Casseroles, Cooking

Pizza Spaghetti Bake

Pizza Spaghetti Bake

Pizza Spaghetti Bake

In this Pizza Spaghetti Bake, I will write down what I did because it was good!  Yet, I will also write in what I will add/do differently.  I feel like all recipes need to be tweaked in some form or fashion, so this is pretty typical for me.




Minced Garlic

Pepperoni, chopped (and some whole for the top)

**Next time will do a pound of beef and a pound of sausage.**


Italian Seasoning


2 packets of spaghetti mix

1 jar of spaghetti sauce

**Next time, I will add a jar of pizza sauce.**

2 cans of mushrooms, drained

Chopped spinach



Cottage Cheese

1 egg


Penne Noodles


Boil noodles and drain, according to directions.

Cook beef, chopped pepperoni, onion, garlic, seasoning (sausage if being used) and drain.  Put back in the pot.  Next, add mushrooms and chopped spinach.  Then, add the Italian seasoning, Rosemary, and spaghetti packets.  Mix well.

Next up, add the spaghetti sauce (and about a quarter of that same jar put some water to add).  If you are also using pizza sauce, add it.  Mix well.  Add in some panko, parmesan, a couple of handfuls of mozzarella, cottage cheese, and the egg.  Stir and keep warm until your noodles are done.

Finally, mix the meat mixture with the noodles and spread in a greased 13×9 dish.  Top with mozzarella and whole pepperoni.  Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes.

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Shelf-Cooking Co-Vid19 Style

Shelf-Cooking Co-Vid19 Style

Shelf-Cooking Co-Vid19 Style
Photo by Pixabay on

Shelf-Cooking Co-Vid19 Style.  With Co-Vid19 rearing its ugly head, I have not been out of the house.  I lied.  Twice.  I have been out twice.  Both of these times has been to take Hunter to treatment in Nashville.  So, grocery shopping is through pick-up, when my son works (at a grocery store), or my husband picks it up.  Also, the school has been bringing food, for the week, for 3 kids.  That helps tremendously.


There are some things my kids will not eat, by itself.  Now, they are not picky eaters, but they prefer it to be cooked in something.  So, what I’ve been doing is separating out the breakfast foods, lunch foods, snacks, and fruit.  They eat all the breakfast stuff throughout the week.  Also, they eat most of the lunch food throughout the week.  Yet, there are things like raw broccoli and cherry tomatoes that they will not eat unless I use it another way.

I do not waste food.

Plain and simple.  I am not a short order cook and I do not throw things away.  That is how I was raised and that is how I raise my kids.  With all that being said, I stockpile the carrots.  For one, my kids do eat those. Secondly, I can cut those suckers up and put them in any casserole.  Thirdly, carrot bread or carrot cake.  Yes, please.  Fourthly, soup.  Put them in any soup.  Fifthly (I’m starting to giggle now because what do I do when I get up to tenthly?  Is that even a word?), put them in a saute pan with some butter and brown sugar.  It’s a good thing.

Next up, cherry tomatoes.  Once I have a baggie full, I either give them to one of my older daughters who both love them.  Also, I juice them for chili or soup.  I chop them up and saute them in any pasta dish.  You can do a multitude of things with those things.

Now, onto this recipe and broccoli.  My big girls love raw broccoli.  Sadly, my other 5 kids do not.  My son-in-law calls them “the trees of the devil.”  He is a bit extra.  You can make broccoli soup or Chicken and Broccoli Braid.  Also, you can use it to make beef and broccoli stir fry.  Lots of things.

Odds and Ends

Today, however, I had a 1/2 bag of a lot of things.  Noah had brought home some leftover hamburgers and cooked bacon from work.  I had a couple of bags of this and a bag of that.  Then there was a 1/2 a bag of another thing.  I put all those together and I made 2 casseroles.  Honestly, I didn’t think it would make that much.  I’m cooking one casserole for tonight and I’m freezing the other for another night.  We also have leftover breadsticks from the pizza we ordered last night, so that is a side dish.  I think I have a couple of cans of corn.  Voila.  Dinner is served.

Beef, Broccoli, & Extras Casserole

2# ground beef



seasoning mix

worcestershire sauce

Brown all of this together, drain if needed.

In 13×9 dish, grease it (preheat oven to 350).  On the bottom of the dish, place the meat mixture.

Step 2

**Now, this is what I had, on hand.  Tweak this to what you have.  Just have fun with it.  If it sucks, you will remember what not to add!**

2 c. chopped fresh spinach

carton of fresh mushrooms, chopped

fresh broccoli, chopped

cooked bacon, chopped

Cheddar cheese

Layer each of these components on your meat mixture.

