Dinner Idea: Ground Beef and Bean Casserole

Well I’m back on the workout wagon and trying to watch what I eat. I like to eat really filling, protein filled meals but I can’t give up the carbs either. Which is why this dinner idea for my Ground Beef and Bean Casserole fits the bill perfectly. I crave it, I could eat it everyday, and I never get tired of it.

For dinner ideas, my first stop is always the first cookbook I ever bought myself: Betty Crocker’s New Cookbook. I’m one of those people who can make a recipe (like this one) a million times and still have to look at the recipe every time. As you can see from this page of the cookbook, I make this recipe a lot.

Looking for an easy dinner idea or casserole? This Ground Beef & Bean casserole fits the bill. Loaded with meat, beans, cheese, and salsa. #DinnerIdeas #groundbeef #casserole #groundturkey

Recipes usually evolve over time, and that’s what happened with this one. We have taken the original recipe and mixed it up a bit to suit our tastes. I hope your family enjoys it too!

Dinner Idea: Ground Beef and Bean Casserole

Looking for an easy dinner idea or casserole? This Ground Beef & Bean casserole fits the bill. Loaded with meat, beans, cheese, and salsa. #DinnerIdeas #groundbeef #casserole #groundturkey

Dinner Idea: Ground Beef and Bean Casserole
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Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained
  • 1 cup (hot or mild) chunky salsa
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 cup reduced fat cheese, shredded

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 375.
  2. Cook the beef or turkey in a skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it's fully cooked through (about 10 minutes.)
  3. In a 2 quart casserole dish, mix the meat, beans, salsa, and chili powder together.
  4. Cover with foil and bake 40 minutes. Remove from oven and remove foil. Stir, and then top with the cheese. Bake uncovered for another 5 minutes to melt the cheese.
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Super easy to make! It’s a simple dinner idea that I bet would do just fine if you make it in a crock pot too (after you’ve cooked the meat.)

I usually make it with ground turkey, but had some ground beef on hand which is what I used in the photo above. Either way, Jason and I both love it and I make this recipe at least once a week. Top it off with some fresh green onions and cilantro and it’s good to go. If I’m making it for just me and Jason, I leave the cheese off – he’s not a fan and since I’m watching what I am eating, I just sprinkle a tiny bit on my helping so I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself.

Looking for more dinner ideas or easy casserole recipes?What’s great about all of these recipes is that you can make them in advance and pop them in the oven to heat up. This Chicken Casserole With Veggies, Pasta, and Cheese is another quick and easy casserole to throw together on a weeknight. as is this Pork Chop and Rice-A-Roni casserole. This Buffalo Chicken and Cheesy Potatoes casserole is always a hit too. Not sure if this is actually a casserole, but this Baked Pesto Chicken recipe is the #2 most viewed recipe on my blog!

Follow Natalie Hoage – Mommy of a Monster’s board Casseroles on Pinterest.

Bean Dip Recipe: Italian Sausage & White Bean Dip

I’m a big appetizer lover. I could eat nothing but apps and be just fine at any party, anywhere. I love the bite sized portions – if I don’t like it, I just move on to the next one. I love that I can have a little bit of this and a little bit of that and be completely happy with my makeshift meal. And I love this new bean dip recipe I found at Taste of Home.

This bean dip recipe is a HUGE hit! It's full of Italian sausage, white beans, spinach, and cheese. Serve it with crackers or pita chips. There won't be any left!

Now what makes this bean dip recipe so great is that it’s like a meal in itself. It’s full of cheese, Italian sausage, white beans, and spinach. Left to my own devices, I could probably eat the entire dip all by myself…it’s that good. Which is why I’ve decided to share my new favorite bean dip recipe.

