Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara is a super simple dish. A straightforward, shelf-cooking pasta recipe; and it has very few ingredients. To make it a complete meal, you can make some garlic cheese bread. Also, we usually fix a Caesar salad.

Easy Pasta Recipe Ingredients

Pasta (I used Linguine)

Seasoning mix

3 room temp eggs (reserving two ladles of the hot pasta water)

Bacon (reserving 3 Tbsp of bacon grease)

Fresh mushrooms


Large onion, sliced


This would be good with some cut-up and sauteed peppers. Changing things up a bit makes pasta recipes your own instead of a copycat recipe. Also, this was a complete shelf-cooking recipe that made me happy. Always keep essential ingredients on hand for dinner recipes.

Copycat Recipe for Coal Miner’s Pasta Directions

Cook bacon. Take out when done and crush. Add garlic, mushrooms, and onion (spinach would also be a good add-in). Once the veggies are soft, pull them out.

For this easy pasta recipe, crack the 3 room temperature eggs and beat lightly.

Cook noodles in salted water. The hot starchy water should be ladled into the bowl with the beaten eggs. Whisk in slow and fast to keep from cooking the eggs.

Drain the noodles and return them to the pot. Add in 3 Tbsp. Bacon grease and the vegetable melody. Use thongs or something to twirl all that together. Slowly add in the egg mixture and twist/mix the entire time. Once that is all in there, add a lot of parmesan. Keep on twirling until it is all incorporated.

It was so freaking good and so easy.

Dinner Recipes and Easy Pasta Recipe

I have collected (and written down) our favorite pasta recipes. These are easy pasta recipes, and this one could be vegetarian if you left out the bacon. My family loves bacon, so that is not an option. However, turkey bacon will be in the future.

There are nights when cooking is not on my agenda. I’m over it after 30 years of cooking for my family. That burnt-out feeling is natural. The inspiration is not there. So, I’ve been looking for dinner recipes. Specifically, I have been looking for an easy pasta recipe my family will love. A bonus is when it is entirely shelf-cooking items with what I almost always keep on hand in my pantry.

Initially, I found this recipe in Rachael Ray’s cookbook. That is back when I drew inspiration from cookbooks. Then, I was a collector. Now, they collect dust. Maybe I should dust them off and find more inspiration. In the beginning, I did follow the instructions. Honestly, now, I adjust to the tastes and desires of my people. There are things I add or take away from and substitute as needed. The goal is to get recipe, dinner, or easy pasta recipes and adapt them to become your own. You are more likely to continue cooking it if you adjust your tastebuds.


Mexican Lasagna Created From Leftovers

Mexican Lasagna Created From Leftovers

Mexican Lasagna Created From Leftovers

Well, my my my, I had no idea my Mexican Lasagna Created From Leftovers would taste so good. A few days ago, I made Philly Cheesesteaks Sandwiches. I had a lot of the meat leftover, which I used instead of ground beef.


Steak um’s (you can use ground beef)

Salt-free garlic and herb seasoning


Creole Seasoning

Orange, yellow, and red peppers, chopped

Fresh garlic

Onion, chopped

Two cans of diced tomatoes

1/3 white queso Velveeta

Can of drained whole kernel corn


I placed my meat and veggies in the pan and sauteed them. You can add oil, bacon grease, or butter to keep them from sticking. Once that was done, I seasoned it until it tasted like I wanted it to taste.

Next, I added corn and diced tomatoes. My husband doesn’t like tomatoes like that, so I covered my pot and let them stew down. Then, I added the white queso Velveeta. Taste to adjust the seasoning.


2 c. of water

2 c. of rice

Place on “rice” mode in your instant pot. Let naturally release.


Put a small amount of sauce in a greased 13×9 dish. Then, place in flour tortillas; next, sauce. Then, rice. Finally, I had some Colby/jack cheese cubes. I broke those over the rice and added a bit of cheddar. Repeat layers ending with cheese.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes and serve.


Pizza Spaghetti Bake

Pizza Spaghetti Bake

Pizza Spaghetti Bake

I will write down what I did in this Pizza Spaghetti Bake because it was good! Yet, I will also write 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.




Minced Garlic

Pepperoni, chopped (and some whole for the top)

Next time, 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, and seasoning (sausage if 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 it in a greased 13×9 dish. Top with mozzarella and whole pepperoni—Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes.




Cheesy Chicken Alfredo Lasagna

Cheesy Chicken Alfredo Lasagna

I started making just a cheesy type of lasagna, and then my brain started thinking. This quarantine has forced me to do more shelf cooking, which I do. It has also got me thinking outside of the box. So, I came up with a Cheesy Chicken Alfredo Lasagna. It was good!