Step 3

In bowl, add 2 cans cream of mushroom (can use chicken or celery) and 16 oz. sour cream.  Once combined, spread over casserole.

Next up, add cheddar cheese (any cheese will do, this is what I had).

Lastly, I had a 1/2 bag of leftover tater tots.  I lined them on top.  Mainly because I wanted to get rid of the bag.  Another reason was because I had no potatoes to cook up.

Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes, covered and then another 12 minutes or so, uncovered.  Really until your tater tots are done.  Now, I did not pre-blanch or steam my broccoli.  I was afraid it would get mushy.

On freezing this dish, I did not cook it first…again, the broccoli issue.

Other Options

Now, you can change up your cheese.  Also, you can add in zucchini, squash, cauliflower, or carrots.  You can change up your soups.  Instead of tater tots, use instant or regular mashed potatoes to put on top.  If you don’t want to do that, on the bottom of the dish, add egg noodles or rice.  The sky really is the limit.

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Tater Tot Casserole with Cheese

Tater Tot Casserole with Cheese

Tater Tot Casserole with Cheese

My OCD dictated my Tater Tot Casserole with Cheese.  On a good day, I’d just sling them on there.  Tonight, they each had a place and frankly, that makes me happy,  I do believe I’m going insane.  Insane, people.  It’s fine.  I am fine.  We are all fine.

Tater Tot Casserole with Cheese

2# ground beef

Lipton onion soup mix

Worcestershire sauce

1 can cream of celery (normally I use cream of mushroom, but that’s what I had)

Sour cream, 1 c.




Tater Tots


Brown beef with seasoning.  Drain if necessary.  Add in some Worcestershire sauce and the Lipton onion soup mix.  **I have a gluten-free, copycat lipton onion soup mix recipe.**  Once that is done, add in your chopped spinach and mix well.

In greased 13×9 dish, place the meat/spinach mixture on the bottom.  Next, in a bowl, mix the sour cream and cream of celery together.  Pour that over the meat.  Then add a layer of cheddar.  End with the tater tots and be sure and season the tots.

Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.  You might want to add a few minutes if you put frozen tots on there.  Mine were already thawed out.  Again, it was good.  My crew gobbled it up.

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Chili Cheese Dog Casserole

Chili Cheese Dog Casserole

Chili Cheese Dog Casserole

My friend told me tonight that I am the only person she knows that can make anything into a casserole.  So, here is tonight’s dinner…Chili Cheese Dog Casserole.  Honestly, this quarantine is about to drive me insane.  I had my whole month’s worth of menus written out and organized.  Now, I cannot find the list.  I’m so discombobulated.  Big Daddy asked what was for supper.  I told him I didn’t know and that we were all gonna starve because I don’t know what to do.  So, Bug and I came up with this.  It was good.  I’m going to, in true fashion, write how I cooked it and what I will do differently.  That’s just how I roll.

Homemade Drop Biscuits

2 c. all-purpose flour (Please note you can use self-rising but then you will need to omit the salt and baking powder.  Plus, they will spread a bit more)

1 T. baking powder

1.5 tsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 c. melted butter

1 c. milk

Cheddar *optional

Onion powder *optional

Garlic powder *optional

Chives *optional

Italian seasoning *optional

Basil *optional

Oregano *optional


Heat oven to 450.  Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar together.  Add in melted butter and milk.  Stir just until this is moistened.  Then you can add the optional ingredients.  For this recipe, she added the onion powder and garlic powder.

Drop by heaping tablespoons onto a cookie sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  When the bottom gets brown, they are done, so be careful not to burn the bottoms.


2# ground beef



Minced garlic

Brown all of this together and drain if necessary.  Once drained, add in 2 packets of chili mix and stir well.

Boil 2 packs of hotdogs and drain.  Once drained, cut them up in bite-sized pieces.  Add that to the meat mixture.  Then add 2 cans tomato sauce, 1 can green chilies, 2 cans chili hot beans, 1 can drain and rinsed kidney beans (though I will leave them off next time).


In greased 13×9 pan, take your biscuits and tear them up on the bottom of your dish.  Then, layer the chili/hot dog mixture.  Next, the cheese.  Then another layer of biscuits, chili/hot dog mixture.  Lastly cheese.

Now, this made a full pan of just these layers.  I did add in another 11×8 dish.  I layered the biscuits on the bottom, then the chili mixture and then the cheese.  Both dishes were eaten.

Bake for about 30 minutes.  My whole crew liked it.


I would leave out the kidney beans.  Pinto beans have been thrown out there for me to try.  Refried beans could be an option.  Replacing the layer of biscuits with a layer of rice has been mentioned.  Rotel tomatoes and chilies could be added.  Cumin maybe.  The possibilities are endless.