Bean Dip Recipe: Italian Sausage & White Bean Dip

Bean Dip Recipe: Italian Sausage & White Bean Dip
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Ingredients

  • 1 pound bulk hot Italian sausage (or Italian sausage links, with casings removed)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 6 ounces fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped or torn
  • 15 ounces white kidney or cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Crackers or pita chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. In a large skillet, cook sausage, onion and garlic over medium heat until sausage is no longer pink, breaking up sausage into crumbles; drain. Stir in wine, oregano, salt and thyme. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is almost evaporated.
  3. Add cream cheese; stir until melted. Stir in spinach and beans; cook and stir until spinach is wilted. Transfer to a greased 8-in.-square or 1-1/2-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with cheeses.
  4. Bake 20-25 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with crackers.
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I should also tell you that I made this bean dip recipe three times in two weeks, and that it was a HUGE hit every time! It’s one of those dips that may not look super appetizing, but you take one bite and you’re hooked.

This bean dip recipe is a HUGE hit! It's full of Italian sausage, white beans, spinach, and cheese. Serve it with crackers or pita chips. There won't be any left!

The problem with serving hot bean dip (or any hot dip for that matter) is that it’s hard to keep it warm once it comes out of the oven. After taking it out of the oven transfer it to a crock pot and leave it set to warm. Boom! Problem solved.

Looking for more easy appetizer ideas? Check out all my Appetizer recipes. Still want more? Check out my Football & Tailgating board on Pinterest.

Easy Pasta Recipes: Italian Sausage and Penne Bake

Nothing says comfort food like pasta…ooey, gooey, cheesy pasta. And when you bake all that cheese together with sausage and sauce, you find the ultimate YUM! Which is why I’m sharing one of my easy pasta recipes with you – my Italian Sausage and Penne Bake.

Well, that’s not the only reason. I used Anthony’s Pasta to make my Italian Sausage and Penne Bake because they asked me to create a recipe for a blogger head-to-head (or recipe-to-recipe) contest. Head over to Anthony’s Pasta Facebook page for lots of yummy and easy pasta recipes.

One of My Favorite Easy Pasta Recipes:

Italian Sausage and Penne Bake

This is one of my favorite easy pasta recipes: Italian Sausage and Penne Bake Yum

Italian?Sausage?and?Penne?Bake
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Ingredients

  • 16 oz package of Anthony's Pasta (penne or rigatoni)
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, hot or sweet
  • Small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jar (25 ounces) of your favorite spaghetti sauce
  • 8 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 3 cups of freshly grated mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to directions on package. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cut sausage into 1-inch pieces. Fry until cooked through in a large saucepan.
  3. Add onions and garlic and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in spaghetti sauce and tomato sauce.
  5. Stir in cooked pasta and 1-1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese.
  6. Transfer to casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese on the top.
  7. Cover with foil and baked at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Notes

Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and basil for even more flavor.

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This Italian Sausage and Penne Bake is one of my favorite easy pasta recipes and is super simple to make. Not only that, but it can be made ahead of time or even frozen (before or after) you cook it. Sprinkle some fresh parm and some chopped basil on top and your family will be begging for more.

PSST! I was in a recipe showdown when I shared this recipe on Anthony’s Pasta Facebook page, and it won! This is an award winning pasta recipe (thousands voted!)

Disclosure: I created this as one of Anthony’s Pasta’s easy pasta recipes and was compensated for my efforts. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Follow Natalie Hoage – Mommy of a Monster’s board Casseroles on Pinterest.

White Trash Cooking: Recipes, Humor, and More

I am an avid fan of cookbooks…I have a gazillion of them. I love looking at the photos and trying new recipes. I have my mom’s old cookbooks, cookbooks I’ve picked up at thrift stores and even some I bought just for the pictures. I was recently looking for a recipe and pulled out a bunch of cookbooks. That’s when I found one I had forgotten about that my mom gave me for my birthday one year: White Trash Cooking by Ernest M. Mickler.

Real down home, white trash cooking recipes. Some are funny (like the possum recipes) while others are delicious (try the biscuits!)