Cheesy Chicken Alfredo Lasagna

2 packages of no-boil lasagna noodles (you can use the kind you boil, I don’t enjoy that)

2 packets of Ranch Mix

3 cans of evaporated milk

2 cans of canned chicken, drained and broken up with a fork. (I might use a 3rd can the next time)

1 jar of Alfredo sauce (you can make this homemade though)


Nutritional yeast (optional)

Fresh Spinach, cut up





Combine your evaporated milk, ranch, seasoning, and nutritional yeast in a saucepan. I stirred that well and brought it up to a boil. Then, I added the alfredo sauce. I stirred until that was good and combined. It allowed it to thicken a bit. Once combined, I added the canned chicken.

In a greased 13×9 dish, place a bit of sauce on the bottom. Then, I layered the no-boil noodles—next, more of the sauce, mozzarella, and cheddar. Then sprinkle with parmesan and add a layer of fresh Spinach. Continue layering until you end with the sauce and cheeses.


Bake, uncovered, at 350 for about 30 minutes. Then take out and take a knife around the edge of the pan to make sure the noodles are soaked. I put mine back in for another 10 minutes. You could cover it at this time if you want to keep it from burning. This is done to ensure that the noodles are cooked through.

Pull out and sit for about 10 minutes before cutting to help the lasagna set up correctly.



Keto-Friendly Lasagna

Keto-Friendly LasagnaKeto-Friendly Lasagna

Well, well, well, look what this girl has done. She has gone and made a Keto-Friendly Lasagna. Yes, she has! AND it was good! I will say the one thing I will do differently is season it more with Italian seasoning and make my marinara sauce. Usually, I do that, but I did not this time.


2 jars sugar-free spaghetti sauce (you can make sure own)

2# ground beef


Italian seasoning

minced garlic



chopped spinach




Zucchini Noodles

3 zucchini sliced on a mandolin


Cheese Noodles

3 c. mozzarella

2 tsp. Italian seasoning

8 oz. cream cheese

4 eggs

Directions for Zucchini Noodles

Once they are sliced, lay them flat on a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt. Doing this allows the water to be drained from the zucchini noodles. If you don’t do this, your lasagna will be too watery. Allow sitting while working on everything else.

Cheese Noodles

Add mozzarella, Italian seasoning, eggs, and cream cheese to the food processor. Mix. It is thick. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper. Glop your mixture and press it down. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Let it cool. Peel the parchment paperback and then cut it into strips. I cut it in 1/2 long way first.


Brown meat, minced garlic, onion, and seasoning. Drain if necessary. Once drained, add spaghetti sauce, Italian seasoning, parsley, and chopped spinach. Taste to check to season.


Pat the excess water off of the zucchini. Place a small amount of sauce on the bottom of a greased 13×9 pan (I used that and an 8×8 pan). Then layer your cheese noodles. Next to the zucchini noodles. A layer of sauce, ricotta (or cottage), mozzarella, and parmesan. Repeat ending with cheese.

Bake at 350 for about 40-45 minutes. Allow resting for about 10 minutes before cutting into it.



Keto-Friendly Broccoli and Kielbasa

Keto-Friendly Broccoli and KielbasaKeto-Friendly Broccoli and Kielbasa

Bart LOVED this Keto-Friendly Broccoli and Kielbasa.  I’m pretty proud of myself for this one!  Nutritional yeast is so packed with goodness.  You can’t see it when it cooks with something.  There isn’t a taste, but it could come off with a nutty flavor if you have a super-sensitive palate.  Though, that is stretching it.

People use it to make cashew cheese.  Let me tell you.  I have made cashew cheese, and it does NOT taste like cheese.  Maybe I’m doing it wrong.


2 packages kielbasa

1 onion

Minced garlic


Nutritional Yeast

Fresh mushrooms

Frozen broccoli florets

Bacon grease



Fry bacon, reserving grease.  Once the bacon is done, remove and crumble.  In reserved grease, add chopped onion and garlic.  Saute.  Add chopped kielbasa with some seasoning.

Once that is heated, add some of the nutritional yeast (which has no flavor but tons of nutritional value), fresh mushrooms, crumbled bacon, and broccoli.  I did chop the broccoli a little smaller but not too small.

However, I did turn the heat on warm because I wanted my broccoli to have a bite.  Sadly, if you cook it too long, it can be too smushy cause that is gross.  This was good!



Keto-Friendly Chicken Dish

Keto-Friendly Chicken Dish

Keto-Friendly Chicken Dish

I was overall pleased with this Keto-Friendly Chicken Dish.  Lately, I’m trying things (some fail, some not), and I post as I make them.  That way, when I look back, I can see what my crew liked and didn’t.


3.5 chicken breasts



Italian Seasoning

Fresh Mushrooms

Green onions

1/2 c. olive oil

1 c. chicken broth



I had Big Daddy take each chicken breast and slice them thinly.  With 3.5 chicken breasts, it filled 2 greased 13×9 pans.  I seasoned, with my seasoning mix, each side of the chicken.

I added my spinach, Italian seasoning, and fresh mushrooms to my food processor.  I chopped them finely and then spread some over each chicken breast.  Then, I sprinkled Italian seasoning over the top.