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Mexican Casserole

Mexican Casserole

Mexican Casserole

Here is a simple Mexican Casserole that my family enjoys.  There is SO MUCH MORE that you can add (ie fresh ingredients) that would be yummy.

I will add, down at the bottom, would I will do when food is more readily available.  For now, you do what you have to do to feed the people in your house!

Be safe.  Stay in.  Wash your hands!


2# ground beef


Chili powder

2 cans rotel tomatoes and chilis

1 can cream of mushroom

1 can cream of chicken



Colby/Jack Cheese

Fritos (chili cheese fritos would be spectacular in this recipe)


Brown ground beef, onion, garlic, and seasoning.  Once cooked, drain if necessary.  Next, add chili powder.  Then add in soups and tomato/chilis with the liquid.  Stir well.

In greased 13×9 dish, layer crushed up tortilla chips, meat, cheese.  Repeat until all ingredients are used up.  End with cheese.  Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.


**Cut up some fresh peppers and saute with onion, garlic, and beef.  You can also add in kidney beans, black beans, corn, cooked rice.  Ooh, or you could add a layer of rice so do chips, meat, rice, cheese.  That’d be good.  You could also a layer of refried beans!  Oh man, add in a can of nacho cheddar cheese soup.  Good grief.  So many options!**

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Keto-Friendly Enchilada Casserole

Keto-Friendly Enchilada Casserole

This is a recipe that I needed to be able to throw together quickly.  Actually, my #2 kid is making the Keto-Friendly Enchilada Casserole.  Now, she knows how to cook but according to my husband…nothing tastes as good as my food.  #browniepointsforhim

Next time, we will go lighter on the cilantro EO or maybe use fresh.  I’m not a big fan of cilantro but I know that it is supposed to “bring the flavors together.”  Oh, and be a “bright note” on a heavy dish LOL.  Clearly, I’m watching too much Guy’s Grocery Games.


4 cans of chicken, drained (you can use fresh, but I didn’t have any)

1 can chile peppers

Cilantro (I used 4 drops of doTerra essential oil)


Enchilada Sauce

Olive oil


Minced garlic


6 T. chili powder (or to taste start with less and add as your palate can handle)


2 cans tomato sauce

1 c. water


In pan, bring together the oil, onion, garlic, and seasoning.  Saute till onion is cooked through.  Add the chili powder, cumin, tomato sauce, and water.  Simmer till it thickens up.

In bowl, add chicken, sauce, chile peppers, cilantro, cheddar, and the sauce.  Stir well.  Place in 13×9 greased dish.  Add more cheddar on top.  Cook at 350 for 15 minutes.  Serve with cauliflower rice.

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Keto-Friendly Cheeseburger Casserole

Keto-Friendly Cheeseburger Casserole

Now, this Keto-Friendly Cheeseburger Casserole did not blow my dress up BUT I will make it again with some tweeks.  I will post how I made it and how I will change it up in the future.

Note:  I doubled this, so I made a HUGE pan of it because I have a larger than normal family, please adjust according to your family size!  Also, this will freeze well.  Use a layer of aluminum foil and then that press and seal stuff from Walmart.  Then, for poops and giggles, add another layer of aluminum.  Be sure and label and date.

You can take all the wrapping off and let it sit in the fridge to thaw.  Once thawed, cook normally.  You can also take all the wrapping off, add back a layer of aluminum foil and cook it at 250, covered, for several hours.


4 lbs hamburger (next time, I will use ground beef and sausage)

Bacon bits

4 all-beef hotdogs (I had one random pack in the freezer and it needed to be used)



minced garlic

1 package of froze riced cauliflower

3 c. cheddar

2 T. mustard (use just 1 next time)

1/2 c. mayo (use a 1/4 c. next time)

1/2 c. ketchup (use a 1/4 c. next time)


Saute onion, garlic, meat, and seasoning.  Drain if necessary.  Add uncooked cauliflower rice and stir in.  Next, add mustard, ketchup, and mayo stirring well.  Then, add in about 2 c. cheddar.

Place in greased 13×9 dish.  Top with remaining cheese.

Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes.

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Loaded Chicken & Potato Casserole (Gluten Free)

Gluten Free: Loaded Chicken & Potato Casserole

Loaded Chicken & Potato Casserole (Gluten Free)

Loaded Chicken & Potato Casserole (Gluten Free) is quickly becoming one of my family’s favorite recipe.  So, here’s the thing…firstly, it was as good as it looks in the picture.  Secondly, I am not a food picture taker, so excuse the poor quality of the picture.  Third, I’ll be just writing this as I cook it because the “proper way” is not my style, it irritates me, and this way, I don’t forget anything.