Don’t let the name of the book fool you – White Trash Cooking is not a joke. 25 years ago Mickler gathered more than 200 recipes—collected from West Virginia to Key West—showcasing the cooking and hospitality traditions of the white trash way.

White Trash Cooking is warmly written, funny, and filled with traditional and unusual recipes of traditional American food. It’s not offensive, although the title might be – it celebrates the simple cooking of our rural ancestors.

Some are fun and we don’t even consider white trash food, like the Tater Tot Casserole recipe. I myself make a different version of this casserole, and it’s the #1 searched recipe on my blog. There’s a recipe for Hoppin John that I want to try too. And just about all the desserts sound yummy, or like some version of a dessert my family used to make when I was a kid. I’ll pass on this Pore Folk Soup.

 

Real down home, white trash cooking recipes. Some are funny (like the possum recipes) while others are delicious (try the biscuits!)

 

Looking for recipes for possum, squirrel or gator tail? Me neither. But there are recipes in the book for them!. Read the directions…they’re funny (although they aren’t meant to be!)

Real down home, white trash cooking recipes. Some are funny (like the possum recipes) while others are delicious (try the biscuits!)

White Trash Cooking  also has some great photographs by the author of people, places and food throughout his life in rural and small town Mississippi. There are also short stories that will make you smile.

This book is not just a devotion to southern cooking, it’s also entertaining. You could leave it out on the coffee table as a conversation starter! Sure I’ll never make possum (I don’t even know where I’d find possum even if I wanted to try to make it!), but cheers to White Trash Cooking for showcasing real, simple, old school American food.

If you are a fan of white trash, I have a couple of fun posts for White Trash Party Ideas and White Trash Gift Ideas. Still want more white trash? Check out my Pinterest White Trash board.

This is not a sponsored review, though it might sound like one. I just love this cookbook and wanted to share!

Rice A Roni Recipe: Pork Chop and Rice A Roni Casserole

Ethan’s favorite meal in the whole world is pork chops and Broccoli and Cheese Rice-A-Roni. I swear he would be totally happy if I made it every night. Sometimes he’ll let us switch it up and make chicken instead, but not often. It gets boring. So I started looking on Pinterest for a Rice A Roni recipe or idea that would change things up at dinner time.

And I found this Chicken Rice A Roni recipe. Sounds good right? Except I had pork chops, a different kind of Rice-A-Roni, and no sour cream. So I decided to switch it up.

rice-a-roni-recipe

Rice A Roni Recipe: Pork Chop and Rice A Roni Casserole

Pork Chops & Rice-A-Roni Casserole
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Ingredients

  • 1 box Broccoli and Cheese Rice-A-Roni
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup (I use 98% fat-free)
  • 1 cup sour cream (use low fat) or (1 cup cream cheese and 3 tablespoons milk, stirred together)
  • 3-4 cups cooked pork chops, chopped
  • 1 (6 oz) can French fried onions

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Prepare Rice-A-Roni according to package directions. Add soup, cream cheese, and pork chops. Stir to combine.
  3. Spread rice mixture in a lightly sprayed 9x13 pan. Top rice with fried onions. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
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In the ingredients, you’ll notice it calls for sour cream, which I didn’t have. But if you have cream chesse and milk on hand, you can make something similar to sour cream. For this recipe, I added 3 tablespoons of milk to the cream cheese and stirred it together. Done. Work with what you got!

I love this Rice A Roni recipe and was happy to add it to my growing list of easy casserole recipes. This Chicken Casserole With Veggies, Pasta, and Cheese is another quick and easy casserole to throw together on a weeknight. This Buffalo Chicken and Cheesy Potatoes casserole is always a hit too. What’s great about both of these recipes is that you can make them in advance and pop them in the oven to heat up.

If you are still looking for other casserole ideas, I have more casserole recipes to share on my Casseroles Pinterest board.