Next Up

I put the cream cheese in the microwave for about 30 seconds to soften it.  Then, I added the oil and chicken broth and whisked those together.  Next, I smeared that over each breast and sprinkled the top with the green onions.

Bake at 375, covered, for 20-25 minutes.  Take the cover off, add mozzarella and cook for another 10 minutes.

What I Would Do Different

Next, I will add minced garlic and sauteed onion to the mix.  Overall, this was a good dish; my family gobbled it up guiltless!



Chicken and Orzo Recipe

Chicken and Orzo Recipe

This Chicken and Orzo Recipe made more than I had anticipated. I made one 13×9 pan for tonight and a smaller pan to freeze for later.

Chicken and Orzo Recipe

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • Seasoning
  • 30 ozs chicken broth (can be broth or water/chicken bouillon)
  • 2 c. spinach, chopped
  • Cauliflower rice, 2 c. (I buy it frozen and thaw it)
  • 28 oz. diced tomatoes
  • 2 c. orzo, uncooked
  • Minced onion
  • 2 c. cheddar (reserve some for the top)
  • 1 can cream of chicken
  • 2 packets of Italian dressing mix


Cook the chicken and then cut it up. Mix everything in a giant bowl. Place in a 13×9 greased dish. This amount made that 13×9 and an 11×8 pan. Sprinkle reserved cheese on top. Bake at 350, uncovered, for about 40 minutes.

I didn’t have many children here; only 5 kids ate here. We were able to eat the entire smaller dish. The 13×9 dish I wrapped and froze for next week!


You can substitute Ranch packets instead of Italian packets. Also, taco seasoning can be used as a substitute, and maybe add a can of corn to that and make it Mexican-flavored. This chicken and orzo recipe was delicious. It is one I will make again because I can sneak so much goodness into it without my family thinking I’m killing them.




Baked Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo

Baked Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo

Baked Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo

In a large bowl, chop up 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (you could use canned chicken or rotisserie chicken).

Add in seasoning mix.

2 tsp. minced garlic

2 jars premade alfredo sauce (though you could make this low carb and make your alfredo sauce, which is super easy)

4 chicken bouillon cubes

3 c. water

16 oz. pasta, uncooked (I had elbow noodles on hand, but anything can be used)

A small package of frozen broccoli


Stir it all together—Preheat the oven to 425.

Place in greased 13×9 pan and cover it with aluminum foil.

I put mine on a cookie sheet to keep it from boiling over.

Cook for 30-40 minutes. Now, you will remove it from the oven. Be sure and stir to check the noodles’ doneness. If not done, re-cover and put back in the range for about 10 more minutes.

When the noodles and chicken are cooked, uncover the dish.

Top with Mozzarella and Parmesan and put back in the oven for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.


Be sure and cut up the broccoli for the sake of your kids. My kids don’t mind, but some kids balk at the fact they are eating broccoli. Honestly, I would make my alfredo sauce. I can control what goes in it, and it tastes better.




Chicken Asparagus Pasta Bake

Chicken Asparagus Pasta Bake

Chicken Asparagus Pasta Bake

I’m just going to write this how I cooked it, so it will not be like a list and the instructions.



Without further ado, here is my Chicken Asparagus Pasta Bake.

In my instant pot, I placed 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts. I put them on the trivet with a cup of water. The chicken was frozen. Once I put the lid on, I just put it in the “poultry” setting.

When cooking, I took 2 bunches of asparagus and cut off the woody parts. I cut the rest of it into bite-sized pieces. You could also substitute broccoli, but Big Daddy does not like the broccoli and chicken combo :/

When the chicken was done, I put it in my kitchen aid, and I used that to shred the chicken (aka brilliant idea, so thanks to youtube for showing me that). I added my seasoning mix and the asparagus in that same pot where I shredded the chicken. I thought it looked a bit dry, so I put in 2 cans of cream of mushroom and about a half cup of sour cream.

Instant Pot

In the instant pot, I put in a box of elbow macaroni with a 1/2 stick of butter. I add enough water to cover the pasta. I set the pot on the manual for 6 minutes. While that was cooking, I made a white sauce. It was 2 T. butter to 2 T. flour. I whisked that together in a pan until it was mixed well. Once I mixed it, I added a cup of milk. I stirred that (it will stick) until it was thick, and then I took it off the heat and added about 2 c. mozzarella. With as much pasta and chicken as I had, I should’ve doubled it, and it would’ve been good with some cream cheese!

Oven Time

I greased a 13×9 pan but realized I needed something big to stir it all together. Also, I realized that I made a lot, so I greased another 11×9 pan to freeze for a later meal. I mixed the pasta, the chicken/asparagus mixture, more seasoning, Italian breadcrumbs, and a little leftover mozzarella.

I put it all in the dish, covered it, and cooked it at 350 for 45 minutes. Then I took the aluminum off and cooked it for another 5 minutes.

It. Was. Good.