I bought a family pack of boneless skinless chicken breasts.  All of the chicken was placed in my instant pot with my seasoning mix (if you want this recipe to be garlic free, then use 1 c. kosher salt, 1/8 c. pepper, 1/2 c. onion powder) and minced onions.  There was a total of about 6 c. water that was used.  The instant pot was set on manual for 20 minutes.  For the love…save the broth.  Let it cool in a bowl, overnight, and then skim the fat off the top.  You can store this in a DOUBLE BAGGED gallon freezer bag to use for anything under the sun.

While That was Cooking

I fried up a pound of bacon.  I also chopped up and onion and I fried that in the bacon grease.  Once my chicken was done, I kept out 3 large chicken breasts.  The rest, I put in a baggie and froze.  You can use a large bowl and shred it up.  I added more seasoning and then I put in 4 packets of dry ranch mix.  You could get away with using 2 packets if you wish (I just wanted the flavor).

I also cut up some green onions, 6 large potatoes (cubed, peeled or unpeeled), 1/2 c. sour cream, my chopped up bacon, 2 T. of bacon grease, a ladle of the chicken broth and I smooshed it all together with my hands cause the spoon was just not cutting it.

In the meantime, I shredded up some smoked gouda (you could use any cheese).  I put, in a greased 13×9 dish, 1/2 the chicken/potato mixture, then the cheese, then the chicken and topped it with cheese.

Cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake for 5 minutes.

It was good.  Happy cooking.

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Gluten Free Beef Scalloped Potato Casserole

Oh, this Gluten Free Beef Scalloped Potato Casserole is so good!  I have also used a roast that I had cut up and marinated.  It was equally as good!

Gluten Free Beef Scalloped Potato Casserole

Gluten Free Beef Scalloped Potato Casserole

2 pounds ground beef cooked with a chopped up onion and some seasoning.

Once that is cooked up, drain.  Add in 1 c. beef broth or vegetable broth.  Sprinkle over 2 Tablespoons gluten-free flour.  Stir until it is thick.

Place this in a greased 13×9 dish.

Cut up some fresh mushrooms and sprinkle over top of beef.

Next, cut up some kale (can use spinach) and sprinkle over mushrooms.  Add a bit of seasoning.

Grate up some smoked gouda cheese (you can use any cheese, this is just what I had on hand).

Scalloped Potatoes

Take 8 small-medium sized potatoes.  Peel and Wash.  Use a mandolin to slice them up very thin.  In instant pot, put potatoes and add enough water to cover the top of potatoes.  I also added 3 tsp. gluten-free chicken bouillon cubes.  Manual for 2 minutes.  Quick pressure release and drain.

Layer on top of kale.  Add some seasoning and thyme.  In a pot, place 1 c. milk, 1/2 stick of butter and the rest of your gouda cheese.  Allow to melt and then pour over your potatoes.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes and then place under the broiler for about 5 minutes to crisp up the cheese.

It was yummy!

Side Note:

**I will say that I have made this several times.  I have substituted the ground beef for chicken, as well as, ham.  This has been extremely good, no matter the meat used.  You can also substitute homemade scalloped potatoes for the boxed kind, though that doesn’t do much for me.  I try to stay away from processed food, as much as possible.  You could also sneak in shred up zucchini or squash for even more nutrients.  These items take on the taste of whatever you are cooking.**

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Hamburger Casserole

Hamburger Casserole

Hamburger Casserole

2 lb ground beef

2 tsp minced garlic

1 small onion

Seasoning (recipe for that below)

2 cans cream of mushroom

8 oz. cheddar

3 c. chopped fresh spinach

4-5 potatoes, skinned and cubed

In a large pan (I use my Instant Pot), saute up the beef, onion, garlic, and seasoning.

Once that is done and drained, add in your spinach, 1/2 your cheese, soups, and potatoes.  Top with the remainder of the cheese.

Mix it all up and put it in a greased 13×9 dish.  Have the oven preheated to 350.  Cover the dish and cook for 1 hr.  Take off the aluminum foil and cook for another 30 minutes or so.


Seasoning Recipe

1 c. kosher salt

1/8 c. pepper

1/4 c. garlic powder

1/4 c. onion powder

I put all of this in a clean parmesan container and I usually double it.  I use this to season everything.

Side Note

I use the above recipe to season everything.  At one point, I eliminated the garlic powder due to the fact that Hunter was allergic to it.  I just added in more onion powder.  Here is another recipe that I enjoy making.  Also, I have discovered how to make a gluten-free green bean casserole.