.

Cook on low 6 hours or on high 3 hours.

Stir in sweet peppers. Sprinkle with cheese.

If cooking on low, turn to high. Cover and cook 15 minutes more.

Sprinkle with tarragon and additional black pepper.
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
Apr 21, 2020 4:00 PM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
From Jill

MMMeatballs (appetizer or entrée)

For the meatballs:
2 pounds lean ground beef (at least 90% lean, 93% if you can get it)
1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup mix
1 cup bread crumbs (the purchased kind)
3 eggs, beaten

For the sauce:
1 can Ocean Spray whole-berry cranberry sauce
1 bottle Heinz chili sauce (12 oz)
12 oz water (just fill the bottle to measure)
1/2 cup brown sugar

Pre-heat oven to 350'F, 325 if using a glass baking dish.

Mix other ingredients thoroughly into meat. Bare (or gloved) hands are the best tools for this. Form into 1" balls and place into a 9x13" baking pan.

While your helper rolls meatballs, combine sauce ingredients into a stovetop pan. Heat over medium or medium-high heat, stirring, until sauce is hot.

Cranberry sauce will "melt," sugar will dissolve. Pour over meatballs. Bake at 350'F for 1 hour (325'F if using a glass pan).

For an appetizer, serve with toothpicks. For an entrée, serve over rice or egg noodles.
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
May 9, 2020 12:49 PM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
From Angie

Taco Casserole

Ingredients :

1 1/2 pounds Ground Beef
1/3 large Onion, chopped
1 can Green Chilies, small can
1 can Enchilada Sauce
2 ounces Cream Cheese
1 bag Fritos Corn Chips
1 bag Shredded Cheese
3/4 cup Lettuce, shredded
1/2 cup Tomato, fresh, diced
16 ounces Salsa
8 ounces Sour Cream

Directions :

Brown ground beef with onion.
Add green chilies, enchilada sauce and cream cheese.
In a 9×13 pan, repeat layers as follows: Fritos chips Meat Mixture Shredded Cheese.
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.
Top individual servings with lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, sour cream as desired.
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
Dec 16, 2020 11:09 AM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
From Terri

Caesar Chicken Salad Squares

Thumb of 2020-12-16/vic/864850

2 cups chicken breast, cooked and cubed
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese, grated or shredded
1 tablespoon bacon bits (instead of those jarred bacon bits, I cooked two slices of bacon and crumbled, about 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons caesar dressing
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 (8-ounce) can refrigerated crescent rolls

1/4 cup caesar dressing
1 cup romaine lettuce, shredded

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix filling ingredients in medium bowl until well blended.

Unroll dough; separate into 4 rectangles. Place on ungreased cookie sheet; press each into 6" x 4" rectangle. Firmly press perforations to seal.

Spoon about 1/2 cup filling onto center of each rectangle. With knife, cut each corner of each rectangle from edge to within 1/2 inch of filling. Bring the 8 points of each rectangle up over filling; firmly pinch to seal, forming a square. NOTE: I didn't cut the corners and just brought all the edges up over the filling and pinched shut, it looked like a bundle.

Bake 16 - 21 minutes or until deep golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet. Garnish each with 1 tablespoon caesar dressing and 1/4 cup shredded lettuce.
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
Jan 6, 2021 11:17 AM CST
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA
From Terri
Meatloaf recipe from Betty Crocker's Cooking for Two cookbook

1/2 pound ground beef
1/4 pound ground pork
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2/3 cup milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons onions, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon mustard powder
1/8 teaspoon celery salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
1 1/2 teaspoon worcestersire sauce

NOTE: sometimes I just use all ground beef or the premixed meatloaf mixture of ground beef, pork, and maybe veal? that is sold at the grocery and it usually is more like 1 pound vs 3/4 pound total

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Shape into 2 loaves in shallow baking pan. Spread with catsup or barbecue sauce.

Bake 1 hour, until done.
Jan 8, 2021 5:22 AM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
From Angie

Chicken Farfalle with Broccoli

2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1" pieces and defrosted
2 cups cooked farfalle noodles
2 cups cooked broccoli in small pieces
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2-3 tablespoons butter
Heavy cream
Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and pepper

Brown defrosted chicken pieces in EVOO, then saute until done. Salt and
pepper to taste. Add drained noodles and broccoli and other ingredients and
simmer on low until cheese is melted and mixture is bubbling. Serve with
salad and bread.
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
Jan 26, 2021 2:09 PM CST
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA
From Jill

Mississippi Pot Roast

So tender and flavorful, it's no wonder this recipe went viral. Jim buys brown gravy mix in a big container (don't ask), so I used about 1/3 cup. I also subbed pickled banana pepper rings because I like them better than pepperoncini stems & seeds. The original version has 1 stick butter, others use 1/2 stick, I compromised at 3/4.

I think the original recipe used a crockpot, but you know I love my IP. I've seen variations using "real" seasonings instead of the packets, or subbing onion soup mix for the brown gravy mix, but unless you are trying to lower the sodium I'd say stick with the original. Easy and unbelievably tasty!

2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 pound chuck roast (however big, cut into roughly 1 pound pieces)
1 packet hidden valley ranch dressing mix
1 packet brown gravy mix
1 jar pepperoncini or banana pepper rings (use peppers plus 2-3 tablespoons of the pickling liquid)
1/2 to 1 stick butter (1/4 to 1/2 cup)
3/4 cup water
flour or cornstarch

Add olive oil to instant pot (on sautee function) or stovetop pan on high heat. Brown the chuck roast pieces well on all sides, one at a time. Deglaze with splash of pickling liquid. Add water, put in meat, put some peppers in the liquid and some on top of meat. Add contents of ranch dressing and gravy packets. Put stick of butter on top. Cook at high pressure for 45 minutes, natural release (takes a while, but do not use quick release). Remove meat and peppers from pot. Thicken sauce with flour or cornstarch.

Before thickening the sauce, I added cubed russet potatoes and a chopped onion and cooked at high pressure for another 6 minutes. I removed the meat before doing that, but the meat seems not quite tender to you, keep it in the pot. You can quick-release unless the meat is still in the pot (never quick-release with meat or it gets shoe-leather tough). I used flour to thicken sauce, the same as I do making any gravy -- I poured the sauce into a skillet, sprinkled flour on the surface and whisked it in until the fat was absorbed (about 3 tbsp for the amount of meat and liquid I had), then kept stirring for a few minutes while it simmered and thickened. I cut the meat into chunks and poured the gravy over everything. I even threw in a few frozen peas for color.

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